April Fools' Day: Chess Fact or Fiction?
1. The following game was (allegedly) played by two world-class players:
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 cxd4 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 Qc7 10.Kd1 dxc3 11.Nf3 Nbc6 12.Bb5 Bd7 13.Bxc6 Bxc6 14.Bg5 d4 15.Bxe7 Kxe7 16.Qh4+ Ke8 17.Ke2 Bxf3+ 18.gxf3 Qxe5+ 19.Qe4 Qxe4+ 20.fxe4 f6 21.Rad1 e5 22.Rd3 Kf7 23.Rg3 Rg6 24.Rhg1 Rag8 25.a4 Rxg3 26.fxg3 b6 27.h4 a6 28.g4 b5 29.axb5 axb5 30.Kd3 Kg6 31.Rf1 Rh8 32.Rh1 Rh7 33.Ke2 Ra7 34.Kd3 Ra2 35.Rf1 b4 36.h5+ Kg5 37.Rf5+ Kxg4 38.h6 b3 39.h7 Ra8 40.cxb3 Rh8 41.Rxf6 Rxh7 42.Rg6+ Kf4 43.Rf6+ Kg3 44.Rf1 Rh2 45.Rd1 Kf3 46.Rf1+ Rf2 47.Rxf2+ Kxf2 [47...Kxf2 48.b4 c2 49.Kxc2 Ke2 50.b5 d3+ 51.Kc3 d2 52.b6 d1Q] 0-1
Not a bad game, but what makes it noteworthy is that White had been dead for more than 35 years by the game's completion.
2. In 1988, I had the opportunity to face my all-time favorite player, the great Mikhail Tal, in a simul. I was at or close to my peak then, and I was fortunate enough to pull out a draw.
3. Boris Spassky, later to become world champion, once lost to Viktor Korchnoi (also spelled "Kortchnoi" and "Kortschnoj," depending on where you look) in 12 moves when both were kids, but another world champion, while world champion, also managed to lose a tournament game in just 12 moves.
4. The strongest tournament performance by a female player was not turned in by Judit Polgar, nor by Susan Polgar, Maya Chiburdanidze, Xie Jun or any other female world chess champion.