Wednesday, June 20, 2007
GeekOut Overdrive II
Regular visitors to our blog may recall about a month ago I wrote about a chess game that appeared in an episode of Blake's 7. Subsequently I managed to track down a video clip on YouTube so you can watch it for yourself.
The beginning of the programme sees Avon and Vila deciding not to teleport down to Freedom City with Blake and the others. They claim to be playing chess but since they’re seen studying the rather unlikely position at the head of this post, what they’re actually up to is anybody’s guess.
Later on, the pair decided to pop down after all with a plan to bankrupt the casino by cheating at Roulette then get back to the Liberator before anybody notices they’re missing. Sadly the plan goes awry and Vila gets drunk and is conned into taking on chess playing genius The Klute. If he wins or draws he doubles their winnings. If he loses, though, he gets fried.
Now The Klute may look like a reject munchkin from a Bollywood remake of The Wizard of Oz but he really is a bit tasty at the chess board. There is some good news for Vila however. He has Orac, the universe’s most powerful, and indeed supercilious, computer whispering moves in his ear.
Reconstructing the game was more straightforward than Klute – Frels.
The game ends in perpetual check…
It’s easy to see that to get from here…
… to here
... White must have played a double bishop sacrifice. I guessed something like,
12. … b6, 13. Rf1 Bb7, 14. f4 Rac8, 15. Bd3 Nd5, 16. Bxh7+ Kxh7, 17. Qh5+ Kg8, 18. Bxg7 Kxg7, 19. Qg5+
Incidentally this is a drawing device I happen to know about because I once used it in a similar position during an off-hand game against Justin – the only time I’ve ever played him and not lost.
So if the end is clear, how does the game arrive at the position in the second game? Initially I’d thought the opening must have been a French Defence with 3. … dxe4 but then I realised if that was the case then White’s Knight would have been on f3 and not c3. Next I considered the possibility of a Centre-Counter and although I came up with a sequence of moves that arrives at the correct position in the right number of moves,
1. e4 d5, 2. exd5 Qxd5, 3. Nc3 Qa5, 4. d4 Nf6, 5. Nf3 e6, 6. Bc4 Be7, 7. Qe2 0-0, 8. Be3 c5, 9. 0-0-0 cxd4, 10. Bxd4 Nc6, 11. Ne5 Nxe5, 12. Bxe5
it didn’t really make sense. Amongst other things, surely at move 11 The Klute would have preferred to play Knight takes Bishop on d4 rather than exchange Knights on e5.
So I gave up and just punched the position into ChessBase. To my surprise it spat out Nunn-Soos from 1979 which went as follows…
[bug in the system. The result of Nunn-Soos should be 1/2-1/2 not 1-0]
… and the case, as Inspector Clouseau likes to say, is solv-ed.
Posted by Jonathan B at 12:18 am