Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Haines Beats King's Indian Defence

Happy Leap Day! An extra day deserves an extra game.

Here my friend Ray Haines wins with the Saemisch Variation against the King's Indian Defence. What is with all the Ray Haines wins? Well, two things.

One is that Ray Haines has sent me his games. You want your games here? Send them to me.

Two is that I know when I go back to games from the 1970s where Ray and I played, I know what is coming. Last month there were games from 1973 where Ray won. In March there will be games from 1974 where I won. So these games provide a little balance.

Ray's opponent in this game is Bill Ellison. I believe the game was played at the University of Maine in Orono.

Haines - Ellison, Orono 1986 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nbd7 7.Qd2 c5 8.Nge2 a6 [This is the standard move. An alternative is 8...cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nc5 10.Be2 or 10.0-0-0] 9.Nc1 Rb8 10.Nb3 b5 11.cxb5 axb5 12.Bxb5 Ne8 13.0-0 Nc7 14.Bxd7 Bxd7 15.dxc5 Nb5 16.cxd6 Nxd6 The smoke has cleared and Black is down two pawns. 17.Qf2 Nc4 18.Bd4 e5 19.Bc5 Bh6 20.Rfd1 f5 [Black tries to mix things up, but in the end just gives up the Exchange. But then normal like 20...Re8 21.Nd5 Re6 22.Rd3 Kh8 23.Rad1+- was going to be a problem too.] 21.Qe2 Nb6 22.Bxf8 Bxf8 23.Kh1 Qe8 24.Nd5 Nxd5 25.Rxd5 Bc6 26.Rdd1 Bb5 27.Qd2 Bc4 28.Rac1 Qa4 29.Qc3 Bxb3 30.axb3 Rxb3 31.Qxe5 Rb5? 32.Qe6+ Kh8 33.Qf6+ Kg8 34.Rd7 Qb3 35.h3 No possible back rank mate, so 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Arlington Cemetery, Pentagon and BDG

Arlington, Virginia is across the river from Washington D.C. The most famous military leader at the time of the American Civil War in 1961 was General Robert E Lee. Because Lee lived in the "South", General Robert E Lee chose to lead the Confederate forces called the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee's wife, Mary Anna Lee (great grand-daughter of Martha Washington) owned the Arlington House on the hill overlooking D.C.

After some early Civil War battles, there was a need to bury the dead. But where? The choice was made to take the land of General Lee's family and make it a cemetery. Thus began what is today the famous Arlington National Cemetery. What an amazing location! A center piece of Arlington National Cemetery is the Arlington House at the top of the hill. I visited it twice in 1990 and again two years ago. The view is beautiful.

Straight ahead looking east across the Potomac River is the Lincoln Memorial. A mile beyond that looms the Washington Monument. Another mile beyond that along the grassy Washington Mall is the Capitol Building. If you hang a left from the Washington Monument and go north, you immediately go to the White House.

From the Arlington House, you can see many parts of the Arlington National Cemetery. The most famous would be the burial location of President John F. Kennedy. Looking just South beyond the Cemetery is the enormous Pentagon Building in Arlington. I was in D.C. for a week long work conference. On Friday night I took a break for a chess battle.

My final round in this double quad tournament was against Mark Szymanski who was rated 1965. We transposed into a BDG Declined Weinspach. This game is Game 126 in my original Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Keybook published in 1992 by Thinkers' Press.

Sawyer-Szymanski, Arlington,VA (3), 25.05.1990 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 e6 Weinspach Variation 5.fxe4 Bb4 6.Bd3 [Another option is 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Nxe4 8.Qg4] 6...c5 [More critical is 6...Nxe4 7.Nge2 Nf6 8.0-0] 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.a3 cxd4 9.axb4 dxc3 10.bxc3 Qb6 Black cannot keep White from castling, but he tries. 11.Qe2 Ng4 12.h3 Nge5 13.Be3 Qc7 14.0-0 Nxf3+ 15.Qxf3 Black is way behind in development. 15...e5? [15...0-0 16.Bc5+-] 16.Bb5? [16.b5! Nd8 17.b6+-] 16...0-0 17.Bc5 Re8 18.Bxc6 bxc6 19.Qe3 a5 20.Bb6 Qe7 21.Rxa5 White has won a pawn. 21...Ba6 22.Rd1 Qe6 23.Qc5 Qg6 24.Qe3? [White stops to defend e4 when he should be attacking with 24.Rda1+-] 24...f5? [Simply 24...Qe6!= holds the position.] 25.exf5 Qxf5 26.Rda1 Rf8 27.Bc5 Rf6 Black was probably in time trouble. This looks like desperation hoping for a quick kingside attack and checkmate. 28.g4 Rg6 29.Rxa6 Rd8 30.Ra8 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

White House Visit in Washington D.C.

