Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Zilbermints vs Bonin in BDG

IM Jay Bonin faced the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit at the Nassau Chess Club Blitz event on August 29, 2016. Lev Zilbermints won the game with the White pieces. These two have played before.

International Master Jay Richard Bonin is one of the most active chess players of all time. Bonin has played thousands of USCF tournaments and thousands of blitz games both live and online.

In the nine games I have seen, Jay Bonin declined the BDG with 4...Nc6, 4...c5, 4...e5 or here 4...e3. Zilbermints has great practical experience with thousands of BDG blitz games. Lev said that in this game "Time Control was 7 minutes with 3 second delay."

Lev Zilbermints has defeated countless titled masters with this gambit. Lev Zilbermints added that around move 24, he told Bonin, "You will surrender to me."

The line 5.Bxe3 Bf5 is section 3.9 in my Blackmar-Diemer Games 2 book.

Zilbermints (2183) - Bonin (2420), Nassau Chess Club Blitz 29.08.2016 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 e3 [Lev wrote: "Chicken!" Bonin laughed. The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Accepted follows 4...exf3.] 5.Bxe3 Bf5 6.g4 Bg6 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.h4!? [The move 8.h4!? is optically dangerous for Black. However this move leaves c2 more vulnerable. Good alternatives are 8.a3 or 8.Nf4] 8...h5? [8...Nb4 9.Rc1=] 9.Nf4 e5 10.Nxg6 fxg6 11.g5 [11.Qd3! Bb4 12.0-0-0+/-] 11...Nd7?  [11...exd4! 12.Bd3 (12.gxf6?! dxe3 13.f7+ Kxf7 14.Bc4+ Ke8 15.Qd3 Qxd3 16.Bxd3 Ne5 17.Be4 Rd8 18.Rd1 Bd6=/+) 12...Bb4 13.Bxg6+ Kf8 14.Bxd4 Qxd4 15.Qxd4 Nxd4 16.gxf6 Nxf3+ 17.Ke2=] 12.Qd3 Ne7 13.0-0-0 c6 14.Bh3 Nf5 15.dxe5 Qc7 [15...Nxe5 16.Qe4+-] 16.f4 [Or 16.Bxf5 gxf5 17.Qxf5 Nxe5 18.Bf4+-] 16...0-0-0 17.Bxf5 gxf5 18.Qxf5 Bb4 [18...Be7 19.Rhe1+-] 19.e6 Nb6  [19...Rhf8 20.exd7+ Rxd7 21.Qxd7+ Qxd7 22.Rxd7 Kxd7 23.Rd1+ Kc7 24.Bd4+- and White is be up a knight.] 20.e7+ Rd7 21.Bxb6 axb6 22.Rhe1 Re8 23.a3 Bxe7 [23...Bxc3 24.bxc3 g6 25.Rxd7 Qxd7 26.Qxg6 Rxe7 27.Rxe7 Qxe7 28.Kb2 Kd8 29.Qxh5+- and White has three extra passed pawns in a queen endgame.] 24.Kb1 [24.Na4!+-] 24...b5 [24...Rf8 25.Qe6 Rfd8 26.f5+- with play similar to the game.] 25.Rd4 Rf8 26.Qe6 Rfd8 27.Red1 Bd6 [27...g6 28.Rxd7 Rxd7 29.Rxd7 Qxd7 30.Qxg6+- and White is up two pawns with a good position.] 28.f5 [All White has to do in blitz is to find any win. He does. Success! In a blitz game there is not always time to find the most brilliant win. Here White can pick off the bishop and more. 28.Rxd6! Qxd6 29.Rxd6 Kc7 30.Rxd7+ Rxd7 31.Qe5+ Kb6 32.f5+-] 28...Kb8 29.f6 gxf6 30.gxf6 Ka7 [30...c5 31.Nxb5+-] 31.Ne4 Bonin resigned and withdrew from the tournament. 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Caro-Kann Defence Richard Mann

FIDE lists Richard Mann with a rating of 2205. He has earned a FIDE Candidate Master title. The USCF lists Richard J. Mann as having earned a National Master Title with a rating of 2200 from back in the year 1990. I played Richard Mann in a 1985 APCT postal chess section. Many times over the board masters had lower postal chess ratings. Those two types of play have slightly different skill sets, as do both blitz and tournament play.

The Caro-Kann Defence in the Exchange Variation is a good way for White to play for a win at minimal risk. A player at the level of Richard Mann was not likely to make any big mistakes. The question was, “Would Black make any notable mistakes that White could exploit?” As Black I chose 7…Qc8 instead of the 7…Na5 that I previously played. This line seemed to lead to total equality in theory.

Both players focused on the center. White opened the c-file for his rooks. Black had the fortunate knight fork move 20…Nd6. That forced the exchange of White’s remaining bishop. White had a weak isolated queen pawn on d4. Black had it blockaded.

As the endgame approached, the d4 pawn could potentially cost White the game. Optically it did not look like White had much, although a6 and f7 could have become weak for Black. My guess is that Mann offered me a draw since the final move was 26.Qc6. Not all Caro-Kann draws were bad for me.

Mann (2150) - Sawyer (2000), corr APCT 1985 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Bg4 7.Qb3 Qc8 [7...e5!?=] 8.Nd2 e6 9.h3 Bh5 10.Ngf3 Be7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Rfe1 Bg6 13.Bxg6 hxg6 14.Rac1 Na5 [14...a6=] 15.Qb5 b6 [15...Nc6 16.Qd3+/=] 16.Ne5 Nb7 17.Nc6 Qd7 18.Nxe7+ Qxe7 19.c4 dxc4 20.Rxc4 [20.Nxc4 Rac8=] 20...Nd6 21.Bxd6 Qxd6 22.Nf3 Rfc8 23.Rec1 Qd8 24.Ne5 Rxc4 25.Qxc4 Qd5 26.Qc6 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, August 29, 2016

IM Mellado Trivino Plays BDG

Juan Mellado TriviƱo earned an International Master title in 1993 the year he turned age 25. In 2016 IM Mellado Trivino caught my attention when he played the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit for the third time in a year. IMs with 2400 ratings rarely play a BDG.

I found hundreds of his games in my database. Mellado Trivino plays a wide variety of 1.e4 and 1.d4 openings. Those include the Trompowsky and Veresov as White and the Scandinavian as Black, especially the 3…Qd6 variation. But of course any 1.e4 d5 player as Black must be prepared for the BDG possibility of 2.d4.

In 2016 Mellado Trivino was rated the fourth highest in Andorra. You may ask, “Where is that?” Andorra is located between Spain and France. It is famous for ski slopes in the beautiful Pyrenees. I read that in 2013 the Principality of Andorra had an average life expectancy of 81 years, the highest in the world.

None of his three master opponents accepted the BDG in these games. Here he faced Grandmaster Chandra Sandipan of India. I noticed that the opening could be evaluated as equal for more than 20 moves. And the younger higher rated grandmaster won.

GM Sandipan played the 4...c5 Brombacher variation. White has four reasonable responses. Juan Mellado Trivino chose 5.Bb5+ (rather than 5.Bf4, 5.d5 or 5.dxc5). They both castled queenside. The battle stretched from one end of the board to the other.

The line 4.f3 c5 is section 3.2 in my Blackmar-Diemer Games 2 book.

Mellado Trivino (2427) - Sandipan (2572), 17th Miquel Mas Open 2016 Castell de Sant Ferran ESP (8.3), 17.08.2016 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 c5 5.Bb5+ [5.d5 or 5.dxc5] 5...Bd7 6.dxc5 [6.d5 Bxb5 7.Nxb5 Qa5+ 8.Nc3] 6...Qa5 [6...e6 7.Be3] 7.Qe2 Bxb5 [7...e6] 8.Qxb5+ Qxb5 9.Nxb5 Na6 10.Be3!? [10.a3=] 10...Nd5 11.Bd4 e5 12.Bxe5 Bxc5 13.0-0-0 Ne3 14.Re1!? [14.Rd2=] 14...0-0-0 15.Nh3 [15.fxe4 Nxg2 16.Re2=] 15...f6 16.Bf4 Nxg2 17.Rxe4 Rd5 18.Rd1 Rhd8 19.Rxd5 Rxd5 20.Bd2 [20.Re2=] 20...Rh5 21.Nf4 Nxf4 22.Bxf4 Kd7 23.Nc3?! [23.Bg3=] 23...Rf5 24.Kd2 [24.Na4 Bg1=/+] 24...g5 25.Bg3 Rxf3 26.Nd5 h5 27.b4 [27.Ke2 Rf5=/+] 27...Bd6  [27...h4-/+] 28.Ke2 g4 29.Re3? [29.a4 Bxg3 30.hxg3 Kd6-/+] 29...Rxe3+ 30.Kxe3 Ke6 31.Bxd6 Kxd5 32.Bf8 Kc4 33.a3 Nc7 34.Ke4 h4 35.Bc5 Nb5 0-1

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Rookie Draw in Slav Defence

I managed to hold Rookie to a draw with the main line of the Slav Defence. Rookie chose 13.Nxd5 which is a common continuation. Often in this line I try to relocate my knight from d7 to c6 via b8. Here I did not play accurately. My plan to play 14...Rc8 before I moved the knight could have been punished by 15.Ng5!

By move 37 the game was easily drawn. Since my opponent was rated 400 points above me, a draw would net me rating points. If Black had been desperate to win, he might have been able to work up something with his knight by going to the kingside. He might be able to attack the White pawns and pick up something.

Of course in a blitz game against a chess engine, a human like myself would likely get into time trouble. That would increase the odds that I would blunder or lose on time.

I have noticed that a very strong computer would play for the win if the board was turned around. Many human players look at an equal position and assume a draw. Chess engines find winning chances beyond what most humans bother to try and imagine.

My Chess Training Repertoire this Thursday covers the Queens Gambit Declined. Sign up if you want to receive my weekly training repertoire by email.

Rookie (2560) - Sawyer (2133), ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 27.07.2007 begins 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 c6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 0-0 9.Qe2 Nbd7 10.e4 Bg6 11.Bd3 Bh5 12.e5 Nd5 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.Qe3 Rc8?! [14...Re8=] 15.Bd2 [15.Ng5! h6 16.Nh7 Re8 17.Qg3+/=] 15...Qe7 16.Bxb4 Qxb4 17.Qd2 Qxd2 18.Nxd2 Bg6 19.Bxg6 hxg6 20.Rfc1 Nb8 21.Nb3 b6 22.a5 Rc6 23.Rxc6 Nxc6 24.axb6 axb6 25.Ra4 Rb8 26.h3 Kf8 27.f4 Ke7 28.g3 Kd7 29.Kf1 Kc7 30.Ke1 Kb7 31.Kf1 [31.Ra1 Rc8=] 31...Ra8 32.Rxa8 Kxa8 33.h4 Kb7 34.Ke2 Ka6 35.Kd3 Kb5 36.Kc3 [36.Nd2 Kb4 37.g4 b5 38.Ke3 Na5 39.Kd3 Nc4 40.Nxc4 bxc4+ 41.Kc2=] 36...Ka4 [If Black was desperate to win, he might be able to work up something with his knight. 36...Ne7!? 37.g4 Ng8=/+] 37.Na1 Kb5 38.Nc2 Ka5 39.g4 b5 40.b3 b4+ 41.Kd2 Kb5 42.Kc1 Kb6 43.Kb1 Kb5 44.Ka1 Ka5 45.Kb1 Kb5 46.Kc1 Ka5 47.Kb2 Kb5 48.Kb1 Ka5 49.Kc1 Kb5 50.Kb1 Ka5 51.Ka2 Kb5 52.Ka1 Ka5 53.Ka2 Kb5 54.Kb2 Ka5 55.Kc1 Kb5 56.Kb2 Ka5 57.Kb1 Kb5 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Pirc Knight Tour vs Melissakis

Pete Melissakis was my first. He was the first one to play the Pirc Defence against me in a recorded game. I’m sure that in my younger years I faced the Pirc. As I recall some kid in Washburn, Maine used to play the Pirc and Benko against me. Ray Haines might remember the kid from 1974, but I forgot his name.

“Game score” is a funny chess term. The general meaning and the technical meaning differ. The word score implies results. Did you win, lose or draw? How did you score in the tournament? Technically, “game score” means the recording of the moves played in the game. Often this was a hand written list of moves. Forty years ago I started keeping better records. Like many of us, my game scores from my early years were lost long ago.

Against Melissakis I chose the safe Classical Variation. It was made popular by the then World Champion Anatoly Karpov. He played 4.Nf3 and 5.Be2 to beat Smejkal, Hort, Pfleger, Keene and Adorjan. Later Karpov would defeat Spassky, Nunn and others with it. But Timman and Korchnoi managed draws vs him.

My approach in this line was safe solid development. I wanted to focus on the center and keep my pieces active. I dreamed of the Karpov approach. Take away all my opponent’s good options. Leave my opponent with only blunders to choose from.

My king’s knight went on an adventure against Pete Melissakis. The horse started on g1 and galloped to 4.Nf3, 11.Nd4, 16.Nb3, 32.Na5, 35.Nc6 and finished with 36.Nxe7+ 1-0.

My Alekhine & Pirc book is now available in Kindle and paperback.

Sawyer (2000) - Melissakis (1728), corr APCT 1979 begins 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Be2 0-0 6.0-0 Nc6 7.d5 [7.h3; or 7.Be3 ] 7...Nb8 8.h3 [8.Re1] 8...c6 9.a4 cxd5 [9...Nbd7=] 10.exd5 b6 11.Nd4 Bb7 12.Bf3 Qd7 13.Re1 a6 14.Bf4 Ra7 15.Qd2 Rc8 16.Nb3 Ba8 17.Bg5 Rac7 18.Re3 h6 19.Bh4 Rc4 [19...Qd8=] 20.Bg3 Qa7 21.Rae1 Bf8 22.Be2 R4c7 23.f4 [23.Bf3+/=] 23...Nbd7 [23...Rxc3=] 24.Bf2 Bb7 [24...Rxc3 25.Rxc3=] 25.g4 [25.f5+/-] 25...Nh7 26.Bf3 Bg7  [26...Qa8 27.Nd4+/=] 27.Bg2 Bf6 28.h4 [28.Nd4+-] 28...Ndf8 [28...Qa8 29.Nd4+/=] 29.Rh3 Bg7 30.a5 Qb8 31.axb6 Rd7 32.Na5 Re8 33.g5 h5 [33...Ba8 34.gxh6 Bxh6 35.h5+-] 34.Rhe3 f6 35.Nc6 Qa8 36.Nxe7+ 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, August 26, 2016

Pascute Bishop vs Kings Indian

The Kings Indian Defence allows the players lots of flexibility in development, strategy and tactics. Where should White play the light squared bishop? At first it is limited in its initial moves due to the presence of a pawn on c4. There are three main options.

White can fianchetto the bishop with 3.g3 and 4.Bg2. More often he occupies more central space with 3.Nc3 and 4.e4. If White continues with a Saemisch Variation 5.f3, the queenside bishop is developed first. Eventually the kingside bishop may go to Bd3 as long as Nge2 is not in the way. The Main Line 5.Nf3 normally sees 6.Be2.

In 1980 I played two postal chess games vs E. Bruce Pascute. In our Kings Indian Defence game where I had Black, Pascute as White played 6.Bd3. This changes the strategy for Black in two ways. The bishop on d3 can be attacked more easily by a knight from e5, c5 or b4. If Black plays …Bg4 the knight on f3 will be pinned.

Both strategies occurred in the game. After 7…Bg4 and 8…Ne5, the bishop retreated with 9.Be2. White could have maintained an equal game with 10.gxf3. White recaptured 10.Bxf3, and Black gobbled up a pawn by 10…Nxc4. The players battled on the queenside. When Black got two extra passed pawns to the sixth rank, White resigned.

Pascute (1623) - Sawyer (2050), corr APCT 1980 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Bd3 [6.Be2] 6...Nc6 [6...Bg4=] 7.a3 Bg4 8.d5 Ne5 [8...Nd4! 9.Be2 Nxe2 10.Qxe2 Nd7=/+] 9.Be2 Bxf3 10.Bxf3 [10.gxf3=] 10...Nxc4 11.0-0 Ne5 12.Be2 Ned7 [12...c5!] 13.Be3 c5 14.b4 a6 15.Rc1 b5 16.bxc5 [16.h3 Rc8=/+] 16...Nxc5 17.f3? [17.e5! Nfd7 18.e6 fxe6 19.dxe6 Nb6=/+] 17...Nfd7 18.Na2? [Now a3 falls and White is down two passed pawns on the queenside. 18.Nb1 Qa5-/+] 18...Qa5 19.Nb4 Qxa3 20.Nc2 Qa5 21.Bd2 Qb6 22.Be3 a5 23.Na3 b4 24.Nc4 Qb7 25.Rb1 a4 26.Bc1 Qa7 27.Kh1 Rfb8 28.Be3 a3 29.Bd4 Bxd4 30.Qxd4 b3 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ralf Kramer Wins Blackmar Gambit

You do not have to be a master to enjoy the Blackmar Gambit. Club players the world over can and do win beautiful games. The veteran player Ralf Kramer found a creative checkmate. The game began as a Fritz Attack with 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Bc4!? It transposed into a Blackmar Gambit after 3…Nf6 4.f3.

What is the Blackmar Gambit? Armand Blackmar joined the club in New Orleans just about the time Paul Morphy retired from chess. It was in the 1860s at the time of the American Civil War. Blackmar played the gambit 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.f3!?

One could imagine a possible continuation of 3…Nf6 4.Bc4. It transposes to the game Ralf Kramer played. E.J. Diemer improved on the gambit with 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3. Maybe Kramer knew Diemer, since Kramer was also from Germany.

The Black pieces in this game were handled by the younger and higher rated player Lutz Spreer. He played a reasonable game. But Black had two alternatives for advantage on moves 4 and 6. I love the pretty checkmate that finishes this game. It reminds me of some of the tactical exercises I train on every day.

Blackmar Gambit 3.f3 is section 1.0 in my Blackmar-Diemer Games 2 book.

Kramer (1559) - Spreer (1651), Lichtenberger Sommer 2016 Berlin GER (8.89), 20.08.2016 begins  1.e4 d5 2.d4 dxe4 3.Bc4!? [3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3= BDG] 3...Nf6 [3...Nc6=/+] 4.f3 [Another original idea is 4.Ne2!?] 4...Bf5 [4...Nc6-/+] 5.g4!? [5.Nc3 or 5.fxe4] 5...Bg6 6.f4?! [6.g5] 6...h5? [6...e6! 7.Be3 Nc6-+] 7.f5 Bh7 8.g5 Nd5 [8...Nc6 9.c3 Bxf5 10.Qb3 e6 11.gxf6=] 9.Qxh5 g6 10.fxg6 fxg6 11.Qe2  [11.Qg4+/=] 11...Nb6 12.Bb3 Qxd4 13.Nc3 [13.Bd2!?] 13...Nc6 14.Be3 Qb4 [14...Qe5 15.0-0-0+/=] 15.a3 Qa5 16.0-0-0 e5 17.Nxe4 Bxa3 18.Nf6+ Ke7 19.bxa3 [Faster is 19.Bxb6!+- to attack the queen and threaten mate in 2.] 19...Qxa3+ 20.Kb1 a5 21.Bxb6 a4 22.Rd7+ Kf8 23.Rf7# 1-0

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