## Micros?

If a miniature is 25 moves or less, then what is a game that is 10 moves or less? This was a vexing question a young teen wanted to answer back in the 1980s.

He wanted to collect these games for both study and fun. But how would he do it?

There was no Internet, no ECOs, and no PGN files. And while libraries did exist, there were only slim sections dedicated to the subject of chess. He asked his friends, at least the ones who played chess. But they didn’t know either.

So, he decided to create his own lexicon and organization for these games.

He first started off by asking himself, when is smaller than a “mini”. Why “micro” of course! And he loved the idea of micros being 10 moves or less as 10 is an easy number remember. And he knew he could memorize games at least 10 moves long. And of course, he didn’t have a word processor so he would have to copy these games by hand. And he was lazy.

So, he set up the following conditions. One, they all had to be 10 moves or less. Two, they would be organized by mates (i.e., winning a king), wining of a queen, winning of a piece, and “others”. Three, the listing of the games needed be flexible to incorporate additional games.

Here is his work.

(P.S.: I added some ECO codes, notes, and additional games  to his original manuscript – RME).

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

# MATING

Fool’s Mate
1.f3 e5 2.g4 Qh4mate 0-1

Scholar’s Mate
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Qf3 Nd4? (> Nf6!) 4.Qxf7mate 1-0

Greco-N.N.,
Rome 1620?
1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 (White is willing to give up his rook to get the king.) Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Nf6 (This is a huge error. Black has to play 6…Bg7 7.gxh7+ Kf8 8.hxg8=Q+ Kxg8 and while White’s rook may fall, Black has to worry about his very exposed king. Amusing by the way, is 6.fxg6 e5? 7.g7+ Ke7 8.Qxe5+ Kf7 9.gxh8=N#) 7.gxh7+ [White is now willing to give up his queen for the forced mate. King safety is more important than safety for the rook or queen, and even both. Note: While 7.g7+ Nxh5 8.gxh8=Q Bxh1 9.Qxh7 would eventually win, the text move is faster, and fast attacks are always better for winning the game (less mistakes possible) and for one’s own ego.] 7…Nxh5 8.Bg6mate 1-0

De Legal-Saint Brie
France, 1750
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 Bg4 4.Nc3 Nc6

5.Nxe5! Bxd1 6.Bxf7+ Ke7 7.Nd5mate 1-0

Arnold-Bohm
Munich, 1932
[B17]
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Qe2 Ngf6?? (If Black insists on moving one of his knights, then 5…Ndf6 is the only way to go.) 6.Nd6mate 1-0 (This game has been repeated dozens of times. Obviously, something to remember.)

Godai-Kieninger
Vienna, 1925
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Bf4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bb4+ 6.Nbd2 Qe7 7.a3 Ngxe5 8.axb4 Nd3mate 0-1 (Another game that has been repeated dozens of time.)

N.N.-Canal
Blindfold Game
New York, 1935
[C20]
1.e4 e5 2.Ne2 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nbc3 Qa5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Nb4 7.Bd2 Bf5 8.Rc1 Bxc2 9.Rxc2 Nd3mate 0-1

Holmberg-Hongset
corres.
Finland, 1962
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.Nxe5 Nc6 4.Qh5+ Ke7 5.Qf7+ Kd6 6.Nc4+ Kc5 7.Qd5+ Kb4 8.a3+ Ka4 9.b3mate 1-0

Teed-Delmar
New York, 1896
1.d4 f5 2.Bg5 h6 3.Bh4 g5 4.Bg3 f4 5.e3 h5 6.Bd3 Rh6 7.Qxh5+! Rxh5 8.Bg6mate 1-0

Hamlich-N.N.
Vienna, 1902
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nd7 3.Bc4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ng5+ Kf6 (6…Ke8 7.Ne6 wins the queen.) 7.Qf3mate 1-0

Rotman-Bornarel
Bern, 1992
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Bg4 4.dxe5 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 dxe5 6.Bc4 f6? 7.Qb3 Qd4?? 8.Bf7+ Ke7 [Stronger is 8…Kd8 9.Bxg8 (not 9.Qxb7 Qb4+ and Black cuts his losses to a single pawn..) 9…Qxe4+ 10.Be3 with the idea of Bd5 +-. An interesting and fun line for White is 10…Rxg8? 11.Qxg8 Qxg2 12.Qxf8+ Kd7 13.Qf7+ Kc6 (not 13…Kc8 14.Qe8#) 14.Nc3!! +- and while Black can restore material equality after 14.Qxh1+ 15.Ke2! Qxa1, he is mated by 15.Qd5#.] 9.Qe6+ Kd8 10.Qe8mate 1-0

# WINNING THE QUEEN

Gibaud-Lazard
Paris 1924
[Note: There is considerable doubt about the authenticity of this game. But it is a nice miniature.]
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nd2 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.h3? [4.Ngf3 Bc5 5.e3 Bxe3 6.fxe3 Nxe3 7.Qe2 Nxc2+ 8.Kd1 Nxa1 9.b3 (9.Ne4!? O-O!? 10.Bg5!? Qe8) d5 10.Bb2 (10.exd6!? Qxd6 11.Bb2) Nxb3 11.axb3 Be6 (11…Bg4 12.e6! Bxe6 13.Bxg7) 12.Qb5+! And with White’s active pieces, the position is suddenly unclear!] 4…Ne3! 0-1

Warren-Sellman
corres., 1930
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.a3 d6 5.exd6 Bxd6 6.g3?? Nxf2 (7.Kxf2 Bxg3+ wins White’s queen.) 0-1

Hernandez Hugo-Clara Melendez Romeo
Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1977
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.Be2 Nc6 5.d4 Bxf3? 6.Bxf3 Qxd4?? 7.Bxc6+ 1-0 (But it is almost certain it was played before. If so, who first played it?)

Sherlukov-Averichin
Moscow, 1979
1.e4 e6 2.d4 f5!?! (The Kingston Defence. It would be more popular, but Black keeps losing.) 3.exf5 exf5 4.Bd3 d6 5.Ne2 Qf6 6.O-O Ne7 7.Re1 Bd7 8.Nf4 Qxd4 9.c3 Qb6 10.Nd5 Qa5 11.Bb5! (11…Bxb5 12.b4 catches the queen.) 1-0

Krejcik-Baumgartner
Troppau, 1914
[C40]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bc5 3.Nxe5 Bxf2+ 4.Kxf2 Qh4+ 5.g3 Qxe4 6.Qe2! Qxh1 7.Bg2 1-0

Kolisch-Geake
Cambridge, 1860
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Bg4 4.dxe5 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 dxe5 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.Qxb7 Qc6? 9.Bb5 1-0

Blatny-Dasek
Chocen, 1950
[B57]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 g6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Ng4 (8…dxe5?? 9.Bxf7+ wins the queen, which as occurred many, many times before. Black has blocked this threat but White finds another way!) 9.e6 f5 10.Bf4 d5

11.Nxd5! cxd5 12.Bb5+ (A tactic worth remembering.) 1-0

Escalante-N.N.
Blitz Game
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.d4 exd4 (Bxd4) 5.Nd5 Qc6 (Qd8) 6.Ne5! Qa4 7.Bb5 Qa5+ (7…Qxb5? 8.Nxc7+ +-) 8.Bd2 Bb4 9.Bxb4 +- 1-0

Arnold-Hanauer
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.d5 Bc5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bxd8 Bxf2 0-1

Donovan-Bisguier
US Open, 1950
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.a3 d6 6.e3 Bf5 7.exd6 Bxd6 8.Be2 Qf6 9.Nd4 Nxf2! 10.Kxf2 Bc2+ 0-1

Kusin-Warfalamejew
Rjasan, 1973
1.e3 e5 2.d4 d5 3.Qf3 e4 4.Qf4 Bd6 0-1

# WINNING A PIECE

Greco-N.N.
Italy, circa 1620
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 Bg4 4.h3 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 Nf6 6.Qb3 Nxe4 7.Bxf7+ Kd7 8.Qxb7 Ng5 9.Bd5 Na6 10.Qc6+ Ke7 11.Qxa8 1-0

Simons-Loewe
London, 1849
1.e4 c5 2.Bc4 e6 3.Nc3 Ne7 4.f4 d5 5.Bb5+ Nbc6 6.d3 d4 7.Nce2 Qa5+ 0-1

IM Shirazi-IM Peters X25
US Ch.
Berkeley, CA, 1984
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.axb4? Qe5+ (Winning a rook.) 0-1 (This game remains the shortest game played in the US Championships.)

Szigethy-Deak
Zalakaros, 1988
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Bg4 4.dxe5 Nd7 5.exd6 Bxd6 6.Be2 Ngf6 7.Bg5 Qe7 8.Nc3 O-O-O 9.O-O Bxf3 10.Bxf3 Qe5 0-1

Escalante (1820)-Howell (1917)
November Budget Special
Westminster C.C., Nov. 19 1994?
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.d4 exd4 5.O-O fxe4 6.Bxg8 Rxg8 7.Ng5 Bf5 8.Qxd4 Qf6 9.Qd5 c6 10.Qxg8 h6 11.Nh7 1-0

# OTHER REASONS

Korody-Bologh, 1933
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.e3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 dxe3 6.Bxb4 exf2 7.Ke2 fxg1=N+[The (in)famous “Lasker Trap”. White loses no matter what he does. And don’t ask me why it’s called the “Lasker Trap” – Bologh played it first!]

8.Rxg1? Bg4+ 0-1

E. Schiller-ACCULAB
corres., 1991
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nd5 Qd6 5.d4 Nxd4 6.Nxd4 exd4 7.Bf4 Qc6 8.Nxc7+ Ke7 9.Nxa8 Qxe4+ 10.Be2 1-0 (Black is completely busted.)

P. Lang-H. Multhopp
World Open, 1995
[A02]
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Nc3 O-O 6.e4 Re8 7.d3 Ng4 8.Be2 Nxh2! 9.Nxh2 Bg3+ 10.Kf1 Qd4 0-1

An interesting draw at the end provides food for thought.

