Thursday, July 9, 2015

Petroff Defence 5.Nc3!? Attack

Petroff Defence 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 holds a solid reputation among chess openings for good reason. White must work hard to find winning possibilities. The 5.Nc3 Attack leads to castling on opposite sides and corresponding pawn assaults. In the popular book Chess Openings for White, Explained, the GM authors Alburt, Dzindzichashvili and Perelshteyn note: "The knight move leads to dynamic and interesting play."

This assumes White wants to play for a win. The pawn structure remains essentially symmetrical. If White is content with a draw vs a much higher rated opponent, and if White can avoid weaknesses, then White may split the point. Such was the case vs my ICC opponent "UlyssesSGrant". His 2500+ rating proves that Black is a frequent winner, but I managed to hold him off this time.

That handle is based on the Union General in the American Civil War who fought to win when other generals in the North were either incompetent or afraid. General Grant rose quickly through the ranks by actually winning in battle. The war ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, a place I visited years ago. Later Ulysses S. Grant became President of the United States.

Sawyer (2203) - UlyssesSGrant (2512), ICC 0 6 u Internet Chess Club, 24.04.2009 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Bf4 [7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nd7 9.0-0-0 Nf6 10.Kb1 Re8=] 7...Nd7 [7...0-0 8.Qd2 Nd7=] 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 Nc5 10.Bc4 Be6 [10...Bf5=] 11.Bxe6 Nxe6 [11...fxe6 12.Be3=] 12.Be3 Qd7 13.Ng5 [13.Kb1=] 13...Nxg5 [13...Bxg5 14.Bxg5 Qa4=/+] 14.Bxg5 Bxg5 15.Qxg5 Rae8 16.Rhe1 h6 17.Qd5 b6 18.f3 Rxe1 19.Rxe1 Re8 20.Rxe8+ Qxe8 21.Qd2 Qe6 22.b3 Qe5 23.g3 a5 24.Kd1 Kf8 25.Qe1 [Or 25.f4=] 25...Ke7 26.f4 Qxe1+ 27.Kxe1 Ke6 28.Kf2 Kd5 29.Ke3 f5 30.h4 h5 31.c4+ Kc5 32.c3 d5 33.cxd5 Kxd5 34.Kd3 b5 35.c4+ bxc4+ 36.bxc4+ Kc5 37.a3 Kc6 38.Kd4 Kd6 39.c5+ Ke6 40.a4 c6 41.Kc4 Ke7 42.Kd4 Kf6 43.Kc4 Ke6 44.Kd4 Kf6 1/2-1/2

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, July 6, 2015

London System Classical 5...c4

The London System is a reliable opening that counts on basic safe development. White has solid control of d4 and looks for opportunities to play for c4 or e4 after all his pieces are out. In an APCT game, Bernie Burke chose a classical set-up with the moves 1...d5, 2...Nf6, 3...c5 and 4...e6 in much the same way Black would handle a French Defence.

Burke pushed his c-pawn on to c4. The point of this move is to prevent White from playing 6.Bd3. This logical strategy has some flaws.
1. White's d4 is no longer under threat of pawn capture.
2. White can attack the pawn chain with e3-e4 or b2-b3.
3. White's light squared bishop is more active than Black's.

As the game unfolded White had a slightly better position. Black was forced to defend his lone a-pawn. Then as often happens, a tactical oversight leads to a quick finish.

Sawyer (2003) - Burke (1500), corr APCT N-328, 06.1993 begins 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4 c5 4.c3 e6 5.e3 c4 [5...Nc6 6.Nbd2= is main line stuff.] 6.Nbd2 [6.b3+/= White can challenge c4 immediately or anytime up to move 11.] 6...Be7 7.Be2 0-0 8.h3 Nbd7 9.Qc2 b5 10.0-0 Bb7 11.b4 [11.b3=] 11...cxb3 [11...a5=] 12.axb3 [12.Qxb3+/-] 12...a6 13.c4 bxc4 14.bxc4 dxc4 15.Bxc4 [15.Nxc4+/-] 15...Bb4 [15...a5+/=] 16.Qb3 a5 17.Rfb1 Nb6 18.Bd3 Ba6 [18...Rc8=] 19.Bxa6 Rxa6 20.Nc4 [20.Qd3+/=] 20...Nxc4 21.Qxc4 Qc8? [21...Ra8=] 22.Qxc8 Rxc8 23.Rxb4 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Friday, July 3, 2015

Andrew Martin Alekhine 3.Na3 Attack

Our chess friend Andrew Martin loves offbeat lines that place unexpected challenges to his opponents. White tends to just play naturally vs the Alekhine Defence rather than to follow a memorized set of standard moves. This allows for imagination. Andrew Martin gets very creative with 3.Na3!? Anyone playing the Alekhine Defence knows that White almost always takes the game into new territory. In a Sicilian Defence or Ruy Lopez one can expect White to follow known theory for 8-12 moves, but in the Alekhine Defence players are on their own early in the game.

In the 1990s when I was doing research for my Alekhine Defense Playbook, I enjoyed a quick three minute game vs International Master Andrew Martin, the notable author and teacher who apparently did the Kindle version of the Nigel Davies book on the Alekhine. My Amazon Kindle eBook Alekhine 2.Nc3 is the first book in the Alekhine series covers four 2nd moves options and four 3rd move options for White that are played by club players and masters alike.

Martin - Sawyer, ICC r 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 20.04.1998 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.Na3 d6 4.Nf3 g6 [4...dxe5! 5.Nxe5 g6=] 5.Nc4 Bg7 6.d4 0-0 7.h4 Nb6 8.h5 Nxc4?! [This only helps White. Better is 8...Nc6 9.e6 Nxc4 10.exf7+ Rxf7 11.Bxc4 d5 12.Bb3 Bg4= with a playable and sharp position.] 9.Bxc4 d5 10.Be2 Bg4? [10...c5 11.dxc5 Nc6 12.c3+/=] 11.hxg6 hxg6 12.Ng5! Bxe2 13.Qxe2 e6 [Or 13...Qd7 14.Qf3+/-] 14.Qg4 f5 15.Qh3 Re8 16.Qh7+ Kf8 17.Qxg6 Qd7 18.Nh7+ Ke7 19.Bg5+ 1-0

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