Monday, August 21, 2017

Anti-Larsen Chess Opening

Dick Zdun chose a rare defense to Larsen's Opening with 1.b3 f6!? George Koltanowski and Aron Nimzowitsch played 1.b3 several times in the 1920s. Bent Larsen made 1.b3 his own playing it over 30 times from 1968 to 1972. Dick Zdun played 1.b3 f6!? It is better to play 1...e5 as Black and later defend e5 with ...f6 if need be.

This 1...f6 reminds me of a Saemisch Kings Indian Defense in reverse. It becomes difficult to safely play a pawn to e5. White took aim at e5 with 2.f4, 3.Nf3, 4.Bb2 and 5.d4. That might be overkill on White’s part. After all, Black need only to play the other central pawn. If he had played instead 6…d5 Black would have had equal chances.

[Rare First Moves is one of five books in my Chess Games 1.d4 Series box set.]

Sawyer (2010) - Zdun (1634), Williamsport, PA 1998 begins 1.b3 f6!? 2.f4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nh6 4.Bb2 Nf7 5.d4 e6 6.e4 
6...d6 [6...d5 7.Bd3 dxe4 8.Bxe4 Bd6 9.g3 0-0 10.0-0=] 7.Be2 [7.d5 Ne7 8.dxe6 Bxe6 9.Nd4 Bd7 10.Bc4+/-] 7...Be7 [7...d5 8.Nc3 Bb4 9.Qd3+/=] 8.0-0 [8.d5 Nb4 9.Qd2 c5 10.a3 Na6 11.dxe6 Bxe6 12.Nc3+/-] 8...0-0 [8...d5 9.Nc3 0-0 10.Qd2 Bb4 11.e5+/=] 9.d5 exd5 10.exd5 Nb8 11.c4 [11.Nd4! c6 12.Nc3+/-] 11...Nd7 [11...f5 12.Nc3+/-] 12.Nd4 Nc5 13.Bg4 [13.b4! Na6 14.a3+-] 13...Nh6 14.Bxc8 Qxc8 15.f5 c6 16.Nc3 cxd5 [16...Nf7 17.b4 Nd7 18.Ne6+/-] 17.Nxd5 Bd8 18.Qf3 [18.b4! Na6 19.Ne6+-] 18...Nf7 19.Rad1 Ne5 20.Qh5 Nf7 [20...a6 21.Ba3+/-] 21.Rfe1 Ne5 22.Re3 Qd7 23.Rh3 h6 24.Bc1 Qf7 [24...Rf7 25.Qh4+-] 25.Qh4 Bb6 26.Bxh6 gxh6 27.Qxh6 Qd7 28.Rg3+ Kf7 29.Qh5+ 1-0

Sets: Chess Games 1.e4 Series and Chess Games 1.d4 Series
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Haines Wins a Sicilian Defence

The Sicilian Defence English Attack 6.Be3 is a race. Players castle opposite sides. They rush to push pawns and to attack targets. It makes for exciting chess. Compare this line to running a mile. It is easy to start well. Most can run hard for the first 10 yards, the first 100 feet, or the first 100 yards. Then we feel tired. We want to take a break and rest.

Ray Haines sent me a Sicilian Defence game from the Houlton Open. Ray writes, “I was black against Roger Hardison. I won the game, He traded Queens early, but I still had a lot of play. He made two big mistakes losing a piece each time.”

Thanks, Ray. That sums it up. After 10 moves most attackers prefer 11.g5 or 11.h4 as Roger Hardison played last time. Here White chose the slower 11.Rg1. It's not a blunder, but it seems like a waste of time. The rook might be better on h1 than g1. When White played 13.Qb6, his intention to swap queens made it clear that he no longer intended to attack kingside. There are easier paths to an even endgame than the Open Sicilian. The game result was still up for grabs until White’s position fell apart tactically.

