And the winner is…

And the winner is…

| 23 | Tactics

The US Chess Championship is the premier American event of the year.  It is one of the longest running tournaments in the World ( dates back to 1845).  Since all of the best US players participated in the US Championships, you can find many true gems amongst the games played there.  These games were analyzed by generations of chessplayer.  Since our column is devoted to opening combinations and traps, I’d like to present the games where everything was decided in the opening.  So, here is an unusual competition: what game which wasn’t a draw, was the shortest of all played in the US Championships?  I am sure the following games will amuse you, but I also hope that you will learn some instructive lessons.  If a master (or a Grandmaster ) loses in less than 15 moves, he most probably committed one of the cardinal sins of chess.  Just like in most of my articles the games are given as a quiz, so you are offered a chance to find the desisive move or a combination.

So, let the competition begin…


The Fifth Place.








The Fourth Place.


The Third Place. (Well, not really)
In this famous game GM Reshevsky falls into an opening trap and loses his Queen as early as move 11! Of course it is absolutely hopeless to give Fischer a Queen odds.  Yet Reshevsky keeps playing trying to avoid an honorary place in any future collection of the miniature chess games and so he resigns only on the 42nd move!  He cannot fool us though :)

The Second Place.

And the winner is.... (Drum roll please!)

Our little contest is over and the winner has got its 15 minutes of fame.
You could see how the best US masters ended up on the receiving end of the miniature games.  If you don't want to share this dubious fame, I strongly recommend you to notice what caused the debacles we have just witnessed. 
There are many lessons that could be learned from these five short games, but I would underline just two most important in my opinion:
1) Unprotected pieces have tendency to fall for double attacks!
2) "Poisoned" pawns got this nickname for a reason. So the next time you send your Queen (or any other piece) to snatch that juicy, defenseless pawn on the side of the board, think twice!
Good luck!

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