Thursday, 2 July 2015

Don't speak to soon

As a rule I don't discuss games while they are in progress. Either my games or even games where I am not involved. This is mainly due to the fact I direct a lot of events, and I want to make sure everything is by the book.
Of course when I was younger (and before I became a serious arbiter), I often chatted about the state of my game, especially if I felt I was winning. Of course this sort of talk can lead to a quick downfall if you are not careful.
At my local chess club (ANU) this evening this almost happened. A player (who shall remain nameless) sidled up to me and said "I think have a mate in two, against any defence". I just said "uh, huh" and waited till the player returned to the board. Taking a quick glance I noticed two things. Firstly, his opponent had a fairly obvious defence, and secondly, this was almost a copy of a famous incident that occurred over 100 years ago.
In the 1911 Karlsbad tournament, Frank Marshal was up against Fedor Dus Chotimirsky. After a fairly even opening, Dus Chotimirsky spotted a chance to mate Marshall. With Queen, Knight and Bishop all converging in Marshall's King, he went even as far to explain to spectators that 'Poor Marshall dead. Must be mate'. Unfortunately there was a hole in his analysis, and after Marshall's obvious reply  he exclaimed "Oh oh. Marshall not dead, I dead" before resigning.
However, unlike Dus Chotimirsky, the confident ANU player at least ad the satisfaction of winning his game, but it did take longer than he thought.

Marshall,Frank James - Dus Chotimirsky,Fedor Ivanovich [D21]
Karlsbad Karlsbad (25), 24.09.1911

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