Andrew Martin: Blind leading the blind

by ChessBase
3/20/2007 – The Melody Amber tournament gives us great players humbled by the format, making all manners of mistakes, often reduced to the level of club amateurs, as our trainer will show in his Wednesday night lecture. Nevertheless it is all conducted in a spirit of friendship and entertainment, and the players themselves seem to be having lots of fun.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


It's ... the Andrew Martin Radio ChessBase Show

The Melody Amber tournament always provides fine entertainment. Here we see great players humbled by the format, making all manner of mistakes that they would never normally make. Nevetheless, it seems to me that the whole event is conducted in fantastic spirit and that they are actually all having fun!

We take three miniatures from this current event, all of which delight. In Van Wely-Ivanchuk, Chukky gets heavy with the white king:

Van Wely,L (2683) - Ivanchuk,V (2750) [A17]
Amber Blindfold Monte Carlo MNC (1), 17.03.2007
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3 6.Qxc3 b6 7.e3 Bb7 8.Be2 d6 9.0-0 a5 10.b3 Nbd7 11.Bb2 Qe7 12.d4 Ne4 13.Qc2 f5 14.Ne1 Qg5 15.Qc1 Rf6 16.f3 Qh5

He reappears in our second game to down Vishy Anand with a vicious trick:

Ivanchuk,V (2750) - Anand,V (2779) [E37]
Amber Blindfold Monte Carlo MNC (3), 19.03.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 Ne4 7.Qc2 c5 8.dxc5 Nc6 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Nf3 Bf5 11.b4 d4 12.g4 Bg6 13.Qb2 0-0 14.Bg2 Re8 15.0-0 Nc3 16.Re1 h5 17.g5 Be4 18.Bd2 Ne5 19.Bxc3 Bxf3 20.exf3 dxc3 21.Qxc3 Qxg5


Then in the third game Aronian gets confused after 14 cxd5:

Gelfand,B (2733) - Aronian,L (2744) [E11]
Amber Blindfold Monte Carlo MNC (3), 19.03.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Nf3 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.Bf4 b6 9.Nc3 Bb7 10.Rc1 Nh5 11.Be5 Nd7 12.cxd5 exd5 13.e4 f6 14.exd5 cxd5

We move to the Bundesliga for our final featured game, a very random King's Indian, which looks like another blindfold game:


This week's puzzle is a beauty, enjoy!

J. Breuer, Die Schwalbe, 1928

A position from an art gallery. White to play and mate in four. Please send your entries by 18:00h GMT on Wednesday to

Solution to last week's puzzle

In view of the deadly threat 1...Bxc7 mate, does White to play win, lose or draw in the end?

Solution: Play, if one can call it that, runs 1.Bh2 Bxh2 2.g3 Bxg3 3.Rf4 Bxf4 4.d6 Bxd6 5.Qh2!! Bxh2 6.Re5 Bxe5 7.Nab5 Bf4 8.f6 Bxc7+ 9.Nxc7 with a draw by stalemate. Incredible!

Join the fun this Wednesday evening at 22:00h GMT / 23:00h CET, or listen in at your convenience in the PlayChess Media Centre.

The Andrew Martin Radio ChessBase lecture begins on Wednesdays at 23:00h CET (Central European Time = server time, which translates to 22:00h London, 5:00 p.m. New York, 07:00 a.m. Sydney (on Thursday). You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

The Andrew Martin Chess Academy offers a personal game annotation service; a regular newsletter written by AMCA staff; the best online tuition in terms of value and quality; a series of tournaments for children aged under 14; all aspects of chess training, including specific opening preparation; an AMCA room at, where lessons may be held in complete privacy with our expert tutors – all at a time that is best for you at any time of day or night, anywhere in the world. The motto: "Join us, Improve and enjoy your chess!"

Andrew Martin, chess trainer and teacher

He is not some unknown in the world of chess. Andrew Martin was the star commentator in the 2000 London match between Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik, and he gained recent international fame and popularity with his live audio commentary on during the FIDE world championship in San Luis.

Andrew is also a prolific chess trainer, not just live in British scholastic circles, but also in a series of training DVDs he has produced for ChessBase, taking full advantage of our Chess Media System. His lively, entertaining style, combined with a good dash of humour, makes any lesson with him a delight to follow.

Andrew Martin is 47 years old and lives in Sandhurst, England, with his wife and four children. His book King‘s Indian Battle Plans for Thinkers Press was an international best-seller.

Each week Martin will cast his eye over the contemporary chess scene, presenting a veritable pot-pourri of interesting topics. We look forward to the pleasure of your company.

Andrew Martin: The Trompowsky – The easy way

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register