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Andrew Smith vs Francois Philidor
London (1790), London ENG, rd 6
Bishop's Opening: Berlin Defense (C24)  ·  0-1



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Mar-28-05  Jaymthegenius: misguidedaggression: It's been said 1000 times allready, but I'll say it again: Below master level all openings are sound! Play what you feel comfortable with.

If an opening isnt sound at the master level (grob, Damiano,the unnamed h4,a4,f3,Latvian gambit,Englund gambit are all I can think of for now) The it isnt sound at all! My opinion, anyways, as h4 and a4 you cant kick back a bishop pinning a knight because of the wasted tempo is the problems of these moves, the grob you have to use another tempo to protect the g-pawn, when caputered the kingside is weakened, often leading to an isolated f-pawn. I say all people before studieng Giuco Piano and Reti should learn the lines of unorthodox opening (I.E 1.f3,e5 2.e3?.d5 3.Kf2??,d4 I have seen played and black wins)

Also: [misguidedaggression: It's been said 1000 times allready, but I'll say it again: Below master level all openings are sound! Play what you feel comfortable with.

Also: The kings gambit is very risky and should NOT be played unless you are above intermediate, as a begginer would very likely not have obtained the crucial artistic and calculative abilities requiered for the king gambit. My opinion, anyways, but blacks doubled f-pawns are to be worried about, but black gains space with g5.

Mar-28-05  colp99: I guess it's a good thing I'm above beginner. The King's Gambit is wild unlike most openings and that attracts me to it.
Mar-29-05  misguidedaggression: <If an opening isnt sound at the master level .... The it isnt sound at all!>

All I'm trying to say here is that a non- master isn't going to have enough book knowledge to completely refute an uncommon line. A lot of the time, these lines just give the other side a slight plus anyway. And there are a lot of tricky lines, and if you haven't bothered to memorize the entire ECO (or at least have a good feel for the opening) then you may slip up. I personally play the halloween attack on occasion: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5?! Is it sound? I hope not! Have I won with it? Absolutely!

Risky openings are probably better for the beginner, anyway. I mean, if you're a teacher and want to keep a kid interested in chess, are you going to show him games from Morphy and Tal or are you going to show him games from Petrosian and Nimsovitch? Why not let the beginners have fun too! Sure, he may get crushed a few times, but I have allways believed that a loss is more instructive than a win. So what's the difference if he loses quickly in a Kings gambit or slowly in a Colle system? I once checkmated a kid with only a knight and a bishop 8 moves into the game and on another occasion suckered him into a legal's mate! I hear he just won his local library tournament and is headed to regonals. (And he has beaten me on occasion.)

By the way, I have allways believed that the Colle system was specifically designed to help patzers lose slowly instead of losing quickly! How it annoys me having to face the same opening over and over and over in club! Colle...Semi-Slav...Colle...Caro-Kann! Over and over again! I beat you the last 6 times you tryed it! Play something different! I even try going into the Anti-Meran to liven things up, and noone ever tries to take the c pawn! The best I ever get is the Cambridge Springs defence! I swear I'm going to find the guy who keeps teaching these kids the Colle system, beat him down and give him a copy of MCO to read in the hospital while he's recovering! Teach the kids the 2 knights defence! Teach them the Sveshnikov! Teach them the kings gambit! How about the Marshall Gambit? They don't even know the Ruy Lopez! I swear There is only 1 guy in my club who will play a Lopez against me. (I didn't learn the Latvian to avoid normal openings like the Lopez, I learned it to avoid the Ponzianni!) Sorry, I guess I went off on a little tangent there. The point is that I don't like boring openings. Chess is no fun if you don't have losing chances and wild mating attacks.

And just about any opening is sound at the master level, they just don't all give a chance at an advantage. Even the Domiano Defence is playable if you don't play 3...fxe5? (Well, at least it doesn't lose immediately.) Some day maybe we'll see the Grob attack occuring regularly in grandmaster level play. It seems unlikely now, but if you went back 150 years and played a king's indian defence, you'd be laughed at. Even if you won they'd probably just ridicule the loser for getting beaten by someone who obviously knows nothing about chess! I mean, back in those days 1.e4 Nf6 was probably considered an automatic win for white.

And as a final thought, in the king's gambit, it's usually <white> who has to worry about black's doubled f-pawns! That 4-2 kingside majority can be a real monster if you get it moving.

Mar-29-05  Jaymthegenius: <Misguidedaggression>

you going to show him games from Petrosian and Nimsovitch?

Absolutly! Nimzovitch and Petrosian have some great games on record. And are quite creative, and I find there games to be quite exiting!

