Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Alekhine Jonathan Schroer Tim Sawyer

Today I finish up my month of simultaneous exhibitions with a game I played against Jonathan Schroer on the Internet Chess Club. Schroer earned the FIDE title of International Master in 1984. He is a skilled attacking player.

IM Schroer is a great blitz player who has played many online simuls. The game today was played at a pace of 35 35 (35 minutes for each sides for the game, plus an additional 35 seconds increment added after each move is played. Ten years ago when this game was played, Jonathan Schroer had an ICC rating of 2708. My rating was 2232. I do not know how many other boards Schroer was playing at once.

For our game I chose the Alekhine Defence. This was not too long after I had written my Alekhine Defense Playbook, so the variations and analysis were fresh in my mind. I had played more than 1200 games with that opening. Nowadays I have played twice as many.

Currently my personal contests of the Alekhine Defence of 1.e4 Nf6 with me as Black total 2424 games. My most common defence is the Open Game 1.e4 e5 (2691 games), but I have played both the Queen's Knight Nimzowitsch Defence 1.e4 Nc6 and the solid Caro-Kann Defence 1.e4 c6 more than 1300 times each.

Schroer-Sawyer, ICC 35 35 u Internet Chess Club, 26.11.2002 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 c6 6.c4 Nb6 7.Nbd2 dxe5 8.Nxe5 Bf5! [Up to this point Schroer was playing fairly rapidly against me. This 8...Bf5 variation is given in my "Alekhine Defense Playbook". White seemed to be surprised by this move. He used about 30 minutes for his next two moves. In his book on the Alekhine Defence, Nigel Davies only considered 8...Bxe2 9.Qxe2 Qxd4 10.Ndf3 when White has a strong attack.] 9.c5N [The line given in my book continues: 9.Nb3 e6 10.0-0 Be7 11.a4 N6d7 Usually it is in Black's interest to challenge any White piece on e5 and swap it off if possible. 12.f4 Nxe5 13.fxe5 Bg6= 0-1/30. Popovych-Szmetan, World Open 1999] 9...Nd5 [In view of the fact that I am behind in development I aim for safety and happily return to the hole White created on d5. Since White spent so long on this 9th move, he must have been prepared for the obvious 9...Qxd4 10.Nxf7 Kxf7 11.cxb6 Qxb6 when clearly White has a lot of compensation for the sacrificed pawn. It will take a few moves for White to complete his development, but the Black weaknesses of his e-pawn and king cannot be covered up that quickly.] 10.Ndf3 Nd7 11.Nc4 e6!? This is a risky continuation because it leaves a big hole on d6. I decided to risk it so as to complete my development. At least this way my bishop covers d6. 12.0-0 Be7 13.Re1 0-0 14.Bd2 Qb8!? [14...b6! seems to be the most aggressive continuation. I considered it, but decided not to mix it up with an IM whose tactical skills exceed mine. He had less than two minutes left on his clock while I had about 30 minutes, but there is a 35 second increment. I decided that I would force White to come up with a plan and a combination while his clock was ticking. 14...Qc7 is the most natural move.] 15.Rc1 Bg4 16.h3 Bxf3 17.Bxf3 Re8 18.Qb3 Qc7 19.Red1 White waits for Black to force the issue and create a weakness that he can attack without deep thought. We both decide to wait for a mistake and repeat the position three times. 19...Rac8 20.Re1 Ra8 21.Rcd1 Rac8 22.Rc1 Ra8 Game drawn by repetition 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
Copyright 2015 Home Page / Author Page / sawyerte@yahoo.com

Monday, January 30, 2012

Surprise in Ruy Lopez Schliemann

Momir Radovic recently posted a chess lesson on the Four Principles of Warfare that apply to Chess Strategy. Good stuff! The third principle is Deception and Surprise.

"All war is deception, advised Sun Tzu. The concentration of forces must be carried out in such a way that you manipulate the enemy’s perceptions so they think they fight on favorable terms. You entice them with lures of (in chess, usually material) profit, while you wait for them in strength at a decisive point where your assault ratio overpowers their defenses."

Yesterday I posted a blog about a blitz chess match of eight games played at 5 0 speed (five minutes for each side with no increments). My opponent was the chess engine "blik" (rated 2398) on the Internet Chess Club. One game started as a Ruy Lopez, which I have played many times from both sides.

