Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Worst Move On The Board V


Matanovic v Sarapu, Sousse Interzonal 1967, round thirteen, position after 36...Rf8-h8.

This is a very fine effort indeed: there are all sorts of ways to put the white queen en prise and more than one way to allow a mate in two. Yet Alexander Matanovic, playing the New Zealander Ortvin Sarapu, managed, despite time pressure, to find the absolute worst move on the board.

Readers are invited to find it themselves and to guess the move that followed. After that they can look at the game - and try and guess how Sarapu failed to win from there. I haven't the foggiest.



Worst Move index

7 comments:

Morgan said...

What a sham! Mutual time pressure, I assume?

ejh said...

I believe so...

Tom Chivers said...

I think of all the Worst Moves yet, this is the Worst of the Worst, because if your opponent has a pawn on h3 and marauding queen, and your king is on g1, you should every move be acutely aware of the fact he could be trying to mate you. Yet impressively, black was also unaware that this was a part of the position.

Peter said...

Reminds me I once managed to play the worst move on the board as early as move 3.

I was White. 1.e4 e6 2.c4 c5 3.b4 (a bit too creative). My opponent played 3...Qf6 very quickly. I lose a centre pawn for nothing and have to exchange queens as well.

Peter

ejh said...

Isn't the point here that Black's threat was actually created by White's last move, and therefore White wasn't aware of it because prior to his moving it didn't exist?

And isn't there also some Kotov position where something on g2 takes a queen (or similar) and black didn't see it because it was hidden behind a piece on g3? Perhaps this has a similar aspect to it: he just didn't see the square.

Peter, it's funny, I thought "there's got to be a worse move than that" but there isn't, is there? Even 3.Ke2 is better.

Tom Chivers said...

I mean that the idea had been a part of the position since the pawn go to h3, most directly with 34...Qc6 when black threatened the same mate in one he missed a few moves later...

ejh said...

I see what you mean. It's odd though, I've frequently spent much of a game aware of a certain idea and then had it go completely out of my head later on.