Thanks very much to Sebastian Yap for identifying the problem with the PGNs I was trying to post. They work now.
Before we dive in, I’d like to say: I am not made a prophet by my predictions last blog. However, I did get 18/28 of the games: the correct win, loss or draw prediction. 3/7, 5/7, 6/7, and 4/7 in Wijk aan Zee rounds 10, 11, 12, 13. (Carlsen won, with a +5 score, a full point clear of the field. Simply incredible.)
Andrew Ortwin’s story Part Two:
Andrew settled into the wooden bench, his hastily-appointed lawyer by his side. He’d eaten a sandwich for lunch, and it had tasted with the freshness of victory, he whispered to his lawyer, admirant of his attorney’s closing statement. It was now the prosecutor’s turn.
“I, Anton Kazuki, aim to prove that one Andrew Ortwin committed a heinous heist of Twelfth Bank at 69440 Kearney Street. In the interest of doing so, I call Andrew Ortwin to the stand,” he said, leaning over the wooden lectern.
“Can he do that?” Andrew asked his lawyer.
“Yes. You testified for me, and I told you the risk,” he responded. “He has every right. Now get on up there.” He practically pushed Andrew to the witness stand. Andrew swore in, sweating in his polished black suit. His veneer of confidence had disappeared, and his voice, palm on the Bible, was shaking.
“Andrew,” said Kazuki, face grim. “Do you deny that you committed the aforementioned crime?”
“Yes,” he said. “I do.”
“You are a chess prodigy, are you not?”
“Yes,” said Andrew, relaxing slightly. “I have achieved a 2600+ rating relatively quickly, which is a large degree of accomplishment.”
“And,” asked Kazuki, “have you devoted much effort to this enterprise?”
“Yes,” said Andrew exasperatedly. “It is my single largest pursuit. Aside from, perhaps, my schoolwork, I concentrate on chess most, much like a professional athlete.”
“Are you a professional chessplayer?”
“No, I am not. I am required by federal law and my parents’ request to complete high school.”
“Is this frustrating to you?”
“It is, to a degree, frustrating. I could obtain fairly large sums of money compared to being in school, since I am still improving, and I imagine I’d enjoy myself.”
“Is money a concern for you, since you mentioned it?”
Andrew’s eyes widened. “No, Mr Kazuki. It’d be a fringe benefit to getting to play large amounts of chess, which I derive great enjoyment from.”
“Okay, Mr. Ortwin. So, to demonstrate your facility with the world of chess, can you solve this problem for me, please?”
(Citation at bottom of the page)
“Okay. I’ve solved it.”
“One minute. Can you give me the answer, please?”
Andrew wrote the answer down on a piece of paper, which he walked over and passed to Kazuki.
“Very good, Mr. Ortwin. Brilliant. That’s a fairly difficult problem.” Mr Kazuki paced around the lawyer stand. He asked his assistant to bring up the diagram of the heist. “Is it true, Mr. Ortwin, that you once grew so enthusiastic with darts that you built a gun to launch pawns with magnetic bases at the dartboard?”
“Yes, sir. I’m not very good with darts, so I thought I’d automate it. The launcher worked well, but it wasn’t very good at darts at all, and it wasn’t allowed in competitions, so I shelved it.”
“Is it true that you presented this gun in your opening argument? Made out of rubber bands?”
“Yes, sir. It was Exhibit 4a.”
“And you are aware that a cross-shape, a part of an X, was found in the chest of one of the security guards? That was the entrance point for the tranquilizer.”
“Yes, I understand that.”
“Very well, Mr. Ortwin. Tell us about the extent of your passion for chess.”
It continued in this vein for several hours, but eventually the prosecution rested.
The next day, between arguments that Andrew’s lawyer, Michael Evert, made, they ate lunch. Michael had suggested it as a way to calm Andrew down. Eating his soup, he asked Andrew “it is true that you created a gun to launch rooks? The chess pieces?”
“Yes, I did. I was inspired of a game in which a double rook sacrifice occurred. You don’t know anything about chess, do you, Mr. Evert?”
“No,” Evert said, “just the rules, although I’ve made an effort to learn more, as it’s so central to the case. Mostly about the psychology of chess players. Kazuki will try to paint you as insane. Like Fischer.”
“Well,” Andrew said, “Here’s the game. The end position, anyway. It doesn’t make sense to show you the rest of the game. It wasn’t very well played.” Andrew pulled out a vinyl board and weighted plastic chess pieces. The same set he always used for analysis at home. His pocket set had been confiscated as evidence, and he hadn’t replaced it yet.
(From The Turk–NN 1770)
“Interesting,” Michael said, leaning back in his chair. “May I see this?” He straightened forward, bending over the set and taking up the rook. “This is the set you usually use?”
“Yes,” said Andrew.
“The other side has entered it as evidence, but they couldn’t find it. That’s why. You’re not supposed to be using it. Give it back, and apologize. But if you didn’t know, they shouldn’t use that against you.”
Andrew returned the chess set without incident, sweating, and the trial began anew. Thirty minutes into the prosecutor’s next argument, Kazuki struck. “We have the chess set of Andrew Ortwin. That which he usually uses. If you will note, the bases of the king and rook have the same diameter in his set. Highly unusual. So,” he continued, taking up the Black king with a latex-gloved right hand, “the king fits inside the launcher.” he placed it inside. “Of course, the king also has some space inside. The set is weighted, but the amount of tranquilizer serum that could fit inside, and be channeled by the unusually sharp point, could have tranquilized the guards. That, and one was on their lunch break! So only one had to be tranquilized.”
Andrew shrunk in his seat as Kazuki pointed to his next point of evidence and called him to the stand. “Do you recognize this chess position, Andrew?”
(Bill Wall–Gantt Hickory 1978)
“No, I don’t. There’s a very good move for White, there, though. It’s easy.”
“What is it, Andrew?”
“Bishop takes f7. Then the queen gets trapped.”
“If you’ll notice, though, a woman was trapped in the break room by a moved water cooler. There’s a connection here. And all the chess points to Andrew Ortwin.”
Andrew’s lawyer objected, but Andrew went back to his seat defeated, unsure of the future.
The first problem: https://www.chess.com/blog/GargleBlaster/two-tricky-chess-puzzles-of-mine
The solution to last edition’s puzzle at the end, from Eric Schiller–Mike Arne 1995.
The next installment of this in two weeks' time. The next regular blog? Next week!