Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
NN vs Esteban Canal
Barcelona (1935)
King Pawn Game: Alapin Opening (C20)  ·  0-1



Get this game explained with Decode Chess
explore this opening
find similar games 3 more NN/E Canal games
sac: 8...Bxc2 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: As you play through the game, you can get the FEN code for any position by right-clicking on the board and choosing "Copy Position (EPD)". Copy and paste the FEN into a post to display a diagram.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-26-04  aw1988: I give up.
Oct-26-04  aw1988: GAH! Missed smothered mate entirely! I was thinking "after the double recapture on c2"... :(.
Oct-26-04  EyesofBlue: The rare, but always fun... "smother mate."
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It looked like Canal was "in the Zone" in this one! Queen saved but king lost.
Oct-26-04  Saruman: arggh a bit slower today 3 seconds...
Oct-26-04  ChessPraxis: Remember - let your king BREATHE!
Oct-26-04  Calculon: Is Ne2 the losing move or just one in a series of bad moves? It seems to serve no purpose; it costs a tempo to free the King's bishop.
Oct-26-04  Shah Mat: ahh smothered mate puzzles. how i love them!

for a nice little database of smothered mates (with java!) check out this site.

Oct-26-04  beenthere240: People who don't see smothered mate opportunities or threats in their actual games probably aren't looking for and miss them. The famous Fischer D. Byrne "immortal" game incorporates smothered mate threats, for example.
Oct-26-04  azaris: <People who don't see smothered mate opportunities or threats in their actual games probably aren't looking for and miss them.>

To be fair, if the other side can play a smothered mate they're usually winning anyway so missing it isn't that big a deal.

Oct-26-04  dac1990: You really have to start feeling sorry for poor NN.
Oct-26-04  GoodKnight: <Shah Mat>

Thanks for that website - I enjoyed looking through the games.

Oct-26-04  Knight13: Good shot. NN is always busted anyway.
Oct-26-04  Knight13: I think this puzzle is in the book "More Chess Openings: Traps and Zaps 2" by Bruce Pandolfini. I've seen this game or puzzle somewhere.
Oct-26-04  beenthere240: Broke down and looked it up:

Nomen Nescio, abbreviated to N.N., is used to signify an anonymous or non-specific person. The literal translation is "I don't know (his) name".

Oct-26-04  Stonewaller2: <Calculon> I wouldn't be as down on 2. ♘e2, meant to support ♙d4-d5, as I would be on 7. ♗d2?. In the event, 7. ♘g3, preventing ... ♗f5 (though I wonder how many of us would have found Black's 7th instead of his 8th, and/or how fast) and intending ♘fe4, looks better.
Oct-26-04  rover: I've always thought this was a Capablanca combination. Maybe it's the same pattern but a different position?
Oct-26-04  BluE DicE: A very pretty mate. I got this one pretty fast, because it reminded me of some positions I studied when I was learning.

I'll find myself looking for that elusive Smothered Mate, but the oppurtunity rarely occurs in my games.

Jul-30-09  jsheedy: Has NN ever won a game?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Game Collection: N N's best games
Aug-31-11  DrMAL: Ole NN tried his hand at Alapin's Opening, after 4...Qa5 it looked like a gnarly version of the Scandinavian. 6.a3 or 7.Ng4 were entirely too unpatzerish instead he decided to go for choke.
Sep-01-11  TheTamale: I guess 7. Bd2 is the clunker here. I must say, I never would have suspected as much were I playing the White pieces.
Sep-01-11  DrMAL: Well, 8.Rc1 was even more of a clunker (instead of 8.Ne4) but 9.Rxc2 for mate in 1 instead of 9.Qxc2 won the prize.
Jan-24-13  Amarande: <Calculon: Is Ne2 the losing move or just one in a series of bad moves? It seems to serve no purpose; it costs a tempo to free the King's bishop.>

It's generally not regarded as best (2 Nf3 typically is), and is something barely ever to be seen at high levels, but even to refer to 2 Ne2 as unsound, let alone losing, would be to go rather too far. It's hard to get a clearly lost game in two moves, especially with White - you pretty much have to fall into the Fool's Mate or hang a piece in order to do that, even against a strong opponent.

