Move Two! Chapter 11

It’s time to return to my book Move Two!, where we have now reached Chapter 11.

In this chapter we return for the third and final time to the subject of opening tactics. The first section is called ‘Explosion on f7’ and demonstrates examples where a piece is given up on f7/f2 to expose the enemy king to a check or to deflect him from defending the queen.

Continuing the theme of the weakness of the f7/f2 square, we then move on to Legall’s Mate. We consider the game below (which I’ve won many times, both over the board and on the internet) before moving onto other variations of the same idea.

Finally, we learn a few more traps which don’t fit in anywhere else. We start with the Blackburne Shilling Gambit (also known in English junior circles as the “Oh My God Trap”, a name coined, I believe, by Mike Basman). Not recommended but you need to know it to avoid falling into it. The position after Black’s 6th move occurs 41 times in BigBase 2013. A trap with more practical value is what might be called the Cambridge Springs trap. Black heads for the Cambridge Springs Defence to the Queen’s Gambit, and if White tries to win a pawn by capturing twice on d5, Black has a temporary queen sacrifice which will leave him a piece up. There are 262 examples of the position after Black’s 7th move on my database. Finally, what might be called the Milner-Barry trap against the French Defence. If Black tries to win a pawn on d4 too soon, as 47 players on my database did, he’ll end up losing material (in 31 cases, his queen). If you play the French you need to know this, but it’s also an idea that comes up over and over again in different guises.

The quiz this chapter includes five questions on the Two Knights’ Defence from Chapter 9 and five on the material in this chapter.

The Activities section starts a series on chess variants. We introduce Scotch (Progressive) Chess, in which White plays one move, Black two moves, White three moves and so on. Good fun and suitable to be played at the end of the chess club where there is not enough time for a complete game. It also provides good practice in looking for and setting up checkmate positions. A similar game is Two-move Chess, in which the players take it in turns to play two consecutive moves. The recommended version of this (not mentioned here) is for White to start with one move before Black plays two moves, and then continue as above: otherwise the first player’s advantage is too great.

Finally, Masters of the Universe reaches Anatoly Karpov. We look at his early life and the circumstances in which he became world champion, and annotate two of his games.

Richard James

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About Richard James

Richard James is a professional chess teacher and writer living in Twickenham, and working mostly with younger children and beginners. He was the co-founder of Richmond Junior Chess Club in 1975 and its director until 2005. He is the webmaster of chessKIDS academy ( or and, most recently, the author of Chess for Kids and The Right Way to Teach Chess to Kids, both published by Right Way Books. Richard is currently the Curriculum Consultant for Chess in Schools and Communities ( as well as teaching chess in local schools and doing private tuition. He has been a member of Richmond & Twickenham Chess Club since 1966 and currently has an ECF grade of 177.