My Dictionary

I have used some chess dictionaries I found on-line and even some printed books. But I was unsatisfied with what I have read. Too often, it seems that many writers simply copy what has been printed, even if what has been printed is incorrect, misleading, incomplete, or confusing.


So, I created my own. Produced from an editor’s point of view, with many spelling mistakes and other errors removed, important information added to make the definitions more complete, and even updating recorded moves from Descriptive Notation (DN) to Algebraic Notation (AN).


This dictionary, like every other dictionary is not complete, nor can any dictionary be complete. This dictionary is meant to include only the most common terms used by players, writers, teachers, and those who  study the game.


But I have the satisfaction know that if I am missing something important, a kind, gentle reader would let me know.


My kind, gentle reader, please take some time off this Independence Day, shooting off fireworks, eating a hot dog, and enjoying your time at the beach. And let me know what I am missing.


On second thought, go ahead, enjoy your holiday, your weekend, your family and friends, and the fireworks. Come back when you are ready.


Have a wonderful and warm holiday!




Rob’s Chess Dictionary



ACTIVE [adj. (1) describing a piece that has movement, (2) describing a type of defence that involves counterplay, (3) describing a game that has time limit of 30 minutes per player.]

ADJOURN (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to take a break from a game to continue later.]

ADJUDICATE (+D, ADJUDICATING, +S) [v. to make a judgment made by an impartial person to determine the result of a game.]

ADJUDICATION (+S) [n. the act of making a judgment made by an impartial person to determine the result of a game.]

ADVANCE (+D, ADVANCING, +S) [v. to move forward, esp. with a pawn]

ADVANTAGE (+S) [n. a lead in material, time, space, or position, in a game or study. See DISADVANTAGE.]

ALBINO (+S) [n. a classification of studies that specify a specific white pawn move a problem or study ; adj. referring to specific white pawn moves in a problem or study.]

ALGEBRAIC [n. the most popular chess notation for recording moves.]


ANALYZE (+D, ANALYZING, +S) [n. to work out alternate or better moves or plans.]

ARISTOCRAT (+S) [n. a study or problem which has no pawns in the initial position]


AUTOMATON (+S) [n. a mechanical device that appeared to make moves in a game by itself during the 18th and 19th centuries but were controlled by a human player concealed inside the machine. The most famous automaton was the Turk.]

BAD BISHOP (+S) [n. a bishop blocked by his own pawns]

BATTERY (BATTERIES) [n. a rook and a rook or a rook and queen, of the same color, on the same file.]

BIND (+S) [n. a situation or a position that has restrictive movement.]

BISHOP (+S) [n. a diagonally moving piece.]


(CLASSICAL) BISHOP SACRIFICE (+S) (n. AKA “the Greek gift”, it is a typical sacrifice of a bishop on an opponent’s kingside castled position which forces the king out which he may be attacked. See game below.]


Rome, 1620?
1.e4 e6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Bd3 Nc6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.h4 O-O 6.e5 Nd5 7.Bxh7+! (The classical bishop sacrifice. Black’s king has take the bishop and come out to face the upcoming attack, or he loses a pawn with a worse position.) 7…Kxh7 8.Ng5+ Bxg5 9.hxg5+ Kg8 10.Qh5 f5 11.g6 Re8 12.Qh8mate 1-0


BLACK (+S) [n. the side with the darker pieces that moves second in a game, (2) the defending side in a study.]

BLINDFOLD [n. a game which at least one of the players cannot see the board.]

BLITZ [n. a very fast game, esp. one with a five-minute time control.]

BLOCKADE (+D, BLOCKADING, +S) [v. to stop a piece, esp. a pawn from moving.]

BOARD (+S) [n. same as CHESSBOARD.]

BODEN’S MATE [n. AKA a Criss-Cross Mate, is a checkmate that occurs when the two bishops mate the enemy king, with each bishop coming from an opposite diagonal from the other.]

BOOK [n. a position or series of moves so well known it can be found in books.]

BRILLIANCY  (BRILLIANCIES) [n. a game with a beautiful combination or with spectacular moves.]

BUGHOUSE (+S) [n. same as SIAMESE.]

BULLET [n. a game with a one-minute time control.]

BYE (+S) [n. a pre-arranged score of ½ for not playing a game in a tournament.]

