Friday, December 2, 2016

English Opening Interesting 2.f4!?

This is my great undevelopment game! I conceived a plan to relocate all my pieces back to the first rank. How often in your chess career do you get to do that in a serious game? Six of my back rank pieces had been moved. All were returned to different squares from where they started by move 16 in this rare combination of the English Opening and the Birds Opening.

My opponent was Imants R Eglitis. In 1991 when ICCF gave out ratings, Eglitis got an initial rating of 2110. Mine was less than that, but it went up to 2157 after I won a later tournament. ICCF notes that for Latvia chess, “First we have to mention Prof. Imants Eglitis who was head of the ICCF thematic tournaments office and was awarded with a Bertl von Massow medal.”

Actually I knew of Imants Eglitis from books that I had. Eglitis was one of the leading Latvian Gambit players of the 1970s. In this game I followed the Hugh E. Myers idea of 1.c4 and 2.f4. I did okay vs Eglitis but not so well against Manfred Schaefer below.

Sawyer - Eglitis, corr ICCF 1982 begins 1.c4 Nf6 2.f4 e6 [2...e5!? 3.fxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 d6 5.e6 (5.exd6 Bxd6 6.g3 Nxh2 7.Rxh2 Bxg3+ 8.Rf2 g5 9.e3 g4 10.Nd4 h5 11.Nc3 Bxf2+ 12.Kxf2 h4 13.Qc2 Qf6+ 14.Ke1 h3 15.Nd5 Qh4+ 16.Kd1 h2 17.Qe4+ Kd8 18.Qh1 Qf2 0-1 Luder-Nehlert/Porz op 1988) 5...Bxe6 6.e4 Be7 7.d4 c5 8.d5 (8.Be2=) 8...Bc8 9.Bd3 (9.Be2=) 9...Bh4+ 10.Nxh4 Qxh4+ 11.Kd2 Na6 and 0-1 in 24. Sawyer - Schaefer, corr ICCF 1982] 3.Nf3 d5 4.e3 Be7 5.Nc3 0-0 6.b3 c5 7.Ne2  [7.Bd3 dxc4 8.Bxc4=] 7...Nc6 8.Ng3 b6 [8...d4=/+] 9.Be2 d4 10.Qc2 Nb4 [10...Qd6 11.0-0 Bb7 12.Bb2 Rad8=/+] 11.Qb1 d3 [11...Bb7 12.0-0 Qd6 13.Ne5 Rad8=] 12.Bd1 Bb7 13.0-0 [This was better than 13.Bb2 Bxf3 14.gxf3 Nc6=/+] 13...Ne4 14.a3 Na6 [Black could have spoiled my plans with 14...Nxg3 15.hxg3=] 15.Nh1!? [A good alternative was 15.Nxe4 Bxe4 16.Ne5 f6 17.Ng4 Rb8 18.Nf2=] 15...Qd6 16.Ne1 [With this move I have completed my master plan, to undevelop all my pieces to the first rank. In fact it is not a bad move in this position.] 16...Rad8 17.Bf3 Rd7 18.Nf2 Nxf2 19.Bxb7 Rxb7 20.Rxf2 Bf6 21.Bb2 Bxb2 22.Qxb2 b5 23.cxb5 [Or 23.Qc3=] 23...Rxb5 24.Qc3 Rfb8 25.Qxd3 Qc6 26.Nf3 Rxb3 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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  1. An improvement on those 2 similar Kasparov-Karpov games 1) Linares, 1993, where Karpov retreated only 7 of his pieces back to the first rank on move 22 and later lost and 2) World Championship, game 6, 1984 where merely 7 pieces of either colour take up squares on the a-file (the game is nicknamed in "Take the a-train" after the signature tune of the Duke Ellington orchestra)

    1. Yes, the only way to avoid losing is to put all eight pieces back to the first rank! The fun move was Nh1 which was a good way to go from Ng3 to Nf2. After some time playing 1.c4 and 2.f4, I finally figured out that White might do better with 1.d4 and 2.e4!


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