The Project Gutenberg eBook of Chess Strategy

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Chess Strategy

Author: Edward Lasker

Translator: J. Du Mont

Release date: May 1, 2004 [eBook #5614]
Most recently updated: April 6, 2021

Language: English


Chess Strategy

Edward Lasker

Translated by J. du Mont



    I. Rules of the Game
    II. Notation
    Elementary Combinations
    Simple Calculation
    Balance of Attack and Defence
    Development of the Pieces
    On Losing Moves
    Examples of Practical Play
    Pawn Play
    Pawn Skeleton
    The Centre
  A. King’s Pawn Games
  B. Queen’s Pawn Games
  C. Irregular Openings
    End-games with Pieces
    Pawn Endings
    Mixed Endings
    Teichmann-Blackburne (Berlin, 1897)
    Ed. Lasker-Rotlewi (Hamburg, 1910)
    Blackburne-Schlechter (Vienna, 1898)
    Bird-Janowski (Hastings, 1895)
    Steiner-Forgacz (Szekesfehervar, 1907)
    Charousek-Heinrichsen (Cologne, 1898)
    General Remarks
    Evolution of the Pawn Skeleton
    Objects of Attack
    “Backward” Pawns
    On Fixing a Weakness
    Weaknesses in a Pawn Position
    Breaking up the King’s Side
    Doubled Pawns
    v. Scheve-Teichmann (Berlin, 1907)
    Marshall-Burn (Ostend, 1907)
    Manoeuvres of the Pieces Open Files and Diagonals
    Fred. Lazard-Ed. Lasker (Paris, 1914)

     1. Tartakower-Burn (Carlsbad, 1911)
     2. Leonhardt-Marshall (San Sebastian, 1911)
     3. Spielmann-Prokes (Prag, 1908)
     4. Tarrasch-Capablanca (San Sebastian, 1911)
    4a. Howell-Michell (Cable Match, 1907)
    4b. X. v. Y
     5. Griffith-Gunston (London, 1902)
     6. Mason-Gunsberg (New York, 1889)
     7. Marshall-Tarrasch (Hamburg, 1910)
     8. Blackburne-Em. Lasker (Petrograd, 1914)
     9. Salwe-Marshall (Vienna, 1908)
    10. Teichmann-Amateurs (Glasgow, 1902)
    11. Schlechter-Janowski (Paris, 1900)
    12. Teichmann-Rubinstein (Carlsbad, 1911)
    13. Teichmann-Schlechter (Carlsbad, 1911)
    14. Spielmann-Tarrasch (San Sebastian, 1912)
    15. Aljechin-Niemzowitsch (Petrograd, 1914)
    16. Yates-Gunsberg (Chester, 1914)
    17. Berlin-Riga (1908-1909)
   17a. Maroczy-Berger (Vienna, 1908)
    18. Em. Lasker-Capablanca (Petrograd, 1914)
    19. Ed. Lasker-Janowski (Scheveningen, 1913)
    20. Ed. Lasker-Englund (Scheveningen, 1913)
    21. Ed. Lasker-Aljechin (Scheveningen, 1913)
    22. Forgacz-Tartakower (Petrograd, 1909)
    23. Yates-Esser (Anglo-Dutch Match, 1914)
    24. Atkins-Barry (Cable Match, 1910)
    25. Em. Lasker-Tarrasch (Munich, 1908)
    26. Capablanca-Blanco (Havanna, 1913)
    27. Niemzowitsch-Tarrasch (San Sebastian, 1912)
    28. Alapin-Rubinstein (Wilna, 1912)
    29. Teichmann-Spielmann (Leipzig, 1914)
    30. Tarrasch-Spielmann (Mannheim, 1914)
    31. John-Janowski (Mannheim, 1914)
    32. Ed. Laskcr-Mieses (Scheveningen, 1913)
    33. Barasz-Mieses (Breslau, 1012)
    34. Em. Lasker-Niemzowitsch (Petrograd, 1914)
    35. Reti-Tartakower (Vienna, 1910)
    36. Forgacz-E. Cohn (Petrograd, 1909)
    37. Marshall-Capablanca (New York, 1909)
    38. Rotlewi-Teichmann (Carlsbad, 1911)
   38a. Rubinstein-Teichmann (Vienna, 1908)
    39. Rotlewi-Rubinstein (Lodz, 1907)
    40. Rubinstein-Capablanca (San Sebastian, 1911)
    41. Niemzowitsch-Tarrasch (Petrograd, 1914)
    41a. Em. Lasker-Bauer (Amsterdam, 1889)
    42. Capablanca-Aljechin (Petrograd, 1913)
    43. Capablanca-Bernstein (Petrograd, 1914)
    44. Dus Chotimirski-Vidmar (Carlsbad, 1911)
    45. Rubinstein-Spielmann (Pistyan, 1912)
    46. Thomas-Ed. Lasker (London, 1912)
    47. Tartakower-Asztalos (Budapest, 1913)
   47a. Tartakower-Spielmann (Vienna, 1913)
   47b. X v. Y
    48. Blackburne-Niemzowitsch (Petrograd, 1914)

    A. King’s Pawn Games
    B. Queen’s Pawn Games
    C. Irregular Openings


As the first edition of Edward Lasker’s Chess Strategy was exhausted within a comparatively short time of its appearance, the author set himself the task of altering and improving the work to such an extent that it became to all intents and purposes a new book. I had the privilege of co-operating with him to a slight degree on that second edition, and was in consequence able to appreciate the tremendous amount of work he voluntarily took upon himself to do; I say voluntarily, because his publishers, anxious to supply the strong demand for the book, wished to reprint it as it stood.

A little later I undertook to translate this second edition into English for Messrs. Bell & Sons. Only a few months had elapsed, the tournaments at Petrograd, Chester, and Mannheim had taken place, several new discoveries had been made, and it is the greatest testimony to Edward Lasker’s indefatigable devotion to the Art of Chess that I am able to say that this is not a translation of the second edition, but of what is practically a new book. It contains a new preface, a chapter for beginners, a new introduction, new variations. Furthermore, a large number of new games have taken the place of old ones.

I have no doubt that any chess player who will take the trouble to study Chess Strategy will spend many a pleasurable hour. Incidentally new vistas will be opened to him, and his playing strength increased to a surprising degree.

The author says in his preface that he appeals to the intelligence and not the memory of his readers. In my opinion, too, the student should above all try to improve his judgment of position.

Than the playing over of games contested by experts I can hardly imagine a greater or purer form of enjoyment. Yet I must at the outset sound a note of warning against its being done superficially, and with a feverish expectation of something happening. Every move or combination of moves should be carefully weighed, and the student should draw his own conclusions and compare them with what actually happens in the game under examination.

This applies particularly to some of the critical positions set out in diagrams in the course of the exposition of the several games.

The reader would derive the greatest possible benefit from a prolonged study of such positions before seeking to know how the games proceed. After having formed his own opinion about the merits of a particular position, he should compare the result with the sequel in the game in question, and thus find out where his judgment has been at fault.

The deeper study of the theory of the openings is of course a necessity to the student who wishes to become an expert, but the development of his judgment must precede it. To him Griffith & White’s admirable book, Modern Chess Openings, will be a perfect mine of information. There are thousands of variations, and in most of them the actual game in which they were first tried by masters is named, thus adding to the interest and value of the work.

I must not omit to mention the invaluable help afforded me by my friend Mr. John Hart, to whom my warmest thanks are due.



The large majority of chess players who would like to improve their game, have not the necessary opportunity of pitting themselves against players of master-strength, or at least of obtaining the desired instruction from personal intercourse with them. It is for such players that the present work is intended. The books on which the learner has to rely hardly ever serve his purpose, being mostly little more than a disjointed tabulation of numberless opening variations, which cannot be understood without preliminary studies, and consequently only make for confusion. In the end the connection between the various lines of play may become clear, after the student has made an exhaustive study of the subject, but very few would have either the time or the inclination for such prolonged labour.

Therefore another shorter and less empirical way must be found in which to acquire the understanding of sound play. My system of teaching differs from the usual ones, in that it sets down at the outset definite elementary principles of chess strategy by which any move can be gauged at its true value, thus enabling the learner to form his own judgment as to the manœuvres under consideration. In my opinion it is absolutely essential to follow such strategical principles, and I go so far as to assert that such principles are in themselves sufficient for the development and conduct of a correct game of chess.

Even though instruction in chess is possible on very general lines alone, yet I think it advisable and indeed necessary to explain the application of such principles to the various phases of each game of chess. Otherwise the learner might unduly delay his progress, and lose valuable time in finding out for himself certain essentials that could more profitably be pointed out to him.

With regard to the way in which I have arranged my subject and the form of its exposition in detail, I have thought out the following plan.

After discussing at length the leading principles underlying sound play, I have first treated of the openings, in which such principles are of even more deciding influence than in any other stage of the game, as far as could be done on broad lines without having to pay attention to middle and end-game considerations.

I proceeded as follows, by taking as my starting-point the “pawn skeleton” which is formed in the opening, and round which the pieces should group themselves in logical fashion. As a consequence of the pawns having so little mobility, this “pawn skeleton” often preserves its shape right into the end-game. Applying the general strategical principles to the formation of the pawn skeleton, the learner acquires the understanding of the leading idea underlying each opening without having to burden his memory. Not only that, he will also be able to find a correct plan of development when confronted with unusual forms of opening.

The most important result of this system of teaching is that the learner does not lose his way in a maze of detail, but has in view at the very outset, the goal which the many possible variations of the openings are intended to reach.

Before I could proceed to the discussion of the middle game, I found it necessary to treat of the principles governing the end-game. For in most cases play in the middle game is influenced by end-game considerations. Here also it has been my endeavour as far as possible to reduce my subject to such principles as are generally applicable.

Finally, as regards the middle game, to which the whole of Part II is devoted, I have again made the handling of pawns, the hardest of all problems of strategy, the starting-point for my deliberations. I have shown at length how the various plans initiated by the various openings should be developed further. To ensure a thorough understanding of the middle game, I have given a large number of games taken from master play, with numerous and extensive notes. Thus the student has not to rely only on examples taken haphazard from their context, but he will at the same time see how middle-game positions, which give opportunities for special forms of attack, are evolved from the opening.

It has been my desire to make the subject easily understandable and at the same time entertaining, and to appeal less to the memory of my readers than to their common sense and intelligence. I hope in that way not to have strayed too far from the ideal I had in mind when writing this book, namely, to apply to chess the only method of teaching which has proved productive in all branches of science and art, that is, the education of individual thought.

If I have succeeded in this, I shall have the satisfaction of having contributed a little to the furthering, in the wide circles in which it is played, of the game which undoubtedly makes the strongest appeal to the intellect.





A GAME of chess is played by two opponents on a square board consisting of sixty-four White and Black squares arranged alternately. The forces on each side comprise sixteen units, namely a King, a Queen, two Rooks, two Bishops, two Knights, and eight Pawns. All units move according to different laws, and the difference in their mobility is the criterion of their relative value and of the fighting power they contribute towards achieving the ultimate aim, namely, the capture of the opposing King. Before I can explain what is meant by the capture of the King, I must set out the rules of the game in full.

Diagram 1 shows the position the forces take up for the contest. The board is so placed that there is a white square at the top left-hand corner. The Rooks take up their positions at the corner squares, and next to them the Knights. Next to those again are the Bishops, and in the centre the King and Queen, the White Queen on a White square, and the Black Queen on a Black square. The eight pawns occupy the ranks immediately in front of the pieces. From this initial position, White begins the game in which the players must move alternately.

The pieces move in the following way: The Rook can move from any square it happens to be on, to any other square which it can reach in a straight line, either perpendicularly or horizontally, unless there is another piece of the same colour in the way, in which case it can only move as far as the square immediately in front of that piece. If it is an opposing piece which blocks the way, he can move on to the square that piece occupies, thereby capturing it. The piece thus captured is removed from the board. The Bishop can operate along either of the diagonals of which the square on which he is standing forms part. A Bishop on a White square can therefore never get on to a Black one.


Diag. 1

The Queen commands both the straight and the oblique lines which start from the square she stands on, and therefore unites the power of both Rook and Bishop in her movements.

The King has similar powers to the Queen, but curtailed, inasmuch as he can only move one step at a time. He therefore only controls one neighbouring square in any direction.

The Knight plays and captures alternately on White and Black squares, and only reaches such squares as are nearest to him without being immediately adjacent; his move is as it were composed of two steps, one square in a straight line, and one in an oblique direction. Diagram 2 will illustrate this.[1]

[1] I should like to quote my friend Mr. John Hart’s clever definition of the Knight’s move, though it may not be new. If one conceives a Knight as standing on a corner square of a rectangle three squares by two, he is able to move into the corner diagonally opposite.

The pawns only move straight forward, one square at a time, except at their first move, when they have the option of moving two squares. In contrast to the pieces, the pawns do not capture in the way they move. They move straight forward, but they capture diagonally to the right and left, again only one square, and only forward. Therefore a pawn can only capture such pieces or pawns as occupy squares of the same colour as the square on which it stands. If, in moving two squares, a pawn traverses a square on which it could have been captured by a hostile pawn, that pawn has the right to capture it, as if it had moved only one square. This is called capturing en passant. However, this capture can only be effected on the very next move, otherwise the privilege of capturing en passant is lost.


Diag. 2

If a player succeeds in reaching the eighth rank with one of his pawns he is entitled to call for any piece of higher grade, with the exception of the King, in place of such pawn.

Each move in a game of chess consists of the displacement of one piece only, with the exception of what is termed “castling,” in which the King and either Rook can be moved simultaneously by either player once in a game. In castling, the King moves sideways to the next square but one, and the Rook to which the King is moved is placed on the square which the King has skipped over. Castling is only allowed if neither the King nor the Rook concerned have moved before, and if there is no piece between the Rook and King.

Diagram 3 shows a position in which White has castled on the Queen’s side, and Black on the King’s side. Castling is not permitted if the King in castling must pass over a square attacked by a hostile piece. A square (or a piece) is said to be “attacked” when the square (or the piece) is in the line of action of a hostile unit. A square (or a piece) is said to be covered or protected if an opposing piece occupying that square (or capturing the piece) could itself be captured.

When attacking the King it is customary to call “check,” to notify the opponent of the fact; for the attack on the King


Diag. 3

must be met in some way or other. This can be done by capturing the attacker or by interposing a piece (this is not possible in case of attack by a Knight or a pawn), or lastly by moving the King to a square which is not attacked. The latter must not be done by castling. If it is impossible by any of the three methods above mentioned to avoid the attack upon the King, the King is said to be checkmated, and the game is ended.

If a King is unable to move, though not attacked, and none of his remaining pieces can move, the King is said to be stale-mated, and the game is drawn. A game is also drawn when neither side has sufficient material left to enforce a mate. (Compare page 63.)

If a player resigns his game before he is actually mated, he acknowledges that in the end mate is unavoidable, and the game is counted as a loss to him.

A game is null and void if it is shown that a mistake was made in setting the board or men. The same applies when in the course of the game the position and number of pieces have been altered in a manner not in accordance with the proper course of play, and the latter cannot be re-constructed from the point where the error was made.

If a player having the move touches one of his pieces he is under compulsion to move it; if he touches a hostile piece he must capture it, provided that the piece can be properly moved or captured in either case. This rule is of no effect if the piece so touched cannot be moved or captured, as the case may be. So long as the hand has not left the piece to be moved, the latter can be placed on any accessible square. If a player touches a piece with the sole object of adjusting its position, he must apprise his opponent of his intention by saying “J’adoube” beforehand. It is best to move the King first when castling. If the Rook is moved first, and unless the King is played almost simultaneously, a doubt might arise whether castling or a Rook’s move only was intended.

If a player has castled illegally, Rook and King must be moved back, and the King must make another move, if there is a legal one. If not, any other move can be played. A player who makes an illegal move with a piece must retract that move, and make another one if possible with the same piece. If the mistake is only noticed later on, the game should be restarted from the position in which the error occurred.


A special notation has been adopted to make the study of games and positions possible, and it is necessary for students of the game to become thoroughly conversant with it. The original and earliest notation is still in use in English, French, and Spanish speaking countries. It is derived from the original position in the game, in that the squares take the names of the pieces which occupy them. Thus the corner squares are called R 1 (Rook’s square or Rook’s first), and to distinguish them from one another QR1 or KR 1 (Queen’s or King’s Rook’s square). The squares immediately in front are called QR2 or KR2. A distinction is made between White and Black, and White’s R 1 is Black’s R 8, Black’s R 2 is White’s R 7, White’s K B 3 is Black’s KB6, and so on. K stands for King; Q for Queen; B for Bishop; Kt for Knight; R for Rook; and P for Pawn. In describing a capture, only the capturing and the captured pieces are mentioned, and not the squares.

When confusion is possible, it is customary to add whether King’s side or Queen’s side pieces are concerned, e.g. KR×Q Kt. In this notation it is necessary to bear in mind which Kt is the Q Kt, which R is the KR. This becomes increasingly difficult as the game goes on and pieces change their places. Many sets of chessmen have one Rook and one Knight stamped with a special sign, to show they are King’s side pieces. This is not necessary in the case of Bishops: a white KB is always on white squares, a white QB on black squares.

A more modern notation is the algebraic notation, which has been adopted in most countries. It has the advantage of being unmistakably clear, and also more concise. Here the perpendicular lines of squares (called files) are named with the letters a-h, from left to right, always from the point of view of White, and the horizontal lines of squares (called ranks) with numbers 1-8 as before, only with the distinction that the rank on which the White pieces stand is always called the first; thus the square we named White’s QB2 or Black’s QB7 is now called c2 in both cases. Black’s QB2 (White’s QB7) is always c7. In capturing, the square on which the capture takes place and not the piece captured is noted, for the sake of uniformity. In the case of pawn moves, the squares only are noted.

O—O stands for castles on the King’s side; O—O—O stands for castles on the Queen’s side; : or × stands for captures; + for check.

In the following opening moves, both notations are used for the purpose of comparison:

1. P—Q 4P—Q41. d4d5
2. P—QB4P—K32. c4e6
3. Kt—QB3P—QB43. Ktc3c5
4. P×QPKP×P4. cd:ed:
5. P—K4QP×P5. e4de:
6. P—Q5Kt—KB36. d5Ktf6
7. B—KKt5B—K27. Bg5Be7
8. K Kt—K2Castles8. Ktge2O—O

In most books in which the algebraic notation is used, both squares of a move are written out for the benefit of the student. The moves above would then look like this:

1. d2—d4d7—d5
2. c2—c4e7—e6
3. Ktb1—c3c7—c5
4. C4 × d5e6×d5
5. e2—e4d5×e4
6. d4—d5Ktg8—f6
7. Bc1—g5Bf8—e7
8. Ktg1—e2O—O

To conclude: I will give the denomination of the pieces in various languages:

German and AustrianKDTLSO—O (O)
ItalianRDTACO—O (O)
RussianKPFLCKO—O (O)
ScandinavianKDTLSO—O (O)
BohemianKDVSJO—O (O)
HungarianKVBFHO—O (O)


THE mental development of the chess player is a gradual struggle from a state of chaos to a clear conception of the game. The period required for such development largely depends upon the special gifts the learner may possess, but in the main the question of methods predominates. Most beginners do not trouble very much about any particular plan in their study of chess, but as soon as they have learnt the moves, rush into the turmoil of practical play. It is self-evident that their prospects under such conditions cannot be very bright. The play of a beginner is planless, because he has too many plans, and the capacity for subordinating all his combinations to one leading idea is non- existent. Yet it cannot be denied upon investigation that a certain kind of method is to be found in the play of all beginners, and seems to come to them quite naturally. At first the pawns are pushed forward frantically, because there is no appreciation of the power and value of the pieces. Conscious of the inferiority of the pawns, the beginner does not conclude that it must be advantageous to employ the greater power of the pieces, but is chiefly concerned with attacking the opposing pieces with his pawns in the hope of capturing them. His aim is not to develop his own forces, but to weaken those of his opponent. His combinations are made in the hope that his adversary may not see through them, nor does he trouble much about his opponent’s intentions. When most of his pawns are gone, then only do his pieces get their chance. He has a great liking for the Queen and the Knight, the former because of her tremendous mobility, the latter on account of his peculiar step, which seems particularly adapted to take the enemy by surprise. When watching beginners you will frequently observe numberless moves by a peripatetic Queen, reckless incursions by a Knight into the enemy’s camp, and when the other pieces join in the fray, combination follows combination in bewildering sequence and fantastic chaos. Captures of pieces are planned, mating nets are woven, perhaps with two pieces, against a King’s position, where five pieces are available for defence. This unsteadiness in the first childish stages of development makes it very difficult for the beginner to get a general view of the board. Yet the surprises which each move brings afford him great enjoyment.

A few dozen such games are by no means wasted. After certain particular dispositions of pieces have proved his undoing, the beginner will develop the perception of threats. He sees dangers one or two moves ahead, and thereby reaches the second stage in his development.

His combinations will become more and more sound, he will learn to value his forces more correctly, and therefore to husband his pieces and even his pawns with greater care. In this second stage his strength will increase steadily, but, and this is the drawback, only as far as his power of combination is concerned. Unless a player be exceptionally gifted, he will only learn after years of practice, if at all, what may be termed “positional play.” For that, it is necessary to know how to open a game so as to lay the foundation for a favourable middle game, and how to treat a middle game, without losing sight of the possibilities of the end-game. It is hopeless to try to memorise the various openings which analysis have proved correct, for this empirical method fails as soon as the opponent swerves from the recognised lines of play. One must learn to recognise the characteristics of sound play. They apply to all and any position, and the underlying principles must be propounded in a manner generally applicable. And this brings me to the substance of my subject, round which I will endeavour to build up a system compatible with common sense and logic.

Before I proceed to develop my theme, I shall set down a number of elementary rules which will facilitate the understanding of such simple combinations as occur at every step in chess.

If we ignore the comparatively small proportion of games in which the mating of the opponent’s King is accomplished on a full board, we can describe a normal, average game of chess in the following way. Both sides will employ their available forces more or less advantageously to execute attacking and defensive manœuvres which should gradually lead to exchanges. If one side or the other emerges from the conflict with some material gain, it will generally be possible to force a mate in the end-game, whilst if both sides have succeeded by careful play to preserve equality of material, a draw will generally ensue.

It will be found a little later that a single pawn may suffice, with some few exceptions, to achieve a victory, and we shall adopt the following leading principle for all combinations, viz. loss of material must be avoided, even if only a pawn. It is a good habit to look upon every pawn as a prospective Queen. This has a sobering influence on premature and impetuous plans of attack.

On the other hand, victory is often brought about by a timely sacrifice of material.

But in such cases the sacrificing of material has its compensation in some particular advantage of position. As principles of position are difficult for beginners to grasp, I propose to defer their consideration for the present and to devote my attention first to such combinations as involve questions of material. Let us master a simple device that makes most combinations easy both for attack and defence. It amounts merely to a matter of elementary arithmetic, and if the beginner neglects it, he will soon be at a material disadvantage.

Diagram 4 may serve as an example:


Diag. 4

It is Black’s move, and we will suppose he wishes to play P-K4. A beginner will probably calculate thus: I push on my pawn, he takes with his pawn, my Knight takes, so does his, then my Bishop takes, and so on. This is quite wrong, and means waste of time and energy.

When the beginner considers a third or fourth move in such a combination, he will already have forgotten which pieces he intended to play in the first moves. The calculation is perfectly simple upon the following lines: I play P-K4, then my pawn is attacked by a pawn and two Knights, a Bishop and two Rooks, six times in all. It is supported by a Bishop, two Knights, two Rooks and a Queen, six times in all. Therefore I can play P-K4, provided the six units captured at K4 are not of greater value than the six white units which are recaptured. In the present instance both sides lose a pawn, two Knights, two Rooks, and a Bishop, and there is no material loss. This established, he can embark on the advance of the KP without any fear.

Therefore: in any combination which includes a number of exchanges on one square, all you have to do is to count the number of attacking and defending units, and to compare their relative values; the latter must never be forgotten. If Black were to play KtxP in the following position, because the pawn at K 5 is attacked three times, and only supported twice, it would be an obvious miscalculation, for the value of the defending pieces is smaller.[2]

[2] It is difficult to compare the relative value of the different pieces, as so much depends on the peculiarities of each position, but, generally speaking, minor pieces, Bishop and Knight, are reckoned as equal; the Rook as equal to a minor piece and one or two pawns (to have a Rook against a minor piece, is to be the “exchange” ahead). The Queen is equal to two Rooks or three minor pieces.


Diag. 5

Chess would be an easy game if all combinations could be tested and probed exhaustively by the mathematical process just shown. But we shall find that the complications met with are extremely varied. To give the beginner an idea of this, I will mention a few of the more frequent examples. It will be seen that the calculation may be, and very frequently


Diag. 6

is, upset by one of the pieces involved being exchanged or sacrificed. An example of this is found in Diagram 6; KtxP


Diag. 7

fails on account of R X B; this leaves the Knight unprotected, and White wins two pieces for his Rook. Neither can the Bishop capture on K5 because of R X Kt. leaving the Bishop unprotected, after which BxKt does not retrieve the situation because the Rook recaptures from B6.

A second important case, in which our simple calculation is of no avail, occurs in a position where one of the defending pieces is forced away by a threat, the evasion of which is more important than the capture of the unit it defends. In Diagram 7, for instance, Black may not play KtxP, because White, by playing P- Q6, would force the Bishop to Kt4 or B1, to prevent the pawn from Queening and the Knight would be lost. A further example of the same type is given in Diagram 8. Here a peculiar mating threat, which occurs not


Diag. 8

infrequently in practical play, keeps the Black Queen tied to her KB2 and unavailable for the protection of the B at BI.

White wins as follows:

1. KtxB, KtxKt; 2. RxKt, QxR; 3. Kt-B7ch, K-Kt1; 4. Kt-R6 double ch, K-R1; 5 Q-Kt8ch, RxQ; 6. Kt-B7 mate.

We will now go a step further and turn from “acute” combinations to such combinations as are, as it were, impending. Here, too, I urgently recommend beginners (advanced players do it as a matter of course) to proceed by way of simple arithmetical calculations, but, instead of enumerating the attacking and defending pieces, to count the number of possibilities of attack and defence.

Let us consider a few typical examples. In Diagram 9, if Black plays P-Q5, he must first have probed the position in the following way. The pawn at Q5 is attacked once and supported once to start with, and can be attacked by three more White units in three more moves (1. R-Q1, 2. R(B2)-Q2, 3. B-B2) Black can also mobilise three more units for the defence in the same number of moves (1. Kt-B4 or K3, 2. B-Kt2, 3. R-Q1). There is, consequently, no immediate danger, nor is there anything to fear for some time to come, as White has no other piece which could attack the pawn for the fifth time.


Diag. 9

It would be obviously wrong to move the pawn to Q6 after White’s R-Q1, because White could bring another two pieces to bear on the P, the other Rook and the Knight, whilst Black has only one more piece available for the defence, namely, his Rook.

The following examples show typical positions, in which simple calculation is complicated by side issues.

In Diagram 10, the point of attack, namely, the Black Knight at KB3, can be supported by as many Black units as White can bring up for the attack, but the defensive efficiency of one of Black’s pieces is illusory, because it can be taken by a White piece. The plan would be as follows: White threatens Black’s Knight for the third time with Kt-K4, and Black must reply QKt-Q2, because covering with R-K3 would cost the “exchange,” as will appear from a comparison of the value of the pieces concerned. The “exchange” is, however, lost for Black on the next move, because


Diag. 10

White’s further attack on the Knight by Q-B3 forces the Rook to defend on K3, where it gets into the diagonal of the Bishop, which at present is masked by White’s Knight. The sequel would be 3. QKtxKtch, RxKt (not BxKt on account of BxR winning a whole Rook), 4. BxR, and so on. A similar case is shown in Diagram 11.


Diag. 11

Here, too, there is a flaw in the simple calculation, because the defending units are not secure. Beginners should devote special attention to this position, which is in practice of frequent occurrence.

It can be easily perceived that the Bishop cannot capture the pawn at B7 on account of P-QR3. But to take with the Knight would also be an error, because Black would then keep chasing away the covering Bishop.

1. P-Kt4; 2. B-Q6, K-B3; 3. Kt-K8, B-B2; and wins one of the pieces.

Finally, one more example, in which one of the defending pieces being pinned makes simple calculation impracticable.

In Diagram 12 it seems at first sight as if Black could play KtxP: although White can pin the Knight with R-K1


Diag. 12

and then attack it once more with his Knight, Black would appear to have sufficient protection available, with his Kt and B. White has no time to double Rooks, because if he does so, after his R- K2 Black would play the King away from his file and allow the Knight to escape.

But White can, by a simple sacrifice, bring the slumbering R at R1 into sudden action:

1. … KtxP; 2 R-K1, B-B4; 3. Kt-B3, Kt-Q3; 4. RxKt, KtxR; 5. R- K1, and White wins two pieces for his Rook.

These illustrations will be sufficient to give the beginner an understanding of economy of calculation in all kinds of combinations. His power of combining will grow speedily on this basis, and thrive in the fire of practical experience. Where an opponent is missing, the gap must be filled by reference to such books as treat of the science of combination and give examples taken from actual play.


In bringing the teachings of this book under the collective heading “Chess Strategy,” it was not in any way my intention to draw anything like an exact parallel between the manœuvres on the chess-board and military operations in actual warfare. In trying to seek such analogies there is great danger of being led astray, and little likelihood of gaining knowledge that might be of use in practical play. Plain common-sense will give us all we need, without our being influenced by those tactical and strategical considerations that have been found useful in war.

The following definition may not be out of place: Strategy sets down the whole of the problems which must be solved in war, in order to attain the ultimate result aimed at; tactics solve such problems in various ways, and according to the conditions prevailing in the particular case. Sound strategy, when setting the task, must never lose sight of tactical practicability, and only a thorough knowledge of tactical resources makes correct strategy possible.

Now we shall not under any circumstances, as unfortunately even great chess masters have done, seek in outward similarities justification for transferring to chess the teachings of the strategy and tactics of war. It sounds pretty enough to say: Chess is a game of war—the various pieces represent the various kinds of forces: the pawns represent the infantry, the Knights take the place of cavalry, the Rooks do the work of heavy artillery, sweeping broad lines; the different ways in which the pieces move find a parallel in the topography of the theatre of war, in that the various battle-fields are more or less easy of access. But it is quite unjustifiable to assign to the Knights the functions of scouts, and to say that Rooks should stay in the background, as heavy artillery, and so on. Such pronouncements would not have the slightest practical value. What we take from the science of warfare is merely the definition. In each game the strategy of chess should set us the tasks which must be accomplished (in order to mate the opponent’s King), and tactics point the way in which it is possible to solve such problems. Correct chess strategy will only set such tasks as are tactically possible, and, if we wish to expound the principles of chess strategy, we cannot exclude chess tactics from the field of our observations. If here and there the results of our deliberations bear some analogy to actual warfare, we may certainly give way to a kind of aesthetic satisfaction in that our own occupation has some parallel in real life, but we must never fashion our principles in accordance with such fortuitous circumstances.

Having surveyed the problems we have to solve, we can now plunge into our subject.

In the first chapter, when considering special cases in elementary combinations, we have already noticed the important part played in each skirmish by the balance between the attacking and defending units. Speaking quite generally, common-sense will tell us that, in all operations on the chess-board, the main consideration for the defence will be to maintain that balance, and that there is only justification for an attack when it is possible to concentrate more forces on the strategic point than can be mustered by the defence. However, one very important point must not be neglected, though I did not touch upon it when discussing elementary combinations for fear of complicating matters for beginners: the balance between the contending forces is by no means established by their numerical equality. A paramount factor is the mobility of such forces, and as soon as it is no longer one of the elementary cases of capture and recapture described previously, this factor must be taken into account in order to decide, on a general survey, whether there is a sufficient defence to an impending attack, or whether one’s own intended attack is likely to prevail. That mobility is the first and foremost consideration should be self-evident, since the relative value of the pieces can only make itself felt by their greater or lesser mobility.

Except in certain positions, which are brought about by some particular array of the pieces, the intrinsic value of a Rook is greater than that of a Bishop, because it can command all the squares on the board, whilst a Bishop is tied to its own colour; Knight and Bishop are considered equivalent, because the Knight’s advantage in being able to act on all the squares of either colour is balanced by the fact that the Bishop can sweep long diagonals. Two Bishops are, generally speaking, of greater value than two Knights, because together they also act on all the squares, and their command of long diagonals is a clear advantage. The whole of this valuation, however, comes to nought when the pieces are hindered in their mobility by the peculiarity of any particular position.

We will consider one instance from end-game play, and one from the openings.

In Diagram 13, White derives no advantage from being


Diag. 13

the exchange to the good, for the Rook has no file which could be used to break into the Black camp.

In Diagram 14, the numerical equality of forces will not save Black, because bad development reduces the mobility of his pieces to such an extent that he has no resources with which he can parry the impending attack.


Diag. 14

White will assail the Black King’s position on the Queen side, and Black is unable to concentrate his forces quickly enough for the defence of the jeopardised entrenchments. Let us therefore bear in mind that the mobility of the pieces is the deciding factor of their efficiency, and that mobility is the highest criterion by which to judge the merits (or demerits) of their operations.

We will now consider this principle in its application to the three stages of play, namely, the opening, the middle-game, and the ending.


The only pieces available on the first move are the Knights. In order to develop other pieces as well, it is necessary to move pawns first, and such pawn moves will be best as give an outlet to as many pieces as possible. For quick development is of the utmost importance, and he who succeeds first in placing all his pieces, from their initial awkward positions, to such places as give them command of the greatest possible number of squares, has the better chance of concentrating a superior force on some important point.

It follows that White, having the first move, is, so to speak, always morally justified in attacking, whilst Black should assume the defensive. It is a step in the right direction, to appreciate the truth of this proposition. Unfortunately most beginners fail to realise it, and so pave the way, from the first, to the loss of the game.

There are not many developing pawn moves to choose from. Apparently from the point of view of quick development only P-K4 and P-Q4 need be considered, since they free both Bishop and Queen, whilst other pawn moves liberate one piece only. Generally speaking it is only required to move two or three pawns to allow all pieces to be developed, and it is good, on principle, to make only such pawn moves in the opening, which are necessary for the development of pieces. To play other pawns really means the loss of a move. To “lose a move” means to make a move which is not essential to the attainment of a desired position. Thus the “loss of a move” results also from playing a piece to a given square in more moves than necessary.

I shall now give a few games showing the far-reaching consequences of losing moves. The first one is a typical though glaring example, which is very instructive and came to my notice some time ago:

1. P—K4P—K4
2. P—Q4P×P
3. Q×PKt—QB3
4. Q—K3Kt—B3
5. P—KR3?

I will not discuss the system of development adopted by White in his first four moves. The last move, however, can at once be recognised as faulty. It is the loss of a move such as occurs in the vast majority of games played by beginners. It was unnecessary to prevent KKt-Kt5, since the Knight could not hold that square permanently. In any case B-K2 would have had the same effect, and developed a piece at the same time.

5. …B—K2
6. P—QR3??

This, of course, is very bad. The consequences of this loss of a second move are swift and deadly.

6. …Castles
7. B-B4

At last a developing move.

7. …R-K1
8. Q-QKt3

Another Queen’s move. The attack on the Bishop’s Pawn may be very tempting, but must necessarily be incorrect—and why? Because White is much behind with his development. It is useless to analyse any kind of attack in face of this fact. The beginner finds it hard to get used to this way of thinking. He prefers to try to unravel a long string of variations and combinations, in which he will mostly lose his bearings. Even stronger players obstruct their own powers by refusing to see the value of judging a position on general merits. They lose valuable time in thinking out endless variations, to maintain positions which could be proved valueless by general and logical deductions.


Diag. 15

Then, as in the present position, retribution comes swiftly.

8. …P-Q4

White should have considered this move. It was obvious, since the opening of the K file for the Rook is most dangerous, for the White King.

9. BxPKtxB

Black could have played QxB at once.

10. QxKtQxQ
11. PxQB-Kt5 double ch
12. K-Q1R-K8 mate

A further example in which the loss of moves occurs, though not so glaringly, is the following famous game, which Morphy played against the Duke Karl of Brunswick and Count Isouard in the Royal box at the Paris opera-house.

1. P-K4P-K4
2. Kt-KB3P-Q3

According to the principles set out above, Kt-QB3 would have been better, since the text move shuts out the King’s Bishop.

3. P-Q4

Now the King’s Pawn is attacked twice. It would be bad to support it with Kt-QB3, as White would exchange pawns and then Queens. Black would thus forfeit his chance of castling and lose much time in bringing the King into safety and the Rooks into play. P- KB3, of course, is impossible, as it is not a developing move, and moreover blocks the natural development of the King’s Knight. Protecting the pawn with the Queen would also block other pieces, and QKt-Q2 cannot be good, as it blocks the Queen’s Bishop.

Since it seems impossible to protect the King’s Pawn, the only alternative would be to exchange it; indeed it is on the whole the best course, although it allows a White piece to take up a dominating position in the centre. Wishing to avoid this, Black plays

3. …B-Kt5

and, by pinning the opponent’s Knight, indirectly protects the King’s Pawn. This manœuvre is, however, ill-advised, as Black is forced to exchange the Bishop for the Knight. The Bishop will have moved twice, the Knight only once, therefore White will have gained a move for his development.

4. PxPBxKt

Should Black play PxP at once, White would exchange Queens, release the pin, and win the pawn.

5. QxBPxP
6. B-QB4

White has now two pieces more in play than Black, instead of only one, and the mobility of the White Queen, which Black himself has brought out, begins to have a threatening effect on Black’s game.

6. …Kt-KB3
7. Q-QKt3Q-K2

Black cannot cover his King’s Bishop’s Pawn with Q-Q2 because 8. QxP wins the Rook, whilst now Black could play 8. … Q-Kt5ch in reply, forcing the exchange of Queens. The text move, which is forced, blocks the Bishop, and at the same time prevents the development of the King’s Rook, all of which is the direct consequence of the loss of one move.

8. Kt-B3

White rightly disdains the gain of the Knight’s Pawn, but prevents the exchange of Queens in developing a piece. He proves the superiority of his position much more convincingly in that way. Black must now lose yet another move to protect his Knight’s Pawn.

8. …P-B3
9. B-KKt5P-Kt4

Black must try to develop his Queen’s Knight at last. He cannot play QKt-Q2 at once, since his Knight’s Pawn would again be unprotected; therefore he plays the move in the text, probably thinking that now White also must lose a move to withdraw his Bishop. But in view of the fact that Black’s game is wholly undeveloped, and that he plays practically several pieces down, White sacrifices his Knight for two pawns: he foresees the position which occurs a few moves later, when Black is hemmed in on all sides.

10. KtxPPxKt
11. BxKtPchQKt-Q2
12. Castles QRR-Q1

This is the only piece available to cover Q2, for the King’s Knight is pinned. White has another piece in reserve, his King’s Rook, and against this Black is defenceless.


Diag. 16

13. RxKt

compare Diag. 12.

13. … RxR 14. R-Q1 Q-K3

This releases the King’s Knight. Now White could win by playing BxKt and BxRch, but he prefers to end up with a magnificent sacrifice.

15. BxRch KtxB 16. Q-Kt8ch!! KtxQ 17. R-Q8 mate

The final position shows in a striking manner how a few well- developed pieces can be worth more than many undeveloped ones, and the whole game is an example of the fatal consequences which can follow the loss of a move, since it often leads to the compulsory loss of further moves in the course of the game.

“This is the curse of every evil deed
That propagating still it brings forth evil.”

The logical sequence of the moves in this game, as pointed out in the commentaries to it, is borne out by the curious coincidence that I once had the opportunity of playing a game in exactly the same sequence of moves, against a player to whom Morphy’s “brilliancy” was unknown.

The leading principle of all opening moves is made clear by the foregoing pages, namely, rapid development of pieces, and consequently the avoidance of the loss of a move in any shape or form.

Before treating of the various systems of openings, I will say a few words on the principles of PAWN PLAY.

Each opening is characterised by a well-defined pawn formation, and concurrently a certain method in the development of the pieces. Naturally the formation of a pawn skeleton is not an independent factor, but must be evolved with a view to facilitating the favourable development of pieces. But when considering the form of a pawn position and that of the pieces, we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that pawn formation must necessarily be the dominant consideration in our mind. Pawn formation is of a more permanent character than that of the pieces, in consequence of the latter’s greater mobility. When we have made a rash move with a piece, to which our attacking disposition may have tempted us, we may still have a chance of retrieving the position by timely retreat. Once a pawn has moved it cannot turn back, and only after the greatest deliberation should we embark on changes in our pawn formation in order not to disturb the balance of this “static element” of the game. But we shall see that the pawn skeleton which was formed in the opening often weathers the storm and stress of the middle game, and frequently preserves its character right up to the end-game. I will therefore make pawn formation my starting-point in an attempt to show the way through the maze of the openings on the basis of general strategical principles.

If our pawn skeleton is to promote the freedom of all the pieces, we must not build it up with the narrow view of developing minor pieces only, but must consider from the very first in which way it will enable the Rooks to get into action. We can unite these tendencies in making the CENTRE OF THE BOARD the main field of action for all our forces. This means for both sides K4 and Q4, and also in a lesser degree QB4 and KB4. We shall get a clear insight into the positional advantage of having command of the centre later on, when discussing the middle game. At present I will only touch the subject in a general way, explaining it in an elementary form, which will be sufficient to develop an understanding for pawn strategy in the opening. In the course of further deductions, after the grasp of this difficult stage of the game has become stronger, I will go into details which will allow the subject to be stated in a more precise form.

Placing the pieces in the centre is of value, because there they have more mobility than near the edge, which, of course, limits their range of action, and also because from the centre a concentration of forces on a given point can generally be effected in the quickest way.

In most cases two centre squares become inaccessible at once, through the opponent placing one of his pawns in the centre; therefore it would seem a good plan to lure that pawn away, and this is rendered feasible by playing P-K4 or P-QB4 when the opponent has a pawn on his Q4, and P-Q4 or P-KB4 when he has a pawn on K4. In the following we will consider such manœuvres as could apply either to White or Black, from the point of view of White, to whom the initiative is, as pointed out above, a sort of birth-right. Naturally, should White lose a move, as, for instance, 1. P-K4, P-K4; 2. Kt-KB3, Kt-QB3; 3. P-QR3? the position is reversed, and Black is bound to obtain the initiative which is White’s birthright.

The pawn moves mentioned above also have the tendency of giving the Rooks an opportunity for action. A Rook standing behind an advanced pawn may support its further advance, or, if the pawn should be exchanged, might get an open file.

The damage we wish to inflict on our opponent we must, of course, try to avoid ourselves. Thus we will not easily give up a centre pawn unless we can obtain some other advantage in doing so. This advantage may be, that in exchanging the centre pawn we open up lines of attack for our pieces, or that we are able to place one of our pieces in a commanding position in the centre of the board.

The following example may serve as an illustration. Supposing White plays after

1. P-Q4 P-Q4 2. P-QB4

His aim is to tempt Black’s centre pawn away and to make his QB4 and K4 accessible for his own forces. Black might be justified in taking the pawn, if he really could hold the pawn thus gained. We shall show later on that this is not so, and that White can win it back easily and advantageously. Therefore Black is more likely to play 2. P-K3. Not 2. … Kt-KB3; for after 3. PxP, KtxP; 4. P-K4 would open White’s game and drive the Knight away at once, gaining a move. Supposing, however, Black plays 2. … B-B4; should White now think mechanically, “I will take his centre pawn and consequently have the better game,” his deduction would be wrong. For after exchanging his Bishop for the Knight, which otherwise would drive his Queen away, Black brings the latter into a dominating square in the centre.


Diag. 17

3. PxP BxKt 4. RxB QxP

Black’s Queen cannot easily be driven away from her commanding position, particularly as White must lose a move to save his QRP. Meanwhile Black gains time for concentrating his forces for an attack which wins the Queen’s Pawn.

5. P-QKt3 Kt-QB3 6. P-K3 Castles QR 7. Kt-B3 P-K4

and wins the QP, or

5. P-QR3 Kt-QB3 6. P-K3 Castles QR

and P-K4 is again a threat hard for white to meet.

This position shows, that to bring one’s opponent’s centre pawn away and to keep one’s own, does not under all circumstances mean the command of the centre, but that the opening up of files and diagonals for one’s pieces towards the centre is an important moment in the fight for positional advantage.

Considerations of this kind will help to improve our judgment in many of the various openings treated in the following pages.

