Thursday, February 28, 2013

BDG Studier Attack vs Pelle Lingsell

Here is an old Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Bogoljubow 8.Qe1 Studier Attack. At the time this game was played, my opponent Pelle Lingsell was ranked in Sweden as number 1229 at a rating of 1855. He is 30 years younger than I am. Lingsell chooses the 8...Nbd7 / ...c6 set-up intended to transfer a knight to d5. This is a reasonable defensive approach recommend by Pachman and Harding before Lingsell was born. However experience has shown that Black has a stronger position if he aggressively attacks d4 with 8...Nc6 than if he defends d5 with Nb8-d7-b6-d5 (which gives time for Qh4/Bh6/Ng5).

Sawyer-Lingsell, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 27.12.2012 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Qe1 Nbd7 9.Qh4 Nb6 10.Bb3 c6 [Scheerer: "suffers from being too slow." The main line is 10...a5 11.a4 Bg4 12.Be3 (12.Bg5!?) 12...Bf5 13.Rae1] 11.Bh6 [11.h3 Nbd5 12.Bh6 Bf5 13.Rae1 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 Qd6 15.Ng5+/-] 11...Nbd5 [11... Bxh6 12.Qxh6 Ng4 13.Qh4 Nf6 14.Qh6= repeats moves for a draw.] 12.Ng5! [12...Nh5 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.Nxd5 cxd5 15.g4+/-] 12...Nxc3 13.bxc3 Nh5 14.Bxg7 [14. Nxf7!+- is a crushing move.] 14...Kxg7 15.g4 [15. Nxf7!+- is still very good.] 15...f6 16.gxh5 fxg5 17.Qxg5 Rf6 18.h6+ Kf8 [18...Kh8 19.Rxf6 exf6 20.Qe3+/=] 19.Rae1 [19. Rxf6+! exf6 20.Rf1+-] 19...Bh3 20.Rxf6+ exf6 21.Qe3?! [Sadly, I missed a pretty mate in two: 21.Qc5+! Qd6 22.Qxd6 mate] 21...Qd6 [21...Qe7 22.Re2=] 22.Qxh3 Black resigns 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

BDG Dublin John King Takes Walk

Here is a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Bogoljubow variation game from one week ago. Historically when I am playing White, I usually choose this variation. However, I added 6.Bf4 which I have played 60 times in 2011-2012, plus once so far this year. I have done okay with 6.Bf4, but I think I will go back to playing 6.Bc4 and maybe the Studier Attack this year. I find the mating attacks easier or messier with 6.Bc4, 7.0-0 and 8.Qe1 than I do with 6.Bf4, 7.Qd2 and 8.0-0-0. Nowadays I play mostly blitz chess, and I want my opponents to burn a lot of clock time trying to defend threats. Time will tell.

Sawyer-DublinJohn, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 21.02.2013 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Qe1 Nc6 9.Qh4 Bg4 10.Be3 h5 [The book continuation is 10...Bxf3 11.Rxf3 e5=/+] 11.Rad1 [11.h3!?] 11...Qe8 [11...Bxf3 12.gxf3 Ne8=/+] 12.Nd5 [12.h3 Bf5 13.d5+/=] 12...Nxd5 13.Bxd5 Nb4 14.Bb3 e5 15.Qg5 e4 16.Qxg6 Kh8 17.Qg5 exf3 18.gxf3 Bh3 [Black misses his chance with 18...f6! 19.Qf4 Bh3-+] 19.Qxh5+ Kg8 20.Bh6 [20.Rfe1!+/-] 20...Qc6?+- [Black is in time pressure. He must play 20...Bxh6 21.Qxh6 Bxf1 and since White is down a knight and a rook, he would likely give perpetual check 22.Qg6+ Kh8 23.Qh6+ for a draw, unless he thought he could win on time.] 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Qxh3 Rg8 23.Kf2 [Or 23.Kh1!+- ] 23...Kf8 24.Rg1 Rxg1 25.Rxg1 Ke7 26.Re1+ Kd6 27.Qg3+ Black resigns 1-0

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

BDG Ashkeef Plays Studier Attack

Back when I was considering various games for the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Game of the Month from December 2012, I came across this nice effort by the Internet Chess Club player "Ashkeef". The opening is the BDG Bogoljubow 8.Qe1 variation which is known as the Studier Attack. I decided to show several BDG Bogoljubow games this week.

