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William Ewart Napier vs NN
"Napier Wit" (game of the day Feb-27-2008)
Unknown (1904)
King's Gambit: Accepted. Allgaier Gambit Thorold Attack (C39)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-27-08  ounos: Also a cute sideline is: 14. ...Bxe4 15. Qg6+ and Bxg6#
Feb-27-08  meteficha: And white's king sitting waiting in the middle of the back rank =P
Feb-27-08  Ruy Lopez: h6 doesn't look to good- Black's kingside is torn apart...... and it wasn't even attacked!
Premium Chessgames Member
  hedgeh0g: Tactics at their finest.
Feb-27-08  D4n: Simply amazing.
Feb-27-08  Samagonka: This game is simply in a class of it's own. Super quality chess.
Feb-27-08  Pianoplayer: Three letters and one word WOW!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Fantastic mate, once black missed 14...Ne7.

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Feb-27-08  JG27Pyth: NN's (very ill-considered) attempt to burrow into some kind of shelter at h7 gives this game a certain element of pathos. What a terrible spot for the king!

14.Qxg4 is a nice, medium easy puzzle move IMO... but if you're playing through the game quickly it comes as a nice splash of cold water in the face. I almost wish NN had played 14...Bxg4? because 15.Nf6# is so pretty.

I wonder what's best for black's tenth...maybe 10...Ke8

I'm going to study up on this Allgaier gambit thorold attack variation... Certainly doesn't look drawish ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: Whoever black was, he probably erased his name from the scorecard so it would go into the books as NN. I'd have been so tempted.
Feb-27-08  alexrawlings: how would white win after 14... e7?
Feb-27-08  Riverbeast: This guy NN must be the worst player ever...everytime I see a game of his he's getting crushed :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: And on top of that, he always seems to be playing black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Does anybody get a chance to play the Allgaier anymore? Meanwhile, White could have mated without sacrificing the Queen: 15. Ng5+, hxg5 16.Bxf5+, Qxf5 17. Qxf5# .
Feb-27-08  mistreaver: Ah the god old days of King's gambit...
Feb-27-08  jrlepage: <White could have mated without sacrificing the Queen: 15. Ng5+, hxg5 16.Bxf5+, Qxf5 17. Qxf5#.>

True, except that 17.Qxf5+ isn't mate yet. The game would continue 17. ...Kh6 18. Qg6# 1-0.

In any event, this is a very spectacular game with an outstanding checkmate. The king's gambit opening will never cease to amaze me.

Feb-27-08  belgradegambit: < Riverbeast: This guy NN must be the worst player ever...everytime I see a game of his he's getting crushed :-> Not true. I don't know how he got such a bad rep. He has at least 27 wins NN including this gem against Philidor Philidor vs NN, 1790 Also keep in mind his playing career is over 4 centuries.
Feb-27-08  xrt999: Is there a move by black which exists, in which there are not, at minimum, 3 (three) other moves which are not as pathetic? I think not. A good game to study: A treatise on losing as quickly as possible with black pieces. Four choices per move. Pick the worst move.

I am especially infatuated with 10...Kg6. Why move your king to safety when you can march it up the board?

This could be the ugliest game on

Feb-27-08  ruyfanatic: You're not kidding.
Feb-28-08  stupidiot21: 10...be6?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Funny,Napier claims that he never remembered playing this game-PAUL MORPHY AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF CHESS.

The book has a few questionable games in it,eg. Alekhine's 5 queen game.

As much as I like this game,can we be of any certainty that the author actually played it? Was it just a created game?

May-07-09  JimmyVermeer: This game appears as game #4614 in Laszlo Polgar's "CHESS: 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games". Polgar lists White's 5th move as Ne5, but the rest of the game is the same. Can anybody confirm which is the actual move that Napier played?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <JimmyVermeer> Common sense would indicate that Polgar has it wrong. 5.Ng5 h6 6.Nxf7 is a book line, White sacrificing the knight only because it's trapped. After 5.Ne5, 5...h6 makes no sense, and White would not bother sacrificing the knight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Napier mentions that the game was published in Lasker's Chess Magazine. It just so happens that the issue (July 1905, p. 117) has been Googletized, and you can find the game here:

Note that the 11th and 12th moves are switched. I don't know if that makes any significant difference.

Nov-01-09  JimmyVermeer: Phony Benoni, the link you posted only shows part of the book. But I take your word for it. I also agree with your comment about common sense, however, there have been many occasions where players played contrary to common sense. See my comments on A Ushenina vs S Matveeva, 2008 and Zhang Jilin vs I Gaponenko, 2008 for example.
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