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Andrew Smith vs Francois Philidor
Philidor Mixed simul, 3b London (1790), London ENG, Mar-13
Bishop's Opening: Berlin Defense (C24)  ·  0-1



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Apr-04-05  misguidedaggression: The Grob attack is known for a thematic kingside attack, too! Seriously though, it's not that I don't like the Colle, it's just that I've never seen what it can do that can't be done from a Queens Gambit. Being a mostly classical player, I prefer to have the extra central presence of a pawn on c4. And I absolutly can't stand playing against the same opening over and over, especially when that opening isn't played properly. It annoys me because I spend so much time beating up on Colle's in club, and then I'll play a rated game against someone who knows how to use it and get beaten down! I believe that most people who rail against certain openings do it because of loses to that opening anyway, so that makes me perfectly justified! :) But I feel that if you only use one opening and can't use it correctly, something is obviously wrong!

As for Petrosian and Nimzo, I cannot argue that they have played many brilliant and instructive games, but I worry that their games are too complex for most beginners to truly appreciate. Even someone who just learned the moves can enjoy Morphy's opera game. Learn to crawl before you learn to walk, right? It takes lots of experience to appreciate subtle prophylactic moves, but seeing Frank Marshall put his Queen en prize three ways on g3 has the power to drop jaws, even though the sacrifice is only a few moves deep!

Apr-04-05  crucify: Jay i have been waiting for your big mouth and all your chess knowledge on ICC.. have yet to hear from you.. you are just a poser, nothing else to it.
Apr-04-05  Jaymthegenius: I dont play on ICC, too expensive, I practice on Yahoo! And play for real at, with quite a nice rating might I add.
Apr-04-05  Abaduba: When I teach kids, I start them off playing simple e4 e5 openings. The point is to get them acquainted with basic tactics and classical principles of development, central control, pawn structure, etc. Once they've gotten a decent understanding, they can switch to something more interesting. But I think it's a mistake to start kids off playing sharp lines where they lose too quickly to learn anything, or playing hypermodern games where they have no idea what's going on. I wouldn't expect any club players to play Rui against misguided aggression since it's so incredibly hard to learn to play; why not learn less complicated stuff like the Giocco or Four Knights- or the Colle? I completely agree that you should start kids off on Morphy and Marshall, not because Nimzo is boring (heavens no!), but because the tactical crushes have ideas that beginners can learn from immediately, and contain themes that they can apply in their own games. Hypermodern principles and theoretical advantages are worthless to a beginner because having a positionally won game means zero if you drop a piece or walk into a mating attack. Learning to do a classic bishop sacrifice or execute Morphy's mate, on the other hand, will produce immediate improvement. Positional play should only be taught to students who know enough tactics to implement it!
Apr-05-05  Jaymthegenius: Learning to do a classic bishop sacrifice or execute Morphy's mate, on the other hand,

I disagree with teaching begginers Morphy! For heavens sake a begginer would just lose exchanges because "Well, Morphy sacrificed his queen and won, so I thought by doing the same I would too!" So they play many, many unsound combonations. No matter how much a kid studies Morphy games, he just will not become as good as Morphy solely by studieng his games. It would take an average person years to achieve this level. If you told, for example a beggining guitarist to play like Justin Sane, then he would be totally lost, but teach him lines that a local garage guitarist plays, he will slowly but surely improve, and then teach him Justin Sane, Johnny Rotten, etc.

There is a saying: If you play a GM, how are you going to describe to an average person what he's done to you :Well, he took the knight with the rook, and..." Chances are you dont know what hit you! How the hell could you expect to, the guy is a GM for heavens sake! You were completely oblivious to the combonation and couldnt avoid it. The nerve of you trying to describe what he did!

The only thing you can speak of are the RESULTS of what he did! Thats the ONLY thing you can evaluate!

But I think it's a mistake to start kids off playing sharp lines where they lose too quickly to learn anything

I agree, that is why I say "no gambit's for begginners". Exept of course the Queens gambit, in which it is a mistake for black to accept the pawn (begginers play as black 1...Nf6, but 1...d5 2.c4,e6 should also work well, but a begginner playing the budapest or englund will teach a begginer a quick, painful lesson, as white has easy advantage.) As he loses a central pawn, and trying to hold on to it white gets overwhelming advantages, and black not trying to hold on to it he doesnt have a d pawn to lean back on. So teach them Queen gambit, not king, evans, or Englunds.

