April '00 Update
The e-pawn emperor's next e4-e5 'monthly update' will be posted on this Internet site towards the end of May, and in the meantime he will, as always, reply personally to as many e-mail messages as possible which come to MrMo@ChessPublishing.com. Right now, though, there's a tasty new collection of fresh games, puzzles, and other treats to bring you endless hours of enjoyment in a record-breaking mega bumper-size April update. So let's swiftly move up a gear or two to tackle the first challenge coming rapidly towards us...
Consider the position resulting from the following moves in the Classical variation of the Ruy Lopez (Spanish Opening): 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 0-0 Bc5 5 Nxe5 (5 d3 transposes to game G13.20, whereas 5 c3 features in G13.13, for example) 5...Nxe5 6 d4 a6 7 Be2 Ba7 (see game G13.4 for the move 7...Nxe4, and analysis of some earlier alternatives such as 7 Ba4 too) 8 dxe5 Nxe4 9 Qd5. Now 9...Nc5 is sensible, since the idea of trying to maintain the knight on e4 by means of 9...f5?
loses for Black. In this case, can you discover a forcing winning continuation for White? A solution will appear in the next 'update' on this site at the end of May.
The brainteaser was as follows.
Your challenge is to figure out exactly what happened in a brief 10-move encounter which actually took place at last month's Bunratty Open tournament in Ireland.
The vital clues start now:-
1. The game began with the normal sensible move-order of the Exchange Variation in the Ruy Lopez.
2. White's fifth move involved two pieces simultaneously.
3. Black then developed a minor piece in order to directly protect his sole attacked pawn.
4. The same black pawn found itself attacked again by White's sixth move.
5. Black's sixth move was a capture, as was White's seventh---which moved a certain piece for the first time in this game.
6. Black then moved a pawn to stop White's only threat.
7. At move eight, White's bishop went as far as possible without putting itself 'en prise'.
8. Black responded by activating his second bishop alongside his first one.
9. A white pawn then leapt two squares forward, whereas Black's counterpart had to settle for a one-square jump.
10. The rewards were unexpectedly high when White blundered by moving his attacked piece just one square straight backwards. Black's obvious reply not surprisingly caused White to resign immediately. Have fun piecing together all the moves of this miniature game!
The moves in the game H.Barber-M.Hebden, Bunratty Open 2000, were: 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 (the Ruy Lopez) 3...a6 4 Bxc6 (the Exchange variation) 4...dxc6 (4...bxc6 is not possible in this particular game because of clue no.8!) 5 0-0 Bd6 6 d4 exd4 7 Qxd4 f6 8 Be3 Be6 9 c4 c5 (now a white piece is attacked, as is stated in clue no.10)
10 Qd3?? (this really did happen!) 10...Bxh2+ 0-1. White resigned in view of 11 Kxh2 Qxd3.
This regular feature puts the spotlight on a player of the past or present whose birthday was or still is a day in the current month. For example, England's super-GM Tony Miles (born 23.4.1955) is a truly world-class 'April birthday' player, and for our game G9.11 I've chosen his classy 32-move win from Biel 1994 as Black in the Scotch Gambit against Israel's Artur Kogan (who's now a GM too).
Would YOU like to star in The Birthday Game? If so, please send an e-mail to MrMo@ChessPublishing.com sometime between the 1st and 15th day of the month preceding your birthday month, and include the following information to be considered by Mr Mo: your name, date & place of birth, and one of your own games starting with 1 e4 e5 (or another acceptable move-order such as 1 e4 Nc6 2 Nf3 e5 or 1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 e5). Although annotations are not strictly necessary (since Mr Mo will always analyse the game too), your own personal notes would certainly be most welcomed. Please do mention where and when the game was played, and also state the players' names (together with ratings, if applicable).
Don't be shy---let us celebrate YOUR birthday too!
Special thanks to Tom Craig and Nicholas Martyn, both of whom sent in very useful information which certainly enhances the quality of this e4-e5 Internet site.
This seventh update (after the previous launch material) is dedicated to Tom Craig, a Scottish friend who has recently provided me with lots of chess gems, including a deeply-annotated correspondence encounter- see game G4.18.
Tons of fresh mouth-watering goodies await us, including a mega dose of Ruy
Lopez games in the sextet G13.23,
you'll also find other handy supplementary bonuses. The particular Lopez lines
featuring this month should especially please subscriber Jon Ostriker, who recently
The King's Gambit always provides lots of excitement too, and this month one can enjoy the dynamic duo of G4.17-G4.18, with the latter game starring our Hero of the Month. The ride continues unabated with the powerful Bishop's Opening of G2.5 and the Scotch Gambit getting scorched in G9.11!
If you can't sleep after so much drama, then the Two Knights Defence in G12.12
and the Three Knights Defence of G10.3
will keep you busy all (k)night!!
In general, the action-packed battles are made even more irresistible by the presence of related challenging puzzles, which can also be seen in the section called "Puzzle Paradise".
And the feast is still far from over yet...! Further courses include the very select stimulating material that appears in the Reflection Zone, but only subscribers can access that section and all the juicy annotated games too.
It's a personal choice, but for me three of the Most Outstanding Moves from the games within this month's update material are Lubomir Kavalek's 23 Nxg7!! against Anatoly Karpov in G13.24.1, Jaan Ehlvest's 28 Nxf7!! in G13.24, and the bold 11...g5! in G10.3 (but modesty stops me actually stating the associated player's name in bold here!!).
The key idea here is that (although in general we focus on recent happenings) it still pays off to study some memorable older material. For instance, Tony Miles's very classy performance in G9.11 and Lubomir Kavalek's lightning-speed win against Anatoly Karpov in G13.24.1 actually happened years ago, but today those exemplary games are still highly instructive (and entertaining too!).
As an extra warm-up puzzle, can you figure out the answer to the question "Which day of the week was Tom Craig born on?"!? The answer will appear in next month's 'update', but meanwhile there was actually a huge clue LAST month...
The previous launch and update material laid the foundations for further exciting adventures with 1 e4 e5 as our chosen starting point. We are linked by those central pawn moves, and so for this month's motto, I have chosen Francois-Andre Danican Philidor's famous statement that "Pawns are the Soul of Chess".
Although Philidor (7.9.1726-31.8.1795) died more than two hundred years ago, his memorable words have lived on, and perhaps they also helped to inspire Peter Jay when he wrote the wonderful poem entitled "Life of the Pawn", which fills this month's Reflection Zone.
(bold indicates that the player had White)