I swear I'm going to find the guy who keeps teaching these kids the Colle system, beat him down and give him a copy of MCO to read in the hospital while he's recovering! Teach the kids the 2 knights defence! Teach them the Sveshnikov! Teach them the kings gambit! How about the Marshall Gambit? They don't even know the Ruy Lopez!

I personally think the two knights is boring, but like the Sveshnikov, but I wouldnt teach them the king gambit until they aquired the chess knowledge to successfully use it, and fight the falkbeer lines with success, and the Ruy Lopez isnt as sound in my opinion as the giuco piano, as black gains queenside space + developing tempo by chasing the bishop

Chess is no fun if you don't have losing chances and wild mating attacks.


Wild mating attacks are pure garbage unless you can actually force the win.(I.E: mate cannot be stoped no matter what) One should focus on development, pawn structure, and exchanges based off the pawn structure (exchange bishop for knight in closed positions), putting pieces on there strongest squares (hence the double fianchetto) and try to ruin the opponents pawn structure. for endgame preparation.

Mar-29-05  RisingChamp: <misguided agression>Your aggression does seem misguided-I take issue with your railing against the Colle.The Colle was invented and developed by a very creative attacking player for the purpose of avoiding known theory lines and had produced some breathtaking brilliancies.Try Colle-Grunfeld or Hoi-Gulko (best game of Thessaloniki Olympiad)for example.Sure I know there are some kids who play it just to avoid a quick loss and because it is a "repertoire"opening,but that isnt the fault of the opening.I like attacking openings and attacking play just as much as you and I never play a Lopez because I prefer Vienna or Kings gambit.I play the Colle too and if you really think so lowly of it you know what I advise you to do-go to,order the Colle system CD by Dmitry Olienikov and learn it,its really a cool opening,I used to think it was damn boring too,but it isnt.One of the best ways to improve at chess is to do something you previously thought boring-like maybe spend a load of time on endgames.
Mar-29-05  RisingChamp: The defining feature of the Colle for those who dont know is a developement d4 Nf3 e3 bd3 Nbd2 0-0 etc nearly regardless of blacks setup and it is well known for a thematic kingside attack which its inventor Edgar Colle used to great attack winning several brilliant games with a 20-30 move demolition of Blacks castled position
Mar-29-05  Jaymthegenius: I too spend a load of time on endgames (rook and pawn in particular, as are the most common)! But I also spend alot of time studying tactics and specific openings (half of which is devoted to various sicilian lines as black, like the alapin, closed, and Paulsen lines) and the other half with the gruenfeld and Reti, but I think I like this Colle System, doesnt sound boring at all? Perhaps we should take conversation to the colle home page.
Apr-04-05  misguidedaggression: The Grob attack is known for a thematic kingside attack, too! Seriously though, it's not that I don't like the Colle, it's just that I've never seen what it can do that can't be done from a Queens Gambit. Being a mostly classical player, I prefer to have the extra central presence of a pawn on c4. And I absolutly can't stand playing against the same opening over and over, especially when that opening isn't played properly. It annoys me because I spend so much time beating up on Colle's in club, and then I'll play a rated game against someone who knows how to use it and get beaten down! I believe that most people who rail against certain openings do it because of loses to that opening anyway, so that makes me perfectly justified! :) But I feel that if you only use one opening and can't use it correctly, something is obviously wrong!

As for Petrosian and Nimzo, I cannot argue that they have played many brilliant and instructive games, but I worry that their games are too complex for most beginners to truly appreciate. Even someone who just learned the moves can enjoy Morphy's opera game. Learn to crawl before you learn to walk, right? It takes lots of experience to appreciate subtle prophylactic moves, but seeing Frank Marshall put his Queen en prize three ways on g3 has the power to drop jaws, even though the sacrifice is only a few moves deep!

Apr-04-05  crucify: Jay i have been waiting for your big mouth and all your chess knowledge on ICC.. have yet to hear from you.. you are just a poser, nothing else to it.
Apr-04-05  Jaymthegenius: I dont play on ICC, too expensive, I practice on Yahoo! And play for real at, with quite a nice rating might I add.
Apr-04-05  Abaduba: When I teach kids, I start them off playing simple e4 e5 openings. The point is to get them acquainted with basic tactics and classical principles of development, central control, pawn structure, etc. Once they've gotten a decent understanding, they can switch to something more interesting. But I think it's a mistake to start kids off playing sharp lines where they lose too quickly to learn anything, or playing hypermodern games where they have no idea what's going on. I wouldn't expect any club players to play Rui against misguided aggression since it's so incredibly hard to learn to play; why not learn less complicated stuff like the Giocco or Four Knights- or the Colle? I completely agree that you should start kids off on Morphy and Marshall, not because Nimzo is boring (heavens no!), but because the tactical crushes have ideas that beginners can learn from immediately, and contain themes that they can apply in their own games. Hypermodern principles and theoretical advantages are worthless to a beginner because having a positionally won game means zero if you drop a piece or walk into a mating attack. Learning to do a classic bishop sacrifice or execute Morphy's mate, on the other hand, will produce immediate improvement. Positional play should only be taught to students who know enough tactics to implement it!
Apr-05-05  Jaymthegenius: Learning to do a classic bishop sacrifice or execute Morphy's mate, on the other hand,

