Saturday, September 24, 2016

French Defence 3.Be3 by Alapin

How did Semyon Alapin play 3.Be3 line against the French Defence? Here are several examples. The stem game is against A. Zinkl. Semyon (Simon) Alapin was a creative tactical player. He faced strong players from Blackburne to Nimzowitsch. Alapin once mated Marshall in 16 moves!

Semyon Alapin is most remembered for his unusual early opening moves. One of his openings is in the Open Game with 1.e4 e5 2.Ne2!? Another has become a popular Sicilian Defence 1.e4 c5 2.c3!?

In the French Defence after 3.Be3 dxe4 4.Nd2 Nf6, Alapin's idea was to attack e4 with Qc2 and Ng3. Diemer played 5.f3 known as the Alapin-Diemer Gambit. In the main game here Black declined the gambit with 3...Nf6.

Alapin - Zinkl, Vienna 1899 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3 Nf6 [3...dxe4 4.Nd2 Nf6 (4...f5 5.f3 exf3 6.Ngxf3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Nd5 8.Qe2 Be7 9.0-0-0 0-0 10.Rhg1 c6 11.g4 b5 12.Bb3 a5 13.c4 a4 14.Bc2 bxc4 15.Nxc4 Ba6 16.Bd2 Bxc4 17.Qxc4 a3 18.b3 g6 19.gxf5 exf5 20.Bh6 Rf6 1/2-1/2 Alapin - Noa, Dresden 1892) 5.c3 Bd7! (5...Nbd7 6.Qc2 Be7 7.Ne2 0-0 8.Ng3 Nd5 9.Qxe4 N7f6 10.Qd3 c5 11.Be2 cxd4 12.cxd4 Bd7 13.0-0 Rc8 14.Rac1 Bc6 15.Nc4 Nb4 16.Qb1 Bd5 17.a3 Nc6 and 1/2-1/2 in 50. Alapin - Burn, Berlin 1897 18.Qd3=) 6.Qc2 Bc6 7.Ne2 Be7 8.c4 0-0 9.0-0-0 Na6 10.Nc3 Nb4-/+ and 0-1 in 29. Alapin - Showalter, Vienna 1898] 4.e5 [This reliable line provides a clear positional advantage for White. The whole line is an improvement on the Tarrasch line 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5.] 4...Nfd7 [In blitz games, and occasionally in serious games, one sees the piece blunder 4...Ne4? 5.f3! Qh4+ 6.g3 Nxg3 7.Bf2+-] 5.c3 [Normal is 5.f4 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.Bd3 (8.Be2!?+/=) 8...cxd4 9.cxd4 Qb6 10.Qd2 Nb4 11.Be2 0-0 12.Nc3 f6 13.0-0 Nc6 14.Bd3 Nb4 15.Be2 Nc6 16.Rac1 f5 17.Kh1 Qd8 and 1/2-1/2 in 28. Alapin - Von Gottschall, Dresden 1892 18.Na4+/-] 5...c5 6.a3 [Solid and cautious. More common is 6.f4 which could transpose to 5.f4 c5 6.c3.] 6...c4?! [6...Nc6= is better.] 7.b4 a5 8.Nd2 a4 9.Qg4 f5 [9...Nc6 10.Be2+/=] 10.Qg3 b5 11.Be2 Qe7 12.Nh3 [12.h4!?+/-] 12...Qf7 [12...Nc6 13.Nf3 g6 14.0-0+/-] 13.Ng5 [13.Nf4!?+/-] 13...Qg8 14.h4 Be7 15.h5 h6 16.Nh3 Nf8 17.Nf4 Bg5 18.Nf3 Bxf4 19.Bxf4 Ra7 20.Nh4 Re7 21.Qh2 Kd7 22.g4 fxg4 23.Bxg4 g5 24.hxg6 Nxg6 25.Bh5 Nxf4 26.Qxf4 Rg7 27.0-0-0 Qf8 [27...Kc7 28.Qh2+/-] 28.Qf6 Rhg8 29.Rh3  [Or 29.Ng6!+-] 29...Qe7 30.Rf3 Nc6 31.Bf7! 1-0

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