Bishop’s Gambit Anyone?

Sometimes I dabble in the King’s Gambit. Most of the time Black simply takes the f4-pawn. And White continuous with 3.Nf3 and heads off into much analyzed lines.

But what is wrong with 3.Bc4, the Bishop’s Gambit? It turns out that most White players fear 3…Qh4+ 4.Kf1, and White can’t castle. And his King sits uncomfortably in the center.

Oh, by the way, both 4.Ke2 and 4.g3 fail miserably. Here is a sample game.

Hornby-Ford
CompuServe, 1994
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 Bc4 Qh4+ 4.g3 fxg3 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Qf3+ Nf6 7.hxg3 Qxe4+ 8.Qxe4 Nxe4 9.Nf3 Nxg3 10.Rh3 Ne4 11.d3 Nf6 12.Nc3 Nc6 13.Bd2 d5 14.Ng5+ Kg8 15.Rh4 h6 16.Nh3 Bxh3 17.Rxh3 Re8+ 18.Kf1 Bc5 19.Ne2 Ng4 20.b4 Nxb4 21.Bxb4 Bxb4 22.Rb1 Bc5 23.Rxb7 Bb6 24.Nc3 Ne3+ 25.Ke2 Nc4+ 26.Kd1 Nd6 0-1

So White is left with 4.Kf1.

Now what does Black do? Well, Black can go wrong very quickly. Here are some games to show the point.

Jaenisch-Kieseritzky
corres., 1838
[A game slightly on the bizarre side.]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 c5 5.Nc3 Ne7 6.Nf3 Qh5 7.Nb5 d5 8.Nc7+ Kd8 9.Nxd5 Nxd5 10.Bxd5 Kc7 11.d4 g5 12.h4 Bg4 13.c3 Kc8 14.Kf2 Bxf3 15.gxf3 Nc6 16.Qa4 Nd8 17.Bd2 Bd6 18.Rag1 gxh4 19.Rg4 h3 20.e5 Bc7 21.Bxf4 a6?! 22.Kg3 (If Black follows through with his plan then White wins with 22…b5 23.Qc2 Ra7 24.Rxh3) 1-0

B. Malyutin-P. Milyukov
Odessa, 1918
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 f3? 5.Nxf3 Qxe4 6.Bxf7+! Kd8 7.Kf2 Nh6?! 8.Re1 Qxe1+ 9.Qxe1 Nxf7 10.d4 Bd6?! 11.Ng5! Nh6 12.Qe4! Rf8+ 13.Kg1 c5?! 14.Nxh7 Re8 15.Bg5+ Be7 16.Re1 Ng8 17.d5 d6 18.Nf8!? Bd7 19.Qf4! Nf6 20.Ng6 Nxd5 21.Qxd6 Bxg5 22.Rxe8+ Kxe8 23.Qf8mate 1-0

Zaharchenko-Usachyi
USSR, 1970
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 c6?! (Perhaps too soon to play this move.) 5.d4 g5 6.Qf3 Nf6 7.g3 Qh5 8.e5 d5 9.Qxh5 Nxh5 10.Be2 g4 11.gxf4 Rg8 12.Nc3 Bh6 13.Nh3 Na6 14.a3 Nc7 15.Ng5 Bf5 16.Bd3 Bxd3+ 17.cxd3 Ne6 18.Rg1 Nxd4 19.Rxg4 Nb3 20.Rb1 Nxc1 21.Rxc1 Nxf4 22.Nxh7 O-O-O 23.Nf6 Rxg4 24.Nxg4 Nxd3 25.Rd1 Nxb2 26.Nxh6 Nxd1 27.Nxd1 Kd7 28.Nf2 Rf8 29.Nd3 Ke6 30.Nc5+ Ke7 31.Nf5+ Kd8 32.e6 Kc7 33.e7 Re8 34.Nxb7 Kxb7 35.Nd6+ Kc7 36.Nxe8+ Kd7 37.Nd6 Kxe7 38.Nc8+ Kd7 39.Nxa7 1-0

A special case: after 4.Kf1, 4…Bc5 is not good due to 5.d4. Here are some games showing why this is so.

