Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Romantic Era of Chess

Most scholars believe that the Romantic Era began in 1798 and ended with the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1837, and the beginning of the Victorian Period.  The Romantic movement which was so influential, also left its mark on chess.  The games of this period are full of forceful attacks and slashing sacrifices.  The following game is one of the masterpieces of the period.

Breslau, 1859
Ruy Lopez Opening

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, Nd4
4. Nxd4, exd4
5. Bc4? .....

Waste of time.  Simply 5. 0-0 Nf6, 6. e5 was in order.

5. ..... Nf6
6. e5, d5!

A formidable counter. On 7. exf6 dxc4 Black has a fine game.

7. Bb3 .....

Now the Bishop is buried alive, whereas the Black Knight performs great deeds.

7. ..... Bg4!
8. f3, Ne4!
9. 0-0 .....

On 9. fxg4 Qh4+, 10. Ke2 Qf2+, 11. Kd3 Nc5 mate or 10. g3 Nxg3, 11. hxg3 Qxh1 with a winning attack for Black.

9. ..... d3!
10. fxg4, Bc5+
11. Kh1, Ng3+
12. hxg3, Qg5

Black threatens Qh6 mate.

13. Rf5, h5!

On 14. Rxg5 hxg4, 15. Rh5 Rxh5 mate.

14. gxh5, Qxf5

With the piquant threat 15......Qf1, 16. Qxf1 Rxh5 mate.

15. g4, Rxh5+
16. gxh5, Qe4

Threatens ...Qh4 mate.

17. Qf3, Qh4+!
18. Qh3, Qe1+
White resigns.

Black has a forced mate: 19 Kh2 Bg1+!, 20. Kh1 Bf2+, 21. Kh2 Qg1 mate.

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