Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sage Mode Chess - Paul Morphy 3

Sage Mode Chess continues with the story of genius - Paul Morphy.
After receiving his degree in 1857, Morphy was not yet of legal age to practice law and found himself with free time. He received an invitation to play at the First American Chess Congress in New York City and, at his uncle's urging, accepted. Morphy won the tournament which included strong players of the day, such as Alexander Meek and Louis Paulsen.
I've already shown one of the games he played against Paulsen in a previous post here at Sage Mode Chess. Today I'll be showing you another one.
P.S: The annotation on the last move is not mine
Enjoy it my friends

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sage Mode Chess - Paul Morphy 2

Today, Sage Mode Chess continues with genius Paul Morphy.
A brief history; Paul Morphy was born June 22, 1837 in New Orleans to lawyer and judge Alonzo Morphy. When he was only 12 he played against Johann Jacob Loewenthal and beat him 2½ to ½. 
I present here a third Paul Morphy game on this blog.
Enjoy people

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sage Mode Chess - Paul Morphy 1

My next few posts here on Sage Mode Chess will be about Paul Morphy who is probably one of the greatest players in the history of the game. It is famously known that the boy genius did not formally learn the game only teaching himself by observing family members play. You've already come across his most famous game here on Sage Mode Chess - that's the game between him and the 2 Dukes.
Here's another famous game by the prodigy. Here Paul Morphy had black. I hope you enjoy the game

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ademola Sorungbe in Sage Mode

Today on Sage Mode Chess, I present one of the best games (in my opinion) played in the history of Nigerian Chess.
I hope you all enjoy it.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sage Mode Chess - A Position from Capablanca's Book

In one of my former posts I wrote a short fictional story (P.S I never played against an IM in the loo!) which was actually an adaptation, into a story, of the famous game between Paul Morphy and the dukes.
Today I'll be telling another fictional story.

I stared for some time through the show-glass at the position. Chess tempts me so (chess always tempts me), so I went into the shop and asked the attendant - quite good-naturedly - if I could take a closer look at the set.
"Sure", he replied.
And to the beautifully hand-crafted art I went. I stood there for some time trying to figure it out. I must have spent a good time at the set, for the attendant approached me - suspicious, I suspect (pun not intended) -  as I reached for the Bishop on d6 and slowly settled it on g3.
"You've blundered", he pointed out
"What!? Does this guy even know about chess? This is tactics and either the...",.
Before I could say "Queen" (to myself of course), he picked up the Queen - he seemed to know what I was thinking - and captured the pawn on f7.
"Check", he called. Then I realized my gross blunder. For now after I take the white Queen with my Rook, then comes Re8 checkmate.
I left the shop that day wondering how I could have blundered.
Years later I got a copy of Capablanca's "My Chess Career" in which he talked about the game (I couldn't miss it and I never forgot it). He suggested, instead of my Bg3 blunder, Bh2+!! White replies with Kg1.

Only now should the Bishop come to g3.
So now if the Queen takes the f7 pawn with a check, then the Rook can take back but this time with a check - white's King has to move out of check first!

P.S: This is all fiction! I've never played chess at a shop. The positions are for real, however.

Hope you loved this.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sage Mode Chess; Putting it all together

So in the past few weeks I've been sharing, a little at a time, Sage Mode Chess games - games I played so well, I think I must have been in Sage Mode while playing them! Naruto fans understand what I mean ;-)
I've decided to put these games together in one place.
  1. Sage Mode Chess - Games 10 & 9
  2. Sage Mode Chess - Games 8, 7 & 6
  3. Sage Mode Chess - Games 5 and 4
  4. and my Top 3

I hope you enjoy going through them as I did presenting them to you

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sage Mode Chess; Game by ObiJoe

Today Sage Mode Chess features, for the first time, a blitz played by a good friend of mine at Yahoo! Games. He has done a good job at letting us peek into his mind as he played the game.
Thanks Joseph
Enjoy everybody

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sage Mode Chess; My Top 3

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sage Mode, games 5 and 4

Hi everyone. Coming in at 5th and 4th places are...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Paul Morphy and the 2 Dukes continued

In my last post I told a FICTIONAL story that led to the game between Paul Morphy and the 2 Dukes . Here I present the actual game in a Java Applet. The annotations are by Bobby Fisher. Enjoy it y'all.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sage Mode: Paul Morphy and the two Dukes

I was at a program one time when nature called for me and so to the loo I went. The call of nature so beclouded my senses that I hadn't noticed the label on the door. After answering the call I observed the label says 'GENTS e4'. Interesting, the gentlemen use loo number e4! My chess instinct would not let go off me so I succumbed. I wrote up my own label - 'e5'.

