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Carlsen-Li’s early Ka1-Kh8

January 4, 2016

Lubomir Kavalek’s latest article on ChessBase, centered on the recent spectacular game Carlsen- Li, has one piece of ‘hyperbole’ which intrigued me.

Another unique feature is that both kings line up at the corners of the long diagonal after only 15 moves – perhaps for the first time in chess history.

Prior to having read Jon Edwards’ book ChessBase Complete, I wouldn’t have known whether the statement was true or not, but having learned how to do at least basic filters, I decided to check the position. The easy part in ChessBase is to put the pieces in the diagram; the key nuance is to limit the search to a last move of 15.

Ka1 Kh8 filter

A few seconds later (few, because I had to do the search in both Megabase 2012, my latest version, and TWIC, and then de-dupe) I had the list:

Ka1 Kh1 results

So, 15 Ka1/Ka8 is rare, but not unique.

Changing the filter to 14 showed only two results, of which one, the record holder, was after 13 moves:

Ka1 Kh8 fastest

Wonderful what can be done with ChessBase.

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