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Kermur Sire De Legal vs Saint Brie
"18 & Legal" (game of the day Dec-10-2019)
Paris (1750) (unorthodox), Paris FRA
Philidor Defense: General (C41)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: I had a Legal's Mate situation in an online game:

NN-tpstar (FICS 2/7/17): 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 Nc6 4. b3 Bc5 5. d3 d5 6. Bg5 dxe4 7. Nxe4?! Nxe4!

click for larger view

The game continued 8. dxe4 Qxg5 and Black won quickly, but on 8. Bxd8 Bxf2+ 9. Ke2 Nd4# 0-1.

Juniors and students should look for this pattern when both Knights are out, your Bishop points to f7/f2, and your opponent is guilty of pokey opening play. :P

Oct-28-17  jlconn: Regarding the authenticity of this game, In the book Chess Sparks, J.H. Ellis, ed., 1895, the first game is M. de Kermur, Sire de Legal playing White at odds of a rook against an unnamed opponent: 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 d6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Nc3 Bg4 5.Nxe5 Bxd1 6.Bxf7+ Ke7 7.Nd5#. I believe that this also answers the question of how the supposed greatest player in the world before (and after) Philidor could play such a blunder.... 5.Nxe5 can hardly be considered a blunder when you consider that White was already down a whole rook; after all, risks must be taken to win at such odds.
Feb-26-18  dumbgai: I can’t believe how many times I’ve played this exact same game online. Sometimes the player with the black pieces (who is obviously unfamiliar with this trap) accuses me of cheating.
Feb-26-18  dumbgai: Although more often black will play ...Nc6 instead of ...g6, requiring h3 to be played before Nxe5.
Sep-19-18  offramp: <offramp: One of my puns got accepted!>

And it has been reused today! What an honour!

Sep-19-18  AdolfoAugusto: Do you know what is happening? Not many tournaments are being presented, not much movement... it seems like the site is working at half capacity... not the that it used to be.

Hopefully, this will be resolved soon with the Olympiad and all...

Sep-19-18  Jamboree: AdolfoAugusto: The site owner passed away a couple of months ago, and the site has been operating on autopilot ever since, with old problems and games being automatically recycled every day. I don't know the latest details, but apparently other users are in the process of trying to get permission (and learning the ropes) to get the site running the way it used to be. You might find the latest rumors at chessforum or Daniel Freeman
Sep-19-18  Castleinthesky: "Brie's Cheese Gets Cut"
Sep-19-18  Howard: To be fair, the recent passing of
Mr. Freeman has probably left the site somewhat short-handed. bUt, SURELY, they could come up with a better GOTD than this one !!!!
Sep-19-18  cormier: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bc4 Be7 4. O-O
Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: Black’s defense is soft and smells
Premium Chessgames Member
  HarryP: Wow, dumbgai, you've done this many times? I've done it once, but just that once.
Jul-30-19  Chesgambit: Legal mate
4. g6?
4.Nc6 best move
Dec-10-19  spingo: Today's pun for Game of the Day, <"18 & Legal">, has been kindly provided by our generous hosts,

And what a wonderfully funny and clever pun it is; full of joie-de-vivre and good humour, a ray of sunshine on a dreary winter's morn.

It shows such perception, astuteness, empathy and savoir-faire that it boggles the normal human's mind.

I am sure that everyone here will join me in wishing three cheers to our generous hosts,

Ready? HIP HIP...

Dec-10-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: One could also call this game Brie Cheesed.
Dec-10-19  thegoldenband: Workin' blue, are we,
Premium Chessgames Member
  Korora: "If he's thinking ahead, he'll see the trap I've set and leave my queen alone, but if he's not, I may just win this game in two moves." -- Atrus, Myst IV: Revelation, in a flashback to a correspondence game.

"What kind of a move is that!? You had me, Father, you totally had me! And now you're leaving your queen wide open? Getting the nara chess pieces out of you was more of a challenge than this." -- Sirrus, ibid.

One wonders if a trader from Santa Fe, El Paso, or Tadjinar had been big on chess and told Atrus about Sire de Légal's trap, or if Atrus came up with it on his own.

Possible score:
Correspondence chess (Mexico, some time between 1821 and 1824)
<White> Atrus son of Gehn, on the Tomahna homestead a few days out from Tadjinar
<Black> Sirrus son of Atrus, on the world of Spire.
1. e4 e5 2. ♘f3 d6. <Nowadays considered a tad passive.> 3. ♗c4 ♗g4. <Here, Atrus may have played 4. h3 with Sirrus replying 4... ♗h5, so that even if Sirrus didn't fall for the trap, Atrus would still have an advantage. If so, then add one to each subsequent move number.> 4. ♘c3 g6. <These may actually have been the fifth moves for each player, with the moves from the previous note played, because Sirrus was sure Atrus had an advantage here.> 5. ♘xe5. <Has Atrus blundered away his Queen?> 5. ... ♗xd1??. <Sirrus thinks so, but a surprise is in store.> 6. ♗xf7+ 1-0

Dec-10-19  spingo: HIP HIP !!
Jan-27-20  Nullifidian: I had an opponent in an online blitz game play the same set of moves with the exception that he or she played h6 on the third move. It's the 21st century and people still fall for this.

In another blitz game, I had a Legal-type position arise in the Ruy Lopez. That game went as follows:

1. e4 e5 2. ♘f3 ♘c6 3. ♗b5 ♘ge7 4. O-O h6 5. ♘c3 a6 6. ♗a4 b5 7. ♗b3 d6 8. a3 ♗g4 9. h3 ♗h5? 10. ♘xe5 ♗xd1?? 11. ♗xf7#

In this case, just the first two steps of the mate were needed because of the knight hemming in the king on e7.

May-08-20  Chessmusings: For an excellent video lesson on this game + De Legal’s life and times, please visit:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bishoprick: The problem with this little gem is that if Black doesn't accept the queen, White is completely busted.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: <Bishoprick> It looks like Stockfish disagrees with that assessment. What's the best line for Black after 5.Nxe5 ...?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: As pointed out above, Black really needs to develop better prior to move 5.

4.. c6 looks most solid.
Mar-27-21  Jean Defuse: ...

<David Levy & Kevin O'Connell 'Oxford Encyclopedia of Chess Games', p. 22> gives the move order:

(rook-odds a1, date 17??) 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 d6 3 Nf3 Bg4 4 Nc3 g6 5 Nxe5 Bxd1 6 Bxf7+ Ke7 7 Nd5 mate.

But the earliest known source is <George Walker's 'A Selection of Games at Chess' (1835), p. 91> which gives the following move order:

[Event "Odds Game (date?)"]
[Site "Paris"]
[Date "1735.??.??"]
[White "Francois Antoine Legall de Kermeur"]
[Black "Saint Brie"]
[Result "1-0"]
[EventDate "1735.??.??"]
[Source "A Selection of Games at Chess, p.91"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "

click for larger view


1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bc4 Nc6 4. Nc3 Bg4 5. Nxe5 Bxd1 6. Bxf7+ Ke7 7. Nd5# 1-0

Hooper & Whyld, the authors of the reference book 'The Oxford Companion to Chess', chose the name <Legall de Kermeur> after genealogical research at the municipal library in Rennes.

Sources: / C.N. 5720


Mar-27-21  Jean Defuse: ...

[Date "1735.??.??"] [EventDate "1735.??.??"] <1750> of course!!


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