Palatnik (2445)-Balashov (2550)
Voronezh, Russia, 1987
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Bxc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bg4

8.Ng5 Bxd1 9.Bxf7+ Kd7 1/2-1/2

So why didn’t this young man continue his work?

Well, he did. But now he uses a laptop with a word processor.

## Reviewing A Classic

What makes a “classic”? It is something that keeps its value or interest for years or decades.

One book that fits this definition is “100 Soviet Miniatures”.

Beginning in April 1962 issue of the British Chess Magazine (BCM), P.H. Clark wrote a series of articles under the heading of “Soviet Miniatures”. The articles were collected and published together as “100 Soviet Miniatures” in 1963.

The games are short (after all, this is a miniatures book!) and enjoyable. The notes are concise, clear, and revealing. Finally, The book is written for the club player (which includes most of us).

And he is correct in his analysis. The progress of chess theory, even with the constant use of engines, do not overturn his notes. The book appears to be out of print, but you can find a used one on Amazon (which has everything).

The only drawback for some players is that the games and notes are in Descriptive Notation (DN) rather than Algebraic Notation (AN).
I’ve copied two of the 100 games, translated them into AN, and added my notes when necessary. See if you can’t agree, this book is a classic.

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

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

M. Yudovitch Jr.-Strom
Team Ch. Of the “Spartak” Club
Moscow, 1961
[B40]
[P.H. Clark, “Soviet Miniatures”, BCM, Sept. 1962, pg. 266]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.e5 Ne4 7.Qg4 Qa5 8.Qxe4 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qxc3+ 10.Kd1 Qxa1 11.Nb5! d5!

[Black played the weaker 11…Kd8 in Tamas Ruck (2310)-Zsolt Korpics (2355), Koszeg, Hungary, 1996 and got promptly punished after 12.c3! Qxa2 13.Bg5+ f6 14.exf6! +- Qa1+ 15.Kd2 Qb2+ 16.Qc2 Qxc2+ 17.Kxc2

1-0 (White threatens 18.f7#. On other moves Black loses the rook, and the game, to 18.fxg7+.) – RME]

12.exd6 Na6 13.d7+ Kxd7?

[As Koifman demonstrated, the correct policy was to sacrifice a piece by 13…Bxd7 14.Qxb7 O-O! In the centre the black King is far more exposed that White’s, which soon finds a safe post at e2.

We assume Clark meant Ilya Koifman, the Russian master.

Alexander Kuzovkin-Ilya Koifman
Moscow Burevestnik- Ch., 1974
(B79)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Bc4 O-O 8.Bb3 Nc6 9.f3 Bd7 10.Qd2 Qa5 11.O-O-O Rfc8 12.Rhe1 Ne5 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bxh6 Bxh6 15.Qxh6 Rxc3 16.bxc3 Qa3+ 17.Kb1 a5 18.Qc1 Qc5 19.a3 a4 20.Ba2 Ra6 21.Re3 Rb6+ 22.Ka1 Nc4 23.Bxc4 Qxc4 24.Qd2 e5 25.Ne2 Be6 26.Nc1 d5 27.exd5 Nxd5 28.Rde1 Bf5 29.Rxe5 Qb5 30.Nd3 Bxd3 31.cxd3 Qc5 32.Qc1 Rb3 33.Rxd5 Rxa3+ 34.Kb2 Qb6+ 35.Kc2 Qb3+ 36.Kd2 Ra2+ 37.Ke3 Qxd5 38.d4 Rxg2 0-1.]

14.Bc4 Rd8 15.Ke2 Ke8 16.Re1 (Threatening 17.Bg5. White is now fully developed and is ready for the attack.) 16…Qf6 17.Qxh7 b6 (In order to be able to block the enemy c4-Bishop by …Nc5 after 18.Qh8+ Ke7 19.Ba3+.) 18.Ba3 Bb7 (Now he has the square c1 for his King, White therefore decides to recover the exchange.) 19.Nd6+ Rxd6 20.Bxd6 Qg5 (Defending against 21.Bb5+ Kd8 Qh8#. White replies by renewing the threat of the Bishop check, and this time it cannot be stopped.) 21.Qd3 Nc5 22.Bb5+ Nd7 23.c4 (Since the immediate 23.Bxd7+ Kxd7 24.Bf4+ would be met by 24…Qd5. Now 23…Qd8 permits the white Queen to return to h7 and force the win, so Black is reduced to desperation.) 23…Qxg2 24.Bc7 Bc6 (24…Bc8 was useless because of 25.Rd1 Qg4+ 26.Kf1 e5 27.Bc6, etc. The text move gives White the chance to bring off a more striking finish on the same lines.) 25.Rg1!

(If the Rook is captured then 24.Bxc6 wins; while 25…Qe4+ 26.Qxe4 Bxe4 loses to 27.Rd1. So -) 1-0

Remeniuk-Stein
Ukraine Ch.
Kharkhov, 1959
[B80]
[P.H. Clarke, “100 Soviet Chess Miniatures”, Game # 45]
(While there was a certain air of the rustic about the last two games, the next is more elegant and thereby a finer illustration of the virtues of the modern approach. Black selects a variation very much in vogue at present, and his opponent evidently decides that the second player ought not to be allowed to get away with such transgressions of the natural laws. Accordingly, he sacrifices first a piece and then the exchange and pursues the whole attack with great vigour to the end. When it is over one is left with the impression that whatever the final word is as to the correctness of the initial offer, White really had created something.) 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Bg5 (The value of this move is not so clear here because Black, having already moved his e-pawn, can immediately drive off the Bishop without having his pawn structure affected.) 6…h6 7.Be3 (After 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Ndb5 Qd8 White makes no progress and the absence of his important black-squared Bishop may be felt in the long run. – Clark is entirely right – RME) 7…a6 8.Qf3 (Concentrating on rapid development – the opposite to Black.) 8…Qc7 9.O-O-O b5 (Safer is 9…Nc6 to be followed by …Bd7 and …0-0-0. White is so indignant at the sight of the text move, which disdains the principle he himself has been so careful to keep, that he there and then determines to punish the offender.) 10.Bxb5+!? axb5 11.Ndxb5 Qc6? (In spite of appearances to the contrary 11…Qd7 is a better defence; the intention is to answer 12.e5 with 12…Bb7 and thus gain a valuable tempo. Indications are that Black should be able to hold the position, but with all the possibilities at White’s disposal it would be a very difficult task in practice. Here are some variations: 11…Qd7 12.e5 Bb7 13.Qg3 Ne4 14.Nxe4 Qxb5 15.Nxd6+ Bxd6 16.exd6 Rxa2 17.Qxg7 Ra1+ 18.Kd2 Qd5+ 19.Bd4 Rxd1+ 20.Rxd1 Rf8 and still the outcome is unclear ; 11…Qd7 12.Nxd6+ Bxd6 13.e5 Bb7 14.Qg3 Bxe5 15.Qxg7 Rg8 16.Rxd7 Rxg7 17.Rxb7 with a complicated ending ; 11…Qd7 12.Rd2 Bb7 13.Rhd1 Nxe4 14.Nxe4 Qxb5 15.Rxd6 Nc6 with chances for both sides.) 12.e5! (The point now is that after the exchange of Queens there is Nc7+, and this disorganizes Black completely.) 12…Nd5 (Holding everything…until the next crashing blow.) 13.Rxd5! exd5 14.Nxd5 Bb7 (Although he has an extra Rook, Black is without resource against all White’s threats, e.g. 14…Be6 15.Ndc7+ Kd8 16.Qxc6 and Nxa8 ; 14…Bd7 15.Nbc7+ Kd8 16.Qxf7 dxe5 17.Nxa8 Qxa8 18.Rd1 with a winning attack ; 14…Rxa2 15.Kb1 Ra5 16.Nbc7+ Kd8 17.Qxf7 dxe5 (otherwise e5-e6 comes.) 18.Rd1 and again White should win. In every case Black pays the penalty for not having brought his men out earlier.) 15.Nbc7+ Kd8 16.Qxf7

16…Na6 (White threatened to mate beautifully by 17.Ne6+ Kc8 18.Qe8+! Qxe8 19.Nb6#. The text move permits another delightful finish, in which the White Knights leap and prance around the Black King.) 17.Ne6+ Kc8 18.Nb6+ Kb8 19.Nd7+ 1-0

## THE HORIZON EFFECT

Wikipedia defines the horizon effect as: a problem in artificial intelligence whereby, in many games, the number of possible states or positions is immense and computers can only feasibly search a small portion of them, typically a few plies down the game tree. Thus, for a computer searching only five plies, there is a possibility that it will make a detrimental move, but the effect is not visible because the computer does not search to the depth of the error (i.e., beyond its “horizon”).

What it means, in more understandable words, is that when a chess computer finds a move, or a series of moves, that loses material, or some other advantage, it stops analyzing that move or series of moves. This can lose the game, or at least the advantage, as it fails to see a strong reply or the continuation of play that will allow it to retain or increase its advantage.

An early example of the horizon effect can be found in this game.

De Legal-Saint Brie?
France, 1750
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 Bg4 4.Nc3 Nc6

5.Nxe5 Bxd1?? (There were many computers in the early 1980’s would simply take the offered queen, as it was taught that being up a queen would lead to victory and would therefore stop analyzing. This simple trap caused consternation and scorn by some players as they wanted a “serious” chess computer. By the way, this trap is known as De Legal’s mate.) 6.Bxf7+ Ke7 7.Nd5mate 1-0

A more recent example can be found in this game:

Escalante-“andersonwillians” (1511)
Najdorf Thematic Tournment
Chess.com, July-August 2019
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 g6 7.f3 Bg7 8.Be3 O-O 9.Qd2 Nc6 10.O-O-O Bd7 (The Najdorf has transposed into a Dragon, B77 to be exact.) 11.g4 Rc8 12.Be2 Ne5 13.h4 Nc4 14.Bxc4 Rxc4 15.h5 Qc7 16.Kb1 Rc8 17.hxg6 hxg6 18.Nde2 (This is an important move as it provides another piece to guard c3 and puts a stop to Black’s attack.) 18…Be6 19.Bh6 Bh8?

