What are the odds?

We discussed odds-giving last Friday - that is, starting without one or more of your pieces.

I mentioned one of my favourite Lasker stories, where he teased a player who didn't know hime, which I quote from Chernev (1948):

Lasker `I think the odds of a Knight is an advantage to the odds-giver. You can get your Queen Rook into play quickly, and work up a strong attack. Let me try to give you a Knight odds.' Lasker's adversary assured him that at Knight odds, he (Lasker) would not have a chance. They tried a game though, and Lasker won. `You see,' said
Lasker, `that proves my statement. Now give me a Knight.' They played again, and Lasker lost. Now Lasker gave the odds-and won. After a few more games where they alternated in giving up a Knight, with the result that the side without a knight always won, Lasker's opponent, bewildered by the `proof,' got up and said, `I guess you're right after all. It does seem to be an advantage to give a Knight!'"

And here is a startling odds game: Potter starts without a Queen, plays six moves, then announces mate in eight! That is, his combination was longer than the game.

[Event "London (Remove White's Queen)"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1870.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Potter"]
[Black "N.N."]
[Result "1-0"]
[Annotator "Regis,Dave"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNB1KBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "29"]
[EventDate "1870.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Na5 5. Nxe5 Nxe4 6. d3 Nc5 {Each side
has made six moves. Potter now played his sevenths, and announced mate in
eight more moves:} 7. Bxf7+ Ke7 8. Bg5+ Kd6 9. Nb5+ Kxe5 10. f4+ Kf5 11. Nd4+
Kg4 12. h3+ Kg3 13. Ne2+ Kxg2 14. Bd5+ Ne4 15. Bxe4# 1-0

Chess Quotes

"The chess-board is the world,
the pieces are the phenomena of the Universe,
the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature,
The player on the other side is hidden from us.
"
— Thomas HUXLEY (1825-1895).