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NN vs Henry Edward Bird
"A Shot of Scotch" (game of the day Oct-29-2007)
ENG (1850)
Scotch Game: Horwitz Attack (C45)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A brilliant finish! Maybe cg.com can use it as a puzzle down the road.

Note the double pin of pieces at f1 and f2-and then the pin at h2.

Oct-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  benveniste: Hi! My name is Mike and I'm a wood pusher. While everyone here is discussing 9. ♘c3, I've been looking at 10. ♗xe4 instead of 0-0, and I can't see a winning line for Black line after that. Can someone point out my blind spot?
Oct-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <benveniste: I've been looking at 10. Bxe4.> I'll take a stab at that: 10...Rxe4+.

A) 11. Qxe4 Qxe4+. Material is almost even, but black can pick up the c-♙ or the g-♙), the ♘ at a8 is doomed, and the attack is still alive.

B) 11. Kd1 d6, threatening 12. Bg4.

C) 11. Kf1 Qe7, threatening 12...Re1#. White pretty much has to play either Bd2 or Qd1. Either way, 12...Nd4 creates more threats.

Oct-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: White could have tried to defend with 13. Bg5+ Qxg5 14. Qxf7 Nf2+ 15. Kh1. Now 15...Ng3+ doesn't work because of 16. hxg3 Qh6+ 17. Kg1 Bxf2+ 18. Qxf2 (18. Kxf2? Qe3#) Qe7, and white is two pieces up.

But black wins with 15....Rxf1+ 16. Rxf1 Ng3+ 17. hxg3 Qh3+, with mate to follow.

Oct-29-07  gauer: The nice double line-clearance by 13 ... Ne2 of a Diagonal: a7 <-> f2 gives black a check (a non-(♖)xKt capture defeats 13 ... Nf3?), forcing the King into a 3rd Pin, when black is able to Deliver a Smothering Checkmate via the B+Kt Battery opening further on the Diagonal a7 <-> g1. The Queen allows the Leaping Knight to invade, & a Towering Rook looms over the Bishop, Displaying the Shades of the secondary Pins. 13 ... Nf5? is also of course Defeated (again, an Echo such as QxKt likely Halts the Try) after the Intent of Ng3 to follow, because here, the Loom does not weave white into a net.
Oct-30-07  rgwkenyon: 9 Bd3 was a bad move, Nc3 was correct and left NN ahead. 10 0-0 was his fatal move, Bxe4 was even.
Oct-30-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  benveniste: <al-wazir>, following your line B, I see it going:

10. ♗xe4 ♖xe4+
11. ♔d1 d6
12. ♗g5+
And I don't see any real answers for Black.

I evaluate the position as nearly equal after:
10. ♗xe4 ♘d4
11. ♕d3 ♖xe4+
12. ♔f1 ♘xc2

Oct-30-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <benveniste>: Right, 11...d6 doesn't work. How about 11...d5 instead? Now white can't play 12. Bg5+. If 12. h3, then 12...Ne5, and ...Bg4 is again a threat. If 12. g3, then 12...Qe7, with pressure. But I don't see a quick win either.
Feb-26-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  hesyrett: <al wazir> After 10 ♗xe4 I also recommend 11...d5 Δ 12...♗g4.  On 12 g3, better for Black is 12...♗g4 13 gxh4 ♗xf3+ followed by 14...♗xh1 leaving him effectively a piece up, since his ♗ on h1 is alive while White's ♘ on a8 is dead.  Even if White survives to move 20 he'll lose in the long run on account of Black's better ♔ security and more active pieces.
Feb-27-08  psmith: <hesyrett>, <al wazir>

10. ♗xe4 d5 12. ♕xf7 and White now has a threat too (of ♕c7+). Is Black winning then? I don't see it.

Feb-27-08  psmith: <beneviste> The line 10. ♗xe4 ♘d4 looks like a better bet for Black, but 11. ♕d3 ♖xe4+ 12. ♔f1 ♘xc2 13. ♕xc2 is just good for White. 12... ♘b3 seems a better try.
Feb-27-08  hedgeh0g: A fine example of the importance of rapid development and a beautiful mate to finish off.
Feb-29-08  D.Observer: Semi-smothered?
Mar-17-08  just a kid: Whoa!Nice!
Mar-17-08  sallom89: <just a kid>

thanks for bringing this game up..what an awesome mate !

Sep-28-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: A very nice tactical game where Bird catches a bird with grace.
Apr-17-10  randomsac: I don't think I've ever seen that many pins in one game.
May-24-10  CapablancaFan122: 14..Ng3+ 15.Kg1 Rxf1 is also mate.
May-24-10  awalters869: pretty......
Dec-29-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: A fork and mate.
May-04-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

NN vs Bird, 1850.
YOU ARE PLAYING THE ROLE OF BIRD.
Your score: 23 (par = 15)

LTJ

May-10-12  Llawdogg: Give him the Bird.
Sep-09-13  justin2seo: Was it risky sac or calculated sound sac? I think i is risky..
Aug-23-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  fearlessone: I was expecting 14. Ng3+ 15. Kg1 Rxf1 Checkmate.
May-27-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: <fearlessone> is correct. 14...Ng3+ forcing 15.Kg1 is an alternative finish making use of the dark-squared bishop's absolute pin of the Rf2.

This miniature is game 82, page 181 in "The Art of the Checkmate" by Renaud and Kahn. It is found in Chapter 21, Bishop and Knight Mate. The last note says "(forced by the methods of mate No. 3)" which is Part II, Chapter 3, Greco's Mate.

Greco's Mate sample: 1.h3xNg4 Qh4#


click for larger view

Greco's Mate sample: 1.h2xNg3 Rh8#


click for larger view

Greco's Mate is usually a three-piece mating pattern against a cornered king featuring a bishop cutting off back rank escape (the f-pawn has been moved from the king's shield), while the knight and queen attack the h2-square. (A rook might replace the knight or queen.) Greco's Mate typically features a sacrifice to remove the h-pawn.

In Henry Bird's game, the h-pawn was absolutely pinned, so the invading Black knight was safe from capture.

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