Sunday, December 18, 2011

Master Baishanski Attacks Queen's Knight Defence

About eight years ago I was playing chess games at Borders bookstore in Orlando, Florida. Most of the players that showed up to the cafe to play were mid-level to weaker level in skill. Some players were more experienced rated tournament players. The fact that I scored +35 =4 -1 shows that the players were not superstars.

During the times I personally visited this loosely unorganized club in 2003-2005, there was one opponent who stood out as better than all the rest. Milos Baishanski was USCF expert rated 2050. Usually Baishanski was rated in the 2100s, but he has been rated as a master over 2200. I was an expert rated 2010 at the time. Milos Baishanski is a notable chess coach of successful players. We only played this one skittles game.

We had watched each other play other players at Borders from time to time. It is likely that he knew I was playing 1...Nc6, the Queens Knight Defence. But there was no reason for either of us to prepare anything special for an unrated skittles game. As I recall Milos is roughly my age, i.e. not a young rising star. Our better playing days are behind us, but we can still play a great game against anyone from time to time.

Baishanski-Sawyer, Orlando,FL, 15.01.2004 begins 1.d4 Nc6!? Black plays provocatively, daring the d-pawn to advance. 2.d5! Most players are hesitant to play this move. This advance causes Black the most concern IF White follows it up accurately. 2...Ne5 3.f4 Ng6 4.e4 e6 5.dxe6 dxe6 [5...fxe6!? is more unbalanced. In that line Black sometimes plays Ng8-h6.] 6.Qxd8+ Kxd8 Black cannot castle, but the queens are off the board. 7.Nc3 [Boris Avrukh recommends 7.Nf3 Bc5 and tries to prove that White has more than a tiny edge.] 7...Bb4 [7...Bc5!?] 8.Nge2 Nf6 9.a3 Bc5 10.h3 Ke7 [10...Bd7!=] 11.g3 Rd8 Even though Black could not castle, one could argue that Black is ahead in development. 12.Bg2 c6? [Ouch. A serious mistake. White can force that exchange of Black's active dark squared bishop with advantage. [12...a5 13.Bd2 e5=] 13.Bd2 [13.Na4! Bb6 14.Nxb6 axb6 15.Be3 c5 16.e5 Nd5 17.Bd2+/-] 13...Kf8 [A waste of time. 13...e5!=] 14.0-0-0 Bd7 15.e5 Nd5 16.Ne4 Now White stands better. 16...Be3 17.c4 Bxd2+ 18.Kxd2 Nde7 19.Ke3 Be8 20.h4 Nf5+ 21.Kf2 Ke7?! Occupying a square a knight could use. 22.h5 Nf8 23.Bf3 Rxd1 24.Rxd1 Rd8 25.Rxd8 Kxd8 26.c5 Nd7 27.b4 b6 28.Bg4?! We stopped playing here. [White should have played 28.g4 Ne7 29.Nd4+- with a large positional edge to White in view of the weak queenside targets and the trapped bishop on e8.] 28...f6+/= [At this point, the Borders store closed. Therefore play ceased. My intention was to play 28...f6, but did not get a chance to play it. White has a slightly better game with due to a better bishop. Material is even. There has not been a breakthrough. The game is still very much alive.] 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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