Dale O'Connell met my Bird's Opening with the From Gambit. Of course White can fall for the From Gambit Lasker Trap and get checkmated, but there is no need to do that. After 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6, Black's queen aims at h4 and bishop at g3. It is best for White to answer 4.Nf3 g5 with 5.d4 or 5.g3. If played perfectly, the 5.g3 line is a sharp complicated variation where White has a big pawn center. This forces Black to play aggressively. In theory, White has a small edge but Black is constantly making serious threats. In practice, White often blunders, leading to a sudden Black victory.
In this North Penn Chess Club tournament game played in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, I obtained a big opening advantage. However, I began the game with a bad attitude about the pairings. My reaction to that issue led me to foolishly play rapidly and superficially. My opponent held on and stuck around long enough for me to blunder on move 23. Then Dale O'Connell played a great tactical finish and won very convincingly. Thus, I got what I deserved. Don't let your attitude affect your aptitude for good chess.
Sawyer (1981) - O'Connell (1763), Lansdale PA (3), 1985 begins 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 g4 6.Nh4 Be7 [The main line is 6...Ne7 7.d4 Ng6 8.Nxg6 hxg6 9.Qd3 Nc6 10.c3+/=] 7.Ng2 h5 8.d4 h4 9.Rg1 [9.Bf4! hxg3 10.Bxg3 Bd6 11.Nf4+/- is better.] 9...hxg3 10.hxg3 Bd6 [10...Nf6! 11.Nf4 Bf5 12.Bg2 Nc6 13.c3 Qd7 14.Nd2 0-0-0=] 11.Bf4 Nf6 12.Qd3 [12.Nc3!?+/=] 12...Nc6 13.c3 Nh5 14.e4 [Now White can slide the rook back to the open h-file with advantage: 14.Rh1! Bf8 15.Nd2+/-] 14...Bxf4 15.Nxf4 Nxf4 16.gxf4 Qh4+ 17.Qg3 Bd7 [White is also better after 17...Qxg3+ 18.Rxg3 f5 19.Nd2 Ne7 20.Kf2+/=] 18.Nd2 [The winning idea is 18.f5! 0-0-0 19.Nd2 Kb8 20.0-0-0+- and White should pick up a second pawn.] 18...0-0-0 [18...f5! 19.0-0-0+/-] 19.0-0-0 [Again 19.f5+-] 19...Qe7 [19...f5!] 20.f5 Qg5 21.Kb1 Rdg8 22.Nf3!? [Too cute. Better is simply 22.d5+-] 22...Qe3 23.Re1?? [Hanging a piece?! Ugh?! 23.Nd2+- White would maintain a big advantage.] 23...Qxf3 24.Bc4 Qxg3 25.Rxg3 Nd8 26.Reg1 Rh4 27.Be2 Rh2 [Or 27...c5!-+] 28.Bxg4 Rgh8 29.d5 Rd2 30.R3g2 Rxg2 31.Rxg2 Rg8 32.e5? [A second blunder is too much. At least if White tried 32.Bh3 Rxg2 33.Bxg2 f6-/+ Black would have to prove he had the endgame technique to make his knight worth more than White extra two pawns. Instead Black plays a crushing move.] 32...Rxg4! 0-1
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The Long Bogo - looking at sidelines
3 days ago