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.



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.


Compuserve, 1996
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


Breslau, 1912
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.


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


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
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.

Minsk, 1969
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
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
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
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


Zurich, 1953
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.


USSR, 1977
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


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?! (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?


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


Swiss Gambit

Most players know of Froms’ Gambit [1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3), with continuation of either 4…g5 (to drive away the knight) or 4…Nf6 (to defend and ready to redeploy the knight to g4 or e4)].


But White can also offer a similar gambit after 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3. This gambit is known as the Swiss Gambit. Because of its rarity, most players are not aware of it or it’s thematic ideas.


Let’s take a look the gambit after the opening moves (1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3).


If Black was to take the pawn, he would be a pawn up in the game. However, it would be hazardous to do so as both of White’s bishops (after 3…exd3 4.Bxd3) would be activated and his own kingside would be vulnerable. There are two things that slow down White’s attack. The first is the f-pawn, which unlike in the From’s Gambit (which does not have such an advanced pawn), blocks the bishop from going to f4 or g5. The second thing is that Black usually plays an early 4…Nf6, to stop the h5 checks.

Now, lets look at some games.


First, Black does not have to take the pawn. But such a plan can be risky as the d3-pawn can easily capture the e4-pawn and White has a nice center, without having to sacrifice a pawn.


Briansk, 1965
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 g6 4.dxe4 e5 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bc4 Qe7 7.Nc3 exf4 8.Qe2 d6 9.Bxf4 Be6 10.O-O-O Nc6 11.Bb5 Bd7 12.Bg5 Bg7 13.Nd5 Qd8 14.e5 dxe5 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 16.Qxe5+ Kf7 17.Nxf6 1-0


Priehoda (2404)-Cyprian
Kubin Open, 1978
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 e3 4.Bxe3 Nf6 5.Nc3 d5 6.d4 Bf5 7.Bd3 e6 8.Nf3 c6 9.O-O Bb4 10.Ne2 Nbd7 11.Ng3 g6 12.Qe2 O-O 13.Bd2 Bxd2 14.Qxd2 Qc7 15.Rae1 Rae8 16.h3 b6 17.Nh1 Nh5 18.Ne5 Nxe5 19.fxe5 c5 20.Bb5 Rc8 21.g4 cxd4 22.gxf5 exf5 23.Qxd4 Rcd8 24.e6 Qe7 25.Bd7 Nf6 26.Qh4 Qc5+ 27.Nf2 Qe7 28.Nd3 Kg7 29.Qd4 Kh6 30.Ne5 Ne4 31.Qe3+ Kg7 32.Nc6 Qh4 33.Nxd8 f4 34.e7 Rf6 35.Qf3 Nd2 36.Qg4 1-0


Petran (2341)-Veselsky (2200)
Slovakia Ch.
Dolny Kubin, 1979
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e3 5.d4 e6 6.Bd3 Bb4 7.Bxe3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 O-O 9.Nf3 d6 10.O-O Nbd7 11.Bd2 Qe8 12.Qe2 Rf7 13.Rae1 Nf8 14.f5 h6 15.Nh4 Bd7 16.Qf3 Qc8 17.Qg3 Nh5 18.Qh3 Nf6 19.Ng6 N6h7 20.fxe6 Bxe6 21.Rxf7 Bxh3 22.Ree7 Nxg6 23.Rxg7+ Kf8 24.Ref7+ Ke8 25.Bxg6 1-0

If Black wants to decline the pawn offer, he must play an early …d5.


Tampere Hervanta, 1987
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 d5 4.dxe4 dxe4 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Be3 c6 8.Nge2 Bf5 9.O-O-O Nbd7 10.Bd4 Kc7 11.Ng3 e6 12.Be5+ Nxe5 13.fxe5 Ng4 14.Ncxe4 Nxe5 15.Be2 g6 16.h3 h5 17.Kb1 h4 18.Nxf5 gxf5 19.Ng5 Re8 20.Rhe1 Rh6 21.Rd2 Bc5 22.Bf1 Nd7 23.Bc4 e5 24.Red1 Nb6 25.Bb3 Be3 0-1


And he must play it accurately.


R. Oberlin-R. Berggren
US Open
Los Angeles, 1991
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 d5 4.Nh3 Nf6 5.Nf2 exd3 6.Bxd3 Nc6 7.O-O b6? (This setup of the knight on c6 and the bishop going to b7 seems too slow and out of touch with a tactical opening such as this one. Black soon finds himself short of moves.) 8.Nd2 Bb7 9.Nf3 Qd7 10.Ng5 Nd8 11.Bxh7 e6 12.Bg6+ Ke7 13.Re1 Kd6 (Let the King Hunt begin!)


4.f5 exf5 15.Nd3 Qa4 16.Bf4+ Kc6 17.Ne5+ Kc5 18.Qd2 d4 19.b4+! Kd5 20.c4+ 1-0


It is only after 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 that the real battle begins.

De Groot-Anderssen
Amsterdam, 1875
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Ne4 Nc6 8.c3 d6 9.Nfg5 Nxe4 10.Nxe4? (>Bxe4) 10…g6 11.Qe2 e5 12.O-O Bf5 13.Ng5 Bxd3 14.Qxd3 Bxg5 15.fxg5 Qe7 16.Qh3 Qd7 17.Be3 Qxh3 18.gxh3 0-1


After the moves 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6, White has three excellent choices of 6.Ng5 (A brazen attempt at an attack, probably best for a blitz game), 6.Ne5 (a more cautious and shy approach to an attack), and 6.Be3 (a developing move that allows White to castle queenside if the need arises).


