Chess Edinburgh lewischessmen2-75h 

Chandler Cornered

10.00, Mr Marr, Blunder of the Century ,a trap.

I lost 10.00 the other day.

I mean what could be easier.
Put card in machine, punch in pin number.
Take out card, collect money, spend it on piece
of junk from a 2nd hand shop.

I forgot the 'collect the money' bit.

Yup. I took my card and merrily walked away,
no doubt thinking about some chess position or
what am I going write about next for Chandler Cornered.

Ah well at least I got an intro out of it.

I actually went into the bank half an hour later
and asked if anyone had handed in a tenner!

I mean who is going to do that?

It would be like your opponent going up to the
tournament controller after you have made a bad move.

"My opponent has just blundered - can he have his move back?"

The teller said what they would do is count up the
money at the end of the night. Apparently the machine
sucks the money back in after 10 seconds.
If they are 10.00 over that they will give me a 'refund.'

A refund!

I'm not too bothered. Over the years I've found 5, 10 and 20's.
I never handed it in. However...

In 1977 I worked in Jenners, I found a purse containing over 500.
I was a despatch clerk getting 32.00 a week, it was Christmas week.
Now there is a difference between a crumbled up 10 note and
purse with 500 in it.

It was left in a phone booth.
I went in to call my Mum to make arrangements for Christmas.
I told her what I had just found.

"Hand it in" she said

"AW Mum we can really splash out this Christmas..."


I handed it in to security.
I found out later it was claimed by some
posh trollop who did not even say thanks.

I'll tell what I did lose and I still regret it.

A chess score book containing over 100 of my games
from 1983-84. I was at my peak then. Some good games
were in that book, cheapos' traps, even the odd sound sac.

I'm getting depressed thinking about it.

Right need a picture to break up the text.

Here is a picture of Nimzovitch's grave.

So these tales of things lost brings me nicely onto something I found.

There hiding inside the sleeve of a Country & Western album
was an old a4 note book of skittles games I played when I was
the caretaker of the Edinburgh Chess Club. 1977-1982.
(best years of my life).

This the second one of these I have unearthed in the past
year. My house is like Stepoe's Yard.

I still have not given up hope of finding the score book.

I do not know who gave me the idea to write down every game
I played, including skittles. I think it was something I read
somewhere in one of Botvinik's books.

Games v Alastair White, Kenny Neil, Spike Mullen, John Wilkes
(what a player he was), but best of all Johnny Marr.

Practically every night from 1977 to 1982 me and Johnny Marr
played each other in the club from 7:30 till 1 or 2 in the morning.

I'm not kidding. Ask him. Ask anyone who was a club member at that time.

OK I'm going to call myself a good player. (well I was once).
I learn't my trade from Johnny Marr.
He used to beat me all the time.
Then every now and then I'd take a game from him.
Then I caught him up.
Over time I'd say it was 50-50.

That is how you improve. Play someone better that you and
keep on playing till you can at least match them.
Then move on to a stronger player.

It helps if the strong player is a devious, slithering,
tricky, cunning and imaginative player.

Maybe that is why I hit a ceiling? I never moved on.
I enjoyed playing John so much I kept playing him even
though we were equally matched.

Good you have stuck with me so far. Sorry about all the waffle.

This was played in 1978. It would have been late in the night
because John is white and in the early part of the evening he
would play 1. Nf3. Then fed up beating me with this he would
resort to 1.e4 or 1.d4. This is a 1.d4 game.

Watch Chandler leave John with an isolated pawn,

I win it and then grovel around trying to get the Queens off.
Back in '78 I was Reinfeld's best pupil.

Later this position arose. I have just played 33...b4.
Can white take the pawn?

No. My wee trap was 34 Bxb4 Nxb4 35 Rxb4 Qg5 and then 36.. Rc1 wins.
(36 f4 Qc5+ I was getting lessons in cunning)

So later we get this position. White to play.
What would you do here? 40 Rh4 is best.
But not for the tricky mind of Johnny Marr.

40 Qd1 and the day a computer can up with moves like
this - with the idea behind it. Then I won't call them toys anymore.

(I've just put the position into Fritz. 40 Qd1 is it's 4th choice
and it's follow up analysis is way off the mark. Fritz is a toy.)

and the following position soon arose this, is what Johnny had planned.

So if 43...Kxh6 then 44 Qh8+ and then 45 Qh4 mate.
Cunning Mr Fox, but not quite clever enough.
I slipped in the check to give the King a flight square.
43 Qe4+ and then it's OK to take the Rook.
He has a few checks. Nothing more.

Play out the game and watched what happened next.
It's brilliant! (watch me desperately trying to get Queens off)

[Click here to replay the game]
J. Marr v G. Chandler

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.e3 g6 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.exd4 Bg7 6.Nf3 0-0 7.Be2 d5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 Qxd5 10.0-0 Nc6 11.Bg5 Bg4 12.Be3 Rac8 13.a3 Rfd8 14.Rc1 e6 15.Re1 Ne7 16.Rxc8 Rxc8 17.Ne5 Bxe2 18.Qxe2 Bxe5 19.dxe5 Qxe5 20.Qd2 a6 21.Bg5 Qd5 22.Qf4 Qf5 23.Qd2 Nd5 24.Re2 Qb1+ 25.Re1 Qc2 26.Qd4 Qc5 27.Qe5 Qf8 28.Qe4 Qg7 29.Qb1 h6 30.Bd2 Kh7 31.Re4 Qf6 32.Rg4 b5 33.a4 b4 34.g3 a5 35.Rh4 Qf5 36.Rxh6+ Kg7 37.Qe1 Rc2 38.b3 Rb2 39.Bc1 Rb1 40.Qd1 Nc3 41.Qd4+ e5 42.Qd8 Rxc1+ 43.Kg2 Qe4+ 44.Kh3 Kxh6 45.Qf8+ Kh5 46.Qh8+ Kg5 47.Qd8+ f6 48.Qd2+ Kh5

..and we are left here.

