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David Howell vs Luke McShane
"Howell's Moving Castle" (game of the day Dec-31-2010)
London Chess Classic (2010), London ENG, rd 7, Dec-15
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack Modern Line (B76)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: According to the computers, just about any time after move 33, the move Rxh7+ would lead to a huge advantage for white. Somehow Howell couldn't find it. GOTD -- "Howlin' Mad"
Dec-15-10  Marmot PFL: I guess White was trying to repeat the position to make the time control. Even if that made it a draw maybe the alternative was losing on time.
Dec-15-10  shalgo: I think that Howell had literally seconds on the clock at the end of the game.
Dec-15-10  Flatfish: I've submitted "Howell's Moving Castle" as a pun for this game...
Dec-15-10  Eyal: "Is Howell a member of Amnesty International?" (Kasparov)
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: "David Howell and Luke McShane are the heirs apparent of English chess and they played a full-blooded Sicilian Dragon - one of the wildest openings in the canon. Game followed theory until Luke’s <17...Be6> (17...e5 has been played before).

click for larger view

David seemed to have much the best of it of the early part of the game and it appeared his attack was crashing through when he played <33 Rxd5>.

click for larger view

But next move he hesitated and demurred to play <34 Rxh7+ Kg8> and White has the improbable <35 Rf7!!>

click for larger view

and all the tactics seem to work. Luke then missed his defence and David once more had the chance to win had he played <38 Rxh7+> and <39 Rhe7> which surely wins. Instead the game was drawn by repetition. A watching Garry Kasparov made a <wicked observation: <“Is Howell a member of Amnesty International?”>> So the game was drawn and Luke McShane had improbably remained unbeaten in the tournament."

Dec-16-10  Riverbeast: <"Is Howell a member of Amnesty International?" (Kasparov)>

I think it's quite possible that Howell was being a sport...That he saw the relatively simple win, but wanted to give McShane a draw

McShane was having the best results of all the Brits

If Howell had beaten McShane he would have knocked Luke further down the table, and he would not have improved his own standing at all...Howell would have still finished in 7th place with a win

Just a theory......

Dec-16-10  BobCrisp: Typically, a stupid theory. What part of <I think that Howell had literally seconds on the clock at the end of the game.> do you not understand?
Dec-16-10  Riverbeast: Like I said, it was just a theory

But if YOU think it's stupid <Crisp>, maybe there's something to it after all

I'm willing to believe Howell simply didn't see the win in time pressure

But I also believe that many 2600+ GMs would have seen that relatively simple win, even with seconds left

Who knows? It's just speculation

Dec-17-10  Chesschatology: "Flatfish: I've submitted "Howell's Moving Castle" as a pun for this game..."


Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <flatfish>: You can learn so much from the Pun of the Day. I had no idea there was a film named <Howl's Moving Castle>.

In light of what happens in the game, that is excellent!

Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: An incredibly late (but worth contender!) entry for pun of the year.
Dec-31-10  Dr. Funkenstein:

For those who don't know the reference...

It's too bad that Howell couldn't find the win here... Rf7!! is a tough move to see in time trouble. I could see this being a Friday puzzle at some point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Good pun, good movie
Dec-31-10  DarthStapler: What, we get a @#$%ty anime pun while my awesome pun goes unused? @#$%*&!#!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <darth> In other words, today you didn't get it?
Dec-31-10  goodevans: White has to be able to see that after <34 Rxh7+ Kg8 35 Rf7 Rxf7 36 Rd8+ Rf8 37 h7+ Kg7 38 Rxf8 Rh6 39 Rg8+ Kf6 40 h8=Q+ Rxh8 41 Rxh8> he will be able to stop black's g3 pawn from promotion. Not easy when you have just a few seconds left on the clock.

Spotting that Rxh7+ wins on subsequent moves is, if anything, even harder.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: This is the last game of the day for 2010. Happy New Years Eve everyone.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: Wonderful pun and a wonderful movie. I love Miyazaki's works.
Dec-31-10  picard: Howell was in terrible time trouble. I mean even more than he is usually in. At the end i think he had under 10 secs left. So the fact that he found even this repetition was a bit of a minor miracle. Love the pun!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White rook:please,please,please take me.

black rook:no way Jose!

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