We will class the openings in this way:

A. White 1. P-K4.

(a) Black 1. P-K4 (b) Black 1. Any other move

B. White 1. P-Q4.

(a) Black 1. P-Q4 (b) Black 1. Any other move

C. White 1. Any other move

We shall find that openings classed under C generally lead to positions treated under A and B.

A. We have already come to the conclusion that after 1. P-K4, P- K4 White does well to try to force the exchange of Black’s centre pawn on Q4 or KB4, and that Black will try to counteract this, unless by allowing the exchange he gets a chance of exerting pressure in the centre by means of his pieces.

We will first see what happens when White undertakes the advance in question on his second move. Superficially the difference between 2. PQ4 and 2. P-KB4 is that in the first case the pawn thus advanced is covered, while in the second it is not. An opening in which a pawn sacrifice is offered, is called a “gambit”; 2. P-KB4 is therefore a gambit.

2. P-Q4 is only a gambit if after 2. … PxP White does not recapture the pawn. Nevertheless this opening has been called the “centre gambit,” and though the denomination is not correct we will adhere to it, as it is in general use.

A very considerable difference between the centre gambit and the King’s gambit lies in the fact that in the former acceptance is compulsory, whilst in the second it may be declined.

For: 2. P-Q4 threatens to take the King’s Pawn. To defend it by means of 2. … P-Q3 is unwise, since White exchanges pawns and then Queens, by which Black loses his chance of castling and impedes the development of his Rooks. 2. … Kt-QB3 is also bad, since after 3. PxP, KtxP; 4 P-KB4, White drives the Knight away, gaining a strong hold on the centre, and Black has no compensation for giving up his centre pawn. It may be mentioned here that after 2. … Kt-QB3, 3. P-Q5 would be a useless move, as to begin with it would be inconsequent, since P-Q4 was played in order to clear the centre, and moreover it would block up a diagonal which could be most useful to the King’s Bishop.

We conclude now that Black cannot hold his pawn at K4. He must relinquish the centre by 2. … PxP. He will now either attempt to bring away White’s King’s Pawn by advancing his own QP to Q4, or try to utilise the King’s file, which was opened by his second move, and operate against White’s KP. The Rooks are indicated for this task. We shall refer to the execution of these plans later on.

In the King’s gambit, White’s attempt to bring away Black’s King’s Pawn may be safely ignored.

The move 2. P-KB4 does not threaten to take the King’s Pawn, as Black would win White’s KP by Q-R5ch. Black can therefore develop in security with 2. … B-B4, and if then White prevents the Q check by Kt-KB3, there is no objection to Black protecting his King’s Pawn with P-Q3, as the King’s Bishop is already developed. After 4. B-B4, Black has still no need to protect his KP with Kt- QB3, but can play Kt-KB3 first, because after 5. PxP, PxP; 6. KtxP would be answered by 6. … Q-Q5 winning a piece. Black keeps the upper hand in these early encounters because he has made a developing move with a piece, whilst White has played a pawn move which is useless for the purpose of development.


Diag. 18

Diagram 18 shows the position which results from the following plausible moves:

2. P-KB4 B-B4 3. Kt-KB3 P-Q3 4. B-B4 Kt-KB3 5. P-Q3 Kt-B3 6. Kt-B3 B-KKt5

If White wishes to castle on the K side, which must have been his intention when playing 2. P-KB4, he will have to play Kt-QR4 and KtxB.

Though this is of no disadvantage to Black, he could avoid the exchange of his KB by playing 2. … P-QR3 instead of B-KKt5. If then White plays P-B5 in order to hinder the development of Black’s QB and to bring out his own, the pressure on Black’s KP is relieved permanently, and sooner or later Black will break through on the Q file, as his QP is no longer needed at Q3 for the support of the centre pawn.

A different pawn formation is the result if White enforces the exchange of Black’s centre pawn at once. This he can do by playing P-Q4, e.g.:

2. P-KB4 B-B4 or 4. P-B3 Kt-KB3 3. Kt-KB3 P-Q3 5. P-Q4 PxQP 4. P-Q4 PxQP 6. PxP B-Kt3 5. KtxP

Here Black can get an early advantage by attacking White’s KP, taking possession of the K file after castling on the K side.

All things considered, the student should in my opinion decline the gambit, as in doing so he can get an easy and satisfactory development. The treatment of the “King’s Gambit accepted,” which aims at holding the gambit pawn, is most difficult and leads early in the game to such complications as none but an expert can hope to master.

[Footnote: As an example of the difficult play which ensues when Black defends the pawn in the King’s Gambit, I give the latest variation of an attack introduced by Professor I. L. Rice, and called the “Rice Gambit”:

1. P-K4, P-K4; 2. P-KB4, PxP; 3. Kt-KB3, P-KKt4; 4. P-KR4, P-Kt5; 5. Kt-K5, Kt-KB3; 6. B-B4, P-Q4; 7. PxP, B-Q3; 8. Castles! BxKt; 9. R-K1, Q-K2; 10. P-B3, Kt-R4; 11. P-Q4, Kt-Q2; 12. PxB, KtxP; 13. P-QKt3, Castles; 14. B-R3, Kt-B6ch!; 15. PxKt, QxP; 16. R-K5! B-B4!!; 17. Kt-Q2! Q-Kt6ch; 18. K-B1, Q-R7; 19. BxR, P-Kt6; 20. B-B5, P-Kt7ch; 21. K-K1, Q-R5ch; 22. K-K2, Kt-Kt6ch; 23. K-B2, Kt-K5ch; 24. KxP, B-R6ch; 25. K-R1, K-R1; 26. KtxKt, R-KKt1; 27. R-Kt5, with interesting possibilities.

Numberless interesting variations are possible, but their discussion does not lie within the scope of this work. They will be found in books treating of the analysis of the openings.]

It is therefore unwise for the beginner to accept the gambit, unless there be a chance of compensation for the disappearance of his centre pawn, by forcing the exchange of White’s centre pawn as well. The following line of play would fulfil this condition:

1. P-K4, P-K4; 2. P-KB4, PxP; 3. Kt-KB3, Kt-KB3; 4. Kt-B3, P-Q4! Black thereby abandons the gambit pawn.

On principle, and when he has the choice, the beginner should give preference to simple and clear development in the opening, rather than to the gain of a pawn, when this involves difficult and intricate play. This principle must also guide us in other openings.

A good example is to be found in the so-called “Danish gambit,” [Footnote: The names of the various openings, which I mention for the sake of completeness, are generally derived from towns or countries in which they were first extensively played and analysed.] which will lead us back to those openings in which White plays P-Q4 on his second move. After 2. P-Q4, PxP, White has the option of sacrificing two pawns to obtain a very rapid development 3. P-QB3, PxP; 4. B-QB4, PxP; 5. QBxP. It may now be just possible for Black to avoid the many threats which White can bring to bear with his beautifully placed forces, perhaps by giving back one or both of the pawns gained. But this question can only be of interest to us if there is no opportunity of adopting a simple line of development at the outset. As it is, this opportunity is not wanting. All that Black needs to do is to push on his Queen’s Pawn as soon as possible, thus freeing his own Queen’s Bishop.

2. P-Q4 PxP 3. P-QB3 P-Q4


Diag. 19

After 4. KPxP, QxP, Black’s position is at least as easy of development as White’s. In the position set out in Diagram 19, White cannot play P-K5, because Black wins a pawn by PxP without hindering his own development in the least. The equalising power of Black’s P-Q4 in all KP openings where White has played P-Q4 can be noticed in many variations. I shall now give a few typical examples, which will show the line of play that can be adopted in many similar cases, and which can often be evolved one from the other by altering the order of the moves.


2. P-Q4 PxP 3. QxP Kt-QB3 4. Q-K3 Kt-B3 5. Kt-QB3 B-K2 6. B-Q2 P-Q4!


2. P-Q4 PxP 3. B-QB4 Kt-KB3 4. P-K5 P-Q4!


2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. P-Q4 PxP 4. B-B4 Kt-B3 4. P-B3 P-Q4! 5. P-K5 P-Q4!


2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. P-Q4 PxP 4. KtxP Kt-B3 5. Kt-QB3 B-Kt5 6. KtxKt KtPxKt 7. B-Q3 P-Q4!

In no case should Black forfeit his chance of playing P-Q4. It is tempting after 2. P-Q4, PxP; 3. Kt-KB3 to cover the pawn at Q5 by P-QB4, but in that case White would sacrifice a pawn by P-QB3, by this means opening the Queen’s file for himself, and so preventing Black from ever playing P-Q4. Thus, for the loss of a pawn, White has a paramount advantage in position.

For after 4. … PxP, 5. KtxP (Diagram 20) White has developed both Knights, and his Bishops are free, whilst Black has none of his pieces out. P-Q3 must also be played in order to mobilise the Queen’s Bishop, leaving K2 as the only square for the King’s Bishop; finally the “backward” pawn [Footnote: A pawn is said to be “backward,” when it cannot move into cover by another pawn.] at Q3 is open to constant attacks and is difficult to defend.


Diag. 20

The best plan for Black is to decline the doubtful gift of the pawn and to bring about one of the positions, as sketched above, in which, by playing P-Q4 early in the game, Black is sure of the free development of all his forces.

Black is able to play P-Q4 early in all such openings, where White does not force the defensive move P-Q3 by attacking Black’s King’s Pawn. For instance, in the King’s gambit, since the move 2. P-KB4 does not threaten PxP, Black can reply at once by 2. … P-Q4 (Falkbeer Counter Gambit). After 3. PxQP, P-K5 (to permit of Kt-KB3, which at present is not feasible on account of 4. PxP); 4. P-Q3, PxP; 5. QxP, White is a pawn ahead, but his Queen obstructs his KB; therefore Black has better developing chances and should be able to win the pawn back at the very least.

A second example is the Vienna game, which proceeds as follows:

2. Kt-QB3 Kt-KB3 3. P-B4 P-Q4 (Diagram 21)

If White plays 4. PxQP, Black can play P-K5, as in the Falkbeer gambit mentioned just now. In answer to 4. PxKP, on the other hand, Black can play KtxP without having the slightest difficulty with his development. For instance,

5. Kt-KB3 B-K2 6. P-Q4 P-KB3 7. B-Q3 KtxKt 8. PxKt Castles 9. Castles Kt-B3 or B-KKt5

and Black also will soon have an open file for his Rook, with no disadvantage in position.


Diag. 21

There is, however, one opening in which Black has the utmost difficulty in preventing White from getting a positional advantage in the centre. It is called the Ruy Lopez, and is held by many to be the strongest opening for White. The initial moves are: 1. P-K4, P-K4; 2. Kt-KB3, Kt-QB3; 3. B-Kt5. With this move White at once attacks the Black KP, though indirectly, by threatening to exchange the B for the Kt. To make the capture effective, however, White must first protect his own King’s Pawn, which would otherwise be lost after 4. BxKt, QPxB; 5. KtxP, Q- Q5!. At first, therefore, Black need not provide against the threatened exchange.

I shall treat at some length the various defences from which Black can choose, and in studying this most important King’s side opening, we shall have occasion to note many points of general interest for operations in the centre.

Broadly speaking, two entirely different systems of defence can be distinguished: either Black will try to maintain his centre pawn, or else, giving up the centre, try to gain some other advantage as compensation.

Black can only maintain his centre pawn if he can prevent his QKt from being exchanged. As is readily seen, White can attack Black’s KP a second time with P-Q4, whilst after Black’s P-Q3 any other defensive move would hinder development. These considerations lead to the first main line of defence in which Black plays 3. … P-QR3. After 4. B-R4 Black has the option of releasing the pin by playing P-QKt4 at some opportune moment. If White elects to exchange his Bishop for the Kt forthwith, he can remove the Black centre pawn after 4. … QPxB by playing 5. P- Q4, but the exchange of the B for the Kt gives Black a free development and in consequence a good game. (Compare note to move 4 in Game No. 12.)

Diagram 22 reproduces a typical position in this defence. The more usual continuation for White is 4. B-R4, Kt-B3;


Diag. 22

5. Castles; he does not trouble to protect his KP as its capture would allow his Rook an open file on which to act against the opposing King (compare Games Nos. 14 and 17) 5. … B-K2. Now Black can capture the KP without much risk, as the Bishop is on the King’s file. 6. R-K1, White covers his pawn, and thereby threatens to win a pawn by BxKt. Therefore Black must not delay playing 6. … P-QKt4.

After 7. B-Kt3, P-Q3; (Diagram 22) White cannot yet execute the manœuvre which underlies the whole tendency of the Ruy Lopez, namely P-Q4, maintaining the pressure in the centre, because after KtxQP, 9. KtxKt, PxKt; 10. QxP? White loses a piece through 10. … P-B4, etc. It is therefore necessary to play P- QB3 first. White could also obtain a rapid development by Kt-B3, P-Q3, B-K3 or Kt5, but this arrangement is not popular, because Black can play Kt-QR4 and exchange the valuable KB. The pawn at QB3 supports an advance in the centre, and also provides a retreat for the KB. The QKt can be developed in this way: Kt-Q2- B1-Kt3 or K3. Black, however, must try to round off his pawn position on the Queen’s side, by moving his QBP into line. Black’s pawns at K4 and QB4 then exert a pressure on White’s Q4. And this pressure threatens to be reinforced by B-Kt5. From these considerations the following development seems to be natural: 8. P-B3, Kt-QR4; 9. B-B2, P-B4; 10. P-Q4, Q-B2 (to support the KP); it leads to the position in Diagram 23.


Diag. 23

11. P-KR3

One of the few instances in which this pawn move is justified. It deprives Black’s QB of its only good square, and saves the K Kt, the co-operation of which is urgently needed in the centre.

This system of opening will receive more exhaustive treatment under the heading of “Middle Game.” (Compare Game No. 12.)

In the second main line of defence, of which I shall treat now, Black renounces the maintenance of his KP, and makes an attempt to find compensation by attacking White’s King’s Pawn. The King’s file, opened by the disappearance of the Black pawn, offers opportunities for that purpose. After the first few moves we arrive at the following position, which


Diag. 24

may be reached thus: 3. B-Kt5, P-Q3; 4. P-Q4, B-Q2; 5. Kt-B3, Kt- B3; 6. Castles, B-K2; 7. R-K1, PxP; 8. KtxP, Castles. The exchange on the seventh move is compulsory, because the loss of a pawn after BxKt is in effect threatened, now that the White KP is supported by the Rook.

Black’s intention of exerting pressure on the KP is now difficult of execution, because his pieces are very cramped and hinder one another in a restricted area. The KB in particular cannot be brought into action without great difficulty, for instance by: R- K1, B-KB1, P-KKt3, and B-Kt2. It is therefore advisable for White to develop his QB at Kt2 instead of at Kt5, in order not to give Black a chance of exchanging his troublesome Bishop. (In a game Bernstein-Emanuel Lasker, Moscow, 1914, there happened 9. BxKt, PxB; 10. B-Kt5, P-KR3; 11. B-R4, Kt-R2; 12. BxB, QxB with a good game for Black.)

The defence has a totally different trend, if Black gives up his own KP, but captures the White KP at once. I have already pointed out that White would not mind his KP being taken, in view of the attack on the open King’s file. Let us now consider in which way this attack can be planned. There are two essentially different lines, according to whether Black interpolates P-QR3 or not.

After 3. B-Kt5, Kt-B3; 4. Castles, KtxP; 5. R-K1, Black gets out of it comfortably by playing Kt-Q3, B-K2 and Castles, and White cannot permanently prevent Black’s game from being freed by the advance of the QP. P-Q4 for White on the fifth move is therefore stronger. Black cannot very well exchange the pawns, leaving the King’s file quite exposed, and must submit to White playing PxP, maintaining the pawn at K5 and preventing Black’s P-Q4 for some time to come.

The opening might continue in this way: 5. P-Q4, B-K2; 6. Q-K2, Kt-Q3; 7. BxKt, KtPxB (to make room for the Kt); 8. PxP, Kt-Kt2 (Diagram 25).


Diag. 25

The whole of the manœuvres now centre round Black’s endeavours to force his P-Q4, and White’s attempt to prevent it. Black ultimately gains his point, as will be seen, but at the expense of such disadvantages in the pawn position that it is questionable whether the whole variation (called the Rio de Janeiro Defence) is playable.

9. Kt-B3, Castles; 10. R-K1, Kt-B4 (the Knight is to be posted at K3 to bring the White KKt away from his Q4, whence he prevents the advance of Black’s QP by attacking QB6); 11. Kt-Q4, Kt-K3; 12. B-K3, KtxKt; 13. BxKt, P-B4; 14. B-K3, P-Q4; 15. PxP e.p., BxP. This is the critical position in the Rio de Janeiro defence. Black has succeeded in eliminating the White centre pawn, and sweeps long diagonals with his Bishops, but the advantage cannot be maintained. White exchanges the Bishop at Q6, and there remains a backward pawn, which Black will hardly be able to hold permanently. In practice it has been shown that the end-game should be won by White in spite of Bishops of opposite colours, as Black’s pawn at his QB4 is difficult to defend.

16. Kt-K4, B-Kt2; 17. KtxB (not BxP because of BxB; 18. KtxB, BxP followed by Q-Kt4ch), PxKt; 18. Q R-Q1 and P-QB4.

The game is much more favourable for Black if he first plays 3. … P-QR3, and retains the option of driving the White KB away by P-QKt4, after which P-Q4 can be enforced very soon. 3. B-Kt5, P- QR3; 4. B-R4, Kt-B3; 5. Castles, KtxP; 6. P-Q4, P-QKt4; 7. B-Kt3, P-Q4; 8. PxP, B-K3, 9. P-B3.

Now Black’s pieces are more mobile, and that is the reason why this system of defence is becoming more popular than any other.

On the other hand, it cannot be denied that Black’s pawn formation on the Q side is weak, and that his centre is less secure. Whilst White has a pawn firmly posted in the centre, Black has a Knight there which will soon be driven away. White’s Q4, the basis of his centre, is entirely in his hands, whilst Black’s Q4 is exposed to a steady pressure by the White pieces. Finally Black’s QKt is unfavourably placed, obstructing as it does the QBP and preventing its falling into line with its fellows.

Diagram 26 shows the position after 9. P-B3. The latter move prevents the exchange of the B after Black’s Kt-R4, an exchange which would allow Black to round up his pawn formation with P- QB4. The experts are not yet agreed as to the best continuation for Black in this critical position. To be considered are the moves B-QB4, B-K2 and Kt-B4. B-K2 is preferred nowadays to B- QB4, as QB4 should be kept free for the KKt in case the latter is driven from his dominating position, e.g. 10. R-K1 and 11. Q Kt- Q2. For if in that case Black exchanges the Knights, he only furthers White’s development without doing anything towards strengthening his Q4.

If Black covers the Knight with P-B4, White plays PxP e.p. and Kt-Kt5, rids himself of Black’s QB, and thereby weakens Black’s QP still more.

Kt-B4 would therefore seem to be the best choice, as the QB becomes mobile again after White’s B-B2, nor can White


Diag. 26

play P-Q4 as yet. The position in the diagram therefore leads to the following variations:

A. 9. … B-K2; 10. R-K1, Castles; 11. QKt-Q2, Kt-B4; 12. B-B2, B-KKt5. This manœuvre was introduced by Em. Lasker (Petrograd, 1909. For further particulars see Game No. 15).

B. 9. … Kt-B4; 10. QKt-Q2, P-Q5 (Capablanca-Em. Lasker, Petrograd, 1914); or 9. … B-K2; 10. R-K1, Castles; 11. QKt-Q2, Kt-B4; 12. B-B2, P-Q5 (Em. Lasker-Tarrasch, Petrograd, 1914).

Capablanca believes that the early advance of P-Q5 can be refuted by Kt-K4, e.g. 9. … B-K2; 10. QKt-Q2, Kt-B4; 11. B-B2, P-Q5; 12. Kt-K4, PxP; 13. KtxKt, BxKt; 14. B-K4, Q-Q2; 15. Q-B2 or PxP.

The openings as sketched out up to this point give a sufficiently clear idea of the possibilities of combining sound development with an attempt to capture the centre after the opening moves 1. P-K4, P-K4. In most cases, Black’s centre pawn being open to attack by White’s P-Q4, we find an early break-up of the centre, and concurrently the opening of the Ks or Qs file for the Rooks. That is why games opened in this fashion have been classed very generally as “open,” whilst all the other openings are called “close games.” Lately the distinction has been abandoned, and very rightly, since in the latter openings, too, the centre can be cleared occasionally. We attain typical close positions when Black does not play 1. … P-K4 in answer to 1. P-K4, but relinquishes all claim on his K4 and takes possession of his Q4 instead, leaving White the option of interlocking the pawns in the centre with P-K5.

On principle it does not seem advisable for Black to play P-Q4 on the first move in reply to 1. P-K4. Although White’s centre pawn disappears after 2. PxP, QxP, Black loses a move through 3. Kt- QB3, and his Queen has no place from which it cannot be driven away very soon, unless it be at Q1. This, however, would amount to an admission of the inferiority of the whole of Black’s plan.

There are two moves which deserve consideration as a preliminary to P-Q4, namely, 1. … P-K3 (French Defence)


Diag. 27

and P-QB3 (Caro-Kann defence). After 2. P-Q4, P-Q4, we attain the positions set out in the Diagrams 27 and 28, to which we must devote a good deal of attention.

These openings are worthy of study as being especially interesting examples of the struggle for the centre.

As early as the third move, White has to take an important decision. Is he to play P-K5 and prevent the opening of


Diag. 28

the K or Q file for a long time to come, or should he proceed to develop his pieces, and leave Black the option of anticipating the blocking of the centre by playing PxP himself?

I shall first turn my attention to those games in which White plays P-K5, starting with the French Defence, after which the Caro-Kann Defence will be easily understood.

The position which ensues in the centre after 1. P-K4, P-K3; 2. P-Q4, P-Q4; 3. P-K5, divides the board diagonally, and it is easy to recognise roughly the main lines of play which will govern the game. White has more scope on the King’s side, where his pieces will have greater mobility, and prospects of attack. Black’s chances are on the Queen’s side. Both sides will have to advance more pawns in order to obtain openings for their Rooks, and use them for the attack, since they have no future on the K and Q files, as was the case in the openings mentioned hitherto.

The obvious moves to this end are: for White the advance of the KBP, for Black that of the QBP and sometimes even of the QKtP, that is when the QBP has not been exchanged for the opposing QP, but has pushed on to B5.

In Diagrams 29 and 30 we see the chains of pawns formed by these manœuvres.

White’s pawn attack is more dangerous than Black’s,


Diag. 29

because it involves a direct assault on the King. And we shall see that Black will usually be compelled to suspend operations on the Queen’s side temporarily, to ward off the storm by the


Diag. 30

White Pawns on the King’s side. He will attempt this either by P- KB3 attacking White’s centre or by P-KB4 preventing White from playing P-B5. In the latter case White can only make a breach in the Black barrier by playing P-KKt4 as well. These manœuvres result in the pawn formations given in Diagrams 31 and 32.


Diag. 31

We must now turn to the development of the pieces corresponding to these pawn skeletons. If White plays P-K5


Diag. 32

on his third move, he prevents the Black KKt from reaching KB3, whence he might have moved to Q2. This is a desirable position, from which he could support the advance of P-QB4. But the Knight has other chances of development, to KR3 and B4, whence he can take his share in the attack on the White Pawn at Q4. In consequence White must postpone P-KB4 in order not to intercept the action of the QB on R6. Now, in that case White’s Pawn at his K5 has not sufficient support against the attack by Black’s P-KB3 (Diagram 31), and the latter move gives Black the advantage. The two main variations illustrative of these considerations are:


3. P-K5 P-QB4 4. P-QB3 Kt-QB3 5. P-KB4 PxP 6. PxP Q-Kt3 7. Kt-KB3 Kt-R3


3. P-K5 P-QB4 4. P-QB3 Kt-QB3 5. Kt-B3 P-B3

In both cases the initiative falls to Black, in the first through the attack on White’s Q4, the mainstay of White’s centre; in the second through attack on White’s K5, the White centre itself. We must therefore consider White’s advance of P-K5 on the third move as premature. Let us now find out whether it is advantageous to effect the same subsequently. A developing move can be interpolated, e.g. 3. Kt-QB3, Kt-KB3. If White plays P-K5 now he gains time for his advance of P-KB4, as Black’s Knight must retreat. On the other hand he cannot now maintain his pawn at Q4, as he has blocked his QBP. We arrive at the following plan of development:

3. Kt-QB3 Kt-KB3 4. P-K5 KKt-Q2 5. P-B4 P-QB4 6. PxP Kt-QB3

If Black were to play BxP at once, White could play Q-Kt4 with an attack on the Knight’s Pawn. That is the object of Black’s waiting move. White must either play 7. Kt-B3, which prevents his Q-Kt4, or 7. B-Q3, after which Black would take the pawn on B4 with his Knight, getting rid of the White Bishop. 7. Q-Kt4 at once would be answered by P-B4.

7. Kt-B3 BxP 8. B-Q3 P-B4

Black cannot castle yet, on account of the following threat, which I give in full because it occurs frequently in practice: 8. … Castles; 9. BxPch, KxB; 10. Kt-Kt5ch, K-Kt1: 11. Q-R5, R- K1; 12. QxPch; 13. Q-R5ch; 14. Q-R7ch; 15. Q-R8ch; 16. QxP mate.


Diag. 33

The position in the diagram seems favourable to Black as White cannot castle for some time.

For that reason another line of play has come to the fore in which White exchanges his inactive QB for Black’s troublesome KB.

3. Kt-QB3 Kt-KB3 4. B-Kt5 B-K2 5. P-K5 KKt-Q2 6. BxB QxB


Diag. 34

White has now the choice of two lines of development. He can either prepare for P-QB3 to support his QP. or he can develop his King’s side, holding the P at K5 only


          7. Kt-Kt5 Kt-Kt3
          8. P-QB3 P-QR3
          9. Kt-QR3 P-QB4
         10. P-KB4 Kt-B3
         11. Kt-B2 Castles
         12. Kt-B3 B-Q2
         13. B-Q3 P-B4

The sacrifice BxPch, as mentioned above, was threatened.

14. Castles Kt-R5 15. R-Kt1 P-QKt4

If White does not wish to lose so many moves with his Kt, he can effect the intended protection of his QP as follows:

7. Q-Q2 P-QR3

not P-QB4 at once, because of Kt-Kt5.

8. Kt-Q1 P-QB4 9. P-QB3


          7. P-B4 Castles
          8. Kt-B3 P-QB4
          9. B-Q3 P-B4
         10. Castles Kt-QB3

and so on.

In both cases White has an easy development, whilst Black has no convenient square for his Queen’s Bishop.

To avoid this drawback Rubinstein has evolved the following variation, in which provision is made from the first for the freedom of action of the Queen’s Bishop:

3. Kt-QB3 Kt-KB3 4. B-Kt5 PxP

to open the diagonal for the Bishop at QKt2, e.g.:

5. KtxP QKt-Q2 6. Kt-KB3 B-K2

followed by P-QKt3 and B-Kt2.

We will now leave the French defence and turn our attention to the Caro-Kann, of which the initial position was shown in Diagram 28. Here also we find two essentially different systems of development, according to whether White plays P-K5 or gives Black the option of exchanging pawns by 3. Kt-QB3. In the first case a very noticeable difference from the French defence is, that Black can bring out his Queen’s Bishop. Here the process of development may be:

3. P-K5 B-B4 4. B-Q3 BxB

Not B-Kt3, because White could play P-K6! and paralyse the whole of Black’s game by preventing his playing the King’s Pawn.

          5. QxB P-K3
          6. Kt-K2 or KR3

Through this the move P-KB4, which fits into this pawn formation, is kept in reserve.

While White’s development is easy and natural, Black has difficulty in finding good places for his King’s side pieces. The game can proceed generally speaking on the lines of the French defence. Only Black can hardly attack White’s centre with P-B3, since the Pawn at K3 would be weak in the absence of the Queen’s Bishop. On the other hand, Black would be a move behind with an attack on the Queen’s side, since to reach QB4 his pawn would have made two moves instead of one as in the French defence. A certain compensation lies in the fact that White’s attacking King’s Bishop has been exchanged.

In practical play it has nevertheless been shown that White’s attack is more likely to succeed, and for this reason a variation introduced by Niemzowitsch has been tried several times; it aims at the exchange of Queens in order to weaken and retard White’s threatened attack, and to gain time for Queen’s side operations.

6. … Q-Kt3 7. Castles Q-R3 or Kt4

But after 8. Kt-B4, QxQ; 9. KtxQ, White is so much ahead with his development that Black’s chance of equalising the game would seem questionable.

If White plays Kt-KR3 on his sixth move, he foils at once Black’s attempt of forcing an exchange of Queens, as he could play 8. Q- KKt3.

On the whole we can conclude that in the Caro-Kann defence White obtains a good game by 3. P-K5.

A line of play which used to be in vogue, namely, 3. Kt-QB3, PxP; 4. KtxP, Kt-B3; 5. KtxKtch, KPxKt or KtPxKt, gives Black an even chance, for although he loses his centre pawn he obtains a good development, and later in the game he has opportunities of exercising pressure on White’s QP through his open Q file.

Except the French defence and the Caro-Kann, there is no game in which an irregular reply to White’s 1. P-K4 necessitates any special considerations either in development of pieces or pawn formation. In all such cases it is sufficient to maintain the pawn centre and to occupy such squares with the pieces, whence they cannot be driven away with the loss of a move. Just one example: If Black plays 1. … P-QB4 (Sicilian defence), White will not play his King’s Bishop to B4, because Black can reply P- K3, and gain a move by P-Q4.

B. Let us now consider the openings in which the first move is 1. P-Q4 on either side. Here the centre cannot be cleared as early as in the openings beginning with 1. P-K4, P-K4. The advance of a second centre pawn, which there led to a clearance, is not feasible in this case. White does not command his K4, and for some time to come he will be unable to advance the K pawn beyond K3. In consequence the K file does not seem a likely opening for the Rooks, and another file must be found for them. The conclusions arrived at for Black in the French defence hold good for both sides in the opening now under consideration, and accordingly the QB file is that most advantageous for the Rooks. The advance of the QBP strikes at the opposing centre, and, that being of paramount importance, the Queen’s Knight must not be developed at B3 before the QBP has been pushed on. Another development might be conceivable for the Rooks; viz. on the KB file, and also the KKt or KR file; here, as we shall see, an occasion may arise for storming the opposing King’s side by a pawn attack. But in this case, too, although it seems unnecessary to play the QBP, it is advisable to develop the Knight via Q2, as there is a constant threat of the QB file being forced open subsequently by the opposing forces.

We will start with the games in which the QB Pawns are played in the earliest stages of the opening, so that the pawn skeleton in Diagram 35 forms the basis of development. The sequence of moves is of moment, because the advance of the KP, whether forced or not, determines the possibility of bringing out the Q Bishops. The simplest process of development based on Diagram 35 is the following, in which both sides block up the QB.


Diag. 35

2. P-K3 P-K3 3. Kt-KB3 Kt-KB3 4. P-B4 P-B4 5. Kt-B3 Kt-B3 6. B-Q3 B-Q3 7. Castles. Castles

The only useful square for the QB’s on either side is now at Kt2, and 8. P-QKt3, P-QKt3 are indicated. To play P-QKt3 before castling is very dangerous, because Black can play PxQP and pin the White QKt with B-Kt5, forcing B-Q2, when B-Kt2 was the move intended, e.g. 6. P-QKt3, BPxP; 7. KPxP, B-Kt5; 8. B-Kt2, Kt-K5; 9. Q-B2, Q-R4; 10. R-QB1, QxP.

In order not to relinquish the square at QKt4 to Black, White can also try the following manœuvre:

6. PxBP BxP 7. P-QR3 Castles 8. P-QKt4 B-Q3 9. B-Kt2

If Black imitates White’s moves, viz. 9. … PxP; 10. BxP, P-QR3; 11. Castles, P-QKt4; 12. B-Q3, B-Kt2, the result is the symmetrical position in Diagram 36.


Diag. 36

When treating of the middle game, we shall find that even in this apparently fully equalised position the influence of the first move is still at work.

In order to obtain a more thorough understanding of the Queen’s Pawn game, we must now turn our attention very closely to the opening moves. Already on the second move White can play 2. P-QB4 and turn the game into a Queen’s gambit, which Black can either accept or decline. Black would be justified in playing 2. … PxP, and so furthering White’s object of getting his (Black’s) Queen’s Pawn away, if he could permanently hold the gambit pawn, or if the giving up of the square at Q4 fits into a reasoned system of development. The latter was, for instance, the case in the play leading to the position shown in the Diagram 36. But Black is well advised to wait until White has moved the King’s Bishop before taking the pawn on his QB5. This forces the Bishop to move twice, and Black regains the move he lost in his development, when he played PxP.

It would be quite incorrect to try to hold the pawn by P-QKt4 as follows:

2. P-QB4 PxP 3. Kt-KB3 Kt-KB3 4. P-K3 P-QKt4 5. P-QR4


Diag. 37

If now Black answers PxP, White simply plays BxP and the P at R5 is lost very soon. If Black plays instead: 5. … P-B3, White wins back his pawn with 6. P-QKt3, PxKt P; 7. PxP, PxP; 8. BxPch by QxP, and moreover is much ahead with his development.

These considerations point to the conclusion that after 2. P-QB4 there is no inducement for Black to take the pawn. On the contrary, he will cover his centre pawn, which White wishes to tempt away, either with P-K3 or P-QB3. The attempt to develop the Queen’s Bishop before playing P-K3 is not to be recommended, because the Q Kt’s pawn remains unprotected and open to an immediate attack by 3. Q-Kt3. Of the two remaining replies, 2. … P-K3 and 2. … P-QB3, I will first discuss the former, as being the more natural of the two, since P-QB3 does not fit into the scheme for opening the QB file for the Rooks. White, on the other hand, can bring out his QB before playing P-K3, in this way:

2. P-QB4, P-K3; 3. Kt-QB3, Kt-KB3; 4. B-Kt5, and the game might proceed as follows: 4. … Q Kt-Q2. (Diagram 38.)

No fault can be found with this move, although it blocks the Bishop, since the latter can only be developed effectively at Kt2. Moreover, the Knight at Q2 supports the projected P-B4. White cannot win a pawn now with 5. PxP, PxP; 6. KtxP, because of KtxKt; 7. BxQ, B-Kt5ch. Therefore 5. P-K3 must be played first, and after B-K2; 6. Kt-B3, Castles; 7. R-B1, P-QKt3; 8. PxP, PxP; 9. B-Q3, B-Kt2, all the pieces have found rational development.


Diag. 38

Quite a different system of opening ensues, when Black does not delay pushing the P to QB4 until after his pieces are developed, but makes the advance on his third move.

Here Black has the advantage of being able to avoid the pinning of his Knight by the opposing QB.

2. P-QB4 P-K3 3. Kt-QB3 P-QB4 4. Kt-B3 Kt-QB3!

Now Black threatens QPxP with an attack on White’s Queen’s Pawn. If White plays P-K3 we get the position mentioned in connection with Diagram 35. If he wishes to bring out his QB first, he must anticipate Black’s threat by BPxP.


5. BPxP KPxP

the third of the typical main positions in the Queen’s gambit ensues, and is given in Diagram 39. Two continuations must now be considered. White can either develop his KB at Kt2, and concentrate on the Black QP, which is somewhat weak, or he can place the KB on one of the available squares between B1 and R6. In the first instance, the KP need not be played at all, and the QB


Diag. 39

retains the option of developing at Kt5, B4, and even K3. In the second, where the K must make room for the KB, White must decide at once between B-B4 or Kt5, and only B4 can be seriously considered on account of

6. B-Kt5 B-K2 7. BxB KtxB

which only furthers Black’s development. White would only be justified in this course if he could now win a pawn with 8. PxP, but Black would win it back and have the superior game after

8. … P-Q5 9. Kt-K4 Castles

followed by B-B4 and Q-R4ch. The correct move in this variation is consequently 6. B-B4, and a possible continuation would be: Kt-KB3; 7. P-K3, B-K3; 8. R-QB1 or B-QKt5 or B-Q3.

With this we will close the discussion of the variations initiated by 2. P-QB4, P-K3, and study the reply 2. … P-QB3. The first question which arises in our mind is: Which file will Black be able to utilise for his Rooks? An attempt to free the King’s file through P-K4 is conceivable. But White can prevent this by simply playing Kt-KB3.

Two other possibilities present themselves: after playing P-K3, Kt-B3 and QKt-Q2, Black could steer into a line similar to the Queen’s gambit accepted with PxP and P-QB4, or he could keep the centre closed with P-KB4 and Kt-B3, with the intention of playing Kt-K5 and using the KB file for activating his Rook via KB3. Diagram 40 gives the position reached after:

          3. Kt-KB3 P-K3
          4. P-K3 Kt-KB4
          5. Kt-K5 Kt-B3


Diag. 40

White would not accomplish much with 6. P-KB4. The more or less symmetrical lineup of the pieces would most likely lead to a draw after Black properly prepares freeing his hemmed-in Bishop with P-QKt3 and B-Kt2. A better plan would be 6. P-B3, preventing Kt- K5 and preparing the eventual advance of the King’s Pawn to K4. In reply to 6. … , QKt-Q2 White would then rather play 7. Kt-Q3 than exchange Knights, as after this exchange it would not be too difficult for Black to bring his Bishop into play on the King’s wing via K1. Both of White’s Bishops would be best placed on Kt2.

This “Stonewall” opening can also be played by White, who is then a move to the good in the variation just shown. But this opening has practically disappeared from modern tournament games, simply because the QB cannot easily be brought into play.

The following variation is reminiscent of the “Stonewall” in the formation of the centre pawns. White develops his Queen’s side just as Black did in the opening shown in connection with Diagram 38.

2. Kt-KB3 P-QB4 3. P-K3 Kt-QB3 4. B-Q3 Kt-B3 5. P-QKt3 P-K3 6. B-Kt2 B-Q3 7. QKt-Q2 PxP 8. PxP Castles


Diag. 41

White can now settle his Knight at K5, and initiate a violent King’s side attack after castling, by P-KB4, Q-B3, which could be continued with P-KKt4, K-R1, R-KKt1, and so on. Once the position in Diagram 41 has been reached, Black’s resources against the dangerous onslaught of the White forces are scanty. Yet he can retaliate, not by making the simplest and most obvious developing moves, as mentioned before, but in the following way:

If White plays 5. P-QKt3 before castling, Black exchanges pawns and checks with the Queen. Now White has the disagreeable choice between B-Q2 and P-B3. The former must be bad, being contrary to the plan of development as intended by P-QKt3. The latter blocks the very diagonal on which the Bishop was meant to operate. White can open up the diagonal by playing P-QB4 after castling, nor would it really imply the loss of a move to have played the BP twice, since Black must move his Queen again from R4, where she has no future. But in any case there remains the disadvantage that White was forced to play the BP, whilst before he had the option of withholding its advance until a more opportune moment.

Another possible subtlety in Black’s sequence of developing moves would be to withhold the advance of his KP until White has played P-QKt3, and then to play the QB to Kt5. For, as I have already remarked, the objection to developing Black’s Queen’s Bishop lies in White’s threat to attack Black’s QKtP with Q-Kt3. That possibility disappears after P-QKt3.

Before bringing the discussion of the Queen’s Pawn opening to a close, I may remark that in tournaments it has become usual for White not to play P-QB4 at once, but to play Kt-KB3 as a preliminary, in order to avoid the complications of the Queen’s counter gambit: 2. P-QB4, P-K4.

If White plays 3. PxKP, Black’s reply is P-Q5, and the obvious move 4. P-K3 fails on account of the following pretty combination: B—Kt5ch; 5. B—Q2, PxP; 6. BxB, PxPch; 7. K-K2, PxKtch!!; 8. RxKt, B-Kt5ch, etc.

Instead of 4. P-K3, White should play P-KKt3 and develop his KB at Kt2. Black could now try to regain his pawn with Kt-K2-Kt3, but he can also sacrifice a pawn by P-KB3, with a view to rapid development.

It now only remains for us to discover whether Black has any other answer to P-Q4 which would necessitate close analysis on White’s part.

Here must be mentioned: 1. … Kt-KB3, 1. … P-QB4, and 1. … P-KB4. The former move prepares P-Q3, followed by P-K4. In this opening there is no reason why White should play P-QB4, as there is no prospect of opening the QB file for the Rooks. Furthermore, Black has relinquished the square Q4 and made K4 the basis of operations. It will be more advisable to prevent Black from playing P-K4 as far as this can be achieved in conformity with a logical development, e.g. 1. P-Q4, Kt-KB3; 2. Kt-KB3. Not 2. Kt- QB3, because Black could then lead into the Queen’s gambit by playing P-Q4 and P-QB4, after which White has the disadvantage of not being able to open the QB file. 2. … P-Q3; 3. B-B4, QKt-Q2; 4. P-K3. Now Black can only enforce P-K4 after P-B3 and QB2. Meanwhile White mobilises all his pieces, whilst Black’s QB remains blocked and the Kt must remain at Q2 to cover the KP. If, on the other hand, Black exchanges pawns in order to free the Knight, there is no Black centre left.

With regard to the second irregular reply to 1. P-Q4, namely, 1. … P-QB4, two ways are open to White. One is to turn the opening into an ordinary Queen’s gambit by playing P-K3, on which Black can play P-Q4. The second is to play 2. P-Q5. Black will then develop his King’s side with P-KKt3 and B-Kt2. The Bishop is well posted here, and can frequently take up an attacking position at K4 or Q5. (See Game No. 45, Rubinstein v. Spielmann.)

If White plays 2. PxP, we have after 2. … P-K3 a Queen’s gambit accepted by White, and, as pointed out before, this line of play is not commendable.

The last of the three irregular answers mentioned above: 1. … P-KB4 leads to two entirely different plans, according to the second move chosen by White.

White can confine himself to a simple development such as: Kt- KB3, B-Kt5, P-K3, QKt-Q2 (Kt-B3 would only be good if preceded by P-B4, because Black would again lead into a Queen’s gambit with P-Q4 and P-QB4). The other possibility is the following: in view of the fact that 1. … P-KB4 does absolutely nothing to aid development, White can initiate a violent attack by giving up his King’s Pawn (P-K4) and thus accelerate his own development. The play might be as follows: 2. … PxP; 3. Kt-QB3, Kt-KB3; 4. B- KKt5, P-B3 (P-Q4? 5. BxKt followed by Q-R5ch); 5. P-B3. If Black takes the pawn he lays himself open to an attack hard to meet. It seems best to play 5. … P-K6, which calls back the White QB and leaves White’s BP as a hindrance to the development of the KKt.


Many openings in which neither P-K4 nor P-Q4 is the first move lead to well-known positions by a simple transposition of moves. For instance, a Queen’s gambit may well have the following opening moves: 1. P-QB4, Kt-KB3; 2. Kt-KB3, P-K3; 3. Kt-B3, P-B4; 4. P-K3, P-Q4; 5. P-Q4, or a French defence these: 1. Kt-QB3, P- Q4; 2. P-Q4, Kt-KB3; 3. B-Kt5, P-K3; 4. P-K4.

There are, of course, systems of opening which deviate absolutely from those which have been proved sound and are in general use, and it is those openings that puzzle the beginner most of all. He says: What is the good of learning correct openings, if my opponent plays incorrectly and wins all the same? This line of thought is wrong from its inception. The student is not supposed to “learn” openings by heart, but to UNDERSTAND how the general principles of Chess Strategy are applied to any opening. Such knowledge can never be obtained from a tabulated analysis, but can only be arrived at by the application of common sense. If a player succeeds in winning in spite of an inferior opening, it only proves that subsequently he has played a stronger game than his opponent, who, after playing the opening according to the book, did not know how to proceed further. And herein lies the weakness, and not in the absence of knowledge of the analysis of openings. The latter is rated far too highly. Any player will hold his own in the opening, as soon as he has grasped the real meaning of those principles which I cannot repeat often enough, viz.: 1st, quick development of pieces and avoidance of lost moves; 2nd, the maintenance of a pawn centre, hampering the development of the opposing forces, and the avoidance of pawn moves that do not contribute to the development of pieces.

How to conduct the middle game and end-game is not entirely a matter of deduction from such general rules. In order to play the end-game correctly, one must know certain things and positions which arise from and may be said to be peculiar to the purely arbitrary rules of chess. The same applies to the middle game, as in most cases it must be played with a view to the end-game which ensues, unless there be a chance of mating the opponent before. The student should have, therefore, a knowledge of the end-game before he can hope to be able to conduct the middle game efficiently. For this reason I have decided to treat of the end- game first.


