Archive for the ‘My Favorite Chess Games’ Category

My Favorite #Chess Games: The Second Battle of Hastings

July 11, 2018

The first undisputed world chess champion, Wilhelm Steinitz (5/17/1836 – 8/12/1900)

The second Battle of Hastings occurred August 17, 1895, in the tenth round of the Hastings tournament nearly 829 years after William the Duke of Normandy decisively defeated the Anglo-Saxons seven miles northwest of Hastings. In the Second Battle of Hastings, Wilhelm Steinitz conducted a beautifully planned attack which concludes with one of the greatest chess masterminds ever offering a poisonous rook for several successive moves until his opponent left the board in utter disgrace. Considered by the first world champion to be the finest victory of his career, Wilhelm Steinitz brutal defeat of Curt Von Bardeleben continues to inspire every generation of chess players since it was played.


Steinitz – Von Bardeleben, Hastings 1895

(It may be helpful for the reader to copy and then paste the text below into your favorite chess program.)

[Event “Hastings Chess Tournament”]
[Site “Hastings (England)”]
[Date “1895”]
[Round “10”]
[White “Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE)”]
[Black “Von Bardeleben Kurt (GER)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C54”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ ITALIAN GAME & HUNGARIAN def.,C54] Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE) +5 =1 -2 Von
Bardeleben Kurt (GER) +0 =0 -1 Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE)-Von Bardeleben Kurt (GER)
+1 =0 -0[ ITALIAN GAME & HUNGARIAN def.,C54] Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE) +5 =1 -2
Von Bardeleben Kurt (GER) +0 =0 -1 Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE)-Von Bardeleben Kurt (GER) +1 =0 -0}
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 {
This is the main line of the Giuoco Piano which in Italian translates into the
“quiet game.” In this line, white plays c3 to prepare pawn to d4. In the
meantime, black is allowed to be the first to have three pieces on the board by
playing 4… Nf6. Today, this opening would not be considered very “quiet” as
it creates early imbalances while opening the center. However, historically
speaking, it was considered “quiet” in the 18th and 19th centuries when
compared to other popular openings such as the King’s Gambit.}
Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 {
Greco’s Attack. White is planning to sacrifice the pawn on e4 to the f6 knight
in order to get castled faster and attack. If white does not wish to gambit the
e4 pawn he/she can play 7. Bd2. Both variations were played by Gioachino Greco in the early 17’th century.}
( 7.Bd2 {The Krause Variation also deserves attention.} Bxd2+
8.Nbxd2 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.O-O O-O 11.Re1 Bf5 ( 11…Nb6 12.Ne5
{!} Nxd4 ( 12…Qxd4 13.Bxf7+ Rxf7 14.Nxf7 Kxf7 15.Qh5+ g6 16.Qxh7+
Qg7 17.Qh4 Bf5 18.Nf3 $14 ) 13.Nxf7 Rxf7 14.Bxf7+ Kxf7 15.Qh5+ )
( 11…Nce7 12.Ne5 c6 13.Ne4 Bf5 14.Nc5 Qc7 15.Qb3 $14 ) 12.Ne4
Bxe4 13.Rxe4 Qd6 14.Qd2 Rad8 15.Rae1 Nf6 16.Re6 {!} Qb4 {!}
( 16…Qd7 17.Qg5 {!} ( 17.Rxf6 gxf6 18.Qf4 ( 18.Qh6 Qf5 ) Qd6 )
h6 18.Qg3 {!} ( 18.Qh4 Nxd4 19.Rxf6 gxf6 20.Qxf6 Qd6 {!} ) Kh8
( 18…Nh5 19.Qh4 Nxd4 ( 19…Kh8 20.Rxh6+ gxh6 21.Qxh5 ) 20.Nxd4
Qxd4 21.R6e4 Qc5 22.Re5 Rd4 23.Rxc5 ( 23.Bxf7+ Rxf7 24.Qxh5 )
Rxh4 24.Rxc7 $16 ) 19.Rxf6 gxf6 20.Qf4 Kg7 21.Nh4 Nxd4 22.Re4
$16 ) 17.Qxb4 Nxb4 18.Re7 Nbd5 19.R7e2 {1/2-1/2, Tartakower Savielly (FRA) – Gruenfeld Ernst F (AUT), Baden-Baden 1925 It}
) d5 {Von Bardeleben declines Steinitz’s offer of a “free” pawn and instead strikes back at the center.}
( 7…Nxe4 {It is however recommended to understand the ideas after 7… Nxe4. Below is a short collection of games also worthy of study.} {%08DA}
8.O-O Bxc3 9.bxc3 {?} ( 9.d5 Bf6 10.Re1 Ne7 11.Rxe4 d6 12.Bg5
O-O 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Qd2 Ng6 15.Nd4 f5 16.Ree1 Bd7 17.Rac1 a6
18.Bb3 f4 19.Ne6 fxe6 20.dxe6 Bxe6 21.Rxe6 Kh8 22.Rc3 Rg8 23.Qd4+
Ne5 24.Qxf4 Rg7 25.Qe4 c6 26.Re3 Qf8 27.h3 Rd8 28.Qh4 Ra8 {…1/2-1/2, Computer “Fritz 6” – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2771 , Frankfurt 1999 Match}
) d5 $15 10.Ba3 ( 10.Bd3 O-O 11.Bxe4 dxe4 12.Ng5 Bf5 13.Re1 Re8
14.d5 Ne7 15.c4 h6 16.Nxe4 Nxd5 17.Ng3 Ne7 18.Qf3 Nc6 19.Rxe8+
Qxe8 20.Bxh6 Qe5 21.Rf1 Bg6 22.Bf4 Qb2 23.h4 Qxa2 24.h5 Bh7 25.h6
