Daily Rome Shot 797

Meanwhile, white to move and win.

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

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In Berlin the Grand Finale of the Armageddon Series is taking place on September 14-20 at the World Chess Club.  On Day 5, Wesley So (yay!), who had lost in the upper bracket and therefore dropped to the lower, defeated Sam Shankland.  Wesley will face Humpy Koneru who had defeated Nodirbek, even in the upper as Richard Rapport will face Gukesh D.    This is interesting because women and men are mixed in the brackets, thus responding to something I’ve wondered: how will women do against the male super GMs.   The video coverage and setting is pretty cheesy and high tech and, frankly, annoying.  One of the gimmicky elements is that you can see the heart rates of the players.

Also, for you historians, Chessbase is running a series of articles about 1993, when TWO World Championship matches were played, one sponsored by FIDE between Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman in the Netherlands and the other by the wildcat Professional Chess Association (PCA – members – 2) between reigning World Champ Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short in London at the Savoy Theatre.  In the FIDE match, during the opening ceremonies on 4 Sept, the big banner over the stage caught on fire, causing energetic reactions.  Kasparov v. Short, the first match between a Russian champ and a non-Russian challenger since Spassky v. Fischer started on 7 Sept.     The press center in London was at the legendary 19th chess epicenter Simpson’s-in-the-Strand.  I wrote about it HERE.

Kasparov and Short broke with FIDE and formed the PCA six months before, mostly because FIDE venues couldn’t raise the prize money.  Eventually the London Times stepped up and offered £1.7 million.   This match had its own pyrotechnics: a bomb scare.

Kasparov pretty much wiped out Short, who nevertheless got 3/8 of the prize money, £65K.

The matches were played with analog clocks, since there weren’t digital clocks yet.

In other news, 20 years ago on 8 Sept there started the Russia v Rest of the World match in Moscow.  One of the games featured Judith Polgar v. Kasparov.  Judith won.

On the theme of anniversaries, I was with a priest friend last night and we reviewed (not fully) the three PODCAzTs I did back in 2009 for the 40th anniversary of the Novus Ordo.  Paul VI gave three General Audience talks about the changes that would be implemented beginning on the 1st Sunday of Advent in 1969.  In the PODCAzTs I give some context, what was going on in the world, what songs were popular, etc.   If analog clock were still in use in 1993 for chess, in 1969 when the Novus Ordo started, Apollo 12 was just on the Moon and the first 747 was used.


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  1. Dustin F, OCDS says:

    The first few moves are important, because they can lead to stalemate with careless play. My take:
    1. c7+ Kc8
    2. Ke7 Kxc7
    3. Ke6 . . .

    There are variations at this point, but black’s king is in a box in the back corner due to the king/pawn duo, doesn’t have a lot of moves and will eventually have to move away from the black pawn on b6. King must hold position on the 6th rank, take the pawn on b6, and then escort the pawn on b5 for the win (while, again, avoiding the stalemate).

  2. acardnal says:

    Perhaps you can post those 2009 PODCAzTs, please. Or are they available from your Search bar?

  3. Imrahil says:

    1. c7+ Kc8 (trying to stalemate himself and hinder the queening).
    2.Ke7 Kxc7
    3. Ke6 Kb8 (saving Kb7 for the next)
    4. Kd6 Kb7
    5. Kc6 Ka7
    6. Kc7 Ka8
    7. Kxb6 Kb8
    8. Ka6 Ka8 (still hoping for stalemate)

    9. b6 Kb8
    10. b7 Kc7
    11. Ka7 Kd6 (black cannot hinder pawn advancement, but still hope for the 50 move rule)
    12. b8Q+ Kd5
    13. Qf4 Kc5
    14. Qe4 Kb5
    15. Kb7 Kc5
    16. Kc7 Kb5
    17. Kd6 Kb6
    18. Qd4+ Ka5 (more time to run away)
    19. Kc6 Ka6
    20. Qb4 Ka7
    21. Qb7++.

  4. The puzzle is a good exercise about how to time your advancement and how to shoulder the enemy king away.

  5. acardnal says:

    Fr. Z, Thanks for posting those PODCAzTs .

Think, proof read, preview BEFORE posting!