Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Happy 21st ANU Schools Chess Championship

I'm spending the next two days helping run the ANU Schools Chess Championship. This is the 21st year that the event has been held, which I think is pretty special. Almost all leading ACT junior players have taken part in this event over the years, some even reaching double figures in terms of events played. I've attended most editions of the tournament (missing the odd one here and there) and the nice thing about the event, is that it is more of a fun get together than a super serious event. Of course winning is nice, but I think most kids are just happy to get the day off school to play some chess!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

100th British Chess Championship

The 100th British Chess Championship started a couple of days ago, with what appears to be a record turnout. There are over 100 players in the Championship proper, while the total across all the events exceeds 1000.
Along with the normal chess activities the organisers seem to have thrown in some unusual extras. The tournament kicked off with a 1 hour bullet match between GM Keith Arkell and IM Gary Lane, with the goal of setting a record for such activity (most games in an hour maybe?). At the end of the hour Arkell emerged victorious 22-15, although the match had been tied at 14-14 at one point. There was also a curious all play all event, where 8 players played each of their opponents at the same time. This 'simultaneous simul' looked to be a lot of fun, but I wonder about the logistics of it, as I assume it involved a lot of running about (and knowing which boards were yours).
The actual serious business got underway yesterday with GM Gawain Jones as the top seed. There are over a dozen GM's in this years event, making it one of the tougher tournament in recent years.
The official website has all the details, including results from the various tournaments, and a broadcast of live games.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Charge of the King

The last English King to lead an army into battle was King George II, in 1743. With the birth of the future King of Australia, also named George, such little facts become significant.
Given how recent the birth of Prince George was, the following game, which was played during the ANU Open last weekend, is a nice coincidence. I wandered past the board around move 20, when the White king had already charged up the board. At first I though I was witnessing the 'Steel' King, with White using it as an extra piece in the attack, but then I realised it was in fact in serious danger. A few exact moves by Black and the White king perished where all Kings should, out in front of their armies.

Jiang,Jack - Mason,Jo [B01]
ANU Minor Canberra, 27.07.2013

Sunday, 28 July 2013

2013 ANU Open - Brown cruises to victory

Having finished the first day of the 2013 ANU Open on 4/4, top seed IM Andrew Brown wrapped up the even, scoring a further 2.5/3. In rounds 5&6 he defeated Donato Mallari and FM Endre Ambrus, before drawing with WIM Emma Guo in the final round. FM Luis Sanchez finished outright second with 5.5, while Mallari and Ambrus tied for third on 5.
Five players were tied for first in the Under 1600 event at the end of the first day, but Nick Beare emerged as the outright winner after an exciting last couple of rounds. Going into the final round Beare shared the lead with Jo Mason, but she was beaten by Victor Kamenski, while Beare overcame Shanon Vuglar in a tactical game.
Both tournaments turned out to be very tough, with the Open tournament only having 1 player rated below the cutoff, meaning there was very little "tail" in the open. This also meant that the top of the Under 1600 was also full of strong players, as the main contenders chose not to play "up".
Full results from both events can be found here, at the ANU Chess Club page.

Mallari,Donato - Brown,Andrew
2013 ANU Open Canberra (5.1), 28.07.2013

Saturday, 27 July 2013

2013 ANU Open - Day 1

The first day of the 2013 ANU Open ended with an outright leader in the Open and and 5 way tie for first in the Under 1600. IM Andrew Brown was the top seed for the Open and lived up to his ranking by winning all 4 games. He started with a win over Matthew Bennet, and then followed it up with victories over Sally Yu, Fedja Zulfic and FM Luis Sanchez. In second place is Donato Mallari, who scored 3 wins and a draw, picking up a couple of points from very dubious positions.
In the Minor (Under 1600), 5 players share the lead. Nick Bear, Shannon Vuglar, Caleb Eriksson, Curtis Perry and Jo Mason all finished the day on 3.5.
The tournament initially attracted a similar sized field to last year, but curiously a number of registered players failed to show up. The other strange thing about this years numbers is that the size of the two tournaments has almost flipped from last year, with the Open attracting 29 players (down from 52) and the Minor attracting 51 players (up from 36 last year).
Current standings from both events, as well as a provisional draw for Round 5 can be found here, at the ANU Club website.