Generally, it is best to play 8.Qe1 Nc6, but many players will select 8...Nbd7 which supports the Nf6 and allows for a possible Nd7-b6-d5 manuever. There is great practical advantage in the Studier Attack. In theory if Black plays sharp aggressive perfect defence for 20 moves, White might run out of gas. In practice, such perfect play by Black is rare.

Ashkeef-elmuthalleth, ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 13.12.2012 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.0-0 c6 8.Qe1 0-0 9.Qh4 Nbd7 10.Bh6 e6 11.Ng5 Re8 12.Rf3 [12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.Nxf7 Qe7 14.Ng5+-] 12...Nf8 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.Raf1 N8d7 15.Nce4 h6 16.Nxf6 Nxf6 17.Rxf6 [17.Nxf7!+-] 17...Qxf6 18.Rxf6 Kxf6 19.Nxe6+ g5 20.Qxh6+ Black resigns 1-0

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

French Alapin 4.f3 Eric Tobias

When I lived near Philadelphia, I played dozens of enjoyable games vs Expert Eric Tobias at the Chaturanga Club. For some reason, it seems to me that we played a lot of 10 minute games, but I do not remember the time limit for sure. Here is one that transposed to the French Defence Alapin Gambit Declined with 3.Be3 Nf6. The point of 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 is to transpose into a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (after 2...d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3) without having to face the Huebsch Gambit after 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 Nxe4.

The problem with 2.f3 (in the French Defence if Black does NOT take on e4) is that White wastes a tempo. This allows Black to equalize easily, but at least White gets out of the book with Be3. The same French Defence position could be reached via 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3 Nf6 4.f3 (4.e5!). Eric Tobias and I were rated almost exactly the same for a time. Usually he did not let me get away with this much, but at least I had fun this game.

Sawyer-Tobias, Hatboro,PA 1989 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 e6 4.Be3 b6 5.c3 [Hoping for the cheapo. 5.e5 is clearly playable 5...Nfd7 6.f4= leaves White with a wasted tempo but a playable game.] 5...Bb7 [5...Ba6? 6.Bxa6 Nxa6 7.Qa4+ wins a piece.] 6.Nd2 c5 7.Bd3 g6 8.e5 Nfd7 9.f4 Bg7 10.Ngf3 0-0 11.0-0 Nc6 12.Qe1 c4 13.Bc2 b5 14.g4 a5 [Black equalize with 14...f6= ] 15.Qg3 [15.f5!+/-] 15...b4 [15...f6 16.f5+/=] 16.Rf2 [16.f5+/-] 16...a4 17.Raf1 b3 18.axb3 axb3 19.Bb1 Nb6 [19...f5 20.exf6 Nxf6 21.f5+/=] 20.f5 Na4 21.f6 Bh8 22.Bh6 Re8 23.Ng5 Nxb2 24.Qh4 Nd3 25.Nxh7 Kxh7? [Black can try 25...Nxf2 26.Rxf2 Nxe5 27.dxe5+- to avoid immediate mate.] 26.Bg7+ 1-0

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

French Alapin-Diemer Declined

It's ridiculous! There is no way I should score better as White against the French Defence with the Alapin 3.Be3!? (57%  in 400 games) than I have with the classical 3.Nc3 (55% in 500 games). But it's true. The average rating of my opponents were almost identical (only 1 point apart). Why? Maybe it's the surprise factor in postal, blitz and tournament play.

Dr. Ted Bullockus first told me about 3.Be3!? while we were playing an Alekhine Defence in an APCT postal chess game in 1978. I looked the move up in the excellent thick book on the French Defence by Gligoric, Karpov, etc. and published by RHM around 1975. To my shock, the move 3.Be3 was not mentioned at all! At the time I preferred Karpov's 3.Nd2 French Tarrasch. I was not a gambit player, but my interest in 3.Be3 was peaked. The 3.Be3 Nf6 4.e5 line feels to me like the 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 line with Be3 instead of Bc1.

Below is a French Defence Alapin 4.e5 variation vs "Veigar" in a 3 0 blitz game from the Internet Chess Club. At such speed, I cannot really calculate anything. I just play rapid "hope chess" for fun by pattern recognition, intuition and experience... an adrenalin rush. Maybe this year I will slow down to 5 minute games and actually think more. Maybe...

