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Phony Benoni
Member since Feb-10-06 · Last seen May-21-18
Greetings, O Seeker After Knowledge! You have arrived in Detroit, Michigan (whether you like it or not), and are reading words of wisdom from a player rated 2938--plus or minus 1000 points.

However, I've retired from serious play--not that I ever took playing chess all that seriously. You only have to look at my games to see that. These days I pursue the simple pleasures of finding games that are bizarre or just plain funny. I'd rather enjoy a game than analyze it.

For the record, my name is David Moody. This probably means nothing to you unless you're a longtime player from Michigan, though it's possible that if you attended any US Opens from 1975-1999 we might have crossed paths. Lucky you.

If you know me at all, you'll realize that most of my remarks are meant to be humorous. I do this deliberately, so that if my analysis stinks to High Heaven I can always say that I was just joking.

As you can undoubtedly tell from my sparkling wit, I'm a librarian in my spare time. Even worse, I'm a cataloger, which means I keep log books for cattle. Also, I'm not one of those extroverts who sit at the Reference Desk and help you with research. Instead, I spend all day staring at a computer screen updating and maintaining information in the library's catalog. The general public thinks Reference Librarians are dull. Reference Librarians think Catalogers are dull.

My greatest achievement in chess, other than tricking you into reading this, was probably mating with king, bishop and knight against king in a tournament game. I have to admit that this happened after an adjournment, and that I booked up like crazy before resuming. By the way, the fact I have had adjourned games shows you I've been around too long.

My funniest moment occurred when I finally got a chance to pull off a smothered mate in actual play. You know, 1.Nf7+ Kg8 2.Nh6+ Kh8 3.Qg8+ Rxg8 4.Nf7#. When I played the climactic queen check my opponent looked at the board in shocked disbelief and said, "But that's not mate! I can take the queen!"

Finally, I must confess that I once played a positional move, back around 1982. I'll try not to let that happen again.

>> Click here to see Phony Benoni's game collections. Full Member

   Phony Benoni has kibitzed 17324 times to chessgames   [more...]
   May-21-18 C H Alexander vs Botvinnik, 1946 (replies)
Phony Benoni: You need to know that Alexander was a member of the British Secret Service during World War II, working on breaking code devised by the German Enigma Machine. Now enjoy the game.
   May-20-18 Schlechter vs Leonhardt, 1905
Phony Benoni: <Final position> [DIAGRAM] I thought a cute finish would have been <40...Kh8 41.Nxg6+ Kg8 42.Qxh7+ Kxh7 43.Nxf8+ Kg8 44.Ne6 Kf7 45.Nd8+>.
   May-20-18 A Esipenko vs M Mikadze, 2018 (replies)
Phony Benoni: This is a good idea for a pun, but not necessarily for this game. It would have fit perfectly a game with a zugzwang theme rather than a straightforward mating attack. But the game is certainly a lot of fun.
   May-19-18 Maroczy vs Leonhardt, 1905
Phony Benoni: Afrter <31...Ba3> [DIAGRAM] The score in "American Chess Bulletin" (September 1905, p. 301) concludes with <32.Rxe7 Bxe7 33.Ne3 Re8 34.gxh7> 1-0.
   May-18-18 B Leussen vs Duras, 1905
Phony Benoni: "American Chess Bulletin", September 1905, p. 290 also has the mate-in-three version beginning 18.Nge6+. But I would have to agree that Metger's tournament book is more likely correct. A made up finish would more likely use the flashing 18.N7e6+, not the prosaic 18.Nh7+.
   May-18-18 Loman vs Spielmann, 1905
Phony Benoni: "American Chess Bulletin", September 1905, p. 290, adds a few moves at the end: <36.g5 Rxh4 37.Kf2 Rf4+ 38.Kg3 Rxf5 39.Kg4 Ke6>
   May-16-18 Leonhardt vs Teichmann, 1905 (replies)
Phony Benoni: "American Ch3ss Bulletin", August 1905, p. 273, gives <14.Qe2> instead of <14.Qf3>. There's no difference betweenthe two move as the game goes.
   May-16-18 Marshall vs Burn, 1905
Phony Benoni: So What's the Finish? Historically, not analytically: After <21.Qf4>: [DIAGRAM] "American Chess Bulletin", August 1905, p. 271, states that Black resigned at this point as do "British Chess Magazine" ((August 1905, p. 316) and "Lasker's Chess Magazine" (August 1905, p. ...
   May-16-18 Schlechter vs Teichmann, 1905
Phony Benoni: <Hugh the Drover> The score appears to be incorrect. Here is the positions after <46.Kh4> [DIAGRAM] Obviously <46...Rd1> followed by leaving the rook en prise for several moves, cannot be right."American Chess Bulletin", August 1905, p. 271, has ...
   May-14-18 F Beltz vs A Guerrero Rodriguez, 2008 (replies)
Phony Benoni: Chess is cruel. Black has almost no shelter for his king, and what little there is gets rudely stripped away. 31.Rxg6+ Kxg6 32.Qg4+ Kh6/Kh7 33.Rh3#
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Let's play two!

