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Nigel Short vs David Houston
"Houston, we have a problem." (game of the day Apr-19-2008)
British Championship (1981), Morecambe ENG, rd 2, Aug-04
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Open System Main Line (C09)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-08-05  soberknight: This game will someday be GOTD under the heading "Houston, we have a problem." Hey, if it happens, you heard it from me first!

(Why try to be the first kibitzer after the GOTD goes up at midnight, which I have done several times, when you can be the first kibitzer BEFORE it goes up?)

Nov-21-07  alexrawlings: Why does black resign?
Nov-21-07  johnsbrother: I think it goes something like this: 27...gxf5 28 Nxf5+ Kf6 29 Qxh6+ Kxf5 30 Bc2+ Kg4 31 f3+ and the king is way too exposed and probably mated soon. Anyone have a simpler answer?
Nov-21-07  Sydro: If 27...gxf5 White can force checkmate in 5 moves.

27...gxf5 28.Nxf5+ Kf6 29.Qe5+ Kg5 30.Ng7+ f5 31.Qg3+ Kf6 32.Qg6#

Apr-19-08  sheaf: <soberknight> thou art <oracle>
Apr-19-08  D.Observer: what's the problem here?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: If I recall,the problem in question was the rupture of an air tank on Apollo 13. The crew was forced to scramble around the moon,surviving from the LEM-which was used as a lifeboat and then to properly time a safe return to earth.

NASA,the ground crew,and a lot of prayer enabled the astronauts to land safely against all odds.

The mission took place from April 11-17 in the year 1970.

Black's problem here is that his king side defenses suffered a fatal leak,but unlike Apollo,he was left alone to fend for himself and quickly went down to defeat.

PS-Watch the movie! It is great!!

Apr-19-08  Marmot PFL: It was called Apollo 13, one of the best sci-fi movies ever.
Apr-19-08  PinnedPiece: OK now lets all go out and find GOTD candidates and offer pithy captions!

Apr-19-08  drpoundsign: life is like a titanium tin can full of never know what you'll get.

Kasparov slaughtered Short at least once.

Apr-19-08  uniqueid: All hail <soberknight>, the prediction has come true. <kevin86> great recap !!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <soberknight> Know anything about horse racing? Or chess matches, for that matter - as long as they take place in the future.

True story. I was top seed in a tournament, once upon a time. In my first game, I opened with 1.e3 - Van't Kruijs Opening - and won in 12 moves.

Feeling emboldened, and *far* too arrogant, I continued on my way, playing silly openings. A future international, aged about 12, brought me halfway down to earth by beating me. But by the last round I'd clawed my way back into contention against D. Houston, the loser of this game.

I played 1.e3. "I thought you might do that" he said, and replied 1...g6. It's surprisingly strong: White doesn't get time to transpose to a Nimzo-Larsen with b3, and that e3-move is useless in the Leningrad Dutch we eventually transposed into.

Yes, 1.e3 g6 2.e4 is playable, but a lot of the eccentricity had been rubbed off me by then. Mr Houston won the game and the tournament.

<Marmot> I hate to disagree, but are we thinking of the same Apollo 13? The one I've got in mind was directed by Ron Howard, which is a black mark straightaway. It had Tom Hanks, which is another. The action takes places between the Earth and the Moon, but it isn't a sci-fi movie - it's based on the actual Apollo mission ... a true life space story?

And it's very far from being the best anything, unless it's the best Ron Howard movie.

<a titanium can full of astronauts> Great idea ... but I'd include some oxygen too, or the action might end kinda suddenly and messily.

Apr-19-08  Marmot PFL: <I hate to disagree, but are we thinking of the same Apollo 13? The one I've got in mind was directed by Ron Howard, which is a black mark straightaway. It had Tom Hanks, which is another. The action takes places between the Earth and the Moon, but it isn't a sci-fi movie - it's based on the actual Apollo mission ... a true life space story?>

I have no firm opinion on whether or not astronauts really made it to the moon and returned. I have heard many arguments on both sides of the issue. In the context of the times (cold war space race which the late JFK had pledged to win by putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade) the incentive to claim the feat was certainly there. In any case Apollo was a well produced show, no matter if shot on Earth or Moon, and even if canceled by low ratings after the 15th episode.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: If nothing else, this game disproves Ed Harris' ukase from the movie: failure <is> an option.
Apr-19-08  Andrew Chapman: Neil Armstrong made some very cryptic sounding comments at the 25th anniversary about uncovering a veil of truth or somesuch. I must say that it looks a lot like a stage set but like Marmot am not too sure about it. Didn't Bill Clinton say in his autobiography that he wasn't sure if they went to the moon - perhaps disguised as an amusing throwaway remark?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <andrew chapman><marmot pfl>

I hope for both of your sakes that you are joking and not indulging in the lamest of conspiracy theories this side of <Loose Change> and <Protocols of the Elders of Zion>.

