Notes on Notes

Annotation is adding evaluations, thematic considerations, analyses, comments, notes and references to other games or manuals.

It is meant to help the chess enthusiast who is playing over a game.

EVALUATIONS, Informator Style

In 1966 the Šahovski Informator (more commonly known as Informator) was first published in Belgrade (then the capital of Yugoslavia). Introduced were many easy-to-understand symbols to help evaluate a game. They included a “+-“, meaning White is winning and “-+” meaning Black is winning. These symbols, because of their simplicity, became standard in annotated games. A more complete list, along with other universal symbols, can be found here:

EVALUATIONS, Chess Engines

Chess Engines give a +1.00 if White is pawn ahead. This does not necessarily that White is a physical pawn up in the game. Instead, White has a position that worth a pawn more than Black. An evaluation of +3.00 means that White is up a piece (1 piece = 3 pawns). This means White is winning.

Black’s advantages are indicated by a “-“ sign. So, a -1.00 means Black has a position worth a pawn up and -3.00 means he has a position worth an extra piece.

But they don’t usually tell you why a position is worth +0.45 or why 0.90 is better. Or how to use or exploit your advantage.

Stick with the Informator evaluations.


Sometimes it is useful to consider moves that support thematic ideas. For example, one could mention that in the Nimzo-Indian (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4), White wants to put a pawn on e4 with a broad center and threatening .e5. Or one could be reminded that in the King’s Gambit, a tempo is often worth more than a piece.


Simply put, an analysis is what will happen with best play from both players from a certain position. It can be easy as stating and showing a mate in 10 moves, or how a pawn grab can result in a loss for the player that took the pawn that proved to be poisonous.


Such items can make the game even enriching; more interesting. Here, we are introduced to what a player’s thoughts and concerns may be. And they may be non-chess related (like a how he might worry about missing a bus if he game goes on too long). And maybe he will tell us why he chose a Najdorf rather than a Pirc. (it’s happened before!)

REFERENCES to other games or manuals.

It is common for an annotator to reference the reader to other games that have similar themes in the opening, or other moves he can consider. It is not by only one game that a student learns the Game.

A good annotator is also one to seek out what others have said about the game, the opening, or a sacrifice. And give credit when it is due.

I enjoy annotating games – believe me, it helps and forces me to become better.

And when I do not, usually because someone’s annotations are better than mine, I document it.

Here is my basic format:

[A, B, C]

From a magazine

B= Name of article
C=Name of magazine, along with issue date

From a book or web page

B= Name of book or web page
C= Game number (such as Chernev’s 1000 Best Short Games of Chess or any other book where the games are numbered).

When something is unknown that section is left blank.

Sudakova (2381)-Stupak (2361)
St. Petersburg FINEC IM, Jan. 30 2007
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nc6 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nd7 6.c3 f6 7.Bb5 a6 8.Bxc6 bxc6 9.O-O fxe5 10.dxe5 c5 11.Qa4 Bb7 12.Nb3 a5 13.Bg5 Be7
(14…Bc8 15.Nxe6 and the black queen gets buried.) 1-0

Villanueva-IM Pablo Michel
Buenos Aires, 1960
[IM Minev, “Tactic, Tactics, and More Tactics – The Long Dozen”, Inside Chess, May 27 1991, pg. 28/9]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 c5 5.dxc5 Bxc5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bg5 Qa5 8.O-O-O?
(Recent theory shows 8.Bd2 Qd8 9.e3 O-O 10.Be2 with a slightly better game.) 8…Nb4 9.Qb3 Ng4! 10.a3 Nc6 11.Ne4 f5 12.Nxc5 Qxc5 13.h3? (White is in trouble. He thinks that in this way the f3-pawn will be saved.) 13…Nxf2! 0-1 (White missed the point that after 14.Be3 Black has 14…Na5 15.Qc3 Nxd1 winning an exchange.)

Phil Thoma (2153)-Kokesh (2009)
Team Ch., 1996
[Thoma, Oklahoma Chess Bulletin, Nov. 1996, pg. 7,8]
1.b4 Nf6 2.Bb2 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.f4 O-O 5.Nf3 d6 6.d3
(The only move to keep a knight on f3 and not trade off the white-squared bishops after 6…Bg4) 6…c6 (Announcing his intention of sending the lady to b6 where it hits two pawns and also keeps an eye on white’s ambitions.) 7.a4 (I wanted this move to work so badly that I gave up trying to calculate all the ensuring variations and just played it.) 7…Qb6 (And why not? The resulting firestorm was hard to see and the move itself was excellent.) 8.Qd2 (Only move.) 8…Ne4

