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OVER THE CHESS BOARD.

[Conducted bt J. W. Mbllob,' ii.'Sc.J Solution of Problem No. 239. Key move: Q-QB. PROBLEM No. 241. A. C. Palmer, Black 8. pieces.

White S pieces. White to play and mate in three moves,

WOMEN’S CHESS TOURNAMENTS,

Mr Buckley, chess editor of the ‘Birmingham! Weekly Mercury,’ writes on the recent Ladies’ International Chess Tournament as follows:

We promised to tell our friends about the ladies tourney, but last week we lacked tbe space. The Masonic Temple of the Hotel Cecil never looked so fairy-like before. There at the ten tables sat the twenty competitors, all dressed in tasteful summer robes, many of them distraetiogly pretty, each and everyone with-soma patticular charm. It was like wandering in a garden of roses, and the humble representative ot the ‘ Mercury ’ for once felt like a thirteen-stone butterfly flitting from flower to flower. We name no names, dreading invidiousness, but we noted that the prettiest women, and not necessarily the strongest players, had the largest group of mascu-' line lookers-on. One delightful creature, with a killing hat, and a complexion like a peach, was particularly favored in this respect j and, truly, she was worth looking at, whether as a chessist or in any other character. _ Her calmness was exemplary, and the sweet way in which her fan undulated, while the clever brain thought out subtle combinations, was of itself sufficient to place the Ladies’ Tournament among the classical events of chess. Presently tbe jewelled hand came forth with decision, and a knight swooped down on a pawn. The antagonist winced and said: “0, how stupid of met" from which it will be seen that the fair sex, like the unfair sex, are apt to attribute misfortune rather to their own oversight than to the superior strategy of their opponents. At another table a sweet creature played a move, and then, perceiving that the move would be disastrous, took it back with a caressing “ Do you mind?” to which the other sweet creature replied; “0, dear, no. Certainly not!” from which it would appear that some ladies are unable to see that agreeable laxities under such circumstances constitute a gross injustice to the other competitors. Taking the quality of the chess, by and large, as the sailors say, it was decidedly poor, as compared with any masculine tournament whatever. Two or three of the competitors were tolerable players, and one or two really good —for ladles. But, as a whole, the games were not Worth serious notice, which fact We regret to place on record. ■ One feature of the Contest was eloquent ot the players’ lack of experience and skill. It was the lengthy protracting of Utterly hopeless games.. What ot thb player who calmly continued when, with the worst position, she Was also a queen and a knight to tbe had ? What of the lady who went on with the lone king against ,n bishop and two united pawns? What of the fair chessist who, .haying lost the queen fdr a rook, proposed to recommence, as the calamity was_ "quite an oversight”? And what of the foreign representative who explained to the lookers-on that shg lost her games because She had not sufficient time to practice with strong players? The occasion was memorable as tbe first international chess tourney for ladies 'only, but the interest attaching to this unique cifcufilstancfe was Unable, to extend itself to the chess, and, despite the Bight Hon. Horace Plunkett, We do not expect that ladies will ever be able Seriously to compete with men in open toui ; na : meiits for both sexes. We remember the famous mates in thirty-six moves or so, which Mrs Gilbert, a score of years ago, sent to us over the Atlantic, but correspondence play, with its facility of exhaustive experiment, is a very different matter from competition in a public arena; and we repeat that we do not expect to see the ddy when ladies will be able to serioiisly dispute the palm in international tourneys open to both sexes, nor do we wish to see it. Of one thing we are absolutely sure. Should any lady succeed in beating Lasker, Tarrascb, Pillsbury, and the rest, no man on earth, chess mad or otherwise, could ever be persuaded to marry her.

SWEET AND SHORT,

The subjoined game, played in the recent Ladies’ International Tournament, soon reaches an abrupt termination. Mias Field (white), Miss Finn (black): —

FORCE v. STRATEGY.

An ingenious player will always display talent in an end game. One class of player, easily discouraged, never really shows to advantage unless he has a very material superiority j another, under similar circumstances, becomes careless, and fritters away all his energy; while another’s playing strength seems to increase in an inverse ratio to his numerical advantages over the f hoard. The more compromised his position the more effective and dangerous does his power become. This is exemplified in the subjoined ending of a tournament game in the Otago Chess Club, where the rough fighting left the pieces in the following array -. — Black (Irwin) G pieces.

