Monday, June 30, 2014

Index: Blackmar-Diemer Gambit 4.f3 c6 5.Nxe4

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Declined O'Kelly variation is one of the best defences to the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. Often it begins as a Caro-Kann Defence. Depending on move order, ...c6 can be play on any of the first four moves to reach the same position. Usually White plays 5.Bc4, but that too is sometimes played on move 4 to transpose. This index covers White's 5th move alternatives. Very equal is 5.Nxe4 covered below. More dynamic is 5.fxe4 which is more likely to lead to a win or loss.

This variation begins: 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 c6:
5.Nxe4 Bf5 6.Nxf6+ gxf6
       5...Nxe4 6.fxe4 e5 7.Nf3 exd4 8.Qxd4
Last revised June 30, 2014.

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Top 35 Favorite Sawyer Chess Post 1300

What are your choices for my Top 35 at post number 1300? Fastest moving is a new arrival: my Top 30 (post 1200 from March 2014) which went from zero to 280. Adding 200 each are the Fool's Mates. Adding over 150 are the 150 Attack and Purser Draws Euwe. Adding 100+ are Brian Wall, Famous Trap Hasting h-file Mate and my Top 25 (post 1100 from December 2013). Prior top lists were my Top 20 (post 1000 from September 2013) and my Top 10 list from April 2013. So far 46 of my posts have topped 200 page views. Thank you for clicking on my blog and the blue links!

Editor's note: Click here for link to my latest Top 70.

1542. How to Win With 150 Attack vs Pirc Defence

868. Checkmate: Five Quick Fool's Mates for Black

823. Checkmate: Five Quick Fool's Mates for White

614. 101 - London System Repertoire: Queens Indian

598. Brian Wall's Fishing Pole Trap in Ruy Lopez

536. Roman Dzindzichashvili and the Scotch Gambit

533. Lakdawala on 2.Ne2!? vs Caro-Kann Defence

506. Tom Purser Draws World Champ Euwe in BDG

489. Blackmar-Diemer Ryder Gambit: "Refuted?"

476. Basic White Chess Repertoire 1.e4 & KEBU

465. Attacking the Old Benoni Defence

419. Famous Trap: Hastings h-file Mate in Ruy Lopez

413. Joy of Alapin-Diemer Gambit French Defence

397. Slav Defence: From Opening to Endgame

383. Winning A Symmetrical Pawn Structure Position

370. Romantic Chess: Return of Tom Purser's Blog

366. New Book: GM Avrukh "Beating 1.d4 Sidelines"

362. Hickman and Dutch Defence Leningrad Variation

350. How to Win Easy Blitz Chess Caro-Kann Defence

320. 103 London System Repertoire 1.d4 d5 Variations

314. Master Baishanski Attacks Queens Knight Defence

309. 102 London System Repertoire: Kings Indian

306. Diemer-Duhm Gambit attack: Caro-Kann Defence

304. From Gambit Lasker Trap In Bird's Opening

298. Bond Wins with Snyder Anti-Sicilian Defence 2.b3

297. Battle of Petroff Defence Repertoire Book Ideas

295. The Grob Gambit, Bloodgood, Bogart and Chess

293. Passive Pawn Moves Permit A Killer King Hunt

283. Copy Cat Chess Moves: Playing Against Yourself

278. Top 30 Favorite Sawyer Chess Blogs Post 1200

276. Review: Eric J├ęgo book Blackmar-Diemer Gambit

270. 105 London System Repertoire as Exchange Slav

263. Top 25 Favorite Sawyer Chess Blogs Post 1100

261. Book Review Dark Knight System James Schuyler

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Critical Blackmar-Diemer Bogoljubow 6.Bg5 Line

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is an attacking system of chess development to rapidly activate the White pieces in an effort to quickly play for mate at the cost of a pawn in the style of E.J. Diemer. One of the best ways to combat it is the BDG Bogoljubow 5.Nxf3 g6 variation which aims to fight back at d4. White must rapidly aim to destroy the Black kingside, or the pawn will be a big advantage for the defender. Fortunately the gambiteer gets his pieces in the action faster with open lines and direct targets.

Today's game shows another angle of attack that demonstrates the advance of White's h-pawn as a lever toward Black g6 pawn. White also doubles Black's f-pawns, doubles his own rooks on the h-file and weaves in a knight maneuver of Nc3-Ne2-Nf4-Ne6. This is the last in my three month series of Saturday BDG Bogo posts. With this well covered, I turn now to other lines. I am sure that more BDG Bogo games will appear from time to time.

This game illustrates how to play the 6.Bg5 line in the BDG Bogo. It comes from a thematic postal chess tournament involving 21 players won by Georg Danner almost 40 years ago. Gottfried Mueller finished 5th, just ahead of Gunter Mueller who finished 6th. Manfred Pape was 21st in last place, but he gave us some nice games.

