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Fire Baptisms
Compiled by Nasruddin Hodja

This collection is not just namesake openings, it is for chess history: famous (and a few not-so-famous) victories by players playing the openings that were subsequently named after them (though there are exceptions, eg the Budapest and Meran defenses). Note that a few famous players such as Petrov, Ruy Lopez and Philidor analyzed but did not play the openings named after them. Many others--Jaenisch, Falkbeer, Panov, Rauzer, Sozin, Kan, Kalashnikov, etc--don't have a win with their openings recorded in this database. Enjoy.

The Edinburgh Scots pound the sassenachs.
Edinburgh CC vs London, 1826 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 60 moves, 1-0

Captain Evans and his great discovery.
Captain Evans vs McDonnell, 1827 
(C52) Evans Gambit, 20 moves, 1-0

"A Gift of the Gods to a Languishing Chess World"?! Florid.
Captain Evans vs McDonnell, 1829 
(C51) Evans Gambit, 20 moves, 1-0

McDonnell's take on the King's Gambit.
McDonnell vs NN, 1830 
(000) Chess variants, 18 moves, 1-0

And here against stronger opposition.
McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834 
(C37) King's Gambit Accepted, 19 moves, 1-0

Those damned Frogs nearly ruined chess with this one...
London vs Paris, 1834 
(C01) French, Exchange, 30 moves, 0-1

Here's how Staunton took on the Dutch Defense.
Staunton vs Horwitz, 1846 
(A83) Dutch, Staunton Gambit, 56 moves, 1-0

The ultimate devil-may-care speculator meets the Petrov.
Cochrane vs Mohishunder, 1848 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 25 moves, 1-0

Staunton: thanks to him, 1. c4 is the English Opening.
Staunton vs Horwitz, 1851  
(A13) English, 46 moves, 1-0

Staunton's contribution to the Petrov Defense.
E Williams vs Staunton, 1851 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 30 moves, 0-1

Kieseritsky's Revenge!
Kieseritzky vs Anderssen, 1851 
(C39) King's Gambit Accepted, 41 moves, 1-0

Harrwitz could defeat the best with his QGD variant.
Harrwitz vs Morphy, 1858  
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 55 moves, 1-0

Morphy uncorks 3. ... a6 (the Morphy Defense), in the Ruy Lopez
T Barnes vs Morphy, 1858 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 30 moves, 0-1

Morphy often tried 2. d4 (Morphy gambit) against the Sicilian.
Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858  
(B44) Sicilian, 17 moves, 1-0

The 19th Century's counterpart to Karpov-Miles.
Morphy vs Owen, 1858 
(B00) Uncommon King's Pawn Opening, 46 moves, 0-1

The Steinitz Gambit (a.k.a. The Jackass Gambit).
Steinitz vs Paulsen, 1870 
(C25) Vienna, 36 moves, 1-0

The Bird-Brain.
Bird vs Englisch, 1878 
(A03) Bird's Opening, 37 moves, 1-0

A coffee-house gambit? Or just underestimated?
A E Blackmar vs A Lapeyre, 1882 
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 23 moves, 1-0

Winawer gives chess an eternal headache.
J Mortimer vs Winawer, 1883 
(C17) French, Winawer, Advance, 51 moves, 0-1

The founder of positional chess. Oh, and a new variation also.
Steinitz vs A Sellman, 1885 
(C11) French, 35 moves, 1-0

The Caro Can!
J Mieses vs M Kann, 1885 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 24 moves, 0-1

The McCutcheon KO's the world champ in its first outing.
Steinitz vs McCutcheon, 1885 
(C12) French, McCutcheon, 28 moves, 0-1

Much later, Tarrasch rejected 3. Nd2. Ironic.
Tarrasch vs K Eckart, 1889 
(C05) French, Tarrasch, 17 moves, 1-0

Chigorin's _weird_ second move in the French.
Chigorin vs Tarrasch, 1893 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 34 moves, 1-0

The conservative Amos Burn tries something new.
G Marco vs Burn, 1895  
(C11) French, 31 moves, 0-1

Pillsbury's famous attack in the QGD.
Pillsbury vs Tarrasch, 1895 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 52 moves, 1-0

Death knell of Romantics: Lasker's defense to the Evans Gambit
Chigorin vs Lasker, 1895 
(C52) Evans Gambit, 26 moves, 0-1

Steinitz adopts 3. d4 against the Petrov. What a battle!
Steinitz vs Pillsbury, 1895 
(C43) Petrov, Modern Attack, 60 moves, 1-0

Prelude to the Chigorin Defense.
Lasker vs Chigorin, 1895  
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 57 moves, 0-1