9.a5 Nxd2
[Black rises to the occasion and plays the only move. For example, 9…Bxb2 10.axb6 Nxd2 11.Rxa7 Nxf3+ 12.gxf3 Nd7 (not 12…Rxa7 13.bxa7) 13.Rxa8 Nxb6 14.Ra2 Bg7 and White has the center. If 9…Qc7 10.Qc1 Bxb2 11.Qxb2 and N retreats.] 10.axb6 Nxf3+ (But here the dragon should strike back with 10…Bxb2 11.Rxa7 Nxb1 12.Rxa8 Nd7 and Black appears to have a big plus.) 11.gxf3 (Now it is too late for 11…Bxb2 as White wins the exchange.) 11…Na6 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 (And White now has the upper hand again.) 13.bxa7 Nxb4 14.Kd2 (It is important to understand that time is of the essence here. If White is to make use of the bone in the throat, he has to attack the Black king with utmost speed. The back rank must be cleared and the rooks brought into play. It is not dangerous for White to keep his king in the center because Black’s queen rook is tied to the bone.) 14…c5 15.Nc3 Bd7 (To stop 16.Na4) 16.Be2 Na6 (Maybe 16…Bc6 and stopping the knight maneuver is better, but I can understand Black’s reluctance to part with his prelate considering White’s could become powerful in attacking the Black king.) 17.Nd5 (The stallion rears and stomps down on a powerful square.) 17…Rxa7 (Otherwise 18.Nb6 wins the exchange.) 18.Nb6 (Note that 18.Nxe7 Be6 19.c4 Re8 20.Nd5 Bxd5 21.cxd5 Rea8 22.Rhb1 Nb4 23.Rxa7 Rxa7 24.Rb2 leaves Black with a big plus due to his passed b-pawn and dark square dominance.) 18…Bc6 19.h4 h5 (Necessary.) 20.Rhg1 Kf6 21.Rg5 (Stopping 21…e5 as 22.f5 would really turn the rackscrew.) 21…e6 22.e4 Re8 23.f5 exf5 24.exf5 Re5 25.fxg6 fxg6 (Not 25…Rxg5 26.gxf7 Kxf7 27.hxg5 and White rolls.) 26.Rg3 d5 27.Rag1 Be8 28.Nc8 Ra8 29.Nd6 Nb4 30.Nxe8+ Raxe8 31.Rxg6+ Ke7 32.R1g5 Kd8 33.Rxe5 Rxe5 34.Rg5 Rxg5 35.hxg5 d4 36.f4 h4 37.Bf3 b5 38.f5 Ke7 39.f6+ Kf7 40.Bh5+ Kg8 41.g6 h3 42.Bg4 (As after 42…h2 43.Be6+ Kh8 44.g7+ Kh7 45.g8=Q+ Kh6 46.Bf7 and mates next move.) 1-0

Lapshun (2566) – Paschall (2483)
New York Masters, 2003
[G. Shahade]
1.b4 d5 2.Bb2 Bg4 3.Qc1!!!
(NEW WORLD RECORD!!! Fastest Qc1 ever in master level chess!!! After watching enough of Lapshun’s openings I’ve run out of ways to poke fun at his unorthodox moves.) 3…Nd7 4.c4 e6 5.e3 Ngf6 6.a3 a5 7.c5 c6 8.Be2 Bxe2 9.Nxe2 b6 10.d4 Be7 (Lapshuns bishop on b2 isn’t looking so happy…) 11.O-O O-O 12.Nd2 Qc7 13.Qc2 Ng4 14.g3 f5 15.Nf4 Rf6 16.h3 Nh6 17.Nd3 a4? (A huge positional mistake…if black wanted to close up the position, he had to play ….b5 first.) 18.cxb6 (And all the sudden white has all the play…..the c-pawn is very weak, and the knights will come to e5 and f4.) 18…Qxb6 19.Rac1 Nb8 20.Nf3 Rf8 21.Nf4 Re8 22.Ne5 (Lapshun’s position looks extremely pleasing. Most of white’s pieces are very well placed, whereas blacks pieces are randomly scattered about.) 22…Ra6 23.Qe2 Bd6 24.Nfd3 Ra7 25.Rc2 Nf7 26.Rfc1 Nxe5 27.dxe5 (Ooops….and now the bishop that looked so bad earlier in the game, will trade itself for a rook after Bd4 next move.) 27…Bf8 28.Bd4 Qa6 29.Bxa7 Qxa7 30.Nc5 g6 31.Rc3 Bg7 32.f4 Bf8 33.h4 h6 34.Kf2 Re7 35.Qc2 Re8 36.Qd1 g5 37.hxg5 hxg5 38.Qh5 (Completely crushing, attacks the rook on e8, prepares either Qxg5 or Rh1.) 1-0

The Rarest Mate?

Every player knows how to mate a lone with a queen and king. And how to mate with a single rook.

Mating themes such as back rank mates, smothered mates and De Legal’s mate are also well-known.

Not some common are the two bishops’ mate or a bishop and knight mate.

But what is the rarest mate?

It is most probably the en passant mate.

Note: if you do not know what en passant is, there are numerous websites that identify and describe this move. One of the clearest definitions can be found at :

With less than a handful of games ending in an en passant mate, out of the tens of millions of games played, there can be little doubt of its rarity.

Of course there is always the possibility that there are some games that have escaped my attention. If you know any that are not on this list, please email me. Thanks!

One quick note here. The en passant moves given in the games below have “e.p.” after the en passant move. Most of the time in chess literature these letters are omitted. They are included here solely to make the en passant moves easier to find.

Now let’s go to the games!

This first one is from Chernev’s miniature masterpiece, “1000 Best Short Games of Chess”, (game #296).

Pietzcker Christmas Tournament
Melbourne, 1928
[Chernev, “1000 Best Short Games of Chess”, #296]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 cxd4 5.cxd4 Bb4+ 6.Nc3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Nge7 8.Bd3 O-O 9.Bxh7+ Kxh7 10.Ng5+ Kg6 11.h4 Nxd4 (White is not mollified by a return of a piece; l’attack, toujours l’attack.) 12.Qg4 f5 13.h5+ Kh6

14.Nxe6+ g5 15.hxg6 e.p. mate! (An extraordinary finish – checkmate by capturing a pawn by en passant!) 1-0

This is more recent game.

