Hi 39° | Lo 18°

Shelby Lyman on Chess: Superior Resourcefulness

Hint and Explanation:
Free a Key Pawn

Emanuel Lasker, world chess champion for 27 years, was also a mathematician and philosopher.

He developed a paradigm of struggle based on game theory and Darwin’s theory of biological survival.

Despite his aggressiveness and unremitting effort to win at the chessboard, he was kind and respectful to others.

Lasker was not easy to play according to biographers Isaac and Vladimir Linder: “At the slightest opportunity, he strove to sharpen the game, to create an unpredictable position where both sides’ fates hung by a thread.”

Superior resourcefulness — usually Lasker’s — would then decide the battle.

The words that appear on Lasker’s gravestone are “the chess struggle made our life’s struggle easier,” which were his paean to his beloved game.

Noting that struggle was a factor in all aspects of life — past, present and future — Lasker obviously would have been intrigued by a contemporary description of inner-city basketball from a recent New York Post interview by NBA star Ron Artest: “Basketball was like a fight. So on the court we played so hard, it was like fighting, sometimes you might get in a little scuffle, or you might get into the middle of violence, some of the gangs might try to show their strength.”

Incidentally, Artest, a super-aggressive player himself, changed his name two years ago, to “Metta World Peace.”

Below is a win by Vladimir Kramnik against Anton Shomoev from the Championship of Russia in Nizhny Novgorod.

Kramnik Shomoev

1. Nf3 Nf6

2. g3 b6

3. Bg2 Bb7

4. O-O e6

5. d3 d5

6. N(b)d2 g6

7. c4 Bg7

8. b4 Ne4

9. cxd5 exd5

10. Nb3 Bxa1

11. Nxa1 Nd6

12. Bg5 f6

13. Bf4 a5

14. bxa5 Rxa5

15. Qc2 c5

16. Nb3 Ra7

17. Nxc5 bxc5

18. Qxc5 Ra6

19. Rb1 Nd7

20. Qe3ch Kf7

21. Bxd6 Ba8

22. Qf4 Re8

23. Nd4 Rxa2

24. Bh3 R(a)xe2

25. Nxe2 Rxe2

26. Qh6 Black resigns

Solution to Beginner’s Corner: 1. Bxe5! dxe5 2. d6! (threatens d7 and d8=Q) (from Melkumyan-Granda Zuniga ’13).