Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lakdawala on 2.Ne2!? vs the Caro-Kann Defence

I purchased the book "The Caro-Kann: Move by Move" by Cyrus Lakdawala published by Everyman Chess. Like all of his books, this one is excellent! I have played the Caro-Kann Defence about once every 10 days for the past 40 years, though not so much recently. It is my number three defense to 1.e4. First is 1.e4 e5 Open Game, and second is 1.e4 Nf6 Alekhine Defence.

I briefly glanced at the last chapter King's Indian Attack and 2 Ne2". I wanted to read what Lakdawala said about the KIA, whether he went with the standard 3...e5 or the old 3...g6. But what's this 2.Ne2? He implied it was dangerous. I figured someday I would check it out, but right then? A quick glance at my own games shows that I had faced 2.Ne2 only four times, winning all of them against weaker players.

Yesterday I played the Caro-Kann Defence in a 3-minute blitz game on the Internet Chess Club. My opponent "OutsideTheGate" was rated 2212; I was rated four points lower at 2208. Both of us good; neither of us superstars. What to my wondering eyes would appear but 2.Ne2!?

"Times change, but chess players don't. This is another attempt to confuse us decent hard-working Caro folk. I would take this line seriously." Lakdawala. Turns out I followed the line I was "most likely to encounter" for 11 moves before my opponent deviated from the book that I did not know.

There is no time to refer to a book during a 3 0 game. You play moves every 1-2 seconds based on memory, intuition, pattern recognition, experience, and the clock! Here is my game along with some comments. Junior 12 was my analyzing partner for most.

OutsideTheGate - Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 07.03.2012 begins 1.e4 c6 2.Ne2 d5 3.e5 "This tricky line is very popular on the Internet Chess Club." Schandorff 3...Bf5 4.Ng3 Bg6 5.h4 h6 6.h5 Bh7 7.e6 I am used to this, having played the Alekhine Defence even more than the Caro-Kann. 7...fxe6 [7...Qd6 8.exf7+ Kxf7 9.d4 e5 10.Bd3 e4 feels like a Latvian Gambit.] 8.d4 e5! "A key move to remember. We deny White his brilliant blockade sac by returning the pawn to seal e5 with a cork." Lakdawala. [Also interesting is 8...c5!? 9.dxc5 e5] 9.dxe5 e6 [9...Nd7!? 10.f4 Qb6 11.Bd3 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 0-0-0=] 10.Bd3 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 Qd7 12.Nd2!? [Lakdawala gives 12.0-0 Bc5 13.Be3 Na6 where he shows that Black gets good compensation for a pawn he sacrifices.] 12...Bc5 13.Nf3 [13.Nb3! Bb6 14.Be3 Na6 15.0-0-0 0-0-0 16.Qc3+/= and White has a somewhat better position.] 13...Na6 14.c3 Ne7 15.Be3 Bxe3 16.Qxe3 0-0= Why not castle kingside? 17.Rh4 Nf5 18.Nxf5 Rxf5 19.0-0-0 Qe7 Simple tactics for a 3 0 blitz game: threat ...Rxf3/...Qxh4. 20.Rh3 Qc5?+/- [Missing White's response. I should have played 20...Qf7! ] 21.Nd4! Threatening f5/e6. 21...Rf7 22.Rg3 Kh8 23.Nxe6 Qxe3+ 24.fxe3 Re8 25.Nf4 Nc5 26.Rf1 [26.Rf3!+/-] 26...Ne4? [26...Kh7!=/+ and Black has a good game.] 27.Ng6+ Kg8 28.Rxf7 [28.Rgf3!+/-] 28...Kxf7 29.Rf3+ Kg8  [29...Ke6!?] 30.e6= [30.g4! gives White good winning chances.] 30...Ng5 After this White's e6-pawn falls and the endgame is completely equal. I am ahead in time. Eventually White forces the draw. 31.Rf5 Nxe6 32.Re5 Nc7 33.Rxe8+ Nxe8 34.Kd2 Kf7 35.Nf4 Nf6 36.Kd3 b6 37.b4 Nd7 38.Kd4 Kf6 39.e4 dxe4 40.Kxe4 Nf8 41.g4 Ne6 42.a4 Nxf4 43.Kxf4 b5 44.a5 a6 45.Kf3 Kf7 46.Ke4 Ke6 47.Kd4 Kd6 48.c4 bxc4 49.Kxc4 Kd7 50.Kc5 Kc7 51.Kd4 Kd6 52.Ke4 Ke6 53.Kf4 Kf6 54.Ke4 Ke6 55.Kd4 Kd6 56.Ke4 Ke6 Drawn by repetition 1/2-1/2


Sets: Chess Games 1.e4 Series and Chess Games 1.d4 Series
Copyright 2011-2017 Author Page / sawyerte@yahoo.com
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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Winning with the Koltanowski Max Lange Attack

George Koltanowski developed an opening repertoire for White to play for a win with the Max Lange Attack. Kolty was famous for giving simultaneous exhibitions where he would play either the Colle System or the Max Lange Attack.

Who was Max Lange? He was leading German player in the mid-1800s. Max Lange wrote a classic book "The Chess Genius of Paul Morphy published in 1860. This book was translated from German into English by another opening theoretician: Ernest Falkbeer.

The Max Lange Attack leads to a complex unbalanced position. Right from the beginning, each move by each player has a tactical purpose. To be successful, you need a good tactical eye. It helps to have the one main variation memorized to move 16 at least. If you understand the threats, you can handle positions when your opponent deviates.

Back in 1974, Ray Haines and I got through 14 moves. Then things got crazy. The next eight moves the advantage swung back a forth wildly. The evaluations went from equal to Black edge to equal to White winning to Black winning to drawish to a victory for White.

Sawyer - Haines, Ft Fairfield,ME 15.02.1974 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.0-0 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.e5 d5 7.exf6 dxc4 8.Re1+ Be6 9.Ng5 Qd5 10.Nc3 Qf5 11.Nce4 0-0-0 12.g4 Qe5 13.Nxe6 fxe6 14.fxg7 Rhg8 15.Nxc5? [After 14 correct book moves, I get sidetracked. I probably did not know any more book moves. The standard continuation is 15.Bh6 d3 16.c3= with equal chances.] 15...Qxc5 16.Bh6 d3 17.c3 [17.cxd3 cxd3=/+] 17...d2 [17...Ne5-/+] 18.Rxe6 Rd3? [18...Qd5 19.Rf6=] 19.Re2? [19.Qe2!+-] 19...Ne5 20.Re3 Rxg7 [Black can pick up g7 at his leisure. Much stronger is 20...Rxe3 21.Bxe3 Qd5-+] 21.Rxd3? [21.Bxg7 Rxe3 22.fxe3 Qxe3+ 23.Kf1=] 21...Nxg4? [21...Nxd3-+] 22.Qe2 Qh5? [Junior 12 gives the critical line 22...Ne3+ 23.Kh1 Qc6+ 24.f3 cxd3 25.Qxe3 Rg6 26.Bf4 Re6 27.Qxd2 Qxf3+ 28.Qg2 Qxf4 29.Qg8+ Kd7 30.Qxh7+ Kc6 31.Qxd3 Rd6 32.Qe2 Rd2 33.Qe6+ Rd6 with a repetition of moves.] 23.Qe6+ 1-0

Sets: Chess Games 1.e4 Series and Chess Games 1.d4 Series
Copyright 2011-2017 Author Page / sawyerte@yahoo.com
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