Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Chess Files

The Chess Files
The answers are out there.
By Jim Eade
Today’s chess mystery is: Is chess talent born or created.  Many people contend that there are child prodigies in chess, just as there are in music and mathematics.  A story about the 19th century American champion, Paul Morphy, seems to confirm this.  He is said to have learned the game simply by watching his father and uncle play.  He reportedly astounded them by pointing out an illegal move his father had made and his uncle had not noticed.

This would be impressive anecdotal evidence indeed, if a similar story wasn’t told about the great Cuban champion,  José Raúl Capablanca, as well.  It seems that the only people convinced of an innate ability to play chess well are chess players!

The scientific evidence to date indicates that there is a definite correlation  between chess ability and facility with spatial relations.  The hard truth is that although you may be born with a predisposition to play chess well, you still have to work at it.

If you have a chess mystery you would like solved, write to me at jimeade@comcast.net, and I’ll take a crack at it.
Today’s position was shown to me by my old friend the late Grand Master Arnold Denker.  The Denker Tournament of High School Champions is held every August.  White mates in three moves.

Solution: 1. Qg4+ Bxg4 2. Rxh6+ gxh6 3. Bf7#