Irina Korepanova-Alexander Tishkov
Governor Cup
Khanty Mansyisk
Russia, Nov. 23 2007
1.b4 e5 2.Bb2 Bxb4 3.Bxe5 Nf6 4.a3

[It is still far too early to determine if this move should be considered a !? or ?!.

More common is 4.c4 O-O and the results are mixed.

Dopper-Van Loon
corres., 1990
1.b4 e5 2.Bb2 Bxb4 3.Bxe5 Nf6 4.c4 O-O 5.e3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Nf3 Re8 8.Bb2 Nc6 9.Be2 Rxe3 10.fxe3 Nxe3 11.Qb3 Qe7 12.Kf2 Ng4+ 13.Kf1 Be6 14.Qc2 Re8 15.Nc3 Qc5 16.Ke1 Bf5 17.Qb3 Bxc3 18.Qxc3 Qf2+ 19.Kd1 Qxe2+ 20.Kc1 Nge5 21.Ne1 a5 22.Qg3 Nb4 23.Bxe5 Rxe5 24.Qc3 Re6 25.Kb2 Rb6 0-1

P. Wolff-Schurig
corres., 1990
1.b4 e5 2.Bb2 Bxb4 3.Bxe5 Nf6 4.c4 O-O 5.e3 Nc6 6.Bb2 d5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Nf3 Bg4 9.Be2 Re8 10.O-O Qe7 11.d4 Rad8 12.Qb3 b6 13.a3 Ba5 14.Bb5 Bxf3 15.Bxc6 Qg5 16.g3 Qh5 17.h4 Qg4 18.Kh2 Re6 19.Bxd5 Rxd5 0-1

M. Graf-Rau
Schwabisch Gmund
Germany, 1995
1.b4 e5 2.Bb2 Bxb4 3.Bxe5 Nf6 4.c4 O-O 5.e3 d5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bb2 Re8 8.Be2 Bg4 9.O-O Bd6 10.d4 Qd7 11.Nbd2 Rad8 12.Rc1 Na5 13.c5 Be7 14.Ne5 Bxe2 15.Qxe2 Qa4 16.Rc3 Qxa2 17.Qb5 a6 18.Qb4 Nc6 19.Nxc6 bxc6 20.Ra3 1-0

Lasphun (2537)-Sinn (2282)
World Open, 2003
1.b4 e5 2.Bb2 Bxb4 3.Bxe5 Nf6 4.c4 O-O 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bb2 Re8 7.e3 d5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Be2 Rxe3 10.fxe3 Nxe3 11.Qb3 Nxg2+ 12.Kd1 Be6 13.Qd3 Qe7 14.Nd4 Nf4 15.Nxc6 bxc6 16.Qd4 Bb3+ 17.axb3 Qxe2+ 18.Kc2 1-0.]

4…Be7 5.e3 O-O 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bb2 a6 8.d4 d5 9.c4 Be6 10.Nbd2 h6 11.Rc1 Na5 12.Ne5 c6 13.c5 Ne4 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Rc3 b5 16.Qc2 Bd5 17.Be2 Qe8 18.Bh5 g6 19.Bg4 Kg7 20.Nd7 f5 21.Nxf8 fxg4 22.Nxg6 Qxg6 23.g3 Nb7 24.h3 Rf8 25.h4 h5 26.Rh2 a5 27.a4 b4 28.Rb3 Qe6 29.Qd2 Kg6 30.Rxb4 axb4 31.Qxb4 Qc8 32.Ke2 Bd8 33.Rh1 Ba5 34.Qa3 Qf5! (Black’s attack can’t be stopped; he coming in via f3.) 35.Rh2 Qf3+ 36.Kf1 Qd1+ 37.Kg2 Qe1! [Back is threatening 38…Rxf2#. White makes the only (legal) to avoid this mate.]

38.f4 exf3 e.p. mate (39…gxf3+ won’t work because of 40.Kh2!) 0-1

Frederick Rhine-N.N.
Blitz Game, May 14 2010

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 c6 4.Bxc4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.Re1 b5 9.Bd3 Nbd7 10.e5 Nd5 11.Bc2 b4 12.Qd3 f5 13.exf6 N7xf6 14.Na4 a5 15.Ng5 Ba6 16.Qh3 h6 17.Qxe6+ Kh8 18.Nf7+ Rxf7 19.Qxf7 Qd6 20.Nc5 Rf8 21.Qe6 Bc8 22.Qxd6 Bxd6 23.Ne6 Bxe6 24.Rxe6 Bf4 25.Rxc6 Bxc1 26.Rxc1 Nf4 27.Re1 Rd8 28.g3 Nh3+ 29.Kg2 Ng5 30.Bg6 Rxd4 31.Rc8+ Ng8 32.h4 Nh7 33.Bf7 Nf6 34.Bxg8 Nxg8 35.Ree8 Rd2 36.Rxg8+ Kh7 37.h5 g5 38.hxg6 e.p. mate 1-0

