Thursday, October 30, 2008

The day I lost to the World Champion

[original photo: Chessvibes]
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
I've lost a lot of games of chess to a lot of different people: if I had to remember all the faces and put names to them, I wouldn't bother with the game at all because I'll probably be the World Champ├Čon at Pelmanism.

However, I was reading the latest New In Chess and there was a face that looked familiar. I know her, I thought. I'm sure I lost to her just the other month. So I looked in my scorebook and yes, sure enough, I had. D Harika, an international master from India: she beat me in the sixth round at Benasque. Nothing exceptional in that, I lost to four other people in the same tournament: rather more exceptional was that the New in Chess report was about the World Under-20 Junior Championships, in which, the month after putting paid to me, my exceptional opponent had won the girls' title. A rather more difficult feat, perhaps.

Dronavalli Harika. (As with Viswanathan Anand, the family name comes first, the other way round from the way we are accustomed to.) Well, here's a thing: how many world champions of any kind am I ever likely to play?


position after 11...Qd8-c7

It wasn't much of a game: I got overoptimistic straight out of the opening and failed to appreciate that the f4 advance I thought I was provoking was, in fact, my opponent's main idea. (Moreover, as it happens 12.e4 would have won straightaway. Which is a few moves too early to be lost in that line of the Slav - and never mind who the opposition may be.)

Not, perhaps, much of a struggle. Not, perhaps the world champion. Not, perhaps, actually the world champion at the time our game was played. But who cares? She's a world champion and I played her one-on-one. It's as close as I'm ever likely to get.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK then, own up. Who tipped off Private Eye...?

Anonymous said...

BTW you're going to have to provide some evidence that 12.e4 wins. It looks a bit dubious to me...

Richard

Campion said...

After 12 e4 Black surely has to try 12... Bxh2+ (otherwise e4-e5 will just win a piece).

Then 13 Kh1 and I guess black can try 13 ... Bg6 14 e5 Bh5 15 Qe1 Ng4 with a view to grabbing another pawn with B/Nxe5. But then after 16 Be2 neither capture on e5 seems enough...

Does the above excuse for analysis hold water?

Anonymous said...

I was thinking something like 12. e4 Bxh2+ 13. Kh1 Bg4 14. f3 Qg3 (... Bh5 15.g4 +-) 15.fxg4 Qh4

and here if 16. Bg5 then Qxg5 17. Kxh2 Qh4+ 18. Kg1 Nxg4 scores at least a lot of pawns for black after 19.g3

if 16. g3 then Bxg3+ 17.Kg1 Nxg4

What do you guys think?

/Armin