## Happy Thanksgiving!

### Happy Thanksgiving!

Let’s first start off with the answers from last week’s simple (or maybe not-so simple) problems.

(1)  This one is very easy. White can only make legal moves. So, he must play 1.d4. And Black can only respond with 1… b5. The problem continues with 2.d5 b4 3.axb4 a3 4.c5, and mate cannot be avoided.

(2) Cook’s problem also can be solved with just making the only legal moves available. 1.c4 leads directly to mate. Incidentally, if it is Black to move in this position, he also mates with legal moves, starting with 1…f5.

(3) Black threatens promoting and winning with his two pawns on the seventh rank. White must therefore check to have any chances at winning.

White must play 1.bxc3+. If Black king was to step on a white square, White would immediately have winning endgame after Qb3+. Black then has to stay on the dark squares and plays 1….Kc5. And White continues with 2.cxd4+. If you can see the pattern forming you figure out the rest.

(4) Since it is White to play and win Black must have made the last legal move. But which one would let White win?

To save a little time, I’ll just mention that Black’s last move was 1…f7-f5. Now you can figure it out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There are a number of chess tournaments being held this weekend. Perhaps the best well-known is the American Open, being held in Costa Mesa, California. See website for details:

http://www.americanopen.org/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One thing I enjoy about chess is the endless possibilities for exploration. Here is a recent blitz game, and maybe I’m wrong, but it rapidly goes into new territory.

Escalante-“GGRap”
Blitz Game
Chess.com, Nov. 23 2019
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Be2?!

[Theory recommends Nxc6 on this move or the next. Here is a game showing at least one possibility of the Nxc6.

Sadek (2183)-El Ghazali (2362)
Golden Cleopatra
Cairo, Apr. 7 2002
1.c4 c5 2.e4 Nc6 3.Ne2 Nf6 4.Nbc3 e6 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Bb4 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qa5 10.O-O O-O 11.Be3 Ba6 12.c5 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Ng4 14.Rfd1 Rab8 15.h3 Nxe3 16.Qxe3 Rb5 17.Rxd7 Rxc5 18.Rb1 a6 19.Rbb7 Rxc3 20.Qf4 e5 21.Rxf7 Rc1+ 22.Kh2 1-0.

But I didn’t want to play it. Blitz games can help you learn more about your pet opening in two ways. One, it is a good way to try out new ideas, and two, it is a way to find out why a suggested move is usually better than one’s own idea. Here’s a game to try out a different, but not necessarily better, move.]

6…Nge7 7.O-O O-O 8.Be3 Bxc3 (8…d5 is better for Black as it opens lines for a possible attack.) 9.bxc3 a6 10.a4?! (OK, this move doesn’t do much other than gain space for White on the queenside. Perhaps better is still Nxc6!?) 10…Qc7 11.Qd2 d6 12.f4 f6?! (Black should keep developing with 12…Bd7. He soon falls behind in development and piece play.) 13.Rab1 e5 14.fxe5 dxe5 15.Bc4+! Kh8 16.Ne6 Bxe6 17.Bxe6 Rad8 18.Qf2 Qd6 19.Ba2 Qa3? (Black gets greedy and being behind in development category is not good for his game.) 20.Bb3!

20…Rd7?? (Black should admit his mistake and move his queen back to d6, with White having an advantage, but not necessarily a winning one.)  21.Bc5!! (Now White has winning advantage as Black’s queen is trapped.) 21…Rfd8 22.Bxa3 Rd2 23.Qe3 Ng6 24.Bd5 Nf4 25.Qxd2 Nxd5 26.exd5 Na5 27.Qd3 1-0

## An Introduction to Chess Poetry

Many poems and the like have been written about chess. They range from the simple to the epic, from the silly to the serious, and can include the profound and philosophical.

We’ll start with the simple, and sometimes, silly limerick.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The first two are from NM Bill Wall.

(1)

There once was a player from Maine,
Who played chess on a fast train.
He took a move back
And was thrown off the track,
And he never played chess again.

(2)

Postal chess is still played today
And no reason why I shouldn’t play.
It is nice and slow,
And I can use my ECO,
It’s the postage I can’t afford to pay.

With the Internet now, you don’t have to pay postage.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here’s an old classic, first appearing in Chess Potpourri by Alfred C. Klahre (Middletown, 1931). It’s titled, “The Solver’s Plight

There was a man from Vancouver
Who tried to solve a two-mover;
But the boob, he said, ‘“Gee”,
I can’t find the “Kee”,
No matter HOW I manouvre.’

Like most people, I also prefer original material, always searching for something new.

A short poem that perfectly illustrates the frustrations of that search.
Some Editors – pretend to edit –
Use scissors and paste and give no credit.

(Columbia Chess Chronicle, 20 August 1887, page 66.)

Another short one. This one is slightly whimsical and yet, very accurate.

Chess is such a noble game,
How it does the soul inflame!
Ever brilliant, ever new,
Surely chess has not its due;
Sad to say, ’tis known to few!

Poem written by W. Harris and printed in the book, “A Complete Guide to the Game of Chess”(1882).

By The Way (or BTW in Internet lingo), the poem is also an acrostic. We’ll let you figure it out! =)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For another poem that is simply a delight, here is one by Alan Hall and printed in CHESS POST, Volume 33, No. 3 (or the June 1995 issue).

The Game of Chess

A poem about chess? Well, there’s an idea.
Hopefully this one will be one to hear.
What of the pieces? I’ll take them in turn.
And try to tell how each it’s living does earn.
The pawns can move straight or diagonally
Depending on whether it’s taking, you see.
Next comes the bishop – it moves across,
Of diagonals it is the boss.
Then there is the knight – some call it a horse
From its siblings it pursues a quite different
course.
One square diagonally, then one straight.
It’s so crafty, you start to hate
It when you’ve lost to its smothered mate.
Stronger still than all these is rook.
If you’ve got two of them, you’re in luck.
The you may even beat the might queen.
A rook and bishop combined, she reigns
supreme.

Last, but not least, is the humble king.
When you’ve mated him, you can sing.
Well, that’s all the pieces that make this game
of chess.

The playing of which can bring happiness.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We’ll end here with an appropriate form of poetry; the epitaph.

Surprisingly, chess epitaphs are more common than you might believe. Here is the best on I could find. It was written by Lord Dunsany (who was a chess player among many other inspired pursuits) and it was for Capablanca, first published in the June 1942 issue of CHESS (pg. 131).

Now rests a mind as keen,
A vision bright and clear
As any that has been
And who is it lies here?
One that, erstwhile, no less
Than Hindenburg could plan,
But played his game of chess
And did no harm to man.

If we could only aspire to be so talented and noble.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here’s two games related to the poems, or rather the poets that created them.

Jim Murray (1876)-Alan Hall (1746)
Isle of Man Open – Major
Chess.com, Sept. 26 2017
[A52]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5!? (The Budapest is a surprising response for Mr. Hall, who regularly employs more solid and safe openings such as the London System. Nevertheless, he makes a fair attempt at winning the game.) 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.e3 Ngxe5 6.Be2 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 d6?! (Black usually plays either 8…O-O or 8…Nxf3+. The text move allows White to simplify with 9.Nxe5!? dxe5 10.Qxd8+.) 9.O-O Be6 10.b3 O-O 11.Nc3 h6 12.Rad1 Qd7 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.f4 Ng6 15.e4 f5 16.e5 Rfd8 17.Qe3 Qe7 18.Bh5 Nh8 19.Nd5 Bxd5 20.cxd5 g6 21.Be2 a6 22.g4 Rf8 23.Kh1 Rae8 24.e6 c6 25.gxf5 Rxf5 26.dxc6 bxc6 27.Bg4 Rf6 28.Qd3 Ref8 29.Qxd6 Qxd6 30.Rxd6 g5 31.Rd7 Ng6 32.f5 Ne5 33.Rd4 Nxg4 34.Rxg4 Rxf5 35.Rxf5 Rxf5 36.Rc4 c5 37.Ra4 Kf8 38.Rxa6 Ke7 39.Kg2 h5 40.a4 Re5 41.Kf2 g4 42.Rc6 h4 43.a5 Rf5+ 44.Kg2 Rd5 45.a6 Rd2+ 46.Kg1 Rd1+ 47.Kf2 Rd2+ 48.Kg1 1/2-1/2

