Friday, September 30, 2016

Kevin Sheldrick Wins BDG Euwe

Kevin Sheldrick played a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit that led to checkmate. The line was a BDG Euwe Variation 5.Nxf3 e6. The position in his notes are fantastic with  tactical surprises! My favorite was that checkmate in six on move 15.

Sheldrick wrote: "I played a BDG that had some bizarre tactics. It was on the internetski at the rate of 1 minute each for the game so it isn't of high standard and you may reject it, lol, but I thought it was quite amazing the tactics that Stockfish came up with at moves 9 and 15 so I have sent it in. Bye, Kevin"

Thanks Kevin. I enjoyed this, despite the mistakes due to speed.

I have observed that the 6.Bg5 Bb4 line is most often chosen by mid-level players. They play the bishop pin 6…Bb4 because they are strong enough to see the Nc3 is a real threat. Alas, they are also weak enough not to see the grave danger to their own Nf6.

A far stronger move is simply 6…Be7. It is interesting to note that in this game Black later retreated with 9…Be7. The wasted time gave the White knight a head start on its heroic journey 3.Nc3, 9.Ne4, 16.Nxg5, 17.Nxf7, and 18.Nxh8. All the White pieces are potentially dangerous to Black in the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. If White can make his pieces dance, Black is in big trouble.

The Euwe 6.Bg5 Bb4 is section 2.4 in my Blackmar-Diemer Games 1.

Sheldrick (2099) - Djmilen (1609), FICS, 26.09.2016 begins 1.e4 d5 2.d4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6 6.Bg5 Bb4 7.Bd3 Nbd7 8.0-0 b6? [8...h6= Stockfish] 9.Ne4?! =/+ [9.Ne5! makes sense, to threaten the fork 10. Nc6, but the continuations are staggering e.g. 9...Nxe5 (9...Bxc3 10.Nc6!+-; 9...Bb7? 10.Bb5!+-) 10.dxe5 Qd4+ 11.Kh1 Qxe5 12.Bf4! and the planned 13. Nb5! is, oddly, immensely strong; if now, say, 12...Qc5 then 13.Nb5 e5 (or 13...Nd5 14.a3+-) 14.a3+-] 9...Be7 10.Qe2?! [10.Nxf6+!=; or 10.Qe1=/+ are better.] 10...Bb7 11.Rae1 h6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.c3 Bg5?? 14.Nfxg5 hxg5 15.Qe3? +/= [Can you find the win? Stockfish gives 15.Nd6+!! cxd6 16.Qxe6+ fxe6 17.Bg6+ Ke7 18.Rf7+ Ke8 19.Rf6+! Ke7 20.Rexe6#] 15...Qe7 16.Nxg5 0-0-0?? 17.Nxf7 Rdf8 18.Nxh8 Rxh8 19.Bf5 Qh4 20.h3? Nf6 21.Bxe6+ Kb8 22.c4 Qg5?? 23.Qxg5 Rh5 24.Qxg7 Nh7 25.Qh8+ Bc8 26.Qxc8# [Notes by Sheldrick] 1-0

Thursday, September 29, 2016

French Defence Tarrasch blik

Do computer chess engines fear the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit? Can’t Black take the pawn and win easily? Only sometimes. Here in my game vs “blik” Black refused to take the gambit pawn. I did a quick count vs this opponent from 2008 - 2013. As White in the BDG I won 98 games and lost 101 games with 34 draws.

Fear is not part of the computer algorithm for opening selection. Such choices are based on its approved book lines, its winning percentage with specific moves and some “random” selection.

Instead of entering the BDG this computer transposed into a French Defence after 1.d4 d5 2.e4 e6. I chose 3.Nd2. The Tarrasch Variation leads to solid and equal positions. This game continued 7.0-0 cxd4 instead of 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.0-0.

After multiple exchanges we reached a bishop and pawn ending where neither king had any entry points to his opponent’s pawns. After 34.g5 we drew this game on move 84 by the 50 move rule.

