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Roesch vs Willi Schlage
"I can't let you do that, Dave." (game of the day Mar-24-08)
Hamburg (1910)  ·  Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Wormald Attack (C77)  ·  0-1
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Last move:

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-11-02
Premium Chessgames Member
  chessgames.com: This game was featured in the Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey as the game between Frank and the HAL9000 computer.

More discussion about this game can be found here: http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquar...

Feb-03-04  Shad0wl0rd16: why did W Schlage resign here? couldn't he have played Re2? what is wrong with Re2? anyone know?
Feb-03-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: If 16.Re2 then 16..Bh3 and mate shortly.
Feb-03-04  Shad0wl0rd16: aah nvm cuz if 15. Re2 Nxe2+ 16. Bxe2 Qxe2 17. Kxe2 to stop Qf1# Qf3+ and its just downhill for white. He loses A LOT of material, and in some variations is mated. This was an excellent game.
Feb-03-04  Shad0wl0rd16: oy athere is also Bh3. Thx technical draw.
Feb-03-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: You're going to too much trouble there, ShadOwlOrd, if 16.Re2, forget about taking the rook. 16..Nh3 mate!
Feb-03-04  TrueFiendish: Thank god someone spotted it!
Feb-03-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I think I'll sit down, take a stress pill and think things over.
Mar-30-04  rndapology: Anyone with Fritz or Junior put this in? Like at move 14. white to move, I wonder what the computer will choose?
Mar-31-04  Lawrence: <rnd>, Junior 8 shows 14.Qb7 eval -14.56 and 14.Re1 eval -14.96 whereas Fritz 8 shows 14.Qb7 eval -10.50, 14.Re1 -13.87 and 14.Qc6 -15.34. In both cases everything else is checkmate. 8 min. search.
Mar-31-04  Lawrence: White should have played 12.d4. After 12...Qd3 Junior gives an eval of -7.51, in other words Frank has already lost.
May-25-04  likestofork: technical draw meant 16...Nf3 mate. 16 Re2 Nh3ch 17 Kxg2 Qf3ch 18 Kf1 Qh1 mate, which is still bad from Frank Poole's point-of-view. Then again, it could be worse; your on-board computer turns out to be a fan of 'The Sopranos'.
Jun-09-04  MoonlitKnight: If anyone has a collection concerning the punishment of greed, this is a good game. 12.Qxa8 is really begging for it.
Aug-16-04  Kaspy2: the game is annotated in chessmaster 3000 software, were Karpov lifts a secret , too
Nov-03-04  aw1988: The computer announced 'Q-B3'. But this is incorrect. I try to be modest, but the computer should have said 'Q-B6'!
Jan-10-05  oxxo: 16. Re2? Nh3#
Feb-01-05  rochade18: what are the best continuations after 12.Qxe5 or Qxf4? I don't see any immediat threats though I believe both moves aren't that good.
Feb-01-05  beatgiant: <rochade18> After 12. Qxe5 or 12. Qxf4, I don't see immediate threats, but White has to be careful, because queenside development is delayed. For example, 12. Qxf4 Nd3 13. Qf3 Be6 14. Bc2 Bc4 15. b3 Ne5 16. Qg3 Bd3 17. Qxe5 Bd6 18. Qh5 Bxc2 19. d4 Bg6 20. Qh3 Re8 and Black probably has good enough compensation for a pawn.
Mar-13-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Talking of HAL 9000... When is IBM going to bring out lip-reading computers, like in the film? I am fed up of using speech-recognition.
Apr-12-05  aw1988: <offramp> Use a mouse. :)

Qxa8 was extremely greedy.

Apr-27-05  SpanishTorturer: This position resembles the Marshall-Attack (C89) with the exception of 5.Qe2 instead of 5.Re1. Does anybody know if there are any books or sites on the opening theory following 8...d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5? (The question mark denotes a question, not a blunder)
Aug-02-05  gambitfan: Yes, it was. The game was played in 1910 in the "B" section of a masters tournament in Hamburg, Germany. It's really not a terribly significant game, though it has been anthologized a few times, most notably in the book The 1000 Best Short Games of Chess by Irving Chernev.

The opening is the Worrall Attack in the Ruy Lopez. It became a very popular opening at the GM level in the mid-1990's as a sort of "antidote" to the Marshall. The best-known Worrall games of recent times were between Nigel Short and Anatoly Karpov in their 1992 Candidates Match in Linares. But the Worrall has a long history. It was a favorite of Paul Keres (who developed much theory on the opening) as well as Arthur Bisguier (wh played it a great deal during the 1940's and 50's). The opening's leading player today is GM Sergei Tiviakov, who published a short theoretical on it in Inside Chess in the mid-1990's. Judit Polgar used to play the Worrall in the 1990's but has since given it up.

