Sunday, November 30, 2014

Caro-Kann 3.f3 Pythagoras Theory

I finish my Sunday series of Caro-Kann Defence games in the 3.f3 Fantasy variation with a sharp and critical line from a three minute Internet Chess Club game. I played the Black pieces. We attempted simultaneous king hunts, but at a likely two seconds per move we missed some tactical shots on both attack and defence. I won in 16 moves. Improvements for both sides are suggested in the notes.

My opponent in today's game is "Pythagoras" whose handle likely comes from the famous Greek mathematician from the 500s BC known for his opinions on music, science, philosophy and religion, as well as notable thoughts about women and food.

Like me, "Pythagoras" is often rated around 2000 in blitz (he peaked at 2256). Weeks ago we were going through phases where our ratings had dipped. Because of the high volume and speed of games played, ICC ratings rise sharply and fall dramatically. In fact, his current rating is 1996 and yesterday I was rated 1995; both lower back then.

Pythagoras (1869) - Sawyer (1868), ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 05.10.2014 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 dxe4 4.fxe4 e5 5.Nf3 exd4 6.Bc4 Nd7 [Komodo likes this move, while Houdini prefers 6...Nf6=] 7.Ng5?! [Black is borrowing an idea from a Two Knights Defence. Normal here is 7.0-0 Ngf6= when White has tried many options.] 7...Ne5 8.Bxf7+? [8.0-0 Nh6-/+] 8...Nxf7 9.Nxf7 Kxf7 [9...Qh4+! would have been a great shot.] 10.0-0+ Ke8? [10...Nf6 11.e5 Qd5 12.exf6 gxf6=/+] 11.Qf3? [11.Qh5+! Kd7 12.Qf5+ Kc7 13.Qxf8+- and White's creativity would have been rewarded.] 11...Qf6 12.Qg3 Qg6 13.Qe5+ Be7 14.Qxd4 Nf6 15.e5 Ne4 16.Nc3 Bc5! White resigns 0-1

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

Clauser Benko Gambit vs BDG

The Benko Gambit may be reached by Blackmar-Diemer Gambit players after the initial moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 c5 3.d5 e6 4.c4 b5. Jack R. Clauser III played this against me in a postal game in 1992. The natural Benko Gambit move order would be 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.f3 e6 that transposes to the exact same position. Black's Benoni style approach answering 1.d5 Nf6 2.f3 with 2...c5! is the sharpest reaction to White's hope to arrive at a BDG (which can be reached by transposition via 2...d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3).

Jack R. Clauser III worked closely with me during the three years that I was writing my original Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Keybook published by Thinkers Press and Bob Long in 1992. Since we were already corresponding with each other on about a weekly basis playing our postal games, it seemed good to have him check what I was writing. I would write a chapter or section and send it to Jack. He would read it and offer suggestions. Jack Clauser was literally the proofreader of my draft copy of 700 annotated games.

We lived about 95 miles apart. Sometimes I was in his area on business or at a chess tournament where we would meet. Once Jack came to my home and kindly took me to a Penn State Nittany Lions football game coached by Joe Paterno. We played 21 games over a ten year period of time. Although my rating was slightly higher than his, Clauser scored slightly better in our games, about half of which were drawn. Two moves below would have made a difference in the opening: 4.e4 would avoid the Benko, and 7.f4, a reminder that the 2.f3 pawn is not stuck on that square. It looks like I did not put much effort in this game, but it shows the success of an aggressive Black attack.

Sawyer (2000) - Clauser (1900), corr 1992 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 c5 3.d5 e6 4.c4 [4.e4] 4...b5 5.e4 bxc4 6.Nc3 Ba6 [6...exd5 7.Nxd5=] 7.e5? [7.f4] 7...Nxd5 8.Nxd5 exd5 9.Qxd5 Nc6 10.Bxc4? [10.f4 Nb4 11.Qe4 Nd3+ 12.Bxd3 cxd3 13.Nf3 c4-/+] 10...Bxc4? [We both missed 10...Qh4+! 11.g3 Qxc4-+] 11.Qxc4 Rb8 12.f4 Rb4 13.Qc3 Re4+ 14.Kf2 d5 15.exd6 Qxd6 16.Be3 [16.Nf3 Be7=/+] 16...Nb4 17.Ne2 [17.Nh3 Nd3+ 18.Ke2 c4-+] 17...Nd3+ 18.Kf3 Qd5 19.Qb3 Rc4+ [19...Rxf4+ 20.Kg3 Qg5+ 21.Kh3 Rh4#] 20.Kg3 Qe4 21.Qb8+ Kd7 22.Qb5+ Ke6 23.Qe8+ Be7 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Friday, November 28, 2014

Zilbermints Wins Modern vs vikas

Today we celebrate Black Friday with a White Win in the chess opening. Any 1.d4 d5 2.e4 Blackmar-Diemer Gambit player must deal with 1.d4 Nf6. This can transpose back into a BDG after 2...d5 3.e4 if White plays 2.Nc3 or 2.f3. But how does White meet the Pirc Defence (early ...d6) or the Modern Defence (early ...g6) if Black delays ...d5? Many BDGers prefer a Saemisch King's Indian Defence set-up without c2-c4.

