Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tatai Takes On Blackmar-Diemer

Looking at the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit variation called BDG Vienna 4.f3 Bf5 with 5.fxe4 Nxe4 it is clear that most players as White play 6.Qf3 attacking both the Black pieces Ne4 and Bf5. However, some players choose more natural development with 6.Bd3 as in the game below. This allows White to play an eventual moves like 9.Nf3 and 10.0-0. The obvious problem is that although White's position is more active, Black can exchange pieces and edge closer to an endgame with an extra pawn.

The chimbba vs Ornitologo game between two players with similar ratings at the time demonstrates some of the possibilities in the 6.Bd3. My guess is that White's choice of 6.Bd3 was a spur of the moment choice. The handle chimbba is no longer active in the Internet Chess Club. Ornitologo is the famous veteran IM Stefano Tatai, known for famous games in the 1970s vs Jan Timman, Bent Larsen and Anatoly Karpov.

The Italian International Master Tatai's current/peak ICC blitz and 5-minute ratings are 2170 / 2411 and 1859 / 2302. I know from my own personal experience that it is very easy for an older player to watch his ICC blitz rating go from over 2400 to the 1800s and back up again. All it takes is one bad day, indeed one bad hour vs younger players rated below 2000 who are very fast and very tricky.

chimbba (1930) - Ornitologo (1958), ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 05.01.2009 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.fxe4 Nxe4 6.Bd3 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Bxd3 8.Qxd3 Qd5 [The Black queen is a target here. Better is 8...e6! 9.Nf3 Nd7=/+] 9.Nf3 e6 10.0-0 Nd7 11.c4 Qf5? [11...Qc6 12.d5=] 12.Qb3 [12.Qxf5! exf5 13.Re1+ Kd8 (or 13...Be7 14.Ba3+/-) 14.Rb1 b6 15.Ng5+/-] 12...Qe4 13.Ng5 Qxd4+ 14.Be3 Qe5? [14...Qxe3+! 15.Qxe3 Bc5=] 15.Nxf7! Black resigns 1-0

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

Index: Blackmar-Diemer Gambit 5.fxe4 Bxe4

This index of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit covers the Vienna Defence 4.f3 Bf5 where White chooses the Diemer continuation 5.fxe4. Black has a choice of recapture. Most players do not give up a bishop for a knight with 5...Bxe4, but do not be deceived. If played perfectly, the lines below allow Black to challenge White with threats of ...Qh4+ and ...Bb4+, aided tactically in both cases by the 6...Nxe4 (which also hits g3 and c3). Today we look at 5...Bxe4. The more popular 5...Nxe4 will be covered with the final Monday indexes of the next four months. Previously we considered the 5.g4 Hara-Kiri line with 5...Bg6 6.h4 or 5...Bg6 6.g5. All these key lines lead to theoretically 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.fxe4 Bxe4 6.Nxe4 Nxe4:
7.Bd3 Qxd4 8.Bb5+
      7...e6 8.Nf3 Bb4+ 9.c3
      7...Nf6 8.Nf3 Nc6 9.c3
                       8...e6 9.0-0
Last Revised September 29, 2014.

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

Baffo Alekhine Two Pawns Attack

I am ready for my monthly Baffo Bashing, but this time as Black I managed to hold him back. Jeffrey Baffo began with 1.e4 and I defended with the Alekhine Defence, one of my most successful defences. In our 12 match games, Jeff Baffo and I chose a wide variety of openings. Here Baffo chooses the Two Pawns Attack with 2.e5 and 4.c5 favored by many attacking players who prefer White in the Sicilian Defence Alapin variation that begins 1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5. Some of those lines can transpose to some of the Alekhine Two Pawns, although either side can avoid the transpositions.

Two Pawns is also called the Alekhine Chase Variation. Transpositions to Sicilians come from challenging advanced White pawns with 6...d6, while 6...b6 stays strictly in the Alekhine. The tricky part following the maze of Sicilians is that they reach the same position as Alekhines one move quicker, so the numbers are off. For example, after 1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.cxd4 d6 6.Nf3 e6 7.Nc3 Nxc3 8.bxc3 Qc7 we reach the 9...Qc7 position in our game below. GM Evgeny Sveshnikov (famous for a Black Sicilian line) plays this position as White against both opening move orders.

