7 MARCH 1970, Page 28

Chess 481


F. Giegold (Stern, 1967). White to play and mate in four moves; solution next week.

Solution to No. 480 (ten Cate 8/78/2N2bRB/ 3Ppkqp/5P213R1p1p/5K2ilQ5b): P x P, threat R-Q4. 1 Q-Kt6, 7, 8 ch: 2 R x Q. 1 Q-K6, Q7ch: 2 R xQ. 1 ... Q-R5ch; 2 R-Kt3. 1, Q-B8; 2 R x P. 1 K any: 2 R-Q4. Agreeable trifle. This week's problem has only one variation —but a very well hidden one. The difficulty is how to avoid stalemating Black without releasing him.

One against the world

The form of chess playing that arouses the most disproportionate astonishment amongst non-play- ers is the simultaneous display: it is far easier for a strong player to play twenty or thirty weak players at once than it is to play one good opponent. The commonest question to be asked is 'how do you remember all the games while you are playing?'; the answer is that you don't—you recognise each position instantly as you reach it, just as any executive with a pile of papers in his tray will remember the subject and background of each as soon as he looks at it. There are some striking feats of memory in simultaneous play; the Ameri- can F. J. Marshall having played 153 games simultaneously is said to have recited them all from memory after the display was over—but even this is less remarkable than it sounds. Since the games make sense it is not difficult to reconstruct the whole game mentally if one can remember anything at all about it.

Here is a game from a simultaneous showing how rapidly the imagination of a combinative genius like Tal works; we would all have been very happy to bring off this brilliant finish after laborious thought, let alone do it at sight.

White. M. Tal. Black. A. N. Other. Opening, Sicilian. (Simultaneous. West Germany, 1969) 1 P-K4 P-QB4 2 Kt-KB3 P-Q3 3 P-Q4 P x P 4 Kt x P Kt-KB3 5 Kt-QB3 P-KKt3 6 B-K3 B-Kt2 P-B3 Kt-B3 8 Q-Q2 B-Q2 9 0-0-0 Q-R4 10 K-Ktl QR-BI Better 10 . . .0-0 followed by KR-B1; there is a great deal of cualvsis on this line showing that in the attacks on opposite wings that occur in this line the flight square on KB! for the Black king is important.

11 P-KKt4 P-KR3? . It is better to castle and face the attack.

12 P-KR4 P-R3 13 B-K2 Kt-K4 14 P-Kt5! . . . I suspect that this was the only move in the game that took more than ten seconds thought for Tal: moves 1-13 constitute a standard form of development and attack in variations of this type—and when playing P-Kt5 Tal must hale envisaged the finish. So perhaps this move took thirty seconds—or even a minute and contains all the real thought that the game required front White.

14 . . . PxP 15 PxP RxR? 15 ... Kt-R4 is necessary.

16 P x Kt ! . . . What is difficult is not seeing the consequences of this move; it is overcoming the automatic reaction that one must retake the rook and reaching the stage of considering P x Kt at all. One of the marks of the great player is that, despite his constant play. he preserves this freedom from mental habit.

16 . . . RxRch 17 KtxR! QxQ What else? 18 PxB! Resigns. He has nothing better

than 18 . . . B-R5; 19 'P-Kt8= Qch. K-Q2; 20 Q xRch, KxQ; 21 BxQ and White is two pieces ahead. All of Tal's admirers will be glad to hear that his health at last appears to be recovering—may he return to the form in witiek he won :hi championship of the world at the age of twenty-two: this was only ten years ago.