Our friend Lev Zilbermints demonstrates the basic arrangement with his moves 1.d4, 2.f3, 3.e4, 4.Be3 and 5.Nc3. Usually this follows with 6.Qd2 and often 7.0-0-0, though many times White does not castle. In the Zilbermints game with "vikas", Black played an unusual 4...d5!? This allow the White attack to gain space with 6.e5. The assault on the Black king in Dragon Sicilian Defence style by advancing the h-pawn and opening the h-file is both easy to play and deadly effective.

Zilbermints (2057) - vikas (2015), ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 2014 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 g6 3.e4 Bg7 4.Be3 d5 5.Nc3 0-0 6.e5 Ne8 7.Qd2 c6 [7...c5=] 8.Bh6 [8.0-0-0+/=] 8...b5 [8...Bxh6 9.Qxh6 Ng7=] 9.h4 b4 10.Nd1 a5? [Too slow. 10...c5 11.h5+/=] 11.h5 Bf5? [11...Qb6 12.Ne2+/-] 12.g4 Bxc2 13.Bxg7 Bxd1 [13...Nxg7 14.Qxc2+-] 14.Bxf8 Kxf8 15.hxg6 fxg6 16.Rxh7 Black resigns 1-0

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

Thanksgiving Alekhine Defence BDG

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you have a great day. I am thankful for family and friends that bring me joy each year. In chess I am thankful for the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit and the Alekhine Defence. All my published chess opening books sold out all printed copies. For that I say "THANK YOU" to my readers of the past 25 years.

I am not sure why the Alekhine Defence scores well for me. My performance rating as Black after 1.e4 Nf6 rivals my good results with 1.e4 e5. Both have brought more wins than I can expect with anything else, even though other lines are just as good in theory.

Below we look at the 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 Ne4 variation vs my old blitz friend "blik". In the 4.Nce2 line White tries to trap Black's centrally located knight. Usually I choose 4...d4, but FM Chris Dunworth recommends 4...f6 as a better choice for Black. "blik" and its cousin "Rookie" are strong chess engines that usually make me look like a turkey with the stuffing knocked out of it. Here I outplay "blik" and win in the bishop ending.

blik (2484) - Sawyer (2025), ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 11.07.2008 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 Ne4 4.Nce2 d4 5.c3 dxc3 [5...Nc6 6.Nxd4 Nxd4 7.Qa4+ c6 8.Qxd4 Qxd4 9.cxd4 Ng5 10.Bc4+/=] 6.Nxc3 Nxc3 7.bxc3 e6 8.Nf3 c5 9.Bc4 Be7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Bb2 b6 12.Qe2 Bb7 13.d4 cxd4 14.Rad1 Nc6 15.cxd4 Nb4 16.a3 Nd5 17.Qe4 Qd7 18.Rc1 Rac8 19.Bd3 g6 20.Rxc8 Rxc8 21.Rc1 [21.h3 Nb4 22.Qe3 Nxd3 23.Qxd3 a5-/+] 21...Rxc1+ 22.Bxc1 Qc6 23.Bb2 [23.Qe1 Qa4-/+] 23...Nb4 [23...Qa4 24.Bc2 Qb5 25.Bc1 Ba6-+] 24.Qxc6 Nxc6 25.Nd2 Kf8 26.Ne4 h5 27.Nd6 [27.f3 Ke8 28.Kf2=] 27...Bxd6 28.exd6 Ke8 29.Bc1 Kd7 30.Bf4 Nd8 31.Bb5+ Bc6 32.Ba6 f5 33.Kf1 Nf7 34.Kg1 Nxd6 35.Bd3 Be4 36.Ba6 Kc6 37.a4 [37.f3 Bd5=/+] 37...Kd5 [37...Bc2-+] 38.f3 Bc2 39.a5 bxa5 40.Be5 Ba4 [40...a4!-+] 41.f4 Nc4 [41...Bc2! 42.Kf2 a4-+] 42.h4 Nxe5 43.dxe5 Bb3 44.Bd3 a4 45.Kh1 a3 46.Bb1 a2 47.Bxa2 Bxa2 48.Kg1 Ke4 49.Kf2 Kxf4 50.Ke2 Kxe5 51.g3 Bc4+ 52.Kf3 a5 0-1

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

Dale O'Connell Birds Opening From Gambit

Dale O'Connell met my Bird's Opening with the From Gambit. Of course White can fall for the From Gambit Lasker Trap and get checkmated, but there is no need to do that. After 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6, Black's queen aims at h4 and bishop at g3. It is best for White to answer 4.Nf3 g5 with 5.d4 or 5.g3. If played perfectly, the 5.g3 line is a sharp complicated variation where White has a big pawn center. This forces Black to play aggressively. In theory, White has a small edge but Black is constantly making serious threats. In practice, White often blunders, leading to a sudden Black victory.

