Checkmate in 4 moves

For those who might be interested, this is a unique mate in 4.  I know that some people will say to not focus on the trivial, but I find it interesting because this produces a pattern that I never would have predicted.




Play online chess
Click here for 6.Bd2.
Click here for 8... c6.
Click here for 13. O-O.
Click here for 22... e5.
Click here for 24... e5.
Click here for 25. Rxd1.
Click here for 25... e5.
Click here for 29. d6.
Click here for 29... Be8.
Click here for 31. d6.
Click here for 31... Re8+.
Click here for 41... Bb6.
Click here for 45... Rg8.
Click here for 52... Bxa4.
Click here for 55. d6.


4 Year Old Chess Prodigy Misha vs 95 Year Old GM Yuri Averbakh


The game starts pretty good but has some really big mistakes from both players.  I'm not sure how to evaluate the play of the 4-year-old, but it is a good starting point.

Around 2007 or 2008, eight-year-old Kayden Troff had a draw against me in a major Utah tournament. Actually, I was down at least a pawn but figured out how to get to a book drawn ending.  Two years later he won the Utah state speed chess championship beating a life master twice.  Six years after that he earned the Grandmaster title.

Utah produced a few prodigies, so I was used to losing to kids.

Tonight I had a couple of interesting games against ten-year-old Evan, who has an impressive 1500 rating.  The first game I won without too much problem, but the second game was a difficult struggle.  Evan plays with a maturity way beyond his years.  

Best wishes,

John Coffey

3 Year Old Chess Prodigy Misha vs Anatoly Karpov

Although a couple of moves are inaccurate, this is still an amazing short game by a 3-year-old against a former world champion.  Just the fact that he didn't do anything really bad is an accomplishment.


Chess Level 0: White to play

I present this for your consideration only because my opponent thought that he had me in checkmate, which I found amusing.

Play chess online


Simple but fun

[Event "January 2019 Member Main #1 Tournament"]
[Site "https://itsyourturn.com"]
[Date "2019.07.16"]
[Round "3"]
[White "badnite"]
[Black "John Coffey"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Ply "22"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bf4 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. h3 cxd4
6. cxd4 Qb6 7. b3 Bb4+ 8. Nbd2 Nxd4 9. Ne5 Ne4 10. Nc4
Nf3+ 11. exf3 Qxf2# 0-1


Mayhem In The Morra! - Blindfold Chess

Avoiding simple mistakes (in chess)

My friend was in Utah was asking me how to avoid obvious blunders.

Not meaning to sound like a broken record, this is what I said...

 I think that my chess strength varies from about 1800 to 2100. I have a friend, Steve, who likely varies from 1700 to 2000. If you can avoid making simple mistakes then you can probably add a hundred points to your overall strength.

The way that you avoid simple mistakes is pattern recognition. In the 23 years that I have had 1, 2 and 3 move tactics on my website, I have done both the Black and White problems a minimum of 200 times, and possibly much more. I believe in doing simple tactics repeatedly as a way of avoiding mistakes.  

Best wishes,

John Coffey



Chess game

[Event "Greenwood Chess Club"]
[Site "Kroger"]
[Date "Jun 17, 2019"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Nate Bush"]
[Black "John Coffey"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. g3 Bf5 6. Ne5 Nbd7 7. Nxc4 Nb6 8.
Ne5 e6 9. Bg2 Bb4 10. O-O Bxc3 11. bxc3 O-O 12. Re1 Nfd7 13. e4 Nxe5 14. exf5
Nec4 15. fxe6 fxe6 16. Rxe6 Nd5 17. Qe2 Qd7 18. Bh3 Rae8 19. Rxe8 Rxe8 20. Qh5
Re1+ 21. Kg2 Qf7 22. Qg5 h6 23. Qd8+ Kh7 24. Qc8 Nde3+ 25. Bxe3 Nxe3+

Best wishes,

John Coffey



I first went to the Columbus Chess Club 44 years ago *today*. The club started in either 1972 or 1973.

Yesterday, at the Greenwood Chess Club, we celebrated our 4th anniversary.

Best wishes,

John Coffey


McCutcheon Variation

One website spells it "MacCutchoen Variation", but this looked wrong to me, so I did some research and found the person who invented the opening.  It was a 19nth century master.  His win against the world champion in a simultaneous exhibition brought the opening to the public attention.