Qxc4 26.Nh5 Qe4 27.Qg3 Bg6 28.Rd1 Nd4 29.Kh1 Qe2 {…0-1, Voiteanu Gabriel (ROM) 2236 – Miron Lucian-Costin (ROM) 2500 , Krakow 12/30/2010 It (open) “Cracovia”}
) dxc4 11.Re1 Be6 ( 11…f5 12.Nd2 Kf7 13.Nxe4 fxe4 14.Rxe4 Qf6
15.Qe2 Bf5 16.Qxc4+ Kg6 17.Re3 Rae8 18.Rae1 Rxe3 19.Rxe3 h5 20.h3
h4 21.d5 Ne5 22.Qxc7 Nd3 23.Qxb7 Bc8 24.Qc6 Qxc6 25.dxc6 Nf4
26.Re7 a6 27.c4 Kf6 28.Ra7 Nd3 29.Be7+ Ke6 30.Rc7 Ne5 31.Bb4
{…0-1, Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE) – Lasker Emanuel (GER), Moscow 1896 Ch World (match)}
) 12.Rxe4 Qd5 13.Qe2 O-O-O 14.Ne5 Rhe8 15.Nxc6 ( 15.Re1 Bf5 16.Nxc6
Qxe4 17.Qxe4 Bxe4 18.Nxd8 Kxd8 19.f3 Bc6 ) Qxc6 16.Re1 Rg8 17.Re5
b6 18.Bc1 g5 {!} 19.Rxg5 Rxg5 20.Bxg5 Rg8 21.f4 Bd5 22.g3 Kb7
23.h3 Qb5 24.Kh2 Rg6 25.Qc2 f6 26.Bh4 Bc6 27.g4 Qd5 {?}
( 27…h5 28.f5 Rg8 ) 28.Qf2 {?} ( 28.f5 Rg8 29.Bxf6 Qf3 30.Be5
Bd5 31.Bg3 h5 32.Qf2 Qxc3 33.gxh5 Rxg3 34.Qxg3 Qb2+ 35.Kg1 c3
36.Re7 Qb1+ 37.Re1 Qb2 {=} ) h5 {?} ( 28…Rh6 {!} 29.Bg3 f5
30.g5 Re6 ) 29.g5 {?} ( 29.f5 Rg8 30.Kg3 hxg4 31.hxg4 Qd6+ 32.Qf4
Qd8 33.Re6 Qd5 34.Bxf6 Qg2+ 35.Kh4 Bf3 36.g5 Qh1+ 37.Kg3 Qg2+
38.Kh4 {=} ) fxg5 {!} 30.Bxg5 ( 30.fxg5 Rg7 31.Qg1 Rf7 32.Re5
Qf3 33.Re3 Qf5 34.Re2 Qd3 35.Qe3 Qb1 36.Re1 Qf5 37.Qe5 Qf3 38.d5
Bxd5 39.Qg3 Qd3 40.Qxd3 cxd3 41.g6 Rd7 42.Rg1 d2 43.Bg5 Bxa2
44.Rd1 Rg7 45.Kg3 Rxg6 46.Kh4 Bf7 47.Rxd2 Rc6 48.Rf2 Be8 49.Bd2
a5 $19 ) h4 31.Rf1 Rg8 32.Qd2 a5 33.a4 Re8 34.f5 Rg8 35.Re1 Qxf5
36.Re5 Qf3 37.d5 Qg3+ 38.Kh1 Qxe5 39.dxc6+ Kxc6 {0-1, Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE) – Lasker Emanuel (GER), Moscow 1896 Ch World (match)}
) ( 7…O-O {%08DA} 8.O-O Bxc3 9.bxc3 Nxe4 10.d5 Na5 11.Bd3 Nf6
12.Qa4 ( 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bh4 b6 14.Qa4 c5 15.Rfe1 Bb7 16.c4 Rc8
17.Bxf6 gxf6 18.Qc2 Re8 19.Qd2 Rxe1+ 20.Rxe1 Qf8 21.Qf4 Qg7 22.Re4
b5 23.Qf5 Kf8 24.Qxd7 bxc4 25.Rg4 Qxg4 26.Qxg4 cxd3 27.Qa4 Rb8
28.h3 Bxd5 29.Qxa5 Rb1+ 30.Kh2 Bxf3 31.Qd8+ Kg7 {…1-0, Kraemer Martin (GER) 2492 – Graudons Karsten (GER) 2000 , Wilhelmshafen 1998 Ch Germany (juniors) (under 13) (team)}
) b6 13.Qh4 ( 13.d6 c6 14.Bg5 Nb7 15.Qh4 h6 16.Bxh6 Nxd6 17.Bg5
Nde8 18.Ne5 d5 19.Rfe1 Be6 20.Re3 Qc8 21.Rg3 Bf5 22.Nxc6 Qxc6
23.Bxf5 g6 24.Qh6 Nh5 25.Be7 Nxg3 26.Qxf8+ Kh7 27.Qxf7+ Ng7 28.Qxg6+
Qxg6 29.Bxg6+ Kxg6 30.hxg3 Nf5 31.Ba3 Rc8 32.Rc1 d4 {…1-0, Pijpers Arthur (NED) 2313 – Beukema Stefan (NED) 2259 , Hengelo 8/12/2005 It (open) (juniors) (under 12)}
) d6 ( 13…Nb7 14.Re1 {+0.00 CAP} ) 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bxh6 Ng4 16.Bg5
f6 17.Qh7+ {+300.00 CAP} {1-0, Keres Paul (EST) 2580 – Karring G, Rakvere 1934 Ch Estonia}
) {%09DB} 8.exd5 {%09DB} Nxd5 9.O-O Be6 ( 9…Bxc3 10.bxc3 O-O
11.Qc2 ( 11.Ba3 Re8 12.Qc2 Bg4 13.Nd2 Nf4 14.f3 Bh5 15.Ne4 Na5
16.Bd3 Nxd3 17.Qxd3 Qd5 18.Rab1 Nc4 19.Bc1 Bg6 20.Rb4 b5 21.a4
a6 22.Bf4 c6 23.Ra1 a5 24.Rbb1 Bxe4 25.fxe4 Rxe4 26.Qf3 Rae8
27.axb5 cxb5 28.h4 b4 29.g3 {…0-1, Jolly Jean-Francois (FRA) 2385 – Andre Jean Philippe, Bretagne 1999 It (open)}
) h6 12.Re1 Be6 13.Bxh6 Qd7 14.Bd2 Bf5 15.Bd3 Bxd3 16.Qxd3 Rfe8
17.c4 Nf6 18.d5 Rxe1+ 19.Rxe1 Re8 20.Rxe8+ Nxe8 21.Qe3 Ne7 22.Qxa7
b5 23.cxb5 Qxb5 24.a4 Qb1+ 25.Be1 g5 26.Qe3 Kf8 27.Qxg5 Qb3 28.a5
Nxd5 29.h4 Nef6 30.h5 Qd3 31.h6 Ke7 32.a6 Qxa6 33.h7 Qa8 34.Qg7
Nxh7 35.Qxh7 Qa1 36.Qe4+ Kd6 37.g3 c5 38.Kg2 Qb2 39.Bd2 Qf6 40.Ng5
Qg6 41.Qe8 {1-0, Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE) – Schiffers Emanuel S (RUS), Rostov on Don (Russia) 1896}
) 10.Bg5 {Steinitz develops with a threat while creating a situation that will make it
impossible for black to castle in a meaningful way.}
( 10.Qd3 Qd7 11.Bb5 f6 12.Bd2 Bd6 13.Rfe1 O-O-O 14.Rxe6 Qxe6
15.Re1 Qf7 16.Qf5+ Kb8 17.Nxd5 Bxh2+ 18.Kxh2 Rxd5 19.Bc4 Rxf5
20.Bxf7 Rd8 21.Bc3 a5 22.a4 b5 23.axb5 Rxb5 24.d5 Rbxd5 25.Bxd5
Rxd5 26.Re8+ Kb7 27.Rg8 Rd7 28.Rh8 h6 29.Rh7 {1-0, Bjornsson Tomas (ISL) 2300 – Weeks M (USA) 2205 , Paris 1990 Ch Paris (open)}
) Be7 ( 10…Qd7 11.Bxd5 Bxd5 12.Re1+ $16 Be7 ( 12…Kf8 13.Qd3
{+0.48 CAP} ) 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Nxd5 Qxd5 15.Qa4+ Qd7 16.Qb4 Qd6
17.Qb5+ Qc6 18.Qe2 Qd6 19.Rad1 f6 20.d5 Rd8 21.Nd4 Kf7 22.Nb5
Qe5 23.Qc4 {1-0, Angeli David (FRA) 2028 – Rispoli Rodolphe (FRA) 2010, Paris (France) 2001}
) 11.Bxd5 {After a series of trades, black’s king will be stuck defending a knight in the middle of the board.}
( 11.Nxd5 Bxd5 12.Bxe7 ( 12.Bxd5 Qxd5 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Re1 f6 )
