Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bad Bishops Latvian Adventure

My first Latvian Gambit was against Jeffrey Moore, a star scholastic player from the "Bad Bishops" team in Philadelphia. He had come up through the famous Vaux team that had won seven consecutive National Junior High School championships (1977-1983). The Chess Drum website has a 30 year old team picture of a younger Jeffrey Moore.

Mr. Moore would sometimes visit the Chaturanga Chess Club to play simultaneous exhibitions. I played him a couple times in simuls when he was about 16-17 years old when he was already a rated expert. Moore was a good tactical player who seemed to know the main line openings fairly well. I surprise him with a rare Latvian Gambit.

As to a study of opening theory of this gambit, about all I used was the monograph by Ken Smith from Chess Digest. I had played 2-3 Latvian Gambits vs the weak computer programs Atari and Sargon in 1984, but this was the first time I played it in a live game.

Today's game began 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.exf5 (White does best to accept the gambit by immediately taking either on 3.exf5 or 3.Nxe5. The sharp lines 3.Bc4 and 3.d4 are also playable. Weaker are the defensive moves 3.Nc3 and 3.d3.) 3...e4 (A key difference between the Latvian Gambit and the King's Gambit is that this e-pawn push attacks a knight in the Latvian but the move is pointless after 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4.)

Our game continued 4.Ne5 Nf6 5.d4 (White fights for the center in a natural continuation. The critical move is 5.Be2! d6 6.Bh5+ Ke7 7.Nf7 Qe8 when White stands a little better after either 8.Nc3 or 8.Nxh8. Probably Moore did not know this line; remember it was a simul so I had much more time than he did to think.) 5...d6.

There followed 6.Ng4 Bxf5 7.Nxf6+ Qxf6 8.Nc3 c6 9.d5 c5!? (9...Nd7=) 10.Nb5 (Better seems to be 10.g4! Bg6 11.Bg2 aiming at the pawn on e4.) 10...Qe7. As the game proceeded, Black activated his bishops. White lost to a queenside mating attack.

Moore-Sawyer, Hatboro,PA simul Hatboro, 07.06.1984 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.exf5 e4 4.Ne5 Nf6 5.d4 [5.Be2! d6 6.Bh5+ Ke7 7.Nf7 Qe8 8.Nc3 (8.Nxh8 Qxh5 9.Qxh5 Nxh5 10.g4 Nf6) 8...Nxh5 9.Nd5+ Kxf7 10.Qxh5+ g6 11.fxg6+ Kg7] 5...d6 6.Ng4 Bxf5 7.Nxf6+ Qxf6 8.Nc3 c6 9.d5 c5!? [9...Nd7=] 10.Nb5 [10.g4! Bg6 11.Bg2] 10...Qe7 11.Bf4 Qd8 12.c4 a6 13.Qa4 Kf7 14.Nc3 g5 15.Be3 Bg7 16.Qb3 Nd7 17.Be2 h5 18.0-0-0 Qe7 19.h3 Ne5 20.f4? [20.Rhe1=] 20...exf3 21.gxf3 Nxc4 22.Bxc4 Qxe3+ 23.Rd2 Bxc3 24.bxc3? [24.Qxc3 Qxc3+ 25.bxc3 Rae8-+] 24...b5 25.Be2 c4 26.Qb2 b4 27.Bxc4 bxc3 28.Qb7+? Kf6 29.Rhd1 Rhb8 0-1. White resigns 0-1

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bacon in King's Gambit Diemer

In the December 1983 issue of Tom Purser's "BDG World" magazine, Gerard Welling comments about the Liege Open 1983 where Emil J. Diemer played. Welling wrote:

"To my surprise, Mr. Diemer played in Liege. But he is old, and with his intensive style it costs him all his energy within a few rounds..." Welling then gives the Debast-Diemer game where Diemer won with an Elephant Gambit in 26 moves in an early round. After a story regarding Diemer's lost in the third round, Welling added:

"Diemer showed some games with 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 g6 3.e4 g6 (or d6) 4.g4!?, 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Qe7, and other strange openings.
"White: 1.d4 Nf6 (1...d5 2.e4; 1...g6 2.h4) 2.f3 (or 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 or 2...g6 3.h4) 2...g6 (2...d5 3.e4) 3.e4 d6 4.g4.
"Black: 1.e4 (1.d4 e5; 1.Nf3 f5 or Nc6; 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 f5/2.g3 h5; 1.g3 h5; 1.b3 Nc6) 1...e5 2.f4 (2.Nf3 d5 or 2...f5; 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 Qe7!?) 2...exf4 3.Nf3 Qe7!?
"Some of these openings surely are dubious, but they show a very personal approach to the game!"

These comments by Welling, published by Purser, had a profound impact on my life. My oldest son Mark had died in November 1983, and my enthusiasm for life and chess had pretty much died too. I played very little chess from 1984-1988 (in my early 30s). When I did play, I often experimented with these Diemer variations.

One experiment was 3.Nf3 Qe7!? in the King's Gambit. I had no games on this line, so I did my own analysis (B.C. days, Before Computers). I decided to give it a try in a couple APCT corr games vs players rated above me. The main game was vs Joe Bacon. We played four other postal games about 10 years later, two drawn London Systems (where I was White) and two games in a BDG thematic event where we both won as Black.

The Bacon game begins 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Qe7 (Attacking e4.) 4.Nc3 (The obvious move.) 4...d5! (Attacking e4, again! Rohricht-Sawyer, APCT corr 1986 saw 5.e5 c6 6.d4 g5 7.h4 when I blundered with 7...f6? and Rohricht crushed me, 1-0 in 16. I should have boldly pushed 7...g4! when anything could happen. The critical line from my analysis and games is 5.Nxd5 Qxe4+ 6.Qe2 Qxe2+ 7.Be2 Bd6 8.d4 Ne7! with equal chances.)

Bacon defended e4 in today's game with 5.d3 c6 (Junior 12 gives 5...Nf6!=) 6.Bxf4 Bg4 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.0-0-0. White managed an edge throughout the game. At the end Black will lose the g-pawn and White stands better. It is somewhat curious that I resigned when I did, however my APCT membership was about to run out at the end of 1986.

In 1987 I worked two full-time jobs. About the only chess I did was to continue my BDG World magazine subscription. I returned to play in late 1988 with the BDG. In 1989 I began writing my original BDG Keybook. By 1990 I was a USCF Postal Chess Master.

Bacon (2132) - Sawyer (1950), corr APCT 1986 begins 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Qe7 Diemer Variation 4.Nc3 [4.d3 g5 5.Nc3 c6=; 4.d4 d5 5.e5 g5=] 4...d5! 5.d3 [5.Nxd5 Qxe4+ 6.Qe2 Qxe2+ 7.Bxe2 Bd6 8.d4 Ne7! 9.Nxf4 Bf5 10.c3 Nd7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Nd2 Rae8 13.Nc4 Bxf4 14.Bxf4 Nd5 15.Ne5 Nxf4 16.Rxf4 Be6 17.Nxd7 Bxd7 18.Bc4 c6 19.Raf1 Be6 =; 5.e5 c6 (5...d4 6.Nd5 Qd8 7.Nxf4 g5 8.Nh5 g4 9.Bc4 Nc6 10.0-0 Be6=) 6.d4 g5 7.h4 f6? (7...g4!) 8.Be2 fxe5 9.0-0 e4 10.Nxg5 Nf6 11.Bh5+ Nxh5 12.Qxh5+ Kd7 13.Rxf4 Qe8 14.Rf7+ Kd8 15.Ngxe4 Be6 16.Bg5+ 1-0. Rohricht-Sawyer, APCT corr 1986] 5...c6 [5...Nf6!=] 6.Bxf4 Bg4 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.0-0-0 d4 9.Ne2 c5 10.h3 Be6 11.Kb1 Nc6 12.g4 Qd7 13.Bg2 0-0-0 14.Ng5!? Bd6! 15.Nxe6 Qxe6 [15...fxe6 16.g5 Ne8 17.Rdf1+/=] 16.Bxd6 [16.g5 Nd7 17.h4+/=] 16...Qxd6 17.Rdf1 Ne5 18.Nf4 g5? 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.exd5 f6 21.h4 Nxg4 22.Bh3 h5 23.hxg5 fxg5 24.Qxg5 Kb8 25.Bxg4 hxg4 26.Rxh8 Rxh8 27.a3 Rd8 28.Rf5 g3 29.Re5 g2 30.Rf5+= 1-0. Black resigns 1-0

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, August 29, 2011

Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Declined 4...e3 Again?

Amazing! Today I played three blitz games. As Black I won an easy game in the King's Indian Attack after 1.d3 Nc6. As White, I got to play the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. Both games my opponents played the rare BDG Declined 4...e3 Langeheinecke Variation.

Recently I have posted blogs noting that overall this line is played about 5% of the time when White plays 4.f3. Against me the Langeheinecke has been played only 2% of the time. With this sudden popularity of 4...e3 in my games, it has surged to almost 3%. If this keeps up, I am going to actually learn some variations!

In the first game I lost to the very same opponent I recently defeated. This Sawyer-dalling, ICC 3 0, 2011 game began 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 e3 5.Bxe3 (This time he chose a slightly offbeat line.) 5...b6 (Our earlier game went 5...Bf5 6.g4! Bg6 7.Nge2 +-.) 6.Bd3 Bb7 7.Qd2 e6 8.0-0-0 Bb4. Although the position is about even, I think now that it was the wrong strategy. White should play 7.Nge2 with the intention to castle kingside.

As the game actually continued, I got real interested in the possibilities and slipped into deep time trouble. Material was even, but Black's pieces were more active. Over and over again I noticed that my pieces were on the wrong squares! That shows a combination of poor strategy on my part, bad luck, and/or very good play on the part of my opponent. Sometimes you just got to say, "Yo! You played very well." Happens.

Back to the newest game given below. After 4.f3 e3 5.Bxe3 Bf5 6.g4 Bg6 7.Nge2 h5?! (The main line of the Langeheinecke is 7...e6 8.h4! h6 9.Nf4 Nc6 10.Nxg6 fxe6 11.Qd3 Ne7 12.0-0-0 and White stands better. Now back to 7...h5?!) 8.g5!? (This is not bad, but much better is 8.Nf4! [hitting the key squares h5, g6 and d5] 8...hxg4 9.Nxg6 fxg6 10.Bd3+-) 8...Nd5 9.Nxd5 Qxd5 10.Nc3!? (and again 10.Nf4 and White is better).

A key factor in the result of this blitz game was the clock. As play continued we both missed chances. After my 11th move both clocks stood at 2:35. Ten moves later I was ahead in time 2:03-1:33, a full half minute. I started to choose lines where I could play quickly and he would have to think, even if he might get the better position. He lost on time in an equal ending after my 52nd move. The final clocks were 0:47-0:00.

Sawyer-badris, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 28.08.2011 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 e3 5.Bxe3 Bf5 6.g4 Bg6 7.Nge2 h5 8.g5 Nd5 9.Nxd5 Qxd5 10.Nc3 Qa5 11.Bd3 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 g6 13.0-0 Bg7 14.Ne4 0-0 15.c3 Qf5 16.Nc5 Qxd3 17.Nxd3 b6 18.Bf4 c6 19.Be5 Nd7 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.f4 e6 22.Rad1 Rac8 23.Ne5 Nxe5 24.dxe5 Rfd8 25.Kf2 Kf8 26.Ke2 Ke7 27.h4 Rd5 28.c4 Rc5 29.b3 b5 30.Kd3 bxc4+ 31.bxc4 Ra5 32.Ra1 Ra3+ 33.Kc2 Rc7 34.Rfd1 Rf3 35.Rf1 Rh3 36.Rh1 Rf3 37.Raf1 Ra3 38.Kb2 Ra5 39.Rb1 Rb7+ 40.Ka1 Rb6 41.Rhd1 Ra3 42.Rxb6 axb6 43.Rd6 Rh3 44.Rxc6 Rxh4 45.Rxb6 Rxf4 46.Rb7+ Kf8 47.c5 Rc4 48.Rc7 h4 49.Kb2 h3 50.Kb3 Rc1 51.Kb2 Rc4 52.Kb3 Black forfeits on time 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blackmar-Diemer Keybook Chapters by Sawyer

This is my 51st posted blog. Now that I can see better where I am headed, I decided to tighten up my opening "Labels" catagories rather than have them expand to 50 different opening variations. The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit still gets the largest breakout.

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is divided into the seven chapters used in my Keybooks. Here is a description of how I organized this opening over 20 years ago:
1. BDG Avoided: 1.d4 d5 (or 1...Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4) 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 without 3...Nf6.
2. BDG Declined: 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 (with transpositions) without 4...exf3.
3. BDG Accepted: 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 without transposing below.
4. BDG Euwe: 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6
5. BDG Bogoljubow: 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6
6. BDG Gunderam: 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bf5
7. BDG Teichmann: 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4

Bob Long, publisher of Thinkers' Press, wrote this about my first chapter:
"Mr. Sawyer's section on the BDG Avoided, chapter one, is one of the best repertoire systems you will EVER find on the treatment of the play of center pawns and transpositions-EVER!"

The BDG Avoided could cover every opening there is. In the original Keybook, I deal with these lines. However in the labels in this blog, most of the variations that reasonably fall under other openings will be listed under those openings. These include the French, the Caro-Kann, the Benoni, the Dutch, the Pirc, the Modern, the Queen's Knight Defence, etc.

The BDG Declined is mostly the Vienna 4...Bf5, but it will also cover other lines like 4.Nc6, 4...c6, 4.c5, 4...e6, 4...e5 or 4...e3. Some of these games transpose to the BDG Accepted after a later capture with ...exf3 Nxf3.

The BDG Accepted follows 4...exf3. White can play the Ryder 5.Qxf3 but usually prefers 5.Nxf3. The main common line in this chapter is the Ziegler 5...c6. The four most common Black 5th moves after 5.Nxf3 are each given their own chapters: 5...e6; 5...g6; 5...Bf5 and 5...Bg4.

Recently I covered the Langeheinecke in the post Grandmasters Like This Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. Little did I know that I would be tested in the same line a few days later.

Today game begins with 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 e3 (This again. Hmmm. Last week I said I only face this about 2% of the time. Diemer named this line after Dr. Langeheinecke. Scheerer in his excellent book preferred the spelling "Langeheinicke". I am going to stick with Diemer's spelling since he knew the Dr. and played him in 1940.)

Last week I discussed our line 5.Bxe3 Bf5. This time I play the best move 6.g4! Bg6 7.Nge2. This is as far as I went in my previous post. My new opponent ventured 7...e6 8.Nf4!? (It appears 8.h4! is even better.) 8...Bd6 9.h4 h5?! (Allowing White to give Black doubled g-pawns. 9...Bxf4 10.Bxf4 also favors White.) 10.Nxg6 fxg6 when 11.Qd3 might have been even better than my 11.g5. In any case, Black's position is difficult.

Sawyer-dalling, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 27.08.2011 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 e3 5.Bxe3 Bf5 6.g4 Bg6 7.Nge2 e6 8.Nf4 Bd6 9.h4 h5 [9...Bxf4 10.Bxf4+/=] 10.Nxg6 fxg6 11.g5 [11.Qd3!?] 11...Nd5 12.Nxd5 Bg3+ 13.Bf2 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 exd5 [14...Qxd5 15.c3+/=] 15.Bd3 [15.Qd3!+-] 15...Qd6 16.Qe2+ Kd8 [16...Kf7 17.c3 Re8 18.Qd2+/=] 17.Rae1 Nd7 [17...Nc6 18.Qe6+-] 18.c3 Rf8 19.Qe6 Nb6 20.Qxd6+ cxd6 21.Bxg6 Rh8 22.Re2 Nc4 23.Rhe1 Kc7 24.b3 Na3 25.Re7+ Kb6 26.Rxg7 Raf8 27.Ree7 Rb8 28.Bd3 a6 29.f4 Nb5 30.Bxb5 axb5 31.f5 Rhe8 32.f6 Rxe7 33.Rxe7 Kc6 34.f7 Rf8 35.g6 Black resigns 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Curt Jones Najdorf Sicilian Defence

Years ago I got paired against a teenage player named Curt Jones. He was an expert whose rating was rapidly rising. While we played I was at my third college; I believe Curt was in high school. Curt Jones became a USCF Life Master. His current rating is in the 2400s. Curt's father was one of the better Tennessee chess players in the 1970s.

Many chess parents would love to see their children become chess masters. In general, how does the child of a chess playing parent become good? Here are some observations:
1. Curt was polite and friendly during our five games. This speaks to excellent parenting.
2. Curt regularly played in chess events. He was given opportunity (time and money).
3. Curt's father had an extensive chess library. Knowledge and training were available.
4. Curt said he studied books from his father's library. It shows a passion to improve.
5. Curt went on to be quite active for 20 years. This implies Curt probably loved playing.

Curt Jones and I first met in a 1977 postal chess section run by the Tennessee Chess Association with seven players. We all played the other six simultaneously, three as White and three as Black. In my initial Sawyer-Jones game, I was White in a Sicilian Defence, Najdorf Variation. I played 6.Be2. Jones outplayed me and won in 25 moves.

In those years I was under the influence of the great World Champion Anatoly Karpov. I played through all 530 of David Levy's early collected games by Karpov. At his peak, Karpov could control the entire board with his pieces, taking away almost any square that his opponent's wanted to use. About 10 years ago Karpov wrote a book on Queen Pawn Openings (only in Russian?) where he mentioned me when writing on the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. As I recall, Karpov called me a Baptist minister.

I won some nice games in Karpov style vs lower rated players by placing my pieces actively and watching for a mistake. However, when I played higher rated players, they did not make many mistakes. In fact, they enjoyed MY mistakes. I found that FOR ME to BEAT higher rated players, I had to sharpen my approach. I needed to increase the RISK to increase the REWARD. This led to a multitude of glorious victories and ugly losses. Overall, my rating and chess skill improved because of my more aggressive play.

After our first game, Curt and I agreed to play a two game rated postal match in 1978. During our games, Curt Jones won the Tennessee State Championship. In our two game rated match we both won as White. He won a King's Indian Attack after 1.g3 where I copied his first six moves. I won the other game given below. We also played a couple test games in my pet gambit vs the Spanish Ruy Lopez with 3...d5!? on which I wrote an article for APCT in 1979. In those unrated games one was drawn and he won the other.

Today's game began 1.e4 ("Best by test!" - Fischer) 1...c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 (The Najdorf Variation. Black's idea is to play ...e7-e5 in one move without allowing the d6 square to become a vulnerable target. Bobby Fischer made popular six years earlier in his match vs Spassky.) 6.Bg5 (Spassky often chose this sharp line. I have had better success when I have tried to play in Spassky style. Fischer usually played 6.Bc4 here as White. Robert Byrne's 6.Be3 would be very popular 20 years later.)

After my 6.Bg5, Curt played his favorite 6...Nbd7 (He told me he had never lost in this line. Normal is 6...e6). We continued 7.Bc4 (Spassky played Bg5 and Fischer played Bc4; I get to play both!) 7...Qa5 (Pinning the Nc3 Black has a double threat of 8...Nxe4 and 8...Qxg5) 8.Qd2 (Breaking the pin and protecting the Bg5) 8...e6. The main line was 9.0-0-0 b5 10.Bb3 Bb7 11.Rhe1 0-0-0 Korchnoi-Polugaevsky, Moscow 1958.

I chose to play 9.0-0 Be7 10.Rad1 h6 11.Bh4 Ne5 12.Bb3!? (The book move was 12.Be2; I wanted to stay lined up on e6/f7.) 12...g5 13.Bg3 Nh5 14.f4! (Black's king is in the center. The way to victory is straight ahead!) 14...Nxg3 15.hxg3 Ng4 16.f5 (Attacking e6 with both the f-pawn, the Nd4 and the Bb3.) 16... 17.f6! (Keep going! The threat of fxe7 is that Bxf7+ can follow. Thus Black dares not capture on d4.) As the game progress White sacrificed the Exchange and mounted a winning attack.

Sawyer-Jones, corr TCA 1978 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.Qd2 e6 9.0-0 Be7 10.Rad1 h6 11.Bh4 Ne5 12.Bb3 g5 13.Bg3 Nh5 14.f4 Nxg3 15.hxg3 Ng4 16.f5 e5 17.f6 Bf8 [17...Bd8] 18.Nf5 Qc5+ 19.Kh1 Bxf5 20.Rxf5 Ne3? [20...h5 21.Qxg5+/=] 21.Rxe5+ Qxe5 22.Qxe3 Qxf6 23.Nd5 Qg6 24.Rd3 Bg7 25.Nc7+ Ke7 26.Nxa8 Rxa8 27.Qb6 Rd8 28.Ba4 Be5? [28...Qh5+ 29.Kg1+-] 29.Qc7+ 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, August 26, 2011

Try to Avoid English Opening 1.c4 d5!?

The move 1...d7-d5 is a universal move that can be played against any first move by White. The only real challenges are the two moves where White plays a pawn to e4 or c4 intending to capture the d5-pawn on move two. The first option is 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 called the Scandinavian Defence (also called the Center Counter Defence).

After the second option 1.c4, White can increase pressure on d5 by Nc3/g3+Bg2/Qb3/e4 etc. Black can fight for d5 with pawns by first playing 1...e6 or 1...c6 (heading for a Slav Defence after 2.d4 d5). The weakness of 1.c4 is that it does not counter other central squares available for Black's focus, such as c5, d4, e5 and e4. Black can play 1...c5, 1...e5, 1...Nf6 or 1...f5 (Dutch Defence). Sometimes I also play 1...Nc6 intending 2...e5, 2...d5 or 2...Nf6 depending on what White chooses and what Black prefers.

Some books on the English Opening hardly mention 1.c4 d5!? at all. The obvious positive plus about this line is that if Black already knows a line after 2.d4, then does not have to learn much that is unique to the English Opening after 1.c4. It is common for such books to be a summary of how top players handle the opening. Top players rarely play 1.c4 d5. Chess database game collections are heavily weighted by grandmaster and master games. Club players make it into databases much less often.

The average rating for players in my large database with millions of games is about 2300. The rating for players as Black in the opening 1.c4 d5 is in the 1900s and occurs about one out of every 300 games. In my experience as White after 1.c4 I faced 1...d5 once every 20 games; the average player who played 1.c4 d5 vs me was rated in the 1600s. Compare that to the most common move that I have faced from Black after 1.c4 which is 1...Nf6 (over 200 times) where Black was rated on average 2109.

Today's MaryDawson-Sawyer game saw me play my prepared line after 1.c4 d5 2.cxd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6! 4.Nf3 e5. Clearly White has a lead in development, but Black is not dead. There are good chances for Black to complete his development. For the fun of it, in the notes I have added a simultaneous exhibition game were the world champion Emanuel Lasker lost to an unknown opponent in this line 100 years ago.

MaryDawson (1958) - Sawyer (2094), ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 19.03.2011 begins 1.c4 d5 2.cxd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 4.Nf3 e5 5.g3 a6 6.Bg2 Nf6 7.d3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Bg5 Nc6 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.Ne4 Qd8 12.Nxf6+ Qxf6 13.a3 Be6 14.Rc1 Bd5 15.b4 Rac8 16.Qd2 Rfd8 17.Rfd1 Nd4 18.Nxd4 exd4 19.Bh3 Be6 20.Bg2 Bd5 21.f3 Bb3 22.Re1 b5 23.Rc5 c6 24.Qc1 Bd5 25.h4 g6 26.Kh2 Qd6 27.e4 dxe3 28.Rxe3 Re8 29.Qe1 Kf8 30.Rxe8+ Rxe8 31.Qc3 Qe5 32.d4 Qe3 33.Qxe3 Rxe3 34.g4 Rxa3 35.Kg3 Rb3 36.h5 Rxb4 37.hxg6 hxg6 38.f4 Rc4 39.Bxd5 Rxc5 40.dxc5 cxd5 41.Kf3 a5 42.Ke3 a4 43.Kd3 a3 44.Kc2 b4 45.Kb3 Ke7 46.f5 gxf5 47.gxf5 Kd7 48.f6 Kc6 49.Kxb4 a2 50.Kb3 a1Q 51.Kc2 Qa3 52.Kd2 Kxc5 White resigns 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Alligator Mates in the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit

Florida is blessed with three kinds of locations for swimming. There are beautiful ocean beaches, swimming pools, and fresh water ponds and lakes. If we compare chess openings to those three options we learn a lot about them.

Millions of people flock to Florida's beaches every year. They are like the main lines of chess openings. They are popular. Everyone loves them. They look nice. They are fun to play. The only danger is that on rare occasions, one might swim out too far into the ocean and get bit by a shark.

Many swim in pools at their homes, neighborhoods or hotels. They are like less popular opening systems where one plays the same few moves all the time. There is a limit to how far one can go and to how many threats one can make in these openings. They are not bad at all, but it can be boring just swimming laps in a pool again and again.

Then there are the fresh water ponds and lakes. They are the most dangerous to swim in. Not only are there potentially fatal amoebas but almost every fresh water body of water in Florida has alligators. Most of them are small but they grow into something potentially big and dangerous. They are like the unusual openings of chess that sometimes include wild gambits. If you swim in these waters, you might not survive. A gator gambit might get you!

Recently behind my house there were three skinny little black alligators, two or three feet long, sunning themselves on the edge of the pond. When they saw me, they all scampered into the water. They are like little gator gambits that hope to trap some weak opponents. These gators hope to eat something quick and easy. Most gators are pretty fast. They are like gambits that quickly catch opponents off guard. Apparently I looked too big to eat. In fact there is a restaurant in town that serves gators for humans to eat! Sometimes the gambit (b)eats you and sometimes you (b)eat the gambit!

Almost every player likes to win games quickly. In the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit has many ways that White can pull off a checkmate in about 20 moves. Earlier this year I played three consecutive games on Yahoo that allowed me to pull off three quick straight mates in same variation. My opponent was lower rated, but in all three games he played the first seven moves of the main line of the BDG Teichmann.

Today games began 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6. White has three popular options: 8.g4, 8.Qf2 and 8.Be3. I tried all three in that order. 8.g4 led to a mate on f7. 8.Qf2 led to a mate of h7 if Black saves the queen in the final position. 8.Be3 was misplayed some by me, but still I was able to mate Black on g7.

Sawyer - daka207, Yahoo 5 5, 28.01.2011 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.Be3 [8.Qf2 e6 9.Bd3 Bb4 10.0-0 Bxc3 11.bxc3 0-0 12.Qh4 Nbd7 13.Bg5 b6 14.Rxf6 Nxf6 15.Bxf6 1-0 Sawyer - daka207, Yahoo 5 5 2011; 8.g4 e6 9.g5 Nd5 10.Bg2 Bb4 11.0-0 Bxc3 12.Qxf7# 1-0 Sawyer - daka207, Yahoo 5 5 2011] 8...e6 9.Bd3 Bb4 10.0-0 Bxc3 11.bxc3 0-0 12.g4 Qd5 13.Qf4 Nbd7 14.c4 Qa5 15.Qg3 e5 16.g5 Nh5 17.Qh4 g6 18.Rae1 exd4 19.Bxd4 Rae8 20.Be2 Qd2 21.Bxh5 Rxe1 22.Rxe1 gxh5 23.Bf6 Nxf6 24.gxf6 Qa5 25.Qg3+ Kh8 26.Qg7# 1-0

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