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Tal Memorial 2006

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At the last minute there's finally a site for this Russian stealth tournament. Live here. I mentioned it a few times recently, although it's 10 players and not 12. It runs from today till Nov 19 in Moscow. Morozevich, Aronian, Leko, Svidler, Gelfand, Grischuk, Carlsen, Shirov, Mamedyarov, Ponomariov. A very impressive category 20 field to give us something to watch in this formerly fallow period before Corus Wijk aan Zee. The Russian superfinal should be coming over Christmas [Dec 2-15 say the comments], so we have something to give thanks for.

R1 Update: Aronian 1-0 Morozevich (wild fun), Svider 1/2 - Leko (yawn), Ponomariov 1-0 Grischuk (interesting opening, nice endgame transition play), Shirov 1/2 Mamedyarov (good Tal Memorial game but mostly theory and White sacrifice rebuffed), Carlsen 0-1 Gelfand (amazing knight play).

Mikhail Tal was born on November 9 in 1936. He was world champion for a mere year (60-61) but had a tremendous impact on top level chess with his speculative, sacrificial play. Tal was beloved for more than his thrilling chess. Fans and peers alike appreciated his often sardonic humor, his writing, and his carefree attitudes about life and his own fragile health. Tal was a lifelong smoker and drinker, but it's hard to imagine the Magician of Riga appearing without the puff of smoke. Hospitalized various times, mostly for kidney ailments that started when he was quite young, Tal nevertheless enjoyed a fairly long career and had several excellent results late into it. In the 70's he had unbeaten streaks of 93 and 86 games, records that still stand. He died in 1992 at the age of 55. Just four years earlier he won the world blitz championship ahead of Kasparov et al.


Go Aronian!

Anyone who doesn't have a copy of The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal in their chess library is missing something special.

Tal had an execellent advice on what chess books to read to become a good player

"well.. it is like life, I love to play chess not to study it"

It doesn't look like the Russian superfinal will be very 'supery' this year. According to the 64.ru website (in Russian) it will be happening between December 2nd and 15th. The participants are: Peter Svidler (2750), Alexander Morozevich (2747), Sergey Rublevsky (2688), Dmitry Jakovenko (2671), Evgeny Najer (2648), Evgeny Alexeev (2639), Ernesto Inarkiev (2628), Nikita Vitiugov (2596), Evgeny Tomashevsky (2595), Dennis Hismatulin (2583), Yan Grigoriants (2582) and Yan Nepomniaschih (2545).

The average rating is 2639.

Thanks for the tribute to Tal, Mig. An amazing player.

Not a bad result for Ponomariov after having just arrived from Spain (along with Svidler & Shirov) where he played the Spanish Team Championship Final.

Anyway, this event has just started, let´s see what happens from now on

Relatively few sources mention that Tal was missing two fingers on his hand from birth. (The only time I remember reading about it was in Taimanov's book). Amazing how much adversity this genius had to battle with all his life.

Tal approached chess as a game. He was a true sportsman, loved by every true chess fan. A few stories stick out:

Tal walking out of the hospital in his dressing gown to play a game.

Tal declining to ask for postponement of his Botvinnik rematch in spite of an almost fatal kidney surgery.

Tal remembering a children's poem and starting to think of how to drag a hippopotamus out of a swamp in the middle of a major game.

Tal playing Caracаo ill in 1962.

Tal writing "failed to notice a checkmate in 2 moves" on one of his students grades. (this was over a game played on the windowsill while Tal was trying to teach a Russian literature class, according to Mikhail if the white found the checkmate found, he would have let it slide)

Tal winning world blitz chess championship at the age of 51.

And my personal favorite:
"What kind of ranking can I expect if I beat Fischer ten times and Tal ten times?"
"If you beat Fischer ten times, I am not going to play you."

Tal moved the pieces with his right hand, which was missing the fingers, and smoked with his left (at the same time back then). So you can see the priorities he had! His right hand rarely appears in photos. One where it's fairly clear was taken when Fischer visited Tal in the hospital in Curacao 1962. It's reprinted in Timman's book on that event. A Chessville review of that book, reprinted from Kingpin, has it online:


I ordered The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal last week and just received it and have started reading it. It's going to take a long while to finish, what with playing games through while reading. I love his opening description of how you realise, when you're young, that you've caught the chess "bug": after going a few days without playing you "begin to sense that, without chess, there is something missing in your life."

