Monday, August 22, 2011

The old swimming hole at f6

We know about the fishing pole, dangling a piece on the g-file, tempting your opponent to capture it with his h-pawn, and thereby opening a line to his castled king. But how about diving into the old swimming hole, that deep, dark space at f6? What a special joy to jump into that clean, clear, unoccupied pool, as smooth as glass. Horses love to jump in there, and even elephants do it now and then—a chess friend just sent me an old game where Kurt Richter led one of his rooks in there.

For now, however, here’s a game played in England a couple of weeks ago, a rarer breed, an O’Kelly Defense. Don’t stand too close—the horse makes a big splash on move 17.