JUST as it is difficult to state the exact point at which an opening ends, so is it equally difficult to say where the end- game may be said to commence. One of the main characteristics of end-games is the active part taken by the King. Clearly the King cannot venture out into the field of operations until there has been an exchange of the majority of the pieces, so that there can be no danger of his being mated. As soon as a player has attained some advantage in material which ensures the victory in the end- game, he will try to bring about the end-game by exchanging pieces, for there the lines on which to push home his advantage are clearly set out.

It is first necessary to know what surplus of forces is the minimum required in order to force a mate. The positions in which the mate can be forced may be shown by a few typical examples. But I shall lay stress mainly on one point. That is the ability to judge whether an end-game which could be brought about by exchanges is won or not; in other words, whether it can be reduced to one of the typical positions referred to above.

It is obvious that the end-game is the particular demesne of pawn strategy. Nearly always one or more pawns survive the exchange of pieces, and the knowledge of the end-game will be invaluable for gauging the consequences of pawn moves in the course of the middle game. The latter represents probably the most difficult aspect of the strategy of chess.

In order to enable beginners to grasp the following chapters, I must again point out a few elementary considerations.

Simple end-games, that is, end-games without pawns, are comparatively easy to understand. Let us first consider the case of a King denuded of all his troops. In order to force the mate it is necessary to obtain command of four squares, namely, those four squares which he controls after he has been driven into a corner. Supposing the Black King has been driven to QR1, the White King can prevent him from reaching two squares of different colour, namely, QR2 and QKt2. Therefore it is necessary for White still to have such forces as can command two more squares of different colour, namely, QR1 and QKt1. As can readily be seen, it will be essential to have at least the Queen or a Rook or two Bishops, or a Knight and Bishop, or two Knights. [Footnote: How the King can be driven into a corner will be shown subsequently.]

We shall see that in the latter case it is impossible to drive the King into a corner without bringing about a stalemate. The mates by a Queen or Rook are so simple that I only give an example of each for the sake of completeness.

        Position 1.—White: K at QR1, Q-KR1
                  Black: K at K4

1. K-Kt2, K-Q5; 2. K-Kt3, K-K4; 3. K-B4, K-Q3; 4. Q-K4, K- Q2; 5. K-B5, K-B1; 6. K-B6, K-Kt1; 7. Q-QR4, or Kt4ch, or K7, or R7 and mate next move.

       Position 2.—White: K at QKt3, RKR2
             Black: K at K4

1. K-B4, K-Q3; 2. R-K2, K-B3; 3. R-K6ch, K-Q2; 4. K-Q5, K- B2; 5. K-B5, K-Q2; 6. R-K1, K-B2; 7. R-K7ch, K-Q1; 8. K-Q6, K-B1; 9. K-B6, K-Kt1; 10. R-K1, K-R7; 11. R-K8, K-R3; 12. R-R8 mate.

     Position 3.—White: K at QRsq, B at KKtsq, BatKKt2
                Black: K at KRsq

1. K-Kt2, K-Kt2; 2. K-B3, K-B3; 3. K-Q4, K-K3; 4. B-R2, K- B3; 5. K-Q5, K-B4; 6. B-K5, K-Kt4; 7. K-K6, K-Kt5; 8. B- QR8, K-Kt4; 9. B-B3, K-Kt3; 10. B-KB6, K-R3; 11. K-B7, K- R2; 12. B-Kt5, K-R1; 13. B-Q1, K-R2; 14. B-B2ch, K-R1; B-B6 mate.

It is more difficult to mate with KNIGHT AND BISHOP. It is only possible to mate on a corner square commanded by the Bishop, as the following argument shows clearly. A mating position in the corner which the Bishop does not command would have to be of the type set out in Diagram 42. Here the Bishop plays on White squares, and the Knight in order to checkmate must move on to a White square; in other words, he must come from a Black one. Therefore, when the Bishop checked on the previous move and drove the King away, the King had the option of two black squares, and had no need to go into the corner one. He is only mated in consequence of a wrong move.


Diag. 42

As stated above, however, it is possible in all cases to mate in the corner square which is of the same colour as the Bishop. The King is driven into the corner in this way: the Knight cuts him off such squares as the Bishop does not command. Diagram 43 will serve as an illustration.

1. K-Kt2, K-Kt2; 2. K-B3, K-B3; 3. K-Q4, K-K3; 4. Kt-Kt3, K-B3; 5. B-B3, K-Kt4; 6. K-K5, K-Kt3; 7. Kt-K4, K-Kt2; 8. K-B5, K-R1; 9. K-B6, K-Kt1; 10. Kt-Kt5, K-R1; 11. Kt-B7ch, K-Kt1; 12. B-K4, K-B1; 13. B-R7, K-K1; 14. Kt-K5, K-Q1; 15. Kt-B4, K-B2; 16. B-K4, K-Q2; 17. K-B7, K-B2; 18. K-K7, K-B1; 19. K-Q6, K-Q1; 20. B-Kt6, K-B1; 21. Kt-R5, K-Q1; 22. Kt-Kt7ch, K-B1; 23. K-B6, K-Kt1; 24. K-Kt6, K-B1; 25. B-B5ch, K-Kt1; 26. Kt-B5, K-R1; 27. B-K6, K-Kt1; 28. Kt-R6ch, K-R1; 29. B-Q5 mate.


Diag. 43

It is impossible to force a mate with the KING AND TWO KNIGHTS. On the same grounds as given with respect to Diagram 42, the mate can only be attained through the opponent making a bad move. But a mate can be forced if the weaker side has a spare move which prevents the stalemate, e.g. Diagram 44.


Diag. 44

1. Kt(K3)-Q5, K-Kt2; 2. K-B5, K-R3; 3. K-Kt4, K-Kt2; 4. K-Kt5, K- R2; 5. Kt-B7, K-Kt2; 6. Kt(B7)-K8, K-R2; 7. Kt-Q6, K-Kt1; 8. K- Kt6, K-R1; 9. Kt-Q7, P-B4; 10. Kt-Kt5, P-B5; 11. Kt-B7 mate.

Having decided as to the smallest amount of material advantage with which it is possible to force a mate, we will now turn our attention to simple game endings (still without pawns). To judge such endings correctly, it will only be necessary to find out whether it is possible to obtain the minimum advantage mentioned. It is sufficient to discuss cases in which a piece on the one side plays against a stronger one on the other, because in endings where several pieces are left on either side, fortuitous circumstances are generally the deciding factors, and it would be impossible to characterise and classify positions of that kind, by giving typical illustrations. Besides, they are reduced sooner or later by exchanges to such end-games as have been treated already, or are going to be shown now.

The Queen wins against any other piece; the Rook alone may give trouble. In Diagram 45 we illustrate a


Diag. 45

position which is one of the most favourable to the weaker side.

1. Q-R6 leads to nothing, as R-B2ch follows, and after 2. K-Kt6 Black forces a stalemate with R-B3ch.

It is necessary for White to gain a move in this position; in other words, White must try to transfer to the other side the onus of having to move. If then the Rook moves away from the King, it gets lost after a few checks, or if Black’s King plays to B1, the Rook is equally lost through Q-R6.

White plays therefore: 1. Q-K5ch, K-R1; 2. Q-R1ch, K-Kt1; 3. Q- R5, and wins. For example, 3. … R-B2; 4. Q-K5ch, K-R2; 5. Q- K3ch, K-R1; 6. Q-K8ch, and so on.

The Rook can win against a minor piece in exceptional cases only. In endings of ROOK AGAINST BISHOP the weaker King must take refuge in a corner square of different colour from that of his Bishop. For instance, Diagram 46:


Diag. 46

1. R-Q5, B-B5 (or R2); 2. R-Q8ch, B-Kt1, and Black is stalemate unless the Rook leaves the eighth Rank. Any outside square which is not of the same colour as that of the Bishop is dangerous for the King. Imagine the pieces in Diagram 46 shifted two squares towards the centre of the board, as in Diagram 47, and White wins with

1. R-QKt5 B-R5 2. R-Kt8ch B-K1 3. R-R8

The Bishop is lost, as it is Black’s move.

In endings of ROOK AGAINST KNIGHT, the weaker side loses, where the Knight is cut off from his King.

For instance, in Diagram 48, 1. R-Q5! In this “oblique opposition” the Rook takes four of the Knight’s squares: 1. … Kt-K8; 2. K-B5, Kt-B7; 3. K-K4, Kt-R6 (Kt-Kt5?; 4. R-Kt5ch! wins the Knight). In this ending there is always a fatal check at some point, and the position in the


Diag. 47

diagram is not in any way a chance win. 4. K-Q3, K-B2; 5. R-QR5, Kt-Kt8; 6. R-R1, and wins.


Diag. 48

As soon as the Knight can obtain the King’s support the game is drawn even when the King is already forced on to the edge of the board.

          Position—White: K at K6, R at K5
                    Black: K at K1, Kt at QR2

1. R-QB5, K-Q1; 2. K-Q6, Kt-B1ch; 3. K-B6, Kt-K2ch, draw. In this case the King must avoid the corners, as the Knight would be bereft of his efficiency.

          Position—White: K at KR6, R at KR4
                    Black: K at KR1, Kt at K2

1. R-K4, Kt-Kt1ch; 2. K-Kt6 and wins.

We come now to the more interesting part of end-game play, namely, PAWN ENDINGS. The best course will be first to study how to turn a material superiority in pawns to decisive advantage, after which we shall note particular positions, in which a win is possible with an equality or even an inferiority in pawns.

The ending of KING AND PAWN AGAINST KING is one of the simplest albeit one of the most important of elementary cases. The stronger side will evidently try to queen the pawn. But generally this is not possible if the adverse King has command of the queening square. One important condition, though, must be complied with: the weaker King must move into “opposition,” and “opposition” is one of the characteristic and deciding factors in most pawn endings. It is absolutely necessary for the learner to understand fully the meaning of the term “opposition,” and its value in elementary cases This knowledge is of far reaching influence in end-games.


Diag. 49

In Diagram 49 White seeks to queen his pawn.

1. K-Q4, K-K2; 2. K-K5

With this move White assumes the opposition. That is, he moves into the same rank or file, separated by one square only, so that both Kings stand on squares of the same colour. White has moved last, it is Black’s turn to move; it is said in this case that “White has the opposition.” We shall soon see that Black is only able to draw the game, if he succeeds in assuming the opposition himself (which means that, having the move, he should step into opposition). 2. … K-Q 2; 3 P-Q6 (Diagram 50).


Diag. 50

I propose now to recapitulate.

This is the critical moment, namely, when the pawn reaches the sixth rank. If now Black plays K-K1 he is lost, for White playing K-K6 has the opposition. After 4. … K-Q1, 5. P-Q7, Black is forced to allow the White King to move to K7, covering the queening square; 5. … K-B2, 6. K-K7, any; 7. P queens. But Black has a draw in the position of Diagram 50, by playing 3. … K-Q1!! (not K1). Now after 4. K-K6 he keeps the opposition himself with K-K1; and after 5. P-Q7ch, K-Q1; 6. K-Q6, he is stalemated, or else wins the pawn if White plays differently on his sixth move. The King draws against King and pawn if he commands the queening square, and if he can retain the opposition on the first rank as soon as the pawn moves into his sixth.

It is of the utmost importance that the pawn should be at his sixth; if the pawn is still further back, the opposition on the first rank is of no avail.

Diagram 51 will serve as an example. Having the move,


Diag. 51

White would only draw with P-B5, because Black’s K-B2 wins the pawn.

But White wins as follows: 1. K-Kt6, K-B1; 2. K-B6, K-K1; 3. K- K6, K-Q1; 4. K-Q6, K-B sq:


Diag. 52

5. P-B5, K-Q sq. We see: Black has just assumed the opposition, but the pawn has not yet crossed to his sixth square, and White, by playing P-B6, again forces Black to give up the opposition. It might be more clear to put it in this way: with P-B6 White wins the opposition, in that he brings about a position with Black to move. Therefore the game is won for White. Since the opposition on the outside rank is of no avail, when the pawn has not yet played to his sixth square, the weaker side must try to keep away the opposing King from the sixth rank until the pawn has reached that rank. This is possible in positions such as that in Diagram 53, where the stronger


Diag. 53

King is not more than one rank ahead of his pawn, and the weaker King can assume the opposition. In the position in Diagram 53 Black plays K-Q4 and maintains the opposition until the pawn moves, after which a typical position, similar to the one treated in connection with Diagram 50 is brought about.

If White has the move, however, he wins easily by 1. K-B4, thus:

1. … K-Q3 2. K-Kt5 K-B2 3. K-B5 K-Kt2 4. K-Q6 K-B1 5. K-B6

and there is opposition on the eighth rank whilst the pawn has not reached the sixth.

If the King is more than one rank ahead of his pawn, as in Diagram 54, the end-game can always be won, for if Black


Diag. 54

takes the opposition with K-Q3, White deprives him of it again, winning a move by P-B3, and the position is similar to that in Diagram 53, with White to move.

1. … K-Q3 2. P-B3 K-B3 3. K-B4 and wins.

This settles all typical end-games of King and pawn against King. There is, however, one exception to the rules set out, namely, when a ROOK’S PAWN is concerned. Here the isolated King always succeeds in drawing if he can reach the corner where the pawn has to queen, for he cannot be driven out again. The Rook’s pawn affords another opportunity for the weaker side to draw. Diagram 55 will illustrate this, and similar positions are of frequent occurrence in practice. Here Black draws with 1. … K-B5. As he threatens to capture the pawn, White must play 2. P-R4. Then after the reply K-B4, White is still unable to cut the opponent off from the corner with K-Kt7, as the loss of the pawn is still threatened through K-Kt5. And after 3. P-R5 Black attains the position which is typical for this end-game, namely the opposition against the King on the Rook’s file. The latter cannot escape without giving up the contested corner, and the game is drawn. 3. … K-B3; 4. K-R7, K-B2; 5. K-R8, K-B1; 6. P-R6, K-B2; 7. P-R7, K-B1: and White is stalemated.


Diag. 55

End-games with a majority of one pawn, when both sides still have pawns, are much more simple to manipulate.

Such games result in positions of which Diagram 56 is a


Diag. 56

typical instance. Here White does not even need to Queen his passed pawn. The mere threat forces the win. For the pawn at Kt4 reduces the mobility of the Black King, in so far as the latter must at all times be ready to reach the queening square in as few moves as the pawn, or else the pawn would queen unmolested. The White King can therefore capture the opposing Bishop’s pawn in peace and then queen his own.

1. K-K4, K-K3; 2. P-Kt5, K-K2; 3. K-K5, K-B2; 4. K-Q6, and so on; or 1. … K-Kt4 KxP; 3. K-Q6, K-B4; 4. KxP, K-K3; 5. K-Kt7, and so on.

Such positions as Diagram 56 are also reached when there are several pawns on each wing. The stronger side exchanges pawns on the wing where there is a majority until the extra pawn is passed.

The winning process is not quite so simple when all the pawns are on the same wing, because exchanges are of no use unless the King can assume the opposition in front of the last remaining pawn (compare notes to Diagram 53).

In Diagram 57, for instance, White must not play P-B4. Therefore he can only win by gaining the Knight’s Pawn,


Diag. 57

that is, by bringing his King to B5. This he achieves by forcing the Black King to relinquish the opposition with 1. P-B3.

1. … K-B3; 2. K-K5, K-Kt2; 3. K-Q6, K-Kt3; 4. K-Q5, K-Kt2; 5. K-B5, K-R3; 6. K-B6, and wins, as Black must abandon the pawn.

This position, being of frequent occurrence, is most important, and I recommend it as a valuable study in the use of the opposition.

Before I discuss positions of greater complexity, in which the only way to win is by sacrificing the extra pawn, I shall treat of end-games in which positional advantages ensure the victory although the pawns are equal. Here we shall find simple cases in which pawn manœuvres bring about the win, and more intricate ones in which King moves are the deciding factor.

Of the former the most important type is the end-game with the “distant passed pawn.” A typical example is the position in Diagram 58, in which Black wins.


Diag. 58

The King’s moves are outlined by the necessity of capturing the opposing passed pawn, after which the Black King is two files nearer the battle-field (the Queen’s side), so that the White pawns must fall.

1. K-Kt2, K-Kt2; 2. K-Kt3, K-B3; 3. K-Kt4, K-K4; 4. P-B4ch, K-B3; 5. K-Kt3, P-R4; 6. K-R4, K-B4; 7. KxP, KxP; 8. K-Kt6, K-K4, and so on.

For similar reasons the position in Diagram 59 is lost for Black. White obtains a passed pawn on the opposite wing to that of the King. He forces the Black King to abandon his King’s side pawns, and these are lost. I give the moves in full, because this is another important example characteristic of the ever recurring necessity of applying our arithmetical rule. By simply enumerating the moves necessary for either player to queen his pawn—SEPARATELY for White and Black—we can see the result of our intended manœuvres, however far ahead we have to extend our calculations.

1. P-R4, K-K3; 2. P-R5, PxP; 3. PxP, K-Q3

Now the following calculations show that Black is lost. White needs ten moves in order to queen on the King’s side, namely, five to capture the Black King’s side pawns (K-K4, B5, Kt6, R6, Kt5), one to free the way for his pawn, and four moves with the pawn. After ten moves, Black only


Diag. 59

gets his pawn to B6. He requires six moves to capture the White Queen’s side pawns, one to make room for his pawn at B3, and after three moves the pawn only gets to B6. White then wins by means of many checks, forcing the Black King to block the way of his own pawn, thus gaining time for his King to approach. As we shall see later on (p. 97), if the pawn had already reached B7, whilst under protection by his K, the game would be drawn.

It is necessary to make it a rule to examine positions in which each side has a passed pawn, by counting the moves in the way first shown. It is just because end-games can be calculated to a nicety, there being no moves of which the consequences cannot be foreseen, that we note in contemporary master play a tendency to simplify the middle-game by exchanging pieces, as soon as there is an infinitesimal advantage in the pawn position (compare the game Charousek-Heinrichsen, p. 108).

We will now turn our attention to positions in which the pawns opposed on each wing are of equal number and no passed pawn can be forced through. Everything depends on the relative position of the Kings. The deciding factor in valuing the King’s position is whether pawn moves are possible, or whether they are already entirely or nearly exhausted, so that only manœuvres by the King are possible. The following illustrations make the position clear. We shall see that the importance of getting the opposition is paramount. Diagram 60 shows a simple instance in which there are no


Diag. 60

more pawn moves. Whoever has the move wins by assuming the opposition. The opposing King must then give the way free to one of the pawns.

The state of affairs in Diagram 61 is similar to that in Diagram 60. Having the move, White plays into opposition and forces his way to Q5, after which Black’s Bishop’s pawn is lost.

1. K-K4, K-Q3; 2. K-B5, K-Q2; 3. K-K5, K-B3; 4. K-K6, K-B2; 5. K- Q5, K-Kt3; 6. K-Q6, and so on (compare Diagram 57). If Black has the move he can only draw, because the White Bishop’s pawn is covered even though Black gains the square at Q5.

1. … K-K4; 2. K-Q3, K-B5; 3. K-Q2!! and whatever Black plays White wins the opposition, so that the Black King’s ingress is stopped; 2. K-K2 loses the game because of 3. … K-K5; 4. K-Q2, K-Q5; 5. K-B2, K-K6; 6. K-B1, K-Q6; 7. K-Kt2, K-Q7; 8. K-Kt1, K- B6; 9. K-R2, K-B7, and wins.


Diag. 61

I shall take this opportunity of explaining what is called “distant opposition.” In Diagram 62, White with the move wins by 1. K-K2, thus assuming “distant opposition” (squares of the same colour!!). If Black now enters his second rank, White immediately plays into opposition on his third rank, e.g. 1. … K-Q2; 2. K- Q3, and still maintains it by 3. K-K3 if Black plays a waiting move such as 2. … K-K2. Now Black has no further waiting moves, as White threatens to capture one of the pawns. But playing into the third rank is of no use, as White then assumes the direct opposition, and wins as in Diagram 60. Black must allow White access to one side or the other. He could not have remained on the first rank at the outset either, for after 1. … K-Q1, White advances through a square, to which Black cannot assume the opposition, namely, 2. K-B3. If now Black wishes to answer the threat of K-B 4-Kt5 and plays K-K2, White answers 3. K-K3 as before.

2. K-K3 or KQ3 would be wrong, as Black would then succeed in assuming the opposition at K2 or Q2, and would be able to maintain it. White would be unable to circumvent this or to attack the pawns.


Diag. 62

In this position, too, there is ample scope for the study of the opposition.

If the pawns are still standing behind, the King who has the most advanced position has always the advantage, because he threatens to attack the opposing pawns should they leave their base. White has more pawn moves at his disposal, and will nearly always succeed in assuming the opposition. For instance, in Diagram 63, White, having the move, wins because his King gets first into the centre of the board.

1. K-K3, K-Q2; 2. K-B4, K-K2; 3. K-Kt5 K-B2; 4. K-R6, K-Kt1; 5. P-KB4, K-R1; 6. P-B5, PxP; 7. K-Kt5, K-Kt2; 8. KxP, K-B2. Black has now the opposition but cannot maintain it, having no pawn moves available. The White King threatens to capture any pawn that ventures forward.

9. K-K5, K-K2; 10. K-Q5, K-Q2; 11. P-B4, P-B3ch; 12. K-K5, K-K2; 13. P-B5, and wins, as Black will soon be compelled to play K-Q2, after which a manœuvre shown previously gives White the Queen’s Bishop’s pawn.

l3. … P-KR4; 14. P-KR4, P-R4; 15. P-R4! K-Q2; 16. K-B6, K-O1: 17. K-K6, and so on.

If in Diagram 63 the King stood at Q2 instead of B1, he could just manage to draw. White takes eleven moves to capture the Black King’s side pawns, and to queen one of


Diag. 63

his own, as can be easily seen. In eleven moves Black captures the opposing QBP and queens his own. We see here how the King’s position can be counterbalanced by the weakness of a pawn, and lead to a draw. If the White QBP was not isolated but standing, for instance, at QKt2, Black would be lost, as calculation easily shows.

The strength or weakness of a pawn position, which, as we saw, had so deciding an influence in the end-game position just treated, is one of the most important factors in a game of chess, and should have full consideration in the middle game. A pawn, when isolated, is naturally weaker than when it is or can be protected by another. It may easily lead to the loss of a game, as the mobility of the King or a piece is reduced by having to protect the pawn (compare End-game, p. 102).

It is frequently and erroneously thought that DOUBLED pawns as such are a weakness. Doubled pawns are weak when ISOLATED, for they cannot support each other. But if doubled pawns can be supported by a pawn on the next file they need not by any means be at a disadvantage against three united single pawns on the opposite side. For instance, in Diagram 64, if Black had a pawn at QKt3 instead of R2, White would have no winning chances. He could not attack the pawns, nor would any kind of manœuvres force a passed pawn through. In the diagram, however, White wins through


Diag. 64

1. K-B5; Black cannot then hold the pawn at B3. 1. … P-R3; 2. P-Kt4.

In this particular case the win is made easy by the fact that the White King is able to attack the Black pawn at once. But even without this advantage, the weakness of


Diag. 65

doubled pawns usually entails the loss of the game. Diagram 65 may serve as an example.

1. K-Q4, P-B4ch; 2. K-B4, K-B3; 3. P-B3 K-Kt3; 4. K-Q5, P-B3ch; 5. K-B4, and wins.

Doubled pawns are a drawback, even when not isolated, should there be no way of obtaining a passed pawn by exchanging them against a smaller number of single pawns. This is illustrated in Diagram 66, in which Black wins because the three pawns on the King’s side hold up the four White pawns and the Black King can assail the White pawns from the rear,


Diag. 66

the White King being fettered by the necessity of capturing the QBP. The proper formation for the Black pawns would be at B3, Kt2, R3, after which White cannot force a pawn through by playing P-B4 and P-Kt5, as Black can refrain from making any exchange. Black could not afford to leave the pawns where they are, because even if there were no White pawn at B2, White would, by playing P-Kt5, threaten to win in the following way:

1. P-Kt6, BPxP; 2. P-R6, and P-B6, etc.; or 1. … RPxP; 2. P- B6, with P-R6, etc. In a game Ed. Lasker-Moll (Berlin championship, 1904), from which the position is taken, Black played P-R3 in order to obtain the formation mentioned above, and White resigned after 2. P-B4? P-B3, P-Kt5, K-Q5. There was, however, a pretty win after Black’s P-R3, namely: 2. P-B6, PxP; 3. P-B4, K-Q5; 4. P-Kt5, BPxP; 5. PxP, K-K4; 6. PxP, K-B6; 7. K- B2 and Black is lost, because his own pawn obstructs the square B2, and the King must release the square Kt2, after which the White pawn queens.

This winning combination, however, is only an interesting exception to the rule that positions of this kind are generally won by the side which possesses the passed pawn. In this particular case Black could have made the position secure by obtaining the ideal position of B3 Kt2 R3 for his pawns earlier, before the White pawns could advance so far. In the position of Diagram 66 Black could still have won by playing P-B3. After 2. P-R6, PxP; 3. P-B4, K-Q4; the Black King has time to overtake the passed pawn which results on the Bishop’s file.

To conclude the study of pawn endings with an equal number of pawns on either side, we will discuss Diagram 67,


Diag. 67

which illustrates a curious position occurring from time to time in practice. Whoever has the move wins by moving into distant opposition. White, therefore, should play K-K5 K-Q5 would lose, as Black would play K-Kt5, protecting his pawn and attacking the White pawn, the protection of which White has to give up next move. In the same way Black with the move cannot play K-Kt5 because White wins the pawn with K-Q5. After 1. K-K5 Black cannot avoid the loss of the game, e.g. K-R3; 2. K-Q5, K-Kt3; 3. K-Q6, and so on. Black with the move wins similarly with K-R5.

We have still to consider end-games in which a draw results in spite of a majority of pawns, or where a win can only be achieved by the sacrifice of an extra pawn.

Diagram 68 shows the latter case. Here White can only win in the following manner: 1. P-Kt4ch, PxPch; 2. K-Kt3, K any; 3. KxP, and wins. Any other way would allow


Diag. 68

Black to assume the opposition and to force the draw, e.g. 1. K- B2, K-B3! 2. K-Q3, K-Q4, etc.

Not 1. K-B2, K-Kt5? 2. K-Kt2, K-B4, 3. K-B3, etc., as in Diagram 57.


Diag. 69

A counterpart to this position is found in Diagram 69, which shows one of the few cases in which the possession of an extra pawn does not force a win. It seems at first sight as if White could win by simply assuming the opposition with 1. K-K4 continued: … K-K2; 2. K-Q5, K-Q2; 3. P-B5, K-K2; 4. K-B6, etc. But Black would reply 1. … P-B4ch! and after 2. PxPch, K-B3 followed by KxP ensure the draw.

We come now to those end-games in which pieces as well as pawns are left on the board.

As it is my aim to give typical examples, I shall confine myself to positions where there is only one piece besides the King. Most end-games with several pieces can be reduced to that.

In nearly all end-games with pieces the King’s manœuvres used in pawn endings are of no avail, as far as opposition is concerned, as the advantage of opposition means that the opponent is forced to move his King, and as long as there are pieces on the board, such “forced move” positions are infrequent. However, the strength of the pawn position is of the same importance as in pawn endings, just as the command of as many squares as possible is essential for the King. A third and very important factor is again the mobility of pieces.

A good example is found in Diagram 70, a position from a game Post-Leonhardt (Berlin Jubilee Tournament, 1907).


Diag. 70

Black’s pawn position is weaker, because the White pawns, being on Black squares, cannot be attacked by the Bishop, whilst Black has two isolated pawns on White squares. Furthermore the Black Bishop has less mobility than the White one, and finally the Black King is tied to his Q3, to prevent White’s entry at B5 or K5. These drawbacks decide the issue. 1. … B-R2; 2. P-R4, B- Kt3; 3. B-B2, P-R4. (After B-R2 White would command the square at Kt6 through P-R5); 4. B-Q3, B-R2; 5. B-B1, and Black resigns, for White threatens to establish his Bishop at B3, where the pawns at Q5 and R5 are both attacked, whilst the Black Bishop is at once forced to occupy the only square from which both pawns are covered, namely B2. As this square must be abandoned in the next move, Black loses a pawn and the game.

5. … B-Kt1; 6. B-K2, B-B2; 7. B-B3, and wins, or 5. … B-Kt3; 6. B-Kt2, B-B2; 7. B-B3, and wins.

A corresponding instance of KNIGHT V. BISHOP is the end-game Blackburne-Schlechter (p. 102).

It is difficult to gauge the relative value of Bishop and Knight in the end-game. The Knight has the advantage of access to all squares; against that the Bishop is able to fight at long range, and offers opportunities of gaining moves in certain positions where there is a “forced move” (compare p. 90).

As already stated, two Bishops are superior to two Knights because the limitation of the colour of squares ceases. A Rook generally wins against a Bishop or a Knight, sometimes even against a majority of one or two pawns, provided, of course, that there are still pawns on the Rook’s side, and that their exchange cannot be forced. The following position (Diagram 71), from a game Moll-Post, shows how to proceed in such cases.

Here White can force a win in the following way: 1. RxP, P-Kt6; 2. R-R6, PxP; 3. RxP, K-B2; 4. R-B2, B-Kt5; 5. R-B4, B-R4; 6. P- B4! The Black pawn position must first be torn up, if it is to be attacked successfully.

Now Black’s defeat is inevitable, whether the pawn is taken or not. The sequel would be 6. … PxP; 7. RxP, after which the Rook goes to KR5 and the Rook’s pawn must fall, or: 6. … K-Kt3; 7. PxP, PxP; 8. R-B6ch, K-Kt2; 9. R-B5, and the Bishop’s pawn is lost, unless Black gives up his passed pawn. In this case Black loses also: 9. R-B5, B-Q1; 10. KxP, K-Kt3; 11. K-Q3, B-B3; 12. R- B6, K-Kt2; 13. K-K4, K-Kt3; 14. R-R6, K-B2; 15. K-B5, B-Q1; 16. R-KKt6, followed by RxP, etc.

The Queen against a minor piece wins so easily that it is not necessary to give an example. It only remains to discuss end-


Diag. 71

games of QUEEN V. QUEEN, ROOK V. ROOK, AND MINOR PIECE V. MINOR PIECE, in which one player has a majority of pawns, or an equal number of pawns, one of which is passed. As a rule the extra


Diag. 72

pawn leads to a win. There are, however, exceptions frequently recurring in practice to which I must refer specially.

Diagram 72 shows an end-game with a Rook’s pawn and a Bishop “of the wrong colour.”

White draws with 1. Kt-Q2, P-B7; 2. Kt-K4ch, K-Kt7; 3. KtxP, and draws, as Black, in order to capture the White pawn, after KxKt must give the White King access to the Rook’s square, from which he could not be dislodged except by a Bishop on White squares.

In Diagram 73 White cannot win although his Bishop is of the “right colour” by 1. P-B7, KtxP; 2. BxKt, and White cannot win the Rook’s pawn. He can only attack the pawn from Kt7 or Kt8, both of which are inaccessible as the Black King gets to Kt1. It is a stalemate position. If the White


Diag. 73

pawn were still at R5, White’s King could attack the pawn from R6 and secure the win.

In the position given, White could only win by keeping his passed pawn, and indeed it is possible to win by gaining a move with the Bishop. In the diagram it is White’s move. Black with the move could not play K-B2 because K-Q6 would follow. The Knight would have to move, allowing the pawn to queen. Therefore White must try to bring about the same position with Black to move. He can do this, for instance, in the following way:

1. B-Kt3, K-B2 (now 2. K-Q6 would be bad on account of Kt-Q5, 3. P-B7, Kt-Kt5ch, and KtxP); 2. B-R2, K-K2; 3. B-K5. Now White’s plan has succeeded; the same position has occurred, and it is Black’s move. As mentioned before, the King must not move, but Knight’s moves are of no avail. If 3. … Kt-Kt4; 4. B-B6ch, the Knight is lost, or alternatively the pawn queens. On 3. … Kt- B1, B-Q6ch decides, and on 3. … Kt-Q1; 4. B-B6ch, K-K1; 5. BxKt would follow.

On this occasion I should like to point out that it is impossible to gain a move with a Knight, as a square which is accessible to him in an odd number of moves cannot be reached by him in an even number. A simple instance is Diagram 74.


Diag. 74

White loses, having the move. 1. K-R8, Kt-K4; 2. K-R2, Kt-Q2; 3. K-R8, Kt-B1; 4. P-R7, Kt-Kt3 mate.

Black with the move cannot win, as he cannot bring about the same position with White to move.

In end-games of BISHOP V. BISHOP, of which we have already had an example in Diagram 70, an extra pawn wins in most cases if the Bishops are of the same colour. It is generally possible to force an exchange of Bishops and obtain one of the well-known pawn endings.

On the other hand an ending with Bishops of different colour leads mostly to a draw, frequently even against a majority of two pawns. The position in Diagram 75 is a draw, because it is impossible for the White King to get round his Kt pawn to drive off the Bishop.


Diag. 75

With two passed pawns distant from each other, a win can generally be forced, as in the following position (Diagram 76).


Diag. 76

The King moves up to the pawn, the progress of which is barred by the Bishop (not the King). He thereby forces the sacrifice of the Bishop. If the Black King comes to the rescue of the Bishop, the other pawn proves Black’s downfall.

1. K-K4, K-K2; 2. K-Q5, K-Q2; 3. B-K4, B-K2; 4. P-Kt6, B-Q1; 5. P-Kt7, K-B2; 6. K-K6, and wins; or 5. … B-B2; 6. P-B6, B-R7; 6. B-B2, K-K1; 8. K-K6, B-Kt1; 9. B-Kt6ch, K-B1; 10. K-Q7, and wins.

When the pawns are united, one should observe this rule: if they are attacked, they should, if possible, move to squares of the colour of the opposing Bishop.

Therefore in the position set out in Diagram 77 White should not play P-B5, but P-K5. After 1. P-B5 there is no possible chance for White to assume the command of the Black squares, and in order to advance the pawns it is necessary


Diag. 77

to force access to both White and Black squares. In the present instance play would proceed on these lines:

1. P-K5, B-R4; 2. K-K3, K-B2; 3. K-K4, K-K2; 4. P-B5, B-Kt5; 5. P-B6ch, K-B1; 6. P-K6, B-R6; 7. B-R4, B-Kt5. White can only get through with the King’s Pawn, as P-B7 is unavailing on the grounds set out above. But in order to play P-K7, the square K7 must first be covered a second time, so that the Bishop cannot be given up for the two pawns. Therefore: 8. K-Q5, B-R6 (B-B6; P- K7ch); 9. K-B6, K-K1; 10. K-B7ch, K-B1; 11. K-Q7, and wins.

In end-games with one Knight on each side, an extra pawn usually decides the game much in the same way as in end-games with Bishops of the same colour; frequently even with equal pawns, the possession of a passed pawn is sufficient, as it keeps either the King or the Knight busy, so that there is only one piece available for the defence of the pawns. An instructive example is the end-game Ed. Lasker-Rotlevi on p. 100.

End-games with Rook against Rook are the most frequent, as well as the most difficult. Here the possession of an extra pawn is seldom sufficient for a win, unless the stronger side has also an advantage in the greater mobility of the Rook. Diagram 78 is typical of such cases, frequent in practice, in


Diag. 78

which the greater mobility is the deciding factor. Although White has one pawn more, he can only win by reducing the mobility of the Black Rook through the following manœuvre: 1. R-B2, R-Q2; 2. R-R2, R-R2. Now the Black Rook has only one move left, whilst the White Rook has the freedom of the Rook’s file. For instance, the Rook can be posted at R5 and prevent the Black King from attacking White’s King’s side pawns, whilst the White King makes for the R at R7 and effects its capture. If, on the other hand, the Black King tries to obstruct the way to the Queen’s side, White penetrates into the Black pawn position. Black cannot maintain the opposition because the White Rook has spare moves, the Black Rook none. e.g. 3. K-B3, K-Kt3; 4. R-R5, K-B3; 5. K-K4, K-K3; 6. R-R4, P-Kt3; 7. R-R5, K-Q3; 8. K-Q4, K-B3; 9. K-K5, and wins the pawns.

Having the move, Black would draw the game by: 1. … R-Q7ch; 2. K-R3, R-R7. By placing his Rook behind the passed pawn he condemns the opposing Rook to inactivity, whilst his own is free to move on the Rook’s file. If now the White King comes up, he will in the end force the sacrifice of the Black Rook for the pawn, but meanwhile the Black King captures the White pawns, and with passed pawns on the King’s side might get winning chances.

When there is only one pawn left in endings of R against R, the weaker side maintains the draw, if the King can command the queening square. Diagram 79 shows a position favourable to the stronger side, and which can mostly be obtained in this end-game. But here, too, Black forces a draw with a pretty manœuvre: 1. … R-B2; 2. R-KKt2, R-Q2ch; 3. PXR, and Black is stalemate.


Diag. 79

The chances of a draw are even greater in endings of Q against Q, as the King on the stronger side can seldom evade perpetual check. For the sake of completeness I will show a few cases in which Q or R cannot win against an advanced pawn.

In Diagram 80 White can still draw, for in five moves the pawn reaches Kt7, supported by the King at R7, and in that time Black cannot come up with his King, so that he must give up the Rook for the pawn. Two passed pawns win, even when the King is away from them, if they have reached their sixth square. In Diagram 81, for instance, White is lost,


Diag. 80

as Black gives up his Rook at Q7 and plays P-Kt6, after which one of the pawns queens.

The Queen wins against an advanced pawn, even when the latter is supported by the King; only the R or B pawn can


Diag. 81

draw sometimes, when the pawn is on the seventh supported by the King, and the opposing Q cannot move to the queening square.

The following illustrates the three principal cases:

          A. Position—White: K at QKt8, P at QR7
                       Black: K at QR8, Q at QB3

Black must stop the pawn and plays Q-Kt3ch. White answers with K- R sq and is stalemate unless White lets the Kt’s file free again. This end-game can only be won if the stronger King can assume the opposition in two moves. Therefore, if in the above example the Black King was standing at Q5, Black would win as follows: 1. … Q-K1ch; 2. K-Kt7, Q-K2ch; 3. K-Kt8, K-B4; 4. P-R8 = Q, K-Kt3. and White cannot cover the mate.

          B. Position—White: K at QKt8, P at QB7
                       Black: K at Q5, Q at QB3

White draws: 1. … Q-Kt3ch; 2. K-R8, QxP stalemate.

          C. Position—White: K at QKt8, P at QKt7
                       Black: K at Q5, Q at QB3 White loses.

1. K-R7, Q-R5ch; 2. K-Kt6, Q-Kt5ch; 3. K-B7, Q-B4ch; 4. K-Q8, Q- Q3ch; 5. K-B8, Q-B3ch; 6. K-Kt8, K-B4; 7. K-R7, Q-R5ch; 8. K-Kt8, K-B3; 9. K-B8, Q-R3, etc.


In the following pages I give some instructive examples taken from tournament play. Step by step we will find how very important is the knowledge of the simple endings treated in the last chapter. We shall see that it is often necessary to consider many moves ahead to find the correct line, but that it is nearly always possible to foresee every consequence with unfailing certainty. Moreover, because of the reduction of forces there is no call to take very many variations into consideration. This explains why there is a tendency in modern master play to enforce the exchange of pieces, as soon as there is the slightest advantage sufficient to bring about one of the elementary end- game positions, in which the win can be forced.



Diag. 82

Black has an extra pawn on the Queen’s side. But as it is doubled, the material superiority is of no account. A perceptible advantage, however, lies in the fact that White cannot bring about a “forced move” position, as Black has the move P-QB4 in reserve. White has also an infinitesimal weakness on the King’s side, the Rook’s pawn having advanced two squares and being therefore an easy mark. This disadvantage soon becomes apparent.

1. P-B3 K-B4 2. K-B2 P-R4 3. K-Kt2 P-Kt4 4. K-R3 K-K4

With this move advantage is taken of one of White’s weaknesses. White must exchange pawns. If the King moves, Black captures, freeing B 5 for his King, from where he can later on get to K6 or Kt6. But after the exchange at Kt4, Black has the chance of obtaining a “distant passed pawn” on the Rook’s file.

5. PxP PxP 6. K-Kt2 K-B4 7. K-R2 K-B3

If Black were to play P-R5 at once, White would reply with 8. K- R3, and after PxP, 9. KxP. Black would have to give up the spare move P-B4, to gain the square at B5 for his King. The game then would be drawn after 10. K-Kt2! K-B5, 11. K-B2, because White maintains the opposition, and Black cannot get through at K6 or Kt6. Black therefore manœuvres his King first in such a way that the square at his B4 is only reached when the White King is at Kt3.

8. K-Kt2 K-Kt3 9. K-R2 P-R5

Now neither PxP nor P-B4 is of any use. In the first case Black obtains the distant passed pawn. In the second White obtains the distant passed pawn after 10. P-B4, PxBP; 11. PxRP, but loses it again after K-R4; 12. K-R3, P-B4.

10. K-R3 PxP 11. KxP K-B4

At last Black has captured the coveted square, whilst keeping the spare move in hand.

12. K-B2 K-B5

The White King cannot move to Kt2 now, because in that case Black would move the King to the White QBP and queen in seven moves, and White, after seven moves, would only have the KB pawn at B7.

13. K-K2 K-Kt6 14. K-K3 P-B4

and wins, for White cannot hold the KBP now, but must capture the KtP in exchange for it, after which the Black King reaches the Queen’s side two moves ahead, e.g.:

15. K-K2 K-Kt7 16. K-K3 K-B8! 17. K-K4 K-B7 18. K-B5 KxP 19. KxP K-K6, etc.

Black would have forced a win also if White had played K-Kt2 on his twelfth move thus: 12. K-Kt2, K-B5; 13. K-B2.

Now White has the opposition, and after Black wrings it from him by playing the spare move P-B4, he assumes it again with 14. K- K2, K-Kt6; 15. K-K3. But he cannot maintain it after Black’s K-R6 because the square at Q3 for distant opposition is not accessible. After 16. K-Q2, K-R7!; 17. K-K3, K-Kt6; 18. K-K2, K- Kt7; 19. K-K3, K-B8 we get the same result as before.



Diag. 83

White has the advantage, because Black must keep either his King or his Knight permanently near the passed pawn, guarding against its advance, whilst both White’s King and Knight can attack the Black pawns. As yet they stand so far in the rear that the White King cannot approach them Therefore White must first try to force their advance.

1. Kt-B5 P-Kt3 2. Kt-Q3 P-R4

This is now necessary, because the square B3 is weak after P-Kt3 and the White Knight threatens to win the Rook’s pawn eventually with a check at B6. For this reason Kt-Q 2, for instance, could not be played instead of the move in the text, because 3. Kt-K5 would follow. Black now cannot exchange, of course, otherwise the position would resolve itself to an easy end game win similar to the one in Diagram 56. There would be nothing left but Kt-Kt1 to oppose the threat of Kt-B6ch, and this would get the Knight entirely out of play, so that White could queen the passed pawn easily after 4. K-Kt6.

3. K-K5 P-B3

The King was threatening to enter via Q5 and B6.

4. K-B5 Kt-K3

If Black wishes to obviate the threat: Kt-K5-B4, and plays P-Kt4, the White King goes to QB5 and wins all the pawns easily. Therefore Black endeavours to sacrifice a pawn in order to exchange the two others, after which a draw could be forced by exchanging the Knight for the remaining White pawn.

5. Kt-K5 P-B4 6. Kt-B4 P-Kt4 7. KtxP P-B5


Diag. 84

8. K-K5 Kt-B4 9. Kt-B6ch K-B1!

Not K-B2, because of 10. K-Q4, Kt-Q6; 11. Kt-K5ch.

10. Kt-R7

Here White had only considered the following answer:

Kt-Q6ch; 11. K-Q4, KtxKtP; 12. KtxP, Kt-Q6; 13. P-B5, Kt-Kt5; 14. Kt-B3, Kt-B7ch: 15. KxP, Kt-K6ch; 16. K-B5, KtxP; 17. P-R4, Kt- K2; 18. Kt-Q5, Kt-B1; 19. K-B6, K-K1; 20. K-B7, Kt-R7; 21. K-Kt7, and wins the Knight.

