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The ‘Evergreen’ game

The  ‘Evergreen’ game

This spectacular game demonstrates the type of chess of the 19th century. The winner was no other than the German Adolf Anderssen, which was known for his great imagination and calculation abilities. In 1851 he was recognized as the strongest chess (and checker!) of the world. His opponent was another German player of name Jean Dufresne. He was a chess composer, a writer and a student of Anderssen! His chess books taught several generations, and was famous for his book about Paul Morphy.

Anderssen,A. – Dufresne,J.

Berlin, 1852

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Bc4 Bc5


The Evans Gambit. In this opening, White sacrifices one pawn, or two in order to accelerate his development and seize the initiative.


The best way to refute a gambit is to accept it. Still, the acceptance of it put some pressure on the player.

[After 4...Bb6 5.a4 White simply has more space. Please check the game Kasparov-Piket, Amsterdam 1995.]

5.c3 Ba5

[the other major alternative is 5...Be7.6.d4 Na5 7.Be2 exd4 8.Qxd4 Nf6 9.e5 Nc6 10.Qh4 Nd5 11.Qg3 which was the course of the  Kasparov-Anand game , Riga 1995, resulting a win in 25 moves for the Boss.

The idea of Ba5 is to pin the c3-pawn after a possible d4 advance]


[If 6.0–0, then 6...d6 7.d4 Bb6! is strong, as played in Chigorin-Lasker, St Petersburg 1895/96.

With the move played, White seizes the initiative, an advantage that forces the player to continue energetically, otherwise this temporarily advantage will peter out.]


[6...d6 7.Qb3!? Qd7 8.dxe5 Bb6 lead to an unclear game.]

7.0–0 d3

[7...dxc3 8.Qb3 Qf6 9.e5 Qg6 10.Nxc3 Nge7 (Anderssen-Dufresne, Berlin 1851), is also unpleasant for Black after 11.Ba3! The strongest: 7...Nge7! followed by 8...d5! is much stronger, accelerating the development and reacting in the center.

With his move, Black offers to return a pawn in order to keep some lines closed, at least for the time being.]


[White isn’t obliged to spend a tempi in picking up the offered pawn. He prefers to accelerate the development of his pieces with attacking prospects.]


9.e5 Qg6

10.Re1 Nge7


[a standard move in this opening, eying to the dark squares around the black’s king]

[11.Nbd2 is wrong because of b5! 12.Bxb5 Rb8 13.Qa4 Bxc3 14.Rb1 a6 15.Bxc6 Qxc6 16.Qxc6 Nxc6 17.Rxb8 Nxb8 with a won endgame for Black, as played in Zukertort-Steinitz, London 9th matchgame 1872).

Till now, White has brought his pieces into the battle, profiting from the factor that Black’s king is still in the center. Meanwhile, Black has defended his f7-pawn, and developed his king’s knight.]


[Black wants to develop his queenside at the cost of destruction his pawn structure. It is clear that White is forced to accept the gift, putting his initiative to a temporary halt, but not for long. But 11...0–0 (or 1.. d5) was a better strategy.]

12.Qxb5 Rb8

13.Qa4 Bb6

[13...0–0? 14.Bxe7 .]

14.Nbd2 Bb7

[Most probably, Black was dreaming of this position, as his queen and 2 bishops are targeting White’s king side. However, an important element is missing in Black’ strategy: the initiative.

After 14...0–0 White can put more pressure on Black by 15.Ne4]


[now the knight is eying to the d6 or f6 squares]


[ 15...d2! 16.Nexd2 0–0 was the last chance for Black to safeguard his king, although White still has a significant advantage]

16.Bxd3 Qh5

[now Anderssen started his ‘evergreen’ combination]


[17.Ng3 Qh6 18.Bc1 Qe6 19.Bc4 Nd5 20.Ng5 Nxc3 (20...Qg4 21.Re4) 21.Qb3 would have finished the game without any problems]


18.exf6 Rg8!

[Black is ambitious ad play for a win.]


[When facing a threat, try not to immediately to fend it off, but find a way to ignore it and implement your own plan]


[Failing to see White’ splendid idea, Black permits his opponent to enrich our chess treasure. 19...Rg4, or 19…Bd4 or even 19…Qh3 have been analyzed extensively, as you, dear reader, can check it by yourself, with or without your silicon friend]


[when rooks are centralized, lines must be opened toward the opponent’s king]

20… Nxe7

[20...Kd8 21.Rxd7+! Kc8 (21...Kxd7 22.Bf5+ Ke8 23.Bd7+ Kd8 24.Bxc6+ and mate) 22.Rd8+! Kxd8 (22...Rxd8 23.gxf3 wins; 22...Nxd8 23.Qd7+!! - the same tactical motif as in the game) 23.Be2+! Nd4 24.Bxf3 Bxf3 25.g3! Bxd1 26.Qxd1 c5 27.cxd4 cxd4 28.Be7+ with a winning endgame]

21.Qxd7+!! Kxd7

22.Bf5+ Ke8

[ 22...Kc6 23.Bd7# .]

23.Bd7+ Kf8