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Old March 19th 04, 03:41 AM
Gregory Topov
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Default That infamous game with the scattered grapefruit peels...

"mdamien" wrote:
If I remember correctly, my friend often
responded with the "Dancing Dame Defense" (the Dandi-Ovani Defense),
following the lead of Dandi-Ovani in that famous game with the scattered
grapefruit peels.

(see thread: "Obituary to a brilliant player you probably never knew")

The infamous game with the scattered grapefruit peels certainly was
scandalous, and is referred to by some SR Chess insiders as the "Peel-Gate"
scandal. Unfortunately the game is better remembered for the grapefruit
peels than for the "Dancing Dame Defense" (the Dandi-Ovani Defense) that was
first played in that game. If I recall correctly, Dandi-Ovani was playing
Scottish GM James McKinrock, who opened with Seignovich's now familiar
Crossfire Opening. McKinrock was expecting the usual response, and was
highly surprised when Dandi-Ovani retracted his queen in the shadow of his
rook's pawn, and proceeded to launch the Serbian Catapault, by aligning
three pawns together on a file in an unusual Tri-Plod formation, and then
assaulting McKinrock's helpless bishops with an advanced queen by taking
advantage of the complex colour weakness. It was this unusual queen
maneouvering that led to the name "Dancing Dame Defense", and its success is
the reason that Seignovich's Crossfire Opening is rarely played today.

The tournament was sponsored by Fruit-utopia, a company specializing in
importing fruit. The sponsors had generously provided fresh fruit imported
from Brazil for all the players. It is relatively well known that when
Dandi-Ovani was four moves into successfully executing the "Dancing Dame
Defense", McKinrock suddenly realized that because his rooks were fatally
tied to the d-link of union on the d file, his king would be the victim of a
forced checkmate in 3 after his opponent's queen had secured the anchor
point on the dark square. At this point McKinrock was so disgusted with
himself that he took his bowl of refreshments and scattered their remaining
contents (mostly grapefruit peels) across the board, with chess pieces
flying across the room as a result.

The full story of the Peel-Gate scandal is recounted by GM Volga Sharpinski
in the "Exhaustive Pictorial Encyclopedia of Russian SR Chess: An Random
Adventure of Memorable Stanley Moments". Volume 3 of this excellent
encyclopedia (unfortunately only available in Russian and a rather poor
German translation) covers the pre-war period, and has twenty pages devoted
to the tournament where this unfortunate incident happened. What is not
that well known, it seems, are the remarks that Dandi-Ovani made to
McKinrock to inspire this outburst. McKinrock, who was wearing a
traditional Scottish kilt at the time, was apparently offended when
Dandi-Ovani began making underhanded comments about real men not wearing
kilts and his well-reputed fondness for quiche. It has to be admitted that
McKinrock looked rather ridiculous playing SR Chess in his native costume
and that kilts have more often been the subject of questionable humor. But
such remarks were certainly inappropriate at a tournament game between
professional players. The food fight that followed was one of the lowest
moments of SR Chess, particularly when some spectators over-reacted and took
the opportunity to join McKinrock's assault against Dandi-Ovani, using some
less-than-fresh strawberries. A full-scale riot nearly eventuated when one
of these fruity projectiles crashed into the balding dome of the tournament
organizer, Maxime La-Pierre, who was just entering the room at that moment.
SR Chess took severals years to regain the respectability lost as a result
of this debacle. McKinrock himself never recovered from the emotional
distress of his loss, and aside from a life long aversion to grape-fruit,
soon abandoned SR Chess altogether and began a rather unsuccessful career as
a chimney sweep. It's unfortunate that the unpleasant incident with the
grapefruit peels overshadowed the brilliance of Dandi-Ovani's refutation of
the Crossfire Opening with the novel "Dancing Dame Defense."

As an aside, not only is Sharpinski's book a highly entertaining work, it
also gives tremendous insight into the goings-on in the upper echelons of
SRC society (no true SR Chess fan can afford to miss the priceless account
the post-match celebrations that followed the 1956 Berlin Invitational, an
incident involving a legendary GM in a clown costume, a garden rake, three
pails of red paint, and a swimming pool.)

SRC GM Topov

Gregory Topov
"I don't necessarily agree with everything I say." - Marshall McLuhan

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Old March 20th 04, 02:16 AM
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Default That infamous game with the scattered grapefruit peels...

Most entertaining!

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Old March 20th 04, 03:00 AM
Gregory Topov
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Default That infamous game with the scattered grapefruit peels...

"gorkov43" wrote in message
Most entertaining!

If you enjoyed that, do also check the thread:

"Obituary to a brilliant player you probably never knew"

and the thread:

"SR Chess - introduced by GM Topov"

The complete background to Stanley Random Chess can be found in the thread:

"CricketConnoisseur & Stanley the Chimp"

Gregory Topov
"I don't necessarily agree with everything I say." - Marshall McLuhan

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Old March 20th 04, 02:15 PM
Posts: n/a
Default That infamous game with the scattered grapefruit peels...

I have enjoyed all those threads, my praise was meant to be
all-encompassing. It is indeed the body of work as a whole that makes each
thread shine brighter than the last. Sheer genius!

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