Saturday, May 31, 2014

Morin Plays Bogoljubow 12.Rd1 exd4

Blackmar-Diemer Gambit correspondence thematic events in the late 1990s allowed me to test lines against other BDGs. Against Jay Morin I had the pleasure of playing four games in different lines. We split the other three +1=1-1. Vs his BDG Bogoljubow I chose the Studier Attack after the key moves 6.Bc4 and 8.Qe1. Theory and practice do not always agree. Deep computer analysis of critical lines to move 20 show that Black could get some advantage. To do so, Black must play little known lines perfectly at every point to reach a position where good technique and tactics give him good chances.

In practice, few players defend so well. I have scored much better with 6.Bc4 than I have with 6.Bf4 or 6.Bg5. Of course, if I played correspondence chess nowadays when my opponents would be expected to use computer assisted analysis from strong chess engines, then my lines might be in some trouble. These days I tend to play humans in fast time controls. Under such conditions, White has very good chances with 6.Bc4. Our game below was played in a very popular line before chess engines were so strong.

Sawyer - Morin, corr BDG thematic (2), 1997 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Qe1 Nc6 9.Qh4 Bg4 10.Be3 Bxf3 11.Rxf3 e5 12.Rd1 exd4 [12...Nxd4] 13.Bg5 Qe8 14.Bxf6 [Houdini suggests 14.Re1!? Qd7 15.Bxf6=] 14...Bxf6 15.Qxf6 dxc3 16.Qxc3 Qe5 [16...Rd8=] 17.Rd7 Qxc3 18.Rxc3 Rad8? [18...Ne5 19.Rxc7 Nxc4=] 19.Rxc7 Rd1+ 20.Kf2 Rd2+ 21.Kg3 Na5 22.Bd3 Re8 23.b4 Nc6 24.Rxb7 Re3+ 25.Kf4 Re6 26.b5 Nb4 27.Bc4 Rf6+ 28.Kg3 Rff2 [Better is 28...Nxc2 29.Rd3 Rdf2 30.Rxa7+-] 29.Kh3 Nd5 30.Bxd5 Rxd5 31.a4 Rg5 32.g4 Re5 33.Rxa7 h6 34.Kg3 Ree2 35.Re3 Rxc2 36.h3 [Or 36.b6!+-] 36...g5 37.a5 Rb2 38.b6 Rf4 39.b7 Rfb4 40.Ra8+ Kg7 41.a6 h5 42.gxh5 f5 43.Rd3 f4+ 44.Kf3 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, May 30, 2014

Dutch Staunton Gambit vs Joe Daniel

My match vs Joe Daniel saw two Dutch Defence games, one with each color, but this game first began as a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. When Black declines the gambit with the 3...f5 BDG Poehlmann variation, White has four options: 4.Bg5, 4.Bf4, 4.Bc4 and my choice here 4.f3. The BDG Poehlmann line often sees Black move an e-pawn with 4...exf3, 4...e5, 4...e6 or 4...e3. However Joe Daniel played 4...Nf6 transposing directly into a Dutch Defence Staunton Gambit after 5.fxe4 fxe4.

Half the time as White vs the Dutch Defence move order 1.d4 f5, I sacrifice my e-pawn with the 2.e4 Staunton Gambit. During the past 100 years, grandmaster views of this gambit have changed from feared to dubious to good to inferior to dangerous to optional.

White may hope for a positional advantage with 2.c4 or related lines like 2.g3 or 2.Nf3, but these have a lot of theory. Of Anti-Dutch second move lines, 2.Nc3, 2.Bg5 and 2.e4 are all popular. Since White does not have a forced win in any line, nowadays the choice vs the Dutch it is a matter of taste. In this Staunton Gambit game below, Black holds back the development of the queenside knight. All in all this was a fighting game.

Sawyer - Daniel, corr 1986 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 f5 4.f3 Nf6 5.fxe4 fxe4 6.Bg5 Bf5 7.Bc4 e6 [7...Nc6 8.Nge2 Qd7 is the main line.] 8.Nge2 Be7 9.0-0 [A critical line here is 9.d5! exd5 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.Nxd5 Bxb2 12.Rb1 Be5 13.0-0 Rf8 14.Rxb7+/=] 9...Ng4 [9...Nc6!=/+] 10.Bf4 Bg5 11.Ng3 [11.Nb5!+/=] 11...Bxf4 12.Rxf4 Qh4 13.Nf1 Qg5 14.g3 Nf6 15.Qe2 Nbd7 [15...Nc6=/+] 16.Nb5? [16.Nd2=] 16...0-0-0 17.Nxa7+ Kb8 18.Nb5 Rhf8 [18...Nb6-/+] 19.Ne3 Nh5 20.Rf2 Rf6 21.Raf1 Bh3 22.Rxf6 Nxg3?! [An unnecessary sacrifice. Black is clearly better by just recapturing the rook with 22...Ndxf6-/+] 23.hxg3 Qxg3+ 24.Kh1 gxf6? [There is no time to bring the Black rook to the g-file. Black must play 24...Nxf6=] 25.Qf2 Qg5 26.Qh2 Ne5 27.Re1 1-0