During my week in Washington D.C. in 1990, I visited the White House. The offices are in the West Wing, spilling over into the big Executive Office Building next door to the west. The East Wing is for visitors, state dining room and the presidential family.

The White House has three floors (at least above ground): 1. The Ground Floor, 2. The State Floor, and 3. The Second Floor (presidential family residence). I do not know what the current visitation policy is, but in 1990 there were three options for the public.

First, you could line up on a side street east of the White House on weekdays. Starting about 10:30 AM, the Secret Service would let people in, first come first serve, for about an hour. They would walk them in the side door, through the Ground Floor, and out the north entrance onto Pennsylvania Ave. Things changed after September 11, 2001.

Second, you could have a V.I.P. tour by the Secret Service of the Ground Floor and State Floor. For that you needed to get tickets from your Congressman. You lined up for that on the east end at 8:30 AM. At the time, I knew somebody who knew somebody and they got tickets for us. Taking this tour was a great honor.

Third, you could have connections to the President's family and visit the residence on the top floor. My connections did not go that high. President George Herbert Walker Bush (Bush 41) then lived at the White House with his wife Barbara. I do not even know if they were home when we visited.

On Friday night at the end of that week I played in a chess quad across the Potomac River from D.C. in Arlington, Virginia. I won the first round which I posted two days ago.

The second round I played Harry Cohen, a rated Expert for many years. Harry Cohen was also one of the most active USCF tournament players in the United States with hundreds of rated games every year. Harry Cohen was rated above me for this game at 2070.

Our game was a topical Dutch Defence Leningrad Variation. After a hard fight, we reached a drawn endgame. I ran the game through Blundercheck. This was one of the rare games where I played until I had only my king left and neither side made a blunder.

I was thinking that this tournament was quad with four players, but now that I ponder my memory, I am pretty sure that it was a double quad event and someone else won this section. There would have been eight players. When Cohen and I drew, that knocked both of us off the lead. Someone went 3-0 and won the prize money.

Cohen-Sawyer, Arlington,VA (2), 25.05.1990 begins 1.c4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.0-0 0-0 6.Nc3 d6 7.d4 [English Opening diehards might still avoid d4 with 7.d3 e5 8.Rb1 Nc6 9.b4 h6 10.b5 Ne7 11.a4 While both sides expand on opposite wings, there will eventually be a clash in the center.] 7...Qe8 Malaniuk Variation which was all the rage 20 years ago. 8.d5 Bd7 [This is one of six good moves for Black. 8...a5 is often throw in here to hinder b4.; More often Black just plays 8...Na6 at this point.] 9.Nd4 Na6 10.a3 Nc5 The knight can jump to a4 or support Nfe4. 11.f3 a6!? [Black has equal chances after either 11...a5 ; or 11...e6 ] 12.b4 Na4 [12...e5 13.Nxf5 Bxf5 14.bxc5 e4!=] 13.Nxa4 Bxa4 14.Qd3 Bd7 15.Bb2 b5?! [Better is 15...e5 16.dxe6 Bxe6 17.Nxe6 Qxe6=] 16.Ne6 [16.Rac1!+/= gives White a positional advantage.] 16...bxc4 17.Qxc4 Bxe6 18.dxe6 Qb5! Headed toward a playable endgame. 19.Qxb5 axb5 20.Rac1?! [Wrong rook. Correct is 20.Rfc1= ] 20...Ne8 [20...Rfc8=/+] 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Rc3 Kf6 23.f4 Rb8 24.Bd5 Ng7 25.Rxc7 Rfc8 26.Rfc1 Rxc7 27.Rxc7 Nxe6 28.Bxe6 Kxe6 We reach an endgame with a rook and six pawns each. Both sides play well and the game is drawn in 20 more moves. 29.Kf2 Ra8 30.Rc3 Kd5 31.Ke3 e5 32.fxe5 dxe5 33.Rc5+ Kd6 34.Rxb5 Rxa3+ 35.Kf2 Rb3 36.Rb7 Kd5 37.Rxh7 Rxb4 38.Rh6 Rb6 39.h4 Re6 40.Kf3 Kd6 41.e4 Ke7 42.h5 gxh5 43.Rh7+ Kf6 44.exf5 Kxf5 45.Rxh5+ Kg6 46.Rh4 e4+ 47.Rxe4 Rxe4 48.Kxe4 Kg5 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, February 27, 2012

