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Samuel Rosenthal vs Allies
"Ally Oop" (game of the day May-10-2011)
Blindfold (1887) (blindfold), Paris, France, Mar-10
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Mieses Defense (C52)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-10-11  ROO.BOOKAROO: This "Italian" opening, Giuoco Piano, was first analyzed by Pedro Damiano in his book "How to Improve Your Game of Chess" published in Rome in 1512. It is part of chess history, and still taught to rank beginners, but it usually elicits a huge yawn from more advanced players, who try to avoid it. Graham Burgess, in his famous book "Chess, Tactics & Strategy," comments that Giuoco Piano is the most boring opening of chess, and a major reason why teenagers quickly lose interest in the game. He recommends using different openings introducing dynamism and imbalance, with more challenge and excitement. The Ruy Lopez (Spanish) opening, with 3. Bb5, was analyzed in a book published in 1561 in Spain, but didn't become popular until promoted by the great Russian player Carl Jaenisch in his 1842 book on Openings. It makes for a much more interesting game than the Giuoco Piano, and is much more often played.
May-10-11  sofouuk: <Phony Benoni> <I still have the feeling Black has a defense in there> they didn't - after 9 ... dxc3? (rybka 9 ... h6 10 Nxf7 Nxf7 11 Bxf7+ Kxf7 12 Qh5+ and 13 Qxa5 approx equal) white is simply winning. if 12 ... cxb1=Q white should ignore it: 13 Bxf7+ Kf8 14 fxe5! and black is grovelling helplessly
May-10-11  Abdooss: <ROO.BOOKAROO: This "Italian" opening, Giuoco Piano, .. and still taught to rank beginners, but it usually elicits a huge yawn from more advanced players, who try to avoid it.>

Beginners? Yawns? Kasparov vs Anand, 1995 , Riga in 25 moves 1-0 !

May-10-11  ROO.BOOKAROO: Sure, you'll find a few cases here and there. You can also mention Karpov using the Giuoco Piano twice against Korchnoi in their WCh rematch in 1981, resulting in two draws. But Karpov used the Ruy Lopez five times (scoring 3 wins and only one draw). Korchnoi used neither. In his book of "The World's (112) Greatest Chess Games", Burgess found only one Giuoco Piano worth mentioning, dating from 1895 (Steinitz-Von Bardeleben), while he included 7 English, 10 Ruy Lopez, 11 King's Indian Defense, 20 Queen's Gambit Declined, and 22 Sicilian Defense.-
May-10-11  YoungEd: Maybe Black's troubles started as early as 7...♘e7. Wouldn't 7...♘f6 be better, even though White can pin the ♘?
May-10-11  kevin86: Too many cooks in this one-an easy win for white.
May-10-11  meppi: comment #2: an alley oop is where one human throws a basketball high up into the air and a different human jumps up really high catches the ball and slam dunks it into a basket on a high pole.

The gucio piano often called the quiet game can become boring if both players let it to be, as any position can become stale, for example in the beloved Ruy Lopez isnt there are 3 fold repetition opportunity in the Zastiev variation as early as like move 12?

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Abdooss> Beginners? Yawns? Kasparov vs Anand, 1995 , Riga in 25 moves 1-0 !>

You're technically correct. It started out as a Giuoco Piano but 4.b4 made it into an Evans Gambit and I don't think that anybody ever said that the Evans Gambit elicited any yawns. When it was first played it was described as "a gift of the gods to a languishing chess world". Black must play carefully or he will be smashed, and at the top level these days the gambit is often declined by 4...Bb6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: A gift of the gods? Yes, for the Evans enthusiast a game made in heaven. I love it!
May-10-11  Oceanlake: The Alley Oop is used in football, starting with Tittle to Owens.
May-10-11  Jim Bartle: The "Alley Oop" did get the name from Tittle's passes to RC Owens in the 1950s, taking advantage of Owens' ability to jump higher than defenders. I guess it's been used in recent years with Randy Moss and maybe Terrell Owens.

Now it's become identified with passes to a player cutting to the basket, who catches it in the air and scores before touching the ground again.

