A Brilliant End (almost)

It has been said that high ranking (say, Expert and above), resign too soon. This means that the high-ranking player (H-RP), finding that he is two pawns down (and sometimes even less than that), realizes that he cannot save his game against another H-RP and rather than waste two hours trying to save the game, or be the object of embarrassment or ridicule, he gently tips his king over, shakes the hand of his opponent, and gracefully resigns.

But there are times when the spectators want to see the rest of the game. They may have paid to see the tournament or match and they want the full value for their money.

Some want to root for the underdog, the one would not give up. After all, there is some romantic aspect about a fighter who refuses to give up.

Some spectators want to see blood spilled. They want the winner to effect the eventual mate by the most forceful, brutal way.

Finally, in case of a potentially brilliant game, many spectators they want to see the full display of sparking moves and crafty play from beginning to end. And maybe tell their grandchildren about it.

To be sure, these resignations, where spectators might reasonably want the game to continue, happen more than you might think. Let me give you an example.

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

Escalante-“crisbatiti”
Blitz game
chess.com, Sept. 9 2020
[C62]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4

[Of course, White has other moves he can try.

I. Palacio (2172)-IM D. Charochkina (2356)
Titled Tuesday
chess.com, Aug. 4 2020
4.c3 Bd7 5.d4 a6 6.Ba4 b5 7.Bb3 Na5 8.Bc2 Qe7 9.O-O g6 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Bg5 (>11.a4) 11…Nf6 12.Nbd2 Bg7 13.Qe2 O-O 14.Rad1 Rfe8 15.Rfe1 Rad8 16.Nf1 Nc4 17.b3 Nb6 18.Ne3 Bc6 19.Rxd8 Qxd8 20.Rd1 Qc8 21.Bxf6 Bxf6 22.h3 h5 23.Nd5 Bxd5 24.exd5 e4 25.Bxe4 Bxc3 26.Qc2 Bg7 27.Bd3 Qd7 28.Qc6 Rd8 29.Be4?? (29.Qb7!) 29…Qxc6 (And 30.dxc6 Rxd1+ 31.Kh2 f5.) 0-1.

But I prefer 4.d4, which is more simple and direct. It’s a personal preference.]

4…Bd7 5.O-O Nge7

[ECO give this game: Grohotov-Balashov, USSR, 1968, 5.O-O exd4 6.Nxd4 g6!? 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.f4 c5 9.Ne2 f5 10.exf5 gxf5 11.Ng3 Qf6 12.Bd2 Bg7 13.Bc3 Qf7 14.Bxg7 Qxg7 15.Re1+ Ne7 16.Qe2 +/=]

6.d5 Nb8 7.Qe2 f5?! (This move creates a weakness after the bishops are traded.) 8.Bxd7+ Nxd7 9.c4 Nf6 10.Nc3 Rc8 11.Bg5 (11.Ng5! is quicker in disrupting Black’s position and plans.) 11…Ng6 12.exf5 Ne7 13.Bxf6 (13.Rae1 is another strong plan. But as mentioned before, I prefer direct and simple moves.) 13…gxf6 14.Nh4 (14.Nxe5!? should be analyzed more.) 14…h5 15.f4 Qd7 16.fxe5 dxe5 (16…fxe5? and now 17.Ne4! is much stronger.) 17.Ne4 Bg7 18.Ng6 (The immediate 18.Rae1 is stronger.) 18…Rh6 19.Nc5! (After causing chaos on the kingside, White attacks on the queenside and center.) 19…Qd6 20.Ne6 Bh8 21.Nxe7 (21.Qd2!) 21…Qxe7 22.c5! Kd7? (> 22…Bg7) 23.Rad1 (While the text move is good, 23.Qb5+! is decisive. But I wanted to push my d5-pawn.) 23…Qf7 24.Qb5+ c6 25.dxc6+ Ke8 26.cxb7+ Ke7


1-0 (Black resigned before White could play 27.bxc8=N#!!. This is a move I would be proud to show off. And not just to any future grandkids.)

