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Mate in eight January 19, 2009

Posted by dorigo in chess, games, internet, personal.
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The biggest upsets are really emotionally repaying, in chess as in any other sport. I was down a rook and a piece in a horribly hopeless game played on the internet chess club this evening, when I could exploit to the fullest a silly move by an already relaxed opponent, to give a funny mate-in-eight. Here is the starting position (I am white). White is to move.

Rather than trying to defend from the many threats of black, I throw in one more piece with 1.Bf4! Black answers with the logical 1….Nxf4, but after 2.Qxg7 he needs to choose. A safe 2.Qf8 would see me resign (2….Qe5 3.Ne6 and white does not have any more bullets to fire), but black thinks there must be surely a quick mate: so he plays 2….Nh3+ 3.Kf1.

What to do now ? Black has three minutes to think this over, but he sees no better defence against Qxh8 than 3….Qh6??

I was unable to announce mate in eight -over the internet these luxuries are impossible unless one uses the chat window (considered highly inappropriate during a game), but I did calculate everything to the end in less than half a minute. Here is the sequence, which was played to the bitter end over the board:

4.Re1+ Kd8 5.Qd4+ Kc7 6.Re7+ Kc6

7.Be4+! Kb5 8.Qb4+ Ka6 9.Bd3+ Nc4 10.Bxc4+ b5 11.Qxb5 mate.

A really enjoyable end to a game started with a bad string of blunders on my side!


1. Fred - January 20, 2009

wtg. Why did your opponent not make the obvious move instead of 2.Qxg7, would it have meant more points for white if you were mated?

Funny. I just watched “From Russia With Love” on DVD this morning. I had forgotten about the Grandmasters chess scene from Venice that followed the opening credits.

Hat’s off to Ian Fleming. From James Bond and Chess at http://chess.eusa.ed.ac.uk/Chess/Trivia/Bond.html

The position on a wallboard in the movie is based on an intruiging King’s Gambit won by Boris Spassky against David Bronstein at the USSR Championship in 1960. Here it takes place at the Venice International Tournament where Kronsteen ignores a courier’s sealed message ordering him to stop play on the spot. He knows he risks his life if he fails to obey, but how many players can abandon a sure win?

At his own peril Kronsteen waits three more minutes to accept his opponent’s resignation; but later he must explain to his superior why he did not obey at once. In the book his excuse is accepted reluctanctly:

“To the public, Comrade General, I am a professional chess player. If, with only three minutes to go, I had received a message that my wife was being murdered outside the door of the tournament hall, I would not have raised a finger to save her. My public know that. They are dedicated to the game as myself. Tonight, if I had resigned the game and had come immediately upon receipt of that message, 5000 people would have known that it could only be on the orders of such a department as this. There would have been a storm of gossip. My future comings and goings would have been watched for clues. It would have been the end of my cover. In the interests of State Security, I waited three minutes before obeying the order. Even so, my hurried departure will be the subject of much comment.”

Now be honest, Tommaso, would you treat your wife the same if you were a GM in the situation above?

2. Fred - January 20, 2009

Excuse me T.
I meant black’s move after 2.Qxg7…

3. singlino - January 20, 2009

what is your rating on icc? ….i prefer the layout of chessbase

dorigo - January 20, 2009

Singlino, my handle on ICC is “tonno”, feel free to drop me a line if you happen to be there when I’m logged on.
My blitz rating is in the upper 2200s, but I consider more accurate my 5-minute rating, which is anywhere between 1800 and 2050.

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