Norman Whitaker won a French Defence in much the same way that Semyon Alapin himself played 3.Be3. He chose 5.c3.
At the Downeast Open in Portland, Maine during the summer of 1973 Norman Whitaker was the first International Master I ever met personally. Whitaker played on the upper boards. I played on the lower boards. It was one of my worst tournaments, but I learned some very important lessons. I kept no recorded games from that event. Still, I remember that I made a rare opening blunder. Ouch.
The Black pieces in this French Defence was played by the notable master Wolfgang Heidenfeld. Back in 1959 Heidenfeld had played White in a Huebsch Gambit against Kirby. Here Whitaker played a persistent attack and won in the end.
My new French 3.Be3 Playbook is a step by step guide to the Alapin Diemer Gambit.
Whitaker (2300) - Heidenfeld (2400), Lugano 1968 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3 dxe4 4.Nd2 Nf6 5.c3 Nbd7 [Black sets a trap with 5...Be7 6.Qc2 Nd5! 7.Nxe4 (Not 7.Qxe4? f5 8.Qf3 f4 9.Bxf4 0-0 10.g3 g5-/+ and 0-1 in 29. Kemna - Geveke, Germany 1986) 7...f5 8.Nc5 Bxc5 9.dxc5 Nxe3 10.fxe3=] 6.Qc2 b6 [Interesting is 6...Nd5 7.Nxe4 (7.Qxe4=) 7...Nxe3 8.fxe3 Qh4+ 9.g3 Qh6 10.0-0-0!? Qxe3+ 11.Kb1=; 6...c5 suggested by Keres and Minev can be met simply by 7.Nxe4=] 7.Nxe4 [If 7.g3 Be7 8.Bg2 Nd5=] 7...Bb7 8.Bd3 [Another idea is 8.Nxf6+ Nxf6 9.Bb5+!?= and 1-0 in 33. Arnold - Gatzke, Germany 1981] 8...Be7 9.Nf3 Nxe4 10.Bxe4 Bxe4 11.Qxe4 0-0 12.h4 Nf6 13.Qc2 Qd5 14.Ng5?! [14.0-0=] 14...h6 [It looks risky, but it appears the position can be defended after 14...Qxg2! 15.0-0-0 Qd5 16.Rdg1 c5-/+ and Black is up a pawn.] 15.f3 b5 16.Ne4 e5 17.dxe5 Qxe5 18.Bd4 Qe6 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.0-0-0 Rfd8 21.Qb3 Rxd1+ 22.Rxd1 Bxh4 23.Qxe6 fxe6 24.Rd7 Re8 [24...Rc8 25.Kc2+/=] 25.g3 [25.Rxc7+/-] 25...Bd8 26.Kd2 Kh7 27.g4 Kg6 28.Ke2 Rg8 29.Nc5 c6 30.f4 h5 [30...Bb6 31.Nxe6 Kf6 32.Nd4+/=] 31.gxh5+ Kxh5 32.Nxe6 Bb6 33.Kf3 Kg6 34.Rd6 Kf7 35.Rxc6 Ke7 36.Nd4 Kd7 37.Rg6 b4 38.f5 bxc3 39.bxc3 Ke7 [39...Bc5 40.Ne6+-] 40.f6+ Kf7 41.Rxg7+ Rxg7 42.fxg7 Kxg7 43.Ke4 Kf7 44.Kd5 Ke7 45.Kc6 Kd8 46.Kb7 Kd7 47.Nb5 Bc7 48.Nxa7 1-0
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