Frederick Rhine-N.N.
Blitz Game, Sept. 18 2017
May 14 2010
1.d4 b6 2.e4 Bb7 3.Bd3 e6 4.Nf3 Nf6?!
(4…c5!? is more common as the knight on f6 is subject to an early e5.) 5.Qe2 h6 6.e5 Nd5 7.a3 Be7 8.c4 O-O 9.cxd5 Bxd5 10.Nc3 Bb7 11.O-O d6 12.Ne4 dxe5 13.dxe5 Nc6 14.Bf4 Nd4 15.Nxd4 Qxd4 16.Rad1 Rad8 17.Rfe1 f5 18.exf6 Bxf6 19.Nxf6+ Qxf6 20.Bxc7 Rxd3 21.Rxd3 Ba6 22.Bg3 Bxd3 23.Qxd3 Qxb2 24.Rxe6 Rf6 25.Re8+ Kf7 26.Qd7+ Kg6 27.h4 Qxa3 28.Rg8 Rf7 29.h5+ Kh7 30.Qxf7 Qa1+ 31.Kh2 a5 32.Qf8 g5 33.hxg6 e.p. mate 1-0

This is my game. The opening is bad but the ending is the best way to end this post.

“Papiconi” (1322)-Escalante (1958)
King’s Bishop Thematic Tournament, May 2021
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d5 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.Bb5+ c6??
(6.Qxb5 wins instantly! The only excuse I might offer is that I came home late and tired from work when I made this move.) 7.Be2 dxe4 8.Nd4 Qe5 9.c3 Ne7 10.h3 Nf5 11.Bg4 Ng3+ 12.Kg1 f5 13.Rh2 fxg4 14.Qxg4?? Bxg4 15.hxg4 Bd6 16.Na3 Bxa3 17.bxa3 Nd7 18.Bb2 O-O-O 19.Re1 Nc5 20.Nf3 Qd6 21.Nd4 Nd3! (Attacking on the other wing as the kingside is defended and the queenside is unexplored and unprovoked.) 22.Rb1 c5 23.Nb5 Qb6! -+ 24.c4 a6 25.Nc3 Nxb2 26.Nd5

26…Rxd5! 27.cxd5 c4+ 0-1 (After the forced 28.d4, Black has the choice of mating with 28…cxd3 e.p. mate or 28…exd3 e.p.mate)

The “Lesser” Bishop Gambit?

Most chess players know the moves leading to the Bishop Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4). But how many of them know the moves leading to the “Lesser” Bishop Gambit?

Well, the moves are 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2. The main ideas seem to be preventing Black from checking on the e-file and placing the bishop on a square where it could not be easily taken or exchanged.

It seems strange that a player who would play a risky, tactically filled, opening, would want to play conservatively so soon in the game.

Nevertheless, we have this gambit.

So, let’s do a little research into it.

Black has several ways of responding to 3.Be2.

At the start, 3…Nf6 might seem to be a reasonable move. After all, it develops a piece and makes it easier for Black to castle. But after 4.e5, it is White that gains the advantage.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 Nf6 4.e5

John Shaw-IM Peter Wells
London, 1993
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 Nf6 4.Nc3 d5 5.e5 Ne4 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.d3 Nxc3 8.bxc3 d4 9.O-O dxc3 10.d4 Bg4 11.Bb5 Qd5 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13.Bxf4 c5 14.Be3 Rd8 15.dxc5 Bxc5 16.Qe1 Qc4 17.Rb1 O-O 18.Rb3 Bxf3 19.Rxc3 Qg4 20.Rxf3 Bb4 21.Rg3

21…Rd1 0-1

Philippe Jaulin-Frederic Coudray
Avoine Open, 1996
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 Nf6 4.e5 Ne4 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.d3
(A move that is often overlooked.) 6…Ng5 7.Bxf4 Nxf3+ 8.Bxf3 d6 9.Bxc6+ bxc6 10.O-O (Even better is 10.Qf3! as White gains a tempo or two.) 10…dxe5 11.Bxe5 Bd6? 12.Bxg7! Qh4 13.Qe2+ [Black’s best is 13…Be6. (not 13…Kd7? 14.Rxf7+). But even stronger is 13.Qe1+! as 13..Qxe1 14.Rxe1+ is check and the White’s has the attack and the material advantage.] 1-0

Black also has 3…Qh4+. And like in the Bishop Gambit, the White is dislodged from a good hiding square. The downside, again copying from the Bishop Gambit, is the Black queen is slightly out of play and facing all of White’s pieces on her own.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 Qh4+ 4.Kf1

World Computer Ch., 1986
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.e5 Bxc3 7.dxc3 Ng8 8.Nf3 Qh6 9.Qd4 g5 10.h4 Nc6 11.Qe4 Qg6 12.Nxg5 Qxe4 13.Nxe4 f3 14.gxf3 Nxe5 15.Bf4 d6 16.Re1 Bd7 17.Bc4 Kf8 18.Bxe5 dxe5 19.Nc5 Bc6 20.Rxe5 Rd8 21.Kf2 Nf6 22.Rf5 Rd2+ 23.Ke3 Rd6 24.Ne4 Bxe4 25.fxe4 Rg8 26.e5 Rc6 27.exf6 1-0

T. Winterbach-F. Llane
South Africa Open, 1986
[Gluckman, “Levitt Triumphs in 1986 Oude Meester S. A. Open”, The South African Chess Player, May/June 1986, pg. 73]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Nc6 5.d4 d6 6.Nc3 g5 7.Nf3 Qh6 8.Nd5 Kd8 9.h4 f6 10.g3 Qg6 11.Qd3 fxg3 12.hxg5 fxg5 13.Nxg5 g2+ 14.Kxg2 h6 15.Qf3 Nge7 16.Kf1 Be6?? 17.Nf4 +-
(and White won in 28)

