Monday, December 31, 2012

Albin-Counter Gambit 5...f6 a la BDG

In the Albin-Counter Gambit, there is usually the possibility of 5...f6!? making the opening in effect a Reversed Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Kaulich, but the gambiteer is playing down a tempo. Today's final post of the 2012 is an Albin-Counter Gambit where I ventured 5...f6!? If White captures with 6.exf6 Black chooses between 6...Nxf6 or 6...Qxf6. Then White normally chooses between 7.g3 or 7.e3, depending on the exact situation.

In my game below White chose to play 6.Bf4, a reversed BDG Vienna. I opted for the Hara-Kiri set-up with 6...g5 7.Bg3 g4 and was rewarded with 8.Nh4. Only later did I remember that advancing my Albin f-pawn (8...f5!) is usually better in the BDG Vienna (4...Bf5 5.g4 Bg6 6.g5 Nh5 7.f4!) than capturing the e-pawn (8...fxe5 Albin or 7.fxe4 BDG Vienna). The game was a nice Christmas present, playing early in the morning before anyone else was up, and before any presents were opened. In case you were wondering, I did get an actual Christmas present this year - the chess engine Houdini 3.

andrei-Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 25.12.2012 begins 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.a3 f6 [Black usually plays 5...Bg4 or 5...Nge7 ] 6.Bf4 [Of course the critical line is 6.exf6 Nxf6 which is a Reversed BDG Kaulich, a move behind. A reasonable continuation might be 7.e3 Bg4 8.Be2 Bxf3 9.Bxf3 Qd7 10.0-0 0-0-0 11.exd4 Nxd4 12.Be3 Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3 Bd6+/= when Black has some compensation for the pawn.] 6...g5 7.Bg3 g4 8.Nh4 fxe5 [8...f5! with the threat of ...Be7 is very strong.] 9.b4 Bg7 [I considered 9...Be7! but rejected it because it fails to win a piece after 10.b5 Bxh4 11.bxc6 however the position is fine, because after 11...Bxg3 12.hxg3 bxc6-/+ Houdini 3 prefers Black.] 10.Nd2? [If White saves the knight with 10.Qd3 Bf6 11.Nf5 Qd7 12.e4 h5=/+ Black still has a good position.] 10...Bf6 11.b5 Nb8 White resigns [11...Na5!-+] 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Good, Bad, & Ugly Italian 3.Bc4 Nd4

When White plays the Italian Game (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4) most of the time the opening transposes into some other opening such as the Guioco Piano, Evans Gambit, Two Knights Defence, Four Knights Game, Max Lange, Scotch Gambit or Philidor Defence. With 3.Bc4 Nd4, it is just an Italian Game which is called the Shilling Gambit or Kostic Gambit. There are some traps in this line. There is a good way (4.Nxd4!), a bad way (4.Nxe5?!), and an ugly way (5.Nxf7?) for White to play against 3...Nd4.

I played the game below early Christmas morning while the stockings were still hung by the chimney with care after St. Nicholas had been there. Okay, really a few things were put in some stockings and set at the foot of the tree. For us, the highlight of Christmas is the whole season to think about Jesus and times we enjoy with friends and family.

Later on Christmas day one family member "skyped" us while were we sitting around our square table. He said that it would be easier to see us if we all sat on the same side like in the famous painting "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci. There you see Jesus and the disciples - who look in the painting like Italians around 1495. This painting was done was about the same time the current version of chess was invented with more power given to the queen and bishops, making the game faster and more exciting.

andrei - Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 25.12.2012 begins 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 e5 3.Bc4 Nd4?! 4.Nxe5?! [The best move is considered to be 4.Nxd4! exd4 5.0-0 Nf6 6.Re1 d6 7.c3 when 7...Ng4 is tricky. If White grabs the pawn with 8.cxd4? (8.Qe2! dxc3 9.Nxc3 Ne5 10.Bb5+ and White controls the center with a big lead in development.) 8...Qh4 and Black has threats against h2 and f2. A critical line is 9.h3 Nxf2 10.Qe2 Nxh3+ 11.gxh3 Qg3+ 12.Kh1 Bxh3 13.Rg1 Qh4 14.d3 Bg4+ 15.Qh2 Bf3+ 16.Rg2 Qe1+ 17.Qg1 Qh4+ with a perpetual check.] 4...Qg5 5.Nxf7? [5.Bxf7+ Kd8 6.0-0 Qxe5 7.c3 Ne6 8.d3 Ne7=/+ and both Fritz 13 and Houdini 3 slightly favor Black's extra knight over White's two extra pawns.] 5...Qxg2 6.Rf1 Qxe4+ 7.Be2 Nf3# White is checkmated 0-1

