Saturday, August 31, 2013

Most Viewed Sawyer Blog Posts July-Aug

Normally I do this recap of highlights on the 2nd of the month. But in two days, Labor Day here in the USA (September 2, 2013) will be my post number 1000 when I plan something different. Games by Ray Haines are once again prominent on this list, along with a dark horse, my recent review of the Dark Knight System. Making the list rather quickly is the Von Popiel post, a good alternative to the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. And once again there was a tie for 10th, so I included them both.

1. Ray Haines vs Lance Beloungie in French Defence

2. Book Review: Dark Knight System James Schuyler

3. Bird's Opening From Gambit FriskyKitty Pawn Grab

4. Peter Leisebein vs Quinones in Blackmar-Diemer

5. Ray Haines vs Roger Morin: Albin-Counter Gambit

6. Most Viewed Sawyer Chess Blog Posts June-July

7. Alternative Blackmar-Diemer Gambit: Von Popiel

8. Ray Haines vs Kyle Porter in Chigorin Defence

9. Risky Reti Opening Requires Real Pawn Pushes

10. Ray Haines vs Mike Porter: Sicilian Defence Sozin

10. Ray Haines vs Terry Coffin in Gruenfeld Defence

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, August 30, 2013

Bob Muir Aggressive in Ruy Lopez

Bob Muir was a frequent 1.e4 player, playing it over half the time as White. As Black, I tried many different defences. At the time our club did not have many 1.e4 e5 players. Here we head down an old main line of the Ruy Lopez. I was familiar with the popular 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 lines, but Bob Muir surprised me with 8.d4. My 8...exd4 was good, but even better 8...Nxd4! with a possible Noah's Ark Trap. White got carried away with his central advances with 9.e5? This was too much of a good thing. Black won material.

Muir (1800) - Sawyer (2010), Williamsport, PA 10.1998 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.d4 [White usually prepares this advance with 8.c3] 8...exd4 [8...Nxd4 9.Nxd4 exd4 10.c3 (Not 10.Qxd4? Noah's Ark Trap 10...c5-+ and Black's a material.) 10...dxc3 11.Nxc3 0-0=/+] 9.e5? [Better would be 9.Bd5 Nxd5 10.exd5 Ne5 11.Nxd4 0-0=] 9...dxe5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 0-0 12.Bf4?! [Or 12.Bg5 c5-+] 12...Bd6 13.Qf3 Bg4 0-1

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rookmagier Alapin-Diemer French

The Alapin-Diemer French Defence is both exciting and stupid, both rewarding and ugly. Boldness is required from both sides. White is sacrificing a pawn in what often turns out to be a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit down a tempo. But with the slightest slip in unfamiliar territory, White has a good or great game. The best way for Black to get an advantage is to accept the gambit on move three and counter-attack quickly. Naturally aggressive players prefer the Sicilian or Open Game, a small point in White's favor with the Alapin.

In a blitz game, however, there is little time for perfect play, especially in gambits. Here in a three minute game vs "Rookmagier", we see a French Defence Alapin 5.f3 where Black allows White to regain his gambit pawn. In the brief rough and tumble, evaluations of each position move back and forth between equality and an advantage for Black. Both of us miss chances on the board, but to his credit "Rookmagier" plays faster than I do. He is ahead on the clock when we agreed to a draw by repetition after move 40.

Sawyer (2021) - Rookmagier (1837), ICC 3 0 u Internet Chess Club, 21.07.2013 begins 1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Be3 dxe4 4.Nd2 Nf6 5.f3 b6 [The main line is 5...exf3 6.Ngxf3 Be7 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 but Black stops to fianchetto his queenside bishop first.] 6.fxe4 Bb7 7.Bd3 Be7 8.Ngf3 0-0 9.0-0 Nbd7 10.Bg5 [10.Qe2=] 10...c5 11.e5? [11.Qe1=] 11...Nd5 [11...Ng4!=/+] 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Qe2 cxd4 [13...Nf4=/+] 14.Ne4 [14.Qe4] 14...Nc5 [14...Nf4-/+] 15.Nxc5? [Chances are equal after 15.Nxd4! Rad8 16.c3 Nxd3 17.Qxd3=] 15...bxc5 16.Qe4 g6 17.h4 Nb4 [I expected 17...Ne3-+] 18.Qg4? [18.Qf4 Bxf3 19.Rxf3 Nd5-/+] 18...Nxd3 [18...c4!-+] 19.cxd3 Bxf3 20.Rxf3 f5 21.exf6 Rxf6 22.Rh3 Raf8 23.Re1 [After I made this move I noticed I was in trouble on the clock: 1:36-2:11] 23...Qd6 24.h5 e5 25.hxg6 Rxg6 26.Qh5 Qe7 27.Qxe5 Qf7 28.Kh2 Qf2 29.Qd5+ Rf7 30.Re8+ Kg7 31.Re6 Qf4+ 32.Kg1 Qf2+ 33.Kh2 Rxe6 34.Qxe6 Qf4+ 35.Rg3+ Kh8 36.Qc8+ Rf8 37.Qxc5 [37.Qe6=] 37...Qh4+ [37...Rg8!-+ picks off the rook and gives Black a winning game.] 38.Rh3 [If 38.Kg1!+/- and White stands better on the board but behind on the clock.] 38...Qf4+ 39.Rg3 [Another drawing line is 39.Kg1 Qf1+ 40.Kh2=] 39...Qh4+?! 40.Rh3?! Qf4+ [Clocks: 0:23-0.37. Game drawn by mutual agreement] 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Petroff Fighting Cochrane Gambit

