Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Albin Counter Gambit Main Line

What can you learn when the defender beats a gambit? The main line Albin Counter Gambit used to be 5.g3 but now everyone plays the recommended 5.a3! Black regains the pawn after 5...Nge7 6.b4 Ng6 7.Bb2 Ngxe5 with a sharp open fighting position. The risk is rewarded with a reasonable 48% score for Black after 5...Nge7.

Luc Harris lists 5...Nge7 as a good choice (along with 5...Be6!?) in his mammoth tome on the opening. Harris notes 5...a5?! is too slow (as is 5...Bg4?!). Ray Haines chooses the logical 5...a5?! It weakens b5 and makes queenside castling impractical, dangerous or fatal. Unfortunately Black finds the position slowly sadly slipping away. White plays well and deserves the win.

Roger Morin beat back the Albin Counter Gambit attack to finish second. Ray Haines took third. The tournament in Houlton was won by Aaron Spencer, currently the third highest rated player in the state of Maine at 2121. According to FIDE Spencer was born the year I published my first chess book on the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit.

Morin - Haines, Houlton, ME (2), 22.08.2015 begins 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.a3 a5?! [Better is 5...Nge7 and maybe 5...Be6!?] 6.g3 Bc5 7.Bg2 Nge7 8.0-0 Ng6 9.Bg5 Be7 [Maybe Black could survive with 9...Qd7 10.Nbd2+/=] 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Nxd4 Ngxe5 12.Nxc6 Nxc6 13.Nc3 Be6 14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.cxd5 Ne5 16.Qa4+ Kf8 17.Qb5 Ra6 [17...Ra7 18.Rac1+-] 18.Qxb7 Rd6 19.Rac1 c6 20.Qxe7+ [20.dxc6+-] 20...Kxe7 21.f4 Ng4 22.Rxc6 Rb8 23.Rb1 f5 24.b4 Nf6 25.Rc7+ Rd7 26.Rxd7+ Kxd7 27.b5 Kd6 28.a4 Kc5 29.Kf2 Nd7 30.g4 Rf8 [30...g6 31.gxf5+-] 31.gxf5 Rxf5 32.Kg3 Rf8 33.e4 Nb6 34.e5 Nxa4 35.d6 Nb6 36.Bc6 a4 37.Rc1+ Kb4 38.e6 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
Copyright 2016 Home Page / Author Page /
Sign Up for free weekly Chess Training Repertoire updates

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sicilian Defence David Taylor

Chandler Bolt recently noted that often you can learn the most from someone who is just two rungs above you on the ladder of success. Many beginners and young kids have great coaches and teachers who themselves are rateds in the 1800 to 2000 range. Those who are rated much higher up may be helpful if they have teaching skills, but they deal with different issues. For example a 2600 rated grandmaster may be trying to avoid a draw vs a 2400 rated international master. Usually I am happy to draw a 2400!

David Taylor was an experienced master and higher rated than I, but our postal ratings were often within 200 points of each other. The Sicilian Defence Smith Morra Gambit Declined I played vs David Taylor became an Alapin Sicilian because our 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 transposed to the same position as 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4. Here I played a solid game and turned an equal opening in a draw.

Taylor (2200) - Sawyer (2050), corr APCT 1980 begins 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Qxd4 e6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Qe4 d6 [7...f5 8.Qe2 b5=] 8.Nbd2 dxe5 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 [9...Be7!?=] 10.Qxe5 Qd6 [10...Bd7 11.Be2 f6 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Qf3 Bc6=] 11.Bb5+ Bd7 12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.Nf3 [The alternative is 13.0-0 Qc7 14.Qxc7 Nxc7 15.Ne4 Be7 16.Rd1 0-0=] 13...Qc7 [Black could sacrifice a pawn for some counter play. 13...Be7!? 14.Qxg7 Bf6 15.Qh6 Qb5=] 14.Bf4 [14.Qxc7 Nxc7 15.c4=] 14...Qxe5+ 15.Bxe5 f6 16.Bg3 e5 [16...Be7 17.Nd4 Kf7=] 17.0-0-0 0-0-0 18.c4 Nb6 19.Rxd8+ Kxd8 20.Rd1+ Kc8 21.b3 Bc5 22.Nd2 h5 23.f3 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
Copyright 2015 Home Page / Author Page /

Monday, August 3, 2015

Caro-Kann Exchange Phil Moyer

Club players answer the Caro-Kann Defence with the natural play 3.exd5 known as the Exchange Variation. Below White plays 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3. Lines transpose easily. Black plays 2...d5 and now after 3.exd5 cxd5 4.d4 we reach a position that may arise after 2.d4, 3.exd5 and 4.Nf3. Central square battles follow. Black has better chances on the queenside and White on the kingside, but tactics trump strategy.

As I recall Phil Moyer was a regular at the North Penn Chess Club 35 years ago. Moyer attacked and I stopped his plans to win material or checkmate me. After the attack ended and Black had won two pawns, White resigned. The club met in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, a few miles northwest of Philadelphia. This is my only recorded game with Moyer. At that time I was playing a lot of postal chess, working full time and taking classes toward a masters degree on the side.

My daily blog post switches now to three times per week Monday, Wednesday, Friday to allow me to write more books. Thank you for your support. This year I want to finish many book ideas that I have thought about and written about for several years. Also I plan to build up an email list where I will offer specials to those who follow me.

