february 28 2023

Nothing to report in terms of technical problems except an unusual behaviour of Teams which smells the new version to come.

The core group was present for this third session of 2023, without Pierre, still in distant lands, to attend the unravelling of a very animated old game and the intense enchantment selected by the Master, whose detailed report you will find below. 

Good reading to all.

P.S.: the next session is awaiting confirmation for the date of 25 March


Master's words

Machiavel 2


"To be held as fickle, light, effeminate, pusillanimous, irresolute, is what makes him despicable. " (N. Machiavelli drawing -- of whom? -- a premonitory portrait, 5 centuries in advance).

"Childhood and youth should be brought up in hymnis et canticis, nourished in the cult of the highest beauty. Beauty is the word of education" (F. Ravaisson).

 "It is not because an event is serious that it makes you suffer; it is because it makes you suffer that it seems serious. (V. Reynouard).

"With my appearance of constantly attacking, I was only busy defending myself" (Napoleon I)


"If I had to start my life again, I wouldn't want another one" (Mireille Balin).

"I was convinced that few players in the world spend time with endings. I know now that I was wrong. Shortly before the material for this book was sent out, I discovered that a certain Villeneuve [sic!] had independently analysed this endgame [Ljubo-Karpov 1975] and drawn very similar conclusions. I cannot assume that he knew my articles, published only in Romanian and Swedish [!!]. The good news is that, all over the world, there are people who like to work on endgames" (Mihail Marin in "Learn from the Legends" -- 2004 -- whose enthusiasm should not obscure the fact that he has, at most, demonstrated that two people in the world "like to work on endings"!)

A rook-pawn supported by a bishop of the right colour (that of its promotion square) wins easily, but the opponent's king, supported by a bishop-pawn, can make it vulnerable. Especially if a doomed Rook dreams of an ultimate exploit.

We know that Rook and Knight rarely win against a Rook, in the absence of pawns. But there are cases where one does not need Centurini!

My near namesake (but not ancestor) had brilliantly shown in 1923 that one could draw with one less Rook. In 1972, it was improved: it is now Rook and Knight... held in check by an unfortunate pawn. Finally, a mid-game relaxation.

Exercises: in material deficit, we wish to exchange pawns, not pieces; our Bishop is threatened to be exchanged for a Knight, we must move him away, but how far? Then a Georgian study of 8 moves, where both sides are threatened to lose. A violent battle of the same origin, finally two Bishops of different colour, but without technique!

Tal larsen 2Tal larsen 1

The Candidates tournament changed its format in 1965, becoming a series of elimination matches. It featured the two 1959 heroes, Keres and Tal, the latter returning to form after his 1962 illness, joined by Spassky, absent since 1956. In the meantime, a new (though long-known) star has emerged. Here is the decisive game of this difficult Tal-Larsen match.

We know many Nd5! sacrifices in the Sicilian. This one is by no means winning, giving rise to scary complications. But anyway, this is THE move to play, as Ivkov said. And as often, luck smiled on the bold. In note, another even more famous Nd5!

In the analysis of the 17th move, a new sparkling file on the everlasting problem: which Rook to play on a square (in this case e1)? The Queen's Rook or the King's Rook? With, of course, my favourite theme on 20...Nxd3+, with a nuance: the bad becomes acceptable and the good becomes bad.

HaringWenda k 1About Larsen, have a look at his game against Fischer (1971) whose analyses have been renovated !  http://lecoursdumaitre.e-monsite.com/en/pages/lessons/cat-2005/march-1-2005.html  

Training: all the 2-moves except the Mansfields are rich in tries, the most difficult seeming to me to be the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th & 12th. Pins in the 3#, a rather humorous 4# (easier) by the same author.

A helpmate 3# with twin, another in 4.5 where we "forget" the solution. Let's finish with two Bulgarian selfmates (we do the same for the second one).

Quah 1

Free ad: Don Papa Maskara, a rum from the Philippines (where Wesley So was born!), which I highly recommend, talks about a "beautiful combination of sweetness and acidity offering a surprisingly spicy END..." (the capitals are mine). You know what you have to do if you want to progress in endgames! By the way, I quote, "The spirit of Don Papa lives in all of us."

Have a good time in all areas. See you in a month if Deus vult.  

Master's diagrams

Add a comment