Sunday, September 30, 2012

King's Gambit Allgaier Horny Defence

For the third time in the same week, I face the King's Gambit. Each game was against a slightly higher rated player. This time my opponent "lordbluff" (1877) played the King's Gambit. After 4.h4 g4 White usually plays the Kieseritzsky variation with 5.Ne5. In the game below White heated things up with the Allgaier variation with 5.Ng5?! In response to this knight Black does best to attack the knight with the h-pawn. Of 5...h6 George Walker wrote in "A New Treatise on Chess" (1833), "I consider this to be the best move for Black, although you certainly get a fine attack in exchange for the knight."

In turn, White sacrifices the knight to open up the Black king by 6.Nxf7 Kxf7. In his 2011 book "The Petroff: an Expert Repertoire for Black", GM Konstantin Sakaev gives "7.Bc4 d5 8.Bxd5 Ke8 -/+ and his compensation for the piece is insufficient." I looked up the variation on Bill Wall's listing of opening names and found 7.Qxg4 Nf6! 8.Qxf4 was called the "Horny Defence" of the King's Gambit Accepted.

Who is "Horny"?, I wondered. I had owned a copy of George Walker's book so I began to search. Then I found a note on page 63 where Walker wrote after 8.Qxf4: "This move is given as best by Horny." He gave a footnote indicating it came from "Anweisung das Schachspiel" (1824) by Johann Horny, which does seem to be available in reprints today. Since Horny gave the line for White, I myself would have called it the Horny Gambit rather than Defence. In any case, I avoided the whole Horny line when I played 7...Qf6.

lordbluff-Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 27.09.2012 begins 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.h4 g4 5.Ng5?! h6 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qxg4 [The normal continuation is 7.d4 d5 8.Bxf4] 7...Qf6 [7...Nf6! 8.Qxf4 Bd6-+] 8.Bc4+ [Allgaier preferred 8.d4] 8...Ke7 9.0-0 h5 [9...Qd4+! 10.Kh1 Qxc4 11.Qxf4 Bg7-+] 10.Qe2 Qxh4 11.d3 Bh6 12.Nc3 c6 [12...Nf6! 13.Nd5+ Nxd5 14.exd5+ Kd8-+] 13.e5 b5 14.Bb3 Na6 15.Ne4 Qg4 16.Rf3 Nc7 17.Nd6 Ne6 18.Bxe6 dxe6 19.Bd2 Nf6 20.Bb4 [White missed 20.Nxc8+! Rhxc8 21.exf6+] 20...Nd5 21.Bc5 Kd7 22.c4 Nb6 23.cxb5 cxb5 24.Qe4 Ba6 [24...Rg8-/+] 25.Nf7? [25.Bxb6!=] 25...Rhg8 26.Rf2 Bf8 27.Bxf8 Raxf8 28.Qd4+ Kc7 29.Qd6+ Kb7 30.Rc1 Rc8 31.Qe7+ Ka8 32.Rxc8+ Rxc8 33.Rf1 f3 [33...Rc2! 34.Rf2 Rc1+ 35.Rf1 f3-+] 34.Rxf3 Rc1+ 35.Rf1 Rxf1+ [35...Qd4+!-+ wins a rook.] 36.Kxf1 Bb7 37.Qd8+ Nc8 38.Nd6 Qxg2+ 39.Ke1 Qh1+ 40.Kd2 Qg2+? 41.Kc3? Qc6+ 42.Kb3 Kb8 43.Nxc8 Bxc8 44.Qg5 Qd5+ 45.Kc3 Qc5+ 46.Kd2 Qf2+ 47.Kc3 Qc5+? 48.Kd2 Qf2+? [48...Qd4-+] 49.Kc3 Qf5 50.Qd8 Qxe5+ 51.d4 Qc7+ 52.Qxc7+ Kxc7 53.Kd3 a5 54.Ke3 Kd6 55.Kf4 Bb7 56.Kg5 Kd5 57.Kxh5 Kxd4 58.Kg5 e5 59.Kg4 e4 60.Kg3 e3 White is in a losing position when his flag fell. 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

King's Gambit Accepted 3.Nf3 g5

In his classic book "Chess Advantage in Black and White", author Larry Kaufman writes: "The King's Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4) is among the most interesting and exciting of chess openings. Why then is it so rarely played in modern times? Very simply, both statistics and analysis show that the two sides have equal prospects, and serious tournament players are not satisfied with equality as White. Nevertheless, you will surely encounter it, and if you are not prepared you can expect to get into trouble."

For the second time this week I won a game with the King's Gambit 3.Nf3 g5 variation. This time we face a more critical line after 4.Bc4 Bg7 where my opponent "Voiarnalung" (rated 1820) challenged my f4-g5-h6 pawn chain with 8.g3. A wild 3-minute blitz game followed where both sides had chances. Eventually, I managed to get a winning ending.