Wurttenburg League 1987
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Bc5 5.d4 Bb6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Nd5 g5 8.Nf3 Qh6 9.h4 c6 10.Nxb6 axb6 11.Nxg5 Qf6 12.Bh5 Nh6 13.e5 dxe5 14.Ne4 Qe7 15.dxe5 Qxe5 16.Nd6+ Ke7 17.Nxc8+ Rxc8 18.Qf3 Ra4 19.g3 Qb5+ 20.Kg2 Qd5 21.Re1+ Kf8 22.Bxf4 Qxf3+ 23.Bxf3 Ng8 24.Rad1 Rxa2 25.Bg4 Re8 26.Bd6+ 1-0

Fegan (1872)-Lazarevic (1416)
Southend Open, Apr. 21 2000
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qe7 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.d3 d6 8.Bxf4 Qd8 9.d4 Be7 10.d5 Nb8 11.h3 Nh5 12.Bh2 f5 13.Nd4 Nf6 14.exf5 O-O 15.Kf2 c5 16.Ne6 Bxe6 17.dxe6 Nc6 18.Rf1 a6 19.Kg1 b5 20.Nd5 Nxd5 21.Qxd5 Qc7 22.Qxc5 dxc5 23.Bxc7 Nd4 24.Bf3 Rac8 25.Bh2 c4 26.Be4 Bf6 27.c3 Nc6 28.Bd5 Kh8 29.a4 1-0

Klaus Bolding (2309)-Bruno Wagner (1943) X25
Rhone Open
Lyon, Apr. 27 2003
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qf6 6.Nc3 Bc5 7.Nd5 Qd6 8.d4 Bb6 9.Bxf4 Qg6 10.Bxc7 Qxe4 11.Nxb6 axb6 12.Bd3 Qe6 13.Qd2 Nge7 14.Re1 Qxa2 15.Qg5
(Even after 15…O-O White wins with 16.Bxh7+ Kxh7 17.Qh5+ Kg8 18.Ng5 +-) 1-0

3…f5 does amazing well.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 f5

Mr. H. Jones & Sir Geo. Newnes – Blackburne
Manchester, England, Nov. 1878
[Blackburne, “Blackburne’s Chess Games”, #159]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 f5 5.Qe2 Nc6 6.Nf3 Qh5 7.Nc3 Kd8 8.Bxg8 Rxg8 9.Nd5 Bd6
(An unnatural-looking move but necessary to defend the Gambit Pawn.) 10.d4 fxe4 11.Qxe4 Re8 12.Nxf4 Qg4 13.Ne5 (The Allies have nothing better; their position is hopeless.)

13…Nxe5 14.dxe5 Bxe5 15.Qf3 d6 16.Qxg4 Bxg4 17.Nd5 Kd7 18.c3 Re6 19.Bd2 Rf8+ 20.Kg1 Be2 21.Re1 Bc4 22.Ne3 Bd3 23.g3 Be4 24.Ng2 d5 25.Rf1 Rxf1+ 26.Kxf1 Rf6+ 27.Kg1 d4 0-1

Mr. Sutton-Blackburne
Simpson’s Chess Divan
London, 1884
[Blackburne, “Blackburne’s Chess Games”, #176]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 f5
(Although a favorite defence of mine I do not recommend it to the young amateur.) 5.Nc3 (Qe2 is stronger.) 5…Nf6 6.d3 g5 7.Nf3 Qh5 8.h4 h6 9.Kg1 g4 10.Ne5 Rh7 11.Ne2 (An attack on the Queen persistently followed up in White’s succeeding play.) 11…fxe4 12.Bxf4 Qf5 13.Qc1 d5 14.Bb3 Nbd7 15.Ng3 Bc5+ 16.Kh2 Nxe5 17.Nxf5 (Now White has attained his object, but the fruit is of the Dead Sea.) 17…g3+ 18.Bxg3 (Any other move is equally fatal.) 18…Neg4+ 19.Kh3 Ne3 20.Bf4 Bxf5+ 21.Kh2 Neg4+ 22.Kh3 Nf2+ 23.Kh2 N6g4+ 24.Kg1 Nxd3+ 25.Kf1 Nxc1 26.Rxc1 O-O-O 0-1

London, 1896?
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 f5 4.e5 d6 5.exd6 Qh4+ 6.Kf1 Bxd6 7.d4 Ne7 8.Nf3 Qf6 9.c4 c6 10.c5 Bc7 11.Nc3 Be6 12.h4 Nd7 13.Qa4 h6 14.Bd2 g5 15.d5 Nxd5 16.Nxd5 Bxd5 17.Bc3 Ne5 18.Qd4 O-O-O 19.Qa4 Kb8 20.Rh3 g4 21.Nxe5 Bxe5 22.Bxe5+ Qxe5 23.Ra3 Bxg2+ 24.Kxg2 Qxe2+ 25.Kg1 a6 26.Qxf4+ Ka8 27.Re3 Qxb2 28.Rf1 Rd2 0-1