I've heard that Tal missed part of a tournament once after getting into a barroom brawl. Is that true?

Recommended online reading, an interview with one of Tal's ex-wife Sally:


I vaguely remember hearing something about Kramnik breaking Tal's unbeaten streak record. I think the streak ended a little before his match with Kasparov. Is that correct?

(I certainly don't want to take anything away from Tal. Considering his style of play vs. Kramnik's, his record is probably the more impressive. But I just wanted to see if I'm remembering this correctly. Thanks.)

That's fascinating - I have played over Tal's games for 25 years but never knew about his hand.

Thanks for the link to the interview w/ his ex-wife also.

"I've heard that Tal missed part of a tournament once after getting into a barroom brawl. Is that true?"

Yes, it was the 1966 Olimpiad in Havana. Supposedly he was in a bar hitting on this woman when they were caught by the woman's husband. The husband hit Tal in the head with a bottle, and Tal missed the first several rounds. Then we won his first seven games (!) and finished on 12/13 (!!). Absolutely sick.

Re the Russian Superfinal: a very high number of lower-rated players make it through the semi-final, which Inarkiev won. I think Mig mentioned it in a post a couple of months back.

I was sitting near IM Jeremy Silman at a tournament in Los Angeles while he was reading about Tal's passing. Observing his reaction, it was quite apparent, like so many of us, that he had held Tal in high esteem. It has affected me to the extent that when Tal is brought up in conversation, I almost always flash-back to Silman's somber reaction.

The third book of chess that I read was Tal's Best Games by Clarke, that may be an incorrect title. Anyway, In going over the games from the middle to late fifties I remember thinking: How the hell can anyone play chess like this? After all these years I've finally figured it out...you can't, unless your name was Mikhail Tal.

A couple of videos on YouTube have this amazing shot of Tal, when he sits down to play a young Fischer. Tal makes a move and glances up and you can see he's part chess genius, part Puck.

Just go to YouTube and search for Fischer Tal.

Kramnik's streak was 82. Stronger overall opposition no doubt, but playing like Tal and not losing definitely gets super extra bonus points.

Speaking of Kramnik, there is a noteworthy article about him in the latest issue of 64: http://www.64.ru/?/ru/magazine/year=2006&no=11&part=344&article=1321

Not very favorable, I am afraid.

Through years, I have watched a certain group of people whom in their 90% percentage of photos they smoke. All of them died before 60 years-old. How sad 8-(((
Why such a sacrifice ?

Tal was a fantastic chess player.

Speaking of Kramnik, there is a noteworthy article about him in the latest issue of 64: http://www.64.ru/?/ru/magazine/year=2006&no=11&part=344&article=1321

Not very favorable, I am afraid.

-- Posted by: dz at November 6, 2006 17:55

What does it say?

yes, ra t, I also remembered this video when I started to read this thread. It's absolutely amazing to see his attitude, so different compared with what you see from certain other players. So much in it, the challenge to his opponent, but also appreciation, the desire to play, candidness, but nothing evil or hostile ...

Mig, a few words about the website (www.russiachess.org). We are doing the content together with Mark (Glukhovsky), some in some sense KC is back. Tomorrow the English page will be looking more decent, and we'll try to keep it acceptable. You will realize what a mess is going on if I tell you that actual work on the website has started two days before the tournament opening. So please be patient. :)
Have fun with a few pictures of the first day: http://russiachess.org/content/view/50/38/

(to Yuriy Kleyner and all)

Tal defeated Kasparov in a blitz game a few days before his death.

I saw Tal at the USSR vs the ROW 1984 (final round), the first major event I ever attended. On the day I was there I met Bernard Cafferty at the bus stop on the way to a place in the middle of no where. Tal played a risky move that I predicted against Murrey Chandler and then spent the rest of the game regretting it before he drew.

Kasparov spent all his time walking up and down as he played a novelty against Timman which simply destroyed him. I did the whole thing in a day travelling down from Bradford, seeing the greats and having to leave before the end to go home. Its still burned in my memory.