May-10-11  ROO.BOOKAROO: It's a bit unfair to blame the players for the intrinsically dull opening of the Giuoco Piano. The Evans Gambit variation, 4. b4, as played in this game, does add some "swashbuckling" animation to the boring Giuoco Piano. Which made this gambit extremely popular in the 19th century. This was the opening in the famous "Evergreen Game," (Anderssen-Dufresne, Berlin 1852), with a Q sacrifice to open two adjacent squares on the 7th rank, allowing mate to be given by the two Bs, as in the present game as well. But Steinitz, the first "scientific" player, hated flashy irrational moves, and never liked this Gambit. In his two WCh matches against Chigorin (1889, Havana, 17 games, and rematch 1892, Havana, 23 games) Chigorin played the Evans gambit a total of 16 times, that is in all of his games as White except five, while Lasker never used it once in his total of 19 games as White. Steinitz won both matches, 10.5 to 6.5, and 10 to 8. Even when Steinitz played the Giuoco Piano in his famous game against von Bardeleben (Hastings 1895) he moved 4. c3 and avoided the Evans Gambit. Steinitz died five years later, in 1900, age 64. Later Lasker introduced the idea of Black giving the pawn back to White a few moves after acceptance of the Gambit, and after that the Evans Gambit went into a decline and became abandoned in the 20th century. People like mentioning that Kasparov gave it a feeble semblance of revival by playing it a few times. The 1995 Kasparov-Anand game in Riga is the best known example. But that was all there was to it. No new surge of popularity. The Evans Gambit, now a historical curiosity, can be used as an occasional surprise weapon if White has done his homework. But it's no longer part of the panoply of any modern player.
May-10-11  WhiteRook48: how could black have prevented the checkmate?
May-10-11  ROO.BOOKAROO: Very easy. Rosenthal made mincepie of Allies, blindfolded and in a short 16 moves. He could beat Steinitz and Chigorin. The best way for Allies to prevent being mated was by refusing to play against him.
May-10-11  psmith: <PhonyBenoni>

How about this: 12...cxb1/Q 13. Bxf7+! Kf8 14. fxe5!! -- I found this myself and have now verified with Fritz 5.32 that it is completely winning.

May-10-11  KingV93: Great looking game. I don't understand the Evans Gambit, why doesn't Black simply take the pawn and move his DS♗ back to c5 after c3? I've looked a bit but can't see deep enough and don't have a book. Can an Evans enthusiast elocute the strategic nuances here? Or better yet the tactical blitzkrieg... Thx in advance.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <KV93>

5....Bc5 isn't a bad move, but it reduces Black's options. Often the game will continue 6.d4 exd4 7.0-0 where ...dxc3 wil allow Bxf7+ and Qd5+. Usually Black plays 7....d6 after which 8.cxd4 Bb6 is the so-called Normal Variation common in the 19th century. I don't think it's terrible for Black -- he has an extra pawn, after all -- but White certainly has a nice gambit position. 5....Ba5 allows Black to play Lasker's Defense, 6.d4 d6 7.0-0 Bb6, offering White the chance to get the pawn back at the cost of a not very fun ending. And Black can still reach the Normal Variation if he wants after 5....Ba5.

May-11-11  psmith: <keypusher> <KV93> 5...Ba5 also allows the famous Compromised Defense with 6. d4 exd4 7. O-O dxc3 8. Qb3. This gives White very good chances in spite of being two pawns down after something like 8...Qf6 9. e5 Qg6 10. Nxc3
May-11-11  psmith: In the game, Black appears to be virtually lost by move 11 or maybe even move 10.
May-13-11  KingV93: <keypusher> <psmith> Thanks! Intuitively one can see the move is intended to gain time...the analysis illustrates how that time is used to play d4! and White ends up with the center, development and a well placed LS♗, with the ♔ in his castle to boot!, some sacrificial possibilities and the initiative. Well worth a pawn...maybe I'll give this a try...Thanks very much, you've sparked some interest!
May-19-11  JoergWalter: <ROO.BOOKAROO: But Steinitz, the first "scientific" player, hated flashy irrational moves, and never liked this Gambit.> He may not have liked it but he considered it in his "Modern Chess Instructor" as follows: "It may be said of the Evans Gambit that it puts the modern theories to a crucial test, for a pawn is given up on the extreme Queen’s wing for a remote attack in the centre and against the adverse king." And he lost the "Evans dispute" with Chigorin convincingly.
May-19-11  psmith: <JoergWalter>

Chigorin 13
Steinitz 6
5 draws

May-19-11  psmith: But Steinitz played the Evans himself 19 times in the database and won 17, lost one and drew one.
May-20-11  JoergWalter: <psmith> thanks for the data. If someone doesn't like the Evans - there are millions of ways to avoid it. And when somebody declares the giuco piano as dull and the ruy lopez as interesting - he should read Steinitz views in the "modern chess instructor". They are quite opposite.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: No way. Allies losing a blindfold game? Shouldn't 2 against 1 be an advantage?
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