This was given to me by a friend.
It's actual title is : Chess for Beginners.
Here is the inside cover.
With various Situations and Checkmates.
Printed in 1835 with colour diagrams.
Morphy was born two years later. I wonder if he had a copy of this?
It really is a beautiful book.
Let us have a glimpse at 1835 opening theory.
It is rather difficult to follow because the moves
are written in descriptive long hand.
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 is...
1. K.P. two squares 1. K.P. two squares
2. K.Kt. to K.B. third square 2. Q.Kt. to Q.B. third square
Main line Giuoco Piano runs.
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.e5 Ne4
6...d5, Not mentioned is the best move here.
7.Bd5 Nxf2 8.Kxf2 dxc3+ 9.Ke1 cxb2 10.Bxb2 ....
"There is not much difference in the game; the advantage is,
however, on your side." (white's).
Staying on the theme of notation for a wee while.
I picked up this at one of the junk shops on Gorgie Road.
Not too bad for 50p. The Previous owner had changed all the
mainline moves from descriptive into algebraic.
And why not? it's their book.
However I thought they took it a we bit too far...
Changing 10 0-0 into 10 0-0.
So let us look at a KP game played just a few weeks ago.
J.Kilgour - L.McGregor Sandy Bells 2 v Pentland Hills 2
Here the position after white's 6th move.
White has castled too early, (oh yes you can do such a thing).
Also 4 d3 is a bit timid. I would have liked to have seen the
look on the King's Bishop's face when that was played.
Black's move here is 6...a6! waiting for 7 Bg5 when we
see the dangers of an early castling...h6 and g5.
Also 6...a6 give the Bishop a bolt hole.
Instead Black attacked with 6...Ng4 and if only White
has played 12.g3 instead of grabbing the g-pawn 12 Bxg4.
Then the theme would have been a premature attack leading to a loss.
Instead a defending slip allows a perpetual.
The student should do well to observe the trouble the
first player found himself in due to his castling too early.
Even though Black's attack was premature it still generated
a force. (That is me trying to write in the style of Lewis).
"Remember," writes Lewis,
"Richard Reti's advice: castle because you must and
not because you can. Will not be written for another 85 years."
Here is the game.
[Click here to replay the game]
J.Kilgour - L.McGregor
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Be2 d6 6.0-0 Ng4 7.Na4 h5 8.Nxc5 dxc5 9.h3 Nd4 10.Nxd4 cxd4 11.hxg4 hxg4 12.Bxg4 Qh4 13.f3 Qh1+ 14.Kf2 Qh4+ 15.Kg1 Qh2+ 16.Kf2 Qh4+
The Lewis book also contains an interesting advert for another chess book.
Price 3s.6d. Approx 18p. about a weeks wages then.
London C.C. - Edinburgh C.C. 1824-1829 (game 2)
This was actually the first sporting occasion between
Scotland and England. (it was being reported as
the Chess match between Scotland and England).
In this critical game London tried to take back a move,
a Rook sac (move 27). Possibly missing a resource 29...Be6.
Why not? In the first match Edinburgh sent an illegal move
and London insisted they make another move with the 'touched'
piece. So London took the hump and played on. They really sulked,
even spurning a couple of draws by perpetual check.
London did have an overwhelming position and had they
won this game and the match then there is little doubt that
the Scotch Game/Gambit would today be called the English game
or the London gambit.
But they never so Scotland get the exciting Scotch Gambit.
England get 1.c4 The English (boring).
and there is the London system (a very dull method of play v the KID.)
Here is the game. I'll leave you to Fritz it and find the missed
wins and draws. Of course you could get out your board and find
them for yourself as Alastair White and myself did years ago.
I recall it was good educational fun. You have to remember you are
moving the pieces about and looking at positions the same as the
Edinburgh players did 180 years ago. It's a pleasant trip into the past.
Give it go, feel the history.
