Monday, April 4, 2016

Alekhine Defense vs Jim Marfia

At what speed do you play the best chess? Consider these:
The fast bullet games last one or two minutes.
Online blitz is three or five minutes, with or without increments.
The one day over the board tournaments are 30-60 minutes each.
The weekend or longer master events have two hour games.
Correspondence chess creeps along at three days per move.

USCF National Master James Marfia seemed to perform at a higher level in face to face tournaments, but he enjoyed playing correspondence chess. Many of his games were published, so I knew what opening lines Jim played.

For a few years I played the Alekhine Defence almost constantly. The Marf played the recommended main line 4.Nf3. This time I chose 4...g6 popularized by Lev Alburt.

We reached a wild line after 9.Bxf7+!? where Black sacrifices the Exchange to obtain a strong pawn on e5. Funny! Usually it is White with the strong pawn on e5.

Jim had an edge, but after move 28 it was equal. White had an extra rook and f-pawn. Black had an extra bishop and knight. Draw agreed.

Marfia (2027) - Sawyer, corr APCT EMN-A-9, 12.01.1998 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bc4 [5.c4 is an alternative.] 5...Nb6 6.Bb3 Bg7 7.a4 [7.Ng5 d5=] 7...dxe5 8.a5 N6d7 9.Bxf7+ Kxf7 10.Ng5+ Kg8 11.Ne6 Qe8 12.Nxc7 Qd8 13.Nxa8 [White could repeat moves with 13.Ne6 Qe8 14.Nc7=] 13...exd4 14.c3 Nc5 [14...h6!? 15.0-0 Kh7=] 15.cxd4 Bxd4 [Or 15...Qxd4= ] 16.0-0 e5 [16...Nc6!=] 17.Nc3 Nc6 18.Nb5 Bf5 19.Nxd4 Nxd4 20.Be3 Ncb3 [A better try was 20...Qxa8 21.Bxd4 exd4 22.Qxd4 Ne6 23.Qd5+/=] 21.Bxd4 Nxd4 22.Re1 Qxa8 [22...Kf7 23.Rc1 Nc2 24.Qxd8 Rxd8 25.Rxe5 Kf6 26.f4 Rxa8 27.g4+/=] 23.Rxe5 Qd8 24.Ra4 Nc6 25.Rd5 [25.Qxd8+! Nxd8 26.Re8+ Kg7 27.Rxh8 Kxh8 28.a6+/-] 25...Qe8 26.g4 Bc8 27.f3 [27.a6!+/-] 27...Kg7 28.Qd2 [Now the position is equal. 28.Re4 Qf7 29.a6+/-] 28...Rf8 29.Re4 Qf7 30.Rd3 a6 31.Qc3+ 1/2-1/2

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