OK White to play.

You have to play it the way Johnny did.

You sit hunched up head bowed over the board.
Then slowly look up and without taking your eyes off your opponent,
you deftly nudge the f-pawn from f2-f3 with five or six little taps.

49 f3 Qxf3 (what else? - threat 50 g4 mate!)
But it's alright it's still a simple win.

50 Qg5+ Well cover me in a airmail stickers, mark me fragile,
then post me to Hong Kong - It's stalemate.

What a beauty of a game. That little treasure has lay buried
for 27 years. (Gosh! 27 years, it seems like only last week).

Anyway, me and Johnny had hundreds of game like that.
That's how I lost my hair!

Also in the book are dozens of game against one of
the very first computers. The Chess Challenger III.

Alan Mountford had figured out if you threaten mate
and you are not actually threatening to take anything.
Then it will miss the mate.

[Click here to replay the game]
G. Chandler v CC III

1.e4 c5 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qe6+ 6.Be2 cxd4 7.Nb5 Qg6
8.Nfxd4 Qxg2 9.Bf3 Qg6 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Nc7

[Click here to replay the game]
G. Chandler v CC III

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 cxd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Nge7
8.Bd3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 0-0 10.Bxh7+ Kxh7 11.Ng5+ Kg8 12.Qh5 Nf5 13.Qh7

and in 27 years time they will laughing at all
of Fritz's weaknesses and defects.
Oh yes they will.

Now look at this. Contender for Blunder of the Century.

Now I've played some bad combinations in my time.
We all have. But the following is a real cracker.

R. Alonso Gomez,R v J. Gutierrez. Zaragoza, 1990

The reason I have selected this as Blunder of the Century.
is because I looked on my data base for some more Gutierrez whoppers.
None. He is actually not a bad player. (which makes it all the funnier).

Black has just played 19...Nc5???
"You cannot take the Knight - the pawn is pinned"

Have a look at it.


In the game white played 20 Bxd6 Qxd6 21 dxc5

White is suddenly a piece up. Black resigned.


White can simply take the Knight with the Queen.
20 Qxc5 Bxc5 21 Bxc7 again a whole piece up.


White can fall into the trap and take the Knight with the pinned pawn.
20 dxc5 Rxc4 21 Rxe8+ Kh7 22 cxd6 Qd7 23 Ne5 Qxe8 24 Nxc4

White has a Rook, Bishop, Knight and huge pawn on d6 v the Queen.
Three cute refutations to one bad move. Not bad. I can't beat that.
(touch wood).

I mentioned Bill Wall's site on the Links page.

I have one of his 500 Miniatures Books - 500 Italian Games.
I bought it in 1990 so it's a bit battered.

500 games under 20 moves from the 17th century up to 1986.
With Bishops on c4 and c5 eyeing up each other's f2 & f7.
Stacks of sacs, lots of shots, and pins with wandering Kings.
No notes, so if there is something you don't get you have to
dig it out yourself. Beneficial and very good fun.

This is the kind of thing you can do yourself if you have an
up to date database. I just syphoned out 4,000 games
1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4, under 20 moves, white or black wins.
from 1987 - 2004.

Blackburne's Shilling Trap had netted 13(!) victims.

The most recent being;

S.Ivekovic -I.Ivekovic. (Suzana and Ivana)

Goodbye Summer Open, Omis, 07.10.2004

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 4.Nxe5 Qg5 5.Nxf7 Qxg2 6.Rf1 Qxe4+ 7.Be2 Nf3 mate

However there is a new trap on the block folks.
A sister to the well known one above.
7 have fallen for this one between 1987 and 2004.

It can be reached by a very plausible series of moves.

B. Vidal - A. Gatica Curuchaga. Buenos Aires, 08.10.2004

[Click here to replay the game]
B. Vidal - A. Gatica Curuchaga

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nd4 6.d6 Qxd6 7.Nxf7 Qc6 8.Nxh8 Qxg2 9.Rf1 Qe4+ 10.Be2 Nf3

It's a goody, I bet if you cast your net
with this one you will land a fish.

OK then, what shall we call it?

Blackburne's Penny Pincher, Philidor's Other Legacy,
The Crippled Spine (A great name for an opening).
Or The Fritz Trick!

You see it comes from the Fritz variation of the
Two Knights and was first suggested by
Alexander Fritz (1867-1932).

(And you thought it was named after your favorite computer program Ahhh.)

So if you are going toss it out be aware that it is
a recognised line and there are pages of theory on it.

Example. OK then.
Lvov - Radchenko, Krashodar 1957

[Click here to replay the game]
Lvov - Radchenko

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nd4 6.c3 b5 7.Bf1 Nxd5 8.Ne4 Qh4
9.Ng3 Bb7 10.cxd4 0-0-0 11.Bxb5 Nf4 12.0-0 Qh3

This has been another long Chandler Cornered.
How can I reward you for staying so long.

I've replace the boring logo's on Fritz and and my Database with this.
You have to copy it and change the format to BMP.

..and what about the girls? You always forget the girls...
OK. OK.....

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