Apr-11-05  Abaduba: Queen's gambit is ok for beginners, but the problem is that d4 in general makes it very easy for either player to avoid tactical lines. Now, I personally prefer d4 and like positional games, but beginners should be forced to get into tactical situations and practice. (I know that in my past I spent way too much time avoiding tactics in the QGD) It is much easier to learn to get a development advantage and pummel your opponent's mistakes in a 17-move miniature than it is to learn to take a space advantage and slowly s-q-u-e-e-z-e. Both are important, but without those tactics, the beginner with a space advantage may well blow 30 good moves and a winning position on one blunder. As for unsound sacrifices, I love it when my kids make (reasonable) sacrifices, even when they turn out badly or aren't followed up correctly. At least then they are thinking creatively and working hard to find good moves, instead of playing like an automaton. To sum up, I see the opening progression as: basic development + prinicples (ie King's Pawn Games), tactical, tactical, tactical, and finally, when they're trying to win tournaments, an individualized repetoire of positions that fit their newly developing style. )Of course, this is an idealized progression, not a set formula that I follow, and mahy kids never get to the stage where they're trying to win tourneys) Regardless, I think the absolute worst thing you can do with beginners and openings is to teach them so much memorized theory that they don't have to think for themselves- my sense is that the other kibitzers here all share that feeling.
Apr-12-05  RisingChamp: <Except of course the Queens Gambit in which it is a mistake to take the pawn>Thats the first time I heard anyone claim that playing the Queens Gambit accepted is a mistake,of course it isnt-in case you are unaware Anand has played it 68 times on this database.Besides it is almost impossible for black to win in a QGD against strong opposition who wants a draw.
Apr-12-05  Milo: He means to try to keep the pawn, I imagine, which can be a big mistake indeed.
Aug-28-05  Chessman1: Didin't Philidor b4, which chases away the Knight to a weak sqaure.
Jul-02-07  sanyas: This game is terrible. 4.♗g5 is a patzer's move. 8.a4 is a worse move: 8...b4 9.♘ce2 ♗c5 (9...c5 10.♘f3 looks equal) leads to similar positions with a more advanced, stronger pawn structure for White which can't be broken up without weakening White's game further. 10...♗e6 throws away much of the advantage when 10...♗g4 would have kept it. 14.♘e2 was much better, as it actually attempts to do something. 15.♕e2 or ♕d1 would have been better than the weakening 15.g3. 15...g4 was a far more vigorous reply. 16...g4 17.hxg4 h4 is probably te correct way to continue. 21.a4 was very good. After the foolish 21.dxe5, 21...♘xe5 22.♘d4 ♘c4 23.♕f2 e5 24.b3 exd4 25.bxc4 dxe4 26.cxb5 e3 wins immediately. 24.f4 seems to be better for White. After the blunder 24.♕f2, 24...hxg3 wins, eg. 25.♕xg3 ♘h4+ 26.♔f2 ♗xd4+ 27.cxd4 ♕xd4+ 28.♖e3 (28.♔e2 ♘g2) 28...♘g6 29.exd5 ♘f4 30.dxc6+ ♔e7 31.♖e1 ♖xh3 32.♕g1 ♕h8 33.♖xe6+ ♘xe6 34.♔g2 ♔d6. 25.exd5 would have put up a fight, at least. Philidor doesn't miss the winning move second time round though, so he wasn't completely oblivious.
Sep-18-07  nimh: Rybka 2.4 mp, AMD X2 2.01GHz, 10 min per move, threshold 0.25:

Smith 8 mistakes:
9. Nf3 -0.53 (9. Qf3 -0.24)
14. Nh2 -0.75 (14. Ne2 0.14)
20. d4 -0.20 (20. exd5 0.07)
21. dxe5 -0.88 (21. a4 0.00)
23. Rae1 -0.75 (23. exd5 -0.09)
24. Qf2 -7.24 (24. f4 0.14)
25. Ne2 -6.32 (25. Ng4 -0.84)
33. Kg4 #1 (33. Kg2 -7.60)

Philidor 8 mistakes:
10... Be6 -0.04 (10... a4 -0.66)
15... Ke7 -0.47 (15... 0-0-0 -0.73)
16... d5 -0.14 (16... Raf8 -0.48)
17... Nf8 -0.05 (17... Kd6 -0.38)
19... Rag8 0.07 (19... a4 -0.30)
21... Qxe5 -0.16 (21... Nxe5 -0.88)
23... h4 0.14 (23... Bc7 -0.75)
24... Bc7 -0.84 (24... hxg3 -7.24)

Oct-11-07  nimh: Correction, new threshold 0.33.