20.Bf8! (This keeps the Black’s king from escaping to the center.) 20…Kxf8 (Not 20…Rxf8 21.Qh6! +-. Best for Black is 20…Nh5 21.Rxh5 gxh5 22.Qh6 Rxf8 23.Rh1 Bg7 24.Qxh5, and now if 24…f5 25.Nf4! wins on the spot.) 21.Rxh8+ Ng8

22.Rxg8+! (The chess.com computer recommends 22.Qh6+ Ke8 23.Rxg8+ Kd7 24.Rxc8 Qxc8 25.e5 Kc7 26.exd6+ exd6, when White is obviously winning. But the text move is better as it leads to a forced mate. So why did chess.com computer miss this move? Probably because it saw that White loses the exchange and concluded that’s not a good way to proceed. So it stopped analyzing.) 22…Kxg8 23.Qh6! f6 (Black is in Zugzwang, as his king is paralyzed and he can’t get help in time. 23…d5 24.Rh1 +-) 24.Qxg6+ Kf8 25.Rh1 1-0 (25…Bg8 26.Rh8 e6 and now either 27.Qxg8+ or 27.Rxg8+ mates.)

## Najdorf Miniatures

I’ve entered another Najdorf thematic tournament. This is a good way to (really) learn an opening.

There are many approaches to learning an opening. One can consult an expert in the variation (but illegal once the games begin). Another approach is to gather up the books, a board, pens, paper, and some highlighters.

My favorite approach to play over some miniatures and learn some tactics and ways to take down an opponent quickly. It saves time on studying. Extra time to take down other opponents. Plus, it’s fun!

Here are some Najdorf miniatures.

They are breathtaking in their elegance, clarity, and forcefulness. And they all begin with the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6.

To warm up the tactic monster in you we’ll start with some games that are not exactly main line.

Markus Loeffler (2426)-J. Ramseier
Ticino Open
Mendrisio, Oct. 30 1999
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Qf3!? (Not exactly book, but White is trying to lay claim to some key squares.) 6…Qc7 7.Bg5 Nbd7 8.O-O-O b5 9.Nd5 Qa5 10.Nc6 1-0

GM Onischuk (2581)-IM Bajarani (2417)
Voronezh Master Open
Russia, June 14 2013
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Nb3!? g6 7.Be2 Bg7 8.O-O O-O 9.Re1 Nbd7 10.a4 b6 11.Be3 Bb7 12.f3 Qc7 13.Qd2 Rfe8 14.Red1 Rac8 15.Bf1 Nc5 16.Qf2 Nfd7 17.Nd4 Qb8 18.Rd2 Ne5 1-0

GM David Anton Guijarro (2631)-GM Hao Wang (2729)
FIDE World Blitz Ch.
Dubai, June 19 2014
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Qd3!? Nbd7 7.Be2 Nc5 8.Qe3 e6 9.Bd2 Be7 10.g4 d5 11.exd5 exd5? 12.O-O-O O-O 13.f3 Bd7 14.g5 Nh5? 15.f4 g6 16.Bxh5 gxh5 17.Nxd5 Re8 18.Bc3 Bg4 19.Nf5! Bxf5 20.Qe5 f6 21.Qxf5 Qc8 22.Nxf6+ 1-0

6.Rg1 is relatively unexplored and rare in OTB tournaments. Just perfect for correspondence play!

M. Mahjoob (2510)-R. Kalugampitiya (2135)
Tata Steel Team Ch.
Kolkata, India, Dec. 27 2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Rg1!? (White takes command of the g-file, important in many variations of the Najdorf.) 6…b5 7.g4 Bb7 8.g5 Nxe4 9.Nxe4 Bxe4 10.Qg4 Bb7 11.Bg2 Bxg2 12.Qxg2 Nd7

13.g6! e6 (Black can’t take the pawn due to 13…hxg6 14.Ne6! fxe6 15.Qxg6#. If instead Black moves his queen, then White wins material. I’ll you figure it out.) 14.gxf7+ Kxf7 15.Bg5 Qc8 16.O-O-O Ra7 17.Nxe6 1-0

Here are two more games with the interesting 6.Rg1!?.

G. Garcia Memorial
Santa Clara, Cuba, June 2 2004
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Rg1 e5 (A common reply to 6.Rg1.) 7.Nb3 h5 8.Bg5 Be6 9.Qd2 Nbd7 10.O-O-O Rc8 11.f4 Be7 12.f5 Bc4 13.Bxc4 Rxc4 14.Qd3 b5 15.Rge1 Qc8 16.Bxf6 Nxf6 17.Re2 Qc7 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.Qxd5 O-O 20.f6 Bxf6 21.Qxd6 Bg5+ (22.Kb1 Rd8 23.Qxc7 Rxd1+ 24.Nc1 Rxc1#.) 0-1

Wojciech Moranda (2451)-Roman Nechepurenko (2431)
European Jr. Ch.
Herceg Novi, Sept. 2005
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Rg1 e5 7.Nb3 b5 8.g4 Bb7 9.Bg2 b4 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Be7 12.a3 bxa3 13.Rxa3 a5 14.Ra4 Nd7 15.Bd2 Nb6 16.Bxa5 Qc8 17.Ra2 O-O 18.Nc1 Nc4 19.Bc3 Rxa2 20.Nxa2 Qc5 21.Be4 Bh4 22.Qe2 Ra8 23.b3 Rxa2 24.bxc4 Ra3 (White faces the embarrassing 25.Bb2 Re3! -+) 0-1

The move 6.a4 leads to a slower game. But one can lose the game just as quickly.

Karasov-Korsunsky
Sevastopol, 1978
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 e6 7.a5 b5 8.axb6 Qxb6 9.Be3 Ng4 10.Qxg4 Qxb2 11.Bb5 Nd7 12.Kd2 axb5 13.Rxa8 Ne5 14.Qe2 Nc4 15.Qxc4 bxc4 16.Rxc8 Kd7 17.Ra8 1-0

Balashov-Sunye Neto
Wijk aan Zee, 1982
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 e5 7.Nf3 h6 8.Bc4 Qc7 9.Bb3 Be6 10.O-O Nbd7 11.Nh4 g5 12.Nf5 Nc5 13.Ne3 Nxb3 14.cxb3 Rd8 15.Bd2 Bg7 16.Rc1 Qb8 17.Ncd5 Nxd5 18.exd5 Bd7 19.h4 Bf6 20.Qf3 Ke7 21.Bb4 b5 22.Rc6 1-0

The move 6.Be3 is an interesting combination of tactics and strategy. It’s played by many Grandmasters. Let’s take a close look.

Perenyi-Lengyel, 1983
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 b5 7.a4 bxa4 8.Rxa4 e6 9.Bb5+ Nfd7 10.O-O Bb7 11.Bc4 Nc5 12.Rb4 Qc8 13.f4 Be7 14.f5 e5 15.f6 exd4 16.fxg7 Rg8 17.Bxf7+ Kd7 18.Rxb7+! 1-0

Nicolau (2290)-Nowarra
Subotica, Yugoslavia, 1967
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.Qf3 Nbd7 8.O-O-O Qc7 9.Be2 Ne5 10.Qg3 b5 11.f4 Nc4 12.e5 dxe5 13.fxe5 Nxe3 14.Qxe3 Nd7 15.Rhf1 Nxe5 16.Ncxb5 axb5 17.Bxb5+ Bd7 18.Bxd7+ Nxd7 19.Qf3 Nb6 20.Nb5 1-0

IM J. Peters (2572)-O. Maldonado (2275)
American Open
Los Angeles, Nov. 1995
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 e6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qd2 a6 9.O-O-O Qc7 10.f4 O-O 11.Rhg1 Re8 12.g4 Nd7 (Jack Peters suggested 12…Nxd4 13.Bxd4 e5.) 13.g5 Rb8 14.h4 b5 15.h5 b4

16.g6! (Again, the move g6. Maybe there is something to attacking with one’s own g-pawn.) 16…Nc5 17.gxf7+ Kxf7 18.Nf5! exf5 19.Bc4+ Kf8 20.Bxc5 Na5 21.Qd5 1-0

White can try to include a Keres Attack (an early g4) plan with Be3. But that idea seems risky.

GM Shirov (2746)-GM Van Wely (2643)
Istanbul Ol
Turkey, 2000
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 e5 8.Nf5 g6 9.g5 gxf5 10.exf5 d5 11.Qf3 d4 12.O-O-O Nbd7 13.Bd2 Qc7 14.gxf6 dxc3 15.Bxc3 Qc6 16.Qg3 Qxh1 17.Bg2 Bh6+ 18.Bd2 Bxd2+ 19.Kxd2 Qxg2 20.Qxg2 a5 21.f4 exf4 22.Qg7 Rf8 23.Re1+ Kd8 24.Re7 Kc7 25.Qxf8 1-0

GM Alexander Onischuk (2660)-GM Bologan (2668)
Poikovskii International
Russia, 2001
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 e5 8.Nf5 g6 9.g5 gxf5 10.exf5 d5 11.Qf3 d4 12.O-O-O Nbd7 13.Bd2 Bd6 14.Bc4 Qc7 15.Bb3 dxc3 16.Bxc3 e4 17.Rhe1 Be5 18.Rxe4 Nxe4 19.Qxe4 O-O 20.Rxd7 Bf4+ 0-1

Shapiro (2251)-Mirabile (2202)
National Chess Congress
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 e5 8.Nf5 g6 9.g5 gxf5 10.exf5 d5 11.Qf3 d4 12.O-O-O Nbd7 13.Bd2 dxc3 14.Bxc3 Qc7 15.gxf6 Nxf6 16.Bd3 Bh6+ 17.Kb1 Bf4 18.Rde1 Qe7 19.Qxf4 1-0

I do not know what is the best response to the Keres. But I do know that …h6 is perhaps not the best response.

