You are the champion of the world, Vishy Anand, and it is your move. You challenger, Magnus Carlsen, has a lead in the match and you have one saving move here. You miss it. What was the move you missed? This happened yesterday. It will be remembered as one of the great blunders of world championship match play. It is useful to note that you are in check by Black’s second queen, but you have three ways to cover it and a way not to lose!
Yesterday, I was playing a 5-minute game on line and my opponent, flush with having a material advantage of three pawns and the exchange, decided to inform me, “You stink.” Actually, he used a different word that started and ended with the same letters. I decided to reply with moves to show him who actually stunk. It’s nice to get such a quick opportunity to turn the tables on these vulgar sorts you get occasionally online.
I play a lot of 5-minute chess on the Internet Chess Club and make a point to play average players to see what they’re doing and hopefully teach them a few things if they are willing to listen. Here’s a position I reached as Black. The winning sequence took up all of ten seconds on the clock. The sequence has been known for almost 600 years in chess, but I thought I’d see if you all were familiar with it.
Do you know the difference between and 30 move game and a 60 move game? Right, 30 moves! The better answer is about two or more hours at the board when fatigue can set in and turn a won game into a draw, or worse, a loss. Our game today was played in the New Zealand championship in 1937 between J.A. Hunter and D. Lynch. Hunter won the game with Lynch resigning on move 62 after missing some drawing opportunities. However, if Hunter had chosen the right move on move 26, he could have gone home a good deal earlier and avoided those slip-ups that occurred later in the game. What’s White’s best go-home-early attack here?
This is a famous position from Kemeri, 1937, where Alexander Alekhine as White was battling US champ Sammy Reshevsky. The world champ came up with a devastating , but very logical, attack here for his 35th move. Can you find it? A hint: there’s a back rank mate involved.
First, a note of thanks to all our veterans out there and those serving today who so unselfishly serve our country. Today, we’re trying something different. There is no mate in whatever number of moves. Instead, the task is to write down the best move in this position and what the plan is that is initiated by this move. Yes, Black is a pawn down, but he wins here—eventually because of his plan.