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Lewis vs Eldorous Lyons Dayton
USA (1942)
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense (C55)  ·  0-1



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: What a position. I, uh, got the whole line in 15 to 20 seconds -- it *had* to be Qg1+, and since Nf3 lets the King escape, it *had* to be ...Nd2 and that cute pattern/sac on g3. Bingo.

Then again, the only time I played the Fried Liver as White in a tournament, I *lost*. My opponent and I were both bluffing -- he knew I never played 1.e4 and I knew he never played 1...e5, so we soon hit unknown territory. I cracked first, by castling when I should have been attacking, or throwing more pieces on the fire. It's much easier to throw other people's pieces into the flames.

Not *those* flames. Metaphorical ones, on a chessboard.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I saw 10...Qg1+ instantly. I wasted a little time on 11...Nf3+? before I realized that 11...Ne2+! was the move. It helps immeasurably, no doubt, that I played over this game in Chernev's "1000 Best Short Games of Chess" about 35 years ago.
Jun-29-11  wals: A bit too fancy for me, not even close.

Rybka 4 x 64

Where did White go astray ?

5.Re1, -0.76. Best, Nc3, =-0.07, or
Qe2, =-0.08.

6.Bb3, -1.16. Best, Bb5, -0.76.

7.d4, -1.69. Best, Rf1, -1.32.

8.Nxe5, -2.92. Best, Nxd4, -1.71, or
Be3, -1.74.

Black errs,
8...Qf6, -1.51. Best, Nxb3, -2.90.

White ensures its loss,
9.Bxd5, -#5.
Ba4+, -1.51, would have dragged it

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <wals> -- <Black errs, 8...Qf6, -1.51. Best, Nxb3, -2.90. >

Sorry to disagree with your engine analysis *again*, but you can't say Black 'errs' with 8...Qf6. It's a winning move. So, of course, is 8...Nxb3, and arguably a better one because it forces a quick material gain.

But 8...Qf6 would *still* be the choice of many strong players, even after seeing White's best defensive try. It's alluring because it contains the seeds of continuations like the one played, and it's also quite sound.

Interestingly, in the puzzle position there don't seem to be any viable alternatives to 10...Qg1+. Even after seeing the mate, I thought there would be other, less efficient, winning moves -- but there aren't. Mainly due to threats on f7 and the e-file, White is better if Black plays anything other than the Queen sac.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: And White's first mistake is actually 4.0-0. The old mainline, which can lead to the Fegatello or Fried Liver, is 4.Ng5, but 4.d3 and 4.d4 are also played.
Jun-29-11  Colonel Mortimer: <Domdaniel:> <And White's first mistake is actually 4.0-0.>

4.0-0 is not a mistake - it's a perfectly playable line (boden kieseritzky gambit). There are better moves though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <wals> Yes, the 'little fish' has been caught.

Hooked, landed and fried for dinner, by all accounts.

What is the world coming to, when even computers turn out to be cheating?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Colonel Mort> Yeah, I know some foolhardy souls have tried the 4.0-0 gambit. As you say, there are better moves -- at least three of them, and I know of no way for White to get any kind of advantage with 4.0-0. Even equality is doubtful, if Black plays accurately.

You wouldn't call that a mistake? Is the Jerome Gambit a mistake? The Irish Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nxe5) ...?

*Some* lines from the Romantic era can be quietly laid to rest, I think.

Jun-29-11  wals: Rybka banned and disqualified from
World Chess Championships.

Jun-29-11  Colonel Mortimer: <Domdaniel:> Jerome Gambit a mistake? Yes, however 4.0-0 is not foolhardy - certainly not in the same league as the Jerome.

4.o-o Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc f6 (best move) 7.Qd5 Qe7

Looks fairly equal to me. White has compensation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Colonel> Yep, a thematic match in that line would make a fine duel, sir. However, I've given up internet chess -- we'd have to play out in the desert somewhere, mano a mano.

I'll check for suitable trains.

Jun-29-11  LIFE Master AJ: Lewis - Dayton [C55] / It USA, 1942


Wednesday; June 29th, 2011.

This was the POTD ... it ends in such a nifty mate that I decided to annotate it.

