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S S Dodge vs Jay R Houghteling
"Can't Dodge Mate" (game of the day Oct-06-2007)
Casual game (1904), Chicago, IL USA
Queen's Gambit Declined: Albin Countergambit (D08)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <Calli>Many have been suspicious this game. Once tried to trace the score, but with no luck. However, I did find players named Dodge and Houghteling in Illinois events around 1910, so there is still a chance that the game is legit. Perhaps the two made it up ala Torre and Adams.

The game was reproduced in the chess column of the "San Fransisco Call", dated February 16, 1913.

They received it from Elmer W Gruer, a Californian native who was in Chicago. He claims that the game was recently played at the Chicago Chess Club.

Seems a bit fishy to me - I wouldn't consider 1904 to be "recent".

Nov-09-11  Oceanlake: The score is in The Golden Treasury of Chess, Francis J. Wellmuth, 1943. He was an old-timer, Californian. Looked like Harry Truman.
Dec-02-11  FSR: From Tim Krabbe 's Open Chess Diary, No. 355:

<PS 10 April 2008: A communication by Frederick Rhine makes it clear that speculations of Houghteling - Dodge [actually Dodge-Houghteling - FSR] being a hoax, are unjustified. "The Houghtelings were a prominent and rich family in Chicago in the late 19th and early 20th centuries," as Rhine writes. He gives one other game by (J.R.) Houghteling: J R Houghteling vs L S Cornell, 1902>

Jan-13-12  master of defence: I played a game in the internet almost with the same finish of this. See the PGN and comment: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Bc4 h6 5. dxe5 dxe5 6. Qxd8+ Kxd8 7. Nxe5 Ke7 8. Nxf7 Rh7 9. Nc3 Nc6 10. Bf4 Kd7 11. Nd5 Nxe4 12. Nxc7 Rb8 13. Be6+ Ke7 14. Bd5 Nf6 15. Bd6+ Kd7 16. Be6# 1-0
Jun-20-12  hellopolgar: people notice that in the end:

c-knight protect e-bishop which protects f-knight which protects d-bishop which protects c-knight!

Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: If you ever want to show a beginner, or even someone who just knows the basic rules, and nothing else, the shear beauty of the game (no, not quality, not depth) just the fascinating gorgeous, symmetrical, architectural aestheticism of chess, here is the one to show!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Found the finish striking, even as a novice some forty years ago.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: "Houghteling Out of Dodge"
Jul-04-13  FSR: <master of defence> Obviously your opponent was no master of defence. :-) Very cool that you were able to pull off that finish off. You should submit it to, using the PGN Upload Utility on the home page. A finish like that literally occurs less than one in a million games, so it absolutely should be memorialized, whatever the circumstances of the game. As for the opening, after 4.Bc4 Black should have played 4...Nxe4 5.dxe5 c6!, as in Giovanis-Rhine, Chicago 1984. See also Opening Explorer.
Jul-04-13  FSR: Searching the games in Mega Database 2013, I found another "rainbow of bishops and knights" game - although this time one of the knights mated, which somehow isn't as pretty:

Sultanov-Kamaletdinov, Bashkortostan-ch sf 2011 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c4 dxc4 4.d5 Nb8 5.Nc3 e6 6.e4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Qxd5 8.Nxd5 Kd7 9.Bxc4 h6 10.Ne5+ Ke6 11.Bf4 Nf6 12.Nxc7+ Ke7 13.Nxa8 Nxe4 14.Nxf7 Rg8 15.Bxb8 Bd7 16.O-O Bc6 17.f3 Nf6 18.Rfe1+ Kd7 19.Be6+ Ke7 20.Bd6+ Ke8 21.Nc7# 1-0

I just submitted it to

Jul-04-13  FSR: Hmm, in this game White got the rainbow and Black immediately resigned, but his king wasn't in the midst of it:

