Monday, February 27, 2017

Hugh Myers Plays Nimzovich

Hugh E. Myers (1930-2008) was one of the greatest contributors to original opening theory in my lifetime. One of his favorites was 1.c4 g5 Myers Defence to the English Opening. Hugh Myers was a master who authored books on many offbeat opening lines.

From 1979-1988 he wrote “The Myers Opening Bulletin”. Myers presented games from any unusual line in numbered periodicals referred to as MOB, volume x, number y, etc. He published them and then he stopped due to money or health. When he resumed publication from 1992-1996, they were called “New MOB”. A large portion of the Myers Opening Bulletin covered 1.e4 Nc6. In addition Hugh E. Myers wrote three books on 1.e4 Nc6. These editions of the Nimzovich Defence were in 1973, 1985 and 1993.

My favorite Hugh E. Myers volume was his biography. It was called “A Chess Explorer: Life and Games” published in 2002. At times his opinions in the chess community were controversial. Hugh Myers made it clear that you do not have to be a famous professional grandmaster to have good ideas in chess openings. Hugh Myers lived in Iowa and won state championships in four different states. In the 1960s he lived in the Dominican Republic. He played on their Olympiad team. I remember his 1.Nc3 games.

Hugh Myers called 1.e4 Nc6 the “Nimzovich Defence”. I refer to the whole 1…Nc6 opening complex descriptively as the Queens Knight Defence. Alberto Malagon played against Hugh Myers in this Nimzovich Defence. They continued 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.g4.

Malagon - Myers, Santo Domingo 1968 begins 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.g4 Be4 5.f3 Bg6 6.h4 h5 7.a3 [7.g5 e6 8.c3 Nb8!? 9.Ne2 c5=/+] 7...e6 [7...f6!=/+] 8.g5 Nge7 9.Be3 Qd7 [9...Nb8!?=/+] 10.Nc3 0-0-0 11.Qd2? [11.Nge2=] 11...Nf5 [11...Nxe5! 12.dxe5 d4-/+] 12.Bf2 Be7 13.Nh3 f6 14.f4 Na5 15.b3 [15.0-0-0=] 15...c5 [15...Kb8-/+] 16.dxc5 d4 17.Nb5 Nc6 18.Nd6+ Kb8 19.Bb5 Qc7 20.exf6 gxf6 21.Nxf5 Bxf5 22.b4 e5 23.0-0-0 Qd7 [23...e4=] 24.gxf6 [24.fxe5! Qd5 25.Kb2 fxe5 26.Bg3+/-] 24...Bxf6 25.fxe5 Bxe5 26.Nf4? [26.Qe1 Rhe8=/+] 26...Qf7 27.Kb1 Qb3+ 28.Kc1 Qxa3+ 29.Kb1 Nxb4 0-1

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

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sicilian Grand Prix Attack 5.Bc4

Sicilian Defence Grand Prix Attack 5.Bc4 pressures Wesley So to defend. Watch how Grandmaster So turned the tables and won quickly. How do great players make good players look bad? They keep them busy with little issues so that they miss big issues.

The big issue: White did not move his dark squared bishop at all for the entire game. He could not move it because he never moved his pawn on d2. In effect White gave odds of a rook and minor piece to one of the strongest players in the world. That didn’t work well.

In the Sicilian Defence after 1.e4 c5, White normally plays for d4 on moves 3 or 4 after either 2.Nf3 or 2.c3. The Grand Prix Attack 2.Nc3 and 3.f4 takes control of d5 and aims at f5. White pressures Black to defend against a strong attack. Remy Degraeve did well enough that if he taken the bishop 23.cxd4 on his next move, he would be ahead a rook and minor piece. That's hard to do! Then he would get checkmated. That's easy to do.

My Chess Training Repertoire this week covers Sicilian Defence Grand Prix Attack. My email goes to those subscribed to my list at 11:45 AM Eastern time Thursday.

Degraeve, Remy (2019) - So, W (2808), PRO League Group Stage INT (5), 11.02.2017 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 e6 [5...d6 6.0-0=] 6.f5 [6.e5] 6...gxf5 [6...Nge7 7.fxe6 fxe6 8.d3=] 7.exf5 d5 8.Bb5 [8.Bb3!?] 8...e5 9.0-0 Nge7 10.Nh4 [10.Bxc6+ bxc6=/+] 10...Bf6 11.Qh5 a6 12.Bxc6+ Nxc6 13.Nf3 e4 14.Ne1 Rg8 [14...b5=/+] 15.Ne2 [White has to play 15.d3!=] 15...Rg5 16.Qxh7 Nd4!? [It looks like Black had a better choice with 16...Ne7! 17.d3 Bxf5 18.Rxf5 Rxf5-/+] 17.Nxd4 [White might have a better chance after 17.Ng3! Ke7 18.d3 Rxg3 19.hxg3 Ne2+ 20.Kf2 Nxc1 21.Rxc1 Bd7=/+] 17...Bxd4+ 18.Kh1 Qf6 19.c3 [19.d3 Rxf5 20.Rxf5 Qxf5 21.Qxf5 Bxf5-/+] 19...Rxf5 20.Rxf5 [20.Qxf5 Bxf5 21.cxd4 cxd4 22.g4 Qh4 23.gxf5 0-0-0-+] 20...Bxf5 21.Qg8+ [21.cxd4 Bxh7-+] 21...Ke7 22.Qxa8 Bd7 [Black can force checkmate in a few moves: 22...Bd7 23.Nf3 exf3 24.cxd4 f2 25.Qe8+ Bxe8 26.h3 f1Q+ 27.Kh2 Q6f4+ 28.g3 Q4f2#] 0-1

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

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

Chess Calculation BDG Clauser

Blackmar-Diemer Gambit readers benefited from Jack Clauser. He proofread my first Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Keybook written 1989-1991. It was published 25 years ago in February 1992. In 2016 Jack Clauser graciously returned to proofread first drafts of my Blackmar-Diemer Theory books 3 & 4. It was painstaking work to play over each line. Chess authors don't sell millions of books. Popular non-fiction books are about how to make money or how to find love. It's hard to love chess and make money. I gratefully appreciate those who buy my books or leave kind positive reviews for my efforts.

I focus my author research on lines that I know BDG players most often play. Clauser examined my chosen computer analysis with human eyes. Jack questioned lines with comments like "why not take that pawn?" or "I'd move the knight here." I included many of his suggestions in my books along with my chess engines evaluations. Clauser and I played several games in our BDG early days. As Black, Jack tried the 4.Nxe4 Nc6 line of the Lemberger Counter Gambit. I was in trouble by move 20 and lost by move 25.

Sawyer - Clauser, corr 1988 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nxe4 Nc6 [Black may develop the other knight with 4...Nf6 5.Nxf6+ Qxf6 (5...gxf6 6.Nf3=) 6.Be3 (Or 6.Nf3=) 6...Bd6 7.Nf3=] 5.d5 Nd4 6.c3 Bf5 7.cxd4 [White could repeat moves with 7.Qa4+ Bd7 8.Qd1 Bf5=; or try 7.f3 Bxe4 8.fxe4 Qh4+ 9.Kd2 Qf2+ 10.Ne2=] 7...Bxe4 8.Qa4+ c6 9.dxc6 Bxc6 10.Bb5 Ne7 11.dxe5 Qd5 12.Bxc6+ Nxc6 13.Nf3 Bb4+ 14.Bd2 [14.Kf1 0-0 15.Kg1 Bc5 16.Bf4=] 14...Bxd2+ 15.Nxd2 Qxg2 16.0-0-0 Qxf2 17.Ne4 Qe3+ 18.Kb1 0-0 19.Rhe1 Qh6 20.Rd6 [20.Nd6 Rad8=/+] 20...Qxh2 21.Nf6+? [21.e6 fxe6-/+] 21...gxf6 22.exf6 Kh8 23.Qe4 Qg3 24.Ka1 Qg6 25.Qh4 Rad8 0-1

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

Ruy Lopez Riga Tricky Line

The King Pawn Open Ruy Lopez Riga line is tricky for club players. White sacrifices his e4 and d4 pawns for an attack. White threatens to win a piece while Black has a counter attack. In a prior game against the Riga from 1979, my opponent played 8…Bd7. I got his knight and won that game in 45 moves. This line gets its name from a correspondence match between the city of Berlin in Germany and the city of Riga in Latvia. Black won an ending where White had an extra knight, while Black had three extra kingside pawns.

