Chess Parallel + Purdy + Fischer's Grave
Well read surfers will know all about the Gothenburg Triangle
But younger players who perhaps think chess was invented
by Chessbase and know nothing of it's glorious history
will think I'm talking about algebra.
In the 1955 Interzonal held in Gothenburg, Argentina.
Three Argentinean players, Najdorf, Panno and Pilnik
had up their sleeves a prepared a variation of the Sicilian.
In the 14th round all three had the chance too and played their
idea against three Russians, Keres, Geller and Spassky.
The three demonstration boards showed the exact same positions after 10 moves.
Suddenly Geller sacced a piece against Panno 11.Nxe6!
Spassky and Keres followed the ensuing game with interest,great interest.
They liked what they saw and they too played 11.Nxe6.
It must have been terrible for Najdorf and Pilnik to sit and
watch their comrade's position deteriorating knowing they were next.
The games eventually took 3 different paths and ended Russia 3 Argentina 0.
The Dunfermline Parallel
In the recent last round of the SNCL a similar case of duplication occurred.
Witness A.Burnett v E.Spencer and D.Findlay v M.Carballo.
Both games were being played side by side and this position
arose on both boards with Black to play.
Edwin Spencer took the lead and played 7...h4.
Andrew replied 8.g4 and Edwin sacced with 8...Nxg4?!
Manuel Carballo looked at this with interest, great interest.
He wisely held back his 7th move until he decided that the sac was
not quite good enough and played 7...Be6.
The result? Alastair Burnett won and so did Manuel.
Here is the critical first game.
[Click here to replay the game]
A.Burnett - E.Spencer
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Bc5 4.Bg2 d6 5.Nge2 Nc6 6.0-0 h5 7.h3 h4 8.g4 Nxg4 9.hxg4 Bxg4 10.Kh2 h3 11.Bh1 Qh4 12.f3 Bd7 13.Nd5 0-0-0 14.Qe1 Qh7 15.c3 a6 16.b4 Ba7 17.a4 Rde8 18.b5 Ne7 19.Nxe7+ Rxe7 20.bxa6 bxa6 21.Ng3 Re6 22.d3 g6 23.Be3 Bxe3 24.Qxe3 f5 25.Qa7 Kd8 26.Rab1 Bc8 27.d4 d5 28.exd5 Re7 29.dxe5 Rxe5 30.f4 Re7 31.d6
Remember Lasker's maxim about seeing a good move and
sitting on your hands?
Now follow the Carballo highway code: If you see an interesting move
always look right, look left and look right again. You never know,
some happy chappie sitting next to you may be crossing the same road you are.
Awful Jokes No.34
Q. Why did the chess player cross the road?
Answers (so far)
A. He saw the Pelican crossing. (A. He saw the Zebra crossing.)
A. To avoid the Knight fork (fork - fork in the road - gettit?)
A. He does not know why - it was theory.
That will do for now. I'm sure you can do better.
(A. He saw you coming....Ed)
This case of Dunfermline Doubles remind me of a similar moment when
I played in an Edinburgh tournament in 1982. I was strolling about selling
Capital Chess magazines when I noticed an Edinburgh player staring
at another game. (I'll keep him nameless today).
I sold him a magazine and 5 minutes later he was still there.
"You not playing?" I asked him.
"Yeah. but I have noticed that Mark Orr has the same position as me.
I'm just waiting to see what he plays next."
I've often wondered why players got up after a few moves and
sauntered about. Now I know. They were looking for positions
that are the same as theirs so they can crib moves.
Also explains why nobody comes to look at my games during
the first few moves. No good moves to copy here.
This was an agreeable and surprising find.
£3.00 from the bookshop on the Meadows. You know the one,
just across the road from the swing park and the tennis
courts where the junkies hang out.
Purdy's book on the Fischer-Spassky match. I have often read that
this was a good book and possibly the best to cover the match.
I've only played over 4 games and already agree. It is the best.
There are very few players who have the ability to write well about chess.
Karpov has the knack of putting the correct piece onto the right square,
Purdy has the knack of putting the correct word into any sentence.
He is capable of writing some of the most instructive and
entertaining prose ever to grace a chess book.
His introduction to game 17 is simply splendid.
I'll give it later on, but first I'll set the scene.