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 32 OF 893 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-19-08  Harvestman: I vote for #3, because it made me laugh the most.

On the subject of name dropping, I once lost a game to James T Sherwin, who in turn lost to Robert James Fischer, so....

...I would probably have lost to Fischer as well.

Jul-19-08  Harvestman: At the risk of being competitive, here's what I consider to be my finest blunder:

Let's set the scene. I've just won quite a large local competition, and I'm on a 13 game unbeaten streak of +9 =4 (my best ever). I'm in the form of my life. In this game I'm black, against a stronger player, and I'm two pawns up after 21 moves. Fritz 6.0 rates the position as about 1.63.

Black to play:

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Here I first wrote down my intended move 21...Qa4 (writing moves down first wasn't illegal at the time), and then, after 20 minutes of deep thought, I played...

21... Qxa2 (resigns).

This is known as the old 'playing move 4 of the calculated variation without playing moves 1-3 first'. Most of my 20 minutes of thinking were spent in working out whether my queen could be trapped and won on a2. I concluded, after intensive consideration, that it was safe, and in my relief, just played it, having become conscious of getting behind on the clock.

Don't ask for the variation I was thinking of. I've no idea.

I lost six straight games after this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Harvestman> Didn't want you to think I was ignoring you. I was just waiting for other responses, and it got to be a habit after a while.

I agreed that #3 was a clear winner for that group. Surely that draw was more painful for White than any loss.

I've had experiences similar to yours, but not quite as sad. Isn't it remarkable how chess has a way of knocking us back to reality every time we think we're getting somewhere?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: But back to more enjoyable things. Here are the nominees from 1986, including one which is certainly one of the worst moves I have ever seen.


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Already a pawn up, Black could win more material with 1...Bd6! 2.Kh4 h6. Instead, the game finished with <1...Rxb2?? 2.Bxb2>.


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White played 1.Rd8#. Normally, this would be a very good move. unfortunately, White happened to be in check. Worse yet, he couldn't just take on f4 with two extra pawns--having touched his rook he was forced to play 1.Rd2, in effect losing a rook because he checkmated his oppoent.


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White's a pawn down, but 1.Qd7 would give good chances to hold. <1.Qc4?? Qd6#> gave none.


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White spotted a neat combination and went for it: <1.fxe4 fxe4 2.Bxe4 Bxe4 3.Qxb6 Qa8> (of course, taking the queen allows back rank mate) <4.Rd1> and Black resigned. I wonder when the players noticed that 3...Qxb6 would have been check.


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Not a very good example of the Worst Move theme, as White may be losing anyway. But <1.Qh4?? Bg3> was clearly inspired by the Muse of Blunder.


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All in the family: <1.Qg5?? Qxd2+ 2.Kxd2 Ne4+>, followed by 3...Nxg5 which added insult to injury by forking the rooks as well.

Aug-04-08  arsen387: hello <PB>. Number 3 from 1985 was really hilarious. Laughed at it for a while, though I can imagine whites' situation after that blunder. I once drew smth. like that against the computer being a Q and 2 pawns up and after that the whole day was searching someone to kick in face. I think it's twice more bitter when you blunder so in a tournament game.

