Saturday, 7 November 2015

Korchnoi's complaint

A number of years ago I heard a story about Viktor Korchnoi having to ask an arbiter if he could castle when his rook was attacked. It was one of the 'ha ha Grandmasters don't know the rules' stories that you hear every now and then, without knowing whether it is actually true or not.
It turns out there is some doubt about the story, and I have seen a few different versions told. There is less doubt a similar story concerning Yuri Averbakh, who when playing CJS Purdy, thought that Purdy had castled illegally queenside as his rook passed over an attacked square (b8 in this case).
Amazingly, I saw examples of both of these situations in the one game that was played at Street Chess today. On move 13, Alana Chibnall castled kingside while her rook on h1 was attacked by the bishop on c6, and then 9 moves later Miles Patterson castled queenside, with the rook passing over the b8 square that was attacked by the bishop on f4.
When I pointed this out after the games both players simply shrugged, as while unusual, they both knew that castling was perfectly legal in both cases.

Chibnall,Alana - Patterson,Miles [C00]
Street Chess (4.1), 07.11.2015

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