Capablanca-Lord Dunsany
Simul
Selfridges, London, Apr. 12 1929
[C70]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 b5 5.Bb3 Nf6 6.Ng5 d5 7.exd5

[After 7…Nxd5 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.Qf3+ Ke6 10.Nc3 Nce7 11.d4, we reach a position very similar to the Fried Liver Attack. Capablanca decided not to play into it. Apparently he remembered this game:

Capablanca-Pagliano & Elias
Consultation Game
Buenos Aires, June 1911
7.exd5 Nxd5 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.Qf3+ Ke6 10.Nc3 Nce7 11.d4 Bb7 12.Bg5 c6 13.O-O-O h6 14.Ne4 Qc7 15.Nc5+ Kd6 16.dxe5+ Kxc5 17.Be3+ Kb4 18.Bd2+ Kc5 19.Bxd5 Nxd5 20.Be3+ Kb4 21.Bd2+ Kc5 22.Be3+ Kb4 23.a3+ Ka4 24.b3+ Kxa3 25.Bd2 Bb4 26.c3 Qxe5 27.Kc2 Bxc3 28.Bxc3 Nxc3 29.Rhe1 Qc5 30.Qxc3 Qxf2+ 31.Rd2 Qf5+ 32.Kc1 Qf6 33.Qa5+ Kxb3 34.Re3+ Kc4 35.Rc2+ Kd5 36.Qd2+ Qd4 37.Rd3 c5 38.Rxd4+ cxd4 39.Qd3 Rab8 40.Qf5+ Kd6 41.Qc5+ Ke6 42.Re2+ Kf7 43.Re7+ Kg8 44.Rxb7 Rxb7 45.Qd5+ Kh7 46.Qe4+ Kg8 47.Qxb7 Kh7 48.Qe4+ Kg8 49.Qxd4 Kh7 50.Qe4+ Kg8 51.Qa8+ 1-0.]

7…Ne7 8.d6 Ned5 9.dxc7 Qxc7 10.Nc3 Bb7 11.a4 b4 12.Nxd5 Bxd5 13.Bxd5 Nxd5 14.O-O Be7 15.d4 O-O 16.dxe5 Qxe5 17.Re1 Qd6 18.Ne4 Qc6 19.Bg5 Bxg5 20.Nxg5 Rac8 21.Qf3 Nf6 22.Re2 h6 23.Qxc6 Rxc6 24.Nf3 a5 25.Nd4 Rc5 26.Nb3 Rd5 27.Rae1 Nd7 28.Re4 Nb6 29.Re5 Rfd8 30.Rxd5 Rxd5 31.Kf1 Nxa4 1/2-1/2

## Lesser GM?

Like most chess players I am a fan of some of the greats; namely Fischer, Alekhine, and Tal.

But I also enjoy the lesser known greats, those IMs and GMs who occasionally can take an original route in the opening, explore what is there to find, and promote original theory.

One of those is the Finnish GM, Jouni Yrjola. He won his country’s championship in 1985 and 1988. And his flair for unexplored openings didn’t prevent him from earning the IM title (1984) or the GM title (1990).

More importantly, at least to this blogger, is that today is his birthday.

Happy Birthday Jouni!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is Yrjola, playing against a former World Champion.

IM Jouni Yrjola-GM Mikhail Tal
TV exhibition game, 1986
[D44]
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7 11.g3!? (Unusual. More common is 11.exf6. Perhaps Yrjola didn’t want to get into a tactical tussle with a Tal.) 11…Rg8 12.h4 Rxg5 13.hxg5 Nd5 14.Qh5 Nxc3 15.bxc3 Qa5 16.Rc1 Ba3 17.Rc2 Qa4 18.Kd1! (Effectively closing off the White’s queenside. Now Black must worry about his kingside.)

18…Nf8 19.Qf3 Bb7 20.Rh8 Be7 (Black wants to castle queenside but first he needs to shore up his defenses on the kingside.) 21.Bh3 Bxg5? 22.Bxe6! 1-0

IM Julian Hodgson (2480)-IM Jouni Yrjola (2425)
Tallinn, Estonia, Apr. 8 1987
[B21]
1.e4 c5 2.f4!? (The Grand Prix Attack, a very popular way of meeting the Sicilian around this time.) 3…d5 (A strong defence, and one that almost put the Grand Prix out of business.) 3.exd5 Nf6 4.Bb5+ Nbd7 5.c4 a6 6.Ba4 b5 7.cxb5 Nxd5 8.Nf3 g6!? (The fianchetto on Black’s kingside usually leads to unbalanced games, perfect for both Hodgson and Yrjola.) 9.Nc3 N5b6

[This game, heading rapidly into more craziness, now forms theory.

Vladislav Zernyshkin (2319)-Yuri Yakovich (2539), Lev Polugaevsky Memorial, Samara, Russia, July 9 2011, continued with 10.d4 Bg7 11.Bc2 cxd4 12.Nxd4 O-O 13.O-O axb5 14.Ndxb5 Ba6 15.Bd3 Nc5 16.Be2 Nba4 17.Qc2 Nxc3 18.Nxc3 Qd4+ 19.Kh1 Nd3 20.h3 Rfd8 21.a4 Bc4 22.Ra3 Nb4 23.Qb1 Bd3 24.Bxd3 Nxd3 25.Qc2 e6 26.Nb5 Qe4 27.Nc3 Qc4 28.Qe2 Qb4 29.Na2 Nxc1 30.Nxc1 Bxb2 31.Rb3 Qd2 32.Rxb2 Qxe2 33.Nxe2 Rxa4 34.Rc1 Rd7 35.Kg1 e5 36.fxe5 Re4 37.Rc5 Re7 38.Kf2 R4xe5 39.Rxe5 Rxe5 40.Ng1 h5 41.Nf3 Re7 42.Ng1 Kg7 43.Kf3 Ra7 44.Rb3 Ra5 45.h4 Ra4 46.g3 Ra7 47.Nh3 Re7 48.Ng5 Kg8 49.Re3 Ra7 50.Ke4 Kg7 51.Kd5 Kf6 52.Kc6 Kf5 53.Kd6 f6 54.Ne4 g5 1/2-1/2]

10.d4 Nxa4 11.Qxa4 Bg7 12.Be3 Nb6 13.Qa5 O-O 14.O-O-O axb5 15.Qxb5 Ba6 16.Qxc5 Nc4! (Black has penetrated White’s position and his knight will prove to be impossible to dislodge.) 17.Rhe1 Qb8! (Forcing the next move.) 18.b3 Rc8! (White’s queen is trapped. Hodgson grabs the best deal he can make for his queen …) 19.Qxc8+ Bxc8 (…and then promptly resigns.) 0-1

GM Jonny Hector (2535)-GM Jouni Yrjola (2460)
Nordic Ch.
Ostersund, Sweden, Aug. 1992
[B76]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Bc4 O-O 9.Qe2 Bd7 10.O-O-O Na5 11.Bd3 (11.Bb3!?) 11…Rc8 12.h4 Rxc3 13.bxc3 Qc7 14.Qe1 d5 15.e5 Qxe5 16.Nb3 Nc6 17.g4 h5 18.g5 Ne8 19.Bd4 Nxd4 20.cxd4 Qd6 (Black could, of course, play 20…Qxd1 21.Rhd1, but that kills his play and he has to respond with 22…e6, which further limits his play. On 20…Qd6, his queen can at least travel to a3 and say “Boo!” Forgive this jest- it’s close to Halloween.) 21.Qc3 b6 22.Rhe1 Nc7 23.Rxe7 Ne6 24.Rxe6 Bxe6 25.Qd2 Rc8 26.c3 a5 27.Kb1 a4 28.Nc1 b5 29.Ne2 Rb8 30.Qf4 Bf8 31.Qxd6 Bxd6 32.Kc2 b4 33.cxb4 Rxb4 34.Rb1 Rxb1 35.Kxb1 Kg7 36.Kc2 f6 37.gxf6+ Kxf6 38.Kd2 g5 39.hxg5+ Kxg5 40.Ke3 h4 41.Nc3 h3 42.Bf1 Kh4 43.Kf2 a3 44.Nb5 Be7 45.Bd3 Bf6 46.Be2 Bd7 47.f4 Bg7 48.Bd3 Kg4 49.f5 Kf4 50.Kg1 Kg3 51.Kh1 Be8 52.Be2 Bd7 53.Bd3 Bf6 54.Nc3 Bc6 55.Ne2+ Kf3 56.Kh2 Ke3 57.Ba6 Bd7 58.Kxh3 Bxf5+ 59.Kg2 Be4+ 60.Kf1 Bxd4 61.Nxd4 Kxd4

