Feb '00 Update
The e-pawn emperor's next e4-e5 'monthly update' will be posted on this Internet site towards the end of March, and in the meantime he will, as always, reply personally to as many e-mail messages as possible which come to MrMo@ChessPublishing.com. Also, from around mid-March onwards, there's going to be a very special big (and ABSOLUTELY FREE!) new bonus every month EXCLUSIVELY FOR ALL 'GOLD CARD' SUBSCRIBERS. Yes, everyone who presently, or in future, subscribes to all of the 12 existing opening sites will have free access to a new 13th site being created by Mr Mo. The DOUBLE TROUBLE site launching in March will add extra deadly weapons to the impressive arsenal already provided by the 12 current sites. Right now, though, there's a tasty new collection of fresh e4-e5 games, puzzles, and other treats to bring you endless hours of enjoyment. So let's swiftly move up a gear or two to tackle the first challenge coming rapidly towards us...
Two Hungarians had a fascinating tussle in the Two Knights Defence in the encounter Ad.Horvath-A.Bokros played on 29 December 1999 at Groningen in the final round of the Young Masters tournament. The position after White's 28th move was as follows:
The game concluded with the moves
28...Ng3+? 29 Kh4 Nf5+ 30 Kh5 (not 30 Kh3?? Rg3#) 30...Ng3+ 31 Kh4 Draw agreed.
The result may seem to be highly satisfactory for Black, especially since he was a rook and a bishop down on material! However, can YOU do better and find a way for Black to actually force checkmate not later than move 33?
The solution will appear in the next 'update' on this site at the end of March.
The brainteaser was as follows. Imagine that Black has just captured his opponent's last pawn, and now White's only remaining piece is his king somewhere on the e-file. That lone white monarch is currently in check from a black bishop AND a black rook situated on the same rank as the bishop. Black's only other 'units' are his king (situated on the square between the rook and bishop), and one pawn.
a) Who is to move now?
b) What exactly was the other player's last move?
c) What exactly was the first player's move just before that?
d) What is the exact position on the board now?
e) Can you find a possible way for White to allow Black to deliver checkmate in just two more moves?
The following solution is the only one which satisfies ALL points stated in the brainteaser.
a) It must be White to move, because his king is currently in check.
b) Black's last move could only have been the 'en passant' capture ...exf3ep+.
c) White's move just before must have been f2-f4.
d) The position now (with White to move) must be:
Note that Black's king is on THE (one and only) square between the rook and
e) White could allow the finish 1 Kf2 Bh4+ 2 Kf1 Re1#.
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, super-GM Artur Yusupov (born 13.2.1960) is a truly world-class 'February birthday' player, and for our game G7.5. I've chosen his stunning 17-move win from Germany 1994 as Black in the Petroff Defence against fellow-countryman GM Peter Enders.
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 F.I.D.E. Master Luc Henris, Bernhard Sporrer, and Richard Wing, all of whom sent in very useful information which certainly enhances the quality of this e4-e5 Internet site.
This fifth update (after the previous launch material) is dedicated to Dundee's Paul Fitzpatrick, whose brilliant teaching, energetic enthusiasm, and constant support has always been a great source of inspiration in all my chess work.
Lots of fresh mouth-watering goodies await us, including a mega dose of Ruy Lopez games in the quintet G13.14-G13.18, where you'll also find further handy supplementary bonuses. The King's Gambit always provides tons of excitement too, and this month one can enjoy a new dynamic duo in the clashes G4.14 and G4.15. The second of those shows our Hero of the Month stunning a famous opponent at move 007.
I think you'll develop a strong bond for Black's cheeky check, 4...Bb4+, against the Scotch Game in G9.10, especially after its earlier success in G9.5. Making the menu extra-spicy, we have a double helping of Italian in the games G12.9 and G12.10. Then to crown everything, G7.5 shows super-GM Artur Yusupov sprinting to a blistering 17-move victory with Black in the Petroff Defence.
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. Further stimulating material 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 the three Most Outstanding Moves of the games within this month's update material are Bernhard Sporrer's 11 Ng5! in game G12.10, and the beautiful bishop sacrifices 7 Bxf7+! and 17...Bf3! by FM Luc Henris and super-GM Artur Yusupov in games G4.15 and G7.5 respectively.
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 example, the latest dynamic duo of King's Gambit battles, G4.14 and G4.15, were actually played years ago, but today those games are still highly instructive (and entertaining too!). The same is true of the 1997 super-GM clash V.Anand-J.Piket in G13.14 featuring the Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez, and also of G7.5 where the Petroff Defence petrifies White!
The previous launch and update material laid the foundations for further exciting adventures with 1 e4 e5 as our chosen starting point, and there still remains much for us to discover. By not letting ourselves become too bogged down in masses of theory, we can enjoy learning together and exploring with a free creative spirit. This month's lively motto is Irving Chernev's passionate statement that "Chess is the most exciting game in the world".
Recently I've had an influx of very interesting e-mail messages from a number of players. Only snippets from two of the most thought-provoking examples are actually given below, because my full responses to the various points within the received messages appear in the detailed notes accompanying games G12.10 and G13.14.
(bold indicates that the player had White)