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Garry Kasparov vs Neil McDonald
"It's Pat!" (game of the day Jul-28-16)
Great Britain (1986)  ·  King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Positional Defense (E94)  ·  1/2-1/2
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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-29-10  TheaN: Saturday 29 May 2010

YAY BIRTHDAY hooray for me, damn I'm getting old...


Target: 10:00;000
Taken: 7:15;375

Material: unbalanced endgame, White {Q+2B+P) vs Black ♕+♖

Candidates: <[Rxg3†]> pretty much all the way

This took me too long, to be honest. Knowing the theme, seeing this relatively easy position, I should have seen the key move earlier. Still, I did, so I am happy :). It's obvious Black wants to draw, the Bishops are gonna eat the Black King alive otherwise. That suggests the first move clearly. However, can be convert that to a draw?

<54....Rxg3†> White has in fact three options here, one is certainly not recommended.

<55.Kh2? Qf2† 56.Kh1 (56.Bg2 Qxg2‡ 0-1) Rh3‡ 0-1> errrr, don't.

Accepting the Rook is one part of the puzzle.

<55.Kxg3> can we get this to stalemate. As it is now, the Black King is stalemated. However, with the White King in use we cannot deploy a simple crazy Queen. In fact, we have to lure the White Queen, and you have to see this to see it works.

<55....Qe5†! 56.Qxe5 stalemate 1/2> of course, any King move is possible but that loses the Queen and is also at most drawn for White but it is in fact lost. So that does not work, the Bishop covers the white squares perfectly. White's final option remains, and this one was annoying.

<55.Kh4> typical, because in fact Black goes an exchange up now, but White is threatening a very bad mate in one on h7. How to continue, and this took me a while. But of course, the most obvious move is:

<55....Rg4†> if White goes back, 56....Rg3† repeats and a draw to follow, so White has to accept.

<56.Kxg4> now the coup de grace.

<56....Qd7†!> with the King on g4, the White Queen is only needed for g7. She does so after:

<57.Qxd7 stalemate 1/2> obviously, any King move again loses to QxQ. A bit harder puzzle but in the theme so relatively easy. Time to check whether Kasparov was in fact swindled here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: <TheaN ...<55.Kh4> typical, because in fact Black goes an exchange up now, but White is threatening a very bad mate in one on h7. How to continue, and this took me a while. But of course, the most obvious move is:

<55....Rg4†> if White goes back, 56....Rg3† repeats and a draw to follow, so White has to accept.>

<TheaN> No, 55...Rg4+, 56. Kh3??? Rxe4! Black wins! So, that's why White has to capture the Black Rook at g4 to avoid losing the game with a rook down.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <TheaN> Happy birthday!
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

White to play after Rxg3+
55 Kxg3 is the game line but 55 Kh4!? threatens mate. However 55...Rg4+ forces 56 Kxg4 allowing 57 ...Qd7+ 58 Qxd7 stalemate. The same theme another way round.

Perhaps this was the line <> expected us to find as well in this Saturday puzzle (i.e. not just the game line).

Nov-21-10  Tigranny: Beautiful stalemate trap.
Nov-21-10  Everett: It would be nice if there was a stalemate symbol, instead of "stalemate." We have all these other symbols for nuance after nuance of "advantage" ex. , etc. Figured we can come up with something.

I see, when played out to the stalemate, puts ~~~ into the column. Thoughts?

Feb-23-11  Tigranny: Nice = over + sign idea for stalemate Everett.
Apr-04-11  sevenseaman: Once a leap year kind of thing, 29 Feb.
Apr-04-11  BobCrisp: <Garry>'s comments on this game were unprintable.
Oct-31-12  Operador: I don΄t want the number 1 !
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The symbol for stalemate should be the grille of a Ford Edsel.

In Europe the word pat is used.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Kasparov v English Juniors. 27th May 1986, coming up to 30 years ago!

20 boards against the BCF Junior Squad at Uppingham Community College. Organizer: Peter Barton. Sponsors: Goldmark Books.

Final score: +11 =6 -3 to Kasparov.

The event lasted "well over 5 hours". That's very vague. ~5 hours would be very fast indeed for 20 games.

Losses to Philip Morris (aged 18), Philip J Rossiter (aged 17) and Mr David Watts (19) of Cantab U.

Two years earlier against similar opposition Karpov score +9 =8 -3.

Kasparov described this game, against McDonald, as "The most interesting game that I have played for three years". BCM 1986 p.280.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: One of the first chess magazines I every read was the December, 1962 issue of "Chess Review". In it, Walter Korn dedicated his endgame column to the stalemate, and related the story of a game played by Atkins at St. Petersburg, 1902.

You need to know that there is some European language or another in which the term in chess for "Draw" is "Patt".

Atkins was winning his game, but fell for a stalemate trap. His opponent clinched the deal by announcing, "Patt, Sir!", and thus a derogatory term was born.

I hope that's all there is to this pun. I hate to think that spelling it "Pat" is an attempt to bring in an Irish connection, since I believe McDonald is more of a Scottish name and Neil McDonald himself is English.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It's Pat is one of my favourite films.
Jul-28-16  goodevans: My favourite swindle gets another airing. In my opinion a more subtle trap than Beliavsky vs L Christiansen, 1987.

I may be biased for, as I've mentioned before, Neil was a member of the same chess club as me. I played him once - he thrashed me.

Jul-28-16  The Kings Domain: Nice to have a Game of the Day from old Gazza during his peak. And his opponent played well, keeping the champ in check.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Standing pat is a poker term in draw when the player decides to not draw any cards. Either he has a great hand such as a flush , where any draw would likely destroy a good hand. He can also keep his cards if he wants to bluff the opponents into thinking he has a good hand.

Here, we have a stalemate trap!

Jul-28-16  fisayo123: <Kasparov described this game, against McDonald, as "The most interesting game that I have played for three years". BCM 1986 p.280.>

That's quite the complement coming from Gazza, especially considering the games he played in that time period.

Jul-28-16  ughaibu: Fisayo123: it could be taken as a compliment, or as further fuel for the suspicion that Kasparov values drama, above factuality.
Premium Chessgames Member
  akiba82: Is going to cover the 2016 britsh championship or not?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajile: <offramp: It's Pat is one of my favourite films.>

The old skits on SNL were hilarious. And since the movie has a ZERO rating I think I will have to rent it.


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <ajile> Are you a guy or a gal??:o)
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: ...The joke being that It's Pat was a hilarious film about gender non-specification.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajile: <offramp: <ajile> Are you a guy or a gal??:o)>

Good question...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Another stalemate game worth looking at T Tanoi vs P W Stuart, 2010
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Kasparov on Kasparov: Part I
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