Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Iatridis Stavros

Iatridis Stavros, (1887 – 1976), was golden Olympic winner in composition of chess problems. Apart from his objectively successful occupation with chess composition, which brought for him a lot of first prizes and many distinctions, he was a very fast solver and he was called “The Dragon of Problems”.
Iatridis was strong player of over-the-board game, having the title of Master with excellent ability in game analysis. In the first unofficial Greek championship in 1935 he won every game he played, but professional obligations kept him away from the last two rounds.
On November 25, 1964, in the 16th Chess Olympiad in Tel Aviv, the colonel of the Greek Army Iatridis Stavros was nominated golden winner in composition, in the category direct-mate three-mover. This was the fourth golden Olympic medal in the modern history of Greece, (after Tsiklitiras, Louis, and ex-king Constantine).

In 1967 chess was recognized by special legislation as intellectual sport in Greece.
Iatridis served as president of the Greek Chess Federation (G.C.F., Elliniki Skakistiki Omospondia) for almost one year.
He invited the Grand Master Dr. Petar Trifunovic as trainer for the national team.
He organized tourneys with sponsors commercial companies (Phillips, Shell).
He organized the Acropolis international tourney.
He invited Bobby Fischer in Greece for a handicap simultaneous demonstration.
Having connections with the army, he found easily office-rooms for G.C.F.
He wrote the column “Kallitexniko Skaki” (=artistic chess) in the monthly magazine “O Skakistis” (=the chess player), published by Harvatis Costas.
The enterprising and effective president Iatridis resigned because of ill health.

In October 1969 he was appointed chairman of the Preliminary Games for the World championship (Zonal 3) which were held in Athens.
In 1971, the retired colonel Iatridis, honorable president of G.C.F., co-founded the Chess Club of Ambelokipi (Skakistikos Omilos Ambelokipon).

In 1976, the likable uncle-Stavros was killed in a car accident. He was 89 years old.

We translate here an excerpt from the preface of the booklet “Kanonismos Zatrikiou” (=Chess Regulation) by Stavros D. Iatridis, publishing house Astir Papadimitriou, 1940:
We believe that we offer service to the players of Chess, especially to young persons, with the publication of the present International Regulation translated into Greek, because now contestations and gripes will be avoided, in the quietest, most intellectual and most enjoyable game of world, a game fairly considered as the King of the games.
The playing of Chess is allowed in all the clubs, in the houses of poor and in the palaces of rich, because it is a polite and very attractive amusement. It sharps the brain and teaches what can someone achieve with patience, combination and forecast, and usually protects youth from acquiring other, bad habits. For this reason, a lot of States support its distribution with suitable efforts and subsidies...

Those were the writings of Iatridis, back in 1940. Twenty four years later he became Olympic winner and three years after that the Greek state recognized chess as intellectual sport! For the subsidies he mentioned, the Greek problemists still wait, sixty eight years later.

The golden three-mover

(Problem 119)
Iatridis Stavros,
Gold metal, “16th Olympiad”, Tel Aviv, 1964
White plays and mates in 3 moves
#3 (7+8)

The problem-119 was awarded with a gold metal, because it is a rare beauty. Watch the solution:
Tries: {1.Sf2+? gxf2!}, {1.Qd5+? Sxd5!}, {1.Qc4+? Sxc4!}, {1.Qa4+? Sxa4!}.

The problem starts as a threat-problem:
Key: 1.Rh4! (The knight Sg4 and the rook Rh4 form a battery which will fire when Sg4 moves, for example 2.Sf6#).
if 1...Kf4 2.Rf3+ Ke4 3.Sf2#

The black Queen Qg5 can capture the rook, or can step between King and Knight:
1...Qxh4 2.Qxb2 (and mate follows in the next move, with Qb4# ή Qxe5#).
1...Qf4 2.Kxb6!!
This move brings black in a zugzwang situation, and the problem is transformed to a waiter-problem! With this last move the white King is exposed to eight checks!

Four checks are given by the black Knights and are answered by the white Queen:
2...Sa4+ 3.Qxa4#
2...Sc4+ 3.Qxc4#
2...Sd5+ 3.Qxd5#
2...Sa8+ 3.Qxa8#

Four checks are given by the black Queen and are answered by the white Knight:
2...Qe3+ 3.Sxe3#
2...Qf2+ 3.Sxf2#
2...Qf6+ 3.Sxf6#
2...Qxh6+ 3.Sxh6#

Two more variations with pinning of the black Queen:
2...e6 3.Sf6#
2...g2 3.Sf2#

Now, for the completeness of this presentation of Stavros Iatridis, we post an educational game of his, that shows how Iatridis took advantage from the mistakes of his opponent during the opening and reached an end of game that he won easily. Note the comment at the tenth move, that reveals the analytic mind of Iatridis:

White: P. P., Black: Stavros Iatridis
Athens, 1937
Queen’s gambit
1.d4 d5 2.Sf3 Sf6 3.c4 e6 4.Sbd2 Be7 5.e3 0-0
6.Bd3 b6 7.0-0 Bb7 8.b3 Sbd7 9.Bb2 Se4 10.Se5

At this point Master Iatridis announces to his opponent that after the captures of the pieces they will reach an endgame with same-coloured bishops and he will win with his passed pawn.
10...Sxe5 11.dxe5
If 11.Bxe4 dxe4 12.dxe5 Qd3 13.Sb1 Rfd8 and black wins,
or 13.Re1 Rfd8 14.Bc1 Bb4 15.Re2 Bc3 16.Qxb1 and black wins.
11...Sxd2 12.Qd2 dxc4 13.bxc4 Be4 14.Rfd1 Qxd3 15.Qxd3 Bxd3
16.Rxd3 Rfd8 17.Rad1 Rxd1+ 18.Rxd1 Rd8 19.Rxd8+ Bxd8 20.Ba3 c5
21.Kf1 Kf8 22.Ke2 Ke7 23.Kd3 Kd7 24.Kc2 Kc6 25.Bb2 a6
26.a4 b5 27.cxb5 axb5 28.axb5+ Kxb5 29.Kd3 c4+ 30.Kc2 Ba5
31.Bc3 Bxc3 32.Kxc3 Kc5 33.e4 Kb5 34.f4 Kc5 35.g4 Kb5
36.h4 Kc5 37.f5 Kb5 38.g5 Kc5 39.h5 g6

Here white resigns.
If 40.fxg6 fxg6
41.hxg6 hxg6 42.Kc2 Kd4 43.Kd2 Kxe4 44.Kc3 Kxe5 and black wins.

[This post in Greek language].

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