Moyer - Sawyer, Lansdale, PA 15.04.1981 begins 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.d4 Bf5!? [4...Nc6=] 5.Be2 Nf6 6.0-0 e6 7.Bg5 Be7 8.Bb5+ Nc6 9.Ne5 [9.Bd3=] 9...Qc7 10.Nc3 0-0 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.f4 a6 13.Be2? [13.Bxc6 bxc6=] 13...Bxe5 [13...Qb6!-+] 14.fxe5 Qb6 15.Nxd5 Qxb2 16.c3 [16.Rxf5 exf5-/+] 16...exd5 17.Rxf5 Qxc3 18.Rf4 Qe3+ 19.Rf2 Nxd4 20.Bg4 Qxe5 21.Qf1 Ne6 22.Re1 Qd6 23.Rf5 f6 [23...g6!-+] 24.Rxd5 Qb6+ 25.Kh1 Ng5 26.Rd7 Rad8 27.Qc4+ Kh8 28.Bf5 [28.Rde7 Qf2-/+] 28...Rxd7 29.Bxd7 Qd6 30.Bc8 b5 31.Qg4 Rd8 32.h4 Nf7 33.Qd7 Qxd7 [33...Qf8!-+] 34.Bxd7 Ne5 35.Bh3 h5 36.Kg1 Ng4 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
Copyright 2015 Home Page / Author Page /

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Haines Hanging Pawns vs Gates

Who gets hung by hanging pawns? Is this pawn structure good or bad? It depends on who controls the squares in front of those pawns. This can arise from a Queen's Indian Defence. White has hanging pawns at c4 and d4 while Black has pawns at b6 and e6. White wants his pawns to advance and keep advancing with the support of his pieces. If the hanging pawns stop moving, the advantage shifts to Black.

Ray Haines obtains a flexible hanging pawns center vs Nathan Gates in the recent Houlton Open in Maine. This opening began as a Colle System vs a Gruenfeld set-up. Before I give my game analysis, Ray Haines explains what happened in this game:

"This is the second time which I have played Nathan. I ended up with hanging pawns in the center He played the game with the plan of attacking my Queen Bishop Pawn. These pawns can be strong as they control the center. They are strong when setting on c4 and d4. They can advance and become strong attacking weapons as they move forward. The problem in this game is that too many pieces got traded off too fast. This resulted in a drawish end game. I put the whole game into my computer using Fritz11 and it rated the game as even all the way though. I did make a mistake on move 48. I had about 6 minutes to finish and my opponent had 2 minutes to finish. He made a mistake. He needed to play pawn takes pawn. This would have given him the better game, I worked it out with my computer from that point for 20 moves. Black would find it very hard to win, if he could even win it."

Haines - Gates, Houlton Open (1), 25.07.2015 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.e3 d5 3.Bd3 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.0-0 Bg4 6.Nbd2 [This knight move is certainly playable, but it would also be very reasonable for White to try 6.c4 when the attack on d5 can be bolstered by the sharper Nc3.] 6...0-0 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Nxf3 Re8 9.c4 e6 10.b3 [Another idea is 10.Qb3+/= aiming at both d5 and b7.] 10...c5 11.Bb2 cxd4 12.exd4 Nc6 13.a3 [13.Re1 Nb4 14.Bb1+/=] 13...dxc4 14.bxc4 Nd7 15.Re1 Nb6 16.Bf1 Rc8 17.Rb1 Qc7 18.d5!? [Maybe 18.Qd3 ] 18...Bxb2?! [18...exd5=] 19.Rxb2?! [19.d6!+/- looks promising] 19...exd5 20.cxd5 Rxe1 21.Nxe1 Rd8 22.Rd2 Ne5 23.Qb3 Qe7 24.Nc2 Qc5 25.Ne3 Nc6 [25...Ned7 26.g3=] 26.Rc2 [26.Ng4 Kf8 27.Nf6+/-] 26...Nd4 27.Rxc5 Nxb3 28.Rc7 Na5 29.Rc5 Nb3 30.Rb5 Nd4 31.Rb4 Nf5 32.g4 Ne7 33.Bg2 Rd7 34.a4 Nbxd5 35.Nxd5 Nxd5 36.Rd4 Nf6 37.Rxd7 Nxd7 38.Bxb7 Nc5 39.Bc6 Kf8 40.Kf1 Ke7 41.Ke2 Kd6 42.Be8 Ke7 43.Bb5 a6 44.Bc4 a5 45.Bb5 g5 46.Ke3 Ne6 47.Bd3 h6 48.h4?  [The players can repeat moves by 48.Bc4 Nf4 49.Bf1 Ne6 50.Bc4=] 48...Nf4 [Black stands better with 48...gxh4!-/+] 49.hxg5 hxg5 50.Bf5 Kd6 51.Kd4 f6 52.f3 Kc6 53.Be4+ Kb6 54.Bd5 Ne2+ 55.Kc4 Nf4 56.Be4 Ne2 57.Kd5 Nc3+ 58.Ke6 Nxa4 59.Kxf6 Nc3 60.Bc2 a4 61.Bxa4 Nxa4 62.Kxg5 Nc5 63.f4 Kc7 64.Kf6 Ne4+ 65.Ke6 Kd8 66.g5 Ke8 67.g6 Kf8 68.f5 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
Copyright 2016 Home Page / Author Page /
Sign Up for free weekly Chess Training Repertoire updates

Now in Kindle and paperback

Blog Archive