" The Time Has Come to Speak of Many Things"

" The Time Has Come to Speak of Many Things"


" Weak squares, neuralgic points
Amazing tactics, pain in your joints!
Wild gambits to take the initiative,
Slow maneuvers to make you pensive!

Wild tactics and great imagination,
Almost faster than the Earth's rotation!
Wins and losses, ratings points won and lost,
'But who's counting?', said the party host!

Against the King's Indian, please never play
That "b3" move....it doesn't pay!
Against the Benko, or the Classic King's Indian
It will weaken your main meridians!

You don't believe me? Just watch the games!
They will amaze any man or dame!
How to exploit the weak c3 square
And the deadly pin, a bishop's dare!

Good players are made to look bad,
The triumph of tactics will drive you mad!
Enough with words, look at the moves the great ones make!
Shattering egos, positions and pieces in their wake!"
-Kamalakanta Nieves, May 11, 2019
(written for and inspired by this blog)

1. On Style, Attack vs. Defense, and Chess as Art!

A. Chigorin and Steiniz vs. Kasparov and Karpov

Where do I start? So many things come to my mind! OK, Steinitz is first. He believed that his position was strongest when his pieces were on the first rank and his pawns had not moved. Chigorin, on the other hand, was a dynamic player; piece activity was as important as a strong position.

In this respect, Karpov and Kasparov mimic these two: Karpov is Steinitz-like in his reluctance to advance, and his faith in his own defensive capabilitites. Kasparov, on the other hand, is the ultimate Master of dynamic piece play!

OK, take a look at these two games, played more than 100 years apart, and see if you detect the parallels!

"The games of the telegraph match made a startling impression on me", the second World Champion Lasker recalled many years later. "to crush Steinitz in such a way- this seemed incredible!"

OK, please compare Steinitz to Karpov! In the following game, Karpov retreats, and retreats, and retreats.....and Kasparov crushes his position, in a very similar way in which Chigorin crushed Steinitz in that famous telegraph match!

Now let us look at games from two chess Artists- Mikhail Tal and Rashid Nezhmetdinov. Both had very similar styles. As a matter of fact, Nezhmetdinov was one of Tal's trainers for his World Championship Match in 1960 against Botvinnik, which Tal won. Not only that, in their lifetime scores against each other, Nezhmetdinov beat Tal 3 to 1! Take a look!

                                                  Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov

And the following game, what can I say? Years later, when they asked Tal which was the happiest day of his life, he said it was when he lost the following game to Rashid Nezhmetdinov!

2. Please don't play b3 against the King's Indian Defense!

In the 1940s, David Bronstein and Isaac Boleslavsky did their pioneering research on the King's Indian. The result? A plethora of great games! Witness the following two games by Bronstein, played in 1946, right after WWII,  in a Moscow-Prague match! These two games put the King's Indian Defense, and Bronstein, on the map!

                                                      David Ionovich Bronstein

The second game, also from that 1946 Moscow-Prague match, also features White trying a b3 system against the King's Indian Defense.....and Bronstein also sacrifices his rook on a1!

"The art of a chess player consists in his ability to ignite a magical fire from the dull and senseless initial position."

--David Ionovich Bronstein

And finally, on the theme of playing b3 against the King's Indian Defense, here is Kasparov's amazing win against Kramnik, in 1994!

And finally, the game that inspired this blog in the first place! At the time this game was played, Vlastimil Hort was one of the top players in the world! Yet Lev Alburt makes him look like a kid! Take a look!

Ah, one more thing! The poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter", by Lewis Carroll!

The Walrus and the Carpenter

The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might: He did his very best to make The billows smooth and bright - And this was odd, because it was The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily Because she thought the sun Had got no business to be there After the day was done- "It's very rude of him", she said, "To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be, The sands were dry as dry. You could not see a cloud, because No cloud was in the sky: No birds were flying overhead - There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand: They wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand: "If this were only cleared away," They said, "it would be grand!"

"If seven maids with seven mops Swept it for half a year, Do you suppose," the Walrus said, "That they could get it clear?" "I doubt it", said the Carpenter, And shed a bitter tear.

"O Oysters, come and walk with us!" The Walrus did beseech. "A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk, Along the briny beach: We cannot do with more than four, To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him, But never a word he said: The eldest Oyster winked his eye, And shook his heavy head- Meaning to say he did not choose To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up, All eager for the treat: Their coats were brushed, their faces washed, Their shoes were clean and neat - And this was odd, because, you know, They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them, And yet another four; And thick and fast they came at last, And more, and more, and more- All hopping through the frothy waves, And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter Walked on a mile or so, And then they rested on a rock Conveniently low: And all the little oysters stood And waited in a row.

"The time has come", the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes - and ships - and sealing wax - Of cabbages - and kings- And why the sea is boiling hot - And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried, "Before we have our chat; For some of us are out of breath, And all of us are fat!" "No hurry!" said the Carpenter. They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread", the Walrus said, "Is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides Are very good indeed - Now, if you're ready, Oysters dear, We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried, Turning a little blue. "After such kindness, that would be A dismal thing to do!" "The night is fine," the Walrus said. "Do you admire the view?"

"It was so kind of you to come! And you are very nice!" The Carpenter said nothing but "Cut us another slice. I wish you were not quite so deaf - I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said, "To play them such a trick. After we've brought them out so far, And made them trot so quick!" The Carpenter said nothing but "The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said, "I deeply sympathise." With sobs and tears he sorted out Those of the largest size, Holding his pocket handkerchief Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter, "You've had a pleasant run! Shall we be trotting home again?" But answer came there none - And this was scarcely odd, because They'd eaten every one.