An experienced player is one who has seen it all: the good, the bad and the ugly. Some days his plans work like Swiss clockwork, other days anything that can go wrong does. And way too quickly.
There in lies the attraction of being a kibbitzer. Spared the pain of defeat, he is able to find amusement and entertainment regardless of which side wins. And all this without ever having to pay the price of admission. Can a voyeur ask for more?
Example 1: Old Friends
Not sure how it came about, but the other day I was thumbing thru an old collection of Montreal tournament games from 1978 and I came across the game below, It was between two of my friends, Jack Gersho and Sam Melkonian, both strong amateurs at the time.
Unfortunately, Jack is no longer with us (he died at age 87 in 2004). Jack was a successful entreprenneur and very well respected in Montreal’s thriving chess community. Sam today is a mathematics professor at Carleton University (Ottawa). Unfortunately he has not played competitive chess for decades.
The game features some beautiful and unexpected chess tactics. Enjoy!
Melkonian,Sam – Gersho,Jack Lasker Memorial Montreal 3.6.1978 (1-0)
Example 2: More Mathematicians
My Montreal readers will surely remember Ilan Vardi and Jacques Labelle. Both strong master level players in their day. Long since retired from the world of competitive chess, both are today well known mathematicians.
Jacques is a professor at UQAM (Montreal) while Ilan works at EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland).
Below is a beautiful attack by Ilan. Played at the Quebec Championship (1978), it has been published in many magazines and websites around the world. It is the mathematical precision of the execution of White’s attack that has always impressed me most about this game…
Vardi,Ilan – Labelle, Jacques Quebec Ch Montreal 1978 (1-0)
Jacques comes from a family of mathematicians. His three brothers, Denis, Gilbert and André are all professors! He told me once that when the family gets together for Xmas they love to give tricky mathematical problems to each other.
I always feel a bit guilty of when I publish a loss of someone I know well, so I want to present to my readers what is probably Jacques Labelle’s best game. And it is a GREAT game! I was present when it was played, and during the tournament evenings, after the rounds, we were all treated to Jacques explaining the many complicated variations. Enjoy!
Labelle,Jacques – Amos,Bruce Canadian Open Ottawa 1973 (1-0)
OOPS! (When things go VERY wrong)
We all have those embarrassing ‘OOPS!’ moments. An unexpected blunder, an inexplicable case of momentary blindness or some sudden panic leading to immediate catastrophe.
Let’s take a look at some that I found this week…
Luis B. Hoyos-Millan – Lizarralde, F Bogota, Colombia 1988 (1-0)