Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Benko Gambit with King Fianchetto

Back when I regularly had an ICC rating over 2200, I accepted a Benko Gambit played vs me by ChessBeta which was rated 3266. I include this game because it was one of the few times in my life that I played the king fianchetto line with 10.Kg2.

In covering my 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 games, gradually I am moving from the Budapest, Benko and Benoni to the Catalan, Queen's Indian and Nimzo-Indian Defence. After that, we reach the final frontier with the Gruenfeld and King's Indian Defences, which I played more often from each side. I plan to post my own games with Indian Defences in that general opening order about once a week.

After the Benko Gambit is accepted by 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 Ba6, White loses the right to castle after 6.Nc3 d6 7.e4 Bxf1 8.Kxf1. Therefore is it logical to protect the king and connect the rooks with 9.g3 and 10.Kg2. Historically this is one of the main ideas of the Benko Gambit. In the game below, I blunder in haste and am quickly punished.

Sawyer (2391) - ChessBeta (3266), ICC 3 1 u Internet Chess Club, 15.03.2002 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 Bxa6 6.Nc3 d6 7.e4 Bxf1 8.Kxf1 g6 9.g3 Bg7 10.Kg2 0-0 11.Nge2 Na6 12.f3 e6 13.dxe6 fxe6 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.Qd2? [I was moving too quick and did not realize that he had taken with the queen until too late. 16.Rf1] 16...Qxf3+ 17.Kh3 g5 18.Rhf1 g4+ 19.Kh4 Qg2 20.Kxg4 h5+ 21.Kg5 Kh7 22.Rxf8 Rxf8 23.Qxd6 Bh6+ 24.Kxh5 Qh3# White checkmated 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Keiser Challenges Caro-Kann Defence

Flashback to 1982: I played Art Keiser of Pennsylvania four APCT postal games on the same postcards. Two were Bird's Openings and two Caro-Kann Defences. Below is an Advance 4.Bd3 Variation which allows Black to swap off his bad bishop.

I believe this was the same Arthur W. Keiser who died in 2014 at the age of 92. The Bucks County Courier Times described him as being born on a farm and raised with a deep Christian faith and love of the earth. Art Keiser was devoted to church and family, who "remember him for his love of gardening, photography, chess, tennis, racquetball, model airplanes, and Spanish."

In his final tournament at age 71 in 1993, Art Keiser ended up 41st out of 50 players in Hatboro. Art finished behind Greg Nolan, Alan Lindy, Eric Tobias, Victor Snapstys and ahead of Robert Lovenstein, all players that I faced myself. In our game White has the right idea, but, at the wrong time. White falls for a tactic that leaves White down the Exchange and a pawn. I was fortunate enough to win all my games vs Keiser.

Keiser (1856) - Sawyer (2100), corr APCT 1982 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Bd3 Bxd3 5.Qxd3 e6 6.Nf3 Nd7 7.0-0 Qc7 [7...Ne7=] 8.a3 Ne7 9.b4 a5 10.Bd2 a4 11.b5 c5 12.c4 cxd4 13.cxd5 Nxe5 [13...Nxd5!=/+] 14.Nxe5 Qxe5 15.dxe6 fxe6 16.Re1 Qd5 17.f4? [Correct is 17.Re4 e5 18.f4=] 17...g6?! [17...Rc8!-/+] 18.Re5? [White should play 18.Bb4= now!] 18...Qd7 19.Bb4 Bg7 20.Re4 [20.Nd2 Nd5-/+] 20...Nd5 21.Bc5? Rd8 [More accurate is 21...Rc8! 22.Bb4 Rc1+ 23.Kf2 Ne3-+] 22.Nd2 b6 23.Bxd4? [23.Bb4 Nxb4 24.axb4 0-0 25.Rxa4 Rc8-/+] 23...Nxf4 24.Rxf4 Bxd4+ 25.Rxd4 Qxd4+ 26.Qxd4 Rxd4 27.Nf3 Rd3 28.Kf2 Rb3 29.Nd4 0-0+ 30.Kg1 Rb2 31.h4 Rff2 32.Nxe6 Rxg2+ 33.Kh1 Rh2+ 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, February 6, 2015

Haines vs Beloungie French Defence 3.Bd3

In January Ray Haines won first place in a chess tournament held in Houlton, Maine where I-95 meets New Brunswick, Canada. In the first round vs Lance Beloungie the two played a French Defence 3.Bd3. This continuation is a "rare" choice for most, but not for Ray Haines. His long time friend Lance Beloungie has doubtless faced it many times in their multiple French Defence games. I often play 3.Be3, but I like 3.Bd3 too. To debate theory in lines Black knows well, we play 3.Nc3, 3.Nd2, 3.e5 or 3.exd5.