A Chess Player’s Favorite Word

No matter if it is a miniature, a King-Hunt, a long endgame, or even a casual game, there is a word that every chess player would love to speak, and conversely, hate hearing it.

 

That word, so much loved and feared, is MATE.

 

But if it is a word much beloved in the chess world, why don’t we speak it more in normal conversations?

 

Well, it turns out that four letters, arranged in a M-A-T-E sequence, do not occur often in English, and even less in other languages.

 

Let’s look at words with the letters M-A-T-E in them.

 

ACCLIMATE
ACOELOMATE
AGEMATE [n. one who is about the same age as another.]
AMALGAMATE
AMATE [n. a Central American timber tree with lustrous foliage and edible fruits.]
AMATEUR
ANIMATE
ANTEPENULTIMATE
APPROXIMATE
AUTOMATE
BANDMATE
BEDMATE
BICHROMATE
BREGMATE [n. a junction point of the skull.]
BROMATE
BUNKMATE
CABINMATE
CARBAMATE
CASEMATE
CHECKMATE
CHROMATE
CLASSMATE
CLIMATE
COELOMATE [adj. having a coelom (the main body cavity in most animals).]
COINMATE
COLLIMATE
COMATE
CONSUMMATE
COPEMATE
CREMATE
CREWMATE
CYCLAMATE [n. a salt of cyclamic acid formerly used as an artificial sweetener.]
CYCLOSTOMATE
DECIMATE
DEPHLEGMATE
DESPUMATE [v. to clarify or purify a liquid by skimming a scum from its surface.]
DESQUAMATE
DICHROMATE
DIPLOMATE
DISANIMATE
DITHIOCARBAMATE [n. any salt or ester of dithiocarbamic acid, commonly used as fungicides.]
ECOCLIMATE
ESTIMATE
EXANIMATE
EXHUMATE
FERMATE
FISSIPALMATE [adj. having lobed or partially webbed separated toes, as in the feet of certain birds.]
FLATMATE
FORMATE
GEMMATE [adj. (1) having buds, (2) adorned with gems or jewels.]
GLUTAMATE
GUESSTIMATE
GUESTIMATE
HAMATE [n. a bone on the inner side of the second row of the carpus in mammals.]
HELPMATE
HIEROGRAMMATE [n. a writer of hierograms (sacred symbols or records, esp. hieroglyphics).]
HOUSEMATE
HUMATE
ILLEGITIMATE
IMAMATE [n. the office of an imam]
IMPOSTHUMATE
IMPOSTUMATE
INANIMATE [adj. not alive.]
INCREMATE [v. to cremate]
INHUMATE
INMATE
INTIMATE
LEGITIMATE
LITTERMATE
MACROCLIMATE
MAMMATE
MATE [n. a companion ; v. (1) to checkmate an opponent in chess, (2) to produce offspring.]
MATELOTE [n. a fish stew that is cooked in a wine sauce.]
MATER [n. an informal use of the Latin word for mother; adj. not reflecting light; not glossy.]
MATERIAL [n. the elements, constituents, or substances of which something is composed or can be made.]
MATERNAL [adj. relating to or characteristic of a mother or motherhood.]
MEPROBAMATE [n. a bitter-tasting drug used as a mild tranquilizer.]
MESSMATE
MICROCLIMATE
MIDSHIPMATE
MISESTIMATE
MISESTIMATE
MISMATE
MONOCHROMATE
NIZAMATE
OPTIMATE
OSMATE
OSTOMATE
OVERESTIMATE
PALAEOCLIMATE
PALAMATE
PALMATE
PENULTIMATE
PLAYMATE
PLUMATE
PRIMATE [n. any mammal of the order Primates (defined as having an up-right appearance, large brains relative to body size, body hair, and giving live birth). This group, with over 300 mammals, includes lemurs, lorises, gibbons, tarsiers, gorillas, monkeys, apes, and humans.]
PROXIMATE
PSEUDOCOELOMATE
RACEMATE
RAMATE [adj. having branches; branched.]
REANIMATE
REESTIMATE
REFORMATE
REMATE
ROOMMATE
SCHOOLMATE
SEATMATE
SEMIPALMATE
SHIPMATE
SIGMATE
SOULMATE
SQUAMATE
STABLEMATE
STALEMATE
STEARSMATE [n. same as STEERSMATE.]
STEERSMATE [n. one who steers; steersman.]
STOMATE [n. a minute opening in the epidermis of a plant organ.]
SUBLIMATE
SUBPRIMATE
SUMMATE
TABLEMATE
TEAMMATE
TOTIPALMATE [adj. having webbing that connects each of the four anterior toes, as in water birds.]
ULTIMATE
UNDERESTIMATE
WORKMATE
YOKEMATE

