Chess Edinburgh lewischessmen2-75h 

Chandler Cornered

Chess Sci-Fi + Traitors Mate + Blunder Table


I've been emailed saying there is a recent short Sci-Fi story about
a soldier who plays chess against one of these 'smart' weapons.

I surfed the net with the little information I had been
sent and found the January 2007 Asimov Science Fiction mag.



It has this short story with an even shorter review:

"Battlefield Games" by R. Neube: I loved the framing idea.
A grunt in a battlefield trench starts playing chess with an
intelligent missile from the enemy.

Anybody out there got a copy?

I too like the idea - think I'll write a Sci-Fi chess story.

David Levy is captured by robots and they bet amongst
themselves 10,000 that he cannot beat them at chess.



David Levy: Chess player,author and lecturer on Intelligent software.
Born Glasgow (Parkhead) 1951. Knocked together first chess playing computer
using a pocket calculator, an alarm clock and an Ever Ready Battery (9v).

It beat him and that is when he made his famous bet.

"5.00 each way on the favourite in the 2:30 at Folkstone."

Levy then became embroiled in the titles for money scandal...

(he will sue us...Ed)

...but nothing was proved.

Hey. There is a David Levy game.
I was thinking about computer/Levy jokes when suddenly
I remembered he played a game. A short game with in-between-moves.
Intermezzos or zwischenzugs is what the well read guys call them.
Which is really a posh name for; "Ha Ha You missed that. Dog breath".

I've just been looking up how to spell 'zwischenzug' in the
Hooper & Whyld Oxford Companion. I was in the S's.
I thought it was spelt shwinzenzug or something like that.

(I know, I'm an idiot, but that is another story. )

Did you know...and I have just found this out, because I was in the S's.

That Scholars Mate could also be called Traitors Mate because Black
allowed his King to taken without the loss of a piece.

Arthur Saul, in The Famous Game of Chesse-Play, 1614, writes;

It is a Scollars Mate...
...It may be called also a treacherous mate; for otherwise it
were unpossible a King should be delivered into the hands of
his enemyes without the losse of some men."


Forgive Saul's spelling, they never had a spell-checker in those days.

Here it is folks! Traitors Mate.



[Click here to replay the game]
Saul's Analysis

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Qh5 d6 4.Qxf7


Remember you saw it here first.

Unless of course you have copy of Arthur Saul's The Famous Game of Chesse-Play,
in which case you saw it there first.

Did you know that after the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Qh5.
There are 21 moves Black can play that will allow mate with 4.Qxf7?

(How do you know that?....Ed)

I looked at my score book.

OK. we have had a small diversion, let us get back on track.

I recall seeing a Levy game in the 70's that must have stuck.
Perhaps it was the first time I had seen a good zwischenzug.

(10 minutes later....)

I have found the game. K.Maeder - D.Levy Haifa, 1970

It's a Dragon and it looks like Black has lemoned due to the pin down the d-file.
Going into this tricky position and the shot 12.Nc3 was easy to see.
but not so 14.Nxc3! with 15.Nxd1 Double Check! A nice piece of chess bluffing
with White thinking Black has blundered and Black knowing White has blundered.



[Click here to replay the game]
K.Maeder - D.Levy

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nb4 11.Bc4 Nfxd5 12.Nb3 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Nxa2+ 14.Kb2 Nxc3 15.Qxd8 Nxd1+ 16.Kc1 Rd8


Look at the final position. White resigned on move 15.
I added an extra move just to squeeze the last tactical drop out of the game.
You may think White is only the exchange down but he cannot take the Knight.
17.Rxd1 Bb2+

"It's a Dragon and it looks like Black has lemoned..."

Lemon was a big 70's catch phrase. Fischer used it in his book and
everything dodgy suddenly became a lemon. It sneaked into the none
chess playing world. People would roll up their sleeves, bend their arm
and point to their elbow. (an elbow on a bent arm looks the base of a lemon).

If you see old footage of 70's football players doing
this to the crowd you now know what it means.

Elvis sings it in one his live recordings of Hound Dog.

In the chorus he can clearly be heard:

"You ain't nothing but a lemon and you ain't no friend of mine."

The King, Las Vegas, 1974.

(note the Chess link between Elvis Presley and Chess - The King).

A.Akers - J.Crawford
Here is a game from the Edinburgh Congress the Knights section.
The game follows the usual path for games played in the lower boards.
The pawns are pushed into the centre, pieces out, castle.