Nxe7 13.Bxd5 Qxd5 14.Re1 f6 ) Bxd5 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 ( 12…Bxg5 13.Re1+
Be7 14.Nxe7 Nxe7 15.Qa4+ c6 16.Qb4 {Is even worse for black.} )
13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Re1 {And Von Bardeleben can not castle without losing a knight.}
f6 ( 14…Kf8 {!?} {Will leave black down a pawn and white with great piece placement.}
15.Re5 Qd7 16.Qb3 f6 17.Rb5 g6 ( 17…b6 {?} 18.Ng5 {!} fxg5
19.Qf3+ {and black is in serious trouble here.} ) 18.Rxb7 )
( 14…c6 {Appears to be the best move as as it only leaves black down by one pawn.}
15.Qe2 Qe6 16.Qxe6 fxe6 17.Ng5 Nd5 18.Nxe6 Kf7 19.Nc5 ) 15.Qe2
{Threatening mate while placing more pressure on the pinned knight.}
( 15.Qa4+ Kf7 16.Rac1 c6 17.Rxe7+ Kxe7 18.Qb4+ Kf7 19.Qxb7+ Kg6
20.Nh4+ Kh6 21.Rc5 Rab8 22.Qc7 Rxb2 23.Qf4+ Qg5 24.Nf5+ Kg6 25.Qe4
Rhb8 26.Ng3+ f5 27.Rxc6+ Kf7 28.Rc7+ Kf8 29.Qe6 Rb1+ 30.Nf1 Rxf1+
31.Kxf1 Rb1+ 32.Ke2 Qg4+ 33.f3 Qxg2+ 34.Kd3 Qxf3+ {…0-1, Fernandez Romero Ernesto (ESP) 2479 – Marquez Molina Jose Manuel, Malaga 1996 Ch Malaga}
) Qd7 16.Rac1 {Steinitz is now using all of his pieces. Von Bardeleben only has real piece in play.}
( 16.Rad1 {
Most masters would prefer placing the rook in the same file as the black queen.
But then again, most masters aren’t world champions.} Kf8 17.Nd2
Nd5 18.Qf3 c6 19.Re2 h5 20.Ne4 Qg4 21.Qa3+ Kg8 )
{At first this appears to stop Steinitz from playing d4-d5. In fact, it
emboldens him to play d4-d5 as a powerful pawn sacrifice. 16… Kf7 would have
been far superior as it unpins the knight on e7 while still affording the knight protection from the king.}
c6 {?} {At first this appears to stop Steinitz from playing d4-d5. In fact, it
emboldens him to play d4-d5 as a powerful pawn sacrifice. 16… Kf7 would have
been far superior as it unpins the knight on e7 while still affording the knight protection from the king.}
( 16…Kf7 17.Ne5+ fxe5 18.dxe5 Qe6 19.Qf3+ Ke8 ( 19…Kg8 20.Rxc7
Rb8 21.Rxb7 Rxb7 22.Qxb7 Kf7 23.Qxa7 Rc8 24.h3 Rc2 25.Qb7 Ke8 )
20.Rxc7 Qb6 21.Rxb7 Rf8 ) 17.d5 {!!} {
A beautiful pawn sacrifice by Stenitz. Now a black pawn will be interefering
with black’s pieces while the d4 square becomes available for white’s knight.}
cxd5 ( 17…Kf7 18.dxc6 Nxc6 19.Rcd1 $16 ) 18.Nd4 {Steinitz pieces are all beautifully placed while Von Bardeleben’s rooks sit quietly in the corners and knight remains pinned.}
Kf7 {The correct plan on move sixteen doesn’t quite cut the mustard two moves later.}
19.Ne6 {The knight has reached the sixth and Stenitz is threatening to use it’s influence to place a rook on the seventh.}
Rhc8 {?} {Placing the knight on c6 was the better way of stopping Steinitz’s rook invasion.}
( 19…Nc6 20.Nc5 Qc8 21.Qb5 Rb8 ( 21…Nd8 22.Nd7 $18 ) 22.Na6
Ra8 23.Qxd5+ Kg6 24.Nc5 Rd8 25.Qe4+ f5 26.Qh4 $18 ) 20.Qg4 {!}
{Threatening mate in 2 (1. Qxg7+ Ke8 2. Qf8#). Against Steinitz, no crime goes unpunished.}
g6 ( 20…Nf5 {!?} 21.Qxf5 Rxc1 22.Rxc1 Kg8 23.Nd4 Rd8 {and black is a piece down for the endgame.}
) 21.Ng5+ {!} {A check with the threat of winning a queen will force Von Bardeleben’s king to return to the dangerous e8 square.}
Ke8 22.Rxe7+ {!!} {
and Steinitz is playing the spiciest chess known to man. This rook sacrifice
must register approximately 500,000 Scoville units.} Kf8 {!}
{Black’s options here demand extra analysis but all roads lead to ruin.}
( 22…Kxe7 23.Re1+ Kd8 ( 23…Kd6 24.Qb4+ Kc7 25.Ne6+ Kb8 26.Qf4+
$18 Rc7 27.Nxc7 ) 24.Ne6+ Ke7 25.Nc5+ $18 Kd6 26.Qxd7+ Kxc5 27.Rc1+
Kb6 28.Rxc8 Rxc8 29.Qxc8 ) ( 22…Qxe7 23.Rxc8+ Rxc8 24.Qxc8+
Qd8 25.Qe6+ Qe7 26.Qg8+ Qf8 27.Qxf8+ Kxf8 28.Nf3 )
( 22…Kd8 23.Qxd7# ) 23.Rf7+ {!} {Even in such winning positions, white must not get greedy.}
( 23.Rxd7 {??} Rxc1+ 24.Qd1 Rxd1# ) ( 23.Qxd7 {??} Rxc1+ 24.Re1
Rxe1# ) Kg8 24.Rg7+ {!} {Again, capturing black’s queen is still the ultimate blunder for white.}
Kh8 ( 24…Kf8 {??} 25.Nxh7+ $18 Kxg7 26.Qxd7+ Kh6 27.Rxc8 Rxc8
28.Qxc8 ) 25.Rxh7+ {
and tale is that Von Bardeleben left the board never to return. In his absense,
Steinitz demonstrated that his opponent would either lose in ten more moves or
suffer a “runious loss of material.” For instance, if 25…Kg8 then 26. Rg7+
Kh8 27. Qh4+! Kxg7 28. Qh7+ Kf8 29. Qh8+ Ke7 30. Qg7+ Ke8 31. Qg8+ Ke7 32. Qf7+
Kd8 33. Qf8+ Qe8 34. Nf7+ Kd7 35. Qd6# is a very aesthetically pleasing conclusion.}
Z0 1-0


