Friday, March 31, 2017

Alexey Dreev Blackmar-Diemer

GM Alexey Dreev faced the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit in two hard fought games. Dreev is a great blitz player and one of best defenders in the world with Black.

The main game is a BDG Gunderam where both players were rated over 3000 on the Internet Chess Club in 2004. That's way up there. "Over-Rated" as White got a small edge after a wild opening. The game lasted until move 97 when Black resigned.

Dreev faced the BDG on March 18, 2017, in a blitz game vs "Alright2015". This time Black chose the very weak fourth move 4...e5?! White has sacrificed a pawn. From this position, White usually wins three pawns in a row. GM Dreev improved over the normal play. He lost only two pawns. Thus he went from up a pawn to down a pawn. But then Dreev outplayed his opponent and won in70 moves.

Over-Rated (3513) - Dreev (3292), ICC 3 2 Internet Chess Club, 04.04.2004 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 [4...e5? 5.dxe5 Qxd1+ 6.Kxd1 Nfd7 7.Nd5! Kd8 8.Bg5+ f6 9.exf6 gxf6 10.Nxf6 h6! (About 90% of the players who reach this position play 10...Be7 11.Nxe4+-) 11.Nxd7+ hxg5 12.Nxb8 (Best is 12.Nxf8 Rxf8 13.Kd2+/- and White is up a pawn with the better position.) 12...Bg7 13.c3+/= but Black won in 70. 0-1. Alright2015 - Dreev, Internet Chess Club 2017] 5.Nxf3 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.g4 Be4 8.Nxe4 Nxe4 9.Qf3 Qh4+ 10.Kd1 Nd6!? 11.Be3 [11.c3=] 11...Nd7 12.c3 Qd8 [12...h5!? 13.g5 0-0-0=/+] 13.Kc2 Be7 14.Bd3 f6 15.Nxd7 Qxd7 16.Rae1 0-0-0 17.Bf2 Rde8 18.Kb1 Kb8 19.Qe3 Nc8 20.Qxe6 Qxe6 21.Rxe6 Bd6 22.Rxe8 Rxe8 23.h4 h6 24.Kc2 c6 25.c4 Bf4 26.a4 Nd6 27.Re1 Rxe1 28.Bxe1 g5 29.b4 Kc7 30.b5 Kd7 31.Kc3 gxh4 32.Bxh4 Bg5 33.Bg3 f5 34.gxf5 h5 35.c5 Ne8 36.Bb8 h4 37.Bxa7 h3 38.Be2 [38.f6! Nxf6 39.Bf5+ Kc7 40.Bxh3+- and White is up two pawns in the endgame.] 38...h2 39.Bf3 Nc7 40.Kd3 Bf6 41.bxc6+ bxc6 42.Bb6 Nd5 43.a5 Kc8 44.a6 Kb8 45.Be4 Ka8 46.Kc4 Kb8 47.Bh1 Ka8 48.Kd3 Kb8 49.Kc4 Ka8 50.Bf3 Kb8 51.Be4 Ka8 52.Bh1 Kb8 53.Kd3 Ka8 54.Bf3 Kb8 55.Ke4 Ka8 56.Bg2 Kb8 57.Bf3 Ka8 58.Bg2 Kb8 59.Bh1 Ka8 60.Kd3 Kb8 61.Ke4 Ka8 62.Bf3 Kb8 63.Bg2 Ka8 64.Bf3 Kb8 65.Bg2 Ka8 66.a7 Kb7 67.Bf3 Ka8 68.Kd3 Kb7 69.Bh1 Ka8 70.Ke4 Kb7 71.Kd3 Ka8 72.Bf3 Kb7 73.Be4 Ka8 74.Kc4 Kb7 75.Kd3 Ka8 76.Kc4 Kb7 77.Bf3 Ka8 78.Bh1 Kb7 79.Bf3 Ka8 80.Bh1 Kb7 81.Be4 Ka8 82.Bf3 Kb7 83.Kd3 Ka8 84.Bh1 Kb7 85.Bf3 Ka8 86.Bh1 Kb7 87.Ke4 Ka8 88.Ba5 Kxa7 89.Be1 Ka6 [89...Kb7 90.Bg3+/-] 90.Bg3 Nc3+ 91.Kd3 Bxd4 92.Kxd4 Ne2+ 93.Kc4 Nxg3 94.f6 Nxh1 95.f7 Nf2 96.f8Q Kb7 97.Qg7+ [Black resigns. If he saves his h-pawn with 97...Ka6 then 98.Qc7! h1=Q 99.Qb6 mate.] 1-0

