Saturday 24 April 2021

This is funny on a number of levels

Recently chess,com held an 'Immortal Game' competition. It was won by GM Supi for a nice win over World Chmapion Magnus Carlsen, but the runner up was GM David Smerdon for his win over CM Balaji in 2017. 

While the Supi win was more interesting on a technical level, it lacked the comedic gold of Smerdon's victory. His opponent won a pawn through a temporary queen sacrifice, but failed to notice what Smerdon was up to after  15.Rb1 If he had spotted what was coming he would have tried to free his position by playing c5 or Ba6 or Re6 or anything that didn't allow his pieces to be imprisoned on the queenside. After Smerdon swapped rooks on e8 Black was essentially down a rook and a bishop. This is where the fun then started. I'm not sure whether this was deliberate (or a mouse slip), but Smerdon simply donated one of his rooks to his opponent with Re8+ (instead of Re7). If you plug this position into an engine, it will claim the Black is now easily winning, and sticks to this assessment until the point where the White king advances far enough up the board. At this point the entire concept of Smerdon's play becomes clear, and after a few more pawn pushes, he mates his opponent with his last piece!


smurfo (2515) - ukchessbomber (2214) [C43]
Live Chess, 29.07.2017

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