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Van Geet: The Long Ride in Queens Knight Attack

The Van Geet knight in the Queens Knight Attack sometimes makes a long trek from b1 - g7 via Nb1-c3-e2-g3-h5-g7. From g7 in this game the White stead covers e6. The unusual locations of this knight can allows some tactics that the defender can miss. Note that the same knight path can be follow with colors reversed from Nc6 to g2. Due to the closed nature of the position, White's extra tempo can be irrelevant vs the Black knight.

Sawyer-realityczech, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 19.12.2012 begins 1.Nc3 d5 2.e4 d4 3.Nce2 e5 4.Ng3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Bc4 f6 7.0-0 [7.h3] 7...Bc5 8.h3 Bxf3 [8...Bd7 9.c3+/-] 9.Qxf3 Nge7 [9...Qd7 10.Rb1+/-; or 10.b4 Nxb4 11.Qb3 Ne7 12.d3+/-] 10.d3 [10.Nh5!+-] 10...Qd7 11.Nh5 0-0-0 [11...Ng6 12.Be6 Qe7 13.Qg4+-] 12.Nxg7 Ng6? 13.Be6 Black resigns 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, December 28, 2012

Polish Opening Shoulder Gambit

What if the chess board were a bird? We know that the Wing Gambit is when White sacrifices the b-pawn on b4, such as the Sicilian Wing Gambit (1.e4 c5 2.b4!?) or the French Defence Wing Gambit (1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e5 c5 4.b4!?). On a bird, the breast is in the center. What connects the wing to the breast? Ah - the shoulder! Must be the c-file.

Thus in the Polish Opening, I like to think of the gambit 1.b4 c5!? as the Shoulder Gambit! When I face the Polish or Sokolsky Opening, I have played eight different lines. Recently I noticed that twice I had played 1...c5!? and won both games. I decided that when given the chance in a future blitz game, I would play it again. Without any detailed analysis, I set off on the adventure below. I will play it until I finally fail to win. 3-0 so far.

killer100-Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 17.12.2012 begins 1.b4 c5 2.bxc5 e5 3.Bb2 Nc6 4.Nf3 f6?! [Black can regain the gambit pawn by 4...e4 5.Ne5 Nf6 6.e3 Bxc5=] 5.d4 exd4 6.Nxd4 Qa5+ [6...Bxc5 7.Nb3 Bb4+ 8.c3+/=] 7.Bc3 Qxc5 8.Nxc6?! [8.e4!+/-] 8...dxc6 9.Bb2 Bf5 10.g3 Rd8 11.Qc1 Qd5 12.f3 Qa5+ [12...Bb4+ 13.Kf2 Ne7 14.e3 0-0 -/+] 13.Bc3 Bb4 14.Qb2 Bxc3+ 15.Qxc3 Qxc3+ 16.Nxc3 Bxc2 17.Kf2 Bg6 18.Bh3 Ne7 19.Rab1? b6? [Sloppy play. 19...Bxb1-+ ] 20.Rbd1 Nd5 21.Nxd5 cxd5 22.Rd4 Ke7 23.Rhd1 Bf7 24.e4 dxe4?? [Arrgh!?! 24...Rhe8 25.exd5 Rd6=] 25.Rxd8 [25.Rxe4+! wins for White!] 25...Rxd8 26.Rxd8 Kxd8 27.fxe4?! Ke7?! [In my haste I missed 27...Bxa2-+ ] 28.a3 Kd6 29.Ke3 Ke5 30.Bf1 Bb3 31.Bd3 Ba4 32.h4 Bc6 33.Bc4 g6 34.Bd3 f5 35.exf5 gxf5 36.Bc2 h6 37.Bd3 Be4 38.Bc4 Bb7 39.Bd3 Bc6 40.Bc4 b5 41.Bd3 a5 42.Bc2 b4 43.axb4 axb4 44.Bb3 Bd5 45.Bxd5 Kxd5 46.Kd3 Ke5 White resigns 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ruy Lopez Checkmate on f-file

The Ruy Lopez Schliemann 4.d3 gives Black the opportunity to play for an attack that White seems more unprepared for than some of the more famous gambits such as the Marshall Attack. I have studied the Schliemann hundreds of times. I did research working up theory on it. However, I do not currently have that theory memorized.