(Here, Black’s king is more centralized than White’s and he has an extra pawn. But it’s a draw as White can block the queening of the center pawn and Black’s other pawn is on a rook’s file, Right? Wrong!) 62.Ke1 Bb1 63.Kd2 Bxa2 64.Kc2 Kc5 65.Bb7 d4 66.Be4 Kb4 67.Bf5 Bb3+ 68.Kb1 Kc3 69.Ka1 Bc2 70.Bg4 d3 71.Ka2 Kb4

0-1 [Incredibly Black wins after 72.Bh5 Bb3+ 73.Ka1 d2 74.Kb1 Kc3 75.Ka1 Kd3 76.Bf3 Ke3 77.Bg4 Kf2 78.Kb1 Ke1 79.Bh5 Bc4 80.Kc2 (with the idea of Be2) -+ , or 72.Ka1 d2 73.Ka2 Bb3+ 74.Kb1 Kc3 75.Be2 Kd4 76.Bf3 Ke3 77.Bh5 Kf2 78.Bg4 Ke1 79.Bh5 Bc4 80.Kc2 -+, or 72.Bf3 Bb3+ 73.Kb1 d2 74.Bh5 Kc3 75.Ka1 Kd3 76.Bf3 Ke3 77.Bg4 Kf2 78.Kb1 Ke1 79.Bh5 Bc4 80.Kc2 -+. Now, I had to run the position through a chess engine just to make sure my main ideas had some validity. It’s astonishing what a GM can figure out over the chessboard!]

## A Chess Player’s Favorite Word

No matter if it is a miniature, a King-Hunt, a long endgame, or even a casual game, there is a word that every chess player would love to speak, and conversely, hate hearing it.

That word, so much loved and feared, is MATE.

But if it is a word much beloved in the chess world, why don’t we speak it more in normal conversations?

Well, it turns out that four letters, arranged in a M-A-T-E sequence, do not occur often in English, and even less in other languages.

Let’s look at words with the letters M-A-T-E in them.

ACCLIMATE
ACOELOMATE
AGEMATE [n. one who is about the same age as another.]
AMALGAMATE
AMATE [n. a Central American timber tree with lustrous foliage and edible fruits.]
AMATEUR
ANIMATE
ANTEPENULTIMATE
APPROXIMATE
AUTOMATE
BANDMATE
BEDMATE
BICHROMATE
BREGMATE [n. a junction point of the skull.]
BROMATE
BUNKMATE
CABINMATE
CARBAMATE
CASEMATE
CHECKMATE
CHROMATE
CLASSMATE
CLIMATE
COELOMATE [adj. having a coelom (the main body cavity in most animals).]
COINMATE
COLLIMATE
COMATE
CONSUMMATE
COPEMATE
CREMATE
CREWMATE
CYCLAMATE [n. a salt of cyclamic acid formerly used as an artificial sweetener.]
CYCLOSTOMATE
DECIMATE
DEPHLEGMATE
DESPUMATE [v. to clarify or purify a liquid by skimming a scum from its surface.]
DESQUAMATE
DICHROMATE
DIPLOMATE
DISANIMATE
DITHIOCARBAMATE [n. any salt or ester of dithiocarbamic acid, commonly used as fungicides.]
ECOCLIMATE
ESTIMATE
EXANIMATE
EXHUMATE
FERMATE
FISSIPALMATE [adj. having lobed or partially webbed separated toes, as in the feet of certain birds.]
FLATMATE
FORMATE
GEMMATE [adj. (1) having buds, (2) adorned with gems or jewels.]
GLUTAMATE
GUESSTIMATE
GUESTIMATE
HAMATE [n. a bone on the inner side of the second row of the carpus in mammals.]
HELPMATE
HIEROGRAMMATE [n. a writer of hierograms (sacred symbols or records, esp. hieroglyphics).]
HOUSEMATE
HUMATE
ILLEGITIMATE
IMAMATE [n. the office of an imam]
IMPOSTHUMATE
IMPOSTUMATE
INANIMATE [adj. not alive.]
INCREMATE [v. to cremate]
INHUMATE
INMATE
INTIMATE
LEGITIMATE
LITTERMATE
MACROCLIMATE
MAMMATE
MATE [n. a companion ; v. (1) to checkmate an opponent in chess, (2) to produce offspring.]
MATELOTE [n. a fish stew that is cooked in a wine sauce.]
MATER [n. an informal use of the Latin word for mother; adj. not reflecting light; not glossy.]
MATERIAL [n. the elements, constituents, or substances of which something is composed or can be made.]
MATERNAL [adj. relating to or characteristic of a mother or motherhood.]
MEPROBAMATE [n. a bitter-tasting drug used as a mild tranquilizer.]
MESSMATE
MICROCLIMATE
MIDSHIPMATE
MISESTIMATE
MISESTIMATE
MISMATE
MONOCHROMATE
NIZAMATE
OPTIMATE
OSMATE
OSTOMATE
OVERESTIMATE
PALAEOCLIMATE
PALAMATE
PALMATE
PENULTIMATE
PLAYMATE
PLUMATE
PRIMATE [n. any mammal of the order Primates (defined as having an up-right appearance, large brains relative to body size, body hair, and giving live birth). This group, with over 300 mammals, includes lemurs, lorises, gibbons, tarsiers, gorillas, monkeys, apes, and humans.]
PROXIMATE
PSEUDOCOELOMATE
RACEMATE
RAMATE [adj. having branches; branched.]
REANIMATE
REESTIMATE
REFORMATE
REMATE
ROOMMATE
SCHOOLMATE
SEATMATE
SEMIPALMATE
SHIPMATE
SIGMATE
SOULMATE
SQUAMATE
STABLEMATE
STALEMATE
STEARSMATE [n. same as STEERSMATE.]
STEERSMATE [n. one who steers; steersman.]
STOMATE [n. a minute opening in the epidermis of a plant organ.]
SUBLIMATE
SUBPRIMATE
SUMMATE
TABLEMATE
TEAMMATE
TOTIPALMATE [adj. having webbing that connects each of the four anterior toes, as in water birds.]
ULTIMATE
UNDERESTIMATE
WORKMATE
YOKEMATE

It doesn’t seem fair that we can mostly say MATE in the chess world. So, what to do if we want to say MATE more often? It’s easy! Play more chess!
Meanwhile, let’s indulge in a few more MATES.

Rudolf-N.N., 1912
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d4 Qh4+ 5.Kf1 Bb6 6.Nf3 Qd8 7.Bxf4 Ne7 8.Ng5 O-O 9.Qh5 h6 10.Bxf7+ Kh8

11.Qxh6+! gxh6 12.Be5mate 1-0

Alekhine-Vasic
Graz, 1931
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bd3!? Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 h6 6.Ba3 Nd7 7.Qe2 dxe4 8.Bxe4 Ngf6 9.Bd3 b6

10.Qxe6+!! fxe6 11.Bg6mate 1-0

Savanto-Molder
Helsinki, 1950
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Bc4 Bh4+ 5.g3 fxg3 6.O-O gxh2+ (Believe it or not, this is all theory. It is mostly known by the name, “Three Pawns Gambit”.) 7.Kh1 Be7 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Ne5+ Ke6 10.Qg4+ Kxe5 11.Qf5+ Kd6 12.Qd5mate 1-0

Joe Ei-Ken Scott
corres.
Golden Knights, USCF, 1982
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.Bd2 Qd8 9.Bc4 e6 10.O-O-O Qb6?! 11.Ne4 Qxd4? 12.Ba5 Qxc4

13.Qxf6! gxf6 14.Nxf6+ Ke7 15.Bd8mate 1-0

L. Bohne (2025)-J. Adamski (2400)
Hassloch, 1999
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 c5 (Other adequate responses include 4…d5, 4…O-O, and 4…Nc6.) 5.dxc5 Qc7 6.a3 Bxc5 7.Nf3 a6 8.e3 Be7 9.Be2 d6 10.O-O Nbd7 11.b3 b6 12.Bb2 Bb7 13.Rac1 Rc8 14.Nd4 O-O 15.Bf3 Bxf3 16.Nxf3 Qb7 17.Qe2 Rc7 18.Nd2 Rfc8 19.e4 Ne8 20.Rc2 Ne5 21.f4 Nc6 22.Nf3 Na5 23.Nd4 Nc6 24.Nxc6 Rxc6 25.Rcc1 Qb8 26.f5 Nf6 27.g4 Nd7 28.fxe6 fxe6 29.Nd5 Bg5 30.Nf4 Re8 31.Rcd1 Bf6 32.Bxf6 Nxf6 33.h3 b5 34.cxb5 axb5 35.Rc1 Rxc1 36.Rxc1 Qa7+ 37.Kg2 Qxa3 38.Rc7 Qb4 39.Rb7 h6 40.Rxb5 Qd4 41.Rb7 Nxe4 42.Ng6 Kh7 43.Qf3 Kxg6 44.Qf7+ Kh7 45.Qxe8 Qf2+ 46.Kh1 Ng3mate 0-1

## Fischer, the Invincible

Recently, I was going over some games from the 1963/64 US Championship. That tournament stands out for at least three reasons.

