Sunday, June 30, 2013

King's Indian Saemisch 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3

After my win in yesterday's post, Roquentin naturally wanted another crack at me. So we turned the board around and played again. I took a shot at a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit with the Paleface Attack 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3!?, but Black played 2.c5 (2...d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 is a BDG). The position transposed from a Benoni into a King's Indian Saemisch variation. [Speaking of Benoni, here's a trivia question: What actress is from Benoni, South Africa?]

This King's Indian Defence game differs from the normal 5.f3 line in that I played my dark squared bishop to Bg5 instead of the common Saemisch Be3. The reason is that once the moves ...c7-c5 and d4-d5 have been played, there is no pawn on d4 for White to defend. This line is solid with the pawn on f3 protecting e4. However it takes White longer to unfold his kingside pieces. The f3 move contributes to safety but not activity. You need both. The note beginning with 8.Qd2 below is a good suggested plan.

Chances are basically equal as far as long term results are concerned. Those who play the line frequently will benefit from experience and score better than half. If you do not like this as White, alternatives for BDG players are 5.Nc3 Benoni Schmid or 2.Nc3 which could lead to 2...d5 3.d4 Nxe4 (Huebsch) or 3...dxe4 4.f3 (BDG).
[Answer to the Benoni trivia question above: Charlize Theron]

Sawyer (2013) - Roquentin (2150), ICC 3 0 u Internet Chess Club, 31.05.2013 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3!? c5 3.d5 d6 4.e4 g6 5.c4 Bg7 6.Nc3 0-0 7.Bg5 e6 8.Bd3!? [8.Qd2 exd5 9.cxd5 a6 10.a4 Re8 11.Nge2 Nbd7 12.Ng3 Qa5 13.Be2 with some typical Benoni strategies for each side.] 8...h6 9.Be3 exd5 10.cxd5 Re8 11.Qd2 Kh7 12.Nge2 a6 13.a4 Nbd7 14.0-0 Ne5 15.b3 Rb8 16.Rac1 Bd7 17.Rfd1 b5 18.axb5 axb5 19.Ra1? [19.Bf4 Qe7 20.Bxe5 Qxe5=/+] 19...c4 [Black is winning after 19...b4! 20.Na4 Nxd3 21.Qxd3 Bb5 22.Qd2 Nxd5-+ and White will lose big material.] 20.bxc4 bxc4 [20...b4 21.Nb5 Nxd5 22.exd5+/=] 21.Bc2 Rb2 22.Rab1 Rxc2 [22...Rxb1 23.Rxb1+/=] 23.Qxc2 Nd3 24.Nc1 Nc5 25.Bxc5 dxc5 26.Nb5 [26.N3e2 Nh5 27.Qxc4+-] 26...Nh5 27.Qxc4 [27.Nd6 Rf8 28.Nxc4+-] 27...Nf4 [27...Qh4! 28.d6+/-] 28.Ne2 [Or 28.Nd6! Re7 29.Nb7 Qb8 30.Qxc5+-] 28...Nxe2+ 29.Qxe2 Bxb5 30.Qxb5 Bd4+ 31.Kh1 Re5 32.Qb8 Qh4 33.Rxd4 Rh5 34.Rdd1 c4 35.Rbc1 Black resigns 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Queen's Knight Defence Plays Like King's Indian

The Queen's Knight Defence is very flexible. Here is the Mikenas Variation (3.d5 Nce7) with c4 thrown in. This is the reverse of a Queen's Knight Attack Van Geet (1.Nc3 d5 2.e4 d4 3.Nce2. The Queen's Knight player has two popular set-ups after Nc6-Nce7 or Nc3-Nce2. One is to play ...Ng6 or Ng3. The other is to keep the knight on the e-file for the moment to support ...f5 as Black or f4 as White. My choice depends on my mood.