Vienna, 1873
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 (a very good move as the knight usually finds itself involved in White’s attack.) 5…e6 (this move is the most common as it allows his bishop to develop and bolsters his defense of his weak point on f7.) 6.Ng5!? g6 (not 6…Bc5? because of 7.Bxh7 Kf8 8.Nxe6+, winning) 7.h4 Bh6 8.h5 Bxg5 9.fxg5 Nd5 10.hxg6 Qe7 11.Rxh7 Rxh7 12.gxh7 Qb4+ 13.Kf1 Qh4 14.Bg6+ Ke7 15.Qh5 1-0


IECC, 2000
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Ng5 c6 7.h4 Bg4 8.Be2 Bxe2 9.Qxe2 g6 10.Qe6 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qf5 12.Qf7+ Kd7 13.h5 gxh5 14.Rxh5 Qc5 15.Rh1 Qxc2 16.Ne6 Qe4+ 0-1


Christian Maltais (2134)-Daniel J. Freire (2047)
DE10A /pr 48
ICCF, 2016
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Ng5 d5 7.Qe2 Bc5 8.Nd2 O-O 9.Ndf3 Qd6 10.h4 Nc6 11.c3 h6 12.Ne5 hxg5 13.hxg5 Ne4 14.Bxe4 dxe4 15.g6 Rf5 16.Nf7 Rxf7 17.Qh5 Qf8 18.Qh8mate 1-0


Ivar Jakobsson-Hakan Johansson
Stockholm, 1974
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Ne5 d6 7.O-O b6 8.Ng4 Ba6 9.Nxf6+ Qxf6 10.Re1 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 Nc6 12.Qf3 Kd7 13.Nd2 d5 14.c4 Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Nd4 16.Qh3 Rae8 17.cxd5 Nc2 18.Ne4 Qh6 19.dxe6+ Kc8 20.Qf3 Kb8 21.Nxc5 bxc5 22.Qb3+ Nb4 23.a3 a5 24.axb4 cxb4 25.Rxa5 1-0


Schirmer-Schleipen, 1956
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Be3 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.Nbd2 Nd5 9.Ng5 Bxg5 10.fxg5 Rxf1+ 11.Nxf1 Nxe3 12.Bxh7+ Kf8 13.Nxe3 Qxg5 14.Qf3+ Qf6 15.Qh5 Ke7 16.Rf1 Qh6 17.Qf7+ Kd6 18.Rd1+ Kc6 19.Be4+ d5 20.Bxd5+ exd5 21.Qxd5+ Kb6 22.Nc4+ 1-0

Bloodless Victories

A bloodless victory in chess is a win for one of the players in which no pieces are taken.


Games of this genre tend to be short as longer games increase the possibility that a piece being taken or exchanged. The knight, with it’s ability to jump over pieces, and thereby avoid taking a piece en route to an attack, is disproportionally used in these types of games. Smothered mates are often seen.

A simple example of a bloodless victory is Fool’s Mate (1.f3 e5 2.g4 Qh4#)


Another simple example is Fischer-Panno, Palma de Mallorca Izt., 1970. The entire game went 1.c4 1-0. Panno had a dispute with the organizers and resigned here.

There are many more examples. Here is a favorite of mine.

Blindfold game
Havana, 1891
1.e4 e5 2.f4 Nc6 3.Nf3 d6 4.Bc4 Nh6 5.O-O (Interesting to note that the exact sequence of moves also occurred in S. Retout (1808)-S. Burnet, England Open, Charlton 1973 which continued with 5…exf4 6.d4 Qf6 7.Nc3 Bg4 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.Bxf4 Ne7 10.Bxh6 gxh6 11.Nf6# 1-0. But that game had some captures, so let’s get on with this game.) 5…Be7 6.d3 O-O 7.f5 Ng4 8.Nc3 Nb4 9.a3 Nc6 10.h3 Nf6 11.g4 Na5 12.Ba2 b6 13.g5 Ne8 14.h4 Kh8 15.Nh2 f6 16.g6 h6 17.Qh5


(ΔBxh6) 1-0

Even rarer is the bloodless mate. Same conditions, but the game ends in checkmate.


This is a recent game played by two amateurs.


“Daveacksh” (1241)-“bandabou” (1212)
Blitz Game, Feb. 21 2019
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 e6 4.c3!? Na5 5.Na3 a6 6.d4 b5 7.Be2 c4 8.O-O Bb7 9.e5 Be4 10.Ng5 Bg6 11.Bf3 Rb8 12.Ne4 Ne7? 13.Nd6mate 1-0

This type of mate, sans captures, has also occurred in Master (and near-Master) games.

Carl Hartlaub-H. H Rosenbaum
Freiburg, Germany, 1892
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 f6 4.Nh4 g5 5.Qh5+ Ke7 6.Nf5mate 1-0

Chris W. Baker-Bernard Cafferty
British Chess Ch., Qualification Tournament
Clacton-on-Sea, 1974
1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 Ne4 4.Nce2 Nc5 5.c3 Nd3mate 0-1



Juan Antonio Palmisano-Guillermo Llanos
Buenos Aires, 1995
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 Qa5 8.a4 Na6 9.Ra3 Nb4 10.Nge2 e5 (Black has the advantage so White wants to defend. But his move, while well-intended, allows Black to increase his advantage to a -+.) 11.Bd2?? Nd3# 0-1


Emi Hasegawa-Mi Yen Fong (1885)
Women’s Ol.
Istanbul, Aug. 28 2012
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 O-O 6.Bd3 e5 7.d5 Nbd7 8.b4 Nh5!? (8…a5 is more popular. The text move deserves to be investigated more.) 9.O-O Qe7 10.Ne2 c5 11.b5 f5! (The main point of 8…Nh5!?) 12.Rb1 f4 (Black obviously has the advantage.) 13.Kh1 g5 14.Neg1 g4 15.Nd2 Qh4 16.f3 Ng3#