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  1. Owen Defense
    A hundred and one bits of living chess theory - a collection of important 1.e4 b6 games! These 101 games feature practical examples of almost all sensible variations in the Owen - not even grandmasters can prepare better than you can with this modern theory collection! Study these games and you'll find yourself a master of the King of Openings!! :)
    101 games, 1976-2006

  2. Pity it's not sound...
    1 game, 1972

  3. Rambling Rooks
    Witness rooks selflessly throw theirselves at the opponent's mercy again and again... until there is no choice but to take them and accept draw by stalemate.

    This collection does not currently include games such as Zappa vs Rybka, 2007 where a rook goes rambling for a different reason. It also doesn't include games like A E Post vs Nimzowitsch, 1905 where a rook goes rambling but fails to ensure draw, or cases like R Griffa vs A Everet, 2001 where the Rambling Rook can easily be declined. Also left out have been rooks such as those in Ghitescu vs Matulovic, 1966 or Gufeld vs M Mukhitdinov, 1962 who do throw theirselves at the king's mercy for stalemate but don't actually <ramble> - I admit those are borderline cases. Not in are games where Rambling Rooks could have happened but didn't; or some cases like A Romero Holmes vs B Kantsler, 2002 and Shredder vs Gull, 2013 where we see multi-sacrificial combinations for stalemate - I want the rook alone to take the leading role. All of the above are also interesting, and I may at some point do another collection for them.

    21 games, 1925-2012

  4. Random games
    35 games, 1798-2010

  5. The ...b6 adventures of Edvins Kengis
    The Latvian grandmaster Edvins Kengis on numerous occasions proved himself capable of playing against the very elite. In this collection, he beats or draws other strong grandmasters after interesting games, with openings involving an early ...b6.
    20 games, 1985-2005

  6. The Art of Resigning
    It's much nicer to give the opponent a pretty mate in 1 than just capitulate!
    14 games, 1954-2007

  7. The best 1...b6 games
    Some lovely games featuring my favourite opening, 1...b6! (Note: this collection is not finished at all, and many games I'd love to add to it are missing from this database. It will probably reach the collection game limit one day.)
    18 games, 1858-2004

  8. The collection not called "Swindles"
    The collection that would be called "Swindles" if not for all the swindles not in it. See also Game Collection: Rambling Rooks.
    3 games, 1987-2001

  9. The Ogre Experience
    3 games, 2010-2014

  10. The other Oops! collection
    For all the games that don't really fit into any other Oops collection :)

    Blundering into mates in one, mostly.

    18 games, 1929-2011

  11. They're just fancy pawns really
    13 games, 1882-2006

  12. This was an easily drawn BOOC ending... right?
    Endings with bishops of opposite colors aren't always as drawish as their reputation. The more active side often has surprising chances. And even when they really are drawish, it's still possible even for strong masters to blunder them away.

    Contributions are welcome.

    20 games, 1897-2005

  13. Uneventful, everyday, dull draws
    (Also known as "Zzzzzzz... The Sleepy Journey to the End of the Alphabet")

    The mere possibility of splitting a point is against the very nature of a fighting game. After all, you don't call wars off just because they kill people, do you? Draws are deadly arsenic in the veins of chess and must be eliminated to save the Royal Game. They are dull, boring, unexciting non-games the crowd hates for a very good reason. The "games" in this collection prove it.

    73 games, 1863-2016

  14. Unguarded Guards
    Pieces valiantly throwing themselves in harm's way in an attempt to defend their leader. As we see here, those attempts can be quite successful :)

    There are quite a few reasons why this might be a good idea:

    Perpetual-avoiding deflections are perhaps the most common type. Murey vs Chistiakov, 1969 gives us a simple example:

    click for larger view

    <45...Be8! 46. Qxe8+ Kh7> and as the queen no longer had access to f5, the perpetual was gone.

    The most brilliant example of this undoubtedly comes from the end of Leopold Mitrofanov's famous 1967 study:

    click for larger view

    Black is threatening perpetual, but White solves that problem in style with <7. Qg5!! Qxg5 8. Ka6> when ...Qe2+ is no longer available. After <8...Bxa7 9. c7> White threatens both 10. c8Q+ and 10. b7#, winning.

    Defensive deflections or attractions, as seen in Y Porat vs Larsen, 1956

    click for larger view

    If 15...Qf7 16.Bc4 and Black is in trouble despite being a piece and a pawn to the good. Thus <15...Be6!! 16. Qxe6+ Qf7> when 17. Bc4 was no longer deadly thanks to White's own queen being in the way.

    A completely different example is seen in Taimanov vs Larsen, 1970

    click for larger view

    <23...Bg4!!> Deflecting the queen away from threatening e5. White eventually wins after either 23...Kh8? 24. Qxe5+ or 23...Kf7? 24. Ng5+ Ke7 25. Qxe5. <24. Qxg4+ Kh8> and Black won.

    Offensive deflections are rarer, as the move needs to serve a defensive idea (protecting the king) and an attacking idea at the same time. The attack need not be against the opposing king, though; a non-mating idea is seen in Kujoth vs J Fashingbauer, 1950

    click for larger view

    <13. Nc3!!> The queen is deflected from its main task of defending against promotion, as if 13...Qxa7 14. Nxd5 wins.