Steinitz presented this continuation in Von Bardeleben’s absence.


My Favorite #Chess Games: The Evergreen Game

June 22, 2018

Karl Ernst Adolf Anderssen (July 6, 1818 – March 13, 1879)

I keep returning to the combination of artistry, complexity and romanticism that is the Evergreen Game. The freshness of ideas that occur with close analysis continues to intrigue and inspire each new generation of chess players who choose to explore this breathtaking game. In fact, the actual moves of Adolf Anderssen and Jean Dufresne are just the beginning, the true beauty of The Evergreen Game lies in the endless possibilities surrounding blacks infamous 19th move. Had Jean Dufresne chosen better there, I remain confident that the game would still be evergreen. In my notes below I include all of my discoveries from two decades of teaching the game. For ease of study, I recommend copying the text and pasting it into your favorite chess program. Enjoy!




[Event “The Evergreen Game”]
[Site “Berlin (Germany)”]
[Date “1852”]
[Round “”]
[White “Anderssen Adolf (GER)”]
[Black “Dufresne Jean (GER)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C52”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

{[ EVANS gam.,C52] Anderssen Adolf (GER) +20 =0 -7 Dufresne Jean (GER) +1 =0 -7
Anderssen Adolf (GER)-Dufresne Jean (GER) +6 =0 -1} 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3
Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 {
The Evans Gambit is an aggressive choice named after the Welsh sea Captain
William Davies Evans. Here white gladly offers a pawn so he/she can open the
center and develop faster than in the Giuoco Piano(1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5
4.c3 Nf6 5.d4) by not having to spend a tempo on playing pawn to c3.}
Bxb4 {Although I recommend accepting the gambit, Black can also chose to decline it as seen below.}
( 4…Bb6 5.a4 a6 6.Bb2 d6 7.b5 axb5 8.axb5 Rxa1 9.Bxa1 Na5 10.Be2
Nf6 11.Nc3 O-O 12.O-O c6 13.d4 Qe7 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Na4 Bd8
( 15…Bc7 {?} 16.b6 Bb8 17.Qd2 $18 ) 16.Bxe5 Nxe4 17.Bd3 Ng5
( 17…Nf6 18.Bd6 {!} ) 18.Bd4 Ne6 19.Be5 Bc7 20.Qe1 cxb5 21.Bxb5
Nc6 22.Bxc6 bxc6 23.Qc3 Bb7 24.Bxc7 Qxc7 25.Nc5 Bc8 26.Ne5 Re8
27.Ned3 Nf4 28.Nxf4 Qxf4 29.Re1 Rxe1+ 30.Qxe1 Kf8 31.Nd3 Qd6
32.Qe4 h6 33.h3 Be6 34.Ne5 Qd5 35.f3 Qxe4 36.fxe4 Ke7 {?}
( 36…c5 37.Nd3 c4 38.Nc5 Ke7 39.e5 f6 40.exf6+ Kxf6 41.Kf2
Bd5 42.g3 Ke5 {=} ) 37.Nxc6+ Kd6 38.Nd4 Ke5 39.Nxe6 fxe6 40.Kf2
Kxe4 41.Ke2 Kd4 42.Kd2 g5 ( 42…h5 43.c3+ Ke4 44.h4 e5 45.Ke2
Kf4 46.Kd3 g5 47.hxg5 Kxg5 48.Ke4 Kf6 49.Kd5 {!} $18 ) 43.c3+
Kc4 44.g4 Kd5 45.Kd3 Kc5 46.Ke4 {1-0, Breyer Gyula (HUN) – Nyholm Gustaf (SWE), Baden-Baden 1914 It}
) 5.c3 {Attacking Black’s bishop again while preparing to play d4.}
Ba5 {White must also be prepared for 5… Bc5 and 5… Be7. See below.}
( 5…Bc5 6.d4 exd4 7.O-O d6 8.cxd4 Bb6 9.Nc3 Na5 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bh4
Nxc4 12.Qa4+ Qd7 13.Qxc4 Qf7 14.Nd5 Nh6 ( 14…Be6 15.Qa4+ Bd7
16.Qa3 {!} ) 15.Rad1 Bg4 16.Qc1 {!} Bxf3 17.gxf3 O-O 18.Kh1 Qh5
19.Qf4 Kh8 ( 19…g5 {?} 20.Nxf6+ Rxf6 21.Qxf6 Qxh4 22.Rg1 Nf7
23.Rg4 Qh6 24.Rxg5+ Qxg5 25.Rg1 $18 ) ( 19…c6 {!} 20.Nxf6+
Rxf6 {!} 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Qxf6 Nf7 $13) 20.Nxf6 {!} $16Qf7 21.e5
dxe5 22.dxe5 Ng8 ( 22…Rad8 23.Qe4 ) 23.Rg1 {!} gxf6
( 23…Nxf6 24.exf6 gxf6 25.Rd7 {!} Qe6 26.Qh6 $18 ) 24.Rxg8+
{!} Rxg8 ( 24…Qxg8 25.Rg1 Qe6 26.Qh6 $18 ) 25.Bxf6+ Rg7 26.Rg1
Rag8 27.Qh6 {!} $18 Bc5 ( 27…Bxf2 28.Rg4 {! ‘with the idea’ e6,e7} $18 {}
) 28.e6 Qf8 29.f4 Be7 30.Ba1 b5 31.f3 c5 32.f5 b4 33.Rg3 c4 34.Qxh7+
{1-0, Chigorin Mikhail I (RUS) – Yakubovich N (RUS), Russia 1879 corr.}
) ( 5…Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Be2 {!} {
7. Ne5 – Kasparov – Short, London (active) 1993 7. Bf7 – Losev – Baikov,
Moscow 1989 7. Bd3 – Losev – A.Alekhin, Leningrad 1987}
( 7.Nxe5 Nxc4 8.Nxc4 d5 9.exd5 Qxd5 10.Ne3 Qd8 11.O-O Nf6 12.c4
O-O 13.Nc3 c6 14.Rb1 Re8 15.Bb2 Qc7 16.Qf3 Bd7 $13 )
( 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Nxe5+ Kf8 ( 8…Ke8 9.Qh5+ g6 10.Nxg6 Nf6 11.Qh4
$40 ) 9.Qf3+ Nf6 10.g4 d6 11.g5 dxe5 12.gxf6 Bxf6 13.dxe5 Nc4
14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Qxf6+ gxf6 16.Bh6+ Kf7 17.Rg1 Rg8 {=} )
( 7.Bd3 d6 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Nxe5 Nf6 10.O-O O-O 11.Qc2 c5 12.f4
c4 {!} 13.Nxc4 Nxc4 14.Bxc4 Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Ng4 16.g3 Qb6 17.Na3
Re8 $45 ) exd4 {?} { 7… d6! – Melts – Finocchiaro, corr. 1991}
( 7…d6 {!} 8.Qa4+ c6 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Nxe5 Nf6 11.O-O b5 {!}
( 11…O-O 12.Rd1 Qc7 13.Bf4 Bd6 14.Rxd6 Qxd6 15.Ng6 $16 )
( 11…Qc7 12.Nf3 O-O 13.e5 $14 ) 12.Qc2 O-O ( 12…Qc7 13.Nf3
Bg4 14.Nbd2 Rd8 15.a4 a6 16.axb5 axb5 17.Ba3 $14 ) 13.a4 Qc7
