Sunday, July 29, 2012

Penullar Quick Winckelmann-Reimer

The French Defence is a good opening that has survived the test of time. Recently there seems to be a surge in popularity. Many new books and DVDs have hit the market done by famous titled players. White seems to be able to play anything vs the French, but nothing wins by force. Black always finds a playable line.

Peter Mcgerald Penullar played the French Defence Winawer 4.a3 gambit line. With 6.f3 Penullar went into the Winckelmann-Reimer Gambit, which has the look and feel of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. The WRG has been the subject of some debate over the years.

Sometimes it is faster to win with a Winckelmann-Reimer Gambit than say the name. There are lines completely losing for Black while other lines might favor Black. One thing is known: taking the gambit pawn immediately with 6.f3 exf3 is bad for Black. I have over 400 games in my collection where Black has captured with 6...exf3. White has won 88%! White still has to play well. Below is an example where Penullar does just that. Nice win!

penullar-jaruta, Live Chess, 24.07.2012 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 dxe4 6.f3 exf3 [The most popular move is 6...c5 when White has tried 15 different moves. I do not know which one is the best. Of those that have been played at least 50 times, the two that score the best are 7.Rb1 and 7.Bf4] 7.Nxf3 Nf6 8.Bd3 h6 9.0-0 b6 10.Be3 [A new move. White has done well with 10.Qe1!+/- a few times before.] 10...Bb7 11.Qe1 0-0 12.Qh4! [Or 12.Qg3!? Nh5 13.Qh3 Nf6 14.Bxh6 gxh6 15.Qxh6+- with a winning attack.] 12...Nd5 13.Bg5! hxg5 14.Nxg5 [Faster is 14.Qh7#! ] 14...Re8 15.Qh7+ Kf8 16.Rxf7# 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ing. Jozef Spanik Registered Mail

In 1978 Walter Muir convinced me to try some international chess play. Thus I made my first very tentative attempt at competition in the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF).

I was the only player from the USA. The transmission time between moves was very slow. This was my shortest game.

My first opponent was Ing. Jozef Spanik whom I think was from Czechoslovakia. That was a country made up of what is today the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

I wore out my copy of the book Bishop's Opening by Tim Harding. Probably we were still in the book when my opponent failed to reply to my 14th move.

In ICCF, if you did not receive a move from your opponent within say 2-3 weeks, then you were to send a repeat of your last move via registered mail and notify the tournament director. If your opponent did not reply to your repeat move, then eventually you were awarded a forfeit win.

In most countries, the cost of registered mail was a slight increase to normal mail prices. In the USA registered mail was like 10 times the cost of a normal postcard.

The US economy was terrible back at that time 1978-1980, leading Jimmy Carter to be voted out of office by a landslide. Almost every state voted for Ronald Reagan and the economy turned around.

Like most people, I voted for Jimmy Carter the first time, but would not make that mistake that second time. I voted for Reagan in 1980 and 1984.

I found myself spending a lot of money in the late 1970s. Those were my early poverty years. I was trying to support my family.

For my game vs Ing. Jozef Spanik, I was awarded a win. The process annoyed me. I decided to spend my money on my family. That worked. I am still married to the same wife!

I quit my 1978 ICCF section. In future years I returned to ICCF and sometimes played very well.

My free Chess Training Repertoire each Thursday covers openings. Sign up if you want to receive it by email.

Sawyer - Spanik, corr ICCF, 1978 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nxe4 [After 3...Nc6 I played what I called the "Chicken King's Gambit". I would back into that opening via 4.d3 Bc5 5.f4 d6 6.Nf3 King's Gambit Declined, when White does not actually sacrifice a pawn.] 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 [5.Qxe5+ Qe7 6.Qxe7+ Bxe7 7.Bb3=] 5...Nc6 [5...Be7 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Nxe5=] 6.Nb5 g6 7.Qf3 f5 8.Qd5 Qe7 9.Nxc7+ Kd8 10.Nxa8 b6 11.d3 [Another way to play this is 11.Nxb6 axb6 12.Qf3 Bb7 13.d3 Nd4 14.Qh3] 11...Bb7 12.h4 h6 [The more popular way to stop the threat of 13.Bg5 winning the Black queen is by 12...f4 13.Qf3 Bh6 14.Bd2 Nd4=] 13.Qf3 Nd4 14.Qg3+/= Black stopped playing. 1-0

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Greg Nolan Delroy Slav Defence

Thirty years ago USCF postal chess had a funky rating system that was not exactly the Elo system. Eventually they switched over the numbers to the Elo scale. I did not play much USCF postal back then, going more with several other postal chess organizations. One of my early USCF postal chess opponents was my friend Gregory Nolan.

