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Michael Basman's Immortal Waiting Game

We have all been there right? Whatever move you look at seems to make your position worse and you would rather "pass".

Well, Michael Basman played the ultimate waiting game against the very strong Ulf Andersson at the Hastings Tournament in 1974. Finding himself with nothing constructive to do he proceeded to shuffle his white-squared bishop from b7 to a8 and back. Four times! No big deal? Well he also threw in a king shuffle from g8 to h7 and back twice and also Qd8-d6-d8 too. What's a mere twelve tempi worth anyway? I understand that Michael now regrets using the king and queen moves to "pass" rather than the more aesthetic approach of even more bishop shuffles!

Ulf was presumably mesmerised by all of the shuffling and eventually went Va Banque with an attack which brought the house down. Upon himself! Michael's pieces uncoiled and bit back to take one of the most patient victories of all time!

What is all the more amusing are some of the comments by the "Kibitzers". Many complain about or criticise Michael's play and say that the win was undeserved. Do they believe chess at the board contains no elements of psychology or pragmatism? Perhaps they should think about switching off their chess engines and just sit and look at some real wood for a while to see if they really understand the game?

Check the game out and enjoy!