Hardison - Haines, Houlton ME (2), 05.08.2017 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be3 e6 7.f3 Be7 8.Qd2 a6 9.g4 Qc7 10.0-0-0 0-0
11.Rg1 Nxd4 12.Qxd4 b5 13.Qb6 [13.g5 Nd7 14.f4 Bb7 15.Kb1=] 13...Qxb6 14.Bxb6 Bb7 15.Be3 Rac8 16.a3 Rfd8 17.Bb6 Re8 18.Bd3 [18.g5 Nd7 19.Bf2=] 18...Nd7 19.Be3 Bf6 20.Ne2 Ne5 21.Rgf1 Nxd3+ 22.Rxd3 d5 23.g5 [Better is 23.exd5 Bxd5 24.Rd2 Red8=/+] 23...Be7 [Black could insert the move 23...dxe4!-/+ attacking the rook.] 24.e5 b4 25.axb4 Bxb4 26.Kb1 a5 27.c3 Ba6 28.Rd2 Be7 29.Nd4 [29.Kc2 a4=/+] 29...Bxf1 30.f4 Bc5 31.Rd1 Bh3 32.Rd2 Bxd4 33.Bxd4 Bf5+ 34.Ka1 Rb8 35.Ka2 a4 36.Bc5 Rec8 37.Bb4 Rc4 38.Rd4 Rxd4 0-1

Sets: Chess Games 1.e4 Series and Chess Games 1.d4 Series
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

French Defence Winawer 7.a4

Phases of life, personal issues, and preferences in openings all affect chess play. My career has surges when I played more and gaps when I played less. Here is a game in one of those gaps. Peter Rimlinger was a postal master in APCT in 1985. We met in a French Defence Winawer where I played Black. The point of 7.a4 was to allow Ba3. White aimed into the heart of the enemy camp on the dark diagonal.

We reached a drawn ending if we kept playing. Drawing a master is a moral victory, but that was not the whole story. In 1985 I chose to take a break from chess. This was the only game that I wished I could have finished, but the year ran out before the game did. I was forfeited when my APCT membership expired. I quit chess for a while. I returned to fun chess in 1988 after I had changed jobs.

My collection Chess Games 1.e4 Series has 5 books in 1, including French Defence. The companion volume is Chess Games 1.d4 Series. These are available in Kindle Unlimited, digital, and paperback. Also, my French 3.Be3 Playbook is a step by step guide to the Alapin Diemer Gambit.

Rimlinger (2233) - Sawyer (2000), corr APCT 1985 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.a4 Nbc6 8.Nf3 Qa5 9.Qd2 Bd7 10.Be2 f6 [10...Rc8=] 11.exf6 gxf6 12.dxc5 0-0-0 [12...e5 13.0-0 0-0-0 14.c4 Qxd2 15.Nxd2 Rhg8=] 13.0-0 [13.Nd4+/=] 13...e5 14.Ba3 h5 15.Rfb1 Be6 16.Bb4 Qc7 17.a5 a6 18.Ne1 Ng6 19.Qd1 [19.Ra4=] 19...Rdg8 20.Ra3? Nf4 21.Qd2 Nxg2 22.Nxg2 Rxg2+ 23.Kxg2 Rg8+ 24.Kh1 Qg7 25.Bf3 e4 26.Qe1 Bh3 27.Qg1 exf3 [27...Qh7-+] 28.Qxg7 Rxg7 29.Rab3 [29.Rd1 Rg2=] 29...Ne5 [29...Rg2=/+] 30.Ba3 [30.c6 Nxc6=] 30...Ng4 31.Kg1 Ne3+ [31...f5-+] 32.Kh1 Rg2 33.fxe3 Rg5 34.Rg1 [34.Rxb7=] 34...f2 35.Rbb1 Rxg1+ 36.Rxg1 Kd7 37.Rd1 Ke6 38.e4 [38.c6 bxc6=/+] 38...dxe4 39.Bc1 f5 40.Be3 f1Q+ 41.Rxf1 Bxf1 42.Kg1 Bb5 43.Kf2 Ba4 44.Kg3 Bxc2 45.c6 bxc6 46.Kf4 Kd5 47.Kxf5 Kc4 48.Kf4 Kxc3 49.h4 Kc4 50.Kg3 Kb5 51.Bd2 e3 [51...c5-/+] 52.Bxe3 Kxa5 53.Kf2 Kb4 54.Bd2+ Kb3 55.Ba5 c5 56.Ke2 Ka4 57.Bc3 a5 58.Kd2 Bf5 59.Kc1 Kb5 60.Kb2 a4 61.Be5 Kc4 62.Ka3 Bd7 63.Bf6 Kd3 64.Be5 Kc2 65.Bd6 c4 66.Kb4 Bb5 [66...c3=/+] 67.Kxb5 Kb3 68.Bb4 c3 [=] 1-0 [Forfeit]
The bishop would take on c3 and the king on a4. Black cannot queen the h-pawn.

