Sometimes between players of unequal strengths, the stronger player offers advantages to the weaker player to make the game more even. These advantages include time odds (such as 5 minutes to 3 minutes in a speed game), draw odds (the weaker player is granted a win if the game was to end in a draw), or the choice of an opening. Even blindfold games and simuls can fall into this category.



But by far the most popular advantage utilized is the odds game. This is a game where the stronger player would take off a pawn, a piece, and even more, before the start of the game.



This advantage for the weaker player is hard to overcome if the game becomes closed. Which is why the stronger player goes for an open game, where tactics predominate, checkmates are sudden and quick, and there is a good chance for a brilliancy.



Enjoy the games below. They are all short, brilliant, and fun (as long as you are not on the losing side).




Remove all pieces inside the parenthesis before playing over the game.





England, 1830
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 [The Evans Gambit. Hard to defend with all the open lines even with all the pieces still on the board (an empty square means more movement for the bishops).] 4…Bxb4 5.c3 Bc5 6.O-O d6 7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4 Bb6 9.h3 h6 10.Bb2 Nf6 11.e5 dxe5 12.Ba3 e4 13.Qb3 Qd7 14.Ne5 Nxe5 15.dxe5 Nh5 16.Rad1 Qf5 17.Bxf7+ Qxf7 18.Rd8+ Kxd8 19.Qxf7 1-0


London, 1852
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 c6 4.d4 Be6 5.Bg5 Qd7 6.Qe2 Bg4 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Rd1 (One of the benefits of playing without the b1-Knight is that the a1-Rook can play to a center file a move earlier. As in this game. And the next two.)  8…Qc7


9.Nxe5! Bxe2 10.Rd8+ Qxd8 11.Bxf7mate 1-0


New York, 1857
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 Nxd4 4.Nxe5 Ne6 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Bxe6+ Kxe6 8.e5 Bc5 9.O-O Nd5 10.Qg4+ Kxe5 11.Bg5 Qf8 12.Rad1 Kd6 13.Qe4 Qf7 14.c4 Kc6 15.Rxd5 Kb6 16.Rxc5 c6 17.Qe5 Re8 1-0 (Black realizes he can’t stop the mate. After 18.Rb5+, he can only choose between being mated immediately with  18…cxb5 19.Qxb5#, or to prolong the agony with 18…Ka6 19.Ra5+ Kb6 20.Be3+! c5 21.Qxc5# )


 David Janowski-N.N.
Paris, 1895
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4. Bc4 g4 5.O-O gxf3 6.Qxf3 Qf6 7.e5 Qxe5 8.d3 Bh6 9.Bd2 Ne7 10.Bc3 Qc5+ 11.Kh1 O-O 12.Rae1 d5 13.Qh5 f6 14.Rxe7 Qxe7 15.Bxd5+ Kg7 16.Re1 Qc5 17.Re5 Qf2 18.Rg5+ Bxg5 19.Qxg5+! Kh8 20.Qxf6+!! Rxf6 21.Bxf6mate 1-0


Morphy-N.N., 1850
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 Nce7 9.O-O c6 10.d4 exd4 11.Re1+ Kd7 12.Nxd5 Nxd5 13.Bxd5 cxd5 14.Qxd5+ Kc7 15.Bf4+ Bd6 16.Qc5+ Kb8 17.Qxd6+ Qxd6 18.Bxd6mate 1-0


New Orleans 1858
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 Nd4 9.Bxd5+ Kd6 10.Qf7 ($Ne4#) Be6 11.Bxe6 Nxe6 12.Ne4+ Kd5 13.c4+ Kxe4 14.Qxe6 Qd4 15.Qg4+ Kd3 16.Qe2+ Kc2 17.d3+ Kxc1 18.O-Omate! 1-0 (As far as it is known, this is the first time that a player has mated an opponent by castling. Note that this is the only move possible to mate.)


