october 1st 2019

For this first course, brought forward for reasons explained by the Master in the post-scriptum, the usual listeners were present except for Pierre who was detained in Germany.

 For the normal game part, some beautiful endgames dissected in a surgical way and a great attack game.

For the fairies, some new features difficult to animate. 

Below is the masterly report

Master's words

Aguirre 1Bernanos

"My superior wants to see you -- which one? There are so many people who are superior to you" (Cl. Eastwood in "The Punishment").

"Ich bin der Zorn Gottes, wer sonst ist mit mir?" (Klaus Kinski in "Aguirre"). I am the wrath of God, who else is with me?

"A world dominated by the Force is an abominable world, but the world dominated by the Number is ignoble. The Force sooner or later gives rise to rebels, it breeds the spirit of revolt, it makes heroes and martyrs. The abject tyranny of the Numbers is a slow infection that has never caused a fever" (G. Bernanos).

"The silence of the slippers is sometimes more frightening for the country than the noise of the boots" (E. Jünger). We know that EJ was an entomologist, but so are we: aren't diagrams butterflies?

"I have heard of a phenomenon called chess fatigue, but I don't know what it is. I know about tournament fatigue, one of the symptoms being that I sleep an extra hour a night" (B. Larsen). At least when the game is not adjourned!

"Larsen doesn't play very well -- But you lost to him -- I underestimated him -- But you lost a second time! -- This time I overestimated him!" (B. Ivkov).

During this time, the bewildered Frenchmen make prognostication contests on the tournaments, discuss endlessly about the results, the chances of qualification of X... or Y..., but without ever commenting, let alone analysing, the games! Prono-elo-dodo. Degeneration.

Rook & Bishop vs. Rook (my lifelong obsession, you know) but here, a triple purpose: to quote the lunatic and delightful Speelman; to break a record in the index with the 19 letters of White's conductor; to pay homage to a titled player who knows how to win Philidor's position (perhaps after adjournment?). Moreover, it can be a salutary refreshment of memory, three years later: for more details, see Caruana-Svidler in http://lecoursdumaitre.e-monsite.com/en/pages/cours/cat-2016/october-4-2016.html    

In bishops of different colours, if the two pawns are separated by two rows, the pawn-bishop pair ("c" & "f") is the stronger and usually wins. Keep in mind in one of the most extraordinary tangle I have ever encountered.

Maroczy 1Tartacover 2

Three practical exercises (taken from tournament games) for the next lesson (we will resume the studies later).

Tarta's most famous game, where the sacrifice of an entire rook prepares... the quiet development of the Queen's wing. Our 1953 grandmaster comments in true French, and not, as most of our contemporaries do, in "a pidgin such as was gibbered in the 19th century by those living on the coasts of the Levant" (Fr. Léger in 1992).

This game is a masterpiece which in 1922 was badly judged, but "the judges prefer brilliant combinations, God forgive them", said Uncle Halber (-stadt), another exceptional Frenchman from the East.

We start the fairies with the little riddle given in June: castling, promotion and prise en passant. Then a 9X9 chessboard and a "theoretical novelty".

Training. The 2-moves are of varying difficulty, but you should solve them all. The 1st, 5th, 6th (the latter performing an ABC-BCA cycle), 7th, 8th & 9th have several attempts. Watch out for Hoffmann's, which dried out two world champions. But that was in limited time. You have plenty of time!

Kovacevic 2The first two 3#'s are offered for your judgement: the first one got the 2nd prize, the second the 1st. It seems to me that this order should have been reversed. Give your opinion (top and right). But take some time to solve them: both are worth it! The theme is: model pinning mats. The first one, given at the 2017 Ukrainian championship, was solved only by two competitors, and incompletely by a third. The last 3#, easier, presents us with 2nd/3rd move exchanges (AB-BA & CD-DC) but without any trouble.
Larsen kak

The first 4# was given at the 2017 Swiss Championship. It offers us 2 model mats and 2 other pure mats. The second one, from the great specialist of difficult selfmates, is also very affordable. It shows us seven squares of the 3rd row visited by the Queen. Two other easy moremovers, the first by a gifted Frenchman who mysteriously disappeared (don't forget the twin, after the key you have a new mate in 5), the second by the great specialist of the retro who made me suffer so much (but knew how to enjoy it) in the 1960s and 70s!

