Monday, March 7, 2016

Run! Don't Walk in Birds Opening

I almost ran over a white bird as it walked slowly across the highway. Then the bird saw my car. It ran quickly to the side of the road to avoid getting crushed. Bird's Opening is a reversed Dutch Defence with an extra move for the White 1.f4 player. An interesting idea in the Dutch is 1.d4 f5 2.Bg5. When the position is reversed with 2...Bg4, White has better defensive possibilities in the Bird. Ah, but there lies the danger! White must play active moves. Otherwise he gets stuck defending too much and is run over.

This was one of two Bird's that Art Keiser and I played simultaneously. I discussed him earlier when I wrote about a Caro-Kann Defence game we played. Art may be gone, but he is not forgotten.

Those who play the Bird benefit from a limited familiar repertoire. I played a lot of Birds Openings in the mid-1980s. If I was playing Black, I could kill two Birds with one stone. However, I played White. My Birds did the killing and lived to tell about it.

This opening gave equal chances. I slipped up on move 23, but Black returned the favor over the next few moves. I pressed for a win when Black missed his saving reply. Suddenly White had a winning pawn endgame.

Sawyer (2100) - Keiser (1856), corr APCT 1982 begins 1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 Bg4 3.e3 Nf6 4.h3 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 e6 6.Nc3 c5 7.g4 Nc6 8.Bb5 [8.g5=] 8...Qc7 9.g5 Nd7 10.Bxc6 Qxc6 11.Ne2 [11.b3=] 11...0-0-0 [11...c4=/+] 12.d3 h6 13.h4 hxg5 14.hxg5 Rxh1+ 15.Qxh1 f6 16.gxf6 gxf6 17.c4 [17.b3=] 17...Be7 [17...f5=/+] 18.b3 f5 19.Bb2 Nf6 20.0-0-0 Ng4 21.cxd5 exd5 22.Qh7 Qd7 23.d4? [23.Be5 Nxe3=/+] 23...Nxe3 24.Rd3 Ng4 [White would be in trouble after 24...Qe6! 25.Qh3 Ng4!-+] 25.Ng3 cxd4?! [This allows White to equalize. Better is 25...c4! 26.bxc4 dxc4 27.Rc3 b5-/+] 26.Qxf5 Qxf5 27.Nxf5 Bf6 28.Bxd4 Bxd4 29.Rxd4 Kc7 30.Ne7 Nf6 31.Kc2 Rd7 32.Ng6 Kd6 33.Rd3 Rc7+ 34.Rc3 Rxc3+ 35.Kxc3 Ke6 36.Kd4 Kf5 37.Ne7+ Kxf4 38.Nxd5+ Nxd5? [This blunder throws away the game. 38...Kf5!= holds the draw.] 39.Kxd5 Ke3 40.Kd6 Kd4 41.Kc7 b6 42.Kb7 1-0

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