Monday, November 17, 2014

Sochi ISEs: Game 6

Black to play
Carlsen - Anand, World Championship (6) 2014

It’s not going to be the thing that most people remember about game 6 from Sochi, I admit, but along with all the drama, there was an ISE possibility late on Saturday afternoon. Talking of which, the exchange of blunders on move 26 inspired one of the best bits of chess commentary that I’ve ever seen.

Look at this video from Chess24’s coverage of game 6. Yes, it’s in Spanish. That’s kind of the point. It doesn’t matter if you speak the language. It doesn’t even matter if you understand chess Watch this clip and you know that something monumental has happened. Just look at his face, as Barry Davies would say.

Black to play

I watched game 6 with Angus in Streatham's Cafe Barcelona. A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, that. Watching World Championship chess, slurping tea and scoffing a nata or two.

When we got to this point I actually laughed at the suggestion that Black could do an ISE. It just seemed rather preposterous. As it happens the exchange sac was later suggested as Anand’s best chance by both Gustafsson and Anand.

It was my erstwhile Chess180 opponent Matt Fletcher who suggested the term A Desperate Sacrifice of the Exchange. That was certainly Gusti’s motivation to give up material here.  32 ... Bc6 is going to lose to 33 Bxg6 so why not punt an ISE? Not exactly interesting ... very interesting (to borrow another Barry Davies-ism), but if nothing else it would mix things up a bit.

Well, it didn’t happen and Vishy went meekly to his doom. Which is not particularly surprising. Watch that video again and just look at their faces when ... a4 comes in response to Kd2. If that’s  the reaction just watching, imagine what it must have been like to realise you missed ... Nxe5 whilst you were actually playing.

2014 ISE Count: 71
TISE Index


Sam said...

What does ISE stand for? Is it some kind of non-obvious acronym for exchange sacrifice?

ejh said...

A clue

Anonymous said...

Wow! That Spanish bloke could be Lawrence Trent's twin brother.

Jonathan B said...


Apologies for delayed reply - I simply forgot to answer your question.

As EJH hinted, some years ago I was writing about the Exchange French and how I thought it’s reputation for being dull was unfair. The series became known at The Interesting French Exchange which subsequently got shortened to IFE. (I think EJH may have been the first to do that.)

Sometime later I started to write about exchange sacrifices. I needed a title and The Interesting Sacrificed Exchange - or ISE - seemed appropriate.

an ordinary chessplayer said...

Interesting dyslexia - I'm in shock. I've been following your blog forever and always thought that IFE stood for "Interesting Exchange French" and ISE stood for "Interesting Exchange Sacrifice". Carry on.