In the Grand Manner

2/8/2006 – For this Wednesday night's Playchess lecture our popular chess trainer Andrew Martin experiments with an improved Philidor move order, looks at the King's Biship's Gambit, shows us a masterly Queen's Indian by Vishy Anand, and a Grand Study by Liburkin. Now with last week's problem solution!

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

Philidor's defence has never really been at the forefront of fashion, but recent experiments with the improved move order 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5!

have been encouraging. This week's radio show explores, dissects and comments on the idea. Then we will look at the King's Bishop's Gambit through the eyes of GM Mark Hebden sitting behind the Black pieces. And in the final game we will be treated to a masterly display by Vishy Anand in an unusual Queen's Indian.

The response to last week's puzzle was extremely positive, and Ray Dunne from Dublin was the eventual winner. Congratulations to all of you for sending in such stimulating, thoughtful and supportive answers.

So we continue with a study by Liburkin...

White to play and draw

...in the grand manner of composition and invite you to submit your thoughts to predictaresult@yahoo.co.uk. Complete analysis only will qualify for the prize.

Last week's puzzle

This problem is from Raymond Smullyan's Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes. It's White's move, no captures have been made over the last four moves. What was the last move by Black?

There were a number of letters claiming the problem had no solution. Here's a typical letter we received from David in Austin, USA: "The puzzle has no solution. There is no possible black last move, assuming no captures in last four moves. The black rook and pawn are completely trapped. The black king is trapped. the black bishop is blocking the king from check, and there's no way white could have revealed a check before that. The queen is pinned because White's pinning bishop has no lateral freedom and can't move along the pinning line, because it would put White in check. White couldn't be in check, with Black to move (and Black moves away from checking). If you are doing anything shifty, like "en passant isn't technically a capture" or some nonsense like that, then I won't feel bad for not solving this puzzle. Please tell me it's something lame like the board being upside down (even though you put board coordinates) I tried to work it out for upsidedown and it was impossible that way too."

It does too have a solution, David. This is the position two moves before the above diagram.

Perfectly legal, no funny stuff here. And now the moves that lead to the problem position: 1.Bc8+ Bh4+ 2.Ne1+ Qg4. Maddening perhaps, impossible not.

The AM Radio Show takes place on Wednesday at 19:30 GMT/20:30 CET. See you there !

The Andrew Martin Radio ChessBase lecture begins on Wednesdays at 20:30h CEST (European Central time = server time, which translates to 19:30h London, 2:30 p.m. New York, 04:30 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.


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 Playchess.com 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



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