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TODAY'S firework display, between two old German bangers of the 19th century, sees Black's king appropriately rocketed to the far reaches of the board, where it explodes in glorious colour. It also has the rare distinction of being a contest shorter in number of moves than the letters of the winner's name - a fact that would surely have been appreciated by the loser, who was the author of a celebrated tract entitled Applications de l'analyse mathematique au jeu d'echecs.

White: Count Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa

Black: Karl Friedrich Jaenisch

Played around 1842

1.e4 e5 2.f4

Warning: this opening should not be placed in the hands of unsupervised children.

2...exf4 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Bc4 Bh4+ 5.g3!

5.Kf1 is simple and good, but no way for a German Count to behave!

5...fxg3 6.0-0 gxh2+ 7.Kh1

It is as good to shelter behind a black pawn as a white one.


Planning to sell the bishop for a bucket of pawns after 8.e5 d5! 9.exf6 Nxf6. The move meets with an astonishing riposte.


Light the blue touch paper ...

8...Bxe5 9.Qh5

9...Qe7 10.Rxf7 Qc5 11.Rf8+! Ke7

Forced, since Kxf8 allows mate on f7.

12.d4! (see diagram)

Preventing mate on g1 and opening lines to let the Q-side reinforcements join the attack. Now 12...Qxd4 is met by Bg5+ followed by Nc3, while 12...Bxd4 13.Re8+ Kd6 14.Bd5 leaves Black stifled. Jaenisch's reply, however, is perhaps the worst of all.

12...Qxc4 13.Qe8+ Kd6 14.Qxe5+ Kc6 15.Na3! d6 16.d5+ Kc5

16...Kb6 loses the queen with check.

17.Be3+ Kb4 18.c3+ Ka4 19.b3+ Kxa3 20.Bc1 mate!

The Count delivers a knockout finish.