The Borg

What is the Borg? For Star Trek aficionados, they are an evil group of aliens who kidnap indigenous and sentient life forms and enslave them by use of electronic and computer implants.

But for the chess player, it is a dangerous, reply by Black against 1.e4. And when we say dangerous, we mean dangerous for Black, not White.

What makes this opening so bad for Black?

First of all, White can open the game with 1.g4 and Black can’t stop that move. But Black can really only play this move after 1.e4 (Both 1.d4 g5? 2.Bxg5 and 1.Nf3 g5? 2.Nxg5 quickly loses the game for Black).

Secondly, no one have ever claimed that 1.g4 is a good move. And it’s even worse when it is played a move behind for the following reason:

Thirdly, the move 1.g4 severely weakens White and since Black is a move behind, his reply 1…g5 weakens him even more.

But how did Black’s opening 1.e4 g5 get the name, Borg? Well, the move 1.g4 is known as Grob’s Opening. And Borg is Grob spelled backwards.

But this name only took hold after Star Trek, The New Generation introduced the Borg in an episode titled, “Q Who?”, which aired on May 8, 1989.

So maybe there is something to all this.

Back to the original post!

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

Borg
1.e4 g5

1) 1.e4 g5
2) 1.e4 g5 2.d4
3) 1.e4 g5 2.d4 h6 3.f4
4) 1.e4 g5 2.d4 h6 3.h4

————————————

Borg-1
1.e4 g5 2.d4

The most common response is 2.d4 and at least threaten the pawn on g5 with his c1-bishop. Black can choose to ignore the threat, not really a good idea at this point in the game.

Escalante-“menapaiolin”
Blitz Game
Yahoo, Jan. 1 2003
1.e4 g5 2.d4 g4? 3.Qxg4 d5 4.Qe2 dxe4 5.Qxe4 Nf6 6.Qd3 Bg4 7.Be2 Bh5?? 8.Bxh5 Nxh5 9.Qb5+ c6 10.Qxh5 -+ Nd7 11.Nc3 e6 12.Bf4 Bb4 13.Nge2 Bxc3+ 14.Nxc3 Qb6 15.O-O-O a5 16.Ne4 a4 17.Nd6+ Kd8

18.Nxf7+ Kc8 19.Nd6+!! (Much better than taking the rook and losing the initiative. Keep the enemy king on the run!) 19… Kd8 20.Qg5+ Nf6 21.Qxf6+ Kd7 22.Qf7+ Kd8 23.Nc4 Qxb2+ 24.Kxb2 b5 25.Bd6 a3+ 26.Kb1 bxc4 27.Qc7+ Ke8 28.Qe7mate 1-0

Alan R. LeCours-Richard Pugh
New York Ch.
Kerhonkson, Aug. 31 2003
1.e4 g5 2.d4 e5?! 3.d5 d6 4.Nc3 g4 5.Be3 Nf6 6.Qd2 Nbd7 7.O-O-O Rg8 8.Bd3 a6 9.Nge2 Nc5 10.Ng3 Bd7 11.Kb1 b5 12.Nce2 a5 13.c3 b4 14.c4 a4 15.Nc1 c6 16.f3 Qa5 17.Rhe1 Nb3 18.axb3 a3 19.bxa3
(19…Qxa3 20.Qa2, and White keep his extra piece.) 1-0

Escalante-“Chsstrrrst” (1637)
Blitz Game
chess.com, Jan. 16 2021
1.e4 g5 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Bxg5 Qb6 5.Qc1=
[The chess.com computer says this is an error and suggests the sharper 5.c4, and then the question becomes, can Black reasonably take the b2-pawn with his Queen?

5…Qxb2 6.Nd2, White’s best move, and now:

6…Qxd4?! 7.Ngf3 +/- Qg4 8.cxd5!, and the position between +/- and +- for White.

6…cxd4 7.Bxc4, and White has the advantage.

6…Nc6 7.Rb1 Qxa2 8.Ngf3, and there should be an infinity sign here (which means an unclear position, but I can’t upload that symbol here).]

