Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Milner-Barry Gambit vs French by Mastin

Before I took up the BDG chess opening, I played the BDF. That is, before I played the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, I played the Bird, the Dutch and the French. E. Olin Mastin Jr. choose a gambit vs my French Defence invented by a famous and notable player. We reached an Advance Variation where White boldly played the Milner-Barry Gambit 6.Bd3!? in round one of a Lansdale, Pennsylvania tournament.

Philip Stuart Milner-Barry (1906-1995) was an original contributor to many significant chess openings. As White, Milner-Barry beat Pal Benko with the 2.c3 Sicilian. He drew Jose Capablanca in a Sicilian Dragon, and he defeated Jacques Mieses in a famous Queens Knight Defence with 5.f3 BDG style. As Black, he drew Samuel Reshevsky in 4.Qc2 Nc6 Nimzo-Indian Defence and Vera Menchik in the Bogo-Indian. Milner-Barry played hundreds of games vs masters for over 50 years. It is no shame that he also lost to the likes of Capablanca, Alekhine, Euwe and Botvinnik, all world champions. He is also famous for the Caro-Kann Milner-Barry variation which I wrote about in games by Andrew Martin, Roald Berthelsen and Warren Curtis.

At I found this En Passant article that mentions Olin Mastin, Gary Stevens, Donald Funk, Glenn Snyder, and Roger Morin. All are players that I have played or written about in my blog. Below, following my inaccurate play on move 11 and my blunder on move 21, Olin Mastin stood well until move 23.

Mastin (1767) - Sawyer (1981), Lansdale PA (1), 1985 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 [This is a gambit. More popular are 6.a3= or 6.Be2=] 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 Bd7 8.0-0 Nxd4 9.Nxd4 Qxd4 10.Nc3 a6! [I considered taking the second pawn with 10...Qxe5 but White has a promising attack for the two pawns after 11.Re1 Qd6 (or 11...Qb8 12.Nxd5 Bd6 13.Qg4=) 12.Nb5 Qb6 13.Be3=] 11.Qe2 Bb4!? [The traditional main line is 11...Ne7 12.Kh1 Nc6 13.f4 Nb4 14.Rd1 Nxd3 15.Rxd3 Qb6 16.Be3 Bc5 17.Bxc5 Qxc5=/+; Maybe even better is 11...Rc8! 12.Rd1 Bc5 13.Bc2 Qh4-/+] 12.Bd2 [12.Rd1=] 12...Ne7 13.a3 Ba5 14.Kh1 Bc7 15.f4 Qa7 16.Qg4 g6 17.Rf3 0-0-0 18.Rc1 Nc6 19.Ne2 Kb8 20.Qg3 Rc8 21.b4 Nd4? [21...h5 22.a4 h4=/+] 22.Nxd4 Qxd4 23.Bc3? [23.Be3! Qb2 24.Qe1+/=] 23...Qa7 24.Be1 Bb6 25.Rxc8+ Rxc8 26.h4 h5 27.Kh2 [If 27.Bd2 Bb5 28.Bxb5 axb5-/+] 27...Bd4 [Houdini likes 27...Rc1!-+] 28.Qg5 [28.f5!? gxf5 29.Rxf5 Be8-/+] 28...Qb6 29.Qe7 Be8 30.a4 Qc7 31.Qxc7+ Rxc7 32.b5 axb5 33.axb5 Bc3 34.Bxc3 Rxc3 35.Be2 Rxf3 36.Bxf3 Bxb5 37.Kg1 Kc7 38.Kf2 Kc6 39.Ke3 Kc5 40.Kd2 [Or 40.g4 hxg4 41.Bxg4 Be8 42.Kd3 b5 43.Bd1 b4 44.h5 gxh5 45.Bxh5 d4-+] 40...Kd4 41.g3 Bd3 42.Bd1 b5 43.Bb3 b4 44.Ba4 Kc4 45.Bd1 b3 46.Bxb3+ Kxb3 47.Kxd3 Kb4 48.Kd4 Kb5 49.Kd3 Kc5 50.Kc3 d4+ 51.Kd3 Kd5 52.Kd2 Ke4 53.Ke2 d3+ 54.Kd2 Kd4 55.Kd1 Ke3 56.Ke1 d2+ 57.Kd1 Kd3 0-1

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