Saturday, 23 August 2014

Saving the day

In the BC (before computer) era of Correspondence Chess, a lot of effort was needed to make sure every move did not suffer a tactical refutation. Of course under such conditions double oversights might occur, but clearly it was better to be safe than sorry. An famous example of this was the game between Frank Vaughan and Cecil Purdy, played in 1945. Purdy plays a combination that looks like it is winning material, but it turns out to be a trap by White. However Purdy had already analysed the position and new that he one final escape, which was to force a perpetual check. Strangely, this opening variation was repeated in around 20 subsequent games, with both White and Black scoring the occasional win. The last was played in 1999, and I suspect it won't be played much in the future (unless to deliberately halve the point) as any modern engine spots the first draw as far back as move 7.

Vaughan,Frank L - Purdy,Cecil John Seddon [D82]
corr, 1945

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