Friday, October 30, 2015

Arnold Bird to King's Indian

Let's say you start out in a less popular opening. You don't have much theory to worry about. So you just play good moves. But then suddenly you find yourself wandering into a very popular opening. That happened to me vs G. Robert Arnold.

When someone like Bob Arnold begins 1.f4 you might assume that he is a regular Bird's Opening player. That means as White he avoids the big highways of opening theory for a side roads that go to the same destination.

Soon his flank pawns 1.f4 and 3.c4 are joined by his center pawns 5.e4 and 6.d4. Voila! We transposed to a King's Indian Defence. I didn't mind it, but I didn't expect it either. During the years I played the King's Indian, I rarely faced the Four Pawns Attack.

I chose a common book variation that turns out to be bad. I followed the crowd and drove right off the cliff. Bravo to Bob for finding this. He outplayed me and deserved the win.

Arnold (2113) - Sawyer (1944), corr APCT EMN-A-4, 08.01.1997 begins 1.f4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0 5.e4 d6 6.d4 Na6 7.Be2 e5 8.fxe5 dxe5 9.Nxe5 [9.d5 Nc5 10.Bg5 h6=] 9...c5 10.Be3 cxd4 [10...Nb4!=] 11.Bxd4 Ng4? [This is most common, but it is a bad line for Black. Worth exploring is 11...Nb4 12.Bc5 Qa5 13.Bxf8 Bxf8 14.Nf3 Nxe4 15.a3 Nxc3 16.axb4 Nxd1 17.bxa5 Ne3=] 12.Nf3 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Nb4 14.Qxd8 [14.0-0-0!+/-] 14...Rxd8 15.Rc1 Nd3+? [From bad to worse. Black should play 15...f5 16.Nd5+/-] 16.Bxd3 Rxd3 17.Nd5 Be6 18.Ke2 [Black's rook is trapped.] 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Blackmar-Diemer Birthday Gambit

What do you do on your birthday? I played a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit! It makes sense because I am currently working on my next BDG Keybook edition. Often I play 1.e4 but it can be fun to play 2.e4 was well.

Johnny Owens wished me a Happy Birthday and hoped I had a great one. I replied that it might be a BDG afternoon. But then I got busy with life. However late in the day I tried to reach a Blackmar-Diemer.

In this quick three minute blitz game my opponent sidestepped the BDG (3...Nf6 4.f3). We ended up in a warm fuzzy Zeller Variation with 3...Bf5. Both sides had chances but White got a big lead on the clock. When Black got into time trouble, his game collapsed.

Sawyer (2005) - guest7749, ICC 3 0 u Internet Chess Club, 25.10.2015 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Bf5 4.f3 [4.g4!?] 4...exf3 5.Qxf3 [5.Nxf3 e6 is still not a normal BDG since Black has not yet played Nf6.] 5...Bc8 [5...Qc8 6.Bf4=] 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bd3 [7.0-0-0 Bg4? (7...c6=) 8.Qxb7 Bxd1 9.Qxa8+/-] 7...Nbd7 8.Qg3 e6 9.Nf3 Nh5 10.Qf2 Be7 11.0-0 [11.0-0-0+/=] 11...b6 12.Ng5 [I considered 12.Ne5! Nxe5 13.dxe5 but I missed the double attack on h5 and a8 after 13...0-0 14.Qf3+-] 12...Nhf6 13.Rae1 Bb7 14.h3?! [14.d5!+/-] 14...h6 15.Nge4 Bxe4 [15...0-0=/+] 16.Nxe4 0-0 17.c3 c5 18.Kh1 cxd4 19.cxd4 Rb8 20.Qg3? [20.Nc3=] 20...Nxe4 21.Bxe4 Nf6 [Black is in time trouble on the clock but he would be winning on the board with 21...Bh4!-+ ] 22.Bb1 [22.Bxh6+/-] 22...Bd6 23.Qh4 Nd5 24.Qe4 Nf6 [24...g6 25.Rxf7!+-] 25.Rxf6 Black forfeits on time in the face of unstoppable checkmates that only be delayed a few moves. 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Emory Tate Bird Swan Song

IM Emory Tate passed away at a chess tournament. Tate provided us with decades of exciting attacking chess. His death reminds me to take care of my body since Tate was younger than I am. My retirement leads me to think of these health issues.

The late Tate won a Bird's Opening the night before he died. He could play any opening but avoided those that require constant upkeep. His repertoire was unpredictable. Tate chose openings that favor skills in tactics and strategy more than memory.

I never played Emory Tate, but we had several mutual opponents. Tate was very active player and coach with a USCF rating in the 2300s. This five minute game was one of the last blitz games Tate played on the Internet Chess Club.

