Thursday, July 31, 2014

Garcia Palermo Cavicchi Sicilian Najdorf

We enjoy the rare games where the little amateur rises up to smite the giant master. Here Francesco Cavicchi wins a Sicilian Najdorf vs GM Carlos Garcia Palermo:

"Hi Tim, I send you another "Amateur-David vs GM-Goliath" match.
No strange stuff this time, but the good, old (and very well known)..Sicilian Najdorf, now part of my main repertoire against 1e4. And the "victim" is... GM Carlos Garcia Palermo (2398)"

3000 years ago, the little boy David was destined to be a famous king in Israel. The giant Goliath was a Philistine from Gath in between Jerusalem and the Gaza strip. People have been fighting over that area ever since. I care what happens; I have friends on both sides. But I cannot solve their problems, so I am just going to play chess.

Little David amateur chess players may be future masters. The giant GM Carlos Garcia Palermo is my age with a FIDE rating of 2449. He meets a Sicilian Defence 5...a6 with 6.g3. A key difference in this line is that after the standard Najdorf 6...e5, White retreats 7.Nde2. This knight supports f4, covers d4, protects c3 and is not in the way of 8.Bg2.

Curious, I wonder if Grandmaster Garcia Palermo is related to founders of the famous city Palermo, Sicily, Italy? Who knows. That city makes me think of George C. Scott in the 1970 movie "Patton". Sharp tactics mark today's game where the White king becomes vulnerable to a mating attack. Very nice!

Garcia Palermo (2398) - Cavicchi (1855), Fsi Arena online, 23.07.2014 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.g3 e5 7.Nde2 Be7 8.Bg2 Be6 9.0-0 Qd7 [Another approach is 9...0-0 10.h3 Nbd7=] 10.f4 Bh3 11.f5 Bxg2 12.Kxg2 h5!? [12...Qc6=] 13.Bg5 Nc6 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Nd5 Bd8 16.h4 Rc8 17.c3 Ne7 18.f6 Nxd5 19.Qxd5 [19.fxg7 Ne3+ 20.Kf3 Rg8 21.Kxe3 Bb6+ 22.Kd2=] 19...Bxf6 20.Rad1 Qg4 21.Rf3 [21.Ng1 0-0=/+] 21...0-0 22.Kf2 Rfd8 23.Qxb7 [23.Rd2 Rd7-/+] 23...Rb8 24.Qd5 [Multiple exchanges 24.Qxa6 Rxb2 25.Rxd6 Rxd6 26.Qxd6 Qxe4 27.Qd3 Qc6 28.Re3 Rxa2-+ still leave Black up a pawn.] 24...Rxb2 25.a4 Rxe2+ [25...Rc8!-+] 26.Kxe2 Rb8 27.Rd2 Rb1 28.Qxd6? [28.Qc4=] 28...Qxe4+ 29.Kf2 Qe1+ 30.Kg2 Qh1+ [White resigns due to 31.Kf2 Rf1+ 32.Kf3 Qf3 checkmate] 0-1

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

Fries Nielsen Irregular Veresov Opening

Veresov Opening involves playing 1.d4, 2.Nc3, 3.Bg5 to begin a chess game, but note how the subtle difference of 3.Bf4 allows White to expand the kingside with pawn pushes that resemble the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit: 4.f3, 5.g4, 6.h4, 7.g5 and 8.e4. This is similar to the BDG Vienna Hara Kiri with 6.h4. White has the joy of attack without the danger of the gambit. Such a major pawn advance makes it difficult for Black to take aim at White's open king because of all White's space behind the advanced pawns.

Who plays like this? Try Stefanova, Jobava and Fries Nielsen. All played 3.Bf4 several times in the past year. Back in 2005, I played it myself several times in blitz. In the game below players have mutual assaults as they castle opposite sides. Fries Nielsen obtains the best of it as his bishops take aim at the Black monarch. I like the move 21.Qa5! The attack culminates in checkmate.

