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George Alan Thomas vs William Gibson
British Championship (1924), Southport ENG, rd 2, Aug-12
Spanish Game: Open Variations. Classical Defense (C83)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-07-03  vidalsasoon: Daddy Likes.
Nov-07-03  nateinstein: Good ol' smother mate :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: 14...Bxe4 15.Nxe4 Kh8(!) and Black's chances of survival are much better.

Incidentally, anytime you see me put a exclam (!) in parentheses I mean "a good move in a difficult position."

Nov-07-03  Jack21221: This is a very good mating pattern to remember. I would imagine most people saw this in under a few seconds, provided they saw a smothered mate before. If you haven't, memorize it, because it comes up reasonably often in games. File this one away right next to the back rank mate.
Nov-07-03  masterwojtek: actually i invented (!) ok !?
Nov-07-03  Larsker: Laszlo Polgar (the father of the Polgar sisters) has made a book where 77 thematic positions are shown with 54 examples for each theme

Incidentally, the very first position is the Epaulet mate which is what we have here. Therefore, if you like this mating position, you can use Polgar's book to find similar examples by Morphy, Evans, Labourdonnais, Benkö, etc.

Those who, like me, are using his book, will have this mating picture hammered into their heads quite efficiently and never forget it again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Epaulet mate? I thought this was "Philidor's Legacy."
Nov-07-03  AdrianP: I am fortunate enough have Pocket Fritz on my PDA which has a feature called tactics trainer which has a seemingly endless number of 1, 2, and 3 move mating combination tests. This is particularly good for training yourself to spot e.g. smothered mates and back-rank mates as a matter of second nature.

Incidentally, I would recommend Pocket Fritz to anyone... it plays blitz at about 2200-2400ELO depending on your hardware and if you have internet access on your PDA you can connect to the chessbase database directly. 2.5million games in your pocket!

Btw 2, here you can find collections of tactical training positions which you can load into any of the Fritz family of programs or you can get Chessbase Lite for free, I think, from the chessbase website.

Nov-07-03  kevin86: Epaulete mate is another kind of mate. The checkmated king is blocked in on both sides by his own pieces: an example-WQg6 BKg8 Rf8,h8. The rooks block the king's lateral escape,while the white queen prevents a forward escape. A smothered mate occurs when the king is COMPLETELY surrounded by his own pieces,and he is mated by a knight.
Nov-07-03  Larsker: Well, Polgar calls it Epaulet mate. This very game is in that chapter.

Some other examples from his book:

Morphy vs Bryan Thomas Jefferson, 1859 - 20. ?

Timman vs Short, 1990 - 26. ?

Nov-07-03  AdrianP: A modern example of an epaulette mate:-

Van Wely vs Morozevich, 2001

The name derives from the fact that the rooks look like military shoulder-pads.

Nov-07-03  AdrianP: ...and an early and brutal example of a smothered mate

Bird / Dobell vs NN, 1886

Does anyone know why a smothered mate is known as Philidor's legacy... any examples of Philidor using it? Does Philidor's legacy mean any type of smothered mate, or just the Nf7# (Nf2#) mate with the K hemmed in by pawns on g7 and h7 and R on g8... usually preceded by Q sac on g8...?

Nov-07-03  Larsker: <AdrianP> OK - I get it now. Well, then this a smothered mate and not an epaulette mate. Morphy vs Bryan Thomas Jefferson, 1859 is a true epaulette mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I'm not 100% sure but I think "Philidor's legacy" usually mate conducted with only a queen and a knight, it involves the 5-move technique that involves double-checks to get the knight on h6 (or h3) when the king is on h8 (or h1). This is a little different, with a bishop providing protection for the queen.
Jan-23-06  Timothy Glenn Forney: This should be called a Greco's Mate,since he was the first to come up with the idea.
Apr-09-14  Conrad93: <14...Bxe4 15.Nxe4 Kh8(!) and Black's chances of survival are much better. Incidentally, anytime you see me put a exclam (!) in parentheses I mean "a good move in a difficult position.>

16. Nxf6 Bxf6 17. Qxd5 Qxd5 18. Bxd5, and black looks really lost here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

See page 84 of 'Great Short Games of the Chess Masters' by Reinfeld. (published 1961)

It has this game as Atkins - Gibson, Southport 1924.

Chernev's 1000 short games (pub 1957) also has it as Atkins - Gibson (game number 466)

This link Carlsen vs H A Gretarsson, 2003 refers to Atkins-Gibson 1924 but when you click on it then it brings you here.

Was this game on here as Atkins - Gibson and then got corrected (why? did Chernev get it wrong and Reinfeld took it from him.)


Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Sally Simpson> In Paige's, 'The Chess Games of Sir George Alan Thomas', this is game 229, George Alan Thomas vs William Gibson.

Paige shows the event as: BCF - ch 15th - Southport, 1924. He provided the game scores for all eleven of Thomas's games in this event, and he provided an additional reference for this game: 'Chess Amateur' September 1924 - p365.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Was this game on here as Atkins - Gibson>

Seems likely.

<(why? did Chernev get it wrong and Reinfeld took it from him.)>

Seems likely.

H E Atkins vs W Gibson, 1924

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***


I've no doubt we have it correct here but was looking for when it was corrected because at one time it does appear it was named incorrectly.

Another example is here. If you see this lad's game collection: Game Collection: Player of the day: notable game III you will see he calls this game: 'Henry ernest Atkins (1972-1955)' (he obviously means '1872') but the link and players names take you here.

Unless Chernev was being clumsy then somewhere between 1924 and 1957 Atkins name was given as the winner. (suspect this site got it originally from either Reinfeld or Chernev.)

There is also a video out there with the wrong names.


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