Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Missed It By That Much

Finally, as long promised, I give you a Wacky Wednesday game in which I am on the losing side. This one is a classic example of the WW genre, if it be understood as a game that ends suddenly and catastrophically because of a single bonheaded blunder that would be unforgivable in a rank beginner. Never mind the fact that I am a rank beginner and will be for life.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Bc5 4.Nd3 Bb6 5.e5 Ne4 6.f3 Bf2+ 7.Nxf2 Nxf2 8.Kxf2

The game started out simply enough. Petroff’s Defense. Black attacks the weak f2 square but not very effectively. White king captures bishop and exchanges the ability to castle to go up a piece. A small sacrifice with better-than-ample compensation, I think. Then:

8. … Qh4+

Not a particularly threatening move, really. 9. g3 shoos the Black queen away and maybe even gains a tempo for White, though I’ll leave it to you real chess players to decide that. The game not only remains playable for White, but he may even have the advantage.

Ah, but alas, that move was not to be. When in the throes of a major brain cramp, extreme time pressure, or whatever affliction it is that can explain the next move, one falls back on the most elementary, formulaic, and generic chess wisdom. One hesitates to alter one’s pawn wall and longs instead to swaddle the sovereign within its warm-and-comfy confines. Hence the worst possible move in this position:

9. Kg1

As with our previous game on the Fried Liver Attack, sometimes all of those things you learned about where to put the king don’t apply. Sometimes to place him behind a phalanx of pawns is to entomb him there:

9. … Qd4# 0-1

No ecstacy here; only agony.


Polly said...

Serious ouch! I had to double check to see if there was any reason you could not simply play g3. I guess there wasn't, but if there had been then it wouldn't be WW worthy. :-)

Anonymous said...

Well, I hope time trouble wasn't an excuse here...

Referring to the poll question, what's the story behind chess and hookah? It's, at the least, an interesting combination.

Tom Panelas said...


Yeah, the only reason I "couldn't" play g3 is that I didn't see it. I also didn't see the consequences of the move I did make. :o)


The poll refers to this post.

Anonymous said...

Wow, don't know how I missed that post.

My friend just opened a music studio and is considering having hookah set up. Definitely goes hand in hand. (Heck, smoking pot seems to be common in the music business, although he's not going there.)