BODEN’S MATE

Boden’s Mate, also known as a Criss-Cross Mate, occurs when the two bishops mate the enemy king, with each bishop coming from an opposite diagonal from the other. What makes this sacrifice even more delightful is that is frequently preceded by a queen sacrifice.

 
The name Boden is used as he is the first player of master strength to have used this mating pattern. Or at the first to have it well-known.

 

Schulder-Samuel Standidge Boden
London, 1860
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 f5 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.d4 fxe4 6.dxe5 exf3 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.gxf3 Nc6 9.f4 Bd7 10.Be3 O-O-O 11.Nd2 Re8 12.Qf3 Bf5 13.O-O-O d5 14.Bxd5 Qxc3+! (There’s the queen sacrifice.) 15.bxc3 Ba3mate

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But he is not the first. Both Morphy and Horwitz predate him.

 

Paul Morphy-James Thompson
New York, 1859
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.O-O Bb6 7.d4 d6 8.dxe5 Nxe5 9.Nxe5 dxe5 10.Bxf7+ Ke7 11.Qb3 Nf6 12.Ba3+ c5 13.Rad1 Qc7 14.f4 Rf8 15.Bc4 Rd8 16.Rde1 Bd7 17.Bc1 Rf8 18.fxe5 Qxe5 19.Bf4 Qh5 20.Rd1 Kd8 21.e5 Ne8 22.Qa4 Qg4 23.e6 Nf6 24.Rxd7+ Kc8 25.Qc6+! bxc6 26.Ba6mate 1-0

 

And now the ending of one of Horwitz’s games.

 

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It has proven fruitless to discover the complete score of Horwitz’s game. Can someone find the moves leading up to the mate?

 

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A Center Counter victory by Canal is perhaps the best well-known game of Boden’s Mate.

 

Canal-N.N.
Simul
Budapest, 1934
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 c6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Bf4 e6 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 Bb4 9.Be2 Nd7 10.a3 O-O-O

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11.axb4! Qxa1+ 12.Kd2 Qxh1 13.Qxc6+! bxc6 14.Ba6mate 1-0

 

 

Other famous games include the following:

 

Alekhine–Vasic
Banja Luka, 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

 

Elyashov–N.N.
Paris, 1948
1.f4 e5 (From’s Gambit – a good opening to discover many miniatures.) 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.d4 g4 6.Ng5?! f5 7.e4 Be7? 8.Nh3! gxh3 9.Qh5+ Kf8 10.Bc4 Qe8 11.Qh6+! Nxh6 12.Bxh6mate 1-0

 
This one should be better known. White sacrifices his queen AND his rook.

 

Philip Corbin-Othneil Harewood
Friendly Game
Barbados, 1979
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 (The Smith-Morra, another good opening to find miniatures.) 3…dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Bb4!? (A relatively new move. Black doesn’t seem to get much from this move. More common are 6…a6, 6…e6 and 6..Nf6.) 7.O-O Bxc3 8.bxc3 Na5 9.Bd3 Qc7 10.Qe2 Nc6 11.Ba3 Ne5 12.Nxe5 Qxe5 13.f4 Qc7 14.e5 Qxc3 15.Bd6 Ne7 16.Rac1 Qd4+ 17.Kh1 Nc6 18.f5 h5 19.fxe6 dxe6 20.Rxf7! Bd7 21.Qf3 O-O-O

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22.Qxc6+! Bxc6 23.Rxc6+ 1-0

 

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But as you might have expected, a queen sacrifice is not needed to effect the mate.

 

Zukertort–Anderssen
Breslau, 1865
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 4.c3 d6 5.d4 Bd7 6.0-0 Ng6 7.Ng5 h6 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.Bc4+ Ke7 10.Qh5 Qe8 11.Qg5+! (11.Bg5+ hxg5 12.Qxg5# would work just as well.) 11…hxg5 12.Bxg5mate 1-0

 

Reshevsky-Duncan
Simul
Nugent’s Dept. Store, St Louis, Aug. 25 1921
[C40]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.Qe2 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bc5 6.Nxe4 O-O 7.Nxf6+ Qxf6 8.c3 Bd7 9.d4 Bd6 10.Be3 Bf5 11.Nd2 Nd7 12.g3 Rfe8 13.Bg2 Qg6 14.O-O-O c5 15.dxc6 bxc6 16.Bxc6 Rac8 17.Bxd7 Rxc3+ (Only the rook is given up.) 0-1

 

And on rare occasions, no sacrifice is needed.

