Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tim Mirabile Latvian Dark Side Tales

1993 was my 5th straight year of playing frisky and risky gambits against ever increasing competition. As White I played some of the most beautiful chess games in my life, as you can see from this week's postings. As Black, it was sweet and sour sauce. Against Tim Mirabile, a very good player in his own right, my Latvian Gambit got only the sour flavor. In the "heads I win, tails I lose", there were too many tales from the dark side. If this had been on Halloween, the Tim with Black got tricked and the Tim with White got treated.

Mirabile-Sawyer, corr USCF 1993 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4 fxe4 5.Nc3 Qf7 6.d4 Bb4 [6...Nf6 7.Bg5 Bb4 8.Ne5 Qe7 9.Be2+/=] 7.Bd2!? [7.Ne5!+/-] 7...Nf6? [This is the most popular move, but better is 7...Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Nf6 9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0+/=] 8.Nb5! Bxd2+ 9.Qxd2 Kd8 10.Be2 a6? [Black has to play 10...d6 first, and then 11.Ne3 a6 12.Nc3 Re8 although White stands much better after 13.0-0+/-] 11.Nxc7 1-0

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Index: Anti-Queen Pawn Game Lines after 1.d4

The Queen Pawn Game 1.d4 index covers where Black does not fight for the e4 square with popular moves like 1...d5, 1...Nf6 or 1...f5. Instead Black of trying to stop White's e4 development, Black chooses to counter attack the d4 square. The most common are the Benoni 1...c5,  or the Queens Knight Defence 1...Nc6, which includes the Tango after 2.c4 Nf6. The Englund Gambit 1...e5 is a separate index.

This variation begins 1.d4:
1...d6 2.Nf3
1...c5 2.c3
         2.d5 e6
1...Nc6 2.c4 d6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bg4
               2...Nf6 3.d5 Ne5
               2...e5 3.d5 Nce7
            2.d5 Ne5 3.e4 e6 4.f4 Ng6 5.dxe6 fxe6
Last revised September 17, 2014.
Copyright 2013, 2014 Tim Sawyer. Click my HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jonathan Hill Meets My 3.g3 Bird's Opening

What is this scary sight? None other than the Bird's Opening! Wait a minute. I thought all my games in the 1989 USCF Golden Knights Tournament were played heading for the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. Ah, that is pretty much true. The three years playing those games were over the same time I wrote my first book. But by the time of this game, I was done the writing. I could now take a break and play something else. Here in my contest vs Jonathan Hill is a Reversed Leningrad Dutch Defence. Not that this game was all that exciting. We shuffled some pieces for 25 moves and agreed to a draw.

Sawyer (2005) - Hill (2004), corr USCF 89NS48, 27.12.1991 begins 1.f4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d5 5.0-0 0-0 6.d3 c6 7.e3 [A logical continuation would be 7.Nc3 d4 8.Ne4 Nxe4 9.dxe4=] 7...Bg4 8.Nbd2 Qb6 9.Qe2 Nbd7 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 e5 12.Kh2 Rae8 13.Qf2 exf4 14.exf4 Qxf2+ 15.Rxf2 Nb6 16.a4 Re1 17.Rf1 Rfe8 18.Kg2 Nfd7 [18...R1e7 19.Nb3 Nfd7 20.c3=] 19.a5 Nc8 20.Rxe1 Rxe1 21.Kf2 [21.Nb3 a6 22.c3 Nd6 23.Kf2 Re8 24.Be3=] 21...Re7 22.c3 [22.Nb3= looks better.] 22...Nd6 [22...Nc5 23.Be2 Nd6] 23.Nb3 f5 24.Be3 a6 25.Re1 1/2-1/2

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

Index: Blackmar-Diemer Ziegler - 6.Bc4

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Ziegler 5.Nxf3 c6 is usually followed up with 6.Bc4 Bf5. This index covers lines after 6.Bc4 where Black plays less common lines. In ordinary club play White often sees Black choose other weaker 6th moves as shown below. An earlier post covered lines with 6.Bd3. The next one covers 6.Bc4 Bf5.

This variation begins: 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4:
6...e6 7.0-0 Bd6
            7...Be7 8.Ne5
                       8.Bg5 0-0 9.Qd2
                                      9.Qe1 h6
Last revised: August 17, 2014.

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

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bob Muir Closed Advance Alekhine

Bob Muir loved to play Advance Variations in most semi-open positions such as the French Defence, Caro-Kann Defence, Sicilian Defence or the Alekhine Defence. Having more space allowed him more freedom of piece movement, but the flip side is that a pawn on e5 can be a liability. The advanced pawn chain must be defended and it limits White's dark squared bishop. In the game below, all the heavy pieces are swapped off except the rooks. Black is able to double his rooks to force the win of material. Since this was likely an unrated skittles game played at a club, there is no advantage playing it out. Once it becomes clear that Black will be up an extra passed pawn or two, White resigns.