After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 The Schliemann, a mild surprise. 4.Nc3 Nd4!? This was BIG surprise. I remembered GM Leonid Shamkovich and Eric Schiller had written some booklets on this opening 15-20 years ago. Seems as though at least one booklet was on 4...Nd4!?, but nobody plays this line anymore. Okay, so I have faced a surprise in a blitz game. The clock is ticking. I guessed that the correct continuation was either 5.Ba4, 5.Bc4 or 5.exf5. I thought for 14 seconds and played the frisky 5.Nxe5!?

In his excellent book "Attacking the Spanish", GM Sabino Brunello focuses on 4...fxe4. For 4...Nd4!? Brunello gives 5.exf5 going a move or two deeper with no further comment. It may be wise to side-step all of this with 4.d3: "This now appears to be a simple route to advantage." per Larry Kaufman in his 2003 repertoire book "The Chess Advantage in Black and White". In his 2012 book, Kaufman now recommends 1.d4.

Sawyer-blik, ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 21.01.2012 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.Nc3 Nd4!? [Oh no. I never play this. As Black I play the main line which goes 4...fxe4 5.Nxe4 Nf6 (The old main line is still playable after 5...d5 6.Nxe5 dxe4 7.Nxc6 Qg5 8.Qe2 Nf6 9.f4 Qxf4 10.Ne5+ c6 11.d4 Qh4+ 12.g3 Qh3 13.Bc4 Be6) White has to make a choice between 6.Nxf6+ (or 6.Qe2 d5 7.Nxf6+ gxf6 8.d4 Bg7 9.dxe5 0-0) 6...Qxf6 7.Qe2 Be7 8.Bxc6 dxc6 9.Nxe5 Bf5 10.d3 0-0 11.0-0 Rae8] 5.Nxe5! [5.Ba4 Nf6 6.0-0 Bc5 7.Nxe5+/=; 5.Bc4 c6 6.0-0 d6 7.Re1+/=] 5...Qg5 [5...Nf6 6.exf5; 5...Nxb5 6.Nxb5] 6.0-0 fxe4 7.f4!? [Junior 12 likes 7.Re1!+- and White is winning.] 7...Qh4 8.g3 [8.d3!?+/-] 8...Qh3 9.d3 Bc5 10.Kh1 Nxc2 [10...c6 11.Be3+/=] 11.Qxc2?? [I am thinking quickly, Wow, my rook is under attack and there is no mate threat. Looking at the replay, I see I took only one second of thought. Taking 3-5 seconds I might have felt the potential looseness of the Rf1. Of course as soon as I mistakenly grab the night, there IS instant mate! 11.Nxe4! Nxa1 12.Ng5+- and one of the White knights might play Nf7xRh8.] 11...Qxf1# White checkmated. The surprise paid off! 0-1

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
Copyright 2015 Home Page / Author Page / sawyerte@yahoo.com

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Blitz Break with Alekhine Defence

Sometimes I feel like playing a little blitz chess. Saturday, January 21st was one of those days. We had some outdoor plans. The Florida weather was beautiful. Alas someone got sick and we were unable to go. I watched a few movies, went out to eat at a restaurant, wrote some additional blog posts and played through dozens of BDG games by chess friend Peter Mcgerald Penullar. Two of those were posted during the past couple days.

Eventually I just felt like playing a few blitz games. I got on the Internet Chess Club and played my old computer buddy "blik" for eight games. My goal was to relax, sharpen my tactics, and try to hold on to my pieces. During the games, blik's rating was between 2383 and 2419. My rating was between 2111 and 2156. My record was +1 =3 -4. We alternated colors. I had White in the first game. Here is a summary.