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

Cavicchi vs Naumkin Englund Gambit

Francesco Cavicchi sent me the following note:

"Tim, some time ago we were talking about Englund gambit as a possible blitz weapon for players rated under 2000 elo. So many 1d4 repertoire books keep on telling us how silly and unsound this gambit is. Or is it? Well, according to my results, especially in simul. games, i have to disagree. That's why i send you these games, where my opponents were definitely not weak players. Hope you enjoy."

I did enjoy these games. We look at one today and next Thursday the other. Clearly if a player can draw a grandmaster, he can defeat those rated under 2000 elo. This variation of the Englund Gambit 1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 with 2...f6 is the Soller Gambit. Here Black plays a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit type position with colors reversed. The move 3.e4 that Grandmaster Igor Naumkin plays reminds me of the BDG Lemberger with its 3...e5. Happily, Francesco Cavicchi has given me ideas for the next several Thursday blogs.

Naumkin - Cavicchi, Pedavena tournament simul game, 29.07.2009 begins 1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 f6 3.e4 [GM's trademark: of course variations with e4-in the spirit of the Alekhine attack from the Budapest gambit-are the most dangerous and difficult to face with black] 3...Nc6 4.exf6 Nxf6 5.Nc3 Bc5 6.Bg5 0-0 7.Qd2 d6 8.Bc4+ Kh8 9.0-0-0 Qe8 10.f3 Na5 11.Bb3 Nxb3+ 12.cxb3 Be6 13.Nge2 b5 14.Nd4 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 a5 16.Rhe1 b4 17.Bxf6 gxf6 18.Nd5 c5 19.Qe3 Qc6 20.Nf4?! [20.Qh6!+/-] 20...Bf7 21.Nd5 Be6 22.Nf4 Bf7 23.Nd5 Be6 [draw by repetition] 1/2-1/2 [notes by Cavicchi] 

Copyright 2014 Tim Sawyer. Click here for my HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Joe Daniel meets Dutch with 5.e3

Does anyone play chess at your place of employment? 20 years ago I worked for a large business corporation. In the course of my duties, I met hundreds of people. Joe Daniel was a friendly salesman and co-worker from Cleveland, Ohio. We found out each other played chess. Since we lived in different states, Joe and I decided to play a two game postal chess match. As Black I chose the Dutch Defence.

In this game Joe Daniel chose to grab space with pawns moves on the queenside like 2.d4, 3.c4, 6.c5, 9.b4 and 11.a4. I played too slow in the center and was fortunate that Joe did not follow up well with 15.Qb3! White went the wrong way with a knight on move 19. This finally gave me good chances and I went on to win with a kingside attack.

Daniel - Sawyer, corr, 1986 begins 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 f5 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 [5.Bf4+/=] 5...Nf6 6.c5 Nbd7?! [6...Be7=] 7.Be2 [7.Ng5+/=] 7...Qe7 [7...Ne4!=] 8.0-0 e5 9.b4 e4 10.Ng5 g6 11.a4 a6 12.Ba3 Bg7 13.b5 axb5 14.axb5 0-0 15.h4 [15.Qb3+/=] 15...h6 16.Nh3 Rf7 17.Nf4 Nf8 18.h5 g5 19.Nh3? [19.Ng6 Nxg6 20.hxg6 Rf8 21.Na4+/=] 19...f4 20.Bb4 [Or if 20.Re1 f3-+] 20...Rxa1 21.Qxa1 f3 22.gxf3 Bxh3 23.Rb1 exf3 24.Bxf3 Qe6 25.Ne2 Ne4 26.Nf4 gxf4 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Michael Foust Defeats Sawyer in Bird's Opening

I played three interesting postal chess games vs Michael Foust. The first was one of the best Blackmar-Diemer Gambit games I played in my life. I will cover that next week. Below I give our second game where I played as White the Birds Opening. Both those were played in APCT. Previously I posted our short Alekhine Defence 2.Bc4!? game where Foust sacrificed a bishop with 3.Bxf7+ which we played in USCF postal chess.

