Let's Relax with a Miniature II

Oct 24, 2009, 1:44 AM |

                                 The Price of Progress

Increase knowledge must be paid for with disenchantment. Specifically, as applied to chess, this means that  many a pretty combinationof the old masters fails to stand up under the searching scruntiny of modern analysis.
    It would be sheer perversity, however, to dismiss such combinations because of thier flaws. Most of these flashy sacrifices were improvised under "skittles" conditions; it would be captious to expect perfection from them, or to pout because they do not meet the most rigid specifications.

Philadelphia, 1860 
White Amateur   Black G. Derrickson

 1.e4 e5  2.Bc4 Nf6  3.Nf3 Nc6  4.0-0 Bc5 By devious means we have reached a Giucoc Piano, in which White's early castling will do him no good.


                                           (after 4...Bc5)
 5.d3 d6  6.Bg5 (6.Be3 is safer)  5.Bg4  7.h3 h5 ?!  8.hxg4  A more tranquil course was 8.Nbd2 Qd7  9.Kh2  0-0-0 10.c3 etc. But the acceptance of the sacifice is playable ! hxg4  9.Nh2  g3  10.Nf3 (10.Ng4 is probably good enough.) Ng4 ?!  11.Bxd8 ? White's play is not on the same high imainative level as tha of the opponent.

(after 11.Bxd8 ? )
11.d4 ! gains a priceless tempo by breaking the Bishop's diagonal,
 so that if, for example, 11...exd4  12.Bxd8 d3  13.Bh4 and wins. 11...Bxd4 (12.Qxd4 !) and 11....Nxd4 are likewise inadequate.

 Bxf2+ Now the combination clicks. 12.Rxf2  gxf2+  13.Kf1 Rh1+  14.Ke2  Rxd1 15.Nfd2  If 15.Nbd2  Rxa1 and Black wins easily with two exchanges ahead . The text, however allows a finish of really poetic splendor. Nd4+ !  16.Kxd1 Ne3+  17.Kc1 Ne2 mate

                                       (after 17....Ne2 mate)
   Derrickson, we are told, "was a youth who possessed the most brilliant and precocious chess talen, and upon whose shoulders it was thought the mantle of Morphy was about to fall. But soon, too soon, grim Death called him from the checkered field on which he had won so many brilliant victories."  Emanuel Lasker was very fond of this game, and extolled it because "it demonstrates in beautiful harmony the valuable qualities of a chess player: clear position judgment hold, far-reaching combination and decisive action at the right moment"

 Hope you enjoyed this miniature from Fred Reinfield's 'Relax with Chess and win in 20 moves' 

pervious - Miniature I - "Fixed Ideas",  
Next- Miniture III "Negative Immortality" (coming soon)