Black however draws, through a pretty combination:

10. … P-Kt5 11. K-Q4 P-B6 12. K-B4 PxP 13. KxP KtxP

and White cannot prevent the ultimate exchange of Kt for P. The last winning chance would have been: 10. K-Q4!, Kt-Q; 11. K-B3. This is in any case the more plausible line, because now White can attack the pawns with both King and Knight, as both the Black pieces are away from the field of operations. The sequel could be: 11. KtxBP; 12. P-R3 (Kt-R7 would only draw: Kt-K7ch; 13. K- Kt4, Kt-B8 14. P-R3, Kt-R7ch; 15. KxP, P-B6); 12. Kt-Q4ch 13. K- Q4, Kt-B5; 14. K-K4 (Kt-R7 ?, Kt-K7ch!!; 15 K-K3, P-B6), Kt-Q6; 15. P-Kt4, Kt-Kt7 16 Kt-Q4, and wins

III. From a game Blackburne-Schlechter (Vienna, 1898).


Diag. 85

White has just played Q-B4. P-B5 is threatened, and Black is forced to exchange Queens. The ensuing end-game, however, is inferior for Black, because the QP is weak and White threatens eventually to force his Queen’s Pawn through.

1. … Q-B4 2. QxQ BxQ 3. Kt-Q4 B-Kt3 4. RxR RxR 5. R-K1 RxR

If Black wants to avoid the exchange, he must yield up the King’s file to White, and that would surely spell disaster, as the Black Rook would have no field of action, and would have to go to Q1 to avoid the loss of a pawn through Kt-Kt5ch, after which the White Rook would take possession of the seventh rank, fettering the action of the Bishop into the bargain.

6. KxR B-Q6 7. P-QKt3 K-Q2

Black is condemned to inactivity, and White can quietly set to work to force his pawn through.

          8. K-Q2 B-K5
          9. P-Kt3 B-Kt8
         10. P-QR3 B-K5
         11. K-K3 B-Kt8
         12. Kt-B3

In order to play P-QKt4 and P-B5, then to force Black to exchange at B5, White must first have the opportunity of bearing a second time on Black’s Queen’s Pawn. Therefore he prepares the manœuvre Kt-B3-Q2-B4.

12. … K-K2 13. P-QKt4 B-B4 14. P-B5 B-Q2 15. K-Q4 B-K1 16. Kt-Q2 B-Q2 17. Kt-B4 PxPch 18. PxP P-B3

It is not yet easy to materialise the advantage in position The advance P-Q6ch would be very bad, as B6 and K6 would be made accessible for Black. White starts by tempting the pawns forward and thus systematically creates points of attack.

19. Kt-Kt2 B-B4 20. P-QR4 K-Q2 21. P-R5 P-QR3

The Queen’s side is paralysed. The text move is forced, as P-R6 would give White yet another passed pawn. Now White turns his attention to the King’s side.

22. Kt-B4 K-B2 23. Kt-Q6 B-Q2 24. K-K4 B-R5 25. P-Kt4 B-B7ch 26. K-Q4 B-Kt3

Black wishes to play P-R4, in order to get a passed pawn too, the only chance of saving the game.

27. P-R3 K-Kt1

Now P-R4 would be countered by Kt-B5, forcing the exchange and leaving a backward pawn at Kt2 and the Rook’s pawn would be bound to fall.

28. Kt-B5 BxKt 29. PxB K-B2


Diag. 86

It would now seem as if Black might have played P-KKt4 here, securing a passed pawn, and forcing a draw. After 30. P-R4 Black would play P-R3, and it is not evident how White is to win. But 29. … P-KKt4 is parried by PxP e.p. The difference in the pawn positions, which decides the issue for White, is found in the fact that the White passed pawn at Q5 is unassailable because the support of the BP cannot be taken away by Black’s P-Kt3, whilst Black’s passed pawn at his B3 can be isolated at any time through P-R4-R5. White would take up a position on the Knight’s file with the King, and push on the Rook’s pawn. The isolated pawns are then an easy prey. On the text move White also pushes the Rook’s pawn on to compel P-R3 and reduce Black to moves by the King. The passed Queen’s pawn decides the game.

30. K-K4 K-Q2 31. K-B4 K-K2 32. K-Kt4 K-Q2 33. P-R4 K-B1 34. P-R5 P-R3

Otherwise there follows: P-R6, K-R5, etc.

35. K-B4 K-Q2 36. K-K4 K-B2 37. P-Q6ch K-B1 38. K-Q5 K-Q2 39. P-B6ch PxPch

(compare Diagram 68)

40. K-B5 Resigns



Diag. 87

In spite of the preponderance of material, the win is not an easy one for Black, because of White’s alarming pawn array on the Queen’s side. The King must first make use of his great power as an end-game piece.

1. … K-B2 2. P-Kt5 K-K3 3. P-Kt6 PxP 4. PxP K-Q2 5. B-K5

threatens P-Kt7. But as White must first move his Bishop to cover his pawn, the Rook’s pawn is lost, and the manœuvre therefore unsound. P-R3 was indicated; it threatens the break-up of the Black pawns by P-Kt4 and their capture by the King.

5. … K-B3 6. B-Q4 R-R2ch 7. K-K3 RxP 8. K-B4 R-Q7! 9. P-Kt4 RxB

Black reduces the position to an elementary ending, which is theoretically a win. Whilst the two White passed pawns are isolated and fall singly, Black obtains two passed pawns, which are united and unassailable.

10. PxR P-K6 11. KxKP PxP 12. K-B4 P-R4 13. P-Q5ch KxKtP 14. K-K5 K-B2 Resigns.



Diag. 88

White has an advantage in the greater mobility of his Rook, and makes the most of it in an instructive fashion.

1. R-Kt4 P-Kt3

White provokes this move in order to produce a weakness at KB6.

2. K-K2 K-K3 3. R-KB4 R-KB1

Black naturally dare not allow the Rook to penetrate into the seventh.

4. P-Q4 P-QB4

This move would win the game, if the Rooks had been exchanged, because in that case the distant passed pawn which Black could obtain on the QKt file would decide the issue. But, supported by the mobile Rook, the centre pawns become irresistible. Instead of the text move, P-KB4 was necessary in order to release the Rook.

          5. P-B3 PxP
          6. PxP P-KB4

If it were not for the Rooks, the centre pawns would not help White, because Black would obtain a passed pawn on either wing.

7. K-Q3 P-KKt4 8. R-B2 R-B1 9. P-Kt4 P-B5

If PxP, 10. R-B6ch, K-K2; 11. R-R6 wins.

10. P-KR4 P-KR3 11. PxP PxP 12. R-R2 R-B1 13. R-R6ch K-K2 14. P-Q5 P-B6 15. R-K6ch K-Q2 16. R-B6! Resigns.

For after RxR, 17. PxR, White captures the BP, and still overtakes the passed pawn which Black obtains on the Queen’s wing; the pawns at Q5 and B6 are unassailable (K-K8, P-Q6, K-B7, P-Q7, etc.). The consequences of 16. R-B6 had to be calculated to a nicety. If, for instance, the QKtP were already at his fourth, White would lose. In four moves Black would have one of his pawns at his R6, the other at Kt5. In the meantime White would have taken the BP and come back to the Q file. Now Black would win with P-Kt6, because after PxP the RP queens unmolested.



Diag. 89

White’s position is superior; firstly, because the only open file on the board is his, and secondly, because the Black Queen’s side pawns are advanced, and therefore weak for a King’s ending. After exchanging the Queen and one Rook, the possession of the King’s file ensures the advance of the King to K4 and from there to Q5. Then the weakness of Black’s pawns decides the game.

1. QxQ RxQ 2. R-K8ch RxR 3. RxRch K-R2 4. K-R2 P-KKt3 5. K-Kt3

PxP is no threat, because White wins the pawn back at once with R-K5. By capturing, Black would only dislocate his pawns.

5. … KKt2 6. K-B4 K-B3 7. R-K5 P-Kt3 8. K-K4 R-Q3 9. P-KB4 R-K3

Black probably hopes for a counter chance by getting a distant passed pawn on the KRook’s file. But he underrates the weakness of the Queen’s side pawns, and even without the exchange of Rooks, White would win, by settling the King’s side first and then tearing up the Queen’s side, as in the game: 10. P-KKt4, R- K2; 11. PxP, PxP; 12. P-Kt5ch, PxP; 13. PxPch.

10. PxP PxP 11. K-Q5 RxR 12. PxRch K-K2 13. P-QKt4 Resigns

Black must capture, as he needs seven moves in which to ex change the Knight’s pawn and queen his Rook’s pawn, whilst in that time White can win the QP after PxP, and yet arrive in time with his King to stop the pawn from queening.

After l3. … PxP, however, there follows 14. KxP. Then White covers his passed pawn with P-Q4, and his King, having full freedom, captures all the Black pawns.



HAVING now a fair knowledge of the end-game, we should be in a position to appreciate how the middle game should be conducted. We must throughout maintain a favourable pawn formation, in view of the end-game which might be forced on us by exchanges. On the other hand, as soon as we have gained an advantage sufficient to secure the victory in the end-game, we must ourselves, by the exchange of pieces, try to reduce the position to one of the typical elementary cases which we have discussed. Now it will invariably be found that beginners are unwilling to make these essential exchanges. This is explained by the attraction which combinations involving the action of many pieces have for them. They assume that exchanges, particularly of the Queens, make the games dull. Such ideas only prove that the beginner has not grasped the nature of chess, the essence of which is stern logic and uncompromising conclusions, and this demands the shortest and clearest way leading to a mate. To the strong player, able to play logically, logic will always be inseparable from beauty in chess.

To play logically means to subordinate all combinations to a leading plan of campaign, but there is difficulty in finding the latter. An unsound scheme, even if worked out to its logical conclusion, can of course be of no value. All the same it is better than no plan at all. And in time one gains by experience, and develops a sort of instinct for rejecting from the large number of possible operations all those which, properly countered, cannot bring any advantage.

Beside practical play, which is essential in order to gain this instinct, a methodical theoretical instruction is of inestimable value, and accelerates the development of the student’s mind. Now the instruction I wish to give in the THEORY of chess will not take the form of an ANALYSIS, brought up right into the middle game, of the various openings, tested and found correct in master play. Such collections erroneously bear the title of “Theory of the Openings,” and are, besides, quite useless at this stage, since they only embody the results of ANALYSIS.

It is first necessary to ascertain a few leading principles, which can be taught in a most simple manner, by the exercise of common sense, rather than by applying oneself to the study of long-winded analysis. The student will no longer need to discover time-worn maxims in the light of his own weary experience, and on the other hand, these principles will help him to understand analysis, and to keep clearly before his mind’s eye the common and principal lines of play, of which he might easily lose sight in the labyrinth of suggested variations.

I propose to show the application of such principles to master play, and this will give us a further opportunity of deeper study, both of the rules set out in the first part for conducting the opening correctly, and of the end-game principles, which should be well considered.

I have made the pawn skeleton with its attendant grouping of pieces the main consideration in the study of the opening; now in the investigation of the problems of the middle game, I will start from the TRANSFORMATION which the pawn skeleton has to undergo in the course of further operations. In my opinion this is the best starting-point for the choice of effective manœuvres of the different pieces.

Before we are able to evolve a practical scheme we must have under consideration the following important points: How do we know if an attack is likely to succeed? In other words: On what point should I concentrate the attack? It should be clear to all that it is of no possible use to direct an attack on anything that can move away. Yet beginners frequently infringe this obvious rule, and I have often witnessed manœuvres such as these (Diagram 90):


Diag. 90

1. P-QR3, 2. P-QKt4, and then, after the B has retired to his Kt3 even, 3. R-QKt1, 4. P-QR4, 5. P-R5. Meanwhile Black will have played P-QR3, to make a loophole for his B at R2, and what is the result? The Black Bishop is as effectual at R2 as at B4, but White has advanced his pawns, and weakened them, as they are now more liable to attack. Moreover, White has used up five moves to achieve his aim, whilst Black only needed three. Therefore Black has gained two moves, which he can use for the development of his pieces.

Diagram 91 illustrates another mistake frequently made in the choice of an objective, and one which can utterly spoil the whole game, even in its earliest stage. Black has to


Diag. 91

move, and his game is somewhat hindered by the dominating position of the White Queen. The latter prevents the Bishop from occupying a desirable square at his QB4, and also makes the liberating move P-Q4 impossible. Therefore it would seem desirable to drive the Queen away. But this should only be done if it is not attended by some further disadvantage.

Now the average player is not particularly fastidious in his methods. The Queen irritates him, therefore the Queen must be repelled one way or the other. He would probably try P-QB4. The result is that the Queen selects another good square, for instance at K3 or QR4, but Black has not improved matters, for he still can play neither B-B4 nor P-Q4. On the other hand, irredeemable harm has been done, inasmuch as the Black QP now remains “backward.” The attack on the Queen by P-QB4 must consequently be rejected. Sallies such as these, in which short- lived attacks are made by pawns upon pieces, are always of doubtful value. They must unquestionably be avoided if they break up the pawn skeleton, which is formed in the opening, and confine the mobility of the pieces.

Also with regard to manœuvres of PIECES, intended solely to drive away an opposing piece, it is obviously essential that the attacking pieces in effecting their purpose should not be made to stray too far afield, lest they become out of play.

I shall delay dealing with the features underlying good forms of attack, both by pieces and pawns, until I have treated of the choice of an objective.

From what we have already expounded, it is clear that the subject of an attack should be incapable of evasion. Should it, in the course of attack, be desired to prevent a PIECE from being moved, that can only be effected by means of a “pin.” A PAWN, however, can be held in place either by occupying the square immediately in front of it, or by controlling the latter with more forces than the opponent can bring to bear upon it.


Diag. 92

The last two diagrams exemplify this. If in Diagram 91 Black makes the mistake of playing P-QB4 as suggested, the backward QP becomes a welcome objective for White’s attack. White can keep that pawn back by playing P-Q B4 as soon as it threatens to advance, after which he would develop quietly, double his Rooks, and bring the Q and QB to bear in a concentrated attack on Q6. A position not unlike that in Diagram 92 will result ultimately, in which Black defends the pawn as many times as it is attacked, but in which White can bring up his KP to the attack, as the QP cannot move away, whilst Black has no further defensive move at his disposal. Play against a backward pawn nearly always develops on these lines, and is even easier when there is no defending B of the same colour as the pawn. (See p. 40, and Game No. 26.)

Such manœuvres, in the course of which pieces are pinned and attacked, are illustrated in Diagram 90. The most obvious move, which initiates an attack and at the same time completes the development of the minor pieces, is B-Kt5. Attacks by means of such devices are so frequent and varied that it will be necessary to treat them at some length, which I now propose to do. I should also add that, with regard to Diagram 90, the student will derive lasting benefit from a thorough study of the position, and will thus improve his power to judge of the desirability, or otherwise, of obtaining open files, diagonals, doubled pawns, etc. After B-KKt5, the threat is to attack the Knight a second and third time with Kt-Q5, and Q-B3, after moving the KKt away. As Black’s KKt is only supported twice, and there is no chance of bringing up more forces for its defence, Black must undertake something to provide against the threatened onslaught.

The most natural plan is to develop the QB at K3, from where it can be exchanged for the Knight should Kt-Q5 be played. The doubled pawn, which White could force by exchanging the Bishops, is in no way detrimental to Black’s game. On the contrary, the opening of the file for the Rook, with the attendant chance of playing P-Q4 supported by the doubled pawn, gives Black the advantage.

The doubled pawn which Black obtains after 2. Kt-Q5, BxKt; 3. PxB (or 3. BxB), Kt-K2; 4. BxKt, would also be of no help to White. The apparent weakness created in Black’s game at KB3 and KR3 by the disappearance of the KtP does not assist White in this case, because the pieces which could take advantage of such a weakness, the QB and the Kt at Q5, have been exchanged. There only remains the KKt and the Q for an immediate attack, whilst the Black Rook will soon get into effective action on the open Knight’s file, e.g. 5. Q-Q2, K-R1; 6. Q-R6, Kt-Kt3; 7. Kt-R4, KtxKt; 8. QxKt, Q- K2, followed by the doubling of the Rooks on the Kt file. Considerations of a similar nature would tend to show that 1. B- Kt5, Kt-K2; 2. BxKt, PxB is in favour of Black. The White QB, which is so effective in taking advantage of weaknesses at Black’s KB3 and R3, has been exchanged. The Queen’s Knight is not available for attack on the KBP, as it would be exchanged or else driven off in time by P-B3. Compared with the position considered above, which occurs after 1. … B-K3, 2. Kt-Q5, Black has the further advantage of maintaining his QB, which makes it possible to push the weak KBP on to his fourth, and either exchange it or push it still further to B5, a useful and secure position.

Matters would be different were Black to allow his King’s wing to be broken up without getting rid of White’s dangerous pieces by exchanges. Let us consider what happens, if Black takes no measures against Kt-Q5, but only prevents White’s ultimate Q-B3 by pinning the Knight with B-KKt5. White gains a decisive advantage by bringing his Queen into play before Black is able to secure himself against the threatened combined attack of Q and B, or alternately Q and Kt by K-R1, R-Kt1-Kt3. I will give two examples of how the whole game now centres on the attack and defence of the points weakened by the disappearance of the KtP, and how White pushes home his advantage in the one instance with the help of the B, in the other by the co-operation of the Kt.

I. 1. B-KKt5, B-KKt5; 2. Kt-Q5, Kt-Q5; 3. Q-Q2, BxKt?; 4. BxKt, PxB; 5. Q-R6, and there is no reply to the threat of KtxPch and QxP mate, except through the sacrifice of the Q. Forcing the exchange of Knights is of no avail, for after 5. … Kt-K7ch; 6. K-R1, BxPch; 7. KxB, Kt-B5ch; 8. KtxKt, PxKt; 9. K-R1, White occupies the Kt file first and wins easily: 9. … K-R1; 10. R- KKt1, R-KKt1; 11. RxR, QxR; 12. R-KKt1 followed by mate or loss of the Queen.

II. 3. Q-Q2, P-B3; 4. KtxKtch, PxKt; 5. B-R4! BxKt; 6. Q- R6, Kt-K7ch; 7. K-R1, BxPch; 8. KxB, Kt-B5ch; 9. K-R1, Kt-Kt3. Now Black has succeeded in interrupting the White Queen’s action on the BP. But it has taken many moves, with the sole result that Black’s Queen’s Knight is better placed. All the other pieces, however, occupy the positions they took up in the opening. The Black Knight, moreover, is only supported by the RP until Black manages to block the White Bishop’s diagonal by P-Q4. Meanwhile White has gained a big start, and is ready to occupy the open file with his Rooks. The sequel might be: 10. P-Q4!, BxP (if PxP; 11. P-K5!!, QPxP; 12. R-KKt1, etc.); 11. P-B3, B-Kt3; 12. QR-Q1, K-R1; 13. R-KKt1, Q-K2; 14. R-Q3, R-KKt1; 15. R-R3, R-Kt2 (KtxB; 16. QxRPch!!); 16. R-B3, followed by BxP (B6).

Taking it all in all, we see from the foregoing that the pinning of the Black Knight can only be injurious to Black if he does not take timely measures to provide against White’s Kt-Q5, which threatens to concentrate more forces for the attack on KB6 than Black is able to mobilise for its defence.

Beginners, after having experienced frequent trouble through their inadequate defence of this kind of attack, try to avoid their recurrence by making such pinning moves impossible from the first and playing P-R3 on whichever side the pin is threatened. Apart from the loss of time, on which I remarked at length when discussing the opening, such pawn moves have various other drawbacks.

With every pawn move it should be considered whether the squares protected by the pawn before it has moved may not need the support of that pawn at a later stage. This is particularly the case with regard to squares in front of the castled King. If one of those pawns pushes on, the squares which have lost its protection frequently offer an opening for a direct attack by the enemy’s pieces on the King.

A second consideration is the fact that the advancing pawn itself becomes a target for an assault in which the opponent, moving up a pawn on the next file, brings his Rooks into play, or in which he sacrifices a piece for the advanced pawn and the one that protects it, thus robbing the King of the protection he sought to obtain in castling.

The following examples will contribute much to the understanding of this most important subject, the grasp of which will mean a great step forward for the student.

The position in Diagram 93 is from a game v. Scheve-Teichmann (Berlin, 1907). White played 1. P-R3 in order to avoid the pinning of his Knight through B-Kt5. The move is not unjustified, as the Knight is required for the support of the square at Q4. The pawn move, however, has the drawbacks enumerated above, and White must think of keeping a sufficiency of pieces for the fight on the King’s wing, in order to prevent Black from utilising the weakness thus created for a combined assault by superior forces.


Diag. 93

In this case White does not take precautionary measures, and succumbs in a surprisingly short time.

1. … Kt-B3; 2. PxP? With this move White opens the diagonal for Black’s KB for no apparent reason. 2. … QKtxP; 3. KtxKt? Instead of providing for the defence of his King’s wing, White exchanges one of the King’s side pieces, 3. … QxKt; 4. Kt-Q2, BxP! White has provoked this sacrifice by his last two moves. The KBP is pinned, and the Q enters by way of her Kt6, the protection of which was given up by pushing on the RP. The rest is easy; 5. PxB, Q-Kt6ch; 6. K-R1, QxPch; 7. K-Kt1, Kt-Kt5; 8. Kt-B3, Q- Kt6ch; 9. K-R1, BxP; 10. resigns.

Diagram 94 shows a position from a game Marshall-Burn (Ostend, 1907). Strong in the knowledge that the Black Queen’s side pieces are not developed, and can only with difficulty be of assistance in the defence of the King’s side because of their limited mobility, White takes advantage of the weakness created by the advance of the Black KKt pawn to his third, and initiates an immediate assault on the King’s stronghold.


Diag. 94

1. P-KR4, R-K1; 2. P-R5. This forces open the Rook’s file. If the pawn were still at Kt2, Black would simply let White push on to R6 and then reply with P-KKt3. 2. … KtxP; 3. RxKt, White concludes the game in brilliant style. Black’s wrong development has given a welcome opportunity for sacrificial combinations. Now the KB has an open diagonal, the pawn position is broken, and White’s Q and R have no difficulty in using the Rook’s file for a deadly attack. 3. … PxR; 4. BxPch, KxB; 5. Kt-Kt5ch, K-Kt3 (if K-Kt1, then 6. QxP, Kt-B3; 7. QxPch, K-R1; 8. Castles, etc.); 6. QKt-B3, P-K4; 7. Kt-R4ch, K-B3; 8. Kt-R7ch, K-K2; 9. Kt-B5ch, K- K3; 10. KtxBch, K-K2; 11. Kt-B5ch, K-K3; 12. P-Q5ch, KxKt; 13. QxPch, K-K5; 14. Castles, followed by P-B3 or R-Q4 mate.

In cases where both sides have already castled on the same wing, and the opponent has weakened his position by pushing on one of the pawns of that wing, it is seldom advisable to start an attack with the advance of one of the pawns in front of the King, as the latter’s position would be weakened. An attack of this kind is only justified if there is a prospect of concentrating with all speed a superior force before the opponent has time for a counter attack.

The Black position in Diagram 95 illustrates one much favoured by “natural” players. Here the advance of the


Diag. 95

KRP would not be a suitable plan of attack for White as his Rook is no longer on the Rook’s file, nor could it be brought back in time. In this case White must endeavour to take advantage of the weaknesses at Black’s KB3 and KR3, produced by his move P-KKt3. This will be the modus operandi: Q-Q2 followed by B-R6, forcing the exchange of Black’s valuable KB. After that the Q in conjunction with one of the Knights will attempt to force an entry at KB6 or KR6, as for instance in the following, the moves of which are taken from a game I once watched and took note of as being most instructive.

1. Q-Q2, P-Q3; 2. B-KR6, PxP; 3. BxB, KxB; 4. PxP, Q-Q2; 5. Kt- K4, Kt-Q4; 6. B-B4, QR-Q1; 7. BxKt, PxB; 8. Kt-B6, Q-K3; 9. Q- Kt5, B-B1 (to prevent Kt-Kt4); 10. QR-K1, Q-B4; 11. Q-R4, P-KR3; 12. Kt-Q4, KtxKt; 13. QxKt, P-B4; 14. Q-Q2, P-Q5; 15. P-KB4, P- B5; 16. P-KKt4, Q-K3; 17. P-B5, Q-B3; 18. R-K4, B-Kt2; 19. R-B3!, Q-B4; 20. QxPch, KxQ; 21. R-R3ch, followed by R-R7 or Kt-R7 mate.

A somewhat more difficult case is shown in Diagram 96.


Diag. 96

Here the advance of the White King’s side pawns has undeniably produced weaknesses in the pawn skeleton, and these would be fatal had the Black pieces as much mobility as the White ones. But the congestion of Black’s pieces on the Queen’s side makes his defence unwieldy, and White has no difficulty in accumulating his forces on the King’s side for the final assault. The prospects are that White will be able to bring home his attack, before Black has a chance of forcing exchanges and of bringing about the end-game, which through the weakness of the White pawns would probably turn to his advantage. The play (E. Cohn-Ed. Lasker match, Berlin, 1909) is instructive, and shows how the attack should be conducted in such positions. 1. Kt-Kt3, B-Kt2; 2. K-R2, P-B3; 3. R-KKt1, Kt-Q2; 4. Kt-R4, K-B2. The concentration of the White pieces has become alarming, and threatens to be continued by Q-Q2, R-Kt2. QR-KKt1, and Kt-B5. So the Black King decides on flight, but he finds no peace on the Q side either, because there his advanced pawns soon allow White to make a breach in the Black position.

5. Kt-Kt2, K-K2; 6. Q-K2, Kt-Kt3; 7. KR-KB1, B-B1. It is Black’s intention to play P-B4 as soon as practicable, and to make an attempt at a counter demonstration on the King’s side, 8. P-K B4, K-Q1? (Black should have kept to his original intention and played P-B4); 9. PxP, QPxP; 10. Q-B2, Kt-Q2; 11. P-QR4; B-Kt2; 12. PxP, PxP; 13. RxR, BxR. Now White has achieved what he set out to do. He has opened up avenues of attack on the Queen’s side, and is ready to utilise the weakness of Black’s QBP by playing P-Kt4, on which Black must submit to opening the file for the White KR or the diagonal for the White QB. In either case White brings vastly superior forces to bear on the Black King’s position, and Black should lose. In this game Black escaped only through a mistake on the part of his opponent.

In the foregoing positions it was seen how fatal weaknesses can be, which are produced by the premature advance of the pawns in front of the King, on whom the opposing pieces can force their attack. When the pawns concerned are on the opposite wing to their King, the disadvantages of a premature advance are felt in a different way. The weakness concerns the pawns themselves and not the forces behind them, and is apt to cause the loss of the end-game, particularly of Rook end-games. Let us compare the positions in Diagrams 97


Diag. 97

and 98. In the one case the chain of Black pawns is broken by the absence of K Kt P, in the other of the Q Kt P. The absence of the KKt pawn can lead to serious consequences in the middle game, because of the weakness of Black’s KB3 and KR3 (compare Diagram 90); it can, however, hardly become awkward in the end-game, as the pawns on the B and R files are within the protecting reach of their King.


Diag. 98

On the other hand, the absence of the Q Kt P is of no consequence for the middle game. There is nothing behind it which could invite an attack. The QRP and QBP, however, are very weak for the end-game, as they are quite out of reach of the King (compare Game No. 19). I do not wish to imply that Black should have avoided the exchange at his QB3 at all cost; such an exchange has always the compensating advantage of opening a file for the Rooks, which advantage often means a favourable middle game, as will be readily understood. Further, it is often possible to get rid of the weak QRP by pushing it on, and eventually compelling the exchange of the opposing Kt P, an exchange which can usually be enforced if the Rooks have occupied the open Kt file. The pawn itself is often useful at B 3, in that it can support the advance of P-Q 4 in the centre, should it be desired, or it can, by pushing on, be brought to exercise further pressure on the opposing Kt P.

The break-up of the pawn position on the Q side can become awkward in the end-game and sometimes in the middle-game when the pawns can be attacked, and pieces brought to bear on the Queen’s side without leaving the King’s side denuded of forces.

This will be illustrated by the position in Diagram 99.


Diag. 99


Here the pawn positions on both sides are broken, and the player that occupies the open files first, gets a decisive advantage. In this case it is Black’s move. We can conclude at once that White has played the opening badly. He must have lost two moves, for he has still to capture the BP and then, being White, it should be his move. This disadvantage, small as it may seem, with which White has emerged from the opening, is sufficient to bring him into the greatest difficulties. Black, of course, does not defend the pawn by B-Kt2 or B-Q2, as this would practically reduce the B to a P and, moreover, White, by R-Kt1 or Q1, would both attack the B and obtain an open file. Instead of that, Black utilises the two moves, which he has, as it were, as a gift in an otherwise equalised position, to bring both Rooks on the Kt file. This policy allows Black to occupy the seventh or eighth rank at will, and to attack the White pawns from the flank or rear, according to circumstances. This menace hampers the radius of action of the White pieces, as they must always be ready for the defence of the threatened pawns, and this gives Black by far the superior game.

The play was continued as follows: 1. … R-Kt1; 2. BxP, R-Kt7; 3. B-K4, B-K3; 4. P-QR3, KR-Kt1. The Knight’s file is now definitely in Black’s hands. White could occupy the Queen’s file, but the Black B at K3, which prevents the entry of the Rooks at Q7, makes the operation aimless. Therefore White is condemned to inactivity. On the contrary, Black’s line of action is clear. His entry on the seventh can only achieve something if White’s QBP can be deprived of its support. To do this Black has only to play P-QB4-B5 and P-KB4. This, of course, weakens Black’s KB, and the White Rooks might obtain an entry on the K file. Therefore Black will effect a timely exchange of one of his Rooks, after which his King alone will hold the K file. These considerations make the following moves clear: 5. KR-K1, P-QB4; 6. P-KR3, a further awkward necessity in positions of this kind. Before the Rook can venture out, a loophole must be provided for the King.

6. … P-B5; 7. R-K3, R-Kt8ch; 8. RxR, RxRch; 9. K-R2, P-B4; 10. B-B3, K-B2; 11. B-K2 (threatening R-QB3), R-Kt2; 12. R-QB3, K-B3 (now BxP is not feasible on account of R-QB2); 13. P-B4. White wishes to keep the Black King from his Q5 but cannot do so permanently. Black, however, can occupy the Q file with his Rook, and confine the White King to his wing. 13. … R-Q2; 14. K-Kt3) R-Q5; 15. K-B3, K-K2; 16. R-K3, K-Q3; 17. K-Kt3, R-Q7; 18. P-B3, B-B2. R-R7 would be a mistake on account of RxBch, but the QRP cannot escape. 19. P-QR4, P-Kt3; 20. B-B3, R-R7; 21. B-Q1, B-Q4; 22. R-K2, R-R8; 23. R-Q2, R-R6; 24. R-QB2, RxRP. Now at last Black has obtained material gain, which was made possible by his command of the open Kt file. To convert it into a win by queening the extra pawn is only a matter of time.

We have now seen how the possession of open files reacts on the mobility of the opposing forces, forever increasing their difficulties until the positional advantage is converted into material gain. We shall meet with cases later on in which the greater mobility of minor pieces achieves the same result and find more and more proofs of the truth of the main general principles which I introduced at the outset.

Let us now recapitulate the chief points touched upon in the course of our deliberations:

1. Generally speaking, attacks should only be directed to objects which cannot be moved away.

2. If in particular cases the attack is aimed at driving off an opposing piece from an especially favourable post that attack is unwise, if it involves the weakening the pawn position, or if pieces have to take up inferior positions in order to effect their purpose.

3. Pawn moves always create weaknesses, either by leaving other unsupported pawns behind, or by giving opposing pieces access to squares formerly guarded by them, and this more specially so in front of the castled King.

4. Attacks which depend on pawn moves are only justified if overwhelming forces can be accumulated in support, as the advanced pawns might become the object of a counter attack.

5. As pawn moves have very generally some drawbacks, the middle game is the pieces’ own hunting ground. As in the opening, the first consideration of sound play in the middle game is to make only such moves as do not reduce the mobility of the pieces.

As illustrative of such manœuvres I shall now give examples from actual master play. In my annotations of these games I have tried to keep before the student’s mind constantly the main ideas underlying the different combinations which spring from general strategical principles. I thus avoid burdening his memory with a mass of detail, and bring into prominence the basic principle of each line of play, thereby developing his capacity for conducting a middle game, even after an unusual opening.

I have fixed mainly upon such games as are illustrative of the openings treated in the first part of this book. In most cases the first moves will, therefore, not need any special remarks. The end-games, being typical examples, will only need reference to the chapters in which they have been respectively dealt with.


GAME No. 1

White: Tartakower. Black: Burn.

King’s Gambit declined (compare p. 30).

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. P-KB4 B-B4 3. Kt-KB3 P-Q3 4. PxP

On principle this exchange cannot be commended, as the opening of the Queen’s file increases the Black Queen’s mobility. White derives no benefit from the KB file so long as the Black Bishop makes castling impossible. White intends to play P-B3 and P-Q4, but the manœuvre is doubtful, and the whole opening includes an inordinately large number of pawn moves. In the present game Black exposes the failings inherent to this system unequivocally.

4. … PxP 5. P-B3 Kt-QB3

Black cannot put off White’s P-Q4 by B-KKt5, for White can give a check with the Queen and unpin the Knight.

6. P-QKt4

The object of this move is not clear, as P-Kt5 does not win a pawn (Kt-R4; 8. KtxP; 9. Q-R5ch). It does not promote development either, and only compromises the QBP and QKtP.

6. … B-Kt3 7. B-Kt5 Kt-B3

This is aimed at the White King’s pawn, which is deprived of its natural support by the QKt. In this position Black does well to attack White’s KP rather than to defend his own, because an open King’s file can only benefit him. Being able to castle, he can occupy the file with his Rook before White has time to bring his King into safety.

8. KtxP

It would have been better to protect the pawn by Q-K2 or P-Q3.

8. … Castles!


Diag. 100

The beginning of a brilliant attack. Whether White exchanges the Bishop or the Knight, he is overwhelmed.

9. KtxKt

After 9. BxKt, PxB; 10. KtxP, Q-K1 wins; 10. P-Q4 would also lose because Black gains two pawns after KtxP; 11. O-O, KtxP. It is interesting to note how speedily the weakness at White’s QB3 is brought to book.

9. … PxKt 10. BxP KtxP!!

Now White can neither take the Kt nor the R. In the first case Q- R5ch forces mate very soon, in the second B-B7ch, followed by B- Kt5ch or B-R3ch, wins the Queen.

11. P-Q4 Q-B3! 12. BxKt Q-R5ch 13. K-Q2 QxB 14. Q-B3 Q-R5! 15. P-Kt3

Not QxR, because of Q-B7ch and the loss of the Queen by a discovered check by the Bishop.

Q-Kt4ch 16. Q-K3 Q-Q4 17. R-K1 B-Kt5 18. K-B2 P-QR4

Such is the price to pay for premature advances.

19. PxP RxP 20. B-R3 P-QB4

Black shatters White’s pawn position, and his Bishops and Rooks have full play along open files and diagonals.

21. PxP RxB! 22. KtxR

or PxB, RxRPch; 23. RxR,QxRch; 24. K-Bl,B-B4.

22. … BxP

The rest speaks for itself.

23. Q-K5 B-B4ch 24. K-Kt2 Q-Kt2ch 25. K-B1 BxKtch 26. K-Q2 R-Q1ch 27. K-K3 R-Q6ch 28. K-B2 Q-B6ch 29. K-Kt1 R-Q7 30. Q-Kt8ch B-KB1 Resigns.

GAME No. 2

White: Leonhardt. Black: Marshall.

Falkbeer Counter Gambit (compare p. 35).

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. P-KB4 P-Q4 3. PxQP P-K5 4. P-Q3 PxP 5. QxP Kt-KB3 6. Kt-QB3

It would be quite bad to play P-B4 and try to hold the extra pawn at the expense of development. Black would very soon occupy the King’s file with his Rook and there would be no time for White to bring his King into safety, e.g. 6. P-B4, B-QB4; 7. Kt-KB3, Castles; 8. B-K2, R-K1, and already now there are threats of Kt- K5 or Kt-Kt5 followed by B-B7ch or Kt-B7.

6. … B-QB4 7. B-Q2

White would of course like to continue with B-K3 in order to make a fight for the possession of the diagonal. He would, however, lose his chance of castling through Black’s Q-K2. This is detrimental in all such cases where the lines in the centre are open or likely to be forced open at any time.

          7. … Castles
          8. Castles QKt-Q2
          9. B-K2 Kt-Kt3
         10. B-B3 B-KKt5
         11. B-K3?

White has not yet completed his development, and his first care should be to bring out his KKt. This he could have done without difficulty, thus: 11. BxB, KtxB; 12. Kt-R3. After the move in the text, Black not only occupies the King’s file but gains a move in so doing.

11. … BxBch 12. QxB R-K1 13. Q-Q4 Q-Q3

Black’s course is obvious; he must win the QP. The forces will then be equal in material, but there will remain a


Diag. 101

flaw in White’s position, namely the exposed KBP, and this tells in the ending.

14. P-KR3

Now the square at KKt3 is unprotected, and this is serious in view of a probable Knight’s ending, where, moreover, it will sooner or later be necessary to play P-KKt3 in order to support the KBP. Both the KKtP and KBP would be weak, with the King on the other wing, and be under constant threat of being captured. The game does proceed as indicated, and the simple and logical manner in which Marshall brings home his advantage in a very short time shows convincingly how fatal a shattered pawn position can be for the end-game. Instead of the move in the text, White should have played BxB followed by Kt-B3, which would have completed his development without making another pawn move.

14. … BxB 15. KtxB QR-Q1 16. KR-KI RxR 17. RxR QKtxP 18. KtxKt KtxKt 19. P-KKt3 P-KR3

making a loophole for the King. In this case the move is correct, as the threat of mate ties the Black Rook to his rank. It is wrong to make a loophole, as weak players are fond of doing, as early as possible “in case,” before it is shown that there will be a need for it, or that there will be a Rook ending.

20. P-R3

White is afraid of playing 20. QxP on account of Kt-Kt5, which threatens KtxBP followed by Q-QB3. 21. QxP would not be a sufficient defence because of Q-B4 threatening mate, and on the other hand 21. Q-R4 would conjure up a dangerous attack, beginning with P-QKt4. When the players castle on different wings, there is always the danger of the opponent sacrificing pawns and opening up files for his Rooks and Q against the castled King. The game then assumes a wild character, and as matters are generally settled one way or another in the middle- game, end-game considerations, both with regard to number and position of pawns, can be disregarded. Experience has shown that the player who develops his attack first is likely to win, and that it is of little use to submit tamely to an assault of this kind without attempting a counter attack.

Such games are very difficult for the beginner to understand. There is about them something violent and difficult to estimate, and years of practice are necessary in order to gain the judgment required for weighing up the possibilities of attack and counter attack, where the Kings have castled on opposite wings.

20. … P-R3 21. R-Q1 Kt-B3 22. QxQ RxQ 23. RxR PxR 24. Kt-Q4 Kt-K5 25. Kt-K2 K-B1

The Black King now pushes forward irresistibly, and attacks the weakened pawns on the King’s wing. The White King cannot get any nearer, as a check by the Black Kt would win a pawn at once. The end is easy.

26. P-B3 K-K2 27. K-B2 K-K3 28. P-Kt3 Kt-B7 29. Kt-Q4ch K-B3 30. P-KR4 P-KR4

Now the P at Kt3 is “backward” and therefore lost.

31. P-B4 Kt-K5 32. Kt-K2 K-B4 33. K-Q3 Kt-B7ch 34. K-B3 K-Kt5 35. P-Kt4 Kt-K5ch 36. K-Q4 KtxP Resigns.

GAME No. 3

White: Spielmann. Black: Prokes.

Vienna Game (compare p. 35).

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-QB3 Kt-KB3 3. P-B4 P-Q4 4. PxKP KtxP 5. Q-B3

It is contrary to the principles governing sound play to bring out the Queen early in the game. The opponent frequently has an opportunity of gaining a move by driving off the Queen, developing a minor piece at the same time. In the present case Black might have gained the advantage in the following way: 5. … Q Kt-B3. Now if: 6 KtxKt then Kt-Q5!; 7 Q-Q3?, PxKt; 8 QxP?, B-KB4. If, however, 6 B-Kt5, Black obtains the better game by playing 6. … KtxKt; 7 KtPxKt, Q-R5ch; 8 P-Kt3, Q-K5ch; 9 QxQ, PxQ; 10 BxKtch, PxB, with two Bishops on open diagonals. There is no harm in the doubled pawn, as White cannot attack it. Black’s immediate threat is B-R3 or KB4, which exerts pressure at Q6, and White will find it difficult to advance his QP.

5. … P-KB4

This move is open to discussion, as the Kt which it means to support can be driven away by P-Q3. On the other hand, if White does play his QP to Q3, Black can prevent its further advance by P-Q5, after which the White KP is insecure and the KB somewhat shut in.

6. P-Q3 KtxKt 7. PxKt P-Q5 8. Q-B2!

White offers his QBP in order to be able to strengthen his centre by P-Q4, and to free his pieces. To protect his QBP would be inferior, e.g. 8 Kt-K2, Kt-B3 or 8 B-Kt2?, PxP; 9 BxP, B-Kt5!; 10 BxB, QxR5ch; 11 Q-B2, QxBch; 12 Q-Q2, Q-Q5.

8. … PxP?

It would have been better, of course, to continue developing with Kt-B3, which at the same time maintains the pressure on Q5.

           9. P-Q4 B-K3
          10. Kt-R3

Intending Kt-B4 with a view to exchanging the Bishop. After that, Black’s position on White squares is weak specially on the diagonal QR7, KKt1, which was opened by Black’s fifth move, and on which the White Bishop can soon operate. The game is instructive in showing the development of that idea.

10. … B-K2 11. Kt-B4 Q-Q2 12. KtxB QxKt 13. B-Q3 P-KKt3

Black cannot prevent White’s threat of Q-K2 and B-B4.

14. Q-K2 Q-Q4

Diag. 102

15. Castles QxQPch

Black is obliging. The opening of files in the centre is favourable for White, as he can make use of his Rooks in the combined attack. Instead of the move in the text, development with Kt-B3 and Castles QR was the last, though slender, chance of saving the game.

16. B-K3 Q-Q4

If QxP, Q-B2 followed by B-Q4, B-K4, KR-K1 and QR-Q1. Black has no sufficient means of defence to oppose this massing of forces.

17. QR-Q1 Q-R4 18. BxBP

The end is swift, and easy to understand.

18. … R-B1 19. Q-Kt4 PxB 20. Q-R5ch R-B2 21. P-K6 Resigns.

GAME No. 4

White: Tarrasch. Black: Capablanca.

Giuoco Piano

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. B-B4 B-B4 4. P-B3

The beginning of interesting operations in the centre. The steady development with: 4. P-Q3, P-Q3; 5. Kt-B3, Kt-B3; 6. B-KKt5, B-K3 or Castles tends to a draw from the very first, and is thought dull.

4. … Kt-B3

Black can avoid the exchange of pawns, which White tries to bring about after P-Q4, by playing his Queen to K2. This covers his KP a second time, and White’s P-Q4 can be answered with B-Kt3. White’s QBP then obstructs the Kt’s natural development. In a game von Schewe-Teichmann (Berlin, 1907) the position discussed on p. 117 was reached after the following moves: 5. Castles, P- Q3; 6. P-Q4, B-Kt3; 7. P-QR4, P-QR3; 8. P-R5, B-R2.

5. P-Q4 PxP 6. PxP B-Kt5ch


Diag. 103

7. B-Q2

The pawn sacrifice by 7. Kt-B3, KtxKP; 8. Castles! is much more interesting and more in keeping with the spirit of the opening. [Footnote: The following two short games will give an idea of the various lines of attack which are to be found in this opening:

a. Howell-Michell (cable match, England—America, 1907): 8. … BxKt; 9. P-Q5 (Moller attack), B-B3; 10. R-K1, Kt-K2; 11. RxKt, P-Q3; 12. B-Kt5, BxB; 13. KtxB, B-B4 (the only chance of a draw would be this: Castles; 14. KtxRP, KxKt; 15. QR5ch, K-Kt1; 16. R- R4, P-KB4!; 17. B-K2, Kt-Kt3!; 18. Q-R7ch, K-B2; 19. R-R6, Kt-B5; 20. B-R5ch, KtxB; 21. Q-Kt6 with perpetual check); 14. Q-B3,Q-Q2 (BxR; 15. QxPch followed by Q-K6ch and QxB); 15. B-Kt5!, QxB; 16. QxB, P-KB3; 17. QR-K1, PxKt; 18. RxKtch and mate in a few moves.

b. X v. Y, first 10 moves as before: 11. RxKt, Castles; 12. P-Q6, PxP 13. B-KKt5, Kt-B4; 14. Q-Q5!, BxB; 15. KtxB, Kt-R3 (QxKt; 16. QxPch); 16. Q R-K1, resigns.] White obtains a quick development and prevents Black from freeing his game by playing P-Q4. After 8. … BxKt; 9. P-Q5 follows (Moller attack), and after 9. … B- B3, White wins back his piece by R-K1 (10. PxKt would not be good, as Black could free his game by KtPxP and P-Q4). On the other hand, after 8. … KtxKt; PxKt, White in addition gains a move, as BxP is countered by Q-Kt3.