Game 1 - Began 1.d4 d6 2.c4 (I didn't feel like a Pirc Defence today) 2...g6 3.Nc3 Bg7. We got some weird King's Indian Defence where Black played his knights to Nd7 and Ne7. I made a thoughtless 42nd move and blik exploded with tactics. 0-1 in 46.
Game 2 - 1.c4 d5!? My pet English Opening line which I covered in another post. Here blik played 2.d4 e5 and we have an Albin Counter Gambit by transposition. I won in 19 moves playing the very same line I covered in Kick blik Day 2 in September 2011.
Game 3 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 Ruy Lopez Schliemann (see tomorrow's post).
Game 4 - 1.e4 Nf6 Alekhine Defence (see game below).
Game 5 - 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 Sicilian Defence Grand Prix. I dropped a pawn and resigned on move 27.
Game 6 - 1.d4 d6 (Whoops. I meant to play 1...d5, but my d-pawn ran out of gas on the way there. Bobby Fischer once meant to play ...Qb6 but his queen only got to ...Qc7. When this happens, you just play something else.) 2.e4 Nc6 (I am not a Pirc Defence player as Black. I decided to play the Queen's Knight Defence, which I DO play.) 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bg4 We reached the Williams Variation which I have played many times. After an interesting struggle, White repeated moves to avoid losing material. Drawn in 37.
Game 7 - 1.d4 d5 2.c4 (blik likes the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Teichann Variation after 1...Nf6 2.f3; I won one of those on January 28 a week later. After 1.d4 d5 2.e4, blik avoids the BDG with the French Defence or Caro-Kann Defence. I wasn't in the mood.) 2...c6 Slav Defence. We reached a rook ending with passed pawns. I threatened to win with my a-pawn; blik threatened with his c-pawn. Both pawns were gone by move 50. Drawn in 57.
Game 8 - 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 Chigorin Defence. We played a popular line. I tried what looked like a promising pawn sacrifice. The computer blik took my pawn and laughed at me. I resigned after he queened the pawn. 1-0 in 29.

blik-Sawyer, ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 21.01.2012 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 dxe5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nf3 [White backs off from the wild and pretty much forced line of 6.Nxf7!? Kxf7 7.Qh5+ Ke6 8.c4 N5f6 9.d5+ Kd6 10.Qf7 Ne5 11.Bf4 c5 12.Nc3 a6 when most computers like Black and most humans like White.] 6...c6 7.Be2 N7f6 8.0-0 Bg4 9.c4 Nb6 10.Nbd2 e6 11.Qb3 Qc7 12.h3 Bh5 13.a4 Be7 14.a5 Nbd7 15.a6 b6 16.Re1 0-0 I have castled with a solid position. 17.Bd3 Rfe8 18.g4 Bg6 19.Bxg6 hxg6 20.Ne4 Nxe4 21.Rxe4 c5 22.Bf4 Bd6 23.Bxd6 Qxd6 24.g5 Rac8 25.Rd1 Qc7 26.Qb5 cxd4 27.Rexd4 Nf8 28.Ne5 [I have drifted into a position where White's queenside pawn majority is a problem for me. 28.Qe5!+/- ] 28...Red8 29.f4 Rxd4 30.Rxd4 Rd8 31.Qc6! White is much better here. I decided to try my luck in an endgame. 31...Qxc6 32.Nxc6 Rxd4 33.Nxd4 Nd7 34.b4 Nb8 35.b5 Kf8 36.c5 bxc5 37.b6 Nxa6 38.bxa7 Nc7 39.Nb5 Na8 Better my knight on a8 than his pawn! 40.Nd6 Ke7 41.Nb7 c4 42.Kf2 Kd7 43.Na5 c3 44.Ke3 Kc7 45.Nc4 Kb7 My king has rescued my knight. 46.Nd6+ Kxa7 47.h4? [Losing. Correct is 47.Kd3! Nc7 48.Kxc3 Nd5+ 49.Kd4 Nxf4 50.Nxf7 Nxh3 Drawn when ALL remaining pawns will be captured. But not 47.Nxf7? Nc7 48.Kd3 Nd5 49.Nd8 Nxf4+ 50.Kxc3 Kb6 and Black might have some chances as his king gets closer.]47...Nb6 48.Nb5+ Kb7 49.Nxc3 Kc6 50.Kf3 Nd5 51.Ne4 Ne7 52.Kg2 Nf5 53.Kh3 Kd5 54.Nf2 Kd4 55.Ng4 Ke4 56.Ne5 Nd6?!= 57.Kg3 Kd5 Game drawn by mutual agreement in an equal position. 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
Copyright 2015 Home Page / Author Page / sawyerte@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Penullar Wins BDG in the Christian Chess World

Christian Chess World is one of the groups formed is the site Chess.com. This group formed January 29, 2009. Currently it has 848 players with more than 200 matches in progress most of the time.

Grandmaster Julio Becerra is listed as the second highest rated player in this group. Becerra is a many time Florida Champion who has competed several times in the US Championship. Becerra has won events that I have played in, but we have not played each other as of this date. I have played as the low rated player on board 2 where he was the high rated player on board 1 sitting next to me. Julio Becerra is a great all-around balanced grandmaster who works hard at his game and has no obvious weaknesses.

We return to our chess friend from the Philippines, Peter Mcgerald Penullar. Recently Peter played a match in Christian Chess World attempting to play the BDG. The game began 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nc6, a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Avoided, which transposes to the Queen's Knight Defence 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4.