I came on day two of the program and again mother nature called. I got to use the loo again when I noticed someone had written 'Nf3' following my own 'e5'. "Ooookkkaaayyy", I thought. "So there are at least 2 chess lovers here". We all know what happens when we combine the following;
1)  A chess lover
2)  A second chess lover
3)  An opportunity to play chess.
You got it! A game ensues.

So I scribbled 'd6' wondering if my assumed opponent would respond. Sure enough he did (couldn't have been a girl, its a male toilet!). 'd4' was his reply. "Bg4", I wrote on the door and also decided to leave a message/greeting for him. "Hi, I'm Akin", I defaced the  toilet door with a lie and went back to my seat"

About an hour later, I eagerly (I do mean that word!) went back to the toilet to see if my opponent had replied. "dxe 2300+ Elo", "WOW!", I almost screamed! Playing against an IM at the toilet! At least the humiliation will private. "BxN", unsure if had made the right move.

The program soon finished and I decided to branch at the loo again just before leaving the venue. What I saw depressed me. His move came with a message that could devastate anybody's morale. "QxB - u'r dull". "dxe", I wrote. That was cold and uncalled for. So, I tried a weak attempt to lighten up the situation a little. "So, wat do u do 4 a livin?" (the toilet door was getting filled up by now!) I went back home that day feeling both angry and depressed. I made up my mind I would win that game not minding my opponent had a rating that was way over me.

On the third and final day of the program, I arrived at the venue very early. You see, come rain, come shine, chess players will be chess players. While others would have stopped the game on my opponent's last comment. We chess lovers won't.

'Bc4'. His move came with a message; "Wat did u say ur rating was?". This was good. I had thought my last I had thought my socializing skills worked. My depression and anger lifted. "Nf6, 1500+", I responded only to come back and find;
"Qb3, u'r not dat intelligent. Speak the truth and shame the devil!" WHAT!?

"Qe7, dat was an insult and it was uncalled for", I replied

"Nc3, ppl like u, who talk too mch r usually unintelligent"

"c6, u really r ful of urself aren't u" trying to refrain from using abusive language.

"Bg5, ful of myself? duh! we'v been talking abt u"

"b5". The program ended at this point and realistically I was happy about that. I hated playing against haughty people anyway (after all was this not a game of the noble?). Just as I had done the previous day, I decided to check out the loo again.

"Nb5" (Sage Mode) and an e-mail address. What is this!? A knight sacrifice!? Normally I wouldn't continue given that the guy was proud and besides the program had come to an end, but I really wanted to know what his sacrifice would lead to.

cxb was my reply by mail, Bxc5+ was his.

Nd7.  O-O-O Rd8.

The game continued;
RxN RxR.
Rd1 Qe6
BxR+ I was in a loo - almost literally!

NxB and I resigned. Can you see the ending? Below is a diagram of the final position

ans 1. Qb8+ Nxb8 2. Rd8#

If you were white playing against 2400+ Elo, the most honorable move here is Resign (give that !! (brilliancy))
A few days later I got an invitation from him which I turned down without thinking twice! (who wants more insults and yabs over a game)
I never got a word of apology for all the insults I got at the loo!

P.S. Non of all these ever happened. I never played against an IM in the loo!!! It was the game between Paul Morphy and the two Dukes. Paul Morphy beat them both (proof that in chess, there is no power in numbers)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sage Mode Chess. Games 8, 7, and 6

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Top 10 chess games - Games 10 & 9

Here I present the best chess games I've played so far. All of them are correspondence games and most of them, I played at (challenge me if you dare!!!). You can see my comments on the games in the Java applet.

Many of you might not agree with my ordering especially games 10th to 6th and may not even agree that some of the games should be in the list (I might have played better against you, but those games are undocumented) but hey, they're MY games.

You might have noticed I don't give looooonnngg winding variations or in-depth technical annotations (though I'll be doing that where possible - or necessary),  that's because this is basically a story-telling sequence, a sort of  diary you're reading through.

Observe also that some of the games are old (the 8th game for example, was played as far back as 2005) and so I might not really remember what exactly I was thinking when I made certain moves.

 If you'd like to share your personal favorite games too (with me), send me the PGN of your games in an e-mail. Please detail your game with as much comment as possible (not unnecessary ones). So we can share your moments with you.

That will be all.


1. g3 I decided I didn't want to play my usual e4 or d4. So I decided to play an opening I'd never really explored before.