1.e4 e5; 2.Nf3 Nc6; 3.Bc4 Nf6;

Black plays the well-known counter (to 3.Bc4,) which is known as ... "The Two Knight's Defense."


Its OK to castle here, but this may not give White much of an edge out of the opening phase of the game.

[There are many different ways for White to continue from here.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
One way would be for White to play a type of (slow) Ruy Lopez formation: 4.d3 Be7; 5.0-0 d6; 6.c3 0-0; 7.Re1 Na5!; 8.Bb5 a6; 9.Ba4 b5; 10.Bc2 c5; 11.Nbd2 Nc6; 12.h3, " " (complex) when - according to one book that I have - White has a small edge in this position.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

White can play the (much feared) "Max Lange Attack" with the moves: 4.d4 exd4; 5.0-0 Bc5; 6.e5 d5; 7.exf6 dxc4; 8.Re1+ Be6; 9.Ng5 Qd5; 10.Nc3 Qf5; 11.Nce4, "~" (∞) [ See MCO-15, page # 38; column # 13, and all notes. ]

White has good play, many engines really like White's position; however, theory slightly prefers Black here.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

The play of: 4.Ng5, (hits f7) leads to extremely complex play. (This is the main line of the Two Knight's, see any good reference work for more information.) [MCO-15; page # 30.] ]


Some might want to award this move an exclamation point, however, I believe that this would be premature.

click for larger view

In my way of thinking, it is slightly dangerous for Black to open the e-file this early in the game.

[ Another idea was: 4...Bc5!?; when I feel that Black is OK. ]


This is - in my experience - a common error by White. (This inaccuracy already puts White behind the eight-ball.)

click for larger view

To be honest, in my earliest days of playing the Giuoco Piano, (which I played in tournament chess for over 30 years); I played this move myself, maybe even more than once!

[ There were TWO lines that would have represented a huge improvement over the game.

Line # 1.)
>/= 5.d4! exd4; Simple and good. (Black could also essay: 5...d5!?; an attempt to take the initiative.) 6.Re1, "=" with an unclear position that computer analysis shows should eventually end in an equal position.

(Or) Line # 2.)
5.Nc3! Nxc3; 6.dxc3, "comp" transposing to a position - where White is known to have good play for the sacrificed Pawn. ]

5...d5!; (Center!)

This move should not be hard for a good player to find, Black hits key squares, and even gains a tempo off the WB on c4.


After this passive move, White's position already goes critical.

[ White should have played: >/= 6.Bb5 Bc5; 7.d4 exd4; but Black retains a solid edge. ]

Now Black plays two fairly natural attacking moves.

6...Bc5!; 7.d4 Nxd4!;

This "looks/feels" dangerous, but is actually correct. (The try 7...exd4!?; may at first glance look more natural, but allows 8.BxPd5, when White does gain a measure of counterplay.)

8.Nxe5 Qf6!?;

This is a very aggressive move, however, the box shows that it cuts Black's edge in half. (Although it may still win for the second player.)

[ Best was: >/= 8...Nxb3!; - Fritz 12. ]

Jun-29-11  LIFE Master AJ: 9.Bxd5?, (Maybe - '??')

This is a nice try, ... ... ... but White is now playing with fire.

[ Several different engines agree that White had to play the following continuation: >/= 9.Nd3[] Nxb3; 10.axb3 Bxf2+; 11.Nxf2 Qxf2+; 12.Kh1 0-0!; when Black is two Pawns ahead. ]

9...Qxf2+; 10.Kh1,

After White placing his King in the corner - we have reached the position for today's POTD.

click for larger view

10...Qg1+!!; 11.Kxg1[],

White must play this way ... or be instantly mated.

[ Worse was: 11.Rxg1?? Nf2#. ]

11...Ne2+; (double-check)

Now White has no choice but to move his King here.

12.Kf1T, ("Box.")

Once more - White had to play this move.

[ Not 12.Kh1? Nf2#. ]

12...N4g3+!; 13.hxg3 Nxg3#.