Chig's weird, ugly, and wonderful defense to the Queen's Gambit
Pillsbury vs Chigorin, 1896 
(D07) Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense, 38 moves, 0-1

Traxler boldly enters the labyrinth.
B Mikyska vs Traxler, 1896 
(C57) Two Knights, 18 moves, 0-1

Steinitz's best contribution to opening theory.
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1896 
(C71) Ruy Lopez, 30 moves, 0-1

The most popular anti-Sicilian sees the light of day.
Alapin vs Schiffers, 1898 
(B22) Sicilian, Alapin, 44 moves, 1-0

Albin couldn't beat Lasker, but weaker foes lost to his gambit.
A Schwarz vs Albin, 1899 
(D08) Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 40 moves, 0-1

Marshall's _other_ famous gambit.
Marshall vs Schlechter, 1902 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 28 moves, 1-0

Still today one of the best defenses to the Ruy Lopez.
Duras vs Chigorin, 1906 
(C97) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 57 moves, 0-1

Mieses found white's best continuation in the Scotch.
J Mieses vs O Bernstein, 1907
(C45) Scotch Game, 42 moves, 1-0

Exchange pieces, reduce cramp, what could be easier?
Marshall vs Lasker, 1907  
(D53) Queen's Gambit Declined, 43 moves, 0-1

The Four Knights is boring? Rubinstein didn't think so...
Spielmann vs Rubinstein, 1912  
(C48) Four Knights, 45 moves, 0-1

Rubinstein didn't like the closed French pawn center.
P Johner vs Rubinstein, 1912 
(C10) French, 27 moves, 0-1

The Doctor's famous defense.
Burn vs Tarrasch, 1912 
(D33) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 39 moves, 0-1

And here is the Doctor's proudest Tarrasch Defense moment.
Nimzowitsch vs Tarrasch, 1914  
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 32 moves, 0-1

Alekhine tries out a new gambit against the French.
Alekhine vs H Fahrni, 1914  
(C13) French, 23 moves, 1-0

Ok, Marshall lost. But what a debut!
Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918 
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 36 moves, 1-0

First use of the Budapest at GM level.
Rubinstein vs Vidmar, 1918 
(A52) Budapest Gambit, 24 moves, 0-1

Nimzo annotates--his own new first move for black.
Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch, 1920  
(B00) Uncommon King's Pawn Opening, 28 moves, 0-1

A new opening on move one. Only Alekhine...
E Steiner vs Alekhine, 1921 
(B03) Alekhine's Defense, 62 moves, 0-1

Victory for the Gruenfeld, and Alekhine "lets fly" as a bonus.
Alekhine vs Gruenfeld, 1922 
(D80) Grunfeld, 55 moves, 0-1

It _should_ be named the Rubinstein Defense, not the Meran.
Gruenfeld vs Rubinstein, 1924 
(D48) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran, 36 moves, 0-1

Colle's cure-all and be-all.
Colle vs Euwe, 1924 
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 39 moves, 1-0

The Reti Trilogy, part I. Watch Reti's last move.
Reti vs Bogoljubov, 1924  
(A13) English, 25 moves, 1-0

The Reti Trilogy, part II. Capa's first defeat since 1916.
Reti vs Capablanca, 1924 
(A15) English, 31 moves, 1-0

The Reti Trilogy, part III. A great endgame also.
Reti vs P Romanovsky, 1925 
(A15) English, 47 moves, 1-0

Not to be outdone, Bogo wanted his own defense to 1. d4.
Gruenfeld vs Bogoljubov, 1925 
(E11) Bogo-Indian Defense, 24 moves, 0-1

The Torre Attack claims its greatest victim.
Torre vs Lasker, 1925 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 43 moves, 1-0

Samisch liked formations with the f3 pawn, apparently.
Saemisch vs Koltanowski, 1926 
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 30 moves, 1-0

Nimzo's masterpiece. Enough said.
P Johner vs Nimzowitsch, 1926 
(E47) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3, 40 moves, 0-1

Samisch: "Hmm. Why not play 4. a3?! immediately?"
Saemisch vs Reti, 1928 
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 69 moves, 1-0

For the Nimzoindian, know how to use your knights!
H Mattison vs Nimzowitsch, 1929  
(E21) Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights, 23 moves, 0-1

The best white 4th move against the Nimzoindian?
Rubinstein vs Maroczy, 1930 
(E42) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein), 25 moves, 1-0

Alekhine's pet line in the QGD.
Alekhine vs Colle, 1931 
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 36 moves, 1-0

In the old days, it was called the Richter attack...
K Richter vs H Wagner, 1932 
(B62) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer, 18 moves, 1-0

