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William Albert Fairhurst vs Vera Menchik
Margate (1935), Margate ENG, rd 3, Apr-26
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Immediate Fianchetto (E60)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-27-09  gofer: <jsheedy: After maybe three minutes I saw 1. dxc6, which threatens two different mates: 2. Rd5# or 2. dxc7#. Black's only defense against both mates is to block d5. The only way to do that is by 1...Nf6, but that simply creates another mate: 2. Qxf6#.>

Not quite... one of your mate threats is just a check! Rd5 is Rd5+, not Rd5# as black can play Kxc4, so after dxc6 black only has to protect against one threat, dxc7#, which it can easily do by playing Ne6... of course Ne6 opens up another mating square h4, but it isn't Qh4# its Qh4+ as the black can play... Nf4 with the cruxial delay of one move that means the 2 move mate hasn't been solved...

keep trying... :-)

Jul-27-09  lzromeu: <tpstar:> In this case, resign in mate position is clearly unethical.

<>: Great. Another monday-queen-sac would be boring.

Jul-27-09  gerpm: Always enjoy Monday
Jul-27-09  fouard: I contend he resigned one move too LATE.
Jul-27-09  WhiteRook48: got it, easy
Jul-27-09  MostlyAverageJoe: In regard to resigning, the following might be sometimes relevant:

Jul-27-09  Lord Osiris: Chess as far as I understood it, instead of a sport, was more of a microcosm of war; and resignation in a lost battle was utilized to spare the needless loss of life. Thus, in this light, resigning in chess shows more of the mentality of choosing to preserve the life of ones pieces before they are obliterated. Many battle tacticians played chess to sharpen their mental skills for battle and this could have been where resignation in a losing situation came from. Whether nowadays we consider it polite or stupid, it certainly has a history that lends comprehension and understanding to the tradition
Jul-27-09  muralman: Yay! I got an easy one.
Jul-27-09  remolino: I can't believe you guys are writing a whole disertation on when it is appropriate to resign. A player has the right to resign whenever he wants, so resign as you please. Just don't resign a drawn (or won) position as that would be stupid. And be a good sport (eg do not just leave the hall). Other than that, do as you please, who cares.
Jul-27-09  David2009: Monday's puzzle is a bright start to the week: W Fairhurst vs Menchik, 1935 31? Very easy. Rather a neat mate in three: 31 Nf6+ Kh8 32 Qxh6+ Bxh6 33 Rh7#

For a Tuesday puzzle with Vera Menchik winning, see Menchik vs Graf-Stevenson, 1937

click for larger view

White to play 21?

Jul-27-09  David2009: <playground player: I saw the checkmate pattern waiting to be completed, and knew it is called an Arabian Mate. What I don't know is why it is called an Arabian Mate. Can anyone enlighten me?> Georges Renaud and Victor Khan wrote a book called "The art of checkmate" giving mating patterns. They called this pattern "mat des Arabes" because the K, N and R still move as they did in Arabian chess. The Q and B moved differently. Apparently the mate is given in an Arabian chess manuscript.

I believe that the Pawn moved one square only but captured as it does now. In which case the ending NN vs P could have been known to the Arabs.

Jul-27-09  SamAtoms1980: 31 Nf6+ Kh8 32 Qxh6+ Bxh6 33 Rh7 mate. Going Arabian.

That took me way too long....

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: I don't think, it's very easy for all. Only for those players who have digested the theme of "Arabian Mate" as well as the art [technique] of sacrificing Her Majesty. 31.Nf6+ Kh8 32.Qxh6+ Bxh6 33.Rh7#
Jul-27-09  SirChrislov: Not to brag, but It took me under ten seconds to find this fun mate in three. once you see 1.Nf6+, it's very easy to spot the queen sac. the hint "very easy" also helps.

If you want to keep your mind always sharp for puzzles, I recommend the book 'How good is your chess?' (formerly titled 'Test your chess IQ'), by GM Larry Evans.

Jul-27-09  SirChrislov: About the <"to resign or not to resign"> debate, Read today's Quote of the Day by Svetlana Matveeva.
Jul-27-09  YouRang: <Why not say, "Look, I know you're winning. We both know you have a pretty mate in three. Do you want the satisfaction of playing it, or would you rather I resign?">

"Huh? What do you mean I have a mate in three?! Oh wait... Hey, look at that! That IS pretty! Well, I guess we do both know about it ... now."

Jul-27-09  minasina: <YouRang> YES! Just what I thought!
Jul-27-09  lzromeu: <Lord Osiris:> Thanks for your thoughts. Maybe my blitz judgment was a quite blinded.

Therefore, what Can be do to avoid premature resign? When the lazy of a end game is bigger than a wish of a good game.

Traditionaly, games ends at the end, not at the midlegame, like now. Look for games at 70's, 60's and so one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: On the debate of when to resign: I don't see a problem in the way Menchik played this game to the point of checkmate. Now, had the situation been reversed and Menchik was mating Fairhaust, I'd say it's quite obvious Fairhaust is a sexist pig.
Jul-27-09  MJW 72: I saw...
31. RxB+ KxR
32. Qh7+ Bf7
33. QxR
Jul-27-09  BraveUlysses: <Once: But then I suppose I really shouldn't feed the trolls ...>

Hail, Caliban?

Seriously, the "resign debate" is quite interesting and worthy of discussion, even if gets tired for experienced members.

Jul-28-09  tjshann: Why are we having a "resign debate"?
Many of our Monday puzzles end with a move that leads to mate; and many of the world's best players resigned rather than play it out.(See the famous Robert Byrne v. Fischer in 1964..Bobby termed Byrne's resignation "a bitter disappointment," depriving him of a mate in five.) This resignation seems to be singled out as "unsporting" perhaps because the resigner is female.
Jul-28-09  TomOhio: <JG27Pyth:
Tom: I use resignation as a way of indicating that I understand I've lost. -- Playing on would indicate I don't understand, and while I don't like losing -- I really hate looking dense.>

Your attempt at semantical one-upmanship aside, you have proven my point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I agree: resignation shows that you have seen what is coming. Had Menchik decided to give her opponent the satisfaction of playing the lovely checkmate, it would have left her open to the (inevitable) charge that she had failed to see the impending mate.

Incidentally I saw the solution immediately this time. I tend to do better in the morning than at midnight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I met Fairhurst. My father went overseas and watched the Olympiad in 1977 at Nice but also visited his home country of England. Fairhurst kept taking off (from Nice) at inconvenient times, he said. Or maybe that was part of the deal.

He was an engineer and worked in Scotland. Was also the Scottish champion a few times and the British once I think. His company designed the new Bridge over the river Tay. He played such as Capablanca and others of his level sometimes getting draws with famous GMs. He retired to NZ. I recall he gave a lecture at the Howick-Pakuranga chess club on a chess game about the 2 Bishops at that Club (my club then) in the mid 70s to late 80s.

This is a well played game. A nice finish.

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