Speelman's Agony #67

by Jonathan Speelman
12/31/2017 – A Happy New year to readers as we embark on the final Agony column of this year with two fascinating games by Murray Campbell. Fancy Jon taking a look at your games? Send them in! If you appear in the Agony column, not only will you get free detailed commentary of your games by one of chess’s great authors and instructors, and former world no. 4 player, but you also win a free three-month ChessBase Premium Account!

Fritz 16 - He just wants to play! Fritz 16 - He just wants to play!

Fritz 16 is looking forward to playing with you, and you're certain to have a great deal of fun with him too. Tense games and even well-fought victories await you with "Easy play" and "Assisted analysis" modes.


Last Agony of 2017

A Happy New year to readers as we embark on the final Agony column of this year with two fascinating games by Murray Campbell an Australian who is about the same age as me.

He writes:

Murray CampbellI was once fairly active in Queensland chess, what now seems like a lifetime ago. I never won the Queensland title, my best being second in 1991. I drifted away from tournament play due to work and family responsibilities but the game never truly lets go. I am personally cast in the Karpov mode and competently play a number of different games, such as bridge, scrabble and backgammon, even supporting myself once through university playing poker with some fairly shady characters. But chess was always my first love.

I have recently retired from academia, the public service and the private sector where my professional area of expertise was psephology [The statistical study of elections and trends in voting -JS]. I have now partially returned to my old love and am currently coaching senior chess at two of Brisbane's high schools. If you remember the central metaphor about the cat and dog from the recent movie "Queen of Katwe", I coach the canines. The students' enthusiasm for the game is so infectious, they are slowly encouraging me to return to competitive chess.

(I haven't seen this film and asked Murray to explain. He says that he was being a little ironic and that in the film, there is a tale of a dog chasing a cat through the slums of Uganda. Eventually the cat escapes. The point of the metaphor is that the slum students learning chess are fighting for their lives while the private school chess students like the dog are only fighting for a meal. So the cats never give up while the dogs are somewhat less concerned.)

Murray continues:

I have sent in two of my short games from city and state championships in the 1990s. The first is a tale of two early queens. I particularly enjoy this game because of its conclusion, culminating in an elegant checkmate that my opponent kindly allowed me to play at the board. No one threw any gold coins, but this was one of the very few times that a number of the other players clapped me at the finish. The second was a toe-to-toe slugfest including a novel, though admittedly forced, queen sacrifice which unfortunately ended when I tripped over my shoelaces in time trouble and knocked myself out. This game was played in an early round against the eventual winner of that year's Queensland Championship and represents one that got way — agony indeed.

Murray annotated the games in some detail to which I've as usual added as JS. We start with the Agony:


Click or tap on the second game in the game list below the board to switch

Attacking with the Italian Game and the Ruy Lopez

The purpose of this DVD is to teach players how to conduct the attack on the black king using different methods. Although the Italian Game and the Ruy Lopez are mostly positional openings, it is very often possible to make use of attacking methods of play

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Jonathan Speelman, born in 1956, studied mathematics but became a professional chess player in 1977. He was a member of the English Olympic team from 1980–2006 and three times British Champion. He played twice in Candidates Tournaments, reaching the semi-final in 1989. He twice seconded a World Championship challenger: Nigel Short and then Viswanathan Anand against Garry Kasparov in London 1993 and New York 1995.


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