From 1986 I liked N3 and N4, especially N4, as I sometimes find myself in such situations:)

Thanks for posting that blunders. I hope you'll continue to do that:)

Aug-04-08  Harvestman: Hi <PB>. No, I didn't seriously think I was being ignored. I just didn't know whether prolonged silences were normal for you, and was starting to assume you were on holiday or something.

Thanks for the new blunders. This selection is tougher, at least to me, although No.2 is particularly artistic, and like <arsen387> No.4 is the sort of thing that would happen to me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <PB> Spur-of-the-moment decisions - I'm not known for such a thing; I'm not even sure that it exists. But the tragedy of <#2> (losing while mating) get's my vote stante pede.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <All> Thanks for the feedback. I'll give it another couple of days before revealing my choice.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: For the last group, I picked #2 as not just the clear-cut favorite, but an all-time classic. I also enjoyed the artistry of #3.

The 1987 nominees will be coming soon. Stay tuned.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: <PB> Hi! I also liked your selections and am looking forward to your next installments.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Oh, what the heck. I've got some free time tonight, so here's the next group:

SET 3, 1987


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Endgame principle #1: Keep your pawn position solid. <1.f3?? h4#>.


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Endgame principle #2: Keep your king active. <1...Ke6?? 2.Re7#>.


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I'll bet you're already screaming, "Oh no! Not that!" Yup. <1...Rxb2?? 2.0-0-0+>.


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After suffering for 25 moves in this ending, White figured honor had been satisfied and resigned--just as <1...Re6+!> would have forced stalemate.


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A chain reaction blunder, the gift that keeps on giving: <1.Nd4??> lost a pawn after <1...Qxf2+>, a bishop after <2.Kh1 Qxf1+>, a queen after <3.Bg1> (3.Qg1 Nf2#) <3...Nf2+>, and a rook after <4.Kh2 Nxg4+> and <5...Nxe3>.


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A bit like <Braverman's> story given above. White pondered for a long time on whether to play 1.Be2 or 1.Bg2 to stop the threat of 1...Nxf3+. Finally. he reached out, grabbed the bishop--and played <1.Bh3??>. Oops.

Aug-06-08  mmmsplay10: P Lomako vs R Ovetchkin, 2006

nice post, even though your bio puts you as a comedian, that was thoughtful

<Phony Benoni: Either both players had a sense of humor, or else they were time pressure addicts just wanting to get a couple of moves closer to the time control. So why didn't they repeat the sequence again? That brings up an interesting question. Suppose the game had continued 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Ng1 Ng8. Could White now claim a draw by repetition of position? After all, the same position existed before White's first move, his third move, and his fifth move, each time with White to play. Or does the initial position, before the game is started, not count for the purposes of repetition claims?>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <mmmsplay10> Thanks. I wish I could be as thoughtful in my other posts. In the thrid set of Worst moves series I just posted, I referred to <Harvestman> as <Braverman>. Obviously I needed to repeat the name several times more...
Aug-07-08  arsen387: hello <Phony>. I must say that this collections excels the previous ones. Every blunder is a masterpiece here :) But number 1 is the best amongst the best, I think:)
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: <Phony Benoni> I think no.5 is the best hands down. As Tim Krabbe said, "anyone can hang a piece, but a good blunder requires thought". I would also add to that walking into mate, sometimes. All the pieces were placed on exactly the right squares and Nd4, as you said, started a chain reaction that led to an immediate downfall. Perfect.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Like <The Alchemist<, I also chose #5 from the 1987 set. By the way, it was pointed out to me by our old friend, <Resignation Trap>, though it wasn't one of his games. However, I have to admit a soft spot for #6. Who among us has not had the experience of thinking so hard that we forgot what we were thinking about?

I'll hold off on putting up the 1988 group for a few days, since seeing too many of these in a short time is probably not good for your health, chessic or otherwise. Besides, while looking these up in the old magazines, I found a number of positions which show that, on occasion, we Michiganders do know how to play chess, even if our names aren't Ben Finegold or Tony Palmer. Or maybe I'm just easily amused.