In this North Penn Chess Club tournament game played in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, I obtained a big opening advantage. However, I began the game with a bad attitude about the pairings. My reaction to that issue led me to foolishly play rapidly and superficially. My opponent held on and stuck around long enough for me to blunder on move 23. Then Dale O'Connell played a great tactical finish and won very convincingly. Thus, I got what I deserved. Don't let your attitude affect your aptitude for good chess.

Sawyer (1981) - O'Connell (1763), Lansdale PA (3), 1985 begins 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 g4 6.Nh4 Be7 [The main line is 6...Ne7 7.d4 Ng6 8.Nxg6 hxg6 9.Qd3 Nc6 10.c3+/=] 7.Ng2 h5 8.d4 h4 9.Rg1 [9.Bf4! hxg3 10.Bxg3 Bd6 11.Nf4+/- is better.] 9...hxg3 10.hxg3 Bd6 [10...Nf6! 11.Nf4 Bf5 12.Bg2 Nc6 13.c3 Qd7 14.Nd2 0-0-0=] 11.Bf4 Nf6 12.Qd3 [12.Nc3!?+/=] 12...Nc6 13.c3 Nh5 14.e4 [Now White can slide the rook back to the open h-file with advantage: 14.Rh1! Bf8 15.Nd2+/-] 14...Bxf4 15.Nxf4 Nxf4 16.gxf4 Qh4+ 17.Qg3 Bd7 [White is also better after 17...Qxg3+ 18.Rxg3 f5 19.Nd2 Ne7 20.Kf2+/=] 18.Nd2 [The winning idea is 18.f5! 0-0-0 19.Nd2 Kb8 20.0-0-0+- and White should pick up a second pawn.] 18...0-0-0 [18...f5! 19.0-0-0+/-] 19.0-0-0 [Again 19.f5+-] 19...Qe7 [19...f5!] 20.f5 Qg5 21.Kb1 Rdg8 22.Nf3!? [Too cute. Better is simply 22.d5+-] 22...Qe3 23.Re1?? [Hanging a piece?! Ugh?! 23.Nd2+- White would maintain a big advantage.] 23...Qxf3 24.Bc4 Qxg3 25.Rxg3 Nd8 26.Reg1 Rh4 27.Be2 Rh2 [Or 27...c5!-+] 28.Bxg4 Rgh8 29.d5 Rd2 30.R3g2 Rxg2 31.Rxg2 Rg8 32.e5? [A second blunder is too much. At least if White tried 32.Bh3 Rxg2 33.Bxg2 f6-/+ Black would have to prove he had the endgame technique to make his knight worth more than White extra two pawns. Instead Black plays a crushing move.] 32...Rxg4! 0-1

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

Frickmann BDG at Chatturanga Club

When I was learning the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, I tried it out vs many players in blitz, postal and club games. Today we look at a game I played in the Chaturanga Chess Club which has met for a long time in Hatboro or Warminster, Pennsylvania. Vs Eric Frickmann after 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 we transposed to the BDG with 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3. Here Black chose to decline the gambit with 4...Bf5 BDG Vienna. I followed Diemer's idea of 5.fxe4 Nxe4 6.Qf3 attacking both the Bf5 and b7 in a manner similar to that chosen by Lev Zilbermints in a recent BDG Gunderam post.

The main line defence is 6...Nd6, but the natural 6...Nxc3 7.bxc3 Qc8 chosen below is common and critical. I focus my army toward Black king. I swapped off his defending bishops and push my g-pawn and h-pawn. With the moves h4-h5xg6 were like using an old can opener. I crank open the h-file to obtain a winning attack. Black would have to give up massive material to avoid immediate checkmate. Eric Frickmann raised his rating to 2018 and played in various tournaments in the Philadelphia area over 30 years.

