Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jeffrey Baffo Bold Benko Gambit

Jeff Baffo we played many openings in our 1996 matches. In one game Baffo, boldly played the Benko Gambit. I chose the popular 5.e3 line, which was all the rage at the time. Everything was going well until I blundered on move 23.

Americans owe the inventor of this gambit, Grandmaster Pal Benko, a lot of respect. Benko was born in France, raised in Hungary and emigrated to the United States. He qualified for the world championship cycle 1970-72. Grandmaster Pal Benko stepped aside to let Bobby Fischer take his place in the Interzonal. Without Benko's sacrifice, there is probably no Fischer-Spassky match in Reykjavik.

There is a chess saying: Patzer sees check. Patzer gives check. Patzer loses. In this game I creatively sacrificed a knight for pawns. By move 15, I had two passed b-pawns; and 15 moves later, my b-pawns were gone and I was down a knight for a pawn. Once again, Jeffrey Baffo played with energy and accuracy.

Sawyer (1980) - Baffo (2252), corr USCF 95P139, 08.04.1996 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.e3 g6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 0-0 8.a4 Bb7 9.Rb1 e6 10.dxe6 fxe6 11.Be2 d5 12.0-0 axb5 13.axb5 Nbd7 14.b4 c4 15.Nd4 Qe8 16.e4 Nb6 17.Nc6 Bxc6 18.bxc6 Qxc6 19.exd5 exd5 20.Be3 Nfd7 21.Bd4 Ra3 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Qd4+? [23.Qd2=] 23...Qf6 24.Qxf6+ Rxf6 25.Nxd5? [25.Nb5 Ra2=/+] 25...Nxd5 26.Bxc4 N7b6 27.Bxd5 Nxd5 28.b5 Nc3 29.Rb2 Rb6 30.h3 Rxb5 31.Rc2 Kf6 32.Rfc1 Nd5 33.Rd2 Rab3 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
Copyright 2015 Home Page / Author Page /

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Helin vs Skovgaard in Huebsch Gambit

Many players from Sweden play the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. Recently Mikael Helin defeated his higher rated opponent Ib Skovgaard of Denmark in the 5.Bf4 variation of a BDG Huebsch Gambit. The 5.Bf4 line Helin chose tries to prevent 5...e5 and prepare White to castle queenside. It has been seen more since Christoph Scheerer wrote his book on the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. Slightly more popular than 5.Bf4 are 5.Be3 and the traditional 5.Bc4, while less common is 5.f3. All four moves score about the same.

In the game below, Black counter attacks d4 with 6...c5, giving White three choices: (a) prepare to castle with 7.Qd2; (b) snatch the pawn with 7.dxc5; or (c) walk on by with 7.d5, which was White's actual selection. The battle took place all over the board, until the Black king was checkmated on the b-file.

Helin (1885) - Skovgaard (2019), Politiken Cup 2014 Helsingor DEN (8.102), 27.07.2014 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Nxe4 dxe4 5.Bf4 Nd7 6.f3 c5 7.d5!? [Logical, although not the only alternative: 7.Qd2 Qb6 8.0-0-0 cxd4 9.Qxd4 Qxd4 10.Rxd4 exf3 11.Nxf3=; 7.dxc5 e5 8.Be3 Bxc5 9.Bxc5 Nxc5 10.Qxd8+ Kxd8 11.0-0-0+ Ke7 12.Rd5 b6 13.Rxe5+ Kf6 14.Rd5=] 7...Nf6 [Black could play 7...Qb6!=/+ when White does not have time to castle.] 8.fxe4 Nxe4 9.Qd3 Nd6 10.0-0-0 a6 11.Qf3 g6 12.g4 Bg7 13.h4 Qb6 14.c3 h5 15.gxh5 Rxh5 16.Bg5 Bf5 17.Re1 [If 17.Bd3 Bxd3 18.Qxd3 Qb5-/+] 17...0-0-0 [17...Qa5!-+] 18.Rxe7 c4 19.Bh3 Rxh4 [19...Bh6 20.Bxh6 Rxh6=] 20.Bxf5+ Nxf5 21.Bxh4 Nxh4 22.Qxf7 [White wins with 22.Rxh4! Qxg1+ 23.Kc2 Qc5 24.d6+-] 22...Nf5 23.Re8 Bh6+ 24.Kb1 Bg5 25.Nf3 Rxe8 26.Qxe8+ Bd8 27.Rh7 Nd6 28.Qd7+ Kb8 29.Rh8 Ka7 30.Nd4 [30.Qxd8!+-] 30...Bc7 31.Rh7 Nb5 32.d6 Nxc3+ 33.Kc2 Qxd4 34.dxc7 Nd5 35.c8N+ Kb8 36.Qxb7# 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
Copyright 2017 Home Page / Author Page /
Sign Up for free weekly Chess Training Repertoire updates

