Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bobby Fischer Loses Latvian Gambit

Bobby Fischer lost a tournament game to the Latvian Gambit. That amazed me, but there is more to the story. The game was played at the 1955 U.S. Junior Championship in Lincoln, Nebraska. At the time Pupols was 20 and Fischer was 12. This was two years before Fischer won the first of eight US Championships. Bobby's time was devoted to daily long hours of detailed chess opening study.

The day Fischer was to play Pupols in the evening, they were all together in the home of Aleks Liepnieks where the older guys were playing poker. When Viktors Pupols would drop out of a poker game, he played blitz vs Fischer, beating Bobby repeatedly with the Latvian Gambit. Viktors told him that he would play the Latvian that night vs Bobby in their tournament game. Fischer did not believe him and continued to study the Ruy Lopez and Giuoco Piano all day long.

In the Larry Parr book Viktors Pupols: American Master, we read that Viktors said, "Bobby lost more Latvian Gambits that afternoon than in all the rest of his life!"

[My Philidor 2.Nf3 Playbook includes the Latvian Gambit]

Fischer - Pupols, USA-chJ, 1955 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.d4 d6 5.Nc4 fxe4 6.Nc3 Qg6 7.Ne3 Nf6 8.Bc4 [A critical line is 8.Be2 c6 9.0-0 Be7 10.f3+/-] 8...c6 9.d5 Be7 10.a4 Nbd7 11.a5 Ne5 12.Be2 0-0 13.0-0 Bd7 14.Kh1 Kh8 15.Nc4 Nfg4 16.Qe1 [16.Nxe5=] 16...Rf7? [Black is winning after 16...Nf3!-+] 17.h3 Nf6 18.Nxe5 dxe5 19.Bc4 Rff8 20.Be3? [20.dxc6 Bxc6 21.Be3= Stockfish, Rybka, Fritz] 20...Nh5 [20...cxd5!-+] 21.Kh2 Bd6 22.Bb3 Nf4 23.Bxf4? [23.Rg1=] 23...exf4 24.Qxe4? [24.f3 Rae8-/+] 24...f3+ 25.g3 Bf5? [25...Qh5!-+] 26.Qh4 Rae8 27.Rae1 Be5 28.Qb4 Qh6 29.h4 g5 [At various points Black had a mating attack with 29...Bxg3+! 30.fxg3 Qd2+ 31.Ne2 Rxe2+ 32.Kg1 Rg2+ 33.Kh1 Rh2+ 34.Kg1 Qg2#] 30.Rh1 gxh4 31.Kg1 h3 32.dxc6 bxc6 33.Qc5 Qg7 [Again 33...Bxg3!-+] 34.Kh2 Qf6 [34...Bd4!-+] 35.Qxa7 Bd4 36.Qc7 Bxf2 37.Rxe8 Rxe8 38.Rf1 Bd4 39.Rxf3? [39.Qf4!=] 39...Bxc3 [39...Bg1+!-+] 40.bxc3 Re2+ 41.Kh1 Be4 42.Qc8+ Kg7 43.Qg4+ Qg6 44.Qd7+? [44.Qf4!=] 44...Kh6-+ White lost of time. 0-1

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Alexis vs Purser in Elephant Gambit

Ray Alexis takes on Tom V. Purser in the Elephant Gambit 2.Nf3 d5 in postal chess. Until I ran into the games and analysis of Tom Purser, I never used to take this gambit seriously. Then I saw the Emil J. Diemer won a lot of games with it as Black. Various players take it up and do amazingly well, whether in tournament, blitz or postal play.

Below Black plays the 3...Bd6 variation that Rogers favored. The positional evaluation in this game has Black very close to equality the entire game against a strong player. Some years later Tom Purser would publish a book on this opening with Jensen and Pape.