CAISSA [n. the goddess of chess]

CAPTURE (+D, CAPTURING, +S) [v. to take a piece or pawn]


CASTLE (+D, CASTLING, +S) [v. to move the unmoved King two squares to the kingside or queenside and placing the rook on the other side of the King. You may not castle while in check, through check, or end with your king in check. See also CASTLE, LONG and CASTLE, SHORT.]

CASTLE, LONG [n. queenside castling. Written as O-O-O.]

CASTLE, SHORT [n. kingside castling. Written as O-O.]


CENTER [n. collectively, the squares e4, e5, d4, d5 that reside in the middle of the board.]

CHECK (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to threaten the enemy king with an immediate capture. It is common in casual play to announce check, but forbidden in tournament play.]

CHECKMATE [n. same as MATE]

CHESSBOARD (+S) [n. a piece of material (wood, plastic, vinyl, etc.) that is meant to have pieces placed on it for study or play.]

CHESSMAN (CHESSMEN) [n. a piece in a set]

CLOCK (+S) [n. a timer used in a game]

COMPENSATION [n. possession of having other advantages, such as an open file, for a piece or pawn that has been gambitted, sacrificed, or lost.]

COMPOSER (+S) [n. one who creates problems or studies]

COOK (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to find another solution to a problem or study.]

CORNER (+S) [n. the squares a1, a8, h1, and h8.]
[n. a chess game played through the mail or email.]

COUNTERPLAY [n. potential or actual aggressive moves by the defender designed achieve equality or an advantage]
DECLINE (+D, DECLINING, +S) [v. to not accept a gambit or sacrifice.]

DECOY (+S) [n. a pawn or piece that lures away an attacker.] 



DEFENDER (+S) [n.  pawn or piece that thwarts an enemy attacking piece.]

DESCRIPTIVE [n. an old-fashioned notation used in English speaking countries until the 1980s.]

DEVELOP (+ED, +ING, +S) [n. to put a pawn or piece on a more useful square.]



DISADVANTAGE (+S) [n. being behind in material, time, space, or position, in a game or study. See ADVANTAGE.]

DOUBLED [adj. describing two pawns of the same color on the same file. See also TRIPLED.]

DRAW1 (+S) [n. a game ending in a tie.]

DRAW2 (+N +S, +ING) [v. to end the game in a tie.]

DRAWABLE [adj. describing a position in which a tie is the likely outcome.]

DUTCH [n. the opening 1.d4 f5.]
ECO [n. short for Encyclopedia of Chess Openings.]

EDGE [n. a small advantage]

ELO [n. the rating system most widely used. It was named after its inventor, Arpad Elo (1903-1992).]

EN PASSANT [n. French for “in passing”, it is a move that occurs when a pawn moves two squares from its starting position and passes an enemy pawn that has advanced to its fifth rank. The advanced pawn on the fifth rank may choose to capture the pawn as if the pawn had only moved forward one square.]

EN PRISE [n. a French term meaning “in a position to be taken”, “exposed to capture”, or simply, “a piece left hanging”. It is a piece or pawn that is unprotected and can be captured, usually the result of an oversight.]

ENDING (+S) [n. although it can be synonymous with ENDGAME, it is a term more likely to be used in a study rather than a game.]

ENDGAME (+S) [n. the stage of the game where few pieces, or no pieces, remain. Also known as the ENDING.]

ENVELOP (+S) [n. a flat paper cover in which a scoresheet of a game and a separate piece of paper that indicate a player’s next move (but unknown to anyone else) is inserted, sealed, and then presented to the tournament director for safekeeping until the game is resumed.]


EPAULETTE (+S) [n. a mate occurring when the opposing King is caught on the side of the board with both of his rooks preventing his sideward movement. The queen giving the mate stands in front of the king, close enough to mock and mate him but not close enough to be captured. See example below.]





EXCELSIOR (+S) [n. a pawn that promotes in a problem.]

EXCHANGE (+D, EXCHANGING, +S) [v. to trade pieces]

EXHIBITION (+S) [n. a chess game played for the public to promote the game, a tournament, a player, a group, or used as a fundraiser.]

EXPERT (+S) [n. a title just below a MASTER.]
EVALUATION (+S) [n. the analysis and assessment of a position.]

FAN [n. an acronym for Figurine Algebraic Notation.]

FEN [n. short for Forsyth–Edwards Notation, a concise method of recording a position.]

FIANCHETTO (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to develop a bishop on b2 or g2 for White; or b7 or g7 for Black, and usually protected by three pawns; two on the sides, and one directly in front.]