White (Balk) 6 pieces. Black to play. Had Black proceeded by the most direct method of winning, there can be no question as to the issue. However, he fritters away the time by a series of desultory moves, which were utilised by his more wary opponent in the following manner :

CHESS NOTES. Entries for the championship tourney of the Otago Chess Club close on Monday night, October 4. Games to be finished by November 30. If not more than six entries, two games with each player; if more than six entries, one game with each, and the three leaders to play an extra game with each other, the player having had first move in the first game played to take second move now. Players are requested to state club nights on which they can play, or nights on which they cannot play. The Mateh Committee will then fix a date for each game to be played, but not more than two games for any player in any one week. Absence of a player forfeits the game. If, however, a player finds he cannot play on the date appointed he must give his opponent notice before three o’clock on that day and make another appointment to play the game within eight days from that date. If he fails to meet his opponent on that date he loses the game by default. If his opponent cannot meet him on that date he must give similar notice and make a similar fresh appointment. Whichever player fails to play on the second postponement forfeits the game. In the ‘ British Chess Magazine ’ is given an article by James Mason on the fallacy that “chess is a difficult game,” or, in the words of the philosopher Leibnitz: “ Chess is too much of a game for a science, and too much of a science for a game.’ ■ Mr Mason attributes this popular belief to the dry and repellent character of our chess books. “ In our manuals, instructors, synopses, and such like,” he says, “ are to be found hundreds of closely - printed pages, containing thousands of main lines and variations, a dozen or piore jnoves, deep plused, minused,

and equated, and with transcendental expOnenta suggesting sflbmlations annexed, hi is simply bewildering.” Mr ' fcoMbatS thfi Opinion that pr6%lenoy in, is to be ilined by the study or, the book's or by yotfiffncting memory a mass of variations. “ Laborious days are his portion. His memqryj'assuming it not to give out in the process, : acquires and retains all. set down for it, and in due bourse ho gets *to know the opinions.’ And then, what ? Only this, hi all : An otherwise fine chessfflayef is spoiled. His mind, saturated with fragmentary experience, of other men’s ideas, becomes averse to original exertion, even if all power of independent chcea thought be not fatally weakened or destroyed, The slave to 1 bookish theorio ’ discovers too late thab.his birthright has been bartered for a ma's of indigestible analysis, which he can neither doiwith without.?’ With chess, says the Belfast ‘Northern Whig,’ there is the danger of becoming engrossed in the game and of making it your business, This ought to be avoided. Yet a weakness for chess is an amiable weakness. It is the queen and empress of games. In ■chess the understanding, which is the working faculty, is the strong element, and not the memory, “ You must study an opening to see what it means arid, to catch its genius, for in every opening there is an idea, which animates it like a soul. Transposed as the opening may be through different variations, it is still there, and the value of all the moves depends on their relation to it. Until you have seized this idea you have‘done nothing; once you grasp it, the working of it out becomes pleasant—even fascinating. The game begins’ to have a meaning, and the men feel as if they were alive. In the course of experimenting you stumble betimes on difficulties. A defence of which you can make nothing suggests itself, and. you come to a standstill, This is the place of call in the book, with its long results of time to look down on the variations till you find out how the nut Was cracked by those gone before— Staunton, Macdonnell—or by the great Steinitz of the present day. Reading in this way you soon grow familiar with the country, not by merely copying the map, but by walking over the ground, map in hand, and making yourself acquainted with every spot. As for remembering, you have no need to trouble yourself. Once you have thought out and mastered a position, and understat'd it,it remains with you of its own accord.”

White. FRENCH DEFENCE. Black. White. Black 1 P-K 4 p- k (i Kt-B 3 P-B 4 2 P-Q -1 P-Q 4 7 B-K Kt 5 Q-B 4 3 Kt-Q 15 3 P x P 8 P x P B x P 4 Kt x 1* Kt-K 15 3 9 Q-Q 8 mate. 5 Kt x Kt Q x Kt

White. Black. White. 1 K-R3 5 P-Kt 4 Kt-K 6 2 Kt-Kt 4 R-K 3 6 R-B 4 R-Kt 3 3 Kt-R 6 KKt 3 7 Kt-B 6 RxKt 4 Kt-Kt 8 R-Kt 4 S R x P ch KxR And the game was drawn.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18971002.2.40.5

Bibliographic details

OVER THE CHESS BOARD., Evening Star, Issue 10435, 2 October 1897, Supplement

Word Count
1,735

OVER THE CHESS BOARD. Evening Star, Issue 10435, 2 October 1897, Supplement

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