As played here, Black succeeds in playing P-Q4, and the game is even. Indeed the isolated QP is a weakness in the White position.

          7. … BxBch
          8. QKtxB P-Q4!
          9. PxP KKtxP
         10. Q-Kt3 QKt-K2
         11. Castles KR Castles
         12. KR-K1 P-QB3

Now the Knight is securely posted in the centre, and Black can accumulate forces for the attack on the White QP, possibly by Q- Kt3, R-Q1 and Kt-B4.

13. P-QR4

in order to drive the Queen from her Kt3, but this advance is “three-edged,” as Master Gregory would say, and the pawn is sure to prove weak in the end-game.

13. … Q-Kt3 14. Q-R3 B-K3 15. P-R5 Q-B2 16. Kt-K4

Kt-KKt5 would seem to be stronger here. B-B4 would then be answered by 17. B-Q3. After BxB, 18. QxB, White obtains opportunities for a King’s side attack, in which the Rook could co-operate via K4 and Kt4 or R4.

16. … QR-Q1 17. Kt-B5 B-B1 18. P-KKt3?

This produces weak points at KB3 and KR3, and there being as yet no definite threat in Black’s Kt-B5, should have been avoided. It is of course difficult to formulate a plan of attack, for there is no weak place in Black’s armour. In any case White could safely have played QR-Q1 and Q2 in order to double the Rooks on the King’s file or Queen’s file according to circumstances. But now as soon as a Rook moves to Q1—and that will have to be done in the end, to support the weak QP—Black’s B-Kt5 might become awkward.

18. … Kt-B4 19. QR-Q1 Kt-Q3! 20. BxKt Kt-Kt4

avoiding an isolated pawn in a subtle manner.


Diag. 104

21. Q-Kt4 RxB 22. Kt-Q3 B-Kt5 23. QKt-K5 P-R4 24. KtxB PxKt 25. Kt-R4

Kt-K5 would be answered by KR-Q1; 26. KtxP, KtxP threatening both Kt-B6ch and Kt-B7. If White stops both threats with Q-B3, Kt-K7ch wins.

25. … KR-Q1 26. R-K7 Q-Q3

Now Black foregoes his well-earned advantage. He overlooks White’s subtle move 28. P-R6. 26 Q-B1 was indicated. White’s Queen’s Pawn could not escape, and there was time to dislodge the White Rook from the seventh by R-Q2, e g. 26. … Q-B1; 27. Q- Kt3!, QR-Q2; 28. Q-K3, RxR; 29. QxR, KtxP.

27. QxQ KtxQ 28. P-R6! PxP 29. RxRP Kt-Kt4 30. RxRP KtxP 31. K-B1 P-Kt4 32. Kt-Kt2 Kt-B6 33. RxR PxR!

The pawn threatens to queen. Taking the Rook’s pawn would not be so good, as it would displace the Knight. White would not only regain the pawn easily with Kt-K3, but would also get his King into play.

34. Kt-K1 R-K1

Here R-QB1 affords winning possibilities for Black. On account of the threat of R-B8, the exchange of Knights by White would be forced, and his game would have been badly cramped by the Black KBP, e.g. 34. … R-QB1; 35. KtxKt, PxKt; 36. R-R1 (K-K1?, R-B7; 37. R-Q6, R-K7ch; 38. K-B1, RxP; 39. K-K1, R-K7ch; 40. K-B1, R- K4), R-Kt1; 37. R-Kt1, R-Kt6. After the move in the text the game is drawn.

35. KtxKt PxKt 36. R-Q6 R-QB1

There is nothing in this move, as the Black passed pawn is now attacked.

          37. K-K1 R-K1ch
          38. K-B1 R-QB1

GAME No. 5

White: R. C. Griffith. Black: W. H. Gunston.

Giuoco Piano.

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. B-B4 B-B4 4. P-B3 Kt-B3 5. P-Q3

P-Q4 would seem to be the logical consequence of P-B3, and therefore preferable. After the text move Black will sooner or later be able to enforce the advance of his own pawn to Q4, and his pieces will then have the greater mobility.

5. … P-Q3

Here Black might have played P-Q4 at once. For if White takes the pawn, he leaves Black in possession of the pawn in the centre. If he does not do so but plays B-QKt5 instead, Black’s reply would be Q-K2 and the exchange of pawns at K 5 would follow. White’s P- B3 is then clearly a lost move.

6. B-K3 B-Kt3 7. QKt-Q2 Kt-K2 8. Kt-B1 P-B3 9. Q-K2 Castles 10. Kt-Kt3 P-Q4 11. PxP PxP 12. B-Kt3 Kt-Kt3

Black has now the superior position on account of his pawn centre.

13. Castles KR B-B2 14. B-Kt5 P-KR3 15. BxKt PxB

There is nothing in the weakness at Black’s KB3 and KR3 caused by the disappearance of his KKt Pawn, as White has lost his KB. On the contrary the open file should be a distinct asset, for, having a strong centre, Black’s pieces are more mobile and he is more likely to get an attack.

16. Q-K3 K-R2 17. P-KR3

in order to play Kt-R5, which otherwise would be answered by B- Kt5.

17. … KR-Kt1 18. K-R1 P-B4 19. Kt-R5 B-K3

BxP was threatened.

20. R-KKt1 P-B5


Diag. 105

P-K5 would seem to be better, as it opens a diagonal for the KB, and a diagonal, too, for the QB, as White has to exchange the pawns. Indeed Black would soon have obtained a winning advantage, e.g. 20. … P-K5; 21. PxP (Kt-R2, Q-R5; 22. Q-K2, Kt-K4), BPxP; 22. Kt-R2, Q-R5; 23. Q-K2 (P-KKt4 or B-Q1, P-B4), Kt-K4, threatening Kt-Kt5 and Kt-Q6. As it is, White gains a little time, although Black’s position still remains superior.

21. Q-K2 Q-K2 22. P-Kt4 P-B3

to prevent P-Kt5.

23. R-Kt2 QR-K1 24. R-K1 Q-B2 25. Kt-Q2

intending to play P-B3, thus retarding Black’s P-K5, which is still hanging over White like Damocles’ sword. The move, however, lets in the Knight.

25. … Kt-R5 26. R-R2 P-B4 27. P-B3 P-K5

Now this move is no longer feasible, as White’s brilliant sacrifice demonstrates. To make the move possible, long preparations would have been necessary, such as: R-Kt3, B-Q2-B3, etc.

28. QPxP QPxP 29. KtxKP PxKt 30. QxPch R-Kt3 31. R(R2)-K2

The scene has changed with startling suddenness. White has open files and diagonals for all his forces, whilst Black’s pieces are immobilised. Whatever he plays, Black must lose the piece he has gained.

31. … B-Q3 32. Q-Q3 BxB 33. RxR Q-B5

He cannot play B-Q4 on account of Q-Q4.

34. Kt-B6ch K-Kt2 35. QR-K7ch BxR 36. RxBch KxKt 37. Q-Q6ch Resigns.

GAME No. 6

White: Mason. Black: Gunsberg.

Giuoco Piano.

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. B-B4 B-B4 4. P-Q3 P-Q3 5. B-K3 B-Kt3 6. P-B3 Kt-B3 7. QKt-Q2 Q-K2 8. P-QR4

A lost move. The logical continuation is Kt-B1-Kt3 and Castles.

8. … B-K3 9. B-QKt5 BxB

Generally speaking, exchanges such as this are doubtful. However, in the present case, although it opens the B file for White, White cannot prevent Black from obtaining the same advantage.

10. PxB P-QR3

Black gives up the move he has gained. There is no justification for this, as nothing prevents him from proceeding with his development at once with 10. … Castles.

11. BxKtch PxB 12. P-QKt4

White is anxious lest his KtP should be made “backward” by P-QR4 and P-B4. This is one of the drawbacks of the premature advance of the QRP.

12. … Castles KR 13. Castles Kt-Kt5 14. Q-K2 P-KB4 15. PxP BxP 16. P-K4 B-Q2 17. Kt-B4 Kt-B3 18. Kt-K3 P-Kt3 19. P-B4

This creates a weakness at Q4.

Unimportant as it appears to be, it is the cause of the loss of the game, as the opposing Knight gets in ultimately. The doubling of the Rooks on the KB file would seem to be the best plan.

19. … Kt-R4 20. P-Kt3

White’s weaknesses at KB3 and KR3 are more damaging than the corresponding ones in the Black camp, as Black still possesses a Bishop of the same colour as the weakened squares. But the move is now compulsory; for were White to allow the Black Knight to his KB5, and to drive him off then with P-Kt3, the Knight could play to his R6 and prevent the doubling of the White Rooks.

20. … B-R6 21. R-B2 Kt-Kt2 22. Q-Kt2

White begins to operate in the centre and on the Q wing, as his position on the K side begins to be doubtful. The intention is to play P-Q4, which, however, Black opposes at once.

22. … Kt-K3


Diag. 106

If now White plays P-Q4, he loses a piece by PxP; 24. KtxP?, RxR; 25. KxR, Q-B3ch.

23. R-K1

The Rook has no future here, and R-Q1, in order to play P-Q4, is more logical. But as Black obviously threatens to double his Rooks on the KB file, it would be advisable to play for an exchange of Rooks, with: Kt-Kt2, QR-B1 and Kt-K1.

23. … R-B2 24. QR-K2 QR-KB1 25. Kt-K1 Kt-Q5 26. R-Q2 Q-Kt4 27. Kt(K3)-Kt2 BxKt 28. KxB

KtxB is frustrated by Kt-B6ch.

28. … Q-K6

All the Black forces are now in action, and White has no defence, as his pieces can hardly move.

          29. K-B1 Kt-Kt6!

If R-K2 or B2, there follows RxRch; 31. RxR, Kt-Q7ch; 32. QxKt, QxQ.

GAME No. 7

White: Marshall. Black: Tarrasch.

Max Lange Attack.

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. P-Q4 PxP 3. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 4. B-QB4 B-B4 5. Castles Kt-B3

Black can avoid the complications of the Max Lange attack by 5. … P-Q3. In that case White cannot recover the pawn, and in order to develop his QKt effectively, would have to play P-B3, aiming at rapid development in return, after 6. … PxP; 7. KtxP. But Black can frustrate this plan either by pushing his pawn to Q6, so that the QKt is barred from the square B3, or by playing B-KKt5 with this probable continuation: 7. Q-Kt3, BxKt; 8. BxPch, K-B1; 9. PxB, Kt-B3, and Black has the better game, for White’s King’s side is broken up and his pieces undeveloped, while Black has prospects of attack on the open KB file.

6. P-K5 P-Q4 7. PxKt PxB 8. R-K1ch B-K3 9. Kt-Kt5 Q-Q4


Diag. 107

This is the typical position in the Max Lange attack. With his ninth move White threatened to win a piece by KtxB and Q-R5ch. Black could not parry the threat by 9. … Q-Q3, on account of PxP followed by Kt-K4-B6ch. The position in the diagram appears to be favourable for Black, as all his minor pieces are in play, whilst White’s development is somewhat restricted by Black’s strong pawns at QB5 and Q5. For a long time this opening has not been played in tournaments, being considered unsatisfactory for White. With the present game, and his new move of 15. B-R6, Marshall has reopened the question as to whether White’s attack on the K file plus the pawn at KKt7 is sufficiently tempting.

10. Kt-QB3 Q-B4 11. QKt-K4 Castles QR

This is imperative. If Black retires the Bishop from his unsafe position, White permanently prevents Black from castling, which is bound to be fatal in view of the open K file—e.g. 11. … B- Kt3; 12. PxP, R-KKt1; 13. P-KKt4, Q-Kt3; 14. KtxB, PxKt; l5. B- Kt5, RxP; 16. Q-B3 with a violent attack.

12. KtxQB

If White tries to win the exchange in the following way: 12. P- KKt4, Q-K4!; 13. Kt-KB3, Q-Q4; 14. PxP followed by Kt-B6, Black can initiate a promising counter attack by 14. … BxP!!; 15. PxR-Q, RxQ; 16. Kt-B6, QxKt; 17. QxQ, BxQ. In this case White exposes his King’s side by P-KKt4 in order to benefit from the unstable position of the Black KB, but unless care is taken, he can easily fall a victim to an attack on the open KKt file

12. … PxKt 13. P-KKt4 Q-K4

Not Q-Q4, on account of PxP and Kt-B6.

14. PxP KR-Kt1 15. B-R6

This is Marshall’s innovation. It gets the Bishop out of play, as P-Kt5 must necessarily follow, yet the pawn at Kt7 holds the Black Rook, and there is a permanent threat of Kt-B6 either winning the exchange or, if the Knight is taken, giving White a pair of formidable passed pawns.

15. … P-Q6 16. P-B3 B-Q3

This is quite to White’s liking, since he wishes to advance Ids centre pawns. Black’s only chance of escaping disaster would be: B-K2, with R-Q2, Kt-Q1-B2. Instead of this, his next few moves do not reveal any concerted plan, and he loses in a surprisingly short time.

17. P-B4 Q-Q4 18. Q-B3 B-K2 19. P-Kt5 Q-B4 20. Kt-Kt3 Q-B2

In manoeuvring his Q, Black has achieved nothing either for counter attack or defence. Now White has numerous attacking chances. He first turns his attention to the KP.

21. Q-Kt4 QR-K1 22. R-K4! P-Kt4 23. P-QR4

and now even the QR takes part in the assault. Black’s game is hopeless.

23. … P-R3 24. PxP PxP 25. K-Kt2

attacking the KP by avoiding the check.

25. … Kt-Q1 26. Q-B3 Q-Kt3 27. R-Q4 P-B3 28. RxKtch KxR 29. QxP Resigns.

After this, no master has tried to defend a “Max Lange” in an international tournament.

GAME No. 8

White: Blackburne. Black: Em. Lasker.

Scotch Game.

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. P-Q4 PxP 4. KtxP B-B4 5. B-K3 Q-B3

The threat KtxKt and BxB must be met in some way. P-Q3 is not satisfactory, for Black remains with a trebled pawn after the double exchange. An alternative to the text move is B-Kt3. Q-B3, however, has the advantage of developing a piece, and although it is the Queen, White has no early opportunity of driving the same off, such as he often obtains when the Queen comes out so soon in the game.

6. P-QB3 KKt-K2 7. Kt-B2

In order to develop the QKt.

7. … P-QKt3!

Out of three possible moves, Lasker selects the one which contributes most to development. B-Kt3 does nothing in that direction, and BxB would bring the White Knight further into play. The text move prepares the development of the B at Kt2 with the option of Castles QR. If White exchanges Bishops he gives up the command of his Q4. Black’s P-Q3 might have had the same result, but then the exchange would have given White a majority of pawns on the K side, whilst White’s three Q side pawns would have held the black Q side pawns, one of the latter being doubled.

8. Kt-Q2 Q-Kt3

The exchange of Bishops allows White to play Kt-K3, thus avoiding the weakening move P-K Kt3. 9. B-KB4 is answered by P-Q4!.

9. BxB PxB 10. Kt-K3 R-QKt1 11. P-QKt3 Castles 12. B-B4

To prevent Black’s P-B4.

At first sight it seems as if the QBP ought to move to B4, as the advance of the QKtP has weakened it. But White dares not allow a Black Knight to settle at Q5.

12. … P-Q3 13. P-B4!

Diag. 108

Black threatens to play K-R1 in order to play P-B4. White’s position would then be very bad, and therefore he rightly decides to anticipate the move, even at the cost of a pawn. In order to gain the QBP Black must waste a number of moves with the Q, and White gains time for a King’s side attack. The pawn sacrifice is very promising indeed.

13. … Q-B3 14. Castles QxQBP 15. R-B3

There seem to be many threats here, and the position is a difficult one to fathom. After disentangling his Queen, Black tries very hard to force his P-B4. As soon as he succeeds in this he has a won game, for the open file is available both for defence and counter-attack.

15. … Q-Q5 16. K-R1 B-K3 17. R-QB1 BxB 18. RxB Q-Kt7

Q-B3 is impossible apart from the fact that it would block the KBP, e.g. 18. … Q-B3; 19. P-K5, PxP; 20. Kt-K4, etc.

19. R-QB2 Q-B3

Now the attack shown in the last note could be answered with Q- R5.

20. Kt-Kt4

Here P-KKt4 could be answered by Kt-Q5, e.g. 21. P-Kt5, Q-Kt3; 22. R-Kt3, P-B4.

20. … Q-Kt3 21. R-Kt3 P-B4 22. Kt-K5 Q-K3 23. KtxKt KtxKt 24. P-K5 Kt-Kt5!

This prevents the Rook from occupying the Q file which is about to be opened.

          25. R-B4 PxP
          26. Q-R1 Q-Q2!

If now QxP, Black plays R-B2 with unanswerable threats of R-K1 or Q1.

27. Kt-B3 PxP 28. Kt-K5 Q-K2 29. RxKBP QR-K1 30. Kt-B4 Q-K8ch 31. R-B1 QxQ 32. RxQ KtxP 33. P-R3 P-B5 34. R-Q3 Kt-Kt5 35. R-Q7 P-B6! 36. PxP RxP 37. RxRP Kt-Q6

threatens mate in six.

38. R-R1 Kt-K8

mate is again threatened.

39. Kt-Q2 RxPch 40. K-Kt1 R-Kt6ch 41. K-R2 R-Q6! 42. RxKt RxKtch 43. RxR RxR 44. R-Q7 R-K6 45. RxP RxP 46. RxP P-R3 47. R-B6

A few more moves “for fun.”

47. … K-R2 48. K-Kt2 P-R4 49. R-R6 P-Kt3 50. R-R4 K-R3 51. R-QB4 R-Kt7ch 52. K-Kt3 K-Kt4 53. R-B3 P-R5ch 54. K-R3 K-R4 55. R-B4 R-Kt6ch 56. K-R2 P-Kt4 57. R-R4 R-Kt7ch 58. K-Rsq P-R6 59. R-QB4 P-Kt5 60. K-Ktsq P-Kt6 61. R-B5ch K-Kt3 62. R-Bsq K-B4 63. R-Rsq R-Q7 64. R-Ksq K-B5 65. R-Rsq K-K6 66. R-R3ch R-Q6 67. R-Rsq K-K7 Resigns.

GAME No. 9

White: Salwe. Black: Marshall.

Two Knights’ Defence

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. B-B4 Kt-B3 4. Kt-Kt5

This attack may be tempting, as the BP cannot be protected, but it is against that elementary principle which says that no attack should be undertaken in the opening until the minor pieces are mobilised, provided of course that Black also has made sound opening moves. There is every likelihood that the attack in the present instance will lead to nothing. It has taken many years to find the correct reply, but now that it is known, the opening has practically disappeared from master practice. Instead of the move in the text, White can play either P-Q3, leading almost unavoidably to a drawing variation of the Giuoco piano, or Castles which might bring about the Max Lange attack after 4. … B-B4; 5. P-Q4, PxP.

4. … P-Q4 5. PxP Kt-QR4!

This is a typical position in the Two Knights’ defence. The former continuation 5. … KtxQP has long been abandoned, as the attack that White can initiate by 6. KtxBP, KxKt; 7. Q-B3ch, forcing the Black King to K3, is dangerous though the result is uncertain. The move in the text breaks the attack from the very first, and Black gets the advantage


Diag. 109

as he can gain time by attacking the two minor pieces which it should be noted, are unsupported, and in addition obtain a speedy development, worth more than the pawn given up for it.

6. P-Q3

B-Kt5ch is an alternative. The advantage is Black’s in this case also—e.g. P-B3; 7. PxP, PxP; 8. B-K2, P-KR3; 9. Kt-KB3, P-K5; 10. Kt-K5, Q-B2; 11. P-Q4, B-Q3 (or PxP e.p. followed by B-Q3); 12. P-KB4, PxP e.p.; 13. KtxP, Kt-Kt5 or 11. P-B4, B-Q3; 12. P- Q4, PxP e.p.; 13 KtxP, Castles. Black has an easy game and open lines.

           6. … P-KR3
           7. Kt-KB3 P-K5
           8. Q-K2 KtxB
           9. PxKt B-QB4
          10. KKt-Q2

The Knight must move sooner or later.

10. … Castles 11. Kt-Kt3 B-KKt5 12. Q-B1

A sorry retreat, but the plausible Q-Q2 would be disastrous, e.g. P-K6!; 13. PxP, Kt-K5 and Q-R5ch

12. … B-Kt5ch

Black’s superior development begins to tell in no uncertain fashion. Now White can neither play 13. B-Q2 on account of BxBch; 14. QKtxB, R-K1, followed by P-K6, nor 13. Kt-B3 on account of BxKt; 14. PXB, P-B3 regaining the pawn and maintaining positional advantage. White has therefore no alternative but P-B3, which weakens his Q3, where a Black Knight soon settles down.

13. P-B3 B-K2 14. P-KR3 B-R4 15. P-Kt4 B-Kt3

At last White can castle. He can, of course, only castle on the Queen’s side, because his King’s side pawns are shattered. Now games in which the Kings castle on different wings are more or less beyond calculation, as pointed out before. On the whole, the player who first attacks wins. But experience has shown that the Queen’s side is more difficult to defend on account of its greater expanse, and this theory is supported by the present game. In addition, White’s development is not completed yet, whilst all the Black forces are ready to strike.

16. B-K3 Kt-Q2 17. QKt-Q2 Kt-K4 18. Castles P-Kt4

Storming the position with pawns is peculiar to this kind of game. The intention is to break up the opposing pawn position, and to open files for the Rooks. Pawns are cheap in such cases. Open lines for the pieces are the things that matter, and the fewer pawns there are left, the more open lines are available for the attack.

19. PxP Kt-Q6ch 20. K-Kt1 QxP 21. K-R1

The King was not safe on the diagonal. White wishes to push on his King’s side pawns (P-B4-B5, and so on). But after PxP e.p. there would be a fatal discovered check by the Black Knight.

22. … QxP

Black’s advantage becomes more marked. He has recovered his pawn, and for the ensuing attacks on both sides he is better placed, having already two open files for his Rooks.

          22. P-KB4 P-QR4
          23. QR-Kt1 P-KB4
          24. Kt-Q4 Q-R5!


Diag. 110

The position bristles with chances for daring sacrifices. After 25. KtxBP, for instance, Black could play RxKt!; 26. PxR, Kt-Kt5; 27. PxKt, PxP; 28. P-R3 (Q-B4ch?, B-B2), B-B3; 29. K-R2, QxPch; 30. PxQ, RxP mate.

25. P-Kt3 Q-Q2 26. PxP BxP 27. Q-Kt2 P-B4

White’s compulsory 25. P-Kt3 has weakened his QB3, and the move in the text is intended to open the diagonal KB3-QB6 for the Black Bishop.

28. KtxB QxKt 29. QxP B-B3 30. Q-B4ch K-R1 31. Kt-K4 QR-K1

White cannot parry all the threats at once. Though he gets rid of the threatening B, he lets in the hostile R on the K file and the end cannot long be delayed.

32. KtxB RxKt 33. B-B1 KR-K3 34. B-R3 R-K7 35. KR-Q1 Kt-K8 36. BxP Kt-B7ch 37. K-Kt2 Kt-Kt5ch

and mate at R7 or B7.

GAME No. 10

White: Teichmann. Black: Amateurs in consultation.

Two Knights’ Defence.

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. B-B4 Kt-B3 4. Castles


Diag. 111

The idea underlying this pawn sacrifice is to open the K file for the Rook. It will be seen that, with correct play, Black manages to castle just in time, and White, though winning back his pawn, has no advantage in position. The opening is seldom played by modern masters.

Instead of the move in the text, White can hardly defend the KP with Kt-B3, as Black simply captures the pawn and recovers his piece by P-Q4, with a satisfactory position. It is even better for Black if White plays 6. BxPch in reply to 5. … KtxP. The capture of White’s KP is far more important than that of the Black KBP, particularly as the White Bishop, which could be dangerous on the diagonal QR2-KKt8, is exchanged, e.g. 6. … KxB; 7. KtxKt, P-Q4; 8. Kt-Kt5ch, K-Kt1! Black continues P-KR3, K-R2, R-B1 and has open lines for Rooks and Bishops.

4. … KtxP

Black can, of course, develop his B-B4. Then he must either submit to the Max Lange attack (5. P-Q4, PxP) or play BxP, giving up the useful B, in which case he loses the pawn gained after 6. KtxB, KtxKt; 7. P-KB4, P-Q3; 8. PxP, PxP; 9. B-KKt5, and eventually Q-B3.

5. P-Q4

R-K1 at once would lead to nothing.

5. … PxP 6. R-K1 P-Q4 7. BxP! QxB 8. Kt-B3


Diag. 112

This attack has been analysed extensively by Steinitz. The only square where the Queen cannot be attacked at once by the minor pieces is at QI. After 8. … Q-QI, Black obtains quite a satisfactory game: 9. RxKtch, B-K2; 10. KtxP, P-B4. This is Pillsbury’s move, intending to displace the Rook. Black has then open lines for his two Bishops as compensation for his shattered pawn position. 11. R-KB4, Castles; 12. KtxKt, QxQch; 13. KtxQ, PxKt. Now it is not easy to find a reasonable plan for White, as Black threatens to cramp White’s game with B-Q3 and P-B5. It is therefore necessary for White to take measures against that by playing R-B4 and B-B4. If Black still plays B-Q3, B-B4 follows, with the intention of exchanging and of provoking Black’s P-B4, which leaves the QP “backward.”

8. … Q-KR4 9. KtxKt B-K2 10. B-Kt5 B-K3 11. BxB KtxB 12. Kt-Kt3 Q-R3 13. QxP Castles KR 14. QR-Q1

Now White is ahead with his development, having both Rooks in play and his Queen better placed. Nor can the latter be attacked by R-Q1, as White would simply play QxR. On the Queen being driven away by the Black Knight, he exchanges the latter and plays the Queen back into the same dominating position, eventually producing a dislocation of the Black Queen’s side pawns.

14. … Kt-B3 15. Q-QR4 QR-Q1 16. Kt-Q4! KtxKt 17. RxKt RxR 18. QxR P-QKt3 19. Q-K5 P-QB4

It is instructive to watch how this very slight weakness created by Black’s advance of his pawns brings him into trouble. A White Knight settles down at his Q6, which is no longer guarded by the Black QBP, and paralyses the whole of Black’s game. Another factor in White’s superiority of position is the possession of the King’s file. The Black Rook cannot move until the King gets a loophole by a pawn move. As we have seen, such a pawn move often affords an entry to the opposing pieces.

20. P-KB4 B-B1

Not BxP, of course, because of P-QKt3 and Q-Kt2. The Bishop which cannot remain at K3 is to go to Kt2, so that the threat of mate after Q-QB3 may also hold up a White piece.

21. P-B5 B-Kt2 22. Q-K7 Q-QB3 23. R-K2 P-B3

Compulsory, as otherwise P-B6 forces the KtP to advance, which is fatal in any case. After P-Kt3, White would cover his BP and play his Q to KR6. On the other hand, after PxP there is Kt-R5-B6, and Black is in a mating net.

24. Kt-K4 Q-Q4 25. Kt-Q6 B-B3

The threat was QxRch and R-K8 mate.

26. P-KR3

in order to retreat to R2 in case of Q-Q8ch. In a way P-KR3 creates a certain weakness, as the square at Kt3 is now defenceless, but Black has no pieces with which to take advantage of it: his Rook cannot move, his Bishop is on the White squares. If Black had a KB instead, the move would be very doubtful, because then Black might break in through White’s KKt3.

26. … P-B5

White’s threat was to repel the Black Queen by P-B4 and to mate in five moves, beginning with Q-K6ch.

27. P-B3 P-KR3

Diag. 113

This disposes of the winning of the Queen by the threatened mate. But it creates a weakness at Black’s Kt3, which White exploits in grand style. He decides to play the King himself to Kt6, threatening mate at Kt7. In spite of several raids by the Black Queen, this quaint device is crowned with success. The weakness created by P-KR3 could not be demonstrated more drastically.

28. K-R2 P-QKt4 29. K-Kt3 P-QR4 30. K-R4 P-Kt3

If White were to play PxP now, Black would mate him one move earlier (Q-Kt4). Of course he parries the threat first, and Black is helpless.

31. R-K3 QxKtP 32. R-Kt3 Q-B7

After P-Kt4ch White could not play 33. K-Kt4 on account of the pretty mate by B-B6. He would play K-R5-Kt6.

33. PxP Q-B5ch 34. R-Kt4 Q-B7ch 35. K-R5 Resigns.

A most instructive game, showing how the superior position of the pieces can lead indirectly to a win, by reducing the opponent’s pieces gradually to impotence and compelling him to move pawns, thereby affording opportunities for a decisive entry.

GAME No. 11

White: Schlechter. Black: Janowski.

Ruy Lopez (compare p. 40).

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. B-Kt5 Kt-B3 4. Castles KtxP

A continuation, which has lately gained in favour, is: P-Q3 and B-K2 (see p. 39).

5. P-Q4 B-K2

It is clearly very dangerous to gratify White’s wish for an open file by playing PxP. The move may be playable in the system of defence called the “Riga variation” (see Game No. 17). Here it would be advantageous to be able to close the KB’s diagonal. It is better when intending to play the “Riga variation” to have played P-QR3 on the third move.

          6. Q-K2 Kt-Q3
          7. BxKt KtPxB
          8. PxP Kt-Kt2
          9. Kt-B3 Castles
         10. R-K1 R-K1

The manœuvre cited on p. 40, namely Kt-B4-K3, which makes P-Q4 possible, is essential for the development of the QB. Black loses the present game because White is able to keep the Bishop shut in permanently

11. Q-B4 Kt-B4

so that the pawn B3 should not be “hanging” when the QP moves.

12. Kt-KKt5! BxKt 13. BxB QxB 14. QxKt R-K3


Diag. 114

After the exchanges the position is clearly in favour of White. Against an undeveloped B, which also hampers a Rook, his Knight is mobile. The Black Queen’s side pawns are weak, and give White winning chances even if Black succeeds in playing P-Q4 and bringing the Bishop into play. The move in the text, which covers the pawn at B3, again prepares for P-Q4.

15. Q-Q4 B-Kt2

The only chance lay in the pawn sacrifice by P-QB4, after which the Bishop gets to Kt2 with a threat of mate, and the QR is free.

16. Q-QKt4 B-B1 17. Kt-K4

Fine play. If Black captures the pawn, White obtains a combined attack with Q, R, and Kt, to which Black can only oppose the Q, so that the result cannot be in doubt—e.g. 17. … QxKP; 18. Kt- B5, Q-Q3; 19. Q-QB4, RxRch; 20. RxR, P-KR3; 21. R-K8ch, K-R2; 22. Q-K4ch, P-Kt3 (Q-Kt3?; 23. QxQ, followed by KtxP); 23. Kt-Q3 and R-K7.

17. … Q-K2 18. Kt-B5 R-Kt3 19. R-K3 P-QR4 20. Q-Q4 R-Kt1 21. P-QB4

preventing R-Kt4

21. … P-R3 22. P-QKt3 K-R2 23. R-Q1 Q-Kt4 24. R-Kt3 Q-B4 25. RxR PxR

Black has built a wall of pawns round his King, but it does not avail against the superior forces which White can concentrate.

White’s plan is clear. He will advance his pawns, and break up those that surround the Black King, always taking care that Black does not free his Queen’s side meanwhile. His pieces will then break in easily, and Black is forced to look on passively.

26. P-KR3 R-R1 27. P-QR4

to prevent the sacrifice of a pawn by P-R5, which would bring the Black Rook into play.

27. … R-Kt1 28. R-Q3 Q-Kt4 29. K-R2 Q-K2 30. P-B4 Q-B2 31. P-K6!!


Diag. 115

A beautiful move which robs Black of his last chance of freeing his Queen’s side, which he might have accomplished by the pawn sacrifice of P-Q3.

31. … PxP 32. Q-K5 Q-K2 33. P-KKt4 R-Kt5 34. K-Kt3 R-Kt3 35. P-R4 Q-B1 36. P-R5 PxP 37. QxRP R-Kt1 38. Q-K5 R-Kt3 39. P-Kt5 P-R4 40. P-Kt6ch

The end is near. Black must take, as QxRP forces a speedy

40. … KxP 41. Q-Kt5ch K-R2 42. QxRPch K-Kt1 43. Q-Kt5

threatening R-Q8

43. … K-B2 44. R-Q8 Q-K2 45. Q-R5ch Resigns.

Loss of the Queen and mate in a few moves cannot be prevented. Black has played the whole game practically with two pieces less, and the mate was really only a matter of time.

GAME No. 12

White: Teichmann. Black: Rubinstein.

Ruy Lopez (see p. 37).

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. B-Kt5 P-QR3 4. B-R4

By exchanging the Bishop White could not prove P-QR3 to be a lost move, for Black, by retaking with the QP, obtains open lines for Q and QB, and in addition to an easy development, retains two Bishops. This is a set-off against a certain weakness in Black’s game, which may be found in the fact that after P-Q4, PxP, White has four pawns to three on the King’s side, while his three pawns on the Queen’s side are able to hold the four opposing pawns, one of which is doubled. But this weakness can only tell in the end- game, which is too far ahead for practical purposes, and to which it may not come at all. An example of the usual line of play will be found in Game No. 18.

4. … Kt-B3 5. Castles B-K2 6. R-K1 P-QKt4 7. B-Kt3 P-Q3 8. P-B3


Diag. 116

8. … Castles

In Capablanca’s opinion Black should not castle before White’s intentions in the centre have been made clear. It makes a great difference whether White plays his QP to Q4 or to Q3 only.

If after 8. … QKt-R4; 9. B-B2, P-B4 White plays: 10. P-Q4, his intention is to move his pawn further to Q5 as soon as Black has castled, and then to attack on the King’s wing with QKt-Q2-B1-K3, P-KKt4 and Kt-B5. For this reason Black should force White to disclose whether he intends to exchange his QP or to advance it to Q5. In the latter case Black can refrain from castling altogether and counter-attack on the King’s wing, e.g., 10. P-Q4, Q-B2; 11. P-KR3, B-Q2; 12. QKt-Q2, R-QB1; if now: 13. P-Q5 then P-R3 followed by P-Kt4-Kt5 gives Black many chances. If on the contrary 13. PxP, then Black need no longer fear an attack on the King’s side after he has castled, as his Rooks will have a favourable opportunity for operating on the open Queen’s file. However, there is still the disadvantage for Black of having advanced Queen’s side pawns, which are liable to attack (P-QR4).

The game takes a different course when Black exchanges the pawns in the centre. The continuation would then be: 11. … Kt-B3; 12. Q Kt-Q2, B-Q2; 13. Kt-B1, PxP; 14. PxP, PxP; 15. B-Kt5, Q- Kt3. It is difficult to decide which side has the advantage. Black has an extra pawn, but White has the initiative.

If in Diag. 116, after 8. … Castles White plays 9. P-Q4 at once, Black has an opportunity for the following interesting attack: 9. P-Q4, B-Kt5; 10. B-K3, KtxKP; 11. B-Q5, Q-Q2; 12. BxKKt, P-Q4; 13. B-B2, P-K5 14. P-KR3, B-R4; 15. Kt-K5, BxQ; 16. KtxQ, BxB; 17. KtxR, RxKt. White cannot take advantage of his Rooks, as there is no open file, whilst Black threatens to initiate a strong attack with P-B4.

Aljechin has analysed a variation of this line of play, which he thinks leads finally to White’s advantage: 12. PxP, Kt-Kt4; 13. BxKt, BxB; 14. P-KR3, BxKt; 15. QxB, KtxP; 16. RxKt, PxR; 17. BxR, B-B8; 18. Kt-R3, Q-Q7. I doubt that White can win this game.

9. P-Q3

In this less aggressive continuation, in which nothing is immediately attempted against Black’s centre, White prepares gradually for a King’s side attack, as in this game with Kt-Q2- B1-Kt3. But Black should obtain time for operations in the centre.

9. … Kt-QR4 10. B-B2 P-B4 11. QKt-Q2 Kt-B3 12. P-QR4

In many variations of the Ruy Lopez, this advance is always good, if Black cannot avoid exchanging the pawn, because the White Queen’s Rook, which only gets into play with difficulty, can either be exchanged or hold the Rook’s file. In any case the Black Knight’s pawn is weak for the end-game. If, as in the present game. Black can play P-Kt5, P-R4 is useless and even doubtful, as the Rook’s pawn itself may become weak in the end- game.

12. … B-Kt2

This causes the loss of the game. In the Ruy Lopez the Bishop is nearly always needed on the diagonal QB1-KR6, to prevent a Knight from settling at White’s KB5, which otherwise cannot be repelled except by P-KKt3, a most undesirable consummation. The proper continuation would have been P-Kt5, B-K3, Q-B2 and P-Q4, capturing the Queen’s file. Compare note to move 13 in the next game.

13. Kt-B1 Q-B2 14. Kt-Kt3 P-Kt3


Diag. 117

Here is the weakness. White first provides against Black’s P-Q4, and then starts a sharp attack on the King’s side.

15. B-Kt5 QR-Q1

P-Q4 at once is not feasible, because of BxKt.

16. PxP PxP 17. Q-B1

This brings the Q away from her file, which Black could now secure by P-Q4, followed by PxP.

17. … KR-K1

The proper continuation is the one outlined in the note above.

18. P-R3

White has now ample leisure to prepare the advance of his KBP.

18. … R-R1 19. RxR RxR 20. Kt-R2 B-QB1 21. P-KB4 Kt-K1 22. P-B5 BxB 23. QxB Q-K2

Black seeks salvation in exchanges, which White, of course, tries to avoid, having good prospects of driving home his attack. His pieces are concentrated on the King’s side, whilst the Black forces are scattered, and unable to get back in time for the defence. Moreover, it is likely that the weakness at Black’s KR3 and KB3 will prove fatal as the Black KB is exchanged.

24. Q-R6 Q-B1 25. Q-B1 Q-Kt2 26. R-B1 P-Kt4

White was threatening to play Kt-Kt4 with PxP and Kt-R6.

27. Kt-Kt4 Kt-B3 28. KtxKtch QxKt

One of the attacking Knights is eliminated. But there is another, which forces the entry at KB6 and KKt6.

29. P-R4

to gain access for the White Queen at KR6. If Black, captures there follows: 30. Kt-R5, Q-Q1; 31. Q-R6, Q-B1; 32. Kt-B6ch, an instructive example of the weakness created by P-KKt3.

29. … P-R3 30. Kt-R5 Q-Q1 31. P-B6

All this is easy to understand.

31. … K-R2 32. PxP B-Kt5 33. Kt-Kt7 K-Kt3 34. B-Q1 Q-Q2 35. Kt-B5 BxKt 36. PxBch Resigns.

The conclusion might be: K-R2; 37. B-R5, PxP; 38. QxP, R-KKt1; 39. B-Kt6ch, PxB; 40. Q-R4 mate.

GAME No. 13

White: Teichmann. Black: Schlechter.

Ruy Lopez (see p. 37).

Move 1-8 as in Game No. 12.


Diag. 118

9. P-Q3 Kt-QR4 10. B-B2 P-B4 11. QKt-Q2 Q-B2

Supporting, as it does, the KP, this is not a lost move, although White has not played P-Q4. It prepares Black’s P-Q4 (after Kt- B3), the KP being fully protected against White’s double attack by PxP.

12. Kt-B1 Kt-B3 13. Kt-K3 B-Kt2

The logical move would have been B-K3, to enforce P-Q4. Black is then very well developed, whilst White labours under a somewhat undeveloped Queen’s side. An attempt to exert pressure in the centre with P-Q4 in order to prevent Black’s P-Q4 would be belated. Black would gain the advantage by: l4. … KPxP; 15. PxP, PxP; 16. KtxP, KtxKt; 17. QxKt, Kt-Kt5! Nor would B-Kt5 before Kt-K3 be more successful; after B-K3; 14. Kt-K3, QR-Q1; 15. P-Q4, BPxP; 16. PxP, PxP; 17. KtxP, KtxKt; 18. QxKt, Q-B4, Black has the better chances in the end-game. The move in the text is not good because, as we saw before, the Bishop is wanted on the other diagonal to cover the square at KB4.

14. Kt-B5 KR-K1 15. B-Kt5 Kt-Q2

Even now it was desirable to aim at P-Q4, therefore QR-Q1 was preferable.

16. B-Kt3

The position of the White pieces points to a dangerous menace to the opposing King’s side.

          16. … Kt-B1
          17. B-Q5!!

The beginning of a brilliant combination. BxKt is threatened, and Black must first cover his B at K2.

          17. … Kt-Kt3
          18. BxB KKtxB

QKtxB is not feasible, because of BxB and KtxQP.

19. BxPch!! KxB 20. Kt-Kt5ch


Diag. 119

Quite a number of charming combinations are hidden in this position. If K-Kt3 or Kt1, then 21. KtxKtP! If K-B3 White can capture the RP first with check.

20. … K-Kt1 21. Q-R5 KtxKt 22. QxRPch K-B1 23. QxKtch K-Kt1 24. Q-Kt6!!!

The point. This prevents P-Kt3, which would allow Black to bring up his Q for the defence at Kt2. Now nothing can be done against the threatening R-K3-B3 or R3.

24. … Q-Q2 25. R-K 3 Resigns

A wonderful game in which Teichmann, the great judge of position, proves himself also a master in hand-to-hand fighting, in the wild chaos of sacrificial combinations.

GAME No. 14

White: Spielmann. Black: Tarrasch.

Ruy Lopez (see p. 41).

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. B-KT5 P-QR3 4. B-R4 Kt-B3 5. Castles Kt-P 6. P-Q4


Diag. 120

In a game between Riga and Berlin PxP was tried for the first time, a bold venture which anticipates White’s desire to open the King’s file. After 7. R-K1 Black can defend the Kt by P-Q4, but after 8. KtxP White threatens again to win the Kt by P-KB3, besides attacking the QKt a second time. However, Black has a surprising answer in readiness. He initiates a violent counter attack which keeps White busy until Black, by castling, escapes the dangers of the double pin. (Compare Game No. 17.)

6. … P-QKt4 7. B-Kt3 P-Q4 8. P-QR4

This gives Black an opportunity of disposing of his QKt by exchanging it, thereby enabling him to round off his pawn position by P-QB4, at the same time threatening to cut off the Bishop by P-B5. 8. PxP followed by P-B3 is the natural continuation, as shown in the first part of this book, because the Bishop, retreating to B2, can operate on a useful diagonal.

8. … QKtxP!

QR-Kt1 would not be so good, because White obtains an open file for his Rook. The move in the text is an absolutely valid defence, as was proved by Schlechter in his match against Lasker.

9. KtxKt PxKt 10. Kt-B3

PxP and P-B3 seems a more natural continuation.

10. … KtxKt

Not PxKt, on account of BxP.

11. PxKt P-QB4 12. RPxP B-K2

in order to castle in reply to B-R4.

13. Q-B3

Here White should have got back his second pawn by PxQP. If then 13. … P-B5; 14. B-R4, Castles; 15. PxP, BxP, White plays P-QB3, providing a retreat for his R or B. After the move in the text this manœuvre becomes impossible, because the B after P-B3 can be attacked twice but has lost the support of the Queen.

13. … B-K3 14. RxP Castles 15. PxP P-B5 16. B-R2

Now the Bishop is hemmed in permanently; in other words, Black is a piece up and must win easily. Therefore 16. B-R4 was compulsory in order to get at any rate three pawns for the piece, thus: 16. … B-Q2; 17. QxP, RxR; 18. PxR, BxB; 19. QxP.

16. … RxR 17. PxR Q-R4 18. B-Kt1 P-B6 19. Q-Kt3

White tries to work up an attack on the King’s side while Black is still occupied on the other wing.

19. … R-B1 20. P-B4 B-KB4 21. R-K1 B-B3 22. K-R1

In order to answer BxQP by 23. B-K3 and P-R7, 22. … QxP is not feasible because of QxP.