I did not realize it until later, but this was exactly my 3000th recorded game in which I played 1.e4 e5 with the Black pieces and exactly my 500th recorded game with the Petroff Defence. However, it is only the 6th time I have faced the Cochrane Gambit 4.Nxf7. With this game I am 4 wins vs 2 losses as Black with a plus performance rating.

Funny thing about this game was that I kept refusing to play ...Re8-Rf8 (to the open f-file) until it was too late. I had the advantage until move 19. I think my opponent "foxsden" got into time trouble, because on move 28 he returned the favor. After that I was winning.

foxsden (1645) - Sawyer (2015), ICC 3 1 u Internet Chess Club, 07.06.2013 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nxf7 Kxf7 5.Nc3 [The most common continuation is 5.d4 c5 6.dxc5 Nc6 7.Bc4+ Be6 8.Bxe6+ Kxe6=] 5...Be7 6.d4 Re8 7.Bc4+ Be6 8.Bxe6+ Kxe6 [It seems risky to bring the king out this far, but there is plenty of time to retreat. Why? Because White has only one developed piece, while Black has a knight, bishop and rook already in play.] 9.0-0 Kf7 10.f4 Kg8 11.e5 dxe5 12.fxe5 Nd5 13.Ne4 Nc6 14.c3 Qd7 15.Qh5 Kh8!? [15...Rf8!=/+] 16.Bg5 Qe6 [Again, 16...Rf8!=/+ ] 17.Rf3 [17.Bxe7 Ncxe7 18.Qxh7+ Kxh7 19.Ng5+ Kg6 20.Nxe6 Nf5=] 17...Qg6 18.Qh4 Bxg5 19.Nxg5 h6? [The only move to keep the advantage was 19...Rf8=/+ ] 20.Nf7+! Kg8 21.Raf1 Rf8 22.Rg3 Qxf7 23.Rxf7 Rxf7 24.Qxh6 [24.e6!+-] 24...Raf8 [24...Nf4 25.Rxg7+ Rxg7 26.Qxf4+/-] 25.h3 Nde7 26.e6 [26.Rg4!+-] 26...Rf1+ 27.Kh2 Nf5 28.e7? [28.Qg5 Nxg3 29.Qxg3=] 28...Nxh6 29.exf8Q+ Kxf8 White resigns 0-1

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

BDG Magazine 1963 Walfrid Nilsson Wins

We move to highlights from Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Magazine January 1963. I was given these old periodicals on blue mimeograph paper to share with you. We begin with a blurb about the magazine and then a BDG Vienna 4.f3 Bf5 game with the interesting 5.Qe2!?

                             OUR MAGAZINE GROWS! - Editors (N. Kampars)
          "The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit international section of the Latvian magazine "Chess World" is growing steadily and fast. Even, Soviet Union's Boris Spassky, last year's champion, has started playing the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit!"
          "The "Chess World's" editorial staff is increasing the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit section starting with January, 1963. Every other month it will be issued on an eight page spread instead of the present four pages. Its subscription remains the same, $2.00 per year, in all countries. By playing in the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit style, you will find inspiration and beauty in the royal game. Do not forget to renew your subscription."

          "Walfrid Nilsson of Halsingborg, Skane, Sweden became interested in the BDG in the early 1950s. At a youthful 67 years of age (in 1956), he played the following game in a tournament at the Halsingborg Chess Club. Nilsson has applied himself to a theoretical study of our favorite gambit, but he has also obtained practical results with the opening in actual play. The following game shows exceptional combination skill and its is indeed encouraging to note that even among "older" players we find some who are not too timid to experiment, not too rigid to be romantic in chess."