(1) The winner was the first, and so far, the only one, to achieve a perfect score in the Championship.

(2) Fischer won his sixth Championship in a row. He would eventually win eight of them, which was another perfect score as he played in a total of eight Championships.

(3) Fischer played a King’s Gambit, a rarity in a national championship. It was also one of his best games.
Here is the game, annotated by Fischer, with a few additional notes (mostly to highlight some background information) by me (RME).

GM Fischer-GM Evans
US Ch.
New York, Nov. 16 1963
[Fischer, “Exclusive Commentary on Round Two”, Chess Life and Review, Jan. 1964]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 [I knew that my opponent had some prepared line (since he usually plays the Sicilian) but felt that he would be unfamiliar with the King’s Gambit. Besides, I’d made up my mind to play it in this tournament anyway.] 2…exf4 3.Bc4 [Better than 3.Nf3 which is practically refuted by 3…d6 (see my analysis in the American Chess Quarterly.)] 3…Qh4+ [Turning it into an old-fashioned slugfest. The moderns frown on this move and prefer to fight in the center with 3…Nf6 4.Nc3 c6, etc. (But 4…Qh4+ is, by far, still the most common response in the Bishop’s Gambit as it displaces White’s king and prevent him from transposing into other variants of the King’s Gambit. RME.)] 4.Kf1 d6?

[Evans said this game would set chess back a hundred years. He didn’t know how right he was! The defense he chooses was also played by LaBourdonnais against MacDonnell (20th Match Game, 1834) which continued 5.d4 Bg4 6.Qd3 Nc6 7.Bxf7+? Kxf7 8.Qb3+ Kg6 9.Qxb7 Nxd4 10.Qxa8 f3 with a winning attack. More usual is 4…g5 (or d5) 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.d4 Ne7 7.Nf3 Qh5 8.h4 h6 and it’s a hard game.

(Here is the game in its entirety.

Macdonnell-de la Bourdonnais
Match, London, 1834
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d6 5.d4 Bg4 6.Qd3 Nc6 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Qb3+ Kg6 9.Qxb7 Nxd4 10.Qxa8 Nf6 11.Na3 f3 12.g3 Bh3+ 13.Ke1 Qg4 14.Be3 d5 15.Qxa7 Nc6 16.Qxc7 d4 17.Bd2 Qxe4+ 18.Kd1 f2 19.Nxh3 Qf3+ 20.Kc1 Qxh1+ 0-1. RME)]

5.Nc3? [Returning the compliment. It’s natural that White should want to save the juicy tempo (5.Nf3!) and I make the same mistake as MacDonnell by delaying this move.] 5…Be6! [I overlooked this move. Now Black has a choice of where to put his Queen once she’s attacked. (This move also eliminates any quick victories by White as his bishop is thwarted. RME)] 6.Qe2

[Moving the bishop back is really not an option.

Harrwitz-Mayet
Match
Berlin, 1847
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d6 5.Nc3 Be6 6.Be2?! Qf6 7.d4 g5 8.d5 Bc8 9.Nf3 h6 10.h4 Be7 11.Nb5 Na6 12.Bd2 Qg7 13.Bc3 f6 14.Kg1 g4 15.Nfd4 f3 16.Bf1 Bd8 17.gxf3 gxf3+ 18.Kf2 Nc5 19.Qxf3 a6 20.Na3 Bg4 21.Qf4 h5 22.Re1 Nh6 23.Rg1 Be7 24.b4 Na4 25.Ne6 Qh7 26.Nxc7+ Kd7 27.Nxa8 Nxc3 28.Nb6+ Kc7 29.Nbc4 f5 30.Kg2 fxe4 31.Kh1 Nxd5 32.Qxe4 Qxe4+ 33.Rxe4 Bf3+ 34.Bg2 Bxe4 35.Bxe4 Nxb4 36.Rg7 Kd8 37.Bxb7 Nf5 38.Rf7 Nxh4 39.Na5 d5 40.c3 Ke8 41.Rxe7+ Kxe7 42.cxb4 Kd6 43.Bxa6 Nf5 44.Bd3 Ne7 45.Nc2 Rg8 46.Nb7+ Ke6 47.Nc5+ Kd6 48.a4 Nc6 49.Nb7+ Ke7 50.Nc5 Kd6 1/2-1/2. Fischer didn’t mention this game, but in all fairness, he didn’t have access to the Internet. RME]

6…c6 7.Nf3 (Inaccurate. Having made the mistake of delaying this move once, White should hold off a while longer and play 7.d4, which does not permit Black’s Queen to retreat to e7 without relinquishing his “f” pawn.) 7…Qe7 (If 7…Qh5 8.Nd5! Now, however, Black has time to consolidate his king’s position.) 8.d4 Bxc4 9.Qxc4 g5 (Despite White’s strong center and great lead in development, Black’s position is not easy to crack. If 10.h4 g4 11.Ne1 Bh6, etc.) 10.e5 d5 [During the game I thought Black’s best defense was 10…dxe5 11.Nxe5 (11.dxe5 Nd7 12.Ne4 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Qxe5 14.Bd2 is unclear) 11…Nd7 12.h4 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Qxe5 14.hxg5 O-O-O 15.Bxf4 Qf5 with equality.] 11.Qd3 [11.Nxd5 cxd5 12.Qc8+ Qd8 13.Qxb7 Nd7 is unsound. (14.Nxg5? Rb8). Now the threat is simply 11.Qf5.] 11…Na6 12.Ne2 (Not 12.Qf5 Nh6 13.Qxg5 Qxg5 14.Nxg5 Nb4 15.Bxf4 Nxc2 16.Rd1 Nf5 and Black wins.) 12…Nb4 (12…f6 loses 13.Qf5 Bg7 14.exf6 Bxf6 15.Bxf4! gxf4 16.Nxf4 with a winning attack. It is important to repel White’s queen from its present diagonal.) 13.Qd1 O-O-O (Very complicated, and possibly better, is 13.c3 which leads to a more active defense.) 14.c3 Na6 15.h4 g4 16.Nh2! h5 (Better was 16…f3 17.gxf3 gxf3 18.Nxf3 f6 although White’s king is quite safe and Black lags in development. Also to be considered was 16…Qxh4 17.Nxf4! g3 18.Qg4+ Qxg4 19.Nxg4 with a powerful ending.) 17.Nxf4

17…Qxh4? [The losing move. Relatively best is 17…Kb8 (preventing Nxh5!) (Fischer is referring to White’s threat of 18.Nxh5! Rxh5 19.Qxg4+, winning the rook and the game. RME) but his game is already bad. (The advanced pawn on e5 which is crippling Black’s play on the kingside. RME).] 18.Kg1 (Black apparently underestimated the strength of this move. He has no adequate defense now to the twin threats of 19.Nxg4 and Nf1.) 18…Nh6 (The only way to avoid outright material loss. Black originally intended 18…Bh6 but 19.Nf1 followed by Rxh5 stands him up.) 19.Nf1 Qe7 20.Nxh5 Rg8 (Black already knew he was lost and was shaking his head in amazement at how quickly White’s dead pieces had sprung to life.) 21.Nfg3 Rg6 22.Nf4 Rg5 (If 22…Rg8 23.Nxd5, etc.) 23.Be3 Nc7 (The last hope. 23…f6 is answered by 24.Qd2 fxe5 25.Nxd5, winning a full rook.) 24.Qd2 Rg8 25.Nfe2 (This piquant retreat wins a piece, putting a clear end to black’s agony.) 25…f6 (Black is still hoping for a miracle.) 26.exf6 Qxf6 27.Bxh6 Bd6 28.Rf1 Qe6 29.Bf4 Rde8 30.Rh6 Bxf4 31.Qxf4 Qe7 32.Rf6

[Tripling on the Bishop file. (And being material up, the victory is not too far off. RME)] 32…Ne6 33.Qe5 Ng5 34.Qxe7 Rxe7 35.Rf8+ (Trading down to skin and bones.) 35…Rxf8 36.Rxf8+ 1-0

## TAL’S SACRIFICES

Mikhail Tal (1936-1992), was a tsunamic and torrential tactical player. Known for his surprising speculative sacrifices and brilliant follow-ups, he made a name for himself even as a young player.

