John Henderson on the Terence Chapman vs Garry Kasparov
Charity Odds Match
ITS COMING HOME
WIMBLEDON is the home of tennis; Wembley is the home of
football; and Lords is the home of cricket. In the chess world, the nearest
spiritual home we have is the venue for the Chapman-Kasparov Charity Odds
In 1828 Samuel Reiss opened the Grand Cigar Divan, where
gentlemen (I think that rules out me) came to drink coffee, play chess and read
the journals of the day (like the Times where they could catch up with the
latest games of Howard Staunton, much like the Penguins offerings of
today in the Times!). The establishment quickly earned the sobriquet,
home of chess, through the matches played against rival coffee
houses in the vicinity. This association has continued through the years and in
1851, when London hosted the first International Chess Tournament, it was at
the Grand Cigar Divan that players congregated to practise their strategies and
In 1848, a caterer named John Simpson joined Mr Reiss as
headwaiter and the site was renamed with the more English sounding name,
Simpsons Grand Divan Tavern, with the property becoming known as a
restaurant rather than a coffee house. Together they introduced the practice of
wheeling large joints of meat on silver trolleys to the delight of the guests
at their table a custom still upheld in the Grand Divan today.
Simpsons was frequented regularly by all the greatest
players of the time from its founding until 1903, when purchased by the
Westminster Council to allow a road widening. It then reopened in 1904, but by
then had little to do with chess although the chess theme was still
established at the restaurant. Even to this day, all the napkins and plates
(including square, chessboard themed ones) were embossed by the Simpsons
logo of a chess knight, and certain rooms were named with chess in mind, like
the Bishops and Knights rooms and Chequers. For all intent and
purposes, you would think that the staff were all chess fanatics with their
regular issue navy blue ties, adorned with the Simpsons knight logo.
Not only is Simpsons synonymous with odds games, its
also the venue for one of the most historic chess games ever played: The
Immortal Game, a beautiful friendly game played between Adolf Anderssen
and Lionel Kieseritzky prior to the great tournament of 1851 in London.
The Immortal Game
Anderssen,A - Kieseritzky,L [C33]
1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Bc4 Qh4+ 4 Kf1 b5 5 Bxb5 Nf6 6 Nf3 Qh6 7
d3 Nh5 8 Nh4 Qg5 9 Nf5 c6 10 g4 Nf6 11 Rg1 cxb5 12 h4 Qg6 13 h5 Qg5 14 Qf3 Ng8
15 Bxf4 Qf6 16 Nc3 Bc5 17 Nd5 Qxb2 18 Bd6 Bxg1 19 e5 Qxa1+ 20 Ke2 Na6 21 Nxg7+
22 Qf6+ Nxf6 23 Be7# 10
Everywhere theres a chess theme at Simpsons.
Displayed on the walls are many historic photographs of famous players of the
past, and two display cabinets that hold original chess sets and boards from
1828 in Simpsons, used by the greats of the past: La Bourdannais,
Staunton, Morphy, Anderssen, Steinitz, Zukertort (who had a stroke there while
playing chess for a shilling and died the next day), Tarrasch, Tchigorin, Bird,
Mason, Janowsky and Lasker.
And not just famous for chess players. Famous Prime
Ministers like William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli were regular patrons;
Scott ate his last meal there before departing for the Antarctic. The literary
connections are numerous, from Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, and PG
Woodhouse to, more recently, Sir Kingsley Amis and crime-writer PD James. For
all its fabled past, Simpsons lives in the present. Its traditional rooms
where the match is being played have all the mod-cons including ISDN lines,
video conferencing, internet connections
But above all, Simpsons, now part of the distinguished
Savoy Group, is famous for one thing: food! Thanks to the quality of its food
and wine list, Simpsons reputation continued to grow when Edmund William
Cathie took over in 1862 and employed British Master Cook, Thomas Davey who
insisted that everything in the restaurant be British. He went so far as to
rename the Menu, replacing it with the words still used today,
Bill of Fare. Of course, to be able to inform you more accurately
on how good the food is, I had to sample one of their famous beef dishes
and all in the cause of accurate research for you, the discerning reader!
On the advice of manager Robin Eastman, who makes sure that
the old chess traditions of Simpsons continue to be upheld and respected,
I sampled one of the house specialities, Angus beef fillet Rossini.
Without fail, along came Master Carver David Everleigh and his silver trolley
to serve up a delightful meal. Why cant chess tournaments always be like
Next time youre in London, why not pop in and sample
the many delights of Simpsons? You can find them at 100 Strand, London
WC2R 0EW. Telephone 020 7836 9112 or Email:
Mention anything with a gastronomic theme in London, and
usually youll find a certain Raymundo Keene OBE esq. with his mouth not
far from the trough. But not this time a Lobster downed the Penguin! My
good friend was due to be at Simpsons for the match, but
and Im not making this up! thanks to the lobster served up
in a British Airways First Class flight recently, he came down with a bad case
of food poisoning returning from a Brain Games (remember them?) junket to
China! Nothing trivial we hope, Ray.