Brown,Andrew - Yu,Sally
2013 ANU Open Canberra (2.1), 27.07.2013

2013 ANU Open - Live Games

Live broadcast of the top board game from the 2013 ANU Open -

Friday, 26 July 2013

ANU Chess Festival starts with exciting pub blitz

King O'Malleys was the venue for an exciting start to the 2013 ANU Chess Festival. The Canberra Club Challenge saw teams of 2 players play a RR blitz event, to see which was the strongest club in Canberra. As the scoring was on game points, each game was important and there were a number of significant upsets and near upsets.
Based on ratings the Canberra Crushers and the ANU Scholars were clear favourites, and so it turned out. Going into the final round both teams were on 6.5/8 (having split the match against each other 1-1) and both were looking for maximum points. With under 2 minutes to play, ANU had scored its 2-0 win, and the Canberra team needed 2 points to tie for first. It all came down to one game with William Booth staring defeat in the face, having 1 rook versus 2, and only 2 seconds left on the clock. However his opponent missed a check and with 1 second remaining Booth was able to claim an illegal move, and the vital point.
This meant a playoff game was required between ANU and Canberra. After all the excitement of the previous round, the playoff was a little one sided, with ANU winning both games and the title.
Thanks to King O'Malley's for providing the venue, and to the ANU University Co-op Bookshop for providing the prizes for the tournament.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Most amazing draw ever

At some point in the past I subscribed to the Quora mailing list. Quora is a website that is kind od a Question and Answer Wikipedia, in that people post questions and then other people answer. It normally has some interesting questions each week, although I do get irritated with the fact that 'Sachin Tendulkar' is apparently always given as an answer to any question, no matter how unrelated it is (eg "Who do you think will be the next person to walk on the moon?").
This week someone asked about the "most amazing draws in chess history". The first answer was Larry Even;s swindle of Sammy Reshevsky in the 1963/64 US Championship, although to my mind it was just a stalemate trick. A better answer was Hamppe - Metner 1872, but for my money Fischer v Tal 1960 is the best.
I can remember seeing it for the first time as a kid and was amazed that the game ended the way it did. I thought surely someone must be winning, giving the number of pieces hanging in mid-air. But of course both players had managed to calculate their way through the complications, and saw that all sensible paths led to a perpetual.

Fischer,Robert James - Tal,Mihail [C17]
Leipzig ol, 1960

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

2013 ANU Chess Festival - Canberra Club Challenge

For this years ANU Chess Festival we are trying something a little different to kick of the festivities. In previous years the Friday before the Open has featured a simul, but this year we are holding a teams blitz event. It is for teams of 2 players, with each team representing a chess club or activity in Canberra. Borrowing a little from televised darts, the event will be held in the Blarney Room at King O'Malley's in Canberra City. Unlike normal chess events, spectators will be encouraged to involve themselves in the action, with barracking actively encouraged. The 6 teams taking part are the ANU Scholars, Belconnen Bad Boys, Canberra Crushers, O'Malley Kings, Street Chess Brawlers and the Tuggeranong Tigers. It will be a Round robin event, and will run from 5pm to 6pm this Friday, 26 July.
If you are in the area feel free to drop by and join in the festivities.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

2013 World Youth Chess Olympiad

The No 1 Australian team has got off to a good start in the 2013 World Youth Chess Olympiad. They have won their first three matches, with a 2.5-1.5 win over Georgia being the best result so far. The second Australian team is finding it a little bit harder, winning their first round match, before getting whacked 4-0 by the top seeded Russian team, and then losing to one of the many Chinese school teams (40 in total!).
The tournament is for teams of players Under 16 years of age (at the start of the year), and has attracted a mix of strong national teams and less strong local teams.You can follow the results for the event here, while the tournament home page carries live coverage of some of the matches.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Biel 2013

Yesterday evening I could watch the cricket, cycling and golf. Tonight, none of these is still on.
What is on though, is the 2013 Biel Chess Festival. The top section is a 6 player double round robin, with an interesting set of young players, including Bacrot, Vachier-Lagrave and Ding Liren.
The rounds seem to kick off at 10pm Canberra time, and you can watch the live coverage at the tournament website. The first round started an hour ago and already Richard Rapport (HUN) has surprised Vachier-Lagrave by meeting the Ruy Lopez with Bird's Defence.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The ups and downs of Andrew Brown

