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Jack Finnegan vs Richard P Allen
"Finnegan's Break" (game of the day Aug-14-2012)
Seattle (1948), Seattle, WA USA
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: It's a simple piece of chessboard arithmetic. 3-1 = 2 = checkmate.

White has three pieces in the attack - a queen, bishop and rook. He sacrifices one piece to leave two with which to mate.

Sparkling game to play through as well. Black never seemed to be in it. A case of RIP Allen, perhaps?

Dec-17-12  nottogoodabeginner: This was too easy, even for a beginner like me
Dec-17-12  morfishine: <23.Qxf8+ Nxf8 24.Re8 mate>

Finale is mirror of this famous game: Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858

Dec-17-12  Abdel Irada: <<•>The Two-And-A-Quarter-Rank Solution<•>>

Even as the <> main page loaded, I thought I could "see" how today's puzzle would be solved. The top two ranks visible, I thought: /Now if, when that next rank loads, there seems to be a bishop on the a4-e8 diagonal, I will know this is a Morphy mate./

Sure enough, the third rank down appeared, and with it, a telltale mitre on c6. From this I inferred the presence of an unseen rook on e1 and the mating pattern:

<<•>23. Qxf8†!, Nxf8

24. Re8#>.

<> had better be careful not to post too *many* such puzzles, or some members will soon become convinced that they can solve them by clairvoyance. :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: OK, even I can solve a Monday puzzle: 23.Qxf8+ Nxf8 24.Re8#. If one misses that, 23.Qg7 Re8 24.Rxe8+ Kxe8 25.Nd5 Qd8 26.Bxd7+ Qxd7 27.Nf6+ Kd8 28.Qxd7# will do.

Addendum: <backyard pawn>'s 23.Qe6, forcing Black to hang all his pieces in order to stave off mate for a few moves (23...Ne5 24.Qxe5 Qd7 25.Bxd7 Kxd7) is also not a bad "second choice."

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <dick50: 23 Qxf8 <and that's it.>> Heh, that's my saying!!
Dec-17-12  Bengambit: Quote for today. "I'd rather deal with a brawling woman,than a passed pawn"..... BenGambit,My Life in Chess.
Dec-17-12  zb2cr: 23. Qxf8, Nxf8; 24. Re8#. As <morfishine> points out, this is a mirror of the final position in the famous Morphy "opera box" game.
Dec-17-12  chinokoli: What happens after black plays 16... Kf7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: <zb2cr: 23. Qxf8, Nxf8; 24. Re8#. As <morfishine> points out, this is a mirror of the final position in the famous Morphy "opera box" game.>

Yes! The win with rook and bishop in this game is what I call “The Morphy Mate”. This one is sort of a left handed version of that in the original Morphy game Paul Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard
This is one of my all time favorite games. It is unsurpassed in elegance and beauty. It was also the first game I memorized. It was the first game I showed my wife, when teaching her how to play. In 40 years of playing chess I have duplicated this game many times, and also created variations on the theme countless times against beginner level players, since 2. ..d6 is the most natural and common beginner reply to e4 e5 Nf3. In fact, I played a game with a friend back around 1980 in which I gave him queen odds, and used the same mate theme from this game and won in 11 moves.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 d5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. Nc3 Qd7 6. dxe5 Bb4 7. Bd2 Nc6 8. O-O-O Qe7 9. Bb5 a6 10. Bg5 Qe6 11. Rd8#

My friend was a beginner, but after that game he gave up chess! I suppose the embarrassment of losing so quickly at queen odds was more than he could handle. But there was nothing brilliant about my play, he hardly understood the game and just played right into the winning idea. I threw a left hook and he leaned into it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: 23. Qxf8 Nxf8
24. Re8++
is obvious, forced and frankly a bit boring. I prefered it last week when I could not do it. Do we understand "very easy"? If you see something, it's easy. if you don't see it, it isn't. POTD is I suppose trying to guess late Sunday evening what will seem easy but not too easy to us mortals on a Monday. This week I think they erred on the side of the blindingly obvious (if I got it right that is - otherwise this is supposed to ironic!)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The knight is diverted to allow the bishop to guard e8-so the queen is sac-ed and the rook steps in to mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: At ghosting queen slide it along snooker in see 23.Qxf8+ only move

Nxf8 again try eshtimate rook erstwhile good cleric mate receipt d8

king boxed in lading it also go true keel over in c8 as e1+ or

bridge either in eh plus h6xf8 first rook recapture d1 over the

kingd8 as boot now its no joke gaol d8 in low e1 st combine for mate

in d7xf8 knight electric queen sac fabricant so often compared to pm

in classic finish.

Dec-17-12  BOSTER: <goldenbear> <13. Rxe6 is winning easy. Such position can't be held>.

<Once> <Sparkling game to play through as well. Black never seemed to be in it>.

Did white know about <lines of force> playing 23.Qxf8 Nxf8 24.Re8#? Sure. But how he knew that after sacr.13.Rxe6 fxe6 14.Qh5+ black would play g6,but not Ke7, that I have no idea (if Bg5+ Nf6).

Dec-17-12  beenthere240: <pawnsac> You sound like an excellent friend!
Dec-17-12  MountainMatt: A Monday queen "sac" that leads to mate on the next move? I don't think I've ever seen that before!
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: <beenthere240: <pawnsac> You sound like an excellent friend!>

Actually, the friend i refer to just called me a couple weeks ago and we've rekindled our friendship after some 20 years of not seeing each other. I relocated a couple times.

But honestly, at the time i was disappointed he wouldn't play any more, but i think that is because another friend kinda teased him about it. I wish he hadn't.

Dec-17-12  ForeverYoung: here again, there again, in and out, Finnegan
Dec-17-12  David2009: The Morphy Mate! compare Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858.

There is an excellent discussion of the Morphy Mate game in "Modern Chess Strategy" by Edward Lasker. Lasker points out that as the game progressed Morphy's position became so strong that he had several ways of winning: Morphy chose the most incisive line.

The Morphy Mate is distinct from the Morphy Sacrifice mating pattern as played in Paulsen vs Morphy, 1857 and so named by Georges Renaud and Victor Kahn in their book "The art of checkmate" which identifies and christens various mating patterns (Anastasia's Mate, Arabian Mate, Boden's Mate,... etc).

Dec-17-12  gars: A very good pun, which could also be "Finnegan's take" or "Finnegan's make". This pun triggers some happy memories and the words come back in a flash:

" riverrun, past Eve and Adam, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs."

Dec-17-12  ZUGZWANG67: 23.Qxf8+ Nxf8 24.Re8 is mate. Pretty standard mate with R & B.
Dec-17-12  Maatalkko: <gars> Happy memories of reading the first few sentences? Me too, that's about as far as I got.
Dec-17-12  zb2cr: Hi <PawnSac>,

I enjoyed that game from the first time I saw it. Actually the more common name for that mating pattern is "Opera Box mate".

You may, of course, refer to the interesting and lovely mating pattern however you like!

Dec-17-12  TheBish: Finnegan vs R P Allen, 1948

White to play (23.?) "Very Easy"

Too easy (as advertised), but kibitzing to bookmark for my students later.

23. Qxf8+! Nxf8 24. Re8#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: I uploaded this game to the database - had no idea that it has been chosen for GOTD.
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