Game with Morphy Attack of the Two Knights Defense

Dear Mr. Alterman

Here is my last effort with one of your gambit suggestions:

White: mrjoker (1681)

Black: ChessInProgress (1593)

Internet Chess Club, Blitz 2 12, October 2, 2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.O-O Nxe4 6.Re1 d5 7.Bxd5 Qxd5 8.Nc3 Qa5 9.Nxe4 Be6 10.Neg5 O-O-O 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Rxe6 Bd6 13.Bg5 Rde8 14.Qe2 Kd7 15.Re1 Qxe1+ 16.Nxe1 Rxe6 17.Qg4 Re8 18.Nd3

So far this is Estrin-Krogius (USSR 1949) according to ECO, but I was unaware of this since this was my very first game with this line.

18…h5 19.Qh3 Nb4 20.Nxb4 Bxb4 21.g3 Kc6

After the more cautious 21…g6, White still seems fine, for example 22.g4 hxg4 23.Qxg4 c5 24.c3! dxc3 25.bxc3 Bxc3 26.Qb3.

22.Qxh5 Re1+ 23.Kg2 R1e2 24.h4

I must admit that I almost fell for 24.Be3?? (attacking both rooks with queen). Fortunately I saw 24…R8xe3! just when my mouse was about to move the bishop.

24…Be1+ 25.Qf3+ Kb6 26.Qb3+ Ka6 27.Qc4+ Kb6 28.Qxd4+ Kc6 29.Qxg7 Rxf2+ 30.Kh3 Ref8 31.h5 R2f3 32.Bh4

The key to White’s defense; 32.Bf4?? is another unfortunate blunder that I almost played.

32…R8f7 33.h6

Most elegant and simplest.

33…Rf8 34.h7 (1-0)

Thanks again for your marvellous videos on gambits

Louis Morin

Montreal, Canada

Game with the Hennig-Schara Gambit

I invite all readers to share with me your successful games, played with the Gambits !Here one of the e-mails I got a few days ago….

Dear Mr. Alterman

I just tried the Hennig-Schara Gambit on ICC (blitz 2 12), and the game was so crazy that I thought you might enjoy it.

White: weiran (1775) Black: mrjoker (1778)

Blitz ICC 2 12, September 6, 2008

 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nf6?

I didn’t pay enough attention to the right move order.

 8.Qxb7 Nc6 9.Bf4 Nb4 10.O-O-O?

10. Rc1! was much better.

 10…Rc8 11.Kb1 Rxc3?!

A little too fancy. I saw 11…Bf5+! 12.e4, but simply missed 12…Qxd1+! 13.Nxd1 Bxe4+.


I was expecting 12.Rxd7. Even with the help of Fritz I cannot find anything better than a perpetual check after 12…Qa5 13.a3 Qf5+ 14.e4 Nxe4 15.Ka1 Nc2+ 16.Ka2 Rc5 17.Bb5 Nc3+ 18.bxc3 Nb4+ 19.axb4 Qc2+ etc.

 12…Bf5+ 13.Kb2 Qxd1 14.Qb8+ Kd7 15.Qxa7+  Kc6 16.Qc7+ Kb5 17.c4+??

Again it seems as if a perpetual check should be the logical outcome after 17.Qb7+ Kc4 18.e4+ Qxf1 19.Nf3 Nd3+ 20.Kc2 Nb4+ 21.cxb4 Qd3+ 22.Kc1 Qc3+ 23.Kd1 Nxe4 24.Nd2+ Nxd2 25.Qxf7+ Kd3 26.Qxf5+ Ne4 27.Qh3+ etc.


Sorry, no more checks.

18.Kc3 Qc2+ 19.Kd4 Qb2+ 20.Ke3 Qc3 mate

 Thanks again for your gambit videos on ICC

 Louis Morin

Montreal, Canada

Morra Gambit – Part 7

And finally we will examine the plan with the bishop fianchetto.

Sample Game # 7  

1.e4 c5 2. d4 cd 3. c3 dc 4. Nc3 d6 5. Bc4


 Black is going to develop the bishop on the long diagonal h8-a1

6. Nf3 Nf6  

Prepares further castling, though this attempt has a defect. White could destroy this plan by the well-known motive:

7. e5!

The standard hit, after


The killing blow is coming

 8. Bf7+!

And black is lost.

Sample Game # 8  

1.e4 c5 2. d4 cd 3. c3 dc 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. Bc4 g6 6.Nf3 Bg7 

Planning after d6 and Nf6 continue the development. But White could stop this plan by the aggressive pawn’s move


Offering the pawn sacrifice.


