Monday, February 5, 2007

My Chess World Record

I suddenly remembered that I am a world record holder in chess!
It may not be the most prestigious records, but I still have a claim to fame: . See "Greatest number of checks" under "Checks" and "Longest sequence without captures" under "Captures". Here is my game with some light comments:

IM Hannu Wegner, (2425) - Sverre Johnsen (2220)
Gausdal International (7), 1991
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5
At the time, this move - the Tarrasch defence - was my favoured weapon against 1.d4. Black accepts an isolated d-pawn in exchange for active piece play.
4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5!? Be7 6.Bxe7 Nxe7 7.dxc5 Nbc6 8.e3 Qa5+ 9.Nbd2 Qxc5 10.Nb3 Qb6 11.Be2 Bg4 12.0-0 Bxf3 13.Bxf3 0-0 14.Qd2 Rfd8 15.Rfd1 Ne5 16.Nd4 N7c6 17.Be2 Rac8 18.Nxc6 Rxc6 19.Rac1 Rxc1 20.Qxc1 h6 21.Qd2 Qg6 22.Qc3 Qd6 23.h3 a6 24.Rd2 Kh7 25.Qc2+ g6 26.Qd1 Qc5 27.Bf1 Kg7 28.b3 Kh7 29.g3 (Dia)
I assume my opponent must have missed this simplifying tactics. In principle the resulting endgame with bishop against knight and pawns on both wings should be better for White. But my knight is excellently placed, and my king is able to support it, so I believe chances are balanced.

30.exd4 Rxd4 31.Rxd4 Qxd4 32.Qxd4 Nf3+ 33.Kg2 Nxd4 34.f4 Kg7 35.Kf2 Kf6 36.Bd3 h5 37.Ke3 Nf5+ 38.Kf3 Nd6 39.b4 Ke6 40.g4 hxg4+ 41.hxg4 Kd5 42.Ke3 Nc4+ 43.Bxc4+ Kxc4 44.Ke4 Kxb4 45.Ke5 Ka3 46.Kf6 Kxa2 47.Kxf7 b5 48.f5 gxf5 49.gxf5 b4 50.f6 b3 51.Kg7 b2 52.f7 b1Q 53.f8Q (Dia)
If I remember correctly, FIDE's rules at that time stated that once my rook-pawn reached the 2nd rank, I would have 75 moves (rather than the standard 50) at my disposal to capture a piece or move a pawn (which both normally should ensure the win).

53...Qg1+ 54.Kh6 Qe3+ 55.Kh5 Qe5+ 56.Kh6 Qe6+ 57.Kh5 Qd5+ 58.Kh6 a5 59.Qf2+ Kb3 60.Qg3+ Kb4
At this time, the standard time schedule for a serious tournament game was 120 minutes for the first 40 moves and thereafter 60 extra minutes per 20 moves. Not quite as generous as when I first started playing but still luxurious compared with current week-end tournaments. So here another hour was added to our clocks.
61.Qb8+ Kc5 62.Qa7+ Kb5 63.Qb8+ Ka6 64.Qc8+ Kb6 65.Qb8+ Qb7 66.Qd8+ Qc7 67.Qd3 Qf4+ 68.Kh7 Qh4+ 69.Kg6 Qg4+ 70.Kh6 Qf4+ 71.Kh7 a4 72.Qb1+ Kc5 73.Qc2+ Qc4 74.Qf2+ Qd4 75.Qc2+ Kb4 76.Qb1+ Ka3 77.Qc1+ Qb2 78.Qc5+ Ka2 79.Qc4+ Qb3 80.Qe2+ Ka1 81.Kh6 Qb6+ 82.Kh5 Qc5+ 83.Kh6 a3 84.Qd1+ Kb2 85.Qd2+ Kb3 86.Qd3+ Kb4 87.Qd2+ Kb5 88.Qd3+ Kb6 89.Qd8+ Kc6 90.Qe8+ Kc7 91.Qf7+ Kb6 92.Qb3+ Ka5 93.Qa2 Ka4 94.Kh7 Qh5+ 95.Kg7 Qg5+ 96.Kh7 Qf5+ 97.Kg7 Qd3 98.Kh6 Kb4 99.Kh5 Qc4 100.Qd2+ Kb5 101.Qd7+ Ka5 102.Qd2+ Qb4 103.Qd8+ Qb6 104.Qa8+ Kb4 105.Qe4+ Kc3 106.Qe1+ Kb2 107.Qd2+ Ka1 108.Qd1+ Ka2 109.Qc2+ Qb2 110.Qc4+ Qb3 111.Qe2+ Kb1 112.Qe1+ Kb2 113.Qe2+ Qc2 114.Qe5+ Kb1 115.Qe1+ Ka2 116.Qe6+ Qb3 117.Qe2+ Kb1 118.Qe1+ Kb2 119.Qf2+ Qc2 120.Qf6+ Qc3 121.Qf2+ Kb3 122.Qb6+ Ka4 123.Qb1 Qh3+ 124.Kg5 Qg2+ 125.Kh5 Qd5+ 126.Kh6 a2 (Dia)

