march 2 2004

Master's word


The common point between the direct mat and the helpmate should be obvious. But there are other effects in the 5#.

Krikheli 1Iosif Krikheli, generally considered to be Georgian, was of Ossetian origin: a people descended from the... Alains, it is not invented. In fact, although infinitely more talented, he had one thing in common with your lecturer, he liked the game, the problem and the study at the same time. The game, perhaps a little too much, because he died at 57 years old playing a blitz game. He is best known for his long direct mates (from 6 to 20 moves) and his helpmates, but tonight, let's focus on three minimum endgames, where he joins the great specialist A Mandler. In each one, a rook has to win against one or two black pawns. The first two are very didactic. About the third one, J. Beasley says: "this masterpiece does not have the honours of the FIDE album, a collection of artificial and introverted problems in contemporary style". We join him in his regrets.

Shirov 2Just 20 years ago, in a Parisian tournament, I found myself in front of a kid who was not yet 11 years old. As a former Paris champion, I had to set an example. I played the ambitious Botvinnik variant. Surprisingly, the little guy came up with an "TN", a theoretical novelty of the Informateur, the bible yougo that was indispensable at the time. And there was not the slightest "example": I found myself lost, with White, on the 18th move. I had to pull out "all my technique", as they say afterwards, to draw the game. You guessed it was Joël Lautier. Ah! A precision: when I spoke of NT of the Informant, I meant... of the next Informant!

The Latvian wizard, it's fortunate for him, treats this opening better, moreover with the two colours, which is a good way to exploit the sequels that bothered us. His opponent doesn't play Joël's trick, which was used later against Ljubojevic and Kramnik... who won't react much better than me! Only Beliavsky will treat him convincingly.

Don't miss also, in the notes, the legendary game Polugayevsky-Torre, a classic of this complicated variation.

A good regalade

Master's diagrams

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