Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Deadly Mischief

We can study and practice our chess all that we want, but unless we pay attention to the emotions that accompany our deliberations, we are always going to risk falling into traps that our feelings (and our opponents) set for us.

kroehna - Heffay
FICS, 2011

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+


Declining the Bishop may be a form of "psychological warfare" (see "The Anti-Bill Wall Gambit" for another bit of psy ops) but it remains objectively dubious: accepting the piece is part of many Jerome Gambit refutations. 'Nuff said.


Of course, retreating the Bishop with 5.Bb3 is strongest, but with the text White tosses another log onto the gambit fire.

5...exd4 6.Bxg8 Rxg8


White does his own bit of mind-bending. Black's proper response is to move his Rook back to its home base, un-develop it as it were. No, no, no, responds Black, I will kick that impudent piece away instead.

7...h6 8.Qf3+ Qf6

How sad. If Black plays 8... Ke7, instead, he discovers that after 9.Qf7+ Kd6 10.Bf4+ Ne5 11.Qd5+ Ke7 12.Qxe5+ Kf8 13.Qf5+ he has lost his Knight and still has to play 13...Qf6.

analysis diagram

9.Nh7+ Black resigned, as he must lose his Queen and another piece shortly thereafter.

Hats off to kroehna: in three games in The Database the position after Black's 7th move had been reached, but he was the first to play the killer move 8.Qf3+.

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