I disagree with teaching begginers Morphy! For heavens sake a begginer would just lose exchanges because "Well, Morphy sacrificed his queen and won, so I thought by doing the same I would too!" So they play many, many unsound combonations. No matter how much a kid studies Morphy games, he just will not become as good as Morphy solely by studieng his games. It would take an average person years to achieve this level. If you told, for example a beggining guitarist to play like Justin Sane, then he would be totally lost, but teach him lines that a local garage guitarist plays, he will slowly but surely improve, and then teach him Justin Sane, Johnny Rotten, etc.

There is a saying: If you play a GM, how are you going to describe to an average person what he's done to you :Well, he took the knight with the rook, and..." Chances are you dont know what hit you! How the hell could you expect to, the guy is a GM for heavens sake! You were completely oblivious to the combonation and couldnt avoid it. The nerve of you trying to describe what he did!

The only thing you can speak of are the RESULTS of what he did! Thats the ONLY thing you can evaluate!

But I think it's a mistake to start kids off playing sharp lines where they lose too quickly to learn anything

I agree, that is why I say "no gambit's for begginners". Exept of course the Queens gambit, in which it is a mistake for black to accept the pawn (begginers play as black 1...Nf6, but 1...d5 2.c4,e6 should also work well, but a begginner playing the budapest or englund will teach a begginer a quick, painful lesson, as white has easy advantage.) As he loses a central pawn, and trying to hold on to it white gets overwhelming advantages, and black not trying to hold on to it he doesnt have a d pawn to lean back on. So teach them Queen gambit, not king, evans, or Englunds.

Apr-11-05  Abaduba: Queen's gambit is ok for beginners, but the problem is that d4 in general makes it very easy for either player to avoid tactical lines. Now, I personally prefer d4 and like positional games, but beginners should be forced to get into tactical situations and practice. (I know that in my past I spent way too much time avoiding tactics in the QGD) It is much easier to learn to get a development advantage and pummel your opponent's mistakes in a 17-move miniature than it is to learn to take a space advantage and slowly s-q-u-e-e-z-e. Both are important, but without those tactics, the beginner with a space advantage may well blow 30 good moves and a winning position on one blunder. As for unsound sacrifices, I love it when my kids make (reasonable) sacrifices, even when they turn out badly or aren't followed up correctly. At least then they are thinking creatively and working hard to find good moves, instead of playing like an automaton. To sum up, I see the opening progression as: basic development + prinicples (ie King's Pawn Games), tactical, tactical, tactical, and finally, when they're trying to win tournaments, an individualized repetoire of positions that fit their newly developing style. )Of course, this is an idealized progression, not a set formula that I follow, and mahy kids never get to the stage where they're trying to win tourneys) Regardless, I think the absolute worst thing you can do with beginners and openings is to teach them so much memorized theory that they don't have to think for themselves- my sense is that the other kibitzers here all share that feeling.
Apr-12-05  RisingChamp: <Except of course the Queens Gambit in which it is a mistake to take the pawn>Thats the first time I heard anyone claim that playing the Queens Gambit accepted is a mistake,of course it isnt-in case you are unaware Anand has played it 68 times on this database.Besides it is almost impossible for black to win in a QGD against strong opposition who wants a draw.
Apr-12-05  Milo: He means to try to keep the pawn, I imagine, which can be a big mistake indeed.
Aug-28-05  Chessman1: Didin't Philidor b4, which chases away the Knight to a weak sqaure.
Jul-02-07  sanyas: This game is terrible. 4.♗g5 is a patzer's move. 8.a4 is a worse move: 8...b4 9.♘ce2 ♗c5 (9...c5 10.♘f3 looks equal) leads to similar positions with a more advanced, stronger pawn structure for White which can't be broken up without weakening White's game further. 10...♗e6 throws away much of the advantage when 10...♗g4 would have kept it. 14.♘e2 was much better, as it actually attempts to do something. 15.♕e2 or ♕d1 would have been better than the weakening 15.g3. 15...g4 was a far more vigorous reply. 16...g4 17.hxg4 h4 is probably te correct way to continue. 21.a4 was very good. After the foolish 21.dxe5, 21...♘xe5 22.♘d4 ♘c4 23.♕f2 e5 24.b3 exd4 25.bxc4 dxe4 26.cxb5 e3 wins immediately. 24.f4 seems to be better for White. After the blunder 24.♕f2, 24...hxg3 wins, eg. 25.♕xg3 ♘h4+ 26.♔f2 ♗xd4+ 27.cxd4 ♕xd4+ 28.♖e3 (28.♔e2 ♘g2) 28...♘g6 29.exd5 ♘f4 30.dxc6+ ♔e7 31.♖e1 ♖xh3 32.♕g1 ♕h8 33.♖xe6+ ♘xe6 34.♔g2 ♔d6. 25.exd5 would have put up a fight, at least. Philidor doesn't miss the winning move second time round though, so he wasn't completely oblivious.
Sep-18-07  nimh: Rybka 2.4 mp, AMD X2 2.01GHz, 10 min per move, threshold 0.25:

