Sunday, March 31, 2013

Howard Zerg Defeats Caro-French

This past week I heard from another Blackmar-Diemer Gambit player: Howard Zerg.

"HELLO Tim, My name's Howard, and I'm a huge fan of your BDG book. Way to go!"
"I can't imagine writing down so much notation..."
"This is my favorite game that I have played recently."

Thanks, Howard! I have always found the Caro-French variation a little perplexing for the BDGer. White plays 1.d4/2.e4/3.Nc3 (in any order) and Black plays 1...e6/2...d5/3...c6 (in any order). At this point, White has many playable moves, but the odds of reaching a BDG are very small. I have tried 4.Be3!?, as did Howard. My best results were from 4.Nf3 and 4.e5. I also stubbornly play 4.f3. Howard Zerg treats it with a Huebsch Gambit flavor.

Zerg (2030) - niccion (2047), Blitz 3 min, 28.03.2013 begins 1.d4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 c6 [3...Nf6= French Defence] 4.Be3!? Nf6 5.Qd2 Nxe4 6.Nxe4 dxe4 7.f3 exf3 8.Nxf3 Be7 9.0-0-0 0-0 10.Bd3 Nd7 11.h4 f5 [The natural move is 11...Nf6 when White has compensation for the gambit pawn after a move like 12.h5!?=] 12.h5 h6 13.Rdg1 Bd6 14.g4 f4 [If 14...fxg4 15.Rxg4 Rxf3 16.Bxh6 Rf7 17.Rhg1 Bf8 18.Bxg7 Rxg7 19.Rxg7+ Bxg7 20.h6+/=] 15.Bf2 Be7 16.Bh4 [16.g5+-] 16...Bg5 17.Bxg5 hxg5 18.h6 Rf7 19.Rh5 gxh6 20.Rgh1 Rg7 21.Rxh6 Qe7? [This move invites disaster, but White is still better after 21...Kf7 22.Rh8+-] 22.Qh2 e5 23.Rh8+ Kf7 24.Qh5+ [24.Bc4+! could lead to the pretty and quick finish after 24...Kf6 25.Rh6+ Rg6 26.Rxg6+ Kxg6 27.Qh6#] 24...Ke6 25.Re8 Kd5 26.Rxe7 Rxe7 27.Nxe5 Nxe5 28.dxe5 [Or 28.Qxg5!+- ] 28...Rxe5 29.Rd1 Kc5 30.b4+ Kb6 31.a4 [31.Qh8!+- wins more material.] 31...a6 32.Qh8 Re7 33.Qd4+ Kc7 34.a5 Be6 35.Qb6+ Kd7 36.Bf5+ Ke8 37.Bxe6 Rxe6 38.Qxb7 Re7 39.Qxa8+ Kf7 40.Qxc6 Re6 41.Qc7+ Re7 42.Qd6 Re6 43.Qd7+ Re7 44.Qd5+ Re6 45.Re1 Kg6 46.Qxe6+ Kg7 47.Qe7+ Kg8 48.Re6 1-0

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

Alapin-Diemer French Wins Again

Once again in the French Defence Alapin-Diemer 5.f3 exf3 variation my White pieces manage to reach their ideal squares for a powerful kingside mating attack. Such positions have been determined from hundreds of games in the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Euwe.

After move 14 here are my pieces: My queen is Qh4 attacking h7 and f6. My bishops are on Bd3 attacking h7 and Bg5 attacking f6. My knights are on Nd2 covering e4 and f3 while my knight on Nf3 eyes g5 or e5. My rooks are on Rf1 aiming at f6 and Rd1 adding extra protection for my knight, bishop and d-pawn.

Often in the French Alapin, just reaching these hoped for squares is difficult because the opening is one or two tempi behind the BDG. Here Black is too slow to fight back. When I threaten to win the Exchange with 16.Bxh7+, Black decides to redeploy his d7-knight, forgetting its important need to protect f6. The Nf6 falls and that's all she wrote.