101 White 1.e4 Chess Repertoire Semi-Open

Today is the 1st of nine Main Line Mondays where we focus on the most popular lines that White has historically played after 1.e4. Each week will have at least 100 positions for White (and almost as many for Black). All White lines are divided into three groups of three openings.

The three weeks on Semi-Open Defences (1.e4 any) begins today. I replaced the Pirc / Modern Def. 4.Be3 with the more popular 4.f4. Next week will be the Caro-Kann Defence (1.e4 c6) and the French Defence 1.e4 e6) will follow the week after. Then comes three weeks of Sicilian Defence (1.e4 c5) and three weeks of Open Game Defences (1.e4 e5).

All the positions for the Black moves below were played at least 1000 times in my database. That means they are all good attempts at equal chances. The fact that White keeps taking the same path also indicates there is a good chance for an advantage.

I have continued to use KEBU Chess for Tactics and Opening memory work this week. I finished the 439 Beginner Tactics correctly (1-4 movers that led to wins in master games 2008-2009). It was interesting, because any that you miss are throw back into the mix for you to work on later. This week I hope to move on the the Intermediate Tactics.

For those who use software for training, I have posted the following in PGN format. The first time through it took me nine minutes to train on all today's positions perfectly twice. I was using the Kebuchess software. I got it from one of the ads on my blog. Just clicked on the ad and tried it out. I'm loving it!

[Event "Repertoire 1.e4"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.02.27"]
[Round "?"]
[White "1.e4 White 101"]
[Black "Semi-Open Games"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "C18"]
[Annotator "Sawyer,Timothy E"]
[PlyCount "19"]
[EventDate "2012.02.05"]
[SourceDate "2012.01.29"]

1. e4 d5 (1... Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 Bg4 (4... g6 5. Bc4 Nb6 6. Bb3 Bg7
7. Ng5) (4... dxe5 5. Nxe5 g6 6. Bc4 c6 7. O-O) (4... Nc6 5. c4 Nb6 6. e6) (
4... Nb6 5. c4 Nc6 6. e6) (4... c6 5. Be2) 5. Be2 e6 (5... c6 6. O-O Bxf3 7.
Bxf3 dxe5 8. dxe5 e6 9. Qe2) 6. O-O Be7 7. c4 Nb6 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Be3) (1... d6
2. d4 Nf6 (2... g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 (3... Nf6 4. f4) 4. f4 Nf6 5. Nf3) 3. Nc3 g6 (
3... c6 4. f4 Qa5 5. Bd3 e5 6. Nf3) (3... e5 4. Nf3) (3... Nbd7 4. f4) 4. f4
Bg7 5. Nf3 O-O (5... c5 6. Bb5+ Bd7 7. e5 Ng4 8. e6) 6. Bd3 Nc6 (6... Na6 7.
O-O c5 8. d5) 7. O-O) (1... g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 (3... c6 4. f4 d5 5. e5 h5
6. Nf3) 4. f4 Nf6 5. Nf3) (1... Nc6 2. Nf3 d6 (2... e5 3. Bb5) (2... d5 3. exd5
Qxd5 4. Nc3 Qa5 5. Bb5) 3. d4 Nf6 (3... e5 4. Bb5) (3... Bg4 4. Be3 Nf6 5. Nc3)
4. Nc3 Bg4 5. Be3) (1... b6 2. d4 Bb7 (2... e6 3. Nf3 Bb7 4. Bd3) 3. Bd3 e6 4.
Nf3 c5 5. c3) 2. exd5 Qxd5 (2... Nf6 3. d4 Nxd5 (3... Bg4 4. Be2 Bxe2 5. Qxe2
Qxd5 6. Nf3 e6 7. O-O) 4. Nf3 g6 (4... Bg4 5. Be2 e6 6. O-O) 5. Be2 Bg7 6. O-O
O-O 7. c4) 3. Nc3 Qa5 (3... Qd6 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 a6 6. g3) (3... Qd8 4. d4 Nf6
5. Nf3) (3... Qe6+ 4. Be2 Qg6 5. Bf3) 4. d4 Nf6 (4... c6 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bc4) 5.
Nf3 c6 (5... Bg4 6. h3 Bh5 7. g4 Bg6 8. Ne5 e6 9. Bg2) (5... Bf5 6. Bc4 c6 7.
Bd2) (5... Nc6 6. Bb5) 6. Bc4 Bf5 (6... Bg4 7. h3) 7. Bd2 e6 8. Qe2 Bb4 9.
O-O-O Nbd7 10. a3 *

