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Samuel Standidge Boden vs Henry Edward Bird
London (1873)
Spanish Game: Bird Variation (C61)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-30-05  ughaibu: Here's an hilarious pawn sacrifice to open the f-file.
Mar-19-06  notyetagm: 13 ... ♖xf2! and the Black rook cannot be taken.

If the White g1-king takes the Black rook (14 ♔xf2), then he is mated by the Black queen (14 ... ♕e3#).

And if the White f1-rook takes the Black rook (14 ♖xf2), then it is <deflected> from defending the back rank e1-square and White is mated on the back rank beginning with 14 ... ♕e1+.

14 ♔xf2 ♕e3#
14 ♖xf2 ♕e1+ 15 ♖f1 dxc3+ 16 ♔h1 ♕xf1#

Mar-19-06  notyetagm: White resigns in the final position due to the punishing continuation 20 ♔e2 ♖e8+ 21 ♔d2 (21 ♔d1 b1=♕+) ♗b4+ 22 ♔c2 ♖xe1 23 ♔xb2, winning a whole rook.
Mar-19-06  notyetagm: The tactical shot 13 ... ♖xf2! played by Bird in this game bears a striking resemblance to Keres' 25 ♘xf7! in Keres vs Fine, 1946.

In both games the enemy king cannot capture the sacrificed piece because he would be mated by Q-K6 (14 ♔xf2?? ♕e3#, 25 ... ♔xf7?? 26 ♕e6#), both queens supported by pawns on Q5 (Bird's d4-pawn, Keres' d5-pawn).

Also in both games the defending rook cannot capture the sacrificed piece because it is <overworked>, having primarily to meet a threat along the first rank. Boden's f1-rook has to defend the e1-square from a back rank mating attack (14 ♖xf2?? ♕e1+ mates) while Fine's f8-rook must defend the c8-rook from the threat of capture by the White queen (25 ... ♖xf7? 26 ♕xc8+).

Sep-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: It may be a small statistical sample, but I've won three games in a row using Bird's Defense against the Ruy Lopez. I wonder if a lot of club players just haven't seen it before.
Apr-04-08  Knight13: <playground player: It may be a small statistical sample, but I've won three games in a row using Bird's Defense against the Ruy Lopez. I wonder if a lot of club players just haven't seen it before.> I lose like 75% of my games when I use Bird's Defense, most of them against lower-rated players. And yeah I do know how to play it. It's a dumb opening.
Oct-15-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  YoungEd: I agree that the rook sacrifice on f2 is beautiful. But isn't 11. Bxf6 just a lemon?
Apr-14-09  WhiteRook48: just thought 20. Ke2 Re8+ 21 Kd2 Rxe1 22 Kxe1 b1Q+
May-01-09  fabozzo21: Hello ladies and gentlemen
I'm just studying the Bird defense and Fritz told me that the sacrifice Rxf2 is uncorrect and loosing ! watch this :
14- Rxf2 Qe1+ 15-Rf1 dxc3+
and now 16- d4! Bxd4 17- Kh1
and now the Bc4 defends the Rf1
and black loose !
May-02-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <fabozzo21> perhaps 14.Rxf2 Bg4! - defends the back rank - 15.Qxg4 Qe1+ 16.Rf1 dxc3+ 17.d4 Qxf1!+ 18.Bxf1 cxb2 19.dxc5 bxa1Q draw?
May-13-09  Craigokat: Boden is done in by a near "Boden's mate!
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