Monday, January 30, 2017


Anyone who has been ill, or suffered a set back in any way will know that recovery is a long and sometimes hard process. Sometimes one doesn't recover, some don't recover fully, while some make full recoveries. There are all sorts of things that can be affected, not only physical issues. There are mental issues, emotional issues, confidence issues, social issues and even decisions made at a level that we can't control. For example, imagine a person being denied access to a country where their loved ones live? Can you imagine the emotional strain, possibly causing anxiety, or depression, and maybe even manifested in physical illness. One's self belief and self confidence would be put into question as social issues relating to race and religion are debated and acted upon by people in far off places. How long would it take to recover from this?

Anyway, I'm not here to rant about a bigoted American Executive, this blog is about me, and coffee and chess. As I recently said, I had problems physically last year, and this affected me emotionally and with confidence problems. I hope I can say I'm coming through it now. I've thrown myself back into work, intend to play as much chess as is good for me, started physical exercise, and am trying my hardest to be positive. I'm actually quite fortunate as I don't have much ambition so I don't need to stress about achieving anything. I'm very happy with what I have in life, I just want to get back in shape as best I can. And chess will help me.

This weekend I played at the Melbourne Chess Club Australia Day tournament, and went unbeaten which was pretty good. At times I played some creditable chess, at others, I played pretty terribly, but somehow managed to come through without a loss. This was pleasing as my confidence wasn't too high before the tournament started, and I was aware of how difficult I'd found maintaining a my chess level last year. I struggled with finding initiatives, but was quite successful at defusing my opponent's ideas and finding resources in tough positions. I can't really find anything in my play that was particularly noteworthy to show, so instead I'll look at the problems from previous blog posts.

I will just finish by saying that recovery from almost anything needs will power, strength and determination, and support. I now have the will to recover, I have great support from Caroline and my friends, and chess is giving me something to focus on. Apart from the fact that World War 3 seems imminent, I am positive about the immediate future!

In my last post, I gave this little puzzle:

It's 'white to play and mate in 9 at most'. The position comes from ARB Thomas' book 'Chess For The Love Of It'. I was delighted to meet Henrik Mortensen from Denmark over this past weekend. We played a very flawed game that ended in a draw, and he then said that he'd read my blog and had this book, very much liking it. I also really like the laid back style of an older school of chess.

In the above position the way to mate is: 1.QxKNP+ KxQ 2.R-N1+ K-R2 3.B-Q3+ P-B4 [This is the move that some people miss] 4.PxP ep+ K-R3 5.B-K3+ KxP 6.B-K2+ K-R5 7.B-KN5+ K-R6 8.B-N4+ K-R7 9.B-B4 Checkmate

A beautiful final mating position with black's king having been driven down the board after a queen sacrifice. Not too hard to find once the queen sacrifice has been spotted, but it is still great to play these things in real games.

And finally, I apologise for the new diagrams, I was getting a bit fed up of the old ones. A change is as good as a rest, as they say. Here is the game in full, unfortunately, brought up to date in algebraic notation. For some reason, games like this seem to me to deserve to be shown in descriptive notation, a bygone thing from a bygone age.

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see you back and firing Carl. That's a wonderful game! The two Bishops combined with Bird's attacking flair were just devastating for Walker's defence!