Saturday, October 20, 2007

My favourite moves IV


Anatoly Karpov v Tony Miles

European Championships Skara 1980

1...a6!??!


You know you love it.



21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I played 1...a6 soon after this match for a couple of years (when I was 13, 14 or 15- I forget!). Seemed to do ok with this. This move certainly has its merits, especially at lower levels. It is important throw your opponent off his normal stuff if you can (whilst achieving a reasonable position). Karpov had an achilles heel against obscure openings btw.
Andrew

Jonathan B said...

I prefer 1. ... e6 and 2. ... a6 myself.

J

Anonymous said...

Allegedly Karpov felt personally insulted by this move, which leads us to the question: what other chess moves could be considered insulting?

I once heard Stewart Reuben say that if (as arbiter) he saw white open a game 1. f3 ... 2. Kf2 then he would immediately default the white player because he was bringing the game of chess into disrepute. The context of this was a discussion about pre-arranged draws between strong players, but defaulting somebody after just 2 non standard moves seemed a bit premature to me. Anyway, be careful how you open your chess game if Stewart is arbiting ...

Mike G

Anonymous said...

My personal hackles are raised by people turning up at London League matches and playing various pawn sac lines involving b4 against the Sicilian. Play proper moves, damn you! ;)

Richard

ejh said...

I once heard Stewart Reuben say that if (as arbiter) he saw white open a game 1. f3 ... 2. Kf2 then he would immediately default the white player because he was bringing the game of chess into disrepute.

Somebody did that in, I think, the last round of the British Championship a few years ago (I think I know who, but without being certain I won't say so). I've occasionally asked myself what I think I would do on the other side of the board: one possible answer was to go and catch an early train home, and let him win on time if he wants to play like that.

Anonymous said...

Did he have ginger hair, by any chance?

ejh said...

You may think that. I couldn't possibly remember....

Jonathan B said...

half remembered story from many years ago....

Somebody I then knew relating a story about a female chess player he observed approaching an arbiter after her opponent had opened,

1. ... d6, 2. ... Kd7, 3. ... Kd8

"He's taking the piss out of me". Arbiter then goes over to instruct the player of Black pieces to behave himself.

ejh said...

Anybody able to play 3....Kd8 there would be taking the piss anyway. Do you mean 2...Qd7?

Jonathan B said...

Ah, no I meant 3. Ke8.

Anonymous said...

Yes I think Simon Williams has played 1 f3 2 Kf2 and then proceeded normally and beat a fairly reasonable opponent.
Andrew

Anonymous said...

People often play moves like that because they prove sufficient to beat weak players

Anonymous said...

If I recall, Simon Williams once threatened to play something like 1 f3 2 Kf2 against us in the London League but bottled out.

I wouldn't at all mind if such moves were played against me (maybe I'd laugh); rather, I'd consider a test of how good (or not) a player I was. Anyone playing such nonsense and losing would look pretty foolish.

(Angus)

Anonymous said...

Simon Williams vs Martin Simons. British Championship Scarborough 1999. Found it on chesslab.

ejh said...

I think the distinction between William's sequence and Miles' was that Miles was engaging in a psychological ploy with some chess logic behind it: "this looks weak but maybe it isn't as stupid as it looks". It ws also played against a stronger player. The f3/Kf2 sequence, by contrast, seems to me to be saying "I can do what I like against you because you're not much good".

Now if a player wants to take that attitude, they're perfectly entitled to do so provided they don't mind an equal degree of disrespect being shown to them. I'm reminded of a game I played in the Surrey League a few years ago (I won't name the opponent but Angus will remember this) in which my opponent decided to spend much of the game reading a newspaper away from the board. I didn't really say anything at the time but I was inclined to ask him why he didn't go home if he didn't want to play.

Tom Chivers said...

I've played a lot of this kind of rubbish online, including Jonathan what I think you meant to say - 1... d6 2...Kd7 3...Qe8 4...Kd8. I've also faced this kind of rubbish before, and lost to it more than once.

But online doesn't count, right!?

Anonymous said...

I object to the idea that one can't read the newspaper away from the board without showing "disrespect", or be seen as not wanting to play. As far as i'm concerned you can do whatever you like with the time you have available, as long as it does not directly affect the opponent (so perhaps reading the newspaper AT the board is a bit cheeky). My regular routine in the London League is to greet my opponent, play a few moves, play something that causes him/her to have a think, and adjourn downstairs to the bar. Where i leave my pint (and sometimes newspaper) to be revisited at regular intervals.

If that is considered "not wanting to play", well so be it, but the simple response is that if that was genuinely the case then i wouldn't be there. As my record isn't one that could be considered shoddy by any standards then perhaps others should try it! ;)

Richard

ejh said...

object to the idea that one can't read the newspaper away from the board without showing "disrespect", or be seen as not wanting to play.

So would I: it's not the act of reading, a such, it's the way it was done, as if one were reading a newspaper purely out of boredom while the tiresome necessity of playing the game were still unfinished. For that reason I think that this:

As far as I'm concerned you can do whatever you like with the time you have available, as long as it does not directly affect the opponent

while largely true in principle, isn't wholly true. I think for instance that going to play Space Invaders while it's the opponent's turn to move (as somebody whose name escapes me notoriously did as a prodigy) is somewhat over the line which divides "being on one's own time" from "nevertheless being a jerk". I agree there's no fine line: if I go and check out the football scores in between moves at the 4NCL, is that objectionable? I think probably not, but if I spent the whole game (or much of it) watching a match, only pausing to go and play a move very rapidly before returning to the TV, then I think that would be.

Hard lines to draw: but that's in the nature of ethics, isn't it? I think perhaps one could say that if one doesn't trat the chess game as the most important thing one is doing at the time, then that would probably constitute disrespect to the opponent. And while we don't have to show respect to our opponents, without it I don't think competitive chess (or sport in general) would be possible.

Losers aren't just losers, they're partners in the game, and they have to want to come back and play again. Regardless of what Fischer or anybody else says, it's about trying to win, but it's not about humiliating people.

ejh said...

(It occurs to me that there's probably been philosophical work done on Ethics In Sport, and I'd like to see some of it provided it's not too abtruse.)

Jonathan B said...

EJH:

I'm sure I read Nosher regularly played Space Invaders between moves when he was a munchkin.

I seem to recall when hearing this my initial thoughts were something along the lines of "he must be extremely shit at video games".

Jonathan B said...

Richard:

As it happens I've had a person reading a newspaper at the board during the game. It was more than a bit cheeky - he was draping the pages over the board (not just over his half but over mine too).

He seemed to be suprised when I objected. That's the nature of self-centred people though I think - tend to have a habit of being surprised that their actions affect other people.