Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Porat - Larsen, anti-Turton

Edward Winter notes that Yosef Porat was the victim of an anti-Turton move (or combination) by Bent Larsen in the 1956 Olympiad. What is an anti-Turton? As Heidenfeld notes (see Winter's article for details):

It consists in forcing the attacker who wishes to double two pieces on the same gait in such a way as to have the stronger piece in front and the weaker behind (called the Turton in the jargon of problemists) into playing the weaker piece across the so-called “critical square”... and thus into reversing the planned line-up.

The game is: 

Porat, Yosef - Larsen, Bent

12th Chess Olympiad, Moscow, 1956, 6th round (preliminaries) 

Source: Olimpbase

1.Nf3 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.b3 Bg7 5.Bb2 d6 6.d4 c6 7.e3 Qa5 8.a3 O-O 9.Be2 e5 10.b4 Qc7 11.d5 h6 12.c5 e4 13.Nd4 dxc5 14.Qb3 cxd4 15.d6+


Anti-Turton. 15...Qf7 (the other possible move) allows 16.Bc4, to be followed by 16...dxc3 17.Bxf7+ Rxf7 18.Bxc3, when Black has three pieces for the queen. 


The point behind 15...Be6: the white queen was forced to move beyond the critical square (c4), so Bc4 will no longer pin the black queen to the king after Black plays Qf7.

16...Qf7 17 Qxf7+ Rxf7 18 exd4 Rd7 19 d5 Nxd5 20 Bc4 Kh7 21 Bxd5 Bxc3+ 22 Bxc3 cxd5 23 g4 Rxd6 24 gxf5 gxf5 25 Rd1 Nc6 26 b5 Nd8 27 f3 Ne6 28 fxe4 fxe4 29 Rf1 Ng5 30 Rf5 d4 31 h4 Nf3+ 32 Ke2 Rc8 33 Bb4 Rg6 White resigns (0-1).

Jeremy Silman, 1954-2023


Jeremy Silman had just passed away at the age of 69. We have many of his books, from How to Reassess Your Chess and The Amateur's Mind to his co-authored (auto)biography of Pal Benko, which is an excellent book. Always original in his thinking, Silman never wrote a meretricious book. Some of his books are better than others, but he always did his best - some of his books are very good, like Benko's biography. 

Edward Winter's obituary adds that Silman was interested in chess history, and - like Winter himself - had great admiration for the games of the old masters, such as Gioacchino Greco, who was in Silman's estimation, "centuries ahead of his time" in chess understanding, more so than any other player in history. Curiously, he thinks Greco would have easily defeated Philidor

One thing I noted about Silman's work is that when a new edition of his books came out, it was really new. It wasn't just the same book with minor changes. Silman always put a lot of work into improving the new edition over the older one.