May '00 Update
The e-pawn emperor's next e4-e5 'monthly update' will be posted on this Internet site towards the end of June, 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 May 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 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? A solution will appear in the next 'update' on this site at the end of June.
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?
White wins with 10 exf6ep Nxf6 11 Bh5+! Nxh5 (or 11...g6 12 Re1+ Kf8 13 Bh6#) 12 Re1+Kf8 13 Qxh5 (menacing 14 Bg5) 13...h6 (13...Bd4 14 Bg5 Bf6 15 Bxf6 gxf6 16 Nc3 leaves Black's king hopelessly exposed with almost no support from his virtually dormant pieces, and a very plausible finish is 16...c6 17 Re3 d5 18 Rae1 Bd7 19 Qh6+ Kf7 20 Rg3 Qf8 21 Qh5#) 14 Bg5! Qxg5 15 Qe8#, or 14...hxg5 15 Qxh8+, skewering Black's king and queen.
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, Lithuania's super-GM Eduardas Rozentalis (born 27.5.1963) is a truly world-class 'May birthday' player, and for our game G13.27 I've chosen his lightning-speed 16-move win from North Bay 1994 as White in the Exchange Ruy Lopez against Canada's IM Bryon Nickoloff.
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 James Coleman, GM John Emms, IM Craig Pritchett, Rob D Shultz, and Jason Werbeloff, all of whom sent in very useful information which certainly enhances the quality of this e4-e5 Internet site.
This eighth update (after the previous launch material) is dedicated to James Coleman, a friend who has recently provided me with lots of chess goodies from his excellent work on Channel 4 Teletext page 153 in the UK.
Tons of fresh mouth-watering goodies await us, including a mega dose of Ruy Lopez games in the quintet G13.26 , G13.27 , G13.28 , G13.29 , and G13.30 , where you'll also find other handy supplementary bonuses. Our Hero of the Month is at the centre of the fireworks in G13.28.
The King's Gambit always provides lots of excitement too, and this month one can enjoy the dynamic duo of G4.19 -4.20. The ride continues unabated with the Petroff Defence being petrified in G7.6 (where White fares far better than in the May 2000 Bonus Brainteaser)!
If you can't sleep after so much drama, then a double helping of the wild
Wilkes-Barre Traxler variation of the Two Knights Defence in G12.13 -12.14
will keep you busy all (k)night!! The hair-raising moves of the "WBT"
variation should especially please subscriber Rob D Shultz, who recently requested
more of it!
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 Eduardas Rozentalis's 16 Nb4!! in G13.27 , the stunning bishop sacrifice 19...Bxf3! of G13.26 , and the move 11...Nd4! which effectively said "Good knight, White!" to the opponent on the receiving end in G12.13.
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, Eduardas Rozentalis shows us in G13.27 that the Exchange Ruy Lopez can be a formidable weapon, as is the King's Gambit which quickly downs the Lithuanian no.1 in G4.20. Our Hero of the Month also sparkles with White using his favourite Spanish Opening in G13.30 , but Black strikes back in . Finally, we cannot fail to have fun with the wild Wilkes-Barre Traxler pair in G12.13 -12.14.
These various encounters actually happened years ago, but today those selected games are still highly instructive (and entertaining too!).
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? 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 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...
Our March hero, Tim Upton, was born on Friday 19 December 1958. Our April hero, Tom Craig, was born exactly one week later on 26 December 1958, which was therefore also a FRIDAY.
The previous launch and update material laid the foundations for further exciting adventures with 1 e4 e5 as our chosen starting point. This month, the selected games involve some theory as always, but I'm happy to say that there is also a particularly good measure of creativity by the players. That would please Albert Einstein, who stated "Imagination is more important than knowledge because knowledge is limited", which makes a fine inspirational motto for people seeking to inject extra freshness into their chess.
(bold indicates that the player had White)