( 13…b4 14.cxb4 Bxb4 {=} ) 14.Nf3 a6 {=} {(B) Belloskus – Melts, corr. 1983 (C) Melts – Jankind, corr. 1991}
) 8.Qxd4 {!} {8. cd – Melts – Usatchy, corr. 1989-91}
( 8.cxd4 Nf6 9.Qa4 b6 10.Nc3 Bb7 11.d5 O-O 12.O-O Re8 13.Bb2
c6 14.Rad1 d6 $13 ) Nf6 ( 8…d6 9.Qxg7 Bf6 10.Qg3 Ne7 11.Bg5
$16 ) 9.e5 Nc6 10.Qh4 { 10. Qf4 – Melts – Gajewski, URS 1981}
( 10.Qf4 Nh5 11.Qa4 g6 12.Bh6 $16 ) Nd5 11.Qg3 {!} g6 12.O-O
Nb6 13.c4 d6 14.Rd1 {} $16 {} Nd7 15.Bh6 Ncxe5 16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.Nc3
f6 18.c5 {!} Nf7 19.cxd6 cxd6 20.Qe3 Nxh6 21.Qxh6 Bf8 22.Qe3+
Kf7 23.Nd5 Be6 24.Nf4 Qe7 25.Re1 {[ S. ABRAMOV ]} {1-0, Kasparov Garry (RUS) 2795 – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2725 , Riga 1995 Memorial M.Tal (cat.17)}
) 6.d4 {A wise old man once said of the opening, “Always play to gain control of the center.”}
exd4 {Cracking the center open may be playing into white’s plans but the alternatives are even more difficult for black.}
( 6…d6 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.dxe5 Bb6 9.Nbd2 Na5 ( 9…dxe5 10.Ba3 Na5
11.Qb4 c5 12.Qb2 Nxc4 13.Nxc4 f6 14.Rd1 Qe6 15.Nd6+ Ke7 16.O-O
Nh6 17.c4 Nf7 18.Nxc8+ Raxc8 19.Rd5 $44 {Christiansen – Gretarsson, Yerevan (ol) 1996}
) 10.Qb4 Nxc4 ( 10…Ne7 {!?} 11.exd6 Nec6 $13 {Maeder – Heinz, Amsterdam 1969}
) 11.Nxc4 Bc5 12.Qb3 Ne7 13.O-O O-O 14.exd6 cxd6 15.Ba3 {!} {x d6}
Qc7 16.Nd4 Bxa3 17.Nxa3 Nc6 18.Rfe1 Qe7 19.Rab1 Ne5 20.c4 a6
21.Nac2 Be6 22.Ne3 b5 {%09} 23.Nd5 {!} {%09} Bxd5 24.cxd5 {} $16 { x c6}
Qf6 25.Nc6 Rfe8 26.Rbc1 g6 27.h3 h5 28.Nxe5 Rxe5 29.Rc6 Qe7 30.f3
g5 31.Qb4 Rd8 32.Rxa6 f5 33.Qa5 fxe4 34.Ra7 Rd7 35.Rxd7 Qxd7
36.fxe4 g4 37.hxg4 hxg4 38.Qc3 Qa7+ 39.Qe3 Qxe3+ ( 39…Qxa2
{!?} {} ) 40.Rxe3 Kf7 41.Kf2 Kf6 42.Re2 Re8 43.Ke3 g3 44.Kf4
Ra8 45.Rb2 Ra5 46.a3 Rxa3 47.Rxb5 Ra2 48.Rb6 Rxg2 49.Rxd6+ Kf7
50.Kf3 Rg1 51.Re6 {[ A. MITENKOV ]} {1-0, Short Nigel D (ENG) 2660 – Huebner Robert Dr (GER) 2580 , Dortmund 1997 It (cat.18)}
) 7.O-O {Castling out of the pin is the obvious plan for white.}
d3 {A clever push that has the intended consequence of leaving the c3 square
unavailable for white’s knight while trying to slow down white’s development. 7… Nge7 should also be strongly considered.}
( 7…dxc3 8.Qb3 Qf6 9.e5 Qg6 10.Nxc3 Nge7 11.Ne2 Bb6 12.Ba3
O-O 13.Rad1 Re8 14.Nh4 Qh5 15.Ng3 Qxh4 16.Bxf7+ Kf8 17.Bxe8 Kxe8
18.Rfe1 Qf4 19.Re4 Qf7 20.Qc2 Nd8 21.Rd3 Ne6 22.Rf3 Qg6 23.Qb3
c5 24.h4 h5 25.Kh2 Bc7 26.Rd3 b6 27.Bc1 {…0-1, Anderssen Adolf (GER) – Dufresne Jean (GER), Berlin 1851}
) ( 7…d6 8.Qb3 Qf6 9.cxd4 Bb6 10.Bb5 Kf8 11.e5 dxe5 12.Ba3+
Nge7 13.Nc3 Kg8 14.Ne4 Qf4 15.d5 Qxe4 16.dxc6 Be6 17.Qb2 Nxc6
18.Rfe1 Qd5 19.Bxc6 Qxc6 20.Nxe5 Qa4 21.Bb4 Rd8 22.Bc3 f6 23.Nf3
Kf7 24.Rac1 Qxa2 {0-1, Mieles Palau Daniel (ECU) 2486 – Granda Zuniga Julio E (PER) 2637 , Salinas 2/23/2005 It (cat.8)}
) ( 7…Nge7 8.Ng5 d5 9.exd5 Ne5 10.Bb3 O-O 11.Nxh7 Kxh7 12.Qh5+
Kg8 13.Qxe5 Nf5 14.Bd2 c5 15.dxc6 bxc6 16.Re1 Bc7 17.Qe4 Qf6
18.Bf4 {1/2-1/2, Short Nigel D (ENG) 2677 – Adams Michael (ENG) 2755 , Sarajevo 2000 It (cat.19)}
) 8.Qb3 {Developing the queen with a major threat to the belly button.}
Qf6 {Developing the queen onto a dangerous diagonal while providing a much needed defender to f7.}
9.e5 {Threatening the guard. Black can not capture the pawn because his uncastled
king would allow white to pin and win the knight with Re1.}
( 9.Re1 Nge7 ( 9…Bb6 10.e5 Qg6 11.Qd1 Nh6 12.Bxd3 Qh5 13.h3
Ne7 14.Nbd2 d5 15.exd6 cxd6 16.Nc4 Bc5 17.Bg5 f6 18.Nxd6+ Bxd6
19.Bb5+ Kf8 20.Qxd6 Nhf5 21.Qd8+ Kf7 22.Rxe7+ Nxe7 23.Ne5+ {1-0, Anderssen Adolf (GER) – Dufresne Jean (GER), Berlin 1855}
) 10.Bg5 Qg6 11.Bxe7 Kxe7 12.e5 Kf8 13.Nbd2 Bb6 14.Ne4 Nd8 15.Qa3+
Ke8 16.Nf6+ {1-0, Anderssen Adolf (GER) – Rosenthal Samuel (POL), Vienna 1873 It (matches)}
) Qg6 {Qf5 was also a possibilty.} ( 9…Qf5 10.Ba3
( 10.Rd1 Nge7 11.Bxd3 Qh5 12.Nbd2 {is also possible.} ) Nge7
11.Nd4 Qh5 12.Nxc6 Nxc6 13.Nd2 Bb6 14.Rae1 a5 15.Ne4 Nxe5 {?}
16.Nd6+ {!} cxd6 17.Qxb6 O-O 18.Qxd6 Ng6 19.Bxd3 Rd8 20.Bxg6
Qg5 21.Qc7 hxg6 22.Be7 {1-0, Eskelinen Aarno (FIN) 2191 – Tapaninen Jukka, Finland 1989}
) 10.Re1 {White’s attack is so powerful he has three strong choices.}
( 10.Ba3 Nge7 11.Nd4 Bb6 12.Nd2 Bxd4 13.Bxe7 Bxc3 14.Qxc3 Nxe7
15.Bxd3 Qc6 16.Qa3 Qe6 17.Bc4 d5 18.exd6 Qxd6 19.Qf3 O-O 20.Ne4
Qg6 21.Rfe1 Bg4 22.Qf4 Nc6 23.Qxc7 Rac8 24.Qd6 Bf5 25.Qf4 Nb4
26.Nd6 Bh3 27.g3 Nc2 28.Nxc8 Bxc8 29.Re7 Be6 {…1-0, Kuijpers Frans A (NED) 2375 – Von Saldern Ruediger (GER) 2143 , Les Dicqs 2002 It (open)}
) ( 10.Rd1 Nge7 11.Bxd3 Qh5 12.Nbd2 O-O 13.Ba3 d6 14.exd6 cxd6
15.Bxd6 Rd8 16.Nc4 Be6 17.Qa3 Bxc4 18.Bxc4 Nf5 19.Bf4 Qg4 20.Bxf7+
Kxf7 21.Qb3+ Kf8 22.Ng5 Nh6 23.Nxh7+ Ke8 24.Re1+ Ne7 25.Rxe7+
Kxe7 26.Re1+ {1-0, Wan Yunguo (CHN) 2487 – Zeng Chongsheng (CHN) 2456 , Beijing 9/18/2012 Zt}
