Friday, October 24, 2014

Tom Purser Mad Dog Attack Blackmar-Diemer

Yesterday my wife gave me a clipping from a local paper with the following joke:
     A man went to visit a friend and was amazed to find him playing chess with his dog. He watched the game in astonishment for a while. "I can hardly believe my eyes!" he exclaimed. "That's the smartest dog I've ever seen." "Nah, he's not so smart," the friend replied. "I've beaten him three games out of five."

Tom Purser provided us with a creative idea in the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit which he called the "Mad Dog Attack". It follows 5.Nxf3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 with 7.h4!?, worked on with his dog present. In his BDG World magazine Tom Purser describes it this way:

"When I first showed this move to our English Bulldog Polly, she let out a yelp and ran under the bed. At first I was offended, but then it occurred to me that she has the same reaction to a strong bolt of lightening. She came out when I started to play through some of the games. Intellectual curiosity, I think, although my wife says it was the Alpo."

Tom Purser had quick success after 7.h4!? in the BDG Bogoljubow. I quote his game below vs T. Giles (including Purser's own notes). You can teach an old dog new tricks. Tom's approach to the game was a great encouragement when I needed it in the 1980s. Discovering ideas in the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is still fun today. Enjoy!

Purser - Giles, Stuttgart, Germany 1980 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.h4 [I began some postal games with this line in 1979, but the first completed game was this one played over the board.] 7...0-0 8.h5 Nxh5 9.Rxh5 gxh5 10.Qd3 [The basic, if somewhat crude, idea of all this is a direct mating attack with 11.Ng5.] 10...e5? 11.Ng5 e4 12.Qxe4 Bf5? [White need not fear a pin on his Queen since on 12...Re8 or 12...Qe8 he has 13.Bxf7+] 13.Qxf5 Qe7+ 14.Ne2 Rd8 15.Bxf7+ Kf8 16.Nxh7# [It's better not to test a new idea against the strongest opposition the first time out.] 1-0 [Notes by Purser]

Copyright 2014 Tim Sawyer. Click here for my HOME PAGE.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Alekhine Defence Pawn Engdame Quack Up

In 1998 my Internet Chess Club ratings for standard, blitz and bullet were all over 2200. I played the Alekhine Defence as Black and the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit as White over and over again. For me to excel at my age, the most healthy approach is to play a limited opening repertoire. Often I do not make healthy choices. When I play many openings, my rating suffers severely. A broad approach was fine for postal chess, because I could just look up the theory in books. Nowadays I cannot remember at blitz speed, which richly rewards repeated pattern recognition. I play whatever and my rating goes wherever.

One of the high rated computers I faced in 1998 was "duckbreath". That leads me to wonder about why it had that handle. It may be connected to a comedy troupe "Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre" on National Public Radio, or to Daffy Duck or Donald Duck.

In our Alekhine Defence 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 Ne4 game, I hung around until we reached a pawn ending that was won for me. Computers were notoriously poor at endgames. The process of queening a pawn might take 20 moves or more and 40 ply was beyond their horizon at blitz speed. Thus I was able to defeat many high rated opponents from time to time, because I was in fact a good endgame player. This 15-minute game was unrated.

duckbreath - Sawyer, ICC u 15 0 Internet Chess Club, 29.12.1998 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 Ne4 4.d4 Nxc3 5.bxc3 c5 6.f4 [6.Nf3 Nc6=] 6...Nc6 7.Nf3 Bg4 8.Be2 e6 9.0-0 Be7 10.Rb1 [10.Be3 Qa5=] 10...Rb8 11.Bb5 0-0 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.Rxb8 Qxb8 14.Ba3 Qb6 15.h3 Bxf3 16.Rxf3 Qa5 17.Qc1 Rb8 18.Kh2 Bf8 19.Rg3 cxd4 [19...g6-/+] 20.cxd4 [20.Bxf8! Kxf8 21.cxd4 c5 22.f5 exf5 23.Qg5 g6 24.e6=] 20...Bxa3 21.Qxa3 Qxa3 22.Rxa3 Rb7 23.Rb3 Rxb3 24.axb3 Kf8 25.Kg3 Ke7 26.Kf3 Kd7 27.g4 Kc7 28.Ke3 Kb6 29.f5 Kb5 30.h4 Kb4 31.Kd2 a5 32.Kd3? [32.h5! a4 33.bxa4 g6=] 32...a4 33.bxa4 Kxa4 34.c4 [Black also wins after 34.Kc3 g6!-+] 34...Kb3 35.c5 [Or 35.cxd5 cxd5 36.h5 g6-+] 35...Kb4 36.f6 g6 37.g5 Kb3 38.Kd2 Kc4 39.Ke3 Kc3 40.Kf3 Kxd4 41.Ke2 0-1

Copyright 2014 Tim Sawyer. Click here for my HOME PAGE.

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