FIDE [n. short for Fédération Internationale des Échecs, the international organization of chess, founded in Paris in 1924.]

FILE (+S) [n. a column of eight squares going from rank #1 to rank #8.]

FLAG (+S) [n. an indicator on a mechanical clock that moves (falls) when a certain time has elapsed.]

FLANK (+S) [n. the right and left files of the center.]

FOOL’S MATE [the shortest game that can end in mate. 1.f3 e5 2.g4? Qh4# 0-1]

FORK (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to attacking more than one piece or pawn with a single piece.]

FM [n. short for Federation Master.]

GAMBIT (+S) [n. a move, typically in the opening and planned prior to the game, in which a player freely gives up a pawn, piece, or exchange, in the hope of either obtaining a tactical or positional advantage. See also SACRIFICE.]

GAME (+S) [n. the actual play of chess as opposed to problems, studies, and analysis.]

GM (+S) [n. short for GRANDMASTER.]

GRANDMASTER (+S) [n. the highest title in chess]

GRANDMASTER DRAW [n. a quick, uninteresting, listless, and even boring, draw.]

HOLE (+S) [n. a weak square which may easily be occupied by an enemy piece.]

HAUPTTURNIER (+S) [n. a German word that is freely translated as “candidates’ tournament”, or a tournament that one needed to win to be considered a master in Germany.]

ICCF [n. short for International Correspondence Chess Federation.]

IGM [n. short for International GrandMaster, an old term. It has mostly been replaced with GRANDMASTER or simply GM as “International” is implied.]

INFORMANT (+S) [n. well known periodical from Yugoslavia.]

INTERZONAL (+S) [n. a tournament to determine candidates to play in the World Championship.]

IQP [short for Isolated Queen Pawn. See ISOLANI.

ISOLANI [n. an isolated pawn on the d-file.]

ISOLATE (+D) [n. a pawn that does not have any other pawns of its own color on an adjacent file.]
[n. French word for “I adjust”. Spoken just before a piece being adjusted on its square. Used in “TOUCH MOVE” situations.]

KEY (+S) [n. correct first move in a problem.]

KIBITZ (+ED, +ES, +ING) [v. to give Illegal, and usually unwanted, advice given from one who is not a player in the game.]

KIBITZER (+S) [n. one who kibitzes.]

KING (+S) [n. the most important unit on the chess board. Losing the king means losing the game.]

KING PAWN OPENING [n. a game that opens with 1.e4.]

KINGSIDE (+S) [n. the “e”, “f”, “g”, and “h” files. The kings reside on the “e” file at the start of the game, hence the name. See also QUEENSIDE.] 

KING’S GAMBIT [n. an opening that begins with 1.e4 e5 2.f4. White is willing to give up his f-pawn to gain an advantage in the game. Black sometimes has difficulties keeping his extra pawn but he can try to attack as well.]

KNIGHT (+S) [n. the piece that can leap over other pieces and moves in an “L” shape.]
[n. an exercise in which a knight starting on any square on an otherwise empty board makes 63 consecutive moves, touching each square exactly once.]

LUFT [n. German word for “air.” Moving a pawn forward so the king has an escape square is an example of LUFT.]

MATCH (+ES) [n. a series of games between two players for a championship, prize, or bragging rights]

MASTER (+S) [n. a player who obtains a rating over 2200]

MATE (+D, MATING, +S) [n. a position in which a player’s king is in check and there is no way to remove the threat. Checkmate is a win for the player delivering the mate.]

MINIATURE (+S) [n. a game lasting than 25 moves or less, usually with a win for one of the players, (2) a problem with less than 7 pieces.]
MOBILITY  [n. freedom of a piece or the pieces.]

NAJDORF, Miguel [n. a Polish-Argentinian chess grandmaster (1910-1997).]

NAJDORF [n. a complex Sicilian arising from the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6. It was named the GM who popularized it.]

NORM (+S) [n. a score a titled player would be expected to earn in a tournament.]
NOTATION (+S) [n. a system of writing down the moves.]

N.N. [n. a player in a recorded game whose name is not known. It may be short for No Name, Not kNown, or even the Latin phrase, “nomen nescio”, but there is no agreement.]

ODDS [n. a game in which a stronger player removes his pieces and/or pawns prior to game to make the game more equal. A stronger player may also offer time odds, when he would play when less time than his opponent.]

OLYMPIAD (+S) [n. a world team event held every two years.]

