Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dutch Defence Leningrad Hit and Run Bishop

Move order in Dutch Defence Leningrad variations is very flexible. You can almost blitz your first half dozen moves without even looking at what your opponent is doing unless he invades your side of the board. Ignacio M. Elguezabal sets up a double fianchetto with excellent bishop play in our 1989 USCF Golden Knights Postal Chess Tournament. My opening was good, but my positional handling of the d- and e-files was insufficient. Once we got to the middlegame, I foolishly failed to focus on the center.

Transpositions with the White pieces abound. For example 1.d4, 1.c4, 1.g3 or 1.Nf3 can all reasonably reach the same position if Black is a dedicated Dutch player. Black has less flexibility in the Leningrad. Obviously he has to play 1...f5 before 2...Nf6 and he has to play 3...g6 before 4...Bg7. All four of those moves before 5...0-0, while 6...d6 can be played at any point in the first six moves. Here White delayed c4 until move 9. As our battle ensued, I failed to control the d-file. White's dark squared bishop won with a hit and run: 7.Bb2 (taking aim), 28.Bxd4 (grabbing my knight) and 31.Ba1 (safe retreat).

Elguezabal - Sawyer, corr USCF 1990 begins 1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.0-0 0-0 6.b3 [6.c4 d6 7.Nc3] 6...d6 [6...Ne4=] 7.Bb2 Qe8 8.Nbd2 Nc6 9.c4 e5 10.dxe5 [10.d5=] 10...dxe5 11.e4 f4 12.Qe2 fxg3 13.fxg3 Bg4 [13...Qe7=/+] 14.h3 Bxf3 15.Nxf3 Nh5 16.Kh2 Qe7 17.Rad1 Rad8 18.Rd5 Nf6 19.Rxd8 Rxd8 20.Rd1 Re8?  [20...Rxd1! 21.Qxd1 Qd6=] 21.a3 Nd7 22.b4 b6 23.Qd2 Nf8 [Black loses more slowly with 23...Nd4 24.Nxd4 exd4 25.Bxd4 Bxd4 26.Qxd4+/=] 24.Qd5+ Qe6 25.Ng5 Qxd5 26.exd5 Nd4 27.d6 cxd6? 28.Bxd4 h6 29.Bd5+ Kh8 30.Nf7+ Kh7 31.Ba1 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Martin Simons vs Brown in BDG

Martin Simons takes a Caro-Kann Defence vs Thomas Brown and transposes to a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. After the normal 3.Nc3 dxe4, these expert players chose 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.f3 exf3 6.Nxf3 Bf5 which is a BDG Ziegler. I take the occassion of this game to take a fresh look at the critical line 7.0-0 e6 8.Ne5 for my chess blog.

How can you know if I have written on a specific BDG line? Here is how you can find out. If you click on words Blackmar-Diemer Gambit highlighted in blue, that will take you to my Online BDG Keybook lists of links. In the case of today's game, you would scroll down the list to the 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 variation; click on that. Then you have other links to similar game posts with alternatives on moves seven and eight.

In the British Championship, our hero Martin Simons faced four distinct BDG variations though some from the Caro-Kann Defence after 1.e4 c6. The normal BDG move order would be 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 and now:
4...e3 5.Bxe3 in Simons-Taylor (my 9/4/2014 post).
4...Bf5 5.g4 in Simons-Brusey.
4...c6 5.Bc4 in Simons-Elwin.
4...exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 in Simons vs Brown below.

