january 5 2016
The first session of the year saw the hard core of faithful listeners, despite some cuts in access to the conference, attend the course of the Master who is always in Olympic form.
Pierre was live from Mexico, which, as always, obliged him to get up at dawn on a Saturday.
Abdel made a brief appearance during the dissection of the study of the century, but was hampered by a sound problem and no doubt by his schedule.
Ha! I almost forgot: a very happy new year 2016 to all visitors to the site!
These are astonishing times. Madmen from the West and the East are leading the world to its doom. Meanwhile, artists, unperturbed, are raising beauty to unprecedented heights. The Novotny theme, a venerable 160 years old, has been doubled, sometimes tripled, many times. But never before has it been tripled on the same square, and moreover by the same figure, reborn each time from its sacrifice. "You only live three times," she cries out. The immense experience of a world champion, combined with the imagination of a young unknown composer, made this miracle possible. It was hardly possible to start the new year better.
After this firework display, let's take a rest with a little anti-stalemate fight from the best French-speaking player of the 1960s. He was not at all antipath, on the contrary, he was quite adorable, with an extraordinary cold humour. Strange, no French "grandmaster", nowadays, makes a similar impression on me.
The exercise given in the previous class concluded with a nice mat after sacrifice. Simple and elegant. The next one will be even more generous with material.
How do you play endgames above 2700 zelo? A theme often illustrated by yours truly. Here, in the pawn endgame, each King decides to move to his left, while he should go to the right.
I will refrain from any political conclusions. For good measure, two errors will follow, that is, four erroneous "half strokes" in a row: two each, no jealousy. Alekhine and later Fischer both felt that Capablanca did not play endgames as well as his reputation claimed. No problem, it was enough that his opponents played them even worse... Which was indeed the case.
A new feat of the wizard of Riga. However, if we look closely at this new bonfire on the chessboard, it appears that the three almost successive sacrifices of the said sorcerer (on the 14th, 17th and 19th) are not necessarily the best moves, nor the black counter-sacrifice on the 17th. But without them, the game would not be immortal. And it could not have been dedicated to the previous... wizard of Riga and former world champion, a few months before his death.
Training: be careful not to fall into a trap on the 2nd 2#. The 3# are, for once, exclusively French. Watch out for the twin in the Morice. Then an amusing "Speck" and a strategic 8# that is not as simple as it sounds. Both helpmates are a trigger for Daniel. Only one solution in each. Happy times (1956) when the first one was called "difficult"! We end with a problem proving that there can be long and easy selfmates, even in the world championships.
The next course will not take place before February because of a trip "abroad", as they say. A strange expression, because I feel much more at home in several countries (I could name at least 5) than in the company of my "compatriots". Except of course for the regulars of the course!
Happy New Year and may God keep you.
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