Korchnoi-Karpov, world championship match 1978, game 21, position after 60. Kd5-c4.
Schmid was now hovering with a White queen ready for the expected promotion of White's QNP. Korchnoi skittishly requested that he have a rook knight and bishop ready as well in case he decided to underpromote. Karpov took the hint and resigned to the accompaniment of loud cheers and clapping.You Know Who, Karpov-Korchnoi 1978, The Inside Story of the Match (Batsford, 1978).
I do like that "skittishly". He might have been ripping off his colleague and employer in order to write an instant book
but at least back then he could write a sentence you'd remember.
I remembered it after this otherwise inconsequential game from Sitges.
Horton-Glebova, Sitges 2015, round two, position after 34...Ke7-d8.
As you probably gather, Black's last move was one of very few options open to her, including 34...Bxf7 which allows mate in two, and Resigns. It's not particularly stronger than either of those.
Still, having expected either the game or the f-pawn to last no further, I found myself scrabbling about for something into which I could transform it. Unlike Viktor, I had no particular desire to showboat - I just wanted to put another queen on the board for half a move - but mine was still at the board, sitting on g4. I was at a very low board rather than one of the elevated ones which might get you an extra pair of queens at the outset, and I found myself unsure what I should actually do. There wasn't even one captured on an adjacent board which I could borrow for a few seconds.
One of the benefits of being on a low board was that at least it was next to the arbiters' stage
My opponent was sitting where Jonathan is sitting
so you had, in theory, reasonably easy access to them. As it happened one of them was already close by collecting scoresheets, so having raised my hand without attracting his attention I got up and tried to get into his sightline, but each time I moved one way he happened to move the other, a skill which I normally associate with cats when they're being photographed.
The tournament cat
After a period of mutual twisting and turning I was relieved of my difficulty by the fact that my opponent, like Karpov, took the hint and resigned.
I had a few more minutes left than I usually have at move 34 - i.e. I still had a few minutes - so I'd not been particularly concerned about my clock, but it bothers me that I didn't really know what to do in that situation. I should have stopped the clock, shouldn't I?
It's funny, and not to my credit, but I didn't know. And funnier (and more discreditable) still - I'm not sure I'd have known how to stop the clock. How embarrassing. I've been using digital clocks with increment settings for about a decade now, but I'm not sure I've ever set one for the start of a game and I'm pretty sure I've not yet stopped one in the middle of a game either.
It was simpler in the old days. They had buttons at each side and one of them was yours. You knew where you were with a chess clock then.
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