Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Albin Counter Gambit Victories

Albin Counter Gambit wins again! A king hunt leads to a quick checkmate. Jose Alves Santos defeats Jose Velho Guerreiro with the Albin Counter Gambit in early 2017. White is in trouble on move eight. He lasts only ten more moves before checkmate.

Bonus Game: White usually accepts the gambit with 3.dxe5. John Crompton ("JECmate") won a quick Albin in a critical line. I included it in my notes below.

Guerreiro tried 3.Nc3. Black sacrificed a pawn for a big lead in development. The White king was on the run by move nine. It's good to centralize the king in the endgame, but it's fatal to do so in the opening. Later, the rating of Jose Santos rose to 2208.

[My Queen Pawn book includes 25 Albin Counter Gambit games.]

Guerreiro - Santos (2193), Portugal Open Rapid 2017 Lisbon, 11.02.2017 begins 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.Nc3 [3. dxe5 d4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. a3 Nge7 6. e3 Bg4 7. exd4 Bxf3 8.gxf3 Qxd4 9. Bd2 Qxe5+ 10. Be2 O-O-O 11. Qc2 Nd4 12. Qe4 Qxe4 13. fxe4 Nc2+ 0-1. vikram9999 - JECmate, chess.com, 23.05.2017] 3...exd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Qxd5 Be6 6.Qxd8+ [6.Bg5 Bxd5 7.Bxd8 Bxg2 8.Bxg2 Rxd8 9.Bxc6+ bxc6=] 6...Rxd8 7.e4 [7.Bf4 Bxc4 8.Bxc7 Rd7 9.Bf4 Nb4 10.Rc1 Nxa2=] 7...Nb4 8.a3 [8.Nd5 Nc2+ 9.Kd2 Nxa1 10.Bd3 Bd6-+] 8...Nc2+ 9.Ke2 Nxa1 [9...Bxc4+ 10.Kf3 Bxf1-+] 10.Kf3 [10.Nd5 Rc8 11.b4 c6-+] 10...Nb3 11.Bg5 Nd2+ 12.Bxd2 Rxd2 13.Nge2 [13.b4 c5 14.Ke3 Rb2-+] 13...Rd3+ 14.Kf4 Nf6 15.Ng3 g5+ 16.Kxg5 Rg8+ 17.Kxf6 Rg6+ 18.Ke5 Bd6# 0-1


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Monday, May 22, 2017

Blackmar-Diemer Penullar Return

Peter McGerald Penullar sent me this Blackmar-Diemer Gambit which I include (edited) with his story notes. I appreciate Penullar. His games appear in my chess books.

"Hi Sir Tim,
"It’s been a while since I sent a BDG game to you. The pressure from Hospital work has been keeping me from joining many OTB tournaments, although chess.com accompany some of my lonely nights. Luckily for me, a chess tournament, The 1st Pasinggatan Chess Tournament on April 30, 2017, was held on my free day. The longing of touching chess pieces and the chance to meet fellow chess players in Taytay, Palawan where I have been working for 3 years, made me register my name without hesitation."

Thanks, Peter! My book Called notes that my mother was named after a missionary to the Philippines. That lady was captured by the Japanese during World War II.

[My Blackmar-Diemer Puzzles book is an introduction to our favorite gambit.]