Bird's Opening has been a frequent choice of mine throughout my career during times where I wanted a break from studying theory. Both players are usually on their own rather quickly. Chances were equal at first. Then Michael Foust turns up the pressure with pawns moves 12...f5, 13...e5, 16...g5?, and 18...e4. I sacrificed my knight on move 20 to be up three pawns on the kingside with the better chances. Alas, I let my advantage slip with the inaccurate 28.Bf6? and my blunder 34.Rxh7? I had missed his nice tactical shot 35...Qxf6! which works because my g5 pawn is pinned. In less than 10 moves I go from winning to lost. Michael Foust proves that aggressive play can pay big dividends.

Sawyer (1950) - Foust (1943), corr APCT 1986 begins 1.f4 b6 2.Nf3 Bb7 3.e3 c5 4.Be2 Nf6 5.0-0 e6 6.b3 d5 7.Bb2 Bd6 [7...Be7=] 8.Ne5 Nbd7 9.Qe1 0-0 10.d3 Qc7 11.Nxd7 Nxd7 12.Nd2 f5 13.g3 e5 14.Bf3 Rae8 15.Qf2 Re6 16.Rae1 g5? [16...Nf6=] 17.fxg5 Rg6 18.Qg2 [18.Bg2+/-] 18...e4 19.dxe4 dxe4 20.Nxe4! fxe4 21.Bxe4 Bxe4 22.Qxe4 Ne5 23.Rxf8+ Kxf8 24.Rf1+ Ke7 [24...Ke8 25.Rf5+/=] 25.Qf5 Nc6 [25...Qd7 26.Qf8+ Ke6 27.Rf6+ Kd5 28.c4+ Ke4 29.Rxd6+/=] 26.Qf8+ [26.h4+-] 26...Kd7 27.Rf7+ Be7 28.Bf6?  [28.Rxh7+/-] 28...Qd6 29.Qa8 Qd1+ 30.Kf2 Qxc2+ 31.Kg1 [31.Ke1=] 31...Qb1+ 32.Kf2 Qxa2+ [32...Qf5+ 33.Kg1 Qe6-/+] 33.Kf3 Qa6 34.Rxh7? [34.Kf2=] 34...Qf1+ 35.Kg4 Qxf6! 36.Qb7+ Kd6 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Hauser Beats Ratislav Bury O'Kelly 5.Nxe4

The Blackberry name game: Chuck Berry, Dave Barry and Ratislav Bury all sound very similar in English. Here we feature a short chess opening win for White in a critical BDG line. In a 2006 ICCF correspondence chess game, Jack Hauser beats or buries Ratislav Bury who played Black in Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. Bury is burried when he declines the BDG 4.f3 gambit with 4...c6, transpositing into a Caro-Kann Defence variation that can be reached after 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.f3 Nf6. Earlier I posted a successful critical game in the O'Kelly 4.f3 c6 5.Nxe4 Nxe4 line where after 6.fxe4 e5 7.Nf3 exd4 White played the natural recapture 8.Qxd4. Below Jack Hauser plays 8.Bc4 going for an attack. Note that Ratislav Bury has played 30 games in ICCF. Below I list his current rating, but Bury is no longer active in ICCF play.

Hauser (2100) - Bury (1858), WS/H/063 ICCF, 07.10.2006 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 c6 5.Nxe4 Nxe4 6.fxe4 e5 7.Nf3 exd4 8.Bc4 Qa5+ 9.Bd2 Qc5 10.Qe2 Nd7 [10...Bg4 11.b4 Qh5 12.0-0 Nd7 13.h3 Bxf3 14.Rxf3 f6 15.Qf2=; 10...a5 11.e5 Be7 12.0-0-0 b5 13.Bd3 Be6 14.Qe4 Qd5 15.Qxd5 Bxd5 16.Nxd4=] 11.b4 Qb6 12.Qf2 f6 13.0-0 Bxb4 14.e5 Bxd2 15.Qxd2 fxe5 [Better is 15...Qc5 16.exf6 Nxf6 17.Rae1+ Kd8 18.Nxd4+/= although White has a more active position.] 16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.Rae1 1-0

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

Is French Exchange Variation a Draw?

French Defence Exchange Variation (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5) has a reputation for being drawish, but that is not necessarily accurate. The better player usually wins no matter what. I have reached the French Exchange position a total of 85 times from either side. White outscored Black 39 wins to 33 wins; only 13 of those games were drawn. Below I chose 4.Nf3, which has been favored by USCF master James R. West. I wrote about winning a symmetrical pawn structure position from a Petroff Defence.

