Sunday, January 25, 2015

Why Trade Queens in Caro-Kann Defence

The Caro-Kann Defence provides a solid defence vs White opening attacks, but Black plays for much more than stopping an onslaught. A key strategy for winning chess is to minimize White's pluses and maximize Black's pluses. In today's game after a queen swap on move seven, White had exchanged two of his best attacking pieces. Black's knights and good dark squared bishop are left with excellent posts for operation. Good tactics are required for victory, but your chances improve with a favorable pawn structure and effective squares for your pieces.

Chess club players choose normal developing moves that may take you our of your prepared book, but beware of transpositions. In a  Caro-Kann Defence my late friend Bob Muir answered 1.e4 c6 with 2.Nf3. However after 2...d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.d4 e6 5.Bd3 we reached the 3.e5 Bf5 4.Bd3 line by transposition. Bob Muir was a mainstay of the club at Lycoming College during the years I lived in Williamsport, Pennsylvania where we just played games for fun. Black exchanges White's active pieces: a queen, a rook, a bishop and a knight. The game ends with a bishop fork check that picks up a knight.

Muir (1800) - Sawyer (2010), Williamsport PA 1997 begins 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.d4 e6 5.Bd3 Bxd3 6.Qxd3 Qa5+ 7.Qd2!? [7.Bd2 Qa6=] 7...Qxd2+ 8.Nbxd2 c5 9.c3 Nc6 10.0-0 cxd4 11.cxd4 Nge7 12.Nb3 Ng6 13.Bd2 Be7 14.Ne1 0-0 15.f4 Nh4 16.Nf3 Nxf3+ 17.Rxf3 g6 18.g4 Rfc8 19.a3 a5 20.Rc1? [20.a4=] 20...a4 21.Nc5? b6?! [Missing 21...Nxd4 22.Rfc3 Ne2+! with a winning fork.] 22.Nd7 Nxd4 23.Rf2 [23.Rxc8+ Rxc8-/+] 23...Nb3 24.Rxc8+ Rxc8 25.Bc3 Nc5 [25...d4! 26.Nxb6 Rc6 27.Bxd4 Nxd4-+] 26.Nxb6 [26.Bb4! Nxd7 27.Bxe7 Rc4-/+] 26...Rc6 27.Ba5 Ne4 28.Re2 Bc5+ 0-1

Copyright 2015 Tim Sawyer. Click here for my HOME PAGE.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tim Just Fast and Furious Blackmar-Diemer

The Midwest produced many Blackmar-Diemer Gambit players like Nikolajs Kampars and Peter Webster of Wisconsin, Charles Diebert of Ohio, Tim McGrew of Michigan, and Tim Just of Illinois. In a Illinois Chess Association post Tim Just notes:

"I have been lucky to see some of my Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (BDG) games published as variations to the main line in Reverend Tim Sawyer's BDG books; however, those were mostly postal games. I have come to like postal a lot more than over-the-board play. Why? Well, in OTB play I come up with an idea that is just bad and play it anyway thinking it is good. In postal I can take my time to "see" that my idea was way off base and I am then forced to make a good move instead."

One might logically assume that having a first name of "Tim" improves the chances of loving the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. However, "Tom" is also a good one. We remember our friend Tom Purser who published the BDG World magazine for 15 years. Tom is no longer active in chess, but he does read and follow us. We wish him all the best!

Tim Just is a thoughtful and successful expert postal player. I found today's game in my database played in Rosemont, Illinois. I do not know the circumstances, but apparently played "live". David Koons fights back when our friend Tim Just plays a furious gambit 2.e4!? Black accepts and returns a fast attack by 5...Nc6. Normally White plays 6.Bb5, but Tim chooses the furious 6.d5!? kicking the knight. The Black stead gallops off with a fast attack on the queenside rook by 8...Nxc2. White's knight leaps to the with a furious central counter. Black moves on with the fast attack of 14...Qh4 threatening a sneaky back rank mate. White's finishing move is a furious checkmate on move 17. Fabulous!

Just - Koons, Rosemont, IL (4), 1996 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Nc6 6.d5?! [This is a natural reaction when both players are facing a ticking clock. The main line is 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.0-0 e6 8.Bg5 Be7 and then 9.d5! leading to equal chances in a wide open position.] 6...Nb4 7.Bc4 Bf5 [7...c6!-/+] 8.0-0 Nxc2? [8...e6 9.dxe6 fxe6 10.Qe2 Nxc2 11.Bxe6 Bxe6 12.Qxc2 Bc5+ 13.Kh1 0-0 14.Bg5 Bb6 15.Rfe1=] 9.Ne5! Nxa1 10.Rxf5 e6 11.Qa4+ [This is good, and the risky looking 11.Nxf7!+- turns out to be very strong too.] 11...Nd7 12.Rxf7 exd5 13.Rxd7 Bc5+ 14.Kh1 Qh4 15.Rxc7+ Kf8 16.Nd7+ Kg8 17.Bxd5# 1-0

Copyright 2015 Tim Sawyer. Click here for my HOME PAGE.

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