Monday, November 6, 2017

BAD Chess Opening Repertoire

Before the BDG, I played the BAD: Bird, Alekhine, and Dutch. This cluster of chess opening systems has similarities in how to begin chess games. But they invite danger because they give your opponent first crack at the center and they slightly weaken your own kingside. Why do I ever play such BAD openings? Because I win with them.

All six of my early lichess games as Black began with the Alekhine Defence. I won five and blew (drew) one. Players rated in the 1700s can turn equal middlegames into lost endgames. I've seen it 1000 times in my career. It happens below on move 36.

fluxion (1747) - Sawyer, Rated Blitz game lichess, 25.10.2017 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 Ne4 [3...d4 may be best, but 3...Ne4 works well for me in blitz.] 4.Nxe4 dxe4 5.Bc4 Qd4 6.Qe2 Qxe5 7.d3 Nc6 [I almost played 7...Bf5=] 8.Qxe4 Qxe4+ 9.dxe4 e5 [9...Nd4 10.Bd3 e5=] 10.c3 [10.Ne2 Bc5 led to the drawn blitz game Akhenaten - jimmy-schlumpf, ICC 2004.] 10...Bc5 11.Nf3 f6 12.a4 Bg4 13.b4 Be7 14.h3 Bh5 15.g4 Bf7 16.Bd5 Nd8 17.b5 Bxd5 [Here 17...c6 18.bxc6 bxc6 19.Bxf7+ Kxf7 20.Be3 Ne6= is too easy for White.] 18.exd5 Bc5 19.Be3 Bxe3 20.fxe3 Nf7 21.Ke2 Nd6 22.Nd2 Ke7 23.c4 b6 24.a5 Nb7 25.Nb3 Rhd8 26.axb6 axb6 27.Kd3 Kd6 28.Ke4 Nc5+ 29.Nxc5 Kxc5 30.Kd3 Ra5 31.Rxa5 bxa5 32.Kc3 a4 33.Ra1 Ra8 34.Ra2 g6
[Black threatens ...f5.] 35.h4 [35.e4= holds. The Black king is stuck on c5.] 35...f5 36.g5 [36.gxf5 gxf5 37.d6 Kxd6 38.Rd2+ Ke6 39.c5 f4 40.exf4 exf4 41.b6 cxb6 42.cxb6 a3 43.b7 Rb8-/+] 36...a3 37.Kb3 f4 38.exf4 exf4 39.Kc3 f3 40.Kd3 [40.Kb3 Ra5-+] 40...f2 41.Ke2 Kxc4 42.Kxf2 [42.Ra1 a2 43.d6 cxd6 44.Kxf2 Kxb5-+] 42...Kxd5 43.Kf3 Kc4 44.Rc2+ Kxb5 45.Rxc7 a2 46.Rb7+ Kc6 47.Rxh7 White resigns. 0-1

London 2.Bf4 Playbook: How to begin. London 2.Bf4 Tactics: How to win quickly.
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Friday, October 27, 2017

My Little Idiot Chess Game

I tried "Lichess" on my PC. I spent 20 years on ICC. My rating is 2002 on, but I felt like checking out something new. In recent years my online blitz play suffered from bad mouse issues. No matter what mice I try, they malfunction with my PC.

My Lichess experience began with my attempt to play 1.e4. A mouse slip gave me 1.e3, though I tried to push it to e4. My opponent played 1...d6, and 2.e4 instantly appeared as my pre-move! Our Delayed Sicilian was like an English. Still, I've enjoyed Lichess so far.

I told my wife that I started playing Lichess, but I didn't know what the "LI" stands for. Immediately she said, "Little Idiot!" I said I began my first game with 1.e3. "I told you it stands for Little Idiot," she added. Like an idiot, I won a rook instead of a queen.

See my 140 game book: Rare First Moves - Second Edition.

