Mayet,C – Anderssen,A
Berlin New York, 1851
This game demonstrates dangerous attack against castled king using h file.
1. e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5
The Spanish Game.
Q: I always ask my students what White is threatening.
A: Most of the time answer is “to win the e5 pawn”, but we all know that it is not a real threat. For example… 3…a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.Nxe5 Qd4 wins the pawn back.
3…Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.Bxc6 dxc6 6.0–0
The pawn still can’t be taken as e4 is hanging too.
The purpose of this move is to protect the e5 pawn whilst bringing a fresh piece into the action. Remember the you should try to mobilise your forces as quickly as possible in the opening phase.
Q: What is idea behind such a sacrifice? Is it worth it?
A: The idea is to open the h-file for Black’s rook on h8 and to get his queen to h4. It looks like a very dangerous attack but it is not because of 8. hxg4 hxg4 9. d4. Note that the best way to fight against a wing attack is to attack in the center, particularly when the opponent’s king is still in the center.
8.hxg4 hxg4 9.Nxe5??
After this you are invited to find the winning continuation for Black. Instead 9.d4 gxf3 10.dxc5 Nxe4 11.Qxd8+ is better for white
A gross blunder. Black can with the game with 9…Nxe4 when the threat is …Qh4. After 10.Qxg4
how can you win White’s queen?
Here Mayet missed hxg3, which is winning for White and the simplest way to stop …Qh4.
Can you see a trick that wins the queen?
Not accurate but still winning. 11…gxf2+ 12.Rxf2 Rh1+ 13.Kxh1 Nxf2+ 14.Kg1 Nxg4 was better than the text move.
12. Qxe4 Bxf2+ followed by checkmate in few moves.