and politics Chess
Apparently , there is no reason
why chess should be influenced by politics, or factors having
nothing to do with the game itself. But chess players, particularly
in closed societies, have had the experience of coming under
the shadow of politics .
We do not have to go far to
find a grandmaster who left his country because he felt that
the chess authorities did not want him to become world champion
. Yes, I am talking about Victor Korchnoi who left the former
Soviet Union in 1976.
Korchnoi's defection created
quite a furore at the time. But he failed to beat Karpov in
the two matches for the world championship. That perhaps was
not enough to refute the charges that he had brought against
the Soviet chess authorities.
Some very unusual things happened
during the first title match played in a small town in the
Philippines in 1978. The Soviet delegation included a strange
man whose duty was to watch Korchnoi from a distance! Even
if it was a purely psychological ploy, it was no doubt an
extremely unsporting one. The match organisers could not remove
the 'Korchnoi watcher' since he was a member of the official
Soviet delegation. Interestingly, in those days the Soviet
delegations used to be unusually large.
Korchnoi, now 73, is still
playing top level chess. It is not easy to understand how
he manages to have the concentration needed for success at
that level of the game. He drew with GM Ziaur Rahman on the
top board in Bangladesh's match with Switzerland in the fifth
round of the Chess Olympiad in Spain a few days ago. We lost
the match 1-3.
However, much worse things
had happened to players in the distant past. Vladimirs Petrovs,
a highly talented Latvian chess master, was killed by Stalin's
army in the late thirties.
Petrovs proved his class in
the very strong Kemeri tournament in 1937. It was the peak
of his rather short chess career. Here is how he defeated
Swedish Grandmaster Gideon Stahlberg.
Black- Gideon Stahlberg [D43]
Kemeri , 1937
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.Qb3
dxc4 8.Qxc4 Nd7 9.e4 e5 10.d5 Nb6 11.Qb3 Bc5 12.Be2 0–0
13.0–0 Bg4 14.Rac1 Rfd8 15.Nd1 Bxf3 16.Qxf3 Qxf3 17.Bxf3
Nd7 18.dxc6 bxc6 19.Bg4 Bb6 20.Rxc6 Nf6 21.Bf3 Rd2 22.a4 Rad8
23.b4 R8d4 24.Rc8+ Kh7 25.a5 Bd8 26.Ne3 Rxb4 27.Nd5 Rxd5 28.exd5
Bxa5 29.Rd1 Rb2 30.Kf1 Bb6 31.Be2 Ne4 32.Rc6 Bd4 33.d6 Nf6
34.Rc7 Rb6 35.Rxd4 exd4 36.Bd3+ g6 37.Rxf7+ 1–0
Position after 27..Nd5
(R) thedailystar.net 2004