Haakert-Dushatskiy, GER-chT Seniors 19th 2010 1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c5 4.O-O Nc6 5.d3 Bg4 6.h3 Bh5 7.Nbd2 e6 8.c3 Be7 9.a3 O-O 10.b4 a6 11.Bb2 Rc8 12.bxc5 Bxc5 13.c4 Ba7 14.Rb1 d4 15.a4 Qe7 16.Qc1 Rb8 17.Nb3 Rfd8 18.Ba3 Qc7 19.Re1 e5 20.Nh4 e4 21.Qf4 Qxf4 22.gxf4 Re8 23.Nc5 exd3 24.exd3 Be2 25.Nxb7 Bxd3 26.Bxc6 Bxb1 27.Rxb1 Rbc8 28.Nf5 g6 29.Ne7+ Kg7 30.Bd6 1-0

Jul-09-13  newzild: <FSR> I agree that the final position in this game is more aesthetically pleasing - because all 8 minor pieces contribute to the "rainbow".
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Nasruddin Hodja: Hmmm. White's 3rd and 10th moves are definitely dodgy....>

One might say that, given his surname.....

Jul-09-13  TheFocus: He tried but he couldn't dodge defeat.
Jul-09-13  FSR: <newzild> I never thought of that, but you're right. It's very cool how even White's minor pieces are symmetrically placed, and right next to White's.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I've been looking around a bit for more details about Dodge, with little luck. All I've found so far is a report in the April 20, 1902 "Brooklyn Daily Eagle" listing the players inf a 116-board (!) correspondence match between Chicago and Brooklyn.

They must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel to fill out the team, and sure enough you can find Dodge playing for Chicago. Unfortunately, there two of them: <A. Dodge> and <S. S. Dodge>.

Hopefully they were not the same person.

Aug-16-14  Ke2: Even if it's fake, a great composition.
Nov-25-17  bkpov: Too good to be true. If not, all these chess sites are biased and bogus. Should have emphasized this.
Apr-28-18  FSR: I don't know why people are insinuating that this game was fake. As <Phony Benoni> said, the fact that a game has a picturesque conclusion is no reason for doubting its authenticity. Billions of games of chess have been played. Some will end in remarkable ways, and those that do end remarkably are much more likely to be published than those that end in boring ways. As I and others have documented in the comments, this is not even the only game to end with this type of "rainbow of bishops and knights" configuration. Do the doubters about this game contend that all of those games are fake too?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Some memorable positions in this game. I like the final one where the king is in a box, or arch.

click for larger view

Apr-28-18  FSR: <offramp> Well, of course. Everyone loves that position. Bigelow called it <a rainbow of bishops and knights>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <FSR> You are right; I simply wanted to diagrammatize it.
Apr-28-18  Everyone: <FSR: Well, of course. <Everyone> loves that position.> !!!
Apr-29-18  FSR: My apologies for any inadvertent offense I caused to <Everyone>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <The game was reproduced in the chess column of the "San Fransisco Call", dated February 16, 1913.

They received it from Elmer W Gruer, a Californian native who was in Chicago. He claims that the game was recently played at the Chicago Chess Club.

Seems a bit fishy to me - I wouldn't consider 1904 to be "recent".>

Found this game in the <Chicago Sunday Tribune> of January 7th 1906, Sect. II p.4.

<The following game of skittles, played recently at the club between Jay R. Houghtaling [sic] and S. S. Dodge, is remarkable for the ending. The mate is absolutely pure, no square being covered by more than one piece.>

The game score itself gives the name as <Houghtal'g>.

This misspelling may explain why this earlier source hasn't turned up before. I was searching for <S S Dodge>.

The byline on the column is <Mrs F. W. Lynn> = Anna Belle Lynn.

Other 'Across the Chess Board' columns of the time carried the names of Louis Uedemann or Emil Kemeny, so it seems there was no regular editor - it may have been a collective responsibility of the Chicago Chess and Checker Club.

Here the <played recently> carries greater weight and suggests 1905 is the correct year, unless an earlier source turns up.

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