I spent most of my time following Tal. A total legend. Lets face it, you wouldn't want to be almost any world champion but him (live fast die youngish). Its the way chess should be played but you can't anymore.

Svidler didn't fail to notice that everyone managed an entertaining game but him. He said basically Leko did him in the opening yet again.

Just talked to Garry. He bumped into Leko and Grischuk in Moscow today. He said he's going to stop by the tournament at some point.

The author of the article might come across as a real Kramnik-hater (it is an opinion piece and he is definitely entitled to his.) He basically traces Kramnik's career starting from the "Kremlin Stars" tournament (mid-1990s) through the latest Topalov match (and its aftermath) and aims to portray him as someone totally devoid of scruples or principles of any kind. Whether or not the attempt is sucessful - I am sure, people will disagree on that, along the usual lines.

Sorry, Mig, if the subject is off-topic in this thread. To bring it closer to home, the same issue has lots of articles about Tal, too. To name a couple:

(interview of Georgy - son of Tal and Sally's);

(a lengthy piece by Roshal who tries ever so hard to prove that he was Tal's closest friend. Take a look at the pictures, they are nice.)

Found my photos!! Bloody hell I looked young....

Tal in a blue jacket and red shirt chain smoking at the board with his crippled hand, he looked so cool.... Larsen, Smyslov, Beliavsky, Karpov, Kasparov (green bomber style jacket), Timman, Miles, Andrei Sokolov against Eugene Torre, Korchnoi (he had a conversation about some game with Ljubo half way through the afternoon, he didn't see the point and then went ahhh, I see), Huebner, Andersson looking into the distance, my mate Bob Wade, Vaganian, all in a long room in the London Docklands with terrible light.

I've been to probably stronger events but man, these guys were legends.....

I think Tal made too many faults to be on top for several years ;) He just was good for a season.

Depends on your definition of faults....

Depends on your definition of faults....

Tal was obviously enjoying all the life's pleasures and also, being a really nice person, he obviously lacked the killer instinct required to stay on top for long.

I remember that when Kasparov first emerged on the scene, some people were afraid that he would basically follow Tal's pattern (I'd rather not go into details here, but there were reasons for this suspicion.) However, as we know, Kasparov grew up and became a very different person.

Supposedly he was in a bar hitting on this woman when they were caught by the woman's husband--

Ouch! Looks like Tal took chances with more than just chesspieces (and his lungs and liver.)

One of my first memories of reading something about chess as a kid was of reading the news of Tal's skill at blitz; I was maybe ten at the time.

I saw the short YouTube video of showing Fischer and Tal playing. Is that what the "Tal stare" looked like? But in other pictures where he's staring Tal has an expression of utmost seriousness (e.g. http://www.chessbase.com/columns/levpics/tal_1960.jpg), not the big smile you see in the Fischer tape.

And I think that's Petrosian, looking a bit bored somehow, across from Fischer in the first couple of seconds of the clip.

Is it true that Fischer was the only player to visit Tal in the hospital at the Curacao tournament, or is that apocryphal?

"Is it true that Fischer was the only player to visit Tal in the hospital at the Curacao tournament, or is that apocryphal?"

The author of Bobby Fischer Goes to War said so; dunno whether to believe it or not. Wouldn't at least a trainer come in and check on him, considering he was one of top three back then?

Taking into account how good were Petrosian and Tal to each other this seems highly dubious to me.

There had been developments in smoking. In the seventies you could smoke at the board, in the eighties you could also smoke at the board in a seperate room if both players wanted to smoke. In the nineties it wasn't allowed to smoke at the board anymore. Means, Tal would have to pull out the Kojak and suck lollipops.

Among other things, the article about Kramnik says that in the 90s Kramnik participated in the cycles for both the FIDE and the Kasparov version of the title. In his first attempt he lost matches to Gelfand (FIDE version?) and Kamsky (classical?).

Then he did not participate in the first knockout FIDE championship, but Kasparov and Karpov did. Next time, Kasparov and Karpov wasnt there and he participated but lost to Michael Adams in the quartefinal. Since, he didnt participate in the FIDE championships and concentrated on the "classical" version. There he lost the match to Shirov. As there was no funding for Kasparov-Shirov match, there was an agreement to pick the challender based on the results at the next supertournament, which was Anand. Anand refused to play Kasparov and thus Kramnik had his match, the rest is history as they say.