Sawyer (1984) - blik (2422), ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 20.06.2008 begins 1.d4 d5 2.e4 e6 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 Nc6 5.exd5 exd5 6.Bb5 Bd6 7.0-0 [7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.0-0 Nge7 9.Nb3 Bd6=] 7...cxd4 8.Nb3 Nge7 9.Nbxd4 0-0 10.c3 Bg4 [10...Re8 11.Re1=] 11.h3 Nxd4 12.cxd4 Bxf3 13.Qxf3 Qb6 14.Qd3 Nc6 15.Bxc6 bxc6 16.b3 Qb5 17.Qxb5 cxb5 18.Bd2 Rfe8 19.Rfe1 Rxe1+ 20.Rxe1 Rc8 21.Rc1 Rxc1+ 22.Bxc1 f6 23.f3 Kf7 24.g4 g6 25.Kf2 h5 26.Be3 Ke8 27.Ke2 a6 28.Kd3 a5 29.a4 hxg4 30.hxg4 bxa4 31.bxa4 Kd8 32.Bd2 Bc7 33.f4 f5 34.g5 [34.gxf5 gxf5=] 34...Ke7 35.Be3 Kf7 36.Bd2 Kf8 37.Be3 Ke7 38.Bd2 Ke6 39.Be3 Kd6 40.Bd2 Ke6 41.Be3 Ke7 42.Bd2 Bb6 43.Ke3 Ke6 44.Kd3 Bd8 45.Be1 Ke7 46.Bd2 Bb6 47.Ke3 Bd8 48.Kd3 Kd7 49.Ke3 Kc8 50.Kd3 Bb6 51.Ke3 Kc7 52.Kd3 Kc6 53.Ke3 Kb7 54.Kd3 Kc7 55.Ke3 Kd8 56.Kd3 Kd7 57.Ke3 Kd8 58.Kd3 Kc8 59.Ke3 Kd7 60.Kd3 Ke8 61.Ke3 Ke7 62.Kd3 Bc7 63.Ke3 Bb6 64.Kd3 Kd8 65.Ke3 Kc8 66.Kd3 Kd7 67.Ke3 Bc7 68.Kd3 Bd6 69.Kc2 Ke8 70.Kd3 Bc7 71.Ke3 Kd7 72.Kd3 Ke8 73.Ke3 Bd8 74.Kd3 Bb6 75.Ke3 Kf8 76.Kd3 Kg8 77.Ke3 Kf7 78.Kd3 Kg8 79.Ke3 Kf8 80.Kd3 Kf7 81.Ke3 Kg8 82.Kd3 Kf8 83.Ke3 Kg8 84.Kd3 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Dynamic Army in Bird's Opening

Ronald L Chaney and I contested games in many openings, beating each other several times. Here he begins 1.f4. This Bird's Opening started out slowly in the center with 3.e3 and 9.d3. White expanded on the queenside with 7.c4, 10.d4 and 11.b4. His 13.Ba3 turned out to be a powerful piece.

White kept the position dynamic with lots of tension between pawns and pieces. Chaney was able to pick off a pawn with 18.Bxe6! If Black recaptured, he would get mated quickly. I tried to wiggle out of it. The more I squirmed, the stronger his forces became.

Lines and lanes opened up. White had a bishop and queen on active squares. His doubled rooks on the f-file were too strong. Ron Chaney's army could not be stopped.

My Chess Training Repertoire this Thursday covers the Birds Opening. Sign up if you want to receive my weekly training repertoire by email.

Chaney (1970) - Sawyer (1960), corr APCT, 1995 begins 1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 g6 4.Be2 Bg7 5.0-0 0-0 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.c4 c6 8.Nc3 e6 9.d3 Qc7 10.d4 b6 11.b4 a5 12.b5 c5 13.Ba3 Rd8 14.Qb3 [14.Nc6=] 14...cxd4 15.exd4 Bb7 16.Rac1 dxc4 17.Bxc4 Rac8 [17...Nxe5 18.fxe5 Rxd4 19.exf6 Bh6=] 18.Bxe6! Nxe5 19.fxe5 fxe6 20.Qxe6+ [20.exf6!+-] 20...Qf7 21.Qxb6 Bh6 22.Rxf6 Be3+ [22...Qc4 23.Rc2+/=] 23.Kh1 Qc4 [23...Bxd4 24.Qxd8+ Rxd8 25.Rxf7 Kxf7 26.Rd1+/-] 24.Rcf1 [24.Be7!+-] 24...Bxg2+ 25.Kxg2 Bxd4 26.Rxg6+ hxg6 27.Qxg6+ Kh8 28.Rf5 Rg8 29.Rh5# 1-0

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Podymov King's Indian Defence

I played many masters in my chess career. Here is one Russian master whom I played by postal chess in 1984. Correspondence between our countries was long and slow during the Cold War. My opponent was the International Correspondence Chess Master Alexander Vladimirovich Podymov from Russia. He was born in the year 1953 and has a FIDE rating of 2300. His ICCF rating is 2311, down from 2363. My ICCF rating is 2157.