Tate (2090) - AlexRequelme (2087), ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 16.10.2015 begins 1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Be2 Be7 5.0-0 0-0 6.b3 Nbd7 7.Bb2 c5 8.d3 b6 [Black can be more bold here with 8...b5!=] 9.Kh1 Bb7 10.Ne5 Nxe5 11.fxe5 Nd7 12.Rf3!? [Blitz chess is all about attack. 12.d4=] 12...Re8 [12...d4!-/+] 13.Rh3 Bf8 14.d4 g6 15.Nd2 Bg7 16.Nf3 Rc8 17.c3 a6 18.Qf1 b5 19.a4 cxd4 20.exd4 b4 21.cxb4 Qb6 [If Black plays on the side with his extra pawn, White still stands better. 21...f6 22.exf6 Qxf6 23.b5+/-] 22.b5 Nf8 23.a5 Qc7 24.bxa6 Ba8 25.b4 Qc2 26.Rb1 Qa4 27.Ng5 Rc7 28.Bc3 [28.Bb5!+-] 28...Rec8 29.b5 Rxc3 [29...h6 30.b6+-] 30.Qxf7+ [Even stronger is 30.Rxc3! Rxc3 31.b6+-] 30...Kh8 31.Nxe6 [31.Rxc3] 31...Rc1+ 32.Bf1 Rxb1 [32...Nxe6 33.Qxe6+-] 33.Qxg7# Black checkmated 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, October 23, 2015

Queen's Knight Anti-Sicilian

You know the Sicilian Defence begins 1.e4 c5. Can you avoid e4 as White after 1.Nc3 c5? Yes! Anti-Sicilian lines highlight rapid piece development. White has not "wasted time playing e4".

Closed Sicilian or Grand Prix Sicilian after 2.e4 give White good positions, but Black is prepared for those openings. Queen's Knight players like to take Black opponents out of their known book lines.

Take a look at the game between GM Jose Carlos Ibarra Jerez and Jose Maria Sanchez Dengra. One can assume an opponent rated in the 2100s knows the first five moves of his favorite Sicilian Defence variation.

Many Queen's Knight players choose 1.Nc3 c5 2.Nf3. Subtle switches in the Sicilian can lead to radical results. Here the natural 5...d6 leads to a very bad position where White wins material.

Ibarra Jerez (2521) - Sanchez Dengra (2134), 79th ch-ESP 2014 Linares ESP (4.8), 28.08.2014 begins 1.Nc3 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Ndb5 d6? [Black almost always misses the only good move 5...a6 6.Nd6+ Bxd6 7.Qxd6 Qe7=] 6.Bf4 e5 7.Nd5 Be6 8.Ndc7+ Kd7 9.Be3?! [9.Nxa8! exf4 10.Nac7 a6 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Nc3+-] 9...Rc8 10.Nxe6 fxe6 11.c4 a6 12.Nc3 Nf6 13.g3 Ng4 14.Bd2 Qb6 15.e3 Nf6 16.Bh3 Nb4 [16...Rb8 17.a3+/=] 17.Na4 Nd3+ 18.Ke2 Qc6 19.Ba5 Ke7 20.Nb6 Nxb2 21.Qb3 Nxc4 22.Rhc1 d5 23.Rab1 Rc7 24.Nxc4 dxc4 25.Bxc7 cxb3 26.Rxc6 bxc6 27.Rxb3 Nd7 28.Rc3 Nf6 29.Bxe5 Kf7 [29...Nd7 30.Rxc6 Nxe5 31.Rxe6+ Kf7 32.Rxe5+-] 30.Rxc6 Bb4 31.Bxe6+ Kg6 32.Rxa6 Rd8 33.Bd4 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

French Tarrasch Pain by Payne

Let's say you are prepared. You know the book theory in your opening. All of a sudden your high rated opponent takes you out of the book. Ugh! What a pain! Even if his move is just okay, you have questions. Is it a trap? Is it sound? Does he knows it well?

Fred R. Payne of Texas played a lot of master level postal chess. Payne was near his peak when I played him more than 30 years ago. His ICCF rating later dropped to 2278 later in his career. (2312) corr USCCC. In our French Defence Tarrasch game Payne played 3...Nd7!?

Ralph Marconi wrote a nice article dedicated to Dr. Payne. There Marconi notes that in 1951 Fred Payne became the youngest chess champion of Kentucky in state history.

