The last time I saw my some time Russian teacher, he told me that he was basing a character in his book on me. An arrogant Western chess player was the character. I admit I was quite flattered. Well I just got a message from him today.
"Chess tonight or tomorrow in shakes? you could play against a compatriot of yours too if you feel like" and then a more urgent one.
"I haven't written my novel. I abandoned it and started afresh, using some of its material. The new novel should be about chess, school violence, chess, street violence, chess, nationalism, chess, criminals, chess, family violence...I have about 90 pages so far...But I cannot return it to the chess theme"
Of course I'll be meeting him at a bar on Tuesday to play chess as he is a very interesting person, a talented writer and a decent chess player. I'll also be speaking to the bar owner (who is an occasional reader of this blog - he tells me) about making provisional arrangements for a big party to celebrate the Blairs' departure. I've already agreed to celebrate in style with some fellow Tories in Prague - it seems appropriate to start making detailed plans.
The diagram is a beautifully elegant, but relatively simple White to play and mate in 4. Who can tell me the last move in the sequence?