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Henry Edward Bird vs Pinkerley
London (1850), London ENG
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Albin Gambit (000)  ·  1-0


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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Wednesday puzzle solution, White plays the Queen clearance (sham) sacrifice 22. Qg7+! to initiate a surprise mate-in-three. Didn't realize this was a Rook Odds game until I clicked on the solution, and verified it from move one.
Feb-18-09  WhiteRook48: how come the viewer won't handle rook odds?
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <number 23 NBer> wrote: [snip] if I got it it was luck; I recognized the pattern of Nh6/ B-long diagonal against f7-g6-h7 from a weekend tournament. >

Recognition of the minor piece mating pattern (Nh6/ B-long diagonal) hardly qualifies as "luck". It's called "learning" :)

If I can give myself full credit today (and I do), you should take it, too ;>)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <zb2cr> Good call. The line I had in mind was 1. Ng5 R-anywhere 2. Qxh7+ Kf8 3. Qh8# or Qxf7#

Playing with this position some more, I've found several other starting positions for the knight where it can give mate in 2 or mate in 3. In fact, black is so tied down that white has a forced mate from just about any square that the knight happens to start on.

Next set of trivia questions - which other squares can the knight start on to give white:

1. mate in 2?
2. mate in 3?

3. Which starting square for the knight does not lead to a forced mate within a reasonable number of moves?

Feb-18-09  ZUGZWANG67: By the way, is there still people playing 3.Bc4 (as in the game) instead of 3.Bb5 ?

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instead of

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And as Black, someone playing 3. ...Bc5 (as in the game) instead of, say, 3. ...Nf6 ( the 2 N'sD) ? That is

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instead of

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And if so, do you guys get interesting results using these systems ? 'Just curious...

Peace !

Feb-18-09  SamAtoms1980: Logic is dangerous. The first thing that came to mind was that White would have a mate in 1 with the queen if g7 weren't guarded by the knight. Thus I sought to eliminate the knight with 22 Rae1. If Black moves the knight White will give checkmate; and if Black doesn't move the knight, White will play 23 Rxe6 and on the following move give mate. An impeccable construction of logic.

Then the whole room tells me that not only is there a forced mate in 3 with 22 Qg7+, but the white rook on a1 that I moved isn't even supposed to be there! The diagram didn't get the memo that it was donated as odds. Now my move doesn't even work: 22 Re1 Qc2 23 Rxe6??? Qd1+ flushes White down the pipes.

That's the problem with logic. You can't rely on it in the real world. Anything built with it is more fragile than a house of cards.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <SamAtoms1980> And even if we could play Rxe6, black replies fxe6 and the queen on c7 defends against the mate on g7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <ZUGZWANG67>

3.Bc4 is rare. And 3...Bc5 (Guico Piano, Evan's Gambit) is far less common than 3...Nf6 (Two Knight's Defense) in the last decade.

Here, however, is a modern example of an Evan's Gambit in elite GM competition: Kasparov vs Anand, 1995

Feb-18-09  zb2cr: You wrote: "By the way, is there still people playing 3.Bc4 (as in the game) instead of 3.Bb5 ?"

How about you use the <> Opening Explorer and do your own research? A moment's fiddling, plus the use of the "search database for this position", showed me 4191 games in the <> database with the Giuoco Piano variation (1. e4, e5; 2. Nf3, Nc6; 3. Bc4, Bc5). Of those, 318 were played in 2008 and 2009 alone.

I lack the time to go through those games and tabulate who won, who lost, etc., but as I said, you may use the Opening Explorer for your own research.

Feb-18-09  ZUGZWANG67: <zb2cr>

Thanks. But I was' nt asking about statistics, but rather if, among us, some were still using those old systems. I am perfectly aware of the fact that those systems are rather scarcely used nowadays. Maybe I should have used the 'among us' clarification when I wrote my 'request'. Sorry about that.

Peace !