Eric Schiller called this the Mieses Defense in his 1986 "Blackmar-Diemer Gambit":
"To be perfectly truthful, Mieses was not the first to employ the system against the Blackmar-Diemer. That honor belongs to Kipke, but his destruction at the hands of Kurt Richter was so devastating that I passed him over. One day the BDG crowd will straighten out the nomenclature."

Writing on the same variation, Christoph Wisnewski (now Scheerer) wrote in his "Play 1...Nc6!" it is "a line that lives on the brink of refutation every day." He prefers the move 3...e6 in the Nimzowitsch. I have played both lines as Black many times. It is easy to screw up as Black, but my computers find equality after both 3...e6 and 3...dxe4.

The main line is 4.d5! Penullar against "ArthurSU" chose 4.Be3!? with the idea to transpose into some type of BDG later. It worked very well. Gradually White began to outplay his opponent, who eventually resigned in the face of a forced checkmate.

penullar-ArthurSU, CHRISTIAN CHESS WORLD, 2012, Match #6 - Chess.com, 04.01.2012 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nc6 This transposes to the Nimzowitsch Variation of the Queen's Knight Defence normally reached after 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4. 4.Be3!? [The most forceful and popular move is 4.d5! Ne5 5.f3! My current preference over my old favorite 5.f4?! (5.Qd4 is more common. 5...Ng6=) 5...exf3 6.Nxf3 Nxf3+ 7.Qxf3 a6 8.Bd3 Nf6 9.0-0+/= White has a huge lead in development and a lot of play for the pawn.] 4...Nf6 5.f3 exf3 6.Nxf3 Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 e6 9.0-0-0 White has an excellent attacking position. 9...Bd6 10.d5 [Interesting is the surprising tactical shot 10.Ba6!+/= with a "removal of the guard" idea.] 10...Ne5 11.Qe2 0-0?! [The natural continuation is 11...exd5 12.Nxd5 Nxd5 13.Rxd5 0-0 where Black is a pawn up and much safer than he was a few moves ago.] 12.dxe6 fxe6 13.Bg5 Qe7 14.Ne4 Qf7 [14...Nf7!?] 15.Nxd6 cxd6 16.Rxd6 h6? [After 16...Nfd7 17.Qe4+/- White has the advantage of the two bishops, but material is otherwise even.] 17.Bxh6!? [Simply 17.Qxe5 hxg5 18.Bc4 is very powerful.] 17...gxh6 [17...Nc6 and Black is "just" down a pawn.] 18.Qxe5 Rae8 19.Bc4 Nd5 20.Rf1 Qc7? Losing more material under difficult circumstances. [20...Qg7 21.Qxg7+ Kxg7 22.Rxf8 Kxf8 23.Bxd5 exd5 24.Kd2+-] 21.Rxf8+ Kxf8 22.Bxd5 Qf7? 23.Bxe6 Qf1+? 24.Rd1 Qf2? Allows a mate in 6. 25.Qh8+ Ke7 26.Rd7+ [If Black plays on, the end comes 26.Rd7+ Kxe6 27.Qxe8+ Kf5 28.Rf7+ Kg6 29.Qg8+ Kh5 30.Qg4#] 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
Copyright 2015 Home Page / Author Page / sawyerte@yahoo.com

Friday, January 27, 2012

Penullar Wins BDG with Touch of Zilbermints

Peter Mcgerald Penullar of the Philippines has been consistently playing the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit and its related variations. I examined dozens of his games. They were good. I chose a couple to post on my blog, one today and one tomorrow.

Penullar played these games at Chess.com. In today's game below Peter plays an opponent "raminchik" who was rated 45 points above him at that time. The game is a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Euwe Variation (5...e6). Penullar varies from the norm with 6.Bd3, but in this case it works well for him.

White is able to sacrifice the d-pawn transposing to the Lev Zilbermints (also spelled Zilbermintz) Gambit. Peter Penullar launches a successful kingside mating attack.