His style of sacrificial play introduced a new and novel way of creating play for one’s own pieces.

But exactly what is this new style? What type of pieces are used in this new style?

The second question is easy to answer; “All of them”.

As to the first question, let his games demonstrate this style.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kliavinsh-GM Tal
Latvian Ch., 1958
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.f4 b5 10.a3 Nbd7 11.Be3 (If you are thinking about 11.Bxe6, please remember there are three type of sacrifices; there are good sacrifices, bad sacrifices and Tal-like sacrifices. This move is neither a Tal-like, or even a good sacrifice, as after 11.Bxe6?! fxe6 12.Nxe6 Qb6+ 13.Kh1 Rf7 Black is a little better. Black can also play 12.Nxe6 Qe8. In either case White is down material with very little compensation.) 11…Bb7 12.Bxe6?! fxe6 13.Nxe6 Qe8! (This, however, is a Tal-like sacrifice. The Black rook will stay en prise for the next few moves until White takes it. For that, Tal will get exactly what he wants – very active pieces.) 14.Qd4 Rc8 15.Rae1 Rc4 16.Qa7 Qc8 17.Nxf8 Bxf8 18.Bd4 d5 19.Kh1 dxe4 20.Rd1 Qc6 21.b3 Rxc3 22.Bxc3 e3 23.Rf3 e2!

[This is just a good move and nothing special. However, a good sacrifice is just around the corner. We would like to see it on the scoresheet. But White resigned so we’ll have to see it in the analysis. After 24.Re1, Black has 24…Qxf3! (It’s both a good sacrifice and a Tal-like sacrifice for sure!) 25.gxf3 Bxf3+ 26.Kg1 Bc5+ 27.Qxc5 Nxc5 28.Kf2 Bh5, and Black wins!] 0-1

Isaak Birbrager-Tal
Kharkov, 1953
[Notes based on NM SamCopeland’s excellent article, “Mikhail Tal’s Most Spectacular Queen Sacrifice – Birbrager vs. Tal, 1953”, chess.com, Sept. 9 2019]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.Bd3 (White has several alternatives here; 8.Nf3, 8.Bg5, 8.Nd2, and even 8.h3.) 8…O-O 9.O-O Na6?! 10.Nd2 Nb4 11.Be2 {11.Bb1! +/-. This would have contained the knight more effectively and kept an eye on possible kingside actions.) 11…Re8 12.a3 Na6 13.Re1 Nc7 14.Qc2 Rb8 15.a4 b6 16.Nb5? a6 17.Nxc7 (17.Na7!?. The text move practically forces Black’s response.) 17…Qxc7 18.Ra2 Qe7 19.f3? Nh5! (Getting ready to steamroll the kingside pawns with the knight providing cover.) 20.Nf1 f5! 21.Bd3 f4! (The plan of …Be5, and …g5-g4 with a mating attack is deadly.) 22.g4! Bd4+ 23.Kh1 (23.Kg2? Qh4 24.Re2 Bxg4! 25.fxg4 Qxg4+ 26.Kh1 Qg1#.) 23…Qh4 24.Re2 Qh3? 25.Rg2 Qxf3 26.Nd2 (26.gxh5 Rxe4! -+ is a beautiful and punishing blow.) 26…Qe3 27.Nf1 Qf3 28.Nd2 (draw?)

28…Bxg4!! (No draw! Tal chooses to sacrifice his queen instead! This is a perfect example of a “Tal” sacrifice; there is not a clear idea to regain the material, but Tal’s pieces are alive and crackling with energy while White’s pieces struggle to find meaning in the position. Objectively, MAYBE White can defend, but there’s no clear refutation, and White collapses almost immediately.) 29.Nxf3 Bxf3 30.h4 Rf8 31.Be2?? Ng3+ 32.Kh2 Bxg2 33.Kxg2 Nxe2 34.Qxe2 f3+ 35.Qxf3 Rxf3 36.Kxf3 Rf8+ 37.Kg3 Be5+ 38.Kg2 Bf4 […Rf4 (before or after trading on c1) wins another pawn and the game.] 0-1

GM Tal-GM Velimirovic
USSR vs. Yugoslavia
Teslic, 1979
[A30]
[A complete analysis by Tal can be found in Informant 27, game #64]
1.c4 c5 2.b3 Nc6 3.Bb2 e5 4.g3 d6 5.Bg2 Be6 6.Nc3 Qd7 7.Nf3 Bh3 8.Bxh3 Qxh3 9.Nd5! Qd7 10.e3 Nce7 11.Nc3! Nf6 12.0-0 e4 (12…Ng6 13.d4 +/-) 13.Ng5!? d5!? 14.cxd5 Qf5

15.Nxf7! Kxf7 16.f3! Nexd5 17.fxe4 Nxc3 18.Bxc3 Qxe4 19.Qh5+ Ke6 20.Qh3+ Kd6 (20…Kf7! 21.Rf5! is unclear but the advantage probably lies with White.) 21.b4!! Kc7 22.Rac1 +/- Rc8 23.Rf5!! Qg4 24.Be5+ Kd7 25.Qf1 Qe4?  26.Rc4 Qc6 27.Qh3 (27.Bxf6 gxf6 28.Rxf6 Qd5 29.Qh3 Kc7 30.Rf8 +-) 27…Qe6 (27…Kd8 28.bxc5+-) 28.Bxf6 gxf6 29.Re4! +- Qa2 30.Rxc5+ 1-0

Bobotsov-Tal
World Junior Team Ch.
Varna, 1958
[E81]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Nge2 c5 7.Be3 Nbd7 (Another move is 7…Nc6!?) 8.Qd2 a6 9.O-O-O Qa5!? (Aggressive, provocative, and encourages piece play by Black.) 10.Kb1 b5 11.Nd5

11…Nxd5! (Not only is it unexpected, it is also among of his most sound sacrifices. Tal’s pieces really come alive!) 12.Qxa5?

[Tal’s sacrifice is so well known that IM and GM players avoid taking the offered queen and instead play 12.cxd5 to liquefy the possibilities, but apparently not necessarily the stress brought on by Black’s active piece play.

Here are two games for future study of this game.

Abraham Neumann-Israel Gelfer (2340)
Israel Ch., Dec., 1967
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Be3 Nbd7 7.Qd2 c5 8.Nge2 a6 9.O-O-O Qa5 10.Kb1 b5 11.Nd5 Nxd5 12.cxd5 Qxd2 13.Bxd2 f5 14.e5 Bb7 15.Bg5 Rfe8 16.dxc5 Nxc5 17.e6 Na4 18.Bc1 Nb6 19.Nf4 Be5 20.Be3 Na4 21.Rd2 Rac8 22.Ne2 Rc7 23.f4 Bf6 24.g3 Rec8 25.Rg1 b4 26.Rg2 Bxb2 27.Rxb2 Nxb2 28.Kxb2 Rc2+ 29.Kb1 Bxd5 30.Rf2 Bxa2+ 31.Ka1 Bc4 32.Nd4 Rxf2 33.Bxc4 Rxh2 34.Bd5 Rc3 35.Nf3 Rh1+ 0-1

Cicirone Spulber (2326)-Boris Itkis (2474)
Homorod, Romania, 1993
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Be3 Nbd7 7.Qd2 c5 8.Nge2 a6 9.O-O-O Qa5 10.Kb1 b5 11.Nd5 Nxd5 12.cxd5 Qxd2 13.Rxd2 f5 14.dxc5 Nxc5 15.Bxc5 dxc5 16.Nc3 c4 17.Be2 Bd7 18.exf5 gxf5 19.f4 b4 20.Nd1 Rfc8 21.Rc2 c3 22.b3 a5 23.Ne3 a4 24.Bc4 Rxc4 25.Nxc4 axb3 26.axb3 Bb5 27.Rhc1 Rd8 28.Ne3 Bd3 29.Rd1 Be4 30.g3 Ra8 31.d6 exd6 32.Rxd6 Re8 33.Nd5 Bxc2+ 34.Kxc2 Re2+ 35.Kc1 Bf8 36.Rd8 Kf7 37.Rb8 Rxh2 38.Nxb4 Bc5 0-1.

