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London Chess Club vs Edinburgh Chess Club
"Fight Club" (game of the day Nov-10-2006)
Correspondence Match (1824) (correspondence), London ENG / Edinburgh SCO, rd 2, Apr-28
Scotch Game: Haxo Gambit (C45)  ·  0-1



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find similar games 4 more London/Edinburgh CC games
sac: 40...Ra8 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-10-06  WarmasterKron: Surely we should not talk about Fight Club?
Nov-10-06  sfm: I remember reading about this game that London, after sending move 27.Rxg5? (all moves by telegraph), immediately sent a cancellation of the move. Edinburgh refused to acknowledge the cancellation, and the game went on under protest, an affair that according to the book "made waves for years to come".
Nov-10-06  sfm: This doc gives the whole story and analysis. I find it very interesting!
Nov-10-06  kevin86: The first rule of FIGHT CLUB is:We do not talk about Fight Club.

The second rule of FIGHT CLUB is:We do NOT talk about Fight Club!

A great movie-if you own it Watch it! If you don't,Buy or Rent it!!

It looks like at various segments of this game,that neither team can save it. Black diverts the white queen with the rook sac-to gain the winning attack. The ending ♖+♙+♙ vs ♗+♙+♙ is an elementary win in this case.

Nov-10-06  sfm: <FSR: Wow. White must have had a win somewhere.> Right. According to below mentioned paper there are several winning moves, e.g. 13.Qd4! and also 25.Rd4 (preventing Black from covering the lucrative square f5 with 25.-,Qd5 or -,Bd3), with the simple idea 26.Qf5 after which Black rapidly dies. Re7 is a crushing threat and there's no good way to prevent it as all lines with -,Ra8-e8 loses instantly.
Nov-10-06  The17thPawn: <sfm> - Where's the win after 25.Rd4, Re8? Seems to force simplification with black a pawn up. Any feedback is welcome.
Nov-10-06  mang00neg: Ba3+ 1-0
Nov-10-06  The17thPawn: <mang00neg> - Thanks for the help missed that entirely.
Nov-10-06  Maatalkko: Speaking of "Fight Club", check this out: It's kind of like Futurama or American Dad; you're never quite sure if it's actually funny or if you just expect it to be funny so you pretend it is.
Nov-10-06  babakova: It is actually not very funny at all.
Nov-11-06  Rocafella: 41.Bd4+ how come that wasn't played?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: " after sending move 27.Rxg5? (all moves by telegraph)"

Telegraph in the 1820's?

The moves were sent by stagecoach took 3-4 days.


click for larger view

London played 27.Rxg5+ then upon further investigation realised it was no good so they went to the Post Office and asked for their letter back.

The company refused so London sent a following letter asking for the move back. (the club still has the letter.)

Edinburgh claimed touch moved!

And Here:

click for larger view

London has a clear perpetual with Qc5+ and Qg5+. Perhaps miffed at the Edinburgh response they never took it and went onto to lose the match...

...What is not well known is that Edinburgh too sent a duff move. (nobody is sure where but the incident is record in the club minutes.)

They too went their Scottish Post Office and asked for the letter back. By then the game match was big news being billed as Scotland v England.

The Scottish clerk promptly handed back the letter the Edinburgh Club.

This match gave us the Scotch Game (Played by the Scottish player John Cochrane who played for London. London played it first v Edinburgh, Edinburgh liked the move so played it back v London, shortly after the match started Cochrane left for India.)

This match was also kicked off the myth of the 'Lewis Chess Pieces.'

The pieces are now displayed in the Edinburgh with a Viking board and are called the 'Lewis Gaming Pieces.' (though still no evidence at all they came from the Isle of Lewis.)

The museum have since got rid of the 'new' Rook and gone back to the original piece.

Feb-28-17  zanzibar: There is a lot of instructive improvements for White in this game. Let me show one, at White's 25th move

(White to move after 24...g5)

click for larger view

r4k2 /p1p2q1r/5P1p/1p2Q1p1/2b2R2/8/PB4PP/4R1K1 w - - 0 25

It looks like Black's strongest defensive asset is the c5-f7 diagonal.

But White can demolish the Q+B battery and exploit this same diagonal with an essentially forced line involving an xchg sac:

25.Qc5! Kg8 26.Rxc4! bxc4 (if ...Qxc4 26.Qf6 Qf7 is similar) 27.Re7!

(Black to move)

click for larger view

And White claims the diagonal

27...Qf8 28.Qd5+ Rf7 (...Kh8 is x-rayed) 29.Rxf7 Qxf7 30.Qxa8+

So yes, White had a forced win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Zanzibar,

Yes London were winning this game.

The Scot John Cochrane who played for London and introduced the Scotch Game (named after him, not the club.) left shortly after the match began for India.

London thought they had a killer move with 27.Rxg5+. When they found out a an hour or so later it was not the best move they tried to retrieve the letter but this was refused by the then Post Office. (stage coach company).

What I cannot understand is why where here:

click for larger view

After London had been forced to play 'touch move' they did not take the perpetual.

32.Qc5+ and Qg5+ the Black King has to go to g8 and back to f8

32.Qc5+ if 32...Ke8 33.Qc6+

So 32...Kg8 has to be played then.

33.Qg5+ and if 33...Kh8 34.Rxe6

Did they play on thinking to teach Edinburgh a lesson.