Below Ray Haines avoids 4.e5 which gives White a solid positional advantage but also gives Black the familiar territory of a common French pawn structure. Ray gets frisky with his knights and mixes things up which made the game more tactical. The danger was that these tactics would favor Black, who could and did dominate the center. Black was clearly winning by move 18. Unfortunately for Lance, his 25th move did not turn out well. White opened the center, turned the tables and won quickly.

Haines - Beloungie, Houlton, Maine (1), 24.01.2015 begins 1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Bd3 Nf6 [3...dxe4 4.Bxe4 Nf6 5.Bd3= or 5.Bf3=] 4.Nc3!? [4.e5+/=] 4...Bb4 [4...c5!=] 5.e5! Nfd7 6.Nge2?! [A risky approach that allows Black a lot of control in the center. 6.Qg4!+/-] 6...c5 7.dxc5 Nc6 [7...Bxc5!=/+] 8.0-0 Ndxe5 [8...Bxc5] 9.a3 [9.Na4=] 9...Bxc5 10.b4 Nxd3!? [10...Bd6-/+] 11.Qxd3 Bd6 12.Bb2 a6 13.Rad1 0-0 14.f4 Qc7 15.Na4 f6 16.Rc1 [16.c4 b5=/+] 16...Bd7 17.Qb3 b5 18.Nc5 Qb6 [18...Bxc5+! 19.bxc5 Na5 20.Qd3 Nc4 21.Bd4 e5-+] 19.Qc3 e5 20.fxe5 fxe5 21.Kh1 Bxc5 22.bxc5 Qa7 23.Rcd1 d4 [Black has a promising continuation that could leave him up two extra center pawns: 23...Bg4 24.Rfe1 d4-+] 24.Qb3+ Kh8 25.Qd5 Ne7?  [This hangs the e-pawn. Better is 25...Qc7-/+] 26.Qxe5 Nc6 27.Qd6 Rfe8 28.Nxd4 [Another good idea is 28.Rf7+-] 28...Nxd4 29.Qxd4!? Bc6 30.Qd6 Qb7 31.Rfe1 Bxg2+ 32.Kg1 Bc6 33.Re6 Rxe6 34.Qxe6 Bh1 35.Qg4 Bf3 [35...Bc6! 36.Rd6+/=] 36.Qd7 Qxd7 37.Rxd7 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Troy DalyAccelerated Dragon Sicilian

This week I am reminded of two tournament games I played against Troy Daly in the Sicilian Defence when I beat someone in an Accelerated Dragon in ICC blitz. Last year I posted my second game vs Troy Daly. Here I post the earlier 2007 Florida State Championship. Troy Daly became a USCF Life Master. I wish him all the best.

The Accelerated Dragon move 8.0-0 was suggested to me by Peter Dyson, former USCF Master who said this little known line was much better than its reputation. I figured my 16-year old opponent knew the main line which goes 8.Bb3 a5. In our post-mortem, Troy said that the line favors White very slightly, but Troy added that he had been playing it "since I was born" and that he usually won as Black anyway.

Troy is not the first chess Daly that I have known. I met Harlow B. Daly at a chess tournament in 1973 when I travelled to Portland, Maine with Ronald Robinson to play in a James Quirk event. Harlow Daly (1883-1979) played the likes Frank Marshall and Samuel Reshevsky as well as defeated World Champion Alexander Alekhine in a 1929 Boston simul. I do not know of any relationship between to the New England Daly family, but the Florida Daly family carries on a fine chess tradition.

Sawyer (1959) - Daly (2111), Florida State Championship (2), 01.09.2007 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Be3 Bg7 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0-0 8.0-0 Nxe4 9.Nxe4 d5 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Bd3 dxe4 12.Bxe4 Qc7 [A possible improvement was 12...Ba6! 13.Qxd8 Rfxd8 14.Rfd1 Bxb2=] 13.Rb1 Rb8 14.b3 e5 15.Qe2 Kh8 16.Rfd1 [16.Bc5! Rd8 17.Rfd1+=] 16...f5 17.Bd3 c5 18.f3 Bb7 19.a4 Rbd8 20.Bc4 e4 21.Rxd8 Rxd8 22.fxe4 Bxe4 23.Rd1 Rxd1+ 24.Qxd1 Be5 25.h3 Qe7 26.Qd2 Bf6 27.Qf2 Bxc2 28.Bxc5 Qe4 29.Bxa7 Bxb3 [After 29...Bxb3 the logical continuation is 30.Bxb3 Qb1+ 31.Kh2 which I figured would likely be a draw, however White has some interesting chances with 31.Qf1! Qxb3 32.a5+=] 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mingos vs Shamkovich BDG

