About 18 months ago I offered up a candidate for the worst game of chess ever played, and I'm delighted to report that we now have a companion game - which thankfully doesn't involve me - which features what could be the worst move ever played. I had the pleasure and privilege of watching this game live, and I can tell you it was one of the best laughs I've had in 2020. Come to think of it, it was the only laugh I've had in 2020. Now our esteemed webmaster is a much loved member of our humble little club, and we all know that he is capable of some impressively imaginative play at times. And his competitive record for the club is unmatched and absolutely awesome. But last Wednesday evening ....... oh dear!
Joshua found himself drawn to play two rapid games (15 min + 10 secs) against none other than LDCL Chair, and KCC stalwart, Ben Graff. They were competing in Week 4 of the LDCL Individual Online Tournament (a great creation by Ben!). Now Joshua had been busy taking half point byes in two of the previous three weeks, so he really needed to chalk up a big win to give himself any chance of catching up with the front runners (who surprisingly include KCC Chair/all round legend, Capitalist Bernard!). Things seemed to be going Joshua's way in Game 1, as he was pressing very hard with the Black pieces, but Ben defended stoutly, despite considerable time pressure, and then Joshua inexplicably swapped off into a rook and pawn ending where his previously thorn like pawn on g3 proved to be a sitting duck. Ben rapidly got himself a winning position, then blew it, but Joshua, with plenty of time, was having one of those nights and missed his opportunity, losing a couple of moves later.
Which made the stakes for Game 2 even higher - and possibly made the red mist descend on the tournament's second seed, since what followed was absolutely epic. Though not in a good way. Prepare to be shocked, amused and horrified ........
I know we've all blundered into mate in 1, but this was definitely one of the very best. I'm not sure what he thought Ben's final move was for - deep defence against a future Rb1 attacking the b7 pawn?? And its not as if he was in time trouble. Just one of those moments of pure chess blindness (leading to a pure mate!). But ghoulishly enjoyable for us neutrals - and Ben! Though doubtless it'll be our turn to have that Homer moment next time.
What we can safely say after that game is that with 3.5/8, Joshua will probably not be winning this event, but our other brave lads - Bernard (6.5); Ben (5.5) and Solomon (4.5) - are all in the running for outright or grading honours. Good luck chaps - and thanks for brightening up my Wednesday evenings with some highly entertaining chess.