March '00 Update
The e-pawn emperor's next e4-e5 'monthly update' will be posted on this Internet site towards the end of April, and in the meantime he will, as always, reply personally to as many e-mail messages as possible which come 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. So let's swiftly move up a gear or two to tackle the first challenge coming rapidly towards us...
Your challenge will be 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, which will appear as the brainteaser solution in the next 'update' on this site at the end of April.
The brainteaser was as follows. 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?
Black could have won with 28...Nf4+! 29 Kh6 (if 29 Kh4, then 29...h5! leaves White helplessly facing ...Rg4#) 29...Rg6+! 30 Kxh7 Rg7+! 31 Kh6 (or 31 Kh8 Ng6#) 31...Kg8!! 32 Rg2 (there is nothing better!) 32...Rxg2 followed by 33...Rg6#.
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, Bulgaria's super-GM Veselin Topalov (born 15.3.1975) is a truly world-class 'March birthday' player, and for our game G13.22 I've chosen his classy 33-move win from Novgorod 1995 as White in the Ruy Lopez (Spanish Opening) against Artur Yusupov, another super-strong grandmaster.
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 David Fryer, Bruce Kover, Sean Stidd, and F.I.D.E. Master Tim Upton, all of whom sent in very useful information which certainly enhances the quality of this e4-e5 Internet site.
This sixth update (after the previous launch material) is dedicated to Alain Talon, a Belgian friend who has provided me with many extra games from his own special sources.
Tons of fresh mouth-watering goodies await us, including a mega dose of Ruy Lopez games in the quartet G13.19-G13.22 (see the New Alphabetical Index of Openings.
The King's Gambit always provides lots of excitement too, and this month one can enjoy a special contribution from David Fryer in G4.16.
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 the Most Outstanding Move of the games within this month's update material is FM Hans Klip's clever 16...Rd8!! in G11.7
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, super-GM Veselin Topalov's very classy performance in G13.22 and the giant-killing feat by our Hero of the Month in G8.3 actually happened years ago, but today those exemplary games are still highly instructive (and entertaining too!).
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 inspirational motto is GM David Ionovich Bronstein's wonderfully liberating statement that "Chess is imagination".
Recently I've had an influx of very interesting e-mail messages from a number of players, and some of the most thought-provoking examples follow now, along with my responses after having reflected upon the various points in the received messages.
(bold indicates that the player had White)