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Domenico Lorenzo Ponziani vs Domenico Ercole Del Rio
"Once a Ponzi Time" (game of the day Aug-05-2009)
Modena (1770), Modena ITA
Queen Pawn Game: Steinitz Countergambit (D00)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <just a kid>, you're right, Ponziani was good, but one thing we must remember is that this was pre-19th Century chess, when theory tended to end after maybe 4 moves, and the Queen's Pawn openings were like the "terra incognita" on the old maps, where you would see annotations like "Here Be Monsters." Games back then routinely ended before move 20 (look up Del Rio's games) because no one knew the perils in the openings.
Aug-05-09  Gilmoy: As opposed to Norwegian maps in the 21st century, which are labeled <Here Be 5..g6s> ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: After 7....c4 white can resign.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The third move was the beginning of a poor "Ponzi scheme".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <..."terra incognita" on the old maps, where you would see annotations like "Here Be Monsters.">

Romans used "Hic sunt leones" i.e. here are lions. It can be nice material for pun somewhere...:-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Games back then routinely ended before move 20 (look up Del Rio's games) because no one knew the perils in the openings.> Well, I doubt that collection of those four del Rio's games is very representative sample.
Aug-05-09  eric the Baptist: Funny how it's the Steinitz gambit long before Steinitz was born...
Aug-05-09  Sem: Gentlemen, 'Hic sunt leones' is not merely a matter of the distant past: I own a Dutch school atlas published in 1899, which tells us that Norway is inhabited by 'Norwegers'. Mr Magnus Carlsen, please don't look.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The River was deep.
Aug-05-09  Riverbeast: I guess in 18th century Italy the name 'Domenico' was as prevalent as 'Sal' was in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn.....

The joke was, if you call out 'Sal' eight guys would turn around....

Aug-05-09  muradov: Madoff busted! :) Funny game..
Aug-05-09  backrank: quite a 'dusty' game ;)
Aug-05-09  WarmasterKron: <Queen's Pawn openings were like the "terra incognita" on the old maps, where you would see annotations like "Here Be Monsters.">

Quite right too.

Aug-05-09  WhiteRook48: 3 Bxb8? and 7 Qxa7??
Aug-05-09  SamAtoms1980: I would have liked "A Foiled Ponzi Scheme" a little bit better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <kevin86> <SamAtoms1980> This game was entered into the Pun Contest as "Ponzi Scheme" but didn't hit the Top 30.

Ponziani's only game in the database.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <tpstar: Ponziani's only game in the database.>

Somebody should submit two more. Then we could c3.

Sep-10-12  Abdel Irada: <An Englishman>: Interesting. The version I recall ran "Hic sunt dracones": "Here be dragons."
Feb-21-15  Smite: Got to love losing in 10 moves with white.
Mar-08-16  Rookiepawn: <Abdel Irada: <An Englishman>: Interesting. The version I recall ran "Hic sunt dracones": "Here be dragons.">

OK, but that was <another> part of the map.

Nov-09-16  Nosnibor: Instead of playing 10 b5 ?? why did Ponziani not play 10 Bxc4 when after 10..dxc4 her majesty can make her escape to f3 ? If instead 10..Bc6 then 11 Bb5! saving the Queen.
Nov-09-16  Paarhufer: <Nosnibor: If instead 10..Bc6 then 11 Bb5! saving the Queen.> Then 11.. Bxb5, and Black still wins the Queen.
Nov-09-16  Nosnibor: Paarhufer. Thanks very true.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: to quote a line from Alice in Wonderland, 11...Nd6 and "off with her head!"
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Similar finale: O Rocas vs Najdorf, 1946

click for larger view

White plays 30.Qh6+ Kg8 31.h4 and resigns after 31....Nd6!. His position was hopeless even before he helpmated his queen, though.

Something similar happened in one of my first tournament games -- amazingly, I was on the winning side.

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