) Nge7 {Black would obviously like to get castled.} 11.Ba3
( 11.Nbd2 O-O 12.Ne4 d5 13.exd6 cxd6 14.Bxd3 d5 15.Nc5 Qh5 16.Bg5
Ng6 17.Bd2 Bb6 18.Qb5 Bg4 19.Ng5 h6 20.h3 hxg5 21.hxg4 Qxg4 22.Be2
Qf5 23.Bd3 Qf6 24.Be3 Nge5 25.Be2 Rfe8 26.Rad1 Rad8 27.Qb3 Na5
28.Qb5 Qc6 29.Bd4 Nec4 30.Qb4 Nd6 {…1-0, Conquest Stuart (ENG) 2539 – Narciso Dublan Marc (ESP) 2476 , Pamplona 2002 It (cat.14)}
) ( 11.Qd1 d5 12.exd6 cxd6 13.Bxd3 Qh5 14.Bg5 Bd8 {-0.04 CAP} )
b5 {?} {Insatead of castling, Black decides to sacrifice a pawn to allow his rook and
bishop to enter into the battle quickly. This plan ends up being overly aggressive. Better was:}
( 11…d5 12.exd6 cxd6 13.Nbd2 O-O ) ( 11…O-O 12.Rd1 d2 13.Nbxd2
d6 14.exd6 cxd6 15.Be2 Be6 ) 12.Qxb5 {!} Rb8 13.Qa4 Bb6
( 13…O-O {?} 14.Bxe7 ) 14.Nbd2 {?} ( 14.Qd1 O-O 15.Bxd3 f5
16.Nbd2 ) Bb7 {?} ( 14…O-O 15.Ne4 d5 16.exd6 cxd6 17.Bxd3 Bg4
18.Nxd6 Qxd3 19.Qxg4 Qxc3 20.Nf5 Nxf5 21.Bxf8 Qb2 22.Kh1 Bxf2
23.Rec1 g6 24.Qe4 Rxf8 25.Qxc6 Bb6 26.Qc3 Qxc3 27.Rxc3 Rd8 )
15.Ne4 {!} Qf5 {?} {Lasker’s suggested improvement is 15… d2.}
( 15…d2 16.Nexd2 O-O ) 16.Bxd3 Qh5 17.Nf6+ gxf6 18.exf6 Rg8
19.Rad1 {!?} {A clever trap but black is not forced to accept it.}
Qxf3 {??} {
The key mistake at the key moment in the game. I could probably write an entire
book on the complexities of the alternatives. Below is some analysis worthy of a chessboard.}
( 19…Bd4 {!} {This move is definately good enough for the draw.} {%08DA}
20.cxd4 ( 20.Nxd4 {%08DA} Rxg2+ 21.Kxg2 Nxd4+ 22.Re4 Bxe4+ 23.Bxe4
Qg4+ 24.Kf1 Qe2+ 25.Kg1 Qxe4 26.Qxd4 Qxd4 27.Rxd4 Ng6 )
( 20.Bf1 {%08DA} Qxf3 21.Rxd4 Ne5 22.Qxd7+ Nxd7 23.Rxe7+ Kd8
24.Rdxd7+ Kc8 25.Rxc7+ Kd8 26.Rcd7+ Kc8 27.Rc7+ Kd8 28.Rcd7+ )
{%09DB} Qxf3 {%09DB} 21.Be4 Rxg2+ 22.Kh1 Rxh2+ 23.Kxh2 Qxf2+
24.Kh1 Qh4+ 25.Kg1 Qg4+ 26.Kh1 Qh3+ 27.Kg1 Qg4+ ) ( 19…Qh3
{!?} {Probably good enough for the draw and has more winning chances for black than 19… Bd4.} {%08DA}
20.Bf1 ( 20.g3 {??} Rxg3+ 21.hxg3 Qxg3+ 22.Kh1 Qxf3+ 23.Kh2 Ne5
24.Qxd7+ Kxd7 25.Be2+ Nd5 26.Bxf3 Nxf3+ 27.Kg3 Nxe1 28.c4 Rg8+
29.Kh4 Bxf2+ 30.Kh5 Rg3 31.Kh6 Rxa3 {and white is crushed.} )
Qf5 21.Kh1 {Eventually leads to a draw but with plenty of opprtunities for each color to play a game losing move.}
( 21.Bxe7 {?} Qxf3 22.Bc5+ Kd8 23.Re7 d6 ( 23…Bc8 {?} 24.Bxb6
Rxb6 ( 24…Qxf6 25.Bxa7 Ra8 26.Re3 Rxa7 27.Qe4 Bb7 28.Rde1 )
25.Rxf7 Qh5 26.Rg7 Rxg7 27.fxg7 Qg6 {and you have to like black’s chances.}
) 24.Bxb6 axb6 25.Rxf7 Qf5 26.Re1 Ne5 27.Rg7 Bd5 28.f4 Rxg7 29.fxg7
b5 30.Qd4 Nc6 31.Qe3 Qf7 32.g3 Ne7 33.Bg2 Bc4 34.Qa7 Rc8 35.Qd4 )
Qxf6 22.Bxe7 Nxe7 23.Rxd7 Kf8 24.Rexe7 Qxf3 25.Rxf7+ Qxf7 26.Rxf7+
Kxf7 27.Qf4+ Ke7 28.Qe5+ Kd8 29.Qf6+ Kd7 30.Qf5+ Kd6 31.Qf4+
Kc6 32.Qf3+ Kd7 33.Qf5+ ) ( 19…Rg4 {?} {A most interesting move that leads to a small advantage for white.} {%08DA}
20.Re4 {!} ( 20.Bc4 {?} {A clear second best to 20. Re4.} Qf5
21.Rxd7 Rxg2+ 22.Kxg2 Qg4+ 23.Kf1 Qh3+ 24.Ke2 Qxd7 25.fxe7 Nd4+
26.Nxd4 Qxa4 27.Bb5+ Qxb5+ 28.Nxb5 Be4 29.c4 Bg6 30.Rd1 c5 31.Rd5
Kxe7 ) Rxe4 21.Qxe4 d6 22.Re1 Qg6 23.Qxc6+ Bxc6 24.Bxg6 hxg6
25.Rxe7+ Kf8 26.Ne5 dxe5 27.Rxc7+ Ke8 28.Rxc6 Bc5 29.Bb4 Bxb4
30.cxb4 Rxb4 31.g3 Ra4 32.Rc7 Rxa2 33.Re7+ Kf8 34.Rxe5 Ra6 35.Re7
Rxf6 36.Rxa7 Kg7 {After all the excitement black is left 1 pawn down in a rook and pawn ending.}
) ( 19…Qg4 {??} {%08DA} 20.Qxg4 Rxg4 21.Bf5 Rf4 22.Bxd7+ Kf8
23.fxe7+ Nxe7 24.Bxe7+ Kg7 25.Nd4 Re4 26.Nf5+ Kg8 27.Bf6 Bc5
28.h3 Bd5 29.Rxe4 Bxe4 30.Nh6+ Kf8 31.Bf5 Bxf5 32.Nxf5 {White would win easily from here.}
) ( 19…Nb4 {??} {Mate in 4.} {%08DA} 20.Qxd7+ Kxd7 21.Bb5+
Kc8 22.Bd7+ Kd8 23.fxe7# ) ( 19…Ne5 {??} {Black gets a lot of checks but white will come out on top if he/she defends accurately.} {%08DA}
20.Rxe5 Rxg2+ 21.Kf1 Bxf3 22.Rxh5 Bc6 23.Qb4 Rxf2+ 24.Ke1 d6
25.Rxh7 Rxf6 26.Rh8+ Kd7 27.Rxb8 Re6+ 28.Kd2 ) ( 19…Rxg2+ {?!}
{A tempting move that certainly gives white plenty of opportunities to blunder.
However, it’s just not accurate enough to be a legitimate alternative.} {%08DA}
20.Kxg2 Ne5 21.Qxd7+ {!} Kxd7 22.Bg6+ Ke6 23.Bxh5 Rg8+ 24.Kh3
N7g6 25.Bg4+ Kxf6 26.Nxe5 Nxe5 27.Be7+ Kxe7 28.Rxe5+ Kf6 29.Rf5+ )
( 19…d6 {?} {
This was once suggested by a student as a means of interfering with the scope
of the dangerous a3 bishop. This may be true but white will still get a winning game after this mistake.} {%08DA}
20.Be4 {!} Kf8 21.fxe7+ Nxe7 22.Bxb7 Qg6 23.Nh4 Qf6 24.Bf3 Ng6
25.Nxg6+ hxg6 26.Re2 Rh8 27.Qc6 Kg7 28.h3 Rh4 29.Bg4 {and white has a winning material advantage.}
) 20.Rxe7+ {!} Nxe7 {?} {Setting up one of the most beautiful mating combinations every played! White to move and mate in 4.}
( 20…Kd8 21.Rxd7+ {!} Kc8 22.Rd8+ {!} Kxd8 23.Be4+ Nd4 24.Bxf3
Bxf3 {Is painful but still preferable over being checkmated.} )
{%09DB} 21.Qxd7+ {!!} {%09DB} Kxd7 22.Bf5+ Ke8 23.Bd7+ Kf8 24.Bxe7# 1-0