And the count-down begins.

127.Qc2+ Kb5 128.Qb2+ Kc6 129.Qc3+ Kd7 130.Qg7+ Kd8 131.Qa1 Qd2+ 132.Kh5 Kc7 133.Qe5+ Kc6 134.Qe8+ Kc5 135.Qc8+ Kb4 136.Qb7+ Ka4 137.Qc6+ Kb3 138.Qb5+ Qb4 139.Qd3+ Ka4 140.Qd1+ Qb3 141.Qd4+ Kb5 142.Qd7+ Ka6 143.Qc8+ Ka5 144.Qd8+ Kb4 145.Qd6+ Kc4 146.Qe6+ Kc3 147.Qe5+ Kc2 148.Qe4+ Qd3 149.Qa4+ Kb1 150.Qb4+ Kc1 151.Qc5+ Kd1 152.Qg1+ Kd2 153.Qg5+ Ke1 154.Qh4+ Kd1 155.Qa4+ Qc2 156.Qd4+ Ke2 157.Qg4+ Kf1 158.Qf3+ Kg1 159.Qg3+ Kh1
The final stages of the game were played as two-hours sessions in between rounds. Somewhere around here, my opponent informed the arbiter that he would not turn up for the next playing session, and that his clock should be running for the two hours. This was accepted by the arbiter, and I was informed that I too could have some hours off, provided that I turned up for the opening of the sealed move and then informed the arbiter where I could be found.
160.Qf3+ Qg2 161.Qd1+ Kh2 162.Qd6+ Kg1 163.Qc5+ Qf2 164.Qg5+ Kh1 165.Qd5+ Kh2 166.Qe5+ Kh3 167.Qc3+ Qg3 168.Qa1 Qf3+ 169.Kh6 Qe3+ 170.Kg6 Qb6+ 171.Kh5 Qa5+ 172.Kg6 Qd2 173.Kh5 Kg2 174.Qg7+ Kh2 175.Qe5+ Kh1 176.Qa1+ Kg2 177.Qg7+ Kh3 178.Qa1 Qd5+ 179.Kh6 Qe6+ 180.Kh5 Kg3 181.Kg5 Kf2 182.Kh5 Qh3+ 183.Kg6 Qg2+ 184.Kf6 Qf3+ 185.Kg6 Qg3+ 186.Kf6 Qf4+ 187.Kg6 Qd6+ 188.Kg5 Qd8+ 189.Kh5 Qa5+ 190.Kg6 Qa6+ 191.Kh5 Qb5+ 192.Kh6 Qb6+ 193.Kh5 Qc5+ 194.Kh6 Qd6+ 195.Kg5 Qd5+ 196.Kg6 Ke3 197.Qe1+ Kd3 198.Qd1+ Kc4 199.Qc2+ Kb5 200.Qb2+ Kc6 1/2-1/2
(In total the game lasted for 16 hours and 20 minutes).

When I finished this game, I knew I had beaten the latest published Guiness' record (which, I believe was 196 moves played in Martinovsky - Jansa, at the same playing site four years earlier). I also knew there was a recent game (apparently Chekhlov - Stavrinov, Riga, City Ch. 1988) which was longer. So I had no illusion my game was the longest game ever. As it turns out, it was number 3 in the "Longest games" list - as it still is. That it actually set two other records I discovered years later!