Penullar - NN, Pasinggatan, Philippines (6), 30.04.2017 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 c6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Nf6 6.Bd3 e6 7.0-0 Bd6 8.Qe1 0-0 9.Bg5 Nbd7 10.Qh4 h6? 11.Bxh6 gxh6 12.Qxh6 Re8 13.Ng5 [My opponent has been blitzing all his moves, but after I uncork my 13th move only then he realized he walked into a trap, although his 10th move has already sealed his fate. He began to used chunks of time thinking a way out.] 13...Bxh2+ [His last attempt to distract me.] 14.Kh1 [I know I am completely winning in this typical BDG Tabiya position, I already work out all the mating pattern in my head, but my opponent intentionally took an hour before making his move, we don't have chess clocks in this tournament by the way, and somehow his antics got into my nerve.] 14...Re7 15.Rxf6 Nxf6 [I was still fuming inside, I wanted to beat him badly for taking so much time and not resigning immediately in a lost position. I impatiently and immediately executed my next move.] 16.Qxf6 Rd7 [After seeing this move from my opponent, only then I realized I jumbled my mating pattern sequence. It should have been 16. Bh7+! and mate in 2. Lesson learned, Never let bad emotion get into your way when playing.] 17.Qh6 Bf4 18.Bh7+ Kh8 19.Bg6+ Kg8 20.Qh7+ Kf8 21.Nxf7 Qf6 [Here, I was already losing hope and was about to resign, I half-heartedly made my next move.] 22.Rf1 [I decided that if my opponent takes my d-pawn with his rook, I'll just resign and stop my agony thinking I botched a won game, instead my opponent decided to simplify the position.] 22...Rxf7 23.Bxf7 Qxf7 24.Qxf7+ Kxf7 25.Rxf4+ [Suddenly I'm a pawn up, with active pieces!! Here, I decided to fully concentrate again, managed to swap my rook and passed g-pawn against his rook and 4 pawns, got my chance to inflict torture against my opponent in a long king, knight and 3 connected pawns vs a king and bishop ending, and finally got a win after 70 plus moves. My tournament is therefore complete!! Long Live BDG!!!] 1-0 [Notes by Penullar]


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, May 19, 2017

50 Top Sawyer Chess Blog Posts

Welcome to my Top 50 list! I've written a total of 2167 posts since 2011 on my chess blog. This list covers the most popular through 2016 (numbers revised in May 2017).

I'm in the process of updating this entire site. I've deleted two-thirds of the older games which can be found in my books from 2015 and 2016 categorized openings.

Ten recent books into 2017 did not come from the blog. I plan to keep writing blog posts and publishing new chess books. Your support is appreciated.

My Chess Training Repertoire is released every Thursday. It's sent to my email list but not on the blog. Sign up if you want to receive my weekly training repertoire.

1-10











11-20











21-30











31-40











41-50












You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Polish Opening Herb Fredrick

In this 1.b4 Polish Opening, I followed the famous contest Lalic - Uhlmann, Sarajevo 1980, 0-1 in 29. I had seen it in Chess Informant, which has been a source of great chess information for 50 years. In my 20s I bought the latest issue as soon as it came out. This idea was to meet 1.b4 with 1...d5 2.Bb2 Qd6!? The intent was to play 3...e5. Black wants to build and maintain a big center with pawns on both d5 and e5.

Herb Fredrick played a Polish Opening against me at the North Penn Chess Club. This allowed me to test the idea of 2…Qd6!? If White was not careful, the Black queen could cause quite a stir. White played reasonably well. Black had only a slight edge until he castled into danger on move 32.

Fredrick (1400) - Sawyer, Lansdale, PA 11.02.1981 begins 1.b4 d5 2.Bb2 Qd6 3.a3 e5 4.e3 [4.Nf3 e4 5.Nd4 a5 6.Nc3 c6 7.Nb3=] 4...f5!? [4...a5 5.b5 Nf6 6.c4 Bg4=] 5.Nf3 [White could try to undermine Black's big center and highlight the fact that Black has not developed any minor pieces. 5.c4!+/= ] 5...e4 6.Ne5!? [6.Nd4 Nc6 7.c4 dxc4 8.Bxc4+/=] 6...Nf6 7.c4 Be6 8.d3 Nbd7 [8...dxc4 9.Qa4+ c6 10.Nxc4 Bxc4 11.dxc4+/=] 9.Nxd7 Qxd7 10.Nd2 [10.cxd5 Nxd5 11.dxe4 fxe4 12.Nd2+/=] 10...a5 11.b5 [11.cxd5 Bxd5 12.dxe4 fxe4 13.Be2=] 11...Be7 [11...dxc4 12.dxe4 Qxb5=] 12.Be2 0-0 13.Rc1 Rad8 [13...exd3 14.Bxd3 dxc4 15.Nxc4 Qxb5=/+] 14.Nb3 dxc4 15.dxc4 Qc8 16.Qc2 b6 17.Nd4 Bc5 18.Nc6 Rde8 19.Qb3 [19.0-0!+/=] 19...g5 [19...f4=/+] 20.Be5 [20.h4 g4 21.Rd1+/=] 20...Bd7 21.Bxf6 [21.Qc3 Re6=] 21...Rxf6 22.Qc3 Ref8 23.Ne5 Qe8 24.Rd1 Bd6  [24...Be6!=/+] 25.Nxd7 Qxd7 26.c5 bxc5 27.Qxa5 Qe7 [27...f4!? 28.exf4 gxf4 29.Qc3=] 28.Rd5 Kh8 29.Qc3 Qg7 30.a4 f4 31.f3?! [This opens lines to the White king. 31.exf4 gxf4 32.a5 Qxg2 33.Rf1=] 31...fxe3 [31...Re8=/+] 32.0-0? [32.a5 g4=/+] 32...Bxh2+ 33.Kxh2 Rh6+ 0-1