Sawyer-Veigar, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 21.01.2013 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3 Nf6 [Fritz 13 gives 3...dxe4 4.Nd2 Nf6=/+ as the main line where I usually play 5.f3!?] 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Nf3 f6 8.Nbd2 [8.Bd3!+/= is more accurate.] 8...Be7 9.Bd3 0-0 10.0-0 cxd4 11.cxd4 Nb6 12.b3 [Houdini 3 also likes 12.exf6+/=] 12...Bd7 13.a3 Be8 14.Qc2 f5 15.g4!? [15.Qb2+/=] 15...Bg6 16.g5 Rc8 17.Qb2 Qd7 18.Rfc1 Na5 19.Kg2 Rc7 20.Rxc7 Qxc7 21.Rc1 Qd7 22.a4 Rc8 23.Rxc8+ Qxc8 24.Qc2 Be8 25.Qxc8 Nxc8 26.h4 Nb6 27.Ne1 Nc6 28.Nc2 Nb4 29.Nxb4 Bxb4 30.Kf2 Bh5 31.Nb1 Kf8 32.Bd2 Be7 33.Bc1 Ke8 34.Ba3 Bxa3 35.Nxa3 a6 36.Ke3 Kd7 37.a5 Nc8 38.Nc2? [This move leaves the White pawns on a5, d4, f4, and h4 as potential targets for the Black knight. 38.b4= holds the position.] 38...Bd1 39.Kd2 Bxc2 40.Kxc2 Ne7 41.b4 Nc6 [Black misses his chance with 41...Ng6!-/+] 42.Kc3 g6 [42...Na7=] 43.b5 Nxa5 44.bxa6 bxa6 45.Bxa6 Kc6? [45...Nc6=] 46.Kb4? [46.Bc8! Nc4 47.Bxe6+- wins quickly.] 46...Kb6 47.Bc8 Nc6+ 48.Kc3 Nd8 49.Bd7 Ka5 50.Be8 Kb6 51.Kb4 Kc7 52.Kb5 Nb7? [52...Kb7=] 53.Bc6 [53.Bf7!+-] 53...Nd8 54.Be8 Nb7? [Black is desperately down on time. In hopes to draw by repeating moves he repeats the blunder. 54...Kb7=] 55.Bf7 Kd7 56.Bg8 Nd8 57.Bxh7?! [Black forfeits on time. Correct is 57.Kb6 Nc6 58.Bxe6+ wins] 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mart Renders French Alapin Diemer

Mart Renders (playing as CzwartyWymiar) sent me an e-mail with the following game:

"Dear Mr Sawyer,
"As I am a novice in the Alapin French and you are an expert, I would like to ask you where in this game I could have improved.I do not seem to get a winning attack launched and I am wondering if I should have employed a different set up. Kind regards, Mart Renders"

The game was played at the speed 45 45. I remember my friend Dan Heisman gave advice on the use of time at this speed. It is very hard for blitz players to use most of their time in a 45 45 game. It is good practice for tournament play, but most ICC players find it difficult to think for a minute or two on almost every move.

The opening was very reasonably played in the French Defence Alapin 5.f3 exf3 variation. Black chose the solid line 6.Ngxf3 Be7 after which I begin my comments. Even if 3.Be3!? is not sound, but it gives some practical chances. To win in the French Defence, Black should play aggressively. That involves more risk than many solid French players prefer.

White's pawn formation (b2-c3-d4) points like an arrow to the direction he should attack, aiming for the quadrant h8-e8-e5-h5. Black's pawns f7-e6 point to counter play with a timely ...c7-c5. The natural move 10...Nc6 gave White the time for a promising attack. 