Alexis - Purser, corr, 1979 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 Bd6 [The most common line is 3...e4 4.Qe2 Nf6 5.d3 Bb4+ 6.c3 0-0 7.dxe4 Bc5 8.Bg5+/-] 4.d4 e4 5.Ne5 [5.Nfd2!?] 5...Ne7 [5...Nf6 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.Nxd7 Nbxd7 8.Bg5+/=] 6.Bb5+ Kf8 7.Qh5 Bxe5 8.Qxe5 Qxd5 9.Bf4 Qxe5 10.Bxe5 c6 11.Bc4 Nd7 12.Bd6 Nb6 13.Bb3 Ke8 14.c3 [14.Nd2 Bf5 15.0-0+/-] 14...Ned5 [14...Kd7 15.Bg3+/=] 15.Nd2 [15.c4+/-] 15...Bf5 16.0-0 Kd7 17.Bg3 h5 18.h3 Rae8 19.Bc2 Bh7 20.Bb3 Re7 21.Rfe1 Rhe8 22.Nf1 g5 23.a4 a5 24.h4 g4 25.Ne3 f5 26.Bxd5 Nxd5 27.Nxd5 cxd5 28.Bf4 Rc8 29.Ra3 Rc6 30.Rb3 Ke6 31.Ra1 Ra6 32.Rc1 Bg6 [32...Rd7 33.Rb5+/=] 33.c4 dxc4 34.Rxc4 1-0

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Benko Gambit Boris Avrukh Book

Grandmaster Boris Avrukh wrote a classic two volume set on a chess repertoire for White with 1.d4 based largely on the pawn moves 1.d4, 2.c4 and 3.g3. The popularity of this set-up among many of the world's best players shows these openings are excellent. Personally I have enjoyed some success with these lines and love his books. The first volume 1 has a new edition volume 1A due for release April 29, 2015.

Five years ago I played these lines quite a bit as White. Below in a Benko Gambit we reached the variation where White holds back e2-e4 and plays g3 and Bg2. This allows White to castle before engaging in the middlegame. The Boris Avrukh lines are excellent. Of course White still has to play well after the initial moves. My opponent Fuerte2004 demonstrated that Black has threats which must be handled wisely. My move 18.e4? threw away my advantage and led to the loss of the game about five moves later.

Sawyer (2098) - Fuerte2004 (2070), ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 09.06.2010 begins 1.d4 c5 2.d5 Nf6 3.c4 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 Bxa6 6.Nc3 g6 7.g3 d6 8.Bg2 Bg7 9.Nf3 0-0 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Rb1 [11.Qc2!?] 11...Qa5 [Stockfish likes 11...Ng4 12.Bd2+/=] 12.Bd2 Rfb8 13.Qc2 Nb6 [13...Qc7! 14.b3=] 14.b3 Nbd7 [14...Qa3 15.Bc1 Qa5 16.Rd1+/=] 15.Rfe1 Ng4 16.h3 Nge5 17.Nxe5 Nxe5 18.e4? [Right square; wrong piece. 18.Ne4 Qc7 19.Bc3+/=] 18...Bd3 19.Qc1 Bxb1 20.Qxb1 Qa6 21.f4 Nd3 22.Re3 Nb4 23.a4 Bd4 White resigns 0-1

Copyright 2015 Tim Sawyer. Click my Author Page

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jason Delpire Sacrifices to Win Caro-Kann

Jason Delpire posted a Caro-Kann Defence and commented:

"Kind of a "helpmate game". This is the first game with time controls of 5/0 in well over a year for me (meaning: my rating is not a reliable gauge of my playing strength). Tim Sawyer, is 4.Bc4 correct, or should I play 4.f3 first?"

I answered, "Theory seems to slightly favor 4.f3 over 4.Bc4, although if you play both in the same game, positions often transpose. Black may play Nf6, e5 or b5 on move four or five, and each brings its own issues. I note Black here avoided Nf6. Maybe I will use this game for my blog this coming week."