    Clearing lines for attacking pieces. In R Short vs Marshall, 1895 Black combined this with a nice deflection:

    click for larger view

    <18...Ne4!!> Simultaneously threatening mate with ...Qe1# and luring the queen to a square where it can be attacked with tempo. Other moves do not win. <19. Qxe4+ f5> and White had to sacrifice his queen to prevent mate.

    Clearing lines for defending pieces. Stahlberg vs Bronstein, 1955 is a good example:

    click for larger view

    <28...Bc5!> Not 28...Kb8?? 29.Rd8+ and mate. Now the Rh8 protects Black's back rank. <29. Qxc5+ Kb8> and Black won.

    Opening escape squares for the king. Witness Topalov vs Judit Polgar, 1996

    click for larger view

    Of course not 47. Kf2?? Rf1#. Instead, after <47. Qc1! Rxc1+ 48. Kf2> Topalov's king was safe and he won the endgame thanks to the passed pawns.

    Tempo-gaining attractions are quite typical, and often related to either a double attack or a promotion threat. V Sherbakov vs Vasiukov, 1955 provides a beautiful example of the former:

    click for larger view

    White has just played 41. Bg4+, threatening not only the king but also Bxc8. After <41...Rf6!! 42. Rxf6+ Ke7>, however, the tables were turned, as Black had the <triple> threat of 43...Kxf6, 43...Bxg4 and 43...Re1+ mating. There followed <43. Kg1 Bxg4> and Black eventually won with his extra pawn.

    The latter is nicely illustrated by E Berg vs McShane, 2002, where Black sacrificed a rook for a tempo:

    click for larger view

    <45...Rd3!! 46. Rxd3+ Ke4> and Black wins, as the pawn promotion cannot be stopped; even 47. Kf2 Kxd3 48. Ke1 f3 wins for Black.

    Every so often, the idea is to release stalemate. In W Mazul vs R Przedmojski, 1990 we see this combined with avoiding perpetual:

    click for larger view

    <63...Rd2!!> If 63...Kxb3?? 64. Qc3+! etc., and after 63...Kc5? 64. Qc3+ Kd6 65. Qf6+ White eventually forces either stalemate or perpetual. Now, however, he's just lost: <64. Qxd2+ Kxb3> and Black won easily.

    Sometimes, paradoxically, the guarding piece is <safer> on the square it's moving to, as the attacker has no time to gobble it up. J Dukhin vs V Belov, 1996 is a case in point:

    click for larger view

    <27...Bc8!> It may be moving to an unguarded square, but while it <is> lost after 27...Kf7? 28. Qxa7 Kxg8 29. Qxd7, it now lived after 28. Qxa7 Qxg8 29. Qxb6, and Black won.

    And many more, each more beautiful than the other. In M Oren vs I Dyner, 1952, Black's queen was lured into a pin by an Unguarded Guard:

    click for larger view

    <24. Nb6!!> All other moves lose; if 24. Nd4 Rxd4 and the discovered check will be deadly. Now, however, White wins: 24...Qxb6 25. Qd4+! (25. Nd4 also works now, thanks to the pin) Qxd4+ 26. Nxd4 Rxd4 27. Bxg4 and White remains a piece up.

    78 games, 1878-2016

  15. Unusual themes III
    A collection of unusual things happening. (This is a combination of the original "Unusual themes" collection, which I took offline for some reason in January 2010, and "Unusual themes II", which contained various new unusual items I chanced upon over the next nine years.)

    See also <Phony Benoni>'s Game Collection: That's strange and <kevin86>'s Game Collection: unique themes.

    Tim Krabbe aka <Madjesoomalops> is of course the king of collecting unusual chess items, and there are some of his pieces in here, though I've tried to go for new ones as much as possible and avoid emmsing him. Game Collection: Unguarded Guards is another collection inspired by his work.

    104 games, 1851-2018

  16. Various themes
    Book examples of, well, things.
    30 games, 1922-2011

  17. Very bad blunders or otherwise outrageous moves
    But not <the> worst or <the> most outrageous... those I keep to myself.
    25 games, 1872-2015

  18. Wild tactical sequences
    1 game, 1971

  19. Yudasgoat System
    1.d4 b6 2.c4 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.e4 Bb4 5.f3 f5 6.exf5 Nh6 7.fxe6 Nf5

    click for larger view

    Owen/English Defense variations similar to the one above are collectively known as the Yudasgoat Systems. (Before you ask: 1) OK, I coined that name, but it sounds cool, right? 2) a Judas goat leads other goats into the slaughterhouse and 3) I won't pretend there's a reason the name fits, it just does.) The defining characteristic is that Black challenges an e4-pawn with ...f5 and upon exf5, does not recapture but instead develops his king's knight (most commonly to h6, protected by ...Qh4+ and ...Qxh6, and then to f5), thus allowing fxe6 and often exd7+, gambiting a pawn or even two for dynamic counterplay.

    16 games, 1979-2008

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