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Saturday, June 16, 2012

On Chess: Game might be slow, but it’s intense

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To the casual onlooker, a game of competitive chess seems to have nothing going on — and whatever happens unfolds in slow motion. The players, one fears, are in danger of falling asleep not from fatigue but from boredom.
The opposite, however, is true. Even for players in excellent condition, a five- or six-hour encounter is often an ordeal of physical and mental enervation.
The cumulative stress and pent-up aggressiveness in chess is not as easily dissipated as in more physical pursuits in which large muscles are typically in use and the players are in frequent motion.
All three of Bobby Fischer’s preliminary opponents during his 1972 march to a title match with Boris Spassky required medical treatment for high blood pressure after suffering crushing defeats. The condition was exacerbated by their physical and mental effort.
Bent Larsen, Mark Taimanov and Tigran Petrosian — all previously dominant grandmasters, the last a former world champion — later resumed their chess careers but were ineffective. Each had been dealt a debilitating blow.
“At least I still have my music,” said a shrugging Taimanov, who was a concert pianist as well as a chess grandmaster.

Beginner’s corner

Hint & explanation:
Better than Qxa6.
Solution to Beginner’s corner:
1. Qh3! (threatens 2. Qxc8ch and 2. Rh8 mate).

How the masters play

Below is a win by Pentala Harikrishna against Daniele Vocaturo from the Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands.
 HARIKRISHNAVOCATURO
1.Nf3Nf6
2.c4e6
3.g3d5
4.Bg2Be7
5.d4c6
6.0-0N(b)d7
7.Qc2b6
8.Rd1Ba6
9.b3Rc8
10.N(b)d2c5
11.e4cxd4
12.exd5exd5
13.Nxd40-0
14.Nf1b5
15.Ne3bxc4
16.Nxd5Nxd5
17.Bxd5cxb3
18.Qxb3Nc5
19.Qf3Bf6
20.Rb1Bd3
21.Nc6Qd7
22.Rxd3Nxd3
23.Ba3R(f)e8
24.Qxd3Rxc6
25.Qb5R(e)c8
26.Bxc6Rxc6
27.Qxc6 
Black resigns