Muir (1800) - Sawyer (2011), Williamsport,PA 1995 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 Ne4 4.d4 Nxc3 5.bxc3 c5 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.Bb5+ Nc6 8.Qd3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 cxd4 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 11.cxd4 e6 12.0-0 Be7 13.c4 0-0 14.cxd5 cxd5 15.Qg3 Re8 16.Bh6 Bf8 17.a3 g6 [17...Qb6=/+] 18.Bd2 Qb6 19.Qd3 Rec8 20.Rfb1 Qc6 21.Bb4 Qc4 22.Qxc4 [22.Qe3=] 22...Rxc4 23.Bxf8 Kxf8 24.Rd1 Rb8 25.Kf1 Rb3 26.a4 a5 27.Ra2 Rbb4 0-1

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

Index: King Pawn Semi-Open Games 1.e4

Semi-Open Games are openings that begin 1.e4 but without 1..e5 Open Game. Below are less popular first moves. Later I cover the 1...Nc6 Queens Knight Defence 2.Nf3, then Queens Knight Defence 2.d4 e5, and finally Queens Knight Defence 2.d4 d5, the Scandinavian Defence, and the Pirc Defence. Other Semi-Open games are more popular, thus they require separate labels such as the 1...e6 French Defence, the 1...c5 Sicilian Defence, the 1...c6, Caro-Kann Defence and 1...Nf6 Alekhine Defence.

This variation begins 1.e4:
1...g5 2.d4 h6
1...b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.f3
1...g6 2.d4 Bg7 and now:
3.c3 d6 4.f4 Nf6 5.e5
3.f3 Nf6 4.Be3 d5 5.Nc3 0-0
3.Be3 c6 4.Qd2 d5 5.Nc3 Nf6
3.Nc3 g6 4.h3 Bg7 5.Nf3 Nh6
3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Ng8 and now:
5.f4 d5 6.Nf3 h5 7.Be3 Nh6
                6...e6 7.h4 Ne7
3.Nc3 d6 and now:
4.Nf3 Nd7 5.Bc4 Ngf6
4.Be3 h6 5.Qd2 e6
     4...Nd7 5.Qd2 e5
     4...Nc6 5.Qd2 e5 (2nd game)
Last revised November 28, 2014.
Copyright 2013, 2014 Tim Sawyer. Click my HOME PAGE.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Deflections of My Blackmar-Diemer Life

Last week I realized there were 12 official world chess champions born before I was. I have already surpassed four of them! How? I lived longer than they did! Spassky and Karpov are still alive and kicking. Capablanca, Alekhine, Tal and Petrosian all died before age 60. I have not caught the other eight champions yet, but I hope to if I can live long and healthy!

Back in my middle age years, one of my favorite opponents was Bob Muir, who was in his late 60s when this game was played. I headed toward a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit about half the time as White vs him. Rarely did Bob accept it. Bob declined the gambit (as here) or avoided it altogether. In the BDG Vienna after 5.fxe4 Nxe4 6.Qf3, Black has to deal with threats to his Ne4, Bf5 and the pawn on b7. Bob Muir's choices are reasonable until he is deflected and sidetracked, grabbing my knight on the rim, making his chances dim.

Sawyer (2010) - Muir (1800), Williamsport,PA 01.03.1998 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 Bf5 5.fxe4 Nxe4 6.Qf3 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Bc8 [If 7...Qc8 then 8.Bc4 or 8.Bd3 which Scheerer discusses.] 8.Bc4 e6 9.Nh3 Nd7 [It is logical to put another knight on f6. Almost everyone plays 9...Be7 10.0-0 0-0 when White has 11.Qg3!+/=; Stockfish and Houdini prefer 9...Qh4+! 10.Nf2 Bd6=] 10.0-0 Nf6 11.Nf4 Bd6 [Better is 11...Be7 12.Nh5 0-0=] 12.Nh5 Nxh5? [12...0-0 13.Nxg7 Kxg7 14.Bg5 Be7 15.Qg3 Ng4 16.Bxe7 Qxe7 17.Qxg4+! +/- and White regains the gambit pawn with a better position.] 13.Qxf7# 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Robert Kiefer Has Mighty Pawn vs Englund Gambit

Some games I don't remember, and then, I do. When I looked at my 1993 game vs Robert W. Kiefer Jr. in the Englund Gambit, I thought, "I don't remember playing that game at all." Then when I saw his 15h move and painful memories came back. My approach in this game with the Englund Gambit was busted. The game was played in an advanced round of the 1989 USCF Golden Knights Postal Tournament. I do not know what our ratings were at that point, but anyone still around four years later in an elimination event must have been playing pretty well over all. With the Englund as Black, I went from taking a break from my Dutch to getting broken. White's d-pawn travels a journey he could tell his grand kids about with d2-d4, dxe5, e6, and exd7 allowing White to pick off the b7-pawn if play had continued. That was one of the last Englund Gambits I played in postal chess.

