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     Volume 4 Issue 9 | August 20, 2004 |

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Time Out

Swindlers and masochists Chess

The world of chess is infested with 'swindlers' who can shatter your most legitimate dreams, and the 'masochists' happy with inferior positions!

The number of such 'errant' players may not be high, but you should always be on guard against them. A swindler does not necessarily look like having a devious character. But his pent-up energy seems to get released only when the position on the board is absolutely lost! The guy will set traps for you, some of them quite diabolical, and a careless move will land you in one of them. Remember a game is not won until the opponent resigns. Swindlers will test both your resilience and vigilance before giving up. It's like taming a wounded tiger!

The masochists fall in quite another category. I'm not sure whether the term is appropriate to describe players who love to defend poor or inferior positions. But how else can you define somebody subjecting himself, often deliberately, to the agony of defending a bad position. It's self-inflicted pain! You may have begun to think that I'm talking about some rare species. True, their number is not high, but you will meet them once in a while and if you fail to understand what you are up against, the result will be disastrous. The trouble with these players is that general theories don't seem to mean anything to them! Usually, your opponent feels uneasy when you have the initiative. After all, everybody likes to dominate the goings-on. But the masochist is made of different stuff; he will defend patiently and wait for the moment when you relax a bit or get frustrated, after failing to get anything out of a good position. He will allow you to have the taste of initiative!

World champion Dr Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941) was known for his exceptional ability to save lost games, though it's not known whether he got into them deliberately. His followers love to defend inferior positions for scoring the full point! The strategy may not be sound, but it's certainly not easy to counter over the board.

See how Lasker subdues a great master.


White- Emanuel Lasker
Black - Jose Raul Capablanca [C68]
St Petersburg, 1914

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d4 exd4 6.Qxd4 Qxd4 7.Nxd4 Bd6 8.Nc3 Ne7 9.00 00 10.f4 Re8 11.Nb3 f6 12.f5! b6 13.Bf4 Bb7? 14.Bxd6 cxd6 15.Nd4 Rad8?. 16.Ne6 Rd7 17.Rad1 Nc8 18.Rf2 b5 19.Rfd2 Rde7 20.b4 Kf7 21.a3 Ba8? 22.Kf2 Ra7 23.g4 h6 24.Rd3 a5? 25.h4 axb4 26.axb4 Rae7 27.Kf3 Rg8 28.Kf4 g6 29.Rg3 g5+ 30.Kf3 Nb6 31.hxg5 hxg5 32.Rh3! Rd7 33.Kg3 Ke8 34.Rdh1 Bb7 35.e5! dxe5 36.Ne4 Nd5 37.N6c5 Bc8 38.Nxd7 Bxd7 39.Rh7 Rf8 40.Ra1 Kd8
41.Ra8+ Bc8 42.Nc51-0

Position after 12.f5!




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