Chess Edinburgh lewischessmen2-75h 

Chandler Cornered

Merry Christmas 2007 (part 1)

Hi and a Merry Christmas to everybody on the planet.

I originally intended to have a smashing Christmas type
picture with a Chess motto to kick off this piece.

So the first thing I did was type in 'Chess + Christmas' into Google.
After sifting through all the dull stuff I eventually stumbled on...

Yes, The Imperial College Union Chess Club.

"We hold regular matches and tournaments, as well as taking part in the
Middlesex League and the University of London League."

Under one of their headings was;
Pictures of the Christmas Party 2006.

This might be interesting, I thought, a bunch of merry
chess players all whooping it up and having a good time.

"simply having a wonderful Christmas time."

Their Christmas dinner consists of sandwiches and bottled water.
They even have the telly on. (watching cricket).

However, on the same site I did find this intriguing puzzle.
It's BLACK too play and mate in two.

Fritz it if you want - no good.
That by the way is a clue in passing.
Answer at the bottom.

The Spencer-Brown Trap
A few C.C's. ago I mentioned I thought I had found the originator of
this idea and he has furnished an actual game he played in 1948.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nb4?!

Professor G. Spencer-Brown has been in touch by letter!

Yes a letter. I had better explain what a letter is for the computer geeks.

A letter is a sheet of paper we used to use to communicate
with each other. You write on the paper, fold it up, place it
inside an envelope, buy a stamp and post it to a home address.

This was the first letter I have received for years.
yes literally years. I get bills and reminders like the rest of you
But an actual letter...I'm so glad to see the art of letter
writing has not died out.
My new years resolution is to write letters to people.

Professor Spencer-Brown writes;

"I was President of the Cambridge Chess Club from 1949-1950
when we beat Oxford. We had a strong team including C.H.O'D Alexander.

He continues.

I cannot recall ever losing when I played my defence,
which was often. Perhaps I was lucky in my opponents.

I shall be interested to learn what your Scottish Masters
come up with to refute my opening."

He also included the following game.

[Click here to replay the game]
E.Reifenberg - G.Spencer-Brown

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nb4 4.a3 c6 5.Bc4 d5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.Nxe5 Qg5 8.Nf3 Qxg2 9.Rg1 Qh3 10.Nc3 Bg4 11.Rg3 Bxf3 12.Qxf3 Qe6+ 13.Kf1 Ngf6 14.Nxd5 Nxd5 15.Bxd5 Qxd5 16.Qxd5 cxd5 17.Re3+ Kd7 18.d4 Bd6 19.Kg2 Rae8 20.b3 Rxe3 21.Bxe3 Rc8 22.Ra2 b5 23.h3 h6 24.Kf3 Be7 25.Ke2 Bg5 26.Kd3 Bd8 27.Bd2 Bg5 28.Be3 Bd8 29.Ra1 Ba5 30.b4 Bd8 31.Rg1 Bf6 32.Bf4 g5 33.Be3 -

So hence forth the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nb4
should be called the Spencer-Brown Trap.

I've called it a TRAP as opposed to a GAMBIT because if
White takes the offered gambit e-pawn then Black can win
it back right away with 4....Qg5. and achieve the better position.

Professor Spencer-Brown also enclosed a section from his Autobiography

It relates to chess incident when he was 13.
His father, a County Champion had friendly game with another County
player, Neal Green, who was infact the Lord of Holbeck Manor.
Mr Green won.

His father stated;
"My son is also learning to play. Would you like to give him a game?"

Mr.Green agreed. Master Spencer-Brown was white, he played the Colle and
"...wiped the board with him."

Mr. Green was not happy at this practical joke complaining;
"If you had told me your son was so good,
I would have given the game more intention."

The result was the young Spencer-Brown was never again invited to the manor.

Out of curiosity I googled Professor Spencer-Brown.
He has led quite a packed life. His list of recreations:

'Shooting, tennis, cricket, soccer, chess, piloting anything that will fly,
exploring, photography, maps and map-making, listening to Mozart,
cooking in commercial breaks, composing and performing songs and ballads,
constructing ingenious machines that actually work, and inventing astonishing
games that can actually be played.'

So, is there a bust to the Spencer-Brown Trap?

Well it's breaks one of the golden rules about moving
a piece twice in the opening, it does not interfere with
White's development and depends on a White blunder
4.Nxe4? to justify it. Enough?

I can find no quick tactical bust.
I forced Fritz to take Black and play it.
This position arose with Black, in trouble, to play.
The threat of 13.Nb5 is strong.

Here are the moves that led to the above position.

[Click here to replay the game]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nb4 4. O-O c6 5. Bc4 d5 6. exd5 e4 7. dxc6 exf3
8.Re1+ Ne7 9. Qxf3 Nbxc6 10. Qxf7+ Kd7 11. Nc3 Qe8 12. Qf4 Kd8
13. Nb5 Qd7 14. Nd6 g5 15. Qf6 Bg7 16. Qxg7

Over to you boys and girls. Any ideas? Why not give it a try.