IM Andrew Brown was Australia's official representative in the 2013 Commonwealth Open in South Africa. After 6 rounds he was on 5 points, and in the 7th round round he was paired against Vladislav Tkachiev (2649). At first the game was looking pretty one sided, with Tkachiev building up a commanding position. But then he missed a tactic on move 25 and Andrew pounced. Playing a temporary rook sacrifice, he was able to completely turn the tables, and for a time was pushing for a win. However in a Q+P ending, there were too many checks for both sides and a draw was eventually reached.
Sadly this game was a kind of mirror image of Andrew's tournament, as after this high point he lost his next 3 games, finally picking up another point in the last round.

Tkachiev,V (2649) - Brown,An (2281) [E62]
Commonwealth & RSA Open Port Elizabeth RSA (7.4), 10.07.2013

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The chessiest sequel ever

Frustrated with chess. Think the game needs 'fixing'. Then help is on the way. A new version of chess called 'Chess-2: The Sequel' is about to be released for the Ouya game platform. The original release of the game was in 2010 (as a card set), and this is supposed to be the first electronic form of the game.
The game can be played with a normal set, but the pieces can be given different powers. These powers are defined on a card, which you select before the game (in secret) and then reveal at the start. There are 6 cards in the set, and a players do not have to use the same cards. Therefore there are 21 different 'games' possible.
To give the designers credit, they haven't gone completely overboard with the modifications. For example the 'Nemesis' army allows pawns to move 1 space towards the enemy king (up/down, sideways or diagonal), while the queen can neither capture or be capture, except by the enemy king (it still gives check as normal btw). In fact it looks as though they have looked at various existing variants, and made a selection that doesn't leave any army too OP.
If you want to check it out before its release the rules are available for free from the developers site. However as this 'free' purchase still requires jumping through some online shopping hoops, I suggest you follow this link to boardgamegeek instead. If you click on the images section you can see pictures of the cards.
The report on the electronic game is here. Probably the best information about the game is in the comments section!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Not the way to create a weakness

Ah, the 24 hour news cycle. Turn your computer on t any time of the day and you be flooded with stories both weird and wonderful. In the former category comes a story from Seattle, where a chess game between neighbours escalated into something far more serious after one of the players pulled a gun on his opponent. The neighbour did the smart thing by getting the hell out of there, and an 8 hour siege commenced. Eventually the gunman surrendered by waving a white flag, but loudly announcing 'I resign' may have been more appropriate.
Apart from the expected criminal charges the player is probably guilty of breaching Rule 12.1 (bringing the game into disrepute), 12.6 (distracting the opponent) and 12.8 (failure to comply with the Laws of Chess). The opponent seems to have also breached 12.2 (leaving the playing venue) but I imagine he has a reasonable explanation.
One report of this story is here.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The cold weather?

Numbers have been down at all the Canberra chess club's recently, and Street Chess is also seeing participation levels drop off. Having just experienced the hottest 23 degree day I can remember (while walking around Amsterdam) I'm wondering if it is the cold weather that is putting everybody off. But if it is, the I would be very disappointed, as one of the things that sets Canberran's apart from the rest of the country is our ability to survive, nay thrive, in single digit maximum's and laugh in the face of below zero mornings.
The other reason is of course a general complacency, where players 'take a break' and expect that things will be fine when they choose to return. The drawback with this thinking is the theory that 'a crowd attracts a crowd' and a club with fewer members becomes less attractive to new members, or even existing members who are currently playing.
So if you are a club member, it should be better to see the club as a community of fellow chess players, rather than a service for them.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Owning your own building

During the lunch break of the FIDE RTRC meeting I received a brief walking tour of Haarlem by the commission chairman, Geurt . The main purpose of the walk was to buy a birthday present for my son, but Geurt invited me to a little extra sight seeing.
On of the sights we saw was the headquarters of the Royal Dutch Chess Federation (KNSB). They are located near the Haarlem railway station, and are inside a narrow four story building (with very steep internal steps). In fact the  KNSB own this building, which makes finances a little easier to manager. I did ask if part of the building are rented to other bodies, but in fact they require the whole building due to the number of staff they employ.
In terms of financing their activity, one of their significant sources of income come from memberships. Around 24,000 players pay about 40 euro's per year in membership fees, which is a fair chunk of change. Alongside sponsorship and government funding, this means that the Federation can operate as a professional body. serving the chess players in The Netherlands.