Simons (2087) - Brown (2104), 101st ch-GBR 2014 Aberystwyth WLS (9.24), 28.07.2014 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.f3 exf3 6.Nxf3 Bf5 7.0-0 e6 8.Ne5 Bg6 9.g4 Nbd7 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.g5 Qc7 [11...Nb6! ("?" Scheerer) 12.Bxe6 fxe6 13.gxf6 gxf6 14.Qg4 (Scheerer stops here) 14...Be7! (New Engine, Houdini) 15.Qxe6 Qxd4+ 16.Kg2 Qe5-/+ which threatens to swap queens in view of the attack on h2, and Black remains up a pawn.] 12.Bf4 Bd6 13.Bxd6 Qxd6 14.Rf2 Rh4 [Stockfish at 35 ply. Or 14...Nh7 15.Ne4 Qe7 16.Qg4 Nb6 17.Bb3 Nd5 (Andrew Martin; Houdini analyzes:) 18.Re1 O-O-O 19.c4 f5 20.gxf6 Ndxf6 21.Nxf6 Nxf6 22.Qxe6+ Qxe6 23.Rxe6 Rxd4 24.Re7 g5 (or 24...Rd7 25. Rxd7 Kxd7 26. Rg2 Rh6 27. Bc2=) 25. Rg2 Ne4 26. Rxg7= White regains the gambit pawn.] 15.gxf6 Nxf6 [15...gxf6=/+ Stockfish] 16.Be2 0-0-0 17.Bf3 g5 18.Qd2 g4 19.Bg2 [19.Be2=] 19...g3 20.hxg3 Qxg3 21.Ne2 Qg6 [The crushing move is 21...Rh1+! 22.Kxh1 Qxf2 23.Qd3 Rh8+ 24.Bh3 Ng4 25.Qg3 Qxe2 26.Kg1 Qe3+ 27.Qxe3 Nxe3-+ and Black will be up three pawns in the endgame.] 22.Qd3 Qh6 23.Qg3 Rg4 24.Qh2 Qe3 25.Kf1 Rgxd4 26.Nxd4 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, August 29, 2014

Ray Haines in Colle vs Queen's Indian 5...Ba6

Ray Haines frequently plays his chess friend Roger Hardison in club and tournament games. Previously in a Colle System vs Queen's Indian, Black played his queenside bishop to ...Bb7. In today's game, Roger Hardison chooses another popular Queen's Indian option in 5...Ba6 to exchange White's good bishop on d3. The Queen's Indian Defence set-up vs 1.d4 involves playing a combination of the moves ...Nf6, ...e6, and ...b6. These the pawns cover d5 and c5 while the actual placement of Black's d-pawn and c-pawn remain very flexible, as does the development of Black's bishops.

In this game, however, it is White's d-pawn and c-pawn that tell the story. The initial opening fight is over e4. It is logical for Black to trade bishops, but this game shows that White may advance his e-pawn quickly once these light squared bishops are gone. The move 9.e4 frees White's dark squared bishop to enter the fray. Ray Haines started with a slow queenside expansion of White pawns in 1.d4 and 4.c3, but his prospects grow as these pawns advance. Once White has passed pawns on d6 and c5, Black is lost.

Haines - Hardison, Presque Isle, Maine, 26.06.2014 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.e3 e6 3.Bd3 c5 4.c3 b6 5.Nf3 Ba6 6.0-0 Be7 7.Na3 Bxd3 8.Qxd3 0-0 9.e4 d6 [9...d5!=. With only his dark squared bishop left, Black should place his center pawns on light squares.] 10.Rd1 [10.d5+/=] 10...Nbd7 11.Be3 Rc8 12.e5 dxe5 13.dxe5 Nd5 14.c4 Nxe3 15.Qxe3 Qe8 16.Rd2 Nb8 17.Rad1 Nc6 18.Nb5 a6 19.Nd6 Bxd6 20.Rxd6 Rd8 21.Qe4 Nd4 [Black is going to lose a pawn one way or the other. If 21...Rxd6 22.Rxd6 Ne7 23.Rxb6+/-] 22.Nxd4 Rxd6 23.exd6 cxd4 24.Qxd4 Qc6 25.b3 Rd8 26.h4 Rd7 27.h5 h6 28.b4 Kf8 29.c5 b5 30.Rd3 Kg8 31.Rg3 f5 32.Qe5 Qd5 33.Qxd5 exd5 34.Rd3 [34.Rg6! Kf7 35.c6+- also wins quickly.] 34...a5 35.a3 axb4 36.axb4 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Corey Acor Wins London System

Corey Acor was a teenage USCF Master whom I played three times in tournaments. Our first meeting was a London System in the Florida State Championship the previous year. In both games, Corey Acor played the King's Indian Defence set-up. In all our games, I played well and then missed a key move in a critical position. Acor avoids drawish lines and plays for a win. Like many chess masters, he complicates the position but keeps it flexible enough to allow for many critical options. Acor has a preference for positions that make use of his tactical skills and his ability to play quickly.

With a win and draw after two rounds in this event, I was tempted to play 2.f3 and head for a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, but he is better at tactics than I am. In blitz play, I did get a draw with a BDG Euwe vs Acor in 2009, but normally Corey Acor outplayed me in every game. I figured at tournament speed that I had a better chance in an endgame, but Corey Acor keeps the middlegame going for a long time.

