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LAST TUESDAY when reporting on the tournament at Enghien-les-Bains I mentioned poor Viktor Bologan's defeat in just 10 moves at the hands of Joel Lautier. While this isn't a topic I would want to dwell on too often, readers may still be interested to see how a strong grandmaster can self-destruct so quickly.

Instead of the gross blunder 8 ...Nbxd5??, 8 ...Nfxd5 was perfectly playable. At the end if 10 ...Nxd7 11 Nxd5; or 10 ...Qxd7 11 Bb5! axb5 12 Qxa8+ Qd8 13 Qxb7, etc.

White: Joel Lautier

Black: Viktor Bologan

Caro Kann Defence

While painful defeats like this are extremely rare, they do occur sometimes to even the strongest players and could, from the emotional safety of the sidelines, even be taken as an affirmation of our human nature, as compared to those pesky machines.

11 ...Qb8 is theory in the diagram and perfectly playable. But after 11 ...Bd6?? 12 Qd1! Black loses a whole piece for nothing.

White: Larry Christiansen

Black: Anatoly Karpov

Queen's Indian Defence

Despite this horrific defeat in the first game of his mini-match with Larry Christiansen at the knockout tournament in Wijk aan Zee 1993, Anatoly Karpov displayed one of his greatest strengths - his ability to play purely for the moment. He won the second game of their match and the subsequent play-offs.

That was a mere 12 moves! But this is a marathon compared to the shortest master games on record. This was allegedly played at a cafe in Paris in 1924. In the Complete Chess Addict (Mike Fox and Richard James Faber) I further discovered the story that a waiter dropped a tray of plates after 4 ...Ne3!, which traps the queen since if 5 fxe3 Qh4+. But they add that the loser later denied the story and it's now generally believed to have been composed.

Gibaud vs Lazard

Paris, 1924

This one is genuine, though - and even shorter:

White: D Djordevic

Black: M Kovacevic

Bela Crkva, 1984