EPIC WIN vs the Orangutan Opening! ⚡ Quick Wins #88

EPIC WIN vs the Orangutan Opening! ⚡ Quick Wins #88

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#polish #orangutan #quickwins 

This very interesting 7-move checkmate was sent in by @KudoShlnichi, a subscriber from the Netherlands. They played a very neat trap against their opponent with the white pieces, who led with the Polish Opening, aka as the Orangutan Opening (1. b4). This uncommon hypermodern opening was famously played by Savielly Tartakower (1887-1956) against Maróczy in 1924, in a tournament in New York. Tartakower had visited the zoo the day before and was impressed by Suzan, an orangutan, and had announced that he would dedicate his next game to her! Check out (Tartakower — Maróczy, 1924, New York USA)!

Savielly Tartakower (left) with Edward Lasker (right) during the 1924 New York Tournament

Against most hypermodern openings, taking the centre with pawns is usually sensible (1… e5) and this also opens the dark square diagonal for Black’s bishop to pressure White’s oddly advanced b4-pawn.

White immediately fianchettoes their dark square bishop (2. Bb2), which is part of the opening logic of the Orangutan. Note: this potentially pins Black’s e-pawn to the g7-pawn as the attack down the dark square diagonal also pressures Black’s h8-rook.

Black, however, plays into White’s opening tactical logic, and creates a devious trap! Firstly, they play the seemingly passive (2… Bd6), defending the e-pawn which coaxes White’s next move (3. f4), which ostensibly “places pressure on the pinned piece”. Black “accepts” with (3… exf4!?), inviting White to play into their tactic and they do (4. Bxg7). Black’s rook seems lost… has White won the opening?

Not so fast! White’s early movement of their f-pawn has weakened the dark square diagonal to their king and Black now plays a counterattack, a speculative trappy move (4… Qh4+!?). Stockfish calls this a mistake [+2.2], but the Lichess community database reveals that Black has a massive win ratio advantage to White in the position: Black (71%) vs White (28%)!

And we soon see why. (5. g3) is forced and after (5… fxg3), White has a very difficult position to navigate as they are teetering on the edge of checkmate. If White plays hxg3 then Qxg3#! Indeed, if White doesn’t do “something”, a forward movement of the g-pawn (e.g., g2) would reveal a discovered checkmate, and the g-pawn is one step away from promotion! In this position, there is only a single good move…

… and it isn’t the one that seems logical! White played the very natural (6. Nf3??), which attacks Black’s queen on the h4-square. This seems to avoid checkmate as movement of the g-pawn with the revealed check by the queen results in the queen’s capture. However, this is a blunder. The correct move was the difficult to find (6. Bg2), blocking the forward advance of Black’s g3-pawn, and giving an escape square for the White king!

Black now has the excellent and perhaps unexpected move (6… gxh2+), which not only reveals the expected check, but also removes White’s final defender kingside pawn and defender of that dark square diagonal. White’s (7. Nxh4), capturing the queen is forced, but this temporary victory is met with (7… Bg3#), checkmate! Black’s unexpected passive move on move 2 created the tactical resource for the win! GG!


Hi!  I'm vitualis, the chess noob (aka chessnoob64), and I run the "Adventures of a Chess Noob" YouTube channel and blog.  I'm learning and having fun with chess! 

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