Today’s Illustration: Losing In 10 Moves Or Less

chess boardLosing In 10 Moves Or Less:

√  It is possible to “checkmate” in 4 moves! How to Checkmate in 4 Moves in Chess.

√  It is even possible to “checkmate” in 3 moves! How to Checkmate in 3 Moves in Chess.

√  In fact, it is also possible to “checkmate” in 2 moves!  How to Checkmate in 2 Moves in Chess.  These two moves are called “A Fool’s Mate.”

“Fool’s mate is one of the most basic things you need to learn. It’s going to end up happening to you, so you can either try it yourself, or somebody is going to try it against you. You should learn how to Fool’s Mate in your first year playing chess.”

√  Some of the shortest professional chess championships games were won in 10 moves.  The game was lost even though the board had not been cleared.  It was conceded after 10 moves or less because the loss was clear.  Therefore, the player conceded a loss.

. . . . . . . . .

“Why do strong chess players (and if you doubt that IM Tate is a strong chess player just check his game vs. Yudasin from the above-mentioned article) lose like this from time to time?  And in general, why do decent chess players lose embarrassing games in 10 moves or less?

If your answer is something like “Well, bad things just happen,” then you are potentially the next victim. These catastrophes don’t just happen, there is always a reason for them. Let’s categorize the typical mistakes that lead to this miniatures.” [1]

  • 1) Paying no attention.

“This common problem claims the majority of the victims.”

  • 2) Lack of opening knowledge.

“Today I want to discuss the most common reason (at least in my opinion) for quick opening catastrophes. It is more psychological in its nature. For many chess players an opening is not a real chess game yet. Since most players (especially strong ones) know openings very well, their thinking goes like this: let’s finish the opening first (develop my pieces, castle, etc.) and then the real game of chess will begin.

It is a very popular and also a very dangerous misconception. If you ever attended a big open tournament (especially a scholastic one) then you probably heard what happens after a tournament director announces the start of the round and says ‘Now you can start your clock.’ The sound of the chess clocks being punched is deafening. People blitz out their opening moves hitting the clock almost instantly.

Indeed, what harm can happen in an opening which you know very well? Well, a lot! First of all even in a position that you played hundreds of times you can accidentally play a wrong move order or make some other silly mistakes which we analyzed in the first part of this article (“Paying no attention”). But most importantly, you can miss some tactics and lose instantly. Yes my dear readers, chess tactics can suddenly appear on the board even when your opponent has no developed pieces at all! ” [1]

. . . . . . . . .

Match Of The Century!
The Bobby Fischer-Boris Spassky Match:

The “Bobby Fischer Vs. Boris Spassky”: “Game 1” was lost by Bobby Fischer in 56 moves.

Then in “Game 5,” Spassky made a serious blunder and lost in only 27 moves.

“The score of the match is now even, at 2½ to 2½, but today’s defeat was a crushing blow for the champion and gave Fischer a psychological edge in the match. It is rare for so fine a player as Spassky to lose in only 27 moves. Spassky now will have to fight shattered nerves and loss of confidence.

It took Spassky only a moment to realize what he had done. He unhappily stood up and offered his hand. Fischer shook it, and both players went backstage.

The Match of the Century

The name Bobby Fischer, at least to Americans, is synonymous with chess. A prodigy in the 50s, a world class player in the 60s, the 70s saw Fischer at his pinnacle. He earned the right to challenge Boris Spassky in a title run without comparison, defeating Mark Taimanov and Bent Larsen with perfect scores of 6-0, and ex-champion Petrosian 6½-2½. Now the stage was set, and the only thing standing between Fischer and Spassky was Fischer himself.

Fischer vs Spassky 1972
Fischer vs Spassky, 1972

The match was mired in political overtones, during the height of the Cold War. The Soviet chess system had a monopoly on the title since 1948, and the expectations on Spassky were enormous. While Fischer studied chess virtually in seclusion, Spassky had the full resources of the USSR. Victor Baturinsky, head of Soviet Chess Sports Committee, said: “Basically, the Soviet leadership and the powers that be in sport, were interested in just one issue: how to stop Fischer from becoming World Champion.”[1]

With the match set to begin in Reykjavik, Iceland, Fischer (who had not signed any documents confirming his participation) began to make a number of demands, including a percentage of television rights, a larger prize fund, and all manner of conditions covering everything from the lighting to the chair cushions. To satisfy Bobby’s demands of a larger prize fund, British chess promoter James Slater donated a dazzling $125,000 to be added to the prize fund. Fischer still needed more convincing by Bill Lombardy (Fischer’s last-minute choice as second), and one famously persuasive telephone call from Henry Kissinger. Mere hours before he would be forfeited, Fischer arrived in Iceland.

On July 11th, the “Match of the Century” had begun. Whether it was a blunder, or a passion to win at all costs, the first game saw Fischer uncharacteristically lose a simple drawn endgame.

. . . . . . . . .

Other Information & Details:

What is Check?

“Check occurs when you or your opponent’s king is under attack and threatened to be captured by another piece. When this happens, the king must move, or the piece attacking the king must be captured.

If the player cannot move out of danger and away from check, this is considered checkmate, and the game is over.”

“What is Checkmate?

Checkmate occurs in chess when you or your opponent’s king is in check, the king cannot move, and nothing can capture the piece delivering check.

Checkmate also means that the game must come to an immediate end, despite how many pieces are left on the board.

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Key Illustrative Thoughts:

  • winning
  • losing
  • blunders
  • playing church like chess
  • It is always “checkmate.”
  • “Checkmate” before the first pawn is moved
. . . . . . . 