Game 17 was the Pirc where Fischer (black) swaps his
mighty King's Bishop for a Knight on c3 to steal a pawn.
Here Fischer played 13...Bxc3 14.bxc3 Qxc3
"Fischer sees deep down beyond the 'principles' that serve
as props for those below genius class.
Wrote Purdy after a similar golden rule was ignored by Fischer in game 5.
Fischer knew this would subject him to a violent assault and
later in the game he gives up the exchange knowing it will bring
white's attack to a standstill.
In this position Fischer has just played 21.Qc5-e5!
'No chess player, however great, ever managed to get through life
without getting into a host of difficult positions.
It follows that finding the best way out of difficulties - 'wriggling'
is the hallmark of greatness in chess.'
Purdy then adds if Black saves the rook and does not give up the
exchange then f7 and g7 become as weak as kittens.
The queens come off and Black's rook and knight hold back
the two White rooks with unhurried ease.
The knight blocks the only open file whilst the rook
torments the weak pawns.
Here is his overture to game 17.
We all read in chess primers that a Rook is worth a piece and two pawns.
This legend seems to dog most players through life, even if they
reach master class.
When they find themselves with a Rook for a piece and only one pawn,
they somehow think nature owes them a win, but the game will usually
be drawn unless the Rook (or both the attackers Rooks if has two) can
break into the enemy camp.
Countless times in my 40 years as a chess master I have made this
small sacrifice of material and rarely lost, sometimes even won.
My opponents have usually quivered.
"Where did I go wrong?"
And my favourite reply is, "Thinking you had a won game."
Here is the game.
[Click here to replay the game]
B.Spassky - R.Fischer
1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.dxc5 Qa5 7.Bd3 Qxc5 8.Qe2 0-0 9.Be3 Qa5 10.0-0 Bg4 11.Rad1 Nc6 12.Bc4 Nh5 13.Bb3 Bxc3 14.bxc3 Qxc3 15.f5 Nf6 16.h3 Bxf3 17.Qxf3 Na5 18.Rd3 Qc7 19.Bh6 Nxb3 20.cxb3 Qc5+ 21.Kh1 Qe5 22.Bxf8 Rxf8 23.Re3 Rc8 24.fxg6 hxg6 25.Qf4 Qxf4 26.Rxf4 Nd7 27.Rf2 Ne5 28.Kh2 Rc1 29.Ree2 Nc6 30.Rc2 Re1 31.Rfe2 Ra1 32.Kg3 Kg7 33.Rcd2 Rf1 34.Rf2 Re1 35.Rfe2 Rf1 36.Re3 a6 37.Rc3 Re1 38.Rc4 Rf1 39.Rdc2 Ra1 40.Rf2 Re1 41.Rfc2 g5 42.Rc1 Re2 43.R1c2 Re1 44.Rc1 Re2 45.R1c2
Purdy writes just prior to final position and after an adjournment.
'White could not find winning chances by any method at all,
and this after a whole night of analysis by five Soviet
grandmasters, so we can assume there just are none.'
Other writers would give acres of pointless analysis.
I add this following game as a reminder of Spassky's skill.
It has a link. I wonder, when Boris played 16.Bxf8, did game 17
played two years earlier pop into his mind?
Also a nod must go to David Levy for coming out of his
corner with his sleeves rolled up and giving it a go.
This is from the Nice Olympiad 1974, USSR v Scotland.
[Click here to replay the game]
B.Spassky - 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.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Qb8 11.h4 a5 12.Bh6 Nxe4 13.Nxe4 Bxd4 14.h5 d5 15.Bxd5 Qe5 16.Bxf8 Qxd5 17.Qh6 Nb4 18.Rxd4 Qxd4 19.Bxe7
I close with a drawing of Bobby Fischer by Bobby Fischer
also taken from Purdy's book.
I was going to close there but a friend of a friend who was recently
touring Iceland persuaded the coach tour driver to make a 20 minute detour
to visited Bobby's grave.
I was sent the pictures and was at first very reluctant to post them.
But I figured if not me then someone else would. At least I'm doing it
because I loved the guy and it's done with nothing but affection.
I also know 99% of the people who surf here are true chess fans and
will see nothing ghoulish in this. I hope nobody feels offended.
It looks rather solemn. Sad times.
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