22. … P-R3 23. P-R3 R-Kt1 24. B-K3 QxP 25. R-Q1 Q-R8 26. Q-K1


Diag. 121

The sequel forms an instructive example of how superior development can afford winning chances even when there is no immediate prospect of material gain. The opposing pieces are gradually constricted until the defending lines are weakened by compulsory pawn moves. In the present position Black quietly sets to work to bring his Bishops to bear on the White King.

26. … B-K5 27. K-R2 B-K2 28. Q-B1

to free his game somewhat with P-B5, which Black prevents at once.

28. … P-B4 29. R-K1 B-R5

Being probably short of time, Black makes a few irrelevant moves. If his aim was not the opening of the KKt file but the subsequent sacrifice of the Queen, he might have played Q-Kt7 at once, followed by Q-Kt4.

30. P-Kt3 B-K2 31. B-B2 B-Q3 32. R-B1 K-R2 33. R-K1 R-Kt3 34. R-B1 B-R6 35. R-K1 Q-Kt7 36. Q-K2 R-Kt5 37. R-Kt1 R-Kt3

Otherwise White might embark upon a counter attack, beginning with P-Kt4. Now this is impossible on account of R-Kt3.

38. R-K1 Q-Kt4 39. Q-R5

After the exchange of Queens, Black would win easily by R-Kt7. 39. B-R2 also fails on account of QxQ; 40. RxQ, R-Kt7; 41. B-Kt3, B-Q6!; 42. R-K5, BxP, and the passed pawn costs a Rook. With the text move, White provokes the sacrifice of the Queen at Kt 8, apparently not seeing the fine continuation at Black’s disposal on the forty-first move.

39. … QxB! 40. RxQ RxR 41. P-Kt4

Compulsory. B-Kt1 would be followed by R-QB8, etc.

41. … B-B8!! Resigns.

There might follow 42. K-Kt3, P-Kt3; 43. Q-R4, BxPch; 44. KxB, P- Kt4ch, and so on. 4l. … B-Q3 would have given White a little respite, though his game would still have been hopeless after PxP and R-K8.

GAME No. 15

White: Aljechin. Black: Niemzowitsch.

Ruy Lopez (see p. 41).

          1. P-K4 P-K4
          2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3
          3. B-Kt5 P-QR3
          4. B-R4 Kt-B3
          5. Castles KtxP
          6. P-Q4 P-QKt4
          7. B-Kt3 P-Q4
          8. PxP B-K3
          9. P-B3 B-K2
         10. R-K1


Diag. 122

This is one of the most important positions in the Ruy Lopez. Black has the better development, but his centre is less secure. Whilst White has a pawn secured in the centre, Black has a Knight there which will soon be driven away. White’s Q4, the basis of his centre, is entirely in his hands, while Black’s Q4 is exposed to a steady pressure by the White pieces. Finally Black’s Q Kt is unfavourably placed, obstructing as it does the QBP and preventing it from falling into line with its fellows. In Petrograd, 1909, Lasker tried the following new defence: Kt-B4 followed by B-Kt5, giving up the moves gained before in order to relieve the pressure on the Black QP and to exchange the same ultimately at Q5. The various possibilities of the position have been discussed in connection with Diag. 22. It may be added that after 10. … Castles; QKt-Q2 is surely a better move than the usual Kt-Q4, as the Queen’s side should be developed before undertaking an attack (11. … Q-Q2?; 12. KtxB, followed by RxKt). For a long time it was thought that after Kt-Q4 Black had to exchange Knights, which enables White to make the pawn at QB7 “backward” by B-K3. For Black must first play P-KR3 to guard his Kt against the threat of P-B3 and P-KR4. However, a sensational innovation which refutes the Kt’s move was introduced in Breslau in 1912. It is the following sacrifice: 10. … Castles; 11. Kt- Q4, KtxKP!; 12. P-B3, B-Q3!!; 13. PxKt, B-Kt5!!; 14. Q-Q2, Q-R5 with an overpowering attack.

10. … Kt-B4 11. B-B2 B-Kt5 12. Q Kt-Q2 Castles 13. Kt-Kt3 Kt-K5

Here Lasker played Kt-K3 against Janowski (Paris, 1912), but it proved to be inferior, because 14. Q-Q3 disorganises Black’s King’s side forcibly.

The move in the text is not really a pawn sacrifice. After 14. BxKt, PxB; 15. QxQ, QRxQ; 16. KKt-Q4, KtxKt; 17. KtxKt, R-Q4, White cannot play 18. RxP, because of P-QB4; 19. Kt-B2, B-B4 or 19. Kt-B3, R-Q8ch; 20. Kt-K1, B-B4; 21. R-K2, B-Q6; 22. R-K3, B- Kt4.

14. B-B4 P-B4 15. PxP e.p. KtxP(B3) 16. Q-Q3 Kt-K5?

This loses the QBP, and weakens the QP. Black might have tried BxKt; 17. QxB, B-Q3. It would then have been possible to support the QP by P-B3 after moving the Kt away. If Black was anxious to preserve his two Bishops he would even have risked P-Kt3. After 17. B-R6, R-B2, the Bishop could have been driven away again by the KKt from Kt1 or Kt5. The open file offered some compensation and chances of counter attack.

17. BxP Q-Q2

Not QxB because of QxPch.

18. Kt-K5 KtxKt 19. BxKt B-R5

RxP is bad because of 20. RxKt, B-KB4; 21. Q-Kt3.

20. B-Kt3 BxB 21. RPxB B-B4

Now RxP! was feasible with a level game after: 22. RxKt, B-B4! 23. KxR, BxR; 24. Q any, Q-B4ch, followed by BxB. After missing this chance, Black soon loses the game.

22. Q-Q4 KR-Q1 23. QR-Q1 Q-QB2 24. Kt-Q2 KtxKBP

A last and desperate attempt. Black obtains Rook and pawn against two minor pieces, but has no time to initiate an attack with the Rooks. The wisest plan was to give up the P, with a view to effecting the exchange of the minor pieces, because an ending with Queen and Rooks generally produces a draw. Black could not play KtxKtP instead of the move in the text because of 25. B- Kt3!.

25. BxB KtxR 26. RxKt QxKtP 27. B-K6ch K-R1 28. BxP QR-B1 29. Kt-K4 Q-R5 30. P-QKt3 R-B3

White now obtains a passed pawn, and a speedy win.

31. Q-B2 Q-R4 32. Q-B3 QxQ 33. PxQ P-Kt3 34. R-Q2 R-Kt3 35. P-QB4 PxP 36. PxP R-Kt8ch 37. K-B2 P-QR4 38. P-B5 R-QB8 39. P-B6 K-Kt2 40. B-B4! RxB 41. RxR RxP 42. R-Q7ch K-R3 43. K-Kt3 R-B5 44. Kt-B2 K-Kt4

Mate was threatened by: 45. Kt-Kt4ch, K-R4; 46. R-Q5ch, P-Kt4; 47. R-Q6 and R-R6 mate (or if RxKtch, PxR mate).

45. R-Q5ch K-B3 46. RxP Resigns

GAME No. 16

White: Yates. Black: Gunsberg.

Ruy Lopez.

          1. P-K4 P-K4
          2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3
          3. B-Kt5 P-QR3
          4. B-R4 Kt-B3
          5. Castles KtxP
          6. P-Q4 P-QKt4
          7. B-Kt3 P-Q4
          8. PxP B-K3
          9. P-QB3 B-K2
         10. B-K3

in order to exchange the Black Knight if played to B4.

10. … Castles 11. QKt-Q2

If Q-Q3, then Kt-R4; 12. QKt-Q2, P-QB4.

11. … KtxKt

This furthers White’s development, and should not be played unless there is no other move available. To be considered are P- B4 and B-KKt5. An argument against P-B4 is that White can deprive Black’s weak centre pawn of one protecting piece (12. PxP e.p., KtxP (B3); 13. Kt-Kt5), and experience has shown that White obtains the superior game.

12. QxKt Kt-R4 13. B-B2 Kt-B5

A very dangerous manœuvre, as White can evade the exchange of his Bishop and the Black Kt does not get back in time for the defence of the K side, where White’s attack becomes virulent. He should have played P-QB4 followed by Kt-B3.

14. Q-Q3 P-Kt3 15. B-R6 KtxKtP 16. Q-K2 R-K1 17. Kt-Q4

Black had probably anticipated that White would be content with regaining his pawn by BxP, but, with fine positional insight, he retains his Bishop for the coming onslaught and speedily concentrates his forces on the K side; whilst Black, who has won a pawn at the expense of several moves, cannot mobilise an equivalent number of pieces in time for the defence.

17. … Kt-B5 18. P-B4 B-Q2

White was threatening 19. Kt-B6, 20. KtxB, 21. B-Kt5, 22. B-B6; 18. … Q-Q2 is not sufficient, as 19. P-B5 would follow. Neither can 18. … B-QB4 be played because of 19. B-Kt5, Q-B1; 20. B-B6. Preferable to the text move seems B-KB1 (19. B-Kt5, Q-B1; 20. B- B6, B-Kt2), as then the Black pieces have more freedom of action.

19. QR-K1 P-QB4 20. P-K6

A brilliant sacrifice to which no satisfactory reply can be found. For instance, 20. … PxKt; 21. Q-Kt4, Kt-K6, 22. RxKt, PxR; 23. P-B5, BxP; 24. PxB, PxP, 25. BxP, etc.; or 24. … R- KB1; 25. PxPch, RxP; 26. Q-K6, Q-K1; 27. BxP, etc.; or 23. … P- Kt4; 24. PxPch, KxP; 25. Q-R5ch, K-Kt1; 26. P-B6, BxP; 27. BxP, etc.; or 21. … B-B4; 22. PxPch, KxP; 23. BxPch, PxB; 24. P-B5, etc. There are many variations, all leading to a speedy end.


Diag. 123

20. … B-KB3 21. P-Kt4 P-Kt 22. P-B5 P-Q6 23. BxP BxKP

If PxKP then 24. PxKtP, Kt-K4; 25. RxKt, BxR; 26. Q-R5, Q-B3; 27. RxQ, BxR; 28. PxPch, K-R1; 29. Q-B7, etc.; or 26. … BxP; 27. B- B8, etc.

24. PxB Q-Kt3ch 25. K-R1 Resigns

GAME No. 17

White: Berlin. Black: Riga.

Ruy Lopez.

Move 1-6 as in Game No. 16.


Diag. 124

6. … PxP

Compare note to move No. 6 in Game 14.

7. R-K1 P-Q4 8. KtxP B-Q3

This is the key to the variation. Black threatens to obtain a draw by perpetual check through BxPch, followed by Q-R5ch and QxPch. This is not good enough against a weaker opponent in a tournament, and a strong player cannot afford to play the Riga defence. But that is not a point against the variation. To prove it unsound, White has to find a win.

9. KtxKt BxPch 10. K-R1!

After 10. K-B1 Black has a tremendous attack, and drives it home before White can manage to bring his extra piece into play. A game Maroczy-Berger (Vienna, 1908) is an illustration of this. It continued in this way: 10. K-B1, Q-R5; 11. B-K3, Castles; 12. Kt- Q4, B-Kt5; 13. Kt-KB3, Q-R4. Now White has no satisfactory continuation. 14. Kt-Q2 obstructs the Queen, and it is difficult to bring the Rooks into concerted action. 14. Kt-B3, QR-Q1; 15. Q-Q3, BxKt; 16. PxB, QxP; 17. KtxKt, PxKt; 18. Q-B3, Q-R6ch; 19. K-K2, Q-Kt5ch; 20. K-B1, R-Q4; 21. B-Kt3, R-KR4; 22. P-B3, PxP; Resigns.

10. … Q-R5

It now looks as if White were lost. But a fine sacrifice forces the exchange of all Black’s attacking pieces, and saves the situation.

11. RxKtch PxR 12. Q-Q8ch QxQ 13. KtxQch KxKt 14. KxB …


Diag. 125

After the terrible slaughter, the position is somewhat clearer. Black has a Rook and two pawns for two minor pieces, a slight advantage for the end-game, but as yet there is no thought of an end-game. White, in possession of two Bishops, with an open Queen’s file on which the Black King stands, has good attacking chances, and most masters would think the position favourable for White.

14. … B-K3

P-KB4 is a plausible move, but is followed by a pretty mate by 15. B-Kt5. The move in the text threatens to eliminate the KB by P-QB4, P-QKt4.

15. B-K3 P-KB4 16. Kt-B3 K-K2 17. P-KKt4

Tarrasch recommends 17. R-Q1, threatening Kt-Q5ch. If P-B3, White could play 18. B-Kt6, thereby permanently preventing Black from contesting the Queen’s file, and then try to exchange Black’s B by Kt-K2-Q4. With two Bishops, White would then have winning chances.

A subtle idea underlies White’s move of P-KKt4. He wishes to take advantage of the fact that Black has exchanged the KB by playing P-Kt5, thus holding all the four pawns on the King’s side. But Black finds a surprising reply, which seems to refute White’s plan.

Capablanca played against Ed. Lasker (New York, 1915), 17. P- KKt4, P-KKt3; 18. K-Kt3, P-KR4; 19. PxBP, P-R5ch; 20. K-R2, PxP; 21. Kt-K2, P-Kt4; 22. B-Kt3, BxB; 23. RPxB, KR-KKt1; 24. R-Q1, QR-Q1; 25. RxR, KxR; 26. Kt-K4, winning a pawn.

17. … P-KKt3 18. P-Kt5 QR-KKt1!!

Black offers the exchange in order to get rid of White’s QB. If White accepts the sacrifice, he loses his KKtP, and Black retains three passed pawns for the piece, at least an equivalent for the end-game. White should decline the doubtful gift and meet the threat of P-R3 and P-KKt4 with 19. R-KKt1.

19. B-Q4 P-R3 20. B-B6ch K-B2 21. BxR RxB 22. R-Q1

in order to play 23. B-Q7 in answer to P-B4. This explains White’s check at move 20.

22. … PxPch 23. K-Kt2 K-B3!

If now 24. Kt-Q5ch, Black would assail the White King with K-K4; 25. KtxP, B-B5-K7-B6. The Black phalanx of pawns becomes menacing.

           24. B-Kt3 BxB
           25. RPxB K-K3
           26. P-Kt4 R-R2

Black need no longer fear to exchange Rooks, for he would then threaten the Queen’s side pawns with his King whilst the passed pawns kept the White forces occupied.

27. Kt-K2 R-Q2 28. Kt-Q4ch K-B3 29. P-QB3 P-B3

The aim of this move is not clear. Black should adopt a forward policy with P-Kt5, P-B5, R-R2, etc.

30. R-KR1 P-Kt5 31. R-R8

Now none of the pawns can advance: P-B5 would be answered by 32. R-K8, R-K2; 33. RxR, KxR; 34. Kt-Kt3 and one of the pawns is lost.

31. … R-K2 32. Kt-K2 R-Q2 33. Kt-Q4 R-K2 34. R-B8ch K-Kt2 35. R-Q8 P-B5 36. R-Q6 K-B2 37. Kt-B2 R-K3 38. R-Q7ch R-K2 39. R-Q6 R-K3 40. R-Q1

White tries to win at all costs—and loses. By a forcible advance on the Queen’s side, he creates new chances, but also new weaknesses.

40. … K-B3 41. P-B4 R-K2 42. R-Q4 K-Kt4 43. R-Q6 P-K6! 44. P-B3

PxP fails on account of P-B6ch and R-R2.

44. … P-K7 45. Kt-K1 P-Kt6 46. P-Kt5

Too late.

46. … R-R2 47. PxBP PxP 48. R-K6 R-R7ch 49. K-Kt1 R-B7 50. Kt-B2 RxP 51. RxKP R-Q6 52. Kt-K1 R-Kt6 53. R-Q2 P-B6 54. Kt-Q3 P-R4 Resigns

The RP cannot be prevented from pushing on to R6, after which a mate is threatened by the BlacKRon the eighth rank. R-Q1 would then be compulsory. But that lets the Black Rook in on the seventh (KR-R7, followed by P-B7ch).

GAME No. 18

Emanuel Lasker. Capablanca.

Ruy Lopez (see p. 37)

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. B-Kt5 P-QR3 4. BxKtQ PxB 5. P-Q4 PxP

Worthy of consideration is: 5. … B-KKt5; 6PxP, QxQch; 7. KxQ, Castles ch; 8. K-K2, R-K1; 9. P-KR3, BxKtch; 10. KxB, P-B3; with a good game. In this opening Black is justified in assuming the initiative, as the exchange, which has opened a diagonal for his QB, has furthered his development. If he does not do so, and confines himself to defending tamely, the chances are that he will lose on account of White’s majority of pawns on the King’s side.

6. QxP QxQ

Compulsory. If B-K3 instead, 7. B-B4 attacks QB7. B-Q3 in reply to that would be inferior. By exchanging Bishops White would render the Black QP “backward,” and on the open file its capture would be inevitable.

7. KtxQ B-Q3 8. Kt-QB3 Kt-K2

Black prepares to castle on the King’s side. It is more usual, and probably stronger, to castle on the Queen’s side, as the King then protects the QBP, which in the present case would be weak if Black’s KB were to be exchanged.

9. Castles Castles. 10. P-B4 R-K1


Diag. 126

Black allows his opponent too much latitude on the King’s wing. He should prevent White’s P-B5, which obstructs his QB, by P-KB4. After P-K5 the game would be equalised by B-B4, BxKt, and B-K3.

A draw would then be practically certain, with the Bishops of opposite colours. Black probably thought White would not risk weakening his KP by P-B5. But with unfailing judgment Lasker foresees that, in consequence of the greater mobility of his pieces, his attack will be successful before a counter attack on the weak KP can be instituted.

11. Kt-Kt3 P-B3

Even now P-KB4 was imperative, though it would keep the Bishop from that square. The continuation could have been 12. P-K5, B- Kt5; 13. Kt-K2 (or R4), Kt-Q4, and the Bishop is safe.

12. P-B5!!

This move has a twofold aim. It shuts in the Bishop, and allows B-B4, exchanging the Black QB.

12. … P-QKt3

The diagonal QR1-KR8 is the only one in which the Bishop has any prospects of action. However, as soon as he relinquishes his present diagonal, a White Knight settles at K6 and the Black Rooks are very much hampered.

13. B-B4 B-Kt2

Black should have exchanged the Bishops. Now he gets a weak pawn at Q3. Before playing B-Kt2, P-B4 should be played to prevent the Knight getting from Kt3-Q4-K6.

14. BxB PxB 15. Kt-Q4 QR-Q1 16. Kt-K6 R-Q2 17. QR-Q1 Kt-B1 18. R-B2 P-QKt4 19. KR-Q2

This holds Black’s Kt at B1. White’s next move prevents the Bishop getting into action by P-B4. After depriving all the Black pieces of their mobility, White turns his attention to a determined assault on the Black King.

19. … QR-K2 20. P-QKt4 K-B2 21. P-QR3 B-R1 22. K-B2 R-R2 23. P-Kt4 P-R3 24. R-Q3 P-QR4 25. P-KR4 PxP 26. PxP R(R2)-K2

There are no prospects on the Rook’s file, and Black is restricted to keeping his pieces mutually protected. He cannot prevent White from penetrating the King’s side.

27. K-B3 R-Kt1 28. K-B4 P-Kt3 29. R-Kt3 P-Kt4ch 30. K-B3

If Black captures the pawn, he would lose it again forthwith through White’s R-R3, and the pawn at R3 would also be captured.

30. … Kt-Kt3 31. PxP RPxP 32. R-R3 R-Q2 33. K-Kt3


Diag. 127

The White King leaves the diagonal because Black’s P-B4 would interfere with the combination by which White intends to annihilate Black’s game in a few moves.

33. … K-K1 34. QR-KR1 B-Kt2 35. P-K5!!

A beautiful final stroke.

35. … QPxP 36. Kt-K4!! Kt-Q4 37. Kt(K6)-B5 B-B1

Black dares not move the Rook on account of KtxB and Kt-Q6ch.

38. KtxR BxKt 39. R-R7ch R-B1 40. R-R1 K-Q1 41. R-R8ch B-B1 42. Kt-B5 Resigns

Mate in two is threatened. Black’s only move is Kt-K2, after which he is helpless, and White can capture the pawns one by one at his leisure (R-B7, etc.). In this game, so beautifully engineered by White, we have a further example of Lasker’s remarkable grasp of position.

GAME No. 19

White: Eduard Lasker. Black: Janowski.

Four Knights’ Game.

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. Kt-B3 Kt-B3 4. B-Kt5 B-Kt5

B-K2; 5 Castles, P-Q3; would lead into the Ruy Lopez.

5. Castles Castles 6. P-Q3 P-Q 3

It is, of course, better to castle before playing P-Q3, as the opponent could at once play Kt-Q5 and utilise the pin to initiate an immediate attack, e.g. 5. Castles, P-Q3; 6. Kt-Q5, B-B4; 7. P- Q4, PxP; 8. B-Kt5.

7. B-Kt5


Diag. 128

The position is not unlike that in Diagram 90, and the same remarks apply to it. Here B-K3 is inadvisable, because P-Q4, threatening to fork two pieces, forces the exchange of Black’s centre pawn. After 7. … B-Kt5; 8. Kt-Q5, Kt-Q5; 9. B-B4, B-B4, on the other hand, we get the position discussed on p. 115, in which White obtains the advantage by Q-Q2. Instead of 9. … B- B4, Black should play Q-Q2 with a similar threat. But he has not the cooperation of his King’s Bishop for the attack, and White just manages to escape with a draw, e.g. 9. … Q-Q2; 10. KtxKtch, PxKt; 11. BxP, P-KR3(BxKt; 12. PxB, Q-R6 fails on account of K-R1 and R-KKt1); 12. P-B3, KtxKtch; 13. PxKt, B-KR4; 14. K-R1, K-R2 (Diagram 129); 15. R-KKt1.


Diag. 129

This is the saving clause. If now Black had his B at B4, as White has in the corresponding attack, White would first have to protect his BP with 15 Q-K2, and would be lost after R-KKt1; 16. R-KKt1, R-Kt3; as 17. B-R4 fails because of Q-R6; 18. B-KKt3, R- B3; and on the other hand, after 17. RxR, PxR Black plays R-KB1, attacking the BP a second time.

With the Black Bishop at Kt5, however, Black does not succeed. The continuation could be l5. … R-KKt1; 16. R-Kt3, R-Kt3; 17. B-R4, with a probable draw.

This line of play is most difficult for both sides, and it has been avoided so far in tournaments.

In Diagram 128 the favourite continuation for many years was: 7. … BxKt; 8. PxB, Kt-K2. The opening of the KKt file by 9. BxKKt is not to be feared, because of the reasons given when discussing Diagram 90. But White obtains the advantage with 9. Kt-R4, preparing the opening of the KB file by P-B4 and PxP. 9. … Kt- Kt3, in order to retake with the BP after 10. KtxKt and to open the file for Black’s Rooks, is not a sufficient reply, because after 11. P-B4 and PxP White has a clear advantage, having an extra pawn in effect for the end-game. For the three Black pawns on the King’s side are held by the two adverse pawns, which they cannot pass.

The attempt to expel the troublesome Bishop after 9. … Kt-K1 by P-KB3, and then play for a centre by P-B3, Kt-B2 and P-Q4 fails on account of the withering attack which White obtains on the KB file, e.g. 9. … Kt-K1; 10. B-QB4, K-R1; 11. P-B4, P-KB3; 12. Q- R5, PxB; 13. PxP, etc.

In consequence the defence by 7. … BxKt and Kt-K2 has been abandoned.

In the present game Black reverts to a very old defence, comprising the moves: BxKt, Q-K2, Kt-Q1-K3. It had been abandoned because White, by playing R-K1, P-Q4, and eventually B-B1 and B- R3, forces the exchange of Black’s centre pawn, and obtains an advantage, on well-known grounds. Here Black strengthens the defence by interpolating P-KR3!, after which White must come to a decision as to maintaining the pin. If he decides to do so the White Bishop will no longer be able to threaten the Black Queen from QR3.

7. … BxKt 8. PxB P-KR3 9. B-KR4

If the B retreats to B1 or K3, Black can adopt the defence Kt-K2- Kt3. Then Kt-R4 would be inferior, because Black can simply play P-KKt4. In this case the advance of the pawns is justified, because Black can bring his QKt to KKt3 and have practically one piece more on the King’s side, and good prospects for the attack which he can open with K-R2, R-KKt1, Kt-Kt3-B5.

9. … Q-K2

P-KKt4 would be premature. White would win at once by 10. KtxKtP, PxKt; 11. BxP, as he can attack the Knight a second time by P-KB4 and PxP before Black can either protect it sufficiently or relieve the “pin.”

10. Q-Q2 Kt-Q1 11. P-Q4 B-Kt5 12. Q-K3 BxKt 13. QxB Kt-K3

It would be wrong to play for the gain of a pawn with P-KKt4 and PxP, e.g. 13. … P-KKt4; 14. B-Kt3, PxP; 15. R-K1!, PxP; 16. P- K5, etc.

14. BxKt

Black’s threat was to develop an attack, similar to that described at move 9, with P-KKt4 and Kt-B5.

14. … QxB 15. QxQ PxQ 16. B-B4

in order to exchange the Knight, which is generally superior to a Bishop in an end-game, as mentioned before.

16. … PxP 17. BxKt PxB 18. PxP


Diag. 130

In the end-game thus brought about the White Rooks have more freedom, as they can be mobilised easily on the third rank to act on either wing. Black’s pawns, however, are stronger, being easily protected by the King, whilst White’s weak pawns at QR2 and QB2 are at too great a distance from the King; therefore White must see to it that Black does not open files for his Rooks on the Queen’s side.

18. … QR-B1 19. QR-Kt1 P-Kt3 20. KR-Q1 KR-Q1 21. R-Kt3

White must now allow Black to occupy the QB or Q file. After 21. P-Q5 Black would simply play PxP; 22. PxP, P-B3, with a certain draw.

21. … P-Q4 22. R-Kt3ch

P-KB3 was the correct move here, in view of subsequent threats of mate.

22. … K-B2 23. PxP RxP 24. R-QR3 P-QR4 25. P-KB4?

A mistake under time pressure, costing a pawn. QR-Q3 was the move.

25. … P-QB4 26. R-QB3 QR-Q1 27. R-Kt1 RxP 28. RxKtP RxP 29. P-KR3 R-Q7 30. R-Kt5

Not RxP, on account of R-B7, and the KKtP cannot be saved.

30. … R-(B5)B7 31. R-KKt3 P-B4 32. P-B4 P-B5 33. R-KKt4 P-R4 34. R-Kt5 RxP 35. P-R4

Mate was threatened in a few moves through R-QB7-B8 and R(R7)-R8.

35. … R-(B7)Kt7

If now R-B7, White would win the KBP or obtain a perpetual check (36. R-QKt7ch, followed by R-QKt8-KB8). After the move in the text, White can still draw, as he wins back his pawn.

36. RxR RxR 37. RxRP?

This careless move now loses the game. Of course White should have taken the BP. If then P-R5, R-R5 held the pawn from behind, also after 37. … K-B3; 38. RxQRP, P-K4, a draw would have been the result, as the White BP would soon have become threatening, e.g. 39. R-R8, K-B4; 40. P-B5, P-K5; 41. P-B6, R-QB7; 42. R-QB8, K-Kt5; 43. P-B7, KxP; 44. K-R2, P-K6; 45. R-B8, RxP; 46. RxPch, K-Kt4; 47. R-K4, R-B6; 48. K-Kt3, etc.; or 44. R-K8, RxP; 45. RxP, K-Kt6; 46. R-K1, R-B7; 47. K-R1, RxP; 48. R-K3ch, and so on.

         37. … P-R5
         38. RxP P-R6

After R-R5 there follows P-R7 and R-Kt8ch, or (if 40. K-R 2) P- B6.

GAME No. 20

White: Eduard Lasker. Black: Englund.

Four Knights’ Game.

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. Kt-B3 Kt-B3 4. B-Kt5 Kt-Q5 5. KtxP

Black can now get White’s KP by playing Q-K2, and moreover exchange White’s valuable Bishop. Instead of the move in the text it is advisable to retire the Bishop to R4 or B4, or else to play 5. KtxKt, PxKt; 6. P-K5, PxKt; 7. PxKt. Black would then play QxP and not PxQPch, as the latter move allows White to develop quickly, and Black has no time to castle—e.g. 8. BxP, QxP; 9. Castles, B-K2; 10. B-B3, followed by R-K1.

5. … Q-K2 6. Kt-B3 KtxP?


Diag. 131

Here KtxB was essential, followed by QxP, freeing the Bishop. After 7. KtxKt, QxPch; 8. Q-K2, QxQch; 9. KxQ, Kt-Q4 (10. P-B4, P-QR3), Black completes his development a little later (10. R-K1, P-KB3; 11. K-B1ch, K-B2), but after the exchange of Queens there is not much to fear from an immediate attack, and the value of the two Bishops soon asserts itself. In a match game Ed. Lasker- Cole (London, 1913) the continuation was 12. P-Q4, P-QR3; 13. Kt- B3, KtxKt; 14. PxKt, P-Q4. Here the doubled pawn is a disadvantage, in that the pawn at B2 is immobile, and constantly liable to be attacked by B-B4. P-Q3 was the better move.

7. Castles KtxKt

Now KtxB was no longer possible. After KtxQKt there would be threats of KtxBP as well as of R-K1 and P-Q3. The game is almost lost for Black at this stage, as the King cannot escape the impending attack on the K file by castling.

          8. QPxKt KtxKtch
          9. QxKt Q-B4
         10. R-K1ch B-K2
         11. B-Q3

prevents castling, as Q-K4 would win a piece.

11. … P-Q4 12. B-K3

White has the development of the B gratis, as Black must lose time with the Queen.

12. … Q-Q3 13. B-KB4 Q-KB3 14. QxP!!

Black being behind with his development is already threatened by sacrificial combinations. If he takes the Bishop he loses by 15. B-Kt5ch, K-B1; 16. Q-Q8ch!, BxQ; 17. R-K8 mate, or l5. … P-B3; 16. BxPch, and so on.

14. … P-B3 15. Q-K4 B-K3 16. R-K3 B-QB4

Here Black might have castled on the Queen’s side, but R-Q1 would have had much the same sequel as in the actual game.

         17. B-K5 Q-R3
         18. R-Kt3 B-KB1

A sorry retreat. But after Q-Q7, which may have been Black’s original intention, White plays R-KB1, threatening B-KB4.

19. R-Q1

This move completes White’s development, and only seems to give Black a chance of castling. However, Black has no satisfactory continuation.

19. … Castles? 20. QxPch PxQ 21. B-R6 Mate

GAME No. 21

White: Eduard Lasker. Black: Aljechin.

Three Knights’ Defence.

1. P-K4 P-K4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. Kt-B3 B-Kt5 4. Kt-Q5

Developing another piece by B-Kt5 or B4 would be more in accordance with principle.

4. … B-K2

There was a threat of KtxB and KtxP. If Black plays P-Q3, the B must retire all the same after 5. B-Kt5. It seems best to retire the B to K2 rather than to B4 or R4, because there remains the threat of a pin subsequently by B-KKt5, which might become serious with the Knight at Q5.

5. B-B4 Kt-B3 6. P-Q3 P-Q3 7. KtxB QxKt 8. P-B3 P-KR3

The KKt is to support the advance of P-Q4 subsequently, and that is why Black does not want to allow it to be pinned. This is sound strategy, since White has exchanged his QKt, which from B3 prevents P-Q4 in the ordinary way.

9. B-K3 Castles 10. Q-Q2 B-K3 11. B-Kt3

The first mistake. B-QKt5 should be played to retard P-Q4.

11. … BxB 12. PxB P-Q4


Diag. 132

13. PxP

The second mistake. Unimportant as it seems, it leads to the loss of the game. White did not defend the pawn by Q-B2, because it would have proved 10. Q-Q2 to have been a lost move. But giving up the centre is a far greater evil. Black now commands his Q5 and KB5, and this enables him to start an attack to which there is no defence. The game shows conclusively how important it is to maintain the centre.

13. … KtxP 14. Castles KR P-B4 15. P-QKt4 P-QKt3 16. Q-K2

to prevent P-K5, which would now be countered by PxP and Q-B4. However, as P-K5 cannot be prevented permanently, and the Q must move in any case, Q-B2 would have been the better move, as there the Queen cannot be molested by a Rook.

16. … Q-Q3 17. P-Kt5 QKt-K2 18. B-Q2 Kt-Kt3 19. R-R4 QR-K1!

Black’s game is beautifully developed, whilst White cannot make a combined effort. The Black Rooks are particularly well placed, and threaten to take an effective part in the attack in various ways. All this is the outcome of White losing the centre.

20. P-KKt3

Though this prevents Kt(Q 4)-B5, it weakens KB3, which is all the more serious as Black threatens to open the file by P-B5.

20. … Q-Q2

If now White refrains from taking the pawn, Black plays P-QR4!

21. RxP P-K5 22. Kt-Q4 PxP 23. QxP Kt-K4 24. Q-K2 P-B5

All the avenues of attack are now open, and White’s game collapses quickly.

25. Q-R5 Kt-KB 3 26. Q-B5 Kt-B6ch 27. K-R1 QxQ 28. KtxQ KtxB 29. R-Q1 Kt(B3)-K5 30. KtxP KtxBPch 31. K-Kt2 P-B6ch Resigns.

GAME No. 22

White: Forgacz. Black: Tartakower.

French Defence (see p. 48).

1. P-K4 P-K3 2. P-Q4 P-Q4 3. Kt-QB3 Kt-KB3 4. B-Kt5 B-K2 5. P-K5 Kt-K5

KKt-Q2 is better, because it would support the advance of P-QB4 and also be of use eventually in an attack on White’s centre by P-KB3. The text move allows the exchange of two minor pieces, which can only be to White’s advantage, as Black cannot get his QB into play, and is for a long time practically a piece down.

6. KtxKt BxB

After PxKt the pawn would be very weak, and could hardly be held for long.

7. KtxB QxKt 8. P-KKt3

To be able to play P-KB4 before developing the Kt (see p. 49).

8. … P-QB4 9. P-QB3 Kt-B3 10. P-KB4 Q-K2 11. Q-Q2 B-Q2 12. Kt-B3 Castles KR 13. B-Q3 P-B5 14. B-B2 P-QKt4 15. Castles KR P-Kt2 16. Q R-K1 P-QR4


Diag. 133

So far the game is easy to understand in the light of the remarks made on page 44, when treating of the openings. The continuation shows in an instructive fashion that White’s attack is the more effective, being directed against the King’s side.

17. P-B5! KPxP

This sacrifice of a pawn in conjunction with a second sacrifice on the next move, produces a combination of rare beauty.

18. P-Kt4!! PxP

If Black did not capture White would. In either case the storming of the position by pawns achieves its object and the lines of attack are free for the pieces.

19. Kt-Kt5 P-Kt3

Now that White has made an opening for himself at KB6, the rest is easy. 19. … P-R3 is of no avail. The sequel might have been: 20 Kt-R 7, KR-Q1; 21 Kt-B6ch, after which White wins after either PxKt; 22 QxP, or K-R1 KtxP.

20. R-B6 K-Kt2

Black gets no breathing space. If P-R3, then 21 BxP.

21. QR-KB1 B-K1 22. Q-B4 Kt-Q1 23. P-K6 R-R3 24. Q-K5 K-R3 25. QR-B5


25. … BPxP 26. Kt-B7ch QxKt 27. R-R5ch K-Kt2 28. RxKtP mate

GAME No. 23

White: Yates. Black: Esser.

French Defence.

1. P-K4 P-K3 2. P-Q4 P-Q4 3. Kt-QB3 Kt-KB3 4. B-Kt5 PxP 5. BxKt PxB

If the Queen recaptures, White obtains too great an advantage in development, and therefore Black submits to the doubling of his pawns. It is doubtful if this means a handicap, although the King’s side gets broken up. For Black keeps his two Bishops, a powerful weapon, unless White succeeds in developing swiftly an attack on the King’s side. The present game is instructive and shows the chances afforded to both sides by the position brought about by the exchange at KB6.

6. KtxP P-KB4

As the KB obtains a long diagonal at Kt2, this advance is justified. Otherwise there would be strong objections to it, as the pawn is likely to be subjected to attack, and apart from that, it gives up command of Black’s K4.

7. Kt-QB3

Kt-Kt3 would seem more natural, firstly, because Black has weaknesses on the K side, and White will need his pieces for attack in that quarter, and secondly, because the QP ought to be supported by P-B3, as Black will attack it by B-Kt2.

7. … B-Kt2 8. Kt-B3 Castles 9. B-B4

If now the Knight were at Kt3, White could play P-B3 and BQ3. This is the proper place for the B, which might obtain an open diagonal after P-KKt4.

9. … Kt-B3 10. Kt-K2 Kt-R4 11. B-Q3 P-B4 12. P-B3 P-QB5

P-Kt3 seems preferable, as the text move releases the hold on White’s Q4. The isolated pawn resulting after 13. PxP is not to be feared, as the B at Kt2 would have greater efficiency (QR- Kt1), and White would not be so firmly established in the centre.

13. B-B2 P-Kt4 14. Q-Q2

There now ensues an interesting struggle. White builds up an attack with Q and both Knights and eventually the B (P-KKt4). If Black can manage to play his King into safety at R1 in time, and then occupies the Kt file with his Rooks, he would have the better of it, his pieces having by far the greater range of action.

14. … B-Kt2 15. Q-B4 Q-B3

K-R1 and KR-Kt1 might be considered.

16. Kt-Kt3 B-KR3 17. Q-B7 Q-Q1 18. Q-K5

White gains a move by attacking the Knight’s Pawn. It may seem far fetched if I now point out that this could not have happened if from the first Black had given preference to the pawn formation at QKt3 and B4 instead of Kt4 and B5, though the whole game would almost certainly have taken a different course. Still, when advancing a pawn into an unprotected position there always is the risk of its becoming the object of an attack at an opportune moment, and whenever the plan of development does not necessitate such moves they are best avoided.

18. … B-Q4 19. Kt-R5 Kt-B3? 20. Q-Kt3ch??


Diag. 134

The last moves have decided the game. Both players have overlooked that 20. Q-B6 would have won a pawn at least (QxQ, 21. KtxQch with KtxB and BxP). 20. … BxKt leads to an immediate loss by 21. QxB, BxKt; 22. QxB followed by P-KKt4! with an overwhelming attack.

Instead of 19. … Kt-B3, Black should have played P-B3, followed by K-R1 and the occupation of the Kt file by the Rooks. White’s last move allows him to de this with even greater effect.

20. … K-R1 21. Q-R3 R-KKt1

Black has now a preponderance of material on the field of battle, and it can be concluded off-hand that White, not being able to bring his Rooks into play, must lose.

22. Kt-Kt3 Q-B3 23. K-B1

K-K2 is a shade better. But there is no longer any adequate defence.

23. … R-Kt5 24. R-K1 QR-KKt1 25. Kt-K5

Black was threatening BxKt, followed by R-R5 and P-B5

25. … KtxKt 26. PxKt Q-Kt4 27. Q-R5 BxPch 28. K-Kt1 RxKt?

QxQ and B-K5ch was simple and effective.

29. RPxR BxR 30. QxQ BxQ 31. KxB R-Q1 32. P-B4

R-Q1 is much more promising, although it means the loss of a pawn (RxR and B-B8, etc.). With Bishops of different colour the game is not easy to win even now.

32. … R-Q7 33. PxB RxB 34. R-Q1 RxKtP 35. R-Q7 K-Kt2 36. RxRP R-QB7

He could have played P-Kt5 at once.

37. R-R5 R-QKt7 38. P-R4

R-R3 would only have drawn out the agony a little longer.

38. … P-Kt5 Resigns.

GAME No. 24

White: Atkins. Black: Barry.

French Defence.

1. P-K4 P-K3 2. P-Q4 P-Q4 3. Kt-QB3 Kt-KB3 4. B-Kt5 B-K2 5. P-K5 KKt-Q2 6. BxB QxB


Diag. 135

7. Kt-Kt5

The intention is to strengthen the centre by P-QB3. Though it takes a number of moves to bring the Knight into play again, yet most of the tournament games in this variation have been won by White, mostly through a King’s side attack on the lines set out in the notes to Game No. 22. Investigations by Alapin tend to show that this is due to the fact that Black in all cases devoted his attention to Queen’s side operations (just as in Game No. 22) when he could have utilised White’s backward development, by himself starting a counter attack on the King’s side. He can then either aim at the White centre at once with P-KB3, or else play P-KB4 and prepare the advance of the KKtP by Kt-B3-Q1-B2. These various lines of play are still under discussion. Simple development is probably preferable to the move in the text, e.g. 7. B-Q3, Castles; 8. P-B4, P-QB4; 9. Kt-B3.

7. … K-Q1

There can be no advantage in forfeiting the option of castling unless there be no other way of getting the King into safety and of bringing the Rooks into concerted action. It is obvious that otherwise the free development of pieces is hindered, and the King is in appreciable danger, for it is easier to open files in the centre than on the wings where the pawns have not advanced yet. Therefore Kt-Kt3 is the only move worth considering.

8. P-QB3 P-KB3 9. PxP

With the Black King remaining in the centre, White has no further interest in the maintenance of his pawn at K5. On the contrary he will try to clear the centre.

9. … PxP 10. Q-Q2 P-B3 11. Kt-QR3 Kt-B1

At this early stage it is clear that Black will have to contend with difficulties in trying to complete his development. The usual way (P-QB4) is barred on account of the dangers to Black’s King with which a clearance in the centre is fraught.

12. Kt-B3 B-Q2 13. P-KKt3!

As Black can force this advance at any time by playing R-KKt1, White decides to develop his KB at Kt2, thereby covering his KB3 and KR3. The weakness of the latter squares would not be of any great moment if White were to castle on the Queen’s wing. But as P-QB4 is necessary in order to break up the centre, castling KR is the right course.

13. … B-K1 14. B-Kt2 QKt-Q2 15. P-B4 PxP 16. KtxP Kt-QKt3 17. KtxKt PxKt 18. Castles KR Kt-Kt3 19. KR-K1 B-Q2 20. Q-B3 R-K1 21. Kt-Q2 Q-B1 22. P-QR4!

White wishes to get rid of the pawn at Black’s Kt3, in order to break in with his Knight at B5. Black has no means of preventing this, and soon succumbs to the overwhelming array of White forces.

22. … Kt-K2 23. P-R5 P-QKt4 24. Kt-Kt3 Kt-Q4 25. BxKt KPxB 26. RxRch BxR 27. Kt-B5 Q-B2 28. R-K1 K-B2 29. Q-K3 B-Q2 30. Q-B4ch Resigns.

If K-Q1, 31. KtxPch followed by Kt-Q6ch. If K-B1 White wins by 31. Q-Q6 and R-K7.

GAME No. 25

White: Emanuel Lasker. Black: Tarrasch.

French Defence.

1. P-K4 P-K3 2. P-Q4 P-Q4 3. Kt-QB3 Kt-KB3 4. B-Kt5 B-Kt5


Diag. 136

This line of defence, called the McCutcheon variation, was recommended for many years by Tarrasch as being the strongest. The most obvious continuation 5. P-K5 leads to complications, and the final verdict has not yet been reached. After 5. … P-KR3, the best continuation is thought to be: 6. PxKt, PxB; 7. PxP, R- Kt1; 8. P-KR4, PxP; 9. Q-R5, Q-B3; 10. QxRP, QxP.

White has an easy development, whilst Black, as in most variations in the French defence, finds it difficult to bring his QB into play. After P-KR3, it is not advisable to retire the Bishop; 6. B-R4, P-KKt4; 7. B-Kt3, for here the Bishop is out of play, and Black’s King’s Knight being free can play to K5 for concerted action with Black’s KB. Lasker’s continuation in the present instance is at once simple and effective. It leads to an entirely different system of development.

5. PxP QxP

If Black recaptures with the pawn, he must lose a move with the Bishop in order to avoid getting an isolated doubled pawn after 6. Q-B3. The doubled pawn which Black may get after the move in the text would not be isolated, and therefore not necessarily weak. It could become a weakness if Black were to castle on the King’s side. But otherwise it might even become a source of strength, supporting, as it would, an advance of Black’s KP against the White centre.

6. Kt-B3 P-B4?

Black should retain the option of castling QR, in case White exchanges at his KB6; P-QKt3 and B-Kt2 would have been better.

