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Ruben Escutin Catig vs Michael Mills
"The Masked Grandmaster" (game of the day Oct-27-2011)
Carrol M. Capps Memorial (1974), San Francisco, CA USA, Oct-26
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Why is he a "masked grandmaster"?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <al wazir> Marchand was a longtime US Master whose career dated back to the 1930s. He was still around 2300 when he defeated Christiansen at age 75.

I haven't got time to check this thoroughly at the moment, but there may have been two Michael Mills. The 1972 USCF rating list gives Mike D. Mills (1485) and Mike V. Mills (1856), both from California.

Oct-27-11  knighterrant999: If an infinite number of monkeys played an infinite number of chess games, making an infinite number of random moves, they'd produce some brilliancies too.
Oct-27-11  Gilmoy: <sleepyirv: The dream of all us> grad <patzers- one> day <to> have free time to nominate <FSR: 101> GotDs :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Alas,black was unable to brag about this win-because Catig got his tongue...

The queen sac is the final nail.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Phony Benoni is correct about Marchand's strength, and probably also in his surmise about there being two Michael Millses.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <HeMateMe: Why is he a "masked grandmaster"?>

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <BobCrisp: Who is, or rather who was <Carrol M. Capps>?>

I'd never heard of the guy, but apparently he wrote a well-regarded science fiction book, "Secret of the Sunless World" under that pseudonym.

Oct-27-11  Chessmensch: <mrriddler:> and all. My experience with such "inobvious" (to humans) moves is that the engines usually find them in a fraction of a second. Not so in this case. Deep Fritz 12 didn't find 18... Bc8 in six minutes, but when I pasted it in, it recognized it as the preferred move in about a minute (still a long time in my experience). Very curious. Then, I tried Deep Rybka 4. That found it as the preferred move in a little under a minute.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: On Mills' page, rapidcitychess quotes Silman as writing the following (I'm not sure where, since unless I'm blind it's not in "Masked Grandmaster Redux"):

<What's of particular interest to me is that Mills didn’t offer any variations at all as he was playing through the game (nor was he able to defend his moves with actual variations). Instead, he would explain everything he did by naming a pattern that he learned from the aforementioned Vukovic book. ["The Art of Attack in Chess," a great book and the bible of Emory A Tate Thus we were pelted by verbal nutshells of wisdom like, "Central King, kill it!" and "Ripping open the center!" and "Maximizing the activity of my pieces!" and "Sacrific­ing to open lines to his King!" and "It’s a double attack!" and "I'm building a mating net!">

Premium Chessgames Member
  kdogphs: There's hope for patzers like myself!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: You can tell from quite a long way off that ...Qxb2 is going to figure -- perhaps decoying the Bishop and leaving the White King exposed to a mating attack.

He did well not to play it too soon. I might have.

Oct-27-11  master of defence: What happens after 25.Bxe3? if 25...fxe3+
26. Kxe3 and i don't see a continuation winner for black
Oct-27-11  rapidcitychess: <FSR>

The quote is taken from Silman's series on It was in 2010; I'm not exactly sure when...

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <mod: What happens after 25.Bxe3? if 25...fxe3+ 26. Kxe3>


Oct-27-11  tonsillolith: "<27...Bg3> is a real problem move." - Fischer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Those interested in brilliant games by non-masters might take a look at this one: W Stanley Davis vs Fedorowicz, 1980
Premium Chessgames Member
  akatombo: I witnessed the W Stanley Davis vs Fedorowicz, 1980 game back in 1980. Didn't the fire occur before this game was played, whereas the building was evacuated leading to players losing sleep, including Fedorowicz? I remember overhearing Bisguier saying to Fedorowicz, "How the hell did that happen?", only later to lose a game to a much lower-rated player himself.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <akatombo> I just checked a report I wrote soon afterward, and the fire was definitely in the early morning hours following round 1.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <akatombo: ... I remember overhearing Bisguier saying to Fedorowicz, "How the hell did that happen?", only later to lose a game to a much lower-rated player himself.>

Bisguier may have lost more games to lower-rated players than any other grandmaster in history.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Great game and a great story to go with it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Mills struck double gold -- not just by playing a great game (which does happen occasionally even among lower-rated players) but by having the game seen and written up by Silman, even to the point of finding its way into a Russian anthology of prize-winning games.

Some of my 'best' games are so utterly lost to history that the scoresheets are long destroyed and they never got near anyone's database. Not that I've ever played anything quite like this.

Also very interesting is Silman's observation about Mills's own analysis of the game: no long variations or exact analysis, but maxims ('Naked King!' etc) drawn from the Vukovic book.

I have a theory that players rated *under* 1600 or so can actually be better attackers, as they don't have the inhibitions of those who can calculate more deeply. Naturally, they often blunder - but sometimes they produce wonder games.

Meanwhile, a somewhat stronger player -- around 1800 or so -- can see more to worry about, and is inhibited from wild attacks. It tends to lead to slightly more boring games, on average, in the higher rating band.

Until they get over 2100 and become dangerous again.

Jun-10-14  diap: I dont understand 27. Kg1, why not
Bxc3 ?
Jul-05-15  w7n: <diap>
There isn't a black piece on c3 that can be taken. If you mean Bxe3, then after 27. ..Qxb2 white could already resign. If you mean Bc3, then 27. ..Qxb2 works in a way similar to the actual game.
Jan-13-16  Caissanist: The link to this game on Silman's own site no longer works, but the same (or a very similar) article can be found here: .
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