OPEN (+S) [n. a tournament which anyone can join]

OPPOSITION (+S) [n. the ability to force the other side to move into a disadvantageous position. See also ZUGZWANG]

OTB [n. short for Over The Board. As opposed to CORRESPONDENCE.]

PAIRING (+S) [n. a notification in a tournament informing the player what color he will be (Black or White), who is his opponent, and what board number they would play on.]

PATZER (+S) [n. slang term for a weak player.]

PAWN (+S) [n. a unit that moves forward and can promote to a more powerful piece upon reaching the eighth rank.]

PAWN CHAIN (+S) [n. two or more pawns of the same color diagonally linked. A pawn chain’s weakest point is the base.

PERPETUAL (+S) [n. a position on the board that a player is forced to repeat by his opponent.]

PGN [n. short for Portable Games Notation, a coding system that allows a game to be played on a computer or laptop.]

PIECE (+S) [n. the rook, knight, bishop, or queen. Sometimes the king is considered a piece.]

PIN (+NED, +NING, +S) [n. an attack on a piece that is in line within another, and usually more important piece, and cannot move without the piece behind it being liable to be captured.]

PLAYER (S) [n. a competitor in a tournament, match, or casual play.]

PLY (+S) [n. one-half of a whole move. The opening 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 involves three PLYS.]

POINT (+S) [n. (1) a numerical evaluation given to each piece. For example, a rook is worth 5 points, (2) A single point given to the winner of a tournament or match game. A draw means each player receives ½ of a point. The winner of a tournament or match is the player with the most points.]

POSITION (+S) [n. the arrangement of pieces and pawns on the board.]

POSITIONAL [n. a type of play that avoid tactics, instead relying on applying, maintaining, and increasing pressure on a position.]

POISONED PAWN (+S) [n. an unprotected pawn that, if captured, causes problems for the side that took the pawn, including positional problems, mating threats, and/or material loss. The two most common examples of a poisoned pawn can be found in 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 (The Poisoned Pawn in the Najdorf) and  1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7 7.Qg4 (The Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Winawer).]

POSTAL [n. old term for correspondence chess]

PROBLEM (+S) [n. a puzzle where one side, usually White, can force mate or otherwise obtain a winning position]




New York Clipper, 1856


 White to mate in 2



PROMOTE (+D, PROMOTING, +S) [v. to advance a pawn to the 8th rank and exchanging it for a queen. See also UNDERPROMOTION]

PROMOTION (+S) [n. the act of advancing a pawn to the 8th rank and exchanging for a queen.]

PROPHYLAXIS [n. a technique of preventing a move, or series of moves, designed to prevent an opponent from developing his pieces on ideal squares or otherwise improving his position.]

QUAD (+S) [n. a tournament with four players]

QUEEN1 (+S) [n. a piece that combines the powers of a rook and bishop. It is considered the strongest piece in chess.]

QUEEN2 (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to promote a pawn]

QUEENSIDE (+S) [n. the “a”, “b”, “c”, and “d” files. The queens reside on the “d” file at the start of the game, hence the name. See also KINGSIDE.] 

QUIET MOVE (+S) [n. a move that does not attack or capture an enemy piece but does increase the pressure to one’s opponent sometimes enough to force resignation.]

RANK (+S) [n. a row of eight squares going from the “a” file to the “h” file.]

RATING (+S) [n. a numerical estimation of a player’s strength.]

RECORD (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to write down the moves of a game]

RESIGN (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to formally give up a game]

RESIGNATION (+S) [n. the act of resigning.]

ROOK (+S) [n. a piece that moves vertically and horizontally and is involved in castling.]

ROOK LIFT (+S) [n. a move that places a rook in front of its own pawns, often on the third or fourth rank, in order to speed up an attack.]

ROUND ROBIN (+S) [n. an all-play-all tournament.]

SACRIFICE1 (+S) [n. a move in which a player freely gives up a pawn, piece, or exchange, in the hope of either obtaining a tactical or positional advantage or a drawn position (if losing). See also GAMBIT]

SACRIFICE2 (+D, SACRIFICING, +S) [v. to freely giving up a pawn, piece, or exchange, in the hope of either obtaining a tactical or positional advantage or a drawn position (if losing). See also GAMBIT.]

SCHOLAR’S MATE [n. a short game known by most scholastic players. 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Qf3 Nd4? (> Nf6!) 4.Qxf7# 1-0.]

