march 16 2021

The 16 March course was an opportunity to meet Antoni again, whom we had not seen for a long time.

The regulars were, of course, present, with an ever African Pierre (specialist in six-pawn endgames! [french joke]).

It was the occasion to dissect a "Grigoriev-like" endgame; what a richness with so little material!

Below the word of the Boss

Master's words

"The fact that the vaccine gives no guarantee of effectiveness, but rather can induce serious side effects; the fact that in some cases it was produced from cells taken from aborted foetuses, and is therefore absolutely irreconcilable with Catholic morality ; the fact that treatment with hyperimmune plasma or with alternative protocols is boycotted despite evidence of their efficacy -- all of which means little to the new "expert" ["Pope" Francis] who, on the basis of absolutely no medical competence, is now recommending the vaccine to the faithful while using his sovereign authority to demand that the citizens of the Vatican submit to dubious treatment in the name of an unspecified "ethical duty". "(Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop).


"Of all the religions that have ever existed, the Christian religion is the most poetic, the most human, the most favourable to freedom, to the arts and to humanities; the modern world owes it everything" (F-R de Chateaubriand).

"They speak like angels, save lives whatever the cost, but think like assassins" (words of a Khmer Rouge quoted by A. Upinsky about... guess who).

"I advise you not to wear a red shirt -- why? A bull chased me the other day -- are you sure it wasn't the other way around?" (J. Wayne & Elsa Martinelli in "Hatari", 1962).

"Lord, don't let me fade away" (Snowy White).

"My heart is empty, but the songs I sing are filled with love for you" (Nico).

"Coincidence? There's something there that doesn't pass, like a fish bone -- Eat breadcrumbs, it's radical" (Bozzuffi & Meurisse in "Le gitan", 1975).

"Whoever sees you working, wants to join those who throw Molotov cocktails at you" (P. Meurisse, ibidem).

Another pawn endgame. Many beauties in this ultra-miniature. Could you imagine that Kf3, Pg3 & h2 / Kg5, Pg7 is a reciprocal zugzwang?  Or Kg4, Pg3 & h4 / Kh6, Pg7? And there are many others.

Two light studies, a good rest after last lesson. Sacrifices for a promotion, then for a mate. Premature promotion leads to a perpetual, a stalemate or a fork. As for mate, you can do without it if you are an alien, knowing how to win R + B / B + N without pawns. 

Exercises for the next lesson. A return to a well-known theme: "as far as possible"; a traditional idea, but is it good? Fourteen years ago, we saw that this was not always the case, on the occasion of the 14th of the Kramnik-Kasparov game (2000). It was Kg2, Rf1, Pg3 / Ke2, Rd1, Pe3: would you rather put the rook on f8 or f7? This time, it's a Rook vs Knight struggle.

Then an easy pawn endgame in comparison with the one of the present lesson: the famous grandmaster leading Black complimented his opponent but... wrongly! Let us note that the great specialist (and brilliant heir of Grigoriev) Mikhail Zinar, recently deceased (RIP) has just composed in 2015 a small wonder on the same theme. Finally, two cases of a supercharged White King: a marathon and a sprint.

Andersson 3Ljubojevic 2

The game of the day was considered a "modern classic" (!) in the 70s and 80s. It features a fantastic attacking player with a flowery name: imagine a Frenchman called Aimé Lamoureux! He recently celebrated his 70th birthday.Bolee 2 Srećan rođendan Ljubo ! I have two outstanding memories of him: a blitz session at the Caveau de la Bolée on April 1, 1978 with the French "elite", then his victory at the World Cup (Barcelona 1989), a super-tournament that I partly followed as an improvised "journalist": you certainly remember "Top-Echecs"!

He is opposed to a fantastic... defence player, great friend of Timman who loves this game and thinks he was fascinated by his prestigious opponent, missing the draw (and even, as we discovered later, the advantage). A chaotic game, then, but what vitality... Enjoy.

Training: a female piece (thanks Eugénie!) with a subtle trap, and illustrating the "fundamental theme" we talked about in the last class. Then a rest from the 19th century. Lots of essays in the following ones, with a tribute to three great masters of the 2#, respectively English, Argentinean and Swedish.      

Hardly difficult but ingenious 3#s, including one by the great German retro specialist. A 4# with AUW (if you don't know this acronym yet, you'll find out with this problem). Then a difficult bone to pick, in case of insomnia. With a dreaded test.

Some rest with the 2# helpmate. In the 3# helpmate with 2 solutions, the problem engine of "friend" Fritz fails miserably on one. Not you! An echo-chameleon in 5# helpmate. In conclusion, a super-selfmate in 3 from the Russian wizard, featuring both a Greek cross of the rook and a Pickaninny.

Last minute: in homage to Alain Biénabe, author of the colossal exposé on the problem in the "Guide des Echecs" (1993 & 2009), who has also just left us, a cute 5# helpmate. RIP.

Have a good time. See you soon. Zostańcie z Bogiem. Deus vos custodiat. 

Master's diagrams

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