The Art of Swindling

The Art of Swindling

kenytiger
Oct 21, 2007, 12:00 AM |
19 | Endgames

"By all the rules, laws, principles, and ethics of Chess, swindles ought to fail. Yet, they work, not always, to be sure, but often enough, and quite effectively, too. We all share the wistful belief that Chess is a matter of abstract justice; and a player who has outplayed his opponent 99.99% of the way is "morally" entitled to victory. However, as long as Chess games are decided by results, swindles will have their perfectly legitimate place in Chess. Just as post-mortems cannot bring a corpse to life, so the most beautiful analysis in the world cannot annul those deadly words "checkmate" or "resign". (from the book "Chess Traps, Pitfalls & Swindles" by I.A. Horowitz and Fred Reinfeld). Check the position below for example: Black has an easy win, he is two Pawns up, and he menaces to Queen his c-Pawn in two moves, plus he threatens ...Kg3, winning the last White Pawn. On the brink of resigning, White thinks of a clever swindle. And so, with a let's-see-what-happens attitude, he plays Kf4. Now if Black just take a minute's thought to see through the swindle, he can win by playing...Rc4+, driving the White King away, instead, he rushes straight to his doom and loses miserably. Let the final position be a warning to all impatient would-be-winners.

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