Horvath (2350)-Schinzel (2385)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 h6 8.Qf3 Nc6 9.Rg1 Ne5 10.Qh3 Nexg4 11.Rxg4 e5 12.Nf5 g6 13.Rh4 gxf5 14.exf5 d5 15.O-O-O d4 16.f4 Qa5 17.fxe5 dxc3 18.exf6 Qxa2 19.Re4+ Be6 20.Rxe6+ 1-0

GM Svidler-GM Topalov
Elista, 1998
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 h6 8.f4 e5 9.Nf5 h5 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.Qxd5 g6 12.O-O-O gxf5 13.exf5 Nc6 14.Bc4 Qf6 15.fxe5 Nxe5 16.g5 Qxf5 17.Bb3 Qf3 18.Qd2 Qc6 19.Rhf1 Be6 20.Bxe6 fxe6 21.Rf6 O-O-O 22.Rxe6 Bg7 1-0

R. Sullivan-D. Dimit
corres., prison game, 2003
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 h6 8.f4 b5 9.Bg2 Bb7 10.g5 hxg5 11.fxg5 b4 12.Na4 Nxe4 13.Qg4 d5 14.Bxe4 dxe4 15.O-O-O Bd5 16.Nxe6 TN fxe6 17.Nb6 Nd7 18.Nxd5 exd5 19.Qe6+ Be7?! 20.Qg6+ +- Kf8 21.Rhf1+ 1-0

The most common response to the Najdorf is 6.Bg5. It leads to fascinating combinations with many ideas. I know I will face it at least once in the tournament.

Book-Naegili
Munich Ol., 1936
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 Be7 8.O-O-O Qc7 9.f4 b5 10.e5 dxe5 11.Bxb5+ axb5 12.Ndxb5 Qb6 13.fxe5 Rxa2 14.Kb1

14…Ne4! 15.Nxe4 Rxb2+! 16.Kxb2 Qxb5+ 0-1

Matov-GM Fischer
Vinkovci, 1968
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Be2 Qb6 9.Qd2 Qxb2 10.Rb1 Qa3 11.O-O Nbd7 12.f5 Ne5 13.Kh1 O-O 14.Rb3 Qc5 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Na4 Nc4 17.Qf4 Qxd4 18.Rd3 Qe5 19.Qg4 exf5 20.exf5 Ne3 0-1

Svensson (2386)-J. Zimmermann (2327)
Spiltan Fonder IM
Gothenburg, Sweden, Aug. 15 2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Be7 9.e5 Ng8 10.exd6 Qxd6 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.O-O-O Bd7 13.g3 Nc6 14.Bg2 O-O-O 15.Bxc6 bxc6 16.Rhe1 Nh6 17.Qd3 Kb7 18.Qc4 c5 19.Nb3 Ka7 20.Re5 Nf5 21.Rxc5 Rc8 22.g4 1-0

Vitolins-Anetbayev
USSR, 1975
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.O-O-O Nbd7 10.Qg3 b5 11.Bxb5 axb5 12.Ndxb5 Qb8 13.e5 dxe5 14.fxe5 Nxe5 15.Rhe1 Nc4 16.Qc7! +- Nd5 17.Rxd5 O-O 18.Bxe7 1-0

Wedberg-Bernard
Sweden, 1983
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 h6 9.Bh4 Qc7 10.O-O-O Nbd7 11.Be2 Rb8 12.Qg3 O-O 13.Rhf1 Nb6?! (This move seems too slow.) 14.Kb1 Bd7 15.Qe1 Na4 16.Nxa4 Bxa4 17.Bd3 Bd7 18.g4 Nxg4 19.Rg1 Nf6 20.e5 dxe5 21.fxe5 Nd5 22.Qg3 g5 23.Bxg5! Bxg5

24.Qxg5+!! 1-0 [Because of 24…hxg5 (forced) 25.Rxg5+ Kh8 26.Rh5+ Kg7 27.Rg1#]

New ideas can come from relatively unknown sources. This one is from a 1973 issue of Tennessee Chess News.

Robert Coveyou-Ed Porter
Tennessee, 1973
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.O-O-O Nbd7 10.Bd3 b5 11.Rhe1 Bb7 12.Qg3 b4 13.Nd5! exd5 14.exd5 Nc5 15.Nf5 O-O 16.Rxe7 Qb6 17.Bxf6 Nxd3+ 18.Kb1 1-0

New ideas can come also come from correspondence games. Here are two of them.

Rott-Daneker
corres., 1971/3
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 b5 8.e5 dxe5 9.fxe5 Qc7 10.Qe2 Nfd7 11.O-O-O Bb7 12.Qg4 h5 13.Nxe6! Qc6 14.Qe4 Qxe6 15.Qxb7 Qc6 16.Rxd7 1-0

Schuler-Kammel
corres., 1967
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 b5 8.e5 dxe5 9.fxe5 Qc7 10.Nf3 b4 11.Nb5 axb5 12.exf6 Nd7 13.Bxb5 Ra5 14.Qe2 gxf6 15.Bxf6 Rg8 16.Nd4 Qb6 17.Bxd7+ Bxd7 18.O-O-O Rxa2 19.Kb1? (>19.Nb3) 19…Ra8 20.Nb3 (And now it’s too late!) 20..Qa7 (21.Kc1 Bh6+ 22.Rd2 Qa1+ 23.Nxa1 Rxa1#) 0-1

We’ll stop here and allow you to catch your breath.

Until next time.

## FIREWORKS

Fourth of July in the US is considered our Independence Day. A day we love to celebrate with parades, hot dogs, ball games, barbeques, and fireworks.

We can’t provide the parades, ball games, barbeques, and our hot dogs are reserved. But we can give you fireworks. Check out these games.

Keres-Siitam
Estonia Jr. Ch.
Parnu, 1933
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 (This opening is known as the Mason or Keres Gambit. By either name, it leads to many tactical games.) 3…Nc6 4.d4 Bb4!? 5.Bxf4 Qh4+ 6.g3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Qe7 8.Bg2 d6 9.Nf3 Qxe4+ 10.Kf2 Bf5 11.Re1 Qxe1+ 12.Qxe1+ Nge7 13.d5 O-O 14.dxc6 Bxc2 15.Qxe7 Rae8 16.Qxc7 Re4 17.cxb7 Rfe8 18.b8=Q Re2+ 19.Kg1 Rxg2+ 20.Kxg2 Rxb8 21.Qxb8mate 1-0

Here are is another Keres/Mason Game. Black has the advantage after 6.…Ba6+. Now try to find Black’s best moves from this point.

corres.
PCCA Gambit Tournament, 1911
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 Qh4+ 5.Ke2 b6! 6.Nf3 Ba6+ 7.Kd2 Qf2+ 8.Ne2 Nb4 9.a3 Nf6 10.Qe1 d5 11.Kc3 Nxe4+ 12.Kb3 Bc4+ 13.Ka4

13…b5+ (Alex Dunne, writing in the Dec. 2000 issue of Chess Life, notes that 13…a5 14.Nc3 Qxc2+ 15.b3 Qxb3# wins faster. Would you have found that idea?) 14.Ka5 Nc6+ 15.Ka6 b4+ 16.Kb7 Rb8+ 17.Kxc6 Rb6+ 18.Kxc7 Bd6+ 19.Kc8 Ke7mate 0-1

Victor Knox (2320)-Krzysztof Pytel (2381)
Manchester, 1981
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Bd2 Ne7 6.Nb5 O-O 7.c3 (7.Bxb4 doesn’t seem to fare too well. Vasiliev (1703)-Lysakov (2032) Petr Izmailov Memorial, Tomsk, Russia, June 13 2013, continued with 7…cxb4 8.Nd6 Nbc6 9.Nf3 f6 10.Bd3 fxe5 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Nxc8 Nxd3+ 13.Qxd3 Rxc8 14.O-O-O Ng6 15.h4 Nf4 16.Qe3 Qf6 17.Qxa7 Ra8 18.Qd4 Ne2+ 0-1) 7…Ba5 8.dxc5 Bc7 (> 8…Ng6) 9.f4 Nd7 10.b4 b6 11.cxb6 Nxb6 12.Nf3 Bb7 (Black is coming close to equality, or at least an unclear position. However, he needs to either active his kingside or defend it. He does neither.) 13.Bd3 Nc4? (Now comes the thematic Bxh7+ and subsequent king walk.)

14.Bxh7+! Kxh7 15.Ng5+ Kg6 16.Qg4 f5 17.Qg3 Qd7 (17…Qc8 18.Nc7) 18.Nxe6+ Kf7 19.Qxg7+ Kxe6 20.Nd4mate 1-0

Escalante-“Me4ok” (1846)
corres.
http://www.chess.com, 2019
[B57]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 d6 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Nh5 9.e6?

(This is what sometimes happens when I analyze a game in my head. Most of the time, this is not problem. But this time I thought he had played 8…Ng4, and 9.e6 works well in that variation.

By the way, after 8…Nh5, 9.Qf3 is considered the best move here. A few games illustrate the possibilities.

GM Fischer-N.N.
Simul
New York, 1963
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 g6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Nh5 9.Qf3 e6 (9…d5? 10.Nxd5! cxd5 11.Bxd5) 10.g4 Ng7 11.Ne4 Qa5+ (11…d5? 12.Nf6+ Ke7 13.Qa3+ Qd6 14.Qxd6#) 12.Bd2 Qxe5 13.Bc3 (The black queen is trapped.)