In this game I turn it into a sort of King's Indian Defence with 8...g6 using the open f-file, e-file and long dark diagonal. My opponent Roquentin (2150) attacked aggressively, but my pieces were better placed and my king safer. Thus the tactics flowed in my direction.

Roquentin (2150) - Sawyer (2013), ICC 3 0 u Internet Chess Club, 31.05.2013 begins 1.c4 Nc6 2.d4 e5 3.d5 Nce7 4.e4 f5 [4...Ng6 5.Nc3 Nf6 is much more popular.] 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.exf5 Nxf5 7.Nf3 d6 8.Bd3 g6 9.Bg5 [9.0-0+/= is a good move, but White wants more.] 9...Bg7 10.Qc2 0-0 11.g4? [This is too much too soon. White should either prepare g4 with h3 or play 11.0-0 ] 11...Nd4 12.Nxd4 exd4 13.Ne4 Bxg4 14.h3 [14.Be2 Qd7 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.0-0-0 Rae8-/+] 14...Bf3 15.Rg1 Qe8!? 16.Kf1 [At first it looks like White could survive a bishops of opposite color position after 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Kd2 Bxe4 18.Bxe4 Bh4 19.f3 but 19...Rxf3! 20.Bxf3 Qe3+ leads to 21.Kd1 Qxg1+ 22.Ke2 Qf2+ and mate next move.] 16...Bxe4 [Even stronger is 16...Nxe4!-+ ] 17.Re1 Bxd3+ 18.Qxd3 Qd7 19.Rg3 Rae8 20.Qxd4 [If 20.Rxe8 Rxe8 21.Rf3 Ne4-+ Black is up a knight and pawn with an attack.] 20...Rxe1+ 21.Kxe1 Re8+ 22.Kf1 Ne4 White resigns 0-1

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

Brian Harper Goes Postal Benoni Defence

A knock at my motel door. "Brian?" "Tim?" "Come on in." I was in Columbus on business in 1991, home of Ohio State University. When I was a kid, I always thought that Cleveland and Cincinnati must be the largest cities in Ohio because of their professional sports teams. The 2010 census indicates Columbus is larger than both the others combined.

I played six games vs Brian Harper from 1990-1992. Every one of them was a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit except this one game below. We first met in some BDG thematic postal tournaments. At least one event was run by Tom Purser for readers of his Blackmar-Diemer Gambit World magazine in which we agree to short draws, one with each color. In another correspondence game I had won as White vs Brian in 27 moves.

Brian and I were sending chess moves by postcard about once a week for more than a year altogether. When I found out I was going to be in Columbus for a couple days with a free evening, I mentioned it to Brian. We arranged to meet. I have pleasant memories of a nice evening mostly talking chess. As I recall, we did play a couple 5 minute games, both of us winning BDGs quickly as White when Black blundered away a queen.

The Benoni Defence 2.f3 is a clash between styles when I give Black the chance to transpose back into a BDG (2...d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3). Here in a 1989 USCF Golden Squires Postal Tournament we end up in a fairly orthodox position (4.c4). We both get into trouble on the board playing normal moves, such as 18.Bh6? and 21...Qh4? The strategy was good but the tactics were bad. Fortunately for me, he made the last mistake.

