Chess

The late Hugh Alexander once told me of a game in which he allowed Alexander Alekhine, then the world champion, to mate him. Facing the choice of suffering ruinous loss of material or being mated next move, Hugh's initial instinct was to resign but then he thought: "No, after he has played so well, it would be churlish to deny him the pleasure of delivering mate." So Alexander, never less than a complete gentleman, played the move that allowed mate.

A look of horror then came over Alekhine's face. His reasoning had been: "He can't go there, because I mate him." When he did go there, Alekhine was struck with an "Oh no! I thought he couldn't do that" panic reaction. Then he composed himself, smiled, and played the mating move.

None of which explains the end of the Anand-Vaganyan game in Riga a few days ago. Finding himself under increasing pressure, Vaganyan made a horrible mistake with 20...f5, totally missing 21.Ne5! But what was he thinking when he took the bishop? There are five possibilities:

a) He thought Anand had blundered a piece away;

b) He thought it was a sacrifice, but missed 22.Qxf7 mate;

c) He was so disgusted he felt he deserved to be mated;

d) He picked up the wrong man;

e) He was being a gentleman.

a, b and e are unbelievable; d is ruled out because he would still have had time to resign before Qxf7. So c must be correct, unless someone knows better.

White: V. Anand

Black: R. Vaganyan

1 e4 e6 12 c4 Bd7

2 d4 d5 13 c5 Qc7

3 Nc3 dxe4 14 Rfd1 h5

4 Nxe4 Nd7 15 Nd2 Rd8

5 Nf3 Ngf6 16 Nc4 Bc8

6 Bd3 Nxe4 17 Qe3 b5

7 Bxe4 Nf6 18 cxb6 axb6

8 Bg5 Be7 19 Rac1 Bb7

9 Bxf6 gxf6 20 Qf3 f5

10 Qe2 c6 21 Ne5 fxe4

11 0-0 Qb6 22 Qxf7 mate

Final scores in Riga: Kasparov 71/2; Anand 7; Ivanchuk 61/2; Kramnik and Short 6; Gulko 5; Yusupov 41/2; Ehlvest 31/2; Kengis, Timman and Vaganyan 3.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

HR Assistant / Human Resources Assistant

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: An HR Assistant / Human Resources Ass...

Talent Community Coordinator

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Talent Community Coordinator is nee...

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried