Monday, February 29, 2016

Alan Norris vs my King's Indian

The King's Indian Defence 5.Nf3 variation leads to opposite side attacks. White plays to pick off material on the queenside and win the endgame. Black plays for an attack on the kingside to mate or win material. Against FM Alan J. Norris of Scotland. White chose an interesting combination of 9.Bd2 and 10.g3. I held my hold, but I slipped up in the middlegame. Norris stopped my kingside attack very quickly. When he turned to the queenside, where I was unable to defend properly.

In 1984, most computer programs were far weaker than masters. That year I bought my first home computer, a Commodore 64. It held very little information. Today ICCF correspondence play involves a combination of master and computer analysis to reach the top. Take away either the master or the engine and the results will suffer.

ICCF ratings online do not go back 30 years, but 20 years ago his ICCF rating is 2362 and mine was 2157. Neither of us have played in ICCF since then.

Today I resume doing my Blog Posts Every Day.

Norris - Sawyer, corr ICCF 1984 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Bd2 Nh5 10.g3 [10.h3+/=] 10...f5 [10...Nf6!?] 11.exf5 Nxf5 12.Ne4 [12.Bg5!?] 12...Nf6 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Bd3 Bg7 16.h4 c6 17.Kg2 Bd7 18.Qd2 cxd5 19.cxd5 Qb6 20.Rac1 Rf7 [20...Rac8=] 21.Rc3 Raf8 22.Rb3 Qc7 23.Rc1 Qb8 24.Ba6 Bc8 25.Qb4 Rc7 [Black misses 25...Qa8!=] 26.Rxc7 Qxc7 27.Bxb7 1-0


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Friday, February 26, 2016

Beginner Logic in Italian Game

Can you play chess openings using common sense? Yes, but exact knowledge of basic theory will boost your success. The move 3...h6 in the Italian Game is surprisingly common for players rated 1500-1600. How do masters respond to 3...h6?

Attack minded masters such Morphy, Steinitz, and Svidler played 4.d4 to open up the center quickly. Others such Koltanowski and Gipslis first play 4.0-0. Alekhine opted for 4.Nc3 in a simul when he was the world champion.

The Italian Game begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4. How do you handle the move 3...h6 vs the Italian Game? I've always played 4.0-0 or 4.d4. Let's look at the statistics.

Black plays 3...Bc5 or 3...Nf6 92% of the time. These two moves are well established. The quiet moves 3...Be7 or 3...d6 appear 6% of the time. Our move 3...h6 is played fully 1%. Then the 22 other moves in my database account for 1% combined, including my overly aggressive favorites 3...Nd4 and 3...f5.

The beginner logic of 3...h6 goes like this. Black wants to play 3...Nf6. Then he notices White can play 4.Ng5. If Black does not know the theoretical move 4...d5 nor enjoy the gambit 4...Bc5, then preventing 4.Ng5 by 3...h6 seems reasonable, almost forced!

In the game Ray Haines vs David Hunter, we find another example of the move 3...h6. White continues with 5.d3 against his less experienced opponent. Ray Haines demonstrates solid but rapid development leads to a playable middlegame.

Haines - D. Hunter, Presque Isle, ME 05.01.2016 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6 [3...Bc5; 3...Nf6] 4.0-0 Nf6 5.d3 [5.d4+/= makes use of open lines.] 5...Bc5 6.Nc3 d6 7.Be3 Bxe3 8.fxe3 Bg4 [8...Na5=] 9.Qe1 Bxf3? [Black is too slow to complete his development. Now White's attack will pick up speed. Better is 9...0-0 10.Qg3 Na5=] 10.Rxf3 a6 11.Qg3 Qd7? [This loses faster than 11...0-0 12.Raf1+-] 12.Qxg7 0-0-0 13.Qxf6 Nb4 14.Bxf7 Rhf8 15.Be6 Rxf6 16.Bxd7+ Rxd7 17.Rxf6 Nxc2 18.Rf8+ Rd8 19.Rxd8+ Kxd8 20.Rf1 Nxe3 21.Rf7 Kc8 22.Nd5 Nxd5 23.exd5 c6 24.dxc6 bxc6 25.g4 d5 26.h4 Kd8 27.g5 Ke8 28.g6 c5 29.Rc7 e4 30.g7 exd3 31.g8Q# 1-0


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

London System Why Play Qb6

Against the London System, my master level opponent Joe Bacon chose a thematic 4.c3 Qb6. Here's why that strategy is logical. White plays Bf4 early in the London which leaves b2 undefended. Therefore after ...c6 or ...c5, the Black lady can slide up to Qb6 with eyes on the poisoned b-pawn. But is it really poisoned? That's the point.

The London is a solid method of forward development. It resembles gravity continually pulling a glacier downhill toward the water, one slow inch per day. When a big chunk falls off, the progress is obvious. Most of the time it looks like nothing is happening. The moves d4 and Bf4 do not carry the speedy threats that their counterparts e4 and Bc4 do. Black has time to chop off the London b2 pawn if allowed.

White opposes the Black queen with his own lovely lady, as I played 5.Qb3. The women stared at each other for a while. The advantage of letting your opponent make the first capture is that the side with the recapture gets an open file. See my 10.axb3. I did have good chances near the end, but I was happy to draw my higher rated opponent.

My Chess Training Repertoire this Thursday covers the London System. Sign up if you want to receive it by email. Also, starting next week I will go back to daily blog posts. One week from today will be number 1800.

Sawyer (2003) - Bacon (2214), corr APCT Q-139 (3), 07.1993 begins 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Qb3 Nf6 6.e3 Be7 7.Nbd2 Nbd7 [7...Nc6 8.Be2=] 8.h3 0-0 9.Be2 Qxb3 [9...Qc6=] 10.axb3 b6 11.Bb5 [11.dxc5+/=] 11...Bb7 12.0-0 a6 13.Bd3 Ne4 14.Rfd1 b5 [14...Rfc8=] 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.Bxe5 Nxd2 17.Rxd2 Rfc8 [17...c4 18.bxc4 dxc4 19.Bf1=] 18.dxc5 Bxc5 19.b4 Be7 20.g4 f6 21.Bg3 g5 22.f3 Bd8 [22...Kf7!?] 23.e4!? [This leads to equality. White stands better with 23.h4!+/= ] 23...dxe4 24.Bxe4 Bxe4 25.fxe4 Rc4 1/2-1/2


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Monday, February 22, 2016

Fries Nielsen vs GM Tukhaev in Rinor

Fries Nielsen wins vs a grandmaster with his Rinor Opening. After he kindly provided me with his game vs Bitan, he wrote: "Okay. Then I will give you my game against GM Adam Tukhaev (2548 ) from 8 round in Allsvenskan 2011-12."

I covered two other games Jens Ove Fries Nielsen played with 2.Nc3 and 3.Bf4. The first was against De Blecourt in 2014. The second was against Drugge in 2015. Fries Nielsen talked about possibly writing a book on this Rinor Opening. I hope he does!

The game vs Adam Tukhaev begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bf4!? Bf5!? Both sides start with obvious good moves. White's next plan is to expand his pawn on the kingside with the moves f3, g4, e3, h4, and g5 followed a few moves later by e4. This strategy is similar to a lot of Blackmar-Diemer Gambit lines.

Fries Nielsen - Tukhaev (2548), Allsvenskan (8), 2011-2012 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bf4!? Bf5!? 4.f3 e6 5.g4!? Bg6 6.e3 Be7 7.h4 h5 8.g5 Nfd7 9.Bd3!? Bxd3 10.cxd3 Na6!? 11.Nge2 c6 12.e4 g6 13.Be3 b5!? 14.Ng3!? Nc7 15.Nce2!? Rc8 16.Rc1 Na8 17.0-0 Nab6 18.b3!? a5 19.f4 f5 20.exd5!? exd5 [20...Nxd5!?] 21.Bd2! b4 22.Nxf5! gxf5 23.Ng3 Kf7 24.Nxf5 Bf8 25.Re1 Nf6! 26.Ng3! Qd7 27.f5 Re8 28.Qf3 Bd6 29.Re6 Ng4 30.Nxh5 Rxh5 31.Qxg4 Rhh8 32.Rce1 Rd8 33.g6+ Kg8 34.f6 Qc7 35.Re8+ 1-0


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Friday, February 19, 2016

Bruce Ripley wins BDG Gunderam

I like getting games from readers. Here is a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit in the 5.Nxf3 Bf5 Gunderam Variation. Bruce Ripley writes:
"Tim, Here is my small contribution to the BDG. The following is a 20 minute game played at playchess.com on 2/11/2016 where I had White and my opponent was a guest...
"White wins on time ......See you around the ICC.
Regards, Bruce Ripley

Thanks Bruce! You played the game well. Clearly Black was busted at the end. He had already lost on the board and apparently wanted to lose on time too!

Ripley - guest, playchess.com, 11.02.2016 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.g4 Be4 8.Nxe4 Nxe4 9.Qf3 Qh4+ 10.Kd1 Nd6 11.Nxf7 Nxf7 12.Qxb7 Qxg4+ 13.Be2 Qxd4+ 14.Bd2 Qd5? [Black has to develop the bishop. Maybe best is 14...Bd6 15.Qxa8 Qxb2 16.Rc1 0-0=] 15.Bf3! 1-0


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Pirc Defence 150 Attack vs Qbroot

The Pirc Defence is fully playable for Black, even if not as sharp a the Sicilian Dragon or King's Indian Defence. I like playing White. In the Pirc Defence White gets to play both 1.e4 and 2.d4 without immediate hassle. Black will strike back, but it takes a little time. Also White's Nc3 development is faster with the c-pawn on c2 instead of c4.

When I took up the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, I needed something against both 1.d4 Nf6 and the Pirc Defence. Then I stumbled on 2.f3 where play might continue 2...g6 3.e4 d6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Be3. Play continues like the 150 Attack. Here against a player using the handle Qbroot, I ended up with a good position and managed to win.

My Chess Training Repertoire this Thursday covers the Pirc Defence. Sign up if you want to receive it by email.

Sawyer - Qbroot, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 18.09.2014 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 g6 3.e4 Bg7 4.Be3 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Qd2 Nbd7 7.0-0-0 e5 8.g4 a6 9.h4 b5 10.Kb1 Nb6 11.dxe5 Ne8 12.exd6 Nxd6 13.Bxb6 Bxc3 14.Qxc3 cxb6 15.Qd4 Be6 16.Qxd6 Qf6 17.Qd4 Qf4? [Better is 17...Rfd8 18.c3 Rxd4 19.cxd4+/-] 18.Qd2 Qc7 19.h5 Rac8 20.Bd3 b4 21.Qg5 f6 22.Qh6 g5 23.e5 fxe5 [Or 23...Qg7 24.Qxg7+ Kxg7 25.h6+ Kg8 26.exf6 Rxf6 27.Rh5+-] 24.Nh3 Qe7 25.Nxg5 Rf6 26.Qxh7+ Qxh7 27.Bxh7+ Kg7 28.Nxe6+ Kxh7 29.Ng5+ Kh6 30.Ne4 Rxf3 31.Rd6+ Kh7 32.Rxb6 [Missing 32.Ng5+ picking up a rook.] 32...a5 33.Rd1 Rf4 34.Re1 Rxg4 35.Nf6+ Kh6 36.Nxg4+ Kxh5 37.Nxe5 Kg5 38.Nd3 Black resigns 1-0



You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, February 15, 2016

Sicilian Strategy Fails to Tactics

Ray Haines sacrifices a bishop on e6. Caleb Hunter chose a Sicilian Defence with 1.e4 c5. Hunter had good opening strategy. He developed both knights, a bishop and a queen, but Black was a little too slow to castle. He missed tactics vs a stronger player. Haines chose his favorite 5.Bc4. After 7.Nc3 they transposed to normal lines. Ray writes in part:

"I played against twin brothers. Lance Beloungie and I have been working with them. Lance has done more than I have, and they are both getting better. They still have to learn to do more book work, but they are the strongest players in high school in the Aroostook area at this time. I played an opening line which I played a lot in high school and won many games with it."

Haines - C. Hunter, Presque Isle, ME 05.01.2016 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bc4 e6 6.0-0 Nf6 7.Nc3 Qc7 8.Bb3 Nbd7 [8...Be7 9.Be3=] 9.Kh1 Be7?! [9...Nc5! 10.f3=] 10.Bxe6! fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qc4 12.Nxg7+ Kd8 [12...Kf7 13.Nf5+/-] 13.Nf5 [13.Nd5!+-] 13...Nxe4? [13...Bf8 14.f3+/-] 14.Nxe7 Kxe7 15.Nxe4 Kd8 16.Nxd6 Rf8 17.Nxc4 b5 18.Bg5+ Kc7 19.Qd6+ Kb7 20.Na5+ Ka7 21.Be3+ Nb6 22.Bxb6# 1-0


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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