1-0

Sarapu-Cornford
New Zealand Ch.
Christchurch, 1967
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 g6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Nh5 9.Qf3 e6 10.exd6 Qxd6 11.g4 Ng7 12.Bf4 e5 13.Bxf7+ Kd7 14.Rd1 exf4 15.O-O Ba6 16.Ne4 Bxf1 17.Nxd6 Bxd6 18.Qxf4 1-0

Mayerhofer (2203)-Klimes (2365)
IPCA World Cup
Czech Republic, 2003
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 g6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Nh5 9.Qf3 d5 10.Nxd5 e6 11.Nc3 Bb7 12.O-O Be7 13.Bh6 Bg5 14.Rad1 Qe7 15.Bxg5 Qxg5 16.Ne4 Qe7 17.Nd6+ Kf8 18.Nxf7 Qxf7 19.Qxf7+ Kxf7 20.Rd7+ Kf8 21.Rxb7 Ng7 22.Rd1 a5 23.Rdd7 Nf5 24.Bxe6 1-0

De Haas (2171)-Bakker
Nova Open
Haarlem, July 2 2004
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 g6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Nh5 9.Qf3 d5 10.Nxd5 cxd5 11.Bxd5 Rb8

12.Bxf7+ Kd7 13.Qd5+ Kc7 14.Qc5+ Kb7 15.Bd5+ Ka6 16.Qc6+ 1-0

Now let’s get back to the original game.)

9…fxe6! (Oops! Black definitely has the advantage.) 10.Qf3 (Trying to keep Black from castling.) 10…d5! (Another good move. This bolsters his pawn structure.) 11.Bb3 (Forced. White wants to keep the bishop on the diagonal.) 11…Bg7 12.Bg5 Nf6? (Black could have tried 12.Rf8, and forgo castling to use the open “f” file.) 13.O-O-O O-O!? [Seems safe. But White’s bishop is still on the diagonal. If Black’s plan is king safety (always important), then he probably should hide his king on h8.] 14.Qg3 c5? (Again, …Kh8 is called for. All this move does is loosen his pawn structure. Perhaps he wanted to push …c4, getting rid of the bishop. But this approach is too slow.) 15.Rhe1 (White’s development is now superior, for the cost of a pawn. His bishop is about to become very active.) 16…Bd7? 16.Bxf6! (The start of a combination to open lines against the enemy king.) 16…exf6

17.Nxd5! Kh8 [Now he moves his king to safer square. But he loses a critical tempo in the process. By the way, taking the knight leads to immediate disaster. I’ll let the reader figure it out the moves (it’s more fun that way!)] 18.Nc7 +- Qe7 19.Nxa8 Rxa8 20.Qc7 Rd8 21.Rxe6 Bh6+ 22.Kb1 Bxe6 23.Rxd8+ 1-0

GM Fabiano Caruna (2652)-GM Konstantin Landa (2664)
Torneo di Capodanno
Reggio Emilia, Italy, June 1 2010
[C42]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Qd2 Be6 9.O-O-O Qd7 10.Kb1 Bf6 11.h4 h6 12.Nd4 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Bxd4 14.Qxd4 O-O (So far, we are still in “book”.) 15.Rg1 [White played 15.Be2 in GM R. Ponomariov (2751)-GM Hao Wang (27433), Kings Tournament, Bucharest, Oct. 11 2013, with the continuation of 15…Rae8 16.Bf3 b6 17.g4 Qb5 18.g5 Qc4 19.gxh6 Qxd4 20.Rxd4 gxh6 21.Bc6 Rd8 22.Ra4 a5 23.b4 axb4 24.cxb4 Bd7 25.Bxd7 Rxd7 26.Re1 Kg7 27.Kb2 Kg6 28.Ra3 Kh5 29.Rg3 f5 30.Re6 b5 31.Kb3 f4 32.Rgg6 Rh7 33.f3 Rf5 34.c4 bxc4+ 35.Kxc4 Re5 36.Ref6 Kxh4 37.Rxf4+ Kh3 38.Rfg4 h5 39.Rg3+ Kh2 40.Rg2+ Kh1 41.Rg1+ Kh2 42.R6g2+ Kh3 43.Rg7 Rxg7 44.Rxg7 Re3 45.a4 Ra3 46.Kb5 c5 47.bxc5 1/2-1/2. Caruna’s move seems clearer and stronger.] 15…Rae8 16.g4 Qc6 17.Bg2 Qa6 18.b3 Bd7 19.g5 h5 20.g6 Re7 21.Bd5 Be6 22.Rde1 c5 23.Qd1 Rfe8 24.Qxh5! +- fxg6

25.Rxe6! (Black resigned as he gets checkmated after 25…Rxe6 26.Qxg6. Or he could play on by taking the queen first, and then still get mated after 25…gxh5 26.Rxe7+ Kh7 27.Be4+ Kg8 28.Rgxg7+ Kh8 29.Rh7+ Kg8 30.Rxe8# .) 1-0

“jovialdick” (2178)-“blueemu” (2297)
Match
Team Malaysia vs The Canadian Team
chess.com, Aug. 2018
[This game can be found in a forum titled, “A Heroic Defense in the Sicilian Najdorf – Kids, don’t try this at home!” on chess.com. Notes in green are by Escalante, those in red by “blueemu”. I hesitate to include any diagrams, since virtually every move after White 10th would necessitate a diagram.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.f4 (Another common move here is 9.Qf3, with the idea of activating pieces over using the kingside pawns to cramp and attack Black’s position.) 9…Bb7 (Black’s only good idea with his white bishop is to fianchetto it. He has play it soon anyway.) 10.e5 (This move is the direct result of White’s previous move. The attack, however, is double-edged as White’s king is not exactly safe if his attack should fail.) 10…dxe5 11.fxe5 Bc5 12.Be3 Nc6 13.exf6 Bxd4 14.fxg7 [Another crazy possibility (pointed out by one of the Master-strength players who was drawn by the carnage) was 14 Nd5!? instead of the piece sacrifice 14. fxg7 that White actually played.] 14…Bxe3+ 15.Kh1 Rg8 16.Bxe6 Rxg7 17.Bxf7+ Rxf7 18.Qh5 Ne5 [Florian, writing in Informant 19, game 453, gives this move “!!” and a -+. The game, Cervenka (2190)-A. Schneider (2266), Czechoslovakia, 1974, continued after 18…Ne5!! -+, with 19.Qxe5+ (19.Rae1 Qg5! -+ ; 19.Rf5 Qd2, are again Florian’s notes to the game.) 19…Qe7 20.Qh8+ Kd7 21.Rad1+ (or 21.Rxf7 Qxf7 22.Qe5 Bxg2+ 23.Kxg2 Rg8+ 24.Kh3 Qf3+ 0-1, as in Kaleb-Sostra, corres., Keres Memorial, 1982) 21… Ke6 0-1. Back to original game. ; Black is indeed winning after 18. … Ne5!! but I messed up on move 20 with 20. … Rd8?! allowing White to head into a very drawish position by swapping everything off on f7 after 21. Rae1 Kf8 and White takes on f7 then recovers his piece on e3.] 19.Qxe5+ Qe7 20.Qh5 Rd8 [20…b4?! is too slow. Miranda Rodriguez (2167)-Ruiz Sanchez (2392), Capablanca Memorial, Havana, May 11 2010 continued with 21.Rae1 bxc3 22.Rxf7 Qxf7 23.Rxe3+ Kf8 24.Qc5+ Kg7 25.Rg3+ Kf6 26.Qd4+ Kf5 27.Qf2+ 1-0 ; Black had a much better 20th move, playing 20. … Kf8! (instead of playing it one move later, as I actually did) 21. Rae1 Re8! and White is lost because he cannot recover his piece, while the Black King is now safe (for a given value of “safe”).] 21.Rae1 Kf8 22.Qxh7 Bd4 23.h3 Rd7 24.Qg6 Qh4 25.Re8+ Kxe8 26.Qg8+ Ke7 27.Rxf7+ Kd6 28.Qb8+ Kc5 29.Rf5+ Kb6 30.Kh2 Qe1 31.Nd5+ Rxd5 32.Rxd5 Bg1+ 0-1

## Boring Queen’s Gambit? Try the Slav!

Many players, especially beginners, dislike the Queen’s Gambit. They call it boring, positional, and not fun to play, from either side! Some even wonder why this opening is not banned (due it being boing, etc.).

Maybe they should try the Slav. It’s tactical, full of tension and a single misstep can be fatal.

Here is a list of miniatures to play when you are feeling sluggish.

And a final game, which is not a miniature, but belongs here. You’ll see why at the end.

Meanwhile …  enjoy!

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

Jensen (1873)-Fries (2038)
US Open
Los Angeles, 1991
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 dxc4 4.e4 b5 5.a4 e5 6.Nge2 b4 7.Nb1 Nf6 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.d5 Bb7 11.Ng3 Bc5 12.Nf5 cxd5 13.Ne3 Bxe3 14.fxe3 Qh4+ 15.g3 Qxe4 16.Rg1 Qxe3+ 17.Qe2 Qxg1 18.Qxe5+ Kd8 0-1

GM Agdestein (2600)-Zsuzsa Polgar (2565)
Active Chess
Exhibition Match
Oslo, 1996
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e3 Nf6 5.b3 Nbd7 6.Bb2 Bd6 7.Qc2 O-O 8.O-O-O?! (Premature. Better is 8.Nf3 and try to castle kingside.)  8…a5 9.Nf3 a4 10.Nxa4 dxc4 11.bxc4 b5! (Using her queenside pawns Zsuzsa opens up the queenside with her pawns.) 12.cxb5 cxb5 13.Bxb5 Ba6 14.Bxa6 Rxa6 15.Nd2 Qa8 16.Nc3 Rc8 17.Ndb1 Rxa2 18.Rd3 Nd5 19.Qb3 Nb4 20.Rd2 Qxg2 21.Rhd1 Qb7! 0-1 (Black threatens 22…Nd3+.)