The players in the Hamburg game were named Roesch and Schlage. Little is known about them, but their game has become possibly the most famous chess game ever due to its inclusion in Kubrick's film:

Roesch - Schlage [C86]
Hamburg, 1910

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Qe2
This is the defining move of the Worrall Attack. The idea is to defend the e4-pawn while setting up the moves 0-0 and Rd1 (to support the advance of the d-pawn to d4).

5...b5 6.Bb3 Be7 7.c3 0-0 8.0-0 d5

[8...Bb7 These days this is the preferred move instead of the immediate break in the center.] ................ [13.Re1 White's last chance to save the game by grabbing the open file and attacking both the e5-Knight and e7-Bishop.]

13...Bh3
This is the initial position shown on the screen in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

14.Qxa6
White abandons the long diagonal and now mate is forced.

14...Bxg2 15.Re1 Qf3
In the film, this move was incorrectly given by HAL9000 as "Queen to Bishop Three".

Here's the forced mate sequence:
[15...Qf3 16.Qc8 Rxc8 17.h3 Nxh3+ 18.Kh2 Ng4#]

0-1

So what's the mystery contained within this game? Without (I hope) giving too much away for those few who've not yet seen the film, HAL9000 later suffers a malfunction (with disastrous consequences). Take a look at the note above to Black's 15th move. HAL incorrectly states the move as "Queen to Bishop Three"; it's actually "Queen to Bishop Six".

A debate has raged for thirty years over this line in the movie. Was it just a garden variety descriptive notation error (of the kind that has caused algebraic notation the become the new standard)? Or was there something more sinister about the error? Was it in fact a bit of foreshadowing on the part of the filmmaker, to let attentive viewers know that something bad was going to happen later?

I've heard excellent arguments for both sides in this debate. My personal opinion is that it's just a descriptive notation screwup (but you have to realize that I'm one of those "algebraic guys"). I used to edit a chess newsletter and I never received a submitted gamescore in descriptive notation that was error-free -- never. So from personal experience I'm inclined to believe that Kubrick simply screwed up the notation.

Despite the fact that it doesn't take a ton of effort to discover this position in a computer database (a ChessBase 7 position search will find it in just a minute or two in Big or MegaDatabase '99), misconceptions about this game still exist. It's presented in Chessmaster 3000's database of classic games as "Poole- HAL9000". It also appears on ChessBase's HorrorBase CD (our old "junk" database that we sold in 1997 as a means of making a point about "junk" data) three times! It's in there once as "Poole-HAL9000" and twice more as "Roesch-Schlage" -- once with the incorrect year but correct gamescore, the second time with the correct citation but additional moves added to the game. See ETN June 8, 1997 for more details.

Aug-02-05  gambitfan: My candidate for the most famous game of all time is: Frank Poole - HAL9000, between Earth and Jupiter, 2001. This game (from the Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey) is quite possibly the most frequently discussed game on the Internet. Questions about this game pop up every three to six months on the Usenet chess newsgroups and never fail to spark lively discussions.

There are more neat little puzzles and unanswered questions in the film, but since this is supposed to be a chess column, we'll limit ourselves to the chess-related questions.

It's a pretty well-known fact that Stanley Kubrick was a chess fanatic, which easily accounts for the two chess references in 2001. The lesser-known of the chess references is the presence of a "Dr. Smyslov" who makes a brief appearance in a short scene early in the film. American scientist Dr. Haywood Floyd is en route to Tycho Base on the lunar surface, but must "change flights" at a space station orbiting the Earth. While waiting for his ship's departure, he stops at a lounge and has a conversation with an old acquaintance. During the conversation, he's introduced to Dr. Smyslov. The chess reference here, of course, is to Vasily Smyslov, World Chess Champion from 1957 to 1958.

The second chess reference in the film is the infamous game between astronaut Frank Poole and HAL9000. The most-frequently asked question about it is "Was this position taken from an actual game?"

Sep-23-05  bitko: 2001 is my favorite movie of all time.
Deep as chessboard.
Sep-23-05  bitko: By the way: Kubrick defeated George C. Scott (Hollywood heavyweight champion) on the set of Strangelove.
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