Dec-27-18  HarryP: Uninteresting.
Sep-09-19  RandomVisitor: Stockfish cannot find a way for black to win after 40.Rf3. It creates a bishops of opposite color ending where black gets stuck...

click for larger view

Stockfish_19082608_x64_modern: <TB6>

74/165 13:54:13 -1.13 40.Rf3 Ke5 41.Qe8+ Re6 42.Qd8 Rd7 43.Qxd7 Qxh2+ 44.Kf2 Qxg2+ 45.Kxg2 Rg6+ 46.Rg3 Rxg3+ 47.Kxg3 Bxd7 48.Kf2 Kd5 49.Be7 b4 50.a3 Ke6 51.Bc5 b3 52.Bd4 Kd5 53.Ke3 Bf5 54.Bc3 <Kc4 diagram> 55.Bb2 a4 56.Kd2 c5 57.Be5 Kd5 58.Bf6 Bh7 59.Kc3 Be4 60.Bg7 Ke6 61.Kc4 Kd6 62.Kc3 Bg6 63.Kd2 Kd5 64.Bb2 Kc4 65.Bf6 Kb5 66.Kc1 Bf7 67.Kd2 Bd5 68.Kc3 Kc6 69.Bg7 Be6 70.Bf6 Bf5 71.Bg7 Bg6 72.Bf6 Kb5 73.Be5 Bf5 74.Bf6 Bd7 75.Be5 Be6 76.Bf6 Kc6 77.Be5 Bf7 78.Bf6 Kd5 79.Bd8 Ke4 80.Bf6 Ke3 81.Be7 c4 82.Bf8 Bd5 83.Bh6+ Kf3

click for larger view

Sep-09-19  RandomVisitor: Likewise after 40.Rf3 <Re6> white can again force the bishops of opposite color ending where black cannot make any progress.

click for larger view


<63/133 57:31 -0.54 41.g4 Re1+> 42.Kg2 Re8 43.Bd4+ Ke7 44.Qxe8+ Kxe8 45.Re3+ Kd7 46.gxh5 Rh7 47.Re5 Rxh5 48.Kg3 Bg6 49.Rxh5 Bxh5 50.Kf2 Kd6 51.Ke3 Kd5 52.Bf6 b4 53.Bd8 Kc6 54.Kd2 a4 55.Be7 <Kb5 diagram> 56.a3 b3 57.Kc3 Bg6 58.Bg5 Bc2 59.h4 Bg6 60.Bf4 c5 61.Bg5 Bf7 62.Be3 Kc6 63.Bf4 Bg6 64.Be5 Bh5 65.Bf4 Kd5 66.Bg5 Bf7 67.Be7 Bg6 68.Bg5 Kd6 69.Bf4+ Ke6 70.Bg5 Bf7 71.Bf4 Be8 72.Be3 Kd6 73.Bg5 Kc6 74.Be3 Bg6 75.Bf4 Bf5 76.Be3 Bg4 77.Bf4 Kb5 78.Bg5 Be2 79.Be3 Bf3 80.Bg5 Bg4 81.Be3 Be2 82.Bh6 Kc6 83.Kb2 Bg4 84.Kc3 Kd5 85.Bg5 Ke4 86.Be7 c4 87.Bd8 Be2

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: Wow! Great fighting game! A classic swashbuckling game from the 1800s, as was the preferred style then.

Even though they made mistakes you can learn a lot by analyzing such games.

Sep-09-19  Parachessus: <gezafan> I wish some GM would write a book on all these ancient correspondence games played between major cities. It was just such a delightfully romantic era unlike the staid chess of today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

The first case of patching up opening prep in a match can about from this game.

John Cochrane, then living in London suggested London play 3.d4.

After seeing the trouble they got in the Edinburgh Club bought a copy of John Cochrane's: ' A Treatise on the Game of Chess.'

They bought it to look at Cochranes analysis on what he called the 3. Queen Pawn Two variation (now known as the Scotch).

They liked what they saw and used 3.d4 back v the London boys.

The Scotch Game name was to this move because Cochrane was a Scot. However I was recently reading an 1840's book when naming openings was in it's infancy and they said it was because Edinburgh played it.

(Though London played it first, it could have/should have been the London Opening...)


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: This game started on the 28th April 1824 and finished on the 23rd Feb 1825
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: April 23, you mean. That, of course, is St. George's Day in England, except...<Church of England rules denote that no saints' day should be celebrated between Palm Sunday and the Sunday after Easter Day so if 23 April falls in that period the celebrations are transferred to after it.>

Easter Sunday in 1824 was on April 18th.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I see you don't mean, in which case, <Calli> has it wrong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Edinburgh started the match on the 23rd April, London sent their first move on the 28th April.

A wee bit confusing with all the matches of the same name suddenly appearing together but I think all are correct now.

Pretty sure Cochrane was India bound by the time London played 27.Rxg5. as a conditional move. (and tried to take it back).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I finally got around to doing something with all the information we have gathered on this match, in particular this game and making a reasonable article out of it with pictures, cartoons and photocpoies.

The research also uncovered an incredible ploy in game 5 (which will appear at a later date.) forget yoghurt, electronic chairs, trips to the toilet and other nonsense. This was a genuine piece of legal craftiness.

Which, as Blackadder would say; 'As cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.'

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