Sawyer-xsf, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 18.03.2013 begins 1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Be3 dxe4 4.Nd2 Nf6 5.f3 [The f3 gambit was Diemer's approach, while 5.c3 with the idea of Qc2 was Alapin's idea.] 5...exf3 [5...Nd5 6.Qe2 Nc6=/+] 6.Ngxf3 b6 7.Bd3 Bb7 8.0-0 Be7 9.Qe1 Nbd7 10.c3 c5 11.Rd1 Qc7 [My pieces lean toward the kingside. When Black sets up to castle queenside, I throw in my next move to make him think I can easily attack him if he castles long. Probably he should just go after my dark squared bishop.] 12.a4 0-0 [12...Ng4-/+] 13.Bg5 Rad8 14.Qh4 cxd4 15.cxd4 Nb8? [Retreating the knight drops a piece. The threat was 16.Bxh7+ Nxh7 17.Bxe7 winning the Exchange. In interesting try would be 15...h5 when White might try 16.Nc4 or 16.Ne4] 16.Bxf6 Black resigns 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, March 29, 2013

Shafkat Sees Simple Caro-Kann

"Shafkat" is a rare name in the USA. Probably the best known is the aerospace engineer Shafkat Chowdhury who worked on software projects for the American space industry. I had the privilege of touring two major NASA facilities: the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas and the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Here my ICC opponent "Shafkat" below probably has no connection to the space industry. Who knows.

White plays the main line of Caro-Kann Defence 10.Qxd3 Qc7. Nowadays 10.Qxd3 e6 is very common. I play that too. However, I have played 10.Qxd3 Qc7 since 1974, so I am more comfortable there. The point of 10...Qc7 is to prevent 11.Bf4 and prepare ...0-0-0. Simple classical development gives Black equality. White has to do most of the creative thinking. In a 3 0 blitz game, White can go quickly down in time or overplay the position. Here White blunders the Exchange with 19.g3? and Black just swaps into a won ending.

Shafkat-Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 19.03.2013 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 Nd7 7.h4 h6 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Qc7 11.c3!? [11.Bd2] 11...e6 12.Bd2 Ngf6 13.0-0-0 Bd6 14.Ne4 Nxe4 15.Qxe4 0-0-0 16.Rhe1 c5 17.dxc5 Nxc5 18.Qc2 Be7 [18...Bf4=] 19.g3? [19.Be3 Bf6=] 19...Nd3+ 20.Kb1 Nxe1 21.Rxe1 Bf6 22.Bf4 Qd7 23.Ne5 Bxe5 24.Bxe5 f6 25.Bd4 e5 26.Bxa7 Qd3 27.Qxd3 Rxd3 28.Be3 Rhd8 29.a4 [29.Kc2 R3d6=/+] 29...Rd1+ 30.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 31.Kc2 Rh1 32.g4 Rg1 33.f3 Rg3 34.Bc5 Rxf3 35.Bf8 Rf4 36.Bxg7 Rxg4 37.Bxf6 e4 38.Kd2 Rg2+ [38...Kd7-+] 39.Ke3 Rxb2 40.Kxe4 [40.Bg7 Rh2 41.Bxh6 Rxh5-/+] 40...Rh2 41.c4 Rxh5 42.a5 Rxa5 43.Kd4 Kd7 44.c5 h5 45.Be5 Kc6 46.Bd6 b5 47.Kc3 h4 48.Kb4 Ra4+ 49.Kb3 h3 50.Kc3 Ra2 51.Kb4 h2 52.Bxh2 Rxh2 White resigns 0-1

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

March Madness and Blackmar-Diemer

The month of March is marked by constant basketball games on TV. Recently I watched a game between Marquette and Butler who met for the second time this season. In each game Butler scored 72 points. In November 2012 Butler won 72-71 with a last second shot. In March 2013 they met again. Turnovers had the score seesawing back and forth near the end, but this time Marquette won 74-72 when Butler missed a last second shot. In the course of my ministerial duties, I once spent a week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and briefly visited Marquette University. I also spent a week in Indianapolis, Indiana (home of Butler University). I found each city to be fascinating in its own way.

