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Phony Benoni
Member since Feb-10-06 · Last seen Jun-11-22
Greetings, O Seeker After Knowledge! You have arrived in Dearborn, Michigan (whether you like it or not), and are reading words of wisdom from a player rated 2938--plus or minus 1000 points.

However, I've retired from serious play--not that I ever took playing chess all that seriously. You only have to look at my games to see that. These days I pursue the simple pleasures of finding games that are bizarre or just plain funny. I'd rather enjoy a game than analyze it.

For the record, my name is David Moody. This probably means nothing to you unless you're a longtime player from Michigan, though it's possible that if you attended any US Opens from 1975-1999 we might have crossed paths. Lucky you.

If you know me at all, you'll realize that most of my remarks are meant to be humorous. I do this deliberately, so that if my analysis stinks to High Heaven I can always say that I was just joking.

As you can undoubtedly tell from my sparkling wit, I'm a librarian in my spare time. Even worse, I'm a cataloger, which means I keep log books for cattle. Also, I'm not one of those extroverts who sit at the Reference Desk and help you with research. Instead, I spend all day staring at a computer screen updating and maintaining information in the library's catalog. The general public thinks Reference Librarians are dull. Reference Librarians think Catalogers are dull.

My greatest achievement in chess, other than tricking you into reading this, was probably mating with king, bishop and knight against king in a tournament game. I have to admit that this happened after an adjournment, and that I booked up like crazy before resuming. By the way, the fact I have had adjourned games shows you I've been around too long.

My funniest moment occurred when I finally got a chance to pull off a smothered mate in actual play. You know, 1.Nf7+ Kg8 2.Nh6+ Kh8 3.Qg8+ Rxg8 4.Nf7#. When I played the climactic queen check my opponent looked at the board in shocked disbelief and said, "But that's not mate! I can take the queen!"

Finally, I must confess that I once played a positional move, back around 1982. I'll try not to let that happen again.

>> Click here to see Phony Benoni's game collections. Full Member

   Phony Benoni has kibitzed 18643 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Jun-11-22 M Blau vs Keres, 1959 (replies)
Phony Benoni: Not a good recommendation for the DERLD. Out of 59 moves, White makes only three in Black's half of the board. And two of those conist of 3.Bb5 and 6.Bxc6.
   Jun-11-22 chessforum (replies)
Phony Benoni: Er, it's back. Karpov vs Timman, 1988
   Jun-10-22 Orlo Milo Rolo
Phony Benoni: Marco!
   Jun-10-22 Lilienthal vs Bondarevsky, 1947
Phony Benoni: Another one for you King Hunters. Black's monarch travels fron g8 to b8, then takes the Great Circle Route back to h3 before calling it a day.
   Jun-10-22 GrahamClayton chessforum (replies)
Phony Benoni: <GrahamClayton> I've posted a question for you at L T Magee vs J Holland, 1948
   Jun-10-22 L T Magee vs E L Holland, 1948 (replies)
Phony Benoni: <GrahamClayton> The source you cite, <Chess Review, May 1948, p. 24>, gives Black's name as <E Holland> "Chess Life" (June 5, 1948, p. 1) has a table of results giving <E L Holland>. That form also appears in USCF rating supplements for a player fro ...
   Jun-09-22 Biographer Bistro (replies)
Phony Benoni: SkinnVer Here Among the Fold?
   Jun-09-22 Flohr vs Bondarevsky, 1947 (replies)
Phony Benoni: Black's bishop makes me think of Godzilla emerging from the depths of the ocean to wreak havoc. However, in the end it's his Two Little Friends who steal the show. Well, maybe not so litt.
   Jun-06-22 W Ritson-Morry vs G T Crown, 1947
Phony Benoni: it was the last round. Rison-Morry was mired in last place. These things happen.
   Jun-06-22 W Adams vs M Kagan, 1947
Phony Benoni: Some more informztion. The game was published in <Chess Review>, March 1948, p. 23. Black's name is given as "M Kagan", and the location as "Massachusetts". There is no other game data, but I think we can now safely assume Black is <Milton Kagan>. Earlier in the ...
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Living in the Past

Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-30-22  thegoodanarchist: Eternal rest grant unto the faithful departed, o Lord we pray, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Very sadden by the passing of <Phony Benoni>. I really enjoyed his posts and his humor. We shared 16 years together on Rest in peace my friend.
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: My first interaction with <phony>: Sept. 15, 2006:

<Phony Benoni: <technical draw> <I thought Timman looked a little taller in his last tournament> You mean he was playing more like Tal?>

We shared a few Caissars in the funniest kibitzer and best avatar categories.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <You mean he was playing more like Tal?>

That was a good one.

RIP <Phony Benoni:>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: Really sad to learn the great PB is not here any more. He will be greatly missed. His constant good humour (in both meanings), his worthy contributions and all his work made him essential to this site. Re. the last point, I hope somebody will take over his useful collections Game Collection: Game of the Day & Puzzle of the Day Collections. To date it doesn't seem so.
Jul-08-22  stone free or die: A valuable and informative post by <sachistu> provides many details:

David Moody (kibitz #274)


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I really miss the great <Phony Benoni>. He made huge contributions to this site. He died too early.

