Chess Edinburgh lewischessmen2-75h 

Chandler Cornered

The Bonnie Scot v Karpov + Back Rank Mates +

I asked if anybody had any old chess pictures of Scottish players.
Steve Hilton came through with a picture of Craig Pritchett playing
Karpov at the Nice Olympiad 1974.

Craig came out the opening with a lovely position.

Karpov has just played the very dodgy looking 22 f4?

I now hand you over to the BCM 1975. This is
how they noted and analysed the above position.

'Anatoly drives himself into a near-fatal accident with 22 f4??
and is dead lucky that the bonnie Scotsman doesn't play
22...Ne2+ 23.Rxe2 Bxe2 24.Qxe2 Qxc4 25.Bf1 Qd4+ winning.

Black continued instead 22.f4?? exf4?? 23.Bxf4 Qxc4 24.Ne5 Qc2 25.Ra2
and White even won the game later thanks to some mistakes
by Pritchett in time pressure.'

"bonnie Scotsman." Why not add;
Och aye the noo, it's a braw bricht moonlight nicht...

The position is not that clear cut, Karpov can slip in 24 Nxe5
which still gives Black a strong position but suddenly the
win as given by the BCM is no longer there.

I can imagine Craig sitting there against a player who
was being cited as the next possible World Champion.
First he has to pinch himself that he has such a position
against such a strong opponent. He can see the BCM line
but also spots the sneaky 24 Nxe5. tic tic tic.

He can see a line that looks it wins the exchange.
He can go for that and easily make time control.
It's possible Craig missed 25 Ra2. Here is the complete game.

[Click here to replay the game]
A.Karpov - C.Pritchett

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 e6 6.g3 Qb6 7.Nb3 Bb4 8.Bg2 d5 9.Nd2 d4 10.Na4 Qc7 11.0-0 Be7 12.a3 0-0 13.b4 e5 14.Qc2 Be6 15.Nb3 Rad8 16.Nac5 Bc8 17.e4 Bxc5 18.Nxc5 d3 19.Nxd3 Nd4 20.Qb2 Bg4 21.Re1 Rfe8 22.f4 exf4 23.Bxf4 Qxc4 24.Ne5 Qc2 25.Ra2 Qxb2 26.Rxb2 Be6 27.a4 Nd7 28.Nd3 Nb6 29.Nc5 Nc4 30.Rf2 Bc8 31.Bc7 b6 32.Bxd8 bxc5 33.Rc1 Ne5 34.Rxc5 Bg4 35.Rd5 Ndf3+ 36.Kh1 f6 37.Bc7 Rc8 38.Rd8+ Rxd8 39.Bxd8 Kf7 40.h3

Shortly after the above was posted I was emailed this my John Henderson.

You missed the best part of the Pritchett miss against Karpov -
the winning line ( 22...Ne2+ 23.Rxe2 Bxe2 24.Qxe2 Qxc4 25.Bf1 Qd4+ winning.) was relayed from Fischer the next day to Craig via the American team!

I asked if anybody had played a game where they know
they definitely learned something and put it to good
use in a later game.

Whilst surfing about I stumbled across two games played
by Primary Schoolboy Escher Mills. Remember the name folks.

Today's lesson is back rank mates.
This game was played in the Lothian Masters Primary
at the National Museum of Scotland in June 2006.

Esher Mills - Shivan Murdochy
This is actually quite a good game. Play it over.
Most of the moves would not look out of place
on the lower boards in Edinburgh Divisions 2 and 3.
The main difference being that Black would
have resigned after 33 Rxd5+.

White picks up a piece. Black plays a pin and win combo
and the pieces are level. White then rather craftily
picks up the exchange. Black leaves a Bishop hanging
tempting White into leaving his back rank weak.
This is clever stuff - Shivan Murdochy is another name to note.

All we need do then is wait for White to get over confident
and forget to check all checks.