Milwaukee is 93 miles North of Chicago, and Indianapolis is 183 miles South of Chicago. There was madness in a recent Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Vienna game I played vs "Chicago4". The retreat 7...Bc8 protects the bishop and b7. In the first half I got a big lead with a winning advantage out of the opening. But I let my opponent come back. As the clock ticked away in a 3-minute blitz game, we both missed shots and made turnovers. Fortunately for me, I won the Exchange and Black's position soon fell apart.

Sawyer-Chicago4, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 21.03.2013 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.fxe4 Nxe4 6.Qf3 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Bc8 8.Bc4 e6 9.Nh3 [Scheerer gives 9.Ne2 but both knight developing moves are good.] 9...Be7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Bd3 [11.Qg3!?] 11...h6 12.Qh5?! [12.Nf4 Nd7 13.Nh5+/=] 12...Bf6? [12...Qd5! 13.Qe2=] 13.Bxh6 Qd5 14.Qxd5 [14.Bg5! g6 15.Bxg6+- wins easily.] 14...exd5 15.Bg5 [15.Rxf6+/-] 15...Bxh3 16.Bxf6 Be6 17.Be5 [17.Bh4+/=] 17...c6 18.h3 Nd7 19.Bd6 Rfe8 20.Rab1 b6 21.Rfe1 c5 [21...Nf6=] 22.Re3? [22.Bb5!+/-] 22...Rac8? [22...c4!=/+] 23.Rbe1 c4 24.Bf5 Rc6 25.Bxe6 Rxd6 [25...Rxe6=] 26.Bxf7+ Kxf7 27.Rxe8 Nf6 28.R8e7+ Kg6 29.R1e6 Rd8 30.Rxa7 Rb8 31.a4 Black resigns 1-0

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

Morphy Pot Head Queens Fianchetto

Rev. John Owen played a universal defence 1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 e6 twice against Paul Morphy in 1858, sometimes known as Owen's Defence. Morphy won the first game and Owen won the second. Sergeant presents two additional blindfold games where Morphy reached the same position. One was a draw in Paris vs the sculptor Eugene Lequesne in 1858 and the other a Morphy win in Philadelphia vs Samuel Lewis in 1859.

Each time Paul Morphy played 4.Nh3. Against the Queens Fianchetto in an Internet Chess Club blitz game below vs "pothead", I chose a Semi-Morphy idea. Often I play 3.Bd3, but this time I went with 3.Nc3. After 4.f3 I played 5.Nh3. With the Black bishop on b7, there is no danger of ...Bc8xh3. However, Black went for 6...Qh4+ when I chose to cover up with 7.Nf2. Black kept his king in the center which gave me more targets. In the end his king was chased to the h-file and mated.

Sawyer-pothead, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 20.02.2013 begins 1.d4 e6 2.e4 b6 3.Nc3 Bb7 4.f3 Bb4 5.Nh3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qh4+ 7.Nf2 Ba6 8.Bxa6 Nxa6 9.g3 Qh5 10.Be3 c5 11.Qe2 Nc7 12.0-0 [12.dxc5 bxc5 13.0-0+- would give White an open b-file to invade, but I was planning to rip open the center where Black has left his king.] 12...a6 13.Rae1 b5 14.Bf4 Rc8 15.g4 Qg6 16.Bg3 c4 17.Nh3 f6 18.Nf4 Qf7 19.d5 g5 20.dxe6 Nxe6 21.Nxe6 Qxe6 22.e5 f5 23.gxf5 Qxf5 24.Qe4?! [White lets his advantage slip. 24.e6!+- is correct.] 24...Ne7 [24...Qxe4 25.Rxe4 Ne7=] 25.f4 g4 26.Qb7 Kf7 [Black's last chance for survival is 26...0-0 27.Rd1+/-] 27.Bh4 [More accurate is 27.e6+! Kf8 28.Bh4 Qc5+ 29.Rf2+-] 27...Rb8 28.e6+ Kg6 29.Qxd7 Qc5+ 30.Bf2 Qd5 31.Qxe7 Rbe8 32.Qf7+ Kh6 33.f5 Qxf5 34.Be3+ Qf4 35.Bxf4# Black is checkmated 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chess Requires Energetic Checkmate

