Donald Funk flies from Larsen's Opening 1.b3 to Bird's Opening in just three moves. Larsen's Opening 1.b3 is one of those Rare First Moves that may or may not transpose into other lines. Many Bird's Opening chess games began as part of Larsen's Opening theory. White tries to control the long dark diagonal, so 3.f4 fits in well with its aim at e5. Bobby Fischer played 1.b3 vs Henrique Mecking in the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal in 1970; that game transposed to Birds Opening after 11.f4, ending 1-0 in 42 moves.
Transpositions occur often in closed openings where no one plays a pawn to the center four squares. The game below took until move six with 6...d5. One thing that makes this game unique for a Bird is that White castles queenside. Don Funk dreams of a kingside assault. While his 17.Nf6+ knight sacrifice to open up the king looks very promising, here Black has sufficient defense. Mr. Funk's bold sacrifice was unsound.
Funk (1707) - Sawyer, Lansdale, PA 22.05.1981 begins 1.b3 Nf6 2.Bb2 e6 3.f4 c5 4.Nf3 Be7 5.e3 Nc6 6.Nc3 d5 7.d3?! [7.Bb5=] 7...Qc7 [7...d4!-/+] 8.Qd2 0-0 9.Be2 b6 10.0-0-0 Rd8 11.Rhg1 a6 12.g4 Bd6 [12...d4!-/+] 13.g5 Ne8 14.h4? [14.Bf1= clears out to allow White to play Ne2.] 14...d4 15.Ne4 dxe3 16.Qc3 Bxf4 17.Nf6+?! [If 17.h5 Nd4 18.Qe1 Bb7-+] 17...gxf6 18.gxf6+ Kh8 19.Ng5 [Or 19.Qe1 e5 20.Qf1 h5 21.Ng5 Nd4-+] 19...Nd4 20.Rde1 Be5 [20...Nxf6!-+ seems even stronger.] 21.Kd1 h6 22.Rg2 Bb7 23.Ne4 Bxe4 0-1
You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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