This was given to me by a friend recently.
Printed in 1899. Dedicated to Sir George Newbes,
President of the British Chess Club.
Inside was this advert.
"Whist in a few Whiffs" by Captain Mainwaring.
So Dad's Army had a few whiffs of whist. We are doodled.
One section was titled 'Early Chess'
and explains how to play Chaturanga.
This is a four player version of chess.
Red & Black are partners against Blue & White.
When it was your turn to move you threw a die
to see which piece you moved.
If you take a King his remaining men are now yours.
A Bishop may take other Bishops and pawns but not
a 'superior' piece. (Knights superior to Bishops).
Back to proper chess. I chose at random a position.
No.26 under the Traps and Stratagems section.
This is by Jacob Sarratt (1772-1819). White to play and draw.
Piece of cake. 1.Rf8+ Ka7 2.Ra8+ Kxa8 3.Qf8+ Ka7 4.Qc5+
It's a perpetual because 4...Qxc5 is stalemate.
So I use Database to set up and lift the diagram ready for publication.
Out of curiosity I let Fritz tick over to see what it thinks of the position.
Maybe it will miss it and I can laugh at finding yet another Fritz blunder.
Well stick a fairy on my head, cover me in lights and plug me in.
It not only found the stalemate - It found another way to do it.
I wonder if Sarratt knew of this variation. The jolly Reverend
Cunnington makes no mention of a dual solution.
Here is the other solution.
1.Rf8+ Ka7 2.Qc5+ Qxc5 3.Ra8+ Kb6 4.Rxa6+
Good init? I thinks Fritz's line is actually better.
In this line the pawn on c4 is put to a better use.
I was showing this to the boys in Bells on Sunday.
Young Kafka is with me, this variation is far better.
Old man Ruxton on the other hand, prefers the original.
And now a couple of press cuttings.
The first one from The Metro, Friday 15th December 2006.
No doubt Arvin S. thinks he is the festive wit.
This joke appeared in J.B. Henderson's Scotsman column one year ago.
and this from issue No.1173 of Private Eye.
Back to The Modern Chess Primer.
So I spent a while putting more positions into Fritz from the
book to see if I could discover anymore busted problems or studies.
I found none but I did find a position I liked in the mate in 4 section.
I messed around with it. Turned it into a mate in two.
I'm calling it 'Christmas 2006.'
Here it is: White to play and mate in two. (final position on the right).
1.e8=B Ke6 2.Rc6 mate.
So why have I called it 'Christmas 2006?'
Hang on I'll plug it in...
...no doubt about it...I'm cracking up.