This is all the fault of the Chess Historian Edward Winter.
Nobody knows what Edward Winter looks like...this will do.
Ages ago his site hinted that when Morphy played his famous game at the opera in Paris
1858 the opera being performed may have been Norma by Bellini. So I went and bought it.
Blog Post 330
That was in 2016 and since then I’ve been listening to Maria howling Callus screeching,
squawking, shrieking and making a god awful din whilst the rest of my CD collection.
Made up of Dylan, The Beatles, The Shadows, The Stones, The Kinks...remained unplayed.
I thought if I kept playing it I would eventually get the muse, the inspiration that seeped
into Morphy’s bones on that glorious night whilst he sat playing chess in the cheap seats.
Final Position Morphy - The Allies, Paris 1858.
Meanwhile researchers has been wading through chess history and now if you visit:
Did you see the date of the latest update: The 10th November 2019. (a few days ago)
“To summarize, it appears that Morphy v the Duke and Count was played
either during a performance of Norma on 21, 23, 26 or 30 October 1858
or, most probably, during ‘The Barber of Seville’ on 4 November 1858.’
The Key bit is; “....most probably, during ‘The Barber of Seville.’ ”
No wonder I have been museless, uninspired and in a writers block for the past three
years, I have been waiting for creativity to just happen by playing the wrong opera!
So today I bought, 2nd hand (50p), ‘The Barber of Seville.’
and have been playing it over and over again. The Norma CD I have found a good use for.
It’s now a coaster and the ‘Barber of Seville,’ which to some will be just noisy naff,
is to me inspirational and I’ve been singing ‘Figaro...Figaro...Figaro...’ all day long.
Seville 1987 was the place where Kasparov played Karpov for the fourth time in their
five World Title matches. It was the one where Karpov led 4-3 going into the last game.
Kasparov had to win it to draw the match and retain the title under the draws odds rule.
(do not let the ‘Expo’92’ on the cover of the above book fool you. Seville hosted the
1987 final as a curtain raiser to the 1992 World Fair celebrating the 500th anniversary
of Christopher Columbus discovering America in 1492 in the ship the ‘Santa Maria.’ )
It was a model of the ‘Santa Maria’ I used for this old blog picture with me at the helm.
One thing I remember about the 1987 match was a missed win by Kasparov which I
thought was very simple. It took a while to find the position, remember we are going
back 32 years here, because Kasparov did infact win the game. (I looked at the 16 draws
first. forgetting that Kasparov won). This is the position from Game 4 Kasparov to play.
G. Kasparov - A. Karpov, World Championship (Game 4) Seville 1976
Here 28.c5 dxc5 29.d6 looks (and is ) winning. The point being Black cannot
play 29....Rd3 getting behind the passed pawn due to the Rxf8+ Be6+ trick.
As is my custom I looked for an RHP game that actually used the same trick.
The whole game is one those, a sheer joy to note up as each move (except one)
can be explained and you can see just what was going on the players minds.
luizderli - Colgorm RHP .2015
That common trap/blunder I mentioned has dozens of RHP victims, the most recent is:
DrDr - rookorbycrook RHP 2019
Curiosity then took over: ’Has White ever fallen for this trick?’
cricketman - GruffGriff RHP.2017
How about an 8 year old Magnus Carlsen playing the trick. At the time he was rated 904.
Magnus Carlsen (904) - Ivar Abusdal (1386), Grand Prix Group B Oslo.2000
Next Blog will be the fabled, much talked about and anticipated RHP Christmas Quiz.
The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 183145