Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Homer Nods (V) NOT

"Even the worthy Homer sometimes nods."

--Horace, Ars Poetica

Interesting story--as I've written elsewhere, "Me, me, me is Dull, dull, dull," so I was going to get away from MY games, MY tournaments, etc. for a bit, with a Homer Nods post (the fifth in our series of great chess players playing chess very, very badly...).

The June 18, 2007 Chessville Weekly had this "Position of the Week":

White to move and win

We join Chandler-Hebden (both 2500+ GMs) at the 2000 British Championship. Chandler plays 40. Rxh7+ and according to the "solution at the bottom of the page":

1/2 - 1/2 Draw???? Why not 40...Kxh7 41.Rh4+ Qh6 42.f6+ Nd3 43.Qg7 mate? Ask Chandler...

Well, Chandler wasn't around and I was about to use this for "Homer Nods" when I began to get suspicious; originally I thought that perhaps Chandler had 2 seconds on the clock, didn't keep score and didn't know he'd made the time control, or some such explanation. But...Grandmasters of the stature of Murray Chandler would normally be able to execute this mate even in two seconds. I thought a little research was in order,'s a report on the "Game of the Day" by IM Andrew Martin (scroll towards bottom) ending with these words:

40. Rxh7+!! It's a forced mate now: 40...Kxh7 41.Rh4+ Qh6 42.f6+ Nd3 43.Qg7# 1-0

And so, Homer didn't nod! By the way, does Rxh7+ really deserve !! in your opinion? It certainly jumped out at me when I saw the position. It was the steady build-up the previous 20 moves that made the game of the day.

Anyway, glad I did my homework and didn't piss off Murray Chandler!

(Later--I also wonder how the Chessville writer got it so wrong; I'm guessing it's in a database somewhere as 1/2-1/2. The game isn't at out there have it in their ChessBase or whatnot?)

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