This game featured the King's Indian Defence. As one might imagine those of us who learned the game of chess in the days of Bobby Fischer were influenced by his opening systems. From time to time the urge to play the King’s Indian returns to me. In postal chess we were able to consult chess books in the search for opening theory. There were no databases nor any strong chess engines to help.

Podymov played the main line 5.Nf3 variation against my main line up to 9.Nd2 c5. The move 9.Nd2 is popular and dates back at least to the 1960s where it was played many times in grandmaster tournaments by Taimanov and Gligoric. The move 9…c5 was played by Tringov and Geller. By 1971 this line was played in the game Korchnoi vs Fischer. Here I provide detailed analysis of the 9.Nd2 variation.

Podymov - Sawyer, corr ICCF 1984 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Nf3 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 c5 [9...a5 10.a3 Nd7 11.Rb1 f5 12.exf5 Nxf5 13.Nde4 Nf6 14.Bg5=; 9...Nd7 10.b4 f5 11.f3 a5 12.bxa5 Rxa5 13.Nb3 Ra8 14.Be3=; 9...Ne8 10.b4 f5 11.f3 a5 12.bxa5 Rxa5 13.Nb3 Ra8 14.c5+/=] 10.dxc6 [Alternatives are 10.Rb1 a5 11.a3 Ne8 12.b4 axb4 13.axb4 b6 14.bxc5 bxc5 15.Nf3+/=; or 10.a3 Ne8 11.b4 b6 12.Nb3 f5 13.f3 Nf6 14.Rb1 Bd7 15.Bg5+/=] 10...bxc6 11.b4 [11.Nb3 a5 12.Bg5 h6 13.Be3=] 11...d5 12.Ba3 [12.Rb1 Rb8 13.Qc2=; 12.Re1 d4 13.Na4=] 12...a6 [12...Re8 13.Re1 Be6 14.Bf1 Rb8=] 13.Re1 Be6 14.Bf1 Re8 15.Bb2 d4! 16.Na4 Nd7 17.Nb3 Nc8 18.Nbc5 [Or 18.Nac5= ] 18...Ncb6 19.Nxe6 Rxe6 20.Bc1 [20.Nxb6 Qxb6=] 20...Nxa4 [20...a5=] 21.Qxa4 c5 22.a3 f5 [22...Rc8=] 23.Bd3 [23.g3=] 23...f4 24.Bd2 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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Monday, September 26, 2016

Blackmar-Diemer Before Kampars

Gunter Brunold reminded me that Kurt Paul Otto Joseph Richter played the BDG Vienna Kampars Gambit decades before Nikolajs Kampars did.

“All hail, Tim! “Born on September 4th 1903, Nikolajs Kampars would have been one hundred and thirteen (113) years old…”

Brunold cited books by Alfred Freidl, Gary Lane, Niels Jørgen Jensen, Dr. Georg F. Weber, and Rev. Tim Sawyer (two books) regarding Kampars Gambit. Gunter Brunold pointed out that it had been played thirty years earlier by the German International Master Kurt Paul Otto Joseph Richter in his game against Simon Rotenstein.

Our chess friend Gunter Brunold added, “I think that Kampars didn't know of the existence of this game, so the name "Kampars Gambit" is justifiable.” Yes, I agree. We have that one Richter game. Nick Kampars played 7.fxe4 (as well as 7.Nxe4) several times and promoted it.

The line 6.g5 is section 4.2 in my Blackmar-Diemer Games 2 book.