Friday, August 22, 2014

Beloungie in Colle System vs Dutch Defence

The Colle is a universal system of development for the White pieces to begin a chess game. The typical move order is 1.d4, 2.Nf3, 3.e3, 4.Bd3, and 5.0-0. White can almost ignore Black while he arranges his pieces in the familiar pattern. While this opening can be played vs anything, it is primarily designed to play against a Black pawn on d5. After preparation, the e3 pawn will be advanced to e4 to pick a fight.

Ray Haines has often played the Dutch Defence 1.d4 f5 as Black. Here as White he chooses to play the Colle System set-up vs Lance Beloungie in a club game. In fact White commits to 2.e3 before Black even plays 2...f5. Most masters do not prefer the Colle vs the Dutch because it does not threaten the key squares along the long light squared diagonal, especially e4 and d5. Black gets an easier game than normal, but it still has to be played out. White could win, but below Beloungie as Black takes control of those central squares and builds a winning attack.

Haines - Beloungie, Presque Isle, Maine, 26.06.2014 begins 1.d4 e6 2.e3 f5 3.Bd3 Nf6 4.Nf3 b6 5.Qe2 Bb7 6.0-0 Be7 7.Nbd2 Ne4 8.Ne5 0-0 9.f3 Nxd2 10.Bxd2 d6 11.Nc4 Nd7 [11...Nc6=] 12.Bc3 b5 [12...d5 13.Nd2 c5=] 13.Nd2 [13.Na5!+/-] 13...a6 14.b3 Bf6 15.e4 fxe4 16.fxe4 Nc5 17.dxc5 Bxc3 18.Rad1 Bd4+ 19.Kh1 Bxc5 20.e5 Rxf1+ 21.Rxf1 Qg5 [Black's winning ideas are a combination of kingside and attack and advancing queenside pawns. Activating the queen is good. 21...Qh4-/+ is even better.] 22.Nf3? [22.Ne4 Qxe5 23.Qf3 Qf5 24.Qe2 Qd5 25.Qf3= repeating moves.] 22...Qh6 23.Be4 d5 24.Bd3 Rf8 25.c3 Be3 26.h3 c5 27.Re1 d4 28.Ng1 [Or 28.Rf1 dxc3-+] 28...Rf2 0-1

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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chess Swindle vs Mario Marshall in Caro-Kann

To pull off a swindle in a slow tournament game is rare, but that is what I did in 2007 at the Southern Open. Mario Marshall had moved to South Florida from Jamaica. I wish I could describe the look on my opponent's face, but I did not dare look at him for fear that I would burst out laughing. That would be rude and very bad form. In a previous tournament, I myself was swindled in a winning position by an Expert. Not very funny.

The opening was a Caro-Kann Defence which I played since 1974, but this was only my third tournament game with it in 15 years, always getting a bad game and then always getting lucky with two wins and a draw! Mario Marshall told me after the game that he does not know the theory here. He said he just wanted to attack. That was obvious!

