Kirkbride Buildings Blog

August 24th, 2009

The Danvers Opening

The Danvers OpeningSince I’m a Kirkbride enthusiast and an amateur chess player (quite a sexy combo, eh?), you’d think I would have found out about this a long time ago… there’s a chess opening named for Danvers State Hospital! For those of you who aren’t familiar with chess, an opening is the first few moves of a game. Sequences of opening moves which follow a recognized pattern are usually given names (eg. Two Knights Defence, King’s Gambit or Bishop’s Opening). The Danvers Opening (or Danvers Attack) is illustrated in the diagram at left. The moves are… 1. e4 e5, 2. Qh5

Even though this sequence of moves does go by other names (such as Queen’s Attack, the Kentucky Opening, the Patzer Opening and Parham’s Opening among others), it got its Danvers-related moniker when it was used by Dr. Elmer E. Southard in the years 1906 through 1909 when he was assistant physician and pathologist at Danvers State Hospital.

Guess what opening I’m going to try next time I play chess?

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  1. WSH August 25, 2009, 9:35 am

    My wife and I play chess from time to time. I’ll have to remember the move, it’s a pretty cool attack!

  2. Bob March 27, 2012, 1:57 am

    You will be surprised how often you end up with the king’s pawn and rook.

    Once upon a time, at a tournament in Los Angeles, a Chess Master was demonstrating his new 7 second chess clock to the crowd – and to one 8 year old kid that had camped out in front of his board.

    1 P-K4 P-K4
    2 Q-R5 P-KN3 (Black is annoyed).
    3 QxP+ B-K1
    4 QxR B-B1 (The crowd is delighted,
    5 QxN but Black is befuddled).

    The 7 second clock ends the game – and the Master demands a rematch – from a kid!

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