[Event "New York simul"]
[Site "New York simul"]
[Date "1885.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Wilhelm Steinitz"]
[Black "John Lindsay McCutcheon"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C12"]
[PlyCount "99"]
[EventDate "1885.??.??"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Bb4 5. e5 h6 6. Bxf6 gxf6 7. Nf3 f5 8. Bd3
c5 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. O-O Nc6 11. Qd2 Qe7 12. Qf4 Bd7 13. Nb5 O-O-O 14. c4 Be8
15. Rfc1 Kb8 16. a3 a6 17. Nc3 dxc4 18. Bxc4 Nd4 19. Ne2 Nxf3+ 20. Qxf3 Bc6 21.
Qh3 Ka7 22. b4 Bb6 23. Nc3 Rhg8 24. Bf1 Rd2 25. Nd1 Qg5 26. Rxc6 bxc6 27. Qc3
Qf4 28. Qxc6 Rxd1 29. Qxb6+ Kxb6 30. Rxd1 Qxe5 31. a4 Qf4 32. a5+ Kc7 33. g3
Qxb4 34. Bxa6 Qxa5 35. Be2 Rd8 36. Rc1+ Kd6 37. Rd1+ Ke7 38. Rxd8 Qxd8 39. Kg2
Qd5+ 40. Bf3 Qd3 41. Bb7 Qb5 42. Bf3 Qa5 43. h3 Qb5 44. g4 Qd3 45. Bb7 Kd6 46.
Ba8 Kc7 47. Bf3 fxg4 48. Bxg4 Qd5+ 49. Bf3 Qf5 50. Be2 0-1

"I have no respect for a man who can spell a word only one way."  - Mark Twain.


john2001plus vs karre1234

Started the ICC USCF Online rated tournament in 3rd place, but finished first.  It helped that the one higher rated player fell for a trap in the opening.  

I played about as well as I ever have in this time control of 12+3.  I was more focussed on positional ideas and I wasn't making tactical blunders that I know of.   At that speed, there are going to be inaccurate moves.  Most of the games I was in time trouble.

This game below is fun for tactical reasons.

[Event "ICC tourney 1651 (12 3)"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2019.05.25"]
[Round "2"]
[White "john2001plus"]
[Black "karre1234"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ICCResult "Black checkmated"]
[WhiteElo "1728"]
[BlackElo "1162"]
[Opening "QGD semi-Slav: 5.e3"]
[ECO "D45"]
[NIC "SL.08"]
[Time "17:30:08"]
[TimeControl "720+3"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. e3 e6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Bd3 O-O 7. O-O Re8 8.
Bd2 Nbd7 9. Nxd5 Nxd5 10. cxd5 Bxd2 11. dxc6 Ba5 12. cxd7 Bxd7 13. Ne5 Bc8
14. Bxh7+ Kxh7 15. Qh5+ Kg8 16. Qxf7+ Kh8 17. f4 Kh7 18. Rf3 Be1 19. Rxe1
Qh4 20. Rh3 Qxh3 21. gxh3 Rd8 22. Ng4 Bd7 23. Nf6+ Kh8 24. Qh5#
{Black checkmated}

Although technically I should have won this, I was low on time, so I was glad to get the draw.  My opponent is pretty strong, with an OTB rating in the 2100's, so I was somewhat fearful that this game go south on me.

My 15. Ba6 move was very dubious, so I regrouped and tried to find a different plan.

[Event "ICC tourney 1651 (12 3)"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2019.05.25"]
[Round "4"]
[White "john2001plus"]
[Black "lagarto300"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ICCResult "Game drawn by repetition"]
[WhiteElo "1740"]
[BlackElo "1830"]
[Opening "King's Indian: Andersson variation"]
[ECO "E92"]
[NIC "KI.18"]
[Time "18:31:05"]
[TimeControl "720+3"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. d4 d6 3. c4 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. e4 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. dxe5 dxe5 8.
Bg5 h6 9. Qxd8 Rxd8 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. Nd5 Rxd5 12. cxd5 c6 13. Rc1 Bg4 14.
dxc6 Nxc6 15. Ba6 Nb4 16. Bc4 Bxf3 17. gxf3 Nc6 18. Rg1 g5 19. Bd5 Nd4 20.
Rg3 Bd8 21. h4 Kg7 22. hxg5 hxg5 23. Kd2 Kf6 24. Rh1 Ba5+ 25. Kd3 Rc8 26.
Rh7 Rc2 27. Rxf7+ Kg6 28. Rxb7 Rd2+ 29. Kc4 Rc2+ 30. Kd3 Rd2+ 31. Kc4 Rc2+
32. Kd3 Rd2+ {Game drawn by repetition} 1/2-1/2



I wrote this on Facebook

Of all the chess players that I have known, the name that sticks out the most is "Steve".  I have known so many Steves who play chess, in both Indiana and Utah. 

Best wishes,

John Coffey