Monday, May 10, 2010

Horwitz Defense

The opening was popularized by Bernard Horwitz, then one of the Berlin Pleiades. After settling in England in 1845 he played in the 1851 tournament, beating Henry Edward Bird but then being knocked out by Howard Staunton. His true love was chess problems and together with Josef Kling wrote the classic book 'Chess Studies'. He was the winner of the first study composing tourney in 1862.
 
The Horwitz Defense begins with 1. d4, e6.  Possible continuations include 2. e4 (the most popular) and 2.c4.   The game may be transposed into a Benoni or Sicilian Defense.

The following game is known in other chess literature as the "Immortal King Walk Game".  Play it and find out why.

EDWARD LASKER vs. GEORGE ALAN THOMAS
London 1912
Horwitz Defense

1. d4, e6
2. Nf3, f5
3. Nc3, Nf6
4. Bg5, Be7
5. Bxf6, Bxf6
6. e4, fxe4
7. Nxe4, b6
8. Ne5, 0-0
9. Bd3!! ....

Preparing onslaught on the king's side.

9. .... Bb7
10. Qh5, Qe7









11. Qxh7!! ....

A Queen sacrifice that shocked everyone including Thomas.

11. .... Kxh7
12. Nxf6!!+, Kh6

If 12. .... Kh8, then 13. Neg6! mate.

13. Neg4+, Kg5
14. h4+, Kf4
15. g3+, Kf3
16. Be2+, Kg2
17. Rh2+, Kg1
18. Kd2 mate.

A nice ending to a beautiful Queen sacrifice. Notice that the enemy King is brought all the way to the back rank.

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