may 23 2006
About the "Stakhanovists carpenteriforms" evoked in the last lecture : our friend Guy has decided to conquer the "joker" planet, and has given us an outline of his plan of conquest. In fact, all chess magazines of our Earth have already received a number of problems from Guy between 1 and 34, except for a magazine from Eastern Patagonia which has just sent me a protest (the Arab-Patagonian telephone working at full capacity). This oversight will soon be rectified...
Two small 2# where you don't have to skimp on the means. A dazzling 3# from the time when the chess problem captured a new dimension, a century and a half ago. A barely younger 4#, by a composer described by H. Weenink as follows: "Difficulty, finesse, difficulty, economy, difficulty, purity of mate in the main lines, and again difficulty".
Finally an equally difficult 4# helpmate given at the 2004 World Solving Championship.
How to draw with one less rook? Then a nice stalemate from the great Leonid. A new version of quo vadis: an incredible move by the White King who retreats instead of capturing the vital pawn. Finally a masterpiece leading to some amazing ZZ with Queen against Knight and 3 pawns.
To clear up a common misunderstanding: the difference between me, who is bad at computers, and them (Daniel, Rémy, etc.) who are competent, is not that they know the situations where it goes wrong (they are surprised as much as I am), but rather that they have a whole arsenal of recipes. Whereas I have only my eyes to cry. The same goes for when I'm asked whether a particular endgame wins or not. In general, I don't know, sorry to disappoint you. Just that when we analyse, we will go through a lot of positions where I have a good chance of knowing whether they win or not.
Another answer to a "faq": what do you think about the 50 moves rule in tournaments? At the time I wrote my work, 100 were given for two knights against pawns. Even the example I give with bPd4, relatively easy, requires 41 moves without pawn movement: in practice, I suppose that most players will make more than 9 moves! At a time when Mirallès played a role in the "ffe", he had asked me the cases where an exception to this famous rule was justified. I had answered him that there was only one, the one we are talking about! Because it is the only endgame where the winning process, even if it is complicated, keeps a human dimension. The Crosskill win in R + B / R, for example, has never been achieved in practice, nor mastered by anyone, including the English megalomaniac who is incapable of explaining it. But what can be understood... I hope to be able to understand and explain it before I leave this earth.
There are occasional 'hairs' in the master greffier's report, but nothing like the blackish hairiness of the ape-man (you know, the 40-year-old pensioner who captures chessboards across his face and floods us with paperwork, with no regard for his country's forests, which he derisively claims to reform). Here he is in a youthful performance, facing the "best defender in the world" of a previous decade.
Due to a slight change in status, I must warn you that I will disappear from "civilised countries" until the end of September. In the unlikely event that anyone has a hint of concern about the "more or less fake master's" classes, I should point out that they will normally resume in early October, God, Mossad and Hezbollah willing.
Have a good time.
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