Sawyer - NN (1271), Rated Classical game lichess, 24.10.2017 begins 1.e3 [Mouse slip.] 1...d6 2.e4 c5 3.Nc3 e6 4.Nf3 Qa5 5.Be2 Qd8 [5...Nf6 6.0-0=] 6.0-0 Qf6 7.d4! Qg6 8.e5 dxe5 9.dxe5 b6
10.Bd3 [My idea was to win the a8 rook, but look at 10.Nh4!+-] 10...f5 11.exf6 Qxf6 12.Be4 [12.Bg5+-] 12...e5 13.Bxa8 [13.Bg5+-] 13...Qg6 14.Nxe5 Bh3 15.Nxg6 hxg6 16.gxh3 Nd7 17.Re1+ Ne7 18.Bc6 Kf7 19.Bxd7 Rxh3 20.Qg4 [Black left the game.] 1-0

London 2.Bf4 Playbook: How to begin. London 2.Bf4 Tactics: How to win quickly.
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Chess Training Repertoire 3 (150 Openings White & Black)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Max Lange Attack by Zintgraff

Gary Zintgraff sent me this background of his attempt to reach a Max Lange Attack:
"Dear Tim: I have always had a fascination with the Max Lange Attack ever since IM George Koltanowski gave a simultaneous exhibition in San Antonio about 57 years ago. He graciously stayed and talked with 3 of us 16 yr. old kids for 2 1/2 hours about all aspects of chess. I asked him why he played the Max Lange Attack so frequently in simuls. His response was that the many traps and tactics allowed him to defeat many of his opponents quickly so he could concentrate on the remaining players. I have mostly had to play the Max Lange from the Black side as few of my opponents enter it when they have Black."
"Here is an ICC game where I have White against a solid opponent who has beaten me a bit more often than I've beaten him. My opponent played the correct move on 4...Bxd4, which leads to the Koltanowski Variation, but makes a mistake at 7...Nxe4? and remains on the defensive. I like taking the e-pawn with my f-pawn as it gives White an open f-file as in the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. 9.Qf3! would have kept him on the defensive, but I played 9.Qg4? instead. [It seemed like a good idea at the time.] I was able to regain the offensive with his King in the center and got all my pieces developed to finish the game."

Zintgraff - wslich2, ICC 2 + 12, 08.2017 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d4 Bxd4 [4...exd4 5.0-0 Nf6 6.e5 d5 is the Max Lange Attack] 5.Nxd4 Nxd4 6.0-0 Nf6 7.f4
7...Nxe4? [7...d6! is the only correct move.] 8.fxe5 Ne6 9.Qg4? [9.Qf3! is correct.] 9...d5 10.exd6 Nxd6 11.Bxe6 Bxe6 12.Qxg7 Kd7 13.Bf4 Qf8?! [Better is 13...Rg8 ] 14.Qd4 Rd8? [Better is 14...Rg8 ] 15.Nc3 c6? [Better is 15...Rg8 ] 16.Rad1 Bd5? [Better is 16...Rg8 ] 17.Nxd5 cxd5 18.Qxd5 Kc7 19.Qc5+ [Notes by Zintgraff] 1-0

London 2.Bf4 Playbook: How to begin. London 2.Bf4 Tactics: How to win quickly.
Copyright 2011-2019 / Author Page /
Chess Training Repertoire 3 (150 Openings White & Black)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

French Defence John Crompton

John Crompton played this cute quickie in the French Defence. The Exchange Variation starts with symmetrical pawn structure but either side can attack with pawns and pieces. Paul Morphy played 3.exd5 vs the French Defence and he won almost all the time.

Crompton sent me more games in this same line. Often John got great positions out of the opening with the Black pieces. He plays as "JECmate". John Crompton wrote of this game: "Tim Sawyer, I just started to play the French when I got your book online."