7…Bxe5 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Nxe5+ Nxe5 10.Qd5+ Leads to the same line

7…Nh6  8.0-0 0-0 9.Bf4 Nf5 10.g4 Nh6 11.h3 And Black’s position is cramped.

8.Nxe5 Bxe5 9.Bxf7+!

The obvious 9.Qd5 will be met by 9…Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 e6

9…Kxf7 10.Qd5+ e6 [10…Kf6 11.Ne4+ Kf5 12.g4+ wins]

11.Qxe5 Qf6 12.Qg3 

And White is keeping strong attack, when Blacks King lost the castling rights.

Morra Gambit – Part 6

Sample game # 6

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Bc4 e6 6.Nf3 Qc7 7.0-0 a6

Another attempt. Black prevents any business with the Nb5 attack.


This move is the part of the whole setup. The Queen is freeing the place for the King’s rook, which gets ready to start the pressure over the “d” file. 


A careless move. Black would do better to prevent white from the next aggressive operation. I would recommend 8… d6 as the best response.  


A very interesting move leading to a very sharp battle.
 Here you could see another point of the effective 8.Qe2! White gains more and more space, when the black’s counterplay is based on the direct assault over the e5 square.

9…Ng4 10.Bf4!


 At the same time white increases his piece activity, but also brings more power over the e5 and d6 squares.  
Black is almost forced to play 10…f6, when 10…Be7 11.h3 Nh6 12.Rd1 with the further Ne4! Leads to the huge positional advantage for white.  
Now white can’t capture the pawn on f6 at once after 11.ef? Simply because the strong recapture 11…Qf4!
The pawn e5 divides black’s position on two separate parts! The Queenside is completely out of the loop about anything that’s happening on the King’s side.

One of the most important principles of the positional game was discovered and approved by the first World Champion W. Steinitz. “The one who has advantage has to attack under the threat of wasting this Advantage.”
Using the bad position of the black King, which is still stuck in the center, white comes with a nice tactical blow, which immediately demolishes black’s position:


The final accord. The knight is aiming at the black Queen, that forces him to accept the  sacrifice. After 11…Qa5 12.ef there is no way to stop 13.Nc7+



 Getting rid of the e6 pawn – the “e” file has been opened and that allows white to come up with the massive strike. 

12.exf6+ Nce5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Qxc4

Seems that black is still alive, however after


The smoke has totally cleared up. Black’s position is lost after either 15…Bg7 16.Qh5+ with a mating attack or 15.Qe2 16.ghQ that leads to huge material loses.

Black resigned






Morra Gambit – Part 5

Sample game # 4

Black could try to develop its Queenside bishop after a6 and b5.

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 a6

Black is intending b5 and Bb7, nevertheless white continues in the same style and develops its bishop to the best square.

5.Bc4! b5??

But black is oblivious to the white’s threat. After the standard 6.Bxf7+ black is losing:

6.Bxf7+ Kxf7 7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxa8

Winning the rook on a8. Black resigns 1-0


Sample game # 5

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Bc4 e6.

The safest setup. Black is blocking the dangerous diagonal – where we have seen so many catastrophes on f7 square.

White has no immediate threats, though in the Morra gambit you don’t need to look after a casual combination.

You have to follow the main principles of the opening as: fast development, control over the center and a tactical combination will bear itself!

 6.Nf3 Qc7 7.0-0 Nf6

Why does black omit 7…d6, what is the point of this?

Black is waiting for 8.Qe2 – the most natural continuation, which could be met by the 8…Ng4!? Preparing a fine trap. Now if white plays the obvious 9.h3?? Unexpectedly comes the beautiful 9.Nd4! Black distracts the only defender of the h2 square – the white knight f3, which leads to the inevitable mating construction.

White is obligated to eliminate the knight 10.Nd4 and 10.Qh2! Checkmate! No help either is 10.Qd3 Nf3! nor 10.Nb5 Nf3! and 11.Qh2 is coming.

9.Rd1 Doesn’t fix the problem, since after 9… Bc5! White can’t comfortably protect f2.
White has a problem: How to stop Nd4? How to improve the position?
The next energetic move sets the control over the d4 square and gains the initiative: 

8.Nb5! Qb8 9.e5!

White is going to sacrifice another pawn but the main purpose is the unprotected c7 square.

9… Nxe5

Doesn’t help 9…Ng4 10.Bf4! Nge5 11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.Rc1 d6 13.Bxe5 dxe5 14.Nc7+ Qc7 15.Bb5+ and white wins the Queen)  

10.Nxe5 Qxe5 11.Re1

Black keeps moving his Queen, while white just increases his development advantage move by move by bringing more and more pieces into the attack.  