Sawyer - Harper, corr USCF 89SS60, 08.04.1992 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 c5 3.d5 e6 4.c4 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Nc3 Bg7 8.Bg5 h6 [Another popular continuation is 8...0-0 9.Qd2 a6 10.a4 Re8 11.Nge2 Nbd7 12.Ng3=] 9.Be3 a6 [9...0-0 10.Qd2 Re8 11.Nge2 h5 12.Nc1] 10.a4 Qe7 11.Qd2 0-0 12.Nge2 Nbd7 13.Nc1 [Interesting would be 13.Bxh6!? Nxe4 14.Nxe4 Qh4+ 15.g3 Qxh6 16.Qxh6 Bxh6 17.Nxd6] 13...Ne5 [13...Nh5=] 14.Be2 h5 15.0-0 Nh7 16.Kh1 f5 17.Bd3 [17.Nb3 fxe4 18.Nxe4 Nf6 19.Nexc5 dxc5 20.Bxc5=] 17...Rb8 18.Bh6? [18.Re1=] 18...c4?! [18...Bxh6 19.Qxh6 f4! and the White queen is trapped. If for example 20.Be2 Rf6 21.Nd3 Nf7-+] 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Be2 f4 [20...fxe4 21.Nxe4 Bf5=] 21.Qd4 Qh4? [21...h4 22.Bxc4=] 22.Bxc4 Nf6 23.Nd3 Nxd3 24.Bxd3 Kh6 25.e5 [25.Qb6!+-] 25...dxe5 26.Qxe5 Bd7 27.Ne4 Bf5 28.Nxf6 [28.Rac1+/-] 28...Bxd3 29.Rfd1 Bf5 30.Ne4 Rbe8 31.Qd4 Bxe4 32.fxe4 f3 33.Qe3+ Kh7? [33...Qg5 34.Qxg5+ Kxg5 35.gxf3 Rxf3 36.d6+/=] 34.gxf3 g5 35.Rac1 Rg8 36.Rc7+ Kh6 37.Rxb7 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Leslie Ward in English Opening Dutch

The Dutch Defence is a universal system that can be played against virtually anything except 1.e4. Here against Leslie V. Ward in the 1989 USCF Golden Squires Postal Chess Tournament we reach what is a Closed English (or Closed Sicilian reversed).

In this English Opening, a fight breaks out on the f-file, but the position stays relatively closed. Gradually I picked off a couple pawns. When Ward resigns, he writes: "Your two pawns in open files should be good enough to win without much trouble."

Ward (1792) - Sawyer (2013), corr USCF 89SS60, 01.04.1991 begins 1.c4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.e4 Nc6 [The most common line here is 6...e5 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nd5 Be6 10.Bg5 Qd7 11.Qd2=] 7.Nge2 0-0 8.h3 e5 9.0-0 Be6 10.Nd5 Ne7 11.Bg5 c6 12.Nxf6+ Bxf6 13.Bxf6 Rxf6 14.exf5 Nxf5 15.Nc3 Nd4 16.Ne4 Rf8 17.b3 Qe7 18.Rc1 Kg7 19.Rb1 h6 20.Rb2 Rf7 21.b4 Raf8 [21...Bf5=/+] 22.c5 Bd5 23.cxd6 Qe6 24.a3 Nb5 25.a4 Nxd6 26.b5 Nxe4 27.dxe4 [27.Bxe4 Qxh3 28.bxc6 bxc6=/+] 27...Bc4 28.Re1 cxb5 29.Rd2 [29.axb5 Qb6-/+ gaining time by hitting f2.] 29...Bb3 30.Rd6 Qc4 [Swapping queens is the strongest for Black with 30...Bxd1 31.Rxe6 Bxa4-+] 31.Qg4 Rf6 32.Rxf6 Rxf6 33.Qd7+ Rf7 34.Qxb5 Qd4 35.Re3 Bxa4 36.Qe2 [36.Qa5 b6-/+] 36...Rd7 37.f4 Qd1+ 0-1

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

Dyba Battles French Alapin Gambit

My French Defence Alapin Gambit Declined 4.e5 game vs Paul R. Dyba was one of the 52 annotated games [Game 19] in my 1995 Alapin French book published by Bob Long and Thinkers' Press. Below is the actual move order of our 1989 USCF Golden Squires Postal Chess Tournament game. In the book I followed a different move order of 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 (and later 7.Nf3 Be7 8.h4 Qb6 9.Qd2 cxd4 10.cxd4 f6 from the Diemer-Busca game given in the notes below). All this transposes to my game with Paul Dyba.