Fries Nielsen (2384) - De Blecourt (2121), Copenhagen CC 2014 Ballerup DEN (2.12), 15.05.2014 begins 1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bf4 Bf5 4.f3 e6 5.g4 Bg6 6.h4 h5 7.g5 Nh7 8.e4 Bb4 9.exd5 Qxd5 10.Qd2 Bxc3 11.bxc3 Nc6 12.Be3 0-0-0 13.c4 Qd6 14.Ne2 Rhe8 15.Rb1 Nf8 [15...Qa3 16.Kf2 Qxa2 17.Rc1 Nf8 18.Nc3 Qa3=] 16.Bg2 [16.Kf2 Qa3 17.Nc3=] 16...e5 [16...Qa3 17.Kf2 Qxa2 18.Ra1 Qxc4=/+] 17.d5 Nd4 18.0-0 [18.Nxd4 exd4 19.Qxd4+/=] 18...Nxc2 [18...Nxe2+ 19.Qxe2=] 19.Bxa7 [19.Bf2+/=] 19...b6 20.Bh3+ Kb7 [20...Ne6=/+] 21.Qa5! Nd4 22.Bxb6 cxb6 23.c5 Bxb1 24.Rxb1 Nxe2+ 25.Kf2 Nc3 26.c6+ Kb8 27.Rxb6+ Kc7 28.Rb7# 1-0

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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Smothered Checkmate Tactic in Bird's Opening

The smothered mate is well known, but how often do you actually get to play one? Below I play a smothered mate in a Bird's Opening. I do tactics exercises every day with Chessimo. GM Gilberto Milos developed Personal Chess Trainer which allows you to train on Tactics, Strategy, Endgames and Openings. They changed the product name to Chessimo. I have used every version and love it.

In a 3-minute blitz game vs "klowz" I began 1.f4 Nc6 and set-up as Black in a standard King's Indian Defence. Normally in the Bird's Opening, White wants to control e5 and often play Ne5. The Black pawn on d6 prevents this. I only used 1:38 for the whole game; i.e. a minute and a half total. No deep theory here. Pieces were tossed around and a tactical opportunity presented itself: the smothered mate combination!

klowz (1373) - Sawyer (1902), ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 26.07.2014 begins 1.f4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d6 3.e3 g6 4.Be2 Bg7 5.0-0 Nf6 6.b3 Ne4 7.c3 0-0 8.Bb2 f5 [8...e5=] 9.d3 Nf6 10.Ng5 h6 11.Nf3 e5 12.fxe5 dxe5 13.c4?! [13.Na3=] 13...e4 14.Nd4? [14.dxe4 Nxe4=/+] 14...Bd7? [14...Ng4!-/+] 15.Nd2 [15.Nxc6 Bxc6 16.d4 Be8=] 15...exd3 16.Bxd3 Nb4 [16...Ng4-+] 17.Bb1 c5 18.Nc2 Nd3 19.Qf3? [19.Bc3 Bc6-/+] 19...Nxb2 20.Na3 Bc6 21.Qg3 Qxd2 22.Qxg6 Qxe3+ 23.Kh1 Ng4 24.Nc2 Nf2+ 25.Kg1 Nh3+ 26.Kh1 Qg1+ 27.Rxg1 Nf2# White checkmated 0-1

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

Index: Blackmar-Diemer Gambit 4...Bf5 5.g4 6.h4

This Index on the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Vienna Defence 4.f3 Bf5 is a solid choice. White has many options. Two stand out as the favorites: 5.fxe4 (Diemer) and 5.g4 (Hara-Kiri), but there are other choices. Some are given below. The 5.g4 lines is further divided after 5...Bg6 into 6.h4 lines (covered below) and 6.g5 (covered later). These key lines lead to equal positions where the better player tends to win.

This variation begins 1. d4 d5  2. e4 dxe4  3. Nc3 Nf6  4. f3 Bf5:
5.Nge2 exf3 6.Ng3 fxg2 7.Bg2
5.Qe2 exf3 6.Qb5+ Bd7 7.Qxb7
5.Bg5 e3 6.Bc4 e6 7.Nge2
5.g4 Be6 6.g5 Nd5 7.fxe4
   5...Bg6 6.h4 h5 7.g5 Nd5 8.Nxe4 e6 9.a3
                  6...h6 7.Bg2
                           7.Nh3 exf3 8.Qxf3 c6 9.Be3
                                7...e6 8.Nf4 Bb4 9.Nxg6
                                7...Nc6 8.Be3 e5 9.d5
               6...exf3 7.Qxf3 Nc6
                                7...c6 8.h5 Bxc2 9.Rh2
Last Revised January 6, 2015.