Monday, 15 July 2013

A country full of chess names

After 28 hours of travel I've made it to The Netherlands. As I arrived in the late afternoon I had time to have short walk around Haarlem, as well as have dinner with my fellow members of the FIDE Rules and Tournament Regulations Commission (as the sun does not set until 10:30pm it was a late finishing dinner).
One thing I like to do when I travel is to study maps of the country I'm visiting. As The Netherlands has such a rich chess history it was no surprise that the country contains a number of 'chess' places. Some names signify important tournaments (Groningen, Wijk aan Zee), opening variations (Dutch Defence) or even tournament formats (Scheviningen, which is also an opening variation as well).
Another significant name I spotted was Zandvoort. This beach resort hosted the some games in the 1935 Alekhine v Euwe World Championship match. The following game was considered so good (a win for Euwe) that it was christened the 'Pearl of Zandvoort'. Funnily enough, Alekhine chose to play the Dutch Defence as black, while the game itself may have started in Zandvoort, but was apparently finished in Amsterdam, after it was adjourned part way though.

Euwe,Max - Alekhine,Alexander A [A84]
Wch16-NLD Zandvoort (26), 1935

Saturday, 13 July 2013

I smell an election coming on

It seems I'm not the only one globe trotting at this time. Gary Kasparov is traveling across Africa to promote his chess in schools foundation, but I am sure he also has one eye on the 2014 FIDE elections. At the same time the Secretary of the FIDE Development Commision, Rupert Jones is visiting Southern Africa, accompanied by FIDE Treasurer, Nigel Freeman. Again I am sure the upcoming election will be an important topic of discussion.

(Note: The expenses for my trip to The Netherlands are being covered by FIDE out of the Rules and Tournamnt Regulations Commission budget)

Friday, 12 July 2013

Off to Haarlem

I'm off to attend a councillors meeting of the FIDE Rules and Tournament Regulations Commission. There is still some unfinished business from the 2012 FIDE Congress, and we hope to tidy up the last of the rules proposals in time for the 2013 FIDE Congress.There will also be some work done on changes to the FIDE Tournament Rules (which are due for review in 2014), and I suspect the issue of 'computer assisted' play will be a hot topic.
The meeting is in Haarlem, The Netherlands I'm leaving tomorrow evening (Canberra time). I'll try and keep up my regular posting schedule, but this of course depends on wi-fi availability at various airports/hotels etc. Will be back in Canberra next Friday morning.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Is chess this simple?

In one of my opening books (I cannot remember which) there was a comment attached to the variation 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+? "Chess is not that simple". Of course there are times when sacrifices on f7 do work, but they aren't that common. So Wang Hao's sacrifice on move 7 in the Beijing GP comes a real surprise. Even more surprising is that it lead to a win in 22 moves. Certainly Giri looks as though he missed some better defences (Bf8 is ?! at best), but the shock value of defending a piece up may have had a lot to do with this. Fortunately for Black 5. .. exd4 is a sideline, and if you want to play this line and not get hacked, then 5. ... Be7 is still the best move.

Wang,Hao - Giri,Anish [C41]
Beijing GP, 11.07.2013

Digging up old software

I'm the sort of person who doesn't throw things away, 'in case i need them later'. It infuriates my wife, but occasionally this habit does pay off.
While watching the first day of the 1st Ashes Test (cricket btw), I'm trying to install some old software I've just rediscovered. One of the programs is Kasparovs Gambit, which game on an EA 10 pack game disk. As much as I remember it was quite a good program in its day, although Kasparov's constant pre-recorded chirping was a little annoying. At this stage it is still not playing nice with Windows 7, but hopefully I can get it up and running before Australia gets to bat.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

What happens when you don't develop

A very nice game played by the Australian Chess Federations Archivist Paul Dunn in the ongoing Australia v England CC Match. His opponents plays the Kings Indian but never gets a chance to develop his queenside pieces. Hardly surprising that the game finishes so quickly!

