British Endgame Study News : Posthumous "Spotlight" (24 December 2011, minor correction 25 December)

Before sending the final issue of BESN to the printer, I sent advance copies to my three most prolific "Spotlight" contributors, and asked them, if they had a little time to spare, please to look it through so that any analytical or other error could be spotted and corrected before it appeared in print. I did not do the same with the accompanying "Best of British" special number because everything in it had already appeared in an earlier issue of BESN, and I assumed that anything untoward in it would have been picked up then.

I was accordingly embarrassed to receive a note from Timothy Whitworth immediately after the publication of this special number, pointing out that the famous study by Harold Lommer which appears on page 11 of it had been largely anticipated by Mikhail Platov, HM (second half-year) Shakhmaty 1927, White Ke1, Ra2/c2 (3), Black Kh4, Qh3, Pg3 (3), win by 1 Ra4+ Kg5 2 Rc5+ Kf6 3 Ra6+ Ke7 4 Rc7+ Kd8 5 Rh7 with 5...Qg2 6 Ra8+ Qxa8 7 Rh8+ and 5...Qxh7 6 Ra8+ K~ 7 Ra7+ (number 200 in Timothy's Platov book). This anticipated and indeed extended Lommer's play with the rooks, though of course Lommer's final position, with the Black queen having nine useless checks on an open board, was both lighter and more elegant.

Timothy and I agreed that this would have to be reported elsewhere, but when going through old papers recently I came across a letter from Stefano Bruzzi, written following my quotation of the Lommer in December 1997, pointing out this same anticipation. This should have been reported in "Spotlight" in March 1998, but was overlooked when I came to put the issue together. Accompanying it was a letter from David Sedgwick regarding the nationality of Stuart Rachels (see December 2010, page 473), similarly overlooked when I came to put together the relevant "Spotlight", but David's letter had stuck in my memory, and when checking the final composite index I noticed the omission. Stefano's letter, for some reason, had not.

My apologies.