Back to the Tal game.]

12…Nxe3 13.Rc1 Nxc4! (The strong knight threatens the queen and she doesn’t have good square to move.) 14.Rxc4 bxc4 15.Nc1 (White, despite giving back some of the material, finds his king stripped of defensive pieces and pawns and sitting on an semi-open file.) 15…Rb8 16.Bxc4 Nb6 17.Bb3 Bxd4 (Among other threats, the move …c4! wins at once.) 18.Qd2 Bg7 19.Ne2 c4 20.Bc2 (Not 20.Bd1? as White may need to move his rook to the queenside.) 20…c3 21.Qd3 (Winning for Black is 21.Nxc3? Nc4! 22.Qc1 Bxc3 -+.) 21…cxb2 22.Nd4 Bd7 23.Rd1 Rfc8! (There is no escape for White’s king.) 24.Bb3 Na4 25.Bxa4 Bxa4 26.Nb3 Rc3 27.Qxa6 Bxb3 28.axb3 Rbc8 29.Qa3 Rc1+ 30.Rxc1 Rxc1+ (This position deserves a diagram.)

0-1

## AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ART OF QUEEN SACRIFICES

Perhaps the most popular games ever published are those in which a player sacrifices his one and only Queen. Bravery is required for that player who thrusts his most valuable piece into the fight, sometimes with no hope of ever seeing her alive again.

In the over 500 years of chess, fewer topics have been more exciting, more spectacular, and more aesthetically pleasing to the player than when he freely sacrifices his powerful Queen. In all cases, the desired result, whether immediately or indirectly, is to gain something more valuable; the enemy King.

Basically, there are three types of tactical Queen sacrifices. The first type is the one made for material gain. Sometimes called a pseudo-sacrifice, the Queen is given up and won back a few moves later.

Doroshkevich-Astashin
USSR, 1967 (D24)
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.e4 b5 6.e5 Nd5 7.a4 Nxc3 8.bxc3 Bb7 9.e6 fxe6 10. Be2 Qd5 11.Ng5 Qxg2 12.Rf1 Bd5 13.axb5 Qxh2?! 14.Bg4 h5 15.Bxe6 Bxe6 16.Qf3 c6 17.Nxe6 Qd6 18.Qf5 g6 19.Qxg6+ Kd7 20.Nc5+ Kc8 21.Qe8+ Qd8 22.b6! 1-0

The Queen pseudo-sacrifice sacrifice for gain may turn into a mate if the opponent tries to hold on the extra female material.

Muller-Calderone
Compuserve, 1996 (B57)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bc4 g6 8.e5 Nd7 (Certainly not 8…dxe5?? 9.Bxf7+. Best is 8…Ng4) 9.exd6 exd6 10.O-O Nf6 11.Re1+ Be7 12.Qf3 O-O 13.Qxc6 Bf5 14.Bh6 Re8 15.Nd5 Rc8

16.Qxe8+! Qxe8 17.Nxe7+ Kh8 18.Nxf5 Ne4 19.Nxd6 Qc6 20.Nxf7+ (20…Kg8 21.Ne5+) 1-0

Levitzky-Marshall
Breslau 1912 (C10)
[Chernev says that spectators showered the board with gold pieces after Black’s 23rd move. Soltis says it was bettors who lost the wager on the outcome.]
1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nc3 c5 (The Marshall Gambit, as played by its inventor.) 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.exd5 exd5 6.Be2 Nf6 7.O-O Be7 8.Bg5 O-O 9.dxc5 Be6 10.Nd4 Bxc5 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Bg4 Qd6 13.Bh3 Rae8 14.Qd2 Bb4 15.Bxf6 Rxf6 16.Rad1 Qc5 17.Qe2 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Qxc3 19.Rxd5 Nd4 20.Qh5 Ref8 21.Re5 Rh6 22.Qg5 Rxh3 23.Rc5 Qg3!!

[O.K. Here are the variations: 24.Qxg3 Ne2+ 25.Kh1 Nxg3+ 26.Kg1 Nxf1 27.gxh3 Nd2 and extra piece wins. If White tries to hold onto the Queen, he tries loses his King. 24.hxg3 Ne2#, or 24.fxg3 Ne2+ 25.Kh1 Rxf1#.] 0-1

A second popular Queen sacrifice is made solely for to checkmate an opponent. The mate may be immediate as these short games show.

De Legal-Saint Brie
Paris, 1750? (C40)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 (3.d4 is now considered to be the best move when facing Philidor’s Defence. But then we would miss all the fun of this classical trap!) 3…Bg4? 4.Nc3 g6 5.Nxe5! Bxd1 6.Bxf7+ Ke7 7.Nd5mate 1-0

Greco-N.N.,
Rome, 1620?
(B20)
1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Nf6? (If Black plays 6..e5?, then White has the beautiful 7.g7+ Ke7 8.Qxe5+ Kf7 9.gxh8=N#!) 7.gxh7+! Nxh5 8.Bg6mate 1-0

Paul Morphy-Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard
Paris, 1858 (C41)
[A short classic that displays all the qualities that make up a great game; rapid development, pins, sacrifices, and slightly inferior moves by the opponent.]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Bg4? 4.dxe5 (Simple enough. White threatens 4…dxe5 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.Nxe5, netting a pawn.) 4…Bxf3 5.Qxf3 dxe5 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Qb3 Qe7 8.Nc3 c6 9.Bg5 b5 10.Nxb5! (The whole mating sequence begins with a Knight sacrifice.) 10…cxb5 11.Bxb5+ Nbd7 12.O-O-O! Rd8 13.Rxd7 Rxd7 14.Rd1 Qe6 15.Bxd7+ Nxd7 16.Qb8+! (And ends with a Queen deflection sacrifice!) 16…Nxb8 17.Rd8mate 1-0

Queen sacrifices for the checkmate may also be slightly more involved and take longer to execute the mate.

Maryasin-Kapengut
Minsk, 1969 (D01)
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5 (The often neglected Veresov’s Opening.) 3…Nbd7 4.Nf3 g6 5.e3 Bg7 6.Bd3 c5 7.Ne5 O-O 8.Qf3 Qb6 9.O-O-O e6 10.h4 Nxe5 11.dxe5 Nd7 12.h5 Nxe5 13.Qh3 f5 14.hxg6 hxg6 15.Be2 d4 16.Na4 Qb4 17.f4 Qxa4 18.fxe5 Qxa2 19.Qh7+ Kf7 20.Bf6 Qa1+ 21.Kd2 Qa5+ 22.c3 Rg8

23.Qxg6+! Kxg6 24.Bh5+ Kh7 25.Bf7+ Bh6 26.Rxh6+ (with the idea of Rh1#) 1-0

The third type of Queen sacrifices are those initiating King hunts. The Queen is given up so that the enemy King is brought out into the open. The checkmate, if there, comes many moves later.

These sacrifices differ from the mating sacrifices in that, while a mating sacrifice can be usually calculated out to the end, a King Hunt is made on a player’s belief that he can find a mate somewhere down the line. In other words, a King Hunt is made more on intuition rather than calculation.

D. Byrne-Fischer
Rosenwald Memorial
New York 1956 (D97)
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.d4 O-O 5.Bf4 d5 6.Qb3 dxc4 7.Qxc4 c6 8.e4 Nbd7 9.Rd1 Nb6 10.Qc5 Bg4 11.Bg5 Na4 12.Qa3 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Nxe4 14.Bxe7 Qb6 15.Bc4 Nxc3 16.Bc5 Rfe8+ 17.Kf1 Be6!!