My Favorite #Chess Games: The Opera House Game

June 12, 2018

The Opera House Game is perhaps the most famous chess game to have ever been played. It’s title is derived from the fact that the great American chess master Paul Morphy defeated the Duke Karl of Brunswick and the Count Isouard while all the parties involved were watching Norma being performed from the box seats at the Paris Opera House. I show this game several times a year to demonstrate the art of attacking in chess. Included below the game are my lesson notes.





The Opera House Game


[Event “The Opera House Game”]
[Site “Paris (France)”]
[Date “1858”]
[Round “”]
[White “Morphy Paul”]
[Black “Duke Karl of Brunswick and the Count Isouard”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C41”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

{[ PHILIDOR’S def.,C41] Morphy Paul +8 =1 -1 Duke Karl Count Isouard +0 =0 -1 Morphy Paul-Duke Karl Count Isouard +1 =0 -0}
1.e4 {Paul Morphy’s favorite way to start a game.} e5 2.Nf3 {Knights before bishops.}
d6 {Philidor’s Defense was quite popular during the time of Paul Morphy’s European
adventures and he was quite adept with either color of it.} {%08DA}
3.d4 {Paul Morphy choses to place a second pawn in the center. Of course, developing
a second piece with a move like Bc4 is also good.} Bg4 {?!} {
A questionable choice for black. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to bring
out a knight before the bishop. Here black could have played Nf6 or Nd7. Also
fine is exchanging pawns with exd4. Below are sample games for each move.}
( 3…exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Be7 6.g3 d5 7.e5 Ng4 8.Bg2 O-O 9.Nxd5
Bc5 10.c3 c6 11.Ne3 Nxe5 12.O-O Re8 13.b4 Bb6 14.a4 a5 15.Bb2
Na6 16.bxa5 Bxa5 17.Qc2 Qf6 18.Rad1 Qg6 19.Be4 Qh5 20.c4 Nc5
21.Bg2 Bh3 22.f4 Bxg2 23.Kxg2 {…0-1, Carlsen Magnus (NOR) 2837 – Mamedyarov Shakhriyar (AZE) 2726 , Astana 7/10/2012 Ch World (blitz) (final)}
) ( 3…Nf6 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7 6.O-O {?} ( 6.Bxf7+ Kxf7 7.Ng5+
$40 ) O-O 7.Qe2 c6 8.Bg5 ( {‘better is’} 8.a4 {‘better is’} )
h6 9.Bh4 Nh5 10.Bg3 Nxg3 11.hxg3 b5 12.Bd3 a6 13.a4 Bb7 14.Rad1
Qc7 15.axb5 axb5 16.g4 Rfe8 17.d5 b4 18.dxc6 Bxc6 19.Nb1 Nc5
20.Nbd2 Qc8 21.Bc4 g6 ( 21…Qxg4 22.Bxf7+ {!} $18 ) 22.g3 Kg7
23.Nh2 Bg5 24.f3 Qc7 25.Rfe1 Rh8 26.Ndf1 h5 27.gxh5 Rxh5 28.Bd5
Rah8 29.Bxc6 Qxc6 30.Qc4 Qb6 31.Kg2 Ne6 32.Re2 Nd4 33.Ree1 Qb7
{!} 34.Rxd4 ( 34.c3 bxc3 35.bxc3 ( 35.Qxc3 Rc8 $41 ) Qb2+ $19 )
exd4 35.Ng4 ( 35.Qxd4+ Bf6 36.Qxd6 Rd8 ) Qb6 36.f4 Be7 37.Rd1
f5 38.Nf2 fxe4 39.Qxd4+ Qxd4 40.Rxd4 d5 41.g4 Bc5 {!} 42.Rd1
Rh4 43.Rxd5 Bxf2 44.Kxf2 Rxg4 45.Ke3 Rc8 46.Kxe4 Rc4+ 47.Kd3
Rcxf4 48.Ne3 Rg3 49.Re5 Kf6 50.Re8 Kf7 51.Re5 Rf6 52.c4 b3 53.Ke4
Re6 54.Rxe6 Kxe6 55.Nd5 g5 {0-1, Teichmann Richard (GER) – Nimzowitsch Aaron, San Sebastian 1911 It}
) ( 3…Nd7 4.Bc4 c6 5.dxe5 dxe5 6.Be3 Be7 7.Nc3 Qc7 {‘better is’ Ng8-f6, 0-0, Rf8-e8}
8.a4 Nc5 9.b4 {?} ( {‘better is’} 9.Ng5 {‘better is’} Nh6 10.h3
{!} {=} ) Ne6 10.Rb1 Nf6 11.O-O O-O 12.Ne1 ( 12.Ba2 {!?} )
( 12.Be2 {!?} {(B) Alekhin} ) b5 {!} 13.Bb3 a5 14.axb5
( 14.bxa5 b4 15.Ne2 Qxa5 $17 ) axb4 {} $17 {} 15.b6 Qb7 16.Ne2
c5 17.c3 {!} Bd7 ( 17…Nxe4 {?!} 18.cxb4 cxb4 19.Nc2 {=} ) 18.cxb4
cxb4 19.Ng3 Nc5 20.Bc4 Ncxe4 21.Nxe4 Nxe4 22.Bd5 ( 22.Qd5 $13
Bc6 ( 22…Qxd5 23.Bxd5 Nc3 24.Bxa8 Nxb1 25.Be4 ) 23.Qxe5 Bd6
24.Qf5 Rae8 {} ) Bc6 23.Bxc6 Qxc6 24.Qh5 Nc3 $18 25.Rb2 Qb5 {!}
26.Nf3 ( 26.g3 Ra1 $18 ) Ne2+ 27.Rxe2 Qxe2 28.Qxe5 Bf6 29.Qc5
b3 30.Bf4 Rfe8 {!} 31.b7 Qxf1+ 32.Kxf1 Ra1+ 33.Bc1 b2 {0-1, Von Bardeleben Kurt (GER) – Alekhine Alexander A (RUS), Dusseldorf 1908 It}
) 4.dxe5 {Paul Morphy aims to punish his opponents’ last move.}
Bxf3 {Practically forced because otherwise:} ( 4…dxe5 5.Qxd8+
Kxd8 6.Nxe5 Be6 {and black is a pawn down and has lost their right to castle.}
) 5.Qxf3 {It is fine for Morphy to develop his queen to f3 as it does not block the
already exchanged knight that originated on g1. However, this didn’t stop
Steinitz from criticizing Morphy play here. Steinitz, who enjoyed finding
“mistakes” in Morphy’s games suggested the following:}
( 5.gxf3 dxe5 6.Qxd8+ Kxd8 7.f4 Nf6 8.fxe5 Nxe4 9.Bg2 Nc5 10.b4
{This is obviously good for white but history prefers Morphy’s method.}
) {%09DB} dxe5 {An interesting position where both sides have one pawn in the center and active queens.} {%09DB}
6.Bc4 {White develops with a Scholar’s Mate style threat. However, here Morphy’s
success is not dependent on poor play from his opponent as is the case with the actual Scholar’s Mate.}