The Botvinnik part of the Panov-Botvinnik attack.
Botvinnik vs Flohr, 1933 
(B13) Caro-Kann, Exchange, 33 moves, 1-0

Tartakower defeats the world champ with his new defense.
Alekhine vs Tartakower, 1933 
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 74 moves, 0-1

Tromp Tromp Tromp!
O Trompowsky vs L Endzelins, 1936 
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 24 moves, 1-0

An early example of Don Miguel's big idea.
L Steiner vs Najdorf, 1937 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 33 moves, 0-1

Marshall introduces the best continuation to his gambit.
J Battell vs Marshall, 1938 
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 28 moves, 0-1

Levenfish was no fish (sorry).
Levenfish vs I Rabinovich, 1939 
(B71) Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation, 45 moves, 1-0

Bot grabs a pawn...and a whole new chapter in opening theory.
Ragozin vs Botvinnik, 1941 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 35 moves, 0-1

Keres' 5. g4 would have shocked the classicists!
Keres vs Bogoljubov, 1943 
(B81) Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack, 32 moves, 1-0

The Botvinnik in all its misshapen glory.
Lilienthal vs Botvinnik, 1944 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 57 moves, 0-1

Boleslavsky decides he likes that backward d-pawn...
G Stoltz vs Boleslavsky, 1946 
(B58) Sicilian, 46 moves, 0-1

Doubled f-pawns? No king-side castling? Great, says Bronstein.
N Kopaev vs Bronstein, 1946 
(B16) Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation, 33 moves, 0-1

The Rossolimo. What a great name...
Rossolimo vs H Mueller, 1948 
(B52) Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack, 21 moves, 1-0

Veresov, a dyslexic, tries to play the Ruy Lopez ;-)
Veresov vs Suetin, 1953
(D01) Richter-Veresov Attack, 30 moves, 1-0

Averbakh knew about openings as well as endgames.
Averbakh vs Boleslavsky, 1953 
(E75) King's Indian, Averbakh, Main line, 75 moves, 1-0

Even in its youth, the Najdorf = mind-boggling battle.
Bronstein vs Najdorf, 1954 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 43 moves, 0-1

Panno piper...
J H Donner vs Panno, 1955 
(E63) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation, 25 moves, 0-1

A heavy opening with a heavy name.
J Durao vs Robatsch, 1960 
(A42) Modern Defense, Averbakh System, 38 moves, 0-1

Polugaevsky gets revenge, with his own variation.
R Nezhmetdinov vs Polugaevsky, 1961 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 34 moves, 0-1

Pirc's best victory with his opening.
Szabo vs Pirc, 1962 
(B07) Pirc, 56 moves, 0-1

Hungarian? It should be the Benko Opening, dammit...
Benko vs Fischer, 1962 
(B07) Pirc, 40 moves, 1-0

A big victory in Fischer's pet Sicilian line.
Fischer vs Geller, 1962 
(B88) Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack, 43 moves, 1-0

A fierce win by the Taimanov's founder.
V Mikenas vs Taimanov, 1962 
(B49) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 42 moves, 0-1

The attention Grobber (har har).
Grob vs Wiedemeier, 1965 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 16 moves, 1-0

The Benkoni was too whimsical a name ;-)
M Vukic vs Benko, 1967 
(A58) Benko Gambit, 39 moves, 0-1

QID 4. a3: modest and indestructible, like Petrosian himself.
Petrosian vs Larsen, 1968 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 32 moves, 1-0

Against Velimirovic, play 1. e4 e5, not the Sicilian!
Velimirovic vs Stein, 1970 
(B89) Sicilian, 41 moves, 1-0

Larsen becomes the eternal champion of 1. b3.
Larsen vs Andersson, 1972 
(A01) Nimzovich-Larsen Attack, 45 moves, 1-0

A whole new way of playing the Sicilian, courtesy of Sveshnikov
Geller vs Sveshnikov, 1978 
(B33) Sicilian, 34 moves, 0-1

It only drew, but it's one of the few sacs Korchnoi declined.
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1978 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

1. ... a6 against the world champion? What was Miles smoking?
Karpov vs Miles, 1980  
(B00) Uncommon King's Pawn Opening, 46 moves, 0-1

Ok, he lost, but Murey's insane 4th move hasn't been refuted.
Timman vs J Murey, 1993 
(C43) Petrov, Modern Attack, 54 moves, 1-0

The Zvjaginsev variation? Too hard to pronounce...
Zvjaginsev vs Khalifman, 2005 
(B20) Sicilian, 37 moves, 1-0

94 games

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