Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chess Match of Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte was an accomplished chess player. In this game between Napoleon Bonaparte and General Bertrand, Napoleon Bonaparte defeats his general very convincingly. Here are the moves of the game along with my commentary. Napoleon Bonaparte is white and General Bertrand is black.

1. Nf3 Nc6

A more common reply for black here is Nf6.

2. e4 e5
3. d4 Nxd4
4. Nxd4 exd4
5. Bc4 Bc5

White can take the d-pawn with his queen but prefers to develop his bishop.

6. c3 Qe7
7. 0-0 Qe5

White castles to protect his king. Black advances the queen to protect the d-pawn and prevent white's e-pawn from advancing.

8. f4 dxc3+

White aggressively attacks the black queen but black ignores the attack and puts the white king in check.

9. Kh1 cxb2

Black is one move away from queening his pawn but his queen is under attack.

10. Bxf7+ Kd8

White prepares a bishop sacrifice. Black refuses the sacrifice because if he takes Kxf7, black can play fxe5 which not only captures the queen but puts the black king in check.

11. fxe5 bxa1 (Q)

White captures black's queen but black queens on a1.

12. Bxg8 Be7

Black does not take the bishop on g8 because if he plays Rxg8, white can fork the rook and bishop with Qe5.

13. Qb3 a5

White puts the queen on a square which exerts control over the b3-g8 diagonal and protects the knight on b1 and bishop on g8 at the same time. Notice that black's king is stuck in the centre of the board and the black queen is unaided on a1.

14. Rf8+ Bxf8

White sacrifices the rook. Black's reply is forced.

15. Bg5+ Be7

Black's reply is forced. If he plays Ke8, Bf7 and Qf7 are both checkmate.

16. Bxe7+ Kxe7

Again black's reply is forced.

17. Qf7+ Kd8

This is black's only legal move.

18. Qf8#

White has less material than black but emerges the victor. Black fails to get his king to safety and launches a premature attack against the white king. Only after getting his king to safety does white prepare his attack on the black king. In this game Napoleon Bonaparte teaches his general a lesson.

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