Dennis M's Chess Site

This is a blog for chess fans by a chess fan. I enjoy winning as much as anyone else, and I've had a reasonable amount of success as a competitor, but what keeps me coming back to the game is its beauty. And that, primarily, is what this site will be about! All material copyrighted.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

This Week's Non-April Fools' Show

Amos Burn (1848-1925) is best known to us for his variation in the French Defense (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4) and for his horrible loss in the famous "pipe game" with Frank Marshall. If you're especially literate in chess history, you may even know of Burn's reputation as a player with a passive, stodgy style.

That's part of the story, but there's more. (How could there not be? What a shame it is to dismiss one's life or even just their creative achievements in a sentence or two!) Despite his often less than crowd-pleasing style, his great strength also enabled him to play some excellent and exciting games; this week, we'll take a look at one of them, a game featuring one of the most amazing moves of all time. Better still, as it was a casual game, it's not in your databases (though it can be found in this universally acclaimed monster volume), so this week's show is especially worth watching.

Here's the beginning of the game:

MacDonald - Burn,Amos [C41]
Casual Game, 1910

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nd7 4.Nc3 Ngf6 5.Bc4 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Re1 c6 8.d5 c5 9.Bg5 h6 10.Be3 Kh7 11.h3 Nb6 12.Bd3 Bd7 13.a4 Rc8 14.a5 Na8 15.b3 Nc7 16.Ne2 Nce8 17.c4 Ng8 18.g4 g6 19.Ng3 Ng7 20.Qd2 Rc7 21.Kh2 Qc8 22.Rg1 f5 23.gxf5 gxf5 24.exf5 Nxf5 25.Nh5 Kh8 26.Rxg8+ Rxg8 27.Bxh6 Be8 28.Bg7+ Rxg7 29.Nxg7 Kxg7

Burn is in (more than) a bit of trouble here, but just a few moves later, when it seems that MacDonald has him cooked (har har), Burn produces a truly incredible defensive resource that turns the tables. To see that move, and to see my analysis of the rest of this entertaining game, join me on ChessBase's server this Monday night!

As always, directions for watching the show can be found here, while a list of previous shows can be accessed through this link.


  • At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As always I enjoyed your weekly show. Have you ever thought doing a DVD with your best shows, maybe used a teaching aid?

    I would also like to ask if you would do a show on the Emmanual Lasker - W.e. Napier, Cambridge Springs 1904, It is a Sicilian that features attack and counter attack right down to the last move. BTW I believe Mr. Napier is the man who developed the natual log tables and us engineers used before handheld calculators became common.

  • At 10:04 PM, Blogger Dennis Monokroussos said…

    Thanks for the comment!

    It would be nice if at some point Frederic Friedel proposed a DVD of (some of) my shows, but it hasn't happened yet.

    As for Emanuel Lasker-William Napier, I agree it's a great game, but (a) I prefer to avoid the best-known games, and (b) I don't generally take show requests. No offense!

  • At 12:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No Offense taken. The reason I suggested the Lasker -Napier game was that all the analysis I've seen was at least 50 years old. At least I am glad you know of the game.

    The only other games that I have seen with such skilled attack and counter attack were the games from the Tchigorin -Steinitz title matches of 1889 and 1892. No grandmaster draws in those. They must have completely exhausted themselves.

  • At 12:45 AM, Blogger Dennis Monokroussos said…

    Thank you for writing back - I think I can be of use to you then! There are two quite recent sources with deep and truly excellent analysis:

    First, John Nunn analyses the game in Burgess, Nunn and Emms, eds., The Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games (a fantastic and dirt-cheap collection of exciting, high-level games (by a quick count, all but 43 of the book's 112 games feature at least one world champion, and most of the rest involve players who were in the top five of their day)).

    Second, Kasparov annotates the game in volume 1 of My Great Predecessors. If you have access to the books and money to spend on chess, both works would make a fine addition to your personal library - to say nothing of what it would add to your understanding of that exceptional game.

  • At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    With Nunn and Kasparov both taking the time to analysis this wonderful game I see where you would have reservations trying to add much to their efforts.

    While I have a large chess book (over 200 books including the first 75 Informants) collection, since I have been using Chessbase I have not bought many books in the last five years. Most of the newer books just don't have much to offer.
    I have looked at the Kasparov series but would prefer if they where on a CD because it is so much easier to play through the variations and follow the commentary.

    I have played chess for over 45 years, once wrote a local chess column that I posted on the a bulliten board. I had to set up two boards to try and work through any deep analysis, and hand write out all the moves and comments then type them into a word processor. Now with computers following variations and adding personal comments is almost trival. However, with these conviences many of the latest publications seem to be database dumps of games with Informant style analysis and little prose describing the ideas of interest in the game.
    It is the reason Why I like your broadcasts so much. You not only present a hard fought game, but your audience learns something about the players and get exposed the to ideas the players imbued in the game inorder to win.


Post a Comment

<< Home