6.cxd4 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bd3 Bg4 8.Nbd2 O-O-O 9.O-O f6 10.exf6 exf6 11.Bf4 h5 12.h3 Bd7 13.Nh4 Nh6? (Better is 13…Ne5 as the move not only stops Ng6, but White can’t open the c-file with c4.) 14.Ng6 +/- Bg7 15.Nxh8 Rxh8 16.Nf3 Nf5 17.Re1 Nb4 18.Qd2 Nxd3 19.cxd3! (Finally, opening the c-file and Black is ill equipped to defend his isolated king on that file.) 19…h4

20.Rac1+ Bc6 (20…Kd8 21.Bc7+ Qxc7 22.Rxc7 Kxc7 23.Qa5+ +-) 21.Qe2 Kd8 22.Qe6 Bd7 23.Qxd5 Ne7 24.Qf7 Bf8 25.Bc7+ Qxc7 26.Rxc7! Kxc7 27.Rxe7 Bxe7 28.Qxe7 Re8 29.Qc5+ Bc6 30.Nxd4 Re5 31.Qc3 a6 32.Nxc6 bxc6 33.d4 Rd5 34.Kf1 a5 35.b4 a4 36.a3 f5 37.Ke2 Kd7 38.Kf3 1-0 (T)

Borg-2
1.e4 g5 2.d4 Bg7

If Black chooses to ignore the Bxg5 threat, he might also want to counter-attack. And he occasionally succeeds.

IM Craig W. Pritchett-IM Michael J. Basman
Great Britain Ch.
Southampton, England, 1986
1.e4 g5 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c5!?
(This is an interesting, and possibly even a good, move.) 4.d5 h6 5.h4?! (This is possibly where White starts to go wrong. The position is closed and he should not open it up so soon.) 5…gxh4 6.Nf3 d6 7.Nxh4 Nd7 8.Nf5 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Ne5 10.Bb5+ Kf8 11.Be2 Qa5 12.Kf1 Bxf5 13.exf5 Nf6 14.Rxh6 Kg7 15.Rxh8 Rxh8 16.Kg1 Qxc3 17.Rb1 Ne4 18.Bh5 Qd4 19.Be3 Qxd1+ 20.Bxd1 Nc3 21.Ra1 Nxd5 22.Bc1 b5 23.Bb2 f6 24.Rb1 b4 25.Be2 Nf4 26.Bf1 Rh5 27.Bxe5 fxe5 28.g4 Rg5 29.f3 Kf6 30.a3 a5 31.axb4 axb4 32.Bc4 d5 33.Bf1 Rg8 34.Ra1 Rb8 35.Ra6+ Kg5 36.Ra7 c4 37.Rxe7 b3 38.cxb3 cxb3 0-1

But if White remains flexible, he can often take the pawn and still have enough pieces and space to engineer an attack. There is also the issue of Black trying to win the b2-pawn with his queen.

Vladimir Petrienko-Jan Svatos
Trimex Open
Pardubice, Czech Republic, 1992
1.e4 g5 2.d4 Bg7 3.Bxg5 c5 4.Be3 Qb6 5.Nc3
(Again, we have the question about Black taking the b-pawn with his queen. The biggest counter-threat from White is of course, Nd5. So, again, is it worth for Black to take the b-pawn? According to result of this game, the answer is No.)

5…Qxb2?! 6.Nd5 Kd8 7.Rb1 Qxa2 8.Ra1 Qb2 9.Bc4 cxd4 10.Ra2 dxe3 11.Rxb2 exf2+ 12.Kxf2 Bxb2 13.c3 Nc6 14.Qd2 Ba3 15.Qg5 Bc5+ 16.Ke2 Bd4 17.cxd4 Nxd4+ 18.Kf2 Ne6 19.Qh5 f6 20.Nf3 b6 21.Rd1 Bb7 22.Nxb6 1-0

Gennadi Ginsburg-T. Frey
Neckar Open
Deizisau, Germany, Apr. 6 1998
1.e4 g5 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c6?! 4.Bc4 b5 5.Bb3 a5 6.a3 Ba6 7.Qf3 e6 8.e5 d5 9.exd6 Bxd4 10.Ne4 Nd7 11.Ne2 Bg7 12.Bxg5 Qc8 13.O-O c5 14.c4 Bb7 15.cxb5