Sveshnikov prefers the move 9.Bd2 (via Sicilian) or 10.Bd2 (via Alekhine). However in 2012, the grandmaster did play Baffo's move 10.Qb3!? where he followed the line 12.Bxe5 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Bd6 14.Bb5+ and 1-0 in 37 moves (Sveshnikov-Degraeve, 28th Cappelle Open, 2012). In our USCF correspondence game below, we exchanged into a roughly equal bishop ending where Baffo and I agreed to a draw.

Baffo (2273) - Sawyer (1960), corr USCF 95P135, 18.03.1996 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.c4 Nb6 4.c5 Nd5 5.Nc3 [5.Bc4 e6=] 5...e6 6.d4 d6 7.cxd6 cxd6 8.Nf3 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Qc7 10.Qb3!? [10.Bd2= is the normal book move.] 10...Nd7 11.Bf4 dxe5 12.Nxe5 [12.Bxe5 Sveshnikov] 12...Bd6 13.Bg3 Nxe5 14.dxe5 Be7 15.Bb5+ Bd7 16.Bxd7+ Qxd7 17.0-0 0-0 18.Rab1 b6 19.Rfd1 Qc7 20.Rd3 Rfd8 21.Rbd1 Rxd3 22.Rxd3 Rd8 23.Qd1 Kf8 [If I wanted to try for more, Houdini suggests 23...Rxd3 24.Qxd3 g5=/+ but I had no energy for that in 1996.] 24.Rd4 Rxd4 25.Qxd4 Qd8 26.Qxd8+ Bxd8 27.Kf1= 1/2-1/2

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

Malamute Bites Bullet Benoni 2.f3!?

When I tried to play a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, I was met with a Benoni Defence that was rather unusual. The game began 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 c5 the Benoni. Malamute followed it up with a 3...e5 Czech Benoni like my games vs David Kistler and Joseph Veach. The difference here is that I had committed my kingside pawn structure with the early 2.f3.

After 1.d4 Nf6, White has two good methods of reaching a BDG. One option is 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3. The other option is 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3. In each case the same position is reached as would occur after 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3.

In two minute bullet chess, you make quick threats, small or big threats, whatever you notice. And you react to immediate threats by your opponents. In two minute bullet chess, long term strategy and planning does not exist, except for setting up familiar opening patterns. In this game we rapidly shuffled pieces until Black was going to lose a pawn on the queenside. Quite likely I was ahead in time at the end. Maybe my opponent owned an Alaskan malamute puppy, the beautiful and noble sled dog.

Sawyer (2150) - Malamute (2000), ICC r 2 0 Internet Chess Club, 1997 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 c5 3.d5 e5 4.e4 d6 5.c4 Be7 6.Nc3 0-0 7.Be3 a6 [7...Nh5 8.Qd2] 8.Bd3 Bd7 9.a4 Be8 [9...a5 10.Nb5 Na6 11.Ne2 Nb4=] 10.Nge2 Nbd7 11.0-0 h6 12.Qd2 Nh7 13.Kh1 Bg5 14.a5 Bxe3 15.Qxe3 Qg5 16.Qxg5 Nxg5 17.Rfb1 Nh7 18.Rf1 [White has 18.Na4!+/- with play on the queenside.] 18...g6 19.Rab1 f5 20.b3 fxe4 [20...f4=] 21.Nxe4 Rf6 22.Nxf6+ Nhxf6 23.Nc3 b6 24.axb6 Nxb6 25.Ne4 Nxe4 26.fxe4 Kg7 27.Rf2 a5 28.Rbf1 Nd7 29.Ra1 1-0

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

Roger Hardison Defeats Trompowsky

Roger Hardison outplays Ray Haines in a Trompowsky Attack 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 during the first round of a tournament in Houlton, Maine. This serves as a practical example: the player who castles first gains an advantage. These opponents have face each other many times. Recently Ray Haines has played the Colle System 1.d4 Nf6 2.e3 e6 3.Bd3, 4.c3, and 5.Nf3. Here he takes a break with the Trompowsky Attack.