Black’s pieces are under nasty pressure and virtually all restrained to the back rank!  


The decisive move.
Suddenly black has no good defenses against the incoming 13.Bf4! move,
I suppose at the moment black is lost already.

12…d6 13.Bf4 e5

The only way to stop Nd6, actually white has such a huge development advantage then the following combination is natural as a baby’s smile:  


White ruins black fragile shelter with the simple rook sacrifice.
Black has to accept the rook but after 14…de 15.Be5 the Queen is trapped.

Black resigned

Morra Gambit – Part 4

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cd 3.c3 dc 4. Nc3 d6 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.Nf3 Nf6 7.e5!


 7…de 8. Qd8!  

So.. With no better choice the Queen has to be captured with the knight.

B.) 8… Nd8

 Now white could capture the pawn after 9.Ne5, the nice mobilization allows even more powerful aims.  

9. Nb5!   

White intends Nc7 winning the full rook. Black suddenly has no good answers.

The attempt to cover c7 after  9 …Kd7??, simply leads to the mate after 10. Ne5 Ke8 11. Nc7 checkmate.

After 9… Ne6 white immediately eliminates the knight after 10.Be6 Be6 and invades on c7 square with the decisive fork 11. Nc7+! Winning the rook.
No help either is 9… Be6 – black is hoping for 10. Be6? Ne6 covering the c7 square, nevertheless white wins easily after 10. Nc7! Kd7 11.Na8 Bc4 for a short while look like black is fine – the Na8 is trapped and black could hope to capture it soon. But here came the surprise 12. Ne5+! With the check – the Bishop c4 is lost.
The only precise defense

9… Rb8

indeed after


 white creates the threat Nc7 checkmate.

10… e6

 now white could simply take the pawn 11.Na7 or continue the attack after

12. Nc7+ Ke7 13.b3! 

 Gaining more development due the mating threat Ba3!
Lets just evaluate the position. White has completed his development, when the black pieces are just on the back rank. Thus white easily exploits an ugly position of the King on e7 by increasing their pieces activity and keeping an unpleasant pressure.
The main conclusion:
In the Morra gambit black has to be extremely careful. One slip could cause an immediate disaster as I have shown above.

Letter From a Reader – Cochrane Gambit

Dear Mr. Alterman 

Some time ago I enjoyed your three videos on Cochrane Gambit, and decided to give this gambit a try in a serious tournament game as soon as someone would dare to play me the Petroff. It just happened today, July 27, in last round of Canadian Open. I thought you would be happy to see the score of my very first game with this gambit.

White: Louis Morin (1907)- Black: Alex Ferreira (1954)

Canadian Open, 9th round, July 27, 2008.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nxf7 Kxf7 5.Bc4+ Be6 6. Bxe6+ Kxe6 7.d4 Be7 8.O-O Kf7 9.Nc3 Rf8 10.f4 Kg8 11.Be3 c5 12.e5 dxe5 13.fxe5 Nd5?

A most natural move. I guess Black was expecting 14.Nxd5 Qxd5 with much the better game, but…

14.Rxf8+! Bxf8 

(Black is losing after 14…Kf8 15.Qf3+! and knight d5 is gone – B.A)


Pins and wins the knight since the black queen is not protected anymore. I give the remaining moves only to show that I did not waste this opportunity.

 15…Nc6 16.Qxd5+ Qxd5 17.Nxd5 Nxe5 18.b3 Ng4 19.Bd4 Rc8 20.b4 Re8 21.h3 Ne5 22.Bxe5 Rxe5 23.c4 Re2 24.Kf1 Rc2 25.Ne3 Rc3 26.Ke2 Ra3 27.Nc2 Rc3 28.Kd2 Rxc4 29.g3 Re4 30.Re1 Txe1 31.Nxe1 Kf7 32.Ke3 Ke6 33.Ke4 g6 34.Nf3 h6 35.Nd5+ Kd7 36.Kd6 h5 37.a4 g5 38.g4 hxg4 39.hxg4 Be7 40.b5 Bd8 41.c6+ Kc8 42.Ne6 Be7 43.Nc5 bxc6+ 44.Kxc6 Kb8 45.a5 Kc8 46.Nd7 Bd8 47.b6 axb6 48.a6


Should you like this example, please feel free to use it in future videos or chess lessons. With all my thanks

Louis Morin

Montreal, Canada