Sunday, December 4, 2016

Alex Slive Plays French Defence

Veteran player Alex Slive traveled to Northern Maine. While there Alex Slive played in the Houlton Open. Slive has been a long time French Defence player who earned a National Master Certificate. Alex Slive and Ray Haines finished in a five way tie for first place with Roger Morin, Cynthia Cui, and Nathan Gates.

Below I cite a few earlier French games by Alex Slive. Houlton has the last exit North on I-95 before the road enters New Brunswick, Canada. There signs appear in both French and English. When I worked in that county in the 1970s almost all my co-workers spoke French. Houlton seems like a good location for a French Defence. Both players blunder with the move Qd3 in the same game.

Ray Haines writes, “I won this game. I lost a pawn and should have lost the game but he made some mistakes which gave me a lot of chances. 26 Qd3 was a bad move. I spent a lot of time looking to see what he was playing and thought I needed to keep him from doubling my pawns by trading bishops.”

My new French 3.Be3 Playbook is a step by step guide to the Alapin Diemer Gambit.

Haines - Slive, Houlton, ME (3), 17.09.2016 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 [2.d3 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.Ngf3 c5 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 in Chase - Slive, Boylston 1994] 2...d5 3.Nc3 [3.exd5 exd5 4.Bd3 Bd6 5.Nc3 c6 6.h3 Ne7 in Schmitt - Slive, Boston 1999] 3...Nf6 [3...Bb4 4.e5 Qd7 5.Bd3 b6 6.Nge2 Bb7 7.a3 Bf8 in Clark - Slive, Boston 1999] 4.Bd3 [4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 Qb6 in Schmitt - Slive, Boylston 1994] 4...dxe4 [The critical line is 4...c5! when White can choose between 5.Be3, 5.Nf3, 5.dxc5, or 5.exd5. In all these cases the positions are equal. White's only advantage is that he has avoided the more popular lines.] 5.Nxe4 [This transposes into the Rubinstein Variation which could reach the game continuation after 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Bd3.] 5...Be7 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.Ng3!? [White spends a tempo to keep a this piece on the board. Objectively the knight on d7 is better placed than the knight on g3, but Ng3 is playable. Most masters continue to develop with 7.Qe2, 7.0-0 or simply capture 7.Nxf6+] 7...0-0 8.Be3 [Another idea is 8.0-0 c5 9.b3!?] 8...b6 9.0-0 Bb7 10.c3 c5 11.Qe2 cxd4 12.cxd4 Nd5 [12...Rc8=] 13.Rac1 N7f6 14.Ne5 Rc8 15.a3 Qd6 [15...Nxe3=/+ gives Black the advantage of the two bishops.] 16.Ba6!? [White plays to trade off his good bishop.] 16...Qb8 17.Bxb7 Qxb7 18.Rfd1 Rxc1 19.Rxc1 Rc8 20.Qd2 Rc7 21.Ne2 Qc8 22.Nf4 [This knight went from Ne4 to Ng3 to Ne2 to Nf4 to be exchanged.] 22...Nxf4 23.Bxf4 Nd5 24.Rxc7 Qxc7 25.Bg3 Bd6 26.Qd3? [This loses material. Better is 26.Nd3 Bxg3 27.hxg3=] 26...Bxe5 27.Bxe5 Qc1+ 28.Qf1 Qxb2 29.h4 f6?! [29...Qxa3! 30.Qc4 f6-+] 30.Bb8 [30.Bd6] 30...Qxd4?! [30...Qxa3! 31.Qc4 a5-+] 31.Qb5! Kf7 [It is hard to make progress after 31...Qd1+ 32.Kh2 Qh5 33.Qd7 Qxh4+ 34.Kg1 Qh5 35.Qxe6+ Qf7 36.Qc8+ Qf8 37.Qe6+ Kh8 38.Bxa7 Qd8=/+] 32.Qd7+ Kg6 33.Qxe6 a5 34.g4 Qd3? [Black falls for mate in an drawish endgame. Time control at Game/65 was likely a factor. 34...h6 35.h5+ Kh7 36.Qf5+ Kg8 37.Qe6+ Kh8 38.Qc8+ Kh7=] 35.Qe8+ 1-0

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