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Ernst Falkbeer vs NN
"Scotch and Falkbeer Chaser" (game of the day Mar-20-2017)
Casual game (1847), ?
Scotch Game: Scotch Gambit (C44)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-05-10  MaxxLange: <Play [from the diagram with 7 Qb3] could continue 7...Na5 8. Bxf7+ Ke7 9. Qd1 Kxf7 10. Qd5+ Ke8 11. Qxa5>

also interesting is 7...Na5 8. Bxf7+ Ke7 9. Qd5 c6 10. Bxg8! cxd5 11. Bg5+ Kd7 12. Bxd8

Jan-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  sethoflagos: <Nullifidian: ... This combination should be recognized by almost any player.

.... It still shocks me to see people falling into one of the oldest traps in the chess world.>

In support of the poor souls who still fall for this compare this position from Staunton vs Cochrane, 1842


click for larger view

At first glance, the positions do not look dissimilar. Looking at it piece by piece, nothing seems out of place. And yet tactically, the tempo and balance are quite different.

An absent-minded transposition of moves when playing out an opening 'on auto' is all it takes.

Who amongst us has never succumbed to that one? :-)

Jan-05-10  Patriot: <sethoflagos> That looks like a classic bishop sac position as well. 1.Bxf7+ Kxf7?? 2.Nxe5+ dxe5 3.Qxg4, winning a pawn. BUT that's another one to fall for as black replies 1...Nxf7, and black wins a piece for a pawn.
Jan-05-10  benjinathan: <Heisman's column is really excellent.>

I agree. <sufferingbrain> should check it out.

Jan-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Nice to see Falkbeer in high spirits raising his mastery with a gambit. Not a stern test though as Ne5 lands conflict. The little horse is a shot in the dark, instead Qd7 should equal it a tot. Levelly untill er then NN goes backwards, the training wheels come off rearranging the knight. Sac the queen and mating the king I love ttrapping this way and if I were like lightning I wouldn't look twice.
Jan-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The Legal mate in yet another version.Here three pieces,the equal to a queen,surround and kill the enemy king.Black has ZERO active pieces,so white is the moral equivalent of being a queen AHEAD.
Jan-05-10  kingfu: I would like to see NNs overall record. Dismal , I fear. In the real world of Rybka and Magnus, I would play 5 h3 to prevent the pin. The black pawn at d4 is toast , anyway. Defense was unexplored territory in the 19th century. It made for interesting chess.
Jan-05-10  YouRang: A famous mate (Legal's).

I don't know if it's famous because it happens that often, or just because it's so shocking when it does happen. In just 2 moves, the loser descends from feeling a thrill to feeling ill.

To solve, you either recognize the pattern, or better yet, you consider the consequences of 8.Nxe5 even though it sacs your queen.

Jan-05-10  MaczynskiPratten: At first glance I thought this was almost a straight repeat of yesterday with Bxf7+. Fortunately I spotted Nxf7 and reversed the order.

I remember once in the last round of a junior tournament when I did a combination similar to these ones, only to find at the end that I'd sac'd two pieces and only got one back (plus a couple of pawns) - another form of wrong counting! Very galling, especially as my opponent was a friend and teammate who normally I beat 90% of the time ... I think it went something like 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bc4 Bg4 4 Bxf7+ Kxf7 5 Nxe5+ dxe5 6 Qxg4 oops... he won in about 30 moves. So beware of over-confidence and "nearly but not quite" combos - as adroitly pointed out by <sethoflagos> and <Patriot>.

Jan-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <MaxxLange: Heisman's column is really excellent.>

Seconded, thirded and quartered. Dan's chesscafe column is one of my favourites too, and well recommended.

I think we are all being a little harsh on NN today. Here is the position he faced after 7. 0-0:


click for larger view

7...Ne5 seems to make perfect sense. Sure, it breaks the rule about not moving a piece twice in the opening, but just look at what it achieves. It centralises the knight on an outpost square where it cannot quickly be evicted by a pawn. It threatens to capture on f3 and break up the pawns protecting the white king. It forks the Nf3 and the unprotected bishop on c4. Black is a pawn up, so swapping pieces is very much to his advantage. What is more, the knight protects the vulnerable f7 square AND it prevents white from playing e5 to open lines up against my king.

When you look at it that way, Ne5 is quite a sensible and natural-looking move. Indeed, Fritzie quite likes the sequence 7...Qd7 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 Ne5.

Unfortunately, when played at move 7, Ne5 is a lemon of gargantuan proportions ... a lemon that has mutated to a monstrous size and stomped out of the sea to terrorise Tokyo. Allowing your opponent a forced mate is rarely a sensible strategy, no matter how well intentioned your losing move was.