Muller - Pape, BDG theme corr7275, 1972 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6 6.Bg5 Bg7 7.Qd2 0-0 8.0-0-0 c5 9.d5 a6 [The critical line appears to be 9...Nbd7 10.Bh6 a6 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.h4 h5 13.Bd3 b5 14.Rhe1 Nb6 15.Ne5 Bg4 16.Nxg4 hxg4 17.Kb1 c4 18.Bf1 Qd6 19.h5 Rad8 20.hxg6 fxg6 21.Qg5 Nbxd5 22.Nxd5 Nxd5=+] 10.h4 b5 11.h5 b4 12.Bxf6 exf6 13.Ne2 Bg4 14.hxg6 hxg6 15.c3 a5 16.Nf4 Qd6 17.Rh4 f5 18.Bc4 Nd7 19.Rdh1 Nb6 20.Ne6 fxe6 21.Rh8+ Bxh8 22.Rxh8+ Kxh8 23.Qh6+ 1-0

Copyright 2015 Tim Sawyer. Click my Author Page

Friday, June 27, 2014

Haines vs Rick Perry English Mismatch

I have played chess against Harry Potter and Tommy Morrison. Ever play chess vs anyone whose real name was famous? My friend Ray Haines played Rick Perry in the first round at Houlton, Maine, the town where we went to buy groceries every Saturday 50 years ago. This Rick is not the Governor of the great state of Texas. He is a high school player from Caribou, the town where I worked 40 years ago.

The game below was the typical first round swiss system rating mismatch. Ray Haines is much higher rated, but Rick Perry is showing steady improvement. Rick Perry has made good progress raising his rating from 101 to 1004 after 14 tournaments.

Lower rated players usually display as least one of three problems:
1. Their development is too slow; some pieces are left unmoved.
2. Their play is too passive; they do not fight for space or material.
3. Their pieces are too loose; undefended men fall to double attack.

Rick Perry did not play too badly. A characteristic of Rick's English Opening is that White plays 1.c4 without the Reti idea of an early Nf3, and with pawn to d3 instead of d4. Ray Haines mounts a Dutch Defence attack. White's big problem was being slow to bring his kingside knight into the game. Then White left the Nh3 too loose for too long. To save the knight, he gives up a bishop. Black's winning technique is up to the task.

Perry (892) - Haines, Houlton ME (1), 30.05.2014 begins 1.c4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.Bg5 [It would be wise for White to first complete his kingside development. 6.Nf3 0-0 7.0-0=] 6...Nc6 7.b4 0-0 8.b5 Ne5 9.Nd5 Nxd5 10.Bxd5+ Kh8 11.d4 Nf7 12.Nh3? [12.Bxf7 Rxf7 13.Nf3 Qe8= and chances are still close to equal.] 12...Qe8 [12...f4! wins material after 13.Bxf7 Bxh3 14.Bd5 c6! since if 15.bxc6 bxc6 16.Bxc6 Qb6 17.Bxa8 Bxd4-+ Black has a strong mating attack.] 13.0-0 e6 14.Bf3 [Better is 14.Bg2 Nxg5 15.Nxg5 e5=/+] 14...e5 15.e3? f4 16.g4 e4 17.Re1 [White could try to get something for the bishop, but after 17.Bxe4 Qxe4 18.Bxf4 h5-+ Black's attack rolls on.] 17...exf3 18.exf4 Qd7 19.f5 Nxg5 [19...gxf5! is also very strong.] 20.Nxg5 gxf5 21.Qc2 Bf6 22.Qd2 Qg7 23.h4 h6 24.Nf7+ Rxf7 25.Re8+ Kh7 26.g5 hxg5 27.Kh2 g4 28.Kg3 Bxd4 29.Rh1 Be5+ [29...f4+!-+ leads to a forced mate, but when you are winning easily, there is no need to complicate things unless you have lots of time and feel like calculating.] 30.Rxe5 Qxe5+ 31.Qf4 Qxf4+ 32.Kxf4 Bd7 33.Kg5 Rg8+ 34.Kf4 Re7 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cavicchi Scandinavian Danish Gambit

Francesco Cavicchi has given us thoughts about chess openings on Thursdays in June. Today he asks about what to play as Black against 1.e4.

"But Tim, please, what to play blitz against 1e4? Here's the punctum dolens for black. Scandinavian Qd6 is my main defense to 1e4 but i don't recommend it for blitz games. Because of its solid, but not immediate nature it's quite difficult to find rapidly a plan at blitz with the Qd6 variation. I've tried the Latvian gambit (Fraser variation with Nc6, i don't like the main line with Qf6) with good results when i was young, but nowadays my memory tends to betray me, so no more Latvian.  Elephant gambit looks to me simply unsound. Regarding the Alekhine defense..mmmh, there is that unpleasant 2Nc3."