Greco-N.N., 1620
[Greco]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Bc5 5.d4 Bb6 6.Nf3 Qe7 7.Bxf4 Qxe4 8.Bxf7+ Kf8 9.Bg3 Nh6 10.Nc3 Qe7 11.Bb3 c6 12.Qd3 d5 13.Re1 Qf6 14.Bh4 Qg6 15.Be7+ Kg8 16.Qxg6 hxg6 17.Nxd5 cxd5 18.Bxd5+ Kh7
(18…Nf7 19.Ng5 Rh5 20.Bxf7+ Kh8 21.Bxg6 Rh4 22.Nf7+ Kg8 23.Bxh4 +-) 19.Ng5mate 1-0

Greco-N.N., 1620
[Greco]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Bc5 5.d4 Bb6 6.Nf3 Qe7 7.Bxf4 Qxe4 8.Bxf7+ Kf8 9.Bg3 Nh6 10.Nc3 Qe7 11.Bb3 c6 12.Qd3 d5 13.Re1 Qf7 14.Bd6+ Kg8 15.Re7 Qf6 16.Nxd5 Qxd6 [16…cxd5 17.Bxd5+ Kf8 (17…Nf7 18.Re8#) 18.Rf7+ Ke8 19.Rxf6 gxf6 20.Qe3+ Kd8 21.Qe7#] 17.Nf6+ Kf8 18.Re8mate 1-0

Harrwitz-Anderssen
Match, Breslau, 1848

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Bc5 5.d4 Bb6 6.Nf3 Qe7 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.e5 Nh5 9.Nd5 Qd8 10.g4 fxg3 11.Bg5 f6 12.exf6 gxf6 13.Ne5 O-O 14.Qxh5 fxg5+ 15.Nf6+ Kg7 16.Qxh7+ Kxf6 17.Ng4mate 1-0

P. Morphy-A. Morphy
New Orleans, 1848

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Bc5 5.d4 Bb6 6.Nf3 Qe7 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.Qd3 c6 9.Bxf4 d5 10.exd5 O-O 11.d6 Qd8 12.Re1 Re8 13.Ng5 Rxe1+ 14.Kxe1 Qe8+ 15.Kd2 Be6 16.Re1 Nbd7 17.Nxe6 fxe6 18.Rxe6 1-0

Black does better with moves like 3…Nf6, 3…Nc6, 3…d6, and 3…d5.

But even with the better moves, Black can find himself in trouble.

GM Fischer-GM Evans
US Ch.
New York, Nov. 16 1963
[Fischer, “Exclusive Commentary on Round Two”, Chess Life and Review, Jan. 1964]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 [I knew that my opponent had some prepared line (since he usually plays the Sicilian) but felt that he would be unfamiliar with the King’s Gambit. Besides, I’d made up my mind to play it in this tournament anyway.] 2…exf4 3.Bc4 [Better than 3.Nf3 which is practically refuted by 3…d6 (see my analysis in the American Chess Quarterly.)] 3…Qh4+ (Turning it into an old-fashioned slugfest. The moderns frown on this move and prefer to fight in the center with 3…Nf6 4.Nc3 c6, etc.) 4.Kf1 d6? [Evans said this game would set chess back a hundred years. He didn’t know how right he was! The defense he chooses was also played by LaBourdonnais against MacDonnell (20th Match Game, 1834) which continued 5.d4 Bg4 6.Qd3 Nc6 7.Bxf7+? Kxf7 8.Qb3+ Kg6 9.Qxb7 Nxd4 10.Qxa8 f3 with a winning attack. More usual is 4…g5 (or d5) 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.d4 Ne7 7.Nf3 Qh5 8.h4 h6 and it’s a hard game.] 5.Nc3? [Returning the compliment. It’s natural that White should want to save the juicy tempo (5.Nf3!) and I make the same mistake as MacDonnell by delaying this move.] 5…Be6! (I overlooked this move. Now Black has a choice of where to put his Queen once she’s attacked.) 6.Qe2 c6 7.Nf3 (Inaccurate. Having made the mistake of delaying this move once, White should hold off a while longer and play 7.d4, which does not permit Black’s Queen to retreat to e7 without relinquishing his “f” pawn.) 7…Qe7 (If 7…Qh5 8.Nd5! Now, however, Black has time to consolidate his king’s position.) 8.d4 Bxc4 9.Qxc4 g5 (Despite White’s strong center and great lead in development, Black’s position is not easy to crack. If 10.h4 g4 11.Ne1 Bh6, etc.) 10.e5 d5 [During the game I thought Black’s best defense was 10…dxe5 11.Nxe5 (11.dxe5 Nd7 12.Ne4 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Qxe5 14.Bd2 is unclear) 11…Nd7 12.h4 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Qxe5 14.hxg5 O-O-O 15.Bxf4 Qf5 with equality.] 11.Qd3 [11.Nxd5 cxd5 12.Qc8+ Qd8 13.Qxb7 Nd7 is unsound. (14.Nxg5? Rb8). Now the threat is simply 11.Qf5.] 11…Na6 12.Ne2 (Not 12.Qf5 Nh6 13.Qxg5 Qxg5 14.Nxg5 Nb4 15.Bxf4 Nxc2 16.Rd1 Nf5 and Black wins.) 12…Nb4 (12…f6 loses 13.Qf5 Bg7 14.exf6 Bxf6 15.Bxf4! gxf4 16.Nxf4 with a winning attack. It is important to repel White’s queen from its present diagonal.) 13.Qd1 O-O-O (Very complicated, and possibly better, is 13.c3 which leads to a more active defense.) 14.c3 Na6 15.h4 g4 16.Nh2! h5 (Better was 16…f3 17.gxf3 gxf3 18.Nxf3 f6 although White’s king is quite safe and Black lags in development. Also to be considered was 16…Qxh4 17.Nxf4! g3 18.Qg4+ Qxg4 19.Nxg4 with a powerful ending.) 17.Nxf4