SCOREPAD (+S) [n. a collection of bound SCORESHEETS.]

SCORESHEET (+S) [n. a piece of paper especially made to record moves in a game. See also SCOREPAD.]

SECOND (+S) [n. one who helps and supports a player in preparation and analysis before and during a tournament or match]

SET (+S)

SIAMESE [n. a variation with two boards, four players, and general mayhem.]

SIMULTANEOUS [n. an exhibition where one player plays many others at the same time. Often abbreviated as SIMUL.]

SKEWER (+S) [n.  an attack upon two (or more) pieces in a line.]

SKEWER (+ED, +ING, +S) [v. to engage in the act of setting up a SKEWER.]

SMOTHERED MATE (+S) [n. a mate in which a knight is attacking the enemy king who is surrounded by his pieces or pawns and cannot escape.]





SPRINGER (+S) [n. German word for “Knight”. The symbol “S” is sometimes used in studies in place of “N” (for Knight) in studies.]


STALEMATE1 (+S) [n. a position in which one side has to move but that has no legal moves and is not in check. The game is drawn.]

STALEMATE2 (+D, STALEMATING, +S) [v. to create a position in which one side must move but that has no legal moves and is not in check.]

STRATEGY (STRATEGIES) [n. long term gain]

STUDY (STUDIES) [n. an analysis of an actual or composed endgame with a stated goal in mind. White always moves first in a study.]

SWINDLE (+D, SWINDLING, +S) [v. gaining a victory from a lost position, usually playing on the overconfidence of the opponent.]

SWISS (+ES) [n. a type of tournament where players play others with similar scores.]

TABIA (or TABIYA) [n. a common position where analysis or play would start.]

TACTIC (+S) [n. short term gain]

TACTICAL [adj. describing a position or play that mainly features tactical play, which can include threatened forks, queen traps, promotions, checks, and mating threats.]

TD [n. short for Tournament Director]

TEMPO (TEMPI) [n. unit of time associated with a move, i.e., one move equals one tempo.]

THEMATIC TOURNAMENT (+S) [n. a tournament with all the games starting with the identical moves. Such tournaments are used for practicing or testing a variation or because it is a favorite opening among the participants.]

THEORY (THEORIES) [n. explanation of how to gain an advantage or save a lost position.]

TIME CONTROL (+S) [n. time allotted to each player to make his moves. The time controls need not to be the same for both players. See also ODDS.]

TN [n. short for Theoretical Novelty, a new move or idea in the opening.]

TOUCHED PIECE RULE [n. a player who touching a piece must move that piece on his turn if it is legal to do so.]

TOURNAMENT (+S) [n. a series of games between numerous players to determine a winner.]

TRANSPOSITION (+S) [n. a move, or a sequence of moves, that changes a recognizable position into another recognizable position. Most common in the opening stages of the game.]

TRÉBUCHET [n. mutual ZUGZWANG in which either player would lose if it were their turn to move.]

TRIANGULATION (+S) [n. a technique used in king and pawn endgames to lose a tempo and gain the opposition.]

TRIPLED [adj. describing three pawns of the same color on the same file. See also DOUBLED.]

UNDERPROMOTION (+S) [n. a promotion to a knight, rook, or bishop as opposed to a QUEEN.]





1.e8=N+ wins


UNRATED [n. one who has no rating ; adj. describing a tournament where no ratings are at stake.]

USCF [n. short for United States Chess Federation.]

VARIATION (+S) [n. alternate moves or lines from a main line]

WALLBOARD (+S) [n. a printed posting, usually attached to a wall of a tournament room, that displays the pairing, results, etc.]

WGM [n. short for Women’s GrandMaster]

WHITE (+S) [n. (1) the side with the lighter color pieces that moves first in a game, (2) the attacking side in a study.]

WIM [n. short for Women’s International Master.]

WINDMILL (+S) [n. a series of checks, alternating between a protected checking piece and a discovered check by another piece, ending with a material gain or mate.]

WING GAMBIT (+S) [n. the name given to variations of several openings in which one player gambits a wing pawn, usually the b-pawn. The two most common examples can be found in the French Advanced (1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e5 c5 4.b4) and the Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.b4).]

ZWISCHENZUG (+S) [n. a German word for “in-between move”, which is unexpected and usually changes the evaluation of a combination or position.]

ZUGZWANG (+S) [n. a German word for “the compulsion to move”, where any move would result in loss of position, material, or game.]