[Click here to replay the game]
London - Edinburgh
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.c3 Qe7 6.0-0 dxc3 7.Nxc3 d6 8.Nd5 Qd7 9.b4 Nxb4 10.Nxb4 Bxb4 11.Ng5 Nh6 12.Bb2 Kf8 13.Qb3 Qe7 14.Nxf7 Nxf7 15.Qxb4 Ne5 16.f4 Nxc4 17.Qxc4 Qf7 18.Qc3 Be6 19.f5 Bc4 20.Rf4 b5 21.e5 dxe5 22.Qxe5 h6 23.Re1 Rh7 24.f6 g5 25.Rf5 a5 26.Qc5+ Kg8 27.Rxg5+ hxg5 28.Qxg5+ Kf8 29.Bd4 Be6 30.Qc5+ Kg8 31.Qg5+ Kf8 32.Bc5+ Ke8 33.Qd5 Ra6 34.Qb7 Qh5 35.f7+ Kxf7 36.Rf1+ Kg6 37.Qe4+ Bf5 38.Qe8+ Rf7 39.Qg8+ Kf6 40.g4 Ra8 41.Qxa8 Qxg4+ 42.Kh1 Rd7 43.Ba3 Kf7 44.Qc6 Rd1 45.Qxb5 Qe4+ 46.Kg1 Kg6 47.Qb2 Qg4+ 48.Qg2 Qxg2+ 49.Kxg2 Bh3+ 50.Kxh3 Rxf1 51.Be7 a4 52.a3 Rf5
A.Williamson - D.Heron, Scarborough 2006.
Donald Heron send me an interesting game played this year at the seaside.
The middle game revolved around the black d-pawn.
White hitting it 4 times and Black defending it 4 times.
When first seeing the game my eyes were immediately drawn
to the Knight on f4 inviting g5 and then a f4 pawn storm.
This happened in due course but only after Donald had tidied
up his position (moves 18-22) putting his own house in order
before setting off to create havoc.
And havoc was indeed created.
Donald repeated the position (moves 29-31) and then worked
out the final onslaught. Mate in six with the King walking up to f7.
Here is the game.
[Click here to replay the game]
A.Williamson - D.Heron
1.d4 d6 2.c4 f5 3.e3 e5 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Bd3 Be7 6.Nge2 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.b3 e4 9.Bc2 d5 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.a3 a6 12.b4 Nc6 13.Bb3 Be6 14.Qc2 Rc8 15.Qa2 Qd7 16.Nf4 Rfd8 17.Nxe6 Qxe6 18.Bd2 Bd6 19.g3 Bb8 20.Rac1 Kh8 21.Rc2 Ne7 22.Rfc1 g5 23.Ne2 Rxc2 24.Rxc2 f4 25.exf4 Qh3 26.Be3 Ng4 27.fxg5 Nxh2 28.f4 Nf3+ 29.Kf2 Qh2+ 30.Kf1 Qh3+ 31.Kf2 Nf5 32.Rc3 Qh2+ 33.Kf1 Qh1+ 34.Kf2 Nxg3 35.Kxg3 Qh2+ 36.Kg4 Qh4+ 37.Kf5 Qh3+ 38.Kf6 Rd6+ 39.Kf7 Qe6+
I popped along to the Lothian Schools Chess league
on Sunday the 5th of November...
(Oh No here come some bonfire jokes...ED)
Some of the games were crackers.
Fireworks on every board.
Flashes of genius.
Sparkling displays and...
The adults who run these things deserve all the praise
I can give. They give up their Sunday on a regular basis
just so kids the can play chess.
This event was also attended by two strong players.
Namely The current British Women's Champion, Ketevan
Arakhamia-Grant who presented the prizes and ex Scottish Champion,
Every kid who too part received a lamented certificate.
I'll have a few pictures next C.C.
I did witness this...
This one had me chuckling. Even on the bus going
home I was sniggering to myself.
A Mad Mad Mad Moment in the Wester Hailes Community Centre.
In this position it is White to play.
1.h4 was the move. 1.h4 a4 (going for mate on b3) 2.Rc8+ Kg7 3.R6c7+ Kh6 4.Rh8 mate.