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ruy Lopez Berlin Steinitz Combo

My game vs Bob Muir was a King Pawn Philidor to Scotch to Ruy Lopez Steinitz to Berlin combo. What do I mean by “combo”? I'm not referring to a restaurant “combo” of a meal with a drink. It chess, “combo” has other meanings. In tactics, it is a series of moves that accomplish some goal. In openings, it is a transposition that unites more than one opening. Either of us could have varied at any point from moves two to five and reached a different position.

We began with a Philidor Defence after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4. Black responded with 3...Nc6. This can be reached via a Scotch after 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 d6. Instead of playing 4.dxe5 or 4.d5, I chose 4.Bb5. This is a Ruy Lopez. A common Steinitz continuation is either 4…exd4 or 5…exd4. After Black played 4…Bd7 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.0-0 and we have a line in the Ruy Lopez Berlin Variation. The normal continuation to reach that line would be 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb4 Nf6 4.0-0 d6 5.d4 Bd7 6.Nc3. I don’t like my idea to treat this like a King’s Indian Defence after 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bxf6 Bxf6 9.d5. Black got a strong attack here. Other seventh moves in the notes (7.dxe5 or 7.Re1) look better.

My Chess Training Repertoire this week covers the Four Knights Game. My email goes to those subscribed to my list at 11:45 AM Eastern time Thursday.

Sawyer (2010) - Muir (1800), Williamsport, PA 14.11.2000 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nc6 4.Bb5 Bd7 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.0-0 Be7 [6...exd4 is more normal here] 7.Bg5!? [7.dxe5 Nxe5 8.Bxd7+ Qxd7 9.Nd4 0-0 10.Nf5+/=; 7.Re1 exd4 8.Nxd4 0-0 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4= and 1/2-1/2 in 18. Sawyer - Riesenbeck, corr CCLA 1980] 7...h6 8.Bxf6 Bxf6 9.d5 Ne7 10.Qd3 Ng6 11.Ne2 0-0 12.Bxd7 Qxd7 13.c4 Rab8 14.b4 a6 15.a4 Rfe8 16.Rfc1 Qe7 17.a5 Nf4 18.Qc2 g5 19.Ng3 Kh7 20.Nf5 Qf8 21.Ne1 g4 22.Nd3 Qg8 23.Ra2 [23.Nxf4! exf4 24.e5+-] 23...Qg5 24.Rd1 h5 25.c5 h4 26.Rb2 Nxd5 27.cxd6 cxd6 [27...c6 28.Nc5+-] 28.Nxd6 Red8? [Hastens the end.] 29.Nxf7 Qg6 30.Nxd8 Qxe4 31.Ne6 h3 32.Ne1 [32.Ndc5!+- is the strongest move here.] 32...Qxc2 33.Nxc2 Nc3 34.Rd7+ Kg6 35.Ne3 Nb5 36.Rbd2 Nd4 37.Nxd4 exd4 38.Nxg4 Re8 39.f4 Bh4 40.g3 Be7 41.Re2 1-0

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, March 27, 2017

Birds Opening Polar Bear

Chris Hansen won a Polar Bear System in Birds Opening 1.f4. Henrik Danielsen has added to its theory and practice for many years. This Flank Opening gives White an easy, repeatable strategy. White wins this game bullet chess game due to his better tactics in a position that he understands.

One key to the Polar Bear System is the setup with 7.c3 and 8.Na3. The pawn on 7.c3 serves several functions. It keeps a Black knight out of b4 or d4. It provides the option of a White pawn advance to either of those squares. It gives a White knight the square c2. It guards b2 against the Bg7. The opening is equal, but White usually knows it better.

Hansen was an Expert level player who has returned to chess after a long layoff. Chris likes that the Polar Bear System does not require as much memorization as more popular lines. Here Chris Hansen is "Polar Bear". He seems to be having fun.