The Psalmist said to God, "Your word have I hid in my heart." Years ago an old Bible teacher said we could paraphrase that to "Your word have I hid in my notebook." We wrote down helpful information, but it did not make it from our pen to our brain. We were like the chess players who buy lots of opening books that go mostly unread. Against "ButchCroft" I missed some good moves early. I expected 14.Bh6. White returned the favor and gave me promising play on the f-file, ending in checkmate.

ButchCroft-Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 15.12.2012 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.d3 fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bc5 7.0-0 d6 8.h3 [The main line for 4.d3 is 8.Bg5 0-0 9.Nd5 Kh8] 8...Bd7?! [8...Be6!=] 9.Bg5 0-0 10.Bc4+ Kh8 11.a4 [11.Nd5+/=] 11...a6? [11...h6=] 12.Nd5 Ne7 13.Nxf6 gxf6 14.Bh4?! [14.Bh6+/-] 14...Ng6 15.Bg3 f5 16.Bd5?! c6 17.exf5 Bxf5 18.Bb3 Qf6 19.Re1 [19.Kh2 e4-/+] 19...Bxh3 20.gxh3 Qxf3 21.Qxf3 Rxf3 22.Rad1? [Hanging a piece. White should play 22.Kg2 Raf8-+] 22...Rxg3+ 23.Kh2 Rf3 24.c3 Rxf2+ 25.Kg3 [Or 25.Kh1 Nf4-+] 25...Raf8 26.Rd3 h5 27.Bd1 h4+ 28.Kg4 Kg7 29.Re4 Kh6 30.Rf3 R2xf3 31.Bxf3 d5 32.Re1 Rf4# White checkmated 0-1

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Spike Attack in the London System

The London System ...e6 line is called "Common Ground" by Svere Johnsen and GM Vlatko Kovacevic in "Win with the London System". One idea for White is to answer ...Bd6 with Bg3. After ...Bxg3 hxg3, White uses the front g-pawn to attack the Black king.

My opponent "ButchCroft" got a huge space advantage on the queenside with a closed center. Once I played 20.g5 my own advantage on the kingside quickly took shape. My game went from solid quiet play to aggressive tactics with the sudden arrival of the White queen from b1 to g6. My minor pieces played a major role in the finish.

Sawyer-ButchCroft, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 15.12.2012 begins 1.d4 e6 2.Bf4 d5 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c5 5.c3 Nc6 6.Nbd2 Bd6 7.Bg3 Qc7 8.Bd3 Bxg3 9.hxg3 h6 10.Qc2 c4 11.Be2 b5 12.e4 a5 13.e5 Nd7 14.0-0 b4 15.g4 Qd8 16.a3 Bb7 17.axb4 axb4 18.Qb1 0-0 19.Rxa8 Qxa8 20.g5 hxg5? [This gives White a favorable attack with an immediate mate threat. Black is still in the game after 20...h5 21.g6 f6 22.exf6 Rxf6 23.Ng5 e5=] 21.Nxg5 g6 22.Nxe6 fxe6? [22...Rb8 23.Nf4+/-] 23.Qxg6+ Kh8 24.Qh6+ Kg8 25.Bh5 [25.Qxe6+!+-] 25...Ne7 26.Qg5+ Kh8 27.Qxe7 Qc8 [27...Qd8 28.Qxe6+-] 28.Bg6 Black resigns 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Mate BDG Teichmann 8.g4!?

Merry Christmas! It seems fitting that on this joyous day we celebrate with a pretty short victory in the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Teichmann 8.g4 variation. This line presents some very tricky and dangerous threats that Black often misses. The tactics behind 14.Bxh7+ and 16.g6 are sound and strong, even though Black did have better early moves available than those chosen. I plan to post more theory on this specific line on January 6, 2013. For now, enjoy the successful mating attack. Have a blessed day!

