The Evergreen Game, Part II

By International Master Bryan Smith

Hi there again! Now it is time to see part two of "The Evergreen Game"! In the first part we saw how the game started.

How did Adolf Anderssen break through to checkmate the black king? Let's check it out.

Does it seem like Black is sort of squished back in the center of the board? That's right, he doesn't have very much space or control of the center. Also, his king is still there, where the battle is raging. But Anderssen has to act quickly, because Black can still castle if he gets a free moment!  

Right now White has a lead in development and his pieces are in more aggressive positions, but it is still hard to get to the black king. Most of all, White's own pawn on e5 is in the way! That's right, sometimes you need to move your own pawns out of the way, in order to open up the position. Anderssen now found a great way to open the e-file, using a knight sacrifice.


Notice that for the last five moves of the game, Black himself was threatening checkmate. But he never got the chance to make the move ...Qxg2 mate, because he was always in check! Anderssen kept the ball in black's half of the court, never giving him a chance to dribble it to the other side. This is called the initiative, which means that White was calling the shots.

Maybe now you have an idea why this ancient game is called "Evergreen". Chess players say it will never lose its leaves, even during winter.