Riedel-Zurek
Berlin, 1987
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Qb3 Qb6 7.Nxd5 Qxb3 8.Nc7+ Kd8 9.axb3 Kxc7 10.Bf4+ Kc8 11.Ne5 f6 12.Nc4 Nd7 13.f3 Bc2 14.e4 Bxb3 15.Na5 Bf7 16.Nxc6 e5 17.Nxa7+ Kb8 18.dxe5 fxe5 19.Be3 Bc5 20.Rd1 Bxe3 21.Rxd7 Be8 22.Rd3 Bd4 0-1

Jelena Popovic-Elena Stotskaja
Rimavska Sobota, 1992
[D15]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.Bg5 e6 6.e3 Be7 7.Ne5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Bg3 Nbd7 10.Bd3 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 Nh5 12.cxd5 exd5 13.Qf5 f6 14.Qg6+ Kf8 15.Qf7mate 1-0

Dias (2295)-Gillford
World Jr. Ch.
Calcutta, 1998
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bf5 5.Qb3 Qb6 6.Bf4 Nbd7 7.e3 e6 8.Qxb6 axb6 9.Nh4 Bg4 10.f3 Bh5 11.Bd3 Bg6 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.O-O Nh5 14.Bg5 Bd6 15.Rfb1? Bxh2+! 16.Kxh2 Nf4+ 17.Kg3 Nxd3 18.cxd5 exd5 19.e4 f6 20.Bd2 dxe4 21.Nxe4 f5 22.Ng5 Nf6 23.b4 f4+ 0-1

Port Erin Open
Isle Of Man, Sept. 24 2005
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Na6 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Bf4 Qa5 7.e3 e6 8.a3 Bd7 9.Bd3 Be7 10.Ne5 Nb8 11.O-O O-O 12.Bg5 Qd8 13.f4 Nc6 14.Rf3 Nxe5 15.fxe5 Ng4 16.Bxh7+ Kxh7 17.Rh3+ Nh6 18.Qd3+ Kg8 19.Bxh6 f5 20.exf6 Bxf6 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Qh7mate 1-0

Technically, the next three games constitute the Tolush-Geller Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4).

Hoshino-Hori
corres.
JCCA Webchess Open
ICCF, 2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 b5 6.Be2 e6 7.O-O Be7 8.a4 b4 9.e5 Nd5 10.Ne4 c3 11.bxc3 Nxc3 12.Nxc3 bxc3 13.Ba3 c5 14.Qc2 Ba6 15.Bb5+ Bxb5 16.axb5 O-O 17.dxc5 Qa5 18.Rfb1 Nd7 19.c6 Bxa3 20.cxd7 1-0

Bosboom (2471)-Stellwagen (2621)
Netherlands Ch.
Hilversum, Apr. 4 2008
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 b5 6.Qc2 e6 7.g4 Bb7 8.g5 Nfd7 9.h4 Na6 10.a3 Be7 11.Be3 Qa5 12.Nd2 c5 13.d5 Ne5 14.Ra2 exd5 15.exd5 O-O 16.Qf5 Bd6 17.h5 Rae8 18.h6 g6 19.Qb1 Ng4 20.Nde4 Bxd5 21.Bd2 Bf4 22.Kd1 Bxe4 23.Nxe4 Nxf2+ 0-1

GM Gaprindashvili-Z. Polgar
FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament
Shanghai, 1992
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 c6 5.e4 b5 6.e5 Nd5 7.a4 Bf5 8.Be2 b4 9.Nh4 bxc3 10.Nxf5 e6 11.Ng3 cxb2 12.Bxb2 Bb4+ 13.Kf1 c3 14.Bc1 O-O 15.Ne4 Nd7 16.Bd3 f5 17.exf6 N7xf6 18.Ng5 Qd6 19.Qc2 h6 20.h4 hxg5 21.hxg5 Ng4 22.Bh7+ Kf7 23.Qe4

23…Nxf2 24.Kxf2 Ke7+ 25.Ke2 Qg3 0-1

Sulava (2531)-Abolianin (2385)
Imperia Open
Italy, 2001
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.a4 g6 6.e3 Bg7 7.Bd3 O-O 8.O-O c5 9.Nxd5 Nxd5 10.cxd5 cxd4 11.e4 e6 12.dxe6 Bxe6 13.Ng5 Bc8 14.f4 Nc6 15.Bd2 h6 16.Nf3 Be6 17.Qe1 Re8 18.Qg3 Qd6 19.h4 Kh8 20.Rae1 Rad8 21.h5 g5 22.e5 gxf4 23.Qxg7+ 1-0

Krueger-Seepe
German Northwest League, 1988
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.e3 e6 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 c5 9.e4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Bd6 11.Be3 O-O 12.e5 Bxe5 13.Qf3 Bxd4 14.Qxa8 Bxc3+ 15.bxc3 Qxd3 16.Qxb8 e5 17.Qa7 Qxc3+ 18.Ke2 Be6 19.f3 Qb2+ 20.Bd2 Bc4+ 0-1

Miller (2180)-Stephen Jones (2359)
Southern California Open, 1995
[I first annotated this game in Rank and File.]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.e3 b5!? 6.cxd5 cxd5 7.Bd3 Bb7?! (Unless Black gets a Knight on e4 to exchange off and open the diagonal, the Bishop will merely be an onlooker to the proceedings.) 8.O-O Nbd7 9.Ne5 e6 10.f4 Be7 11.Qf3 O-O 12.g4! b4 (Black has little counterplay, and cannot come up with a good play to organize his forces.) 13.Ne2 Ne4 14.Ng3 Nd6 15.Bd2 (To connect both Rooks.) 15…Nb6 (The Black Knights are still trying to find good squares. Meanwhile White continues to build his attack.) 16.g5 a5 17.Qh5 Ne4 18.Rf3 Qe8 19.Nxe4 dxe4 20.Rh3 (White’s Bishop is, of course, immune from capture.) 20…h6 21.Ng4 (D Nxh6+) 1-0

Fang (2355)-Nichols (2046)
New Hampshire Open, 1997
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 a6 5.c5 g6 6.Bf4 Bg7 7.h3 Nbd7 8.e3 O-O 9.Be2 Re8 10.O-O Ne4 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.Nd2 e5 13.dxe5 Nxc5 14.Rc1 Nd3 15.Bxd3 exd3 16.Nc4 Re6 17.Rc3 Re8 18.Rxd3 Qh4 19.Nb6 Ra7 20.Nxc8 Rxc8 21.Rd7 g5 22.Rd8+ Rxd8 23.Qxd8+ Bf8 24.Bxg5 1-0

GM Kamsky-GM Kramnik
Candidate’s Match, 1994
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7 11.exf6 Bb7 12.g3 c5 13.d5 Qb6 14.Bg2 O-O-O 15.O-O b4 16.Na4 Qb5 17.a3 Ne5 18.axb4 cxb4 19.Qd4 Nc6 20.dxc6 Rxd4 21.cxb7+ Kc7 22.Be3 e5 23.Nc3 bxc3 24.bxc3 Bc5 25.cxd4 1-0

World Jr. Ch.
Yerevan, 2006
1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 e6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.h4 g4 11.Ne5 h5 12.O-O Nbd7 13.Qc2 a6 14.Rad1 Be7 15.f3 Rg8 16.fxg4 hxg4 17.Nxf7 Kxf7 18.e5 c5 19.d5 Qb6 20.exf6 Bxf6 21.Ne4 1-0

GM Loek Van Wely-GM Alexander Morozevich
Wijk aan Zee, 2001
[D16]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 c5 6.d5 Bf5 7.e3 e6 8.Bxc4 exd5 9.Nxd5 Nc6 10.Qb3 Qd7 11.Nxf6+ gxf6 12.Bd2 Rg8 13.Bc3!?  O-O-O 14.Bxf7 Rxg2! 15.Nh4

15…Ne5! 16.Nxf5 Nd3+ 17.Kf1 Rxf2+ 18.Kg1 Kb8 19.Qe6?! Rxf5 20.h4 Bd6 21.Rf1? Rg8+ 0-1 (In view of …Qg7#)

Ikonnikov (2560)-Vitoux (2264)
Port Erin Open
Isle Of Man, Sept. 24 005
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 c5 6.d5 Bf5 7.e4 Nxe4 8.Nxe4 Bxe4 9.Bxc4 Qd6 10.O-O Nd7 11.Re1 Nf6 12.Bb5+ Kd8 13.Bc4 h6 14.Bd2 a6 15.Bc3 Qf4 16.Ne5 Kc8 17.f3 Bg6 18.g3 Qg5 19.f4 Qh5 20.Be2 1-0

Alan Fichaud-Robert Jacobs (2415)
corres.
ATB 2, 1998
1.c4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Na6 6.e4 Be6 7.Ne5 Qa5 8.f3 Rd8 9.Be3 Qb4 10.Qe2 g6 11.Nxc4 Bg7 12.a5 O-O 13.Ne5 Rxd4 14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.Bxd4 Qxd4 16.Qxa6 Rb8 17.Qe2 Nd7 18.Nd1 Nc5 19.Qc2 Nb3 20.Ra3 Qb4+ 21.Nc3 Nd4 22.Qc1 Qxb2 23.Qxb2 Rxb2 24.Bd3 Rxg2 0-1

Eduardo Ortiz-Matthew Ho
Pacific Southwest Open
Los Angeles 2003
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Na6 6.e4 Bg4 7.Bxc4 Bxf3 8.gxf3 e6 9.Be3 Be7 10.Rg1 O-O 11.f4 Qa5 12.Kf1 Qb4 cxd4 15.Bxd4 Nc5 16.Rg5! h6 17.Rxc5! Bxc5 18.Bxf6 Be7 (18…gxf6 19.Ra4 snares the Queen.) 19.Be5 Bf6 20.Bxf6 gxf6 21.f5 Qd6 22.Qg4+ Kh8 23.fxe6 fxe6 24.Rd1 Qe7 25.Bxe6 1-0

Sarajevo, 1987
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.O-O O-O 9.Nh4 Nbd7 10.f3 Bg6 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Qc2 Rc8 13.Rd1 Qb6 14.Kh1 c5 15.d5 Ne5 16.Be2 Rfe8 17.dxe6 Qxe6 18.Nb5 Nc6 19.Bc4 Qf5 20.Bxf7+ 1-0

