The young Chinese superstar Wei Ju has played an ‘immortal game’. Immortal means undying, which in chess terms means unforgettable. In retrospect such terms carry weight but for any game to be described as such within days of being played deserves the annotation (?!) pehaps that says more about the media culture that exists at present rather than the game itself methinks…um…well…erm…the good news is that it is a fantastically interesting game and may well never be forgotten. I shall say no more, here is Kingcrusher’s emotionally charged account of the game, you can decide for yourself what status it should have. Enjoy.

Those of you outside of Bedfordshire perhaps know Leighton Buzzard from its connection with the great train robbery of 63. That caper aside, the quiet Bedfordshire town has been known to become chess champions of Bedfordshire on more than one occasion. Below can be found evidence that in Victorian times, it had a thriving chess club too, drawing with Luton on one occasion. Note that the term ‘Arbiter’ is not used by the reporter in Fig. 4, ‘Umpire’ (a cricketing term) is used instead.

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Fig. 1

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Fig. 2 (Don’t go damaging any chestnut trees now!)

Here, the match is described in more detail locally.

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Fig. 3

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Fig. 4 

A sign of a great book is that you can find something new in it upon each return and so once again Cafferty & Taimanov have caught your author’s attention with a curious tale concerning the 38th Soviet Chess Championship held in Riga from Nov. 25th to Dec. 28th 1970

The note of interest concerns the game between Vladamir Tukmanov and Doroshkevich who repeated a blunder for the third time in his career during the game below. Here is the game:

1. c4 e5

2. Nc3 Nc6

3. Nf3 f5

1

After 3. …f5 (I take black here)

4. d4 e4

5.Bg5 Nf6

6. d5? exf3

2

After 6. d5? exf3

7. dxc6 fxg2

8. cxd7+

3

What should black play here?

8. …Nxd7! Not obvious but after which white has two hanging bishops and a rook and black is obviously threatening to queen!

RESIGNS

You had to be super-strong to play in the Soviet Championships at the time, it makes you wonder how one of its participants could lose in 8 moves with white three times in his career in the same line! Very odd indeed. Doroschkevich went on to finish 13th out of 22.

38th USSR Championship, Riga 1970
November 25 - December 28

Riga, Soviet Union (Latvia), 25 November - 28 December 1970

1st Korchnoi 16 /21 * 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1

2nd Tukmakov 14½/21 1 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1

3rd Stein 14 /21 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 0 ½ 1

4th Balashov 12½/21 0 ½ ½ * 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 0

=5th Gipslis 12 /21 0 ½ ½ 1 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1

=5th Karpov 12 /21 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½

=5th Savon 12 /21 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 ½

=8th Averbakh 11 /21 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½

=8th Podgaets 11 /21 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1

=10th Bagirov 10½/21 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 0 0 0 1 1 ½

=10th Dementiev 10½/21 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 ½ 0 * ½ ½ 1 0 0 ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½

=10th Liberzon 10½/21 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ * 0 ½ 1 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½

=13th Doroshkevich 10 /21 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 ½ 1 * ½ 1 1 ½ 0 1 1 1 1

=13th Kholmov 10 /21 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 0 0 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1

=15th Antoshin 9½/21 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 0 ½ * 0 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½

=15th Zaitsev 9½/21 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 0 ½ 1 * ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1

=17th Vaganian 9 /21 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ * 1 0 ½ ½ 1

=17th Mikenas 9 /21 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 * 1 0 0 1

19th Karasev 8½/21 ½ ½ 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 0 * ½ 1 1

20th Platanov 7½/21 0 0 1 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ * 1 1

21st Tseitlin 6 /21 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 1 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 0 * 0

22nd Moiseev 5½/21 0 0 0 1 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 1 *

The tournament itself was famous for Karpov’s first appearance. His very first win in the Soviet Championships was against Bagairov from Baku, who unfortunately died from a heart attack at the chessboard. On a more positive note, it is a truly beautiful game by Karpov, one of my favourite Karpov games. It should be noted that he had one loss and ten draws prior to the game.

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1022951

4

White (Karpov) now plays 37 Nc7

Some rather blasé journalism can be found in ‘A Chess Move’, which I feel gives an unfair account of the state of chess in Bedford at the time. If you’ve read ‘Chess in Bedfordshire’ (1933), you will most likely suspect that the author of ‘A Chess Move’ is following the book without performing adequate research.  Please click on the images for a better view.

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The aforementioned Stevenson Cup and the match played that season can be found here:

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The player on board 2 Ivanoff is mentioned by G.H. Diggle in Newsflash in Feb. 83. Edward Winter, has added it to his wonderful site on the following page, http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter85.html, scroll down to 7223.

Bedford weren’t as weak as was suggested in ‘A Chess Move’, is made out as is shown below.

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Chess Player

A funny one from Troll Chess (facebook)

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After having a break of over ten years from chess it is easy to convince yourself that you are something of a reformed character over the board, so I was disappointed with myself to see an old habit return, that of throwing in the towel before it’s necessary. I’ve been playing with the Lucas Program (http://www-lucaschess.rhcloud.com/) a lot recently and decided to see how far up the ladder I could go regarding the numerous engines it has. I’ve made it to Chispa 4.0.3, which has a rating of 2227 but I can’t quite beat it. After a long game which I was only slightly worse, I reached the following position (I am black so black pawns go up the board) and resigned thinking that I couldn’t stop the f-pawn. However, I missed something, can you see what it is?

23

What should black play here after 53 f6?

53. …Kd7 doesn’t work as 54. c6+ and a pawn will queen. I looked at most but not all knight moves available, overlooking that if black plays 53. … Na4 he can, at least, draw the game. The point is that if 54. f7 Nxc5 55 f8=Q Ne6+ (and winning), white must play 55. f8=N

1

I assume that after 55. …a5 black is not losing.

After such a long game where I was slightly worse for most of it, thinking I was now lost, I stopped analyzing short of seeing the counter-intuitive 53. … Na4. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Oh really?

Here’s a snippet from The Beds Advertiser and Luton Times April 29th, 1910

f.d

Those of us local, with an interest in our history know just how important author F.Dickens was. Did the man who trounced Lasker (albeit in a simul) and had Jacques Meises scrambling for a draw really learn how to play chess as an adult from a local farmer? I wonder if the comments reported above really are true? There is no word on who the reporter is and how he acquired such ‘information’.

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Chess in Bedfordshire (F.Dickens & G.L. White, Leeds 1933), pg.3

It should be noted that the Luton/Dunstable chess scene was exceptionally strong at that time, drawing in the world’s greatest players for simuls with ease on a regular basis, such as Blackburne the great simul master who was unable to beat F.Dickens. To go from a non-playing adult to top board in a blisteringly strong Luton side is possible but improbable unless you are exceptionally talented.

f-crop

dickens 2

dickens meisis

Note the mis-reportage in the final paragraph (above the game)

Here’s another snippet, this time from The Bedfordshire Advertiser Dec 9th, 1904.

dunst

d-crop

zf-crop

Advice from F.Dickens on how to play the game of chess.

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