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 in 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



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