My opponent played a drawish line as White, but I wanted to win. Being somewhat under the influence of Cyrus Lakdawala, I decided to mix it up and play creatively with 5...Qb6!? Deep Rybka suggests 5...e5! Instead I ended up in Deep Doo-Doo. What I did was not what I wanted to do. So now what do I do? Here's what I did. Attack the King!

From an English Opening I ended up in an Exchange Slav Defence. White played the same first five moves (in a different order) Saidy played in Lakdawala's book: The Slav: Move by Move. I was only somewhat under the influence of Lakdawala. Had I really been under the influence of Lakdawala I would have played 4...Nf6 to protect d5. My 4...Nc6 is okay, but not in conjunction with 5...Qb6 because it loses a pawn.

Fortunately for me it is a 3-minute blitz game. Both of us develop quickly. After we castle the only major imbalance (to use a Jeremy Silman concept) is that White has a pawn on e3 but Black is missing a pawn on e6. Imbalances usually provide something good for each side. My missing pawn means an open diagonal for another bishop to attack. Quickly I am able to bring my queen, knight, two bishops and rook into the action.

jjcwn - Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 20.03.2013 begins 1.c4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.d4 Nc6 [4...Nf6 5.Bf4 Qb6= Saidy-Lakdawala, Los Angeles 1998] 5.Bf4 Qb6?! [5...e5! Deep Rybka] 6.Nxd5 Qa5+ 7.Nc3 e5 8.dxe5 Bb4 9.Bd2 Qxe5 10.Nf3 Qa5?! 11.e3 Nf6 12.Bd3 0-0 13.0-0 Bg4 14.Be2 Rad8 15.Qc2 Rfe8 [15...Bf5 16.Qc1 Qb6 17.Rd1+/=] 16.a3 Bf8 17.Rad1 Bd6!? 18.Rfe1?! [Now Black's army mobilizes to attack the White king. Correct would have been 18.Nb5! Qb6 19.Nxd6 Rxd6 20.Bc3+/- and White is up a solid extra pawn with a good position.] 18...Qh5! 19.h3 Bxh3 20.gxh3 Qxh3 21.Nb5 Ng4 [21...Re4!-+ is even faster.] 22.Nxd6 Rxd6 23.Qf5 Rh6?? White resigns [I won with a blunder!? It looks good at first, but White can now sacrifice with Qxf7!! and play Ng5+ picking up the Black queen on h3 while attacking the Ng4 with his bishop. Fortunately White missed my inaccuracy. 23...Rg6!-+ wins easily for Black.] 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Monday, March 25, 2013

Blackmar-Diemer Mistake 7.Qxf3 Nc6?

In the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Teichmann game below, Black found a new way to blunder. Not wanting to retreat the knight from f6 and making sure his queen protected the rook on a8, Black simply moved out of check with 10...Ke7. This allows White the tactic of a devastating bishop check from a direction unusual in the BDG.

In my database, White has played 7.Qxf3 about 3600 games. Approximately 90% of the time Black played the correct 7...c6. The rest of the games tend to be like the one below.

Sawyer-meuego, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 27.12.2012 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 Nc6? [7...c6] 8.Bb5 e6 [8...Qd6 9.d5 a6 10.dxc6 axb5 11.cxb7 Rb8 12.a4+/-] 9.Bxc6+ bxc6 10.Qxc6+ Ke7 [Black should play 10...Nd7 11.Bg5 Qc8 12.0-0 Bd6 13.Ne4 0-0 14.c4+/-] 11.b3 Rb8 [11...Qc8 12.Ba3+ Kd8 13.Bxf8 Rxf8 14.d5+-] 12.Ba3+ Black resigns 1-0

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