Richter - Rotenstein, BEM 1932 Berlin (4), 1932 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 Bf5 5.g4 Bg6 6.g5 Nd5 7.fxe4 [7.Nxe4] 7...Nxc3 8.bxc3 Bxe4 9.Nf3 e5 [9...e6!=/+] 10.Bc4 [10.Qe2 Qd5 11.Bg2 f5=] 10...Nc6 11.0-0 [11.Qe2! Bxf3 12.Qxf3 Qd7 13.0-0 0-0-0 14.Qg2=] 11...Qd7 [11...Bd5 12.Qe2 Bxc4 13.Qxc4 Qe7 14.Qb5 Qd7 15.d5 Nb8 16.Qxb7 Bc5+ 17.Kh1 c6 18.Qxa8 0-0 19.Rb1 Qh3 20.Bd2 e4 21.Nd4 Bxd4 22.cxd4 e3 23.Bxe3 Qxe3 24.Qxb8 Qe4+ 25.Kg1 Qxd4+ 26.Rf2 f5 27.Qb2 Qxd5 28.Qb3 g6 29.Qxd5+ cxd5 30.Rd2 Rd8 31.Rbd1 1-0 Bohley - Warren, corr USCF 1964] 12.Qe1 [12.Bxf7+? Qxf7 13.Nxe5 Qd5!-+] 12...Qg4+ 13.Qg3 Qxg3+ 14.hxg3 0-0-0 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Bc5+ 17.Kh2 Rhe8 18.Rxf7 Rd1 19.Bf1 [19.Rf1 Rxf1 20.Bxf1 Rxe5=/+] 19...Bd5  [19...Rf8!-+] 20.Bh3+ Kb8 21.Rf1 Rxf1 22.Bxf1 Rxe5 23.Bf4 Re8 24.Rd1 Bc6 25.Bg2 Bxg2 26.Kxg2 Kc8 27.Rh1 h6 28.gxh6 gxh6 29.Kf3 Bf8 30.Bxh6 Bxh6 31.Rxh6 Rf8+ 32.Kg2 Kd7 33.Rh4 Rf6 34.Rd4+ Ke7 35.Rc4 c6 36.Re4+ Kd6 37.g4 Kd5 38.Re7 Rf4 [38...b5 39.Rxa7+/=] 39.Kg3 Rc4 [39...Rf1 40.Rxb7+/-] 40.Re3 Ra4 41.g5 Kd6 42.g6 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sicilian Defence & Polugaevsky

A week after Art Price beat me with his bold Budapest Gambit we played again. This time I had Black and held my own. Price played 1.e4. I responded with the Sicilian Defence that I had been studying at the time. Like Fischer I chose the Najdorf Variation. However, I was not following Bobby Fischer this time.

Lev Polugaevsky had written several books on how to study the opening. As his example Polugaevsky chose his own line of the Najdorf which is 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 b5. Polugaevsky was in the mix of World Championship Candidates for a couple decades. He found it difficult to beat Viktor Korchnoi. Most grandmasters never even made it to Korchnoi.

I studied the Polugaevsky books on the Sicilian Defence. He had developed his 7…b5 Variation through home analysis and over the board competition. When his ideas were refuted Lev just kept searching deeper for new ideas. I thought of Lev Polugaevsky’s passion when working on my Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Keybook. Arthur Price played the sharp 6.Bg5 which Spassky used to beat Fischer 10 years earlier. But Price avoided the sharpest 8.e5 lines.

Price (2054) - Sawyer (1900), Lansdale, PA 22.05.1982 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 b5 8.a3 [White avoids the sharpest theory. In those days I was studying the Polugaevsky books on the Sicilian. I was familiar with this variation and the sharp lines after 8.e5 dxe5 9.fxe5 Qc7 and now: 10.exf6 (10.Qe2 Nfd7 11.0-0-0 Bb7=) 10...Qe5+ 11.Be2 Qxg5+/=] 8...Bb7 9.Be2 Nbd7 10.0-0 [White can hold onto the e-pawn with 10.Bf3= ] 10...Qb6 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.Kh1 Nxe4 13.Nxe4 Bxe4 14.Bf3 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Rc8 [15...d5=/+] 16.c3 g6? [I was too concerned about White's possible f5 attack. I should have played 16...Be7 17.f5 e5=] 17.Rae1?! [I did not prevent f5. White has a strong attack with the sacrifice 17.f5! gxf5 18.Qh5 Rg8 19.Nxe6+-] 17...Be7? [17...Bg7 18.f5 0-0=] 18.Qe4 [18.f5! exf5 19.g4+/-] 18...d5 19.Qe2 Rc7 20.Rf3 [20.f5 exf5=/+] 20...Kd8 [20...0-0-/+] 21.Re3 Re8 22.Rd3 Bh4 23.g3 Bf6 24.Nf3 Ree7 25.g4 Qc5 26.g5 Bg7 27.Kg2 h5 [Black stood better after 27...Qc4=/+ ] 1/2-1/2

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Saturday, September 24, 2016

French Defence 3.Be3 by Alapin

How did Semyon Alapin play 3.Be3 line against the French Defence? Here are several examples. The stem game is against A. Zinkl. Semyon (Simon) Alapin was a creative tactical player. He faced strong players from Blackburne to Nimzowitsch. Alapin once mated Marshall in 16 moves!