Greg and I played together at the Chaturanga Club in Hatboro, Pennsylvania north of Philadelphia. We talked him many times about chess books and chess in general. Nolan played 1.d4 main line openings as White. In our postal chess game below, I opted for the Slav Defence. He chose the most common line 6.e3. In the past 30 years there has been an increase in the sharper 6.Ne5, but that was still fairly rare back then.

In this game Greg pushes his d4-pawn far down the board. Jonathan Rowson in his book "Understanding the Gruenfeld" has a chapter on "Dealing with Delroy". Rowson names all the pawns with first letters that correspond to the file the pawn is on. "Delroy" is the d-pawn. In the Gruenfeld Defence, Delroy often gets to d6 and sometimes d7. Preferably for Black, he cannot make it to d8 safely! In my game vs Nolan, I mishandle Delroy.

Nolan-Sawyer, corr USCF 1982 begins 1.d4 c6 2.c4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 0-0 9.Qe2 Nbd7 10.e4 Bg6 11.Bd3 Bh5 12.h3 [This is a less frequently played move. The main line is 12.e5 Nd5 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.Qe3 Be7 15.Bd2 Nb8=] 12...Bxf3 13.Qxf3 e5 14.Be3 exd4 15.Bxd4 c5!? [15...Qe7=; 15...Bc5=] 16.Bxf6 Qxf6 17.Qxf6 Nxf6 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.exd5 Bd2? [19...Rad8 20.Rfd1 Rfe8 21.Bc4 Kf8 22.d6 Re4 23.Rac1 Rd4=] 20.d6 Rfe8 21.Rfd1 Bg5 22.d7 Red8 23.Be4 Rab8 24.a5 [24.Rab1+/-] 24...a6? [24...Bf6 25.Rd5 Bxb2 26.Rb1 Bd4 27.Bd3+/=] 25.Rd5 Bf6 26.Rc1 Bxb2? 27.Rcxc5 b6 28.Rc8 [28.axb6!+-] 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Monday, July 16, 2012

102 Queens Gambit Accepted 4.Nc3

Welcome to Main Line Monday! This is the second in a series of repertoire moves for Black using Queen's Gambit Accepted. I searched for reliable lines that do not transpose into the teeth of the Slav Defence, Semi-Slav or Catalan System. A popular alternative to the 4.e3 main lines of the Queen's Gambit Accepted is for White to deviate on move four. Three different ideas are considered this week after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6:

4.Nc3 - Two Knights Variation
4.Qa4 - Mannheim Variation
4.g3 - Catalan System

Generally I follow recommendations by James Rizzitano in his "How to Beat 1 d4"; however I often refer as well to "The Queen's Gambit Accepted" by Konstantin Sakaev and Semko Semkov. Also I use my large database opening book with millions of games. Finally, I have kept Fritz and Junior running in the background to help pick a move when there is no clear preference by the authors or the database opening book.

[Event "Main Lines"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.07.16"]
[Round "?"]
[White "102 Queens Gambit"]
[Black "3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "D21"]
[Annotator "Sawyer,Timothy E"]
[PlyCount "32"]
[SourceDate "2012.01.29"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 [4. Qa4+ Nc6 5. Nc3 (5. Qxc4 Bf5) (5. e3
Bd7) 5... Nd5 6. Qxc4 (6. e4 Nb6 7. Qd1 Bg4 8. d5 Ne5 9. Bf4 Bxf3 10. gxf3 Qd6)
6... Ndb4 7. Qb3 Nxd4 8. Nxd4 Qxd4 9. Be3 Be6 10. Qa4+ Bd7] [4. g3 Nc6 5. Qa4 (
5. Bg2 e5 6. Qa4 exd4) 5... Nd5 6. Qxc4 Nb6 7. Qd3 e5] [4. Na3 Nc6 5. Nxc4 Bf5]
[4. Bg5 Ne4] [4. e4 Nxe4] [4. a4 Nc6] [4. Bf4 e6 5. Nc3 Bb4] 4... a6 5. e4 [5.
a4 Nc6 6. e4 (6. e3 Na5 7. Ne5 Be6 8. Be2 c5) (6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 g5) (6. a5 e6)
6... Bg4 7. Be3 (7. d5 Ne5 8. Bf4 (8. Be2 Bxf3) 8... Nfd7) (7. Bxc4 Bxf3 8.
gxf3 Qxd4 9. Qb3 O-O-O 10. Be3 Na5) (7. e5 Bxf3 8. gxf3 Nd5) 7... Bxf3 8. gxf3
Na5] [5. e3 e6] [5. Qa4+ b5] [5. Bg5 b5] 5... b5 6. e5 [6. a4 b4] [6. Bg5 Bb7]
6... Nd5 7. a4 [7. Ng5 e6 8. Qh5 Qd7] 7... Nxc3 8. bxc3 Qd5 9. g3 [9. Be2 Bb7
10. O-O e6] 9... Bb7 10. Bg2 Qd7 11. Ba3 [11. Nh4 Bxg2 12. Nxg2 b4 13. O-O e6]
[11. e6 Qxe6+ 12. Be3 Qc8] [11. O-O e6 12. Nh4 Bxg2] 11... g6 12. O-O [12. h4
Bd5] 12... Bg7 13. Re1 O-O 14. e6 [14. Bc5 Bd5 15. Ng5 Bxg2] 14... fxe6 15. Ne5
Qc8 16. Bh3 Bd5 *

