From the Technical Sub-Committee
First of all there has been a change on the technical sub-committee. Stan Lovell has stood down and Alec, BCA chair, has joined. I would like to thank Stan for all the work he has put in on the technical sub-committee all these years. He has been instrumental in bringing about solutions and proposed solutions mentioned below.
Chess sets: We now feel that the firm we are dealing with in India, while not 100%, represent our best option at the moment. We feel the sets they have provided us with are adequate and we are proposing to move into negotiations with them over provision of other styles of set, specifically larger/smaller boards and sets with prisons. Research done by the sub-committee suggests that it is sets with prisons that are the most in demand at the moment. We will report in the gazette once we have such sets.
Chess clocks: unfortunately we have had a setback on this front. We had ordered a sizable number of modified clocks from our former supplier, but the order has fallen through; the supplier cites difficulties in obtaining relevant clock parts and expense. Stan was impressed with the clocks used by the Russian team at the Europeans in Durham and is tracking down the supplier. He has obtained an address from the all Russian association of the blind and we will report further progress in the gazette when and as it happens.
Digital clocks: Chris and Stan saw a talking digital clock produced in Spain and were not overly impressed. The main problem was the complexity involved in setting the time controls and language options. The plan for the clock suppliers DGT to develop a talking digital clock has not progressed as it seems the price being quoted for research and development is very high. Discussions and investigations by the technical sub-committee are ongoing.
New Books on Cassette
Vlastimir Hort, Vladimir Yansa: SIT WITH THE GRANDMASTERS
“This book by the two leading GMs of the mid-20th century is set out in an original way. The authors have assembled 230 positions from their games (not all of them won by any means) and invite readers to share in the decision-making process. In most positions two questions are asked, which side stands better and how should the side whose turn it is to move continue; several alternatives are suggested. Each position has a number of points awarded for the correct solution and the sum total of these enables readers to determine their strength. This is not a book to be read from cover to cover, but an essential addition to your library to sharpen one’s ability of assessing positions”.
8 cassettes. This is the book from which 11 positions were taken for the Diamond Jubilee Quiz. As it was, the horses, taken to the water, did not drink, but some have expressed the wish to see the answers. This book will now enable them to do so. The numbers of the 11 positions are: 141, 150, 154, 158, 159, 163, 169, 171, 188, 225, 227. No. 12, not from the book, is given below because it is too good to miss!
THE MIDDLE GAME: STRATEGY AND TACTICS.
This is the first instalment of an ongoing series of articles and extracts from books on a subject on which there is a dearth in the library. Many of the articles are by the eminent American theorist Edmar Mednis who died a few years ago. There is an index cassette to tell readers where items are to be found. These include: tactical ideas as the basis of opening study; the advantage of the first move in symmetrical positions; beware of revenge checks; three pawns or a minor piece?; should white/black capture towards the centre?; what is equality?; earlier or later: 1. d4 or 1. g3?; sister openings; the resurrection of the dead; the value of the two bishops; two bishops are not everything; bishops of opposite colour; bishop and pawn against rook and pawn; drawing combinations; mating motifs; chess psychology. 10 cassettes.
Diamond Jubilee Quiz – Solution
Position 12 Bertrina-Ghitescu 1964. white: Kg1, Qh6, Rd1, Lf8 and b1, pawns a2, b2, c3, g2 h3; black: Kg8, Qe5, Rb7, Lc6 and e1, pawns a7, c5, e7, f7, g6 and h7. White to move.
Solution: 1 Lg7!! Lf2 2 Kf1 (if 2 Kf2 Rb2 or 2 Kh1 Lg2 3 Kg2 Qg3 ) 2 -Lb5 (if 2 -Lb2 3 Kf2! Rb2 4 Kg1 the black bishop is obstructing rook and queen. Without further checks black only has 4 -Qb8 5 Le5 5 -Qf8 6 Rd8! and after a few harmless revenge checks –6 -Rb1 7 Kg2 Rb2 8 Kg3 – he is mated) 3 Kf2 Qe2 4 Kg3 Qd1 5 Lh8!! Qd6 6 Kf2 or 5 -Qe1 6 Kh2 and black must give up the queen.