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

Muir Reti Disney Draw Offer Win

The Disney movie Planes, Fire & Rescue has an old steam locomotive named Muir who works at Piston Peak National Park. It reminds me of Bob Muir who played the Reti Opening. This 1.Nf3 can transpose to the English Opening after an early c4 or to a Queen Pawn Game after an early d4. Bob Muir plays 2.d3 and 5.c3 which are unique to the Reti. White may play for a King's Indian Attack with moves like 7.Nbd2 and 8.e4. Bob chose to go his own way and got the better position.

When is it appropriate to offer a draw? In polite chess tournament play, if one player is much higher rated, the lower rated player should not offer a draw. In online blitz, frequent draw offers come from weak players who are afraid, but they are easily ignored. If I am the higher rated, I may offer a draw when I stand worse. Below, my old friend's reaction to my draw offer was to try to force a quick win which turned out to be a blunder. So I won.

Muir (1800) - Sawyer (2010), Williamsport,PA, 24.04.2001 begins 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d3 d5 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.c3 0-0 6.0-0 c5 7.Bf4 Nc6 8.a3 Nh5 [8...Re8=/+] 9.Bd2 e5 10.Qc2 h6 11.b4 cxb4 [My original intention of 11...b6 was better. But then I got a bright idea which at first I thought would win a Pawn, but obviously I miscalculated.] 12.axb4 Nxb4 13.cxb4 e4 14.Bc3 exf3 15.Bxf3 Nf6?! [15...Be6] 16.Nd2 Bh3 17.Rfc1 Qd7? 18.Qb2 Ne8 19.Bxg7 Nxg7 20.Qe5 Rfe8 [Black offers a draw here, before White realizes his advantage. White reacts to my offer with a blunder.] 21.Rc7? [21.Qc7 Rac8 22.Qxd7 Rxc1+ 23.Rxc1 Bxd7 24.Nb3+/=] 21...Rxe5 22.Rxd7 Bxd7 0-1

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

Albin Counter Gambit Sawyer Mate

The Albin Counter Gambit is one of my most successful defences to 1.d4, especially in blitz play. Both sides attack each other, so attacking and defending tactics must be employed simultaneously. My Internet Chess Club opponent today is Willy809 whom I have played to date 11 times, scoring +9 -2 in a variety of sharp openings. Generally he comes right after my king, which is a smart thing to do in blitz. His aggressive play is not always accurate, but in a three minute game Willy809 is potentially dangerous.

In this example White played the natural move 5.Bf4. However, Black can gang up on both this bishop and the e5 pawn with 5...Nge7 and 6...Ng6. Typically in this line, White has a weak doubled pawns on e3 and e5. Black gets very free development and regains the gambit pawn with a good position. White continues to press against my king in the middlegame and I fight back. His checkmate does not work, but mate does.

Willy809 (1733) - Sawyer (1960), ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 28.06.2014 begins 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bf4 [More common are either 5.g3 or 5.a3] 5...Nge7 6.e3 Ng6 7.Bg3 Bb4+ 8.Nbd2 dxe3 9.fxe3 Bg4 [Even better may be 9...Qe7! 10.a3 Bc5=+] 10.Be2 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 Ncxe5 12.Qa4+ c6 13.0-0-0 [If 13.Qxb4? Nd3+ wins the White queen.] 13...Bxd2+ [13...0-0=] 14.Rxd2 Qe7 15.h4 [15.Rhd1=] 15...0-0 16.h5 Nxf3 17.gxf3 Ne5 18.Qc2 Nxf3 19.Re2 Rfe8 20.Qf5 [20.Qc3 Qe4-/+] 20...Nd4 21.exd4 Qxe2 22.Rf1 Qe3+ 23.Kc2 Qxg3! [For a moment I thought about swapping into a winning ending with 23...Qe4+ 24.Qxe4 Rxe4-+ but then I saw he did not have a mate, I grabbed his bishop to be up a rook.] 24.Qxf7+ Kh8 25.h6 Qg6+ 26.Qxg6 hxg6 27.hxg7+ Kxg7 28.Rg1 Re2+ 29.Kd3 Rae8 30.d5 c5 31.Rg3 Kf6 32.b3 Kf5 33.a3 Kf4 34.Rxg6 R8e3# [White checkmated] 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Christian Bauer Trompowsky Opening

I like popular chess openings, but sometimes I want to play lines that most people have not seen or do not know. After 1.d4 Nf6, the most popular moves are 2.c4 and 2.Nf3. My database has 26 different second moves played by White. Most are rather weak, but six lesser known alternatives are part of reasonable opening systems. Here they are in order of popularity: 2.Bg5, 2.Nc3, 2.f3, 2.e3, 2.g3 and 2.Bf4.

