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Even GMs miss mate in one!

by Sagar Shah - 26/03/2019

Round 4 of the Sharjah Masters 2019 saw something unique. In a position that still had quite some play left, a grandmaster blundered into a mate in one! That GM was Stany from India and he was up against Parham Maghsoodloo from Iran. Missing a mate in one is quite an uncommon phenomenon at GM level, but it does happen all the time. In this article we show you two examples from the games of an Indian player who hardly loses but missed mate in one twice in his chess career till date!It's not that these players are under heavy time pressure always, it's just a blind spot. Photos by Niklesh Jain from Sharjah. 

The current World Junior Champion Parham Maghsoodloo was up against India's 58th GM Stany GA

Let's have a look at how the game went:

Maghsoodloo vs Stany GA

The excitement in the game began when Stany played his queen to e6, not being afraid of a fork on d6

The knight jumped to d6 forking the rooks, and Stany picked up the pawn on h3. What exactly was his threat? Parham could now have taken the rook on e4 and it was completely winning, but instead he went for the safe Qf1!? The queens were exchanged and the fork on the rook still existed.

Stany now decided that he had to sacrifice his rook for the bishop on e3

Parham went for the rook on c8 and Stany picked up the pawn on b3. The material was around even, but White definitely had an advantage as in the open position, the rooks are quite superior to the knights

A pair of rooks were exchanged and this looked quite drawish. The two knights defend each other and the knight on c5 defends the a6 pawn. Plus Black has an extra pawn on the kingside.

Stany went wrong with the move ...Kf5

Parham now lay down a sly trap with f3. You see what is coming, don't you?

Well, Stany didn't really see it and pushed his pawn to h4.


Even the best of GMs have blind spots! We can show you many examples of grandmasters who have fallen for mate in one in complex positions, but one who comes to mind is the super-solid Indian GM Vidit Gujrathi.


Vidit Gujrathi vs Robert Hovhannisyan, Lake Sevan 2015

After quite some thought Vidit moved his rook to h3. And there came the lethal blow! Qf1#

Bruzon vs Vidit, World Cup 2015

The position was completely even, if someone was pushing it had to be Black and Vidit played his knight from d3 to f4. Bruzon now executed the mate in one Ng4#

Vidit's mate in one have been etched in my memory because the solid GM from Nashik hardly loses his games. It just goes to show that even the best of players have their off days. And to Vidit's credit, he hasn't been mated in one move since 2015!

After four rounds at the Sharjah Masters we have just one leader Inarkiev who is on 4.0/4. Ernesto is followed by a pack of 14 players with 3.5/4!

The sole leader of the Sharjah Masters 2019 - Ernesto Inarkiev | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Inarkiev managed to beat Nihal from the white side of a Sicilian | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Le Quang Liem drew his game on the top board against Eduardo Iturrizaga | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Wang Hao was able to defeat Alexander Fier | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Gukesh fought hard but lost to Yuriy Kryvoruchko | Photo: Niklesh Jain

In the battle of two star players from Railways it was Deepan Chakkravarthy who beat K. Ratnakaran. Check out their exciting battle. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Abhijeet Gupta is one of the two Indians on 3.5/4 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The other is Sandipan who managed to beat M. Kunal | Photo: Niklesh Jain
The players received a surprise gift from the organizers. Check out what it was from this video! 

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