Two Bishops, Paulsen, Carlsen and a Wander Through Chess History. Plus a Challenge.

Two Bishops, Paulsen, Carlsen and a Wander Through Chess History. Plus a Challenge.


Afternoon Everyone.

This week the World Champion played a game that caught my eye.

I think he did it deliberately, knowing what I was working on!! Thanks Magnus!

I have always wondered if our mutual friend Ole ever showed your my game against him where he gave up the Bishop Pair in the opening and held the resulting position. Who knows, mate! A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then.

This is the game - a text book gem on the theme of the Bishop Pair in the endgame.

Anyway, at the time I had just done the notes for two games for a post I was working on.

The whole thing flooded my head with other games on the theme - there are many - and I managed  to stop myself wandering too far down the road, noted a few, and changed my plans to post this stuff.

As I say, there are many games on the theme, so feel free to post any that come to mind in the comments, or quote them, and I will add them when I can.

As my regular readers - not many - will know, I am fascinated by the evolution of chess ideas, and also love endgames, so this stuff was a joy for me to put together. The first game is considered to be the first with the idea of the Bishop Pair being better than two Knights, or Bishop and Knight, in the endgame. The winner was Louis Paulsen - one of the greatest chess thinkers of all time.

Well, the subject of the intended article was Steinitz - the so called 'Father of Modern Chess' - whatever writers actually mean by 'modern chess' - a debate that the superficial writers on chess history love, without actually defining what they are talking about!! - and the part played in his thinking by his studies of Paulsen.

So, the second game that I had prepared.

One of the players who follows Steinitz in the chain of chess evolution was Tarrasch.

In my article on Elijah Williams, I tried to show that when mud is thrown - in that case by Staunton - it often sticks. In the case of Tarrasch, the mud thrown by Nimzovich has stuck big time. Nimzovich was a genuinely great player, great thinker, and great self promoter. 

One of the administrators of this site in  a recent article managed to write nearly a whole sentence between the name Tarrasch and his chosen derivation of the word 'dogma'.

Quite an achievement!!

Let's forget that someone was the demonstrably strongest player in the world in his time, and that he was the most influential writer on chess for a generation, who taught many great players the basics of their understanding of the game. Let's throw in the word dogma, and dismiss all that trivial stuff.

O.K. An open challenge to the world. start a thread on this site. Fully quote - with the original source cited and documented - a so called 'dogmatic' quote of Tarrasch. I will match it with an equally documented and dogmatic quote from the written works of Nimzovich, Reti, Breyer and Tartakower - the 'Hypermoderns ' who supposedly swept away his outdated 'dogmas' with their new. free and independant thinking. Lets see who runs out of quotes first, with an independant arbiter.  £100 a side, to make it interesting! Put up or shut up guys!!! 

No-one has taken up my previous similar challenge regarding Adolf Anderssen, and I very much doubt that anyone will take up this one either. 

Two Tarrasch games that came to mind.

And one where he was on the wrong side of things, against the extraordinary Akiva Rubinstein.

 A couple of game that I have used before came into my head.

And one that doesn't fit the theme perfectly, but is my favorite of all the games here!! Notes are from the A.C.B.

And on to this man.

Another of the underestimated greats of chess history. Again, one game on each side of the equation came to mind. I have not had time to annotate the second one - duty calls!! 

As I say, feel free to comment - politely!! - or add/suggest games on the theme. Take care guys,

Speak soon.