Dunn,Paul - Cowling,Terrence [E88]
Aus v England, 09.07.2013

Monday, 8 July 2013

2013 Commonwealth Championship

The 2013 Commonwealth Championship is under way in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and I'm assuming the organisers are happy with the turnout. The Championship section (which is open to non Commonwealth players) has attracted a field of 314 players, while the B section has 567 players listed (although not all seem to have turned up).
In the Championship IM Andrew Brown is representing Australia, and currently has scored 2/3. At this stage there are still 26 players on 3/3, and so it will take more than a few rounds before a clear leader emerges.
The tournament runs until the 14th of July and you can get all the results at the official website.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

More anachronisms in chess games in movies

When making a movie set in the past, film makers have to be careful about what sort of 'chess' they show. For example the makers of "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" received technical advice (from IA Adam Raoof I believe), making sure they got the design of the pieces, and the chess clock, right for the time period in question.
On the other hand, there are some movies who don't try quite so hard.
For whatever reason Foxtel turned on the movie channels on this weekend (no charge!), and so I had a selection of movies to watch. Some were good, some were bad, and some you knew what to expect in advance. Falling into the later category was "Black Knight" starring Martin Lawrence, who was transported back 13th century England. At some point he plays a game of chess against the main antagonist, with all the usual clumsy banter about 'sacrificing queens' and 'protecting your knights'. While this is going on he seems to walk into a version of the 4 move checkmate, with the Queen swooping down from the other side of the board. As any pedantic student of chess history will point out, and what the scriptwriters missed, Queens did not get their 'super powers' until a couple of centuries later.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Size isn't everything

While hunting around for some good open source javascript programs I came across the following bit of genius/insanity. It is a chess program called Toledo and it consists of 1024 bytes of Javascript code. In fact there are 2 versions, one of which does not allow en-pas,castling or promotion (Picochess), and a slightly larger version that implements all the rules (Nanochess).
Of course for a program of this size it does not play particularly well, and I was able to find some very quick checkmates. It seems to meet 1.d4 with 1. ... f5 and I have then won a couple of games with the general idea of 2.c4 h5 3.e3 g5? 4.Be2 g4 5.h3 gxh 6.Bxh5+ Rxh5 7.Qxh5#
Nonetheless it it is still an impressive feat to get it to play at all. If you want to try it online then you can also play it here.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Should arbiters flag?

While the major decisions concerning the Laws of Chess tend to be taken every 4 years, new suggestions constantly get presented to the FIDE Rules and Tournament Regulations Commission (RTRC). One idea that has been put forward recently is to require Arbiters to point out flag fall in Blitz.
Currently Arbiters are required to check if players have made time control, if either asked by the players, or if they observe that one flag has fallen on the chess clock, but only in normal time control events. For Rapidplay and Blitz they are nor allowed to signal that a flag has fallen, unless there is adequate supervision for all games, or if both flags have fallen.
The suggestion is to treat Rapidplay and Blitz the same as normal chess, so if an arbiter notices a flag is down they should immediately take action.
To me this has the potential to be a very emotional topic. The chance of saving half a point in blitz due to double flag fall is something a lot of players rely upon, and to take away this opportunity. Invariably the games where this happen are of course the last games to finish in a particular round, and the chances that the arbiter happens to be watching is obviously far greater.
But the point of this post is to get an indication on what others think. So the simple question is: Should arbiters 'flag' in blitz and rapidplay? (Feel free to record your answer in the comments section)

Beijing GP

FIDE are certainly packing in the Grand Prix events, with the Beijing GP starting yesterday. Despite some difficulties in the FIDE/Agon relationship, the series is still attracting good venues, and more importantly, good players. Beijing sees Gelfand, Topalov, Leko, Karjakin, Gischuk as part of the 12 player field, while home town fans will be pleased to se the participation of Wang Yue and Wang Hao.
The first round was played yesterday, and the big game was between Gelfand and Topalov. In a battle of the 'passers', Topalov's passed c pawn proved stronger than Gelfand's passed d pawn. Almost all the games in the first round were hard fought, and surprisingly Black won 3 of them (to White's none). The tournament web site is and each round starts at 5pm Canberra time (assuming I haven't mucked up my time zones!)

