Chess Is Much Safer

Hint and Explanation:
White Wins a Piece

In a recent issue of the Dutch magazine New in Chess, Adam Feinstein documents the Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara’s abiding passion for chess which he played and popularized.

Guevara played in jail with Fidel Castro, he played by candlelight during their victorious campaign in the Sierra Madre, and he played individually against quality players — before and after the revolution — whenever it was possible.

In the Sierra Madre, Guevara’s knapsack per necessity contained only a few items: a blanket, food, a hammock and of course the inevitable chess set.

The Cuban diplomat and journalist Alberto Mazola helps us to understand Che’s fascination with the game:

“As a guerilla fighter you realized that, just as in chess, numerical or material superiority is not an absolute or insuperable advantage, if the chess concepts of time and space are applied correctly.”

In 1964, Guevara paused between moves during a game with the Czech grandmaster Ludek Pachman.

“You know, comrade Pachman, I don’t really enjoy being an (economic) minister. I would rather play chess like you or make a revolution in Venezuela,” Guevara said.

Pachman replied: “Look, Comandante, of course, it’s interesting to make revolutions, but playing chess is much safer.”

Three years later, Guevara was dead, the casualty of an unsuccessful guerrilla foray in Bolivia.

Below is a win by Ernesto Inarkiev against Ivan Cheparinov from the Karpov GM tournament in Poikovsky, Russia.

Cheparinov Inarkiev

1. d4 Nf6

2. c4 e6

3. Nf3 b6

4. g3 Bb7

5. Bg2 c5

6. O-O cxd4

7. Qxd4 Nc6

8. Qf4 d6

9. Rd1 Be7

10. b3 Qc7

11. Nc3 a6

12. Ba3 Ne5

13. Ng5 Bxg2

14. Kxg2 O-O

15. N(g)e4 Nxe4

16. Nxe4 Ng6

17. Qf3 d5

White resigns

Solution to Beginner’s Corner: Solution: 1. Qa4ch! Nc6 (temporarily saving the knight) 2. d5 attacking and winning it.