Monday, October 31, 2016

Morozevich Played 1.Nc3 c5 2.d4

The game Alexander Morozevich vs Gary Kasparov at Frankfurt in 2000 reached a sharp position. White could have played for a draw. This was a dilemma for a player like Morozevich. At one point he was the second highest rated grandmaster in the world. It seems Morozevich would rather accept an inferior position and hope to win than to settle for a draw vs the world champion. This made him popular with the fans, but his rating fell off sharply. It was not the fault of openings like the Queens Knight Attack 1.Nc3 as much as his approach. Of course it is hard for older players to stay in the top 30 anyway.

Five years later I played the same line on ICC against the chess engine “Over-Rated”. I was happy to draw an opponent rated 500 points above me. The amazing thing for me was that this computer allowed me to get a position where I could draw at all!

Sawyer (2255) - Over-Rated (2799), ICC 15 5 Internet Chess Club, 06.08.2005 begins 1.Nc3 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qh4 [4.Qd3 Nf6 5.e4 e5 6.a3 Bc5 7.Nf3=; 4.Qa4 e6 5.Nf3 Bc5 6.Bf4 Nf6 7.e3=] 4...Nf6 5.Nf3 [5.Bg5 e6 6.0-0-0 Be7 7.e4 h6 8.f4=] 5...d5 6.Bg5 Qa5 [6...e6 7.0-0-0 Be7 8.e4 h6 9.exd5 exd5 10.Bd3=] 7.0-0-0 Be6 8.Bd2 [8.Nd4 Ne4 (8...Nxd4 9.Qxd4 a6 10.f3+/=) 9.Nb3 Qb6 10.Nxe4 dxe4 11.Qxe4 Bxb3 12.Be3 Bxc2 13.Qxc2+/=] 8...g6 9.e4 [9.a3 Bg7 10.e4 dxe4 11.Nxe4=] 9...d4 10.e5 Ng4 [10...dxc3 11.Bxc3 Qxa2 12.exf6 exf6 13.Bxf6=] 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.h3 Bg7 13.hxg4 Bxe5 14.a3 [14.Bd3 Bxa2 15.Nb5 Qa4 16.Nc3=] 14...Rc8 [14...Qc7=] 15.Bd3 Nb3+  [15...Bc4=] 16.cxb3 [16.Kb1 Nxd2+ 17.Rxd2 Rxc3!-+] 16...Bxc3 17.Bxc3 Rxc3+ 18.bxc3 [This was an improvement over the game 18.Kb1? Rxb3 19.Qh2 Qc3! 0-1 in 44. Morozevich - Kasparov, Frankfurt 2000] 18...Qxc3+ 19.Kb1 [19.Bc2 Bxb3 20.Rd2 Qa1+ 21.Bb1 Qc3+ 22.Bc2=] 19...Qxb3+ 20.Kc1 Qc3+ 21.Kb1 Qb3+ 22.Kc1 Qc3+ 23.Kb1 Qb3+ Game drawn by repetition 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Sunday, October 30, 2016

French Defence BethO 7.Be3 a6

I did not completely ignore the advice of Aldo Lopez to play slow games. Here is a slower game played at the speed of 45 45 on the Internet Chess Club. My standard ICC rating has been over 2200 for many years. That is mostly due to inactivity at the slower speeds.

I won a French Defence in the Steinitz Variation after 4.e5. My opponent was BethO. The theme of this game is good bishops and bad bishops. The point of the 7.Be3 line is for White to exchange off dark squared bishops. The dark squared bishops are good for Black if they stayed on the board.

Many exchanges followed until we reached an ending with only pawns and light squared bishops. These bishops favored White. Soon White won a pawn and swapped bishops for an easy win.

