SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Good day, Wednesday! Chess can be a strange game sometimes. You struggle and slave to win material and then you realize that you have to give it all back in one move inorder to win! Or no matter how sophisticated your preparation is, how successful your strategical planning and perfect your tactical execution…you win only because of a simple check! Each game can balance on a completely different theme…
In this Platov study there are all sorts of obstacles that need to be cleared before victory can be achieved. Do you see the idea? The theme is …!?.
White to play and win. Good luck!
Platov (brothers) 1906
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
by T.G. Whitworth
”The Platov Brothers were among the leading study composers in the world, skilfully developing themes such as the battle of two pieces against a queen, luring black pieces onto key squares, and subtle aspects of rook endings. Amazingly beautiful stalemate combinations occur in their studies as well as a whole series of studies demonstrate tactical the abilities of specific pieces.” is the forward to this great book
The Latvian brothers Mikhail and Vassily Platov were prolific composers and
none other than Soviet leader Lenin
considered their work as magnificent. As we know, Lenin was an avid chess player. On more than on occasion the Soviet leader publically praised the Platov brothers….
Born into a rich bourgeois family, the Latvian (Riga) brothers Mikhail (1883-1938) and Vassily (1881-1952) composed over 300 studies. The brothers started composing independently of each other but by 1905 they were working as a team. Soon they were among the leading composers in the world.
Vassily was the most creative in the composing duo but they both needed each other for their talent to flourish. Their compositions were of a high order. They were pioneers along with Troitsky, Kubbel and Rinck of a new emerging art form in chess, that of composing endgame studies with it’s own rules and competitions.
The Platov brothers built on earlier work but also made new discoveries in the field of endgame theory. They skilfully developed themes such as the battle of two pieces against a queen, luring black pieces onto key squares, and subtle aspects of rook endings. Amazingly beautiful stalemate combinations occur in their studies.
A whole series of studies demonstrate tactical the abilities of specific pieces and also defense and attack procedures in the battle between various pieces. They wrote together: ‘Selection of Chess Studies’ (first edition 1914; second edition 1928), as well as ‘150 Modern Studies’ (1925)
For many years Vasily Platov ran study columns in a number of Russian and Soviet magazines and he often acted as an arbiter in study competitions. He was an honoured doctor of Medicine of the USSR (1947), and was awarded numerous state decorations for his work on infectious diseases.
Mikhail was an engineer; in 1937 he was arrested and sent to a labour camp near Kargopol. The exact place and date of his death are unknown.
Chess author and GM Andy Soltis wrote in his monumental work ‘Soviet Chess 1917-91′:
”In early October (1937) he was at a plant planning meeting and made an uncomplimentary remark about Stalin, according to details unearthed by Grodzensky. On the night of October 3 he was arrested and sentenced shortly afterward to 10 years in prison.
Mikhail Platov continued to send letters to his brother as late as 1938. In one from the Kargopolsky camp in the far northern Arkhangelsk Oblast, he expressed hope that he would be freed soon, since ”in the course of my entire life I was far from politics.” He composed even in his final months and sent his brother a white-to-play-and-win he composed based on a game played in the camp.”
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS