Tuesday, 12 February 2019

All My Own Work

Having just lost a truly horrendous game at the 4NCL the previous day, I was feeling pretty depressed yesterday and didn't really feel much like playing chess. But for some very fortuitous reason, I decided to play a few games on-line after all. And in about the third one I got to play an absolutely great move - which not only put a smile on my face but gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

Don't you just love chess?? (Well, some of the time!)

Judging from my opponent's user name, he comes from Rovinj in Croatia. You get a bonus point if you knew that this (together with Zagreb) was the scene of the "Tournament of Peace" in 1970 (almost immediately after the USSR v Rest of the World match) which was won decisively by Bobby Fischer with 13/17 (ie +9!!). And you would get 5 bonus points if you knew that the only game he lost (his first for almost three years) was against the less than household name, Vlado Kovacevic!

There is a very interesting report of the game on chessgames.com, including Kovacevic's own remembrances (given on a 2015 Croatian TV programme). " Fischer was a gentleman who perhaps overconfidently entered the game with a lesser player. In what was, in Kovacevic’s words, a battle of David vs. Goliath, Fischer did not go for a draw or tempt Kovacevic with a draw-offer in the early phase, but played actively until the position was lost. Then he shook the young opponent’s hand, said ‘Very good,’ signed the score sheet, and left. Kovacevic had not even managed to sign his own sheet when Petrosian, excited with Fischer’s defeat, took it from his hands and enthusiastically exclaimed: ‘For Moscow, for Moscow!’"

Intriguingly, there is also some suggestion that Petrosian's wife was used to tell Kovacevic the decisive move during the game, but Kovacevic claims that as he did not speak Russian he had no idea what she was saying to him.

However, whatever the truth about that incident, I can definitely confirm, that in the game above, neither Petrosian's, or anybody else's, wife prompted me to make the decisive move. It was all my own work!!

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