Sawyer (2272) - BethO (1809), ICC 45 45 Internet Chess Club, 22.09.2008 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 [Equally popular is 7...cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc5 9.Qd2=] 8.Qd2 b5 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Bxc5 Nxc5 11.Qf2 Qb6 12.Bd3 Bb7 [More common is 12...b4 13.Ne2 a5 14.0-0 Ba6=] 13.0-0 b4 14.Ne2 Qa5 [14...a5 15.f5!?] 15.Ned4 [15.Nc1+/=] 15...Ne4 16.Nxc6 Bxc6 17.Qe3 Qa4? [17...0-0 18.a3=] 18.Nd2 [I did not want to exchange my good bishop for his knight, but White could pick up a pawn with 18.Nd4 Bd7 19.Bxe4 dxe4 20.Qxe4+/-] 18...Nxd2 19.Qxd2 Qa5 [19...Bb5 20.f5 Bxd3 21.cxd3 exf5 22.Rxf5 a5=] 20.a3 [20.f5 Qc5+ 21.Kh1 exf5 22.Rxf5+/=] 20...Qb6+ 21.Qf2 Qxf2+ 22.Kxf2 a5 23.axb4 axb4 24.Rxa8+ Bxa8 25.Ra1 0-0 26.Ra5 Rb8 27.Rb5 [27.Ke3 d4+ 28.Kxd4 Bxg2 29.Rb5+/-] 27...Rxb5 28.Bxb5 Kf8 [Black should play 28...d4! 29.g3 Be4=] 29.g3 Kg8 [29...d4=] 30.Ke3 Bb7 31.Kd4 Kf8 32.Ba4 h5 33.Kc5 Ke7 34.Kxb4 Ba8  [34...f6 35.exf6+ gxf6 36.Kc5 e5 37.fxe5 fxe5 38.c3+-] 35.Kc5 f6 [35...Bb7 36.b4 Kd8 37.b5 Kc8 38.b6 Kd8 39.Bb5+-] 36.Bc6 Bxc6 37.Kxc6 fxe5 [37...g5 38.exf6+ Kxf6 39.b4+-] 38.fxe5 Ke8 39.Kd6 Kf7 40.b4 h4 41.b5 d4 42.b6 hxg3 43.hxg3 Kg6 44.b7 Kf5 45.b8Q Kg5 46.Kxe6 Kg6 47.Qb5 Kh6 48.Qd3 Kg5 49.Qxd4 Kg6 50.Qg4+ Kh7 51.Kf7 Kh8 52.Qh4# 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Van Geet vs Jan Timman

The 1.Nc3 opening is most often called the Van Geet Opening and for good reason. Dirk Daniel Van Geet was an International Master and an International Correspondence Grandmaster.

For more than 50 years he played 1.Nc3 and published analysis. Van Geet was born in 1932 and died at age 80 in 2012. The first move 1.Nc3 was not the only thing Van Geet played, but it was by far the most common. He defeated many masters.

Why do I use the descriptive term Queens Knight Attack for 1.Nc3? It is because it is easier for most to understand it. I mean no disrespect to Van Geet or Dunst or Aasum or any other prominent 1.Nc3 player. I have seen a huge pile of 1.Nc3 players. In my mind, Van Geet belongs at the top of the pile.

Here Van Geet played his fellow countryman Jan Timman. Both were from the Netherlands, but this is not a Dutch Defence. In 1968 Jan Timman was about 16 years old. The previous year he finished third in the World Junior Championship in Jerusalem.

Jan Timman earned the titles of International Master in 1971 and Grandmaster in 1974. Later in his career Timman became best known for New In Chess. Timman has served as one of the chief editors for many years. Jan Timman also wrote many books.

Timman is a contemporary of Anatoly Karpov. In 1993 Timman lost the FIDE World Championship title match to Karpov 12.5-8.5 after Gary Kasparov had been stripped of his title by FIDE. But most players still considered Kasparov to be the world champion.