Apr-19-08  rayyan: wow soberknight got it!
Apr-19-08  drpoundsign: y'all sound like Dale Gribble. "The super bowl was really played six months ago in the same hangar where they faked the moon landing!"

The nut also said a restaurant-style pager from megachurch Hank had joined was an "alien transponder." LOL He was right that time!

Premium Chessgames Member
  blazerdoodle: Some people believe any dipwad conspiracy theory that comes down the pike. If it had been faked, it would have been found out by more intelligent idiots than the ones who claim they have 'found it out.' You couldn't hide a thing like that. LOL... but I digress. I came here to read a chess game...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <keypusher> -- "Ukase": I love it. And yes, all chessplayers from humble woodpusher (Plastic-pusher? Photon-pusher? Pixel-pusher?) to Grandmaster do indeed know something that astronauts don't: *failure is always an option*.

An option that one tries not to exercise, but hey, *tshyert happens*.

But nonetheless I suspect that Ed Harris and/or Neil Armstrong and their ilk would not have been allowed - ironic, isn't it? - to issue an <ukase>. It *is* a Russian word, after all - and anything Russki was deeply suspect during the Cold War. Never mind that it's a Tsarist term for a decree rather than a Bolshevist one: in 1970 USA, a Russian was a Russian, and that meant Commie.

This was pretty much the same mechanism that let Bobby Fischer and the US government each believe that the other was a communist.

Hmm ... I've just noticed you can write 'ukase' in pseudo-Cyrillic -- cyrillic using the Latin alphabet plus numerals etc to approximate the 'look' of Russian. William Gibson ('Spook Country', 2007) calls it Volapuk -- although Volapuk is actually the name of a dead universal language, a wannabe Esperanto that failed.

Some Neo-Volapuk: "OH MHe He yKa3a" -- "I don't take orders from him". Phonetically: *On mnye nye ukaze".

The Russians themselves, in Soviet times, found subtle ways to mock their leaders. For example, the words for 'president', 'presidium' and 'condom' appear side-by-side in some Russian dictionaries.

I imagine Stalin went dictionary-surfing one day - it's what people did before google, but you had to be absolute dictator of a vast tyranny - one inclined to grovelling by naming stuff after the Boss - for it to work properly.

"Where do I want to go today?

... Stalingrad, I think. Or just pop down to Stalin Street for a copy of my latest biography, *Uncle Joe and The Fish* ..."

Okay? So Stalin opens his dictionary, sees "president, presidium, condom", roars with laughter, and has all the editors, lexicographers, typestters, and printers shot. He would've exterminated the *red setters* as well, but it was pointed out that they were (a) red, and (b) dogs.

As for the moon landings ... it doesn't actually matter much, but they *did* go. I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next nutcase, but this one has great gaping holes in it. Not even Stalin could have kept film productions totally secret in Mosfilm and VGIK. The very idea of Nixon's FBI - the criminal conspiracy that brought us Watergate - doing it in Hollywood is laughable.

Unless, unless ... this is like Altman's 'Secret Honor' thesis ... Watergate was a deliberate falsecard, a poisoned pawn. Designed to give the impression that government plotters were buffoons who couldn't organize a conspiracy to save their lives. While, meantime ... hmm.

Sounds like one of E. Howard Hunt's scripts.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Didn't Bill Clinton say ...>

Well, yes.

Clinton was courting the conspiracy-buff constituency, but doing it in a quiet way so as not to alarm the straight folks.

If you look at Clinton speeches etc -- Hillary is as good, maybe better -- they're brilliant at this sort of thing. All kinds of people come away thinking "Wow, he/she/it is *really* one of us ... blacker than Obama, whiter than Schwarzenegger, greener than the average Martian" ... "Hey, lookee here, Ms Clinton is a member of the disabled funambulist community just like me" ... "Yeah, and those hints she dropped about *people of faith* - I bet she's an Episcopal Ecdysiast too!"

Don't get me wrong. I *love* the Clintons. I desire their daughter carnally, just like my demographic is meant to, and I think they're all political geniuses. But you have to bear in mind that those people would do *anything* for power.

'Lying' doesn't even begin to cover it. Telling the truth so that it looks like a lie in order to nail down the congenital liar vote and the congenital idiot vote at the same time ... and grabbing a good chunk of the *plain old ordinary genital* vote while they're at it. Awe-inspiring multi-poly-doublethink.

The late Hunter S Thompson had it all down in "Better Than Sex -- Confessions of a Political Junkie trapped in Mr Bill's naborhood".

Aug-30-14  Xeroxx: Houston, we have a puzzle.

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