Blindfold Games


blindfold+ Chess_Board_Start


In a blindfold game, at least one of the players is not allowed to see the board. Most of the time, however, this means one player is playing a simul of which he cannot see either the boards or the players. And while the term “blindfold” may imply that the said player is wearing a blindfold, he does not. Instead, he would usually have his back turned to the players and boards, calling out his moves to the game.


A “caller” would then announce the moves of the other players while a “referee” would make the moves on the boards on behalf of the blindfold player.


If a blindfold is used, it is usually to amuse the participants. After all, such blindfold feats are performed for amusement, amazement, and enjoyment for the participants and promotion of the game.

Here are some of my favorites.


Blindfold Simul
Birmingham, Aug. 27 1858
[J. Lowenthal]
1.e4 h6 2.d4 a5 3.Bd3 b6 4.Ne2 e6 5.O-O Ba6 (This series of unusual moves was no doubt adopted with the view of embarrassing the blindfold player, in place of which it served to allow him to bring out his pieces and secure victory in a shorter space of time.) 6.c4 Nf6 7.e5 Nh7 8.f4 Be7 9.Ng3 d5 10.Qg4 O-O 11.Nh5 g5 12.fxg5 hxg5 (Black has indeed placed himself in a deplorable condition in vainly attempting to puzzle his antagonist.) 13.Bxh7+ (Nf6+ would also have led to a speedy termination.) 13…Kh8 14.Nf6 dxc4 15.Bc2 Qxd4+ 16.Qxd4 Bc5 17.Qxc5 bxc5 18.Bxg5 Nc6 19.Rf3 (Threatening mate in two moves.) 19…Kg7 20.Bh6+ Kxh6 21.Rh3+ Kg5 22.Rh5+ Kf4 23.Kf2 (Terminating the game in masterly style, and giving it an interest, from the nature of the opening, which we had not looked.) 1-0


Blindfold Game, 1880
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.O-O d5 6.exd5 (This move opens the game too much for Black. Safer is 5…d6.) 5…Nxd5 7.Nxd4 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Be6 9.Re1 c6 10.Nc3 Nxc3 11.Qxc3 Qd7 12.Bg5 Be7 13.Rad1 Qc8 14.Qxg7 +-

14…Bxg5 15.Qxh8+ Ke7 16.Qg7 Qg8 17.Rxe6mate 1-0


Casual game
London, 1884
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ (Note – I used to call this the Kentucky opening. For a while after its introduction it was greatly favored by certain players, but they soon grew tired of it.) 6…g6 7.Qxe5 d6 (Not to be outdone in generosity.) 8.Qxh8 Qh4 9.O-O Nf6 10.c3 Ng4 11.h3 Bxf2+ 12.Kh1 Bf5! 13.Qxa8

13…Qxh3+ 14.gxh3 Bxe4mate 0-1


Blindfold Exhibition, 1885
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 Ne7 9.d4 h6 10.O-O c6 11.dxe5 Nf5 12.Rd1 Ne7 13.Be3 b6 14.Rd2 Bb7 15.Rad1 Qd7 16.Qh3+ Nf5 17.Nxd5 cxd5 18.Bxd5+ Bxd5 19.Rxd5 Qc7 20.Qg4 g5 21.Qe4 Be7 22.Rd6+ Kf7 23.Qxf5+ Ke8 24.Rd7 Rd8 25.e6 Rxd7 26.Rxd7 Qxd7 27.exd7+ 1-0


H. Mela Jr.-Franco de Freitas
Blindfold Simul – 2 boards, 1996
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 Nb4 9.Qe4 a6 10.d4 c6 11.a3 Qa5 12.axb4 Qxa1 13.Nxd5 Qxc1+ 14.Ke2 Qxh1 15.Qxe5+ Kd7 16.Qc7+ Ke8 17.Nf6+ gxf6 18.Bf7mate 1-0


Blindfold Game
Odessa, 1918
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? (White creates a fundamental weakness in his castled position. But what else can he do? If he doesn’t play this move, then Black can put tremendous pressure on his queenside with moves like …Qa5, …Be6, and White is forced to play defence for the rest of the game.) 12…Re8 13.O-O-O Bb4 14.Qf2 Bxc3 15.Bg5 Nc6 16.Ngf3 d4! (Black entombs the king. The rest of the game is a completion of the task – which Alekhine does in a most spectacular way.) 17.Rhe1 Bb2+ 18.Kb1