Van Geet - Timman, The Hague (3), 1968 begins 1.Nc3 d5 2.d4 [More often Van Geet plays 2.e4.] 2...e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Bb4 [4...Be7 5.e3 0-0 6.Bd3 h6 7.Bh4=] 5.e3 h6 6.Bf4 a6 [6...Ne4 7.a3 Ba5 8.Bd3 Nxc3 9.Qd2 Nd7 10.bxc3 c5=] 7.Ne5 [7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 c5=] 7...c5 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Bd3 Nc6 10.0-0 Bd6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bxd6 Qxd6 13.e4 0-0 14.f4 dxe4 15.Bxe4 Nxe4 16.Nxe4 Qb4 17.Qd3 Qxb2? [17...Qb6+ 18.Kh1=] 18.Rfb1 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, October 28, 2016

BDG Lemberger vs Robin Forman

Robin Forman is a USCF National Master rated 2265. An article dated September 14, 2016 in “The Hullabaloo” announced a new member added to the Tulane administrative board, “senior vice president of Academic Affairs and provost, Robin Forman.”

In the article Emily Fornof wrote “Outside of academia, Forman has played chess for many years and is a former stand-up comedian. Forman still remains interested in these activities, but he says his passion has remained with education.”

An intelligent chess master guy with a sense of humor! My guess is this is the same Robin Forman whom I played in a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit thematic correspondence tournament 1996.

Forman and I drew an unrated game in the Lemberger line 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 Nc3 e5 4.Nxe4 exd4. The best move is 5.Nf3! Here I experimented with 5.Bb5+!? c6 6.Qe2?! Analysis shows Black had a good reply 6…Bb4+! We got bishops of opposite colors.

The line 4.Nxe4 exd4 is section 2.6 in my Blackmar-Diemer Games 2 book.

Sawyer - Forman, corr BDG thematic 1996 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nxe4 exd4 5.Bb5+ [5.Nf3! Nc6 6.Bb5 Bf5 7.Bxc6+ bxc6 8.Ng3 Qe7+ 9.Ne2 c5 10.0-0 0-0-0=; 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Nf6 7.0-0 Be7 8.c3 dxc3 9.Qe2 0-0 10.bxc3 Re8=/+; 5.Bc4 Qe7 6.Qe2 Nc6 7.Bg5 f6 8.Bf4 Bf5 9.Bd3 Be6 10.Nf3 g5=/+] 5...c6 [5...Bd7 6.Qe2 Qe7 7.Nf3 f5 8.Bxd7+ Nxd7 9.Neg5 Qxe2+ 10.Kxe2=; 5...Nc6 6.Ne2 (6.Nf3 Bf5 7.Bxc6+ bxc6 8.Ng3 Qe7+ 9.Ne2 c5 10.0-0 0-0-0=) 6...Bd7 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Nxf6+ Qxf6 9.Nxd4 Qxd4 10.Qxd4 Nxd4 11.Bxd7+ Kxd7 12.Rd1=] 6.Qe2 [6.Bc4! Nf6 (6...Bf5 7.Ng3 Bg6 8.Nf3 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Qe7+ 10.Ne2 Nf6 11.0-0=) 7.Nxf6+ (7.Ng5 Qe7+ 8.Qe2 Nd5 9.Ne4=) 7...Qxf6 8.Nf3 Bb4+ 9.Kf1 (9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 c5 11.Qe2+ Be6 12.0-0 0-0 13.Bxe6 Qxe6=/+) 9...0-0 10.Bg5 Qd6 11.Qxd4 Qxd4 12.Nxd4 Nd7 13.c3 Bc5 14.Re1=] 6...Be7 [6...Bb4+! 7.c3 (7.Nd2+ Ne7 8.Bd3 0-0 9.Ngf3 Re8-/+) 7...cxb5 8.cxb4 Ne7 9.Qxb5+ Nbc6-/+] 7.Bc4 Bf5 [7...b5 8.Bb3=] 8.Nf3 Bg6 [8...Bxe4 9.Qxe4 Nf6 10.Qxd4 Qxd4 11.Nxd4 Bc5=] 9.0-0 Kf8 10.Bf4 c5 11.Ne5 [11.Rae1!?+/-] 11...Nc6 12.Nxc6 [12.Rae1 Nxe5 13.Bxe5+/-] 12...bxc6 13.Be5?! [13.Rfe1 Qd7 14.Qd2 Re8 15.Qa5+/-] 13...Nf6 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Nxc5 Qe7 16.Qxe7+ Kxe7 17.Rae1+ Kd6 18.Ne4+ Bxe4 19.Rxe4 Rab8 20.b3 Rhe8 21.Rxe8 Rxe8 22.Bxf7 Re2 23.Rc1 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Thursday, October 27, 2016

English Opening Queens Knight

What does the 1...Nc6 player do if White does not head to the main lines with 1.e4 or 1.d4? What if White develops more quietly on the flanks with 1.c4 or 1.Nf3? What about 1.d4 Nc6 2.Nf3? Just play good moves.

In 2007 Christoph Wisnewski wrote one of my favorite books on the Queens Knight Defence called “Play 1…Nc6!: a complete chess opening repertoire for Black.” In 2011 Christoph Scheerer wrote one of my favorite books on “The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit: A modern guide to a fascinating chess opening.”

This game was played when Christoph still used the last name of Wisnewski. I believe he changed it to Scheerer when he married. International Master Christoph Scheerer played 1…Nc6 with the basic intention of following it up when feasible with 2…d5. Here Christian Laqua played the English Opening. Clearly the move 1…Nc6 is easy to play against such an opening.

Laqua - Scheerer, German League 2006 begins 1.c4 Nc6 2.g3 [2.Nc3 e5 3.g3 Bc5 4.Bg2 d6 5.e3 Bf5=; 2.Nf3 e5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 Bb4 5.Qc2 Bxc3 6.Qxc3 Qe7=] 2...d5 3.cxd5 Qxd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Qh5 6.d3 Bh3 7.Bxh3 Qxh3 8.Qb3 0-0-0 9.Be3 [9.Qxf7 e6-/+] 9...e6 10.Ng5 Qh5 11.Qa4 Nd5 12.g4 Qg6 13.h4 [13.Qe4 Qxe4 14.Ngxe4 Be7=] 13...Nxe3 14.fxe3 h6 15.Nf3 Bc5 16.Kd2 f5 17.Rhg1 Qf6 18.g5 hxg5 19.Rxg5 Ne5 20.Rf1 Ng4 21.Nd1 [21.Rxg4 fxg4 22.Qxg4 Rd7=/+] 21...Rxh4 22.Qc4 [22.Rg1 Kb8 23.Rxg7 Qxg7 24.Nxh4 Qe7-/+] 22...Nxe3 23.Qxh4 Nxf1+ 24.Ke1 Ne3 25.Nc3 Bb4 26.Kd2 Nd5 27.Qc4 Rd6 28.e4 fxe4 [Or 28...Rc6-+ ] 29.Qxe4 Nxc3 30.bxc3 Qxc3+ 31.Ke2 Qc2+ 32.Ke3 Bc5+ 33.Kf4 Qf2 34.Rxg7 Rd4 35.Rg8+ Kd7 36.Rg7+ Ke8 37.Rxc7 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tyrin Price BDG to Dragon Sicilian

Tyrin Price asked, "Have you ever seen someone avoid the BDG and then it transposes into a Sicilian Accelerated Dragon? I had one of those tonight."

There’s not much approaching the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit that I haven’t seen. Initially Black chose the Modern Defence 1.d4 g6. The moves 2.e4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c5 are a Hyper-Accelerated Dragon. Transposition into the Sicilian Defence with 4.Nf3 is logical, especially if you have a clue of how White should play. A serious option is the Schmid Benoni 4.d5. Maybe the best is 4.dxc5 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 +=.

Tyrin Price as "StrayLight" provides his detailed assessment of this game.

