Magazine article The Spectator

Veni, Vidi, Vici

Magazine article The Spectator

Veni, Vidi, Vici

Article excerpt

With The Spectator now calling for contributions in Latin - see issue of 13 April, page 16 - I have decided to write the notes to this week's game in the language which would have been current when Istanbul was the capital of Britain. One of the notes is bogus. I will award a maximum of five book prizes for those who can identify and correct it, with a bonus prize for the best answer explaining my comment about Istanbul. Ties will be broken by lot. Answers to me at The Spectator by 1 May or clarke@spectator.co.uk

The game is a brilliant effort by Boris Spassky which was used in the opening sequence of the James Bond film From Russia with Love.

Spassky employs the King's Gambit, which was hardly ever seen in top grandmaster play in the 20th century and harked back to the heroic days of Anderssen and Steinitz. Instead of clinging on to the gambit pawn, Bronstein chose a modern treatment with free development for his pieces. However, by conceiving a brilliant plan on move 14 Spassky succeeded in launching a dangerous attack. It was almost impossible to calculate precise variations in the ensuing mêlée, but by hurling his knight into the guts of the black position, Spassky caused chaos. Spassky even permitted Bronstein to promote a pawn and capture a rook with check in the middle of this savage conflagration. Finally, though, on move 23, Black was forced to resign when checkmate became inevitable.

Spassky-Bronstein; Praestigiae Regis; Oppido Sancti Petri; ab urbe condita 2713

1 e4 e5

Ludimus effigiem belli, simulataque veris

Praelia, buxo acies fictas, et ludicra regna,

Ut gemini inter se reges albusque, nigerque

Pro laude oppositi certent bicoloribus armis. …

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