The President’s King

FIDE Master Neil Berry, the club’s first team captain for many years and previous Scottish chess champion, gave a talk last night to the club entitled ‘The President’s King.’

Fischer vs Andersson (Siegen, 1970): White to play?

A thought provoking and fascinating presentation which demonstrated unusual king themes across the full game cycle – from transitioning out of the opening into the the middle game and onto the end-game.  The games were taken from both Grand Master play (e.g. Fischer vs Andersson in the picture above – no-one in the audience came up with Fischer’s next move as white!) and some of his own games.

Neil even included a losing position he had reached against GM Peter Wells – where Peter’s king moved across to the Q side leaving his pieces free to break through on the king side:

Peter Wells vs Neil Berry (89th BCF Championship, Torquay, 2002): position after 19. …Bf5

Note that post-match analysis found a missed stalemate drawing opportunity for Neil just before he was mated!?!

Peter Wells vs Neil Berry (89th BCF Championship, Torquay, 2002): position after 46. Rf8: Post-match analysis – stalemate?

Another position examined was from Neil’s win against Oswald Bindrich (father of GM Falco Bindrich) where a contra-normal king move exploited the blockaded queen side:

Bindrich Oswald vs Neil Berry: position after 12.h5

The evening included various end-games illustrating the king traversing the board – including some “Scottish country dancing” in the following position which Neil has used in training the Scottish juniors:

The talk was followed by friendly games where everyone endeavoured to put into practice some of the lessons learned.

A great night – many thanks Neil!