november 1 2022

Another great audience for this second course of the season despite Pierre's absence with the return of Abdel and Han.

On the programme was a superb Becker study accessible to the vulgum pecus as it is a Rook ending on which we spent a certain amount of time, even a certain time, but it was worth it.

Today's game is a Sicilian correspondence game played in the blessed days when there were no computers, the trade-off being that there was no electronic course report!

Below is the Master's report, as usual, precise and elegant.

Good reading to all.

Next session november 26.

Master's words

Kate 2

"One understands absolutely nothing of modern civilisation if one does not first admit that it is a universal conspiracy against every kind of inner life" (G. Bernanos).

"How could you leave me When I needed to possess you? I hated you, I loved you, too" (Kate Bush).

"I am ready to recognise the superiority of women over men, on the express condition that they finally give up the idea of becoming our equals" (S. Guitry).

Dylan 1

"Sometimes it's an advantage that people think you're crazy" (Thelonious Monk).

"What is a great life but a thought of youth executed by middle age?" (A. de Vigny). " Graying? -- No, distinguished!

"Centrists in politics? -- In the centre, there is only the hole in the ass...". (A. Bercoff in October 2022, who omits to quote Léon Daudet, who said this a century ago, in the middle of the "assemblée nationale-sic", again an anticipation).

"Now I wish I could write you a melody so plain That could hold you dear lady from going insane That could ease you and cool you and cease the pain Of your useless and pointless knowledge" (B. Dylan).

"What do you want? -- That this country loves us as much as we love it" (Rambo 2).

We have known for a long time that conjugated squares do not only occur in the King's endgame. But here is a unique case: with rook and pawn material on each side, 4 reciprocal zugzwangs involving a white rook on the e1-e4 half-column and a black rook on the a1-a4 half-column! One of the motives is to bring the Black Rook as close as possible to the White King to prohibit an enfilade. With some additional ZZ. Complex, but finally clear, in the author's style.


Curious struggle of 2 bishops against rook and strong pawn. White will accept to be pinned in one variation. In another, he will resort to the "mazette move", in other words... check. Which we prefer, of course, to the unpinning! And, icing on the cake, a two-colour echo.

A demonstration of the Queen + Knight pair, with a sacrifice of the aforementioned, a very known idea but always rejoicing. Finally, a problem of defensive relay ("change of function") between Black King and Knight. With, at the most unexpected moment, a complete King's Rosace.

Exercises: a practical endgame leading, as often, to a study, or even several. Then a real study, resembling a problem. A rescue with two minus pieces, another one facing surging pawns.


Time for "Sicilian madness". The game of the day is multiple, featuring a Syrian super-talent who every day scrolled through all the games he had played in the tournament, to the delight of the spectators. He crushes a US GM but is excessively kind in the end.  He follows convincing evidence that the correspondence game does not always result in long games of dodging.

Fabel's little riddle (stated in the last lesson): no, you cannot place the black king on c1 for 1 0-0# because castling would be illegal, as the bK had to break it to get to c1. The only solution is therefore : bKf3 for 1 0-0#. We thus obtain : Ke1, Rg2 & h1, Bd4, Pb2 & c2 / Kf3, Be4. Isn't this the easiest "retrograde analysis" in history?


Training: two works by the great Argentine, one Finnish with 6 tries. Afterwards, the trickiest ones seemed to be the 7th, 9th, 10th & 11th. Finally a masterpiece by Marjan with 4 changed mates.

Ellerman 2

A surprising 3# that takes us back to... 1915 ! Then a superb cycle from a world champion. A triple echo in 4 moves. A "philidorian" helpmate from Mister Jones. A long Macedonian particularly pleasant to search. In selfmate, a festival of sacrifices and finally, a Pickaninny which tortured the engines, but where we leave the solution.

A good treat. See you in four weeks if  Deus vult.         

Master's diagrams

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