So what happened?
Did Oswald really shoot John Kennedy?
Did they really land on the Moon in 1969?
Did someone push Humpty Dumpty?
These questions and more will plaugue mankind for eternity.
Now added to this list of unsolvable conundrums is the game:
James Stevenson - Ivan Galic, Euro Team Ch.25th October, 2009.
Here is the game taken from the official website on Saturday 7th Nov 2009.
[Click here to replay the game]
J.Stevenson - I,Galic
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.e3 d5 4.Bd3 cxd4 5.exd4 Bg4 6.h3 Bh5 7.c3 Nbd7 8.0-0 e6 9.Bf4 Be7 10.Nbd2 Qb6 11.Qb3 0-0 12.Rfe1 Bg6 13.Bxg6 hxg6 14.Ne5 Rac8 15.Ndf3 Qa6 16.Nxd7 Nxd7 17.Rad1 b5 18.a3 Bf6 19.Be5 Be7 20.Bg3 Nb6 21.Ne5 Rfd8 22.Qc2 Qb7 23.Qe2 Nc4 24.Nxf7 Kxf7 25.Qxe6+ Kf8 26.Qxg6 Bf6 27.b3 Nb6 28.Rd3 Kg8 29.Rf3 Qf7 30.Qg4 Re8 31.Re5 Nd7 32.Ref5 Rc6 33.Be5 Qe6 34.Re3 Bxe5 35.dxe5 Rf8 36.Rxf8+ Nxf8 37.Qd4 Rc7 38.f4 Rd7 39.g4 Qe7 40.f5 Qxa3 41.e6 Rc7 42.Qxd5 Qc1+ 43.Kf2 Qc2+ 44.Kg3 Qc1 45.Kf2 Qc2+ 46.Kg3 Qc1
And the game was agreed drawn.
In the final position White can play the wonderful combination.
47.e7+ Kh7 48.exf8N+ Kh8 49.Ng6+ Kh7 50.Qg8+ Kxg8 51.Re8+ Kf7 52.Rf8 mate.
A classic finish and a disaster for James heralding many sleepless nights.
Such is the speed of the internet that one item of news can be blasted
into the sitting rooms of someone sitting three thousand miles away within seconds.
And so this position swept around the world with players graded from
1200 to 2600 wondering how a once in a lifetime combination could be missed?
Some expressed horror, some feared for the sanity of the white player whilst
others gleefully pointed to it and bellowed that Kramnik missed a mate in one move
thus seeking comfort in the fact good players 'do miss things.'
The Scotsman columnist John Henderson hitched a ride on the bandwagon
and this appeared in the 27th October edition. (two days later!!)
You will note that JBH himself cannot even believe it was missed.
Meanwhile this trusted hack never mentioned it on here.
Oh No. Not me. I deal soley in the facts on Chandler Cornered.
I'm known as 'Actual Facts Chandler' in the printing trade
I tried to contact James to see if he was in severe time trouble.
I kept getting the same reply.
"We cannot see the missed win."
Who is we? The Scottish chess team, that is who.
Graham Morrison, Andrew Muir, Alan Tate and James Stevenson.
The first three are all ex Scottish Champions.
"Gosh we are in trouble if they cannot see it." I thought.
Then James revealed that the score was wrong. Black's 41st. move was 41...Re7 not 41...Rc7.
Now a glance at the position will reveal that in the final position the combination was not on.
So an 'e' was misread as a 'c' (easily done) and that is how one simple
mistake can work up an entire chess fraternity.
So James 'C of E' Stevenson as he is now known, breathes a sigh of relief.
Although he has not contacted the organisers and the glaring lemon is still
there for all the world to see (and copy into future books of missed chances).
Of course not everyone believes a 'c' was mixed up with an 'e' and in
the latest Scottish Grading list I see some joker has spelt his name thus:
I suppose the only person who can vouch for James's version is Ivan Galic
(or Ivan Galie as he is now appearing in the Bosnian grading list).
So 'Actual Facts Chandler' is chasing down Ivan to see what he says.
(watch this space).
I found a game played in the 2000 French Ladies Championship
where this mating pattern did happen. R.Te Llalemand - M.Costagliola
Infact it was a battle of Rook and Knight mating patterns.
Whilst White was doing this in the Black half of the board.
Black was threatening to mate in one in White's half of the board.
If Black had not spotted the mating pattern she have had excellent
winning chances. But she saw her one and missed her opponents.
A good instructive swindle this by White. Back against the wall but
staying as active as possible then grabbing the chance when it appears.
[Click here to replay the game]
R.Te Llalemand - M.Costagliola
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Bc4 d6 5.d3 Be6 6.Nd5 h6 7.Ne3 Be7 8.0-0 Qd7 9.c3 Nf6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.d4 exd4 12.cxd4 Nxe4 13.d5 exd5 14.Nxd5 0-0 15.Re1 Nf6 16.Bf4 Nxd5 17.Qxd5+ Kh8 18.Bg3 Rf5 19.Qd2 d5 20.Bh4 Bxh4 21.Nxh4 Rf6 22.Qe2 Raf8 23.f4 Nd4 24.Qd3 Qg4 25.g3 Kg8 26.Kh1 Re6 27.b4 b6 28.bxc5 bxc5 29.Rxe6 Qxe6 30.Ng6 Rb8 31.Rc1 Rb2 32.f5 Qe2 33.Qxe2 Rxe2 34.Rxc5 Nf3 35.Rc8+ Kf7 36.Rf8
And in this one both participants could claim that the score was wrong
and we would believe them. I.Novak - J.Pichel Jallas,Seville, 1990.
In this position it's White to play.
33.Rd8+ & R8d7+ should draw because if the King runs to e6 then Ng5+ and Nxf3.
If Black tries to win it he can bump into yet another Rook and Knight mating pattern.
33.Rd8+ Ke7 34.R8d7+ Ke6 35.Ng5+ Kf5 36.Nxf3 Rg6+ 37.Ng5 f6 38.exf6 gxf6
39.R7d5+ Qxd5 40.Rxd5 mate.
But incredibly White played 33.Nf6+??
and Black did NOT TAKE IT!!
33...Kf8?? 34.Rd8+ Ke7 35.Re8 mate.
Maybe this mating pattern has a curse attached to it?
I'll better finish with a nice sound version and with colours reversed.
Black spots the mating pattern and sacs his Queen to produce it.
V.Petzold - M.Rottler, Germany 1997.
[Click here to lift the curse]
V.Petzold - M.Rottler
1.d4 e6 2.c4 b6 3.e4 Bb7 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.f3 Ne7 6.Bd2 f5 7.Bd3 0-0 8.Nge2 fxe4 9.Nxe4 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 Nbc6 11.0-0-0 Nf5 12.Bc2 a5 13.a3 Ba6 14.Bb3 a4 15.Ba2 Na5 16.Qc3 d5 17.Nd2 Qg5 18.Rde1 dxc4 19.f4 Qxg2 20.Nf3 Rad8 21.Ng5 Qd5 22.Ng3 Nxd4 23.Rd1 Rxf4 24.h4 Ndb3+ 25.Bxb3 Nxb3+ 26.Kb1 Qxd1+ 27.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 28.Kc2 Rc1