In the book I analyzed the variation using a consistent move order between games 18-20 to help the reader to compare subtle differences, knowing that there are many paths to the same positions. Moves 12-16 below imply a willingness for both players to draw the game. At this point we were both probably out of contention for any prizes. The notes below are revised for this blog post with the help of computer analysis not available back in 1991.

Sawyer (2006) - Dyba (2019), corr USCF 89SS60, 31.12.1991 begins 1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Be3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Qb6 8.Qd2 f6 9.h4!? [This move is quite an enterprising attempt to weaken the kingside by provoking a pawn advance. After Black castles there might be a possible Ng5!? sacrifice to open the h-file. 9.Be2+/=] 9...cxd4 10.cxd4 Be7 11.Nc3 0-0 [This is more sensible than opening lines by 11...fxe5 12.fxe5 0-0 13.0-0-0 Bb4 14.Ng5 Ne7 15.Bd3 Nf5 16.g4 h6 17.gxf5 hxg5 18.fxe6 Nxe5 19.dxe5 Qxe6 20.hxg5 Qxe5 21.Bd4 Bxc3 22.Bxc3 1-0. Diemer - Busca, simul Genf 1956] 12.Bd3 f5 13.0-0 Nd8 14.Na4 Qb4 15.Qxb4 Bxb4 16.Bd2 [16.Rfc1+/-] 16...Bxd2 17.Nxd2 Nc6 18.Nf3 Re8 19.Nc3 a6 20.a3 Nf8 [20...Nb6=] 21.g3 [21.Na4+/=] 21...h6 22.Kf2 Bd7 23.Ke3 Na5 [23...Re7=] 24.Nd2 b5 25.b3 Rec8 26.Rfc1 Kf7 27.b4 Nc4+ 28.Ke2 Nxd2 [28...Rcb8=] 29.Kxd2 Ke7 30.Na2 [A draw was agreed, but White appears to had the better chances due to the better light-squared bishop after 30.a4+/- ] 1/2-1/2

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

Myers in BDG: How Much Can I Sac?

In correspondence chess it is possible to play brilliant exciting chess with little or no effort on your part at all! My Blackmar-Diemer Gambit game vs William Myers from the 1989 USCF Golden Squires Postal Chess Tournament in 1990 was such a game. We followed the 1970 thematic postal game Roald Berthelsen-Newton Grant to 22.Nce4 1-0! Since using chess books during the game was permissible, the first 22 moves were easy for me.

One thing that makes this BDG Bogoljubow game interesting is contrast in strategic plans. Already up one pawn (3...dxe4), Black delays the development of his Nb8 to go after a second extra pawn (9...Bxc2). Meanwhile, White develops a mating attack.

Another interesting thing is the comments provided on postcards by my friendly opponent, William Myers. Would I need to resort to a perpetual check draw to survive being down 2 pawns? Sometimes White has to do that. I used my multiple sections of postal games (often playing 50-60 games at once) to learn the BDG. In my "Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Keybook" (1992) this is Game 468. The notes below have been updated for this blog post.

Sawyer (2062) - Myers (1872), corr USCF 89SS60, 05.06.1990 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 Bf5 9.Qh4 Bxc2 10.Bh6 Bxh6 11.Qxh6 e6 [11...Bf5 12.h3!?=] 12.Ng5 Qxd4+ 13.Kh1 Bf5? [13...Re8 14.Nb5+/=] 14.Rxf5! gxf5 15.Bxe6! Nbd7 16.Bxf5! Rad8 ["I think we're headed to a draw." Myers] 17.Bxh7+ Kh8 ["Is it clear yet?" Myers] 18.Be4+ Kg8 19.Rd1 Qf2 [Black can only squirm for a little while. For example 19...Qe5 20.Rxd7 Qf4 21.Bh7+ Kh8 22.Bg6+ Kg8 23.Bxf7+ Rxf7 24.Qg6+ Kh8 25.Nxf7#] 20.Bh7+ Kh8 21.Bg6+ Kg8 22.Nce4 fxg6 23.Qxg6+ Kh8 24.Nxf2 [Houdini 3 likes 24.Qh6+! Kg8 25.Ne6+-] 24...Rde8 ["Even though I can't win, it's the best game from this lot." Myers] 25.Nf7+ Rxf7 26.Qxf7 c6 1-0

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

Impression of Blackmar-Diemer Rasa

In BDG Magazine April 1962 we read: "Robert Rasa, after winning a cup at the chess championship tourney in New Zealand, as a runner-up, praises Blackmar-Diemer Gambit."