17…Qxh4? [The losing move. Relatively best is 17…Kb8 (preventing Nxh5!) but his game is already bad.] 18.Kg1 (Black apparently underestimated the strength of this move. He has no adequate defense now to the twin threats of 19.Nxg4 and Nf1.) 18…Nh6 (The only way to avoid outright material loss. Black originally intended 18…Bh6 but 19.Nf1 followed by Rxh5 stands him up.) 19.Nf1 Qe7 20.Nxh5 Rg8 (Black already knew he was lost and was shaking his head in amazement at how quickly White’s dead pieces had sprung to life.) 21.Nfg3 Rg6 22.Nf4 Rg5 (If 22…Rg8 23.Nxd5, etc.) 23.Be3 Nc7 (The last hope. 23…f6 is answered by 24.Qd2 fxe5 25.Nxd5, winning a full rook.) 24.Qd2 Rg8 25.Nfe2 (This piquant retreat wins a piece, putting a clear end to black’s agony.) 25…f6 (Black is still hoping for a miracle.) 26.exf6 Qxf6 27.Bxh6 Bd6 28.Rf1 Qe6 29.Bf4 Rde8 30.Rh6 Bxf4 31.Qxf4 Qe7 32.Rf6 (Tripling on the Bishop file.)



32…Ne6 33.Qe5 Ng5 34.Qxe7 Rxe7 35.Rf8+ (Trading down to skin and bones.) 35…Rxf8 36.Rxf8+ 1-0

Westerinen (2420)-Moen (2325)
Gausdal Zt., 1985
[Pliester, NIC 3/18159]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Nc6!? 5.d4 d6 N (5…g5) 6.Nf3 Qh6 (6…Bg4 7.c3 +/=) 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.e5 dxe5 (8…Nh5? 9.Nd5 Ng3+ 10.Kg1 +-) 9.dxe5 Nh5 10.Nd5 Bd7 11.Nxc7+?! [11.g4! Bxg4 (11…Ng3+ 12.Kg2 Nxh1 13.Bxf4 Qg6 14.Nxc7+ Kd8 15.e6! +- ; 11…Bc5!? 12.Nxc7+ Ke7 13.Bxf7! +-) 12.Nxc7+ Ke7 13.b3 Bd7 (13…Nxe5 14.Ba3+ Kf6 15.Nd5+ +-) 14.e6 fxe6 15.Ba3+ Kd8 16.Nxe6+ Ke8 17.Nxf8 Rxf8 18.Bxf8 Bh3+ 19.Kf2 Kxf8 20.Qd5 Qf6 21.Rhe1 Ne7 22.Rxe7! +-] 11…Kd8 12.Nxa8 Ng3+ 13.Ke1 Nxh1 14.Bxf7 Kc8 15.Qd5 Nb4 =/+ 16.Qc4+ (16.Qa5 Qc6 17.Nd4 Nxc2+ 18.Nxc2 Qxc2 19.e6 Qe4+ 20.Kf1 Qc4+ -+) 16…Qc6 17.Nd4 (17.e6? Nxc2+! 18.Kd2 Bb4+ -+) 17…Qxc4 18.Bxc4 Bc5 19.a3 Nc6 20.Nf3 Re8 21.Bxf4 g5 22.Nxg5 Nxe5 23.Be2 Ng6 24.Nc7 Rxe2+! 25.Kxe2 Nxf4+ 26.Kf3 Bd6 27.Rxh1 h5?? (27…Bc6+ 28.Kf2 Kxc7 29.Nxh7 Nh3+! -/+) 28.g3 Bc6+ 29.Ne4 Nh3 30.Nb5! +- (30.Ne6? Kd7! -/+) 30…Ng5+ 31.Ke3 Bc5+ 32.Nxc5 Bxh1 33.Nxa7+ Kc7 34.h4 Nf7 35.Ne6+ Kd6 36.Nf4 Ke5 37.Nxh5 Kf5 38.Nf4 Kg4 39.Ne2 Nd6 40.b3 1-0

Weiss-Brasket
Minnesota Masters Cup Invitational, 1989

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d5 5.exd5 Nf6 (Black has to be careful after 5…f3? The game can easily continue with 6.Bb5+ c6 7.Nxf3 Qh5 8.Qe2+ Be7 9.dxc6 Nxc6 10.Ne5 Qf5+ 11.Ke1 Qxc2 12.Nc3 Bd7 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.Bd3, and the Black Queen is trapped.) 6.Qe2+ Be7 7.Nf3 Qh5 8.Nc3 a6 9.d3 b5 10.Bb3 g5 11.Bd2 Kf8 12.d6 Bxd6 13.Ne4 g4 14.Nxf6 Qg6 15.Bc3 gxf3 16.Qe8+ Kg7 17.Ng4+ f6 18.Bxf6+ Qxf6 19.Nxf6 fxg2+ 20.Kxg2 Bb7+ 21.Kh3 Rxe8 22.Nxe8+ Kf8 23.Nxd6 cxd6 24.Rhg1 1-0

