Wednesday, November 18, 2015

London System Opportunity Tactics

The London System is an easy opening for you to play. Your main idea is to play Bf4 on move two or three. By move six or seven, White has developed all four minor pieces. The solid pawn structure of d4, e3, and c3 is tough to crack. It resembles a Slav Defence reversed.

How does White win? By targeting weaknesses. When all the pieces are actively poised, tactics for attack and combinations hide around every corner. My biggest problem comes when I think nothing is going on. I can sleep through a key moment. In the game below, I was awake to my opportunity.

In my APCT postal game against Richard Riley, the weakness of playing ...b6 and ...Nc6 before he castled allowed White to win a pawn. The loss of a pawn followed massed exchanges from moves 12 to 16. The opening mistake led to an endgame win. It is not sudden, but Black's loss can hardly be avoided.

Sawyer (2003) - Riley (1405), corr APCT Q-139 (11), 07.1993 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 b6 4.e3 Bb7 5.Nbd2 d5 6.c3 Bd6 7.Bd3 Bxf4 8.exf4 c5 9.Ne5 Nc6? [Because of the pin, White will win a pawn. Correct is 9...0-0 10.0-0=] 10.Bb5 Rc8 11.Qa4 Qc7 12.dxc5 0-0 13.Bxc6 Bxc6 14.Nxc6 Qxc6 15.Qxc6 Rxc6 16.cxb6 Rxb6 [After a series of exchanges White is up a pawn.] 17.b3 Rc8 18.c4 dxc4 19.Nxc4 Rbc6 20.0-0 Rd8 21.Rfd1 Rxd1+ 22.Rxd1 g6 23.Rd6 Rxd6 24.Nxd6 [Now we reach a knight and pawn endgame.] 24...Nd5 25.g3 Kf8 26.Kf1 Nc3 27.a4 a6 28.Ke1 Ke7 29.Kd2 Kxd6 [Black's best chance seems to be 29...Nxa4 30.Nxf7 Nc5 31.b4 Ne4+ 32.Ke3+/=] 30.Kxc3 a5 [All pawn endings are lost. For example 30...Kc5 31.b4+ Kd5 32.g4+-] 31.b4 axb4+ 32.Kxb4 Kc6 33.Kc4 Kb6 34.Kd4 f6 35.g4 1-0


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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