          7. BxKt PxB
          8. Q-Q2 BxKt
          9. QxB Kt-Q2
         10. R-Q1 R-KKt1
         11. PxP QxP
         12. Q-Q2 Q-Kt3

guarding against the mate at Q1 before moving the Kt. But this would have been better effected by Q-K2. After Q-Kt3 the Knight cannot move yet because of B-Kt5ch.


Diag. 137

13. P-B3 P-QR3 14. Q-B2 P-B4 15. P-KKt3 Kt-B4 16. B-Kt2 Q-B2

Black wishes to push on the KP. White, however, prevents this at once.

17. Q-K2 P-Kt4 18. Castles B-Kt2

The Black position has any number of weaknesses. The King cannot castle into safety; the pawn position is full of holes, and open to attack. White takes full advantage of this and wins in masterly fashion with a few strokes.

19. P-B4 P-Kt5 20. Q-Q2 R-Kt1

Now White cannot capture the KtP because of BxKt. But he does not want the pawn, he wants the King.

21. Q-R6 BxKt 22. BxB Q-K4 23. KR-K1 QxP 24. Q-B4 QR-B1 25. Q-Q6 P-B3

Mate in two was threatened (B-B6ch, etc.).

26. B-R5ch R-Kt3 27. BxRch PxB 28. RxPch Resigns.

GAME No. 26

White: Capablanca. Black: Blanco

French Defence.

1. P-K4 P-K3 2. P-Q4 P-Q4 3. Kt-QB3 PxP 4. KtxP Kt-Q2 5. Kt-KB3 KKt-B3 6. KtxKtch KtxKt 7. Kt-K5

This crosses Black’s plan of developing the QB at Kt2.

7. … B-Q3 8. Q-B3 P-B3

9. B-Kt5ch, P-B3; 10. KtxP was threatened.

9. P-B3 Castles 10. B-KKt5 B-K2 11. B-Q3

Whatever Black plays now, he must create some weakness in order to provide against White’s Q-R3, BxKt, QxRP, and White’s attack must succeed. The whole of Black’s plan is thus frustrated, as the only reason for abandoning the centre by PxP was the occupation of the long diagonal by the QB. Now the Queen’s side pieces cannot get into play without much difficulty, and by the time they have succeeded it is too late.


Diag. 138

11. … Kt-K1

Intending to intercept the diagonal of the White KB by P-KB4. If Black plays P-KKt3 with the same intention, White plays P-KR4-5 and PxP, and brings the Rook into play.

12. Q-R3 P-KB4

P-KR3 would lead to an immediate disaster: 13. BxP, PxB; 14. QxRP, P-KB4; 15. P-KKt4. The move in the text avoids the immediate attack on the King, but the King’s Pawn is now “backward,” and White immediately fastens on this weakness.

13. BxB QxB 14. Castles KR R-B3 15. KR-K1 Kt-Q3 16. R-K2 B-Q2 17. QR-K1 R-K1 18. P-QB4 Kt-B2 19. P-Q5 KtxKt 20. RxKt P-KKt3

21. BxP was threatened.

21. Q-R4 K-Kt2 22. Q-Q4 P-B4 23. Q-B3 P-Kt3 24. PxP B-B1 25. B-K2

The Bishop now settles at Q5, and whether Black takes the pawn or not, he is paralysed either by the pawn itself, or the pin of the Bishop if the pawn is taken.

25. … BxP 26. B-B3 K-B2 27. B-Q5 Q-Q3 28. Q-K3 R-K2 29. Q-R6 K-Kt1 30. P-KR4

The deciding manœuvre, tearing up the chain of pawns in front of the K.

30. … P-QR3 31. P-R5 P-B5 32. PxP PxP 33. RxB Resigns.

After RxR, 34. RxR, RxR; 35. QxPch wins a piece. A beautifully concise game.

GAME No. 27

White: Niemzowitsch. Black: Tarrasch. French Defence.

1. P-K4 P-QB4

This opening is called the Sicilian Defence. White, however, adopts a continuation which leads into a variation of the French Defence.

2. P-QB3 P-K3 3. P-Q4 P-Q4 4. P-K5 Kt-QB3 5. Kt-B3 Q-Kt3 6. B-Q3 PxP

Black seeks to demonstrate that White’s QP is weak. The present game, however, seems to prove that White is able to guard it adequately, thus permanently supporting the KP too. It would therefore appear to be better to attack the KP itself, and to play P-B3 on the fifth move. Now B-Q2 would be better than the text move. As White cannot give further support to his Q4, he would have to play PxP, and the protection of the K5 would have to be undertaken by pieces, which is not desirable.

7. PxP B-Q2

Not KtxP, 8. KtxKt, QxKt, because of B-Kt5ch.

8. B-K2

The B cannot go to B2 on account of Kt-Kt5 and B-Kt4.

          8. … KKt-K2
          9. P-QKt3 Kt-B4
         10. B-Kt2

Now White’s centre is safe from further attacks. True, White has forfeited castling, but as he dominates the King’s side, where Black cannot undertake anything, there is no harm in P-Kt3, preparatory to “artificial castling.”

10. … B-Kt5ch 11. K-B1 B-K2

Directed against 12. P-Kt4, driving off the Kt. Now Kt-R5 would follow.

12. P-Kt3 P-QR4


Diag. 139

This manœuvre is unwise; White counters with 13. P-QR4, a move which was necessary in any case, in order to develop the QKt via R3, this being the Knight’s only chance of getting into play, because, as long as the QP is attacked three times the lines of B and Q must not be interrupted. That is a weakness in White’s game, and it was necessary for Black to prevent his Kt being driven off by P-KKt4. P-KR4 was the correct move. Then White also had to play P-KR4 to prevent P-KKt4-5, in which case Black could have played l3. … P-KKt3, and have brought his Rooks into concerted action. P-KKt3 would have been necessary before castling, because White’s B-Q3 would have attacked the KKt. The latter could not then capture the Queen’s Pawn on account of a discovered check, e.g. l2. … Castles; 13 B-Q3, KtxP?; 14 KtxKt, KtxKt; 15 BxKt, QxB?; 16 B-R7ch, and QxQ.

In Diagram 139 Black’s P-QR4 is not only a lost move, but moreover allows a White piece to settle permanently at QKt5. It also prevents the Knight from playing to QR4, from where White’s P-QR4 could be answered by Kt-Kt6 eventually.

13. P-QR4 R-QB1 14. B-Kt5 Kt-Kt5

All these skirmishes only result in the exchange of pieces, and as long as Black’s KRis out of play this can only be of advantage to White.

15. Kt-B3 Kt-QR3

This is in order to drive off the B. Black should have exchanged his own inactive QB, as the White B might become effective on the Diagonal QKt1-KR7, whilst Black’s QB has no future.

16. K-Kt2 Kt-B2 17. B-K2 B-Kt5

Black cannot yet castle, because of 18. B-Q3 Kt-KR3, 19. B-QB1).

18. Kt-R2 Kt-QR3 19. B-Q3 Kt-K2 20. R-QB1 Kt-B3 21. KtxB QKtxKt 22. B-Kt1

White’s last eight moves completed his development, and his Bishops lie in wait for the attack on the Black King. Meanwhile Black has effected nothing. On the contrary, he


Diag. 140

has exchanged his valuable KB, and also allowed his KKt to be driven off. His King’s side is bare, and castling would be fraught with danger. If Black castles now, White plays Kt-Kt5, and Black must weaken his position by P-R3 or P-Kt3, and White would advance his KtP or RP and force an exchange, opening a file for his Rook. In consequence Black decides to forfeit castling and to bring his KR to bear on the KB file. For this also Black must first play P-R3, and White obtains an open file by P-Kt4- Kt5. The sequel is shown here.

22. … P-R3 23. P-Kt4 Kt-K2 24. RxRch BxR 25. Kt-K1

White waits first, to see whether Black is going to castle, and meanwhile tries to exchange Black’s QKt, which commands his QB2 and Q3.

25. … R-B1 26. Kt-Q3 P-B3 27. KtxKt QxKt 28. PxP RxP 29. B-B1 Kt-B3 30. P-Kt5 PxP 31. BxP R-B1 32. B-K3 Q-K2 33. Q-Kt4

This provides against Black attempting to free his Bishop by P- K4. Black’s B-Q2 is countered by B-Kt6ch. White new wins surprisingly quickly, through the greater mobility of his pieces.

          33. … Q-B3
          34. R-Kt1 R-R1
          35. K-R1 R-R5

Here Black could have held out a little longer by defending his KtP: 35. … K-B1; 36. R-Kt3, R-R5; 37. Q-Q1, K-Kt1; 38. B-Kt5, QxP (RxP, 39. Q-R5); 39. R-Q3, QxP; 40. BxR, QxB.

36. Q-Kt3 RxP

Compulsory. B-Kt5 was threatened, and after R-R1, QxP, QxQ, RxQ, the RP wins easily.

37. BxR KtxB 38. QxP Q-B6ch 39. Q-Kt2 QxQch 40. RxQ KtxP 41. P-R4 Resigns.

GAME No. 28

White: Alapin. Black: Rubinstein.

Sicilian Defence.

1. P-K4 P-QB4

At first glance this move would seem to lose time, as it does nothing towards the main object of opening strategy, namely, the development of pieces. But we shall find that it does contribute to that aim, although indirectly. For one thing it could, by a transposition of moves, lead into an opening in which P-QB4 is played in any case; in other openings it is of use, in that it acts from the first against the formation of a strong white centre. Concurrently it prepares the opening of a file for the Rooks.

2. Kt-KB3 Kt-KB3?

Black should not play Kt-KB3 as long as White’s P-K5 means the clear gain of a move. There are plenty of developing moves to choose from.

Two systems of development can be followed by Black according to whether the KB is to develop at K2 or Kt2. In the first case (compare Game No. 29) P-K3 is played. In the second case, the opening might take this course: 2. … Kt-QB3; 3. P-Q4, PxP; 4. KtxP, Kt-B3; 5. Kt-QB3, P-Q3 (not P-KKt3 at once, because White would exchange Knights and drive off the KKt by P-K5); 6. B-K3, P-KKt3, and B-Kt2. White’s position is superior, as he has a pawn in the centre in conjunction with greater mobility. Black will find it difficult to bring his QB into play. Nevertheless his position is compact and difficult to get at.

3. P-K5

Undoubtedly Rubinstein had taken this move into account when playing 2. … Kt-KB3. His idea was to provoke the advance of the KP. The pawn at K5 is weaker than at K4, particularly as Black’s QBP prevents its natural support by P-Q4. Moreover Black’s Q4 is free from interference by White. White refutes this ultra subtilty by simple and straight-forward play, and he gets such an advantage in development that his attack succeeds before Black is able to demonstrate any weakness in White’s game.

3. … Kt-Q4 4. Kt-B3 KtxKt 5. QPxKt Kt-B3 6. B-QB4 P-Q3

After 6 … P-K3, 7. B-B4 would restrain the QP.

7. B-B4 PxP

At this early stage Black has no satisfactory means of development. The QP is attacked three times, and therefore the KP cannot move, nor can the KB be developed at Kt2. B-Kt5, in order to play BxKt and PxP, is refuted by BxPch. The move in the text which brings about the exchange of Queens, but develops another White piece at the same time, is more or less forced. It is instructive to watch how White’s advantage in development soon materialises.

          8. KtxP QxQch
          9. RxQ KtxKt
         10. BxKt P-QR3

White’s threat of B-Kt5ch could not be parried by B-Q2 because of 11. BxPch.


Diag. 141

11. B-B7 B-Kt5 12. P-B3 QR-B1 13. B-Kt6 B-B4 14. B-Kt3 P-K4 15. B-R4ch K-K2 16. P-QB4

Here White could have won a pawn at once by R-Q5. If then K-K3, 17. P-QB4.

16. … P-B3 17. K-B2 K-B2 18. B-Q7! BxB 19. RxBch B-K2 20. KR-Q1!

The pawns can wait. 20. RxP would not have been profitable because of R-QKt1.

20. … K-K3 21. RxP B-Q3

Black might have resigned here. It is only a question of time.

22. B-R7 R-B3

Otherwise there follows R-Kt6.

23. RxP P-QR4 24. R-Kt7 R-R1 25. R-Q5 P-R4 26. P-QR4 P-R5 27. P-QKt3 R(R1)-QB1 28. R-Kt5 Resigns.

GAME No. 29

White: Teichmann. Black: Spielmann.

Sicilian Defence (see p. 215).

1. P-K4 P-QB4 2. Kt-QB3 P-K3 3. KKt-K2

This comes to the same as Kt-B3, as after P-Q4, PxP the Knight recaptures. If, however, Black plays P-Q4 there is a certain advantage for White to have the Kt at K2, e.g. 3. … P-Q4; 4. PxP, PxP; 5. P-Q4. If now Black does not exchange pawns, White is able to bring his KB to bear on the centre after P-KKt3 and B- Kt2.

3. … Kt-QB3

White can exchange this Knight later on, and thus make P-K5 possible as soon as he should deem it advisable to drive the Black Knight from his KB3, where the same is bound to develop sooner or later. It is perhaps wise to prevent P-K5 by Q-B2 instead of the move in the text. This is an old defence, introduced by Paulsen. Though it retards the development of Black’s minor pieces, it produces a strong defensive position, and the opening of the QB file gives attacking chances on the Queen’s side. The defence might run like this: 3. … P-QR3; 4. P-Q4, PxP; 5. KtxP, Q-B2; 6. B-K3, Kt-KB3; 7. B-K2, B-K2; 8. Castles, P-QKt4 followed by B-Kt2, P-Q3, QKt-Q2, etc.

4. P-Q4 PxP 5. KtxP P-QR3 6. KtxKt KtPxKt 7. B-Q3 P-Q4 8. Castles Kt-B3 9. B-KB4 B-Kt5


Diag. 142

As White can force Black to play P-Kt3, a weakening move, by P-K5 and Q-Kt4, Black should have played P-Kt3 at once, so as to have Kt-R4 in answer to P-K5, thus keeping one piece for the defence of the King’s side. The latter is in jeopardy after the move in the text, and White’s attack succeeds.

10. P-K5 Kt-Q2 11. Q-Kt4 P-Kt3 12. KR-K1 P-QB4

Of course Black must not accept the sacrifice of the exchange by playing P-Q5. After 13 Kt-K4, BxR; 14 Kt-Q6ch, K-B1; 15 R x B, Black is in a mating net, from which there is no escape, as he has no time to collect sufficient forces for the defence. The move in the text does not stem the tide either, and White quickly forces the win by a beautiful combination.

13. P-QR3 B-R4 14. B-KKt5 Q-Kt3

Q-B2 leads to the same conclusion.

15. P-Kt4! PxP 16. KtxP PxKt 17. P-K6

The object of White’s fifteenth move is revealed. Without it the R at K1 would now be attacked.

17. … P-B4

Kt-B4 fails on account of 18. PxPch, KxP; 19. R-K7ch, followed by Q-KB4.

          18. PxKt double ch KxP
          19. BxPch Resigns.

GAME No. 30

White: Tarrasch. Black: Spielmann.

Sicilian Defence.

1. P-K4 P-QB4 2. Kt-QB3 Kt-QB3 3. P-KKt3

Speedy development by Kt-B3 and P-Q4 is more desirable, as otherwise Black may have time to get a firm footing at his Q5.

3. … P-KKt3 4. B-Kt2 B-Kt2

The Black Bishop is the more effective, as the line of the White Bishop is masked by the KP. Small as this advantage would seem, it becomes serious later on. It is another confirmation of the doctrine that the value of each manœuvre in the opening depends on the measure of mobility it affords for the pieces.

5. KKt-K2 Kt-B3 6. P-Q3

Here White could still obtain a freer game with P-Q4. Perhaps he was afraid of losing a pawn after 6. … PxP; 7. KtxP, KtxP. But there is nothing in it, e.g. 8. KKtxKt, KtxKt; 9. KtxQ, KtxQ; 10. KtxBP! (KtxKtP? BxKt; 11. BxB, R-QKt1), KxKt (KtxBP?; 11. KtxR, KtxR; 12. KtxP, KtxP; 13. KtxP), KxKt. There was nothing else to be feared after P-Q4.

6. … P-Q3 7. Castles B-Q2

in order to play Q-B1 and B-R6 and to exchange Bishops, after which there would be weak points at White’s KR3 and KB3.

8. P-KR3 Castles 9. B-K3 P-KR3

Black also prevents an exchange of Bishops.

10. Q-Q2 K-R2 11. P-B4 Kt-K1

The position has now become exceedingly difficult. In order to make the most of the favourable development of his KB, Black must advance on the Queen’s side. But in moving his King’s side pieces over to the Queen’s side, Black must proceed warily, as White might get chances of an attack with overwhelming forces on the King’s side.

12. P-KKt4 Kt-B2 13. Kt-Kt3

Here it was necessary to play R-B2 in order to play the QR to KB1 before Black could manage to drive the Kt to Q1 by P-QKt4-5.

         13. … P-QKt4
         14. Kt-Q1?

It would still have been better to play QR-K1 and to leave the Queen’s side to itself as long as possible after P-Kt5, 15. Kt- Q1, in order to start an assault on the King’s side with P-B5, P- KR4 and P-Kt5. After the text move the Queen’s Rook remains shut in.

14. … QR-Kt1 15. Kt-K2

in order to play P-B3 and P-Q4. The whole plan, however, is inconsequent, as he has started an attack on the King’s side. Now he suddenly opens up files on the Queen’s side where Black has assembled superior forces. The result is that White gets into trouble on both wings, for as soon as he gives up his King’s side attack, the advanced pawns there, as one knows, are only a source of weakness.

15. … P-Kt5 16. P-B3 PxP 17. PxP Q-B1 18. P-Q4 PxP 19. PxP Q-R3 20. R-B1 Kt-Kt4 21. P-Q5


Diag. 143

This shuts in the White KB altogether, and at the same time opens the diagonal of Black’s KB. Therefore, on principle alone the move is questionable. In effect it gives Black an opportunity for a beautiful winning combination. Only P-K5 was worth considering, as then the opposing Bishop would have been shut in and White’s own diagonal opened.

21. … Kt-Kt5!! 22. QxKt Kt-Q5 23. QxKt BxQ 24. KtxB

Although three minor pieces are generally an equivalent for the Queen, in this case the White game collapses quickly. The advanced pawns have produced too many weak points which afford an entry for the Black forces.

24. … KR-B1 25. RxR RxR 26. R-B2 Q-R6 27. R-K2

B-R5 was threatened. But the text move is of no avail either. Black winds up the game with another fine combination.

          27. … R-B8!
          28. BxR QxB

If R-K1, Q-B4.

          29. Kt-B3 QxKtch
          30. K-B2 B-Kt4

GAME No. 31

White: John. Black: Janowski

Sicilian Defence.

1. P-K4 P-QB4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. P-Q4 PxP 4. KtxP Kt-B3

The aim of this move is to provoke Kt-B3, and incidentally to prevent P-QB4. The latter move would give White command of his Q5 and not only prevent Black’s P-Q4 but also immobilise Black’s KP unless his QP is to remain “backward.”

5. QKt-B3 P-KKt3

As shown on p. 216, P-Q3 must be played first. In any case Black must be wary of playing P-KKt3. If, for instance, after P-Q3 White plays 6. B-QB4, and Black replies with P-KKt3, there follows 7. KtxKt, PxKt; 8. P-K5!, Kt-Kt5 (PxP?, 9. BxPch); 9. P- K6, P-KB4, with advantage to White (see game in the match Schlechter-Lasker).

          6. KtxKt KtPxKt
          7. P-K5 Kt-Kt1
          8. B-QB4 P-Q4
          9. PxP, e.p. PxP
         10. Q-B3


Diag. 144

White has now three pieces in action and Black none. Black’s game is hopeless already; his B2 cannot be covered by Q-Q2 because of: 11. BxPch, QxB; 12. QxPch, and after Q-K2ch there follows: 11. B-K3, B-Kt2; 12. Castles QR, and 13. KR-K1, with an overwhelming attack.

10. … Q-Q2 11. Kt-Q5

In view of the fact that his game is so much more developed, and that the opposing King will hardly be able to escape from the centre of the board, White decides to sacrifice a Knight in order to open the files in the centre for his Rooks, instead of following the simple line indicated in the previous note.

11. … PxKt 12. BxP Q-K2ch 13. B-K3 R-Kt1 14. Castles KR

Castles QR is stronger still, as the QR gets into action at once.

14. … B-KKt2 15. B-KB4 R-Kt3 16. B-B6ch RxB

If B-Q2, the continuation might have been: 17. BxB, QxB; 18. QR- Q1, Q-Kt2; 19. KR-K1ch, Kt-K2; 20. RxKtch, KxR; 21. BxPch, etc.; or 18. … Q-B1; 19. BxP, etc.

After 17. R-K1 Black could have held out a little longer with B- B3. After the text move, however, Black’s game collapses quickly before the concentrated onslaught of the White forces.

17. QxRch Q-Q2 18. Q R-K1ch Kt-K2 19. RxKtch! KxR 20. R-K1ch K-B1 21. BxPch K-Kt1 22. R-K8ch B-B1 23. RxBch K-Kt2 24. Q-B3ch Resigns.

GAME No. 32

White: Ed. Lasker. Black: Mieses.

Centre Counter Defence.

1. P-K4 P-Q4 2. PxP Kt-KB3

This is to tempt White to play P-QB4, a weak move (see p. 35). By playing P-QB3 Black would obtain by far the better game in exchange for the pawn.

3. P-Q4 QxP

KtxP can also be played. In either case White wins a move by driving off the Black piece by Kt-QB3 or P-QB4. Furthermore, White has a pawn in the centre. Black’s plan in retaking with the Queen might be to castle early on the Queen’s side and attack White’s centre pawn by P-K4, and White must be on the alert against this plan, though it will not be easy for Black to put the same into execution, because of the exposed position of his Queen. After 4. Kt-QB3, Q-QR4 is the only move which brings the Queen into momentary security, and even then Black must provide for a retreat, as after White’s B-Q2 there would be a threat of an advantageous “discovery” by the Kt. P-QB3 provides such a retreat, but it bars the QKt from its natural development at B3, where the Kt could exert further pressure on White’s Q4. The QB, too, is difficult to get into play and easily becomes an object of attack, as in the present game.

4. Kt-QB3 Q-QR4 5. Kt-B3 B-B4

B-Kt5 would only help White’s intentions to attack on the King’s side in the absence of Black’s Queen, e.g. 6. P-KR3, B-R4; 7. P- KKt4, B-Kt3; 8. Kt-K5 (threatening Kt-B4), P-B3; 9. P-KR4, Q Kt- Q2; 10. Kt-B4, Q-B2; 11. P-R5, B-K5; 12. KtxB, KtxKt; 13. Q-B3 and B-B4 with the superior game.


Diag. 145

6. Kt-K5! Kt-K5

P-B3 was urgent here, to provide against Kt-B4 and Q-B3. Now the game is as good as lost. White obtains a violent attack with superior forces, and brings it home before Black has time to complete his development.

7. Q-B3 Kt-Q3

If KtxKt, B-Q2.

8. B-Q2 P-K3 9. P-KKt4 B-Kt3

Black had to guard his KB2 because of Kt-Kt5, KtxKt, QxPch.

10. P-KR4 Q-Kt3 11. Castles P-KB3

Compulsory. Kt-B3 is refuted by 12. KtxKt, QxKt; 13. QxQ, PxQ; 14. B-Kt2 and P-R5. On the other hand, the answer to 11. … QxP would be 12. B-KB4, Q-B4; 13. P-R5, P-B3; 14. PxB, PxKt; 15. B- KKt5 followed by RxKt and R-Q8 or Q-B7 mate.

12. KtxB PxKt 13. B-Q3 QxP

K-B2 or P-KB4 were also unavailing in consequence of Black’s poor development.

14. BxPch K-Q2 15. B-K3 Q-Kt5 16. P-R3 Q-B5 17. QxKtP Q-B3 18. B-K4 Resigns.

GAME No. 33

White: Barasz. Black: Mieses.

Centre Counter Defence.

1. P-K4 P-Q 4 2. PxP QxP 3. Kt-QB3 Q-QR4 4. Kt-B3

It is better to advance the QP at once and so threaten B-Q2, after which Black is almost under compulsion to provide a retreat for his Q by P-QB3, thus blocking his QKt.

4. … Kt-QB3 5. B-K2 B-B4 6. P-Q3

Already now the mistake of having allowed Black to develop his Queen’s side unmolested is apparent. P-Q4 is now impossible, for Black would castle on the Queen’s side and keep the initiative by exerting a permanent pressure on White’s QP by P-K4. White must yield up the centre to Black.

6. … P-K4 7. B-Q2 Castles 8. P-QR3 Q-B4

The Queen must escape from White’s threat of P-QKt4.

9. Castles Kt-B3 10. P-QKt4 Q-K2 11. P-Kt5

This advance is somewhat purposeless, as the White pieces are not ready for an attack on Black’s King. It is difficult, though, to find a sensible plan, as the White pieces have so little mobility. It would perhaps be best to play R-K1, B-B1, and Kt-K4.

11. … Kt-Q5 12. R-K1 Q-B4 13. B-KB1 B-Q3 14. Q-Kt1?


Diag. 146

The purpose of this move is not clear. The advance of the KtP could only be condoned by a desire to obtain an open file, and it seems illogical to protect it now. If White wanted to escape the pinning of his KKt he need not have moved the Queen. KtxKt would have effected this and prevented the King’s side from being laid bare.

White’s game would still have been bad, particularly as the exchange at Q4 opens the diagonal for the Black KB, but the move in the text has even a worse effect. Mieses concludes the game with an elegant sacrifice.

14. … KtxKtch 15. PxKt P-K5! 16. QPxP BxPch 17. KxB QxPch 18. B-Kt2 RxB 19. R-K2 RxR 20. KtxR QxKt 21. PxB Q-K4ch 22. K-R1 R-K1

Black has wrought fearful havoc in the White ranks, and the defenceless King cannot withstand the onslaught of the three White pieces for long.

23. P-QB4 Kt-R4 24. K-Kt1 Q-Q5ch 25. K-R2 R-K7

threatening Q-R5ch, Q-B7ch, and mate at Kt7 or R7.

         26. Q-R1 Q-K4ch
         27. P-B4 QxPch
         28. K-Kt1 Q-Q5ch

GAME No. 34

White: Em. Lasker. Black: Niemzowitsch.

Caro-Kann Defence (compare p. 50).

1. P-K4 P-QB3 2. P-Q4 P-Q4 3. Kt-QB3 PxP 4. KtxP Kt-B3 5. KtxKt KtPxKt 6. B-K2 B-B4 7. B-B3 Q-R4ch 8. P-B3 P-KR4!

A deep conception. If White accepts the proffered sacrifice of a pawn, he loses time, as he must retire his B before bringing out his Kt, and, moreover, the KR file being open, he can only castle on the Q side. But there the Black Queen is ready for the attack. If he refuses the sacrifice, the text move is still of value, as even then it is hardly advisable for White to castle on the K side, whilst Black can play B-R3 as soon as it might be desirable to exchange White’s QB.

9. BxP Kt-Q2 10. B-Kt4 BxB 11. QxB Castles 12. Kt-K2 P-K3 13. B-B4 Q-QKt4!

Black is the first to complete his development, and he assumes the offensive.

14. Castles QR!

This is much stronger than the alternative P-QKt3, which would fatally disturb the pawn skeleton, particularly as castling is only possible on the Q side. Although Black can now gain two pawns, White obtains an attack and Black only just manages to escape with a draw.

14. … Kt-Kt3 15. Kt-Kt3

intending Q-K2 in answer to Kt-B5. Again P-QKt3 is not to be thought of, and R-Q2 also fails because of Kt-B5; 16. R-B2, KtxP.

15. … Q-Q4 16. K-Kt1 QxKtP 17. QR-Kt1 QxBP 18. Kt-K4 Q-R5 19. Q-B3 Kt-B5!


Diag. 147

Whilst Black was busy capturing two pawns by moving the Queen four times, White was concentrating the whole of his forces, and now threatens to win back the pawn with R-Kt4. The move in the text anticipates the threat, for now the answer to 20. R-Kt4 would be Q-R4; 21. KtxP?, Q-B4ch; 22. Kt-K4?? Kt-Q7ch, winning the Q.

20. K-R1 P-KB4 21. Kt-Kt5 B-Q3 22. B-B1 R-Q2 23. R-Kt2 B-B2

intending to get rid of the awkward White Knight by Kt-Q3-K5.

24. KR-Kt Kt-Q3 25. Q-K2 Kt-K5 26. Kt-B3 Q-R6 27. P-R3

White appears to be in “time” difficulties, or else he remains passive, in order to give Black an opportunity for making the risky attempt to hold the extra pawn by P-B3 and P-K4.

27. … P-R3 28. B-K3 KR-Q1 29. K-R2 R-R1

If Black wants to play for a win, he must play P-B3. In view of the favourable position of the White pieces, he prefers to risk nothing and to avoid the weakening of position which follows upon practically every pawn move.

30. K-R1 KR-Q1 31. K-R2 R-K1 32. R-Kt8 RxR 33. RxRch R-Q1 34. R-Kt7 R-Q2 35. R-Kt8ch

As long as Black plays steadily, White cannot hope for more than a draw.

35. … R-Q1 36. R-Kt7 R-B1 37. P-B4 Kt-B3

In order to drive off the Rook; White now enforces the draw by a fine combination.

38. B-Kt5! Kt-R4 39. RxP! RxR 40. QxPch R-Q2

Not K-Kt1 on account of 41. Q-K8ch, K-R2; 42. QxR, QxKt; 43. QxB, threatening B-K7.

41. Kt-K5! Draw.

For after BxKt there follows 42. Q-K8ch, K-B2; 43. QxBch, with perpetual check.

Both players have shown a deep positional insight, and the game shows in an interesting manner how a preponderance of material can be counterbalanced by the greater mobility of the pieces.

GAME No. 35

White: Reti. Black: Tartakower.

Caro-Kann Defence.

1. P-K4 P-QB3 2. P-Q4 P-Q4 3. Kt-QB3 PxP 4. KtxP Kt-KB3 5. Q-Q3

White wishes to castle as soon as possible on the Queen’s side, in order to operate on the Queen’s file with the help of the Rook.

5. … P-K4

Here Black loses two moves in bringing White’s centre pawn away. The manœuvre therefore is not sound. QKt-Q2, KtxKt, and Kt-B3, or any other developing moves would be preferable.

          6. PxP Q-R4ch
          7. B-Q2 QxP
          8. Castles!


Diag. 148

White prepares a magnificent mating combination, which can only be made possible at such an early stage, when the opponent has utterly neglected his development.

          8. … KtxKt
          9. Q-Q8ch!! KxQ
         10. B-Kt5 double ch K-B2
         11. B-Q8 mate

A beautiful mate. If 11. … K-K1, 11. R-Q8 mate.

GAME No. 36

White: Forgacz. Black: E. Cohn.

Queen’s Gambit.

1. P-Q4 P-Q4 2. Kt-KB3 P-K3 3. P-B4 PxP 4. Kt-B3 Kt-KB3 5. B-Kt5 B-K2 6. P-K4 P-KR3

Through 3. … PxP Black’s development is one move behind, and such pawn moves should at any cost be avoided as do not contribute to the mobilisation of the pieces. Castles, P-QKt3, B- Kt2, and QKt-Q 2 was the proper course.

7. BxKt

This is better than to withdraw the Bishop; Black’s last move was clearly loss of time.

7.. … BxB 8. BxP Kt-Q2 9. Castles Castles


Diag. 149

There seems to be nothing alarming about the position, yet on closer investigation a number of vital failings can be discerned in Black’s camp. The absence of a pawn in the centre and the unsatisfactory development have a far-reaching influence. White will be able to bring his forces to the King’s side by way of K4, which is made accessible by the disappearance of Black’s QP, before Black has time to bring his QB to bear on White’s K4 by P- QKt3 and B-Kt2. White’s immediate threat (after P-K5) is Q-K2-K4 and B-Q3. If Black does not wish to risk P-KKt3, he must defend himself with R-K1, Kt-B1. In the meantime White can play R-Q1 and threaten P-Q5, opening the Queen’s file. This again necessitates P-B3, which postpones the efficiency of the QB at Kt2 until White’s QKt and QR have been brought up for the attack. The game develops on these lines, and provides an excellent example of the advantage of the command of the centre.

10. P-K5 B-K2 11. Q-K2 R-K1 12. QR-Q1 P-QB3 13. Q-K4 Q-B2

preparing P-QKt3.

14. KR-K1 Kt-B1 15. Q-Kt4 P-QKt3 16. Q-R5 B-Kt2 17. R-K4 B-Kt5

Black cannot yet play P-QB4, as R-B4 is threatened with an attack on KB7. The Bishop which obstructs the Q would have no move, save the sorry retreat to Q1, and White would win speedily: 17. … P- QB4; 18. R-B4, B-Q1; 19. P-Q5, PxP; 20. KtxP, BxKt; 21. BxB, attacking R and P.

18. R-Kt4 BxKt 19. PxB K-R1

QxP was threatened.

20. Kt-Kt5 R-K2 21. Kt-K4

Even the Knight is brought in via K4.

21. … R-Q1 22. R-Q3 P-QB4 23. Kt-B6

threatening QxPch and R-Kt8 mate. Black cannot capture the Kt because of QxPch and mate at Kt7. But the mate cannot be delayed much longer in view of the concentration of superior forces for the attack.

23. … Kt-Kt3 24. R-R3 Resigns

There is no answer to Q-Kt5 and RxP.

GAME No. 37

White: Marshall. Black: Capablanca.

Queen’s Gambit Declined (see p. 52).

1. P-Q4 P-Q4 2. P-QB4 P-K3 3. Kt-QB3 Kt-KB3 4. B-Kt5 B-K2 5. P-K3 Kt-K5


Diag. 150

Lasker has played this move successfully in his match against Marshall; but it has not come into general use. White should get the better game by 6. BxB, QxB; 7. Q-B2, KtxKt; 8. QxKt or 7. PxP, KtxKt; 8. PxKt, PxP; 9. Q-Kt3, in the first case because the Black QB is out of play, in the second case because of the open Kt file. 7. KtxKt is bad, because PxKt prevents the natural development of the KKt at B3, and Black can obtain an attack after castling by P-KB4-5.

6. BxB QxB 7. B-Q3

This also is a good move, as it furthers development.

7. … KtxKt 8. PxKt PxP

Giving up the centre pawn in this case is not against the spirit of the opening, as it opens the only diagonal on which the Black QB can operate.

9. BxP P-QKt3 10. Q-B3 P-QB3 11. Kt-K2 B-Kt2 12. Castles KR Castles 13. P-QR4

This move can only be good if White intends to operate on the Queen’s side, possibly by KR-Kt1 and P-R5. But the position of the White Queen makes the adoption of a different plan compulsory. For one thing, it is rational to concentrate forces where the Queen can take her share, therefore, in this case, on the King’s side. On the other hand, the manœuvre referred to could not be put into execution here because Black can prevent P- R5 by P-QB4 and Kt-B3. A fairly obvious course was to play P-K4, taking possession of the centre. P-QB4 would then be answered by P-Q5, after which the White Rooks would be very effective at Q1 and K1. In this game White does initiate a King’s side attack subsequently, and thus 13. … P-QR4 is clearly a lost move.

          13. … P-QB4
          14. Q-Kt3 Kt-B3
          15. Kt-B4 QR-B1

The tempting move of P-K4 cannot be played because of 16. Kt-Q5, Q-Q1; 17. PxBP, Kt-R4; 18. KR-Q1. The move in the text threatens PxP, KtxP and RxB.

16. B-R2 KR-Q1 17. KR-K1 Kt-R4

This threatens B-B3 attacking the RP. White decides to yield the same at once, thinking quite rightly that a direct attack must have good chances, as Black gets two pieces out of play in capturing the pawn.

18. QR-Q1 B-B 3 19. Q-Kt4

Black cannot take the pawn yet, because of KtxP and BxPch.

19. … P-B5 20. P-Q5?

Diag. 151

There is no need to play for violent complications. The logical course was to open the way to the King’s side for the Rooks by P- K4. The continuation could have been: 20. P-K4, BxRP; 21. Kt-R5, P-Kt3; 22. P-K5, BxR; 23. RxB followed by Kt-B6, with a strong attack; also after 21. … P-B3, 22. R-Q2, White’s attacking chances are good. After the move in the text, Black could get an advantage by simply exchanging: 20. … PxP; 21. KtxP, BxKt; 22. RxB, RxR; 23. QxRch, R-Q1; 24. Q-KB5, P-Kt3; 25. Q-B2, Q-R6. In taking the RP, however, Black incurs grave risks.

20. … BxRP 21. R-Q2 P-K4 22. Kt-R5 P-Kt3 23. P-Q6 Q-K3 24. Q-Kt5 K-R1

Black finds the weaknesses at his KB3 and KR3 very troublesome. RxP would lose at once, because of 25. RxR, QxR; 26. Q-R6!

25. Kt-B6 RxP 26. RxR QxR 27. B-Kt1

Q-R4 would have been answered by K-Kt2.

27. … Kt-B3

Black must try to bring back his minor pieces for the defence. If he succeeds in doing that in time, the end-game is easily won on the Queen’s side.

28. B-B5 R-Q1

Not PxB because of Q-R6.

29. P-KR4

White’s attacking resources seem inexhaustible. By exchanging Queens he could have got his pawn back in this way: 29. B-Q7, Q- B1 (R xB?, 30. Q-R6); 30. BxKt, BxB; 31. QxQP, Q-Q3; 32. Kt- Q7,QxQ; 33. KtxQ, B-K1; 34. KtxQBP. But even then Black would maintain a superiority in the end-game owing to the freedom of his passed pawn, and because he can post his Rook at the seventh after P-QKt4. This explains why Marshall prefers not to win back his pawn, but to enter upon a violent attack with a doubtful issue. However, Capablanca finds the right move in all the ensuing complications, and finally wins the game.


Diag. 152

29. … Kt-K2 30. Kt-K4 Q-B2 31. Q-B6ch K-Kt1 32. B-K6

This is now compulsory. If White loses time in withdrawing the B, Black consolidates his position by: Kt-Q4 and Q-K2.

32. … PxB

R-B1 is refuted by 33. Kt-Kt5!, PxB; 34. QxR, etc.

33. QxKPch

Better than Kt-Kt5, for after Kt-Q4, 34. QxPch, the Black King finds a safe retreat at Kt2.

33. … K-B1 34. Kt-Kt5 Kt-Kt1 35. P-B4

in order to open the file for the Rook.

35. … R-K1 36. PxP R-K2 37. R-B1ch K-Kt2 38. P-R5 B-K1 39. P-R6ch K-R1

KtxP fails on account of Q-B6ch.

40. Q-Q6

White takes all possible advantage from the position, but cannot bring home his attack, as Black has concentrated his forces for the defence. Black must still be careful to avoid a mate, e.g. QxQ?; 41. PxQ, RxP; 42. R-B7 or 4l. … R-Q2; 42. R-B8.

40. … Q-B4 41. Q-Q4

Here White could have tried QxQ and R-B8. There was then a permanent threat of RxB, e.g. 41. QxQ, PxQ; 42. R-B8, RxP; 43. Kt-B3, R-K2; 44. Kt-Kt5, etc. It seems as if Black would have to give up the piece again by 43. … R-R4 in order to win. White, however, would then have drawing chances, which would have been a fitting conclusion to this wonderful game.

         41. … RxP
         42. Q-Q7 R-K2

GAME No. 38

White: Rotlewi. Black: Teichmann.

Queen’s Gambit Declined.

1. P-Q4 P-Q 4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-KB3 3. P-B4 P-K3 4. Kt-B3 QKt-Q2 5. B-Kt5 B-K2

Capablanca tried 5. … B-Kt5; against Ed. Lasker in New York, 1915. The continuation was: 6. P-K3, P-B4; 7. B-Q3, Q-R4; 8. Q- Kt3.

The correct move is here 8. Castles. If Black wins the pawn by BxKt; 9. PxB, QPxP; 10. BxP, QxBP, White obtains a strong attack, e.g., 11. R-B1, Q-R4; 12. BxKt, PxB (KtxB; 13. PxP); 13. P-Q5, with this possible continuation l3. … Kt-Kt3, 14. PxP, PxP; 15. Q-Q6, with a strong attack.

6. P-K3 Castles 7. Q-B2 P-B4

White intends to castle on the Queen’s side, and to follow this up with a storm by the King’s side pawns. Although Rubinstein has on many occasions been successful with this form of attack, it is open to criticism. For, where Kings have castled on different wings, the attack on the King which has castled on the Q side should be more successful.


Diag. 153

This is much stronger than P-Q Kt3 and B-Kt2, as then the Black Queen cannot participate in the attack quickly enough. As pointed out before, speed is the first consideration for the attack, whenever the Kings have castled on different wings. An interesting counterpart to the present game is found in a game won by Rubinstein from Teichmann (Match, Vienna, 1908) 7. … P- QKt3; 8. PxP, PxP; 9. B-Q3, B-Kt2; 10. Castles QR, P-B4; 11. P- KR4, P-B5? (the only hope lay in the opening of the QB file); 12. B-B5, R-K1; 13. BxKKt, KtxB; 14. P-KKt4, B-Q3; 15. P-Kt5, Kt- K5; 16. P-R5, Q-K2; 17. QR-Kt1, P-QR3; 18. BxPch!, KxB; 19. P- Kt6ch, K-Kt1; 20. KtxKt, PxKt; 21. P-R6, P-B31 22. PxP, PxKt; 23 R-R8ch, KxP; 24. R-R7ch, and Black resigned a few moves later.

8. Castles Q-R4 9. PxQP

White loses time in the centre. It was imperative to proceed at once with P-KKt4 followed by BxKt, P-Kt5 and P-KR4.

9. … KPxP 10. PxP KtxP 11. Kt-Q4 B-K3 12. K-Kt1

It would be too risky to leave both King and Queen on the QB file.

12. … QR-B1 13. B-Q3 P-KR3

The threat was: BxKt and BxPch. Had White played P-KKt4 and P-KR4 instead of effecting exchanges in the centre, Black would not have been able to afford this weakening move. But now Black wins the game on the other wing, before White is able to make use of the weakness thus created.

14. BxKt BxB 15. B-B5 KR-Q1 16. BxB PxB 17. Q-Kt6

The Queen must leave the QB file without delay, as Kt-K5 is threatened. Black’s game is already superior; with the exception of the Queen, White has no piece available for the attack on the opposing King.

17. … R-Q3 18. R-QB1 R-R3

Now White must again provide against Black’s Kt-K5, as White’s QKt is needed for the defence of QR2.

19. P-B3 R-Q1

Black intends to move his B and then to advance his KP with an attack on the Queen. The object of the text move is to prevent White from saving himself by an attack on the Rook (Q-B5).

20. R-B2 BxKt

By this exchange Black achieves his object of driving off the Knight by P-Q5, but White has time to give his RP further protection by P-QKt3, This, Black would have prevented by playing B-Kt4 instead of the text move, e.g. 21. P-B4, P-K4; 22. Q-B5, PxKt; 23. PxP, B-B3; 24. PxKt, P-Q5, etc.

21. PxB P-K4 22. Q-Kt4 PxP 23. QxP Kt-K3 24. Q-K5

This delays the fatal advance of the QP for one move.

24. … P-QKt4 25. P-QKt3 P-Q5 26. Kt-K4 P-Q6 27. R-Q2 Kt-Q5 28. R-QB1 Kt-B7 29. Q-Kt2 Kt-R6ch 30. K-R1 Kt-B7ch 31. K-Kt1 Kt-R6ch 32. K-R1 Kt-B7ch 33. K-Kt1


Diag. 154

Black does not play for a draw, but only wishes to gain time.

33. … R-QB3

The intention is to double Rooks and to force an entry at B7. P- Kt5 would not be good. The White Rook would no longer be attacked, and the Knight could attack the QP.

34. R(B1)-Q1 KR-QB1

Now that the White Rook has left the QB file, one Rook would be sufficient to force an entry at B7, and Kt-R6ch followed by P-Kt5 could have been played at once, e.g. 34. … Kt-R6ch; 35. K-R1, P-Kt5 (preventing P-QKt4); 36. Kt-B2,R-B7; 37. RxR, PxR; 38. R- QB1, Q-Kt3; 39. Kt-K4, R-Q8 followed by RxRch, Q-Q5ch and P-B8 mate.

35. RxP Kt-R6ch 36. K-R1 P-Kt5 37. R-Q7 Q-K4!!

If QxQ, Black mates in three.

