Monday, December 3, 2012

Avrukh Book "Beating 1.d4 Sidelines"

When Grandmaster Boris Avrukh spends a lot of time studying the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit and writes extensively on the results of his investigation, it makes me sit up and take notice. Indeed, I bought the book! "Beating 1.d4 Sidelines" is 504 pages published by Quality Chess and just released November 2012. Avrukh mentions a lot of stuff, but he does not deal with the Dutch Defence (1.d4 f5) or lines with 2...Nc6. His analysis on one of my other favorite openings, the London System, looks excellent. Others like Veresov, Trompowsky, Colle, Torre and Barry are also covered. I highly recommend this book.

The book is divided into four roughly equal parts: 1) 1.d4 d5 lines; 2) 1.d4 Nf6 without 2.c4 or 2.Nf3; 3) 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 lines; and 4) 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 lines

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is covered on pages 19-42. As Black, Avrukh recommends the BDG Ziegler 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5. In summary, I quote his "Conclusion" on the BDG:

"Sacrificing an important central pawn as early as the second move is an audacious concept, and technically the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit cannot be considered a fully correct opening. Nevertheless, I would be lying if I said Black's task is trivial, and during my investigation I had to work hard to find the correct antidote to White's numerous attacking tries. Of the many variations covered, I would like to highlight the modern C221) 7.Bg5!? (intending 8.Nh4) and the aggressive C2232 8.Ng5!? as options which require especially close attention. But ultimately, if Black knows what he is doing then he should have excellent chances to neutralize the opponent's initiative and exploit his extra pawn."

Sawyer's Interpretation: If you are a grandmaster who memorizes 23 pages of analysis vs the BDG, then you should be able to prevent White from winning! In my own practice, it is easy to screw up as Black if you slip from solid to passive. Typically Black has an extra doubled g-pawn. I have chosen to play 5.Nxf3 c6 as Black 147 times; on average, I have under-performed my own rating by -26 points. For the other five choices (5...Bg4, 5...Bf5, 5...e6, 5...g6, 5...Nc6), I have over-performed by typically +200 rating points. In the BDG, I usually win as Black, but I've personally struggled using Avrukh's excellent suggestions.

GM Avrukh gives one of my games, Harald Klett vs Tim Sawyer, where I won in a critical line with the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Ryder 6.Be3 Qg4 variation (see below with my notes). Tomorrow I will show my win with the White pieces vs the same opponent.

Klett-Sawyer, corr BDG thematic, 1996 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Qxf3 Qxd4 6.Be3 Qg4 7.Qf2 e5 8.a3 Bd6 9.Nf3 Qf5 10.0-0-0 [10.h3 e4 11.Nd4 Qxf2+ 12.Kxf2 Be5-+] 10...Ng4 11.Qd2 Nxe3 12.Qxe3 0-0 13.Kb1 [A possible improvement for White: 13.Bd3! Qf4 14.Qxf4 exf4 15.Nb5 Nc6 16.Nxd6 cxd6 17.Be4 Rd8 18.Rd2 Be6 19.Rhd1 d5 20.Bxd5 Bxd5 21.Rxd5 Rxd5 22.Rxd5 Re8=/+] 13...Nc6 14.Bd3 Qg4 15.Rhg1 Be6 16.h3 Qf4 17.Qf2 [If 17.Qxf4 exf4-/+] 17...f5 18.Ne2 Qh6 19.Nd2 e4 0-1

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