15…f5? 16.Bxe6 Bxe4 17.Qb3 c4 18.Bxc4 Ngf6 19.f3 Bd5 20.Qe3+ Kf8 21.Qe7+ Kg8 22.Bxd5+ 1-0

Iulia Mashinskaya (2268)-Nikolai Vlassov (2492)
Blitz Game, Chess Planet
Russian Cup, Sept. 7 2004
1.e4 g5 2.d4 Bg7 3.Bxg5 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Bc1 cxd4 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bc4 d6 8.O-O Nf6 9.Re1 Bg4 10.h3 Bh5 11.cxd4 Bxf3 12.Qxf3 Nxd4 13.Qd1 O-O 14.Nc3 Rac8 15.Bd3 Ne6 16.Nd5 Qd8 17.Nxf6+ Bxf6 18.Bh6 Bg7 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Re3 Kh8 21.b3 Rc5 22.Bc4 b5 23.Bd5 Nf4 24.Rf3 e5 25.b4 Rc7 26.Bb3 Rg8 27.Rg3 Rxg3 28.fxg3 Ne6 29.Qd5 Nd4 30.Rf1 Nxb3 31.axb3 Kg7 32.Qxb5 Qg5 33.Qd3 Qg6 34.Kh2 h5 35.h4 a6 36.Qxa6 Rc3 37.Rf3 Rc2 38.Qd3 Rc1 39.Rf5 Qe6 40.Rxh5 Qc8 41.Rg5+ Kh7 42.Qf3 1-0

GM Alexandre Dgebuadze-Man Thomanek
Staufer Open
Leinzell, Jan. 2 2011
1.e4 g5 2.d4 Bg7 3.Bxg5 c5 4.Nf3 cxd4 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.O-O d6 7.Nbd2 Bg4 8.Be2 Bf6 9.Bxf6 Nxf6 10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.Bxg4 Rg8 12.Bh3 Rc8 13.c3 Ne6 14.Qa4+ Kf8 15.Bxe6 fxe6 16.Rad1 Rc5 17.Nf3 b5 18.Qxa7 Qe8 19.e5 Qg6 20.Nh4 Qg5 21.exf6 Qxf6 22.Rd4 Rh5 23.g3 e5 24.Qa8+ Kf7 25.Qd5+ Kf8 26.Rb4 e4 27.Qxe4 1-0

If Black chooses to defend his pawn, his best option is to play 2…h6. White has several moves to counter this defensive move.

Two of the more interesting ways are 3.f4 and 3.h4, with 3.h4 being considered the strongest.

Borg-3
1.e4 g5 2.d4 h6 3.f4

Pablo Michel-Kurt Richter Sr.
Germany Ch.
Bad Oeynhausen, 1938
1.e4 g5 2.d4 h6 3.f4 Bg7 4.c3 gxf4 5.Bxf4 c5 6.dxc5 b6 7.Qg4 Kf8 8.Qg3 Na6 9.cxb6 Qxb6 10.Qf2 Nf6 11.Qxb6 axb6 12.Nf3 Nc5 13.Nbd2 Nfxe4 14.Nxe4 Nxe4 15.Be5 Bxe5 16.Nxe5 Rg8 17.Bd3 Nc5 18.O-O Nxd3 19.Nxd3 Ba6 20.Rf3 Rg5 21.b3 Rc8 22.c4 Bb7 23.Rf2 d5 24.Nf4 Kg7 25.cxd5 Bxd5 26.Re1 e6 27.h4 Rg4 28.Nxd5 exd5 29.Ref1 Rc7 1/2-1/2

