Week 4 Teaneck: Should One Resign in a hopeless position?
Ignoring the fact that as Correspondence chess champion Grigory Sanakoev once noted “there are no hopeless positions only inferior ones which can be saved.”
The lesson that proves the truth behind this statement was taught early on Monday during week 4 when camper Asher Brenner asked the important question, “should you resign if you have one pawn and a king against the opponent’s whole army?”
Undoubtedly, the answer being a resounding “Never!” confused the already traumatized boy (though Asher’s trauma was physical not as implied psychological since he injured his foot before he came to camp and was wearing a leg cast the whole week) all the way up until his tournament game on Wednesday.
In it Asher experienced almost exactly the position he had described two days earlier.
Asher’s king was in a mating net one move away from checkmate and he had but three pawns and a bishop to his opponents rook, pawns, and knight. As instructed Asher continued to play until the bitter end and despite the obvious win his opponent simply didn’t see the mate for the next four moves and took two of the pawns allowing Asher to immobilize the last one and offer a bishop sacrifice (which didn’t need to be accepted as his opponent Jesse Welfer who ended up claiming first place anyway had the checkmate if he could only see it) which was taken for the stalemate.
This anecdote proves once again Sanakoev’s sentiment and the idea that in chess 99 times out of hundred your opponent can win a won position but you should play on in case it’s the one time he will simply not see.
The concept is simple: DON’T. EVER. QUIT!
Aside from this all important chess/life lesson we had an interesting poem contest that was won by Isak Dubrow who wrote a wonderful ode to the “Knight.”
(The poem is:
My favorite piece is the knight
Because it knows how to fight
Although it can jump over pawns
It cannot mow tall green lawns
It’s a chess piece that really works
Since it can do checks and forks!
No chess piece can beat the horse,
Making two knights an unstoppable force!)
On Friday, we also had an interesting (and unsurprisingly quite disgusting) circle topic as the kids were tasked with naming a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” -esque pizza flavor. I hope everyone can imagine the absolutely nauseating things your children came up with (in the cartoon Michelangelo the orange nunchuk swinging turtle always named weird pizza flavors he enjoyed consuming which is how this idea came about) which in at least the positive sense made everyone use their imaginations.
All the kids won at least one prize and everyone had fun so check out the results sheet and if you are coming next week get ready to come up with words for the “Trololololo” song that was originally performed by Eduard Khil and which has become a kid favorite even in our camp.