I think its interesting to know all this when one judges the career of a player of Kramniks caliber.

When did Kasparov play in the FIDE KO Championship? He was offered a place but everyone knew there was absolutely no chance of him playing.

I'm not sure what the article is trying to make out to be honest. Many players tried for both versions of the title. Anand once summed it up by saying that all professionals had to take these events on a case by case basis and weigh up what was best for them. Thats a very reasonable view and its clear what most players did.

The whole thing with Shirov was very bad but I'm unclear where it was Kramnik's fault. Come hell or high water that match should have taken place but that was down to Kasparov to make it happen.

In the end Kasparov was in desperate need of some kind of defence and he hunted round for a financially credible challenger. Given Kramnik's match record around that time I don't think he seriously thought he could lose the match. Kramnik almost did Kasparov a favour by playing the match after Anand withdrew.

A translation mistake, apparently. The article says that FIDE thought up system for the first knockout where both Kasparov and Karpov would be seeded into semifinals. It never says that Kasparov actually played.

The comments above are not accurate.

(a)Kasparov NEVER participated in FIDE knock-outs.

(b)Karpov played the first (1997) where he was given a huge advantage by qualifying immediately to the final (where he beat Anand). He then did not play in next circle on protest, because the champion had to qualify (ie himself).

(c)Kramnik lost to Shirov in 1998 for the "classical title" and then he participated in fide knock-out in 1999 where he lost to Adams in the quarterfinals.

(d)Then, when Kasparov asked him to play as a replacement of Anand, he played in 2000...

Sorry for the repetition, but apparently people have already pointed out the inaccuracies..

Mark, the article implies that Kramnik did like all the others before 2000 but was more of a dissapointment than of a worthy successor of Kasparov and Karpov, and that once he got the title he suddenly became very principled about the challenger cycle (no direct rematch with Kasparov), the tradition, the rights of the players and things like that, most probably in an attempt to keep the title (and the source of money coming with it) as long as possible. The author also believes that Kramnik will not play in Mexico and will try to get Topalov there in his place and also that Kramnik continued the elista match mostly because of the half million dollars.

Well, thats what he believes, at the end he says that he doesnt consider Kramnik a "bad guy" but cannot count him among the "good guys" either.

dz and derida, thanks for the comments, my fault - I didnt put much time to properly translate and check the facts, but it was not intentional.

offtopic: does anyone know where the Corsica Masters rapid games are being relayed?
the official website www.opencorsica.com is just giving the results. anand plays gurevich in the qtrs apparently.

This Russian article - the usual tedious ranting, in other words. Hard to believe anyone who wants to hear this stuff hasn't heard it already.

Moro-Carlsen today. One for predictions...

Oh, and by the way, by the time he had his unbeaten streaks Tal was no longer 'playing like Tal'. I don't think you'd be able to tell which were Tal's games by studying blind the games of, say, Montreal 1980 (? - the one where he was equal first with Karpov).

Ernest Tomlinson, thank you, thank you for that link to the interview. What a fascinating and poignant memorial to Tal. Long been my favourite player, and easily the most talented ever in my opinion. and r thanks for the utube tip. Mark Crowther, can you please share your photos of that tournament if they are not personal?

Re the photos, they're obviously old, I'll try and find out how much to convert the negatives, there are only a few really good ones as the lighting was a bit rubbish.

Tal changed as he grew older. His game changed too becoming more positionally sound and drawish.

While there may be more than one reason for this (bad health and lack of energy, defeats at the hand of Korchnoi or Spassky, lost courage etc.) he said he was amused when looking back to his old (50s, early 60s)games and concluded
"...but I did not know then any better !"

strange how exactly ignorance and mistake was what made it all worth it

More than anything, it wasn't that Tal was good for one season or only had enough energy for one season, it was his health that did him in. He was never the same after his first kidney problems started in 1961.

