Monday, March 26, 2007
Soul of Wit IV
Today, as you can see from the diagram, we’re back in the land of brevity.
You can probably work out the losing position was reached via,
1. d4 c5, 2. c4 cxd4, 3. Nf3 e5 4. Nxe5?? Qa5+, 5. resigns
The game is from the Folkestone Olympiad of 1933. Our man playing the White pieces is Robert Combe who, according to Fox and James in The Complete Chess Addict, went on to become British Champion. I can’t tell you what year he won the title though. Does anybody know?
Unfortunately, I’m not sure we can accept it as a legitimate entry for the Briefest Decisive Game Between Masters award. Yes it’s shorter than the efforts of Anand, Alapin and Shirazi. Yes, unlike Gibaud – Lazard, it definitely happened. The trouble is I don’t know anything about his opponent other than his name was Hasenfuss and he represented Latvia.
Happily, whether or not Hasenfuss was of Master strength, there’s an even shorter effort available.
In their book, F&J cite Djordjevic – Kovacevic, Crkva 1984 as going,
1. d4 Nf6, 2. Bg5 c6, 3. e3?? Qa5+, 4. resigns
I’ve known about this game since I bought TCCA twenty years ago. I’ve even tried to trap Dave V like this many times in blitz games but, sadly, he never takes the bait.
I wasn’t going to mention it here because there’s nothing to suggest Djordjevic and Kovacevic were Masters. CB Big Database says the event was an open tournament and doesn’t indicate the players’ strenghs so I think it’s safe to assume they were unrated.
However, last night I picked up an old Chess magazine at random (January 2002) and leafing through it I came across Fox and James’ “Addicts’ Corner” column. Amazingly they say this precise game also occurred in IM Vasallo (2454) – IM Gamundi, from the Spanish Team Championship in 1998.
I can’t imagine there’s a shorter decisive game between Masters out there but I’ve got one reservation. CB Big Database 2003 has hundreds of games attributed to both Vasallo and Gamundi but not this one.
Can anybody confirm it definitely happened? If so we can let Mauricio Vasallo enjoy the richly deserved glory of his small niche in chess history.
Posted by Jonathan B at 10:00 pm