24 JANUARY 1964, Page 23



No. 162. C. MANSFIELD and G. F. ANDERSON .(First Prize, South African Tourney, 1963)

BLACK (14 men) WHITE (9 men) WHITE to play and mate in two moves; solution next week. Solution to No. 161 (Loshinski and Tche- pizhni): Q-K 6, threat P-Q 7. 1 . . . Kt-B 2; 2 Q-Q5. 1 . . . R-R 2; 2 R-QB 4. 1 . . . R-K 1; 2 Kt-Kt 3. Point of this masterpiece is the relation- ship between actual play and the variations arising from the thematic tries 1 Q-Kt 7? and 1 Q-Kt 4?

Veni—Vidi—Vici . . . or rather, she came, we saw, she conquered. In my previous article 1 said that when Nona Gaprindashvili, the twenty-two-year-old woman champion of the world, came to Hastings we should see what she could do. Well, we have seen. Playing in the Challengers' tournament (the second event), she went through it as surely and triumphantly as a female cosmonaut through the ether. Slightly orien- tal in appearance, looking even younger than her age, she sits quietly at the board with an air of slightly eager but calm attention as if she were a schpolgirl grappling with 'a lesson that presented an interesting problem she was confident of solving successfully in the end. Damage to the male ego was not, alas, confined to her victory in the Challengers' tournament. She played in the Saturday lightning tournament—a rapid-play event for which players of every class from top to bottom compete. This she won, defeating the great Mikhail Tal, ex- champion of the world, in the final pool. She has, incidentally, got a curious general resemblance in cast of features to Tal and to see them together they could easily be brother and sister. Even this is not all; for some curious reason, chess players are very fond of table tennis—Miss Gaprindashvili proceeded in off moments to demolish them all at this as well. How good is she really? She is not a grand master, but she is very good. Equally at home in positional and tactical play, she has a positive and creative approach which I found impressive; she is not just aplayer who has been well taught an works hard.

butt ut one with good and original ideasd of her own.

It will be very interesting to see how she fares in the Premier next year, for which her victory in the Challengers' qualifies her. • Finally, in addition to being (in my opinion) the best woman player ever, she • is (in everyone's °Pinion) charming, modest and unaffected. All this '—and table tennis, too : it's not fair.