Smith 6 mistakes:
14. Nh2 -0.75 (14. Ne2 0.14)
21. dxe5 -0.88 (21. a4 0.00)
23. Rae1 -0.75 (23. exd5 -0.09)
24. Qf2 -7.24 (24. f4 0.14)
25. Ne2 -6.32 (25. Ng4 -0.84)
33. Kg4 #1 (33. Kg2 -7.60)

Philidor 6 mistakes:
10... Be6 -0.04 (10... a4 -0.66)
16... d5 -0.14 (16... Raf8 -0.48)
19... Rag8 0.07 (19... a4 -0.30)
21... Qxe5 -0.16 (21... Nxe5 -0.88)
23... h4 0.14 (23... Bc7 -0.75)
24... Bc7 -0.84 (24... hxg3 -7.24)

Mar-09-08  xombie: What about endgames? These are probably more important than learning openings. After all, Chess is a lot about simple ideas. Fortunately for us, it is not a completely ad hoc game of calculation, which is also why it is so beautiful. And it also makes it fun to learn.

By learning to play endings, not only will the beginner be able to checkmate with only a Rook or Queen, it will also bring out several ideas that are hard to understand with openings.

For example, Pawn play. Where else can the importance of it be clearer? And there are tactical motifs everywhere. One will immediately realize that endings require calculation, and it is concrete and may be broken down into its elements.

As far as openings are concerned, if the ending themes are apparent, they will play themselves. But I agree with the 'keep it simple' school of thought. If a person can play an ending properly, he becomes adept at all other forms of the game also.

Apr-21-08  stupidiot21: wow nice endgame
Premium Chessgames Member
  MichaelJHuman: I was trying to understand where white started going wrong.

I don't know if it's good or bad, but 14. Nh2 did not seem to solve the issue of the attack?

Would 14. Ne2 be a more aggressive move to meet blacks attack?

Or did white start advancing pawns and such before having a solid defense against black's attack?

I don't see ahead well, but I see black moving it's knight into the attack, so it seems like white needs more pieces. There seems to be no immediate way to strenghthen white's Q position.

Sep-25-12  Conrad93: Maybe Philidor discovered a time machine.
Oct-04-15  The Kings Domain: Nice kingside buildup and assault by Philidor. Nothing more satisfying than a well executed and successful mating finish.
Jul-09-16  juanhernandez: excellent attack !!!
Dec-12-21  VULKAN MIND: Philidor was a towering chess genius and was way ahead of his time. His thoughts and ideas advanced the game a hundredfold compared to the contributions of his contemporaries. He has secured an immortal place in chess history.

Now, as for that certain juvenile person on here who has asserted that Philidor wasn't really a very strong player and who also likes to boast that he could (and would) simply beat Philidor (and with not that much trouble, mind you!), well, I definitely have something to say to you.

You have got to be joking, or so completely out of touch with reality, that it makes me sick to my stomach. You said that (tactically) Bobby Fischer, Mikhail Tal, and Alexander Alekhine were a 10 (I agree about that part) and that relatively, you are a 7. So, you are claiming to be 70 percent(!) as good (tactically) as Fischer, Tal, and Alekhine. Yeah, right. Get a clue, you pompous fool. I'll bet good money that you're not even 20 percent as good as they were tactically. (Oh, and by the way ... Anand was NOT better than Fischer).

You also claim to have an I.Q. in the neighborhood of 160. Sure thing, buddy. I'll start believing some of that nonsense when you can actually learn to correctly spell some of those big, tricky words such as "alot", or "absolutly", or "begginers", or "combonations", or "definately", or "equallity", or "possition", or "requiered", or "studieng", or "tommorrow", or "usefull".

Look, I admit, good Spelling is no indication of raw intelligence, but don't you think if he was so damn smart, he'd be able to spell any of these freaking "everyday" words correctly?

A COMPLAINT - "Hey, but what about everyone else on here that made simple spelling mistakes"?

MY RESPONSE - Yeah, well, THIS guy is the one claiming he is "99.99th %ile, well above mensa level".

Also, I have another complaint. In the past, a couple of members on here have asked you to "put up or shut up" regarding claims of your supposedly incredible chess talent and skill, by challenging you to play them online. I see that after all this time, it has come to nothing. You are all talk. Wow, what a complete surprise!