 

Pandolfini – N.N., 1970
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 exd4 7.Re1 d5 8.Nxd4 Bd6 9.Nxc6 Bxh2+ 10.Kh1 Qh4 11.Rxe4+ dxe4 12.Qd8+ Qxd8 13.Nxd8+ Kxd8 14.Kxh2 f5?? 15.Bg5mate 1–0

Chess in Another Game

Not only do I enjoy chess, but most board games in general (but to a lesser extent, of course).

 

One of these games is Dixit, a party game in which players try to guess which your card by is using a clue that you provided. Similar to Apples to Apples or Card Against Humanity (an adult version of Apples to Apples).

 

You can’t make your clue too easy, else everyone will solve it and you get no points. And if you make your clue too difficult and no one solves it, then again you get no points. Best strategy is having one or two people solve it and you earn three points.

 

So, what does this have to do with chess? Glad you asked! Two of the cards have chess themes in their image. See below.

Dixit_1_A

Dixit_2_A

 

Let’s take the first image. I’ve played this card before, in fact twice. The first time I gave the clue, it was “Berlin, Italian, French, Swiss”. All of these are chess openings, of which one person got it. I’m proud of that clue!

 

Another time I used the clue, “Peace”, as it referred to the dove. But since the clue was spoken, it also referred to “Piece”, as something one would expect to be on a chessboard. I didn’t do as well on that image.

 

The second image is harder to find a clue that doesn’t give it immediately away. Maybe “Bobby and Lisa”, a reference to strongest female and male American players of the 1960’s. Or perhaps, “What does Alice in Wonderland and One Night in Bangkok have in common?” (they both feature chess).

 

Here I digress. If the reader wishes to use chess themes found in a movie, he (or she!) may want to watch this YouTube video, https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=chess+movie#id=2&vid=998433ab7997d2e286c6412590eef4e3&action=click

 

A few pet peeves here. One is the five-minute game of Sherlock Holmes.  Players at that time did not play five- minute games; the chess clocks could not handle the rapid oscillations of fast moving players. Players would instead use a set time of 5 seconds per move, called out by an independent arbitrator. In “Searching for Bobby Fischer”, the clocks are set for five minutes, not two minutes. The chess sets used in the movies tend not to be the sets preferred by most players – too hard to determine pieces and/or the pieces are too fragile to grab and gather them, esp. in speed chess. And finally, most of the movies use Descriptive Notation (DN), such as “Queen takes Knight”, instead of more common, and easier to use, Algebraic Notation (AN). Only Harry Potter gets it right!  

 

But back to the original post!

 

Readers! Do you have any suggestions for these two cards? Would love to hear your opinion!

First Official U.S. Women’s Chess Champion?

I play chess on chess.com. And I’ve read many articles by the members. Some are good, some are bad, and most of them are either interesting, funny, or informative.

 

And some are incredibly researched.

 

“Batgirl”, who is the probably the best in research, gave me permission to repost this article.

 

Originally posted in chess.com on Nov. 28 2016

 

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If you look on Wikipedia, or for that matter on almost any website that mentions it, including the official USCF website and the site of the US Chess Trust,  You will notice that all these places honor Adele Rivero as the first official U.S. Women’s Chess Champion for having won the first tournament organized for that purpose in 1937.

 

Inconceivably, perhaps, all these places are perhaps completely wrong.

 

Contemporary sources indicate that the first official U.S. Women’s Chess Champion was Mona May Karff who won the first tournament designed to establish such a title in 1938.  Adele Rivero would not become an official U.S. Women’s Champion until 1940.

 

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Adele Rivero playing Mona May Karff (a.k.a. N. May Karff) in 1942

 

 

In 1904 and Carrie Kraus received an unexpected Christmas present. She met the man of her dreams. The New Year brought her a new name – Mrs. Frank James Marshall when, on January 5th, she married the man who a year later would be the premier chess player of the United States. It was perfect union. Caroline or Carrie as she was usually called, was pragmatic; Frank was a dreamer.  In 1915 Frank Marshall founded the Marshall Chess Divan which seven years later would be incorporated as the Marshall Chess Club. The Club found itself in various sites over the years but in 1931 it reached its permanent home in a magnificent old brownstone located at 23 West 10th Street, N.Y. By this time, Marshall had retired from international chess and was close to hanging up his U. S. chess champion crown which he had worn since 1909.