1 ...c6 2. Bg2 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. O-O Nf6 5. c4 d5 6. cxd5 cxd5 7. d4 O-O 8. Nc3 Nc6 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. e3 Rb8

12. b4 I'd decided to put my planning muscles to use. I've read a lot about planning in chess and I still suck at it. I'd planned that if Nxp then the a- rook to the b file (pressuring the pawn, the second rook to the open c-file and at an appropriate time play e4 to open the long diagonal adding more pressure viz-a-viz the fianchettoed bishop on g2

12 ...e6 13. b5 yeah so he didn't take the pawn

13 ...Ne7 14. Rb1 b6 15. Qd3 Qc7 16. Rfc1 Qd6 17. Rb3 Bb7 18. a4 Rfc8 19. Ra1 Bg7

20. Bf1 The only thing I remember about making this move; I needed to protect the b-pawn and my bishop wasn't doing anything on g2. So I decided to give the clergy a mission Since I would have to move my queen sooner or later.

20 ...Rc7 21. a5

21 ...bxa5 After this exchange, my next plan was to place a white knight on the outpost at c4 (where it would take a looooonnng time before it can be exchanged with another minor piece), then double queen and rook on black's a-pawn. Leave the bishop and rook protecting the b-pawn. At the right time, this might just become a passed pawn and decide the game

22. Rxa5 Bc8 23. Na4

23 ...Bd7 error! the black bishop blocks the queen's path of escape therefore going the exchange down on the next move

24. Ra6 Rb6 25. Nxb6 axb6 26. Qd2 Bc8 27. Ra8 Kh7 28. Rc3 Bb7 29. Ra7 Rxc3 30. Qxc3 Qb8

31. Ra1 Planning to double on the c-file with the queen. Black's pieces are already cramped

31 ...f6 32. Rc1 e5

33. Qc7In chess, they call this a family fork!

33 ...Qc8 34. Qxe7 Qxc1 35. Qxb7 1-0


1. d4 This second game I also played at
1 ...d5 For the longest time, I had wanted to be a successful positional player. This was because I found Petrosian's Constrictor-style really fascinating. He seemed to be able to snuff the life out of his opponent's plan even before the opponent knows what plan to make. His games reveal his deep understanding of positional chess as shown by his exchange sacrifices(R for B, and R for N). So I decided to befriend the gentle giant they call positional chess You can imagine my ecstasy the day read somewhere that 1. d4 usually leads to positional games.... and yep, you guessed it... I began to play 1. d4, from then on.
2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3 Nf6
Can you guess the next move?
6. Ba3 From the time we were chess infants, we'd been milked with the importance of castling... so for black, no castling today (come back tomorrow). The bishop is very active on a3 while at the same time preventing black from castling. This is common sense chess
6 ...Ne4 Did black have to move that knight again? Common sense: In the opening, try to move each piece only once
7. Qg4 Qf6 8. Nh3
8 ...Nxc3 black moves his knight a third time.... see my previous comment.
9. cxd5 Nxd5 The e pawn cannot take back because of Q x c8
10. Bc4 Nc6
11. O-O I had felt tempted to play Bb5 at this point, but that would be contradicting my own principles wouldn't it? (that was my next move though)
11 ...Nde7 12. Bb5 Bd7 In my opinion, black should have castled
13. Qe4 a6 Do I have to scream!? I said castle!!!
14. Ba4 Nd5 So, he refused to castle eh?
15. Rfc1 Okay, planning for control of the b- and c- files. Or pressure along the c file by doubling rooks there. It all depends on what happens
15 ...b5 16. Bb3 Nde7 17. Bxe7
17 ...Qxe7 the black knight is pinned to the rook
18. Rxc6 f5 better than ...Bxc3, Qxc3+ picking up the rook
19. Qf3 Bxc6 20. Qxc6+ Kf7
21. d5 High hopes for the d-pawn (If I'm allowed that is) ...exd Bxd+ leading to 2 rooks for the queen
21 ...Qd6 22. dxe6+ Kf6 23. Qc3+ Kg6 24. Nf4+ Kh6
25. Rd1 Bringing the last white piece into the game
25 ...Qb6 At this point, I entered SAGE MODE (any Naruto fans out there?). I suddenly realized the black king had only one legal square to go to. So I decided to complete the mating net by seizing the square...
26. h4 Rhe8
27. Rd7 From now on every white move comes with excruciating impact. This move threatens mate
27 ...Rg8 28. e7 Rge8 29. Bf7 Rec8 30. Ne6 c5 31. Qxg7#
I never want to forget this game, so I saved it in a PGN file and uploaded it to my skydrive! 1-0