Tuesday, December 16, 2014

(279) Lyuboyevic Vs Karpov, Linares 1981

On the evening of December 15th 2014 I turned to www.chessgames.com . Here I searched for the games of Mikhail Tal from his astounding victory at the Jurmala Interzonal of 1979.

But before doing that I, for some intangible reason, found myself drawn to the games between Anatoly Karpov and Jonathan Speelman and later between Karpov and Lyubomir Lyuboyevic.

I played through some forty or fifty of these games from those three selections. I saw a game from Linares 1981 where Lyuboyevic playing white had been gradually and progressively worn down by Karpov. I had seen this celebrated ending annotated before in a book on endings, but I do not believe that I had ever before played through all of the moves of this game.

About four hours later I turned to Facebook and saw that some four hours previous a friend, Bogdan Lalic, had placed on his wall a position I recognised from the minor piece ending which arose in this very game, although he had given neither the names of the players nor the venue and the date.


The challenge of BLACK to play and win is hardly a very difficult one. For there is really only the one plausible tactic. (1...Nxf4!) And that made it very difficult from the usual kind of position he would put up on his wall, where some I recognised as having been cribbed from A. Baburin´s daily newsletter, others were quite tricky and several had occured in the very games of Lalic himself.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

(278) Sceptic Michael Shermer´s Anomalous Events That Can Shake One’s Skepticism to the Core

At circa 18:40 on November 13th 2014 I was adding something to Michael Shermer´s Wikipedia entry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Shermer
This was some seven hours after I had posted this at my Facebook wall (somebody else having earlier posted it on Facebook) -

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/anomalous-events-that-can-shake-one-s-skepticism-to-the-core/

I added a line or two referring to the above article. I then tried to add a link to the article by adding it to those listed at the foot of the page. Mine was link 65. But it was not quite the same as the others and so I tried to alter it.
To my great surprise an announcement came up that somebody else had just then added that very link!

Their link was given as 44. Since there already was a link 44 I do not know if it replaced that link. Number 65 vanished whereas the line or two of text that I had added to the section headed Personal Life remained.
Within half an hour my appended lines vanished to be replaced by a brief sentence saying that on June 25th 2014 he had married a lady called Jennifer Graf. I added words similar to those I had given earlier.
Those too were later removed so I just put them back.
I also found it particularly odd that this link should have been simultaneously provided by two people a full two months after Shermer´s published article in Scientific American.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

(277) One armed bandit

Circa June 18th 2014 I pointed out to my wife a lady with only one arm who was on the beach with us at Cala Cortina. Her right arm came down only a few inches from her shoulder.
I had never seen her before in eight years of frequenting that beach.

Two days later I was resting at some traffic lights two to three miles away when a car hit me from behind. I turned off the engine and got out ... and discovered  very little damage... and also that it was the very same lady, as she confirmed.

She also confirmed that some dents incurred at the front left side of her were from a previous colision.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

(276) The new queen ending stalemate

During a tournament in Roquetas de Mar in January 2013 I spotted an unusual possible stalemate saving resource in an ending for my opponent, Azerbaijani Grandmaster Mirzoev.
I had this position as White -


Play continued 62...c3
A critical alternative was 62...Re8+ when white can reach a won queen ending after 63 Re4 Rxe4+ 64 Kxe4 c3 65 axb4+ Kd6 66 g7 axb2 68 g8=Q b1=Q 69 Qd8+ and the a pawn drops off.
Note in this line white should avoid the smartarse trick of an x-ray check after 65... Kxb4 66 g7?? since after 66...cxb2 67  g8=Q b1=Q 68 Qb8+ black has the dastardly resource of 68...Ka3! 69 Qxb1 and stalemate!






















Instead, of course, 66 bxc3+ wins easily.


Well, at a Rapids event in Carboneras in August 2013 I had this position as White vs Jose Comacho Collados, an IM rated 2318 -






Instead of resigning some moves earlier I had been holding out for the trick I had only learned of in January and which now materialised -
1...Qc7?? 2 b8=(Q) Qxb8 

Stalemate

Endgame study enthusiast, Fide Master Paul Lamford said he found the stalemate idea cute. It was new to him, even with his experience and expertise in this specific area of chess.

Incidentally, in November 2014 I was looking at the DVD of Dvoretsky´s Endgame Manual and saw this position from the game

Yates Vs Marshall, Karlsbad 1929


The game ended 1 Kc3? b1=Q 2 Qxb1+ Kxb1 3 Kb4 Kb2! 4 Kxa4 Kc3 and the king caught the pawn.

But Dvoretsky noted that white could have won by 1 Qc2 a3 2 Kc3 Ka1 3 Kb3 b1=Q 4 Qxb1+ Kxb1 5 Kxa3 and the pawn queens.
Neither 1 Qc4+ Ka3 2 Qb5? nor 2 Qc2? worked because of the same stalemate trick of 2...b1=Q! 3 Qxb1
...   ...   ...
(As the faintest of codicils I may add that I received from Byron Jacobs the diagrams included in this example on August 21st 2013. The text I quickly wrote up but, with characteristic energy, did not get around to adding the diagrams until the morning of December 3rd 2013.
That afternoon I saw that a copy of The British Chess Magazine of September 2013 had just arrived. I had requested it of BCM co-editor James Pratt on Facebook who could only have posted it on November 31st at the earliest, specifically because this issue contained my game with Mirzoev with my annotations. Yet it had winged its way over to Spain rapidly enough to arrive on the very day that I added the stalemate coincidence related to it to my blog. I had also drawn the attention of co-editor Shaun Taulbut to the second part of the coincidence - the game with Comacho Collados - but that he had not included.)

Friday, June 14, 2013

(275) Apologising for the offence given forty years ago in childhood

On May 18th 2013 I noted that Pam Ayres and someone else whom I did not follow had retweeted a tweet that I had sent to Pam the previous day.
It was a whimsical observation re horses and Catherine the Great. -
18 May: @PamAyres You sound like Catherine the Great, Pam...

One of the retweeters was Paul Fletcher -
Paul Fletcher ‏@FleTwitcher18 May@JamesPlaskett just saw one of your tweets retweeted. Bit of a surprise because we went to school together #bms #amillionyearsago

That prompted me to confess to having thrown a stone at school that had hit his head -

He responded with -

Paul Fletcher ‏@FleTwitcher18 May@JamesPlaskett OMG it was YOU! I didn't ever know, or even guess. Apology accepted, even if its a little late ;-) #stillscarred

And the chat continued...
Paul Fletcher ‏@FleTwitcher18 MayYou did this to me @JamesPlaskett pic.twitter.com/ffq6Za4dBl


View photo

I tweeted that I would be writing up the coincidence here and he responded -

Paul Fletcher ‏@FleTwitcher18 May@JamesPlaskett I'll look out for my small part in your blog (!) fame at last...


Then an erstwhile Primary School friend of 43 years earlier (who became a Policeman!) chipped in re an incident where I had acquired an undeserved reputation as a delinquent in 1970 for having loosed an arrow from a bow which, quite accidentally, hit a passing minibus -

Adrian ‏@Watchoot1518 May@JamesPlaskett @FleTwitcher yet you still deny the noddy bus incident!!