Current World Champion Vishy Anand
has revealed on a CD that he once
queued outside the door of Mark Condie
during the 1984 World Junior in Kiljava.
Vishy was waiting to borrow the then latest Informant.

He states he remembers looking for a Tukmakov game
in volume 36 (game No.449).
Here is the game.

[Click here to replay the game]
V.Tukmakov - V.Bagirov

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.Bf4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 dxc4 8.g3 b5 9.Bg2 Bb7 10.Ne5 f6 11.Nxc4 bxc4 12.Rb1 e5 13.Rxb7 exf4 14.Qa4 Qc8 15.Rb6 Bd6 16.Qxc4 Ke7 17.0-0 Ra7 18.Rfb1 Rd8 19.gxf4 Qe6 20.Qd3 g6 21.c4 Kf8 22.d5 Qe7 23.c5 Bxf4 24.e3 Nd7 25.exf4 cxd5 26.Rc6 Nb8 27.Rd6 Rxd6 28.cxd6 Qxd6 29.Qxd5 Qc7 30.Qe6 Qd8 31.Rxb8 Qxb8 32.Qxf6+

and here is Mark Condie with the actual Informator No.36.

Mark did not play Anand in the 1984 World Junior but
he did recall he actually beat Anand in the Lloyd's Bank 1986.

It was the last round, Anand needed to win to obtain his GM title.
Mark said he stodged it up and Vishy had to be adventurous.
Mark sacced/lost the exchange but obtained a nest of passed pawns
on the Queenside.
Vishy prodded and pushed but Mark was brilliant at nudging a win
out of such positions. Look at the game after move 26 with White
to play. (in the game notes). Chopping wood with 27.Nxf5 was Fritz
recommendation - I carried it on and got Black counter play.
Watch Mark cut out any form of counter play and then play Nxf5
under much better circumstances and obtaining 4 passed connected pawns.

In the after match analysis Mark said Vishy had seen much
further than he had. "He was amazing to analysis with."

[Click here to replay the game]
M.Condie - V.Anand

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.d4 c5 4.e3 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be2 0-0 7.0-0 b6 8.b3 Bb7 9.Bb2 Qe7 10.Qc2 Nc6 11.Rfd1 Rac8 12.dxc5 bxc5 13.Rd2 Rfd8 14.Rad1 d5 15.Qb1 d4 16.exd4 Bh6 17.dxc5 Bxd2 18.Nxd2 Nd4 19.b4 e5 20.Bf1 Nf5 21.Nde4 Nxe4 22.Rxd8+ Rxd8 23.Nxe4 Qh4 24.Ng3 e4 25.Qc1 f6 26.Qc3 Rd1 27.Qc2 [27.Nxf5 gxf5 28.b5 Qg4 29.c6 Qe2 30.Qg3+ Kf7 31.Qc7+ Kg6 32.Qg3+=] 27...Rd7 28.Qa4 Re7 29.Nxf5 gxf5 30.Qxa7 Kf7 31.Qb8 e3 32.fxe3 Bxg2 33.Qg3 Qxg3 34.hxg3 Bxf1 35.Kxf1 Rxe3 36.b5 Ke8 37.c6 Kd8 38.Bxf6+ Kc8 39.c5 h6 40.a4 Re6 1-0

This game was printed in Scotland on Sunday. Dougie Bryson added in the
notes that current World Champion Gary Kasparov had tipped Vishy Anand to
become a future a World Champion. That was in 1986 and Vishy had yet to
win his GM title.

It's amazing how much fun you can buy for 25p.
That was the price of this 2nd. hand book 25p.

Not bad for an 'opening' book, it does
exactly what it says on the cover.

You get the ideas, the spirit of the opening,
not dollops of theory to memorise.

This reminds of a antidote from Winter's
Chess Explorations.

Rueben Fine asked a fellow chess player, A.Rothman,
"Is it true that you know all the columns of
MCO by heart?" Rothman answered, "Yes."

Some of today's young hopefuls with similar
ambitions might do well to reflect that the end
product of this astonishing feat was not a
Karpov or a Capablanca, but....A.Rothman.

Horowitz picks 13 openings, some standard,
The Caro Khan, Grunfeld and King's Gambit.
A few off-beat, Budapest and Centre Game.

He walks you through the mainline giving away a trap or two,
explains the strategy or idea behind the each opening highlighting
it's good and bad points.

Then comes a Chess Movie featuring a game from the opening
under examination.

It's the Chess Movie that does it for me. Look at this.

Horowitz slips into Hollywood mode when describing some of the moves.

"...he has a pawn plus to salve the pain of any coming abuse."

"...Marshall lets fly a sockdolager."

"...Marshall lets go another humdinger."

"...If White now castles RxN is a sockdolager."

"...Tartakower hangs on by the skin of his bridgework."

I've been playing over the games and listening to a CD
of war movie themes. Highly recommended by the way.