penullar - raminchik, Team 54 Open Challenge - Board 7 Chess.com, 10.12.2011 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 BDG 4...exf3 Accepted 5.Nxf3 e6 Euwe Variation 6.Bd3 [The more common move order is 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.0-0!? Zilbermints Gambit 8...Nxd4 9.Kh1 Nxf3?! 10.Qxf3 transposing to the game.] 6...Nc6 [Christoph Scheerer gives 6...c5! with a line that favors Black as a reason to prefer 6.Bg5.] 7.0-0 [7.Bg5 sets a little trap. 7...Nxd4? 8.Nxd4 Qxd4 9.Bb5+ and White wins the Black queen.] 7...Nxd4 8.Kh1 Nxf3 9.Qxf3 Be7 10.Bg5 "is what White is hoping for, as he gets his pieces into play quickly." Scheerer 10...0-0 11.Rad1 [Here Scheerer suggests 11.Qh3 e5 12.Qh4 and he cites a game Sawyer-Now, Bellefonte PA 1993. Yes, that was my game.] 11...Qe8? [Fearing the rook on d1, the Black queen steps off the d-file. However, this leaves the Nf6 and the kingside under-protected. White has compensation for a pawn, but two pawns? Black could try an improvement with 11...Nd5 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nxd5 exd5 14.Qxd5 c6 15.Qd4 Be6=/+ consolidating with an extra pawn.] 12.Qh3 [Or 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Qe4 g6 14.Rxf6+- when White is up a knight.] 12...e5 13.Qh4 h5 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Rxf6 gxf6 16.Ne4 Qe6 17.Nxf6+ Kh8 18.Qxh5+ Kg7 19.Qg5+ and mate next move. 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
Copyright 2015 Home Page / Author Page / sawyerte@yahoo.com

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Loose Lady With Latvian Gambit

Chess pieces hate to be "Loose". What do we know about loose pieces? Nobody loves them. Nobody pays attention to them. No other pieces on the chess board protect them.

Someone who loves their family, who pays attention to them and who protects them will have a strong family. Someone who loves chess, who pays attention to the pieces and who protects them will be a strong player.

Dana MacKenzie has done several videos for ChessLecture.com. This is a great site which I highly recommend. When I could afford it, I subscribed myself. On his own website own Dana MacKenzie describes his video for February 10, 2009 as follows:

"Undefended pieces are often a red flag for combinations, even if they are not currently being attacked. They are the ones most likely to be victimized by pins, forks, etc. John Nunn has a saying: LPDO (loose pieces drop off). I invented a new acronym: LPCRF (loose pieces cause red faces)."

In chess, the King is the most valuable piece, but the Queen is the most powerful piece. She can move as far as she wants in any direction. And, just like women want their own way, so the queen starts on her own color: White queen on light square d1; Black queen on dark square d8. REMEMBER: Every lady deserves to be cherished and protected.

Today we have a game where our friend Bill Chandler notices that his opponent's queen is loose. The red flag for a combination was waving. Bill saw the combination and grabbed the loose Lady. His ICC handle is "ProjectAlpha". I do not know his opponent "Earth".

The opening is a Latvian Gambit in which the Black pieces risk being loose to develop rapidly and shake up White. I played it many times in the late 1980s. Nowadays with computer databases and chess engines, the players rated over 2000 (most of MY own opponents) are likely to know a line that gives White a greater advantage than normal.

Earth-ProjectAlpha, ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 02.01.2012 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.exf5 [White captures one of the two loose pawns. The main line of the Latvian Gambit is to capture the other pawn with 3.Nxe5 Qf6 when White has two good options to gain the better game. 4.d4 (or 4.Nc4 fxe4 5.Nc3 Qf7 6.Ne3 c6 7.Nxe4 d5 8.Ng5 Qf6 9.Nf3+/-) 4...d6 5.Nc4 fxe4 6.Nc3 Qg6 7.f3 exf3 8.Qxf3 Nc6 9.Bd3+/-] 3...Nf6 4.Bc4 [If White grabs the second loose pawn 4.Nxe5 Qe7 5.Qe2 d6 Black has faster development as partial compensation for the gambit.] 4...d5 Black gains time by attacking a bishop with his pawn and attacking a pawn with his bishop. 5.Bb3 Bxf5 6.0-0 [Now White DOES have time to take the loose pawn 6.Nxe5+/= intending 7.d4 protecting the knight that can no longer be driven away from e5 by a pawn.] 6...Nc6 7.Re1 Bd6 8.Nc3 White deserves a lot of credit for rapidly developing his pieces - so far so good. 8...0-0 Black is developing just as fast, even while giving up a pawn. 9.Nxd5 Nxd5 10.Bxd5+ Kh8 11.Bxc6!? Most strong players would keep this active bishop on the board. 11...bxc6 12.d3?! [Once again the e-pawn is loose and could be snatched with advantage. 12.Nxe5! Bxe5 13.Rxe5+/= and White is ahead two pawns.] 12...e4? [Best is 12...Bg4! pinning the knight with a double attack on f3.] 13.dxe4 [White has the in-between-move 13.Bg5! which attacks the Black queen and adds protection from Ra1 to the White queen.] 13...Bxe4 14.Rxe4? [A fatal mistake. The knight can leap into action with 14.Ng5 Bg6 15.Ne6+/= causing Black some concerns.] 14...Bxh2+! As Dana MacKenzie noted, loose pieces lead to combinations. Chandler sees the combination at blitz speed and is rewarded. 15.Nxh2 Black picks up the Lady with 15...Qxd1+ White resigns 0-1

