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danders 95 ( +1 | -1 )
One Pawn Short of the Fork Trick I have a book called The Chess Doctor by Bruce Pandolfini. It's a good book with a lot of interesting points, but I took a look at one the positions under ailment #14: Missing the Fork Trick:

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.g4

He gives this as an example of "a misguided attempt by White to commence wing activity early in the game." His main point here is that

4. ...Nxe4! 5.Nxe4 d5

"regains the piece, destroys White's center, and leaves the g4 pawn looking weak and silly."

Overlooking White's apparent silliness in pushing g4 when he did, the thing that bothers me is that it looks like White really doesn't have to allow the fork anyhow. It seems to me he could ignore the eaten pawn and advance his attack, maybe with Qf3 or something like that which threatens the knight or the Black king's sanctum sanctorum... or both.

Am I smoking something, or does this fail to demonstrate a missed fork trick?


bucklehead 164 ( +1 | -1 )
Bad example Kmoch's "Pawn Power in Chess" devotes an entire chapter to the fork trick, and (uncharacteristically for Kmoch) explains the motif quite clearly. This whole g4 nonsense just tastes bad: I'm not sure it's a move even my five-year-old would make, and other more plausible example moves (h3, for instance) work just as well.

I'm not sure if ignoring the capture on e4 is the right course, since a move like 5 Qf3 could be met by ...Nd6 or ...Ng5, both of which cover the vital f7 and threaten white's developed material. 5 Bxf7+ is possible, but running through the position it looks like white will have a difficult time whipping up an attack (especially with that execrable g4-pawn blocking the Queen!) and will just wind up down a piece and a pawn. Pretty much any other fifth move allows black to proceed with 5...Nxc3, leaving white with a mangled queenside and black with both his center pawns and the bishops to exploit the nascent spatial advantage.

To go back to Kmoch, his first fork-trick example is very instructive as he focuses on white's ability to neutralize black's attempt to gain the upper hand in the center: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bc4 Nxe4 5. Nxe4 d5 6. Bd3 {recapturing with this bishop will put pressure on the Nc6, calling for e5 to be reinforced} dxe4 7. Bxe4 Bd6 8. d4 {the key move: with the e5 pawn stopped and support via ...f6 looking shaky, white will be able to swap off the remaining center pawns and rob the position of its possibilities for tension. A draw is born!} Nxd4 9. Nxd4 exd4 10. Qxd4=

I would have expected more from Pandolfini.
chesskid22000 14 ( +1 | -1 )
pandolfini just stick to endgames i think pandolfini should just stick to endgame books,thats what he was good at not openings.i think everyone @ G.K. agrees
ccmcacollister 166 ( +1 | -1 )
Here is a line from a Vienna Game, where white does what you are proposing and ignores the fork trick. This is considered the mainline of that slightly different position.
***
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 Nc6 6.Nb5 g6 7.Qf3 f5 8.Qd5 and now ...Qe7 or ...Qf6. (Then BL is sac'g his Queens Rook but will gain activity and eventually win the Na8) 9.Nxc7+ Kd8 10.Nxa8 A very commonly played sequence in the Day of the Vienna, which continues on much longer. So you might want to look to it for similiarities. Of course, in the sequence you give WT can just prevent the fork-trick by d3 instead of g4 if he wishes to do that. BL could have played 3...Nxe4 if he wished. So probably the author wished to show it as a means of capitalizing on the g4 move rather than get into a lengthy variation. And if you did play Qf3 in your game, as you mentioned, note how you will have less Queen mobility (as per bucklehead mentioned too) than in the std.line and have used a tempo extra to play g4. So you need to decide if that g4 is going to help you or hurt you. But also consider how useful IS Qh5 in the mainline(?), which loosens BL's King position but helps him develop a bit too & as the Queen gets kicked around. So you are getting into some deep theoretical discussions here. But apparently Pandofini likes BL there. Why? When the strategic considerations would seem to make some fairly equivalent terms? (And I can see why the idea interested you!)
But, yeah, there Is a Tactical consideration lurking. After Bb3 in your game, BL doesnt have to play Nc6 to protect his e5 pawn, as in the Qh5 variation. Instead ...a6 (or maybe even ...c6!?/?!) stops Nb5 and Ne4 instead is not nearly as dangerous, with no threat of Nxc7. So that's my take on it anyway. Regards, Craig A.C.
}8-)
gunnarsamuelsson 84 ( +1 | -1 )
well I think this was a good example of a beginners misstake, from the white side.
The point is that whites attack is premature...Nimzowitsch himself says the forktrick is a good move on the white side ...from the black point of view it aint bad either after bxf7+ black will be the agressor..as in most premature attacks from white.. after qh5 id say its drawish white wins pawn back, but queen is exposed and black will hardly have any real problems.
But after g4? white silmpy loses a pawn and the game. The point is that after Qf3?? black simply plays knight back to f6 and the queen at f3 will be threatend by nd4!! and must return home if g5?? wich was the stupid idea behind g4??.. He only wants to point out a good example of typical junior attack.