Chess for sale: peculiar sets from movies

Chess are becoming, year by year, a more and more merchandisable and commercial game. You can’t find chess gadgets everywere, but, e.g., lots of animated series and movies – Harry Potter is the most popular at the moment – have their own chess set: in most cases pieces look like the main characters of the movie/series. I have seen or heard of Simpson’s, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and even King Kong’s chess sets. And soon we’ll have Transformers chess set. The movie from the ’80s animated series will be released next July in the Usa and many European countries (Italy included), the chess set will be available from April 28. The set is based on the “Generation 1” cartoon: Optimus Prime is the King of the Autobots side, Megatron of the Decepticon. Well, I don’t want to advertise the product. I don’t think that all Transformers fans will become chessplayers. But such a merchandise can’t be bad for chess and I hope this can help the game to become more popular.
Also chess-based videogames are becoming a more and more commercial item. Some of them are not really correlated with chess, but let’s consider, for example, “Online chess kingdom”. This PSP game was released last year in the civilized world :-) and last February in Italy. Here is the description you can find on Amazon: “Online Chess Kingdoms is set in a world many ages ago when the universe was composed of five distinct forces that were struggling against each other to gain supremacy. Players choose to battle as one of five fully 3D interactive chess sets or use a classic 3D or 2D chess set to determine the fate of the universe in the great fight between the forces. Online Chess Kingdoms not only brings classic chess to the PSP system, but it also adds new twists to classic chess rules such as a Speed Chess mode for players who want dose of quick chess on the go and breakthrough infrastructure play in which gamers join teams and play for control of territory in a persistent online world”. Well, I know the plot looks really sad, but it seems that here you can find a real mix of chess and classic battle games.
And now let’s come back to Chess, with capital “C”. European championship took a rest day and there are no other big tournaments in progress. Nevertheless two young Italian talents are fighting for GM and IM norm respectively in Budapest, Hungary: they are well known IM Fabiano Caruana and 17 y.o. FM Denis Rombaldoni (from Pesaro). Yesterday the third round was played and the “dramatic” Italian derby took place: Rombaldoni, with Black, got the better of it. Unfortunately the game is not available yet.
Well, that’s all folks. I’m leaving for London tomorrow and I’ll be back on Saturday. It’s just a short holiday, but I hope it will give me the inspiration for writing better and more interesting articles in the near future :-). So read all March and April posts, if you haven’t already done, and wait for my next on Saturday evening. I hope I will find a computer to update my Italian site, anyway, so keep on giving a look to www.messaggeroscacchi.it!
And now here is a test from my chess practice.

Black to play and…

You can post the solution by clicking on “comments” (it is not so difficult). You won’t earn anything but the glory and my congratulations, but why don't try? :-)
P.S. for Italian readers: you only have 10 days more to send your games for “La regina del 2007” (http://www.messaggeroscacchi.it/regina2007/index.html). The best game for each month (amongst those sent by readers) wins a book published by Messaggerie Scacchistiche. Hurry up!
I almost forgot the game of the day. Well, here is a brilliant win by Rombaldoni in Budapest.

Rombaldoni, D (2368) - Kahn, E (2334) [D12], Budapest 8.4.2007
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nh4 Bg6 7. Nxg6 hxg6 8. a3 Bd6 9. c5 Bc7 10. g3 Nbd7 11. b4 e5 12. Bg2 Qe7 13. Ne2 e4 14. h3 g5 15. Bb2 Qe6 16. Qc2 g6 17. Bc3 Nh5 18. h4 gxh4 19. Rxh4 f5 20. O-O-O Kf7 21. Rdh1 Ndf6 22. Nf4 Bxf4?! 23. gxf4 Ng4 24. Kb1 Qf6?! 25. Bxe4! dxe4 26. d5 Qd8 27. dxc6 Ngf6?
Better was 27…bxc6
28. cxb7 Rb8 29. Qb3+ Kg7 30. c6 Qd3+ 31. Qc2 Qb5 32. Be5 Rbd8 33. c7 Qxb7 34. cxd8=Q Rxd8 35. Rxh5! gxh5 36. Rg1+ Kf7 37. Bxf6 Kxf6 38. Qc3+ Ke6 39. Qe5+ 1-0


Ryan Emmett said...

Nice puzzle. I can see that Black's King is stalemated, so I think Black might be able to draw by sacrificing his Queen and both Rooks.

How about 1...Ra1+ Kxa1 2. Qa7+ Kb1 3. Qa1+ Kxa1 4. Rc1+ and if the rook is taken it's stalemate and if 4...Ka2 then 5. Ra1+ forces a capture.

I'm not sure if there's a win though...

Mida said...

Hi! That's right, it's a draw! This was a real game played in Bergamo's championship 13 years ago. I was Black... My opponent was very sporty and didn't broke chessboard or anything else :-) He was clearly winning just a move before the diagram position.

Ryan Emmett said...

Well done to see that over the board! It's not too hard to spot when prompted to look for something unusual, but must be much more difficult to see during a real game!

Ryan Emmett said...

Great blog btw - I have added you to my blog list. :)

Mida said...

What can I say? Thank you very much!