Sawyer (2000) - Payne (2312), corr USCCC 1981 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nd7!? 4.Ngf3 c5 5.exd5 exd5 6.c3 [6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Nb3=] 6...Ngf6 7.Bb5 a6 8.Qe2+ [8.Bd3=] 8...Be7 9.Ba4?! [9.Bd3] 9...0-0 10.Nf1!? [10.0-0 Re8=/+] 10...cxd4 11.Nxd4 Nc5 12.Bc2 Bg4 13.f3 Bd7 14.Ne3 Ne6 15.Nxe6 fxe6 16.0-0 Bc5 17.Kh1 Qe7 18.f4 Rae8 19.Bb3 [19.a4 Rf7=/+] 19...Kh8 [19...Bb5-/+] 20.Bd2 Ne4 21.Ng4? [21.Bc2 Bb5-/+] 21...Qh4 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, October 19, 2015

Dutch Beats Reti Lisitzin

Ray Haines wins a Reti Dutch Defence Lisitzin. Haines writes:

"This is game three of my last tournament. I have played Richard in the past. He and his wife moved here from out of state a few years ago. He was a strong postal player in the past. He has not played for two years in our tournaments, but we were happy to have back for this event."

"I choose to play a Dutch Defense against him because of his move order. He chose to play a well known gambit line. I again choose to play quickly to avoid time trouble. I missed the win of a pawn on move 20. I needed to play knight takes knight and would have picked up a pawn with a good game for me. He missed some better lines also and resulted in me wining."

"I will not be able to play any more events for a few months, so I plan to work on tactics to help improve my play. I also plan on working with students to teach them how to play."

Ray Haines develops a nice attack against Richard Fontinha. Both sides had chances. In this game Black made the best of his in the end.

Fontinha - Haines, Houlton, ME (3), 19.09.2015 begins 1.Nf3 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Ng5 Nf6 [The alternative is 3...d5 4.d3 Nf6 5.dxe4 h6 6.Nf3 dxe4=] 4.d3 e5 [4...d5!] 5.dxe4 h6 6.Nh3 Nc6 [6...Bc5=/+] 7.Nd2 d6 [7...d5!=/+] 8.Be2 Be6 9.c3 Qd7 10.Ng1 Be7 11.Ngf3 0-0 12.Qc2 d5 13.Bb5 Bd6 14.0-0 Qf7 15.c4 Qg6 [15...Nb4-+] 16.Bxc6 bxc6 17.c5 Be7 18.Nxe5 Qh5 19.f4 [19.Nxc6+-] 19...dxe4 20.Nxe4 [20.b4=] 20...Bd5 [20...Nxe4-/+] 21.Nxf6+ [21.Ng3+-] 21...Rxf6 [21...Bxf6!=] 22.Be3 Re6 23.Bd4 Bf6 24.Rae1 Rae8 25.b3 [25.Re3!+-] 25...g5 26.g3? [26.Qf5=] 26...gxf4 27.gxf4 Bxe5 28.Rxe5 Qg4+ 29.Kf2 Qxf4+ 30.Ke1 Rxe5+ 31.Bxe5 Rxe5+ 32.Qe2 Qc1+ 33.Kf2 Qxc5+ 34.Ke1 Qc3+ 35.Kd1 Bxb3+ 36.axb3 Rd5+ 37.Qd3 Rxd3+ 38.Ke2 Qd2# 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Friday, October 16, 2015

Beautiful Queen Sacrifice

Your queen combines beauty with power. A common Queen's Knight Attack 1.Nc3 d5 2.e4 transposes to the Scandinavian Center Counter Defence. A game between Alburt Ezquerro Luque and Jaume Grau Garsaball featured the exchange line 2...dxe4 3.Nxe4 Nf6 4.Nxf6+. These Spanish players fought for control of key central lines.

White gets a valuable queenside pawn majority if Black allows ...exf6. To compensate Black must attack kingside either with pieces or with pawns. Below Black chose the piece approach. It failed this game to two bold and beautiful White queen moves that left the Black queen forked.

Ezquerro Luque (2059) - Grau Garsaball (2083), TCh-CAT Final GpB 2015 Barcelona ESP (10.1), 11.04.2015 begins 1.e4 d5 2.Nc3 dxe4 3.Nxe4 Nf6 [Black takes on doubled pawns. Better is 3...Nc6 4.Bc4=] 4.Nxf6+ exf6 5.Nf3 Bd6 6.Be2 0-0 7.0-0 Bg4 8.d4 Re8 9.Re1 c6 10.c3 Qc7 11.h3 Bh5 12.Nh4 Bxe2 13.Rxe2 Nd7 14.Nf5 Bf4!? [14...Bf8=] 15.Qe1 [15.d5!?+/=] 15...Rxe2 16.Qxe2 Bxc1 17.Rxc1 Qf4 18.Ne7+ Kf8 19.Re1 Qd6 [19...g6 20.Nxc6+/=] 20.Nf5 [20.Qh5! is also very powerful.] 20...Qd5 [Black can last longer by giving back the pawn with 20...Qe6 21.Qxe6 fxe6 22.Rxe6+-] 21.Qe7+ Kg8 22.Qe8+! 1-0

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