This is as pretty as a check-mate as you might ever see.

click for larger view

0 - 1

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Colonel M> Actually, no, you're right. I've had another look at it, and your point is valid. White has compensation in the 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 f6 line, and can consider moves like 7.Nh4 or 7.Re1 as well as 7.Qd5.

It's a genuine gambit, is all, giving up a clear pawn for open lines.

Is it a mistake? No. A less-than-optimal choice, maybe -- but certainly playable, especially as the 4.d4 and 4.Ng5 lines are so thoroughly analyzed.

The fact that it went horribly wrong here is irrelevant.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Also, AJ's annotations look pretty good.

I just wish he'd get the name of the opening right. It's not <known as ... "The Two Knight's Defense.">

It's <The Two Knights Defense (or Defence>. With no apostrophe, either way.

The joys of pedantry.

Jun-29-11  Colonel Mortimer: Incidentally for those bored with the main lines in the Petrov, you can essay the Boden-Kieseritzky as follows:-

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Nc3 Nxc3 5.dxc3 f6 6.0-0

Jun-30-11  LIFE Master AJ: Boden-K Gambit?

A J Goldsby vs A Caveney, 1999

Jun-30-11  SamAtoms1980: A little late to the party, but this one is too good to miss:

10....Qg1+ 11.Kxg1 (11.Rxg1 Nf2#) Ne2++ 12.Kf1 Ng3+ (either one) 13.hxg3 Nxg3#.

As Cypress Hill would say, "CHECKMATE FOO!"

Jun-30-11  ajile: I had 10..Qg1+ but didn't get 11.Ne2+

I was only looking at 11.Nf3+

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I've long thought the Boden-Kieseritzky is pretty worthless. If Black accepts it, it's dangerous (e.g. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Nc3 Nxc3 5.dxc3 f6 6.0-0 Be7?? 7.Nxe5! 1-0, a game of mine from long ago). However, there are a few simple ways for Black to decline the gambit and at least equalize. One is (from the above line) 5...c6 6.Nxe5 d5=, known since Morphy's day. 36 years ago in Kornfeld-Rhine, 1975 I played a line that Fischer recommended in My 60 Memorable Games: 4...Nc6!? 5.0-0 (5.Nxe4 d5=) Nxc3 6.dxc3 Qe7!? 7.Ng5 Nd8! (Note 8.f4? Qc5+! .) I drew in about 20 moves, from a favorable position, against my much higher-rated opponent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Petrov's? Ecch! Never played the Black side in my life (and I've tried most every mainstream opening out there at one time or another).

Here's a route I once took to reach this gambit as Black: 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.0-0 Nxc3 6.dxc3 f6.

Jun-30-11  kevin86: A beautiful variation of the "smothered mate". In this case,white can choose to be smothered or be mated by the minor pieces.
Jul-01-11  LIFE Master AJ: <FSR> Good job. (Is the game you mentioned on your game page?)

Good note too, yes declining the gambit is probably the ebst course for Black. (I just wished you had not told everyone so! I guess I won't be playing the Boden-Kieseritsky much anymore.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: 10 ... Qg1+!! is a remarkable conception, then the winning line involves Double Check and Smothered Mate themes.

The Boden-Kieseritzky Gambit out of the Bishop's/Vienna Hybrid (1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4 Nxe4 4. Nf3 Nxc3 5. dxc3 f6 Opening Explorer ) scores much better for White than the Two Knights Fork Trick line (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nxe4! 5. 0-0 Nxc3 6. dxc3 f6 Opening Explorer ) as Black has one more developing move in the second line. After dxc3, sometimes Black absent-mindedly plays ... d5? losing to Bxd5.

[Fritz 10]: 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4 Nxe4 4. Nf3 Nxc3 5. dxc3 f6 6. 0-0 Be7 7. Nxe5 fxe5 8. Qh5+ g6 9. Qxe5 Rf8 10. Re1 d6 [+3.35/20]

Continuing the Fritz top line gives 11. Qg7 Nd7 12. Bh6 Ne5 13. Rad1:

click for larger view

Where Black is stuck (13 ... Nxc4? 14. Qxf8+).

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Position after 9. ♗xd5:

click for larger view

Unusual to see so many squares in the centre of the board occupied by pieces rather than pawns.

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