Friday, January 7, 2011

Houdini-like Escape

With an amazing escape that Harry Houdini would have applauded, Hydra Rancher's effort takes its place in the annals of Blackburne Shilling Gambit and Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit history!

HydraRancher - kellyzeye
standard game, FICS, 2011

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4

The Blackburne Shilling Gambit.


The Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit.

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke6 6.f4

The Database has 200 games with this position, and White scores 50%. This is an optimistic outcome, given the strength of Black's next move (which, surprisingly, scores 52% for White in The Database).

Best for White is 6.c3, which leads to a roughly even game (and which scores 56% in The Database).

6...Qh4+ 7.g3 Qh3


This lets Black's Queen into the White Kingside. Objectively best, safeguarding White's King but still leading to an advantage for Black (a piece for two pawns), is 8.Nf3 Nxf3+ 9.Qxf3 Kf7.

8...Qg2 9.Qg4+

White counters Black's counter-attack, but when the checks stop his game will be a mess.

9...Ke7 10.Qh4+ Nf6

White is busted.

I like to think that HydraFarmer played his next move with the rest of the game all figured out in his head. He arranges a bamboozling swindle.

11.cxd4 Qxh1+ 12.Ke2 Qxc1 13.Nc3



White has given up a Rook, then a Bishop, then a Rook. What does he get for all that? A check and a chance.

14.Nd5+ Kd6


It is clear that Black has to give some material back, and a step forward along the e-file should allow him to do so, safely, i.e. 14...Ke6 15.Nxc7+ Ke7 16.Nxa8 d6, remaining a piece and a Rook up.

A step backward along the e-file is a bit trickier but still is okay: 14...Ke8 15.Nxf6+ gxf6 16.Qh5+ Kd8 (instead 16...Ke7 17.Qf7+ Kd8 18.Qxf6+ Ke8 19.Qf7+ Kd8 20.Qf6+ lets White draw) 17.Nf7+ Ke7 (careful: 17...Ke8 18.Nd6+ Ke7 19.Qf7+ Kxd6 20.Qxf6 checkmate!) 18.Nxh8 Qxa2 and Black's Queen can return to the Kingside and protect her monarch.

The text? White's delightful swindle leads to mate!

15.Nxf6 Be7

Capturing the White Knight at f6, of course, leads to a mate-in-one.

Black can delay the end with 15...Ke7 16.Nd5+ Kd6 17.Qd8 Qc1 but White finishes with 18.a4, e.g. 18...Qf1+ 19.Kxf1 c6 20.Qc7+ Ke6 21.f5 checkmate

16.Nc4+ Kc6 17.Qh5 g5 18.Qxg5 Black resigned

After he throws his Queen away with check, Black cannot stop mate.

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