Sawyer (1946) - Acor (2283), Southern Open (3), 28.07.2007 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d6! 3.c3 [Rather slow which shows the lack of confidence in my opening preparation for this event. The first time we played, I continued directly to the London with 3.Bf4!? which in hindsight would have been good to do again.] 3...g6 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.h3 [To retreat the bishop if necessary.] 5...b6 6.e3 Bb7 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.0-0 Nd5 9.Nbd2 [I tried to set-up and fortress that Black would have a hard time breaking through. This proves futile. It would be better to keep the bishop with 9.Bh2=] 9...Nxf4 10.exf4 e6 11.Re1 Qf6 12.g3 0-0 13.Bf1 Rfe8 14.Bg2 Rad8 15.Qa4 a5 16.Rad1 Ba8 17.a3 Qe7 18.Qc2 [Worth a try is 18.Nh2=] 18...Nf6 19.Qa4 h6 20.Qc2 Rb8 21.Qa4 Rec8 22.Rc1 c5 23.Qd1 Bc6 24.Qe2 Qb7 25.Nh4 cxd4 26.cxd4 Nd5 27.Nhf3? [Now things go bad. Very promising was 27.Nxg6! fxg6 28.Qxe6+ Kh7 29.Rxc6 Qxc6 30.Bxd5=] 27...Qd7 28.Qd3 Bb5 29.Qb1 f5 30.Rxc8+ Rxc8 31.Rc1 Kf7 32.h4 Bd3 33.Qa1 Rc6 34.Rxc6 Qxc6 35.Qd1 Qb5 36.Qa1?!  [36.Qc1! Be2=/+] 36...Qc6 37.Qd1 Ba6 38.Bf1 Bxf1 39.Qxf1 b5 40.Kh2 Nf6 41.Qd3 Ne4 42.Kg2 Qd5 43.Qb3? [This loses, but White might be able to survive with 43.Qc2 or 43.Nf1] 43...Nxd2 44.Qxd5 exd5 45.Nxd2 Bxd4 46.b3 a4 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jeffrey Baffo Bold Benko Gambit

Jeff Baffo we played many openings in our 1996 matches. In one game Baffo, boldly played the Benko Gambit. I chose the popular 5.e3 line, which was all the rage at the time. Everything was going well until I blundered on move 23.

Americans owe the inventor of this gambit, Grandmaster Pal Benko, a lot of respect. Benko was born in France, raised in Hungary and emigrated to the United States. He qualified for the world championship cycle 1970-72. Grandmaster Pal Benko stepped aside to let Bobby Fischer take his place in the Interzonal. Without Benko's sacrifice, there is probably no Fischer-Spassky match in Reykjavik.

There is a chess saying: Patzer sees check. Patzer gives check. Patzer loses. In this game I creatively sacrificed a knight for pawns. By move 15, I had two passed b-pawns; and 15 moves later, my b-pawns were gone and I was down a knight for a pawn. Once again, Jeffrey Baffo played with energy and accuracy.

Sawyer (1980) - Baffo (2252), corr USCF 95P139, 08.04.1996 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.e3 g6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 0-0 8.a4 Bb7 9.Rb1 e6 10.dxe6 fxe6 11.Be2 d5 12.0-0 axb5 13.axb5 Nbd7 14.b4 c4 15.Nd4 Qe8 16.e4 Nb6 17.Nc6 Bxc6 18.bxc6 Qxc6 19.exd5 exd5 20.Be3 Nfd7 21.Bd4 Ra3 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Qd4+? [23.Qd2=] 23...Qf6 24.Qxf6+ Rxf6 25.Nxd5? [25.Nb5 Ra2=/+] 25...Nxd5 26.Bxc4 N7b6 27.Bxd5 Nxd5 28.b5 Nc3 29.Rb2 Rb6 30.h3 Rxb5 31.Rc2 Kf6 32.Rfc1 Nd5 33.Rd2 Rab3 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Helin vs Skovgaard in Huebsch Gambit

Many players from Sweden play the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. Recently Mikael Helin defeated his higher rated opponent Ib Skovgaard of Denmark in the 5.Bf4 variation of a BDG Huebsch Gambit. The 5.Bf4 line Helin chose tries to prevent 5...e5 and prepare White to castle queenside. It has been seen more since Christoph Scheerer wrote his book on the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. Slightly more popular than 5.Bf4 are 5.Be3 and the traditional 5.Bc4, while less common is 5.f3. All four moves score about the same.

