The Stanley Random Chess Files - No. 2

The Emergence of GM Antonio Pancris of Baden-Baden

In our introductory article, famous Stanley Random Chess grandmaster Topov introduced himself and gave a brief biography of the famous SR Chess player GM Lord Edward Humberton-Snapf. In today's article he introduces another classic player.

In my experience, most players who undertake a study of Stanley Random Chess with any seriousness, progress rather rapidly. I myself became a grandmaster within only a few years, although it could be argued that I had a certain natural ability.

However, my ability is nothing when compared to the great SR Chess grandmaster Antonio Pancris of Baden-Baden. Pancris began his brilliant career in 1812 at the tender age of 5, when he was spotted by a scout of the International Federation for the Promotion of SR Chess at a local tournament. Coming from a poverty stricken home, Pancris was only wearing trousers at the tournament, but there was nothing wrong with his mind. When the scout saw the lad execute the now famous Nickio gambit with black against a leading Polish grandmaster, leading a forced win in 6 with a unresolvable dichotomy on the dark squares, he knew that the young Pancris was something special. But according to my treasured "Official Butterworth Guide to International SR Chess" (fourth souvenir edition, signed by Samuel Butterworth himself!), it was in his match against an Albanian GM for the 1822 European Championship that Pancris propelled himself into the international spotlight. In this memorable game he created a local offside trap using the penny formation with both his knights, and forcing his unwitting opponent to declare a left coathanger with the queen's bishop, shortly after which he resigned.

It is important to note that at the time of this tournament, a sharp dispute was dividing SR Chess players (even the president of the conservative International SR Chess Foundation himself, GM Sergei Inventov, was involved) about the correct protocol to determine a universal European champion from both quadrants. But with the clear emergence of Pancris there was no longer any question about the rightful champion. Pancris remained dominant for the next decade, pioneering the storm water pawn decoy (relatively obscure moves now, but very common in his day), and his now famous transverse rook hook (using the sixth rank to prepare to propel the bishop from the rear at the enemy king).

After his retirement due to bad breath and poor health (Pancris was regrettably a vegetarian, and his strict diet of legumes and beans took a severe toll on his bowels), he published his opus magnus on SR Chess, entitled "The Life and Games of Antonio Pancris: An Annotated Exhibition in Playing SR Chess with Force and Farce". After going into sixteen editions, this book has been out of print for some time, but if you ever find a copy at a used bookstore, don't hesitate to buy it - I've seen them sell for a fortune on eBay. Although not quite to the same extent as GM Lord Humberton-Snapf, GM Antonio Pancris has certainly had a tremendous influence on my own playing style.

SR Chess GM Gregory Topov

GM Topov welcomes questions and experiences from others about Stanley Random Chess.

Posted Saturday - 2004-03-13 - 11:23:12 EST
by Staff Reporter Verdra H. Ciretop in Toronto
All Rights Unreserved - Loof Lirpa Publishing
Text may be freely copied & redistributed

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