CHESS

In the opinion of all true cognoscenti of 19th-century chess, Baron Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa was, if not the greatest player of his age, at least the one whose name took his opponents longest to write on their scoresheets. A true amateur, who served Germany well as a diplomat, he took time off to beat both Staunton and Anderssen in casual matches. Here is one of his games against the British champion.

White: Howard Staunton

Black: T von Heydebrand und der Lasa

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6

The Berlin defence to the Ruy Lopez. On playing this move, von H und der L is said to have stood up, clicked his heels and shouted: "Ich bin ein Berliner", a slogan later adopted by others.

4.Qe2 Bd6!

A typically Teutonic riposte. Now the bishop on b5 has no role, for if it takes the knight Black's game is freed by dxc6.

5.c3 0-0 6.d3 h6 7.0-0 Re8 8.Nh4 Ne7 9.Bc4 c6 10.Qf3 Bc7

Gradually Black's game begins to make sense. White's next move falls into a deeply laid trap.

11.Bxh6 d5 12.Bb3 Bg4 13.Qg3 gxh6 14.h3

White regains his piece with interest.

14...Kh7 15.hxg4 Rg8 16.Qf3 Nxg4 17.Qxf7+ Rg7 18.Qf3 Qd7

White has more pawns on the K-side, but Black has more open files. Precisely enough for his rooks, in fact.

19.Qe2 Rf8 20.Nd2 Ng6 21.Nxg6 Rxg6 22.Nf3 Rgf6 23.Bd1(see diagram)

White seeks to bolster his knight against the attentions of the black rooks, but it is too late.

23...Rxf3! 24.gxf3 Nh2!

Vorsprung durch Lederhosen! The knight clears the g-file and stops the king from escaping to f1.

25.Kxh2 Rf4 26.Rg1

The threat was Rh4+ followed by Rg8 mate, or Rg8 followed by Rh4 mate. You may take your choice.

26...Rh4+ 27.Kg2

Now Rg8+ is met by Kf1, but . . .

27...Qh3 mate.

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