Vandenburg (1979)-Blechar (2237)
corres.
CCLA Team Ch., 1999
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.Bg5 Bb4 8.Nxc4 Qd5 9.Bxf6 Qxc4 10.Qd2 Qb3 11.Bxg7 Rg8 12.Be5 c5 13.Bxb8 cxd4 14.Be5 O-O-O 15.Bxd4 Rxd4! (16.Qxd4 Qxb2) 0-1

Waxman-Wes White
Jay Chemical, 1981?
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 c6 4.Qc2 Ne4 5.Bf4 Bf5 6.Qb3 Qa5+ 7.Nbd2 e5 8.dxe5 Bc5 9.e3 Bb4 10.Rd1 Nc5 0-1

C. Gabriel (2531)-GM Huebner (2636)
Bundesliga
Germany, Jan. 28 2006
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Qb3 dxc4 5.Qxc4 Bf5 6.g3 e6 7.Bg2 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.Qb3 Qb6 10.Nbd2 Rd8 11.Nc4 Qxb3 12.axb3 Rd5?? (13.Nb6 axb6 14.Rxa8 +-) 1-0

GM Gelfand (2733)-GM Van Wely (2683)
Blindfold Game
Melody Amber
Monaco, 2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Qb3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 Nbd7 7.e3 Be7 8.Nc3 O-O 9.Bd3 b6 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.O-O Bb7 12.Rfc1 a6 13.Na4 b5 14.Nc5 Nxc5 15.dxc5 Ne4 16.Bxe7 Qxe7 17.c6 Bc8 18.a4 bxa4 19.Rxa4 Nd6 20.Qa3 Qc7 21.b4 Qb6 22.b5 Nxb5 23.Bxb5 Qxb5 24.Rb4 Qe2 25.Rb2 1-0

And the last game, as promised. It’s a game full of Queens, and appropriately quite tactical.

Metz-Chess1, 1991
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Be2 Bb7 9.O-O b4 10.Na4 Be7 11.Qc2 Rc8 12.Rd1 O-O 13.Bd2 a5 14.Be1 c5 15.dxc5 Qc7 16.Rac1 Nxc5 17.Rd4 Qb8 18.Nb6 Rcd8 19.Nc4 Be4 20.Qd2 Qa7 21.Nce5 h6 22.h3 Ba8 23.Bc4 Nfe4 24.Qe2 Qb8 25.Rcd1 Bf6 26.Nd7 Nxd7 27.Rxd7 Rxd7 28.Rxd7 Bc6 29.Rd1 Rd8 30.Nd4 Ba8 31.f3 Nc5 32.Rc1 Qb6 33.Bf2 g6 34.Nb3 Nxb3 35.Bxb3 Bb7 36.Rd1 Rxd1+ 37.Bxd1 Ba6 38.Qd2 Be7 39.Bb3 Bc5 40.Bd1 Kg7 41.e4 e5 42.Bxc5 Qxc5+ 43.Kh2 Bb5 44.Bb3 Bc6 45.Qd8 a4 46.Bd5 Qd4 47.b3 a3 48.Qd6 Bb7 49.Qd7 Bxd5 50.exd5 Qf4+ 51.Kh1 Qc1+ 52.Kh2 Qf4+ 53.Kh1 e4 54.fxe4 Qf1+ 55.Kh2 Qf4+ 56.Kh1 Qf1+ 57.Kh2 Qf4+ 58.Kh1 Qxe4 59.d6 Qe1+ -/+ 60.Kh2 Qe5+ 61.Kh1 Qa1+ 62.Kh2 Qxa2 63.Qe7 Qd2 64.Qe5+ Kh7 65.Qf6 Qd5 66.Qe7 a2 67.d7 a1=Q 68.d8=Q Qxb3

69.Qdf8 (69.Qef8? Qe5+ -+) 69…Qg7! -+ 70.Qb8 h5 71.Qbxb4 Qd5 72.Qbe4 Qb3 73.Q7e5 Qxe5+ 74.Qxe5 Qe6 75.Qc7 g5 76.Qc2+ Kh6 77.Qc3 f6 78.Qb4 Qe5+ 79.Kg1 Qe3+ 80.Kf1 Qf4+ 81.Qxf4 gxf4 82.Ke2 Kg5 83.Kd3 Kh4 84.Ke4 Kg3 85.Kf5 h4 86.Ke4 Kxg2 87.Kxf4 Kxh3 88.Kf3 f5 0-1

## AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ART OF QUEEN SACRIFICES, Part 1

Perhaps the most popular games ever published are those in which a player sacrifices his Queen. Bravery is required for that player who thrusts his most valuable piece into the fight, usually with no hope of ever recovering her.

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 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 sacrifice for gain may turn into a mate if the opponent tries to hold on the 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 another form of a pseudo-sacrifice. The sacrifice is made solely for a player to checkmate an opponent. The mate is immediate and happens most frequently in the opening, as these short games show.

Greco-N.N.,
Rome, 1619?
1.e4 b6 (Despite all the players who have invested 400 years to analyze and perfect this opening, this defence has remained on the sidelines of theory.) 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5?! 4.exf5 Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Nf6? 7.gxh7+!! (The Queen is willing offered, an offer that cannot be ignored or declined.) 7…Nxh5 (And now the coup d’état) 8.g6mate 1-0

Teed-Delmar
New York, 1896
1.d4 f5 2.Bg5 h6 3.Bh4 g5 4.Bg3 f4 5.e3 h5 6.Bd3 Rh6 7.Qxh5+! Rxh5 8.Bg6mate 1-0

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 White would miss all the fun of this classical trap!] 3…Bg4? 4.Nc3 g6 5.Nxe5! Bxd1 6.Bxf7+ Ke7 7.Nd5mate 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 more involved and take a few additional moves 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 unstoppable threat 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 usually be 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

17…Be6!! 18.Bxb6 (White almost has to take the Queen. 18.Bxe6? loses to 18…Qb5+! 19.Kg1 Ne2+ 20.Kf1 Ng3+ 21.Kg1 Qf1+! 22.Rxf1 Ne2#. Yes, Black’s position is so overwhelming he can sacrifice his queen more than once. See below for other examples.) 18…Bxc4+ 19.Kg1 Ne2+ 20.Kf1 Nxd4+ (Now Black initiates a “windmill” attack.) 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 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

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

These games are extremely rare. After all, how many Queen sacrifices do you need once you have mated your opponent?

## Swiss Gambit

Most players know of Froms’ Gambit [1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3), with continuation of either 4…g5 (to drive away the knight) or 4…Nf6 (to defend and ready to redeploy the knight to g4 or e4)].

But White can also offer a similar gambit after 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3. This gambit is known as the Swiss Gambit. Because of its rarity, most players are not aware of it or it’s thematic ideas.

Let’s take a look the gambit after the opening moves (1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3).

If Black was to take the pawn, he would be a pawn up in the game. However, it would be hazardous to do so as both of White’s bishops (after 3…exd3 4.Bxd3) would be activated and his own kingside would be vulnerable. There are two things that slow down White’s attack. The first is the f-pawn, which unlike in the From’s Gambit (which does not have such an advanced pawn), blocks the bishop from going to f4 or g5. The second thing is that Black usually plays an early 4…Nf6, to stop the h5 checks.

Now, lets look at some games.

First, Black does not have to take the pawn. But such a plan can be risky as the d3-pawn can easily capture the e4-pawn and White has a nice center, without having to sacrifice a pawn.

Ranniku-Karakas
Briansk, 1965
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 g6 4.dxe4 e5 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bc4 Qe7 7.Nc3 exf4 8.Qe2 d6 9.Bxf4 Be6 10.O-O-O Nc6 11.Bb5 Bd7 12.Bg5 Bg7 13.Nd5 Qd8 14.e5 dxe5 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 16.Qxe5+ Kf7 17.Nxf6 1-0

Priehoda (2404)-Cyprian
Kubin Open, 1978
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 e3 4.Bxe3 Nf6 5.Nc3 d5 6.d4 Bf5 7.Bd3 e6 8.Nf3 c6 9.O-O Bb4 10.Ne2 Nbd7 11.Ng3 g6 12.Qe2 O-O 13.Bd2 Bxd2 14.Qxd2 Qc7 15.Rae1 Rae8 16.h3 b6 17.Nh1 Nh5 18.Ne5 Nxe5 19.fxe5 c5 20.Bb5 Rc8 21.g4 cxd4 22.gxf5 exf5 23.Qxd4 Rcd8 24.e6 Qe7 25.Bd7 Nf6 26.Qh4 Qc5+ 27.Nf2 Qe7 28.Nd3 Kg7 29.Qd4 Kh6 30.Ne5 Ne4 31.Qe3+ Kg7 32.Nc6 Qh4 33.Nxd8 f4 34.e7 Rf6 35.Qf3 Nd2 36.Qg4 1-0

Petran (2341)-Veselsky (2200)
Slovakia Ch.
Dolny Kubin, 1979
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e3 5.d4 e6 6.Bd3 Bb4 7.Bxe3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 O-O 9.Nf3 d6 10.O-O Nbd7 11.Bd2 Qe8 12.Qe2 Rf7 13.Rae1 Nf8 14.f5 h6 15.Nh4 Bd7 16.Qf3 Qc8 17.Qg3 Nh5 18.Qh3 Nf6 19.Ng6 N6h7 20.fxe6 Bxe6 21.Rxf7 Bxh3 22.Ree7 Nxg6 23.Rxg7+ Kf8 24.Ref7+ Ke8 25.Bxg6 1-0

If Black wants to decline the pawn offer, he must play an early …d5.

Heinola-Lehtivaara
Tampere Hervanta, 1987
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 d5 4.dxe4 dxe4 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Be3 c6 8.Nge2 Bf5 9.O-O-O Nbd7 10.Bd4 Kc7 11.Ng3 e6 12.Be5+ Nxe5 13.fxe5 Ng4 14.Ncxe4 Nxe5 15.Be2 g6 16.h3 h5 17.Kb1 h4 18.Nxf5 gxf5 19.Ng5 Re8 20.Rhe1 Rh6 21.Rd2 Bc5 22.Bf1 Nd7 23.Bc4 e5 24.Red1 Nb6 25.Bb3 Be3 0-1

And he must play it accurately.