In the game below, Black counter attacks d4 with 6...c5, giving White three choices: (a) prepare to castle with 7.Qd2; (b) snatch the pawn with 7.dxc5; or (c) walk on by with 7.d5, which was White's actual selection. The battle took place all over the board, until the Black king was checkmated on the b-file.

Helin (1885) - Skovgaard (2019), Politiken Cup 2014 Helsingor DEN (8.102), 27.07.2014 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Nxe4 dxe4 5.Bf4 Nd7 6.f3 c5 7.d5!? [Logical, although not the only alternative: 7.Qd2 Qb6 8.0-0-0 cxd4 9.Qxd4 Qxd4 10.Rxd4 exf3 11.Nxf3=; 7.dxc5 e5 8.Be3 Bxc5 9.Bxc5 Nxc5 10.Qxd8+ Kxd8 11.0-0-0+ Ke7 12.Rd5 b6 13.Rxe5+ Kf6 14.Rd5=] 7...Nf6 [Black could play 7...Qb6!=/+ when White does not have time to castle.] 8.fxe4 Nxe4 9.Qd3 Nd6 10.0-0-0 a6 11.Qf3 g6 12.g4 Bg7 13.h4 Qb6 14.c3 h5 15.gxh5 Rxh5 16.Bg5 Bf5 17.Re1 [If 17.Bd3 Bxd3 18.Qxd3 Qb5-/+] 17...0-0-0 [17...Qa5!-+] 18.Rxe7 c4 19.Bh3 Rxh4 [19...Bh6 20.Bxh6 Rxh6=] 20.Bxf5+ Nxf5 21.Bxh4 Nxh4 22.Qxf7 [White wins with 22.Rxh4! Qxg1+ 23.Kc2 Qc5 24.d6+-] 22...Nf5 23.Re8 Bh6+ 24.Kb1 Bg5 25.Nf3 Rxe8 26.Qxe8+ Bd8 27.Rh7 Nd6 28.Qd7+ Kb8 29.Rh8 Ka7 30.Nd4 [30.Qxd8!+-] 30...Bc7 31.Rh7 Nb5 32.d6 Nxc3+ 33.Kc2 Qxd4 34.dxc7 Nd5 35.c8N+ Kb8 36.Qxb7# 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Beloungie in Colle System vs Dutch Defence

The Colle is a universal system of development for the White pieces to begin a chess game. The typical move order is 1.d4, 2.Nf3, 3.e3, 4.Bd3, and 5.0-0. White can almost ignore Black while he arranges his pieces in the familiar pattern. While this opening can be played vs anything, it is primarily designed to play against a Black pawn on d5. After preparation, the e3 pawn will be advanced to e4 to pick a fight.

Ray Haines has often played the Dutch Defence 1.d4 f5 as Black. Here as White he chooses to play the Colle System set-up vs Lance Beloungie in a club game. In fact White commits to 2.e3 before Black even plays 2...f5. Most masters do not prefer the Colle vs the Dutch because it does not threaten the key squares along the long light squared diagonal, especially e4 and d5. Black gets an easier game than normal, but it still has to be played out. White could win, but below Beloungie as Black takes control of those central squares and builds a winning attack.

Haines - Beloungie, Presque Isle, Maine, 26.06.2014 begins 1.d4 e6 2.e3 f5 3.Bd3 Nf6 4.Nf3 b6 5.Qe2 Bb7 6.0-0 Be7 7.Nbd2 Ne4 8.Ne5 0-0 9.f3 Nxd2 10.Bxd2 d6 11.Nc4 Nd7 [11...Nc6=] 12.Bc3 b5 [12...d5 13.Nd2 c5=] 13.Nd2 [13.Na5!+/-] 13...a6 14.b3 Bf6 15.e4 fxe4 16.fxe4 Nc5 17.dxc5 Bxc3 18.Rad1 Bd4+ 19.Kh1 Bxc5 20.e5 Rxf1+ 21.Rxf1 Qg5 [Black's winning ideas are a combination of kingside and attack and advancing queenside pawns. Activating the queen is good. 21...Qh4-/+ is even better.] 22.Nf3? [22.Ne4 Qxe5 23.Qf3 Qf5 24.Qe2 Qd5 25.Qf3= repeating moves.] 22...Qh6 23.Be4 d5 24.Bd3 Rf8 25.c3 Be3 26.h3 c5 27.Re1 d4 28.Ng1 [Or 28.Rf1 dxc3-+] 28...Rf2 0-1

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