[Click here to replay the game]
Esher Mills - Shivan Murdochy

1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Ng4 5.Qe2 Nc6 6.d4 Bb4 7.Bd2 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 0-0 9.Bd2 Qe7 10.Ng5 Nb4 11.Bxb4 Qxb4+ 12.c3 Qe7 13.Qxg4 f5 14.Qh5 g6 15.Qh4 f4 16.Be2 Rf5 17.Qxh7+ Qxh7 18.Nxh7 Kxh7 19.0-0 b6 20.c4 dxc4 21.Bxc4 c5 22.d5 exd5 23.Bxd5 Rb8 24.Be4 Rxe5 25.Rae1 Be6 26.Bxg6+ Kxg6 27.Rxe5 Bxa2 28.Re4 Bd5 29.Rxf4 Re8 30.Rg4+ Kf5 31.Rh4 Re2 32.Rd1 b5 33.Rxd5+ Kf6 34.Rh6+ Kf7 35.Rd7+ Ke8 36.Rhh7 Re1

Ouch! That must have hurt.

If White had been an adult then they would have sulked for months.

These kids shrug it off as a lesson learned.
"...pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again..."
So same event a game or two later.

Escher Mills - Sam Gregory
Escher in this game again loses a piece to a pin.
Something to work on in the future.
A piece pinned to a King is a lump of dead wood.

However, we are talking about back rank mates.
So we find Escher a piece down and then suddenly
he recalls an idea from another game...

It's chess justice at it's very best.
He lost a game he should have won to a back rank mate.
Now he wins a game he should have lost to a back rank mate.

The lesson baton has been passed to Sam Gregory.

Escher has still to master the back rank mate.
His idea was a blunder, a big blunder.
It was lucky for him that Sam forgot to check all checks
so he missed his own back rank trick.

Play this one out. See if you can spot the shot.

[Click here to replay the game]
Escher Mills - Sam Gregory

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Be7 5.Bxc6 bxc6 6.d4 exd4 7.Nxd4 0-0 8.e5 Nd5 9.Nxd5 cxd5 10.Qg4 d6 11.Qg3 dxe5 12.Nc6 Qd6 13.Nxe5 Bf6 14.Bf4 Re8 15.0-0 Bxe5 16.Bxe5 Qxe5 17.Rae1 Qxg3 18.Rxe8

Yes, Black should have played 17...Qxe1! 18 Rxe1 Rxe1 mate.

I'm going to wrap up this weeks column with
a pack of back rank combinations.

I'm loathe to use Bernstein - Capablanca, Moscow 1914.
I hate seeing the same old positions (and games)
used by the same old hacks in their same old joyless books.

But it is essential knowledge and if even just one surfer
has not seen it and got benefit from it, then it has been worthwhile.

Did you Know? No.177
Capablanca is on record stating this was his favourite game.
(Kings, Commoners & Knaves by Edward Winter page 392).

Capa is Black and it is Black to play.

Now try these two very easy positions.
White to play in both games.

Too easy? try this - same idea, different setting.

Now a tough one from actual play. (white to play).
Double check your winning ideas, Black
has a few uncommon defensive lines.


a) 1...Qb2. The most famous Qb2 in chess history.
Wins a Rook or back rank mates.

b) 1.Rf1 and Black is faced with 2.Qxh8 winning.

c) 1.Qb7 with the idea 2 Qxa8.
(how many of you chose 1 Rfa1?? Black wins 1...Qxa1+ and mate).

d)This is good. Tartakower - Lovitsky (1935). Colours reversed.
White uses the threat of Rf8 and the loose Rook on g4 to good effect.

1.Qc4+ ...

(1.Qb3+ Kh8 2.Qf3 h5)

1...Kh8 2.Qc5 Kg8 3.Qd5+ Kh8 4.Qe5 ...

(4.Qd7 Rxe4)

4...Qc8 5.Qd6 Kg8 6.Qd5+ Kh8 7.Qd7 1-0. Quite Brilliant.

*Adams-Torre never actually happened.
It was made up from what could have happened.

And finally:

This is a picture of Bells Girls (Sandy Bells 4).
Once a month they dress up as women and play over their league games.

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