Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Gruenfeld Defence vs Paul Ross

My Gruenfeld Defence against Paul Ross resulted in a rare pawn chain. Such pawn structures are more common in King’s Indian Defence and the French Defence. Pawn chains do not appear much in the Gruenfeld Defence due to the wide open center. Our game began with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 Bg7. Now White gained queenside space and locked the pawns with the dubious move 5.c5?! Immediately my focus went to e5. After all, we know from Aron Nimzowitsch and others that a proven strategy for success is to attack a backward point of the pawn chain.

White wins against the Gruenfeld by attacking vulnerable points in the center, on the kingside, or on the queenside. Here White played for a space advantage and tactics on the queenside. Solid play can easily drift into passive play. Black attacked all over the board. White’s strategy failed in this game because he did not castle. In fact the White king never moved.

After I had advanced my pawn from e7 to e4, White decided to attack my pawn chain from the front with f3. Pawn exchanges gave my Black pieces key squares in the center of the board. When Black finally checked the king with a pawn, White resigned rather than move his king. Another interesting tactical motif was my attack of Bg7 on Ra1. This led to the loss of White's c5 pawn.

Ross (1700) - Sawyer (2000), corr APCT 1979 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 Bg7 5.c5?!  [Better would be 5.Nf3 0-0 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Bc4=] 5...0-0 6.Nf3 c6 7.Qb3 Qc7 8.Bd3 Nfd7 9.Bd2 e5 10.Be2 e4 11.Ng1 Nf6 12.f3 exf3 13.Nxf3 Bf5 14.Qa4 Nbd7 15.b4 Rfe8 16.b5?! [16.Nh4 Bg4-/+] 16...Ng4 17.Nd1 [17.0-0 Nxe3-+] 17...Nxc5 18.Qa3 Ne4 19.Ba5 [19.bxc6 Nxh2 20.Rxh2 Qg3+ 21.Kf1 Nxd2+ 22.Nxd2 Qxh2 23.cxb7 Rab8-+] 19...b6 20.Bc3 c5 21.Rc1 Bh6 22.Bb2 Rac8 23.dxc5 bxc5 24.Bd4 Qd6 25.Bb2 Re7 26.Bd3 [Or 26.Rc2 d4-+] 26...Nxe3 27.Nxe3 Bxe3 28.Rc2 c4 29.Qa4 cxd3 30.Rxc8+ Bxc8 31.Rf1 Bc1 32.Be5 Rxe5 33.Qd4 d2+ 0-1


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Kevin Sheldrick BDG Giving

Again Kevin Sheldrick played a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit and quickly reached a winning position. As we observed from the World Championship match between Carlsen vs Karjakin, some advantages do not end in victories. Sheldrick wrote this on the final day of the championship. It ended tied after regulation. Now the rapid play overtime begins.

“Hi Tim. I think I need to be more giving, especially at this time of year. This game is not that insightful as I think you would have covered this sort of thing before, but it was fun to play nevertheless. Analysis with Stockfish. Happy advent to all.”
“P.S. To try to boot Karjakin out of the world championship, I wonder if Carlsen will play the BDG tomorrow :)
“Rated blitz match, initial time: 3 minutes, increment: 0 seconds.”

Thanks for the game, Kevin. Magnus Carlsen does play almost any opening. Here is another exciting BDG Euwe game. Euwe 6.Bg5 Bb4 is section 2.4 in Blackmar-Diemer Games 1 and Blackmar-Diemer Theory 3.

Sheldrick (2002) - NN (1583), FICS, 28.11.2016 begnis 1.e4 d5 2.d4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6 6.Bg5 Bb4 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 Be7 9.Qe1 Nc6 10.Qh4 h6? [10...g6!+/=] 11.Bxh6 gxh6 12.Qxh6 Nb4 13.Rad1 [13.Ng5! +- works even better, continuing 13...Qxd4+ 14.Kh1 Nxd3 15.cxd3 Qxd3 16.Rxf6 Bxf6 17.Nce4! Bxg5 18.Qxg5+ Kh8 19.Qh6+ Kg8 20.Nf6# but I was too miserly to give away the d-pawn.] 13...Nxd3 14.Qg5+? [I missed that if 14.Rxd3 Ng4 then 15.Qh5 +- is very strong e.g. 15...f5 16.Qg6+ Kh8 17.Ne5 etc.] 14...Kh8 15.Rxd3 Nh7 16.Qh5 Bb4?? [16...f6=] 17.h4?? [17.Ne4 f6 (or 17...f5 18.Ne5! fxe4 19.Nf7++-) 18.Ne5! fxe5 19.Qxe5+ Kg8 20.Rg3++-] 17...f6 18.Ne4 Qd5?? [18...Bd7!-+] 19.Qg6?? [19.Nfg5! fxg5 20.Nxg5 Rxf1+ 21.Kxf1 Qd7 22.Nf7+ Kg7 23.Ne5+- and white has a raging attack, despite the material deficit] 19...Bd7 20.Nfg5 [Too late!] 20...fxg5 21.Nxg5 Rxf1+ 22.Kxf1 Nxg5 23.hxg5 Qf5+ 24.Qxf5 exf5 25.Ke2 Bb5 26.Kf3 Bxd3 27.cxd3 [White resigns] 0-1 [Notes by Sheldrick]


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, November 28, 2016

Napoleon Queens Knight 1.Nc3

Napoleon Bonaparte played chess throughout much of his life. One of the games was a Queens Knight Attack vs Madame de Remusat played at La Malmaison Castle in 1804. There was no video of the game. We do not know if it was real. Composed games are clean and pretty. This game includes the time wasting move 4.h3 which actually adds to its credibility. Another version has the colors reversed. There Napoleon as Black does not waste time and wins a nice game. It seems more likely that the game in which he had White was real and the other was not.

Harry Golombek wrote: "Napoleon Bonaparte I (15 August 1769-5 May 1821) was a keen but seemingly weak player, who is known to have played chess from his college days to the end of his life, when he played much during his captivity at St. Helena. Of the three games extant by him, none are authentic but seem to have been composed after his death to fit in with likely but legendary encounters. One is against General Bertrand, another is against the Automaton (the Turk) at Schonbrunn in 1809, and the third is against Mme de Remusat at La Malmaison in 1804."

Irving Chernev in his "1000 Best Short Games of Chess" (Game 167) gave the game as an Alekhine Defense with the colors reversed, Napoleon being Black played in Paris 1802. That seems to be historically inaccurate, but it is entertaining. Chernev wrote: "As befits a great general, Napoleon manipulates his Knights expertly to land the King in a mating net." Those beginning moves were: 1.e4 Nf6 2.d3 Nc6 3.f4 e5 4.fxe5 Nxe5 continuing as in this game with the h3 move being omitted.

Napoleon - de Remusat, La Malmaison Castle, 1804 begins 1.Nc3 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.e4 f5 4.h3?! [4.d4 fxe4 5.Nxe4 Nf6 6.Nxf6+ gxf6 7.Bd3+/=] 4...fxe4 5.Nxe4 Nc6 6.Nfg5 d5 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Qf3 Nh6? [Black stands better after 8...Bf5! 9.Bb5 dxe4 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.Qxe4 Qd5-+] 9.Nf6+ Ke7 10.Nxd5+ Kd6 [10...Ke8 11.Nf6+ Ke7 12.Nfe4+-] 11.Ne4+ Kxd5 [11...Kd7 12.Bb5 a6 13.Bxc6+ bxc6 14.Ndf6+ Ke7 15.d4+-] 12.Bc4+ Kxc4 13.Qb3+ Kd4 14.Qd3# 1-0


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Sunday, November 27, 2016

French Defence Hyde 7.Be3 Qb6

I won a French Defence in the Steinitz Variation 4.e5 line. It seems to me that this 7.Be3 Qb6 line is one of the most common continuations. My opponent used the handle “Hyde” which became inactive. I do not know if this was the correspondence player Kevin Hyde or someone else completely different. I know “Hyde” drew our other game with his Torre Attack against my Gruenfeld Defence.

The key feature of this game is that both kings got into trouble in the opening. Neither king could castle. Black grabbed the poisoned pawn on b2. The natural follow up was the sacrifice of the rook on a8. Black attacked.

The wide open White king looked to be in trouble, however there were adequate defenses. White slipped on move 21, but Black missed his chance to draw. Then the tables turned. White attacked. This time the Black king was under assault. He could hardly run at all and he did not hide.

Sawyer - Hyde, ICC r 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 26.11.1997 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 d5 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 Qb6 8.dxc5 [White often plays 8.Na4 Qa5+ 9.c3 cxd4 10.b4 Nxb4 11.cxb4 Bxb4+ 12.Bd2 Bxd2+ 13.Nxd2= when Black has three pawns for his sacrificed knight.] 8...Qxb2 [8...Bxc5 9.Bxc5=] 9.Nb5 Qb4+ 10.Bd2 Qxc5 11.Nc7+ Kd8 12.Nxa8 Nb4 [12...h6 13.a4+/-] 13.Bxb4 [13.c3! Nc6 14.Qa4 a6 15.c4 dxc4 16.Qxc4 Qxc4 17.Bxc4 b5 18.Bb3 h6 19.Be3+-] 13...Qxb4+ 14.Qd2? [14.Kf2+/-] 14...Qe4+ [14...Qb2 15.Qc1 Qc3+ 16.Kf2 Ba3 17.Qe1 Qxc2+ 18.Kg3+/=] 15.Be2 Bc5 16.Kf1 [16.Ng5 Qxg2 17.Nxf7+ Ke7 18.Rf1 Rf8 19.Ng5+-] 16...f6 17.exf6 gxf6 18.Bd3 Qa4 19.Ke2 [19.g3 b6 20.Kg2 Bb7 21.Rhe1+-] 19...e5 [19...Rg8 20.Ke1+/=] 20.fxe5 fxe5 21.Nxe5 [21.Qg5+!+-] 21...Nxe5 [Black could save the game with 21...Re8! 22.Qg5+ Re7 23.Qg8+ Re8= when White must repeat moves for a draw or accept an inferior position.] 22.Qg5+ Be7 23.Qxe5 Bg4+ [Or 23...Qg4+ 24.Kd2 Qg5+ 25.Qxg5 Bxg5+ 26.Kd1 Bg4+ 27.Be2+-] 24.Kd2 Qb4+ 25.c3 Qb2+ 26.Bc2 Rf8 27.Qxd5+ Ke8 28.Nc7# 1-0


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

Scotch Steinitz Win by Karpatchev

The Scotch Game 4.Nxd4 Qh4 was played by Staunton in the 1840s. Steinitz and others played it a lot from 1860 until 1905. Then the Scotch and the Steinitz 4…Qh4 took a 60 year break when hardly anyone played it. GM Lev Gutman and Sid Pickard specialized in this line and wrote books on it.

It is not a well-known line. If you are new to the Scotch Game, the Steinitz 4…Qh4 quickly poses a serious challenge for you. The first thing to notice after 4…Qh4 is both the White pawn on e4 and knight on d4 are under attack. None of the moves White might first think of are playable, such as 5.f3, 5.Bd3, or 5.Nf3. The most common choices are 5.Nc3 or the gambit 5.Nb5.

My initial assessment of this line was that White could easily lose a pawn. To hold onto the extra pawn, the Black king may have to slide over to Kd8 (to protect c7) and lose castling privileges. There is real risk for both sides, and real reward in the form of victories. The prepared player profits most.

Roland Schmaltz is a German grandmaster and 1-minute bullet chess champion. That requires a quick mind for fast play. Here the Russian Grandmaster Aleksandr Karpatchev won quickly. The game began as a Queens Knight Defence.

Schmaltz (2390) - Karpatchev (2505), Cappelle op (5), 1993 begins 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 e5 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qh4 5.Nc3 [5.Nb5 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Bc5 7.Qf3 Bb6 8.Be3 Ba5+ 9.c3 a6 10.Nd4 Ne5 11.Qg3 Qxg3 12.hxg3 d6 13.Nd2 Bb6=] 5...Bb4 6.Ndb5 [6.Be2 Qxe4 7.Ndb5 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Kd8 9.0-0 Nf6 10.Nd4 Nxd4 11.cxd4 d6 12.Bg5 Qf5 13.Bh4 Bd7 14.Qd2+/=] 6...Ba5 7.Bd3 [7.Be2 a6 8.Nd4 Qxe4 9.Nxc6 dxc6 10.0-0 Qe7 11.Bc4 Nf6 12.Re1 Be6 13.Bg5 0-0 14.Qf3 h6=] 7...a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bd2?  [9.Nab1 Ne5 10.0-0 Nf6 11.Nd2 0-0=] 9...Nf6 10.g3 Qh3 11.Nd5 Nxd5 12.exd5 0-0 13.dxc6  [13.Bxa5 Re8+ 14.Be2 Qg2 15.dxc6 Qxh1+ 16.Kd2 Qxh2-/+] 13...Re8+ 14.Be2 dxc6 15.Rf1 [15.c3 Qg2 16.Rf1 Bh3 17.Be3 Qxh2 18.Bf3 Rxe3+ 19.fxe3 Qxb2 20.Nc2 Qxc3+ 21.Kf2 Bxf1 22.Kxf1 Qf6-/+] 15...Bg4 16.f3 [16.Bxa5 Bxe2 17.Qxe2 Rxe2+ 18.Kxe2 b4-+] 16...Qxh2 17.Bxa5 Rad8 18.Bd2 Qxg3+ 19.Rf2 Bh3 0-1


You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, November 25, 2016

Blackmar-Diemer Black Friday

On Black Friday retailers stop losing money and start making a profit for the year. This game was one of those dark moments when Black stopped losing to the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. Any of us from time to time might lose a game as White. In this game White transposed into the Blackmar-Diemer after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3. Note that Black could have played the Huebsch Gambit 3…Nxe4 4.Nxe4 dxe4, but many defenders prefer to have a Black knight on f6.

In this game Black declined the BDG with the Vienna Variation 4…Bf5. This gives White four obvious choices: 5.Bc4, 5.Bg5, 5.g4, and 5.fxe4. The last two pawn move options are reliable and good. Developing a bishop on move five is not accurate. Otto Blumel of the Czech Republic played the White pieces in this clash of veterans. His opponent was Rudolf Hampel. Both sides attacked. The extra pawn helped Black make strong threats. White’s king got into trouble. Black won the Exchange.

The line 5.Bc4 is section 4.0 in my Blackmar-Diemer Games 2 book.

Blumel (2061) - Hampel (1710), Ricany Open A 2016 Ricany CZE (1.15), 27.08.2016 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 Bf5 5.Bc4 [5.g4] 5...e6 6.Bg5 [An alternative is 6.fxe4 Nxe4 7.Nxe4 Bxe4 8.Nf3 Be7=/+] 6...Bb4 7.fxe4 [7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Nbd7-/+] 7...Bxe4 8.Nf3 Nc6 [8...Bxf3! 9.gxf3 (9.Qxf3 Qxd4 10.Be2 Nc6 11.Rd1 Qe5-+) 9...Nc6 10.Bb5 Qd5 11.Bxc6+ Qxc6-/+] 9.a3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Nxd4 11.Qf2 Bxc3+ [11...Bc5! 12.Rd1 Bb6-/+] 12.bxc3 Nf5 13.Bd3 [13.0-0 0-0 14.Rad1 Qe7-/+] 13...Qd5 [13...Ng4!? 14.Qf4 Nfe3 15.Bxd8 Nxg2+ 16.Kd2 Nxf4 17.Bxc7 Nxd3 18.cxd3 0-0-/+] 14.0-0-0 Qa5?! [14...Ne4 15.Bxe4 Qxe4 16.Rhe1 Qg4 17.Bf4 Rc8-/+] 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.g4?  [16.Bxf5! Qxc3 (16...Qxf5 17.Qxf5 exf5 18.Rhe1+ Kf8 19.Rd7=) 17.Qh4 Qa1+ 18.Kd2 0-0-0+ 19.Bd3 Qb2 20.Qb4=] 16...Ne7 17.Qxf6 Qxa3+ 18.Kd2 0-0-0 19.Qxf7 Nd5 20.Qxe6+ Kb8 21.Qe5 Rhe8 22.Qg7 Qc5 [Black has a forced checkmate with 22...Nb6 23.Rb1 Nc4+ 24.Kd1 Qa2 25.Kc1 Rxd3 26.Qxc7+ Kxc7 27.Rxb7+ Kxb7 28.cxd3 Qb2+ 29.Kd1 Qd2#] 23.Qd4 Qe7 24.Kc1 Ne3 25.Qa4 Nxd1 26.Rxd1 Rd6 27.Rf1 Rf8 28.Rxf8+ Qxf8 29.g5 a6 30.Qe4 Qg7 31.h4 Qxc3 32.h5 Qa1+ 33.Kd2 Qa5+ 34.Ke2 Qxg5 0-1


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Williams Plays Polish Opening

A quick glance through my 1.b4 games will show that I rarely played the main line against the Polish Opening. However there was a day, or even a few months, where I did. David G. Williams of Pennsylvania played the Sokolsky Opening against me. We both lived in the same state so this postal game progressed faster than games against others from far away.

I was the higher rated player, so I did not run from his opening. Instead I developed classically with my pieces in the center. This game began 1.b4 e5 2.Bb2 Bxb4 3.Bxe5 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nc6. Now White had to do something about his bishop on e5.

I remember three men named Dave Williams in Pennsylvania. It is a common name in chess circles. I do not remember for sure which one this opponent was. This Dave Williams played well until move eight. I redeployed my attackers to his weak points on the queenside. White fell to my tactical combinations. Things went from bad to worse until he resigned.

Williams - Sawyer, corr APCT N-340 1993 begins 1.b4 e5 2.Bb2 [2.a3 d5 3.Bb2 Bd6 4.Nf3 Nd7=] 2...Bxb4 3.Bxe5 [3.f4 d6 4.fxe5 dxe5 5.Bxe5 Nf6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bc3 Bd6=/+] 3...Nf6 4.Nc3 [4.c4 0-0 5.Nf3 d5 6.e3 c5=] 4...Nc6 [4...Ba5 5.e3 d6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6=] 5.Bxf6 Qxf6 6.Nd5 Qe5 [6...Qd6 7.Nxb4 Qxb4 8.c3=] 7.Nxb4 [7.c4 Ba5 8.Nf3 Qd6 9.e3=] 7...Nxb4 8.Nf3 [8.Rb1 a5 9.a3 Nd5 10.e3=] 8...Nxc2+ [8...Qxa1 9.Qxa1 Nxc2+ 10.Kd1 Nxa1 11.Kc1 d5 12.Kb2 Bg4-+] 9.Qxc2 Qxa1+ 10.Qd1 Qxa2 [Or 10...Qxd1+ 11.Kxd1 b6-+] 11.e3 0-0 12.Bd3 Qd5 13.Qc2 h6 14.0-0 Qc6 15.Rc1 [15.Qb2 d5-+] 15...Qxc2 16.Rxc2 c6 17.h3 d6 18.Nd4 a5 19.Rc3 Bd7 20.Nc2 [20.Be4 a4-+] 20...b5 21.Be4 b4 22.Rb3 Ra7 23.d4 c5 24.Kf1 a4 25.Rb1 a3 26.Rb3 Ba4 0-1


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