Cavicchi's question is specific about "blitz" openings. His "punctum dolens" or "sore point" is that many offbeat defences lead to positions that are not to his taste or style or they are unright unsound losers. Clearly the entertaining Latvian and Elephant are really only good in blitz if you play them all the time vs players who rarely see them. If you play the same opponent dozens of games in the same line, the surprise value diminishes. As for the Alekhine Defence, I find facing 2.Nc3 to be rather pleasant myself.

If you are fast enough anything is playable in blitz as long as it does not lose quickly by force. Tactical tricky gambits will catch a lot of fish on the board or your opponents will fall behind on the clock. It helps if you know lines by heart or can play rapidly by instinct and intuition. Then all you have to do is avoid getting mated and you win or the board or on the clock. However, if you feel the need to calculate variations and if you do not find a mate, then you will be the one who falls behind on the clock and you will lose.

Francesco plays the Scandinavian Defence 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 as his "main defense" which is certainly sound. Blitz play only gives time for strategy and tactics based on pattern recognition. Below he takes a break from that with the counter gambit 2...e5. Cavicchi plays with energy and creativity. An impressive and fun game!

NN - Cavicchi, Italy blitz, 2014 begins 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 e5 3.Bc4 [3.dxe6 Bxe6 4.d4+/= seems good for White; 3.Nf3 is an Elephant Gambit; 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bc4] 3...c6 [The choice of Deep Fritz here.] 4.dxc6 Bc5 [More normal would be 4...Nxc6 5.d3+/=] 5.cxb7 [5.Bxf7+! turns the tables after 5...Kxf7 6.Qf3+ Qf6 7.Qd5+ Be6 8.Qxc5 Nxc6 9.Nf3+/- and White is up two pawns.] 5...Bxb7 6.Bb5+ [Another wild line is 6.Qh5 Bxf2+ 7.Kf1 Qf6 8.Qxf7+ Qxf7 9.Bxf7+ Kxf7 10.Kxf2+/- when Black has compensation for a pawn but is down two pawns.] 6...Nc6 7.Nf3 Nge7 8.Nxe5?! [8.0-0+/- is correct.] 8...0-0 9.Nxc6 Nxc6 10.0-0 Nd4 11.Bc4 [11.Qh5 Nxb5 12.Qxc5 Nd4=/+] 11...Nf3+! [Or 11...Qg5!-+] 12.gxf3 Qg5+ 13.Kh1 Qf4 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Shredder Rips Apart Blackmar-Diemer

White has good chances in all Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Declined variations. The only hope in theory to refute the gambit is to grab the material and hold on to withstand the attack. Many opponents do not feel like defending such positions, even if they have no feelings at all! Against the chess engine Shredder, I played hundreds of test games from each side of the board. I loaded my BDG database (after 4.f3) as its "book". Shredder played the same line repeatedly until it failed to win. Then it looked for an improvement.

The BDG Vienna 4.f3 Bf5 is the most common method of declining the gambit once it is offered on move 4. Usually White plays 5.fxe4 or 5.g4 Bg6 6.g5. There is a logical alternative where White can go all out for attack with 6.h4. The continuation 6.g5 regains the gambit pawn and is played three times as often as 6.h4. However, 6.h4 has a higher winning percentage, though vs lower rated players. In this game Shredder chooses the best line in 6.h4 h6! which is played about one third of the time in this position. Below is a test game where I followed a line Christoph Scheerer would give in his book years later. BDGers as White should look for an improvement on moves 8 or 7 or 6 or 5.

Sawyer (2000) - Shredder 8 (3426), Florida, 06.05.2006 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.g4 Bg6 6.h4 h6! 7.Bg2?! [Better alternatives are 7.Nh3; 7.fxe4 or 7.h5] 7...Nc6 8.d5?! [8.Be3 e5! (Scheerer gives only 8...exf3 9.Qxf3 e6 10.0-0-0 but here 10...Nb4!=/+) 9.dxe5 Qxd1+ 10.Rxd1 exf3 11.exf6 fxg2 12.Rh2 Nb4 13.Rxg2 Nxc2+ 14.Ke2 Nxe3 15.Kxe3 Rd8 16.fxg7 Bxg7 17.Rgd2 Rxd2 18.Rxd2 f5 19.gxf5 Bxf5 20.Nb5 0-0 21.Nxc7 Bg4-/+ but Black still has a pawn advantage and the endgame is approaching.] 8...exf3 9.Nxf3 Nb4 10.Nd4 e5 11.Qe2 Be7! [Here Scheerer wrote: "even Diemer acknowledged that Black has a clearly better position."] 12.Nf5 Nxg4 13.Nxe7 Nxc2+ 14.Kf1 Qxe7 15.Qxg4 Nxa1 16.h5 Qf6+ 17.Kg1 Bf5 18.Qa4+ Kd8 19.b4 Nc2 20.Bh3 Qb6+ 21.Kg2 Ne3+ 22.Bxe3 Qxe3 23.Bxf5 Qg5+ 24.Kh2 Qxf5 25.Kg3 Qf4+ 26.Kg2 Qd2+ 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Baffo vs Sawyer in Caro-Kann 4...Nd7