18…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


Blindfold Simul
Odessa, 1916
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.exd5 Nxd5 (The more modern move is 5…exd5.) 5.Ne4 f5? 6.Ng5 Be7 7.N5f3 c6 8.Ne5 O-O 9.Ngf3 b6 10.Bd3 Bb7 11.O-O Re8 12.c4 Nf6 13.Bf4 Nbd7 14.Qe2 c5

15.Nf7!! Kxf7 (15…Qc8 16.Qxe6 and White threatens 17.Nh6+, with mate to follow.) 16.Qxe6+!! (He goes there anyway!) 16…Kg6 (16…Kxe6 17.Ng5#) 17.g4 Be4 18.Nh4mate 1-0


George Koltanowski-Enrique Garcia
Blindfold Simul
Havana, 1939
1.e4 c5 2.b4!? (Koltanowski used the Wing Gambit against unsuspecting opponents in simuls. He knew the theory; they usually didn’t. This game is an example.) 2…e6 3.bxc5 Bxc5 4.d4 Bb4+ 5.c3 Be7 6.Bd3 Nf6 7.Ne2 Nc6 8.O-O O-O 9.f4 d6 10.h3 Re8 11.Nd2 Bf8 12.Nf3 d5 13.e5 Ne4 14.Qc2 f5 15.exf6 gxf6 16.Bxe4 dxe4 17.Qxe4 f5 18.Qb1 Re7 19.Ba3 Rg7 20.Bxf8 Kxf8 21.Qb3 Na5 22.Qb4+ Kg8 23.Nc1 Qd5 24.Nd3 b6 25.Rf2 Bb7 26.Re1 h6 27.Nde5 Kh7 28.Qb1 Kh8 29.Kh2 Nc4 30.Nxc4 Qxc4 31.Qb3 Bd5 32.Qxc4 Bxc4 33.Ne5 Bd5 34.g4 Rag8 35.c4 Be4 36.Re3 Rd8 37.Rd2 Rdg8 38.d5 exd5 39.cxd5 Rc7 40.d6 1-0


George Koltanowski-Humphrey Bogart (yes, that Bogart!)
Blindfold Exhibition
San Francisco, 1952
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Bd3 Nf6 5.Ne2

[This is a tricky position. White varied with the seemingly better 5.Bg5, but lost after 5…Bd6 6.Ne2 O-O 7.Nbc3 c6 8.Qd2 b5 9.O-O Bg4 10.Rae1 Nbd7 11.Nd1 Qc7 12.Ng3 Rfe8 13.c3 Ne4 14.Nxe4 Bxh2+ 15.Kh1 dxe4 16.Bxe4 Qd6 17.Qd3 Bf4 18.Bxf4 Qxf4 19.Bxh7+ Kf8 20.Be4 Re6 (White has a problem – how does he stop 21.Rh6+?) 21.Bf3 Rh6+ (He doesn’t.) 0-1 (Garcia Galan Ruiz-Ortega Gonzalez (1905), Malaga Open, Spain, Feb. 23 2010).]

5…Bg4 6.O-O Bd6 7.f3 Be6 8.Bf4 O-O 9.Nd2 Nc6 10.c3 Ne7 11.Bxd6 Qxd6 12.f4 c5 13.Nf3 Nf5 14.Qd2 Ne4 15.Qc1 Rac8 16.dxc5 Qxc5+ 17.Ned4 Nxd4 18.Nxd4 Rc7 19.f5 Bd7 20.Bxe4 dxe4 21.Qf4 Re8 22.Rae1 Re5 23.Rxe4 Rxe4 24.Qxe4 Bc6 25.Qe3 (White has the advantage due to the open lines.)

25…Re7 26.Qg3 Re8 27.f6 g6 28.Qh4 h5 29.Re1 Rxe1+ 30.Qxe1 Qd6 31.Nxc6 Qxc6 32.Qe7 Qc8 33.h3 Qc6 34.b4 Qxc3 35.Qe8+ Kh7 36.Qxf7+ Kh6 37.Qe7 Qc1+ 38.Kf2 (The game is drawn after 38.Kh2?? Qf4+.) 38…Qf4+ 39.Ke2 Qc4+ 40.Kf3 Kg5 41.f7+ 1-0


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



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



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



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




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





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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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



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



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


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


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


6…Nxh5? 7.Bxg7 Nxg7? 8.Rxh8mate 1-0