Monday, March 29, 2010


On and off we chess player from planet earth are being treated with out-of-this-world chess art such as The Immortal Game, The Evergreen Game, Kasparov Topalov 1999 (Kasparov's Immortal) etc.

But do believe me, above mentioned 'human art' is nothing compared to below art, a chess study, which is simply heavenly beautiful!

The Problems
In 90's Ghalam Sani showed below study to me. After trying for about half an hour, to no avail ofcourse, Ghalam finally showed me the solution.

zap! zap! zap! white bishop just dancing on the board and suddenly black could not avoid a checkmate!

I was speechless! I never thought such beauty exist! After that i keep on replaying the study and every time i reached the final position, i will smile.

Here is the position.

White to play and win

The Solution

1. Nf6 Kg7

1. ... Kg6 lost to 2. Bh5 allowing d8=Q since black's Nf7 is no longer possible

2.Nh5 Kg6

The only move since 2. ... Kh7 3. Bc2! black's king have to move to eighth rank allowing 4. d8=Q with a check.

3.Bc2 Kh5
4.d8=Q Nf7
5.Ke6 Nd8

Let's look at above diagram after white sacrifice his queen. White have a pawn and bishop. Blacks have bishop, 4 pawns, knights...yet there is a win for white here.

6.Kf5 e2

Force. Preventing Bd1 mate.

7.Be4 e1=N

Force. Preventing Bf3 mate.


Threatening Bd5-c4-e2 mate

8. ... c2

9.Bc4 c1=N

Force. Preventing Be2 mate

10.Bb5 Nc7

Force. Preventing Be8 mate


Black is helpless against Bd1 mate

The Mystery
Who create this beauty?

There are many versions. The famous version are:
Taxi Driver
A taxi driver (white) played a chess game with Tarrash. They reach above top diagram when the taxi driver misplayed the game and lost. That night in his dream, he discovered he actually winning!

Georgian Farmer
A Georgian farmer become obssesed with a game (rumours have it that the game is Bernstein vs Capablanca) in which white resigned when reaching above position. He stick above top diagram (when white resigned) inside his tractor. 2o years later, he found out that white is actually winning!

Gufeld believe above study is created by alien. Gufeld claimed that someone has contacted his student, Mok Tze Meng (yep, our own Mok!) and gave Mok this study as a gift. Gufeld did not believe that human capable of coming up with such a study.

According to Gufeld, both Kasparov and Karpov were impressed with this study when it was shown to them in 1992 Manila Olympiad.

Rumour has it that when GM Plaskett showed this study to Tal in 1987, the Magician from Riga carefully look at the position for 10 minutes, take a walk in a park and come back with the solution!

Rumours has it that Fritz managed to find a flaw(better defence for black) in above line. I don't bother to know and please don't bother to tell me. I hate engines!

Chess Magazine-AICF Forum (August 2003)
Chess:The Search for Monalisa