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chigorin Defence Skill and Luck

Recently I played a three minute blitz game on the Internet Chess Club where I was very fortunate. A surprising combination suddenly appeared that allowed me to sacrifice my queen. We all know we are supposed to complete our development and castle quickly. This is especially true if the position has a lot of open lines for active pieces. A king caught in the middle becomes vulnerable to checks that set up combinations.

The opening is a Chigorin Defence which normally follows 1.d4 d4 2.c4 Nc6. I actually played 1...Nc6 where I also had the Mikenas option of 2...e5, but for this game I went with the Chigorin. White played 3.Nc3. After my 3...dxc4, Larry Kaufman recommends 4.d5 in "The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White". Lar Schandorff recommends 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bg5 in "Playing the Queen's Gambit". Both are sharp and forcing lines.

White played 4.e3 which Valery Bronzik calls a "not very ambitious continuation" in his book "The Chigorin Defence". He then gives a game with 4...e5 5.Nf3 exd4 6.exd4. Black in my game played 6.Nxd4. This allowed me to exchange knights and ponder a possible ending vs the isolated d-pawn. When White delayed castling, I found a combination.

ruval-Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 13.07.2012 begins 1.d4 Nc6 2.c4 d5 3.Nc3 dxc4 4.e3 e5 5.Nf3 exd4 6.Nxd4 Nxd4 7.exd4 Nf6 8.Bxc4 Bd6 9.Bg5 [9.0-0] 9...0-0 10.Qd2? [Preparing to castle queenside. Clearly White should have castled kingside immediately. 10.0-0 h6=] 10...Re8+ 11.Ne2? [11.Be3 Ng4 12.0-0-0 c6=/+ Black stands better, but it is still a game.] 11...a5 [Threat: 12...Bb4] 12.0-0? [Two moves too late. Castling queenside is not quite so bad after 12.0-0-0 a4-/+] 12...Ne4! [Take me!] 13.Bxd8 Nxd2 14.Bxc7 Nxc4 15.Bxd6 Nxd6 16.Rac1? Rxe2 White resigns down two pieces. 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Monday, July 9, 2012

101 Queens Gambit Accepted 3.e4 & 3.e3

Welcome to Main Line Monday. Today we begin a new series on playing as Black the Queen's Gambit Accepted. This opening has been played for about 200 years by players of all strengths. Nowadays it is considered that in response to the popular opening moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4, Black has a good and sound defence with 2...dxc4.

When I was young, grandmaster opinion heavily favored White. Since then many world champions have played it from both sides. Computers also show that Black is fine in every line, if played correctly. Laziness and poor tactics fail in any opening.

This first week we will show a basic repertoire for Black when White avoids the main line 3.Nf3. The most common ideas are 3.e4 and 3.e3 which are covered below. The move 3.Nc3 could easily transpose after 3...Nf6 4.Nf3 to 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3. Black also has the option show below of 3.Nc3 e5.

My favorite book on the Queen's Gambit is "How to Beat 1 d4" by James Rizzitano, but I have read many books on this opening over the years. One thing I like about this book is that while he gives Black several options, Rizzitano makes clear which one he prefers. The book is dedicated to playing 1.d4 d5 as Black. Half of it focuses on 2.c4 dxc4 and the other half covers various alternative 2nd moves, like my old favorite 2.e4. In fact my own "Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Keybook" is cited in his extensive bibliography.