John Mingos played the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit vs GM Leon Shamkovich in a simultaneous exhibition 30 years ago where this grandmaster took the Black pieces. The game was played in the small town of Bradford in western Pennsylvania, 78 miles south of Buffalo, New York. I vaguely remember a pit stop at McDonald's in Bradford with my wife on a cold snowy day in the early 1990s.

Like many strong players, Grandmaster Shamkovich chose to decline the 4.f3 gambit pawn with 4...e3. I find this noteworthy because Shamkovich was famous for his detailed knowledge of chess openings. Anyway, in this BDG Langeheinecke, Black continued with the early development of the light squared bishop 5.Bxe3 Bf5. The main alternative is 5...e6 to more quickly bring the dark squared bishop into the action.

Below White castles queenside and manages to busts open the center with 20.d5! The game illustrates that even grandmasters miss tactics, especially in simuls and blitz games. Nice win by John Mingos.

Mingos - Shamkovich, Bradford, PA simul, 1985 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 e3 5.Bxe3 Bf5 6.Bd3 Bg6 7.Nge2 e6 8.Bxg6 [8.0-0=] 8...hxg6 9.Qd3 Nc6 10.a3 Bd6 11.0-0-0 Qe7 12.Nb5 0-0-0 13.Nxd6+ Qxd6 [13...Rxd6 14.Bf2=] 14.Bf4 Qd7 15.Bg5 Ne7 16.g4 Qc6 17.Nc3? [17.h4= Purser] 17...Rh3 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.Qe4 Rxf3? [19...Qd6-/+] 20.d5! exd5 21.Qxf3 Qc4 22.Qxf6 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Glen Wilbur vs Albin Counter Gambit

Here is the 24th Albin Counter Gambit published in this blog. Most were played by me, like the game with Glen Wilbur below. I played my childhood friend and former college roommate Glen Wilbur in an Albin Counter Gambit in a postal chess game in 1977. That year Glen served as best man in my wedding. I shall always be grateful to him.

As I recall, Glen Wilbur headed up our high school chess team and played the board ahead of me when we played other schools. His cousin Ronald Robinson won the state high school championship on tie breaks over Mike Eldridge.

They were all better than me back then, but I kept playing and eventually got the highest rating among my old teammates. All these guys are from New England, home of the Super Bowl NFL football champion Patriots.

Wilbur (1550) - Sawyer (1750), corr, 22.06.1977 begins 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Nbd2 Bg4 6.g3 Qd7 7.Bg2 0-0-0 8.0-0 Bh3 9.a3 Be7 [9...Bxg2! 10.Kxg2 Nge7 11.b4 Ng6 12.Qa4 Kb8 13.Bb2 Qg4 14.b5 Ncxe5 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 16.Rad1 Bc5=] 10.b4 Bxg2 11.Kxg2 Qf5 12.Bb2 h5 13.b5 [13.Qb1+-] 13...Nxe5 14.Nxd4 Qg6 15.Qa4 Kb8 16.N2b3 [16.N2f3+/-] 16...h4 17.c5 hxg3 18.fxg3? [Correct is 18.hxg3 Ng4 19.Rh1 N8f6 20.Rxh8 Rxh8 21.b6!=. Black meets White's attack with perpetual checks.] 18...Qe4+ [18...Ng4! 19.Nf3 Ne3+ 20.Kg1 Nxf1-/+] 19.Kg1? [19.Rf3 f5=/+] 19...Qe3+ 20.Rf2? [Black is also winning after 20.Kg2 Nf6 21.Bc1 Rxh2+ 22.Kxh2 Nfg4+ 23.Kg2 Qe4+ 24.Rf3 Qh7!-+] 20...Ng4 [Or 20...Rxh2!-+] 21.Raf1 Nxf2 22.Rxf2 Rxh2 23.Kxh2 Qxf2+ 24.Kh3 Qf1+ 25.Kh2 Nf6 26.Nc6+ bxc6 27.Bxf6 Bxf6 28.bxc6 Rh8+ 0-1

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