This weekend I looked at one of his best Games Collections: Game Collection: Ostend 1906. He DID and could compile the games for the biggest, hardest of all tournaments. It ended up unfinished, but he was very close.

Will we ever have the type like him?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Among many other things, Phony Benoni posted chess problems. The study below is from Herbstmann and Gorgiev, neither of whom has a page on Like many of David's games, it packs a great deal of incident into a few moves.

click for larger view

White to play and win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <keypusher> Looks to be quite straight forward to me. (Which obviously means <WRONG MOVE!!!!>)

1. a6

As black is a tempo behind, the LSB can't cover a8. (Oh wait, 1. a6 c4)

And white is up the creek without a paddle.

Back to square a1 for me...

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <wannabe > But you have grasped the key of the position! It is all about getting that pawn home. It is just a bit more complicated. :-)
Jul-18-22  suenteus po 147: This is a tough puzzle. c6 dxc6 would be enough to block black from guarding the a8 square in time, except that Be4 comes with check. Taking an extra move after c6 dxc6, but before a6, means there's no stopping Bd3 and the pawn can't safely advance to promotion. Maybe there's some line involving white's bishop and f- and h-pawns that somehow displaces black's bishop, but I don't have the energy for something *that* complicated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: <suenteus po 147: This is a tough puzzle. c6 dxc6 would be enough to block black from guarding the a8 square in time, except that Be4 comes with check. Taking an extra move after c6 dxc6, but before a6, means there's no stopping Bd3 and the pawn can't safely advance to promotion. Maybe there's some line involving white's bishop and f- and h-pawns that somehow displaces black's bishop, but I don't have the energy for something *that* complicated.>

I don't see tremendous problems here, everything arrives in time: 1.c6 dxc6 2.a6 Be4+ 3.Kh2 c5 4.f3 Bxf3 5.Kg3 Be4 6.Kh4 <the point of the study!> Kg7 7.Be5+ Kf7 8.Bd4 cxd4 9.a7 and goodbye.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Messiah> has got it. The gain of tempo enabled by f2-f3 makes the mate threat possible, which facilitates getting the bishop onto the blockading square, and the a-pawn goes through. A very eventful study.

<Messiah> Congratulations on using your power for goodness instead of evil.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Messiah:

6.Kh4 <the point of the study!>>

Should probably point out there is a mate on f8.

Black's King can only move to 6...g7, which allows 7.Be5+ Kf7 8.Bd4! blocking the advance of black's d-pawn.

Aug-01-22  mycroft2120: Hi All,
Sadly, long-time editor of the Michigan Chess Magazine and stalwart chess historian/player David Moody (a.ka. Phony Benoni) passed away back in June 2022.

We at the Michigan Chess Association appreciate Dave for all his years of service, and honor him for a job well-done. MCA is looking to write a memorial piece on Dave in the next issue (Fall 2022). If any of you have a personal story, anecdote, or game of Dave's that you'd like to share, please send an email ASAP (before 8/5) to:

Lon Rutkofske


Premium Chessgames Member
  takchess: Been away for a while just noticed that PB passed. We are starting to lose more of us who started our interest in chess during the Fischer years. sigh.., I know of 6 people in my chess club who have passed in the last 20 years.

Although we never met in person, he seems like a fellow who would be fun to be with and reflected the good things found here at I will miss him.

Here's to his influence living on.

Sep-24-22  syracrophy: I'm touched on hearing on the passing of <PhonyBenoni>.

As a teenager loner who found comfort for his chess obsession on this website, I followed his posts of chess studies from the pages of "Chessboard Magic!" by Irving Chernev which I will remember as a delight for my thirst for that wizardry on the board beyond of the sake of the dry victory.

Never had the chance of a message with him but my teenager seeker of the magic will be grateful with him for his major disposition of sharing, which is something of magic itself.


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He was a great guy. He did a lot of important work at this site. One of his great achievements was Game Collection: Ostend 1906.
Nov-13-22  stone free or die: <<offramp> One of his great achievements >

Indeed. Not to mention his role as informal "leader" of the Bistro (i.e. chess history and tournament pages) during the golden era of <CG>. Ostend being one of many examples.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Now completed as:

Game Collection: Ostend 1906

and awaiting voting into the official collection record.

Nov-15-22  stone free or die: <Chessical> gives, and should get, 💯%!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Susan Freeman:

There will be a tree planting in honor of this great soul

Mar-28-23  ASchultz: I just ran across a game of his as black against Ben Finegold on chessable. And I realized I hadn't seen his name pop up, so I came over to check and saw the news.

I don't log in here as much as I used to, but I appreciated his fun kibitzing very much -- as well as his puzzle of the day collections, for when I missed a few! I recall seeing him in person at the 1994 US Open in Chicago, so I can't say I knew him, but he added a lot to my life and, I assume, to others' lurking here.


May-01-23  syracrophy: Just came across you game collection Game Collection: Upside Down Rooks: Games with 4 or More Queens, which has been the most creative title for a theme for a promoted Queen, dear Phony Benoni.

Your creativity and generosity lives in me, dear David Moody.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: For you, Sir. We all miss you.

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