Sawyer-Rustaveli, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 22.12.2012 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.g4 [8.Be3] 8...e6 [8...Qxd4 9.Be3 with a lot of compensation for the two sacrificed pawns, such as open lines and development tempi.] 9.g5 Nd5 10.Bd3 Be7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Ne4 [12.Qe4 g6 13.h4 c5-/+ Christoph Scheerer calls this a "serious test". Houdini 3 at 27 ply rates it as -0.86.] 12...Nd7 [12...Qb6 13.c3 Nd7=/+] 13.Nf6+ gxf6 14.Bxh7+ Kxh7 15.Qh5+ Kg8 16.g6 fxg6 17.Qxg6+ Kh8 18.Qh5+ Kg8 [18...Kg7 19.Kf2+-] 19.Bh6?! [As soon as I played the bishop, I realized that moving my king off the g-file was a better move. For example 19.Kh1! Rf7 20.Rg1+ Rg7 21.Rxg7+ Kxg7 22.Bh6+ Kh7 23.Bd2+ Kg8 24.Rg1+ Kf8 25.Bh6#] 19...Qe8? [An understandable blunder in a blitz game. Black can save the game with 19...Rf7 20.Kf2 Bf8 21.Rg1+ Bg7 22.Bxg7 Rxg7 23.Rxg7+ Kxg7 24.Rg1+ Kf8 25.Qh7 Ke8 26.Rg7 Qe7 27.Rxe7+ Nxe7 28.Qh5+ Kf8 29.h4=] 20.Qg4+ Black resigns 1-0

Copyright 2015 Tim Sawyer. Click my Author Page

Monday, December 24, 2012

Is Giuoco Piano 7.Nc3 Sacrifice Good?

The old open Italian Game begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ when White has the choice between two moves that are relatively equal in popularity. In both variations White's performance rating is higher than actual rating, but only about as much as is normal for any good White opening. In my database, higher rated players have chosen 7.Bd2. The sacrifice line 7.Nc3!? is the choice of my opponent "lupus53" in the ICC blitz game below.

The grandmasters Lev Alburt, Roman Dzindzichasvili and Eugene Perelshteyn recommend playing the Giuoco Piano via the Scotch Gambit (as we did below) and playing 7.Bd2. They wrote in "Chess Openings for White Explained" (2nd edition):
"Players seeking active play have generally been advised to select the heavily analyzed pawn sacrifice 7.Nc3, which leads to a sharp game after 7...Nxe4 8.0-0."

When my opponent chose 8.Qb3 and 11.Qa4?!, I was able to go into an ending up a pawn with a good knight posted on Nc4 vs a bad bishop.

lupus53-Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 15.12.2012 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.c3 Nf6 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Nxe4 8.Qb3 [8.0-0 Bxc3 9.d5 (9.bxc3 d5=) 9...Bf6 10.Re1 Ne7 11.Rxe4 d6=] 8...Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 0-0 10.0-0 Na5 11.Qa4?! [11.Bxf7+ Rxf7 12.Qd5 Nxc3 13.Qxa5 Ne2+ 14.Kh1 d6=/+] 11...Nxc4 12.Qxc4 d5 13.Qd3 Bf5 14.Qe3 Re8 15.Qf4 Bg6 16.Bb2 Qd6 17.Qxd6 Nxd6 18.Ne5 f6 19.Nxg6 hxg6 20.Rfe1 Kf7 [20...Nc4!-+] 21.Rac1 Rxe1+ [More accurate is 21...Nc4!-+ ] 22.Rxe1 Re8 23.Kf1 Rxe1+ 24.Kxe1 Nc4 25.Bc1 b6 26.Ke2 c5 27.dxc5 bxc5 28.Kd3 Ke6 29.f4 f5 30.g3 Kd6 31.h3 Kc6 32.g4 Kb5 33.Be3?! Nxe3 34.Kxe3 Kc4 35.Kd2 d4 36.cxd4 cxd4 37.gxf5 gxf5 38.h4 g6 39.a4 d3 40.a5 Kd4 41.a6 Ke4 White resigns 0-1

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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