Vienna 1903
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 f5 4.e5 d6 5.d4 dxe5 6.dxe5 Qh4+ 7.Kf1 Bc5 8.Nh3 Be3 9.Nc3 Be6 10.Nd5 Bxd5 11.Qxd5 Nc6 12.Bc4 Qe7 13.Nxf4 Rd8 14.Bxe3 Rxd5 15.Nxd5 Qh4 16.Nxc7+ Kd7 17.Bxg8 Rxg8 18.Nd5 Qc4+ 19.Kf2 Qxc2+ 20.Kg3 h5 21.Rhd1 h4+ 22.Kh3 Ke6 23.Nc7+ Kf7 24.Rd7+ Kg6 25.Nd5 f4 26.Nxf4+ Kh7 27.g4 Qe4 28.Nd5 Qf3+ 29.Kxh4 Nxe5 0-1

Crowl-C. Purdy
Australia, 1946/8
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 f5 4.exf5 Qh4+ 5.Kf1 d5 6.Nc3 c6 7.d4 Bd6 8.Bd3 Ne7 9.Qe2 O-O 10.Nf3 Qf6 11.g4 fxg3 12.Bg5 Qf7 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Qxe7 Bxe7 15.Re1 Bd6 16.Kg2 gxh2 17.Nh4 Nd7 18.Ne2 Nf6 19.Ng3 Ng4 20.Rhf1 Bd7 21.Kh3 h1=Q+ 22.Nxh1 Nh6 23.Kg2 Rf7 24.Re5 Re7 25.f6 Bxe5 26.fxe7 Bxd4 27.Rf8+ Rxf8 28.Bxh7+ Kf7 29.exf8=Q+ Kxf8 30.c3 Bf6 31.Ng6+ Kf7 32.Nf2 Bf5 33.Nh8+ Ke6 34.Ng6 Kd6 35.Kf3 Bb1 36.a3 Kc5 37.Ke2 Bf5 38.Nf8 Kc4 39.Bxf5 Nxf5 40.Kd2 Kb3 41.Kc1 d4 42.cxd4 Bxd4 43.Nd3 g5 44.Ne6 g4 0-1

Antwerp 1994
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 f5 4.exf5 Qh4+ 5.Kf1 d5 6.Nc3 c6 7.d4 Bxf5 8.Nf3 Qh6 9.Bd3 Bxd3+ 10.Qxd3 Bd6 11.h4 Ne7 12.g4 Nd7 13.Bd2 O-O-O 14.Re1 Qf6 15.h5 h6 16.Rh2 g6 17.hxg6 Qxg6 18.Qxg6 Nxg6 19.Re6 Ndf8 20.Rf6 Be7 21.Rf7 Ne6 22.Na4 Rde8 23.b4 Rhf8 24.Rxf8 Bxf8 25.b5 Ng5 26.Nxg5 hxg5 27.bxc6 bxc6 28.Rh5 Be7 29.Rh6 Rg8 30.Nb2 c5 31.dxc5 Bxc5 32.Nd3 Bd4 33.Nb4 Ne5 34.Nxd5 Rd8 35.Ne7+ Kb7 36.Nf5 Bc5 37.Rh7+ 0-1

But perhaps the best response is 3…d5, aggressively opening up more lines for an attack. White meets this best with 4.exd5 Nf6, and usually 5.Nf3.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 d5 4.exd5 Nf6 (5.Nf3)

New York 1924
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 d5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.c4 c6 6.d4 Bb4+ 7.Kf1?! (7.Bd2) cxd5 8.Bxf4 dxc4 9.Bxb8 Nd5 10.Kf2 Rxb8 11.Bxc4 O-O 12.Nf3 Nf6 13.Nc3 b5 14.Bd3 Ng4+ 15.Kg1 Bb7
16.Bf5?! (White’s king needs some breathing room and a chance for activating his rook. He can do both, and even attack a piece, with 16…h3!) 16…Bxc3 17.bxc3 Ne3 18.Bxh7+ Kh8 (Even after 18…Kxh7? 19.Qd3+ Kg8 21.Qxe3 Black still has the advantage due to his more secured king.) 19.Qd3 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Nd5 21.Be4 Nf4 22.Qd2 Qh4 23.Kf1 f5 24.Bc6 Rf6 25.d5 Rd8 26.Rd1 Rxc6 27.dxc6 Rxd2 (Even Capablanca is known to make mistakes as Black does even better with 27…Qh3+ 28.Kf2 Qg2+. ) 28.Rxd2 Ne6 29.Rd6 Qc4+ 30.Kg2 Qe2+ 0-1

corres., 1947
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 d5 4.exd5 Qh4+ 5.Kf1 Nf6 6.c4 g5 7.Nf3 Qh6 8.d4 Ne4 9.Kg1 g4 10.Ne5 Qh4 11.Qf1 f3

(If 12.gxf3, then 12…gxf3 13.Nxf3 Rg8+ is painful. Even after the better 13.Bxf3 Rg8+ 14.Bg2 Bh3! 15.Qxf7+ Kd8 White is still lost. And 12.Bd1? f2+ is even worse.) 0-1

Norman Littlewood-Levente Lengyel
Hastings, 1963
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 d5 4.exd5 Ne7 5.Bf3 Nxd5 6.Ne2 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.c4 Nf6 9.d4 g5 10.Nbc3 Kh8 11.b4 Nbd7 12.Bb2 Re8 13.d5 Ne5 14.Ne4 Nxe4 15.Bxe4 Bf6 16.Nxf4 gxf4 17.Qh5 Ng6 18.Rxf4 Bxb2 19.Rxf7 Bd4+ 20.Kh1 Bg7 21.Bxg6 h6 22.Rxg7 Kxg7 23.Bxe8 Qf6 24.Re1 Bf5 25.Rf1 Bg6 26.Qd1 Qc3 27.Bxg6 1-0

