february 6 2024

Still a few problems for this second session of the year.

That didn't stop the Master from sharing with us the magic of the exercises from the last lesson, a Larsen's game in which we find his inimitable style, and finally a few good chosen fairy problems including a tribute to bernd ellinghoven (in lower case, as he wished).

The third class of 2024 will be held on March 2.

Happy reading!

Master's words



"It's the only thing I could do half right, and it's turning out all wrong" (Melanie Safka, 1970). Thinking about my course, I subscribe to half of the sentence, hoping that... it's not too bad. Doesn't she ask us that "our white birds smile at those who frown"?  And to "raise the candles high in the night"? https://youtu.be/IZ52lk9wjZI Have I brought her bad luck? This lesson was written around 20-21 January. Melanie died on the 23rd. May she rest in peace.

"The unforeseen on top of the foreseen is adventure; the unforeseen on top of the unforeseen is disorder" (a scout leader).

"What we experience is not what we read" (F. Gautier, headmaster of the Stanislas school, where your "master" was a pupil from 1952 to 1955).

" God, grant me the grace to always desire more than I can achieve" (Michelangelo, quoted by Daphné Du Barry).

"If there is global warming, the only certainty is that it cannot be due to CO2, because the greenhouse effect of this gas is saturated. The IPCC already said this in its 2009 report and in the draft of the following scientific report, which was modified in its final version to align with the imperative of the ecologists representing their governments, who demanded that warming be attributed to anthropogenic CO2, in formal contradiction with the scientists' conclusions. Some slammed the door, others submitted, which characterises them as intellectual prostitutes and dishonest people" (J.-M. Bonnamy).

"Those who for years have lost their blood and their sap By the judge and by the snitch, and by Caiaphas and by Judas, They will see the great Condemned, king of the condemned of here below, Open for judges and juries the time of the great relief" (R. Brasillach, 13-1-1945).

"A government of thieves and traitors!" : nothing has changed for the 90th anniversary of this proclamation. It is certain that the politicians did not behave as they should have.

Hort 1

"I don't collect books, I read them! Preferably books about studies, tournaments or matches, biographies. I've never read Nimzovitch. A chess book should be down-to-earth, not too philosophical" (J. Timman).

"How do you see professional chess today, with many online tournaments, rapid chess and blitz events, compared to the past ? -- Impersonal, boring and superfluous!" (Vl. Hort, who has just celebrated his 80th birthday). But Vlastimil is tactful: no Norwegian GM is mentioned.

Tiavlovski4 Bishops stories in this session. The Finnish study is 65 years old, and the author has concocted for us a record of reciprocal zugzwangs, up to 10 over a length of 4 moves (see 4 Kc2?)! Not quite a Kings endgame, thanks to Bishop h5, but coupled squares galore. A total of 14 ZZ, but I'm offering a glass of champagne to anyone who can point out one I've forgotten!

Resigning in a draw position is more common than you might think, but not the best example to follow. The defensive King and Bishop had to work together harmoniously. Easier are the two studies that follow: two variations with minor promotions and a bizarre self-enclosure of the white Bishop.

For the next session, four rescues: Rook against Rook and two pawns, pawns against Bishop and Knight; finally, two Knight feats to catch a black pawn.


Larsen 3Bernd

Today's game is a little masterpiece by the 'Great Dane', greatly enhanced by the analysis engines. As in the 19th century game seen in the previous lesson, we play quietly with one rook less. With one difference: we win! Note that the beginning comes from a 'feminine intuition' as already seen in Mititelu-Pfleger here https://lecoursdumaitre.e-monsite.com/pages/cours/cat-2023/27-juin-2023.html 

Two fairy diagrams in memory of B. Ellinghoven, chess editor par excellence and talented problemist, most often in collaboration (Rehm, Abdurahmanović...) who has just left us. A Circé with quadruple promotion (AUW) and a struggle of Cardinals. RIP.   

Training: the 2#s will make you think a bit, the easiest are the 6th, 8th and 11th, the ones with lots of tries are the 2nd, 4th, 7th, 10th and 12th. A fairly strong 3# from the 19th century, followed by a few model mates and a nice pawn set.


A curious Finnish 2# helpmate with a twin, a festival of promotions, then a feminine enigma (in 3 moves) that made some illustrious people pull their hair out 30 years ago. Two easy selfmates (for a change): a Macedonian cyclic and an amusing round trip.

Finally, happy birthday to Boris Spassky, who turned 87 last Tuesday.

Enjoy your meal. Niech Bóg was błogosławi.     

Master's diagrams

Add a comment