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, May 15, 2017

Ullrich vs Bogoljubow 1.d4 Nc6

Efim Bogoljubow played the Queens Knight Defence 1.d4 Nc6 at least nine times. The first time Bogo played it was against Fritz Saemisch in 1920. In the early years, Bogoljubow won every game with it as Black. In his later years, Bogo drew three times.

Heinz Ullrich was a strong enough chess player to face several famous masters. Expectedly Ullrich lost most of those games. The typical variation after 1.d4 Nc6 2.d5 Ne5 is 3.e4 e6 4.f4 Ng6. When White played 3.f4 Ng6 4.e4 it allowed the possibility of e5 (rather than 4…e6) which Grandmaster Bogoljubow exploited.

Efim Dmitriyevich Bogoljubow was born in Russia. The German master E.J. Diemer spelled his name Bogoljubow as it is often seen in English. The Russian spelling of his name is Bogoljubov. Bogoljubow was trapped in Germany when World War I broke out. He married a German girl and moved to Germany by 1926. There he lived until his death in 1952. Alexander Alekhine won World Championship matches against Bogoljubow (in 1929 and in 1934).

Ullrich - Bogoljubow, Bad Elster 1937 begins 1.d4 Nc6 2.d5 Ne5 3.f4 Ng6 4.e4 e5 [4...e6 5.dxe6] 5.f5? [5.dxe6 see 4...e6] 5...Qh4+! 6.Kd2 [6.Ke2 Qxe4+ 7.Be3 Bc5 8.Qc1 Nf4+ 9.Kf2 Nf6! 10.Bxc5 Ng4+ 11.Kg3 Nh5+ 12.Kh3 Qxf5-+ and White cannot avoid being mated in six or seven more moves.] 6...Qxe4 [More accurate is 6...Nf6! 7.Qf3 Nxe4+ 8.Ke2 Nf4+ 9.Bxf4 Qxf4 10.Qxf4 exf4 11.Kf3 Nf6 12.Nc3 Bb4 13.Bd3 g5 14.fxg6 hxg6-/+] 7.Bd3? [White should take the piece with 7.fxg6 Qxd5+ 8.Ke1 Qxd1+ 9.Kxd1 hxg6 10.c4= when Black has three pawns for the knight.] 7...Qxg2+ 8.Ne2 Qg5+ [8...Nh4 9.Qf1 Nf3+ 10.Kc3 Qxf1 11.Rxf1 Nxh2-+] 9.Kc3 Qh4 10.a3 [10.b3 N6e7-+] 10...N6e7 11.Kb3 [11.Ng3 b5-+] 11...e4 12.Bxe4 Qxe4 13.Nbc3 Qxf5 14.Nd4 Qg6 15.Ndb5 Kd8 16.Bf4 d6 17.Nxc7 [17.Rg1 Qf5-+] 17...Kxc7 18.Nb5+ Kd8 19.Bxd6 Nf5 20.Bc7+ Kd7 21.Rg1 Ne3 22.Qf3 [22.Qe2 Qxc2+ 23.Qxc2 Nxc2 24.Kxc2 a6-+] 22...Qxc2+ 23.Ka2 Qc4+ 24.Kb1 Qxb5 25.Qxf7+ Ne7 26.Qe6+ Kxc7 27.Rc1+ Nc6 0-1


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, May 12, 2017

Sicilian Najdorf vs Gabasjelisjvili

I played in master level postal chess tournaments in the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) in the 1980s. I played postal chess against people from 30 different countries. This way I “met” a lot of good players.