Tal would often ridicule his own play shortly after games. Not in a "bad bad move" kind of way but in a "see, here is a sound refutation, oh what a putz I am". He played the way he did not out of ignorance or mistakes (compare his blunder record to that of Topalov's) but as a choice. The fact that he was not full of himself is one more reason he endeared himself to chess fans everywhere.

Mamedyarov manouvers "a la Nimzovitch" against Aronian (Nd2-f1-g3-h1 !)

Pono is a pawn down is a worse position against Gelfand

Moro-Carlsen looks as a "solid draw"

Leko is practically won (in 15-18 moves !) against Grischuk

Svidler-Shirov still in early middle game in Ruy Lopez

well..Leko ain't that well, only that he has the first chance

Does Carlsen look a good deal older than he did this summer? I thought he looked much more grown up in the first-round pictures.

Carlsen closed the position and held Moro to a draw in spite of Moro's efforts to break.

Very interesting Leko-Grischuck. The exchange won by Leko seems to have been deep home prep by Grischuck, White is actually worse afterwards. Leko had to play careful to draw.

Just a quick message for Misha Savinov:

Hi Misha! I just wanted to tell you that there are some mistakes with the countries of each player in this page: http://www.russiachess.org/eng/content/view/12/71/

Cheers and good job!

I'm inclined to agree with Ovidiu's assessment of Leko-Grishuk (his third and last assessment - not his first or second ones!).

To be sure, White looks better to me immediately after going up the Exchange. But it's hard to see a player of Grishuk's caliber just pushing pawns in the opening while his opponent develops, then unwillingly dropping the Exchange to an obvious pin. More plausible that it was in fact "deep home prep" -- even if it's "too deep for me," as my late pal Peter Winston used to say. How about, "Topalovian"?

Some interesting observations about the modern view of positional Exchange sacrifices -- from GM Rowson as related by Dennis Monokroussos, plus outside comment, can be seen at:

Regarding Exchange sacs: I remember being startled by Kasparov's remarkably fluid attitude toward the value of the Exchange in one of his matches with Karpov. At the time it seemed revolutionary.

well, well...yes I took the bait :(

there were some other "classical" elements in the picture that Grischuck likely noticed while at home with his girlfriend : the Na4 blocked there out of play ..it was more of 2 pieces for rook than exchange sacrifice...but very interesting game anyway

From the site:

"Tonight during the game Morozevich-Carlsen, Mr. Carlsen approached Mr. Dubov to say that he intended to play 46... Qc7 whereupon the same position will arise for the third time. Mr. Dubov called me and Mr. Carlsen and I went to the analyzing room. Then I found Mr. Morozevich and informed him about Mr. Carlsen's cliam, inviting him to check the scoresheets. Mr. Morozevich informed me that he did not want to attend the checking and left it to me. Mr. Carlsen and I replayed the game, coming to the conclusion that the same position indeed repeated three times on the board. The players signed the scoresheets. Afterwards I had my doubts and on my own initiative again investigated the game. My conclusion was that the same position appeared three times on the board, but not with the same player having the move. It means that the claim was wrong and my decision was wrong as well. I informed Mr. Carlsen about it and he was immediately ready to continue the game. The organizers tried to reach Mr. Morozevich, but he was nowhere to be found. Mr. Kuzmin, his coach, informed the organizers that, in his opinion, the draw should stand. All this time Mr. Carlsen was waiting for the game to continue and did not analyze the resulting position.

Geurt Gijssen, Chief Arbiter of the Tal Memorial"

I's a pity, that Grischuk earned only half a point out of two tries to win with black. Today he was very, very close. The compensation for the exchange actually grew with every move!! This was an amazing game!
I watched him at Mainz the last two years and was hugely impressed - despite his bad luck there this year!

Interesting. I thought a player loses a pawn if claiming wrongly a repetition ;)

Leko-Grischuk was interesting indeed. I thought White had excellent chances for a nice attack along the opened files. But when Black counter-sacrificed an exchange White already seemed to have the worse of a perhaps objectively about equal position. Black could easily strengthen his position, White lacked a clear plan. I think I learned something from this.

Here the best ever on why "you should not grab the exchange"..and it was NOT home prep for sure.

