“What Say You?” The 1 Minute Challenge (52)

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer”
Bruce Lee

A quick reminder how it works:

  • Have a look at the position for 1 minute (watch the clock)
  • Think about the choices in front of you and pick the one you feel it is right
  • Verify it in your mind the best you can
  • Compare it with the solution

The World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi has been a treat for us in the chess community. It has also been noted in general by people who rediscovered chess because of “The Queen’s Gambit” series. A few people around my office would chat with me about different moments in the match, curious to get my perspective on it. Because of this I would say that it has provided good publicity for the game.

People are not used to see a collapse of this proportion in chess. The game that broke the camel’s back was without a doubt game 6. It is not the fact that it entered the history books for being the longest game played in a World Championship match (136 moves). I believe it was the roller coaster ride it took as all into and the incredible endgame both players played. I was fortunate enough to watch live the last part of it. By the end of it I was happy Magnus won and in the same time I thought there was no way Ian could recover from it. He could not.

A couple of days later I watched the game explained by GM Daniel King on his YouTube channel “PowerPlayChess“. In my subjective opinion it is one of the best analysis I have seen or read about. You can judge it for yourself if you wish. Here is one example: in the below position black could have played 65… Qd3. Have a look at it as indicated and come up with an answer. Magnus went down to 20+ seconds to play his move 40. I guess the 1 minute you get sounds about right, eh?

White must capture a couple of Black pawns to play for a win. They all look vulnerable but how should White do it? One rook must guard the e-file and defend the e3-backwards pawn. That limits what the rooks can do. It is more or less obvious one of the rooks should take over the g-file, while the other one guards the e-file. Then we can assume White will use the g5-outpost for one of his rooks and my guess is at least the h5-pawn could be lost.

Hope you are still with me so far. Now what follows next is clearly above my paygrade. GM Daniel King has captured in his video an incredible idea discovered by GM Ganguly and GM Judit Polgar in their live commentary from chess24.com. I did not see it mentioned in a couple of important chess locations and I believe it should be known by many. All I want is to make you aware of it. This kind of ideas separate the chess immortals from the rest of us. Thank you Daniel!

Eugen Demian

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Valer Eugen Demian

Author: Valer Eugen Demian

The player – my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today’s standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor – my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app:
I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek! View all posts by Valer Eugen Demian

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