CzwartyWymiar (1761) - NimzoMal (1673), ICC 45 45 Internet Chess Club, 21.02.2013 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3 dxe4 4.Nd2 Nf6 5.f3 exf3 6.Ngxf3 Be7 7.c3 [There is no need to defend d4 until it is under more pressure. White must activate his pieces quickly. Therefore, most common here is 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 with a slight lead in development and some open lines toward the Black king.] 7...0-0 8.Bd3 Bd7 9.0-0 h6 10.Qe1 [An alternative set-up is to play 10.Qe2 with ideas of Rae1 and Ndc4-e5.] 10...Nc6 11.Qg3 [This queen sortie leads to somewhat forcing play and possible draws by repetition. It is not bad, but I like 11.Nc4 which brings another piece to bear on e5 and giving the Be3 a retreat square on d2 if needed, such as after 11...Nd5 12.Bd2= when White has good attacking chances for the pawn.] 11...Bd6 12.Ne5 Bxe5 13.dxe5 Nh5 14.Qh3 Nxe5 15.Bc2 Nf6 16.Bxh6 gxh6 17.Qxh6 Ng6 18.Rad1? [Developing the rook here is logical but tactically dangerous. Better is 18.Nf3 Nh7 (or 18...Ng4 19.Qh5 Nf6 20.Qh6 repeating moves) 19.h4 Qf6 20.h5 Qf4 21.Qxf4 Nxf4 22.Ne5=] 18...Qe7 [Black could have made things difficult for White with 18...Ng4! 19.Qh5 Qh4 20.Bxg6 Qxh5 21.Bxh5 Ne3-+ winning the Exchange.] 19.Nf3 Rfd8 20.Ng5 Be8 21.Rde1 Qf8 [After this the game is even. Black could have played for some advantage with 21...Rd5!-/+ ] 22.Qxf8+ Nxf8 23.Rxf6 Rd2 24.Rf2 [Clocks: 46:15-35:37Game 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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Friday, February 22, 2013

Allensworth Hybrid French Alapin

Blackmar-Diemer Gambit players have several ways to face the French Defence beyond such main lines as 1.d4 d5 2.e4 e6 3.Nc3. One is the Diemer-Duhm Gambit with 3.c4 dxe4 with possibilities of Nc3 and f3. Another Anti-French variation is the Alapin-Diemer Gambit 3.Be3!? dxe4 intending 4.f3, 4.Nc3 or more commonly 4.Nd2 Nf6 when Alapin liked 5.c3 and Diemer preferred 5.f3.

There are the options after 1.d4 Nf6 when White plays for e4 with possible transpositions after 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 (into the BDG) or 3.e4 e6 4.Be3!? dxe4 5.f3. Also, White might venture 2.f3 (Paleface) 2...d5 3.e4 e6 after which there are four 4th move options:
4.Nc3 (Classical with f3); 4.e5 (Steinitz a tempo behind); 4.Bg5 (Sawyer Variation which sometimes transposes to a BDG Euwe); and 4.Be3 (French Alapin 3.Be3 Nf6 with 4.f3).

In the 1989 USCF Golden Knights Postal Tournament against John K. Allensworth I tried the Paleface Attack with 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 e6 3.e4 d5 4.Be3. This French Alapin 3.Be3 Nf6 could also be reached after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3 Nf6 4.f3, although there I prefer 4.e5. Indeed I created a separate opening label for this as the French Alapin 4.e5.

On move 6, Black captured my e-pawn in exchange for a knight. Maybe John thought my pawn move 2.f3 was 2.Nf3. At any rate, after this the game was well in hand. It was just a matter of time, probably six months at a move per week, before Black chose to resign.

Sawyer (2107) - Allensworth (1265), corr USCF 89N260, 22.08.1990 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 e6 3.e4 d5 4.Be3 Bb4+ 5.c3 Be7 6.Nd2 Nxe4? [Black sacrifices or loses a piece. 6...dxe4 7.fxe4 c5=] 7.fxe4 e5 8.Ngf3 exd4 9.Bxd4 0-0 10.exd5 Qxd5 11.Bc4 Qh5 12.Qc2 [The most powerful move is 12.0-0! Nc6 13.Ne5+-] 12...Nc6 13.0-0-0 Bf5 14.Bd3 Nxd4 15.Nxd4 Bxd3 16.Qxd3 Rad8 17.Qf5 Qh4 18.g3 Qh6 19.Qg4 Bg5 20.h4 Be3 21.N4f3 c5 22.Ng5 [22.Rhe1 b5 23.Qf5 b4 24.Ng5 Bxg5 25.Qxg5 Qxg5 26.hxg5 bxc3 27.bxc3+-] 22...Qd6 [22...Qg6 23.Qc4 h6 24.Ngf3+/=] 23.Rh2 b5? [23...Qg6 24.Qf3+/-] 24.Qe4 Bxg5 25.hxg5 Qg6 26.Qxg6 fxg6 27.Rdh1 h6 28.gxh6 gxh6 29.Rxh6 Kg7 30.Rh7+ Kg8 31.Rh8+ Kg7 32.R1h7+ 1-0

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