Lisa Schut (1918)-Jacob Perrenet
Maastricht Limburg Open
The Netherlands, May 26 2007
1.e4 g5 2.d4 h6 3.f4 Bg7 4.fxg5 hxg5 5.Bxg5 c5 6.Be3 Qb6 7.Nc3 cxd4 8.Nd5 dxe3 9.Nxb6 axb6 10.c3 Nf6 11.Bd3 d5 12.Bb5+ Bd7 13.Bxd7+ Nbxd7 14.Ne2 dxe4 15.Nd4 Ra5 16.Qe2 Rg5 17.O-O-O Ne5 18.h4 Nd3+ 19.Kb1 Rc5 20.Nb3 Rc6 21.Qxe3 Bh6 22.Qe2 Rg8 23.Rhf1 Re6 24.Nd4 Nf4 25.Qb5+ Kf8 26.Nxe6+ Nxe6 27.Qxb6 e3 28.Rfe1 Rxg2 29.Rxe3 Bxe3 30.Qxe3 Rh2 31.Qb6 Rxh4 32.Qxb7 Ne4 33.Qb8+ Kg7 34.Rg1+ Kf6 35.Rf1+ Kg7 36.Rg1+ Kf6 37.a4 Nd2+ 38.Kc2 Nf3 39.Rf1 Neg5 40.Qg3 1-0

Borg-4
1.e4 g5 2.d4 h6 3.h4

Georgios Alexopoulos (2249)-Hristos Giannopoulos
Match
Greece, 1969
1.e4 g5 2.d4 h6 3.h4 gxh4 4.Rxh4 e5 5.Nf3 exd4 6.Qxd4 Qf6 7.e5 Qe7 8.Nc3 c6 9.Be3 d5 10.exd6 Qf6 11.Re4+ Be6 12.O-O-O Bg7 13.d7+ Kd8

14.Qb6+!! axb6 15.Bxb6+ Ke7 16.d8=Qmate 1-0

Philip Giulian (2295)-Michael Basman (2350)
Troon
Scotland, 1986
1.d4 h6 2.e4 g5 3.h4 g4 4.Qxg4 d5 5.Qe2 dxe4 6.Qxe4 Nf6 7.Qd3 Nc6 8.c3 Qd5 9.Nf3 Rg8 10.Nbd2 Bg4 11.Nc4 O-O-O 12.Ne3 Qd6 13.Nxg4 Nxg4 14.Qf5+ Kb8 15.Bf4 e5 16.Nxe5 Nxd4 17.Nxg4 Nc2+ 18.Qxc2 Qxf4 19.Ne3 Bc5 20.g3 Rxg3 21.fxg3 Qxe3+ 0-1

Marcus Osborne (2233)-Michael Basman (2360)
Great Britain Ch.
Torquay, 1998
1.e4 g5 2.d4 h6 3.h4 g4 4.Qxg4 d5 5.Qf4 dxe4 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 e6 8.Nge2 Nf6 9.Nb5 Na6 10.b3 Bd7 11.Ba3 Bxb5 12.Bxb5+ c6 13.Bxa6 Qa5+ 14.Kf1 Qxa6 15.Bc5 Nd7 16.Rd1 O-O-O 17.Bd6 f5 18.a4 Nf6 19.c4 Nh5 20.Qh2 Qa5 21.c5 Rd7 22.Be5 Qb4 23.Bxg7 Qxb3 24.Ra1 Rxg7 25.Qe5 Rhg8 26.Rh3 Qd5 27.Rb1 f4 28.Rhb3 Qxe5 29.dxe5 Rd8 30.Nc3 Rd4 31.Rb4 Rxb4 32.Rxb4 e3 33.fxe3 fxe3 34.g4 Rf7+ 35.Ke2 Nf4+ 36.Kxe3 Nd5+ 37.Nxd5 cxd5 38.g5 hxg5 39.hxg5 Rg7 40.Rg4 Kd7 41.g6 Ke7 42.Kf4 Kf8 43.Kg5 Kg8 44.Kf6 Rc7 45.Rh4 a5 46.Kxe6 Rxc5 47.Kf6 Rc1 48.e6 Rf1+ 49.Ke7 Kg7 50.Rg4 d4 51.Rxd4 Kxg6 52.Kd7 1-0


Corona Problems? No problem!

I haven’t been to a tournament or even a club for some time now.

 

Mostly this is due with the “Stay Home” initiative.

 

The gym is closed. So is the local college, the library, the mall, bookstores, movie houses, amusement parks, coffee houses, fast food restaurants, churches, and various work places. The beach is still open here in Huntington Beach. But city and county officials are talking about closing that too.

 

So, what do if you really want to play chess?

