april 11 2017

This session experienced some technical jolts with the debut of Jitsi.

Although convenient to use, the interface had a few freezes that made us go back to our first love, thus depriving us of the presence of a great PG composer that we had lost sight of for a long time.

The course therefore resumed with Team Viewer as support and with the core group.
A microphone breakdown ("between the back rooms", the Countess would have added [french joke]) deprived the clerk of a few strokes of the paw

Here is the detailed report written by the Master

Master's words


The sadness of the day. After all the persons of great value disappeared in 2016, it is the turn of André Frisch, international grandmaster in chess bookshop. True Mr Smile, he welcomed in his domain of the Saint-André-des-Arts street (it is not invented!) any quidam showing a beginning of interest for Chess, guided him with an infinite patience, guessed his preferences, making of him, most often, a convinced follower.

Without him, my work on endgames would have remained in the drawers. I mean, it would not even have started. Thirty-seven years ago, André asked me to write a book on the endgames for the "Librairie Saint-Germain" collection that he had launched. The previous book being a collection of games commented by Karpov, I was sensitive to the immense honour that had been done to me, while stammering that it would involve an immense amount of work, that one volume would not be enough, that if he wished, I could rather present a collection of very beautiful problems, with anecdotes and solutions perfectly written, very clear, that it would capture much less time, etc. Without breaking his smile for a second, he replied that a book on problems would have too little audience, that he didn't mind two volumes, that he would leave me plenty of time... And so the Endgames' Marquis   was born. Thank you. To God, André.

Quote of the day: "Who was the greatest player? If Chess is an art, Alekhine. If it is a science, Capablanca. If it is sport, Lasker" said Xavier Tartacover. But the difficulty is that it is all three at the same time.

The anger of the day. The French language is riddled with unnecessary complications (why say "quatre-vingts" instead of the simple "octante"?) but it also possesses qualities of sobriety, which are being undermined nowadays. Not to mention the grotesque " taux d'alcoolémie " (when alcoolémie means alcohol level), I bristle every time I hear the ridiculous " Françaises, Français " shouted by imbeciles who hope to pass themselves off as " feminists " (!), the horrible " celles-z-et ceux " (sic !) and the unbearable " bonjour à toutes-z-et à tous " (resic !) The word "man" sometimes refers to the human being (from the Latin homo) and sometimes to the male (from the Latin vir), and the context is generally clear enough, without the need to make it more cumbersome. A famous comedian dealt with this question in a dazzling way: would you say "Belges, Belges"?

Jansa 1

The anecdote of the day, read in the excellent book by Vlastimil Jansa, wonderful man, superb player and best teacher in the world (now that MD has passed away, I won't be quibbled about it). "A few years ago my garden was ravaged by moles. I went to see my friend George, a practical, know-it-all man. He gave me a list of specialist shops. But I found such a wide range of products that I couldn't decide. I went back to George and asked him which product was the most effective. He was silent for a moment and then said, "How the hell should I know? Do you think I'm a mole? I laughed more than I should have, because I live this anecdote constantly, and in both directions. Being practically useless, I often ask friends for advice, but sometimes too much: they know much more than I do, but not everything! Conversely, when I am asked about chess endgames or problems, I don't always know how to answer: I have seen thousands of each, but I am far from being omniscient.

The studies of the day. An elementary exercise, or more exactly, with elementary material, including however two ZZ. I present it as an entry exercise to the chess school which it will be necessary to create one day or another. Hoping not to wait 100 years, as for Lyautey's tree ("It will take 100 years? All the more reason to start right away"). Then two studies by the same author, almost 50 years apart. Paradox: it is the oldest one that contains ZZs!

Nezhmetdinov 1

The practical endgames of the day. In a seemingly ordinary rook endgame, you are waiting for the King to go west but... you see him go east. On closer inspection, you see that this is the only way! Then a sacrifice that could (should) have gone wrong. I've said over and over again to be wary of them in the endgame, even if you really want them in the middle game. These two examples are presented by another great pedagogue, Dražen Marović.

Game of the day. The man who had a score of 3/4 against Tal here outclasses the record holder for longevity, who died just after his 99th birthday, a Hungarian who stayed in Paris but preferred to settle in the "workers' paradise", whose championship he won in 1940.


The fairy positions of the day. Don't confuse the symmetrical Circé and anti-circé with the symmetrical anti-circé and Circé !?

The training of the day. After the 2# Marjan, some Francuzi are featured in the 3#, 4# and helpmate sections. Echo-cameleon of pins, then four varied Czech model mates, a superb and difficult Austrian logic problem, a French loydesque (look closely at the Queen's white play), and finally a repetition that is not a repetition. The first helpmate and the last one are the only ones that will make you think. Don't miss the circular movement of the knight in the 6,5# helpmate. Two months ago we talked about the Popandopoulo theme: here is a very easy selfmate (promise to hide the solution, as Alaikov 1usual). Finally a Proof Game (there hasn't been one for a long time) that is very pleasant to look for (just manoeuvres, no promotions) in honour of the greatest German problemist.

Have a good time. See you, God willing, in a little month.

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