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: This is actually a somewhat common theme, sort of a smothered mate. the queen "sac" was the first thing I looked at (instantly) and found the mate in two seconds. Thank you, CT Art!
Feb-18-09  SamAtoms1980: <Once: <SamAtoms1980> And even if we could play Rxe6, black replies fxe6 and the queen on c7 defends against the mate on g7.>

Well, yes, but from the diagram position, the fact of the matter is that after 22 Rae1, White menaces 23 Rxe6 fxe6 24 Qg7+ Qxg7 25 fxg7 and White wins back the Rook and ends up a piece plus, as 26 Nh6 mate is threatened. This combination is not so easy to defend: if 22 ... Rfd8 23 Rxe6 fxe6 24 f7+ Qxf7 25 Nf6+ winning the queen (25 ... Kh8 26 Nxh7+) or 24 ... Kxf7 25 Qg7+ Ke8 26 Nf6 mate.

I may have made myself look like a moron today, but I would probably have gotten this if the true diagram without the wRa1 were being presented on the front page.

Feb-18-09  Kasputin: White plays 22. Qg7+ then Nh7+ and then fxg7#. All of blacks responses are forced. An unusual way to achieve mate but the moves (at least to my eyes) suggested themselves fairly easily.
Feb-18-09  Kasputin: Oops, I meant Nh6+ of course.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Obvious but very nifty. Try the most ridiculous move available, Qg7+, and watch as the mate unfolds. I adore this kind of puzzle.
Feb-18-09  zb2cr: Hi <ZUGZWANG67>,

Actually, I prefer using the Giuoco Piano line myself to the Ruy Lopez. Fewer analyzed lines to remember to great depth with a less-popular variation.

I've had some success with it, but I'm strictly a club player. I allowed my USCF rating to go inactive at 1456. If you could look at some of the games of the more advanced players here, you would have a better idea of the value of that system.

For example, one poster here, <Honza Cervenka> is rated 2200 in correspondence and has had a number of games published on this site under the name <Jan Cervenka>. While he has not played the Giuoco Piano opening or the Evans Gambit as White, he has a few games facing them as Black posted on <>. There are probably others; Grandmaster Ray Keene occasionally posts here, for example.

Feb-18-09  zb2cr: To <ZUGZWANG67>,

Strike that "occasionally" comment on Ray Keene--he maintains a forum here that's quite active (301 total pages). He responds to questions that other posters place there--you might ask him what his opinion of the line is!

Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Got it
Mar-22-09  WhiteRook48: I play 3 Bc4 after 1. e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6, even though I don't play the piano :D But I NEVER play 1 e4
Jul-14-09  Hubner: 16 Bc1 ..
18 Bb2 ..

Great move´s.

Oct-31-10  Elsinore: His winning percentage wasn't great, and Morphy owned him, but Bird put together some great games. This is one of the nicest mates you'll see.
Jul-15-13  notyetagm: Bird vs Pinkerley, 1850

22 ?

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22 ♕h6-g7+! <square clearance: h6>

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22 ... ♘e6x♕g7 23 ♘g4-h6+

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23 ... ♔g8-h8 24 f6x♘g7#

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Jul-15-13  notyetagm: Bird vs Pinkerley, 1850

Game Collection: SQUARE CLEARANCE 22 Qh6-g7+! vacates the h6-square for 23 Ng4-h6+, mating

Jul-15-13  notyetagm: <WhiteRook48: I have seen this game before, so I got the puzzle in 1 second. 22. Qg7+!! Nxg7 23. Nh6+!! Kh8 24. fxg7#>

I have never seen the puzzle position before but I figured it out from scratch because 22 ♕h6-g7+! is the absolute <MOST FORCING CHESS MOVE> in the position.

The position with White to play on move 22 was featured in this past Saturday's edition of Chess Today, in Test Yourself!.

Jul-15-13  notyetagm: Bird vs Pinkerley, 1850

Game Collection: FCM: FORCING CHESS MOVES (FM HERTAN) 22 Qh6-g7+! is the most forcing move in the position, forces mate

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