Sets: Chess Games 1.e4 Series and Chess Games 1.d4 Series
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Monday, August 14, 2017

Old Gambit and New Chess Book

Ray Haines won an Albin Counter Gambit by a crisp attack and no mistakes. White defended with normal looking moves, typical for a player not familiar with established theory in this gambit. Haines carried out a successful direct assault in 23 moves.

I released Chess Games 1.d4 Series: 5 books in 1 as a box set bundle collection of five books in one. The 5 books are Queen Pawn, Indian Defences, Rare First Moves, Queens Knight, and Bird & Dutch. They combine for over 500 games. They discuss chess situations, players, game issues, styles, stories, opinions, passions, anecdotes, commentary, and a little theory. Chess Games 1.d4 Series is a companion volume to Chess Games 1.e4 Series, both available in Kindle Unlimited, digital, and paperback.

1964Buick (1576) - rrhaines33 (1600), Live Chess, 13.08.2017 begins 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.e3 [4.Nf3 is the standard move.] 4...Bb4+ 5.Bd2 dxe3
6.Qa4+ [White should play 6.fxe3 Qh4+ 7.g3 Qe4 8.Nf3=; 6.Bxb4 exf2+ 7.Ke2 fxg1N+! 8.Ke1 Qh4+ 9.Kd2 Nc6-+] 6...Nc6 7.Bxb4 exf2+ 8.Kxf2 Qh4+ 9.g3 Qd4+ 10.Ke1 [10.Kg2 Qxb2+ 11.Be2 Qxa1-/+] 10...Qe4+ 11.Ne2? [11.Kf2 Qxh1 12.Bg2 Qxh2 13.Nf3 Qh6-/+] 11...Qxh1 12.Nbc3 Bh3 13.Kf2 Qxh2+ 14.Ke1 Bxf1 15.Kxf1 0-0-0 16.Rd1 [If 16.Bc5 Qh1+ 17.Bg1 Nge7-+] 16...Nh6 17.Bc5 Ng4 18.Nd5 Qh1+ 19.Ng1 Nh2+ 20.Ke2 Qg2+ 21.Bf2 [21.Kd3 Rxd5+ 22.cxd5 Qxd5+ 23.Kc2 Qxc5+ 24.Kb1 Rd8-+] 21...Ng4 22.Ne7+ Nxe7 23.Qxa7 Nc6 0-1

Sets: Chess Games 1.e4 Series and Chess Games 1.d4 Series
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Friday, August 11, 2017

London System Bxh7+ Sacrifice

Chris Hansen won another interesting London System. I include some of his remarks which I edited for space.

“Hi Tim! I just finished a rather quick London. I've noticed with the London...there are transpositions galore. This game was my first EVER (including postal, blitz and otb), opportunity to do a classic B sac on h7. I'm astounded how many attacking formations evolve with this opening...driven, in most part (as you mention) by a mistake (major or minor) by black. Another interesting point, [there is a] strong correlation to the Colle....a great source for White attacking formations....and defenses too... Still working on the Qside fianchetto... Capablanca's favorite formation vs the Colle...and I suspect this opening too (not sure if he ever faced the London). Best Regards, Chris”

Jose Raul Capablanca played both the London and the Colle through his career from both sides of the board. The London got its name when Alekhine, Rubinstein, and Capablanca all won with it against the Kings Indian Defence in August 1922 in the London tournament. I include a short London 2.Bf4 in my notes that Capablanca won 11 years before the London tournament.