In the first seven moves, White cleans out his queenside in preparation for castling. As a solid player, Black has already castled. Thematically 7...c5! challenges the White center. The response 8.d5!? looks reasonable, but White initiates exchanges on the d-file before he is ready for much action. White misses a good chance to castle on move 11. Black punishes the move 14.Bxd6? with 14...Bb3!, and the position permanently favors the second player. Ray Haines tries to fight back, but Roger Hardison maintains control with his stronger army until victory is assured.

Haines (1867) - Hardison (1525), Houlton ME (1), 09.08.2014 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 Ne4 3.Bf4 e6 4.f3 Nf6 5.e4 Be7 [5...d5 6.Nc3=] 6.Nc3 0-0 7.Qd2 c5! 8.d5!? [Probably better is 8.Nb5!? or 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.0-0-0 Nc6 10.e5 Ne8 11.Be3 Qb6 12.Bxc5 Qxc5 13.f4=] 8...exd5 9.Nxd5 Nxd5 10.Qxd5 Nc6 11.c3? [11.0-0-0!=] 11...d6 12.Rd1 Be6 13.Qd2 Bxa2 14.Bxd6? [14.Ne2 Bb3 15.Ra1 Qb6-/+] 14...Bb3! 15.Bxe7 Qxe7 16.Ra1 Rfd8 17.Qf2 a6 18.Nh3 f5 19.Be2 fxe4 20.fxe4 Rf8 21.Qe3 Rad8 [21...Ne5-/+] 22.Nf2 Ne5 23.0-0 Nc4 24.Bxc4+ Bxc4 25.Rfe1 Rfe8 26.Rad1 Rxd1 27.Rxd1 Qe5 28.Re1 Rd8 29.Ng4 Qh5 30.Qg3 Qg5 31.e5 h5 32.Ne3 Qxg3 33.hxg3 Be6 34.Re2 c4 35.Nc2 Rd3 36.Kf2? [36.Nd4 Kf7=/+] 36...Bg4 37.Nd4 Bxe2 38.Kxe2 Rxg3 39.Kf2 Rg5 40.Nf3 Rf5 41.Ke3 Kf7 42.Ke4 Rxf3 43.Kxf3 [Or 43.gxf3 g5 44.Kf5 h4-+] 43...g5 44.Ke4 Ke6 45.Kd4 b5 46.Ke4 a5 47.Kd4 g4 48.Ke4 h4 49.Kf4 h3 50.gxh3 gxh3 51.Kg3 h2 52.Kxh2 Kxe5 53.Kg2 Ke4 54.Kf2 Kd3 0-1

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

Schmoldt vs Muhr Lemberger 4.dxe5

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit was avoided with a BDG Lemberger 3...e5 in a game played last month between Ruediger Schmoldt of Germany and Andreas Muhr of Austria that began as a Scandinavian Defence 1.e4 d5 2.d4. White chose the same 4.dxe5 drawish line that I had tried vs Tim Harding. In that game I continued 5.Nxd1 and was outplayed by my Irish opponent. In the game below Schmoldt chose 5.Kxd1.

Being unable to castle is not such a problem when the queens are off the board and no pieces are developed. The main thing is to coordinate your own pieces and to make sure all the key squares are protected. With that taken care of, you have to look for ways to unbalance the position in hopes of victory. Schmoldt tries the risky 11.e6!? and Muhr manages to obtain a small advantage.

