february 8 2022

The second session of 2022 saw the Master still struggling with his screen sharing, but he eventually succeeded!

Again a wonderful introductory endgame with some key moments and eventually (and again) some studies in the making.

Some other fantastic positions followed which you will discover in detail written by the Master.

Master's words

Lawrence 1"The Arab people see the world in primary colours or, better still, in black-on-white, cut-out contours. Their dogmatic minds despise doubt, our modern crown of thorns. It hears nothing of our metaphysical hesitations, our introspective anxieties. It simply knows truth and non-truth, belief and non-belief" (T.E. Lawrence, known as Lawrence of Arabia).Peguy 1

"One must always say what one sees; above all one must always, which is more difficult, see what one sees" (Ch. Péguy).

"One must take draconian measures of demographic reduction against the will of the populations. Reducing the birth rate has proved to be impossible or insufficient. One must therefore increase the mortality rate. How ? By natural means. Famine and sickness" (Robert McNamara).

"It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there" (Bob Dylan).

"What is not clear is not French" (A. de Rivarol).

The vaccine contaminates but the sheep obey. Injunction = injection = infection. Sorry for these triplets with "bad discriminant", as we say among the problemists. Bovids and covids, same fight: under "mass hypnosis" as E. Clapton says.

"If they can treat a world number one like that, imagine how they can treat you! (N. Farage about Novak Đoković). Note that two other tennis champions, a Frenchman and a Georgian, who unfortunately listened to the injunction and accepted the injection, have become almost crippled and can no longer play their sport.

"We must take legal action against those who have replaced the Hippocratic oath by the "Pfizer oath"". (F. Philippot). "They obey because they hope the covidian circus will stop, but it continues because they obey" (read on the internet). "Pfizer makes you a Patzer". And bravo to the Canadian truckers!

"When you want people to obey you when it makes no sense, that is called totalitarianism" (D. Raoult).

But, to cheer us up, let's remember this: "The feeling of perfection is one of the rare feelings that, once fed, leaves the heart still hungry".

"What does a civil servant have in common with a game of Mikado? The first one to move loses".

"Everybody thinks we're wrong  Oh, but who are they to judge us.  You know we've got to find a way  To bring some understanding here today" (M. Gaye, 1971).

"Study in doubt, but achieve in faith".

"Work is love made visible" (Kh. Gibran).

A unique phenomenon: you hesitate between two moves after c3+, either ...Kc4 or ...Ke4. With wPh4 and bPe6, both are good; with bPh4 and bPe5, the first is good, the second bad; with wPh3 and bPe6, the first is bad, the second good; with wPh3 and bPe5, both are bad, however ...Kd5 is good! If you have encountered this kind of quadruplet in your life, be sure to let me know!

Bobby au palace 1

Rest with a little Queen's waltz: don't miss White's 8th move and its retort, then the 11th. A performance by Bobby half a century ago: should we take his black pawn a4 or tolerate it on a3? The "good knight" against the "bad bishop", of course, but one still has to find the "secret passage", if it exists. Finally a nice Rook domination on an almost empty chessboard.

Exercises for March: the big piece is a R+P / R+P cumulating ZZ. Then a Rook is held out to you: is it a "Greek" gift? With two easy side exercises on the theme of "Rook against Knight". A Grigo's 2P against one, finally a rescue which defied the analysis programs for a long time.

Homage to Jacques Maklès, French Champion 1970 (in Mulhouse), who somehow "taught me to play". Hundreds of blitzes with him in 1968-73, in which he systematically attacked (which I was unable to do) and I simply had to defend myself to hope to survive, shaped my style: a determined defender, hoping for the transition to the endgame, even if it was disadvantageous. Which cocktail succeeded well, allowing me to reach the title of IM in 1988, while the brilliant Jacques, who would have deserved much more than the title of grandmaster, obtained... nothing, due to the politicking of the French "federation", whose shame is not new.

Mulhouse 1

Le havre 7His game of Le Havre 1966 against the great Italian study composer is, in spite of the floating of the 27th move, a small masterpiece, practically forgotten although appearing in the... first Šahovski informator, a magazine created by Aleksandar Matanović (91 years old, God bless him), present in Le Havre where he was meditating, in front of a glass of wine, this fantastic novelty, which thousands of players studied and continue to do so since 55 years!
Last minute: Aleksandar is a kid, compared to the Mandarin of the endgames, Youri Averbakh, who is now reaching three digits of age! It seems that studying endgames is not too damaging to health.

At the age of 16, I had the good fortune to meet Armand Lapierre, author of the very famous problem quoted in http://lecoursdumaitre.e-monsite.com/pages/cours/cours-feerique/15-decembre-2015.html who explained it to me with his usual kindness. But I only discovered this much later: the idea of castling to invalidate the opponent's castling was already 40 years old, coming from a genius known for something else! Even if Lapierre's refined version is, as they say, a "letzte Form", the earlier example is very interesting. 

Training: we start with a tribute to Markus Ott who has just left us. The 2#, which dried me out at my first world championship (Turku 1995), has an impressive number of tries. This is followed by two helpmates, taken from the same competition, which he co-authored. Contrary to the usual practice, I start with the one in 4, very affordable. Then the one in 3, which made me dry, giving me some ideas of suicide, until I learned that the outgoing world champion, Arno Zude, had not done better!

A try and plenty of mates in the first 2#. The next 3 are brilliant but easy. Then a gem from Marjan. Trials in the Finnish problem and in the following ones. In 3#, a treat from our former partner from Bordeaux, now Parisian, who so often visited me for passionate analyses. These beautiful twins had the honour of the fide album (n° 266): I leave the solution and beg you to hide it for a good quarter of an hour. Then a masterpiece by a compatriot of Marjan and a Ukrainian amusement by a world champion.

A logical and very affordable multi-moves; you will soon get the solution but I leave it anyway. To complete Markus' helpmates, a longer problem with a nice set of Bishops. Let's finish with two selfmates, a cyclic with 4 variants in 3 moves and twins in 5, where one hesitates to push the "a" or the "b" pawn.

Have a good time. Deus vos custodiat.       

Master's diagrams


  • Marc Cavina

    1 Marc Cavina On Tuesday, october 11, 2022

    thank Image

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