Homage to Benkö who let us go, with an helpmate 2.5# (White starts and mates on his 3rd move) in collaboration with a regular of our course. Again, don't forget the twin. The 3-move helpmate was given at the 2017 Warsaw Grand Prix. The winner, Murdzia, only found one solution. The next one is fortunately much easier, despite its 3 solutions. Finally a selfmate in 3 moves with an AB-BC-CD-DE-EA cycle in a nice form.

Have a good time. See you in a few weeks if Deus vult.

post-script of Master :

Why was this course brought forward by a fortnight?

Venice, Marco Polo airport. I catch the bus to Mestre station, to reach Trieste, from where I will be taken to Croatia. A "nice immigrant", from a southern country (a "chance for Italy"), reaches into the left pocket of my jacket, taking my ID and bank cards. I realise this as I get off the bus, look for a police station. A cop at the station points me to one 200 metres away.

Finding no more police station than butter on a spit, I take refuge in a café. The waitress is a nice immigrant from a country far to the east and north, named Li Li. She tells me that she doesn't know any police station (I'll know later that it's not 200 m away but 2 km). She lends me her phone to call France and thus block the bank card. She refuses to let me pay for the drink and the phone (!), in front of the owner of the café who does not protest. Thank you Li Li. She calls a cop for help.

He advises me to go back to the station where there is a "railway police" that I had spotted but which seemed closed. I'm about to make a theft report, but the clerk refuses to do so, claiming that the only person able to do so will only be there tomorrow morning. I go out without realising what this implies, manage to reach my family in Trieste, sceptical about the possibility of obtaining a document allowing me to pass to Croatia (which is "in Europe" without being there).

I go back to the incompetent cop, who tells me that I can get such a document at the French consulate in Venice, but only... tomorrow afternoon. My family decides to join me in Mestre. Other cops are walking around the station, paid to do nothing. I tell them what's happening to me and ask if they think it's normal to be refused a document that's necessary, if only to get a hotel room. A moron replies that it's "Italian law". My reply: "Italian law makes a 70-year-old sleep in the street".

Three hours later, Madame arrived in Mestre and managed to book a small studio. To get me in, she found a photocopy of my stolen identity card on her haiped, by some miracle. The next day, the gymkhana in the Venetian labyrinth will take us several hours: to make matters worse, the address of the consulate on the internet is wrong. And of course, we were told that it was impossible to provide us with a piece of paper that could get me across the Croatian border. My dearest, who didn't really believe in this, concludes that all I have to do is go back to Cannes.

It takes a month and a half to make an identity card. Two weeks to get a birth certificate, while several documents, not to mention the photocopy, show that I already had to provide one in due form. Long live France, long live Italy. You'll tell me that this is a change from line 13 of the Paris metro. Not really. Invaded and degenerate Europe is the same.

Daniel :

My only real visit to Venice was in 2003 and it is an excellent souvenir.

But historically, the first time I set foot in Venice was during a train stop (sleeper train for a 2-day and 2-night trip), on my way back from the International Railwaymen's Championship that was taking place in Bulgaria in Varna.
Funny detail, the cartoon made at the time for this occasion is visible on the welcome photo "de lecoursdumaitre" next to the wall chessboard, but not detailed enough to be advantageously zoomed.
I was still a junior at the time and the team was composed of, among others, Benoît and Savalle, well known by Alain. Fortunately, this was on the return journey because when I set foot on Italian soil, my wallet had already disappeared!
I then remembered that during the night, someone wearing a cap and wanting to look like a ticket inspector had entered the compartment "to capture a blanket".
Youth is formed by experience.

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