After 1.Rc7? Black can now play 1...Qb4+ and pick up the Rook on d6.
Five seconds after playing this move Black's shoulders
slumped, he clasped his hands together as if praying.
You had to be there to see the wee kid stand up, punch
the air and then... grab the Rook. Missing 2.Qb4 mate.
I've never seen anybody so happy to miss a mate and snatch a Rook.
The whole moment lasted about 20 seconds.
Why not visit the Primary Schools website at:
Lothian Primary School Chess League
Lothian Schools Chess
And now this...
Following some tongue in cheek jokes about girl chess players on the
notice board. I've been asked to recall my score v. the fairer sex.
How do you know when a female chess player is in time trouble?
The cakes are burnt.
I know it's stupid nonsense, but it made me giggle when it was sent in.
I get sent dozens of jokes. 99.9% I could never use.
Over the board I've always managed to ignore who I am playing.
I play the same against everyone and I show no respect at all.
By that I don't mean I am bad mannered, I mean if I set a trap
I always expect my opponent to fall into it.
I always expect my opponent to blunder and judge every move as a
bad move which I can take advantage of.
We are all chess idiots as far as I'm concerned.
I ignore grades, sex, past scores and tournament standings.
My first game v. a female was a girl I ended up dating in 1973. I won.
She became quite a famous personality. You will all have heard of her.
I mentioned her briefly in my tribute to Tony Miles. But did not name her.
I've never been the kiss and tell type and naming her may only bring
unwarranted publicity and perhaps embarrassment.
(I'd be embarrassed if I once went out with me).
So that is one name I will take to my grave.
We sat beside each other for an Adorjan simul.
How romantic is that. You guys take your girlfriends to a restaurant.
Me? I take mine to simultaneous chess display.
I was then at Eastbourne for the British Championship,
I took part in minor tournament. I played against an elderly woman, a Mrs. Emms.
I swear to you. She did her knitting through the whole game. This is true. I lost.
I then beat a Mrs Jackson. So it was 2-1 to the good guy.
One amusing incident I have just remembered from Eastbourne 1973.
The organisers had managed to get the players a whole load of perks.
10% off meals in restaurants, 10% off a boating trip,
10% off cinema prices. I went to see The Lost Horizon, it was naff.
There was a whole list of things that were cheaper to chess players.
One of these was cheap admission to the local swimming baths.
I went and was lounging poolside when a stray dog appeared.
I had never seen a dog inside a public baths before.
In a crazy spur of the moment jest. I picked up the dog and jumped in.
You should have seen all the other bathers screaming and clearing the
pool when there was a dog in the water.
I got out OK but the dog was too stupid to head for the shallow end
where the steps were and tried to clamber out at the side of the pool.
A fat bloke with a whistle had to jump in and give it a leg up.
Me and the dog were thrown out.
Years later when I had the old website a bloke called Tim or Tom,
who also played at Eastbourne and was also at the baths that day,
emailed me saying a brief item appeared about it in the local paper.
(if you are reading this Tim or Tom, please get back in touch).
Right back to the girls.
In other tournaments:
There followed wins against Rachel Edgar who was/is a female copper and
Elizabeth Gilliard. 4-1 Then flukey draws v Helen Milligan and
Lyne Morrison (twice). 5½ - 2½.
A win against Muriel Leask (Balerno) and then a loss to Alison Coull (Edin. West),
two losses to Edinburgh's Elaine Rutherford and two losses to C.Wilman of the Dragons.
All in the Edinburgh chess league.
In my last loss v C.Wilman I had a perpetual on board 2.
I looked at Keith Ruxton's position (board 1) and decided it was drawn.
I looked at Mickey Rattray's position (board 3) and decided he was lost.
So I attempted to play for a win. 1 resigned two moves later.
Both Keith and Mickey won a few moves later.
I was the fool for the night and the team still go on about it. Huh!
So I'm down 6½ - 7½. (1-5 in league matches).
I did beat Siegrun McGilchrist once in an allegro game but allegro's don't count.