Numerical notation was used to combat the language barrier. Every square is a two digit number. Every move was a four digit number. The algebraic “a1” square is “11” in numerical notation. The first move 1.Nf3 in algebraic is 1.7163 in numeric. Numbers are one thing. Names are another. The spellings of my opponent’s names would change depending the alphabet used.

Here I played G. Gabasjelisjvili in the Sicilian Defence. There are players with similar spelled names to this player, but I am not sure exactly who he was. ICCF was not online until years later. By the spelling I am guessing this player was from Russia.

At any rate we played the same sharp Najdorf Variation in which I defeated Curt Jones. The key moves were 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.Qd2 e6. Against Curt Jones I castled kingside. Here I castled queenside and turned up the heat. I had a great game until I got burned.

Sawyer - Gabasjelisjvili, corr ICCF 1984 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Bc4 Qa5 [7...Qb6 8.Bb3 e6=] 8.Qd2 e6 9.0-0-0 [Another idea is to play 9.f3 b5 (9...h6 10.Be3 Ne5 11.Bb3=) 10.Bb3 Bb7 11.0-0 Be7 12.a3=] 9...b5 10.Bb3 Bb7 11.Rhe1 0-0-0 [11...Be7 12.Kb1 Nc5 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Nf5 0-0 15.Nxd6 Be5 16.Nxb7 Nxb7=] 12.f3 Kb8 13.Be3 [13.Kb1+/=] 13...Rc8 14.Kb1 Ne5 15.Qf2 [15.Bg1+/=] 15...Nfd7 16.Rd2 [16.Nde2+/=] 16...Be7 17.h3 g5 18.Rc1 Ka8 [Now Black can sacrifice the Exchange with good compensation after 18...Rxc3 19.bxc3 Qxc3 20.Ne2 Qc7 21.Rcd1 Rc8=] 19.g3?! [19.Nde2 b4 20.Na4+/=] 19...Rxc3 [19...b4!?=] 20.bxc3 Nc4 21.Bxc4 bxc4=/+ [Apparently White could not find a good defense. Black is better, but there seems to be a possibilty of survival after 22.Ne2 Bxe4 =+] 0-1


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ruy Lopez Logical 3...Nge7

Popular openings have interesting sidelines. One of the most logical variations in the King Pawn Ruy Lopez is 3…Nge7. If White chops off the knight on c6, Black replaces it with the other knight. I faced this line at the Williamsport chess club in 1994. Against Richard Zdun I chose simple development with 4.0-0 and opened the center with 5.d4.

When David Lau met my Ruy Lopez with 3…Nge7, I was in more of a hurry to challenge him in the center. I played 4.d4. I should have punished his passive 4…f6?! with 5.d5! This would take the c6 square away from both knights. I reverted to 5.0-0. Later I used my f-pawn to attack. This safe approach took longer and gave Black chances for a good game. However, in the end, the differences in our rating played out on the board.

Sawyer (2011) - Lau (1414), Williamsport, PA 1994 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 4.d4 [4.0-0 g6 5.d4 Bg7 6.dxe5 Nxe5 7.Nxe5 Bxe5 8.f4 Bg7 9.f5 c5? 10.f6 1-0 Sawyer - Zdun, Williamsport PA 1994] 4...f6?! [4...Nxd4 5.Nxd4 exd4 6.Qxd4=] 5.0-0 [5.d5!+/-] 5...a6 6.Bxc6 Nxc6 7.d5 Ne7 8.Nh4 g6 9.f4 d6 10.f5 [10.fxe5!+/= opening the f-file makes more sense.] 10...Bd7 [10...c6=] 11.fxg6 hxg6 12.Qf3 Bg7 13.g3?! [13.Qf2=] 13...g5 14.Nf5 Nxf5 15.exf5 Qe7 16.Nd2 0-0-0 17.c4 Rh3 18.a4 Rdh8 19.Rf2 Qf8 20.Ne4 Qe8 21.b3 Qg8 22.Be3 Qh7 23.Raa2 Kd8 [23...g4 24.Qxg4=] 24.Rac2 Ke7? [24...Qh5 25.Qxh5+/-] 25.c5 Be8 [25...Qh5 26.Qxh5+-] 26.cxd6+ cxd6 27.Nxg5 fxg5 28.f6+ Kd8 29.Bb6+ Kd7 30.Qg4+ 1-0


You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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