I got into deep trouble in this opening and was lost in the middlegame. A few days after this game, I asked Dan Heisman for tips on swindling when you are losing. He said the basic idea was to complicate. This is exactly what I did! Despite poor opening theory and middlegame strategy, once again a tactical idea decided the game. I did not play any FIDE rated games until I was well past my prime and over 50 years old, so this was a memorable win for me. Marshall was very kind to me after the game. We had a good time going over it and probably joked about the Jamaican Olympic Bobsled team.

Marshall (2038) - Sawyer (1946), Southern Open (2), 28.07.2007 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 [In the 1970s I played 5...g6 in Gruenfeld style.] 6.cxd5 [The main line is 6.Nf3 Bg4=] 6...Nxd5 7.Bc4 Nb6 [Attacking the isolated pawn on d4 and the bishop on c4, but 7...Be6 is better.] 8.Bb5 a6 9.Bxc6+ bxc6 10.Nf3 Bg4 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Qxf3 Nd5 [The knight feels good on d5, but my opponent told me after the game that every move I did not develop my kingside, he was happy.] 13.Bg5 Qd6 [intending to answer Ne4 with ...Qb4 attacking b2 and d4.] 14.0-0 e6 [Consolidates d5.] 15.Rac1 Be7 16.Ne4 Qb4 17.Bxe7 Kxe7 [17...Qxe7!? 18.Rxc6 0-0+/-] 18.Ng5 Nf6 [Plan B. My original intention was 18...f6 but here I saw that White was easily winning after 19.Nxe6!+- Ugh!] 19.Rxc6 Rhc8 20.Rfc1 Rxc6 21.Qxc6 [Even more powerful was 21.Rxc6!+-] 21...Ra7 22.Qc5+ Qxc5 23.dxc5 Nd5 24.Kf1 [24.Nxh7?! f6=] 24...Rc7 [We both had about an hour left. Clocks were: White 0:56; Black 1:22.] 25.a3 [Several people were now watching our game figuring that it would be over soon.] 25...a5 [Indeed, the game would end in less than one minute. Current times on the clock were: White 0:49; Black 1:19.] 26.Rc4 [Played after about a half minute's thought. Since he had not thought much, it felt like a good time to spring a cheapo. I had seen this combination earlier, but now with the rook on c4, it had a better chance.] 26...Nb6?! [Almost immediately I played for a swindle.] 27.cxb6?? [White lets the win slip away. He took about 15 seconds thought choosing to sacrifice his rook to get a queen, "thinking" I had blundered. White should try 27.Rf4+-] 27...Rxc4=/+ [I captured his rook while slightly faking disgust. My heart was beating very rapidly all of a sudden!] 28.b7?? [Instantly he advanced the pawn to glory, expecting that this move would be the coup de grace. But just as quickly I make my own crushing move.] 28...Rc1+!-+ [Everyone was shocked! What a rush!! Now he saw he was lost and resigned. Final clock times: White 0:48; Black 1:18. If 29.Ke2 Rc2+ 30.Ke3 Rxb2-+ and as soon as his new queen appears, she disappears.] 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
Copyright 2017 Home Page / Author Page /
Sign Up for free weekly Chess Training Repertoire updates

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Peter Webster on Kampars, Fischer and Diemer

Peter Webster portrays the life of Nikolajs Kampars, editor of BDG Magazine, and chess players Nick Kampars met along his journey from Latvia to Wisconsin in a story that is well worth reading. He drew Bobby Fischer in a Caro-Kann Defence below.