I transposed to this French Exchange after 1.e3, a first move that I rarely play. This is my 15th game vs LeviRook on the Internet Chess Club. He beat me two of those games, both as White. In 2012 I posted two games that I won as White vs this same opponent with a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit and with a Queens Gambit Accepted. Below features a game with a lengthy knight and pawn ending. At the end were these notes on ICC:
   Black resigns
   Blitz rating adjustment: 1970 --> 1971
   LeviRook says: Jesus loves you
   /Tell LeviRook! I am blessed
   LeviRook is not logged in.

Sawyer (1971) - LeviRook (1384), ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 02.05.2014 begins 1.e3 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.exd4 d5 [French Defence, Exchange Variation] 4.Nf3 [A sharper line is 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3=] 4...Bd6 5.Bd3 c6 [A very popular line 5...Nf6 6.Ne5 0-0 7.0-0 c5 8.c3 Re8=/+ favors Black.] 6.h3 Qe7+ 7.Qe2 Qxe2+ 8.Bxe2 f6 9.Bd3 b6 10.0-0 Kf7 11.b3 Ba6 12.Bxa6 Nxa6 13.c3 Nc7 14.Re1 Ne7 15.Ba3 Bxa3 16.Nxa3 Rae8 17.Nc2 Nf5 18.Kf1 Rxe1+ 19.Rxe1 Re8 20.Rxe8 Nxe8 21.Nb4 Ne7 22.Nd3 Nd6 23.g4 [23.Ng1=] 23...Ne4 24.c4 dxc4 25.bxc4 g6 [25...b5!=/+] 26.a3 Ke6 27.Ke2 Nd6 28.Nb2 Nec8 29.Kd3 h6 30.Nd2 f5 31.f3 g5 32.Na4 Ne7 33.Nc3 Ng6 34.Ne2 a6 35.a4 Nb7 36.Ng3 fxg4 37.hxg4 Nf4+ 38.Ke3 Ng2+ 39.Kf2 Nf4 40.Nf5 h5 [40...Nd6! 41.Nxh6 c5!=] 41.Ng7+ Kf6 [41...Kf7 42.Nxh5+/=] 42.Nxh5+ Nxh5 43.gxh5 Kf5 [43...Kg7 44.Kg3+/-] 44.Ke3 [44.Ne4!+-] 44...Nd6 45.c5 bxc5 46.dxc5 Ke5 47.cxd6 Black resigns 1-0

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

Quinones vs Connor Lunney Bogoljubow

Saturdays I used to watch Looney Tunes cartoons. Today I watch Blackmar-Diemer games. Jorge Quinones sent us the theoretical battle below with this note:

"Hi Mr. Sawyer, This is one line that I considered interesting. My opponent said that he was an USCF expert, sadly he lost on time (it was a 3 day per move game)... I think that it was an interesting position, sadly we didn´t finish the game. It was a bit "strange" from the very beginning... good luck! Jorge"

The USCF indicates Connor Lunney from the USA state of Louisiana was rated 1904 at the time I received this game, but he was rated higher at some point. According to FIDE, Lunney was about 20 years old at the time this game was played. Presumably, if Connor Lunney wishes to keep working on his chess skill, his best years are likely ahead of him. Of course any of us who stop working on chess will also stop improving.

Like most attacking openings, the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit can be met with a variety of piece set-ups. One of the best in theory is the Bogoljubow Variation. After Black accepts the gambit with 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6, he sets up in a Gruenfeld Defence style. White immediately develops a bishop from whatever side of the board he plans to castle. Kingside castling can quickly follow 6.Bc4. Queenside castling (the Long Bogo) follows 6.Bf4 or 6.Bg5, which provokes here 7...h6. Is the Black king position strong or weak?

QuiƱones (1779) - clunney (1440), Let's Play!, 28.01.2014 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6 6.Bg5 Bg7 7.Qd2 h6 8.Bf4 Bg4 9.Ne5 [White has two other interesting tries: 9.0-0-0 c6 10.Kb1 Nd5 11.Nxd5=; or 9.Bc4 Nbd7 10.0-0-0 Nb6 11.Bb3=] 9...Bh5 10.h3 g5 11.Bh2 Nfd7 12.Be2 Nxe5 13.Bxh5 Nc4 14.Qf2 0-0 15.0-0-0 Nc6 16.Rhf1= 1-0

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