18.Bxb6 Bxc4+ 19.Kg1 Ne2+ 20.Kf1 Nxd4+ 21.Kg1 Ne2+ 22.Kf1 Nc3+ 23.Kg1 axb6 24.Qb4 Ra4 25.Qxb6 Nxd1 26.h3 Rxa2 27.Kh2 Nxf2 28.Re1 Rxe1 29.Qd8+ Bf8 30.Nxe1 Bd5 31.Nf3 Ne4 32.Qb8 b5 33.h4 h5 34.Ne5 Kg7 35.Kg1 Bc5+ 36.Kf1 Ng3+ 37.Ke1 Bb4+ 38.Kd1 Bb3+ 39.Kc1 Ne2+ 40.Kb1 Nc3+ 41.Kc1 Rc2mate 0-1

Averbakh-Kotov
Zurich, 1953 (A55)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nf3 Nbd7 4.Nc3 e5 5.e4 Be7 6.Be2 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.Qc2 Re8 9.Rd1 Bf8 10.Rb1 a5 11.d5 Nc5 12.Be3 Qc7 13.h3 Bd7 14.Rbc1 g6 15.Nd2 Rab8 16.Nb3 Nxb3 17.Qxb3 c5 18.Kh2 Kh8 19.Qc2 Ng8 20.Bg4 Nh6 21.Bxd7 Qxd7 22.Qd2 Ng8 23.g4 f5 24.f3 Be7 25.Rg1 Rf8 26.Rcf1 Rf7 27.gxf5 gxf5 28.Rg2 f4 29.Bf2 Rf6 30.Ne2

30…Qxh3+!! 31.Kxh3 Rh6+ 32.Kg4 Nf6+ 33.Kf5 Nd7 34.Rg5 Rf8+ 35.Kg4 Nf6+ 36.Kf5 Ng8+ 37.Kg4 Nf6+ 38.Kf5 Nxd5+ 39.Kg4 Nf6+ 40.Kf5 Ng8+ 41.Kg4 Nf6+ 42.Kf5 Ng8+ (These last few moves were apparently played to reach adjournment.) 43.Kg4 Bxg5 44.Kxg5 Rf7 45.Bh4 Rg6+ 46.Kh5 Rfg7 47.Bg5 Rxg5+ 48.Kh4 Nf6 49.Ng3 Rxg3 50.Qxd6 R3g6 51.Qb8+ Rg8 0-1

Mating threats may occur more than once in a game. Which also means a player can sometimes a player can offer his original Queen more than once.

USSR 1977 (B05)
1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 c6 6.c4 Nb6 7.Nbd2 N8d7? (ECO suggests 7…dxe5.) 8.Ng5! Bxe2 9.e6!! (White offers his Queen for the first time. This offer can be turned down.) 9…f6 (9…Bxd1? fails to 10.exf7#) 10.Qxe2 fxg5 11.Ne4 +/- Nf6 12.Nxg5 Qc7 13.Nf7 Rg8 14.g4 h6 15.h4 d5 16.c5 Nc8 17.g5 Ne4 18.gxh6 gxh6 19.Qh5 Nf6 20.Nd6+ Kd8 21.Qe8+ (The second offer cannot be refused.) 1-0

Gonssiorovsky-Alekhine
Odessa 1918 (C24)
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Qe2 Be7 5.f4 d5 6.exd5 exf4 7.Bxf4 O-O 8.Nd2 cxd5 9.Bb3 a5 10.c3 a4 11.Bc2 a3 12.b3?! (12.Rb1 is better. Lusin-Morgado, corres.1968 continued with 12…Bd6 13.Qf2 Ng4 14.Qg3 Re8+ 15.Kd1 Ne3+ 16.Kc1 Nf5 17.Qf2 Bxf4 18.Qxf4 Re1+ 19.Bd1 Ne3 20.Ngf3 Rxh1 21.Qxe3 axb2+ 22.Rxb2 Nc6 23.a4 Rxa4 24.Qe2 Ra1+ 25.Rb1 Rxb1+ 26.Nxb1 h6 27.Nbd2 Qe7 28.Kb2 Qxe2 29.Bxe2 g5 30.Nf1 Bg4 31.Ng3 Bxf3 32.Bxf3 Rxh2 33.Bxd5 h5 34.Kc1 Kg7 35.Kd2 Ne5 36.d4 Ng4 37.Ke2 h4 38.Nf1 Rh1 39.Bxb7 h3 40.gxh3 Rxh3 41.c4 f5 42.c5 Kf6 43.c6 Rc3 1/2-1/2) 12…Re8 13.O-O-O Bb4 14.Qf2 Bxc3 15.Bg5 Nc6 16.Ngf3 d4 17.Rhe1 Bb2+ 18.Kb1 Nd5! (The Queen is offered for the first time.)

19.Rxe8+ (Naturally 19.Bxd8 fails to 19…Nc3#) 19…Qxe8 20.Ne4 Qxe4! (The second offer!) 21.Bd2 Qe3 (The third offer!) 22.Re1 (Now White gets into the act!) 22…Bf5 23.Rxe3 dxe3 24.Qf1 exd2 25.Bd1 Ncb4! (And White finally realizes that he cannot stop Nc3#.) 0-1

E. Z. Adams-C. Torre
New Orleans 1920 (C62)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 (Ah!, there is the better move in Philidor’s Defence) 3…exd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.O-O Be7 9.Nd5 Bxd5 10.exd5 O-O 11.Bg5 c6 12.c4 cxd5 13.cxd5 Re8 14.Rfe1 a5 15.Re2 Rc8 16.Rae1 Qd7 17.Bxf6 Bxf6

18.Qg4! (The first offer) 18…Qb5 19.Qc4! (The second offer) 19…Qd7 20.Qc7! (The third!) 20…Qb5 21.a4! Qxa4 22.Re4 Qb5 23.Qxb7 (This, the fourth offer, is too much for Black to handle.) 1-0

## The Siberian Trap

In a correspondence game I was preparing an opening line as it was appearing to become a Smith-Morra variation in the Sicilian. But alas! – the game soon changed into an Advance French/Alapin hybrid.

So, my dear chess friends, here is what I was studying.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Siberian Trap is a good counter-attack in the Smith-Morra. You won’t find it in too many opening books, but it’s there!

The opening line begins as 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7!, and Black has his counterplay. But is it sound? Any good? Well, apparently, it is!

Here are some games and analysis for your consideration.

First of all, to reach the gambit proper, White continues with 7.O-O Nf6 8.Qe2 (a reasonable move). And now Black strikes back with 8…Ng4!

White can respond with 9.h3?, but this is bad, because of 9…Nd4! 10.hxg4 Nxe2+ 11.Bxe2 a6 12.Rd1 b5 and Black won soon in the game, Alekseev-Schipkov, Burevestnik Russian Ch., Krasnodar 1983. [Analysis by Boris Schipkov.]

Another bad move for White is 9.Bb3?. which led to a quick loss after 9…Nd4! (Kolenbet-Schipkov, Siberian & Far East Ch., Khabarovsk, 1987). At least now know where the name of this trap comes from!

Let’s look at some other games.

Ligoure (2240)–Milesi (2030)
Cannes, 1990
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Bc4 e6 6.Nf3 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.Re1?! (The critical theoretical line is 8.Nb5 Qb8 9.e5!) 8…d6 9.Bf4 Ne5?! (9…a6 was preferable.) 10.Bb5+ Nfd7?! (> 10…Bd7) 11.Rc1 Qb8 12.Nd5!

12…exd5 13.Nxe5 (Even more powerful was 13.Bxe5! dxe5 14.Rxc8+! Qxc8 15.Nxe5 +-) 13…dxe5 14.Bxe5! Qxe5 15.exd5 Kd8 16.Rxe5 Nxe5 17.f4 Bg4 18.Qe1 Nd7 19.h3 a6 20.Bxd7 Bxd7 21.Qa5+ +- Ke7 22.Re1+ Kf6 23.Qb6+ Kf5 24.Re5+ 1-0

Joe Blitzsein-M. Manik
SCCF H.S. Ch.
Los Angeles, 1993
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.Qe2 Nf6 8.e5 Ng4 9.Bf4 f6 10.Nd5 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qd8 12.exf6 Nxf6 13.Nxf6+ Qxf6 14.Bc3 Bb4 15.Bxb4 Nxb4 16.O-O O-O 17.Rfd1 d5 18.a3 Nc6 19.Bb5 Bd7 20.Bxc6 Bxc6 21.Ne5 Rad8 22.Rac1 Ba4 23.Rd4 Bb5 24.Qe3 Rc8 25.Rxc8 Rxc8 26.h3 Qe7 27.Rf4 Qc5 28.Qg3 Rf8 29.Rxf8+ Qxf8 30.Qb3 Qc5 31.Qf3 Qc1+ 32.Kh2 Qc7 33.Qf4 Be8 34.Ng6 Qxf4+ 35.Nxf4 Kf7 36.Kg3 Kf6 37.Kf3 d4 38.Ke4 Bc6+ 39.Kd3 e5 40.Nh5+ Kg6 41.g4 Bg2 42.f4 Bxh3 43.fxe5 Bxg4 44.Nf4+ Kf5 45.Ng2 Kxe5 46.b4 g5 47.a4 h5 0-1

