I love miniatures. They are chess games that end in 25 moves or less.
Not usually mentioned in this definition, but certainly expected by those, who like me, enjoy miniatures, is that such games must also amuse, entertain, or at least be educational.
GrandMaster (GM) draws, are therefore not considered miniatures. Here is a recent example:
GM Pavel Eljanov-GM Wesley So
Reyjavik Open, 2013
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 1/2-1/2 (Draw agreed)
Nothing exciting. None of the players wanted to win. What has been done? What has been learned or taught? Nothing! Nada! Zip! Zero! Boring!!!!
We as spectators, and more to the point, sponsors (or patrons, as we pay to watch these two competitors fight it out), have a right to be disappointed, frustrated (some of us may have to drive a long distance or take a day off of work), and would rightfully demand our money back. Can you imagine any other professional event in which two competitors are allowed to call it an event a tie after less than 10 minutes and then leave the arena, field, or stage?
Less clear are the thousands of silly beginner games where one player drops a queen or king very quickly in a game. Entertaining perhaps (at least to one of the players), but not too educational to those who don’t usually fall into Fool’s Mate, Scholar’s Mate, or De Legal’s Mate.
The miniatures I will share on this blog will all be 25 moves or less, with no GM draws, and not too many beginner mistakes.
Here is a miniature. A good one. Enjoy it – it’s from the pages of Chess Review and you probably won’t find it anywhere else. 😉
[Wren, “Tales of a Woodpusher, Fun With Gambits”, Chess Review, July, 1947, pg. 10]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.O-O (This move, offering the knight in return for quick development, and for an attack which is strong and immediate, is known as the Muzio Gambit. Black can usually live through it – but in order to survive at all, he must play very correctly. Just one little mistake, or even a transposed move, and White’s attack may become irresistible.) 5…gxf3 6.Qxf3 Bd6 (This is the little mistake I spoke of in the note above. He cannot hope to defend the Pawn (at f4) indefinitely. He can only fight a delaying action, which is usually done by Qf6 and Bh6. The text move, blocking his Queen’s Pawn, is fatal.) 7.d4 Qe7 8.Bxf4? (This move was questioned by one of my friends. He thought that 8.e5 would have been stronger. True, it chases his Bishop from its ill-chosen perch to the only safe square at b4, whence he may be exiled to a5 by White’s c3. My move, however, was played deliberately, developing a piece with a forcing motion, inviting the exchange of Bishops, but placing Black under a continually mounting pressure.) 8…Bxf4 9.Qxf4 f6 10.Nc3 c6 (Black prepares to shut off the White Bishop’s diagonal by d5.) 11.e5 d6 12.exd6 Qg7 (Readers not inured to modern atomic warfare should stand well back. The slaughter from here on in is really grim.) 13.Rae1+ Kf8 14.d7 Bxd7 15.Qd6+ Ne7 16.Rxf6+ Ke8 17.Rf7 Qg5 18.Rexe7+ Kd8 19.Rxd7+ 1-0