Why chess is better than a whodunit

People (especially non chess players) like to ask me if I get bored during a chess game. No, I don’t! Well, soooometimes when the position is easily won or totally equal. But in those cases, I just follow my neighbors’ games  :-). Normally, I am fully absorbed in my game. There are always some tactical motives or strategies I have not seen before… this is why I love chess so much. In this tournament, there have been some nice positions as well. Since I do not walk around that much during the match, I only know what happens in my teammates’ games. This is what I found most interesting:

Lubbe (2458) – Brunello (2589)

Position after 16.0-0-0


16…Bxa4 17.g5 Nd7 18.g6 Nf8 19.gxf7 Kxf7 20.Rhg1 Qc7 21.b3 Bb5



22.Nxe6 Nxe6 23.Bxe6 Kxe6 24.Qd5 Kd7 25.Rxg7 Rc8 26.Rd2 Qc6



27.Qf5+ Kd8 28.Bd4? (28.Qe6 +-) Rf8 29.Qe6 Rc7 30.Be5 Qd7? (30…Bd3±)



31.Rxd6 Bxd6 32.Rxd7 Rxd7 33.Bxd6 … 1:0


Ohme (2352) – Manolaraki (1982)

Position after 50.Nf4


My opponent played here 50…Ng6. After 51.Nxg6 h3 52.Nh4 h2 53.Nf5+ Ke5 54.Ng3 I won easily. More interesting, although still lost for black, would have been:

50…Ke5 51.Kxc7 Kxf4 52.d6



52…Ng6 53.d7 Nf8



54.g6 (not 54.d8=Q because of 54….Ne6+) Nxd7 55.Kxd7 h3 56.g7 h2 57.g8=Q h1=Q 58.Qb8+ Kg4 59.Qxb6 +-



I think those two examples illustrate how nerve-racking and exciting chess can be. Especially after time trouble, I often feel like having run a marathon. On the other hand, watching other games might be thrilling as well. After today’s game, I followed the game of my teammate. She was one piece down and in a totally hopeless position. However, her opponent blundered several times so that she could have recaptured the piece. She never did so. Finally, she made use of the opportunity and equalized. I guess every coach knows the feelings I had while watching :-). I love crime thrillers… but they are nothing in comparison with chess! That chess can also be amusing was shown in my game today:


In the present position my opponent (rating: 1918) played Nc6-a4. After I told her that this is an impossible move, we couldn`t stop laughing :-)!

Similarly exciting as the chess games was the match Greece – Costa Rica yesterday. We enjoyed the great atmosphere of public viewing here in Greece. Goal in the very last minute, hundreds of missed opportunities, and finally the bitter ending.

Let’s hope for a better ending for my chess team and the German football team which is facing Algeria tonight.