 

Naturally, there is the Internet. I play on chess.com. But you can find many other sites to play Blitz, Bughouse, and even tournament games.

 

 

s-l1600 (1)

And get out those old Informants! The books you acquired some time ago, and just didn’t have the time to read or study from it. Go ahead, grab an issue, a pen, a highlighter and a notepad. Mark up the book, write your notes on the paper, and have some fun!

 

If you have a word processor, you might enter your favorite games and your notes right onto your laptop.

 

But what to do if you don’t have any Informants? Well, any chess book will do! Even if it is written by Reinfeld and annotated in Descriptive Notation (DN). Hint! – his best book is 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations.

 

s-l500 (3) BCF_Yearbook_Cover_1995_2s-l500 (2)

 

And then proceed as above.

 
And if you are one of those rare chess players who doesn’t own a single book on chess, then you still have options to enjoy the game.

 

You can always read and study various chess magazines. Even old ones.

BCM_2001_June

 

They can be ordered on ebay.com And available in different languages.

 
You can also download games from the Internet in PDF, PGN, http, or text fashion.

 
If you want human interaction, you can email a friend. Request games to enjoy or study. Offer to play games via email. Or even by telephone.

Old-fashioned blue telephone on a white background.
I did that, pre-Internet. Just be sure to have a pen and notepad or scoresheet – you might want a copy of the game (another hint here!)

 

Most important of all, during this time of self-isolation and possible mass paranoia and hysteria, keep busy. Don’t miss an opportunity to enjoy the one thing that a virus can’t block you from doing; that is to enjoy your game, your life.

 

David Cummings-Yura Ochkoos
Kitchener Octoberfest Open
Ontario, Canada, 2002
[This game can be found in “Across Canada”, in the December, 1992 issue of “En Passant”, published by Chess Federation of Canada. Notes by Escalante (who is stuck at home).]
1.c4 e6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 c5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 Nc6 6.cxd5 exd5 7.O-O Be7 8.Be3 c4 9.Ne5 O-O 10.b3 cxb3 11.Qxb3 Na5 (ECO gives 11…Bd6 as being equal. But now it appears that the text move is slightly stronger. Meanwhile, we are still in “book”.) 12.Qa4 a6 13.Bd2 Nc4 14.Nxc4 b5 15.Qc2

[Egon Brestian (2475)-Reinhard Lendwai (2405), Austria Ch., 1991, continued instead with 15.Ba5 Qe8 16.Qc2 bxc4 17.Nc3 Be6 18.e4 dxe4 (Qd7!?) 19.Nxe4 Nd5 20.Nc5 Bxc5 21.dxc5 Qe7 22.Bb6 Rab8 23.Rab1 Qf6 24.a4 Rfc8 25.a5 Nc3 26.Rbc1 Nb5 27.Rfd1 Nd4 28.Qe4 Nb3 29.Rxc4 Bxc4 30.Qxc4 Nxc5 31.Bxc5 Qg5 32.Bd5 Kh8 33.Qd4 Rb5 34.Bb6 Rc1 35.Bf3 Rxd1+ 36.Qxd1 h5

2020_03_26_A

37.Qd8+! (Simplifying into a winning 2B vs. R endgame.) 37…Qxd8 (37…Kh7? 38.Qxg5 Rxg5 39.Bb7 wins.) 38.Bxd8 Kh7 39.Bb6 Kg6 40.Be2 1-0]

 
15…bxc4 16.Nc3 Be6 17.Bg5 Rb8 18.e3 Qa5 19.Rab1 Bb4?! 20.Bxf6 Bxc3 21.Be5 Rb5 22.e4 Rd8 23.a4! Rxb1 24.Rxb1 dxe4 25.Bxe4 Bxd4? 26.Bxd4 Rxd4