Hey, next time you want to make outrageously wild claims on here, at least have the nerve to try to back them up.


I would definately defeat Philidor ...

So Philidor today would probably be a class-J opponent in modern America (rated 100-300, around he would be!)

As white I would open up with 1.b3 or 1.c4 against him, as the hypermodern revolution was not around then, and use my knowledge of the Nimzowhich attack to defeat him ...

Alright, if philidor was to come today and spend a few months in our time studying current theory, he might place at a class-c or a class-b event, but probably not higher.

Philidor defeating those people blindfold would be the equivalent of a modern class D player defeating a bunch of 6 year old kids who just learned how to move the pieces blindfold, so yes, Philidor is horrible compared to today! (someone once said that it would be like Fischer beating Anand blindfolded, but Philidor OR Smith do NOT have that kind of skill, besides, Anand is MUCH BETTER THEN FISHCER!!!)

Uhhh, I hope you see my profile someday, as you will see that my tactical abilities (7 out of 10, where Tal, Fischer, Alekhine, and Nimzovich would be a 10) are far above horrible (under 3 out of 10).

And my IQ (real IQ, not estimates) ranges from 142-160 depending on the test, better to go with %ile (I am 99.99th %ile, well above mensa level).

... Stephen Hawking has an IQ of 275.


People, we must show the requisite level of respect. OBVIOUSLY, we are in the presence of a genius.

Gee, that was fun!


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: This game was submitted for <GOTD> with the appellation <Soul Food>. I don't get it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: MissS � presumably a reference to Phiidor�s dictum that pawns are the soul of chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: From 2005:

<Jaymthegenius:I disagree with teaching begginers Morphy! For heavens sake a begginer would just lose exchanges because "Well, Morphy sacrificed his queen and won, so I thought by doing the same I would too!" So they play many, many unsound combonations. No matter how much a kid studies Morphy games, he just will not become as good as Morphy solely by studieng his games. >

<Jaymthegenius> disappeared from the CG landscape a long time ago, but how to explain that Arkadij Naiditsch studied Paul Morphy's games and went on to become a GM?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <keypusher>
Off topic, but I'd like to invite you to my forum to discuss why certain punctuation marks aren't working in your kibitzes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <chancho>, no accounting for some things in life; 'pears to me this is one of those.
Jan-07-23  generror: An interesting game. Interesting because it's one of the few where both players play responsibly during the opening, leading to a really closed position and lengthy maneuverings which are pretty rare for this time.

These games, of course, don't really hold up well when analyzed using modern engines. Even if Philidor was the one giving his pawns due attention, positional play was still pretty crude, and this shows especially in closed games. So yeah, Stockfish doesn't think much of both player's moves. Black has a slight advantage after the opening due to a few inaccuracies by White, but between moves 10 and 22, the evaluation fluctuates back and forth with virtually every move, although Black does keep his his advantage.

White's decisive mistake is <24.Qf2??>, after which White could have immediately gone <24...hxg3 25.Qxg3 Nf4+ 26.Kh1 Rxh3>, winning a pawn and now Stockfish advises giving up the queen as best move, i.e. this is definitively won for Black. But Philidor plays <24...Bc7?>, and now White could have fended of the worst by playing <25.Ng4! Qxg3+ 26.Qxg3 Bxg3>; now the g- and h-files are closed and Black will have some work to do to convert this to a win.

<24.Qf2??> is even more tragic because White could have equalized completely with <24.f4 gxf4> and now the great zwischenzug <25.Ng4! Qc7> (D) and now <26.gxf4!> and NOT the rather inviting <26.Nf6?! Kc8 27.Nxg8? hxg3! ∓>.

click for larger view

Also of note is that Philidor didn't actually have to sacrifice the rook with <29...Rxh2+> to win; <29...Nd3> would also have won, though probably less quickly.

Finally, instead of the gross blunder <33.Kg4??>, <33.Kg2> would have given Black still quite a lot of work to do to win; for example, after <33...Nf4+ 34.Kg3 Rh3+ 35.Kg4 Rh4+ 36.Kg3 Nd3+ 37.e5 Nxe5> (D), he still is only up two pieces and two pawns for a rook.

click for larger view

All in all, Philidor deservedly won (this is chess, after all), but both player delivered an interesting battle that was not as clear as I initially thought when I first had a look at this game.

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