J. Meyer-Dickson
corres. 1983
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 d5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bd6 6.c4 c6 7.d4 Bb4+ 8.Nbd2 O-O 9.O-O cxd5 10.c5 Ba5 11.Nb3 Bc7 12.Ne1 Re8 13.Bxf4 Qe7 14.Nc1 Bxf4 15.Rxf4 Qe3+ 16.Rf2 Ne4 17.Ned3 Nxf2 18.Nxf2 Nc6 0-1

corres. 1984?
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 d5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Nf3 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.c4 Ne8 8.d4 g5 9.Bd3 Ng7 10.Qc2 f5 11.Nc3 Bf6 12.c5 Nd7 13.Re1 g4 14.Ne5 Bxe5 15.dxe5 Nxc5 16.Bxf4 Nxd3 17.Qxd3 c6 18.Rad1 cxd5 19.Nxd5 Be6 20.Nf6+ Kh8 21.Qg3 Qe7 22.Qh4 Ne8 23.Bg5 Qf7 24.Bh6 Nxf6 25.Bxf8 Ne4 26.Bh6 Qg6 27.Rd8+ Rxd8 28.Qxd8+ Bg8 29.Qf8 Qb6+ 30.Re3 1-0

Mark F. Bruere (2250)-J.M. Vaassen
corres., WT/M/GT/284
ICCF, 1990
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 d5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6 6.dxc6 Nxc6 7.d4 Bd6 8.O-O
(Castling seems to be overdone in the King’s Gambit Accepted. Better is 8.c4 claiming a stake in the center and still holding the possibility of castling on either side.) 8…O-O 9.c4 Bg4 10.Nc3 Rc8 11.Nb5 Bb8 12.b3 (12.d5!? needs to be investigated.) 12..a6 13.Na3?! (13..Nc3) 13…Re8 14.Nc2 Qc7 15.Bb2 Ba7 16.Kh1 Ne7 17.d5? (Opening attacking lines where Black is the only one who profits. And it also drops a pawn.) 17…Nexd5! 18.cxd5 Qxc2 19.Bxf6 Rxe2 20.Bd4 Bxf3! 0-1

Hessen 1991
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 d5 4.exd5 Bd6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.c4 c6 7.dxc6 Nxc6 8.d4 O-O 9.O-O Bg4 10.Nc3 Nh5 11.Ne5 Bxe2 12.Qxe2 Qh4 13.Nf3 Qg4 14.Nd5 Rfe8 15.Qd3 Re6 16.h3 Qg3 17.Bd2 Rg6 18.Ne1 Qxd3 19.Nxd3 Nxd4 20.N3xf4 Nxf4 21.Nxf4 Rf6 22.Rae1 Bxf4 23.Rxf4 Rxf4 24.Bxf4 Nc6 1/2-1/2

Scottish Ch. 1993
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 d5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bd6 6.O-O O-O 7.Nc3 c6 8.d4 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 cxd5 10.Ne5 f6 11.Nd3 g5 12.c3 Be6 13.Bf3 Nc6 14.Bd2 Qd7 15.b4 Kh8 16.Qb3 Qf7 17.Rae1 Rfe8 18.a4 Rad8 19.Rf2 g4 20.Bd1 f3 21.Bf4 Bf5 22.Rxe8+ Qxe8 23.Bxd6 Bxd3 0-1

C. Sánchez-A. Alexander
IECC 2000
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 d5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bd6 6.c4 O-O 7.d4 b6 8.Ne5 c5 9.dxc6 Qc7
(9…Ne4, threatening, …Qh4+ is a possibility.) 10.Bxf4 Nxc6 11.Nc3 a6 12.Nxc6 (12.Bf3!?) 12…Qxc6 13.Bxd6 Qxd6 14.O-O Bb7 15.d5 Rae8 16.Qd2 Ne4 (> 16…c5.) 17.Nxe4 Rxe4 18.Bd3 Rh4? (Black is having problems and he needs to play 18…Re5. The text is simply a waste of time.) 19.g3 Rd4 20.Bxh7+ 1-0

Georg Schweiger (2187)-Martin Markl X25
Regionalliga SO
Bayern, 2000
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Be2 d5 4.exd5 Qh4+ 5.Kf1 Qd8 6.d4 Nf6 7.c4 c6 8. dxc6 Nxc6 9.d5 Ne5 10.Bxf4 Ng6 11.Be3 Bd6 12.Nc3 O-O 13.Qd2 Re8 14.Re1 Bf5 15.Nf3 Ng4 16.Bd3 Qd7 17.Nd1 Re7 18.Qc2 Bxd3+ 19.Qxd3 Rae8 20.Bd2 Rxe1+ 21.Bxe1 Nf4 22.Qd4 Qe7 23.Qd2 Bb4 24.Qxf4 Qxe1+ 25.Nxe1 Rxe1mate 0-1

Where do the Names of the Openings Come From?

Sometimes the opening is named after the pieces. The King’s Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4), the Queen’s Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4), the Two Knights Defence (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6), the Three Knights Defence (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6), the Four Knights Opening (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6), the Bishop Opening (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4), and the Bishop Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4).

