The Long and the Short of It

The long and the short of it for the Crobs’ team is that chess is a great game.

Interestingly, those terms can be applied to chess in quite a few other ways …



A checkmate in only two moves… is that possible?

It sure is!

“Fool’s mate” is a sequence where Black achieves this in two short moves:

Move 1 – g4 e5

Move 2 – f4 Qh4 -Checkmate!


From the starting position, there are eight different ways to Mate in just two short moves


Shortlived! The worst competitive performance came from Macleod of Canada who lost 31 games in the New York double-round robin of 1889.

Once upon a time the Queen could only move one square at a time – a pretty short journey per turn.


The shortest decisive game in tournament play was between Bobby Fischer and Oscar Panno. Fischer played 1.c4., Panno refused to continue. Fischer dragged him up to the tournament director where Panno wrote ‘resigns’ on his scoresheet and handed it to him.


Jordy Mont-Reynaud was the shortest Master ever – probably because he was only 10 years old when he became one.


Carlos Torre had the shortest career in chess. In 1925, Torre played international chess for less than a year before giving it up for good.


Shortcut to success – Anatoly Karpov (pictured) was the first world champion to win the title without playing a chess match. He received this honour in 1975 when Fischer refused to defend his title.



The longest official game ever played ended in a draw after 269 moves (I. Nikolic vs. Arsovic, Belgrade, 1989).

However, the longest decisive game was 237 moves, played in 2007 between Fressinet and Kosteniuk (pictured right) in Villandry.

Black won.


Long ago, a book about chess was published. In fact, the second ever book to be printed in English was about chess.


The longest reigning World Chess Champion was Dr Emanuel Lasker (left) who held the title for 26 years and 337 days.



In 1985, Eric Knoppert played 500 games of 10-minute Chess in 68 hours. Well, what can we say? As long as he had a good time!


The longest historical record of chess goes all the way back to the 900s, documenting a game played between a historian from Baghdad and his student.


The longest it took a player to castle was 46 moves in a 1966 match between Bobotsor and Irkov. It ended 0-0.


International Grand Master Trois from Brazil took 2 hours and 20 minutes to make his 7th move in a match – the longest time ever recorded for a Chess player to make a move.


Oscar Shapiro took the longest time to become a Chess Master – he was 74 when he finally achieved the title.


And that’s the long and short of it!


Until next time,

Chris & the Crobs’ Chess Team

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