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

This issue's Colemanballs selection:

"Football today, it's like a game of chess. It's all about money."
(R. Webb)