Saturday 28 March 2015

Falling a long way from home

During the week I helped run a couple of local interschool events in Canberra. As with a lot of these events the quality of play can vary, but on the upside, you get to see a lot of positions that probably have not occurred in 500 years of organised chess.
In one game I saw a Black King on a1, being checkmated by a white queen on h8, despite the board still having a reasonable amount of material on it. Wondering how common this might be, I did some searching of my database, but came up empty handed. Even with colours reversed (WK on h8) I found nothing, so I thought I would simplify my search.
Looking for White kings mated on h8 I came up with a few examples, mainly between lower rated players. But I did find one gem, from early in Gary Kasparov's career. It looks as though it was played in a simul, but in this case Kasparov was not giving the simul. He was playing Oleg Romanishin, and after around move 20 he was already winning. With his king exposed, Romanishin tried to use it as a fighting piece, but instead it was dragged up the board to h8, where it was mated in good junior fashion, with an 'electric fence' checkmate.

Romanishin,Oleg M - Kasparov,Garry [A03]
Romanishin-Junior sim Leningrad, 1975

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