I mentioned earlier the famous Immortal Game.
Well, for the chess-loving city slicker Terence Chapman, he produced his own
little Immortal Game when he saw one of his earliest dreams come
true after defeating Kasparov with this rather impressive performance in game
three. Afterwards, I asked an elated Chapman which had given him the most
satisfaction in life: Making his first million or beating Kasparov?
Hmm, pondered Chapman. Ill have to think about that one
and tell you later!
Chapman,T - Kasparov,G (2827)
1 e4 Bb7 Seems
the most obvious for this particular handicap. 2 d3 e6 3
Nf3 d6 4 g3 Chapman opts for a King's Indian Attack set-up, with the
idea being to calmly, and slowly, build-up his pieces before pushing the
a-pawn. Kasparov responds by opting for a Hippo set-up. 4 ..g6 5 Bg2 Bg7 6 00 Ne7 7 Nc3 00 8 Be3 h6
Kasparov decides he wants to hang on to the bishop pair, so prevents
ideas like Qd2 and Bh6. 9 h4 Nd7 10 Qd2 Kh7 11 Rfe1 Qc8
12 a4 f5
13 Nd4! Nf6?!
[Not the best. It was generally accepted in the press room and the
commentary room, that Kasparov should have opted for something like
13 ..Ne5!? 14 exf5 Nxf5 15 Nxe6 (15 Nxf5 Bxg2! 16
Kxg2 Qb7+ 17 Kh3 Rxf5) 15 ..Qxe6 16 Bxb7 c6! 17 Bxc6 (17 Bxa8? Nf3+ 18
Kf1 Nxd2+ 19 Bxd2 Qd7) 17 ..Nxc6 18 d4 with roughly equal play.]
14 exf5 Bxg2 [14 ..Nxf5?
15 Nxe6!] 15 fxg6+ Nxg6 16 Kxg2 c5 [A
decisive moment in the game. Kasparov opts for c5, while Julian Hodgson, in the
commentary room, liked the look of e5. Either way, White is much better.
16 ..e5 17 Nb3 Qg4 18 Rh1 c5 19 Qe2 Qf5 20 Rhe1 Ng4 21
a5 and Black has nothing, while White simply pushes the a-pawn.]
17 Nde2! The start of three very accurate,
successive moves that rattles Kasparov. 17 ..d5
[17 ..Qb7+!? 18 f3! (18 Kg1? Ne5!) 18
..Nd5 19 Nxd5 Qxd5 20 Ng1 and White's pretty solid.]
18 h5! Ne5 [18 ..Nxh5? 19
Rh1 and White comes crashing in down the h-file.] 19 d4! Neg4 [19 ..cxd4?! 20 Bxd4
Nxh5 21 Bxe5 Bxe5 22 f4 Bg7 23 Nd4! Bxd4 24 Qxd4 Rg8 25 Re3 Rg6 26 f5! exf5 27
Re7+ Ng7 28 Qe5 and White dominates.] 20 Qd3+ Kg8
21 Qg6 e5
With the subtle threat of
22 dxe5 Nxe5, trapping the White queen.
22 Bxh6!! Well spotted! The combination rocks
Kasparov to his foundation. 22 ..Nxh6 23 dxe5 Nd7
[23 ..Nfg4 24 Nf4 Ra6 25 Ncxd5!! Kh8 (25
..Rxg6 26 Ne7+ Kf7 27 Nxc8 Ra6 28 Nd6+ Kg8 29 Nc4 and White has six
(yes, SIX!) pawns for the piece.) 26 e6
wins.] 24 Nf4 Rxf4 [Again 24 ..Ra6 25 Ncxd5!!; and 24 ..d4 25 Ne6 Rf7 26 Ne4 Nxe5 27
Nf6+ Rxf6 (27 ..Kh8 28 Qh7#) 28 Qxg7#] 25
gxf4 Nf8 26 Qg3 Nf5 27 Qh3 [27 Nxd5! was
quicker.] 27 ..Qe6 28 Nb5 Rd8 29 a5 It's a simple
winning plan now: a6-a7-a8. 29 ..Qf7 30 a6 Ne6 31 Kg1
Nxf4 32 Qg4 Nh6 33 Qh4 Kh7
One last throw of the dice.
34 a7! [34 Qxd8?? Nh3+!!
35 Kg2 Qxf2+ 36 Kxh3 Qf3+ 37 Kh2 (37 Kh4 Qg4#) 37 ..Ng4+ 38 Kg1 Qg3+ 39
Kf1 Qf2#] 34 ..Rg8 [34 ..Ra8 35 Nd6 Qg8 36 Ra3! Bf6+ 37 Qg3 and Black can
simply resign.] 35 a8Q Bxe5+ 36 Kf1 Rg4 [36 ..Rg1+ 37 Kxg1 Qg7+ 38 Qg3! and White can sacrifice
a queen as he has an extra one on a8!] 37 Qxg4
The views expressed here do not
necessarily reflect those of TWIC, Chess & Bridge Ltd or the London Chess
You can contact John Henderson at: