Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Harry Potter and Wild Chess Gambit

When I was making my return to competitive chess play in 1988, I was blessed to be assigned to play a little known chess opponent named Harry Potter. Little did we know that his name would become very famous ten years later thanks to author J. K. Rowling. My opponent Harry Potter was rated 1460 and I 2184 at the time our game finished.

This week I am blogging the games I played in the USCF Postal Chess Golden Knights event 88N12. After not playing much chess for a few years following the death of my first born son, I was finally ready to play again. When I returned to chess play, I was much less serious-minded than I had been in my younger years. Now I wanted FUN!

Gone were the main line openings that I had played following grandmasters for 17 years. It was obvious that I was not the next Bobby Fischer. Playing proper chess had gotten me to Class A level (1900) in tournament play and Expert level (2100) in postal chess. That was nice and I was happy. But I wanted more. Since I was already in my mid-30s, I was not going to rocket up several levels. Indeed, a slow slide was likely due to age.

Then I happened upon gambits. I had dabbled in them a little from time to time, but in this event I would play a gambit in EVERY game. It was wild and crazy, but radical means were needed to jump start myself. It worked. I handled some games brilliantly and just got rewarded for boldness in other games like the one below vs Harry Potter.

Within two years of switching to gambits, my tournament rating jumped to Expert and my postal rating jumped to Master. Eventually age will catch up with me, but I have had an enjoyable ride. Of course back in 1988, computers were not strong. My opponents could not simply plug the position into a chess engine and get a great evaluation. Back then computers were notorious for misreading the compensation of a gambit.

In a recent episode of Nikita on television, it was said: "Sometimes you have to sacrifice a pawn to motivate your knights." Today's game sees me do just that. Harry Potter plays well for a while and even eliminates one of my knights. But the other horse does him in. I play the wild Englund Gambit, Soller Variation, sort of a Blackmar-Diemer in reverse.

Potter-Sawyer, corr USCF 88N12, 1988 begins 1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 f6 4.e4 fxe5 [Picture a Scotch Game 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 f6 4.dxe5 fxe5 and here we have a perfect transposition.] 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Bc4 Bc5 7.0-0 Rf8 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 d6 10.Nd5 Bg4 11.Nxf6+ gxf6 12.h3 Bh5 13.Qd2? [13.c3! would keep my knight from d4 when White stands better.] 13...Bxf3 14.gxf3 Qd7 15.Qxh6 [15.Kh2 Nd4 16.Qd3 f5!=] 15...Qxh3 16.Qg6+ Kd7 17.Bxf6 [17.Qg7+ Ne7 18.Qg4+ Qxg4+ 19.fxg4 d5!=] 17...Nd4 18.Qg7+ Kc6 ["I overlooked Nd4! Good game. Harry."] 0-1

Copyright 2011 Tim Sawyer. Click here for my latest blog post.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Offbeat Unorthodox Wild Gambits

From time to time life gets in the way of my chess play. Due to some family issues in the mid-1980s, I had quit playing chess while I worked on other things. Eventually I found the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. By 1987 I began to plan a return to correspondence play. During this time I entertained myself with wild unorthodox offbeat gambit openings.

In 1988 I entered one section of the USCF Golden Knights Postal Chess Tournament. For the next few days I will blog about those six games that I played. My first opponent was Sal Calvanico. My opponent was rated 2007 and I was rated 2124. Calvanico tried the English Opening and I threw out the Flank Opening relpy of the Macho Grob 1.c4 g5?! Of course back then there were no strong computers to show a human how White gets a big advantage in such a position by force. We were on our own.

Calvanico-Sawyer, corr USCF 88N12 1988 begins 1.c4 g5?! 2.d4 Bg7 3.Bxg5 c5 4.Nf3 Qb6 [4...cxd4 5.Nxd4 Qb6 6.Nb5 a6 7.Be3 Qa5+ 8.N5c3+/=] 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nd5 Qa5+ 7.Bd2 [7.Qd2!+-] 7...Qd8 8.Bf4 Kf8 9.Bc7 Qe8 10.Bg3 Qd8 11.e3 b6 12.Bc7 Qe8 13.Bxb6? [13.Bf4+-] 13...axb6 14.Nc7 Qd8 15.Nxa8 Bb7 16.Be2 cxd4 17.exd4 Qxa8 18.0-0 h5 19.a3? Nh6 [19...Rh6!=] 20.Rb1 Ng4 21.h3? [21.d5 Nce5=] 21...Qb8 22.g3 Ne3 23.Qd2 Nxf1 24.Bxf1 Qd6 25.d5 Ne5 26.Nxe5 Qxe5 27.Qb4 Qd4 28.Re1 Be5 29.Rxe5 Qxe5 30.Qxb6 Kg7? [30...Bc8!-+] 31.Qxb7 Rb8 32.Qxd7 Rxb2 33.Qa7 Ra2 34.a4 Ra1 35.Qa5??-+ ["I realized after I mailed the move how awful 35.Qa5 was; should have played 35.Qe3= with some chances to trade down and draw. Good luck in your next round. Regards, Sal"] 35...Rd1 0-1

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

My Felber Game from Jego's New BDG Book

In the past five days I have reviewed Eric Jego's latest book on the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. My third and final game in the book is against Robert J Felber. There are two Felbers who played in the BDG thematic correspondence tournaments in the 1990s. I played them a total of 10 games.

From 1995-1997 I played Josef M. Felber three times. Black won every game. The first game I was White in an Alekhine Defence. Yes, since I have played 1.e4 thousands of times, there were games where I face my beloved Alekhine. The last two games were BDGs and we both won as Black.

Against Robert J. Felber, I played seven BDGs during the same time period, 1996-1997. I was White twice and Black five times. I won one as Black and all the other games were drawn. Today's game was the longest of the batch. Black kept his king in the center while my bishops were actively placed on Bc4 and Bg5. When Black pushed his queenside pawns, I broke up his kingside pawns. The notes below vs Robert are mine.

Sawyer-Felber, corr Internet 1996 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 c6 O'Kelly Variation is often reached via the Caro-Kann Defence. 5.Bc4 [This bishop development is standard and can easily transpose as noted. Other lines are also playable such as: 5.Nxe4; 5.fxe4; 5.Be3] 5...b5 6.Bb3 exf3 [If Black does not want to accept the f-pawn, he can play 6...e6] 7.Nxf3 [We have reached a line in the BDG Ziegler Variation (5.Nxf3 c6)] 7...Nbd7 8.0-0 e6 9.Bg5 a5 10.Qe2 Nb6 [10...Be7!=/+] 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.a3 f5 13.Qe3 Rg8 [White grabs the open g-file for attack.] 14.Ne5 Qg5?! 15.Qf3 Bb7 16.Nxb5 Rc8 17.Nc3 Nd5 18.Rf2 Bg7 19.Rd1 Bxe5 20.dxe5 Rc7 21.Bxd5 exd5 22.Qxf5 Qxf5 23.Rxf5 Bc8 24.Rf6 Be6 25.Rh6 Bf5 26.Rd2 Rg5 27.h4 Rg4 28.Ne2 Bg6 29.Nd4 [29.h5 Rh4 30.Nd4 Rxh5 31.Rxh5 Bxh5=] 29...Kf8 30.h5 Kg7 31.hxg6 Kxh6 32.gxf7 Rxf7 33.Nxc6 Rb7 34.b3 Rb5 35.e6 Re4 36.Nd4 Rb6 37.Kf2 Kg6 38.Re2 [38.Rd3+/=] 38...Rxe2+ 39.Kxe2 Kf6 40.Ke3 Rb7 41.Kf4 Rc7 42.g4 h6 43.Ke3 Rc3+ 44.Kf4 a4 45.e7 Kxe7 46.Ke5 Kf7 47.Kxd5 Rxc2 48.bxa4 Rc3 49.Nb5 Rg3 50.Nd6+ Kf8 1/2-1/2

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

Battle BDG Declined Brombacher 4...c5

Back on July 10, 2011 I posted another blog on the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Declined 4...c5 line known as the Brombacher Variation. There I played the most common move 5.d5! This time we look at a game where I follow the 5.Bf4!? analysis found in IM Christoph Scheerer's book. Of course, this game was played long before Scheerer wrote his excellent book. I wrote a review of Scheer's book the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (published by Everyman Chess) for Tom Purser's blog.

Here I quote the Scheerer summary of this line:
"Most critical here is the Brombacher Counter-Gambit with 4...c5, a line that was frequently adopted by Efim Bogoljubow. White can try Gedult's enterprising 5.Bf4!?, but ultimately this should not be correct. Objectively best is to play 5.d5, which usually transposes to the Kaulich Defence ... after 5...exf3 6.Nxf3."

Today's game comes from Eric Jego's new book on the BDG which I reviewed two days ago. Jego chose to avoid the old commonly known games for his book, so most of my better played efforts are off limits. Most of the games in Jego's book are by very strong players. He only included three of my games, which was fine with me. Below the notes are mine, except for one little phrase that I quote from Jego's notes to this game.

One of my favorite BDG sparring partners was Nico Vandenbroucke. We played three games in 1995 and Nico won them all. Then in 1997 we played an 8-game BDG thematic match which we split 2-2 with four draws. This is one of the drawn games.

Sawyer-Vandenbroucke, corr BDG thematic 1997 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 c5 Brombacher 5.Bf4!? [5.d5 is almost always correct and good vs ...c5 in d4 openings; 5.dxc5 is playable, but hardly inspiring after 5...Qxd1+ 6.Kxd1=; 5.Bf4!? was a favorite reply by Gedult vs almost any ...c5 in the BDG.] 5...Qxd4 6.Qxd4 [6.Nb5 Qxd1+ 7.Rxd1 Na6 8.fxe4 Nxe4 9.Nc3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Bd7 11.Nf3 f6 12.Bc4 (this position was cited in both my BDG Keybook II and Scheerer, but) 12...0-0-0!-+ an improvement not mentioned in the books; 6.fxe4!? e5! 7.Bg3 with compensation for the gambit pawn.] 6...cxd4 7.Nb5 Na6 8.Nxd4 Nc5 [8...e6!? BDG Keybook II] 9.fxe4 Nfxe4 10.Nb5 Ne6 11.Be3 a6 12.Bd3 Nd6 13.Nxd6+ exd6 14.Nf3 d5 15.0-0 ["15.0-0-0 posed more problems for Black because of the P/d5." Jego] 15...Bc5 16.Bxc5 Nxc5 17.Rae1+ Be6 18.Ng5 Nxd3 19.cxd3 0-0 20.Nxe6 fxe6 21.Rxe6 Rac8 22.Rxf8+ Kxf8 23.Rb6 Rc7 24.a4 Ke8 25.Kf2 Kd8 26.Kg3 Rf7 27.Rd6+ Rd7 28.Rxd7+ Kxd7 29.Kf4 Ke6 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Following Grandmasters in Petroff

In the 1974 Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi played match to see who would play Bobby Fischer for the World Championship in 1975. As it turned out, when Karpov won, Fischer would not play at all. Indeed Bobby had stopped playing everybody after his 1972 match. He only returned in 1992 to play a rematch with Spassky.

The Karpov-Korchnoi battles in 1974 usually centered around games where Korchnoi was Black in the French Defence 3.Nd2 c5 Tarrasch Variation. One game however was a flashback to a famous Capablanca-Kostic line in the Petroff Defence. Here is the part of that earlier 1919 game with some of Capablanca's notes:

Capablanca-Kostic, Havana 1919 continued: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Re1 Bg4 9.c3 f5 10.Nbd2 This, I believe, to be my own invention, and I think it is the best move in this position, if White wants to play for a win and avoid the well-known paths. 10...0-0 11.Qb3 Kh8 White threatened Nxe4, followed by Bxe4. After the text move I considered the situation for a long time, about forty minutes. I could not quite make up my mind as to whether I should play Qxb7 and risk the attack to which I thought there would be a good defence, or play as I did, Nf1, which also subjected me to an attack, but of a different sort, and where my opponent would not have had benefit of his extraordinary memory (he knows by heart every game played by a master in the last twenty years, and a considerable number of games of much older date), but here he would, so to speak, be thrown on his own resources, and whatever combinations he made would have to come out of his own head, and not out of the heads of others. 12.Nf1 Qd7 Immediately vindicating my judgment as expressed in my previous note. My opponent not being an attacking player, and fearing complications in which he felt certain he would be outplayed, chose what he thought to be a safe developing move. The only way to continue the attack would be: 12...Bxf3 13.gxf3 Nxf2 14.Kxf2 Bh4+ 15.Ng3 f4. 13.N3d2 Nxd2 Further evidence that my adversary fears complications. 14.Bxd2 f4 Apparently Black has an excellent game, but in reality White will obtain the upper hand through his next move, which will make his position unassailable. 15.f3 [and 1-0 in 48].

Today's game I tested the line vs the 3098 rated computer HOTBIT which almost always beats me. When it does, I search for an improvement and go back for another game.

HOTBIT-Sawyer begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Nc6 [The old move order was 6...Be7 7.0-0 Nc6] 7.0-0 Be7 8.Re1 Bg4 9.c3 f5 10.Qb3 0-0 11.Nbd2 Na5 [I have tried to follow Korchnoi with mixed results after 11...Kh8!? 12.h3 (12.Qxb7 Rf6 13.Qb3 Rg6 14.Bb5+/=) 12...Bh5 13.Qxb7 Rf6 14.Qb3 Rg6 ? (14...g5 !? 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Rb6) 15.Be2 ! 15...Bh4 16.Rf1 Bxf3 17.Nxf3 Bxf2+ 18.Rxf2 Nxf2 19.Kxf2 Qd6 20.Ng5 ! 20...Rf8 21.Qa3 Qd8 22.Bf4 h6 23.Nf3 Re8 24.Bd3 Re4 25.g3 Rf6 26.Qc5 g5 27.Nxg5 hxg5 28.Bxg5 Ree6 29.Re1 Qg8 30.h4 Rg6 31.Rxe6 1-0 Karpov,A-Korchnoi,V/Moscow 1974] 12.Qc2 [HOTBIT is out for blood. Yesterday I played this game for the more peace loving "blik" computer: 12.Qa4 Nc6 13.Qb3 Na5 14.Qa4 Nc6 15.Qb3 Na5 Game drawn by repetition 1/2-1/2. blik-Sawyer,T/Internet Chess Club 2011] 12...Nc6 13.b4 a6 14.a4 Bd6 [14...h6! 15.h3 Bh5=] 15.Rb1 Kh8 16.b5 axb5 17.axb5 Na5 18.Ne5 Bxe5 19.dxe5 Bh5 [19...Qh4 20.Nf1!+/=] 20.c4 Nxc4 21.Nxc4 dxc4 22.Bxc4 Bf7?! 23.e6 Bg6 24.Rd1 Qf6 25.Rd7 Rac8? 26.Bb2 Black resigns 1-0

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Eric Jégo Blackmar-Diemer Gambit book

Our BDG friend Eric Jego has successfully completed his Blackmar-Diemer Gambit book, which is the 2011 English edition of his 2010 book Gambit Blackmar-Diemer (French edition). Below are some comments about this new edition. For my review of his original French edition, see my posting on Tom Purser's blog.

The things I do like are major and many. Here are 14 of them.
1. The book is 164 pages written in English, which I read much better than French.
2. Jégo did an excellent job selecting interesting examples recent BDG play.
3. Over 50 times the players have been noted with FIDE titles (GM, IM, FM, WFM).
4. The 287 games have just about the right amount of verbal annotations.
5. While English is not Jégo's first language, game notes are very understandable.
6. The games are divided into chapters by variation grouping lines together.
7. A rectangle box is drawn around the key move when games are in a different line.
8. Jégo has provided statistical analysis for each variation as to wins, draws, losses.
9. Jégo weaves throughout his 14 Elementary Principles in notes to every game.
10. The type of play is noted for each game: Classical, Correspondence or Blitz.
11. Most of the games come from actual live tournament play (“Classical”).
12. At the bottom of each page there is help to locate which lines are found above.
13. Actual ratings are given for each player when known.
14. There is an index to the players at the back of the book.

The things I don't like are very minor and very few.
1. The font is slightly smaller in the English edition, but that allows the book to save a dozen pages keeping costs down. It is still quite readable for me.
2. The philosophical waxing of Dany Sénéchaud regarding gambit play does not flow well in English, but I think I understand what he is saying. It only takes up three pages.
3. The first initials of the players have been omitted. Instead of “Purser T”, for example, it is just “Purser”.

Like the previous book, I highly recommend this book. I love it. Buy it!

This book has only three of MY games; these are not well known. Two were draws vs BDG experts. Today's game was an unrated club game vs Eugene Schrecongost played at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1998. The game starts out as a BDG Accepted Ritter Variation (5.Nxf3 b6) but transposes to a Bogoljubow Variation 5.Nxf3 g6. White's set-up is not the best for the Bogo. "Schreck" played this game very well, except for missing my mate at the end. The notes below are mine.

Sawyer-Schrecongost begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 b6 The Ritter Variation. 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Bd3 g6 Giving the position a Bogoljubow flavor. This line is very unusual. [7...Bb7] 8.Qd2 Bg7 9.0-0-0 Bb7 10.h3 Bxf3 11.gxf3 0-0 12.Bh6 c5 13.d5 Ne5 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.Qg5?! [15.Be2 with compensation] 15...Nxd3+ [15...Nxf3 16.Qf4 Nd4=/+] 16.Rxd3 h6 17.Qf4?! Qd6 18.Qe3 Nh5 19.Kb1 Rad8=/+ Black has a good position and the extra pawn. The game is not over, but his position is certainly better. 20.h4 Qf4? 21.Qe1? [21.Qxe7=] 21...Rd7 22.Rg1 Rfd8 23.Ne4? f6!? [23...Rxd5!-+] 24.Rg4 Qf5? [24...Qe5!-+] 25.f4?? Nxf4!? [25...Qxg4-+] 26.Ng5?? Rxd5?? 27.Qxe7+ with mate to follow. I got away with one here. 1-0 Black resigns. 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Tactics Alekhine Four Pawns Attack

The Alekhine Defence has interested me since the 1972 Spassky-Fischer match where Bobby played it a couple times. Overall my database has 15 games were Bobby Fischer played the Alekhine Defence: 8 as White and 7 as Black.

My oldest recorded game playing the Alekhine was as White against Mike Eldridge. I was reminded of that when he posted a comment to my King's Gambit blog on the Cooper Principle. Mike played the Alekhine Defence against me in a tournament game from 1974. Some week I will blog the games from that event.

I started playing the Alekhine Defence as Black in 1981. Against 1.e4 I have played 1...e5 or 1...Nf6 about half the time and all other moves the other half. Thus I have played both 1...e5 and 1...Nf6 thousands of times each in recorded games.

Today I play Black against the computer Rookie in a wild Four Pawns Attack blitz game. Black has four targets to aim at in the center, so in my 2000 book the Alekhine Defense Playbook I wrote: We could call this variation the Four Targets Attack.

Rookie chose the aggressive 10.d5 line where White sacrifices a rook on h1 to get a pawn to e7. Black can make threats against the White king and the advanced e-pawn while offering to exchange material leading to a winning endgame. In this game, I do manage to get to such an ending.

Rookie-Sawyer begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 [The Four Pawns Attack.] 5...dxe5 6.fxe5 Nc6 7.Be3 Bf5 [Rapid development is essential for Black.] 8.Nc3 e6 9.Nf3 Be7 [The traditional main line, but there are several alternatives. 9...Bg4; 9...Bb4; 9...Nb4; 9...Qd7] 10.d5 [10.Be2 0-0 11.0-0 f6 12.exf6 Bxf6 is the alternative line.] 10...exd5 11.cxd5 Nb4 12.Nd4 Bd7 13.e6 fxe6 14.dxe6 Bc6 15.Qg4 Bh4+ 16.g3 Bxh1 17.gxh4 0-0 18.Qg5? [The losing move. Black is not going to just sit there and let White carry out the threatened 19.e7. Undoubling the h-pawns is not a good enough reason to swap queens. On 18.0-0-0 Qf6 is the correct line.] 18...Qxg5 19.hxg5 c5 20.0-0-0 cxd4 21.Bxd4 N4d5 22.e7 Rfe8 23.Bxb6? Nxb6 24.g6 hxg6 25.Bh3 Bc6 26.Be6+ Kh7 27.Re1 Bd7 [27...Rxe7 28.Bg8+ Kxg8 29.Rxe7 Nd5 30.Nxd5 Bxd5-+ Black is up a piece in the endgame.] 28.Bxd7 Nxd7 29.Ne4 Rec8+ 30.Kb1 Nf6 31.Nd6 Rcb8 32.Re3 Ne8 33.Ne4 Nf6 34.Nd6 Ne8 35.Nf7 Kg8 36.Ne5 Nf6 37.Nxg6 Kf7 38.Ne5+ Kxe7 39.Nc6+ Kd6 40.Nxb8 Rxb8 41.Ra3 a6 42.Rg3 Rg8 43.a4 g5 44.Rb3 Kc7 45.Rg3 g4 46.Rc3+ Kb8 47.Rc4 g3 48.hxg3 Rxg3 49.Ka2 Nd5 50.Rd4 Ne7 51.Re4 Nc6 52.b4 Rd3 53.b5 axb5 54.axb5 Rd4 55.Re8+ Rd8 56.Re4 Nd4 57.b6 Kc8 58.Re3 Kd7 59.Rc3 Kd6 60.Kb1 Kd5 61.Rc7 Rb8 62.Rc1 Nc6 63.Rc2 Re8 64.Kb2 Re4 65.Ka3 Rb4 66.Rxc6? Desperation. 66...Kxc6 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Najdorf Sicilian Defence Sacrifice Win

Material sacrifice in chess is difficult unless you have confidence based on knowledge and skill. When I first started playing chess, my knowledge and skill were minimal; thus to sacrifice was scary. Then I spent a year playing blitz chess with Graham Cooper, future USCF Life Master. Cooper loved to sacrifice material as I wrote about in an early blog on the Cooper Principle in a King's Gambit.

Being on the other end of hundreds of his games, he was always throwing pawns and pieces at me. I found out how hard it can be to handle a surprise gambit that Cooper had previously studied. But he taught me the value of research in chess openings, something I have used almost daily ever since.

When I lost a Najdorf Sicilian Defence to Mercier in the first round of the University of Maine Championship in 1972, I went back and looked up how to play that line in Bobby Fischer's book. In the final round, I had a gambit surprise ready for my opponent. This is the first time I recall planning and playing a sacrifice. The result was a sharp struggle where I won an Exchange, and then won the ending by returning the Exchange in exchange for queening a pawn.

Three things I learned:
1. When you know what your opponent plays, you can prepare a specific variation.
2. Traps can work, even if one does not play them accurately.
3. One way to win up the Exchange is to give it back for a winning pawn ending.

Sawyer-Salisbury begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 Salisbury and I were tied at 3-3 going into the final round of the UMO championship. I knew that Darrell usually played the Sicilian, so I prepared this line against him. Although I did not play it perfectly, it worked! 6.h3 b5 7.Nd5!? Nxe4! [7...Bb7? 8.Nxf6+ gxf6 9.c4 bxc4 10.Bxc4 Bxe4 11.0-0 d5 12.Re1 e5 13.Qa4+ Nd7 14.Rxe4 dxe4 15.Nf5 Bc5 16.Ng7+ Ke7 17.Nf5+ Ke8 18.Be3 Bxe3 19.fxe3 Qb6 20.Rd1 Ra7 21.Rd6 Qd8 22.Qb3 Qc7 23.Bxf7+ Kd8 24.Be6 1-0 Fischer,R-Najdorf,M/Varna 1962] 8.Qf3 Nc5 9.Nf6+? [Fischer gives the critical line as: 9.b4! e6 10.bxc5 exd5 11.Qxd5 Ra7=] 9...exf6? [9...gxf6! 10.Qxa8 Bb7 11.Qa7 e5-/+ Fischer] 10.Qxa8 Bb7 11.Qa7 Be4 12.b4 Na4 13.Nxb5 Be7 14.Nc7+ Kf8 15.Nxa6 Nc6 16.Qc7 Qxc7 17.Nxc7 Nxb4 18.Rb1 Nxc2+ 19.Kd2 Bd8 20.Rb8 Ke7 21.Nd5+ Bxd5 22.Kxc2 Be4+ 23.Bd3 Bxd3+ 24.Kxd3 Nc5+ 25.Kc2 Re8 26.Re1+ Ne6 27.Bd2 Kd7 28.a4 Kc7 29.Rb2 Kc6 30.Rc1 Nc5 31.Kd1 Bc7 32.Bb4 Re4 33.Bxc5 dxc5 34.Rbc2 Bb6 35.Rc4 Re7 36.a5 Rd7+ 37.Ke2 Bxa5 38.Rxc5+ Kb6 39.Rc6+ Kb7 40.R6c2 Bc7 41.g3 Kc8 42.Ra1 Re7+ 43.Kf3 Kb7 44.Rb1+ Kc8 45.Rd1 g6 46.Kg2 f5 47.f4 h5 48.Kf3 Kb7 49.Re2 Rxe2 50.Kxe2 Bb6 51.Rd7+ Kc6 52.Rxf7 Bd4 53.Rf8 Kd6 54.Rg8 Bf6 55.Rxg6 Ke7 56.Rh6 h4 [This position was given in the Bangor Daily News chess column on a Saturday around Christmas 1972. George Cunningham and Gerry Dullea diagrammed it and congratulated me on how I gave back the Exchange to get a won pawn ending. They were tournament directors and college professors at the University of Maine who wrote the weekly newspaper column for many years.]  57.Rxh4! Bxh4 58.gxh4 Kf6 59.Ke3 Kg6 60.Kd4 Kh5 61.Ke5 Kxh4 62.Kxf5 Kh5 63.Ke6 Kg6 64.f5+ Kg7 65.Ke7 Kg8 66.f6 1-0 Black resigns

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