Polar Bear - Lord Vedder, Friendly Game, 2m + 0s CafĂ©, 21.03.2017 begins 1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 [3.e3 is the classical approach.] 3...Nf6 4.Bg2 Nc6 [4...c5 is more popular.] 5.0-0 g6 6.d3 Bg7 7.c3 [This and the next move are typical of the Polar Bear System. 7.Nc3= is a natural alternative.] 7...0-0 8.Na3 b6 9.Qe1 Bb7 10.e4 dxe4 11.dxe4 Ne7 [11...e5= is a good thematic move.] 12.e5 Ng4 13.h3 Nh6 14.g4 Ba6 [14...Qd3!?] 15.Rf2 Rb8 16.Be3 c5 17.Rd1 Qc7 18.Rfd2 Rfd8 19.Bf1 [19.Ng5+/-] 19...Bb7 [19...Bxf1 20.Qxf1+/=] 20.Kf2 [20.Nb5!+-] 20...Nd5 21.Nb5 Bc6 [Black should play 21...Qe7+/= ] 22.a4 [Playing very fast both players missed 22.Nxc7!+- which would still work for the next couple moves.] 22...Bf8 23.Ng5 Nxe3 24.Qxe3 Bxb5 25.axb5!? [This blocks b5 as a route for the White king to invade the queenside. 25.Bxb5!+-] 25...Be7 26.Ne4 Kg7 [26...Rxd2+ 27.Rxd2 Rd8 28.Rxd8+ Qxd8 29.Qd3 Qxd3 30.Bxd3+/=] 27.Nd6 Bh4+ 28.Ke2 Be7 29.Bg2 Ng8 30.Qe4 Bh4 31.f5 Bg5 32.Rd3 exf5 33.gxf5 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, March 24, 2017

BDG Huebsch John Crompton

Huebsch Gambit avoids Blackmar-Diemer Gambit in theory by not in spirit. The Huebsch keeps the feel, the tactics, and the strategy of the BDG. White has five reasonable responses after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 Nxe4 (3...dxe4 4.f3 is a BDG) 4.Nxe4 dxe4. Options include 5.Bc4, 5.Be3, 5.Bf4, 5.c3, or 5.f3. Those interested in critical variations can find my detailed analysis in Blackmar-Diemer Theory 4.

Black is up a pawn but is missing the helpful Nf6. White does have compensation. If Black is rated over 2000 in a slow game, then White has his work cut out for him. If Black is rated below 2000 in a blitz game, White's chances skyrocket.

John Crompton as White (JECmate) prefers the logical 5.f3!? If Black accepts with 5...exf3 then in theory White has full compensation for the gambit. In practice, Black grabs the pawn about half the time. Crompton demonstrates that White can win quickly because he makes immediate threats that must be taken seriously, or else it's mate.

JECmate (1609) - Qu1ntana (1545), Live Chess, 06.02.2017 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 Nxe4 4.Nxe4 dxe4 5.f3!? exf3 [5...e5!-/+] 6.Nxf3 g6 [In another Crompton game Black tried 6...Bg4 7.Bc4 (7.c3=) 7...e6 8.c3 Bd6 9.0-0 0-0 10.Bd3 Bxf3 11.Rxf3 Nd7 12.Bxh7+ (12.Qe2=) 12...Kh8 (12...Kxh7 13.Rh3+ Kg8 14.Qh5 f6-+) 13.Bd3 g6 14.Rh3+ Kg7 15.Bh6+ Kg8 16.Qg4 a6 17.Bxg6 Nf6 18.Qg5 Nh7 19.Bxh7+ Kxh7 20.Qg7 mate 1-0. JECmate - sexsy11, 2017] 7.Bc4 Bg7 8.0-0 0-0 9.c3 Nd7 10.Qe1 Nf6 11.Bg5 a6 12.Qh4 b5 13.Bb3 Bb7 14.Bh6 Bd5 15.Ng5 Bxb3? [15...Re8 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Rxf6 exf6 18.Qxh7+ Kf8 19.Rf1 Re2 20.Qh8+ Ke7 21.Qxf6+ Ke8 (21...Kd7 22.Bxd5+-) 22.Qh8+ Ke7= with a draw by repetition.] 16.Bxg7 [White stands much better after 16.axb3! Qd5 (16...Bh8 17.Bxf8 Kxf8 18.Nxh7+ Nxh7 19.Qxh7+-) 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Rxf6 h6 19.Rxf7+ Rxf7 20.Nxf7 Qxf7 21.Rf1 Qe6 22.Re1+-] 16...Kxg7 17.Rxf6?! [This sacrifice is very tempting, but White should recapture the bishop first. 17.axb3 h6 18.Ne4=] 17...Kxf6? [Correct is 17...h6! and now if 18.Rf2 hxg5 19.Qxg5 Bd5-+ White is down a bishop.] 18.Rf1+ 1-0

