Monday, October 10, 2016

Keres French Defence Alapin 3.Be3

I always liked Paul Keres. In his early years Keres lived in the country of Estonia far from strong tournaments. To improve in chess he collected any game he could find in the newspaper. He wrote them down in books.

Paul Keres turned to correspondence chess to improve his skills. Keres said that in his youth he always chose the sharpest opening variations he could find. The unknown young Keres played the Alapin Diemer Gambit against the French Defence with 3.Be3.

Black weakened his pawn structure to hold the pawn with 4...f5. The idea may look bad, but it is fairly popular. The ending of this game has been presented in several different ways and with several different move orders. I chose the one that makes the most sense to me and looks to be the most reasonable finish.

Keres - Verbac, corr 1932 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3 dxe4 4.Nd2 f5 5.f3 exf3 [This helps lines White. One line Diemer faced as White repeatedly was 5...Nf6 6.fxe4 fxe4 7.Nh3 Bd6 8.Bc4 Qe7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Ng5 Kh8 11.Ndxe4+/-] 6.Ngxf3 Nf6 7.Bd3 [Here Alapin tried 7.Bc4 Nd5 8.Qe2 Be7 9.0-0-0 0-0 10.Rhg1 c6 11.g4 b5 12.Bb3 a5 13.c4-/+ Alapin - Noa, Dresden 1892] 7...c5 [If 7...Be7 8.Ne5 0-0 9.0-0 Nbd7 10.Ndf3 c6 11.c3 Qc7 12.Qe2 Bd6 13.Nc4= and 1-0 in 26. Szulmistrat-Munster, Corres. 1982] 8.0-0 cxd4 9.Nxd4 f4? [9...Nc6 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Qf3=] 10.Rxf4 e5 11.Bb5+  [Even better is 11.Rxf6! gxf6 12.Qh5+ Ke7 13.Rf1+-] 11...Kf7 [11...Bd7 12.Ne6 exf4 13.Nxd8+/-] 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Bc4+ Kg7 14.Qh6+! [Brilliant! White wins.] 14...Kxh6 15.Rh4+ Kg7 16.Bh6# 1-0

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