This is from Warren Raftshol v. Stan Jarosz, Michigan Class A Championship, with <WHITE TO PLAY>

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You might enjoy doing a quick assessment, then figuring out if your first impression was right.

Aug-08-08  Ben2000: Hi <Phony Benoni>,
This is my funniest and most stupid game ever with a good friend of mine. We are playing chess with each other for about 12 years since we were 13. And we played this game just after a long good game which I lost.

[Date "2006.10.19"]
[Round "27"]
[White "Me"]
[Black "My friend"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B45"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 e6 4. Nc3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nxd4 <he hates my knights> 6. Qxd4 Ne7 7. Bf4 Nc6 8. Qd2 Bb4 9. Bd6 Qf6

<So far not too bad.
Just guess my next move.>

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10. Nb5?
<I donít remember why I played Nb5 but Iím sure I was seeing some winning lines!!!>

Bxd2+ 11. Kxd2 Qxf2+ 12. Kd1 Nd4 13. Nc7+ Kd8 14. Bd3 Qxg2 15. Rf1

<And now the funnier part begins: Guess black next move:>

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16. Bxe2 Qxe4 17. Bd3 Qg4+ 18. Ke1

<And now:>

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<Still black can easily win.>


<Now the funniest part begins:>

19..Re8 20. Nc7
<Funny moves still to come>

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20..Qd4? 21.Nxe8 Qxb2 22. Rd1

<And now:>
23. Nxg7 Qb2 24. Rg1 Qf6 25. Nxf5 Qf7 26. Rg7 1-0

Priceless look on his face!Totally PRICELESS!
Believe me we are not this bad!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Ben2000> That was bad. That was so bad I don't want to even think about it. Of course, I had a bad day at the office, so nothing seems particularly funny to me right now.

Actually, the position wasn't a slam dunk win for Black with that White bishop on d6; I've lost better positions a queen up. I suppose in the second diagram Black should have played 15...Nxc2.

Aug-09-08  Ben2000: That game more than being a chess game is a example of mind being blocked, maybe being tired and being pride of winning easily, next time when my friend got a piece up he began to play better...

One thing I like about chess very much is that you must control such feelings to win.

Aug-12-08  Harvestman: <PB> From the 1987 selection, I've managed to perpetrate the blunder in No.1 myself, and got away with it (my opponent exchanged pawns, removing any future possibility of the mate). At the time, there were 14 other players stood around the board, all of whom saw me leave the mate in 1, and my opponent miss it. Gasps of horror all round.

Oh, and <Braverman> sounds quite impressive somehow. Sort of an action hero.

Ok, maybe not really me. I'll stick to Harvestman.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: OK, I've been watching the Olympics too much. Need a break from all that excellence.



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Seeing that 1.Kf6 Kd7! 2.Kxe5 Ke7 was an easy draw, White tried outflanking with <1.Ke8??>. After <1...Kc5!> his king couldn't get back in time.


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1...Rxd8+ wins easily, but Black got greedy: <1...Nxd8?? 2.e8Q+!> and White went on to win.


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White wins with 1.Qb3+ Ke2 (1...Kg4 2.Qxh3+ Kf4 3.Be3+! is similar) 2.Qe3+! Qxe3 3.Bxe3 followed by 4.e6 and one of the pawns promotes. Instead, <1.a8Q?> threw away the win, and <1...Qf4+ 2.Kh1? Kg3+!> got him mated. (2.Kg1 Qxg5+ 3.Kh1 may leave some drawing chances.)


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Missing 1...Qf1#, Black played <1...Qxc3??> and offered a draw! White was so relieved that he immediately accepted the draw--and then saw 2.Qf8#!


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Black saw that 1...Qxe5 would allow the pin 2.Re3, so he prepared the capture with <1...0-0??>.


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No, Black didn't take the pawn on b2 and get his queen trapped. There's nothing funny in that. He grabbed the bishop with <1...Qb4+ 2.c3 Qxc4?? 3.b3> and got his queen trapped.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Oh, #4, without a doubt!
Aug-13-08  ravel5184: #5 without a doubt!
Aug-13-08  arsen387: yeah #4 is cool
Aug-13-08  Harvestman: #4. I think I must have been playing both sides of that one.
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