Smith 8 mistakes:
9. Nf3 -0.53 (9. Qf3 -0.24)
14. Nh2 -0.75 (14. Ne2 0.14)
20. d4 -0.20 (20. exd5 0.07)
21. dxe5 -0.88 (21. a4 0.00)
23. Rae1 -0.75 (23. exd5 -0.09)
24. Qf2 -7.24 (24. f4 0.14)
25. Ne2 -6.32 (25. Ng4 -0.84)
33. Kg4 #1 (33. Kg2 -7.60)

Philidor 8 mistakes:
10... Be6 -0.04 (10... a4 -0.66)
15... Ke7 -0.47 (15... 0-0-0 -0.73)
16... d5 -0.14 (16... Raf8 -0.48)
17... Nf8 -0.05 (17... Kd6 -0.38)
19... Rag8 0.07 (19... a4 -0.30)
21... Qxe5 -0.16 (21... Nxe5 -0.88)
23... h4 0.14 (23... Bc7 -0.75)
24... Bc7 -0.84 (24... hxg3 -7.24)

Oct-11-07  nimh: Correction, new threshold 0.33.

Smith 6 mistakes:
14. Nh2 -0.75 (14. Ne2 0.14)
21. dxe5 -0.88 (21. a4 0.00)
23. Rae1 -0.75 (23. exd5 -0.09)
24. Qf2 -7.24 (24. f4 0.14)
25. Ne2 -6.32 (25. Ng4 -0.84)
33. Kg4 #1 (33. Kg2 -7.60)

Philidor 6 mistakes:
10... Be6 -0.04 (10... a4 -0.66)
16... d5 -0.14 (16... Raf8 -0.48)
19... Rag8 0.07 (19... a4 -0.30)
21... Qxe5 -0.16 (21... Nxe5 -0.88)
23... h4 0.14 (23... Bc7 -0.75)
24... Bc7 -0.84 (24... hxg3 -7.24)

Mar-09-08  xombie: What about endgames? These are probably more important than learning openings. After all, Chess is a lot about simple ideas. Fortunately for us, it is not a completely ad hoc game of calculation, which is also why it is so beautiful. And it also makes it fun to learn.

By learning to play endings, not only will the beginner be able to checkmate with only a Rook or Queen, it will also bring out several ideas that are hard to understand with openings.

For example, Pawn play. Where else can the importance of it be clearer? And there are tactical motifs everywhere. One will immediately realize that endings require calculation, and it is concrete and may be broken down into its elements.

As far as openings are concerned, if the ending themes are apparent, they will play themselves. But I agree with the 'keep it simple' school of thought. If a person can play an ending properly, he becomes adept at all other forms of the game also.

Apr-21-08  stupidiot21: wow nice endgame
Premium Chessgames Member
  MichaelJHuman: I was trying to understand where white started going wrong.

I don't know if it's good or bad, but 14. Nh2 did not seem to solve the issue of the attack?

Would 14. Ne2 be a more aggressive move to meet blacks attack?

Or did white start advancing pawns and such before having a solid defense against black's attack?

I don't see ahead well, but I see black moving it's knight into the attack, so it seems like white needs more pieces. There seems to be no immediate way to strenghthen white's Q position.

Sep-25-12  Conrad93: Maybe Philidor discovered a time machine.
Oct-04-15  The Kings Domain: Nice kingside buildup and assault by Philidor. Nothing more satisfying than a well executed and successful mating finish.
Jul-09-16  juanhernandez: excellent attack !!!
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