Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What happened next XIX

Playing for two results?

In the position I left you with on Monday, GM Jon Levitt has just played 40... Qa1+ against IM David Howell in round 8 of the 2005 Staunton Memorial. 

The full game, which won the brilliancy prize, can be found here with notes by the mad green monkey himself. His annotations are remarkably similar to those provided by Levitt in the original article that appeared in the November 2005 issue of CHESS. You do have to wonder whether Ray knew what "going 'all-in'" was a reference to. Anyway, over to Jon.

"After playing 40... Qa1+ I said (or possibly mumbled) 'That's move 40'. Despite the lack of similarity in the sound of 'would you like a draw[?]' and 'that's move 40' my opponent somehow imagined that he had heard me offering a draw! 

He stopped the clock and put out his hand. Naturally I assumed he had determined the position was lost and was resigning. We shook hands and wrote down different results on our score sheets.

We soon realised that we were shaking hands but not agreeing on the result. David played 41. Kb4 and the game continued as if nothing had happened."

Four years later, I was white against Levitt in a London League match. He extended his arm and, thinking he was busted and resigning, I aimed to meet it halfway. But not before he played pawn to b3, the only move. He offered a draw as he played it and, seeing me offering my hand, presumed I was accepting. I reeled in shock and apologetically mumbled "Sorry, I thought you were resigning" before accepting a couple of minutes later. 

These things are more common than you think.

What happened next Index


John Cox said...

'All-in' is just a gambling reference, isn't it, or am I missing some well-known obscene connotation?

Is Lawrence Day really a GM? How did that happen, I wonder?

Jonathan Rogers said...

I am sure these things are quite common. Take the position at move 40 from this game -

Here, I hallucinated that 40...Bxb2 won outright and played it. Just after I pressed the clock I impetuously offered a draw (as if to draw his attention to the fact that I just blundered! since I was otherwise cleary winning). He looked at me morosely and adjusted the clocks for the next time control. "Fair enough" I thought "such a silly draw offer doesn't deserve a response".

But then he did not take the free piece (Kxb2) played something else and soon resigned. If had shared my hallucination, which he clearly did, why didn't he take the draw? Sure, he was Finnish and clearly knew virtually no English, but I was still puzzled. What did he think I had said?

Later I worked out that he must have thought I was pointing out that we made the time control.

Jonathan B said...

This once happened to me - except the discrepancy didn't come to light until a few rounds later.

It was a one day rapidplay tournament, but can't remember where. Not one of Adam Raoof's thoguh.

First or second game. Blitz finish. I was a queen and a few pawns up and when we reached mate next move my opponent stuck his hand out saying "I was hoping you'd stalemate me by accident."

I was assumed he was saying "You were wise to spare the life of my last pawn because that would have been stalemate otherwise."

Off I went to hand in my winner's 1-0 slip to the controller.

Later in the day the guy came over to me and asked why I'd handed a 1-0 slip in when the game had ended in a draw.

Jonathan B said...

That was about 25 years ago.

I also have a more recent memory of my opponent sticking out his hand without saying anything and me being a bit confused about it, wondering if he was offering a draw or resigning. It turned out to be the latter.

PJM said...

John, whether or not Ray is himself a poker brat, channelling Levitt's chosen vocabulary in his own article without attribution is downright cheeky.

John Cox said...

There was also a magnificent dispute on similar lines in the 70s in some Common Market Championship, or some such thing, between Luxembourg and Denmark or someone, in which one player thought he was accepting resignation while the other player thought he was accepting the offer of a draw. The twist was that while they were sorting this out the other players in the event started analysing the position and it transpired that the player who had thought he was accepting a draw offer, and whose opponent thought he was resigning, was in fact winning, which rather ruled out resuming the game as a fair possibility. In the end I think the faux resignation stood, which was a bit hard since the fellow had a winning position and certainly hadn't intended to resign, but that's life, I suppose. Bill Hartston wrote a characteristically wry account in the BCM of the day.

Anonymous said...

Re: JR's "x-ray" 40. ... Bxb2. IMs miss these things as well: LCC FIDE Open R8, Jackson v Rendle, 38. Bg7+.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Nge2 d5 6. a3 Bd6 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Ng3 c6 9. Bd3 Re8 10. Nce2 Nbd7 11. f3 c5 12. Nf5 Bf8 13. dxc5 Nxc5 14. Nfd4 a5 15. Bc2 Qb6 16. O-O Bd7 17. Rb1 Rac8 18. Kh1 Bd6 19. b4 axb4 20. axb4 Na6 21. b5 Nc5 22. Bf5 Bb8 23. g4 g6 24. Bxd7 Nfxd7 25. f4 Ne4 26. Bb2 Nd6 27. Nc2 Nc4
28. Bd4 Qd6 29. Ng3 Nc5 30. Nf5 gxf5 31. gxf5 Kf8 32. f6 Ne4 33. Qh5 Nxf6 34. Qh4 Re6 35. Rf2 Ne4 36. Rg2 Rg6 37. Rbg1 Qe6 38. Bg7+ Ke8 39. Nd4 Qe7 40. Qe1 Ned6 41. Rg3 Qe4+ 42. R1g2 Rxg3 43. hxg3 Nxe3 0-1

ejh said...

Mr Day is an International Master. "Commonwealth Grandmaster", however, is a title apprently devised and awarded by Ray Keene. I believe the late Bob Wade held the same distinction.