Hansen - Guest277631, Friendly Game, 3m + 0s CafĂ©, 04.08.2017 begins 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 e6 [2...c5 3.e3 Nc6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Nbd2 Bg4 6.c3 e6 7.h3 Bh5 8.Qb3 Qb6 9.Ne5 Nxe5 10.Bxe5 Nd7 11.Bb5 f6 12.Bh2 c4 13.Qa4 Rd8 14.b3 a6 15.Bxd7+ Rxd7 16.bxc4 Qb2 17.Rb1 Qxc3 18.g4 b5 19.cxb5 Bg6 20.bxa6 Bxb1 21.a7 Bd3 22.a8=Q+ Kf7 23.Qxd7+ Kg8 24.Qxe6# 1–0 Capablanca - Tipal, London 1911] 3.e3 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.h3 Bd6 7.Bxd6 Qxd6 8.Nf3 cxd4 9.exd4 0-0 10.Qe2 Re8 11.Ne5 Nd7 [11...Qe7 12.f4= White appears more comfortable, but Black can defend everything at the moment.]
12.Bxh7+! Kf8 [12...Kxh7 13.Qh5+ Kg8 14.Qxf7+ Kh7 15.Qh5+ Kg8 16.Qxe8+ picks off the rook.] 13.f4 f6 [Or 13...g6 14.h4 Kg7 15.h5 Rh8 16.Bxg6 fxg6 17.Nxg6 Rh6 18.Nd2 Nf8 19.Ne5 Nxe5 20.fxe5 Qe7 21.0-0-0+/- when White has three pawns and a strong attack for the bishop.] 14.Ng6+ Kf7 15.Qh5 [After 15.Qh5 f5 16.Nd2 Nf6 17.Ne5+ Ke7 18.Qg6+-] 1-0

Sets: Chess Games 1.e4 Series and Chess Games 1.d4 Series
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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Leonardo Cui Plays Black Lion

You can play the Black Lion without looking at your opponent, at least not for 4 or 5 moves. Leonardo Cui of Canada played the first four moves in order with 1...d6, 2...Nf6, 3...Nbd7, and 4...e5. Ray Haines responded aggressively as White. Ray wrote:
"This is my game with Leonardo Cui. I had the better game in the center with a lot of space to work with. The computer rated the game as a little better for black after I gave up the first pawn. I also like black a little better after I gave up the second pawn. I had good control of the dark squares, which gave me a lot of play against his king. I liked my game here."
Thanks Ray. Both sides had chances. Black dropped a piece in tactics. In the end, he would have to give up his queen to avoid mate.

Haines - L.Cui, Houlton ME (1), 05.08.2017 begins 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 [The Black Lion. A normal Pirc Defence continues with 3...g6 ] 4.f4 e5

5.Nf3 exd4 6.Nxd4 [More popular is 6.Qxd4 c6 7.Be3 d5 8.exd5 Bc5 9.Qd3 Qe7 10.Nd4+/=] 6...g6 [6...Nc5=] 7.Bc4 Nb6 [7...Bg7=] 8.Bb3 Bg4 [8...c5 9.Nf3 c4=/+] 9.Qd3 Bg7 10.0-0 0-0 11.h3 Bc8 12.Be3 Nbd7 13.Rad1 [13.Nf3+- would leave White with a clear advantage in the center.] 13...Nc5 14.Qe2 [14.Qc4! Nfxe4 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.f5= with a better position than the game continuation. Also good here is 16.Nb5=.] 14...Nfxe4 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.Qf3 Nc5 17.f5 Nxb3 18.axb3 Bxd4 19.Bxd4 Bxf5 20.Qc3 b5 [Black should play 20...Qd7! 21.Bg7 Rfe8 22.Bh8 f6 23.Bxf6 Re6=/+ when Black remains up a pawn.] 21.Rxf5 Qh4 22.Bf6 b4 [22...Qh6 23.Rxb5+-] 23.Qd2 1-0

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