Jason Delpire replied, "That would be great if you used my game! I usually play 4.Bc4, and have yet had someone try anything other than protecting e4. I know I was happy when I saw 7...Nd7, as it blocks the Q from attacking the d-pawn which can be quite weak and distracting, especially with the hole on f2. The questionable sac 9.Nxe6 was fun, and it's a shame I missed a Queen sac for mate."

Key in Jason's choices is that Black did not play ...Nf6.

jtdelpire (1864) - gonchar (1219), FICS, 08.04.2015 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Bc4 Bf5 5.f3 exf3 6.Nxf3 e6 7.0-0 Nd7 8.Ng5 Nh6 9.Nxe6!? [This could be fun in a blitz game. White could play 9.a4 if he does not want to back up to sacrifice on e6.] 9...fxe6 10.Bxh6 gxh6 11.Rxf5 [11.Bxe6 Bg6 12.Qg4 h5 13.Rae1 Be7 (13...hxg4? 14.Bf7!#) 14.Qh3 Nf6-/+] 11...Bg7? [Another critical line is 11...exf5 12.Qh5+ Ke7 13.Ne4 Qa5-/+] 12.Qh5+ Ke7 13.Rf7+ Kd6 14.Rxg7 Qb6 15.Ne4+ [Jason Delpire writes: "Grr, missed mate in two." 15.Qe5+! Nxe5 16.Ne4#! Yes, that is pretty. Your move also leads to mate, just not quite as quickly.] 15...Kc7 16.Qe5+ Kd8 17.Rxd7+ Kxd7 18.Nf6+ Ke7 19.Qxe6+ Kd8 20.Qd7# 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Saturday, April 11, 2015

ChessBeta Test 4.Bg5 Poehlmann

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit I played vs ChessBeta was a BDG Poehlmann 3...f5 that "I pin the imaginary horse" with 4.Bg5, as David Gedult used to say. This same variation can be reached via a relatively rare Dutch Defence after 1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4. I treat it as a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Avoided line. White's chances are equal in theory, but not in practice when Black is rated 3266.

A quick examination of my games finds that I have won about 50 games vs opponents rated over 3000 and just about all were on time (when the silicon monster glitched) or when it was forfeited by the Internet Chess Club when the computer disconnected. Most of those games were unrated, because strong computers rarely play rated games if they cannot gain at least one rating point from crushing you. Here I test Gedult's 4.Bg5 line.

Sawyer (2391) - ChessBeta (3266), ICC 3 1 u Internet Chess Club, 15.03.2002 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 f5 4.Bg5 g6 5.Bc4 Bg7 6.Nge2 Nc6 7.d5 Na5 8.Bb3 [8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.Nd4 c6 10.dxc6 Nxc6-/+] 8...Nxb3 9.axb3 a6 10.Qd2!? [10.0-0 h6 11.Be3 e5 12.dxe6 Qxd1 13.Raxd1=] 10...h6 11.Be3 e5 [This position resembles a line in the BDG Lemberger 4.Nge2 variation.] 12.dxe6 [12.d6!? Be6 13.dxc7 Qxd2+ 14.Kxd2 Rc8 15.Bb6 Nf6=/+] 12...Qxd2+ 13.Bxd2 Bxe6 14.Nf4 Bf7 15.0-0-0 0-0-0 16.h4 Nf6 17.g3 Rd7 18.Be3 Rhd8 19.Rxd7 Rxd7 20.Rd1 Ng4 21.Rxd7 Kxd7 22.Nfd5 Kd6 23.Bf4+ Kc6 24.Nb4+ Kd7 25.Be3 Nxe3 26.fxe3 Be5 27.Ne2 a5 28.Na2 a4 29.Nac3 axb3 30.cxb3 Bxb3 31.Kd2 c5 32.Nf4 Bf7 33.Nce2? [If 33.Kc2 Kc6-+] 33...Bxb2 White resigns 0-1

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