Friday, June 27, 2008

Very Short Chess Game

Here are the moves of a chess game that I played at I mated my opponent on my eighth move. He was white and I was black. I now provide the moves of the game along with some commentary.

1. e4 c5

My move aims to generate counterplay along the c-file. Another common reply for black is e5. The reply c5 is known as the Sicilian Defence.

2. d4 cxd4

My opponent chooses to strike in the centre with the knowledge that if I take his pawn he can recapture with his queen. This is an aggressive move but bringing out the queen so early in the game can be very dangerous. A much more common move for white here is Nf3.

3. Qxd4 Nc6

My third move not only develops my queen knight but also threatens the white queen.

4. Qd1 e6

By moving his queen back to her original square, my opponent loses time. In chess language, this is known as losing a tempo. I move my king pawn to open a diagonal for my dark-squared bishop.

5. Bb5 Bc5

My opponent makes an aggressive move with his bishop which threatens to capture my knight in exchange for his bishop. However, this is a very committal move. Many chess players prefer to develop their knights first and decide later where to place their bishops. I place my bishop on a diagonal which targets f2.

6. Bxc6 bxc6

My opponent exchanges his bishop for my knight. When players have the bishop pair, they hope to exchange many pawns and pieces so that they can play an open game. In an open game, bishops are considered superior to knights. I don't play dxc6 because I want to keep my queen.

7. b3 Qf6

My opponent moves his pawn to b3 because he wants to place his dark-square bishop on b2. However, he fails to notice that this move is a mistake. I place my square on a square which sets up a double threat. I not only threaten to capture his rook on a1 but also to mate him on f2 because I now target this square with both my queen and bishop, a lethal combination.

My opponent needs to forget about defending his rook and prevent mate. One way to do this is to play Nf3, a move which is often played early.

8. c3 Qxf2#

My opponent's move prevents my queen from capturing his rook but fails to see the greater threat, checkmate. My opponent makes aggressive moves but ultimately fails to attend to the safety of his king.

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