Schmoldt (2147) - Muhr (1962), 30th Faaker See Open 2014 Latschach AUT (6.11), 13.08.2014 begins 1.e4 d5 2.d4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5 4.dxe5 Qxd1+ 5.Kxd1 [Another popular continuation is 5.Nxd1 Nc6 6.Bf4 (6.Nc3!? Nb4 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.Bxd7+ Kxd7 9.Kd1=) 6...Nge7 7.Bb5 Bd7 8.Nc3=] 5...Bg4+ 6.Be2 Bxe2+ 7.Ngxe2 Nc6 8.Bf4 0-0-0+ 9.Kc1 Nge7 10.Nxe4 Ng6 11.e6!? [11.Rd1=] 11...Nd4 12.N4g3 Nxe6 13.Be3 Nh4 14.Rg1 Bd6 15.c3 f5 16.Nd4 [16.Nh5 g5=/+] 16...Nxd4 17.Bxd4 Rhe8 18.Kc2 f4 19.Nh5 Nf5 [19...Re2+! 20.Kb3 Nf5-/+] 20.Bxg7 [20.Rae1=] 20...Nxg7 [20...Re2+!-/+] 21.Nxg7 Re2+ 22.Kb3 Bf8 [22...Be5 23.Nf5 Rdd2=/+] 23.Nh5 Rdd2 24.Rab1 b5 25.Nxf4 a5 26.a3 Rxf2 27.Rgf1 Rxb2+ 28.Rxb2 Rxf1 29.Ne6 Bd6 30.Nd4 b4 31.axb4 axb4 32.cxb4 Bxh2 1/2-1/2

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

Bob Muir Corrals my English Horse

The English Opening gives Black such a large buffet of choices that it can be difficult to pick one. As Black I have tried 12 moves vs 1.c4. In an English Opening against Bob Muir we chose a variation that could have come from a Queen Pawn Indian opening after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 as well as after 1.c4 e5. Black's options remind me of the Golden Corral which is a buffet restaurant chain. You pay one price for all you can eat. You serve yourself, grab a clean plate, go to the buffet food tables, fill your plate with what you want and then return to sit at your own table to eat. Repeat as desired.

That leads me to a story. Before we had cell phones we were on a 1000 mile trip with family. We stopped at a Golden Corral near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Later our vehicles got separated and we could not find each other. We made calls to another relative to make a plan. Finally we decided to meet at a Golden Corral in a town where I had never been but it was near our final destination. We made it for lunch at noon on the appointed day and were reunited with family at that restaurant.

The big problem with a buffet is the temptation to eat too much food and get fat. I am more successful in controlling my weight when I eat from a more limited menu. I am more successful in my chess openings when I limit myself to a few lines I know well. Often my repertoire has too much fat in it. This game shows how easy it is to drift into trouble if Black stops pushing forward. The defence I chose was fine. When I could force a draw by 22...Nxf2!, I backed off my knight with 22...Nc5? and got a losing position. It looks like a horse refusing to make a jump in an equestrian competition.

Muir - Sawyer (2010), Williamsport PA 1996 begins 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 d6 4.d4 Bg4 [The main line is 4...Nbd7 5.e4 c6 6.Be2 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Re1+/=] 5.dxe5 Bxf3 6.exf6 Bc6 7.fxg7 Bxg7 8.Qc2 Qe7 9.e3 Na6 10.a3 Nc5 11.Nd5 Bxd5 12.cxd5 0-0-0 13.Be2 Rhg8 14.Bf3 Nd7 15.Qxh7 Ne5 16.Qf5+ Kb8 17.Rb1 Bh6 18.Bd2?! [18.h4+/-] 18...Rg5! 19.Qe4 Rdg8 [19...f5!=] 20.Bc3 f5 21.Qa4 Nd3+ 22.Ke2 Nc5? [Black should have played 22...Nxf2! 23.Kxf2 Rxg2+! 24.Bxg2 Qxe3+ 25.Kf1 Qd3+ with a draw by perpetual check.] 23.Qc2 Bg7 [If 23...Ne4 24.g3+/-] 24.Bxg7 [Or 24.h4!+-] 24...Qxg7 25.h4 Rg6 26.Qxf5 Rf6 27.Qc2 Nd7 28.Rbc1 Ne5 29.Be4 Ng4 30.f3 Ne5 31.g4 1-0

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