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London 1862 This month marks the 150th

anniversary of one of the earliest tour- naments and, arguably, the most innovative. London 1862 introduced to international chess the round-robin format, which soon became known as the “American system” because of its popularity on the other side of the pond. The 14-player tournament also showcased the first time limit. Even though it was a mere 20 moves for two hours, some players regarded it as an infringement on their right to take as long as they wanted to think. Adolf Anderssen’s first place finish, two points ahead of the field, reaffirmed his position as unofficial world cham- pion, once Paul Morphy was safely back in Louisiana. In each of the fol- lowing six positions from London 1862 you are asked to find the fastest win- ning line of play. This may mean the forced win of a decisive amount of material—or a checkmate. For solu- tions, see page 71.

Problem I

Serafino Dubois Augustus Mongredien

-+-+-+ktr zpp+-tr-+p n+p+PvL-wQ +-wq-+-+- -+L+-+-zP +-sN-+-zp- PzPP+-+P+ +-+-+-+K

White to play Problem IV

George MacDonnell Frederic Deacon

-+-+rtrk+ +l+p+-+p pwqp+p+p+ +-+-+n+- P+-+-zPN+ +-+L+-+Q -zPP+-+PzP +-+-tRR+K White to play

There were no scripts, but one guest

had an agenda: A master panelist used a lull one day to denounce President Nixon and Henry Kissinger. There was a quick station break and another panelist, Ken Regan, 12, used the time to call home. “My parents gave me instructions that when the show came back on, ‘Talk about chess ... lots of chess.’ Which I did—a five- minute blue streak until Shelby put his hand out for ‘Enough!’” said Regan, who later became an international master and computer science professor. From the first game on Lyman filled

time with phone calls to Edmar Mednis at the Marshall Chess Club and to various amateurs to seek opinions of the latest position. One day he dialed the United Nations Chess Club and spent several minutes trying to interview a member who didn’t seem to speak a word of Eng- lish. No matter. It was live TV. Keep going. On another occasion he called the chess

club at a New York state jail. The dialogue went something like:

Lyman: And who am I speaking to? Prisoner: This is Mungo. Lyman: Well, uh, Mungo, what do you think of the position? Prisoner: White has the good bishop. I

like the white pawns. The white queen is very strong.

Lyman: So you’re conclusion is ... ? Prisoner: Black is better! Part of the show’s appeal was that no one

Problem II

Frederic Deacon James Robey

-+-trr+-mk +-+-+pzpp -+p+-tR-+ +-+-zp-vL- p+-+P+-wQ +-zPP+-+- q+LmK-+PzP +-+-+-+- Black to play

Problem V Thomas Barnes Serafino Dubois

-+-+-trk+ +l+-+pzpp p+-+-+-+ +-zp-+-+- N+-+-wq-tr +P+Q+Nvl- P+-tR-+-zP +-+-+R+K Black to play

took the chess too seriously. After the third game began 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. d5 exd5 5. cxd5, Chris Chase, hear- ing the name of the opening for the first time, kept talking about “a slice of Benoni.” On August 8 it appeared the show

would be preempted by history. The Dem- ocratic vice presidential nominee had resigned and all the TV networks were planning to cover the acceptance speech of his replacement at a special party con- clave. “There was a big debate at 13. They decided I was to do updates every hour,” Lyman said, and leave the rest of the afternoon to political coverage.

Preempting politics GM Bobby Fischer GM Boris Spassky World Championship 1972, 12th game

(see diagram top of next column) But about the time that this position

occurred—as Lyman was to go on camera with the brief 2 p.m. update—“They grabbed me and said we’re staying with chess. Channel 13 got a thousands calls. People were threatening to blow up the station!” he said. The station stuck with the game and a

draw was agreed at move 55. “And we knocked the Democratic convention off the air,” Lyman said. The show continued until Spassky resigned the 21st game and his title on

Problem III

Joseph Blackburne James Robey

-tr-+-+k+ +-+-+r+p -wqPvl-zPp+ zp-sNp+-zPn P+-+p+-zP mKP+-wQ-+N -+-vL-zP-+ +-tR-+-+-

Black to play Problem VI

Joseph Blackburne Valentine Green

-+-+-+-+ zpk+-+-+P -zpl+-+-+ +-zpq+-+- -+-+-+-wQ +-+-+-zP- -+-+-zP-+ +-tR-+-mK- White to play

r+l+-trk+ +-+n+pzp- p+-+psn-zp wq-zp-+-+- -vl-zP-+-vL +-sNLzP-+- -zP-sN-zPPzP +-tRQmK-+R

After 15. ... c5

September 1. “We had a celebration and we broke out bottles of wine,” said Lyman. The show made him the second-best- known chessplayer in America. He went on to become a nationally syndicated columnist. His guests also benefited from exposure, including Bruce Pandolfini who became a celebrated chess teacher. Lyman returned to the air in November

1973 to host a match between the Marshall and Manhattan chess clubs. More suc- cessful were the world championship matches he hosted from 1978 into the Kar- pov-Kasparov era. But it’s the 1972 shows that are etched in the memories of a gen- eration of players, who were inspired liked Fedorowicz. And that appears to be the only place the shows exist, in memories: In the pre-VCR era, the only record of

the shows was the studio tapes—and they were destroyed long ago.

. Chess Life — July 2012 15

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