Monday, February 9, 2015

Going All Joseph Henry Blackburne


In the following game, HauntedKnight, a long-time Jerome Gambiteer who has almost 350 games in The Database, going back to 2004, runs into a player who wants to go all Joseph Henry Blackburne all over him.

True, yerupula gets his Queen sacrifice and nifty checkmate -- but, well, that's only part of the story.

HauntedKnight - yerupula
standard, FICS, 2014

1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 e5 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4 7.Qxd4 d6 8.Qd5+ Be6 9.Qxb7 Nf6 

White has grabbed Black's b-pawn, at the risk of being under-developed and having his Queen offside.

10.O-O Nfg4

Black gets about moving his pieces into attacking position. Previously HauntedKnight faced 10...Qc8, with play on the Queenside, HauntedKnight - ByTheCliff, FICS, 2012 (0-1,26)


It is time for White to look toward defense, as things are already turning tactical. For example, kicking the advanced Knight with 11.h3 is a good idea, although he needs to be ready for 11...Bc4!?(11...Nf6 12.f4 Ned7 has too much "retreat" in it). White should hold steady, and after 12.hxg4 Qd7 13.Qb4 Bxf1 14.Kxf1 Qxg4 15.f3 he has slowed down his opponent's harsh ideas, at least for the moment.


This move is scary, but 11...Bc4!? is even scarier.


The truth is that Black's bold Queen advance leaves his own King at risk, allowing White to balance the situation with 12.Qxc7+ followed by the defending Bf4, exchanging Queens if possible (i.e. 12...Qe7 13.Qxe7+).

White's move in the game says "Hit me!" - and Black does.

12...Nf3+! 13.Kh1 Qxf2 

The promised Queen sacrifice -- but does it work??

Can you see why not? (Instead, 13...Nxf2+ wins without question.)


Our chessfriend will be haunted by this position for a while, once he realizes that 14.Be3! turns the tables, defending completely and giving White the better game. Check it out.

14...Nxf2 checkmate

A sweet final position.

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