London, 1863
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 exf4 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.Nd5 Ba5 6.Nxf4 d6 7.c3 Bb6 8.d4 Bg4 9.Bb5 Kf8 10.O-O Ne5 11.Nxe5 Bxd1 12.Neg6+  1-0


London, 1863
1.e5 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.e5 Nd5 5.Qxd4 c6 6.Bc4 Qb6 7.Qe4 Bc5 8.O-O Ne7? 9.Ng5 g6 10.Nxf7 Rf8 11.Nd6+ Kd8 12.Qh4 Qc7


13.Qxe7+! Kxe7 14.Bg5+ Rf6 15.exf6+ Kf8 16.Bh6mate 1-0


Nuremburg, 1890
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.O-O (Not satisfied at only being a Rook down, White sacrifices a Knight, This is known as the Muzio Gambit, usually played when White has a full set of pieces.) 5…gxf3 6.Qxf3 Qf6 7.Nc3 Qd4+ 8.Kh1 Qxc4 9.Qxf4 Ne7 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.Qxf7+ Kd8 12.d3 Qc6 13.Bg5+ Be7 14.Qf8+ Rxf8 15.Rxf8mate 1-0


Morphy-T. Knight
New Orleans, 1856
(Ra1, Nb1)
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 Qe7 5.d4 d5 6.Bxd5 c6 7.Bxf7+ Qxf7 8.Ne5 Qf6 9.Qh5+ Ke7 10.h4 gxh4 11.O-O Bh6 12.b3 Nd7 13.Ba3+ c5


14.Rd1! Nxe5 15.Bxc5+ Ke6 16.Qe8+ Ne7 17.d5mate 1-0 (Is this the first time that a Knight has been mated by a pawn?)



New York, 1877
(Ra1, Nb1)
1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 Nc6 5.a3 Nce7 6.Nf3 a6 7.O-O b5 8.Ba2 c6 9.Ng5 Nh6 10.Qb3 Qa5 11.Re1 cxb2 12.Rd1 bxc1=Q (Black now has more pieces than at the beginning of the game.)


13.Qxf7+ Nxf7 14.Bxf7+ Kd8 15.Ne6mate 1-0



London, 1842
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kd1!? (This move is probably better than the usual 4.Kf1 in the Bishop’s Gambit. And it’s all possible due to White electing to play without his Queen in first place.)  4…Bc5 5.Nf3 Qd8 6.d4 Bb6 7.Bxf4 f6 8.e5 Ne7 9.exf6 gxf6 10.Nc3 Nbc6 11.Re1 Ba5 12.Ne4 Bxe1 13.Nxf6+ Kf8 14.Bh6mate 1-0



Zuckertort-N.N., 1860
1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 Bf5 3.Nc3 Bxc2? (A move that only wastes time. Any developing move would have been better than the text.) 4.Rc1 Bg6 5.Nb5 Na6 6.Bxc7 Nxc7?? 7.Nxc7+ Kd7 8.e4 Rc8 9.Bb5+ Kd6 10.e5mate 1-0


Riga, 1934
1.b3 e5 2.Bb2 d6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.O-O-O Nf6 5.f3 O-O 6.e3 c6 7.g4 h6 8.Nge2 Be6 9.Ng3 Nbd7 10.h4 Nh7 11.g5 hxg5 12.hxg5 Bxg5 13.Bd3 Bh6 14.Rdg1 d5 15.Nf5 Bxf5 16.Bxf5 Qf6 17.Bxd7 d4 18.exd4 exd4 19.Ne2 Qe7 20.Nxd4 Qxd7 21.Rxh6 Rad8 22.Rxg7+! (White is now a Rook and Queen down. But he’s not worried. The pieces may have been free, but he has a mate in three!) Kxg7 23.Nf5+ Kg8 24.Rg6+! fxg6 25.Nh6mate 1-0


E. Hearst-R.E.
Blitz Game, 1955
(Qd1, Ra1, Ng1)
1.b3 g6 2.Bb2 Nf6 3.e4 Bg7 4.h4 h5 5.g4 hxg4 6.h5


6…Nxh5? 7.Bxg7 Nxg7? 8.Rxh8mate 1-0


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s