I went to see this at the Edinburgh Fringe.
It's a play based on Karpov meeting Kasparov 25 years after game 24 in
their second World Championship match in 1985. (you can do the maths)
This first dilemma was how do I pay to get in?
You see the girl selling the tickets was very pretty and I can either pay
the full price and see if we can meet for coffee and cake after the show.
Or do I show her my bus pass and reduce the chances of coffee and cake to zero.
You will see by the word 'Concession' I decided she would have said "No" either way.
(On your expenses claim you said you paid the full price!...........Russ)
****** The Review ******
This is probably not the time or place to reveal that I have never actually reviewed a
play before, but the chance to add 'Theatre Critic' to my narrow CV cannot be missed.
I do not know if this is the theatre going norm (I've never been to play before.)
But everyone was given a four page leaflet containing the moves of the game
in question and a brief description of the director, the writer and the two actors.
This is the chap who played Karpov...
...and this the chap who played Kasparov.
It's good. I enjoyed it. The two of them arguing, reminiscing and knocking back endless
glasses of vodka whilst playing over that fateful last game that gave Kasparov the title.
Kasparov's match v Deep Blue was mentioned. Karpov states “ It was not your
play that was wrong in that match, it was the decision to play it in the first place.”
A sentiment I agree with. The organisers chose well, Kasparov admits in the play
that all his chess skill, memory and board craft were lost against that “automaton.”.
Well that's it. (I don't know what else to look for in plays.) All I can give is an honest review
and say I enjoyed it. Nobody got up to leave, no phones went off...the seats were comfortable.
I have one minor technical quibble. At the start of the game Karpov is moving the pieces
with his right hand but pressing the clock with his left hand. Every Russian theatre goer
knows you must, unless physically unable to do so, use the same hand to press the clock.
A link to the play for how to get there details and more reviews.The Gambit
The 24th game of Karpov - Kasparov 1985. (Final position)
There is a story that when those two great chess players Capablanca and Alekhine
went together to see a show Capablanca never took his eyes off the dancing girls
and Alekhine never took his eyes of the pocket set he was analysing variations on.
True or not I can relate to that because before the play started I was looking
at the leaflet and here instead of 42...Nd4+ the Knight on c2 can go to e3...
...forking the King and Queen.
I was still pondering this when the play started having decided that 42...Nd4+
wins a whole Rook and although 42...Ne3+ wins a Queen it is not the most accurate
move, White can go through the motions of Rxe8+ and Rxf8+ though he is still lost.
Then halfway through the play I recalled that Karpov as White had to win and
was this not the last time Karpov played 1.e4 v Kasparov (apparently I'm right.)
But during the play I was trying to think of another 1.e4 Karpov - Kasparov game.
So after holding the title for 10 glorious years Karpov sat there staring at this final position.
“Here several more agonising minutes passed, until at last
Karpov held out his hand and was the first to congratulate
me on my victory and winning the title of World Champion.
And the thunderous roar which broke out at the moment in the
hall finally convinced me - yes, yes, it was true! I had done it!!”
Gary Kasparov "The New World Champion" Pergammon Press 1986.
Let us play out the last few moves of this historic game..
Did I mentioned that I have some RHP examples of disasters similar to the one unplayed above?
Mysticidium - grazia RHP 2014
The RHP lads have furnished this site with 100's of missed mates in one. Here is another.
MEGASERV - symoensm RHP 2015
Last one. One day someone might write a play around this game.
GrazNano - elziario RHP 2012
The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 165222