Sunday, October 9, 2016

Graham Burgess Wins Alekhine

In the 1990s Graham Burgess made major contributions to the Alekhine Defence. Below is a game that I probably found in one of this books. Black was listed as B. Martin. It began 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4. With 5.Be2 c6 6.0-0 White continues his kingside development. He has made no mistakes and taken no risks. However, White has also not applied any direct pressure to Black.

Black appears to be cramped, but each of Black's pieces have good effective squares for operation around his rock-solid pawn formation. And what of White's e-pawn so bravely pushed on move two? It is stuck there all by its lonesome.

The popular move 9.Qe2 defends e5 before Black can attack it, however Black's attack on that square comes quickly. Typically, White only manages to hold onto the pawn by one tempo. In fact, e5 is so difficult to defend that many players as White choose to gambit the pawn in an attempt to use the open e-file for an attack on Black's king or at least on his center. Thus, Qe2 is just a defensive move but the preparation for an offensive plan.

Martin - Burgess, English Counties Final Birmingham, 1995 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 c6 6.0-0 Bxf3 [This eliminates the most natural protection for e5.] 7.Bxf3 [Sometimes White plays 7.gxf3 but the double f-pawns are a weakness, while the open g-file is not all that helpful. 7...e6 8.c4 Ne7 9.f4 Nf5=] 7...dxe5 White will be stuck with an undefended pawn on e5 that Black can attack in three ways during the next five moves. 8.dxe5 [White has compensation for a pawn after 8.c4!? Nb6 9.dxe5 Qxd1 10.Bxd1 Nxc4 11.e6 fxe6 12.Nd2 Nxd2 13.Bxd2 e5 14.Bc3 Nd7 15.Bg4 Rd8 16.Rad1 h5=; Weak is 8.Bxd5?! Qxd5 9.dxe5 Qxe5-/+ Black remains a pawn up and should have time to complete his development.] 8...e6 9.Qe2 Nd7 10.c4 [10.Re1 Bc5 11.Nd2 0-0 12.Nb3 Bb6=] 10...Ne7 [This is really unusual, but the point will soon be obvious. The knight is headed for g6 to gang up on e5.] 11.b3 [Another way to defend e5 is to move out of the way of the f-pawn with 11.Bg4 Qc7 12.f4 h5!? 13.Bh3 g5=; The natural follow-up to 10.c4 is to protect e5 with the bishop. Black gains time attacking this piece and may pick up the e5 pawn anyway. 11.Bf4 Ng6 12.Bg3 Qg5 13.Be4 Ndxe5=] 11...Ng6 12.Bb2 [12.Bh5 Ndxe5 13.Rd1 Qc7 14.Nc3 Be7=] 12...Qc7 [Black is ganging up on e5 while preparing to castle queenside.] 13.Bh5 [13.Be4 Ndxe5 Black picks off the e-pawn with good chances to simply keep the material advantage and complete his development. 14.g3 f5 15.Bg2 0-0-0=; One more try to hold the e-pawn is 13.Re1 Bb4 14.Nd2 Ndxe5 15.Red1 Rd8=/+] 13...Ndxe5 14.f4 [14.g3 0-0-0 15.Nc3 Be7 16.Rad1 Nd7=] 14...Nd7 15.f5 [With the knight off the e-file, Black e6 pawn is pinned. What is Black to do?] 15...0-0-0! ["When playing the tricks, one must beware of such counter-tricks." Burgess.] 16.fxe6 [Burgess notes 16.fxg6? hxg6-+] 16...fxe6 17.Bg4 Nf4 18.Qe4 Bd6 19.g3 Nc5 20.Qe3 Nfd3 [Black's knights are having a field day attacking something with every move.] 21.Bd4 Be5 22.Bxe5 Qxe5 23.Qxe5 Nxe5 24.Bh3 Kc7 25.b4 Ncd3 26.a3 Nxc4 27.Bxe6 Ne3 [The dust has cleared and Black has won a pawn.] 28.Rf3 Ne1 29.Rf7+ Kd6 30.Bb3 Rhf8 31.Nd2 Rxf7 32.Bxf7 N1c2 33.Nc4+ Ke7 34.Nxe3 Nxa1 0-1

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