Anand, Topalov and me

Troppodillians will want to know – OK, some will want to know that the chess world championship is currently underway. Topalov, swashbuckling, highly strung, nasty piece of work is challenger to Anand who is a calmer, probably nicer and a tad more consistent player – and the World Champion. Even so, Anand has not been playing well. So even though the betting markets have favoured Anand quite heavily, I’ve wondered if Topalov might break through.

You can keep up with the games which go out live from this website and are well underway by midnight on playing days.  One of the interesting things is how much comes down to preparation. Topalov won the first game without taking much time on the clock – most of what he did was prepared. Anand won the second game – it seems a bit more on his own merits.  Then Topalov couldn’t get anywhere with white in the third.  Then Topalov seemed pretty foolhardy with black and was taken to the cleaners by Anand – who played brilliantly, but some commentators say it was mostly preparation.  So Anand is ahead 2 1/2 – 1 1/2.

Anyway tune in later tonight if you want to watch.

What has all this to do with me? Very little.  Very, very little. The only news from me on the chess front is that I couldn’t figure out the puzzle below. Once pointed out, it’s not that hard, and I got some of the way, but I just couldn’t see how you could stop that pawn queening.  Once pointed out, it’s obvious that it’s the only way to stop the pawn queening.  As ever, click on the picture to take yourself through to the actual game.

Black to play
Loman vs Lasker

38. …?
See game for solution.
Difficulty Scale

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14 years ago

It took me forever to work out how to stop the pawn promoting itself or work out that if it did it would come to a very nasty end. I came up with:

.. Rc4+
Kg5 Rh4
Kxh4 g5+
Kxg5 Kg7

How did I fare?