I may in the future return to this game and add some comments after having fed the endgame to the "Nalimov Tablebases" and established where I missed the wins (I am quite sure there was at least a few opportunities).

PS: For those wondering whether the Kovacevic winning the shortest tournament game could be Vlatko, my co-author of "Win with the London System", I must disappoint you. The lucky man appears to have been the unrated Milorad Kovacevic. Kovacevic is a common name in former Yugoslavia, and could indeed with some justification be translated 'Smith'. There seem to be two GMs and three IMs with this family name.


Anonymous said...

Intriguingly,in the "Hugebase" of Chess Assistant, only 180 moves are recorded, ending at 180 Kh5. Maybe its a CA9 limit, but I would feel aggrieved :)

Jimmy Vermeer said...

Sverre: This is how you could have won in 53 moves on your 123rd move (Wegner could have drawn with 123 Qe6!):
123 Qb1?? Qe5+! 124 Kg6 Qe6+ 125 Kg7 a2 126 Qc2+ Kb5 127 Qb2+ Kc6 128 Qc3+ Kd7 129 Qd2+ Ke8 130 Qb2 Qd5 131 Kg6 Kd7 132 Qg7+ Kc6 133 Qb2 Kc7 134 Qg7+ Kb6 135 Qb2+ Ka5 136 Qa3+ Kb5 137 Qb2+ Ka4 138 Qf6 Kb3 139 Qb6+ Kc4 140 Qa6+ Kd4 141 Qa7+ Kc3 142 Qc7+ Qc4 143 Qe5+ Kc2 144 Qh2+ Kb3 145 Qb8+ Qb4 146 Qg8+ Kb2 147 Qh8+ Kc2 148 Qh2+ Qd2 149 Qc7+ Kd1 150 Qe5 Qd3+ 151 Kg5 Qc2 152 Kf6 Qc6+ 153 Kf5 Qc8+ 154 Kg5 Qc1+ 155 Kh4 a1Q 156 Qh5+ Kc2 157 Qf5+ Kb3 158 Qb5+ Ka2 159 Qa4+ Kb1 160 Qe4+ Qc2 161 Qb4+ Qab2 162 Qe1+ Ka2 163 Qa5+ Qa3 164 Qd5+ Qab3 165 Qa5+ Qa4+ 166 Qxa4+ Qxa4+ 167 Kg5 Qe4 168 Kf6 Kb3 169 Kg5 Kc4 170 Kf6 Kd5 171 Kf7 Qf4+ 172 Kg6 Ke6 173 Kh5 Qg3 174 Kh6 Kf6 175 Kh7 Qg7#

Kyo82 said...

Hi guys lets learn chess on video at . The video make by IM,GM,FM and even NM. Its content cover the tactics, positional, strategy, training, games analysis and so on. Any suggestion, you can send a command on the blog. Lets tell to all the chess enthusiast from all over the world to share the knowledge.Follow the blog now and improve your game

Sverre Johnsen said...


Nice to know!

I fear there was a number of other mistakes too. Fatigue was a relevant factor!

I am afraid I will have to delay the study of this endgame for another few years but I think I might have won the position after move 155 in the line you give.

Sverre Johnsen said...


I was a little reluctant to publish your comment as I try to avoid too much advertising on my blog.

However, the videoclips are nice so I will leave it for now (and remove it if I find your blog is breaching any copyright regulations).

Anonymous said...

Browsing forth the tablebases, there are not many moves which give away half a point. Your 'winning' position from 123 lasted for some moves (at closest you were in the twenties away from mate). White's move #148 would also lose hadn't it been too late (57 moves to conversion). You keep a winning position for some 22 moves until 169 ... Qe3. Then White moves into losing territory already move 171 and you return the favour move 172. More than that I didn't bother to check (no pun intended).

It is near-impossible for a layman to see how hard or not it is to stay on an optimal path though. Some of the moves are pretty obvious, others are ... well, obvious but suboptimal.