38. R-Q8ch RxR 39. RxRch K-R2 40. R-Q1 QxQch

Curiously enough there is nothing better. Q-B2 only leads to the exchange of Queens and the same end-game, which, however, is an easy win for Black, as the permanent mating threat keeps the White Rook tied to the first rank, whilst the Black King threatens to capture all the White pawns.

If Q-B2 White forces the exchange of Queens with the following combination: 41. Q-Q2, R-B7; 42. Q-Q3, R-B8ch; 43. K-Kt2, with a threat of Kt-B6ch and Q-R7 mate. Black therefore would have to play Q-B7ch, etc., as in the game.

41. KxQ R-B7ch 42. K-R1 RxP 43. R-R1 P-Kt4 44. Kt-B6ch K-Kt2 45. Kt-K4 K-Kt3 46. Kt-Q6 P-QR4

We have now a position with a forced move. If the White Knight moves, there follows K-B4-B5, etc. Therefore White gives up his R P voluntarily.

47. R-QB1 RxP 48. Kt-B4 Kt-Kt4

Now Kt-B6 and RxP mate are threatened.

49. Kt-K5ch K-Kt2 50. Kt-Kt4 R-K7 51. R-B5 R-K8ch 52. K-Kt2 Kt-R6 53. R-B7ch K-B1 54. R-B1 R-K7ch 55. K-R1 Kt-B7ch 56. K-Kt1 Kt-R6ch

Black again appears to be short of time.

57. K-R1 Kt-Kt4 58. R-B5 R-K8ch 59. K-Kt2 Kt-R6 60. R-B1 R-K7ch

Now, after the sixtieth move Black has again plenty of time, and can prepare the final combination at leisure.

61. K-R1 R-K3 62. R-R1 K-Kt2 63. R-QB1 K-Kt3 64. R-B6 RxR 65. Kt-K5ch K-B4 66. KtxR P-R4 67. Kt-Q4ch K-K4 68. Kt-K2 Kt-B7ch 69. K-Kt2 Kt-Q5 Resigns.

GAME No. 39

White: Rotlewi. Black: Rubinstein

Queen’s Gambit Declined.

1. P-Q4 P-Q4 2. Kt-KB3 P-K3 3. P-K3 P-QB4 4. P-B4 Kt-QB3 5. Kt-B3 Kt-B3 6. QPxP BxP 7. P-QR3 P-QR3 8. P-QKt4 B-Q3 9. B-Kt2 Castles


Diag. 155

10. Q-Q2

White cannot win the QP by 10. PxP, PxP; 11. KtxP, KtxKt; 12. QxKt, because BxPch wins the Queen. The text move is played with the intention of bringing up the QR for the attack on the QP. However, it would have been more correct to fix the object of attack first by PxP, as Black could now cross White’s intentions by playing PxP, after which he would sooner or later gain a move by occupying the Q file with a Rook, and forcing the White Queen to retreat.

10. … Q-K2!

Black offers to give up his Queen’s Pawn. If White accepts the sacrifice, Black’s attack on the Queen’s file will become deadly, as White must lose a move in bringing his Queen out of the line of action of the hostile Rook. The White King has then no time to get into safety, e.g. 11. PxP, PxP; 12. KtxP, KtxKt; 13. QxKt, R- Q1; 14. Q-Kt3, B-K3 followed by KtxP, etc.

11. B-Q3?

Here again PxP (followed by B-K2, R-Q1, Castles) would have avoided the loss of a move, as indicated in my note to move 10. Now White loses yet another move, as Black exchanges pawns and the Bishop has taken two moves to reach B4, as against one only in the case of the Black KB. The loss of two moves in the opening stages should be fatal, and of this Rubinstein gives a striking example in the present game.

11. … PxP 12. BxP P-QKt4 13. B-Q3 R-Q1 14. Q-K2 B-Kt2 15. Castles KR Kt-K4

The advantage which Black obtains by his last move is generally gained by White in this opening (compare Diag. 36). But in the game White has lost two moves and Black has assumed the offensive, having moreover a Rook acting on the Q file.

16. KtxKt BxKt 17. P-B4

Black’s threat was: BxPch followed by Q-Q3ch and QxB. If White replies: 17. KR-Q1 the answer is Q-B2 attacking both the RP and the Kt. The text move is unsatisfactory, as it will be necessary to advance the KP to K4 or K5, where it will block the diagonal of one of the Bishops.

17. … B-B2 18. P-K4 QR-B1 19. P-K5 B-Kt3ch 20. K-R1 Kt-Kt5!!


Diag. 156

The beginning of magnificent sacrifices. 21. QxKt cannot be played because of RxB and R-Q7, etc.

21. B-K4 Q-R5 22. P-Kt3

After P-R3 Black wins also in fine style: RxKt!!; 23. QxKt, QxQ; 24. PxQ, BxB; 25. BxR, R-Q6 threatening R-R 6 mate; or, 23. BxR, BxB; 24. QxB, Q-Kt6; 25. PxKt, Q-R5 mate.

22. … RxKt!! 23. PxQ R-Q7!! 24. QxR BxBch 25. Q-Kt2 R-R6

and mate at R7.

GAME No. 40

White: Rubinstein. Black: Capablanca.

Queen’s Gambit Declined.

1. P-Q4 P-Q4 2. Kt-KB3 P-QB4 3. P-B4 P-K3 4. PxQP KPxP 5. Kt-B3 Kt-QB3 6. P-KKt3 B-K3 7. B-Kt2 B-K2 8. Castles R-B1

This move is not satisfactory at this juncture. It rather helps a combination which is frequently resorted to in similar positions, namely, the exchange of the Black QB and subsequent pressure on the KP by the White KB on the diagonal KR3-QB8. 8. … Kt-B3 should have been played, after


Diag. 157

which White could hardly be said to possess any advantage, e.g. 9. B-Kt5, Kt-K5, or 9. B-K3, Kt-KKt5, or 9. P-QR3, or 9. PxP, BxP; 10. B-Kt5, B-K2. After 9. PxP, however, it would be weak to recapture with the Queen. In a game E. Cohn-Ed. Lasker (match 1909) there followed: 9. … Q-R4; 10. Kt-KKt5, QxP; 11. B-K3, Q- R4; 12. Q-Kt3, after which Black had to give up a pawn already: Castles QR; 13. KtxB, PxKt; 14. B-R3, etc.

9. PxP BxP 10. Kt-KKt5 Kt-B3 11. KtxB PxKt 12. B-R3 Q-K2 13. B-Kt5

P-K4 is stronger here, in order to play B-Kt5 after PxP. l3. … P-Q5 would then be refuted by Kt-Q5.

         13. … Castles
         14. BxKt QxB

After this White gains a pawn by a complicated and well-timed combination. Capablanca did not consider the subtle reply on Rubinstein’s seventeenth move. Otherwise he would have recaptured with the pawn. However, in that case too, White’s chances are good in the end-game which ensues after: 15. KtxP, PxKt; 16. QxPch, K-R1; 17. BxR. The Rooks would soon become effective in view of the open K side.

15. KtxP Q-R3

BxPch fails because of 16. K-Kt2, Q-B2; 17. Kt-B4!

16. K-Kt2 QR-Q1 17. Q-B1


Diag. 158

17. … PxKt

If RxKt, White exchanges Queens and plays BxPch.

18. QxB Q-Q7 19. Q-Kt5 Kt-Q5 20. Q-Q3

With an extra pawn White forces the exchange of Queens. Black cannot prevent it, as 20. … QxKtP loses the Knight on account of 21. KR-Kt1, and 20. … Q-Kt5 loses the QP by 21. KR-Q1 and B- K6ch.

20. … QxQ 21. PxQ KR-K1 22. B-Kt4

KR-K1 would not prevent the entry of the Black Rook: Kt-B7; 23. RxRch, RxR; 24. R-QB1, R-K7; 25. B-Kt4, R-Q7. Black would win the pawn back and might even succeed in the end-game with a Knight against a Bishop.

22. … R-Q3 23. KR-K1 RxR 24. RxR R-QKt3

Black should first play his King to KB3, and keep the Rook away from his K5. Not that the QP is of paramount importance; the QKtP fully makes up for its loss. But as played the Knight is driven from his dominating position, and the badly placed Bishop gets into play. No doubt even after the text move the ending is most difficult, and it requires Rubinstein’s full powers to bring it to a successful issue.

25. R-K5 RxP 26. RxP Kt-B3 27. B-K6ch K-B1 28. R-B5ch K-K1 29. B-B7ch K-Q2 30. B-B4 P-QR3

Black’s only chance is his extra pawn on the Q side. To exchange the Kt for the B by 30. … K-Q3; 31. R-B 7, Kt-K4; 32. RxKKtP, KtxB would take too much time where time is all-important. White would clear the K side in the meantime, push on his KRP, and ultimately give up his R for Black’s remaining P, as soon as the latter runs into Queen, after which the three passed pawns win easily against the Rook. Generally speaking it is wise, in R endings like the present one, to advance pawns on the side where there is an extra pawn, in order to get a passed pawn as soon as possible. Then the hostile Rook has to look after that pawn lest it should queen, and the greater mobility of one’s own Rook often saves the game even when opposed by a preponderance of pawns.

31. R-B7ch K-Q3 32. RxKKtP P-Kt4 33. B-Kt8 P-QR4 34. RxP P-R5 35. P-R4 P-Kt5 36. R-R6ch K-B4 37. R-R5ch K-Kt3 38. B-Q5 P-Kt6

RxP is tempting but unavailing, as White plays B-B4 followed by R-Kt5ch and P-R5-6, etc. After the text move White has a problem- like continuation, which he has worked out with great accuracy.

39. PxP P-R6 40. BxKt

If now P-R7, White simply plays 41. R-Kt5ch, K-R3; 42. R-Kt8-R8.

40. … RxKtP 41. B-Q5 P-R7 42. R-R6ch Resigns.

As the R holds the RP, e.g. K-R4; 43. B-B4 followed by R-R6ch or 42. … K-R2; 43. R-R8, etc.

GAME No. 41

White: Niemzowitsch. Black: Tarrasch.

Queen’s Gambit Declined.

          1. P-Q4 P-Q4
          2. Kt-KB3 P-QB4
          3. P-B4 P-K3
          4. P-K3 Kt-KB3
          5. B-Q3 Kt-B3
          6. Castles B-Q3
          7. P-QKt3 Castles
          8. B-Kt2 P-QKt3
          9. QKt-Q2 B-Kt2
         10. R-B1 Q-K2
         11. PxQP

The most natural move to which the development of the QKt at Q2 instead of B3 would seem to lead is Kt-K5 followed by P-B4. After 11. Kt-K5 Black could not yet attempt 11. … PxQP; 12. KPxP, B- R6, weakening the QP, because of 13. BxB, QxB; 14. PxP, KtxKt; 15. PxKt, KtxP; 16. Kt-B4 and Kt-Q6.

11. … KPxP 12. Kt-R4

In order to provoke Black’s weakening move: P-Kt3, which might give White chances of attack on the long diagonal QR1-KR8, White gives up two clear moves. Black is able to get considerably ahead in his development, much to White’s disadvantage.

         12. … P-Kt3
         13. KKt-B3 QR-Q sq

Not Kt-K5 yet, on account of 14. PxP, PxP?; 15. BxKt, PxB; 16. KtxP.

14. PxP

White’s position is uncomfortable, and a satisfactory continuation is hard to find. Possibly passive resistance might have been the best plan, thus: Q-K2, KR-Q1, Kt-B1-Kt3. The text move is a preliminary to operations on the Queen’s side, but allows Black too much scope in the centre.

14. … PxP 15. B-Kt5

White wishes to get rid of the Black Knight which supports the advance of P-Q5.

15. … Kt-K5 16. BxKt BxB 17. Q-B2

White has no idea of the threatened disaster, or he would have played P-KKt3. Even then, however, Black has the better game with two Bishops, and the Q and Kt better placed.

17. … KtxKt

The beginning of a brilliant mating combination.

18. KtxKt P-Q5!

Black would have played the same move if White had retaken with the Queen.

19. PxP

P-K4 was comparatively the best move, although Black’s attack would have become overwhelming after P-B4, e.g. 20. P-B3, B-B5, etc.


Diag. 159

19. … BxPch!! 20. KxB Q-R5ch 21. K-Kt1 BxP!

Emanuel Lasker won a celebrated game from Bauer (Amsterdam, 1889) with a similar sacrifice of two Bishops, and very likely this is the reason why Tarrasch’s beautiful game only earned him the second brilliancy prize at Petrograd (1914).

22. P-B3

If KxB, then Q-Kt5ch; 23. K-R1, R-Q4; 24. QxP, R-R4ch; 25. QxR, QxQch; 26. K-Kt2, Q-Kt4ch and QxKt.

22. … KR-K1

Not Q-Kt6, because of Kt-K4.

23. Kt-K4 Q-R8ch 24. K-B2 BxR 25. P-Q5 P-B4 26. Q-B3 Q-Kt7ch 27. K-K3 RxKtch! 28. PxR P-B5ch

With Q-Kt6ch Black mates two moves earlier.

          29. KxP R-B1ch
          30. K-K5 Q-R7ch
          31. K-K6 R-K1ch

If K-Q7, B-Kt4 mate, if K-B6, Q-R5 mate.

[FOOTNOTE: Emanuel Lasker-Bauer: 1. P-KB4, P-Q4; 2. P-K3, Kt-KB3; 3. P-QKt3, P-K3; 4. B-Kt2, B-K2; 5. B-Q3, P-QKt3; 6. Kt-QB3, B- Kt2; 7. Kt-B3, QKt-Q2; 8. Castles, Castles; 9. Kt-K2, P-B4; 10. Kt-Kt3, Q-B2; 11. Kt-K5, KtxKt; 12. BxKt, Q-B3; 13. Q-K2, P-QR3; 14. Kt-R5, KtxKt; 15. BxPch!!, KxB; 16. QxKtch, K-Kt1; 17. BxP!, KxB; 18. Q-Kt4ch, K-R2; 19. R-B3, P-K4; 20. R-R3ch, Q-R3; 21. RxQ, KxR; 22. Q-Q7, and White won.]

GAME No. 42

White: Capablanca. Black: Aljechin.

Queen’s Gambit Declined (see pp. 57 and 58).

1. P-Q4 P-Q4 2. P-QB4 P-QB3 3. P-K3 Kt-B3 4. Kt-KB3 P-K3 5. QKt-Q2 QKt-Q2 6. B-Q3 B-K2 7. Castles Castles 8. Q-B2


Diag. 160

Black’s difficulty is the development of his QB, particularly after White’s last move, which prevents P-K4. If now Q-B2 White plays 9. P-K4 and either the Queen or the Knight bear on K5, e.g. 9. … PxKP; 10. KtxP, P-K4; 11. QKt-Kt5, B-Q3; 12. P-B5, etc.

Black therefore must develop his QB at Kt2 with P-QKt3, B-Kt2 and P-B4. Having moved the QBP twice, Black is a move behind the development usual in this opening. However, it would have been the lesser evil. In the present game the Bishop does not get into play in time.

          8. … PxP
          9. KtxP P-B4
         10. QKt-K5 PxP
         11. PxP Kt-Kt3
         12. Kt-Kt5

If Black captures the pawn, White gains time by threatening the Queen, and brings all his forces into play, whilst the Black Queen’s side remains undeveloped, e.g.: 12. … QxP; 13. R-Q1, Q-B4; 14. Kt-Kt4, P-Kt3; 15. B-K3, Q-R4; 16. R-B1, with a strong attack. Black of course need not take the pawn, but the move in the text is a valuable one nevertheless, as the threat Q-B3-R3 provokes a weakening pawn move.

12. … P-Kt3 13. KKt-B3 K-Kt2

preventing the entry of the B at R6.

14. B-KKt5 QKt-Q4 15. QR-B1 B-Q2 16. Q-Q2 Kt-Kt1

It should be noted how the weakness at KR3 acts to the detriment of Black’s game. The text move covers the weak square, but at the same time brings the Kt out of play. White in consequence gets the upper-hand on the Queen’s side, and the Knight cannot return in time.

17. BxB QxB

It would be no use taking with the KKt, as the threat Kt-Kt4 and Q-R6 must be guarded against. If the other Kt captures there follows: 18. B-K4, R-Kt1; 19. R-B3 and KR-B1.

18. B-K4 B-Kt4

This drives the Rook to a better square, but already now there is no satisfactory move. It would perhaps have been best to parry the threat of BxKt and R-B7 by playing Q-Q3, although the pawn would have to recapture after 19. BxKt, because of 20. R-B5 and KR-B1. The chance of bearing on the QP through the open file, which was probably Black’s intention all along, would then be lost. After the text move, however, White takes possession of the seventh rank, and Black’s game collapses quickly.

19. KR-K1 Q-Q3 20. BxKt PxB 21. Q-R5 P-QR3 22. Q-B7 QxQ 23. RxQ P-R3

Kt-Kt5 and Kt-K6ch was threatened.

24. RxP QR-B1 25. P-QKt3 R-B7 26. P-QR4 B-K7 27. Kt-R4! P-KR4

The KtP cannot be saved.

28. KKtxP R-K1 29. RxPch Resigns.

GAME No. 43

White: Capablanca. Black: Bernstein.

Queen’s Gambit Declined.

1. P-Q4 P-Q4 2. Kt-KB3 Kt-KB3 3. P-B4 P-K3 4. Kt-B3 QKt-Q2 5. B-Kt5 B-K2 6. P-K3 P-B3 7. B-Q3 PxP

Before initiating this manœuvre, which aims at the development of the Queen’s wing, Black should castle, as otherwise the King is exposed to dangerous and immediate attacks in the centre.

8. BxBP P-Kt4 9. B-Q3 P-QR3

The system of opening chosen by Black has been tried frequently of late. It seems to be somewhat artificial, as the QB Pawn takes two moves to get to his fourth. On the other hand the pawn formation at QR3, QKt4, and QB4 is attained, whilst it can be prevented in other variations, e.g. 6. … Castles; 7. B-Q3, PxP; 8. BxP, P-QR3; 9 P-QR4.

10. P-K4 P-K4

Diag. 161

Black’s only plausible move here seems to be P-B4, and many critics have remarked that after 11. P-K5, PxP!; 12. Kt-K4 (if PxKt, PxKt) KtxKt; 13. BxKt, R-QKt1; 14. BxB, QxB; 15. QxP, Q-B4; the game would have been even. However, this is not the case, for on the 15th move White does not capture the pawn with the Q but with the Kt and Black has no satisfactory continuation. If he had castled he could play l5. … B-Kt2 which now is not available because of: 16. Kt-B6, BxKt; 17. BxB, with an overwhelming advantage in position for White. White’s refutation of the text move is above criticism.

11. PxP Kt-Kt5 12. B-KB4 B-B4

If Q-B2, White would play R-B1, after which Black could not recapture the KP yet, as the QBP is en prise. 13. … KKtxP; 14. KtxKt, KtxKt; 15. Kt-Q5, Q-Q3; 16. BxKt, QxB; 19. RxP, etc.

13. Castles Q-B2 14. R-B1 P-B3

Again KtxP is not feasible on account of the loss of the QBP, as can be easily seen.

15. B-Kt3 PxP

Black’s game cannot be saved. If l5. … Kt(Kt5)xKP there follows 16. KtxKt, KtxKt; 17. Kt-Q5, Q-Q3; 18. BxKt, PxB; 19. RxB, or 16. … PxKt; 17. Q-R5ch, P-Kt3, 18. Q-R6.

16. P-Kt4!

Now White initiates a brilliant attack, driving it home without giving Black a moment’s rest. If Black takes the pawn, White plays Kt-Q4, with many threats, e.g. P-B4; 18. Kt-Q5, Q-Q3; 19. Kt-K6, or l7. … Kt(Kt5)-B3; 18. Kt-K6, etc.

16. … B-R2 17. BxKtP

The sacrifice is fairly obvious, as White obtains three pawns for the piece, and moreover drives the King into the field of battle. However, this does not detract from the beauty of the game, which is full of brilliant phases.

17. … RPxB 18. KtxKtP Q-Q1

Or Q-Kt3; 19. Kt-Q6ch, K-K2; 20. Kt-B5ch, followed by Q-Q6.

19. Kt-Q6ch K-B1 20. RxP Kt-Kt3

The threat was: 21. Q-Q5, Kt-R3; 22. KtxB, RxKt; 23. R-Q6, etc. 20. … Kt(Q2)-B3 is of no avail because of 21. Q-Kt3, Kt-R3; 22. KtxP, or 21. … Q-Q2; 22. KR-B1, etc.

21. B-R4 Q-Q2 22. KtxB! QxR

Not RxKt because of 23. QxQ. Now Black is a whole Rook ahead. But it is as much out of play as his Queen’s side pieces. The King is driven into a mating net by the concentration of superior White forces, and only escapes by giving up the extra piece.

23. Q-Q8ch Q-K1 24. B-K7ch K-B2 25. Kt-Q6ch K-Kt3 26. Kt-R4ch K-R4

If K-R3 there follows mate in three by 27. Kt(Q6)-B5ch; 28. Kt- Kt3ch; 29. B-Kt5 mate.

          27. KtxQ RxQ
          28. KtxPch K-R3
          29. Kt(Kt7)-B5ch K-R4
          30. P-KR3!

This threatens 31. PxKtch, KxP; 32. P-B3ch, followed by P-Kt3 or Kt4 mate. If Black plays 30. QR-KKt1, White wins as follows: 31. PxKtch, RxP; 32. P-B3, Kt-B1ch; 33. K-R2, KtxB; 34. PxRch, KxP; 35. KtxKt, K x Kt; 36. R-B7. If 30. … Kt-R3; 31. Kt-Kt7 mate.

30. … Kt-B1 31. PxKtch KxP 32. BxR RxB 33. P-Kt3 R-Q7 34. K-Kt2 R-K7 35. P-R4 Kt-Kt3 36. Kt-K3ch K-R4 37. P-R5 Kt-Q2 38. Kt(R4)-B5 Kt-B3 39. P-Kt5 B-Q5 40. K-B3 R-R7 41. P-R6 B-R2 42. R-B1 R-Kt7 43. P-Kt4ch K-Kt4 44. R-B7 RxPch 45. KxR KtxKtPch 46. K-B3 Resigns.

GAME No. 44

White: Dus Chotimirski. Black: Vidmar.

Queen’s Pawn Game.

1. P-Q4 P-Q4 2. Kt-KB3 P-QB4 3. P-B3 P-K3 4. B-B4

We have seen on page 55 that Black can hardly develop his QB without disadvantage. White, however, has no difficulty in doing so, as his QP is protected, and after Black’s Q-Kt3 he has only to look after his KtP. He could play Q-B1, which might bring the Q into effective action on the diagonal to R6.

The aim of the text move is the early occupation of K5. But, as the present game shows, this cannot be effected. Black must not waste time with Q-Kt3, but play B-Q3 at once.

4. … Kt-QB3 5. P-K3 Kt-B3 6. QKt-Q2 B-Q3 7. B-Kt3 Castles 8. Kt-K5 BxKt! 9. PxB Kt-Q2

Now White has no means of maintaining his centre. Whether he supports the pawn with Kt-B3 or P-KB4, Black forces matters with P-B3.


Diag. 162

Now that the idea underlying White’s opening strategy has proved impracticable, he has difficulty in formulating a plan. Making the best of a bad job, he abandons his KP in exchange for Black’s KRP. But Black obtains a powerful pawn centre, a telling advantage.

10. B-Q3 KKtxP 11. BxKt KtxB 12. BxPch KxB 13. Q-R5ch K-Kt1 14. QxKt P-B3 15. Q-R5 Q-Kt3

Black wishes to provoke the advance of the QKtP and QBP in order to obtain a passed pawn (16. P-QKt3, P-K4; 17. Castles KR, Q-R4; 18. P-QB4, P-Q5). In order to avoid this continuation, White takes his chance of castling on the Queen’s side. This turns out to Black’s advantage. Indeed it is a foregone conclusion. In the ensuing double assault by pawns, Black is several moves ahead, as the White pawns concerned in the attack are still on their original squares.

16. Castles QR P-K4 17. P-KKt4 P-Q5 18. P-QB4 B-Q2 19. P-Kt5 PxKtP 20. QxP RxP 21. PxP BPxP!

Finely played. Black gives up his KP in order to get his QR into play with the gain of a move.

22. QxP R-K1 23. Q-Kt3 QR-K7 24. KR-K1

KR-Kt1 would also be of no avail because of Q-KR3, 25. Q-Q3, Q- KB3 threatening B-B4. The move in the text puts an end to the agony.

          24. … RxKt!!

For after 25. RxR, RxR; 26. KxR, QxPch; 27. K-Q3, B-B4ch; 28. R- K4, Q-B6ch; 29. K-K2, QxQ; Black remains with an extra piece.

GAME No. 45

White: Rubinstein. Black: Spielmann.

Irregular Opening.

1. P-Q4 P-QB4

With this move Black tries to avoid well-trodden paths of tournament practice. White can, at will, lead into a peaceful Queen’s Gambit by 2. P-K3 or into a Sicilian Defence by P-K4. It is more usual, however, to play P-Q5, which blocks up the Black centre to some extent.

If 2. PxP, Black regains his pawn after P-K3 without any disadvantage.

2. P-Q5 P-Q3 3. P-QB4

Coupled with 4. P-K4, this move is of doubtful value, as Black gains command of White’s Q4. It is advisable to keep the QBP back, thus retaining the option of driving off a hostile piece from Q4 by P-QB3. Moreover, the White KB is hemmed in by the pawn at QB4.

3. … P-KKt3 4. P-K4 B-Kt2 5. B-Q3 P-K3

The development of the KKt is not desirable at B3, where it would block the long diagonal. From K2, however, it commands KB4, where it can take up a strong position after the exchange of pawns in the centre, or else it can support the advance of the KBP.

6. Kt-QB3 Kt-K2 7. KKt-K2

Kt-B3 would have been slightly better, because the Black QKt might play to his K4.

7. … PxP 8. KPxP Kt-Q2 9. P-B4

This move weakens the King’s position, and would be justified only if there was a possibility of opening the file for the Rook by P-B5. But Black has too strong a hold on his KB4. The text move aims at preventing the exchange of White’s KB through Black’s Kt-K4. It would have been better to withdraw the B to B2.

9. … Kt-KB3 10. Kt-Kt3 P-KR4!

Now White cannot enforce P-B5, as Black can attack the Knight by P-R5. White cannot prevent this with P-KR4, as the Black Knight would take up a commanding position at Kt5. Black’s game is superior. He can concentrate all his minor pieces on the King’s wing, while White’s QB is ineffective on account of the ill- considered advance of the KBP.


Diag. 163

11. Castles P-R5 12. KKt-K4 KtxKt 13. BxKt

White has to capture with the B, in order to exchange the Black Knight if it should play to B4. After 13. KtxKt, B-Q5ch; 14. K- R1, Kt-B4; White’s Knight would not be able to move from K4 on account of the threat: Kt-Kt6ch. Sooner or later, Black would get a deciding advantage by enforcing the exchange of White’s Knight, e.g. 15. Q-K1, Q-K2; 16. R-QKt1, B-Q2; 17. P-QKt3, Castles QR; 18. B-Kt2, QxKt; 19. BxQ, Kt-Kt6ch; 20. QxKt, PxQ; 21. P-KR3, BxP; 22. PxB, RxPch; 23. K-Kt2, R-R7ch; 24. KxP, RxB; or 21. BxB, RxPch, followed by PxB and QR-R1.

13. … B-Q5ch 14. K-R1 Kt-B4 15. BxKt BxB

White is helpless against the two powerful Bishops.

16. R-K1ch K-B1

Black forfeits his chance of castling, not a great loss under the circumstances. In any case his KR is needed on the Rook’s file, and Black would only have castled on the Queen’s side if at all.

17. Q-B3

Here P-KR3 was essential in order to prevent the further advance of the KRP. The weakness at Kt3 would not have been so serious in the absence of a Black Knight. Now Black forces the advance of White’s KKtP, and the Bishops become immediately effective.

17. … P-R6 18. P-KKt3

not P-KKt4 on account of Q-R5.

18. … Q-Q2 19. B-Q2 B-Kt5 20. Q-B1

If Q-Q3, Black plays Q-B4 and White cannot exchange Queens because of B-B6 mate.

20. … Q-B4

threatening Q-B7.

21. QR-B1 K-Kt2 22. B-K3 B-B3

Black must not exchange his valuable Bishop.

23. P-Kt3 KR-K1 24. B-B2

There is no answer to Black’s threat of doubling the Rooks on the K file. If White plays Q-B2, Black’s Queen effects an entry at Q6, after which he would double his Rooks, and White’s Bishop cannot be defended. After the text move, Black forces the exchange of his two Rooks for the Queen. Generally speaking, this is no disadvantage, but in consequence of the exposed position of the White King, it means a speedy loss for White.

24. … B-B6ch 25. K-Kt1 B-Kt7 26. RxR BxQ 27. RxR Q-Q6!

If now RxB Black plays Q-B6.

28. R-K8

In order to play R-K3 if Black plays BxKt.

28. … Q-B6! 29. KxB Q-R8ch 30. B-Kt1 Q-Kt7ch 31. K-K1 QxBch 32. K-Q2 QxPch Resigns

for the pawn queens.

GAME No. 46

White: G. A. Thomas. Black: Ed. Lasker.

Irregular Opening (compare Game No. 45).

1. P-Q4 P-QB4 2. P-Q5 P-Q3 3. P-QB4 P-KKt3 4. Kt-QB3 B-Kt2 5. B-Q2

This is not necessary. Black could hardly exchange his B for the Kt; the weakness at his KB3 and KR3 would become too serious a disadvantage.

5. … P-K3 6. P-K4 PxP 7. KtxP!

In view of the fact that Black’s position after BP or KPxP would be very promising, as all his pieces would be easy to bring into play, White decides upon the sacrifice of a pawn, in order to further his own development.

           7. … BxP
           8. R-Kt1 B-Kt2
           9. Q-R4ch Kt-B3
          10. KKt-B3

Kt-Kt6, R-Kt sq; 11. B-R5 leads to nothing, as Black plays 12. QK2.

10. … P-KR3

If Black plays KKt-K2 at once, his position becomes somewhat cramped after 11. B-Kt5, Castles; 12. Kt-B6ch, K-R1; 13. Q-Q1.

11. B-Q3 Kt-K2 12. Castles Castles 13. Q-B2 P-Kt3

This allows the development of the QB.

14. B-B3 KtxKt 15. KPxKt Kt-K4


Diag. 164

Kt-K2 should have been played here in order to play BxB; 17. QxB, B-Kt5 with Kt-B4, in answer to 16. Q-Kt2. Black is still open to attack in consequence of his broken King’s side, but there is no demonstrable advantage for White. The text move is a mistake, and gives White chances of a decisive attack.

16. KtxKt BxKt 17. BxB PxB 18. BxP! Q-Kt4

Of course not PxB, on account of 19. QxPch, K-R1; 20. QxPch, K- Kt1; 21. R-Kt3, etc. 18. … P-B4 fails because of 19. R-Kt3.

19. B-K4 P-B4 20. P-B4!!

This elegant continuation decides the game. If PxP, White simply plays 21. B-Q3, and Black can hardly hope to save the end-game, as his pawns are broken up. If the Queen retreats, however, there follows: 21. PxP, and White obtains two passed pawns for the B and has the superior position.

20. … Q-Kt2 21. PxP PXB 22. RxRch QxR 23. R-KB1 Q-Kt2 24. QxP Q-Kt5 25. R-B4 Q-Q8ch 26. K-B2 Q-Q5ch 27. QxQ PxQ 28. P-K6 B-R3 29. RxP R-B1ch

If K-B1, 30. P-Q6.

30. K-K3 R-B3 31. K-K4 R-B7 32. P-Q6 R-K7ch

He might play K-Q5, after which B-Kt2ch has points.

33. K-Q3 Resigns.

GAME No. 47

White: Tartakower. Black: Asztalos.

Dutch Opening.

1. P-KB4 P-Q4

It has been tried to refute White’s non-developing first move by a pawn sacrifice: 1. … P-K4; which leads to a rapid mobilisation of the Black forces after 2. PxP, P-Q3; 3. PxP, BxP. But this attack—called the From Gambit—does not seem to prevail against the best defence. In a match game, Tartakower-Spielmann (Vienna, 1913), White won as follows:

4. Kt-KB3, P-KKt4; 5. P-Q4, P-Kt5; 6. Kt-K5, Kt-QB3; 7. KtxKt, PxKt; 8. P-KKt3, P-KR4; 9. B-Kt2, P-R5; 10. Q-Q3, B-Q2; 11. Kt- B3, R-Kt1; 12. Castles, PxP; 13. PxP, P-QB4; 14. B-B4, BxB; 15. RxB, Q-Kt4; 16. Kt-K4, Q-R3; 17. KtxP, Kt-B3; 18. KtxB, KtxKt; 19. Q-K4ch, K-Q1; 20. RxBP, R-K1; 21. QxP, Q-K6ch; 22. K-B1, Resigns.

When Black plays P-KB4 in answer to 1. P-Q4 we have the Dutch Defence. After 1. P-Q4, P-KB4, White can also sacrifice a pawn by 2. P-K4, and thereby obtain a far more favourable position than Black does in From’s gambit, as he is a move to the good, having already advanced his QP, e.g. 2. P-K4, PxP; 3. Kt-QB3, Kt-KB3; 4. P-B3 or 4. B-Kt5 and then P-B3. If Black captures the KBP, White obtains a powerful attack. A drastic example is found in the following little game, played by two students in an academic tournament at Petrograd: 4. P-B3, PxP; 5. KtxP, P-K3; 6. B-KKt5, B-K2; 7. B-Q3, Castles; 8. Castles, P-QKt3; 9. Kt-K5, B-Kt2; 10. BxKt, BxB; 11. BxPch, KxB; 12. Q-R5ch, K-Kt1; 13. Kt-Kt6, R-K1; 14. Q-R8ch, K-B2; 15. Kt-K5ch, K-K2; 16. QxPch!!, BxQ; 17. R- B7ch, K-Q3; 18. Kt-Kt5ch, K-Q4; 19. P-B4ch, K-K5; 20. R-K1 mate.

Black’s best answer is to play P-Q4 after White’s 4. P-KB3 (5. B-Kt5, B-B4). If 4. B-Kt5, it is not yet possible to play P-Q4 because of the threat: BxKt, Q-R5ch, and QxQP. In that case Black must first play P-QB3, after which White again obtains a strong attack by P-KB3.

Black can avoid the attacks which follow after 1. P-Q4, P-KB4; 2. P-K4, by playing P-K3 on his first move, and then lead into the Dutch defence with P-KB4 on his second move. He must, however, reckon with having to play the French defence which White can bring about with 2. P-K4.

2. P-K3 P-K3 3. Kt-KB3 P-QB4 4. P-QKt3 Kt-QB3 5. B-Kt5 Kt-B3

Black should have played B-Q2 here, as White can exchange at B6, leaving Black with a doubled pawn. This in itself is not a drawback, but in the present position it is serious, as Black will have difficulty in finding a place for his QB. For there is no prospect of enforcing P-K4, as White commands that square in sufficient force.

          6. B-Kt2 B-K2
          7. Castles Castles
          8. BxQKt PxB
          9. Kt-K5 Q-B2
         10. P-Q3 P-QR4

Black’s attempt of capturing his K4 by playing Kt-Q2 and P-B3, White would cross at once with Q-Kt4. With the text move Black begins operations on the Q side, which is quite correct, as White has the upper hand on the other wing.

11. Q-K2

White should have prevented the further advance of the Black RP by 11. P-QR4. This would have been sound policy in any case, as the R file could not have been forced open for the Black Rooks.

11. … P-R5 12. Kt-Q2 PxP

Premature. The capture is only of value if the file can be held. To that end it is first necessary to play B-Kt2 and to occupy the R file with Rooks and Queen. After the exchange of Rooks, Black is at a disadvantage for the end-game because of the inefficiency of the QB.


Diag. 165

If instead of the text move Black had driven off the Bishop to B1 with P-R6 (13. B-B3?, P-Q5!; 14. PxP, Kt-Q4) he could have enforced his P-K4, but in the long run White would have captured the QRP, and remained with a passed pawn on the R file, a powerful weapon for the end-game, e.g. l2. … P-R6; 13. B-B1, Kt-Q2; 14. KtxKt, BxKt; 15. P-K4, P-KB3; 16. P-B4, followed by Kt-Kt1.

13. RPxP RxR 14. RxR B-Kt2 15. P-KKt4

The Black pieces being cut off from the K side, White is free to attack.

15. … R-R1 16. RxRch BxR 17. P-Kt5 Kt-Q2 18. Q Kt-B3 KtxKt 19. BxKt Q-R4 20. P-B4

in order to prevent the release of the B by the pawn sacrifice P- B5 and P-B4.

20. … B-Kt2 21. K-B2 K-B1 22. P-R4 B-R3 23. P-R5 B-Kt2 24. P-R6 P-Kt3

By advancing his RP White has weakened Black’s KB3, with the constant threat of establishing his Kt there and of capturing the RP.

25. K-B1

This move is superfluous and probably dictated by time pressure. The proper plan is: Q-QKt2 with the threat of B-B7 or Kt8 and Q- R8ch.

          25. … Q-R6
          26. Q-QKt2

The end-game is a clear win for White. He plays his Kt to KKt4, threatening to reach B6 or K5. The effect is twofold.


Diag. 166

Black must keep his B at K2 and his K must remain near the KBP. White’s King marches to QKt6 and captures the QB pawns, queening his QKtP. Black cannot prevent the White King from doing this by B-Q1, as White, by attacking Black’s QB4 with his B, could at any time force the B back to his K2. The remainder of the game needs no comment.

26. … QxQ 27. BxQ B-Q3 28. Kt-R2 K-K1 29. Kt-Kt4 B-K2 30. B-K5 K-Q2 31. K-K2 K-K1 32. K-Q2 K-Q2 33. K-B2 K-K1 34. K-Kt2 K-Q2 35. K-R3 K-K1 36. K-R4 K-Q2 37. B-Kt8 K-B1 38. B-R7 K-Q2 39. B-Kt6 P-Q5 40. P-K4 K-K1 41. P-K5 K-Q2 42. Kt-B2 Resigns.

because there follows Kt-K4 and BxP.

GAME No. 48

White: Blackburne. Black: Niemzowitsch.

Irregular Opening.

1. P-K3 P-Q3

It is due to this reply of Black’s that the opening is irregular. For had he played P-Q4 a peaceful QP game would have resulted, or after White’s 2. P-KB4 a Dutch opening.

2. P-KB4 P-K4 3. PxP PxP

Black has the superior position; he has a pawn in the centre and his pieces are more free.

4. Kt-QB3 B-Q3

As was seen on a former occasion, it is a shade better to develop the Knights before the Bishops, as the choice of moves for the latter is less limited. The alternative might have been 5. Kt-B3, B-KKt5; 6. B-K2, Kt-B3.

5. P-K4

Now White has also a pawn in the centre, but he is a move behind in his development.

          5. … B-K3
          6. Kt-B3 P-KB3
          7. P-Q3 Kt-K2
          8. B-K3 P-QB4
          9. Q-Q2 QKt-B3
         10. B-K2 Kt-Q5
         11. Castles KR Castles
         12. Kt-Q1 KKt-B3
         13. P-B3

Now Black has gained an advantage from the command of his Q5. The advance of White’s QBP, which was necessitated by the dominating position of the Black Knight, has left White with a “backward” pawn at Q3.

13. … KtxBch 14. QxKt R-K1

If now a general exchange takes place after P-Q4, the KP is lost through B-Q4.

15. Kt-R4

White’s counter attack on the King’s side becomes threatening, and Black must continue his operations on the Queen’s wing with the greatest care, as he may be called upon at any time to concentrate his pieces for the defence of the King’s wing.

15. … B-KB1 16. Kt-B5 K-R1 17. P-KKt4 Q-Q2 18. Kt-B2 P-QR4

Black wishes to open up files on the Queen’s side.

19. P-QR3

Freeing the QR.

19. … P-QKt4 20. QR-Q1 QR-Kt1 21. R-Q2 P-Kt5 22. RPxP RPxP 23. P-B4 R-R1 24. Q-B3 R-R7

Before trying to push home his advantage on the Queen’s side, which is made possible by the weakness of White’s QP, Black should look after his King’s side, where White has collected an alarming array of forces. After the text move the Rook is quite out of play.

25. P-Kt5 P-Kt3?


Diag. 167

Black should simply play PxP with the following continuation: 26. BxP, Kt-Q5; 27. KtxKt, QxKt; 28. B-K3, Q-Q3. After the move in the text, White’s attack is overwhelming.

26. Kt-Kt4!

White obtains a Rook and two pawns for his two Knights; this is in itself an equivalent of material. In the present instance the exchange is of decisive advantage for White, as Black must lose several moves to bring up his Rook for the defence of his unguarded King.

26. … PxKt 27. KtxBP Kt-Q5

If PxP, White wins by 28. Q-R5, Q-B2; 29. P-Kt6, QxPch; 30. QxQ and KtxR.

28. Q-B2 Q-B3 29. KtxR QxKt 30. BxKt KPxB 31. PxP B-Q2 32. R-K1 Q-B2 33. Q-R4! R-R1

Not BxP because of 34. R-KB2, followed by KR-KB sq.

34. R-KB2 B-B3 35. Q-Kt4

The threat is to open the Rook’s file by P-Kt6 with an attack on the King by the Rooks.

35. … R-K1 36. RxR QxR

BxR in order to play Q-R4 might be better. With the Queens off the board, Black has winning chances on account of his two Bishops. But then White might evade the exchange and proceed to seize the King’s file with the Rook after 37. Q-B4.

37. R-K2 Q-Q2 38. R-K6 B-R1

in order to play Q-QKt2 or R2.

39. P-Kt6! PxP

If Q-QKt2, 40. R-K8!, if Q-R2, 40. Q-R4. White wins in either case.

40. RxP Q-KR2 41. Q-Kt3

Threatens Q-K5ch.

41. … Q-R4 42. R-Kt4! Resigns.



a. 1. P-K4 P-K4
   2. P-KB4 PxP
   2. … B-B4
   2. … P-Q4
   2. P-Q4 PxP 3. QxP
                    3. Kt-KB3 P-QB4
                    3. … Kt-QB3
                    3. B-QB4
                    3. P-QB3 PxP
                    3. … P-Q4
   2. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 3. P-Q4 PxP 4. KtxP
                                    4. B-QB4
                                    4. P-B3
                    3. B-B4 B-B4 4. P-Q3
                                    4. P-B3
                    3. … Kt-B3
                    3. Kt-B3 Kt-B3
                    3. … B-Kt5
                    3. B-Kt5 P-Q3 4. P-Q4
                    3. … Kt-B3 4. Castle P-Q3
                                    4. … KtxP
                    3. … P-QR3 4. B-R4 Kt-B3 5. Castle B-K2
                                                   5. … KtxP

                                    4. BxKt QPxB 5. KtxP
                                                   5. P-Q4
    2. … P-Q3 3. P-Q4 QKt-Q2
    2. Kt-QB3 Kt-KB3 3. P-B4 P-Q4

b. 1. P-K4 P-K3
    2. P-Q4 P-Q4 3. P-K5
                    3. Kt-QB3 Kt-KB3 4. P-K5
                                     4. B-Kt5 B-K2
                                     4. … B-Kt5
                    3. … PxP
    1. P-K4 P-Q4 2. PxP QxP
    1. P-K4 P-QB3 2. P-Q4 P-Q4
    1. P-K4 P-QB4


a. 1. P-Q4 P-Q4
   2. P-QB4 PxP
   2. … P-K3 3. KtQB3 KtKB3
                    3. … PQB4 4. PK3
                                      4. Kt-KB3 Kt-QB3 5. PxQP
   2. … P—K4
   2. … B-B4
   2. … P-QB3
   2. Kt-KB3 P-K3 3. P-B4 PxP
                    3. … P-QB4
                    3. … Kt-KB3
   2. … P-QB4 3. P-B4 P-K3 4. P-K3
                                      4. Kt-B3 Kt-QB3
                    3. P-K3 P-K3 4. B-Q3 Kt-KB3 5. P-QKt3
                    3. P-B3
   2. … Kt-KB3

b. 1. P-Q4 P-QB4 1. P-Q4 Kt-KB3 2. Kt-KB3 P-Q3 1. P-Q4 P-KB4


1. P-QB4 1. P-KB4 P-Q4 1. … P-K4 1. P-K3 P-Q3