R. Oberlin-R. Berggren
US Open
Los Angeles, 1991
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 d5 4.Nh3 Nf6 5.Nf2 exd3 6.Bxd3 Nc6 7.O-O b6? (This setup of the knight on c6 and the bishop going to b7 seems too slow and out of touch with a tactical opening such as this one. Black soon finds himself short of moves.) 8.Nd2 Bb7 9.Nf3 Qd7 10.Ng5 Nd8 11.Bxh7 e6 12.Bg6+ Ke7 13.Re1 Kd6 (Let the King Hunt begin!)

4.f5 exf5 15.Nd3 Qa4 16.Bf4+ Kc6 17.Ne5+ Kc5 18.Qd2 d4 19.b4+! Kd5 20.c4+ 1-0

It is only after 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 that the real battle begins.

Amsterdam, 1875
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Ne4 Nc6 8.c3 d6 9.Nfg5 Nxe4 10.Nxe4? (>Bxe4) 10…g6 11.Qe2 e5 12.O-O Bf5 13.Ng5 Bxd3 14.Qxd3 Bxg5 15.fxg5 Qe7 16.Qh3 Qd7 17.Be3 Qxh3 18.gxh3 0-1

After the moves 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6, White has three excellent choices of 6.Ng5 (A brazen attempt at an attack, probably best for a blitz game), 6.Ne5 (a more cautious and shy approach to an attack), and 6.Be3 (a developing move that allows White to castle queenside if the need arises).

Bird+Dobell-Gelbfuhs
Vienna, 1873
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 (a very good move as the knight usually finds itself involved in White’s attack.) 5…e6 (this move is the most common as it allows his bishop to develop and bolsters his defense of his weak point on f7.) 6.Ng5!? g6 (not 6…Bc5? because of 7.Bxh7 Kf8 8.Nxe6+, winning) 7.h4 Bh6 8.h5 Bxg5 9.fxg5 Nd5 10.hxg6 Qe7 11.Rxh7 Rxh7 12.gxh7 Qb4+ 13.Kf1 Qh4 14.Bg6+ Ke7 15.Qh5 1-0

Popp-Jørgensen
corres.
IECC, 2000
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Ng5 c6 7.h4 Bg4 8.Be2 Bxe2 9.Qxe2 g6 10.Qe6 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qf5 12.Qf7+ Kd7 13.h5 gxh5 14.Rxh5 Qc5 15.Rh1 Qxc2 16.Ne6 Qe4+ 0-1

Christian Maltais (2134)-Daniel J. Freire (2047)
corres.
DE10A /pr 48
ICCF, 2016
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Ng5 d5 7.Qe2 Bc5 8.Nd2 O-O 9.Ndf3 Qd6 10.h4 Nc6 11.c3 h6 12.Ne5 hxg5 13.hxg5 Ne4 14.Bxe4 dxe4 15.g6 Rf5 16.Nf7 Rxf7 17.Qh5 Qf8 18.Qh8mate 1-0

Ivar Jakobsson-Hakan Johansson
Stockholm, 1974
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Ne5 d6 7.O-O b6 8.Ng4 Ba6 9.Nxf6+ Qxf6 10.Re1 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 Nc6 12.Qf3 Kd7 13.Nd2 d5 14.c4 Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Nd4 16.Qh3 Rae8 17.cxd5 Nc2 18.Ne4 Qh6 19.dxe6+ Kc8 20.Qf3 Kb8 21.Nxc5 bxc5 22.Qb3+ Nb4 23.a3 a5 24.axb4 cxb4 25.Rxa5 1-0

Schirmer-Schleipen, 1956
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Be3 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.Nbd2 Nd5 9.Ng5 Bxg5 10.fxg5 Rxf1+ 11.Nxf1 Nxe3 12.Bxh7+ Kf8 13.Nxe3 Qxg5 14.Qf3+ Qf6 15.Qh5 Ke7 16.Rf1 Qh6 17.Qf7+ Kd6 18.Rd1+ Kc6 19.Be4+ d5 20.Bxd5+ exd5 21.Qxd5+ Kb6 22.Nc4+ 1-0

## Bloodless Victories

A bloodless victory in chess is a win for one of the players in which no pieces are taken.

Games of this genre tend to be short as longer games increase the possibility that a piece being taken or exchanged. The knight, with it’s ability to jump over pieces, and thereby avoid taking a piece en route to an attack, is disproportionally used in these types of games. Smothered mates are often seen.

A simple example of a bloodless victory is Fool’s Mate (1.f3 e5 2.g4 Qh4#)

Another simple example is Fischer-Panno, Palma de Mallorca Izt., 1970. The entire game went 1.c4 1-0. Panno had a dispute with the organizers and resigned here.

There are many more examples. Here is a favorite of mine.

Blackburne-Bonachea
Blindfold game
Havana, 1891
1.e4 e5 2.f4 Nc6 3.Nf3 d6 4.Bc4 Nh6 5.O-O (Interesting to note that the exact sequence of moves also occurred in S. Retout (1808)-S. Burnet, England Open, Charlton 1973 which continued with 5…exf4 6.d4 Qf6 7.Nc3 Bg4 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.Bxf4 Ne7 10.Bxh6 gxh6 11.Nf6# 1-0. But that game had some captures, so let’s get on with this game.) 5…Be7 6.d3 O-O 7.f5 Ng4 8.Nc3 Nb4 9.a3 Nc6 10.h3 Nf6 11.g4 Na5 12.Ba2 b6 13.g5 Ne8 14.h4 Kh8 15.Nh2 f6 16.g6 h6 17.Qh5

(ΔBxh6) 1-0

Even rarer is the bloodless mate. Same conditions, but the game ends in checkmate.

This is a recent game played by two amateurs.

“Daveacksh” (1241)-“bandabou” (1212)
Blitz Game
chess.com, Feb. 21 2019
[B20]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 e6 4.c3!? Na5 5.Na3 a6 6.d4 b5 7.Be2 c4 8.O-O Bb7 9.e5 Be4 10.Ng5 Bg6 11.Bf3 Rb8 12.Ne4 Ne7? 13.Nd6mate 1-0

This type of mate, sans captures, has also occurred in Master (and near-Master) games.

Carl Hartlaub-H. H Rosenbaum
Freiburg, Germany, 1892
[C50]
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 f6 4.Nh4 g5 5.Qh5+ Ke7 6.Nf5mate 1-0

Chris W. Baker-Bernard Cafferty
British Chess Ch., Qualification Tournament
Clacton-on-Sea, 1974
[B02]
1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 Ne4 4.Nce2 Nc5 5.c3 Nd3mate 0-1

Juan Antonio Palmisano-Guillermo Llanos
Buenos Aires, 1995
[E80]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 Qa5 8.a4 Na6 9.Ra3 Nb4 10.Nge2 e5 (Black has the advantage so White wants to defend. But his move, while well-intended, allows Black to increase his advantage to a -+.) 11.Bd2?? Nd3# 0-1

Emi Hasegawa-Mi Yen Fong (1885)
Women’s Ol.
Istanbul, Aug. 28 2012
[E90]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 O-O 6.Bd3 e5 7.d5 Nbd7 8.b4 Nh5!? (8…a5 is more popular. The text move deserves to be investigated more.) 9.O-O Qe7 10.Ne2 c5 11.b5 f5! (The main point of 8…Nh5!?) 12.Rb1 f4 (Black obviously has the advantage.) 13.Kh1 g5 14.Neg1 g4 15.Nd2 Qh4 16.f3 Ng3#

0-1

## Najdorf Thematic, part 2

As mentioned before, I have entered into Najdorf Thematic Tournament at chess.com. I have advanced to the next round; it seems my Sozin variation is scoring some delightful wins for me.

Here’s one of them from the second round.

Escalante-“KINGLOU” (1546)
Thematic Tournament – Sicilian Najdorf, 2nd round
chess.com, 2018
[Escalante]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e5 [This move looks weak as it opens the diagonal for the bishop, but the nut is not so easy to crack. Black must be willing to have doubled pawns on the e-file (after …Be6) and suffer the difficulties of his pawn structure in coordinating his pieces.] 7.Nf3 (7…Nf5 eliminates much of Whites’s pressure  after 7…Bxf5. 7.Nde2 is the more positional approach. 7.Nf3 resembles a Two Knight’s Defence, something I more familiar with.) 7…Nc6 (7…Be7 is better as it would have allowed 8….O-O after 8.Ng5.} 8.Ng5 {This position is now very similar to the Two Knight’s Defence, where Black is forced to give to give up a pawn. However, in this game, White already has the greater mobility, coordination, and the initiative.) 8…d5 9.Nxd5 Nxd5 10.Bxd5 Be6 (White has a strong tactical response to Black’s lack of development.)

11.Nxe6! fxe6 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13.Qh5+ g6 14.Qxe5 Rg8 [Better is 14… Kf7 15.O-O (15.Bg5?! Be7 and Black’s king, despite not being able to castle, will be safe on the kingside) Bg7 16.Qf4+ Qf6 17.Qc7+ Qe7 18.Qxc6 Rhc8 19.Qa4 and White remains on top.] 15.Qxe6+ Qe7 16.Qxg8 Qxe4+ 17.Be3  O-O-O (Black’s best move; everything else loses faster.) 18.O-O Bd6 19.Qb3! (19.Qxh7? is a mistake due to 19…Be5 with the idea of …Rh8.) 19…Qe5 20.g3 h5 21.Qb6 Kd7 22.Qb7+ Bc7 23.Bf4 Qa5 (Better, but still losing is 23…Rb8 24.Rad1+ Ke7 25.Qxc6 Rb6 26.Qd7+ Kf6 27.Bxe5+ Bxe5 28.Qd8+) 24.Rad1+ Ke7 25.Bxc7!

1-0