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
Copyright 2015 Home Page / Author Page / sawyerte@yahoo.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

BDG Benoni Theory 2 of 2 with 3.d5 d6

Tim Harding wrote in his classic book "Colle, London and Blackmar-Diemer Systems" (1979, p.101) about the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Avoided line 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 as follows:

"If you hope to reach a Blackmar-Diemer after 1 d4 Nf6, you ... are most likely to get what you want via 2 f3!? d5 (2 ... c5 can now lead to a Saemisch King's Indian) 3 e4 de 4.Nc3. Good hunting!"

Eric Schiller in his classic monograph "Blackmar Diemer Gambit" (1986, p.80) called the opening moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 "The Paleface Attack". Schiller went on to write:

"When Black adopts an Indian set-up against 1 d4, one must adopt clever means to trick him into the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit...
"2...c5 is possible, and then the game will probably transpose into a hybrid of the Benoni and King's Indian Defence: 3 d5 g6 4 e4 Bg7 5 c4 0-0 6 Nc3 d6 7 Bg5. That system, favored by British Grandmaster Raymond Keene, holds great attacking possibilities."

Let us continue to look what Jocelyn Bond inquired of me. After 1.d4 Nf6, White has two options to transpose into a BDG: 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 or 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3. Both options have pluses and minuses. Yesterday we considered 2.f3 c5 3.d5 e6 4.e4.

Today's variation is 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 c5 3.d5 d6 4.e4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7. When the Nc3 is in front of the c2 pawn, it is called a Schmid Benoni. Of course this same position could be reached after 2.Nc3 c5 3.d5 d6 4.e4 g6 5.f3 Bg7. In theory White would like to play either the sharp 5.f4 or the solid 5.Nf3. Having a pawn on f3 messes up both those options.

The pawn on f3 is fine Benoni Defence in much the same way as in the King's Indian Defence. There after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 we have the Four Pawns (5.f4), the Classical (5.Nf3) and the Saemisch (5.f3) Variations.

As you might notice, White does not get a lot of dynamic play in the lines without an early c2-c4 unless Black makes a serious mistake. Chances are equal. In practice, White usually scores well with higher performance ratings. Of course if you do not like the line as White, you have several options, like 5.c4, or 2.Nc3, or 2.c4, or 1.e4. Anyway, it is ridiculous to be TOO concerned about this line. It is rare. I have played 2.f3 a total of 1300 times: Black played 2...c5/3...d6 only 13 times; 1 out of 100.

Below is a game played by "Levius", which is one of the handles Lev Zilbermints uses. Both players were rated in the 2100s in ICC blitz, but both have been rated much higher.

Levius-JureP, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 11.08.2004 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 g6 [2...c5 can transposes after 3.d5. If White tries to deviate with 3.dxc5?! Qa5+ 4.Nc3 e6 5.e4 Bxc5=/+ Black has an improved Sicilian Defence type position. Of course 3.c3 looks playable, but it does not fight for the initiative.] 3.e4 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Be3 Bg7 6.Nc3 0-0 7.Qd2 a6 [Black prepares to expand on the queenside. 7...e6 8.dxe6 Bxe6 9.0-0-0+/=] 8.a4 Nbd7 9.Bh6?! [9.Nge2 Ne5 10.b3=] 9...Ne5?! [9...Bxh6! 10.Qxh6 Qb6=/+] 10.Bxg7 Kxg7 11.b3 [11.f4!+/=] 11...Qc7 12.h3 Setting a trap by taking g4 away from the Ne5. 12...Bd7? Taking d7 away from the Ne5. 13.f4! Neg4 14.hxg4 Bxg4 White is a knight up. 15.Nf3 Qd7 16.Be2 Nh5 17.Qe3 Ng3 18.Rh4 Nxe2 19.Nxe2 h5 20.Nh2 Forcing the trade of Black's last minor piece. 20...Bxe2 21.Qxe2 b5 22.g4 Black resigns 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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