Chess History Lesson No.452.
Chess owes a great debt to the Muslim lads for it was them that brought Chess to Europe.
It came all the way across Africa and up into the Spain (the red line).
The Black line indicates a chess set that was thrown into the sea. It drifted about
until a Whale swallowed it. (the red cross) This Whale eventually beached itself on the Isle of Lewis.
Years later these chess pieces were found and are now in the British Museum.
(er…greenpawn…is that correct…The whale bit….is that right?………….Russ)
Yes. It must be, it’s on the internet. I’ve just put it there.
One of these Muslim lads, Al-Aldi, created this problem round about 840 AD.
White to play and mate in 3.
Now Swiss Gambit and his gang will be studying this very carefully and looking at the date.
You see in 840 the chess pieces moved different from what they do today.
The Queen, Bishop and pawns all went through radical movement changes round about
1500 when the Spanish lads decided to upbeat the game.
So next time you are in the kitchen at some party and a non-player asks you who invented Chess?
You can smugly reply:
“The game we play today was created by the Spanish during the reign of Queen Isabella I .”
The Rook and Knight in 840 moved just as they move today so no date tricks here.
It’s genuine White to play and mate in three. (solution at the bottom.)
Quite a rare mixture of pieces to crop up in a game. Two Rooks, a Knight and a pawn.
I can only find 52 example on my OTB database of 6 million games.
RHP currently has 25 games with such an ending.
So of course I wondered if any of these RHP games had anything I can use?
The very first one I looked at produced the goods. No need to look any further than…
Dutch Defense - HangemHigh RHP 2007
Black misses mate in two - White misses a Knight fork.
Black misses mate in two - White misses a Knight fork.
You see a note in an opening book.
“Both 11…de and 11….d4 create weaknesses.” Nothing more.
You the reader glance at the board and nod your head.
Do you know how to take full advantage of these weaknesses?
Are you confident you can take full advantage of theses weaknesses?
What is your pedigree. What examples can you call on?
Reading the note and nodding your head is not going to do any good at all.
You need a foundation to nod your head to. The same foundation as the writer.
Our old Masters left us thousands of instructive games.
These games latter GM’s studied and learnt what to do and what to avoid.
If you stick to studying modern games thinking games from over 100 years ago are not
going to show you anything new then you are mistaken.
It is by studying these games you build your foundations on.
A good modern player will not play either 11…de and 11….d4 in our fictitious game
because he has seen what can happen to him.
By the same token he will know what to do should he meet 11…de and 11….d4.
He has a stack of games he can call on that will give him ideas.
They won’t be from the exact same position, but the bones will be there.
And it’s from the original idea where the first lesson is.
Skip studying the old masters games in your apprenticeship at your own peril.
The mistakes of yesteryear were made so we could avoid them and play against them today.
So never neglect a chance to go over a ‘golden oldie’ these are your building blocks.
The game I am about to show is over 100 years old. I first saw it in Tarrasch’s Best Games by Reinfeld.
I would have loved to have gone raking in Irving Chernev’s waste paper bin when he was
discarding games for his ‘Most Instructive Games.’
Why he never considered this outstanding piece of chess is beyond of me.
Maybe he thought 6 games of Tarrasch were enough.
(the same total as Capablanca though one of Tarrasch’s is a loss.)
R. Spielmann - S. Tarrasch, San Sebastian , 1912
Spielmann plays a line against Tarrasch’s favourite Ruy Lopez defence (5…Nxe4).
A variation that before this game had given Tarrasch 3 losses and 3 draws.
Tarrasch scored his first win against this line in this game and nobody played it against him again.
Playing simple, easy to understand moves Tarrasch hamstrings Spielmann's Bishops.
Position after 28 moves. Look at the Bishops for both sides.
OK. I’ve got you nodding. White’s Bishops are bad.
But they still on the board!
Tarrasch shows you how he stitched up the Bishop and Tarrasch’s method for breaking through is wonderful.
Did I say; “Playing simple, easy to understand moves…” Well they are after you have seen them.
This is the joy of Tarrasch’s games. The reader gets the impression. ‘I could do that.’
After playing over such a game you get the irresistible urge to play a game like it.
Sub-Game One Another Black wrap up
Sub-Game Two Where Tarrasch refuses a central pawn to keep Black bottled up
Sub-Game Three. The Tarrasch Nod Of The Head
Maybe this is why Chernev left out the game. I dislike leaving you lot in unclear positions. (I get PM’s about them.). Maybe Chernev thought the same.
I was wanting to show the readers a clear cut win where the two Bishops beat the lone Rook. (just as Tarrasch said it would in his notes..). It is all very messy though there are some instructive study like positions where the White Rook harpoons the Black Bishops.
(Harpooning is the term I use for Rook forking tow pieces of the same value.)
Tarrasch has looked at this position, possibly just in his mind. And nodded…a win.
Reinfeld copied and nodded at Tarrasch’s original note.
I nodded all those years ago when I first saw this game by playing over the variation in my head.
There comes a time when the nodding has to stop.
Another quick line
Of course Black can start doing things on the Kingside but if there is a win there
it requires a lot more work than a simple note saying. ”…and wins.”
The solution to the Al-Aldi problem.
The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 157470