Indeed, this somewhat reserved development of the Knight has some positive features indeed. In the double e-pawn openings, it's often desirable for White to make a delayed advance of d2-d4, and also for White to place a Knight at f5, especially when Black castles short as he normally does. Both the developments to e2 and f3 seem equal in this regard (both are two moves from f5, and both support d4), but the development to e2 has a couple of particular advantages:

* Black cannot as easily disrupt White's plans to play d2-d4 with the pin Bg4, which often sees White in major openings (e.g. the closed Ruy Lopez main line) spending a move to play h3 in order to prevent it. With the Knight on e2, there is much less need for prophylaxis against the pin - for one, BxN will not damage White's Pawn structure if the Queen moves out of the pin as would be the case were the Knight at f3, and for two, there's the additional option of f3, particularly viable if White castles long (which is already frequent in openings where N-K2 is played by either side before developing the KB).

* The approach to f5 from e2 is via g3, which is a much safer square. OTOH, developing the Knight to f3 normally requires that it approach f5 via h4, a normally unsupported square. The difference is manifest when one considers Black's normal development - Nh4 will probably have to be supported by a preparatory move, lest Black win the e4 pawn with Nf6xe4 followed by snapping up the unprotected Knight (either with an unmoved Queen or with a Bishop developed to e7). Thus, the upshot is that White usually ends up after Nf3 having to use the Queen Knight to occupy f5, which takes an additional tempo (it taking four moves to bring the Knight from b1 to f5, versus three when starting at g1).

In addition, the KB may not really be of much use at all depending on White's attacking plan. Realistically, in the majority of double e-pawn games, this Bishop gets its day in the sun, if at all, early in the game and becomes much less relevant after the opening stages. This is easily appreciated by the fact that the focus after Black castles normally shifts from f7 to g7 - a dark square - or h7, for which the natural attacking diagonal for a White Bishop is obstructed by the e4 pawn. As a result, even in openings like the Ruy Lopez where this Bishop is initially developed grandly, one frequently sees it move into inactivity during the middle game (at c2 in the Lopez, for instance, the Bishop's role is largely limited to being an additional reinforcement for e4). So, blocking the Bishop may not turn out to be a significant handicap anyway.

As for the game at hand, the real clunker is indeed 7 Bd2?, after which White cannot avoid significant material loss. The least evil is then 8 Qc1 (not 8 Qb1 Nxc2+ 9 Kd1 Ne3+ catching the Queen after all) Nxc2+ 9 Kd1 Nxa1, after which there is still a game to play, but White has lost the Exchange and the ability to castle and although Black should by no means expect to win quickly, the result is not in doubt.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sea7kenp: Stunning King Sacrifice?
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
P-K4 Alapin Opening (C20) 0-1 7.Ng3 might hold it.
from yP-K4 Games of Fredthebear by fredthebear
291 ending
from Sharpen Your Tactics 1- 350 by Sharpen Your Tactics
Very short, decisive games in C20.
by Chessman100
9 moves
from Chess Miniatures, Collection III by 3sun3moon
1.P-K4 Alapin Opening 7.Ng3 might hold it. (C20) 0-1Smothered #
from e5 Black Jacks Big Pay Out to Fredthebear by fredthebear
8...? (Tuesday, October 26)
from Puzzle of the Day 2004 by Phony Benoni
7...Bf5! forces loss of the Queen or Mate.
from Double Attack by patzer2
NN's worst defeats
by Sibahi
July, p. 161 [Game 136 / 432]
from Chess Review 1935 by Phony Benoni
Incorrect or Unfortunate
from Imagination (Piece Placement) by trh6upsz
291 ending
from Sharpen Your Tactics A 1- 350 by trh6upsz
by zentovic
kings pawn 0-1 kvävmatt
from xfer's favorite games 2006 by xfer
Game 35
from 1000 Best Short Games of Chess by ggudichsen
8...? (Tuesday, October 26)
from POTD Uncommon by takchess
Game 35
from 1000 Best Short Games of Chess by joekenn
Xiddok's favorite games
by Xiddok

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC