Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Guess the players

I'm trying out a different way of producing diagrams for this blog. The diagram on the left was created by exporting a position from Chesscat as a bitmap and then converting that into a jpeg using irfanview.

Can you find White's next move in the diagram? Extra bonus points if you know who was playing and when!

A clue? The player with the White pieces is claimed by some to be the greatest player ever not to become world champion. The Black pieces belong to a world champion who in 1901, at the tender age of 13 defeated the national champion of his country in a match.

See if you can find the next move and name the players before I give the answer!


Noam said...

The move is easy enough to find... 1...Ne6, which is really more of a trick to transfer the knight to a better attacking position than a sacrifice (because it can't really be accepted).

your hints were too generous...
Otherwise finding out the players' identities may have taken longer.

Black is obviously Jose Raul Capablanca.
Not many people are held in that much respect to hold the title of "strongest player never to become world champion" (Yes, I consider it a title...), perhaps only 2 or 3 players ever can make the claim...

In this case, the great Paul Keres was white.

C.T. said...

About the possibilities to add chessdiagrams to a blog site it is also possible to use a plugin to convert FEN to a chess diagram like I did on my chess (blog) site.

Ryan Emmett said...

Hi Noam. Thanks for replying.

Correct on all counts! Next time I'll make the question harder! :)

Ryan Emmett said...

Hi ct,

Could you explain more, please? What software do you use and what plugin?


C.T. said...

I have written a WordPress plugin myself, as you can see on my site. But I want to improve some things before making it available for download. Probably within a couple of weeks.

But I found another plugin, that does almost the same thing on this site. If I had found this plugin before I probably would't have started to program one by myself.
But now I prefer my own plugin, because of some of the additional functionality.

Noam said...

It just occurred to me that I forgot the "when" part of your question: 1938, I think it was in the famous AVRO tournament in the Netherland.

Ryan Emmett said...

Right again Noam. :)

Dan Scoones said...

I recognised this position immediately because I had spent several hours working through the game trying to find Keres's moves... in 1978!

Ryan Emmett said...

Dan - that's really something! Did you pick this game for a reason? Were you studying all of Keres' games or all the games from the AVRO tournament?

I picked it pretty much at random, mostly because I liked the Knight manoeuvre with Ne6. Once you see it, it's not that deep but putting the Knight en prise is so counter-intuitive that I think it's not an easy move for a beginner to find. It certainly took be aback as I played through the game!

I get the same experience of remembering a position (say from 1001 winning chess sacrifices and combinations by Reinfeld) but I haven't gone through an entire game in that sort of detail.

I guess visual memory plays an important part in chess. I've heard it said that the top players can recall the moves to ALL their games and lots of others too!

Anonymous said...

I see you wrote a plugin using palview, any chance you might release the plugin?

Just thought I would ask.

Ryan Emmett said...

I haven't written a plugin - I think you must mean c.t. who mentions a plugin in a message above.

You could try contacting him at his blog. :)