Saturday, 26 December 2020

That Didn't Take Long!

A few weeks ago (November 20th to be precise, when presenting the Worst Move Ever Played!) I referenced an epic game of mine against Dave Thomas which I won in 10 moves, as Black. This was itself the subject of an article on this website (July 4, 2019), and thinking about it again got me wondering how many other short games of chess I had played in my long and decidedly un-illustrious career. A bit of research told me that I have been involved in just 10 decisive games - out of almost 1,900 competitive over the board games - that have lasted 15 moves or less. Fortunately I have been on the winning side every time! (For the negative minded amongst you, my quickest ever loss was with White against Robin Killick in a Whoberley A v Warwick Uni A match in 2003, when I had to resign after 17 moves.)

Strangely, 7 of these games have been played in the last 14 years, immediately before which there had been 21 years without even a single superfast victory! (OK, I did give up playing for six years, but what about the other 15??) The first three themselves had formed a small cluster in just a seven year period. It transpires that the game against Dave Thomas, at 10 moves, is actually the equal second shortest I have ever played. The two other ultra-quickies are presented below, but here is the full list of my ten quickest ever wins.

10 White v Maurice Staples - 15 moves - Nuneaton A v Coventry A, 17.01.2012
7= White v KE Pullen - 14 moves - Chertsey v Mitcham, 13.05.1983
7= Black v Sean Hewitt - 14 moves - Nuneaton B v Whoberley A, 28.11.2006
7= Black v James Harrison - 14 moves - Kenilworth v Warwick Uni B, 19.11.2019
6  White v Bob Wildig - 12 moves - Rugby A v Whoberley A, 20.11.2007
4= White v Doug Bellis - 11 moves - Mitcham Club Championship, 17.09.1985
4= White v Nalin Kadodwala - 11 moves - Coventry A v Rugby A, 16.10.2012
2= White v P Leary - 10 moves - Kynoch v Bushbury, 04.04.2011
2= Black v Dave Thomas - 10 moves - Leamington v Shirley, 21.01.2009
1   White v Albert Lusty - 9 moves - Self Changing Gears A v Triumph A - 17.10.1978

(Some of these games are still subject to a D-Notice which prevents their publication, as I have not given up all hope of repeating them!)

If I had known back in October 1978 that I would never (probably!) win such a short game again, would I have been so discouraged that I'd have given up chess? Hopefully not - what on earth would I have done with all those thousands of hours I have spent/wasted on the game since then??

This is all by way of a teaser, as I'm sure everyone is on tenterhooks waiting to see these two uber-micro victories of mine. So I won't keep you in suspense any longer! We begin with the second of my two 10 move wins:-

But in pole position, and in splendid isolation, is this 9 move Coventry League masterpiece, played almost certainly on a miserable Tuesday evening at the SCG Social Club on Lythalls Lane, between two great names from Coventry's manufacturing past. (That's the teams, of course, not the players!)

Can anyone do better than 9 moves??

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