StrayLight (1523) - ColdNorth (1417), ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 22.10.2016 begins 1.d4 g6 [Avoided the BDG by going into a Modern Defense.] 2.e4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c5 4.Nf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 [Now it is an Accelerated Dragon! I have often played the Dragon and its Accelerated cousin.] 5...Nc6 6.Be3 d6 [One of the benefits of the Accelerated Dragon over the main line Dragon is that Black can get in ...d5 all at once rather than in two moves in the normal Dragon where White chooses 10.0-0-0 over 10.Bc4 (Yugoslav). Playing ...d6 here is out of keeping with the spirit of the line. I think ...Nf6 is better.] 7.Qd2 a6 [This move is also not common in most Dragon lines. Usually the Black Queen will go to a5 and then ...b5 needs no other preparatory pawn anchors like ...a6.] 8.h4 [Thematic idea against k-side fianchettoes. Open up the h-file. Still may be a bit early. More usual is simply 0-0-0.] 8...h5 9.f3 [I am not sure about this move but I'd like to get g4 in eventually.] 9...Nf6 10.0-0-0 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 b5 12.Kb1 Bb7 [More uncharacteristic ideas. I think my opponent may be out of his book.] 13.Nd5 Bxd5 14.exd5 Rc8 15.g4 [Getting in g4 while the Knight is pinned. My opponent did a long think on this move using about 40 seconds which is a long time in a 5-minute game.] 15...hxg4 16.fxg4 [I had pre-moved this so it was instant for me and my opponent hunkered down into another long think which put him under time pressure. He falls apart soon.] 16...Kf8 17.g5 Nh5 18.Qf2 Bxd4 19.Rxd4 Ng7 20.Bh3 [Fritz told me in post-mortem that 20.Bd3 is even stronger. My idea is to pile quickly onto f7.] 20...Rc7 21.Rf1 e6 22.dxe6 Black forfeits on time 1-0 [Notes by Tyrin Price]

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

King's Indian Defence vs Madison

In chess it is good to have a plan, a predetermined strategy that gives you an idea of exactly how you intend to win a position. For example, when I played White in a King’s Indian Saemisch, then I typically did the same thing all the time if allowed. My basic plan was to play Be3 and Qd2 followed by Bh6, h4 and h5 as soon as possible. I may or may not 0-0-0 or play Nge2, g4 and Ng3.

All this is very fine. It often works. But if the position is similar but not exactly what I expect, then White needs to think a little more. Stronger players will memorize exact moves to play against the most popular opening continuations. The more such positions that you already know, the faster and better you can play.

Eventually players will reach a position beyond what they have actually memorized. For most players in most games, that will be within the first 10 moves. Danger lurks behind every move as soon as you leave your rote memory opening path. Most players blunder on the first or second move out of their opening book, especially in blitz chess.

Harold O. Madison chose the Panno Variation 6…Nc6. The first eight moves were easy. Move nine gave White many reasonable choices. I followed my basic plan 9.Bh6, but that was a mistake. When Black failed to capture my bishop I was able to mount a successful attack. I added other options in the notes.

Sawyer (2100) - Madison (1884), corr APCT 1981 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 Rb8 8.Qd2 a6 9.Bh6?! [Computers like 9.Nc1 e5 10.d5 Nd4 11.Nb3 Nxb3 12.axb3+/=; Another try was 9.Rb1!? b5 10.cxb5 axb5 11.b4 e5 12.d5 Ne7 13.g4= 1-0 (24) Quirk,M (1878)-Sawyer,T (2050) corr APCT 1983] 9...b5 [9...Bxh6 10.Qxh6 b5!=/+] 10.h4 e5 [10...Bxh6 11.Qxh6 bxc4=] 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.h5 Kh8 [12...bxc4! 13.d5 Na5=] 13.hxg6 [13.cxb5+/=] 13...fxg6 14.Qh6 Qe7 15.Qxg6 Rg8 16.Qh6 Nxd4? [16...Nb4 17.0-0-0 bxc4 18.Kb1+/=] 17.Nxd4 exd4 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.cxd5 Bf5 20.0-0-0 [20.Qd2!+-] 20...Bg6 21.Rxd4 Qe5 22.Qe3 Rbc8 23.Qc3  [23.f4!+-] 23...Rge8 [23...c6 24.dxc6 Rxc6 25.Qxc6 Qxd4 26.Qc3+/-] 24.Rd3 Qxc3+ 25.Rxc3 b4 26.Rc6 a5 27.Ba6 [Or 27.Kd2+- ] 27...Ra8 28.Kd2 Ra7 29.Rhc1 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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