August '00 Update
The e-pawn emperor's next e4-e5 'monthly update' will be posted on this Internet site towards the end of September, 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 mega bumper-size August update. So let's swiftly move up a gear or two to tackle the first challenge coming rapidly towards us...
The game between Henrik Hansen and Lars Grahn on July 25 at Copenhagen's Politiken Cup tournament opened with the Philidor Defence, and reached the following position after Black's ninth move:
(i) Can you discover the preceding nine moves of the game (in a sensible move-order)?
(ii) Can you see why the move 10 Nxd5? (which White now played) loses?
A solution will appear in the next 'update' on this site at the end of September.
The brainteaser was as follows:
Consider the following position which very closely resembles actual events from the game J.Peters-S.Jones played earlier this month in Los Angeles, USA:
The opening phase mirrored that of game G7.4, but now we are well beyond that stage, and a king-size puzzle is coming your way...because the black monarch shown on h8 may actually be on g8! Can you decide which of the two squares is the king's true location, given the fact that White (to move) can very quickly win a sizeable amount of material?
With Black's king on g8, White wins via 1 Bg2 Qh5 2 Rxe4! (or 2 Bxe4), intending 2...Bxe4 3 Nf6+ followed by 4 Qxh5. If the black king was instead on h8, then White would not have had the killing knight-check at f6.
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, Hungary's super-GM Zoltan Almasi (born on 29.8.1976) is a truly world-class 'August birthday' player, and for our game G13.42 I've chosen his beautiful positional victory over fellow-countryman GM Csaba Horvath at the 1995 Hungarian Championship.
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!
By the way, since James Bond is about the same age as myself- we both 'arrived on the scene' in 1962, as my delivery doctor knows like 007's Dr No!- I'll conclude this section with 'Happy Birthday' in 007 different languages that I've had at least some exposure to:
Happy Birthday (English)
Shengri kuai le (Mandarin)
Heureux Anniversaire (French)
Gelukkig Verjaardag (Dutch)
Herzliche Wünsche zum Geburtstag (German)
Buon Compleanno (Italian)
Special thanks to IM Stephen Mannion, who recently sent me very useful information which certainly enhances the quality of this e4-e5 Internet site.
This eleventh update (after the previous launch material) is dedicated to the late great GM Vladimir Bagirov (16.8.1936-21.7.2000), whom I had the pleasure of meeting at several tournaments where we were both competing. He will be missed by many other people too, but his wonderful spirit and games shall live on forever. He stars in this month's Reflection Zone, and in game G3.11.
There's more fireworks scorching the Scotch Game in G9.13, petrifying the Petroff Defence in G7.9, and filling in the Philidor Defence of G6.6! The ride continues unabated with the vivacious Vienna Game in G3.10 and the Centre Game of G1.5.
If you can't sleep after so much drama, then especially for (k)night fans there's a surprise with 1...Nf6 (instead of 1...e5) in game G3.11.
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- including a mega-star collision in G13.40 where super-GMs Viswanathan Anand (rated no.3 on the planet) and Michael Adams (no.5, and climbing!) go head-to-head in the deadly dangerous world of the Marshall Attack.
It's a personal choice, but for me four of the Most Outstanding Moves from the games within this month's update material are the rook sacrifice associated with 17 Kf2!! in G3.10, and a tremendous trio of knight sacrifices: 23 Nexd6!! in G7.9, 10...Nxd4!! in G4.23, and 22...Nc3+!! in G1.5.
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, in G13.42, Hungary's super-GM Zoltan Almasi gives a truly masterly performance as White in the Ruy Lopez, while another star is our Hero of the Month playing Black against the King's Gambit in G4.23. Also, check out game G3.11, in which the late great GM Vladimir Bagirov triumphs in just 25 moves using his favourite opening.
Those encounters actually happened years ago, but these games being selected again now are still highly instructive (and entertaining too!).
Our Hero of the Month, IM Stephen Mannion, has a Christmas Eve birthday- just like former World Champion Dr Emanuel Lasker born exactly 96 years earlier. Nowadays, many modern players study Informator- which began in 1966- but Lasker had passed on well-before then. However, supposing he had lived until 24.12.1966, he would then have been 49 times older than Stephen Mannion! Your puzzle is to figure out how many times older than Stephen Mannion would Emanuel Lasker have been if he had lived until their mutual birthday in the year when Bobby Fischer became World Chess Champion. An answer will appear in next month's 'update', but meanwhile enjoy all the goodies awaiting you now on this site...
The puzzle was as follows:
There are 720 ways of listing the six letters in ANDREW in different orders. Can you find a couple of ways which actually make proper six-letter words?
Two possibilities are WANDER and WARDEN, and there may be others- forgive me for not checking all 720 permutations!!
The previous launch and update material laid the foundations for further exciting adventures with 1 e4 e5 as our chosen starting point. Even when some of the greatest opening experts pass on, as GM Vladimirov Bagirov did on July 21st, their wonderful games and spirit live on undiminished as a source of education and inspiration to us. The following good words of William James encapsulate the feeling very nicely: "The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it".
The title sounds like a James Bond assignment, but it's actually much less dangerous! At the special request of subscriber Livio Olivetto, from July 2000 onwards all new main games on this e4-e5 site have been labelled with an ECO code from the range C20-C99, to match the particular opening variations featured. The codes provide an extra means of identifying games containing one's own favourite opening lines, and so the codes are being given in the Index of New Games. Some people may like to construct, for their own personal use, a complete index of games according to ECO codes, but since I know that many readers would find its appearance to be rather abstract, I shall leave it as a project to be done at home only by people who are really big fans of ECO codes!
Main games have ECO code labels associated with their particular opening lines.
(bold indicates that the player had White)