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It's a Miracle! Part 2

  • GM Gserper
  • | Jul 7, 2013
  • | 9204 views
  • | 21 comments

Last week we saw violent outbreaks of stalematis in the games of Kasparov and Reshevsky. One of the most curious cases of this infectious disease happened in the games of another famous world class player, Mikhail Chigorin. Look at the position that occurred in his game vs. Joseph Henry Blackburne:

Image: Thoughts from the Line

You probably think that in the diagram position White resigned. Yes, that would be a logical conclusion of the game. It is amazing that a very strong chess player like Blackburne decided to continue playing in a completely hopeless position. It is even more amazing that Chigorin, who was a Candidate for the world title, allowed a well known drawing mechanism and almost missed a sure win!

It is logical to expect that such a close call was supposed to engrave the concept of stalemate into Chigorin's mind. But look what happened six years later:


As you could see in last week's article, stalematis always strikes three times, so you shouldn't be surprised by the next game of Chigorin. Yet, it is astonishing that the Russian player missed a stalemate in the same tournament (!) in a situation where it could save his own game!

Mikhail Chigorin

As they say, one man's loss is another man's gain. Look how Vishy Anand used this exact idea to save his game against Vladimir Kramnik:


Another lesson to learn from the Chigorin's stalemate debacle (vs. Schlechter) is: never assume that you force your opponent into a winning pawn endgame until you checked a possible stalemate! Here are two examples from GM games:

To be continued...

Comments


  • 2 years ago

    Ricardoruben

    Great article, thanks! :)

  • 2 years ago

    firewoods

    the Israel Albert Horowitz (?) vs. Max Pavey (?) one is on Tactics Trainer

  • 2 years ago

    FM zibbit

    GSerper: Hjartarson - Popovic can't remember the colors but was a nice stalemate combo possible, take on f5 or f4

  • 2 years ago

    Ivorosorio

    Here in Venezuela we say: The best hunter, the hare escapes

  • 2 years ago

    toto1959

    more please...

  • 2 years ago

    alexman222t

    Nice games! I really liked Horowitz vs Pavey

  • 2 years ago

    xiph0s

    interesting, thanks.

  • 2 years ago

    d4soldier

    they won't give you your CoffeeMaster norms unless you can pull off a few stalemates  

  • 2 years ago

    Gautam_suresh

    u may continue pls

  • 2 years ago

    Gautam_suresh

    very nice i love his article Chigorin is very clever indeedSmile


  • 2 years ago

    S_AuReu_S

    this is amazing..continue pls.

  • 2 years ago

    Ivorosorio

    Here in Venezuela say Hope is the last thing to be missed.

  • 2 years ago

    Sutirtha11

    Brilliant article, thank you!

  • 2 years ago

    Shabatin

    He doesn't take the rook with his king because if he did, there would be no more moves available to white, causing stalemate 

  • 2 years ago

    PDaddy69

    Interesting article Gserper. However, I feel like a more appropriate image would be a screenshot of the movie Faceoff featuring allstar actor Nicholas Cage as well as John Travolta. Food for thought.

    ~poondaddy

  • 2 years ago

    Neolithic_Man

    Why he would not kill the rook with the king? he really waited to kill with the queen?

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