Gelfand,Boris - Topalov,Veselin
FIDE Grand Prix Series in Beijing 2013 China,Beijing (1.3), 04.07.2013

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

It is a tough business

News that 'Australasian Chess' will cease publishing at the end of this year is sad, although not unexpected. The magazine has been running since 2003, but a decline in subscribers has made it uneconomical to continue. Brian Jones has put in a big effort over the last decade in producing a quality chess magazine, but he can hardly be blamed for bowing to economic reality.
As with a lot of print media, the challenge posed by newer methods of content delivery has caused difficulties, as a lot of news (chess or otherwise) can be found online. Of course the flipside to this is that it also cheaper to produce content, although how you 'monetize' this is still a big question for content providers. As chess has a fairly small market (in Australia certainly), relying on online advertising revenue probably does not work.
Of course one option is to produce and distribute free content. However this reminds me of an old computer saying 'Linux is only free, if your time has no value'. Essentially, to produce a quality product does take time, time that is often taken up by other activities.
So for now Australia Chess (OTB at least) will be without a print magazine. Of course the CCLA still produces their quarterly publication (of which I am the editor), but as it deals with a different market, I can hardly see a rush of subscribers heading our way.

(Disclaimer: I am a paid contributor to Australasian Chess)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Falling over the line

The Belconnen Chess Club Championship finished this evening, and a dose of good fortune allowed me to (half) defend my title. Going into the final round I was half a point behind Doug McClure, but due to the small field, and a couple of absences I ended up with a bye. This was somewhat unfortunate from a tournament point of view, as Doug still needed a win to take outright first, or draw to share the title. He also had a potentially tricky pairing against Tomson Qin, who can be quite dangerous, given the right position.
As it turned out Tomson may not have had the 'right' position, but nothing was going to stop his attack. At one point he was down 3 pieces while trying to find the mate, but was able to keep coming up with threats. Faced with multiple ways to get mated, Doug did the sensible thing and offered a draw in a position where things could still go horribly wrong. After some hesitation Tomson shook hands, leaving myself and Doug tied for first. As Belconnen CC is happy to have joint champions, Doug wins his first Belconnen CC title, while I collect my third.

Qin,Tomson - McClure,Doug [C06]
Belconnen CC, 02.07.2013

Monday, 1 July 2013

A story I always get wrong

Below is a story/shaggy dog story that is attributed to Jose Capablanca, although I wonder if it was invented by someone else. I like the story so much I often retell it, but annoyingly, I always seem to muck it up. This is because I read it once and then misremembered the details. But I stumbled upon a thread about 'intellectual jokes' on Reddit and much pleasure there it was. (btw check out the rest of the thread as there are some real gems on show)

"I was playing in a tournament in Germany one year when a man approached me. Thinking he just wanted an autograph, I reached for my pen, when the man made a startling announcement.... 'I've solved chess!' I sensibly started to back away in case the man was dangerous as well as insane, but the man continued: 'I'll bet you 50 marks that if you come back to my hotel room I can prove it to you.' Well, 50 marks was 50 marks, so I humored the fellow and accompanied him to his room. Back at the room, we sat down at his chess board. 'I've worked it all out, white mates in 12 no matter what.' I played with black perhaps a bit incautiously, but I found to my horror that white's pieces coordinated very strangely, and that I was going to be mated on the 12th move! I tried again, and I played a completely different opening that couldn't possibly result in such a position, but after a series of very queer-looking moves, once again I found my king surrounded, with mate to fall on the 12th move. I asked the man to wait while I ran downstairs and fetched Emmanuel Lasker, who was world champion before me. He was extremely skeptical, but agreed to at least come and play. Along the way we snagged Alekhine, who was then world champion, and the three of us ran back up to the room.

Lasker took no chances, but played as cautiously as could be, yet after a bizarre, pointless-looking series of maneuvers, found himself hemmed in a mating net from which there was no escape. Alekhine tried his hand, too, but all to no avail.

It was awful! Here we were, the finest players in the world, men who had devoted our very lives to the game, and it was all over! The tournaments, the matches, everything - chess had been solved, white wins."

About this time Capablanca's friends would break in, saying "Wait a minute, I never heard anything about all this! What happened?"

"Why, we killed him, of course."