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Bent Larsen once remarked that "there is no mate in modern chess". So impressed was I by this dictum that I promptly wrote an article exploring the theme's different possibilities. Naturally, his assertion was not to be taken literally. What he means is that games at master level should not— given the modern standard of defensive technique—be decided rapidly or just after the opening phase or by sudden attack leading to mate. Modern Grandmasters should be too well equipped to suffer this brand of nineteenth century fate. An attack at the highest level in modern chess is frequently designed merely to achieve some positional advantage which the master's technique will then exploit, rather than with the objective of delivering mate. A quick "brilliancy" should now only be possible if one side plays some really deplorable moves. In modern top-class international chess any premeditated attempt to play "romantically" in the style of former times has an outstanding chance of leading to abysmal disaster. The most successful practitioners of the chessmaster's "art" today are levelheaded realists who play single-mindedly for the win, and beauty or an advance in our total sum of chess wisdom, are by-products of this major objective; nor, it should be stressed, are these by-products the sole prerogative of any one player or any one style of chess. "The beauty of a move lies in the thought behind it" is a hoary chess cliché, but how often do chess writers conveniently forget it when they are dazzled by some flashy sacrifice? A much maligned short draw can contain more beauty and depth of thought than a multitude of Argive Prelates—yet it is more likely that another boring BXh7+ will hit the headlines rather than the "negative" triumph of a profound defensive idea which leads to early equality. I hope the reader will not gain the erroneous impression from my preceding remarks that I wish to dismiss sacrificial wins as crude or repetitious. In fact, one aim of this book is to present sacrificial beauty at its most scintillating. But I do wish to purify the notion of what can legitimately be regarded as a brilliancy and to attack the fallacy that the great masters of the present set aside the ideal of gaining points for the more tenuous ideals of playing romantically or for art's sake. However, there have been cases— even in the prevailing conditions of modern tournament chess—where master players have consistently played for "beauty" or to test new ideas, almost regardless of results. In this context such players as Marshall and Spielmann spring to mind, and nearer our time Mikenas, Basman Velimi-rovic, Planinc and sometimes Tal. One such is the Filipino International Master, Rudolfo Cardoso. He does not occupy a high position on the Elo World ranking list, nor does he frequently take high places in tournaments, but he is famous for one thing— surprise giant killing, often in beautiful games! In his time he *has defeated Bronstein, Kotov, Larsen (twice), Lombardy (who was Fischer's second at Reykjavik) (also twice), Browne, Portisch, Quinteros (twice) and so on.

Cardoso-Larsen, Orense 1975. Modern Defence.

Possibly premature; 4 P-B4 now deserves attention, but Cardoso's choice is also not bad.

I prefer 5... P-QN4 at once, since White could now have played 6 P-QR4. In that case Larsen wanted to try 6 ... P-N3 but it looks highly extravagant and I prefer White.

1P-K4 2P-Q4 3N-QB3

P-KN3

B-N2

P-QR3

4B-K3 5Q-Q2

6P-B3 IN-R3

From this point on Black is struggling., since his QB bites on granite. If the variation is viable for Black it is only with 7... P-QB4! leaving the QB at home.

8B-K2 P-QB4

9P-QR4 P-N5

10N-Q1 KN-B3

Black would like to capture on his Q5 but at the moment it would lose a pawn after 10 ... PXP 11 BXP BXB 12 QXB attacking R and QNP.

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