Advantage Dod: Annotated Games (1)

This might or might not be the first in an occasional, or perhaps even regular, series of articles displaying annotated games which some readers might find helpful.

The games might come from anywhere: just whatever happened to catch my eye.

I’m sure some of you were watching Wimbledon last week, and, if you’re reasonably knowledgeable about tennis history, you might have heard of Lottie Dod, five time Ladies Singles winner (and still the youngest ever), and part of a sporting family: sister Annie and brothers Willy and Tony. Their father had made a fortune as a cotton broker so the siblings had no need to work, and could spend their time enjoying their favourite sports. The two boys were, amongst other things, enthusiastic chess players: Anthony Dod (1870-1960), the stronger of the two, became champion of Liverpool Chess Club, Lancashire and the Northern Counties Chess Union.

I decided to look at some of their games, and found this particularly interesting effort in which Anthony Dod managed to win by sacrificing both his rooks on the h6 square.

His opponent, Daniel Yarnton Mills (1849-1904) was born in Gloucestershire, but spent much of his life in Scotland.

Click on any move for a pop-up board which will enable you to play through the game.

Some lessons you can learn from this game:

  • You’ll gain more long-term benefit by learning strategic openings like the Queen’s Gambit than by memorising variations of tactical openings.
  • Knowing basic checkmate patterns and sacrifices is a vital part of improving your attacking, calculation and defensive skills.
  • When defending, once you’ve met your opponent’s immediate threats you should look for active defence and counterchances rather than just curling up into a ball.
  • Not all sacrifices you’ll consider will actually work – or be necessary. White’s first rook sacrifice wasn’t unsound but put the win in jeopardy. The second rook sacrifice, though, was both correct and the quickest and most efficient way to win.

If you enjoyed this article, found it helpful and would like some more, please let me know. If you can write a similar article yourself, that’s even better!