Is the only winning move not to play?

I have no idea how well this is going to turn out, or how long it will last, or even what will happen, but there’s only one way to find out:

1. e4

66 Responses

  1. 1. c5

  2. 2. c3

  3. J12 (the queen quantum tunneled)

  4. 2. … Nf6

  5. 3. e5

  6. 3. … Nd5

  7. 4. d4 … Are you feeling lucky? :-)

  8. I think we’re in a superpositional state.

  9. 4. … cxd4

    Luck is just probability taken personally.

  10. 5 cxd4

    “No harm, no foul”

  11. 5. … e6

  12. 6. Nf3

    And the horse is out of the gate…

  13. 6. … Bb4+

  14. 7. Bd2

    Back off :)

  15. Well, fine, if you’re going to block my bishop with that piece, then:

    7. … Nc6

  16. 8. Nc3

    This could get ugly…

  17. 8. … a6

  18. 9. Nxd5

    I sense a whole lot of “x”‘s and a + coming up :)

  19. 9. … exd5

    Not exactly many other viable alternatives there.

  20. 10. Bxb4

    Ditto. Except, maybe you could ignore the black knight on the left side…

    I mean… what knight?

    I’m surprised you haven’t made a certain move yet though…

  21. 10. … Nxb4

    What knight? I don’t have a knight on the left side of… ooooooh, that knight.

    And I’ll make that certain move when his highness is good and ready. Or will I?

  22. 11. Be2

    I sense you’ll gallop back and then we’ll both make it ;)

  23. 11. … O-O

    Which is pronounced “ooh ooh”, preferably using gorilla sounds.

  24. 12. Qb3

    I’ll leave my options for his majesty to go to either side :-)

  25. 12. … Qa5

    Insert witty rejoinder here.

  26. 13. O-O

    After all, it was the gorilla in the room move.

    Not much is happening on the board to keep things too full of suspense. Hopefully I’m not falling into a master trap of yours. Maybe I’m missing something.

    Enjoy the trip back to Purdue!

  27. 13. … d6

    I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion that my second d pawn is more helpful off the board than on it. Or maybe it’s all part of that master trap I may or may not have. We’ll see what happens.

  28. 14. exd6

    Glad to be of service.

  29. 14. … Re8

    Enjoy your new isolated doubled pawns on d. I can assure you, they’re loads of fun.

  30. 15. a3

    This move goes against my better judgement. But it sure does feel good :)

  31. 15. … Nc6

    My knight can tell when he’s worn out his welcome. He’ll just look for someone else’s party to crash.

  32. 16. Bd3

    My bishop needed to get moving as well. I sort of left him open out there.

  33. 16. … g6

    At this rate my bishop is never going to get out of there.

  34. 17. Rae1

    Hmm.. I wonder what piece you’ll move next :-)

  35. 17. … Bf5

    Let the bloodbath begin!

  36. 18. Bxf5

    I must say your last move really shocked me. I definitely wasn’t expecting that.

    But alas, I think it’s going to get ugly. But it should make the game easier later on… less pieces to worry about :)

  37. 18. … Rxe1

    When the dust settles, we’ll have ourselves an endgame. But I don’t think the dust will be settling until a few more moves.

  38. 19. Nxe1

    The endgame seems far off still.

  39. 19. … Nxd4

    I’m not sure how well this will work out, but I like the alternatives even less.

  40. 20. Qxb7

    I had no choice, you forced me to do that with your knight threatening her life.

  41. 20. … Rd8

    Well, there were other squares your queen could’ve fled to.

  42. 21. Qc7

    Yes, but not nearly as fun :)

    Which one is it going to be?

  43. 21. … Nb3

    It’s looking bleak, but that hasn’t stopped me the last eight turns, so why stop now?

  44. 22. Bc2

    I like my queen too much to get rid of her now.

  45. 22. … Qxc7

    You know you want to capture that knight sitting out there, unprotected.

  46. 23. dxc7

    You’re right. Just not now. You’ve been warned.

  47. 23. … Rc8

    Well, being down a bishop and a knight might not be a lost cause.

  48. 24. Bxb3

    I have a feeling you’re not going to let me promote a certain pawn…

  49. 24. … d4

    It’s not like a certain pawn is going anywhere anytime soon anyway.

  50. 25. Nf3

    Mutually assured destruction on this one.

  51. 25. … Rxc7

    Gee, I wonder what your next move is going to be.

  52. 26. Rd1

    Rather than go for the kill, I’ll just remove any hope that it had :)

  53. 26. … Kg7

    It’s not like adding a defender is going to help much.

  54. 27. Kf1

    I believe he wants at least the opportunity to go out for air. He’s been trapped behind his own staff for too long

  55. 27. … Rb7

    Might as well have the rook do something.

  56. 28. Nxd4

    You forced me to protect the bishop…

  57. 28. … a5

    Well, I couldn’t tell you not to take the pawn; the best I could do is tell you which piece to take it with.

  58. 29. Rd2

    Something tells me that you’re trying to advance your pawn to scare my bishop into action, which would force me to take said pawn but then that leaves my b2 pawn totally exposed, so to protect him I need to play this move.

  59. 29. … h5

    A daylight charge across the minefield. It’s the last thing they’ll be expecting.

  60. 30. Ke2

    Well, if you’re goin to make a charge, I better make sure there’s nothing important standing in your way.

  61. 30. … f5

    Not much else to do in this position.

  62. 31. Rc2

    I can’t move the knight, but I can move around him :)

  63. 31. … 1-0

    I’m not seeing any continuation that doesn’t result in me losing at least another pawn in the next couple moves, at which point the material imbalance is pretty much insurmountable. I had been hoping there’d be a way to retake a pawn and then trade off material, and see if you knew how to do a King-Bishop-Knight versus King endgame, but I don’t see any chance of that happening.

    I don’t suppose there’s any way I can claim victory by pointing out that I made white’s first move, is there? :)

  64. Good game!

    My long term strategy was going to keep your king where he is now and then limit his mobility by slowly taking out your pawns. Then, with that in place I was going to advance b2 to b8=Q which might have sealed the deal.

    But that was going to take a long time ~ 20 moves.

    You did really well. I started the game by researching some famous opening moves (my plan was to hopefully recreate a Kasparov/Deep Blue start). However, John’s move thwarted my plans :)

    I got stuck and needed a second opinion many times, so I consulted an unnamed source.

    Since I did start with black, I guess I lost.

    I guess the only winning move is to make sure you’re playing on the right side.

  65. For my part, I spent too much time trying to set up mating traps that never paid off, and wound up getting behind in development, which I never quite managed to recover from. The pawn sacrifice to free that blasted light-square bishop was risky but deliberate; the bishop de facto sacrifice was not. (I could’ve recaptured, but watching your queen vacuum up my kingside pawns afterwards wasn’t too appealing.)

    Aside from trying to look up what the usual responses are to a 1. e4 c5 2. c3 opening, I didn’t go to any outside help; I just played around with a chessboard for probably longer than I should have.

    In a few days I’ll probably analyze the game and look for just where I went wrong.

  66. The analysis would make for an interesting animated GIF or PNG for an upcoming post :)

    This post definitely won the “most comments” award for your blog. Well, that is, unless you turn off your spam filter or something.

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