   "This information comes from two visits to Nikolajs Kampars at his home and one with his family after his death.
   "When I met Mr. Kampars, he was living with his wife and sister in the lower portion of a Victorian-era home in Milwaukee. A brother lived nearby; I do not know if there were other living relatives. He had heart trouble and had retired from his work in a bakery.
   "In Latvia he had been a member of the judicial system. I was not able to work out which position in the United States would have been most comparable to the one he held. His father had been a police chief in Russia during the Czarist regime. One of the few things which the family had brought with them when they escaped from Latvia was an oil painting of their father in dress uniform; this was hanging on the dining room wall. He told me that once he and his brother entered the police station and found the entire staff asleep. It was the custom in those days to have waxed mustaches with the ends curling upwards, and the two boys were unable to resist the temptation to clip the ends off those mustaches!
   "When Soviet troops entered the Baltic states. thousands of people fled. For the Kampars family this was a life-or-death decision; the Soviets were under orders to eliminate anyone who might be antagonistic to the Communist regime (I have read an estimate that eleven thousand Latvians were murdered and thousands more deported to Siberia), and as the family of a Czarist police official they would have been on this list even though their father had died between the World Wars. Some Estonians were able to enter Finland, with which there was then a common border, but Lithuanians and Latvians had nowhere to go but German-controlled territory. The family was fortunate to reach a camp in Austria, which was not overrun by the Soviet armies.
   "All I learned of his chess life in Latvia is that he and his brother were given lessons by Aaron Nimzovich and that at one point he was the librarian for the national organization. The book Alekhine in Europe and Asia (Donaldson, Minev, and Seirawan) includes a simul loss by Alekhine in Riga, Latvia, against "Kampar" (see p. 98); no initial, and the final "s" is missing, but this may well have been Nick Games from a tournament held in the Austrian DP camp indicate that he was a conservative player with a classical style and opening repertoire; the gambit ideas for which he became known when he published Opening Adventures were not typical of his crossboard play. He became one of the best in Wisconsin using this classical style; before I began to play tournament chess he drew against a very young Bobby Fischer as Black in a Caro-Kann, (he also lost one to Fischer) and my records show that in the 1958 North Central Open in Milwaukee (Pal Benko headed a field of 88) he was the top Wisconsin player (4-1,2) and repeated this in the 1959 Western Open (4-1,3) (Benko again, 112 players) and 1959 North Central Open (4-0,3) (master Curt Brasket of Minnesota won ahead of future world correspondence champion Hans Berliner, 90 players, Kampars 5th). I don't know whether he ever competed outside Milwaukee. His USCF rating was Expert.
   "I do not know how Mr. Kampars became aware of the German master Emil J. Diemer. The family participated in European chess life to some extent. His sister told me that GM Savielly Tartakower wrote a poem for her! He would occasionally send the aging Diemer a little money when he could spare it; he showed me a strange letter which seemed to indicate that Mr. Diemer had some sort of mental glitch, although he noted that other letters gave no indication of problems.
   "Although I did not see a pet in the home, copies of the bulletin of the Milwaukee Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were on the sideboard. Appropriate reading material for a gentle man and gentleman.
   "Peter Webster"

Thank you for that wonderful piece! The USCF Master Peter Webster is a long time Blackmar-Diemer Gambit player whom I mentioned in the Introduction to my BDG books. Here is a Caro-Kann Defence that Nick Kampars drew Bobby Fischer.

Robert J Fischer - Nikolajs Kampars, Milwaukee WI 1957 begins 1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.h3 Bxf3 [4...Bh5!?] 5.Qxf3 e6 6.d4 [6.d3 d4=] 6...Nd7 7.Bd3 dxe4 8.Nxe4 Ngf6 9.0-0 Nxe4 10.Qxe4 Nf6 11.Qe3 Nd5 [11...Bd6!?] 12.Qf3 Qf6 13.Qxf6 Nxf6 14.Rd1 0-0-0 15.Be3 Nd5 16.Bg5 Be7 17.Bxe7 Nxe7 18.Be4 Nd5 19.g3 Nf6 20.Bf3 Kc7 21.Kf1 Rhe8 22.Be2 e5 23.dxe5 Rxe5 24.Bc4 Rxd1+ 25.Rxd1 Re7 26.Bb3 Ne4 27.Rd4 Nd6 28.c3 f6 29.Bc2 h6 30.Bd3 Nf7 31.f4 Rd7 32.Rxd7+ Kxd7 33.Kf2 Nd6! 34.Kf3 f5 35.Ke3 c5 [White's king is denied entry points.] 36.Be2 Ke6 37.Bd3 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
Copyright 2017 Home Page / Author Page /
Sign Up for free weekly Chess Training Repertoire updates

