The right move

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  • Joshua Eckert
It takes a big newspaper to admit a colossal boner, but the New York Times was up to the task yesterday:

The Chess column last Sunday, about Justin Sarkar, a New York international master, gave an incorrect move in a recent game between Adam Hunt and Mr. Sarkar. Black’s eighth move was h6, not h4.

What a relief this was! The move to h4 had befuddled me all week. If you caught the previous Sunday's story by chess columnist Dylan Loeb McClain—and I know you did—I don't have to tell you that Hunt was employing the Panov-Botvinnik Attack against Sarkar's Caro-Kann Defense. As McClain noted, this "can lead to complicated positions."

I'll say. But the move to h4 made no sense at all. It was like trying to take the Brown Line to Arlington Heights, or looking for the intersection of Ashland and Western, or ordering a venti slider from White Castle. If Black moved to h4, White would obviously mate in 25 moves, 35 tops.

But h6—bingo.

The h4 faux pas threw everything awry for me for seven long days—but, thanks to the correction, I begin this week with a sublime sense of harmony. True, the lack of a Republican debate may have something to do with it as well.

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