Then comes exchanges, pawn moves, pieces rush to cover
the weak squares the pawns have left behind then it's
threat and defend, threat and defend.

When the dust has settled we discover that white has nicked a pawn
with a hit on a Bishop and a big target on e6 (backward pawn on open file).
And with the King on the same diagonal tactical tricks are coming to mind.










Here Black should play 24...Bd5 and hope White leaves his Queen
open to a Rook attack down the b-file. He has to distract White
from e6 with activity and threats.

Instead he fired his Bishop at the King. 24...Bxg2?
I bet Fritz never saw that coming.

Black does even had a follow up check - he is lost.

Here is the full game. Oh I forget to add.
After 24...Bxg2 Black delivered checkmate 4 moves later.


[Click here to replay the game]
A.Akers - J.Crawford

1.d4 c6 2.Bf4 d5 3.e3 Nd7 4.Nf3 Ngf6 5.Bd3 g6 6.Nbd2 Bg7 7.c3 0-0 8.Ne5 Nxe5 9.Bxe5 e6 10.0-0 Re8 11.Qf3 Qe7 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.e4 Bg5 14.Nb3 b6 15.Qe2 a5 16.f4 Bh6 17.a4 dxe4 18.Bxe4 Bb7 19.Nd2 f5 20.Bc2 b5 21.Nb3 Qd7 22.Nc5 Qe7 23.axb5 cxb5 24.Qxb5 Bxg2 25.Kxg2 Qh4 26.Nd3 Qg4+ 27.Kh1 Qe2 28.Bd1 Qxf1


So what happened here?
Blunders are not random moves. There is always thought behind them.
Let us see if we can figure out why White was mated.

Well in this position it was panic in the ranks.
White saw all kinds of threats and perhaps even feared a perpetual.

But the one thing he was NOT threatened with was checkmate.










I think the blunder came from fear of the check and a possible perpetual.

White played 28.Bd1 (moving the attacked piece) intending 29.Bf3 and he would
not have to worry about the check again. On f3 the Bishop would be hitting
the Rook on a8. It is possible White even considered where the Rook might go
after Bf3. Rab8 and then Qa6 and everything holds.

28.Rf2 was the solid move. The star move 24.Rae1! Qxb2 25.Rf2 wins the Queen.

Black, who emailed me the above asked...
Geoff, if I my opponent had not blundered, do you think I still would have won?"

An interesting question that one.
It kind of answers itself. I don't think nobody wins unless their
opponent has blundered somewhere along the way.

I feel another famous Chandler Table coming on...

Here is a one move blunder table showing how severe the blunder
needs to be in a game between two players of the same grade.



All players should be able to spot their opponent leaving a mate in one on.

A 1200 player should win if an opponent blunders a Queen or a Rook.
But not necessary so if they pick up a Bishop or Knight.

1500 players often convert piece up games into a win but this
is not the case if a pawn or two up.

An 1800 player usually wins if they are two pawns up.

In a game between two 2000+ players a blundered pawn is usually enough to win.

Finally here is a game from one of the lower sections at the Edinburgh Congress.

G.Clarke (1120) - R.Burns (975).
Black does everything right for the first 9 moves. Simple developing.
White does some time wasting juggling with his Knights and his 9.f3
should have been punished 9...Ng4!

Black then runs out of things to do. Two very slack pawns
moves 12...a6 and 17...f5 and White jumped on these to open up
files against the Black King and used a weak pawn (e6) to gain tempo
to catch up with his development and tie up Black.
A nice cold calculated wrap up with no faffing about.



[Click here to replay the game]
G.Clarke - R.Burns

1.d4 d5 2.e3 Nc6 3.c3 Bf5 4.Nd2 e6 5.Nb3 Nf6 6.Nf3 Bd6 7.Nh4 Be4 8.Nd2 Qe7 9.f3 Bg6 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.f4 0-0-0 12.b4 a6 13.a4 Ne4 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.b5 axb5 16.axb5 Nb8 17.Qb3 f5 18.Bc4 Rh6 19.Bxe6+ Rd7 20.Ra8 g5 21.Bxd7+ Qxd7 22.Qg8+ Qd8 23.Rxb8+ Kxb8 24.Qxd8+


Correction just arrived from Hatfield Dingley.
David Neil Lawrence Levy was born in England in 1945.
He did represent Scotland in a couple of Olympiads in the 70's.


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