Nf6 7.Qb3 {!} {A very powerful move which threatens both the pawn on b7 and the belly-button.}
Qe7 {The Duke and the Count wisely decide to defend the pawn that is attached to their king safety.}
8.Nc3 {Paul Morphy had three good choices here. The butcher’s choice would be to play
“8. Qxb7 Qb4+ 9. Qxb4 Bxb4” and grind out a long endgame victory. A robot could
evaluate 8. Bxf7+ as best and win in a cold fashion. However, it took Paul
Morphy to recognize that 8. Nc3 was the only move with potential to make the game a true artistic masterpiece.}
( 8.Qxb7 Qb4+ 9.Qxb4 Bxb4+ 10.Bd2 Bxd2+ 11.Nxd2 O-O 12.f3 Nc6
13.c3 Rab8 14.O-O-O Na5 15.Be2 h6 16.Nc4 Nxc4 17.Bxc4 Rb6 18.Rd2
Rc6 19.Bb3 a5 20.Rhd1 a4 21.Bxa4 Ra6 22.Bb3 c5 23.Rd8 Ne8 24.R1d7
Rf6 25.Bc4 g6 26.a4 Ng7 27.a5 Nh5 {…1-0, Kunte Abhijit (IND) 2517 – Akshay Vijayan (IND) 1766 , Jalgaon 11/23/2010 It (open)}
) ( 8.Bxf7+ Qxf7 9.Qxb7 Bc5 10.O-O O-O 11.Qxa8 c6 12.Nc3 Qc7
13.Nd5 cxd5 14.exd5 Qb6 15.Be3 Ng4 16.Bxc5 Qxc5 17.b4 Qb6 18.c4
Na6 19.Qc6 Qxc6 20.dxc6 Nxb4 21.h3 Nf6 22.c7 Rc8 23.Rab1 Na6
24.Rb7 Rxc7 25.Rxc7 Nxc7 26.Rb1 a6 27.Rb7 Nfe8 28.f3 Kf7 29.Kf2
Ke7 30.Ke3 Kd7 31.Rb2 Kc6 32.Kd3 Ne6 33.Rc2 Nd6 34.Rb2 Nc5+ 35.Ke2
Nxc4 36.Rb8 Kd5 37.Rd8+ Nd6 38.Rg8 Nf5 39.g4 Nd4+ 40.Ke3 Nde6
41.h4 h6 42.Rb8 Kc4 43.Rb6 Nf4 44.Kf2 a5 45.Rb8 Ncd3+ 46.Kg3
Kd4 47.Ra8 Ke3 48.Rxa5 Ne2+ 49.Kg2 Ne1+ 50.Kf1 Nxf3 51.Ra3+ Kf4
52.Kxe2 Nxh4 53.Ra4+ Kg3 54.Rb4 Ng6 55.Rb7 Nf4+ 56.Ke3 Nd5+ 57.Kd3
Kxg4 58.Rxg7+ Kf5 59.a4 e4+ 60.Kd4 Nb4 61.Rf7+ Ke6 62.Rh7 Kf5
63.Rxh6 Nc2+ 64.Kc3 Ne3 65.a5 Kf4 66.a6 Ng4 67.Rh4 e3 68.Kd3
{1-0, Moeller Stefan – Hertel-Mach Frank, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 12/11/2005 Landesliga 2005/06}
) c6 {Now the black queen defends her pawn on b7. Additionally, the pawn on c6 guards
d5 and b5 from being accessed by Morphy’s knight, bishop or queen.
Unfortunately, it is also another slow pawn move for black which gives Morphy
an opportunity to add to his lead in development.} 9.Bg5 {
Momentarily stopped on the queenside, Morphy deploys another piece. Now he has
four pieces in the game versus a pinned knight and an oddly placed queen.}
b5 {?} {This is overly ambitious. Even players well below Morphy’s level would not
hesitate to sacrifice the knight for two pawns and the check.}
( 9…Na6 {Is an improvement over the move the Duke and the Count played.}
10.Bxa6 bxa6 11.O-O Qb4 {Black has prospects to enter a difficult endgame against white.}
) {%09DB} 10.Nxb5 {Of course Paul Morphy does not retreat his bishop.} {%09DB}
cxb5 11.Bxb5+ {The Queen could also capture on b5 with check but why use a $9 piece to do the work of a $3 piece?}
Nbd7 {The Duke and the Count must block with the knight as stepping into the open file with the king would be suicide.}
( 11…Kd8 12.O-O-O+ Kc8 13.Rd3 ) 12.O-O-O {Castling queenside adds the rook’s power to the pinned knight on d7.} {%08DA}
Rd8 {The Duke and Count place the rook on d8 because Knight on f6 and Queen on e7
are not really defending d7. Black’s King is in full turtle mode.}
13.Rxd7 {!} {Paul Morphy fires the cannon for the first time!}
Rxd7 {The only logical response.} 14.Rd1 {Paul Morphy takes advantage of the fact that Black’s rook on d7 is pinned and reloads the cannon.} {%08DA}
Qe6 {This move does a lot of good things for black. First, it threatens to trade
queens and thus take the heat off of the black king. Second, it unpins the
knight on f6 while still having the queen defend the rook on d7. Thirdly, it
creates a roadway for the bishop on f8 and thus gives the black king an escape
rout by castling. Unfortunately for the Duke and the Count, it does not work.}
15.Bxd7+ {!} {The start of a beautiful combination.} Nxd7 {%08DA}
16.Qb8+ {!!} {The shot heard round the world.} Nxb8 17.Rd8# {Paul Morphy only has the bishop and the rook but in the end, that was all that he needed.}



My Favorite #Chess Games: The Peruvian Immortal

June 10, 2018



“In 13 moves, Canal sacrifices both Rooks and his Queen—and then mates on his 14th move! … A man might play a million games of chess and never duplicate Canal’s feat.”- Irving Chernev



Esteban Canal at the Chessboard in 1936

[Event “** Simultaneous”]

[Site “Budapest HUN”]

[Date “1934.??.??”]

[Round “?”]

[White “Esteban Canal”]

[WhiteElo “?”]

[Black “NN”]

[BlackElo “?”]

[Result “1-0”]

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 {??} 11.axb4 {!!} Qxa1+ 12.Kd2 {!} Qxh1 13.Qxc6+ {!} bxc6 14.Ba6#


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