Semyon Alapin is most remembered for his unusual early opening moves. One of his openings is in the Open Game with 1.e4 e5 2.Ne2!? Another has become a popular Sicilian Defence 1.e4 c5 2.c3!?

In the French Defence after 3.Be3 dxe4 4.Nd2 Nf6, Alapin's idea was to attack e4 with Qc2 and Ng3. Diemer played 5.f3 known as the Alapin-Diemer Gambit. In the main game here Black declined the gambit with 3...Nf6.

Alapin - Zinkl, Vienna 1899 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3 Nf6 [3...dxe4 4.Nd2 Nf6 (4...f5 5.f3 exf3 6.Ngxf3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Nd5 8.Qe2 Be7 9.0-0-0 0-0 10.Rhg1 c6 11.g4 b5 12.Bb3 a5 13.c4 a4 14.Bc2 bxc4 15.Nxc4 Ba6 16.Bd2 Bxc4 17.Qxc4 a3 18.b3 g6 19.gxf5 exf5 20.Bh6 Rf6 1/2-1/2 Alapin - Noa, Dresden 1892) 5.c3 Bd7! (5...Nbd7 6.Qc2 Be7 7.Ne2 0-0 8.Ng3 Nd5 9.Qxe4 N7f6 10.Qd3 c5 11.Be2 cxd4 12.cxd4 Bd7 13.0-0 Rc8 14.Rac1 Bc6 15.Nc4 Nb4 16.Qb1 Bd5 17.a3 Nc6 and 1/2-1/2 in 50. Alapin - Burn, Berlin 1897 18.Qd3=) 6.Qc2 Bc6 7.Ne2 Be7 8.c4 0-0 9.0-0-0 Na6 10.Nc3 Nb4-/+ and 0-1 in 29. Alapin - Showalter, Vienna 1898] 4.e5 [This reliable line provides a clear positional advantage for White. The whole line is an improvement on the Tarrasch line 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5.] 4...Nfd7 [In blitz games, and occasionally in serious games, one sees the piece blunder 4...Ne4? 5.f3! Qh4+ 6.g3 Nxg3 7.Bf2+-] 5.c3 [Normal is 5.f4 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.Bd3 (8.Be2!?+/=) 8...cxd4 9.cxd4 Qb6 10.Qd2 Nb4 11.Be2 0-0 12.Nc3 f6 13.0-0 Nc6 14.Bd3 Nb4 15.Be2 Nc6 16.Rac1 f5 17.Kh1 Qd8 and 1/2-1/2 in 28. Alapin - Von Gottschall, Dresden 1892 18.Na4+/-] 5...c5 6.a3 [Solid and cautious. More common is 6.f4 which could transpose to 5.f4 c5 6.c3.] 6...c4?! [6...Nc6= is better.] 7.b4 a5 8.Nd2 a4 9.Qg4 f5 [9...Nc6 10.Be2+/=] 10.Qg3 b5 11.Be2 Qe7 12.Nh3 [12.h4!?+/-] 12...Qf7 [12...Nc6 13.Nf3 g6 14.0-0+/-] 13.Ng5 [13.Nf4!?+/-] 13...Qg8 14.h4 Be7 15.h5 h6 16.Nh3 Nf8 17.Nf4 Bg5 18.Nf3 Bxf4 19.Bxf4 Ra7 20.Nh4 Re7 21.Qh2 Kd7 22.g4 fxg4 23.Bxg4 g5 24.hxg6 Nxg6 25.Bh5 Nxf4 26.Qxf4 Rg7 27.0-0-0 Qf8 [27...Kc7 28.Qh2+/-] 28.Qf6 Rhg8 29.Rh3  [Or 29.Ng6!+-] 29...Qe7 30.Rf3 Nc6 31.Bf7! 1-0

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