The unextinguishable beauty of chess June 22, 2007Posted by dorigo in Art, chess, games, personal.
Very sorry to all of you physics geeks, but here comes yet another post about chess. They come in waves, as my love for the game knows moments of high fever alternating dormant periods.
The title of this post refers to the fact that chess positions, unlike most other human activities, allow us to get to the bare, beautiful truth, and the process can at times give an intense satisfaction. Chess is an art, and it is a science, both in its very peculiar way.
A comment by Derek Slater to my post on the nice queen sacrifice 27.Qc7+!! forced me to analyze the position a while longer. Here is the starting point, after Derek’s proposal of 26. … Nxe5 (instead than the move played in the game, 26….Na7):
Now, says Derek, it seems like white can still play 27.Qc7+ Rxc7 28.Rxc7+ Kd6 29.dxe5+ Bxe5,
to which can follow 30.R1c6+ Qxc6 31.Rxc6+ Kxc6 31.Nxe5+ K-moves 32.Nxf7.
I agree until 29. … Bxe5 (everything is pretty much forced up to this move), but then white wins with another beautiful, silent move: 30.Rb7!!
The position shown is a forced win for white. Now, about finding the truth in chess positions: to see that this is a win, one is forced to seep through several exhilarating variations:
1) The dumb defence 30. … Qxb3 loses quickly to 31.Rxb6+ Kd7 32.Nxe5+ Ke8 33.Rb8 mate. Nothing too artistic here.
2) The more stubborn 30….Qb5 meets instead with a beautiful, long variation, which is prodigious for the fact that every tactical shot works for white: 31.Nxe5! Kxe5 32.Re1 Kd6 33.Bf4 e5
(33….Kc6 34.Rc7 mate) 34.Bxe5+ Ke6 35.Nd4+! Nxd4 36.Bxd4+ Kd6 (tragically, if 36….Kf5 37.Re5+! Kf6 loses the queen to Rxd5, or 37….Kg4 38.h3+ Kf4 39.Rf7 is mate, or 37…. Kf4 38.Rf7 Kg4 39.h3 is also mate) 37.Be5+!
37. … Ke6 (or 37. … Kc7 38.Rc7 mate) 38.Bxh8+ Kd6 39.Be5+! Ke6 40.Bd4+ Kd6 41.Rxb6+, winning the queen and the game.
I find the above cyclic checks with the bishop, to gain time in order to sweep the board clean of black pieces, simply sublime. I had never seen such a “vortex combination” -as these things are sometimes called- in the middle of the board, with the black king forced to play game in order to avoid two different mates on the two sides of the board!