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

English Opening Jack Clauser

Outside the 1.d4 and 1.e4 lines, I enjoy Flank Openings. Jack Clauser and I played in person and by postal chess for about 10 years. In the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit world, Clauser is known for his interesting games. Also, Jack Clauser was the proofreader for several of my BDG books. Clauser offered me many good suggestions. Any mistakes that slipped through into print were not his fault.

It was relatively rare for me to play the English Opening. Playing a variety of openings improves my overall chess knowledge and experience but not my chess rating. To get and keep a high rating, you do best to play the same good lines over and over again.

In this game, Clauser treated the position like a Semi-Tarrasch Defence with 4.cxd5 Nxd5. The main difference was that Black retreated his knight with 5…Nc7 instead to capturing 5…Nxc3. The wide open symmetrical pawn structure was typical of a line in the Queens Gambit Accepted. This position was hard to win.

I published Flank Opening Puzzles which are 200 checkmates in the English Opening, Birds Opening, Dutch Defence and a few others.

My Chess Training Repertoire this week covers Bird's Opening. My email goes to those subscribed to my list at 11:45 AM Eastern time Thursday.

Sawyer - Clauser, corr 1996 begins 1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e3 Nc7 [Black could adopt a Gruenfeld approach with 5...Nxc3 6.bxc3 g6 7.d4 Bg7 8.Bd3 0-0 9.0-0 Qc7=] 6.Bc4 e6 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d4 Be7 [8...cxd4 9.exd4 Be7 10.Bf4+/=] 9.dxc5 Qxd1 10.Rxd1 Bxc5 11.Ne4 [Or 11.a3 and the position resembles a Queens Gambit Accepted.] 11...Be7 12.Nd6+ Bxd6 13.Rxd6 Ke7 14.Rd1 Rd8 15.Rxd8 Kxd8 16.Bd2 [16.b3+/=] 16...f6 17.b4 Bd7 18.b5 Ne7 19.a4 e5 20.Bd3 g6 21.e4 Rc8 22.Rd1 Ke8 23.Be3 a6 24.bxa6 Bxa4? [24...Nxa6!=] 25.Ra1 b5 26.a7 Nc6 27.h3? [Here White returns the favor. Now chances are equal again. White could obtain the better chances for an advantage with 27.g4! h6 28.Bxh6 Nxa7 29.g5 fxg5 30.Bxg5 Ne6 31.Bf6 Nc6 32.Nxe5 Nxe5 33.Bxe5+/=] 27...Ra8 28.Rc1 Kd7 29.Nh2 Nxa7 30.Ng4 Ne8 31.Ra1 Kc6 32.Bb1 Nc8 33.Ba2 Bb3 34.Rc1+ Bc4 35.Bxc4 bxc4 36.Rxc4+ Kd7 37.f3 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Rohde vs Miles Queens Knight

Anthony J. Miles (1955-2001) was a British grandmaster known for his activity and creativity. His rivals were Keene and Short. Grandmaster Tony Miles played the main lines and lesser known openings like 1…Nc6. I remember Miles beat the then World Champion Anatoly Karpov with 1.e4 a6 and again with 1.e4 c6.

Elijah Williams was one of the leading players in England during the Howard Staunton era in the 1800s. Opening theory was not well developed. Elijah Williams was known to play strategically sound openings that were what we might call offbeat. Williams tried 1.e4 Nc6 long before Aron Nimzowitsch played it. His earliest recorded Queens Knight Defence was from 1845. His handling of it was amazingly modern with 2.Nf3 d6.