White’s one tempo lead disappeared after 4.h3 c5 5.dxc5 Bxc5 when Black led in development. His tenth move caught my attention with 10...Qg3!? Hope you like it.

prodonvito (1568) - JECmate (1605), Live Chess, 17.02.2017 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.h3 [White was apparently afraid of having his knight pinned after 4.Nf3 but he should have been afraid of falling behind in development.] 4...c5 [Black is ready for action, even at the minor risk of an isolated pawn. Obviously good is 4...Nf6=] 5.dxc5 [5.Bb5+ Nc6 6.Nf3=] 5...Bxc5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bd3 [7.Nc3 Be6 8.Bd3=] 7...Nf6 [Another plausible continuation is 7...Qe7+ 8.Qe2 Qxe2+ 9.Kxe2 Nf6 10.Re1 0-0 11.Nc3 Re8+ 12.Kf1 Rxe1+ 13.Nxe1 Be6=] 8.0-0 0-0 9.Re1 [9.Nc3=] 9...Qd6 [9...Qb6!?=/+ aims at the vulnerable f2.] 10.Nc3? [White misses that his f2 pawn is pinned. He could break the pin with 10.Be3=] 10...Qg3!? [This fun move is why the game caught my attention. Stronger would be first 10...Bxh3! 11.gxh3 Qg3+ 12.Kh1 Bxf2 13.Bf1 Nd4-+ and White is crushed by force.] 11.Rf1? [Black is rewarded for his boldness. His queen would have to retreat after 11.Be3 Bxe3 12.Rxe3 Qc7=] 11...Bxh3! 12.Bxh7+ [White would have to give up the queen to stop checkmate. 12.Ne1 Ng4 13.Qxg4 Bxg4 14.Nxd5 Qe5-+] 12...Nxh7 13.Qxd5 Qxg2# 0-1

London 2.Bf4 Playbook: How to begin. London 2.Bf4 Tactics: How to win quickly.
Copyright 2011-2019 / Author Page /
Chess Training Repertoire 3 (150 Openings White & Black)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Blackmar Diemer Trap Normand

Nicolas Normand played the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Vienna Variation. His game illustrates a point of theory that I have tended to overlook. This game gives me a good opportunity to examine it. Normand wrote to me. I quote a portion of his comments:

“Mr Sawyer, I am a 40-year-old French chess player. I have been playing chess since I am 15 but in chess tournament for only 3 years. I am a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit player as white especially Ryder gambit. I was wondering if you could give some piece of advice to find the best resources of information to fasten my studying. Of course, I tend to be a fan of Emil J. Diemer, Bill Wall's and Tom Purser's works and games. Maybe we could share some games. I thank you in advance. Nicolas
“PS: I have already most of your books that I enjoy a lot! I am very flattered that one of my games can be usable or even interesting. I have been following your different BDG chess works for a few years and you are a true reference for me (as German language is a bit harder for me, so sorry Emil !).”

Nicolas Normand as "DEATHSTAR81" wins a piece when Black falls into his trap.

DEATHSTAR81 - yaqootwahba, Live Chess (6), 25.12.2016 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 Bf5 5.g4 Bg6 6.g5 Nh5!? [This is the second most popular response. Black should play 6...Nd5 7.Nxe4=] 7.fxe4 [I used to play 7.f4 e5!=; Komodo also likes 7.Be3=] 7...f6? [Black blunders a piece. Correct is 7...e5 8.Nf3 exd4 9.Qxd4 Qxd4 10.Nxd4 Bc5 11.Nf5 Nc6 12.Bd2 0-0-0 13.0-0-0=]
8.Be2! [The immediate 8.Be2 seems stronger than the alternative 8.Bb5+ c6 (or 8...Nc6 9.d5+-) 9.Be2+-] 8...e6 [At this point Black spent over a minute thinking. There is no effective way to wiggle out of trouble. 8...e5 9.Bxh5 Qxd4 10.Bxg6+ hxg6 11.Qxd4 exd4 12.Nd5 Na6 13.gxf6 c6 14.fxg7 Bxg7 15.Nf4+-] 9.Bxh5 fxg5 10.Bxg6+ hxg6 11.Qg4 Qe7 12.Bxg5 Qd7 13.0-0-0 Be7 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Qxg6+ Kd7 [Going into an endgame still leaves Black down a piece after 15...Qf7 16.Qxf7+ Kxf7 17.Nf3+-] 16.Nf3 Nc6 17.d5! [White opens lines of attack toward the Black king.] 17...Ne5 18.dxe6+ Kc8 19.Nxe5 Rh6 [The two extra knights make power checkmate threats. If 19...Qf6 20.e7 Qxe7 21.Qg4+ Kb8 22.Nd7+ Kc8 23.Nb5+-] 20.Nd5 Qd6 21.Qe8+ Qd8 22.Ne7+ Kb8 23.Nd7# 1-0