Voiarnalung-Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 26.09.2012 begins 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 Bg7 5.d4 [5.0-0 d6 6.d4 transposes] 5...d6 6.c3 h6 7.0-0 Nc6 8.g3 [8.h4 Qe7] 8...Bh3 9.gxf4 Bxf1 [I wanted to grab the Exchange while I could, but more often Black prefers 9...Qd7 10.Rf2 Nf6-/+] 10.Qxf1 gxf4 [10...g4-/+] 11.Bxf4 Nf6 [Black should castle queenside while he has the chance. 11...Qf6! 12.Bg3 0-0-0=/+] 12.Nbd2 [I was concerned about 12.e5!= ] 12...0-0 13.Kh1 Qe7? 14.Bd3 [14.Nh4!+/=] 14...Kh8 15.Qh3 Qe6 16.Qh4 Qg4 17.Rg1 Qxh4 18.Nxh4 Ne7 19.e5 Nh5 [19...Ne8=/+] 20.Be3? [20.exd6=] 20...d5? [20...Nd5-+] 21.Nf1 f6 22.Be2 fxe5 23.Bxh5 exd4 24.Bxd4 Bxd4 25.cxd4 Rg8? [25...Rf4] 26.Ng6+ [26.Ng3+/-] 26...Nxg6 27.Bxg6 Raf8 28.Ne3 c6 29.Rg3 Rf6 30.Bf5 Rxg3 31.hxg3 Kg7 32.Kg2 Rf8 33.Kf3 Kf6 34.Kf4 Re8 35.Ng4+ Kg7 36.Ne5 a6 37.g4 Rf8 38.Nd7 Rf7 39.Ke5 Re7+ 40.Kd6 [40.Be6+-] 40...Re2 41.b4 Rxa2 42.Kc5 Rf2 43.Be6 Rb2 44.Ne5 b6+ [44...Rc2+! 45.Kb6 Rb2=] 45.Kxc6? [45.Kxb6! Rxb4+ 46.Kc5 Rb1 47.Bd7+/=] 45...Rxb4 46.Kxd5 a5 47.Nd3 Rb1 48.Ke5 a4 49.d5 Rd1 50.Bf5 a3 51.d6? [51.Nb4 Re1+ 52.Kd4 Re2=/+] 51...Rxd3 [Quicker is 51...a2!-+ ] 52.Bxd3 a2 53.d7 a1Q+ 54.Kd6 Qd4+ 55.Kc7 Qxd3 56.d8Q Qxd8+ 57.Kxd8 b5 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Sunday, September 23, 2012

From Gambit Lasker Trap In Bird's Opening

Black can play the From Gambit against the Bird's Opening. The Lasker Variation contains a basic trap that White sometimes falls for, but the Bird player has better options. Let's look at some details using a blitz game I played this past week.

Bird's Opening begins 1.f4. Normal play involves an early ...d5 being a reversed Dutch Defence. One way Black can mix things up is with From's move 1...e5. White of course can transpose to a King's Gambit with 2.e4. However, many Bird's players prefer to defend a pawn up rather than attack a pawn down. Thus they play 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5. The Schlechter Variation is 2...Nc6, but the main line From is 2...d6. My friend Keith Hayward did well with his line 3.e4, but most players as White keep chopping wood with 3.exd6.

After 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6, Black is threatening checkmate with 4...Qh4+ 5.g3 Qxg3+ 6.hxg3 Bxg3 mate! This is easily parried by 4.Nf3 when Black again has two good choices. My computers seem to slightly prefer Mestel's 4...Nf6 with quick piece play. I have done well with that line, but I also like Lasker's 4...g5!? vs weaker opponents.

keka - Sawyer, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 20.09.2012 begins 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 [2.e4] 2...d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3! g5!? [4...Nf6!] 5.c3? [This blunder loses the game. Since ...g5-g4 is coming next move, White has to prepare a safe place for his knight. There are two good ways to do this: 5.g3 g4 6.Nh4 and 5.d4 g4 6.Ne5] 5...g4 6.Nd4 Qh4+ White resigns, noting to me that this was a trap. 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Miss Win in Schmid Benoni Defence

Being a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit player, I often find myself in the popular line 1.d4 Nf6. Then sometimes the game transposes back into the BDG with 2.f3!? or 2.Nc3 if Black plays 2...d5. The Benoni Defence Schmid variation is when White plays Nc3 with the pawn on c2 rather than c4.

In my Internet Chess Club 3 minute blitz game vs "leventh" (rated 2065), I played fairly well in a rather common line. I gave up my queen for two rooks and made several mate threats. However, I missed some winning combination in the last few moves. At the end I still had 1:18 seconds left on the clock. I should have spent more time thinking. My bad as I missed the winning knight sacrifice Nxg5+! After a repetition of moves, my opponent claims a draw and I picked up a few rating points.

Sawyer-leventh, ICC 3 0 Internet Chess Club, 04.09.2012 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 c5 3.d5 e6 4.e4 exd5 5.e5 Ng8 6.Nxd5 [6.Qxd5+/-] 6...Nc6 7.Nf3 d6 8.exd6 [8.Bg5 Qa5+ (or 8...Qd7 9.Bb5+/-) 9.Qd2+/-] 8...Bxd6 9.Be2 Nge7 10.Nxe7 Qxe7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Re1 Qc7 13.h3 Bf5 14.Bd3 Bg6 15.Be3 Rad8 16.Qe2 Rfe8 17.Bxg6 hxg6 18.c3 Bf4? [18...Ne5 19.Rad1=] 19.Bxf4 Qxf4 20.Qxe8+ Rxe8 21.Rxe8+ Kh7 22.Rae1 f6 23.R8e4 Qf5 24.Rh4+ Kg8 25.Re8+ Kf7 26.Rhh8 g5 27.h4! g4 28.h5 [Sadly I missed the knight sacrifice 28.Ng5+!] 28...g5 29.Rhf8+ [29.hxg6+ Qxg6 (29...Kxg6 30.Nh4+ wins the queen) ] 29...Kg7 30.Rg8+ Kf7 31.Rgf8+ [Again 31.Nxg5+!] 31...Kg7 32.Rg8+ Kf7 33.Rgf8+ [33.Nxg5+] 33...Kg7 Game drawn by repetition 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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