Shelby Lyman on Chess: A Non-Conformist

Sunday, November 02, 2014
Hint and Explanation: 
Better than Bxc2

Bobby Fischer, as we previously wrote, was an outlier tuned with steel consistency to an inner voice.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within.”

The example of Fischer more than a century later would have filled the Sage of Concord with delight.

To knee-jerk conformists, understandably, such men potentially are dangerous because they challenge the status quo that is so dear to conformists and from which they often comfortably benefit.

Admittedly, conformists have cause to be worried of the potential of non-conformity.

It is easy to think of a legion of examples. Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson are among the most unsavory to come to mind.

But non-conformists also can bestow benefits, even on those who scorn them.

In Fischer’s case, his chess was a beacon of light as he reinvented old ideas and discovered new ones.

Such people are rare. Few have the inclination or ability.

According to Garry Kasparov, Fischer was 10 to 15 years ahead of his time in both theory and practice.

His research, play and general approach to the game are central in defining modern chess.

Below is a win by Ernesto Inarkiev against Mikulas Manik from the Baku Open in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Inarkiev Manik

1. d4 Nf6

2. c4 g6

3. Nc3 Bg7

4. e4 d6

5. Nf3 O-O

6. Be2 e5

7. Be3 h6

8. dxe5 Ng4

9. Bc1 Nxe5

10. Nd4 N(b)c6

11. Nxc6 bxc6

12. O-O Qh4

13. f4 Ng4

14. h3 Nf6

15. Bf3 Rb8

16. Ne2 c5

17. Bd2 Nd7

18. Rb1 Bb7

19. Qc2 R(f)e8

20. Nc3 Re7

21. Kh2 Bxc3

22. bxc3 Nb6

23. R(b)e1 Nxc4

24. Bc1 Nb6

25. c4 Qf6

26. Bb2 Qxf4ch

27. g3 Qg5

28. h4 Black resigns

Solution to Beginner’s Corner: 1. Qg8ch! Kd7 2. Bf5ch Qe6 3. Qxe6 mate mate.

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