June '00 Update
The e-pawn emperor's next e4-e5 'monthly update' will be posted on this Internet site towards the end of July, 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 June update. So let's swiftly move up a gear or two to tackle the first challenge coming rapidly towards us...
Consider the following position which arose after Black's 31st move in the encounter S.Vysochin-E.Rozentalis at the Bank Pocztowy Open tournament in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on 29 May 2000:
To give you some of the previous history in the game, it began as a Petroff Defence (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6), a pet opening with Lithuania's GM Eduardas Rozentalis. However, on this occasion he got into difficulties which resulted in him losing an exchange at move 23. Nevertheless, he fought on stoically, and was rewarded when White now erred with 32 Bd3? Can you discover how Black profited from that mistake?
A solution will appear in the next 'update' on this site at the end of July.
The brainteaser was as follows:
Consider the position resulting from the following moves in the Petroff Defence which occurred in the game T.Hinks Edwards-J.Littlewood on 30 April in the UK's Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) at Birmingham: 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nf3 Nxe4 5 d4 (the move 5 c4!? did well in games already published on this Internet site, and this month we can again see it being used to good effect in the GM-clash G7.6) 5...d5 6 Bd3 Nc6 7 0-0 Be7 8 Re1 (8 c4 is a generally more popular choice nowadays, and indeed it is Garry Kasparov's favourite option here) 8...Bg4 9 c3 (9 Bxe4 dxe4 10 Rxe4 Bxf3 11 Qxf3 Nxd4 is absolutely fine for Black, and 11 gxf3?! f5 is also not appealing for White) 9...f5 10 Qb3 0-0 (Black is rightly more interested in achieving lightning-speed development than in defending the less significant b7-pawn) 11 Nbd2 (though possible, 11 Qxb7 is hazardous for White since it takes his queen far from the kingside, and the dangers of inadequate protection there are well-illustrated by the line 11 Nfd2? Nxf2! 12 Kxf2 Bh4+ 13 g3 f4!, with a decisive attack for Black according to "Nunn's Chess Openings") 11...Kh8 (intending 12 Qxb7 Rf6, giving Black excellent play for his one sacrificed pawn) 12 Ne5?
Can you now discover a powerful winning continuation for Black?
The game ended abruptly with 12...Nxe5 13 dxe5 Bc5! (even 13...Nxf2 may be playable, but Black's chosen move is simple, clear, and decisive) 14 Rf1 (14 Bxe4 fxe4 15 Rf1 loses to 15...Be2, for example) 14...Qh4 (keep attacking White's frail f2-pawn: that's the crushing theme of Black's moves in the solution here) 15 g3 (15 Bxe4 fxe4 16 g3 does not help either, because after 16...Qh3 White is left facing a multitude of terrible threats including ...Bf3/...Be2/...e3/...Rxf2) 15...Nxg3! 0-1. White resigned in view of 16 hxg3 Qxg3+ followed by 17...Qxd3, if Black decides to win very simply without going in for flashy lines.
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 Nigel Short (born 1.6.1965) is a truly world-class 'June birthday' player, and for our game G12.15 I've chosen his short but interesting 18-move draw at Sarajevo on 27 May 2000 as White in the Evans Gambit against fellow-countryman GM Michael Adams, who's currently rated even higher.
Incidentally, for another 'June birthday' GM (born 13.6.1962), you may like to check out game G3.7. When you get there, you'll discover why the (modest!?) player concerned is not actually named here, and there is also no mention of the opponent's birthday because in this case I'm very sure it's not going to upset any feelings!!
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 Sigifredo Franco, Robert W.Hyde, and IM Gary Lane, all of whom sent in very useful information which certainly enhances the quality of this e4-e5 Internet site.
This ninth update (after the previous launch material) is dedicated to IM Gary Lane, a friend and colleague writer for chesspublishing.com who is about to make a particularly exciting move this year-he's going to Australia, and for the happiest of reasons: marriage! I wish Gary and his wife-to-be every joy in their life together.
Tons of fresh mouth-watering goodies await us, including a mega dose of Ruy Lopez games in the quintet G13.31, G13.32, G13.33, G13.34, G13.35, where you'll also find other handy supplementary bonuses- and our Hero of the Month joins in the fireworks in G13.34.2.
The King's Gambit always provides lots of excitement too, and this month one can enjoy seeing super-GM Michael Adams playing the Bonsch Osmolovsky variation in game G4.21. That should especially please subscriber Sigifredo Franco, who recently requested more on the interesting 2...exf4 3 Nf3 Ne7!? system.
If you can't sleep after so much drama, then the Three Knights Game in G10.4 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- including an 'unmissable' sizzling encounter in G13.32, a clash between the absolute top-rated male and female players on our planet: Garry Kasparov versus Judit Polgar. Another mega-star collision occurs in G13.31 where super-GMs Veselin Topalov and Michael Adams go head-to-head in the deadly dangerous world of the Marshall Attack.
An extra-special item this month is my bumper-length reply in the Reflection Zone to an e-mail message from subscriber Robert W. Hyde regarding constructing a personal and highly effective systems repertoire for oneself as White or Black from 1 e4 e5 onwards.
It's a personal choice, but for me three of the Most Outstanding Moves from the games within this month's update material are 21 Bg5! which caused Black's immediate resignation in G2.6; 28...Nd3! which instantly floored White in G13.35; and GM Eduardas Rozentalis's 32nd move which you are challenged to discover in the June Bonus Brainteaser.
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, Holland's Maarten Strijbos shows us an ultra-bold form of the Bishop's Opening as White in G2.6, and our Hero of the Month demonstrates his own favourite answer for Black against the Exchange Ruy Lopez in G13.34.2.
Those encounters actually happened years ago, but these games selected again now are still highly instructive (and entertaining too!).
Gary Lane's birthday is on the same day of the year as a certain German GM whose initials are T.L. Can you name the mystery grandmaster? The 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:
As an extra warm-up puzzle, can you figure out the answer to the following problem? Albert Einstein was born in the century before John Emms, and the year was the earliest possible one for which the sum of the digits exceeds that of John's year by 2. How many years after Einstein was John Emms born?
We were told last month that John Emms was born on 14 March in the year 1967. The sum of the year's digits is 1+9+6+7=23. So the total for Einstein's 19th-century year of birth must be 23+2=25. His year's sum must begin with 1+8 which equals 9, and so the other two digits must total 25-9=16. The possible years are therefore 1879, 1888, 1897, but the earliest of those is clearly 1879 (and indeed Albert Einstein was born on 14 March 1879).
So, the number of years later when John Emms was born is simply 1967-1879, i.e. 88 years.
The previous launch and update material laid the foundations for further exciting adventures with 1 e4 e5 as our chosen starting point. Our enjoyment is enhanced because we make the chess journey together. So, a happy motto for us is the saying "Joy shared is joy doubled". That is also especially appropriate this month, since our current Hero of the Month, IM Gary Lane, is to be married soon. I wish Gary and his wife-to-be every joy as they share their life together.
(bold indicates that the player had White)