Lotti-Cilento
corres.
Italian Ch., 1993
[This game actually made it into CCY #10/79. Analysis by Lotti]
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.Bg5! Ne5 9.Bb3 Be7 10.Rc1 Qa5?! (10…Nxf3+! 11.Qxf3 +/=) 11.Nxe5 Qxe5 12.f4 Qc5+ 13.Kh1 Qb6 14.e5 Ng8 15.Ne4 h6 16.Bxe7 1-0 [16…Nxe7 (16…Kxe7 17.Qd6+ Qxd6 18.Nxd6 +-) 17.Nd6+ Kf8 18.Nxc8 Rxc8 19.Rxc8+ Nxc8 20.Qxd7 Ne7 21.Rc1 g6 22.Rc7 Qb4 23.h3 +-]

Howard-Kechner
British Ch., 1996
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 e6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.O-O a6 8.Be3 h6 9.Re1 Ne5 10.Nxe5 Qxe5 11.Nd5 exd5 12.exd5 Be7 13.Bc5 Qf4 14.Bxe7 Nxe7 15.d6 Qxc4 16.Rxe7+ Kf8 17.Qf3 g6 18.Qf6 Rg8 19.Re8+ 1-0

Klewin-Lau
Hamburg, 2002
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.Qe2 a6 8.O-O b5?! (In combination with …Qc7 this often proves too risky.) 9.Bb3 Bb7 10.Rd1 d6 11.Bf4 Ne5?! 12.Rac1 Bc6?! (12…Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3) 13.Nd4 Ne7 14.Bxe5 dxe5 15.Ndxb5! axb5 16.Nxb5 +- Bxb5 17.Qxb5+ Nc6 18.Rxc6 Rb8!?

19.Rxe6mate 1-0

Milman (2356)-GM Ehlvest (2587)
New York Masters, 2003
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.Nb5 Qb8 9.e5! Ng4 10.Nd6+?! (> 10.Bf4) 10…Bxd6 11.exd6 b5 12.Bb3 O-O 13.h3 Nf6 14.Re1 a5 15.Bg5 a4 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Bc2 Nb4 18.Bb1 Nd5 19.Nh4 Qxd6 20.Qg4+ Kh8

21.Nf5! 1-0

Sami Al Atarji-GM Todorovic (2540)
Belgrade Trophy, Nov. 24 2004
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.Qe2 Ng4 9.g3 (Now this is White’s most common reply. A fianchetto makes it harder to attack the kingside. In most positions.) 9…a6 10.Nd5 Qd8 (Maybe Black can survive after 10…exd5 11.exd5+ Ne7 12.d6 Qxd6 13.Bf4, but why risk it?) 11.h3 Nge5 12.Bf4 d6 13.Ne3 Nxf3+ 14.Qxf3 g5! 0-1

Kobernat (2030)-GM Wojtkiewicz (2610)
Governor’s Cup
South Dakota, 2005
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.h3 a6 9.Qe2 d6 10.Be3 Be7 11.Rac1 O-O 12.Nd4 Bd7 13.f4 b5 14.Nxc6 Qxc6 15.Bd3 Qb7 16.e5 dxe5 17.fxe5 Nd5 18.Nxd5 exd5 19.Qh5 g6 20.Qh6 Rac8 21.Rce1 Bc5?? (Black should have played 21…Qc7 22.Bd4 Bc5, and would have eventually won.) 22.Bxc5 Rxc5 23.e6! Bc6 24.e7 Re8 25.Rxf7 1-0

Leigh Hunt (1964)-Nisha Deolalkikar (1719)
LPCC Ch.
La Palma, CA, 2008
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 e6 5.Bc4 Qc7 6.Qe2 a6 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.Bb3 (Safeguarding the Bishop) 8…g6? (The move …e6 is usually played so Black’s bishop can move to either e7 or b4. Playing …g6 in this position, in conjunction to …e6, creates catastrophic weaknesses along the dark squares.) 9.Bg5! (White immediately takes advantage of the situation.) 9…Bg7 10.Rc1 f6?! (Further weakening Black’s kingside.) 11.Be3 (White is practically winning.) 11…b5 12.Nd5 exd5 13.exd5 Nge7 14.dxc6 dxc6 15.Bc5 Bg4 16.O-O Kf8 (Black might have tried 16.O-O-O, hoping for 17.Bxe7? Rde8!, and while he is not winning, he is not being mated.) 17.Rfe1 Re8 18.Rcd1 h5 19.h3 Bxf3 20.Qe6 Bd5

21.Rxd5! (Threatening 22.Rd7. Meanwhile, White’s rook and two bishops are all en prise, but none of them can be taken because of mate on the next move.) 1-0

Jozsef Visloczki-Tibor Barabas (2097)
Hungarian Team Ch. 2, Mar. 27 2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.Qe2 Ng4 9.g3 a6 10.Rd1? Bc5 (Already, Black has a definite advantage.) 11.Rf1 O-O 12.Bf4 d6 13.Rad1 b5 14.Bb3 h6 15.h4 Nge5 16.Nxe5 dxe5 17.Be3 Nd4 18.Bxd4 exd4 19.Nb1 a5 20.Rc1 Qb6 21.Qh5 Bd6 22.Nd2 Bb7 23.Bc2 Bxg3! 24.Bd3 Bf4 25.Rc2 e5 26.Kh1 f5 27.Rg1 Bxd2 28.Rg6 Rf6 0-1

## Back to School!

Labor Day has traditionally been the last day of summer vacation. It’s a time to go back to school and re-engage the brain.

Perhaps you already started school. But whether you did or not, it’s time to exercise more than a suntan. We have to get you ready for your daily quizzes, your tests, and your exams.

What better way start than a short, but not-so-easy chess quiz?

So……

Here it is! You can’t use the Internet, nor books, and no help from your friends. It is a quiz, after all!

(well…. ok – you can use friendly help.)

Answers and explanations available on PDF file, should you need them (and you will).

# ROB’S BASIC CHESS QUIZ

1) Where did the word, CHECKMATE, come from?

a) The Australians had morbid, slightly amusing, phrase that was most popular during WWII.  It was, “CHECK ON THE MATE PLEASE. HE’S DEAD”.

b) A term in which a sailing ship would briefly hit (or “checked”) another boat in order to board it, esp. in acts of piracy.

c) A Sanskrit phrase meaning “THE KING IS DEAD”.

d) An ancient Pharaoh’s curse.

2) Which chess piece is also the name of a GM?

(a) KING

(b) QUEEN

(c) ROOK

(d) KNIGHT

(e) SPRINGER

3) Who was not a World Chess Champion from the United States before Bobby Fischer?

(a) STEINITZ

(b) BERLINER

(c) LOMBARDY

(d) Trick Question! – Fischer was the first World Champion from the United States

(e) BELLE

4) Which word does not belong?

(a) CHECKMATE

(b) STALEMATE

(c) CASTLING

(d) RESIGNATION

(e) DRAW

5) Which word does not belong?

(a) KING

(b) QUEEN

(c) KNIGHT

(d) CASTLE

(e) PAWN

(f) ROOK

(g) RESIGN

(h) SACRIFICE

(i) ELO

6) Which word does not belong?

(a) PARIS

(b) MOSCOW

(c) VIENNA

(d) BERLIN

(e) BUDAPEST

7) A “RINGED PIECE” refers to:

(a) A pendant that hangs from the neck that is, or features, a chess piece.

(b) A piece of art created by Ringo Starr, who was inspired by Lennon’s chess set that featured two sets of white pieces to indicate harmony.

(c) A piece on the chessboard with a ring around it, indicating that this piece was to be the one to deliver the checkmate.

8) What is the definition of SCACCHIC?

(a) [n. the Computer World Champion for 1981.]

(b) [n. a famous correspondence player of the 1950’s who came up with a new move in the Two Knights Defence.]

(c) [adj. of or relating to chess.]

(d) [adj. referring to the queenside in chess.]

(e) [adj. referring to a dive into the ocean by leaping far off the side of a cliff.]