Odd how such a seemingly normal move can be so rubbish. A tricky game, chess.

Jan-05-10  SpoiltVictorianChild: Theme this week is... really well known traps in openings?
Jan-05-10  bengalcat47: Legal's mate is also known as the Blackburne Trap, since Blackburne caught many an unwary opponent with this same line during his simultaneous exhibitions against countless "NN's." Pillsbury also won an exhibition game this way against Fernandez.
Jan-05-10  cyclon: 8.Nxe5 (Bxf7+ Nxf7 Black hangs on provisionally) -dxe5 (-Bxd1 9.Bxf7+ Ke7 10.Nd5X) 9.Qxg4 wins a piece for a pawn plus development edge.
Jan-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: It's nice to think that of all the people who visit Chessgames today, a few of us will be shocked and surprised to see this combination. Of course most of us yawn and say "Oh, it's Legal's mate again", but remember: once you too saw it for the very first time. That's an exciting day in every chess player's education.

<kingfu: I would like to see NNs overall record. Dismal , I fear.> Dismal indeed, but perhaps not quite as bad as you imagined:

NN
<< Overall record: +26 -510 =19 (6.4%)* >>

Although 26 victories isn't very many, some of his wins are quite stunning. What's more, look at his opponents! They are nearly all top calibre players from their respective eras. You have to hand it to him for his perseverance. He's been losing games from 1497 to 2009 and still hasn't given up.

Jan-05-10  jsheedy: I already know this position, so I can't take credit for knowing 8. Nxe5!, winning a piece. If 8...Bxd1, 9. Bxf7+, Ke7, 10. Nd5#. Black's best shot is 8...Be6, or, better yet, 8...Resigns.
Jan-05-10  karnak64: <once you too saw it for the very first time>

And tonight, somewhere around the world, someone is seeing "La Boheme" for the very first time.

Beautiful thoughts both, yes?

Jan-05-10  md65000: I understand NN was actually Paul Morphy. This humiliating loss at the age of 10 was what inspired him to take up the game seriously...and the rest is history.
Jan-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Sure, I've seen Legal's Mate many times--but never on a chessboard, with me doing it to somebody.
Jan-05-10  randomsac: Classic.
Jan-05-10  estrick: @<sneaky, . . . remember: once you too saw it for the very first time. That's an exciting day in every chess player's education.>

I remember well the day I saw it for the first time! I was a freshman in HS with a playing strength of about 700-800. I was enthralled, and put all of my mental effort into memorizing it.

Three and-a-half years and several thousand games later, in what was one of the last scholastic team matches I would ever play, the opportunity finally came up in a King's Gambit Declined. Having my team mates present to share in the fun, I milked the moment for all it was worth. After feigning surprise, I sat back trying to look puzzled or distraught while team mates came over and laughed at the position. Naturally, my opponent thought they were laughing at me. Finally, before playing Nxf7, I dumb-founded him by asking if he'd like to resign. He must have thought I was crazy. (I've always wondered if I could have gotten away with offering him a draw instead, which he hopefully would have declined.)

Based on that incident, the other team's coach thought I was a master of traps, and warned his players to be on the look-out for them, as our teams were sitting down to face each other again at the State Team Tournament a few weeks later.

Jan-05-10  TheaN: Tuesday 5 January 2010

<8.?>

Target: 1:25;000
Taken: 0:13;447
I guess the puzzle is a making up gesture from CG :).

Material: Black up, ♙

Candidates: Bxf7, <[Nxe5]>

-ML-
In a flash I remembered yesterday's puzzle and played Bxf7, until the infamous pattern came around:

<8.Nxe5!> netting White AT LEAT a piece. However, I think Black is completely lost here. He might try 8....Be6 (or lose Bg4 also), but this fails due to the simple 9.Bxe6, with 9....fxe6 10.Qh5 g6 (10....Ke7 11.Qf7 1-0) 11.Nxg6 and Black is down and out. Obviously, the main variation should be known to anyone whom plays this game a bit seriously:

<8....Bxd1 9.Bxf7 Ke7 10.Nd5 1-0> and that says it all. Time to check the exact play in this Scotch gambit.

Jan-05-10  old coot: We can have lots of laughs at poor NN, but as Al Wazir pointed out, he got to play all the great players, and he also has had the chance to attend all of their funerals. How many of us will still be going strong four or five hundred years from now?
Jan-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <old coot> I reckon NN was one of those Highlander blokes - either a Belgian pretending to be Scottish or a scot pretending to be Italian...
Jan-05-10  WhiteRook48: NxN, BxQ, BxP+, Ke7, Nd5 you're dead
Jan-05-10  turbo231: This puzzle doesn't work on Rybka. It's rare that these puzzles work on Rybka.
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