Playing sockdolagers and humdingers whilst listening
to '633 Squadron' is brilliant.

Moving a passed pawn up the board to the tune of 'Colonel Bogey'
gives a whole new perception to endgames.

Saccing Bishops against a castled position with 'The Dam Busters'
blaring out of my stereo is fantastic.

The theme from M*A*S*H with Capablanca...

(just get on with it....Ed).

So let us have a look at a game by the afore mentioned Rothman.
Here is an excellent example of a master player seeing that bit
deeper than his opponent. It would easy for me to say Rothman
once out of MCO walks right into a trap, but that is not quite
true. Rothman plays what at first glance appears a very good move.
He simply did not look at all the alternative replies.

Rule of Thumb No.117:
If you think you have found a good move against a strong player.
Pause before you move. Strong players do not usually allow good moves.
Triple check your analysis. If you cannot see a refutation,
shut your eyes, cross your fingers and play it.

Here is the game. H.Steiner - A.Rothman, USA Ch. 1946
I will not give White's 14th move.
See if you can spot what Rothman missed.

[Click here to replay the game]
H.Steiner - A.Rothman

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.e3 0-0 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.Qxc3 Re8 9.b4 e5 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Bb2 Bg4 12.b5 Bxf3 13.gxf3 Nd4

White played 14.(what?) and Black resigned.
Answer at bottom of this column.

I read all these chess books and I'm still just a fairly good player.
Not a strong player in the IM/GM class. How come??

Well I don't actually read these books, I play over the games
and then (usually) disagree with all the notes.

I should play more and then some more and even more after that.

I think it was Einstein who said something like...

"Knowledge is nothing without experience."

So that's that. I do not play enough.
I've always been loathe to sac a weekend to play 5 games of chess
and I've knocked league chess on the head. My work pattern
has seen to that.

Anyway I'm happy being fairly good and I enjoy sitting in my wee
study playing over games of chess.

This is a book I often dip into:

It's a Russian book I actually bought 'new!'. 444 short games.
A lot of them are not in usual short games collections.
Here is a brilliant game. Watch the Knights in this one.

Here is the position after White's 15th move.

How can you resist playing over such a game.
The juicy Knight mates are in the notes.

But first I'm not too sure who the players are.
My Russian is not very good. (My English is worse).

I make it A.Avshalumov - E.Rosentalis, Leningrad 1979. Is that correct?

Here is the game.

[Click here to replay the game]
A.Avshalumov - E.Rosentalis

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 Qa5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Qb3 c5 9.Bd3 Be7 10.Bxe7 Nxe7 11.0-0 cxd4 12.Nxd4 e5 13.Ne4 0-0 [13...exd4 14.Nd6+ Kd8 15.Nxf7+ Ke8 16.Nxh8] 14.Ne6 h6 [14...fxe6 15.Qxe6+ Kh8 16.Qxe7] 15.Nd6 Nc5 16.Bh7+ Kh8 [16...Kxh7 17.Nxf8+ Kh8 18.Nxf7+ Kg8 19.Nxh6+ Kh8 20.Qg8+ Nxg8 21.Nf7#] 17.Nxf8 Nxb3 18.Nxf7# 1-0

Right try this, I failed at the first attempt. I moved too quick.
Here is a normal chessboard. Suppose I number all the squares
from 1 to 64. How times does the figure '5' appear?

You have to do it in your head.

onClick="alert('There are sixteen fives')")>

(I got 15. I forgot to count 55 as two fives - hmmmph!).

Staying on puzzles (Oh No....Ed).

A Polish International Master plays a Russian Grandmaster in a match.
Six games were played. The Russian won all 6 games.
During the match no man resigned and no man was checkmated.
There were no losses on time and no games defaulted.
So how come the 6-0 result?

Answer: The players were both women!

I've got another. (Last one...ED)

Two MEN were playing together in a weekend tournament.
At the end of the tournament it was discovered both men
had lost all their games on time and finished with nil from 5.
How come?

Answer: They were playing together in the same tournament
but did not play each other.

One more.
16 chess players and a dog called Patch board a red bus.
At the first stop 4 chess players get off and 11 snooker players...



Did you get the 14th move from the H.Steiner - A.Rothman game?
14.0-0-0 unpins the e-pawn and pins the Knight. Brilliant.

The Christmas Puzzle from The Imperial College Union Chess Club.
Here is the actual solution from the site.

I guess White's last move was either c2-c4 or e2-e4, so the winning solution
is either bxc3 or fxe3. I imagine by some form of logic I should be able to
determine which one it is. So here goes...

I reckon White must have just played c2-c4,
as if he had only just played e2-e4 then the Bishop
would not have been able to get out, in which case it
must have been taken whilst stuck on f1. If this were the case,
then Black's pawns would not have been able to get where they
are because they need to have captured at least 10 of White's
pieces to get to their current positions.
So, the solution (I hope!!) is bxc3, followed by c3-c2 mate.

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