april 27 2021

The Master arrived first in the meeting room and had no difficulty in sharing his screen, a great first!

As usual, the regulars, from distant countries, gradually joined the room.

No newcomers came this time to appreciate the always sharp analyses of the Master, as well as the fairy-like positions.

The next session is scheduled for 22 May.

Below is the masterly report

Master's words


"I confess to you, I liked better for our country the houses of debauchery where the old monarchy of the ancien régime was dying, than the shady house of banking and usury where the honour of the bourgeois Republic is dying -- You go too far: you compare the house of the President of the Republic to a house of debauchery... -- I do not compare it, I put it below" (Jean Jaurès at the trial of Gérault-Richard, 5-11-1894).

"Telling people 'don't treat yourself, stay at home' is not even the Middle Ages, even Hippocrates didn't do that" (Prof. D. Raoult).

"There is worse than a bad virus, it is a bad vaccine" (Dr. L. Fouché).

"There are two conflicting policies: the logic of health and that of disease. The pharmaceutical companies want to sell, but to sell, there must be sick people: let's not stop the disease" (Astrid Stuckelberger).

"The mask is useless when you are not sick" (many non-stipendiary doctors).

"I am fully in favour of gay marriage, but only among left-wing politicians. Anything that can contribute to their non-reproduction is a blessing for all!" (Jean d'Ormesson).

"The written word stays -- and the functionaries pass" (J. Gabin in "Deux hommes dans la ville", 1973).

"Paris is like all the other capitals, except for two details: we eat much better there, we make love much more" ("Ariane" by Billy Wilder, 1957).

"There are people who "get the guts" out of their apparatus" ('The Right Stuff', 1983) but, much more modestly, your "master-bidon" strives to get the guts out of each chess position he analyses!

"If you think it's a joke, that's all right: do what you want to do. I've said my piece and I'll leave it all up to you" (Mike Pinder).

The beautiful, the good, the well, known trilogy. And in the right order, because it is the beautiful that attracts. The notion of the good naturally follows. And when you are good, you do well...

One more piece, or rather against a pawn, is a routine gain, right? Not really. Consider how the Bishop will show his superiority. And appreciate the dreaded false lead of the 3rd move (= the 1st of the exercise given in the last course) with a particularly opportunistic Black King, having to retreat sometimes, sometimes to advance. His White counterpart must be up to the task, sometimes choosing the Queen's wing, sometimes the King's wing, with the Bishop working on the other wing: the eternal question of the right distribution of tasks. Do not miss the "study within the study" of the 4th black move. You'll have a lot of fun going over all these subtleties but... capture your time!

An unexpected mate network with complete equality of material although... the Knight, on a small perimeter, dominates the Bishop, having access to squares of both colours! Another checkmate after a game of pancrace of 6 pieces still qualified as "minor", not having been defended by a powerful enough lobby! Finally an amusing rescue of a Rook against a Queen.

Exercises for next month: a royal choice, a brilliant (though not winning on the best defence) decision by a French player, another royal choice and a Rook choice... on the 2nd move.

Stein kortchnoi

A key game of the "greatest zonal in history", already illustrated in our course, a zonal with the strength of a candidate tournament, or even more so, when one considers that the last two are Kortchnoi and Geller! Let's remember that it was magnificently won by Spassky, the first step of a phenomenal journey.

A top-class offensive player against a defender of equal talent: in short, the irresistible force against the unshakeable wall! It is said that 'mazette sees check, makes check'. It is therefore rare that at the end of such a high fight game, one sees 13 consecutive checks!

Training: don't miss the 2nd problem! Nor the trials of the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 9th & 10th. The 6th and 8th are French. The last 2# is only there to mystify you!


Pauly 2Niemeijer 2

Two magnificent twins in 3# with Q+R+P against the naked King, taken from a 1948 book with a Nietzschean title which we warmly recommend: "Zo sprak Wolfgang Pauly" by the great Dutch collector and problemist Meindert Niemeijer. The said twins were in reality quadruplets (move in (a) the White King to e8, then to a8). A festival of model and mirror mates, which you have to solve yourself to fully appreciate.

Two other 3#, an easy strategic Speckmann and a curious play where each Knight occupies the initial place of its counterpart. A 4# that will make you think a bit, notwithstanding its 7 units.

A very amusing 2# helpmate composed by the man who was my teacher for a month... well over half a century ago, to whom we have already paid tribute. This problem is both very easy and... difficult: sapienti sat! Remember that the "set play" means that there is also a solution with white-black-white mat.


Two other helpmates, exciting to solve. In the one in 7.5, White starts, then mates on his 8th move. Cross of the Bishop and the Rook in the selfmate 4#, a Russian masterpiece that I present with the solution, which must of course be hidden for at least 30 minutes.

Have a good time. Deus vos custodiat

Master's diagrams

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