 

The American chess scene itself was in a state of flux and confusion. FIDE had established itself tenuously as the worldwide governing body of chess in 1924. Unlike the Soviet Union, the United States recognized FIDE, but America itself had no single, unified chess federation. Both the American Chess Federation (ACF), which could trace its roots back to 1900, and the National Chess Federation (NCF), established in 1927, claimed to speak for the American chess players. While much of the problem would be solved when they unified as the United States Chess Federation (USCF) in 1939, the intervening years would be marked by the contention between these two bodies.  


The Western Chess Association had held tournaments, called the Western  Championships, each year since 1900. Then in 1934, it changed its name to the ACF. The Western Championships evolved into what today is called the U. S. Open. The “Chess Review” magazine, founded by Israel Albert (Al) Horowitz and Isaac Kashdan in 1933, was the “Official Organ of the American Chess Federation.”  When Frank Marshall retired from U.S. chess competition in 1936, he organized an invitational tournament specifically to determine the next U. S. chess champion. This tournament was sponsored by the NCF with the Marshall Club providing the trophy.

 


The Marshall Club, whose members were the wealthy, the influential and the elite, was, like most chess venues, a Men’s Club. But fortunately Caroline Marshall took an active interest in the club. One of her agendas was the establishment, not just of organized women’s chess, but of a women’s championship.  Starting in 1934 with the first women’s tournament of this period held in the Marshall Club, the goal of a U. S. Women’s championship was reached in 1938.

 

The first tournament, held in 1934, was won by Marjorie Seaman who breezed through with a perfect 11-0 score. Adele Rivero came in second with a 9-2 score. The 1935 tournament planned in the Fall had to be  postponed until Spring of the following year.   Adele Rivero won that 1936 tournament with a 5-0 score.

 

 

The first two tournaments were sponsored solely by the Marshall Chess Club, but the 1937 tournament was to be held under the auspices of the National Chess Federation itself with the intention of legitimizing it as a national championship.

 


In 1936 the plans for the 1937 Marshall Club women’s tournament included hopes that the winner would be the officially recognized leading woman player in the U. S. and that, as such, would be sent to participate as America’s representative  to the International Ladies Tournament in Stockholm, basically the women’s world championship, that summer.  Those dreams were only partially realized.

 


According to the preeminent women’s chess chronicler of that time, Edith Weart, after Adele won the 1937 tournament,  “As the tournament this year was sponsored by the National Chess Federation, Mrs. Rivero now holds the title of woman champion of that organization.” You may notice there is absolutely no mention of “U.S.  Women’s Chess Champion.”   In fact, the following year, Edith Weart wrote:  “Feminine chess takes a step forward with the announcement by the National Chess Federation that a tournament will be held in connection with the regular U. S. Championship tournament to determine the U. S. Woman Chess Champion.” This clearly indicated that the 1938 tournament, which was eventually won by Mona May Karff, was the first “title tournament.”

 

Also, Adele Rivero, the winner of the 1937 tournament didn’t go to Stockholm.  Mary Bain, who came in second, went in her place. The event was, of course, won by Vera Menchik.


The preliminaries for the 1938 tournament were to be held in March. In the February 1938 issue of “Chess Review”, Ms. Weart wrote: “Added interest is attached to the preliminaries, because they serve as a qualifying tourney not only for the Marshall C. C. Tournament, but, as well for the U. S. Women’s Championship.” Again, this makes obvious the fact that 1938 was to be the first year the tournament would be played for the national title.

 


The question remains about what happened to the plan to make the winner of the 1937 tournament the U.S. Women’s Chess Champion.  It seems that the right of the National Chess Federation’s right to determine the U.S. Women’s Chess Champion wasn’t fully accepted and, for that reason, the winner of the 1937 ACF title was invited to participate.

 


The winner of the 1937 ACF tournament was Jean Moore Grau of Muscatine, Ohio. Mrs. Grau had the unusual distinction of having drawn against Alekhine in a blindfold simul when she was 17.   Grau proved unable or unwilling to make the arduous journey east  but proposed that she would like to meet the NCF winner someplace midway for a match to determine the best female player in the U.S.  This was agreeable especially since then the title would be the result of a consolidated effort. This match, however, never materialized and the invitation, even unaccepted, to participate in the 1938 tournament seemed to satisfy both organizations enough to declare that the winner of that tournament would be the U.S. Women’s Chess Champion.

 

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