Pawns are featured in the Two Knights Variation of the Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3), the Three Pawns Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Bc4 Bh4+ 5.g3 fxg3 6.O-O), and the Four Pawns Variation in the King’s Indian Defence (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4) and the Four Pawns Attack in the Alekhine’s Defence (1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4).

Smart Phone Game, July-Aug., 2016
1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 g5!?
(Too aggressive – more like reckless.) 6.d5 gxf4 7.Bxf4 Bf5 8.Nf3 h6 9.Nh4 e6 (9…Bh7 10.e6 fxe6 11.dxe6 Qc8 12.Be2 Qxe6 13.O-O Nxc4 14.Bg4) 10.Nxf5 exf5 11.Bd3 Rg8 12.O-O N8d7 13.e6 Nf6 14.exf7+ Kxf7 15.Bxf5 (+/-, but now almost winning.) 15…Nxc4 16.Be6+ Kg7 17.Qc1! Rh8 18.Qxc4 Be7 19.Nc3 Nh5 20.Be3 Rf8 21.Qg4+ Bg5 22.h4 Nf6 23.Bd4

1-0 (White has a piece, two pins, and all the attacking chances; Black has nothing.)

But this, the opening names – not the opening play – can get boring.

So …

Some openings are named after the first person who was successful with the opening moves. Others are named after a player or student of the game who first published the analysis.

Opening names such as Alekhine’s Defence (1.e4 Nf6), Fischer’s Defence in the King’s Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 and now 3…d6 instead of the usual 3…g5), Larsen’s Opening (1.b3), the Ruy Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 Bb5), the Marshall Attack (a variation of the Ruy Lopez going 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d5), the Albin Counter- Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5), Anderssen’s Opening (1.a3), the Najdorf (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6), and the Benko Gambit (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5).

And that’s just for starters.

We also have the Smith-Morra (1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 – actually named after two players), the Caro-Kann (1. e4 c6, another opening named after two players), the von Hennig-Schara Gambit (yet another opening named after two players):

Anton Schara-Ernst Gruenfeld
Vienna 1918
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qd1 exd5 7.Qxd5 Bd6 8.Bg5 Nge7 9.Qd2 f6 10.Bh4 Qb6! 11.Nf3
(11 Qxd6? Qxb2) 11…Bb4 12.e3 Bf5 13.Bc4 Na5 14.Bd3 Rd8 15.Nd4 Nac6 16.Nxf5? Nxf5 17.Bg3 Nxg3 18.hxg3 Ne5 19.Bb5+ Qxb5 0-1.

The Greco-Counter Gambit, by the way, is named after Greco who the first known person to write about the openings. The opening moves are 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5!?. And the opening is also known as the Latvian Gambit.

This is a good time to segue into another area where chess openings are named after not just one or two players, but after a group of localized players who studied and popularized these openings. Not only do we have the Latvian, but also the Budapest (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5), the French (1.e4 e6), and the English (1.c4).

Making things interesting is that some openings are named after cities and countries. We have the Catalan (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3), the Saragossa (1.c3), the Italian (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4), the Berlin Defence (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6), the Vienna (1.e4 e5 2.Nc3), and the London (1.d4 Nf6 and White will play an early .Bf4).

Openings are also named after animals. Most players know of the Dragon (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 and Black will soon play …g6, …Bg7, and usually …Nf6).

GM Jaan Ehlvest (2532)-Margeir Petursson (2513) X25
Puhajarve Rapid
Estonia, Nov. 25 2016
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.O-O Nc6 8.Nb3 O-O 9.Re1 a6 10.Bg5 b5 11.Bf1 Bb7 12.Qd2 Re8 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.exd5 Ne5 15.a4 Nc4 16.Bxc4 bxc4 17.Na5 c3 18.Nxb7 cxd2 19.Nxd8 dxe1=Q+


And some might even know the Chameleon (1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nce2, and now White can continue with the Closed Sicilian with .d3 and .g3, or the Open Sicilian with .d4 cxd4 .Nxd4).

But how many players are familiar with the Elephant Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5), the Orangutan (1.b4), the Pterodactyl Variation (1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4 c5 5.Nf3 Qa5), or the Vulture Defence (1.d4 c5 2.d5 Nf6 3.c4 Ne4)?

Some players would mistakenly add the Bird (1.f4). But this opening was named after the English player, Henry Edward Bird (1830–1908).

But there are some opening names that are mysterious.

For example, the opening moves 1.d4 Nf6 are collectively known as the Indian Defences, such as the King’s Indian Defence, the Queen’s Indian, the Nimzo-Indian, the Old Indian. But why? We don’t know either.

And who knows where the Fried Liver Attack (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7)? It is said that Black, playing this variation, is dead as a piece of fried liver But, why Fried Liver and not, say, Fried Chicken or even Fried Zucchini? Surely, more people know what chicken and zucchini than Fried Liver? Maybe Fried Liver is less desirable or digestible? And Black is surely not dead after taking the knight on f7 – there are ways for him to fight on, and even to win. Ok, back to tropic.

We also have the Benoni (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5). Where did that name come from and how did it become popular? We know the latter comes from “a Hebrew term meaning “son of my sorrow” (cf. Genesis 35:18) – the name of an 1825 book by Aaron Reinganum about several defenses against the King’s Gambit and the Queen’s Gambit”, as least according to Wikipedia. But why and how did it become popular if it concerns itself with the Queen’s Gambit?

Finally, we have the Halloween Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5), where it is said that this gambit is scary. We agree – but to which side?