W. Nilsson - J. Andersson, Halsingborg Club Tournament, Sweden 1956 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.Qe2 exf3 6.Qb5+ Bd7 7.Qxb7 f2+! 8.Kxf2 Bc6 9.Bb5 Qxd4+ 10.Be3 Ng4+ [The position appears most dangerous for White, but Black has a disadvantage, his queen cannot leave the d-file due to White's mating threat at c8.] 11.Kf1 Nxe3+ 12.Ke2 Bxb5+ 13.Nxb5 Qc4+ 14.Kxe3 Qe6+ 15.Kd2 Qd7+ 16.Ke1 Qe6+ 17.Ne2 [Black's resources are now exhausted and the combined threats of Nxc7+ and Qc8 proved decisive.] 1-0 [Notes: NST chess column by AROS, translated by A. Tejler.]

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Muir Sacrifices a Bishop vs Grob

Odd flank openings like the Grob Attack (1.g4) and the Macho Grob (1.e4 g5 or first 1.d4 h6) feel like they should be swiftly and tactically crushed. Grob players combine bishop control of the long diagonal with a kingside pawn attack. A good idea is to challenge the g-pawn with your own h-pawn, as Bob Muir did. But then he sacrificed a bishop 8.Bxf7+? which failed tactically. I ended up fianchettoing my king on g7 where it is open but safer than White's king. Even after White castled, Black was able to threaten checkmate.

Editor's note:
  • David Alan Zimbeck are you sure kg7 was played? White has Qh5 with mate

    Tim Sawyer Yes, it looks like I got away with one. I saw the mate on g6, but on f7, that is good. Nice catch. Seems I got lucky again.

    Muir (1800) - Sawyer (2010), Williamsport,PA 1996 begins 1.d4 h6 2.e4 g5 3.h4 gxh4 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Nc3 d5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.Bc4 Nxc3 8.Bxf7+? [This is too much. Simply 8.bxc3+/- leaves White with good kingside targets.] 8...Kxf7 9.Ne5+ Kg7 [? The correct move is 9...Kg8!-+. I do not remember what I played, but according to my records I played Kg7.] 10.Qd3 Qd6 11.Qxc3 Nc6 12.Nf3 Qb4 13.Bd2 Qxc3 [Very powerful is 13...e5!-+] 14.Bxc3 e5 15.dxe5 [15.d5 Nb4-/+] 15...Bb4 16.Bxb4 Nxb4 17.0-0-0 Bg4 [The a2-pawn is pretty much free: 17...Nxa2+! 18.Kb1 Nb4-+] 18.Rxh4 h5 19.a3 Nc6 20.Rd3 Rad8 21.Re3 Rhe8 22.Nh2? [If 22.Rh1 Bxf3 23.Rxf3 Rxe5-+] 22...Rd1# 0-1

    You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Sunday, August 25, 2013

John Niven Scandinavian Defence

The Scandinavian Defence (also called the Center Counter Defence) 1.e4 d5 used to be considered a weak opening that few masters would play. However, over the past 40 years it has gradually become more and more popular at the grandmaster level. If White wants a theoretical advantage 2.exd5 is preferred. But 50% of the time as White I transpose to my other passions with 2.Nc3 (Queen's Knight Attack) or 2.e4!? (Blackmar-Diemer Gambit).

After 2.exd5, Black has two ways to recapture. The most popular variations are:
(A) 2...Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5; (B) 2...Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6; or (C) 2...Nf6 3.d4 Bg4.

Once in a while (about 6% of the time), I play this opening as Black. In the 1989 USCF Golden Squires Finals, I chose the Scandinavian Defence vs John Niven. We avoided the critical lines, even though in postal chess we could use books. Play was inaccurate before the game was simplified with all queens and center pawns exchanged. It turned out to be a final round short draw. Our ratings were only 2 points apart - so, no rating change.

Niven (1959) - Sawyer (1961), corr USCF 89SF10, 28.07.1992 begins 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nf3 [3.Nc3] 3...Bg4 4.Nc3 Qa5 5.Be2 [5.h3+/=] 5...Nc6 6.d4 e5 [6...0-0-0!=] 7.Bd2 0-0-0 [Black should try the wild line 7...Bxf3 8.Bxf3 Nxd4 9.Bxb7 Rb8=] 8.dxe5 [Now the tension fizzles out. White should win a pawn with 8.Nxe5 Nxe5 9.Bxg4+ Nxg4 10.Qxg4+ with little compensation for Black.] 8...Nxe5 9.Nxe5 Qxe5 10.h3 Bxe2 11.Qxe2 Qxe2+ 12.Nxe2 Bc5 1/2-1/2

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