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Oscar Balk vs Richard James Barnes
"Bases Loaded" (game of the day Aug-22-2011)
New Zealand (1926)
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Polerio Defense Bishop Check line (C58)  ·  0-1


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X sac: 16...Nxc3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Today's game of the day would make a good puzzle of the day for the early- to mid-week ... oh, I see it already was puzzle of the day on July 20, 2006.
Aug-22-11  sevenseaman: The R sac at 17...Rxe3 to deflect the f2 pawn is far-sighted and sublime! Unadulterated enjoyment!

If as it looks, it was a puzzle at Black's move 16, it was quite tough for a Thursday. Very perceptive play by Barnes and a very appropriate pun too "Bases Loaded"!

Aug-22-11  akatombo: More puns: Noble Barnes, Barnes Burner.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Maybe <Barnes Burner> would be a good title for a game in which Barnes got crushed.
Aug-22-11  rilkefan: Brilliant title, esp. given white's shoot-self-in-foot approach.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: White didn't smell the rat.
Aug-22-11  chessworm: What a streak of sacs!! btw, I just noticed that has changed the image for exchange sacrifice to X sac.. better than old one with knight and rook...
Aug-22-11  chessworm: oh ok.. the image is still the same in other games. The X must be for many then?
Aug-22-11  erniecohen: <MaxxLange: 8 Ba4 is bad in this line, isn't it? I think 8 Be2 is the main line.>

8. ♕f3

Aug-22-11  newzild: Nice little combo at the end.

I've never heard of these guys, and I'm a New Zealander. Back in the 1920s there were very few strong chessplayers in NZ.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <MaxxLange: 8 Ba4 is bad in this line, isn't it? I think 8 Be2 is the main line.>

In the half-dozen games I've played in this line, my opponents have always played 8.Be2, and 8.Ba4 doesn't look to be an improvement over the other alternatives, which include 8.Bd3 (which has gained popularity since the following game: Nakamura vs J Friedel, 2009) or 8.Qf3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A Boden style mate involving the sac of a bishop and rook instead of a queen.

Pun is weak-I would prefer:

Balk! Barnes scores from third...

Aug-22-11  blackburne: ¿Robert Henry Barnes?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: More of a Rube Goldberg contraption than a combination. I seem to remember Irving Chernev, in his <1001 Best Short Games of Chess>, comparing it to the poem "The House That Jack Built".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: One meaning of 'balk' is 'check' (in the sense of 'frustration', not the chess usage). Still, <Balk balks under a cascade of Balks> is nice.

Assuming the 'L' is silent, then <Balks of Tricks> is an option. Or pronounce the 'L' and call it 'Silly Balks'.

When a racehorse refuses to jump a fence it is also said to balk. Here, Balk didn't just balk at any old fence - he balked his whole *defence*.

Horses get put down for less.

It's amusing to see the puzzle-oriented kibitzes from 2006 alongside the new ones with a broader view.

I'm still not convinced, btw, that being able to *name* patterns like Boden's Mate or Philidor's Legacy (etc) is a good thing. Of course it's crucial to be able to *see* them, and maybe naming can help. But I suspect it's unnecessary baggage.

That said, I can name a ridiculous number of opening variations, which is probably even less useful.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: "Barnes couldn't hit his Barn door at this dist--."

Famous last words.

Aug-22-11  Owerbart: what a nice combination. anyone has any data about this player or the event of this fine game?
Aug-22-11  LIFE Master AJ: Interesting game ... although I have a vague feeling that I have seen it before. (Is it in ano old chess books???)
Aug-22-11  LIFE Master AJ: I know that a <<BALK>> is a baseball term ... but I still don't get the pun. (Anyone care to draw a diagram for me?)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: "Balk" and "Bases Loaded" are both baseball terms, but there's really no other connection between them. Nor is "Bases Loaded" appropriate for the game. If it had to be a baseball pun, I would have preferred "Triple Play" to describe the three sacrifices.
Aug-23-11  rilkefan: <"Balk" and "Bases Loaded" are both baseball terms, but there's really no other connection between them.>

There is a connection, actually - a pitcher balks when making an illegal move to keep the runner at first (usually) from stealing second, which isn't an option with the bases loaded. A bases-loaded balk is about the worst and certainly the dumbest thing a pitcher can do, as the runners advance, scoring a run, for nothing. Hence it's fitting, as noted above.

Aug-23-11  erniecohen: In baseball, a balk is when the pitcher violates any of the technical rules that restrict how he is allowed to move, some of which are not directly related to baserunners (e.g., he must come to a full stop before starting his pitching motion). Bases-loaded balks are not terribly common in MLB, but not unheard of.

Anyway, I agree that the pun probably refers to White shooting himself in the foot with 12. dxe4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: < (Is it in ano old chess books???)> As I'm on his ignore list and thus invisible, LMAJ would have to look back *two* whole posts to see Phony's mention of Chernev.

Why bother to ask questions when you have a constitutional immunity to answers?

Aug-23-11  LIFE Master AJ: The pun - still does not make sense to me. IMO, its not the best pun they have ever had here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: < The pun - still does not make sense to me.> QED.
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