Saturday, October 15, 2005

Chess movies 2; Topalov virtual champ

By Frank "Boy” Pestaño

One of the earliest movies featuring computer chess was 2001: A Space Odyssey, released in 1968 .

In the movie, the computer Hal 9000, plays chess with one of the astronauts and announces a mate in two moves.

The position was based on a real game - -Roesch vs. Schlage -- played in Hamburg in 1910.

Another famous movie featuring chess, is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer‘s Stone. It involved life-size characters with Harry as a bishop, Ron as a knight and Hermione a rook. The final position, designed by IM Jeremy Silman, involved a sacrifice by Ron and a mate by Harry in two.

BRAINWASHED (1961). It is considered as the finest fictional work about chess .

The movie starts with Werner von Basil, (Curt Jergens), being helped on board a ship with people getting out of war-torn Europe. While onboard, he sees a game by a guy named Czentovic, the world champion, against several men.

Watching the game, he sees a blunder and an easy win by Czentovic about to be made. He intrudes and shows the group how to force a draw, impressing everyone and earning a challenge from Czentovic.

As the game starts, a flashback is shown about Basil’s life, and it shows him getting arrested by the Gestapo. A high-ranking officer, who thinks of himself as an intellectual, decides to break Werner without using any violence. Months go with endless questioning, isolation and no reading material allowed. Despite being disoriented, he manages to steal a book from a guard and later realizes it is a chess book.

He teaches himself by deduction and, over time, memorizes every game and its nuances. With no human contact, his only friends were Alekhine, Capablanca, Lasker and others.

We realize by now that he has escaped from a mental asylum. How does he fare against the champion? The answer gives us real food for thought.

World Championship. Viswanathan Anand won with black against Peter Leko in round 12, and is now tied with Peter Svidler, 1.5 points behind Vassily Topalov. Theoretically, there is a chance that one of them will catch up, although it will be very hard, as Topalov has never lost a game in this championship.

CHESS PUZZLE 2. This puzzle is sponsored by Globe Telecom, thru Jerome Yntig. Five winners will receive P100 Globe cards each and in case there are more, the cards will be raffled of.

Key move to last week’s puzzle: 1.Rf3. There were 22 players who answered correctly. After a raffle, in the presence of Cebu Executives and Professional Chess Association treasurer Ed Cabantug and Jun Montes, the following persons will receive the prizes. Jerry Calvo Jr, Arnel Cabanero, Florentino Galan Jr,Bong Ceballo and Elisa Cudal.

Claim your cards from Handuraw Café (beside Kahayag ) at Mabolo anytime after noon until 11 pm. Winners can only win once a month and only Globe users can join. Text your name and the keymove to cell no.0915-507-0286.

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