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Adow vs Borissow
St. Petersburg (1889), St. Petersburg RUE
King Pawn Game: Parham Attack (C20)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <talchess2003> <it takes most people 2 seconds> you're talking about the time it takes chessplayers to decide their move, not ???? right?
Nov-27-03  PinkPanther: <They should ban this opening...... what do you think? although if they did, there would be no easy wins.....>

Yeah, it's almost like if you're gonna play chess like this, then why play at all?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <... it's almost like if you're gonna play chess like this, then why play at all?>

Years ago a friend of mine who was about 1300 strength was going to play in her first chess tournament, and I thought that perhaps the Fool's Mate would be a good psychological choice: take opponents out of book, get them thinking you're a total beginner and make them overconfident ... So I looked into it, trying to find a decent way of following it up - but it really is just too, too awkward ... I couldn't find anything. One could play better than Adow did here, but still it just stinks.

Nov-27-03  Spitecheck: I thought Fool's mate was a gift to the black pieces via the following:

1. f4/3 e6/5 2. g4 Qh4 mate. the quickest game of chess possible, draws and resignations etc aside.

While Scholar's Mate of which this opening is a relative involves a mutual King's pawn opening and white's bishop and queen ganging up on f7 in an accelerated fashion.


Nov-28-03  Spitecheck: Even Mikhail Tal wasn't immune to it's evil.


Nov-28-03  ughaibu: The shortest wins I've played (blitz but several times) went 1.f4 e5 2.g3 f4 3.f4 Qh4.
Jan-13-04  d4Nf6Bg5: Although it's kinda ugly, could Bxf7 Ke7 Qc4 keep white in the game? Or would it fail to b5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  sisyphus: This game is a good example of what not to do. White's primary mistake is 5. Qb3? It's all downhill from there. After 5. Ne2 White still has a viable position.
Feb-04-04  TrueFiendish: I reckon moving the queen to h5 was the mistake: it showed black that his opponent was a patzer...
Apr-05-04  Vischer: is there any reason not to play 6.Bxf7+?
Apr-05-04  iron maiden: 6. Bxf7+ loses a piece for no reason at all, since White has only the queen to attack with and Black has plenty of defenses. White should just cut his losses to several tempi.
Apr-14-04  Cornwallis: 2.Qh5??

Worst move ever.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Although 2.Qh5 is in contradiction with all principles of sound opening play, it is not fatal mistake, not to mention the "worst move ever". After 5.Ne2 (suggested by sisyphus), 5.Nc3, 5.c3 or 5.d3 white is okay. In fact, if you want to get the game out of opening theory books, then 2.Qh5 is a playable possibility.
Apr-15-04  AdrianP: <you want to get the game out of opening theory books, then 2.Qh5 is a playable possibility>. ... that is, until Woody Harrelson reveals the secrets of his opening prep. W Harrelson vs Kasparov, 1999 ...;-)
Apr-30-04  iron maiden: Yes, 2. Qh5 may be annoying to me when I'm looking to sharpen my skills against the Ruy Lopez, but it's not the worst move ever. For that, see Lindemann vs Echtermeyer, 1893.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sisyphus: I've developed my own theory on this because I see it so often. 5. ♘c3 or 5. d3 invite 5.... ♘d4 and the ♕ has to move again. 5. c3 is more troublesome, but 5.... ♗h3 pins the d-pawn, and White's ♘ has no place to go but a3.
Aug-30-08  ravel5184: Here <SOME GUY> uses a <PIN> and a <DECOY INTO A FORK> theme illustrated in <HARRY GOLOMBEK>'s famous book <THE GAME OF CHESS> which I <HIGHLY> recommend, to beat <SOME OTHER GUY> in a <MINIATURE> lasting <LESS THAN TEN MOVES>(!)
Sep-01-08  Ulhumbrus: It isn't obvious that following 5 Qb3 the move 6 Bxf7+ will make a concession. The concession is this: The move Bxf7+ will tie the Queen to the defence of the bishop on f7, and to borrow Lasker's words, that which is immobile suffers violence. With 5..Nd4! Black attacks the Queen even before she supports a bishop on f7. On 6 Bxf7+ Ke7 the Bishop on f7, the c2 pawn and the Q on b3 are all attacked. On 7 Qc4 b5 the Queen runs out of moves which hold everything and must abandon either the bishop or the c2 pawn.
Apr-01-11  beenthere240: <Cornwallis: Actually 2. Ba6 is a poorer second move for white. But it's the only one worse than 2. Qh5 that I can see (although 2. Bb5 is pretty bad.)
Oct-09-11  FSR: After 1.e4 e5, 2.Ba6?? is the worst move by a country mile. After that, probably 2.b4 and 2.Ke2 are the worst. 2.Qg4 and 2.g4 are also pretty bad. White still has equality after 2.Qh5, so it's actually not a <terrible> move.
Apr-06-13  Conrad93: 5.c3 makes the refutation of this opening difficult.
Apr-06-13  Stonehenge: Much Adow About Nothing
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <Stonehenge> Nice one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Wasn't 6.Bxf7+ a better chance?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Susan Polgar covers this attempt at Scholar's Mate, explaining how White could have played better by following established opening principles, then her reference game ends a little differently:

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