Hippopotamus played Beethoven’s  Triple Concerto

Hippopotamus played Beethoven’s Triple Concerto

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Ludwig van Beethoven's Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C Major, Op. 56, more commonly known as the Triple Concerto, was composed in 1803 and later published in 1804 under Breitkopf & Hartel. The choice of the three solo instruments effectively makes this a concerto for piano trio and the only concerto Beethoven ever wrote for more than one solo instrument. A typical performance takes approximately thirty-seven minutes.

In the game below I played the Hippopotamus Defence against a player and a friend bearing the name of this famous classical tune, Tripelkonzert. In our game, I exchanged my queen with Tripel's three minor pieces while gaining positional advantage. The game was easy to play. Triple wasn't paying too much attention in the game as he was busy babysitting his toddler. Nonetheless, it was a good game for me. You may listen to the Beethoven - Triple Concert while reading this blog and playing the games below.

The Hippopotamus Defence is a name for various irregular chess opening systems in which Black moves a number of his pawns to the third rank, often developing his pieces to the second rank, and does not move any of his pawns to the fourth rank in the opening.

Boris Spassky employed the same set-up, dubbed the "Hippopotamus" by commentators, in the 12th and 16th match games against World Champion Tigran Petrosian. Both games ended in draws. Spassky was likely inspired by the Slovak International Master Maximilian Ujtelky, who had been experimenting with similar openings for several years.

Ujtelky's game as Black against Spassky at Sochi 1964, in which he played the same setup Spassky later adopted against Petrosian, is given below. Ujtelky played even more provocatively in some other games, such as against the very strong Soviet International Master Rashid Nezhmetdinov in the same tournament and won. Please see these games below.