2020_03_26_B

27.Qc3!! 1-0

TAL’S SACRIFICES

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Kliavinsh-GM Tal
Latvian Ch., 1958
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.f4 b5 10.a3 Nbd7 11.Be3 (If you are thinking about 11.Bxe6, please remember there are three type of sacrifices; there are good sacrifices, bad sacrifices and Tal-like sacrifices. This move is neither a Tal-like, or even a good sacrifice, as after 11.Bxe6?! fxe6 12.Nxe6 Qb6+ 13.Kh1 Rf7 Black is a little better. Black can also play 12.Nxe6 Qe8. In either case White is down material with very little compensation.) 11…Bb7 12.Bxe6?! fxe6 13.Nxe6 Qe8! (This, however, is a Tal-like sacrifice. The Black rook will stay en prise for the next few moves until White takes it. For that, Tal will get exactly what he wants – very active pieces.) 14.Qd4 Rc8 15.Rae1 Rc4 16.Qa7 Qc8 17.Nxf8 Bxf8 18.Bd4 d5 19.Kh1 dxe4 20.Rd1 Qc6 21.b3 Rxc3 22.Bxc3 e3 23.Rf3 e2!
2019_09_25_A
[This is just a good move and nothing special. However, a good sacrifice is just around the corner. We would like to see it on the scoresheet. But White resigned so we’ll have to see it in the analysis. After 24.Re1, Black has 24…Qxf3! (It’s both a good sacrifice and a Tal-like sacrifice for sure!) 25.gxf3 Bxf3+ 26.Kg1 Bc5+ 27.Qxc5 Nxc5 28.Kf2 Bh5, and Black wins!] 0-1

 

Isaak Birbrager-Tal
Kharkov, 1953
[Notes based on NM SamCopeland’s excellent article, “Mikhail Tal’s Most Spectacular Queen Sacrifice – Birbrager vs. Tal, 1953”, chess.com, Sept. 9 2019]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.Bd3 (White has several alternatives here; 8.Nf3, 8.Bg5, 8.Nd2, and even 8.h3.) 8…O-O 9.O-O Na6?! 10.Nd2 Nb4 11.Be2 {11.Bb1! +/-. This would have contained the knight more effectively and kept an eye on possible kingside actions.) 11…Re8 12.a3 Na6 13.Re1 Nc7 14.Qc2 Rb8 15.a4 b6 16.Nb5? a6 17.Nxc7 (17.Na7!?. The text move practically forces Black’s response.) 17…Qxc7 18.Ra2 Qe7 19.f3? Nh5! (Getting ready to steamroll the kingside pawns with the knight providing cover.) 20.Nf1 f5! 21.Bd3 f4! (The plan of …Be5, and …g5-g4 with a mating attack is deadly.) 22.g4! Bd4+ 23.Kh1 (23.Kg2? Qh4 24.Re2 Bxg4! 25.fxg4 Qxg4+ 26.Kh1 Qg1#.) 23…Qh4 24.Re2 Qh3? 25.Rg2 Qxf3 26.Nd2 (26.gxh5 Rxe4! -+ is a beautiful and punishing blow.) 26…Qe3 27.Nf1 Qf3 28.Nd2 (draw?)
2019_09_25_B
28…Bxg4!! (No draw! Tal chooses to sacrifice his queen instead! This is a perfect example of a “Tal” sacrifice; there is not a clear idea to regain the material, but Tal’s pieces are alive and crackling with energy while White’s pieces struggle to find meaning in the position. Objectively, MAYBE White can defend, but there’s no clear refutation, and White collapses almost immediately.) 29.Nxf3 Bxf3 30.h4 Rf8 31.Be2?? Ng3+ 32.Kh2 Bxg2 33.Kxg2 Nxe2 34.Qxe2 f3+ 35.Qxf3 Rxf3 36.Kxf3 Rf8+ 37.Kg3 Be5+ 38.Kg2 Bf4 […Rf4 (before or after trading on c1) wins another pawn and the game.] 0-1

 

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

2019_09_25_C
15.Nxf7! Kxf7 16.f3! Nexd5 17.fxe4 Nxc3 18.Bxc3 Qxe4 19.Qh5+ Ke6 20.Qh3+ Kd6 (20…Kf7! 21.Rf5! is unclear but the advantage probably lies with White.) 21.b4!! Kc7 22.Rac1 +/- Rc8 23.Rf5!! Qg4 24.Be5+ Kd7 25.Qf1 Qe4?  26.Rc4 Qc6 27.Qh3 (27.Bxf6 gxf6 28.Rxf6 Qd5 29.Qh3 Kc7 30.Rf8 +-) 27…Qe6 (27…Kd8 28.bxc5+-) 28.Bxf6 gxf6 29.Re4! +- Qa2 30.Rxc5+ 1-0

