Traps - Pt. 8


From The Life of Philidor, Musician and Chess-player 
by George Allen, Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa - 1863
     "M. de Kermur, Sire de Légal.
     This great player's name is varously written, Kermer
     Sire de Legalle, by Twiss, and Kermuy, Sire de Légal
     by others.  In the list of subscribers to Philidor's second 
     edition it stands as in Twiss [actually, as de Kermur,
     Sire de Legalle], but the spelling was, probably, in both 
     cases Philidor's own. "

Whatever the spelling, Legall has left us with one of those traps whose execution invariably produces a moment of glee for the perpetrator and a moment of shock and revelation for the uninitiated victim.

The basic mate is quite simple, but it comes with several variations, all of which, despite the fact that the queen-sac/minor-piece mating pattern is so well-known, have been used successfully in actual games.

Legall's  Mate

The first 3 games (of which I've diagrammed just the first) show the basic mate:

[Event "Paris simul"]
[Site "Paris simul"]
[Date "1900.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Harry Nelson Pillsbury"]
[Black "Fernandez"]
[ECO "C25"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 d6 4. Nf3 a6 5. Bc4 Bg4 6. fxe5 Nxe5 7. Nxe5 Bxd1 8. Bxf7+ Ke7 9. Nd5# 1-0

[Event "Bulgarije"]
[Site "Bulgarije"]
[Date "1935.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "NN"]
[Black "Geschew"]
[ECO "B02"]

1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.exd5 c6 4.dxc6 Nxc6 5.d3 e5 6.Bg5 Bc5 7.Ne4 Nxe4 8.Bxd8 Bxf2+ 9.Ke2 Nd4# 0-1

[Event "Open"]
[Site "Bad Woerishofen GER"]
[Date "2001.03.22"]
[EventDate "2001.03.15"]
[Round "8"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Oskar Bjarnason"]
[Black "Volkfried Dittler"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2163"]
[BlackElo "?"]

1. Nc3 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. e4 Bg4 4. Bc4 Bh5 5. Nxe5 Bxd1 6. Bxf7+ Ke7 7. Nd5# 1-0


 This game is a variation in which just 1 knight and 1 bishop mates.

[Event "Sydney"]
[Site "Sydney"]
[Date "1938.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Benjafield"]
[Black "Wippell"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "0"]
[BlackElo "0"]
[ECO "C60"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nge7 4. Nc3 a6 5. Ba4 b5 6. Bb3 h6 7. d4 d6 8. a4 b4 9. Nd5 Bg4 10. Nxe5 Bxd1 11. Nf6+ gxf6 12. Bxf7# 1-0


 A similar variation, but one employing a discovered check:

[Event "Chicago"]
[Site "Chicago"]
[Date "1907.??.??"]
[White "Saulson"]
[Black "Harold Meyer Phillips"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B00"]
[PlyCount "23"]

1. e4 Nc6 2. d4 e5 3. d5 Nce7 4. f4 d6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Nc3 Ng6 7. h3 Bxf3 8. Bb5+ c6 9. dxc6 Bxd1 10. cxb7+ Ke7 11. Nd5+ Ke6 12. f5# 1-0


 Another similar variation, also employing a discovered check.

[Event "Nuremberg"]
[Site "Nuremberg"]
[Date "1895.??.??"]
[White "Jacques Mieses"]
[Black "Oehquist"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]
[PlyCount "21"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd8 4. d4 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. d5 Ne5 7. Nxe5 Bxd1 8. Bb5+ c6 9. dxc6 Qc7 10. cxb7+ Kd8 11. Nxf7# 1-0

One last variation, once again involving a discovered check.
(anyone seeing a pattern?)


[Event "1st Canadian Open CH"]
[Site ""]
[Date "1956.??.??"]
[White "Hans Berliner"]
[Black "A Rott"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 Nf6 3. cxd5 Nxd5 4. e4 Nb6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. d5 Ne5 8. Nxe5 Bxd1 9. Bb5+ c6 10. dxc6 Qb8 11. c7+ Nd7 12. Bxd7# 1-0