march 1 2022

nullFor this third session of 2022, there were still difficulties with the Master's screen sharing, still reluctant to use the software!

A weak attendance for this session due to the defection of some members of the core group, which did not prevent the meagre audience from appreciating the wonders presented by the Master, of which here are the details below.

Master's words

Ayme 1

"In order not to find myself in the position of having to refuse such adorable favours, which necessarily causes me great pain, I would beg them to be so kind as to take their Legion of Honour, to stick it in the ass as well as their Elysian pleasures" (Marcel Aymé).

"Imagine a vaccine so safe that you have to be threatened to take it, against a disease so deadly that you have to be tested to know if you have it" (Professor Denis Rancourt).


"Children are being held captive [in Australia] and vaccinated against their will. This is an act of war against our people" (J. Mills).

"Oderint, dum metuant" (Caligula) ("Let them hate me, provided they fear me!").

"Novak Đoković becomes the 1st professional athlete in the history of sports to be banned from a major sports competition for not taking drugs" (K. Spraggett).

"You need more than intelligence, you need to act intelligently" (a phrase attributed to Dostoyevsky by L. Besson in "Anna").

Ivkov 1

We spoke at the last session about the creator of the Chess Informant. His colleague of the Yugoslav team, hardly younger, Borislav Ivkov, has just left us. At the age of 19, I followed his performance in Havana 1965, where he dominated Fischer, Smyslov, Geller and others, until he made, in the penultimate round, the most terrible blunder in the history of chess (ex-aequo with the 23rd of Tchigorine-Steinitz 1892). He lost again in the last round, wanting to win too much. Despite this gift of 1.5 points, he finished 2nd ex-aequo with Bobby.

Thirty years later, he was no longer in the world's elite, but his immense experience remained. In Cannes, I saw him drawing easily a Rook endgame with 2 pawns less against a young man named Fressinet who was to become G.M.I. four years later! Remarkable lecturer, gallant man and of a great humour, he was appreciated by all. Neka počiva u miru.

"After this horrible blunder, I looked for the farthest corner of the room to throw the pieces, understanding Alekhine very well, while being distant from his genius... Then I let the clock run, meditating on Chess in general, its laws and its injustices... Now I just ask for some time! (B. Ivkov). See two other quotations in the lectures of 1 Oct 2019 (§ 6) and 29 June 2021 (§ 15).

In a Rooks endgame, a Kings opposition as in a Pawns endgame, with an orgy of ZZs and some mini-secondary studies. Don't miss the twin triples in the suites 3 Kd3? and 3 Kc3? 

Another ZZ, but this time in a fight of a Rook against 2 Knights, then a nice case of echo defence (do you prefer ...Nc1 or ...Ne1?) which also applies in attack (do you prefer Rg4 or Rg3?). Rest with a nice Grigo (pawn endgame) with angular move. Finally a rescue with Knight and pawn minus which used to torture the machines.

Exercises for the next session: a quadruple echo, a good King move in the Rook endgame (also with an echo), a more complex Knight endgame and a short and fun Queen + Knight against Queen.

Keres spassky 3The star is the "best player in history who was not a world champion". As an aperitif, a defeat (on a blunder) against a Finnish study composer, whose talent and taste I appreciate: like your "master", he does not appreciate studies with Black to move (see Themes/64 page 1832)!Keres spassky 2

The game of the day is one of those that impressed me the most in my youth, where a future world champion is literally suffocated despite two more pawns. I had spent many hours analysing it, writing dozens of pages in a shabby student room in Montpellier. I would have been delighted to examine, 55 years later, what was holding up to the analysis engines of the 21st century, probably very little. Unfortunately, the bundles were lost.

Angers 1

At least I concluded that White is always better, so that, playing against the same Spassky at the 1990 French Championship in Angers, I repeated, with a light heart, the double pawn sacrifice of Keres which he... did not accept!

A little enigma from Pierre Tritten: reconstitute a game ending at the 3rd black move with a mate given by double check. We only know that at the end, there is a black rook on f1. Oh, I forgot! We are in hypervolage, that is to say that a unit which changes its square colour also changes its... colour. For example 1 Nf3 is illegal, the Knight becoming black checking the white King. But 1 Nc3(=bN) Nxd1(=wN) is possible!

Practice: an easier 2# series than last month, with the 5th, 8th & 11th resisting a bit more. Tries in the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th & 11th. A Czech masterpiece in 3 moves, a curious amusement, another masterpiece in 4 from the great Sam (the key is not obvious). A direct in 5 from the world specialist of... the selfmate in 5. Helmates: in 2 by "Mister Jones", in 3 (echo-chameleon) and in 5 (hide the solution).

In the selfmate 3#, a threat and 3 variations. Finally, two long selfmates by Jorma Pitkänen, who has also just left us. In the first one, we expect a castling, small or big. The longest presents us with a royal ride. We leave the solution of these two, but please give it some thought!

Have a good time. See you in 3 or 4 weeks if Deus vult.

Master's diagrams

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