Even more. After 27..c5 Alekhine was dead lost but even with the better 27..Na4 he would have been in worse position because Na4 would have been trapped out of play and this would have meant practically that Capa had 2 pieces for rook rather than being an exchange down...
just as Leko was today with his Na4 continuously blocked, prevented, to get back into play by Grischuk.

In addition Capa's position got only better move by move while Alekhin could find a plan ...just as Leko today !


Capablanca,J - Alekhine,A [A92]
Nottingham Nottingham, 1936

1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.0-0 0-0 6.c4 Ne4 7.Qb3 Bf6 8.Rd1 Qe8 9.Nc3 Nc6 10.Nb5 Bd8 11.Qc2 d6 12.d5 Nb4 13.Qb3 Na6 14.dxe6 Nac5 15.Qc2 Nxe6 16.Nfd4 Nxd4 17.Nxd4 Bf6 18.Nb5 Qe7 19.Be3 a6 20.Nd4 Bd7 21.Rac1 Rae8 22.b4 b6 23.Nf3 Nc3 24.Rd3 f4 25.gxf4 Bf5 26.Qd2 Bxd3 27.exd3 c5

[27...Na4 28.Ng5 Bxg5 29.fxg5 Qd7 30.d4 Re7 31.d5 Rfe8]

28.Rxc3 Bxc3 29.Qxc3 Qf6 30.Qxf6 gxf6 31.Nd2 f5 32.b5 a5 33.Nf1 Kf7 34.Ng3 Kg6 35.Bf3 Re7 36.Kf1 Kf6 37.Bd2 Kg6 1-0

Acirce, you're right: Grischuk's play indeed was great today. You have to be very confident to play such a sacrifice. Absolutely amazing: To answer Bf4 with Nc6!!!. Magic!
But I think, you have to be exactly Grischuk to extent your advantage move by move with an exchange down! Irresistible!

Nice game by Grischuk. White's knight a4 and bishop b3 were out of the game, but ... I'm not sure if it was good enough for a win. The white rooks were moving blindly but a rook is a rook.

It was enough to win for Grischuk, he just misplayed.

Did anyone notice that Leko had excellent winning chances in the end? I am sure Ponomariov would win such game 10 times out of 10...

But if there's no mini-bar, or if you're adding a rest day, then you'd better stick with Leko.

Jon Jacobs mentioned his late friend Peter Winston. I knew Peter slightly back in the '70's, and had heard of his disappearance; but as far as I know, no one ever found out what happened (according to the Wikipedia entry, it's presumed he committed suicide). Jon, do you know anything more, or are you just going along with the general assumption? Thanks for any info. Peter was a good guy, as well as a great chessplayer.

Misha you want to say that Ponomariev is somewhat stronger in technical positions than Leko!?

It seems to me that in the game Moro-Carlsen White should have tried the idea Bf1-h3 etc. near the end of the game. It´s not clear how black could defend against this "flankenwechsel". E.g. -Bd7 allows Qh8 with the threat of g6+.

"Mr. Morozevich informed me that he did not want to attend the checking and left it to me. Mr. Carlsen and I replayed the game, coming to the conclusion that the same position indeed repeated three times on the board. The players signed the scoresheets. Afterwards I had my doubts and on my own initiative again investigated the game. My conclusion was that the same position appeared three times on the board, but not with the same player having the move. It means that the claim was wrong and my decision was wrong as well. I informed Mr. Carlsen about it and he was immediately ready to continue the game."

Geurt Gijssen, Chief Arbiter of the Tal Memorial

Gijssen shows his incompetence as an arbitor once more. Yet he still gets all the gigs for high profile events, on a full-time basis. It's weird: Gijssen is to International Chess events what a Carol Jarecki is to USCF events. What is the matter with tournament organizers? Why is it that they persist in hiring Arbiters and Tournament Directors such as Gijssen and Jarecki, who charge exhorbitant fees, yet are error prone? One must conclude that it is because of their "celebrity" status; in their respective niches, these are about the only names that people know off the top of their heads. Their sheer ubiquity at events ensures that they will be at the top of the list for new events. Perverse. Gijssen ought to be shunned, starting now. What a pompous bungler!

Gissen in action (halucinating a 3 fold repetition):

Someone above asked about Peter Winston, who I had referred to in a previous comment as "the late."