London 2.Bf4 Playbook: How to begin. London 2.Bf4 Tactics: How to win quickly.
Copyright 2011-2019 / Author Page /
Chess Training Repertoire 3 (150 Openings White & Black)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Grob Attack Delayed Spike 1.g4

Jocelyn Bond of Canada wins a Grob Attack. 1.g4! is one of those Rare First Moves. About 20 years ago I played the 1.g4 Grob and 1...g5 Borg (Grob backward) many times. My most memorable experiences were the four games that I played against the infamous Claude Bloodgood. He was finishing out his life sentence in prison.

Here Jocelyn Bond played the White pieces. The game has a little Spike Attack (g4-g5) flavor. Usually, the Spike is 3.g5 in response to the threat of ...Bxg4. Black's solid move 1...e6 makes no attempt to attack or punish the g4 pawn. Jocelyn Bond wrote:

“Hi Tim, I just played a nice Grob opening game as white. Can you publish this? It’s blitz but I enjoyed so much to have played this game! Thanks a lot and come and play black against my Grob.”

grob_tueuse (1897) - nesalimar (1886), ChessCube Game, 13.02.2017 begins 1.g4 e6 2.Bg2 c5 3.c4 Qc7 [3...d5 4.Nc3!? d4 5.Ne4=] 4.d3 Nc6 5.Nf3 b6 6.Nc3 a6 7.g5 [7.Qd2!? h6 8.h4 Bb7 9.Kf1=] 7...Bb7 8.a3 Be7 [8...Ne5!=/+] 9.h4 g6 10.e4 [10.h5!+/-] 10...d6 [10...h6=] 11.Ne2 b5 12.cxb5 axb5 13.Be3 e5 [13...h6=] 14.Nc3 b4 15.Nd5 Qd8 16.axb4 Nxb4 17.Rxa8 Bxa8 18.Nxb4 cxb4 [Or 18...Qa5 19.Bd2 cxb4 20.Qb3+-] 19.Qa4+ Kf8 20.h5 Qb8 [20...gxh5 21.Rxh5+-] 21.hxg6 fxg6 22.Qd7 [22.Nd4 exd4 23.Bxd4 Bxg5 24.Bxh8+-] 22...Qd8 [22...Bb7 23.Bh3+-] 23.Qe6 Kg7 24.0-0 h5 [24...Bc6 25.Nxe5! dxe5 26.Qxe5+!+-] 25.Rc1 Bb7 26.Nh4 Qe8 27.Rc7 Ba6 28.Bh3 [28.Qxd6!+-] 28...Bxd3 29.f3 [Or 29.Qxd6!+-] 29...Qf7 30.Qd7 b3 31.Be6 Qf8 32.Rc8 Nf6 33.Rxf8 Nxd7 34.Rxh8 [Faster is 34.Rf7+ Kg8 35.Rxe7+ Kf8 36.Nxg6#] 34...Kxh8 35.Nxg6+ Kg7 36.Nxe7 Nf8 37.Bxb3 Nh7 38.Nf5+ Kf8 39.g6 Nf6 40.g7+ Ke8 41.Bg5 Ng8 42.Bxg8 Bxe4 43.fxe4 d5 44.Bxd5 h4 45.g8Q+ Kd7 46.Qe6+ Kc7 47.Qc6+ Kb8 48.Qb7# 1-0

London 2.Bf4 Playbook: How to begin. London 2.Bf4 Tactics: How to win quickly.
Copyright 2011-2019 / Author Page /
Chess Training Repertoire 3 (150 Openings White & Black)