Let me warn you from the off - I'm in a grumpy mood.
Last night I lost again. I've now come a distant second in three of my last four games - and I've not won in six. Things are getting so bad that the point I "gained" by default against Crystal Palace last week looks like being one of my best results of the year.
There's only one thing for it at times like this - pray to the Patron Saint of Chess Players then seek solace and amusement in the misfortunes of others.
A couple of days ago I mentioned Tarrasch – Alapin (1-0, 6) in response to Justin’s article on Anand’s six move blow out at Biel in 1988.
As I said in my original post, Cafferty and Hooper wrote “As a curiosity it [Tarrasch - Alapin :JB] may be quoted as the shortest decisive tournament game between masters”. C&H were writing in 1979 and since then the chess master fraternity have evidently been burning the midnight oil looking for improvements on Alapin’s play.
Thanks again to Fox and James’ The Complete Chess Addict (1987), I learn that at the 1984 American Championships, Shirazi – Peters produced the following:-
1. e4 c5, 2. b4 cxb4, 3. a3 d5, 4. exd5 Qxd5, 5. axb4 Qe5+, 0-1
In case you were thinking Shirazi is just some patzer, I’m pleased to tell you he’s an IM and was rated 2465 at the time (according to CB’s Big Database 2003). Even more amusing, he managed to end the tournament with the rather wonderful score of 0.5/15. His game with Peters (2500 in 1984) was played in round 13. It’s probably safe to assume he was rather demoralised by then!
I'm back in the ring tomorrow night playing for the second team in the London League. I'll travel to Golden Lane happy in the knowledge that, if nothing else, at least I've someway to go before I translate my 0.5/4 into Shirazi's sterling result.