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Dutch Defence Divided By Variation

Dutch Defence (1.d4 f5 directly or by transposition) games posted prior to today have been now split by popular variation. At the moment those variations are:

1.d4 f5 2.c4 with ...e6 - Dutch Classical
1.d4 f5 2.c4 with ...g6 - Dutch Leningrad
1.d4 f5 2.e4 - Dutch Staunton
1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 - Dutch 2.Nc3
1.d4 f5 any other - Dutch Defence

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Haines Plays Aggressive Caro-Kann

Ray Haines shows that it is not the pieces placement nor pawn structure that matters most. It is how you use what you have to play aggressive chess.

In today's game Ray attacks as Black in the Caro-Kann Defence 3.exd5 Exchange Variation. His opponent was Bill Ellison.

Ellison-Haines, Orono 1986 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 g6 5.Bf4 Bg7 [Two other ...g6 ideas employ ...Nh6 as seen in Chess Openings for White, Explained combining the Lev Alburt name and fame with the Roman Dzindzichasvili the opening repertoire: 5...Nc6 6.c3 Nh6 7.Nf3 Bg7 (or 7...Bf5 ) 8.0-0 0-0 9.Re1 f6] 6.c3 Nf6 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nbd2 a6 [9...Nh5!?] 10.a4 b6 11.Re1 Nh5 12.Be3 Rb8 13.Nf1 f6 14.h3 e5 15.dxe5 fxe5 Black is on the attack. 16.Bg5 Qc7 17.Be2 Qf7 18.Be3 h6 last book move 19.Qd2 Kh7 20.g4 Nf4 21.Bxf4 exf4 22.Bd3 Qf6 23.Qe2 d4 24.c4 Bb7 25.h4 Nb4 26.g5 Qd6 27.h5?! [27.gxh6 Bf6=/+] 27...Nxd3 28.Qxd3 Rf5=/+ [First chopping off the knight makes the rook lift stronger. 28...Bxf3! 29.Qxf3 Rf5!-/+] 29.N1h2 Qc6?+/- [29...hxg5=/+] 30.Re7 Kh8 31.gxh6 Bf6 32.hxg6?-+ [32.Rxb7 Rxb7 33.hxg6 Rh5 34.Re1=] 32...Rg5+ 33.Kf1 Bxe7 34.Ne5? Hanging a piece and exposing the White king. 34...Qh1+ 35.Ke2 Rxe5+ 36.Kd2 Bb4+?-+ [36...Qxa1-+ leads to a faster win.] 37.Kc2 Qxh2 [37...Qxa1-+] 38.Qxd4 Be4+ 39.Kb3 Qh3+ 40.Ka2 Qe6 41.Rd1 Bxg6 42.Rg1 Re8 43.Qxf4? Re4 44.Qc7 Re7 [44...Bf7!-+ Turns the mate threats in the opposite direction.] 45.Qb8+ Kh7 46.Qg3 Qxc4+ 47.Qb3 Qxb3+ 48.Kxb3 a5 49.Rd1 Bf7+ 50.Kc2 Re2+ 51.Kd3 White resigns in the face of mate in three. 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Caro-Kann Defence Divided By Variation

Caro-Kann Defence (1.e4 c6 directly or by transposition) games posted in this blog prior to February 26, 2012 were split by the popular variations. Those variations were:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 - Caro-Kann 4.Nxe4 Bf5
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 - Caro-Kann 4.Nxe4 Nd7
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.f3 - Caro-Kann 4.f3
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 - Caro-Kann 3.exd5
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 - Caro-Kann 3.e5
1.e4 c6 (any other) - Caro-Kann Defence

As of November 26, 2013 this post is replaced.

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