 

Bobotsov-Tal
World Junior Team Ch.
Varna, 1958
[E81]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Nge2 c5 7.Be3 Nbd7 (Another move is 7…Nc6!?) 8.Qd2 a6 9.O-O-O Qa5!? (Aggressive, provocative, and encourages piece play by Black.) 10.Kb1 b5 11.Nd5
2019_09_25_D
11…Nxd5! (Not only is it unexpected, it is also among of his most sound sacrifices. Tal’s pieces really come alive!) 12.Qxa5?

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

Here are two games for future study of this game.

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

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

Back to the Tal game.]

12…Nxe3 13.Rc1 Nxc4! (The strong knight threatens the queen and she doesn’t have good square to move.) 14.Rxc4 bxc4 15.Nc1 (White, despite giving back some of the material, finds his king stripped of defensive pieces and pawns and sitting on an semi-open file.) 15…Rb8 16.Bxc4 Nb6 17.Bb3 Bxd4 (Among other threats, the move …c4! wins at once.) 18.Qd2 Bg7 19.Ne2 c4 20.Bc2 (Not 20.Bd1? as White may need to move his rook to the queenside.) 20…c3 21.Qd3 (Winning for Black is 21.Nxc3? Nc4! 22.Qc1 Bxc3 -+.) 21…cxb2 22.Nd4 Bd7 23.Rd1 Rfc8! (There is no escape for White’s king.) 24.Bb3 Na4 25.Bxa4 Bxa4 26.Nb3 Rc3 27.Qxa6 Bxb3 28.axb3 Rbc8 29.Qa3 Rc1+ 30.Rxc1 Rxc1+ (This position deserves a diagram.)
2019_09_25_E
0-1

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ART OF QUEEN SACRIFICES

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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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!!

2019_09_18_B

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Maryasin-Kapengut
Minsk, 1969 (D01)
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5 (The often neglected Veresov’s Opening.) 3…Nbd7 4.Nf3 g6 5.e3 Bg7 6.Bd3 c5 7.Ne5 O-O 8.Qf3 Qb6 9.O-O-O e6 10.h4 Nxe5 11.dxe5 Nd7 12.h5 Nxe5 13.Qh3 f5 14.hxg6 hxg6 15.Be2 d4 16.Na4 Qb4 17.f4 Qxa4 18.fxe5 Qxa2 19.Qh7+ Kf7 20.Bf6 Qa1+ 21.Kd2 Qa5+ 22.c3 Rg8
2019_09_18_C

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

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

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

 

D. Byrne-Fischer
Rosenwald Memorial
New York 1956 (D97)
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.d4 O-O 5.Bf4 d5 6.Qb3 dxc4 7.Qxc4 c6 8.e4 Nbd7 9.Rd1 Nb6 10.Qc5 Bg4 11.Bg5 Na4 12.Qa3 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Nxe4 14.Bxe7 Qb6 15.Bc4 Nxc3 16.Bc5 Rfe8+ 17.Kf1 Be6!!
2019_09_18_D

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

 
Averbakh-Kotov
Zurich, 1953 (A55)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nf3 Nbd7 4.Nc3 e5 5.e4 Be7 6.Be2 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.Qc2 Re8 9.Rd1 Bf8 10.Rb1 a5 11.d5 Nc5 12.Be3 Qc7 13.h3 Bd7 14.Rbc1 g6 15.Nd2 Rab8 16.Nb3 Nxb3 17.Qxb3 c5 18.Kh2 Kh8 19.Qc2 Ng8 20.Bg4 Nh6 21.Bxd7 Qxd7 22.Qd2 Ng8 23.g4 f5 24.f3 Be7 25.Rg1 Rf8 26.Rcf1 Rf7 27.gxf5 gxf5 28.Rg2 f4 29.Bf2 Rf6 30.Ne2
2019_09_18_E

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

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

 
Nigmadzianov-Kaplun
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.)
2019_09_18_F

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

 

E. Z. Adams-C. Torre
New Orleans 1920 (C62)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 (Ah!, there is the better move in Philidor’s Defence) 3…exd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.O-O Be7 9.Nd5 Bxd5 10.exd5 O-O 11.Bg5 c6 12.c4 cxd5 13.cxd5 Re8 14.Rfe1 a5 15.Re2 Rc8 16.Rae1 Qd7 17.Bxf6 Bxf6
2019_09_18_G

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

THE 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

De_Legal
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?
2019_08_08_A
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

2019_08_08_B
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.)