Sawyer (1981) - Frickmann (1948), Hatboro, PA 1989 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.fxe4 Nxe4 6.Qf3 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Qc8 8.Bc4 e6 9.Ne2 [9.Rb1] 9...Bd6 10.0-0 [10.Ng3] 10...0-0 11.Bf4!? Bxf4 [11...Bxc2!-/+] 12.Nxf4 Bxc2? [12...Nd7=] 13.Rac1 [13.Nxe6!+-] 13...Bg6 14.Nxg6 [14.Nxe6!+-] 14...hxg6 15.g4? [15.d5!+-] 15...Nc6 16.Rce1 Na5 17.Bd3 Qd7 18.g5 Nc6 [18...c5!-+] 19.h4 Ne7 20.h5 gxh5? [20...c5!=] 21.Qxh5 g6 22.Qh6 Qd6 23.Rf3 1-0

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

Index: King's Gambit Declined 1.e4 e5 2.f4

Congratulations to Magnus Carlsen in his World Championship victory over Anand yesterday. Their final game began with the ever popular 1.e4 e5. These grandmasters chose 2.Nf3 which will be covered in later postings. First we cover a few index of 2.f4. The Kings Gambit is one of the most famous Open Game lines. I have played hundreds of games with it from each side of the board. As Black I usually accept the gambit, but not always. Below are links to games in several King's Gambit Declined variations. Later follows the Falkbeer Counter Gambit 2..d5, the King's Gambit Accepted 2...exf4, and finally the popular King's Gambit Accepted Classical 2...exf4 3.Nf3 g5.

Previously we had Open Game indexes for Center Game and Bishops Opening and the Vienna Game and Vienna Gambit. More games with these and other 1.e4 e5 will follow in each month. Eventually I will get to the Elephant Gambit, the Latvian Gambit, the Petroff Defence, the Scotch Game, the Italian Game and the Ruy Lopez.

This King's Gambit Declined index begins 1.e4 e5 2.f4:
2...Bd6 3.Nf3
2...Nc6 3.Nf3 f5 4.exf5 exf4 5.d4 d5 6.Bxf4 Bxf5
2...Nc6 3.Nf3 f5 4.exf5 e4 5.Ne5 Nf6 6.g4 Bc5
2...d6 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.Bc4 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 Nf6
2...Nf6 3.fxe5 Nxe4 4.Nf3 d5 5.d3 Nc5
2...Bc5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.fxe5 Nxe4 5.d4 Be7
2...Bc5 3.Nf3 d6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.d3 Bg4 7.h3
Last revised January 19, 2015.
Copyright 2014=2015 Tim Sawyer. Click my HOME PAGE.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Juergen Bendix Bold Caro-Kann 3.f3 Play

In a club game Juergen Bendix surprised me with a Caro-Kann Defence 3.f3 variation. His last published rating was 1370 from 1990, though probably he has been a stronger player in his younger years. He died in 1996 at age 79. Usually I played the higher rated players, but sometimes they were busy or absent. This was my only recorded game vs Bendix, who had moved to the United States from somewhere in Europe.

Juergen Bendix was 63 years old for our North Penn Chess Club game in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. About that time my rating jumped to the 1900s. At some point I was rated exactly 1887, so I use that lower rating for most of my over-the-board games from 1981. My postal chess rating was well over 2000 and over 2100 by the next year.

My initial choice vs the Caro-Kann 3.f3 was to select the solid 3...e6 which threatens to win a pawn. As it turned out, White was very eager to sacrifice a pawn although 4.Nc3 would have been a better continuation in Blackmar-Diemer Gambit style. We ended up with a BDG Ryder Gambit type position after his 6.Qxf3. We both castled queenside and I outplayed him. We swapped queens and later I won a bishop in a combination.

Bendix (1370) - Sawyer (1887), Lansdale,PA 05.06.1981 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 e6 4.c3 [If 4.Nc3 Bb4 White can choose between 5.Bf4, 5.Nge2 or 5.Bd2] 4...dxe4 5.Nh3 exf3 6.Qxf3 Qd5 7.Be2 Qxf3 8.Bxf3 Bd6 9.Bf4 Bxf4 10.Nxf4 Nf6 11.Nd2 Nd5 12.Nxd5 exd5 13.h3 Nd7 14.0-0-0 Nf6 15.Rde1+ Be6 16.b3 0-0-0 17.g4 h6 18.Kb2 Rhe8 19.a4 Bd7 20.Re5 Kc7 21.g5 Rxe5 22.dxe5 Ng8 23.h4 Re8 24.Re1 Ne7 25.c4 dxc4 26.Nxc4 Ng6 27.gxh6 gxh6 28.Bh5 [28.h5 Nf4-/+] 28...Nf4 29.Be2 b5 30.axb5 cxb5 31.Nd6 [31.Nd2 Rxe5-+] 31...Rxe5 32.Nxf7 Rxe2+ 33.Rxe2 Nxe2 34.Nxh6 Be6 35.b4 Kd6 36.Kc2 Kd5 37.Kd2 Nf4 0-1

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