Key Words & Phrases:

  • “Lack of opening knowledge.”
  • “Paying no attention.”
  • “win at all cost”
  • only a moment to realize what he had done.”
  • “made a serious blunder”
  • “game over”
  • “cannot move out of danger”

. . . . . . . . 

Sermonic Example: (After picking out what information and details one selects from the above information or other sources)

It is a terrible decision to sit down and play chess with the Lord.  Before the first piece is moved the outcome is already checkmate.  Oh at times, it looks like the game is on and various moves are taking place, and even the outcome may look precarious.  But never be confused as to how the match will end, the same way it began — checkmate from the first move on the board.  You will witness that reality with Haaman, the Pharaoh, Saul, Belteshazzar, Saul who became Paul, and finally at the Great Day of the Lord!  It is always checkmate from the beginning, no matter how long the Lord patiently plays out the match.  It will take only a moment for any opponent to realize what he has done and that the loss is imminent!  Game Over!  He cannot move out of danger!  Checkmate!

. . . . . 

. . . . . 

Other Links & Information:


2. Links to parts 1, 2, 3 of the articles — only part one is necessary unless you are an avid chess fan.

3. Chess As A Metaphor For Life:

A chess game is like a highly simplified version of our everyday life spread on a checkered board with 64 squares that resonates a battle field in action. Every one of your decisions will have consequences for the future. We know that each move we make, in life or in a game, brings forth a fresh path for the future.

In both chess and life, the choices before us are in practice infinite. However, in chess the results of your moves are obvious relatively quickly, because the game has an end, in which you will win, lose or draw. In this, chess is like a story where we are the authors of our destinations.

Often, in a game of chess you end up making the wrong moves and suffer the consequences a good number of times before you learn from your mistakes and gradually take the high road of excellence, just as in life, we learn to embrace challenges, to get up when we fall because every one of your mistake will teach you a lesson that makes you even sturdier than you already are.

One of the hardest things about life is to be able to remember to practice what you’ve learned for it takes a moment to fall into the hands of temptation, frustration or hardship.

You only know what the next move is. You play for the present, trying to construct the best possible configuration of moves that you anticipate for your future, knowing well that it is impossible to predict the situation even two moves later. You simply cannot get fooled into thinking that you can control the future. One tricky move can steer the wheels of life in a direction that is least anticipated by you.

Move in silence; only speak when it’s time to say checkmate.

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How to Checkmate Your Opponent

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Many Experts Say Game 13 Blunder Was Turning Point. For Spassky, 13 Proved to be a Fatal Number.

The Record Hackensack, New Jersey Sunday, September 03, 1972 – Page 1

Many Experts Say Game 13 Blunder Was Turning Point. For Spassky, 13 Proved to be a Fatal Number.
From the Record Wire Services, Reykjavik — A blunder that cost Boris Spassky the 13th game against Bobby Fischer will go down in chess history as the pivot point of the 1972 world championship, many grandmasters believe.

Spassky, playing white in that game, Aug. 11, was in peak form, having taken 1½ of a possible 2 points from the two preceding games to stand at 5-7.

After nine hours’ play, he had turned a losing position into a probable draw with a brilliant defense. Fischer, who had gained the initiative when he breached a make-or-break Russian attack, was also playing what aides said was the “most exquisite endgame of his life.”

Inexplicably, on the 69th move, the champion erred. He checked the American king with a rook on his own queen-one square, instead of checking the king by moving the rook to the third rank.

A draw would have kept Spassky in contention. In defeat 5-8 down, he sat alone at the board until referee Lothar Schmid showed him the drawing move and, taking his arm, helped him away.

“Spassky should have drawn and the whole match would have been different,” said Denmark’s Jens Enevoldsen, a chess master. “That defeat shook him so much that he lost a win for a draw in the next game.”
Psychologically, Spassky’s worst hour may have come in the third game, when he appeared to be holding all the cards.

He had never in his life lost a game to Fischer. he was two points up in the match, having won the first game over the board and the second on a Fischer forfeit. He was first with white. Yet Spassky lost.

Fischer took the game out of the well known “book lines” with an abnormal 11th move that sacrificed a knight that offered a knight sacrifice to open a file toward the Russian’s king. A pawn down on adjournment, Spassky resigned as soon as he saw Fischer’s resuming move.

“He never expected Bobby to come back and to come back so strongly,” said Father William Lombardy, Fischer’s second. Grandmasters generally were satisfied with the quality of play in the championship, despite Spassky’s poor showing in the first half.

“This match was better than most others,” said Max Euwe, a former world champion and president of the International Chess Federation, the world’s ruling chess body. “There was more struggle and fewer draws.”
(Caption:Family Man—Boris Spassky was photographed in June with his son Vasya in Iceland. He was world champion then.) 

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In an endgame, the minimum of pieces necessary to force checkmate against a solitary king are:

  • Queen alone (aided by the king).
  • Rook alone (aided by the king).
  • Two rooks.
  • Two bishops (aided by the king).
  • Knight and bishop (aided by the king) – rare.
  • Three knights (aided by the king), one promoted – rare.

When exchanging pieces, you must always ensure that you are left with sufficient material with which to checkmate. Against a solitary king, you cannot force checkmate with only:

  • One bishop (aided by the king).
  • One knight (aided by the king).
  • Two knights (aided by the king) unless there are other pieces on the board as well.

I know very little about chess and am not a chess player, but I find it valuable to read outside of one’s personal interest for ideas and illustrations.

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