 

 

BODEN’S MATE

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

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

 

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

2019_06_26_A

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

 

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

 

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

 

cn7364_chess3_A

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

2019_06_26_B
11.axb4! Qxa1+ 12.Kd2 Qxh1 13.Qxc6+! bxc6 14.Ba6mate 1-0

 

 

Other famous games include the following:

 

Alekhine–Vasic
Banja Luka, 1931
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bd3 Bxc3+? 5.bxc3 h6? 6.Ba3 Nd7 7.Qe2 dxe4 8.Bxe4 Ngf6 9.Bd3 b6?? 10.Qxe6+! fxe6 11.Bg6mate 1-0

 

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

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

 

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

2019_06_26_C
22.Qxc6+! Bxc6 23.Rxc6+ 1-0

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

And on rare occasions, no sacrifice is needed.

 

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

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
2019_04_25_A
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
2019_04_25_B
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.

 

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

 

Gonssiorovsky-Alekhine
Odessa, 1918
(C24)
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Qe2 Be7 5.f4 d5 6.exd5 exf4 7.Bxf4 O-O 8.Nd2 cxd5 9.Bb3 a5 10.c3 a4 11.Bc2 a3 12.b3?! (12.Rb1 is better. Lusin-Morgado, corres. 1968 continued with 12…Bd6 13.Qf2 Ng4 14.Qg3 Re8+ 15.Kd1 Ne3+ 16.Kc1 Nf5 17.Qf2 Bxf4 18.Qxf4 Re1+ 19.Bd1 Ne3 20.Ngf3 Rxh1 21.Qxe3 axb2+ 22.Rxb2 Nc6 23.a4 Rxa4 24.Qe2 Ra1+ 25.Rb1 Rxb1+ 26.Nxb1 h6 27.Nbd2 Qe7 28.Kb2 Qxe2 29.Bxe2 g5 30.Nf1 Bg4 31.Ng3 Bxf3 32.Bxf3 Rxh2 33.Bxd5 h5 34.Kc1 Kg7 35.Kd2 Ne5 36.d4 Ng4 37.Ke2 h4 38.Nf1 Rh1 39.Bxb7 h3 40.gxh3 Rxh3 41.c4 f5 42.c5 Kf6 43.c6 Rc3 1/2-1/2) 12…Re8 13.O-O-O Bb4 14.Qf2 Bxc3 15.Bg5 Nc6 16.Ngf3 d4 17.Rhe1 Bb2+ 18.Kb1 Nd5! (The Queen is offered for the first time.) 19.Rxe8+ (Naturally 19.Bxd8 fails to 19…Nc3#) 19…Qxe8 20.Ne4 Qxe4! (The second offer!) 21.Bd2 Qe3 (The third offer!) 22.Re1 (Now White gets into the act!) 22…Bf5 23.Rxe3 dxe3 24.Qf1 exd2 25.Bd1 Ncb4! (And White finally realizes that he cannot stop Nc3#.) 0-1

 

E. Z. Adams-C. Torre
New Orleans, 1920 (C62)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 (Ah!, there is the better move in Philidor’s Defence) 3…exd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.O-O Be7 9.Nd5 Bxd5 10.exd5 O-O 11.Bg5 c6 12.c4 cxd5 13.cxd5 Re8 14.Rfe1 a5 15.Re2 Rc8 16.Rae1 Qd7 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 18.Qg4! (The first offer) 18…Qb5 19.Qc4! (The second offer) 19…Qd7 20.Qc7! (The third!) 20…Qb5 21.a4! Qxa4 22.Re4 Qb5 23.Qxb7 (This, the fourth offer, is too much for Black to handle.) 1-0

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