In the 1980s I played in several an ICCF Master Class events. They allowed players to become a master or to compete in the World Championship cycle. That cycle used to take about 10 years of continuous winning. A grandmaster would win in the end, but we all had hopes and dreams. One of my opponents was Albert Maier from Austria. In 1994 Maier reached his peak ICCF rating of 2152. Our 1984 ICCF game was an Open Ruy Lopez Riga Variation. Because it was postal chess, we had access to chess books.

Albert Maier as Black followed the original Berlin vs Riga game for 17 moves. That game continued 18.g5 Rag8 19.Bd4 h6 20.Bf6+ Kf7 21.Bxh8 Rxh8 21.Rd1 hxg5+ 22.Kg2 Kf6. Instead, I varied with 18.Kg3. I got a good position and won in 25 moves.

Sawyer - Maier, corr ICCF 1984 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 exd4!? [The main line is 6...b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6=] 7.Re1 d5 8.Nxd4 Bd6 9.Nxc6 Bxh2+ 10.Kh1 Qh4 11.Rxe4+ dxe4 12.Qd8+ Qxd8 13.Nxd8+ Kxd8 14.Kxh2 Be6 15.Be3 f5 16.Nc3 [16.c3+/= Houdini; 16.Nd2+/= Komodo] 16...Ke7 17.g4 g6 18.Kg3 b5 19.Bb3 h5 20.Nd5+ Bxd5 21.Bxd5 h4+ [21...c6 22.Bc5+ Kd7 23.Bf7+/-] 22.Kh3 Rae8 23.Rd1 fxg4+ 24.Kxg4 h3 [24...Rh5 25.Bxe4+-] 25.Bc5+ 1-0

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, February 13, 2017

English Opening Jorge Quinones

Easy chess opening checkmates appear early in the game if the king is too exposed, even for just a little bit. Chess kings should hide behind the safety of pawns in the same way generals and kings lead battles from the rear in the real world. This is all the more true when the heavy chess pieces are still on the board. The monarch risks great danger if he ventures forth even a short distance onto an open line or in front of the pawns. However luck favors the bold in most chess games for tactics and strategy.

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit player Jorge Victor QuiƱones Borda sent me a recent “uneventful” drawn BDG. Then Jorge added “We could really need two to tango.” Later Quinones sent a more remarkable correspondence game in the English Opening with this comment: "Hello dear Rev. Tim Sawyer, I finished this game. This one could be more interesting to look at. Greetings, Jorge"

His game features the advance of the White king to ensure the success of his kingside assault. It turns out to be calculated accurately. Black will have to give up material to stop the mate.

QuiƱones Borda (2263) - Herrera (2171), CAD/ML/01-16 ICCF, 30.05.2016 begins 1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Nd5 0-0 6.Nf3 [6.a3 Bc5 7.b4 Bd4 8.Rb1 d6 9.e3 Bb6 10.Nxf6+ Qxf6 11.Bb2 Re8 12.Ne2=] 6...Bc5 [6...e4 7.Nh4 d6 8.Nxb4 Nxb4 9.a3 Nc6 10.d3 Re8=] 7.0-0 [7.d3 h6 8.Bd2=] 7...d6 8.d3 h6 9.e3 a5 10.b3 [10.Bd2=] 10...Ba7 11.Nc3 Bf5 12.Nh4 Bg4 13.Qd2 Qd7 14.Bb2 Bh3 15.f4 [15.Rac1=] 15...Bxg2 16.Kxg2 Ng4 17.Rae1 exf4 18.gxf4 [18.Rxf4 Ne7 19.h3 Ne5 20.d4 N5g6 21.Nxg6 Nxg6 22.Rf3=] 18...Rae8 19.e4 Qd8 20.Kh3 Nf6 21.Nd5 Nxd5 22.cxd5 Qd7+ 23.f5 Ne5 [23...Ne7 24.Kg2 f6 25.Qxa5+/=] 24.Kg3 [24.d4!?+/=] 24...g5 25.d4 Bxd4 [25...gxh4+ 26.Kh3+/=] 26.Bxd4 gxh4+ 27.Kxh4 Qd8+ [Or 27...f6 28.Rg1+ Kh8 29.Bxe5 Rxe5 30.Rg6+-] 28.f6 Kh7 29.Kh5 Rh8 30.Rg1 1-0

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