My correspondence adventures with the Jeffrey Baffo continue with a game from the solid Caro-Kann Defence 4...Nd7 variation. Typically all the pieces remain on the board while both sides complete their development. This allows the better players flexibility in combining tactics and strategy to choose where to attack, what pawns to push, which pieces to exchange and whether or not to play for a middlegame or endgame win.

The line has been called the Flohr Variation, Smyslov Variation or Petrosian Variation. Each of those grandmasters played it as Black about 20 times. Later Anatoly Karpov played it at least 120 times adding many new ideas, making it the Karpov Variation. In his The Caro-Kann, Move by Move book, Cyrus Lakdawala recommends this variation.

In the 1974 US Junior Open, I won a nice game with 4...Nd7 where I announced mate in four as Black vs Frank Teuton. The next night just after I finished yet another game in this same line, Richard Nixon announced his resignation, but the President was not playing chess. I have played 4...Nd7 over 100 times. Sometimes I play 4...Nf6 (over 50 times), but usually I play 4...Bf5 (over 500 times). Nowadays I spend more time looking for attacking lines against the Caro-Kann Defence as White, but in my early years I much preferred Black. In the game below, Jeff tried the trendy 5.Ng5 which had been well known for about a decade at that time. We both castled queenside and reached an even pawn ending when a draw was agreed.

Baffo (2263) - Sawyer (1972), corr USCF 95P135, 18.03.1996 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Ng5 [Other popular lines include 5.Bc4 Ngf6 6.Ng5 e6 7.Qe2 Nb6=; and 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Bc4 Bf5=] 5...Ngf6 6.Bd3 [6.Bc4 e6 7.Qe2 Nb6=] 6...e6 7.N1f3 Bd6 8.Qe2 h6 9.Ne4 Nxe4 10.Qxe4 Nf6 11.Qe2 Qc7 12.Bd2 b6 13.0-0-0 Bb7 14.Rhe1 [14.Ne5 c5 15.Bb5+ Ke7=] 14...0-0-0 [14...0-0= is also good.] 15.Ba6 b5 16.Bxb7+ Kxb7 17.Kb1 Ka8 18.Ne5 [White usually plays 18.Rc1 or 18.Bc1] 18...Bxe5 19.dxe5 Nd7 [19...Nd5] 20.f4 Nb6 21.Ba5 Rxd1+ 22.Rxd1 Rd8 23.Rd3 Rxd3 24.Qxd3 Qd7 25.Bxb6 Qxd3 26.cxd3 axb6 27.Kc2 Kb7 28.Kc3= 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, June 23, 2014

Index: French Defence Alapin-Diemer 3.Be3 dxe4

The French Defence 3.Be3!? Alapin-Diemer Gambit is an attempt to avoid well-known French lines and allow for more original play. Previously I posted an index where Black declined the gambit and did not play 3...dxe4. Below is an extensive index of variations where Black does accept the gambit, first with 3...dxe4 and sometimes a later exchange with 5...exf3 in Blackmar-Diemer Gambit style. Later will follow the French Tarrasch 3.Nd2, the French Classical 3.Nc3 Nf6 and the French Winawer 3.Nc3 Bb4 variations.

This Alapin-Diemer Gambit variation begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3 dxe4:
4.Nd2 f5
4.Nd2 Nf6 5.f3 and now:
5...b6 6.fxe4 Bb7 7.Bd3 Be7 8.Ngf3:
8...Nbd7 9.0-0 c5 10.e5
8...0-0 9.0-0 Nbd7 10.Bg5
5...Nd5 6.Qe2 and now:
6...f5 7.fxe4
6...c5 7.dxc5
6...Be7 7.fxe4
6...exf3 7.Ngxf3
4.Nd2 Nf6 5.f3 exf3 6.Ngf3 and now:
6...b6 7.Bd3 Bb7 8.0-0 Be7 9.Bg5 Nbd7
6...Nbd7 7.Bd3 c5 8.c3 cxd4
Last revised July 12, 2015.

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