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Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Lucky Escape

I was playing Black in a blitz game against a mid-1400 rated player and played the Two Knights Defense. He was pretty well booked up on it and I ended up playing an inferior line and we left the “book” with my faulty 13th move. I was struggling, so in desperation made an unsound sacrifice. He defended well and traded off pieces in order to reach a won ending where I had no chances for counterplay and several times was ready to hit the “Resign” button, but then I saw a remote chance at a swindle.

If I could trade off my N for his g-Pawn, his B would be of the wrong color to force my K out of the corner and he would not be able to queen so I’d have a draw. We finally reached the following position with White to move:

The quickest win is: 54.Kd5 Kb8 55.Be5+ Ka8 56.Ke4 Ka7 57.Kf3 Kxa6 58.Kg4 and wins.

Unfortunately (for him) he played 54.Ke6? and after 54...Ng3 I am threatening to capture the P so it has to advance. But after 55.f6 Ne4 I again threaten to capture the P and this time if it advances 56.f7 I play 57…Ng5 with check and capture the P next move so the game is drawn. Moral of the story? First, against the Giuoco Piano avoid the Two Knight’s Defense unless you know what you are doing and play Purdy’s recommendation, The Hungarian Defense (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Be7) because it is safe, solid and not much can go wrong. Secondly, study endings.


  1. Hi!

    Which book by Purdy?


  2. “The Search for Chess Perfection.” Note…Purdy did not give any analysis; he just mentioned that the Two Knights defense is risky without study while the Hungarian is comparatively safe.

    Also note that Bob Long of Thinker’s Press posted here awhile back that he has republished an expanded version of this book under the name “My Search for Chess Perfection.” You can check out his Blog at http://thechessmuseum.blogspot.com/