I like popular movies, but sometimes I enjoy one that most people have not seen. Last weekend you could have asked me, "Tim Sawyer, you want to watch the new movie "Persecuted". What are you going to do next?" I reply, "I'm going to Disney World." Indeed I did. Downtown Disney is a shopping and restaurant area on Disney property in between various amusement parks. Parking was free, but the movie ticket, popcorn and Diet Coke were not free. Their AMC theatre was one of few locations where that movie could be found in the Central Florida area. By the way, Downtown Disney is 30 years old and being renovated. By 2016 it will be called Disney Springs.

Christian Bauer is a grandmaster who specializes in lesser played openings. Below is a Trompowsky Attack against Lev Gutman. With 2.Bg5 White threatens to take Black's knight and saddle his opponent with doubled pawns. Black in turn plays 2...Ne4 attacking White's bold bishop. One possible line after 3.Bf4 d5 mentioned in the note below leads to a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit with the extra move Bf4. Gutman avoids that with 3...c5. Grandmaster Bauer outplays his opponent with a BDG type expansion 4.f3 and later e4.

Bauer (2625) - Gutman (2455), 10th Open Bad Zwesten GER (4), 04.01.2006 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 Ne4 3.Bf4 c5 [3...d5 4.f3 Nf6 5.e4 dxe4 6.Nc3 exf3 7.Nxf3 is a BDG with an extra Bf4 move for White.] 4.f3 Nf6 5.dxc5 Qa5+ 6.Qd2 Qxc5 7.e4 e5 8.Be3 Qc7 9.Nc3 Bb4 10.Nge2 0-0 11.a3 Ba5 12.0-0-0 b5 13.b4 Bb6 14.Nxb5 Qc6 15.Nd6 Ba6 16.Nc3 Bxf1 17.Rhxf1 Bxe3 [17...Ne8 18.Nf5+-] 18.Qxe3 Qb6 19.Qxb6 axb6 20.Kb2 Nc6 21.Ncb5 Rfd8 22.Rd3 Rab8 23.c3 Nh5 24.g3 g6 25.a4 Kf8 26.Na3 Ke7 27.Nac4 f6 [If 27...Ng7 28.Rfd1+-] 28.f4 exf4 29.gxf4 Ng7 30.f5 Rf8 31.Rg1 g5 32.b5 Na5 33.Nxa5 bxa5 34.Rgd1 Rfd8 35.Nc4 Ra8 36.Nb6 Ra7 37.c4 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cavicchi vs Simioli Italian Lemberger

Francesco Cavicchi sends me games that I often use on Thursdays. Here is another example of Black trying to avoid the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit with 3...e5. Cavicchi works up a fast attack using his favorite Lemberger Italian Variation 4.Qe2.

"Hi Tim, another miniature full of tactics for you in the controversial BDG Lemberger "Italian variation" (let's say so hehehe) 4Qe2. Hope you enjoy."

At a Melo tournament in Ferrara, Italy, Francesco Cavicchi takes on Stefano Simioli in a BDG Lemberger variation. After 4.Qe2 exd4 5.Nxe4, White threatens to move the knight for a discovered check. Previously we looked at a game where Black covers the e-file with 5...Be7! This time Black defends his the other bishop by 5...Be6, but that leaves b7 unprotected. Francesco tactically wraps the blitz game up quickly.

Cavicchi - Simioli, Melo tournament, Ferrara 5 min game, 2014 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5 4.Qe2 exd4 5.Nxe4 Be6 6.Qb5+ [Here you can easily recognize a typical theme from the Englund Gambit with Qe7] 6...Nd7 7.Qxb7 f5 8.Ng5 [The siege begins.] 8...Nc5 9.Nxe6? [but wrong move! Instead I should have played 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Bxd7+ Nxd7 11.Ne6 Qb8 12.Qxa8! Qxa8 13.Nxc7+ Kd8 14.Nxa8 Kc8 15.Bf4 then 16.Nc7, winning for White] 9...Nxe6 10.Bb5+ Kf7 11.Qf3 g6 12.Nh3 Be7 13.0-0 Nf6 14.Re1 [Better 14.Bc4 immediately] 14...Qd6 [14...Qd5 15.Rxe6! Qxe6 16.Ng5+ 1-0] 15.Bc4 [Finally] 15...Ne4? 16.Rxe4 Black resigns 1-0 [Notes by Cavicchi]

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