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<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... _Pillsbury</a><!-- m -->

See the reference above to an old (extremely generous) review by "The Bad Master" - scroll to Chess Note 8323. Does anyone have a clue as to the lifetime scores between Fairhurst and Aitken? I don't but I imagine that it would be close. At any rate, they were both very fine players in Scotland's past.

Can't believe this old book (for which the late M D Thornton did most of the hard research work, I must add) is now virtually 30 years old. Guess the next book comes 20 years hence ... the 150th Anniversary!
Craig's query, to which I don't know the answer (sorry), had me dipping my toes in finding out about some of the historical figures in Scottish Chess.

A brief (for now) bit of reading on the intriguing life of Captain MacKenzie left more questions than answers. What were his early years in North Kessock like? Where did he live and grow up? He studied in Aberdeen, France and Prussia, according to Wikipedia but what did he study and why did he study abroad? What were his army experienced like in Africa and India? Why did he emigrate to America? Was he an early mercenary? Did he desert the US army?

What about the conspiracy theories surrounding his death and what exactly were the "recent convivial habits" which were referred to in the 15 April 1891 edition of the New York Times and are "supposed to have contributed to exhaust his vitality."

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> - 7772. G.H. Mackenzie’s death

I noticed that Captain MacKenzie was the fifth Scottish Champion and so went looking for the first. Wikipedia had nothing on John Crum and I skipped Daniel Yarnton Mills for now, as Georges Emile Barbier, winner in 1886 didn't sound very Scottish and perhaps promised more of a story. While reading up on Monsieur Barbier I came across what I think is a nice problem that he set in the Glasgow Evening Citizen way back in 1895 - It seems fairly straightforward but is it or as it is decribed on the French chess problem website -

Quote:La position initiale est d'une simplicité déconcertante et la solution élégante.

It's white's move.

That position has an interesting history - Barbier initially presented it in the Glasgow Weekly Citizen a half-tempo later as 'Black to play and draw', before someone else, with the similarly unGlaswegian name of Rev. Fernando Saavedra, spotted that there was in fact a way for White to win!
Here's my take on the position: ;P

Black can't stop the pawn mating. And if - after c7 - he tries for something like Rd2 in order to give repeated perpetual checks (knowing that the King can't venture onto the c-file without losing the Q), then this only works for so long, as after the King finds a way to play Kb3 he can simply play Kc3 on the next move without threats to his Q. Black is out of checks at that point and will go on to lose.
Andrew- Black can try after 1.c7 Rd6+. Where does the White king go?
It's a classic. The entire answer is hard but really logical and forced. If you work out what doesn't work then you're only left with one move each time.

That does make it sound easier than it is though...
Clement Sreeves Wrote:Andrew- Black can try after 1.c7 Rd6+. Where does the White king go?

I think Kb5. It can't go to the same rank as the pawn or the Rook pins the pawn to the King and it's just a draw. So I think it's quite similar to before where the King can just work its way down the board until it's possible for it to make an advance on the Rook without endangering its own pawn. ;P
Kc2 can be met with Rd4! c8(Q) Rc4+! :p ridiculous!
D-Oswald Wrote:Kc2 can be met with Rd4! c8(Q) Rc4+! :p ridiculous!

Oh this goes way deeper than I originally saw/thought... hmm Big Grin Pretty sure I've spotted it now though, thanks guys. Tongue
But... law 3.7e...
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