Monday, 30 March 2020

Even More Reasons to be Cheerful

I know its difficult to imagine many reasons to be cheerful right now in our self-isolating, social distancing, lock-down world, but chess (which, as we all know, has the power to make men happy) can always be relied upon to remind us that others sometimes will have it worse than us. And whenever good news is in short supply, the odd bit of schadenfreude never goes amiss. So you can imagine how delighted I was to come across another wonderful example of a strong player getting a terrible pasting, and ending up in a position so abject that you can only stare in wonder that a GM could be reduced to such utter helplessness.

Now the poor soul on the receiving end of this massacre is not on the same illustrious level as the two previous victims in this series, Mark Taimanov and Garry Kasparov, but Nikita Meskovs is a very strong Latvian GM (ELO 2582, age 26), who could beat us all with one hand tied behind his back. And he was facing World top-10 player (and close friend of Roy Watson!), Anish Giri. But in this game the climax seems rather like David against Goliath - except that David forgot his slingshot, and Goliath brought along a small ballistic missile just to be sure. Once again, its the final position that you need to study. There, but for the grace of God, go all of us. So lets be thankful that - once again - someone much stronger than us was on the receiving end.

Total chessboard domination. The poor Back queen is never seeing the light of day again! Admit it - aren't you glad you weren't on the receiving end of that!?

And in case you think the player of the Black pieces didn't put up much of  fight, I should just mention that in the very next game - played a few minutes after this grizzly encounter, Meskovs came within a whisker of beating 3 times World Blitz champion Alexander Grischuk, before having to concede the draw.

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