BtM 13A: On hitting cows arses with banjos

January 1989, Position G


White to play
Zso Polgar - McCarthy, New York Open 1988


Contributions are welcome in the comments box. I’ll reply with what the Masters have to say about their choice to anybody who suggests a move.

Scroll down to see some commentary from me and the Masters’ feedback.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.




At the time of writing The Abysmal Depths of Chess has attracted readers from 31 different countries.

I’m guessing that the phrase "couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo", is not in common use as an alternative to 'not able to play’ in many of them.

The origin of this particular bon mot? No idea. Still, you’ve got to admit that it pretty much captures the phenomenon of being out of form. I mean, if you were to set your mind to it landing a stringed instrument on a heffer’s rear end really shouldn’t be that difficult.

It’s just that sometimes it is.

One of the ways that studying Beat the Masters positions has turned out to resemble real chess is that some days it just doesn’t happen for you. No matter how hard you try.

Some days you can feel it when before you even sit down at the board. Some days you only find out when the result doesn’t go your way.

Either way, that day is not going to be your day. There may or may not be any readily apparent reason for it.

In the 9th series of Beat the Masters I started and finished with a pair of 10 point answers. From the five in the middle, all studied over the same weekend, I scored just 13 points in total.

Today’s position was the last of that run of 5 low scores. This was one of those times when the line between success and failure was a narrow one.

I eventually went for Ba6+ which isn’t very good at all and got me just two points. I got most of the way down the 10 point line,

1 Qxe6 Qxb1+, 2 Kd2 Qxa2, 3 Qc6+ Kb8, 4 Qd6+ Kb7

but couldn’t then find 5 Re6 after which Black had lasted only two more moves in the source game.

Close but no cigar. If I was in better form maybe I’d have gone all the way. But I wasn’t so I didn’t.

That day wasn’t my day and no livestock were harmed.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.


POINTS
10: Qxe6
7:  Kd2
5:  Rxe6
3:  Bb5
2:  Ba6+
1:  Nd2

MASTERS
Qxe6:  Suba, Levitt, Davie, Flear, Norwood, P. Littlewood, Plaskett, Howell, S. Arkell, Fidelity 68000

SOURCE

Qxe6 Zso Polgar - McCarthy, New York Open 1988

Comments

  1. Although Sofia Polgar-McCarthy finished (from the line given above) 5 Re6 Nc5, 6 Qxc5 Qa4, 7 Ra6 1-0, your computer will tell that while after 1 Qxe6 Qxb1+ Black is lost, 1 ... Kc7 is drawn.

    Suba gives the following analysis:-
    "1 Qxe6 leads to a draw:
    1 ... Kc7!, 2 Qa6
    (other moves like 2 c3, 2 Qxd5, 2 Bb5 are not likely to win against proper defences)
    2 ... Qxb1+, 3 Kd2 Qb2, 4 Qxa7+ Kd6, 5 Qa6+ Kc7, 6 Qa5+ Kd6, 7 Qxd8 Qc3+ drawing"

    the editor suggests "2 Bb5 still looks very strong". I’ll leave you to check that assessment with your computer (mine backs Suba).

    Angus gave a line in yesterday’s comments which I’ll come back to later.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 45 countries now by the way. Switzerland being the latest.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, banjos and cows' arses applies to me too. But, in our defence, 1. Qxe6 was definitely the move to play (since it's a good attacking move and Nb1 is doing nothing and costs Black time to capture) and we'd look at and check our analysis for each position as it arose, wouldn't we?

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment

Popular posts from this blog

BtM 1: Is the Sicilian Defence Different?