Kiefer - Sawyer, corr USCF 1993 begins 1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 Qe7 4.Bf4 Qb4+ [Better is 4...d6 5.exd6 Qf6 6.Bc1 Bxd6 7.Nc3+/=] 5.Bd2 Qxb2 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.Rb1 Qa3 8.Rb3 Qa5 9.a3 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 Qc5 11.e3 a6 [11...Nge7] 12.Be2 Nge7 13.0-0 Ng6 [13...0-0 14.Ng5+/-] 14.Qa1 0-0 15.e6! f6? [15...fxe6 16.Bxg7 Rf7 17.Bc3+/-] 16.exd7 1-0

Copyright 2013 Tim Sawyer. Click here for my HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Index: Queen Pawn Game 1.d4 d5

My initial Queen Pawn Game links begin with various 1.d4 d5 lines without 2.Nf3. 2.e4 or 2.c4. The most popular of these is 2.Nc3 the Veresov Opening. Later will follow 2.Nf3 for the 2...Nc6 Chigorin like Anti-Nf3 lines, as well as 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 Colle System and 3.Bf4 London System. The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit 2.e4 has its own set of index links. The Queens Gambit, Albin-Counter, Slav Defence, Queens Gambit Accepted and Queens Gambit Declined follow under this label in the future. Additional links to games from new posts will be added as revisions of this post after I publish them.

This variation begins: 1 d4 d5:
2.e3 Bf5
2.Nc3 Bf5 3.f3
2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bf4 Bf5 4.f3 e6 and now:
5.g4 Bg6 6.h4 h5
2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bg5 and now:
3...Bf5 4.e3
3...Nbd7 4.f3 c6 5.e4
Last Revised July 31, 2015.

Copyright 2015 Tim Sawyer Home Page / Author Page

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Englund Gambit Knight Sacrifice vs Frank Nash

Against Frank Nash I played the Englund Gambit 1.d4 e5 in sections of the 1989 USCF Golden Knights Postal Tournament twice. First, in 1989 we played the main game below. In 1993, my records show Nash withdrew or stopped playing at move 4 (see second game in notes). At that point, we were playing either a final or semi-final section where we were out of the running for prizes. The main game below was a Soller Gambit 2...f6!? (Our later game was with a standard Englund 2...Nc6). The Soller is basically a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit reversed with a move behind. The move that Black typically has trouble making in the Soller is to advance his d-pawn two squares (...d5), but a promising attack is possible with only 6...d6. What makes this game stand out is the knight sacrifice 15...Nxf2! which regains the gambit pawn. In the endgame, Black traps White's only remaining bishop.

Nash (1879) - Sawyer (2187), corr USCF, 09.10.1989 begins 1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 f6 [2...Nc6 3.Nf3 Qe7 4.Qd5 f6 0-1 Nash-Sawyer, corr USCF 1993] 3.exf6 Nxf6 4.c4 Bc5 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nf3 d6 7.e3 0-0 8.Be2 Qe8 9.0-0 Bg4 10.Nd4 Bd7 11.Ncb5 Bb6 12.b3 Ne4 13.Bb2 a6 14.Nxc6 Bxc6 15.Nd4 Nxf2! [This sacrifice makes the game more beautiful.] 16.Qd2 Ne4 17.Rxf8+ Qxf8 18.Qe1 Re8 19.Bf3 Ng5 20.Bxc6 bxc6 21.Qh4 Qf6 22.Qf2 Ne4 [Black would do better to play 22...Qxf2+ 23.Kxf2 d5=/+] 23.Qf3 c5 [Equality is possible with 23...Qxf3 24.gxf3 Ng5 25.Kf2=] 24.Qxf6 Nxf6 25.Nf5 Ba5 26.Rf1 Bd2 27.Nxg7 [White has 27.Bxf6 gxf6 28.Kf2+/=] 27...Bxe3+ 28.Kh1 Kxg7 29.Bxf6+ Kg6 30.g4 Rf8 31.Re1 Bf2 32.Be7 Bxe1 33.Bxf8 Bh4 34.Kg2 Bg5 35.Kg3 Kf7 36.h4 Bd2 0-1

Copyright 2013 Tim Sawyer. Click here for my HOME PAGE.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Index: Blackmar-Diemer Ziegler - 5.Nxf3 c6

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Ziegler 5.Nxf3 c6 comes highly recommended in some quarters as a great way to meet the BDG in a style similar to the Caro-Kann Defence. This post covers the practical 6.Bd3 lines and some other rare options. The next one covers the more popular 6.Bc4.

This variation begins: 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5. Nxf3 c6:
6.Be3 Bg4 7.Bc4
6.Bd3 Bg4 7.0-0
                 7.Be3 Nbd7
Last revised: March 28, 2014.

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