I mentioned it was one of the few books I kept when I sold
a few hundred chess books about 20 years ago.
(looking at the state of it, one reason was that nobody would buy it.)
I liked this book, it just seemed to click.
You get examples of every tactical trick in the backyard.
Ideas to put into action in your games from the sharpest of all openings.
(what else would you expect from an opening that has the Fried Liver,
The Wilkes Barre and Max Lange Attack as side lines.)
What you pick up theory wise is a bonus, what you are after is the ideas.
This book is full of trickery that can get used in any opening.
Infact it is a an opening I rarely played on either side despite having a head
full of Two Knights Traps.
Estrin was a great lover of the tactically beautiful and his flights of fancy are inspiring.
I get the impression he enjoyed doing this book choosing the juicy lines to investigate.
Often he would leave you with:
“White has a good or strong attack.”
“The position is equal.”
“White has an obvious advantage.”
It’s then your job to agree or disagree.
As always you must beware of the theory. It can get dated and the war cry
amongst those in the know is ‘Don’t Trust Estrin.’
So you have this book full of sharp tactical stuff and you know some of it is wrong.
But which bits?
That is for you to find out?
So you dig in and pull apart every line looking for possible errors or trying out
ideas not mentioned. It’s called ‘Studying Chess’.
Two examples. (page 41) A page covered in my notes.
Just this one page will unearth all kinds of fun.
Estrin takes us here. White to play his 16th move.
Following a line by Konstaninoplsky, Estrin gives.
16. Rxc7+ Kxc7 17. Bf4+ Kc8 18. Qxd4 b6 19. Re7
“With a decisive attack as confirmed in Corden v Rellstab Hasting 1968-69.”
What’s wrong with that?
Well Corden v Rellstab Hasting 1968-69 did not go that way. Rellstab did not
play 16…Kxc7 but 16…Kb8 and lost after 17.Bf4.
Also round about 1985 I found a hole in the Konstaninoplsky /Estrin line.
Unfortunately the Spanish lad Juan Cubas Pons as White followed and trusted Estrin.
(…or maybe he followed someone else who followed and trusted Estrin.)
Cubas Pons - Cruz Lopez Spanish Champs 1992 We shall play onto the position in question.
Another example is Page 32. My Back Pocket Trap No.193. (my flight of fancy.)
A mainline position. As above the theoretical chosen move here is 9.Nxe4 etc…etc,
What happens on 9.Nxd4?!
There is a famous 1920 Euwe-Reti game with this line where Reti pulls off a stunning win.
But I’m not playing Reti.
Not convinced? No neither am I really, but it is worth a shot on the lower boards.
Three times (and that is all) White has tried 9.Nxd4 on here.
2 White wins and 1 loss.
OTB my DB shows it as evens P.33 W.12. D9 L12
Do you want to see the one White loss on here. It’s a terrible blunder, worse than
leaving your Queen hanging. You can miss leaving your Queen hanging, it happens,
but in this blunder White thought about it, he knew what he was doing.
dmhaynes - Phoenix RHP 2006
So I like the Two Knights book by Estrin it forces you to dig and look at things.
And of course with all these tactics flying about you get good at spotting shots.
Tell you what I hate in Chess books.
When the smug gums author mentions a game advising you to look at it
but never gives it,. even in the appendix.
I’ve just joined the smug gums set by mentioning and not showing the Euwe - Reti 1920 game.
OK I’ll show it but before we see the 1920 game, first we must see the 1919 game
from the Euwe - Kroone match.
M. Euwe - G. Kroone, Amsterdam 1919
So Richard Reti being a bit of a clever Dicky has a look at this and in his lab and
discovers just below the surface some nice play for Black so when he met Euwe
the following year this happened.
M. Euwe - R. Reti, Amsterdam 1920
Orfeo sent me a game with this wrap up.
flashland - orfeo RHP 2013.
Good stuff and orfeo also asked if the set up.
Had been seen before. RHP threw up a few examples but this one was fun to note up.
stoffer (1460) - DidierCarral (1738) RHP 2012
The Red Hot Pawn 1000-1 shot. (this works once in every 1,000 games)
cheeky (1162) - Fremen (1355) RHP.2011 Game 8492304
First we sneak in Overloaded Queen lesson No.887.
When ever you have a Queen defending anything you must look to see if you
can expose the Queen’s greatest weakness. She must give way to any attack.
Never depend on a Queen to defend anything. Think of her as the laziest chess piece
on the board. She will attack for you but never carry a defensive burden.
Black to play.
The White Queen is the sole defender of the attacked c4 Bishop.
12…c5 hits the Queen and protects the a5 Knight. The Queen has to move and if
she stays protecting the Bishop 13.Qa4 then 13…Bd7 or 13…b5 wins the c4 Bishop.
Black missed this allowing us to see the once in a thousand game..
The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 152041
I’ve gone and done another smug gums trick.
Here is how the Corden v Rellstab Hasting 1968-69 finished.