KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope: Days of Old When Knights were Bold!

Throughout my many columns I have stressed the historic value and beauty where time periods enrich occasionally the chess battles taking place on the 64-squares.  Likewise, I have encouraged chess students learning the game to play King Pawn Openings so to build a successful knowledge of game play that often sees the give and take of — attack, defend, attack-counterattack that feature the center complex e4,d4,d5,e5 which lead to inroads into the enemy positions; the ultimate aim for both sides reflects the importance of these squares and adjacent c-f files.

Openings are often classified as “open”, “semi-open”, or “closed” to provide a literary explanation of the type of game normally developing from the first few turns. Sometimes these variations may come from actual game play or through investigative analysis during opening study.  Regardless how they emerge, such generalization of theory and potence largely is secondary to what plans are unleashed. Such is the play I present here for your study and enjoyment.

The study opens featuring the Giuoco Piano–“The Quiet Game.”

1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc3  3. Bc4  Bc5  4. O-O  Nf6  5. d3 d6  This position was reached in the game for the Rochester City Championship, Dr. Max Herzberger vs. Don Reithel 1952.  Dr. Herzberger played probably more correctly with 6. Be3 and I won a nice game perhaps because he carelessly assumed that one so young could not hold out for long against an expert.  Dr. Herzberger was defending the city title he won previously.  But lets say he decided to play a more aggressive continuation as often my lessons suggest to dig into the enemy position, getting the Bishop to a more aggressive role. How might the game go?

6. Bg5  h6  Putting the question to the Bishop to capture the Knight, retreat to h4 or to e3.  Best would be to challenge the black Bishop with the retreat 7. Be3.  But supposing he ventures to keep the Knight pin by 7. Bh4  g5  8. Bg3.  Now, here is the crux of opening strategy.  White has castled; Black has not castled and White has not challenged the excellent Bishop located on c5 that points to the f2 square, one of the inherent weak points in chess. In reality both of us were aware of the coming sequence of previously published material but I would have loved to see him adopt this line of play.

8. … h5  9. Nxg5  h4!!  10. Nxf7  hxg3!! Another shot whose cannon fodder shatters the wall of defense around the King.

11. Nxd8  Shocked by Black’s sharp counterplay, he finds nothing better than to grab the Queen.

11. … Bg4  12. Qd2  Nd4!  Black has to keep the attack going full force and brings new pieces into the fray.

13. Nc3  Nf3+!! Threatening a mate if the King runs to h1.

14. gxf3  Bxf3  15. Re1 gxh2+ 16. Kf1  h1(Q) mate.

This is  truly a gem illustrating a number of features discussed within my series.

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10 Responses to “KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope: Days of Old When Knights were Bold!”

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