No, I don't know for sure what happened to him after he disappeared early in 1978. I had seen him just a week or two before his disappearance. The actual circumstances do not all match what is on that Sam Sloan web page you read; for one thing, my recollection is that Sam's account actually is a few months off in the timing.

"Capablanca,J - Alekhine,A [A92]
Nottingham Nottingham, 1936

1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.0-0 0-0 6.c4 Ne4 7.Qb3 Bf6 8.Rd1 Qe8 9.Nc3 Nc6 10.Nb5 Bd8 11.Qc2 d6 12.d5 Nb4 13.Qb3 Na6 14.dxe6 Nac5 15.Qc2 Nxe6 16.Nfd4 Nxd4 17.Nxd4 Bf6 18.Nb5 Qe7 19.Be3 a6 20.Nd4 Bd7 21.Rac1 Rae8 22.b4 b6 23.Nf3 Nc3 24.Rd3 f4 25.gxf4 Bf5 26.Qd2 Bxd3 27.exd3 c5

[27...Na4 28.Ng5 Bxg5 29.fxg5 Qd7 30.d4 Re7 31.d5 Rfe8]

28.Rxc3 Bxc3 29.Qxc3 Qf6 30.Qxf6 gxf6 31.Nd2 f5 32.b5 a5 33.Nf1 Kf7 34.Ng3 Kg6 35.Bf3 Re7 36.Kf1 Kf6 37.Bd2 Kg6 1-0"

Strange play by Alehhine. 27.- Na4 would at least saved the knight. After allowing the take he was already dead.
I think the dutch is only strong if played with the stonewall (f5, e6, d5, c6).

Hi! I want to ask other people, where did I find some sites with on-line matches?

This request is addressed specifically to Jon Jacobs. The source on Peter Winston's disappearance is a brief article in Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org). That article states that it is presumed that he committed suicide following poor tournament results, and cites a tournament in 1977. However, your prior comment indicates that he did not go missing until early 1978, several months later. The presumption of suicide is of course a hypothesis, not an established fact.

Wikipedia articles can be edited by the public. If you have more accurate information, perhaps you could correct the article. Thank you.

For anyone who did not know Peter Winston: He was a New York area player, born in 1958, who shared first prize in the US Junior Championship in 1974, together with Larry Christiansen.

Hi Pseudonym1,

I don't get involved with Wikipedia. Their item on Peter Winston was probably written mostly by Sam Sloan -- as are many of the Wikipedia bios of contemporary chess figures.

I've seen Sloan's detailed account of Winston's disappearance, and as I indicated above, I think Sloan's information is off by a few months. My recollection is that Peter disappeared during what came to be known (throughout New England and parts of the mid-Atlantic states) as The Great Blizzard of '78.

He was living in Greenwich Village at the time, and as it was told to me by his mother, he hitchiked out of the city for parts unknown, apparently lacking luggage, ID or money, and was never seen or heard from again. I also know that he was being treated for emotional illness and at the time of his disappearance, was in the midst of a dispute with his therapist about medication.

Sloan's account says Winston disappeared during a chess tournament he was playing in, and even implies a connection between his disappearance and the terrible score he had in the tournament. I don't know about that, but the timing of that tournament (November 1977, I think is what Sloan has) does not match up with my memory of when Peter disappeared.

I don't mean this to be a comment about Sam Sloan, but as any of you who even casually followed the brouhaha over this year's USCF special EB election and its aftermath will know, Mr. Sloan is known for being extremely slipshod with facts. If I'm correct in assuming that the information in Wikipedia did come from him, then it should be taken with more than a grain of salt.

As for Winston, I'll relate one bittersweet story (well, mostly bitter) here that links him and another, better-known chess player who also died before his time.

Winston's first-place tie in the 1974 US Junior closed earned him a slot in that year's World Junior. (He did some horse-trading with co-winner Christiansen, who wound up going to another international event instead.)

As I recall, Peter had a minus score in that World Junior. He told me at one point he got into a verbal scrape with Tony Miles (evidently a rather abrasive character even as a youth). I can still hear Peter mimicking Miles, accent and all, as he told Peter in a contemptuous tone, "Everyone is lawwwwwwfing at you!"

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 5, 2006 9:12 AM.

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