     "The first time I was confronted with a B/G Gambit wasn't over the chessboard, but in print. It was one of Diemer's earlier publications to his so-called B/D Gambit "Parish" - a group of chessplayers from Holland, Germany and Austria, who joined forces in order to look for new ways of brightening up the game of chess.
     "All this appealed to me very much and I joined the group - and never regretted it.
     "I was fortunate to be able to supply one or two new lines in certain variations of the attempted revival of the Blackmar Gambit. This was much fun, plenty of excitement and none of the dullness and stuffiness of the purely theoretical analyses. This is living chess, attractive in the variety of possibilities, refreshing in the approach.
     "Above all, I came to know the man behind it - the excitable, likable, original personality of Joseph Diemer. Because of his exaggerated, pompous style of writing, he soon got himself in hot water with other chess writers.
     "Diemer, however, is at all times an honest, frank and straightforward man, and lives up to his writings. He practices what he preaches - no matter what the consequences.
     "They call him "Ritter ohne Furcht" and rightly so. Often misunderstood, wrongly attacked - mostly by his own countrymen - he went his own inimitable ways - in chess as everywhere else. It irritates me very much, that people, who haven't done much themselves towards the game of chess, sling mud at good sports like Diemer, who practically sacrifice their personal lives for it.
     "Sure enough - we need all sorts of people to make a world, but as far as chess is concerned it's people like Diemer, who constantly strive to make it brighter and more interesting. It is not so far back, when Capa made his gloomy prediction that this game we all love so much will end in a death of draws...
     "It seems so odd and futile, that in face of that, many so called theoreticians are so eagerly engaged constantly trying to refute every fresh effort to liven up the game. This fate befell also Diemer's enthusiastic undertaking to induce new blood and ideas with his B/D Gambit into the game. As soon as the complex of B/D Gambit openings came in to some sort of semblance, came to pack of "Theoreticians" -  in full cry competing against themselves for a "refutation"... Now, some of them - including his former co-worker Gunderam - gleefully claim having found it?! OK! So, now what?
     "Let's stop playing chess and all of us join in the fun (?) searching for refutations of the remaining few playable openings we have left. When we have succeeded in that, then let's make a monumental funeral to the game of chess and start playing - say, marbles... Let's hope neither Pachman, Mueller, Gunderam nor the rest of them will be interested to find refutation to my pink marbles knock against your blue ones.
     "However, since players like the late Alekhine, Lasker, Spielman and present Tal, Fischer, Larson, Olafsson and such like keep cropping up, we still have some hope left, that the game will survive, in spite of the hord of "researchers" trying to refute it."
     R.A. Rasa - Dunedin, New Zealand
Below is a BDG Declined 4.f3 e6 game with notes from the February 1962 issue.
"A fascinating game of a King-side attack was recently played by Robert A. Rasa."

Robert A. Rasa - R.W. Lungley, Dunedin, New Zealand 1961 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.f3 e6 4.e4 dxe4 5.fxe4 Bb4 6.Bd3 0-0 7.Nf3 c5 8.0-0 cxd4 9.e5 Ng4? 10.Ng5 f5 11.exf6 Nxf6 12.Rxf6! [Beautiful!] 12...Qxf6 13.Bxh7+ Kh8 14.Nce4 Qe5 15.Qh5 Black resigns 1-0

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