(1962 - )

Peter Dankelmann, happy at winning
the 2004 Natal Open

I met Peter for the first time in 1993, soon after he arrived in South Africa to take up a position as a Senior Lecturer in the Mathematics department at the University of Durban. Peter went on to become a Professor of Mathematics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, before moving to the University of Johannesburg, where he is currently a Professor.

Peter finished third on his debut in the 1994 Durban championship, and won the event outright in 1998, with the fine score of 6½ out of 7. Since that victory he has finished third on a number of occasions, but was unable to repeat his win until 2007.

I was privileged to attend Peter's inaugural lecture as a Professor, on his field of mathematics, which is graph theory. I knew the basics about the social theory of Six Degrees of Separation, whereby any person on the planet can be linked to another via six friends. However, I had no idea that this could be proved through graph theory. Peter also explained how the Google PageRank algorithm was derived from graph theory.

Some years ago there was a discussion on the chess newsgroups about "Morphy numbers" - how many opponents do you need to get a link back to Paul Morphy? Serious games only, not simultaneous games! Mine came to 6 - based on 0.Morphy played 1.Bird played 2.Lasker played 3.Botvinnik played 4.Fischer played 5.Sanguineti played 6.Rust. That magic number 6 again!

Other Results

Peter has competed in the Natal Open on numerous occasions, winning the Natal Closed title in 2000, and being the outright tournament winner in 2004 (see the separate report).


This is one of Peter's favourite games:

Mabuya,MacDonald - Dankelmann,Peter
Championships Durban, 7 April 2005

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nd4!? 6.c3 b5 7.Bf1 Nxd5 8.Nxf7!? (or 8.cxd4 Qxg5 9.Bxb5+ Bd7 10.Bxd7+ Kxd7 11.0-0 is fine) 8...Kxf7 9.cxd4 exd4 10.Qf3+ (10.Bxb5 is safer, as Black can now boldly sacrifice his Rook) 10...Nf6! 11.Qxa8 Qe8+? (Peter forgets his theory! This is second best to 11...Bc5 here, for example 11...Bc5! 12.Bxb5 Re8+ 13.Bxe8+ Qxe8+ 14.Kd1 Bg4+ wins for Black) 12.Be2 d3 13.0-0 dxe2 14.Re1 Bc5 15.Nc3 b4 16.Rxe2?

(This allows Black to follow up his Rook sacrifice with a Queen sacrifice! Peter gets two pieces and a strong attack, as the Rook on a1 and Bishop on c1 are just spectators. Instead 16.Nxe2! should win for White, exploiting Peter's inaccurate 11th move) 16...bxc3! 17.Rxe8 Rxe8 18.h3 Re1+? (This turns out to be the wrong move order. After 18...Bd6! threatening the Rook check, I cannot find a good defence eg. 19.f4 Bd7 20.Qxa7 Re1+ 21.Kh2 cxd2 22.Bxd2 Rxa1 leaves Black ahead on material) 19.Kh2 Bd6+ 20.g3? (My computer found the winning defence 20.f4!! Bxf4+ 21.g3 Re2+ 22.Kg1 and both Bishops are en prise. Black could try 20...Be6 21.dxc3 Rxc1! 22.Rxc1 Bxf4+ 23.g3 Bxc1, but White is clearly better after 24.Qxa7) 20...Be6 21.Qg2 (or 21.bxc3 Bd5 22.Bb2 Rxa1 23.Qxd5+ Nxd5 24.Bxa1 c5 wins a piece) 21...Bd5 22.f3 Nh5! 23.bxc3? (White could hang on grimly with the tricky 23.dxc3 Nxg3 24.Bf4! when 24...Rxa1? 25.Bxg3 is no good. Black must find 24...Nf1+! 25.Qxf1 Bxf4+ 26.Kg2 Rxf1 27.Rxf1 g5, when the Bishop pair will soon overwhelm the hapless Rook) 23...Nxg3 24.Qxg3 Re2+ 25.Kg1 Bxg3 26.Ba3 Bxf3 27.Rc1 Rh2 0-1

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