101 Queens Gambit - 3.e3 & 3.e4, Main Lines, 09.07.2012 begins 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 [3.Nc3 e5 4.dxe5 (4.e3 exd4 5.exd4 Nf6 6.Bxc4 Bd6 7.Nf3 0-0; 4.d5 c6 5.e4 Nf6 6.Bxc4 b5 7.Bb3 b4 8.Na4 Nxe4) 4...Qxd1+ 5.Kxd1 (5.Nxd1 Nc6 6.Nf3 Be6) 5...Be6 6.e4 Nc6 7.f4 0-0-0+; 3.Qa4+ Nc6 4.Nf3 Nf6 (4...Bg4 5.Nbd2 Bxf3 6.Nxf3 Qd5) ; 3.e3 e5 4.Bxc4 exd4 5.exd4 Bd6 6.Nf3 Nf6 7.0-0 0-0 8.Nc3 Nc6 9.h3 h6 10.a3 (10.Qc2 Nb4 11.Qb1 Be6 12.Bxe6 fxe6 13.Re1 Qe8; 10.Re1 Re8 11.Be3 Bf5 12.a3 a6) 10...Bf5 11.Re1 a6 12.Ne5 Bxe5 13.dxe5 Qxd1 14.Nxd1 Nd7] 3...e5 4.Nf3 exd4 5.Bxc4 Nc6 6.0-0 Be6 7.Bb5 [7.Bxe6 fxe6 8.Qb3 Qd7 9.Qxb7 Rb8 10.Qa6 Nf6 11.Nbd2 Bd6 12.Qd3 (12.b3 0-0 13.Bb2 Bf4; 12.a3 0-0 13.b4 Ng4) 12...0-0 13.a3 (13.h3 e5 14.Nc4 Nb4) 13...Ng4 14.h3 Nge5 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 16.Qxd4 Qb5] 7...Bc5 8.b4 [8.Nbd2 Nge7 9.Ng5 (9.Nb3 Bxb3 10.Qxb3 a6) 9...Qd7 10.Nxe6 Qxe6 11.Nb3 Qd6 12.Bf4 Qxf4 13.Nxc5 0-0 14.Rc1 a6 15.g3 Qh6; 8.Qc2 Bb6 9.a4 (9.Bxc6+ bxc6 10.Qxc6+ Bd7 11.Qc4 Be6) 9...a5 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 11.Qxc6+ Bd7 12.Qc4 Be6] 8...Bb6 9.a4 [9.Bb2 Nge7] 9...a6 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 11.a5 [11.Bb2 Nf6] 11...Ba7 12.Bb2 Nf6 13.Bxd4 Nxe4 14.Bxa7 Qxd1 15.Rxd1 Rxa7 *

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Joy of Alapin-Diemer French

A couple days ago I faced a French Defence and chose the Alapin-Diemer Gambit. 20 years ago I played it all the time. I still wheel it out once in a while since my performance rating with 3.Be3!? is higher than any other variation after the position reached by 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5. Usually, I refer to anything after 3.Be3 as the Alapin French.

When White follows 3.Be3 with f3 on moves 4 or 5, it is an Alapin Diemer Gambit. Emil Jozef Diemer played 3.Be3 vs the French Defence many times with some impressive wins. The gambit can be declined with 3...Nf6, but White gets a good game after 4.e5!

Critical is 3...dxe4. White can play 4.f3 or 4.Nc3, but the main line is 4.Nd2 Nf6 5.f3. Alapin's original idea was 5.c3 and 6.Qc2. With Diemer's continuation of 5.f3, the pawn on e4 is double attacked. More often than not, Black plays 5...exf3 6.Ngxf3.

My new French 3.Be3 Playbook is a step by step guide to the Alapin Diemer Gambit.

Sawyer-superdave99, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 07.07.2012 begins 1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Be3 dxe4 4.Nd2 Nf6 5.f3 exf3 6.Ngxf3 Bd6 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.Bg5 c5 10.Qe1 cxd4 11.Qh4 h6 12.Bxh6 gxh6 13.Qxh6 Qa5 14.Ng5 [14.Nc4 Qh5 15.Qxh5 Nxh5 16.Nxd6+-] 14...Qe5 15.Ndf3 [15.g3+-] 15...Qe3+ 16.Kh1 Bf4 17.Rae1 Bxg5 18.Nxg5 Qxg5 19.Qxg5+ Kh8 20.Qh6+ Kg8 At this point that clocks read 2:00 - 0:55. Here I slowed way down to consider which checkmate is the fastest. Seeing that I was now thinking, Black resigned. 1-0

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