 

It doesn’t seem fair that we can mostly say MATE in the chess world. So, what to do if we want to say MATE more often? It’s easy! Play more chess!
Meanwhile, let’s indulge in a few more MATES.

 

Rudolf-N.N., 1912
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d4 Qh4+ 5.Kf1 Bb6 6.Nf3 Qd8 7.Bxf4 Ne7 8.Ng5 O-O 9.Qh5 h6 10.Bxf7+ Kh8
2019_10_17_A
11.Qxh6+! gxh6 12.Be5mate 1-0

 

Alekhine-Vasic
Graz, 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
2019_10_17_B
10.Qxe6+!! fxe6 11.Bg6mate 1-0

 

Savanto-Molder
Helsinki, 1950
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Bc4 Bh4+ 5.g3 fxg3 6.O-O gxh2+ (Believe it or not, this is all theory. It is mostly known by the name, “Three Pawns Gambit”.) 7.Kh1 Be7 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Ne5+ Ke6 10.Qg4+ Kxe5 11.Qf5+ Kd6 12.Qd5mate 1-0

 

Joe Ei-Ken Scott
corres.
Golden Knights, USCF, 1982
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.Bd2 Qd8 9.Bc4 e6 10.O-O-O Qb6?! 11.Ne4 Qxd4? 12.Ba5 Qxc4
2019_10_17_C
13.Qxf6! gxf6 14.Nxf6+ Ke7 15.Bd8mate 1-0

 

L. Bohne (2025)-J. Adamski (2400)
Hassloch, 1999
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 c5 (Other adequate responses include 4…d5, 4…O-O, and 4…Nc6.) 5.dxc5 Qc7 6.a3 Bxc5 7.Nf3 a6 8.e3 Be7 9.Be2 d6 10.O-O Nbd7 11.b3 b6 12.Bb2 Bb7 13.Rac1 Rc8 14.Nd4 O-O 15.Bf3 Bxf3 16.Nxf3 Qb7 17.Qe2 Rc7 18.Nd2 Rfc8 19.e4 Ne8 20.Rc2 Ne5 21.f4 Nc6 22.Nf3 Na5 23.Nd4 Nc6 24.Nxc6 Rxc6 25.Rcc1 Qb8 26.f5 Nf6 27.g4 Nd7 28.fxe6 fxe6 29.Nd5 Bg5 30.Nf4 Re8 31.Rcd1 Bf6 32.Bxf6 Nxf6 33.h3 b5 34.cxb5 axb5 35.Rc1 Rxc1 36.Rxc1 Qa7+ 37.Kg2 Qxa3 38.Rc7 Qb4 39.Rb7 h6 40.Rxb5 Qd4 41.Rb7 Nxe4 42.Ng6 Kh7 43.Qf3 Kxg6 44.Qf7+ Kh7 45.Qxe8 Qf2+ 46.Kh1 Ng3mate 0-1