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Blackmar-Diemer Vienna Famous Trap

In slow grandmaster tournaments, opening traps are rare. But in blitz, club, and online games we see traps all the time. The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit can be declined with 4.f3 Bf5 known as the BDG Vienna. The most common continuations are 5.g4 Bg6 or 5.fxe4 Nxe4. If Black takes with the bishop by 5...Bxe4, a trap winning the queen is playable. All Black has to do is to see a hanging d4-pawn in the middle of the board and grab it. Blitz players fall for it, as my opponent did in our two minute bullet game below. This same simple trap can also be found in the BDG Euwe variation. It works!

Sawyer (1900) - kekendevi (1300), Yahoo! 2 0, 26.07.2000 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Bf5 4.f3 Nf6 5.fxe4 [5.g4] 5...Bxe4 [5...Nxe4] 6.Nxe4 Nxe4 7.Bd3 [7.Nf3 is equally good, but the bishop move sets a trap.] 7...Qxd4? [The queen goes too far. Better is 7...Qd5 8.Nf3+/=] 8.Bb5+ Qd7 9.Bxd7+ Nxd7 10.Nf3 [Or 10.Qe2+- Black has lost his queen but plays on. White's task is to complete his development and then go after the Black king with his much stronger army.] 10...0-0-0 11.Qe2 Ndf6 12.0-0 h5 13.Bf4 g6 14.Rad1 Rxd1 15.Rxd1 a6 16.Qc4 Bh6 17.Qxc7# 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
Copyright 2017 Home Page / Author Page /
Sign Up for free weekly Chess Training Repertoire updates

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sawyer Beats Purser Blackmar-Diemer

30 years ago I was thinking about giving up chess when I found Tom Purser's magazine entitled BDG World. I subscribed and the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit changed my chess career for good. I tried the opening in my own games with success. When Purser lived in Germany, he spent a day with the famous E.J. Diemer. I never met Purser personally but I emailed him many times. Purser got me interested in Internet Chess Club. Both of us lived in the same Tennessee town 15 years apart and worked for the same business.

About 20 years ago Tom Purser and I met in four correspondence chess games in APCT. The first two were in a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit thematic event. Tom Purser defeated me with the BDG Bogoljubow as Black in the first game. I played the BDG Teichmann as Black here. It is funny that both of us misplayed the White pieces and lost.

Below he played the 8.g4 Seidel-Hall Attack. My philosophy is to grab the material and dare my opponent to beat me. I got away with this one when White missed the winning move 15.Rxd7! We played two more games which I plan to post this month.

Purser (2097) - Sawyer (1992), corr APCT BDG-2 (3.1), 05.1995 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.g4 Qxd4 [8...e6] 9.Be3 Qd8!? [9...Qd6] 10.Rd1 [The main line here is 10.g5 Nd5 11.0-0-0 e6 12.Nxd5 cxd5 13.Bb5+ Nc6 14.c4=] 10...Qa5 [10...Qc7] 11.Bc4 [Or 11.g5= immediately.] 11...e6 12.g5 Nfd7 13.0-0 Ne5 14.Qf4 Nbd7? [14...Bb4 15.Ne4=] 15.Ne4 [Correct is the brilliant continuation 15.Rxd7! Kxd7 16.Nb5!+-] 15...0-0-0 16.Be2 Be7 17.b4 [White is hoping to open lines to the Black king, but nothing works at this point. 17.Nd6+ Bxd6 18.Rxd6 h6-+] 17...Bxb4 18.Bd2 Bxd2 19.Nd6+ Kb8 20.Rxd2 Rhf8 21.Rfd1 Ng6 22.Nxb7+ Nxf4 23.Nxa5 Nxe2+ 24.Rxe2 Kc7 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
Copyright 2017 Home Page / Author Page /
Sign Up for free weekly Chess Training Repertoire updates

Now in Kindle and paperback