Monday, January 12, 2015

A Second Chance to Decline

Here is a recent game played by Philidor 1792, from a cache of games he sent not long ago. His opponent declines the offer of a second piece with an inaccuracy that is worth knowing - and punishing. 

Philidor 1792 - Guest834593
3 0 blitz,, 02.11.2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Ke8

While declining the second piece is as old as Jerome - Brownson, Iowa, 1875 (1/2-1/2, 29), the safest place for Black's King to retreat to is f8, not e8.


It's possible that 6.Nxc6 is stronger, but who can resist checking the King?

On the other hand, White's Knight capture is tricky, as 6...bxc6? is not the correct response - see perrypawnpusher - rodrigojalpa, blitz, FICS, 2008 (1-0, 25); perrypawnpusher - zsilber, blitz, FICS, 2010 (1/2-1/2, 42); Wall,B - Qwerty, 2010 (1-0, 9); and Wall,B - LFTN, FICS, 2012 (1-0, 20).

Neither is 6...dxc6? the right move - see Wall,B - Gebba, 2010 (1-0, 11).

Although I have suggested the untried 6...Bf2+ in "Don't Drive Like My Brother", the best response for Black, still untried as far as The Database is concerned is 6...Qh4!?, as after 7.d4 Qxe4+ 8.Qe2 Qxe2+ 9.Kxe2 Bb6 10.Nb4 Bxd4 11.Nd5 Kd8 Black has an equal game. (Of course, he turned down a second piece to get there.)


Silly alternatives: 6...Kf8 7.Qf7 checkmate,  perrypawnpusher - platel, blitz, FICS, 2011  and 6...Ke7 7.Qf7+ Kd6 8.Qd5+ Ke7 9.Nxc6+ Kf6 10.Qf5 checkmate, Kennedy - WeakDelphi, 2 12 blitz, 2008.

7.Nxg6 Bxf2+

Instead, 7...Qf6 was no solution in perrypawnpusher - schachix, blitz, FICS, 2013 (1-0, 10).

8.Kxf2 Qf6+

Black goes astray: 8...Nf6  was the way to keep an edge.

9.Nf4+ Kd8 10.d3 Nge7

Or 10...d6 11.Rf1 Qd4+ 12.Be3 Qf6 13.c3 Black resigned, Hultgren,R - Harrow, Campbell, CA 1960. 

11.Nc3 d6 12.Rf1 Ng6 13.Kg1

Usually it is Black who has to castle-by-hand. White is two pawns ahead, with a safer King.

13...Qd4+ 14.Kh1 Nge5 15.Nfd5 Be6 16.Be3 Black resigned

Black's Queen is trapped in the middle of the board!

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