Thursday, February 28, 2013

King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham Variation

New Orleans 1849
King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham Variation

1. e4, e5
2. f4, exf4
3. Nf3, Be7

The Cunningham Variation.  The Bishop intends to wreck havoc at White's kingside position.

4. Bc4, Bh4

5. Kf1 ....

Another main line of the King's Gambit is 4. g3 and castle afterwards. Obviously, Morphy has other plans.

5. .... d6
6. d4, Qf6?

A useless move.  It invites danger for the Queen.

7. e5!, dxe5
8. dxe5, Qe7
9. Bxf4, Bg4
10. Nc3, c6
11. Ne4!!, Resigns

The resignation may come as a surprise, but clearly White has a strong advantage after 11. Nd6+ threatening the f7 pawn and Black's Rook at h8.

If 11......Kf8, then 12. e6!! f6, 13. Bd6 and White wins.

If 11....Be6, then 12. Bxe6 fxe6, 13. Nxh4 Qxh4, 14. Bg5! Qxe4, 15. Qd8 mate.

One of the shortest of all brilliant chess games !!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Italian Game: Evans Gambit

New Orleans, 1849

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nf6
3. Bc4, Bc5
4. b4, Bxc4

The Evans Gambit, with the intention of controlling the d4 square.

5. c3, Bc5
6. d4, exd4
7. cxd4, Bb6
8. 0-0, Na5
9. Bd3, d5
10. exd5, Qxd5
11. Ba3, Be6
12. Nc3, Qd7
13. d5!! ....

A poisoned pawn, intending to drive away the Bishop, but Black accepts the bait....

13. .... Bxd5
14. Nxd5, Qxd5
15. Re1+, Resigns

Black's King cannot go to d7 because of 16. Bf5+ Kc6, 17. Be4 and White wins.

If 15....Kd8, then 16. Bb5 c6, 17. Qxd5 cxd5, 18. Re8+ and White wins material.

Superb play by Paul Morphy!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

King's Gambit Accepted, Traditional Variation

New Orleans, 1840

1. e4, e5
2. f4, exf4
3. Nf3, g5
4. Bc4, Bg7
5. d3, h6
6. 0-0, Nf6
7. c3, b5!?

A move that intends to deflect the White Bishop from its intended target, the f7 pawn.

8. Bxb5, c6
9. Bc4, d5!!

Keeping the pressure...

10. exd5, cxd5
11. Qe2+, Be6
12. Bb3, 0-0
13. d4? ....

A bad move.  This allows Morphy to post his Knight at e4.

13. .... Ne4!
14. Bc2, f5
15. Nd2, Nc6
16. c4, Bxd4!

17. Nxd4, Nxd4
18. Qd3, Qb6!!

A perfect post for the Queen. Note its threat on the opponent's King.

19. Kh1 ....

White removed his King from danger.  So he thought.

19. .... Nxc2!!
20. Qxc2, Nf2+!!
21. Kg1 ....

Still White underestimates Black's attack....

21. .... Nh3+
22. Kh1, Qg1+
23. Rxg1, Nf2 mate

A picture-perfect mate!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Scotch Game, Lolli Variation


1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. d4, Nxd4

The Lolli Variation of the Scoth Game.

4. Nxe5, Ne6
5. Bc4, Nf6
6. Nxf7, Kxf7
7. Bxe6!? ....

Trying to get Black's King into the open, where it will be vulnerable to attack.

7. .... Ke8
8. Bc3, Bc5
9. e5, Qe7
10. 0-0, Ng8

The e5 pawn is untouchable because of the threat 11. Re1.

11. Nc3, c6
12. Ne4, b5
13. Nd6+!!, Kd8

The only escape square for Black's King.  If 13....Kf8, then 14. Qf3 and White wins.

Capturing the Knight will not do any good: 13....Bxd6, 14. exd6 Qf8, 15. Re1+ and the game favors White.

14. Bg5+, Resigns

The game leaves Black without a Queen.  If 14....Qxg5, then 15. Nf7 double check.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Four Knights' Game: Spanish - Symmetrical Variation


1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Nc3, Nf6
4. Bb5, Bb4
5. 0-0, 0-0

If 5....Bxc3, 6. bxc3 Nxe4, then 7. Re1 will be good for White.

6. d3, d6
7. Bg5, Bxc3
8. bxc3, Ne7
9. Nh4, c6
10. Bc4, Be6
11. Bxf6, gxf6
12. Bxe6, fxe6
13. Qg4+, Kf7

Black protects the e6-pawn, but inadvertently places himself to a center attack.

14. f4!, Rg8
15. Qh5+, Kg7
16. fxe5, dxe5
17. Rxf6!!, Kxf6
18. Rf1+ ....

The point of White's 17th move.  Capablanca seeks an open file.  Now, if 18....Kg7, then 19. Rf7+ Kh8, 20. Qxe5 and wins.

18. .... Nf5
19. Nxf5 ....

White could have captured with the pawn, but intends to keep the pressure.

19. .... exf5
20. Rxf5, Ke7
21. Qf7+, Kd6
22. Rf6+, Kc6
23. Qxb7, Qb6

24. Rxf6!!, Qxf6?

Black could have prolonged the game with 24....Kb5, 25. Rxb6 axb6 but might not be able to control White's central pawns.

25. Qb4 mate

A picture-perfect mate!  A dashing brilliancy, indeed.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Two Knights Defense: Polerio Defense Goering Variation

Blitz 1916
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense, Polerio Defense Goering Variation

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Nf6
4. Ng5, d5
5. exd5, Na5
6. Bb5, c6
7. dxc6, bxc6
8. Be2, h6
9. Nf3, e4
10. Ne5, Qc7

The Polerio Defense Goering Variation.

11. f4, exf3
12. Nxf3, Bd6
13. d4, 0-0
14. c4, Ng4
15. Qd3, Re8
16. Nc3, Bg3+!!

 17. hxg3, Qxg3+
18. Kd2, Nf2
19. Rh3, Bxh3

White resigns. He will lose material irregardless of the error of his last move. The game demonstrated Capablanca's ability to penetrate the opponent's defense in extraordinary circumstances.

Spanish Game Morphy Defense, MacKenzie Variation

New York, 1908

1.  e4, e5
2.  Nf3, Nc6
3.  Bb5, a6

Black’s third move is Morphy Defense, popularized by the legendary chess master, Paul Morphy.

4.  Ba4, Nf6
5.  d4 ….

The Mackenzie Variation, which provides great play in the center.

5. …. Nxe4
6.  d5!!, Ne7
7.  Nxe5, b5
8.  Bb3, Bb7?

Black should have played 8….Nd6 in order to avoid the upcoming disaster.

9. d6!!! ….

 9….. Nxd6

Black thought that he avoided mate. 

10.  Qxd6, Resigns

One of the shortest in chess miniature games.  Superb play by Capablanca.
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