The strategy behind the Williams idea is to play ...Bg4 combined with Nf6, e6 and Be7. Black's central pawns will likely advance to d5 or e5 depending on later developments. It's not super aggressive chess, but it takes away some of White's fun. This line is easy to set-up. Black must push back as soon as he is ready to avoid playing passively, and thus poorly. Many other players have added this variation to their repertoire. Some of the more notable were Rainer Knaak, Hugh Myers and Tony Miles. In this game Michael Rohde lost to Anthony Miles in the Queens Knight Defence. I lost to Rohde in the 1974 US Junior Open blitz tournament, but there I began just 1…c6 instead of 1…Nc6.

Rohde - Miles, Masters Invitational Chicago (6), 1990 begins 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.d5 Nb8 5.Nc3 g6 6.Bg5 Bg4 7.Qd2 Bxf3 8.gxf3 Nbd7 9.0-0-0 c6 10.Kb1 Bg7 11.Bh6 [11.Rg1+/=] 11...Bxh6 12.Qxh6 Qb6 13.Bh3 Ne5 14.Rhg1 Qxf2 15.f4 Nc4 16.e5 Nh5 17.exd6 Qxf4 18.d7+  [18.Rg5=] 18...Kd8 19.Rg5 [19.Qxf4 Nxf4-/+] 19...Nxb2 20.Kxb2 Qb4+ 21.Kc1 Qxc3 22.Rd3 Qe1+ 23.Kb2 Qb4+ [23...f5!-+] 24.Rb3 Qd4+ 25.Kb1 f5 [25...c5!-/+] 26.Rxb7 [26.Bxf5 Qd1+ 27.Kb2 Qxd5 28.Bh3=] 26...Qd1+ 27.Kb2 Qxd5 28.Rxh5 [28.Bxf5 c5-/+] 28...c5 29.Qg7 [29.Rb5 gxh5-+] 29...Qxb7+ 30.Kc1 Qh1+ 0-1

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

Blackmar-Diemer Ryder Normand

Nicolas Normand of France wins with the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Ryder. He finds a mating attack in a similar fashion as seen in the BDG Euwe Variation. Nicolas sent me this comment: "I succeeded in winning a 1950-elo player of my club on the board in a 5mn blitz with the same position and 10.Bxh6 sacrifice."

The Ryder Gambit 5.Qxf3 is a risk in the same way double teaming a player in sports would be. White's offensive threats are so dangerous that Black does not bother with whatever is left uncovered. If your opponent has plenty of time, if he never gets nervous, if he always defends perfectly, then you could be in trouble. Real chess is not like that.

Your opponent will miss things when you make big threats, especially in blitz play. Here Normand rips open Black's kingside. White finds a forced checkmate. At the end, Black has only two pieces remaining and those pieces never moved.

Deathstar81 - NN, Lichess (5mn + 5s), 20.01.2017 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Qxf3 e6 6.Bd3 Be7 [6...h6 would transpose to another game Nicolas played that went 7.Nge2 Bd6 8.0-0 a6 9.Ne4 Be7 10.c3 Nbd7 11.N2g3 (11.Bc2!?+/=) 11...e5? (11...0-0 12.Nxf6+ Nxf6 13.Bxh6 gxh6 14.Qf4=) 12.Nh5 0-0 13.Bxh6 Nxh5 14.Qxh5 Nf6 15.Nxf6+ Bxf6 16.Bxg7 Bxg7 17.Qh7# 1-0 DEATHSTAR81-ramafi52/ 2016] 7.Nge2 0-0 8.0-0 Nc6 9.Qh3 h6 10.Bxh6 gxh6? [The critical line is 10...e5 11.Qh4 Ng4 12.Bg5 g6 when White has 13.Ne4+/-] 11.Qxh6 Re8 12.Rf3 [12.Rxf6!+-] 12...Ne4 13.Nxe4 Ne5 14.Rg3+ Ng6 15.Rxg6+ fxg6 16.Qxg6+ Kf8 17.Rf1+ Bf6 18.Rxf6+ Qxf6 19.Qxf6+ Kg8 20.Ng5 Re7 21.Qxe7 1-0

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