V. Ivanchuk (2716)-Nikolic (2648)
5th IECC Playoff Final
Antalya, Turkey, May 30 2004
[Tim McGrew, The Gambit Cartel]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ [This check must have been one of the first defensive ideas explored in the Bishop’s Gambit. Emmanuel Lasker recommended it for black in Common Sense in Chess, and even Fred Reinfeld, who revised the openings analysis for the 1946 edition (which practically no one has – the Dover edition on your shelf is a reprint of the 1917 edition), retains 3…Qh4+ as the recommended line.] 4.Kf1 (The king is not nearly as exposed here as he would be on e2, and Black’s queen may herself be harassed by Nf3. In fact, Ivanchuk achieves a powerful position here without a great deal of difficulty.) 4…d6 [Here Lasker (and Reinfeld) both recommend 4…d5 Bxd5 5.g5. Oddly, I can find hardly any games in this formerly popular line between 1929 and 1989. But then van den Doel won a droll game with it (by transposition: 3…d5 4.Bxd5 Qh4+ etc.) in 18 moves at Cappelle la Grande 2001. Someone ought to investigate this.] 5.d4 Be6 6.Qd3 Nf6 7.Nf3 (The anticipated strike at the queen.) 7…Qg4 8.Nc3 Be7 9.h3 Qg6 10.Bxf4 (I have to admit that White’s centralization here is impressive. Ivanchuk is also setting a little trap – at this level of play, really more of a joke for the players to share, though such a joke could easily turn fatal for someone unable to evaluate the end of a tactical sequence accurately.) 10…O-O (Nikolic politely declines the bait. 10…Bxc4 11.Qxc4 Nxe4? looks merely messy at first glance, but after 12.Qxc7! Black has no way to recover his balance.) 11.Re1 (Black’s position could not be said to be bad, but because of White’s grip on the center it is difficult for him to find an effective plan. He decides to go shopping for the perfect exchange of minor pieces, but meanwhile his queenside is sleeping.) 11…Nh5 12.Bh2 Ng3+?! (In hindsight this looks like the turning point of the game.) 13.Bxg3 Qxg3 14.Ne2! Qg6 15.Nf4 (White has repositioned his knight to a very effective square without any loss of time.) 15…Qh6 16.g3 (We now come to a puzzling set of moves where White allows Black to swap on c4 and Black declines to do it. I had thought that the idea was 16.Nxe6 fxe6 17.Qb3. But perhaps Chucky saw what Deep Fritz 7 suggests: after 17…Nc6 18.Bxe6+ Kh8 White’s advantage is evaporating because Black threatens to take on d4.) 16…Nd7 17.Kg2 Nb6? (But this is pretty clearly an error. 17…Bxc4 18.Qxc4 c6 still looks like a reasonable way for Black to hold the balance, though White’s position is a bit more pleasant to play.) 18.Bxe6 fxe6 19.Rhf1 (19.Qb3 would provoke the same exchange sacrifice we see in the game.) 19…c5 20.d5 Rxf4 (This doesn’t quite work, but it is instructive for us lesser mortals to see even the near misses of the super-GMs because it teaches us to consider ideas we might never have thought of. Black was under pressure in any event since White was threatening to sink a knight into e6, so it is hard to suggest really good alternatives.) 21.gxf4 Qxf4 22.dxe6 Rf8 23.b4!? (When someone figures out how super-grandmasters come up with moves like this, please let me know! Until then, my best guess is that it is intended to clear the d4-square, e.g. 23…cxb4 24.Nd4 when the f-file is very useful and the knight has bright prospects on f5.) 23…Rf6 24.Qb5 Rxe6 25.bxc5 Bh4? [Now the roof caves in. 25…dxc5 26.Qe8+ (26.Nd4!? Qg5+ 27.Kh1 Qh5 28.Qb3 c4 29.Qf3 +/-) 26…Qf8 27.Qxf8+ Bxf8 28.e5 looks like a longish but winning ending.] 26.Nxh4 Qxh4 27.Qb3 (Neatly pinning the rook and defending h3 laterally.) 27…d5 28.cxb6 1-0

Escalante (1949)-“klaxcek2” (1771)
King’s Bishop Gambit Thematic, Round 2
chess.com, Sept. 2021

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Nf6 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.Nc3 d6 7.d4 g5 8.h4 h6 9.e5 Ng4 10.Qe1 (10.Qe2!?) 10…Be7?! (Black has to chance 10…Kd8) 11.Nd5! (White is practically winning after his move.) 11…Kd8



12.Nxe7! Kxe7 13.exd6+ (White has a good position. But as White will have trouble attacking the king from open lines of the center, 13.Kg1, with the idea of hxg5, is probably better.) 13…Kxd6?? (13…Kf8 is Black’s only chance. Then White should continue with 14.Kg1.) 14.Ne5 Be6 15.Qb4+ (Mate is coming.) 1-0

Does this mean that Black cannot win against the Bishop’s Gambit? Of course not. But it’s not as easy as it might seem.

Swiderski-Teichmann
Vienna, 1903
[Fletcher, Gambits Accepted – A Survey of Opening Sacrifices, 1954]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 d5 4.Bxd5 Qh4+ 5.Kf1 g5 6.g3 Qh6! 7.d4 c6 8.Bb3? (All subsequent trouble could have been avoided if White had played 8.Bc4, with a continuation such as; 8…Nf6 9.Nc3 Bh3+ 10.Nxh3 Qxh3+ 11.Kg1 fxg3 12.Bf1.) 8…Nf6 9.Nc3 Bh3+ 10.Ke1 Bg2 11.e5 Nfd7 12.h4 Bxh1 13.Nh3 Be7 14.Qg4 gxh4 15.Bxf4 Qg6 16.Qe2 Nb6 17.a4 hxg3 18.Kd2 Bd5 19.Bxd5 cxd5 20.Rg1 Nc6 21.Nb5 Rc8 22.c3 Nc4+ 23.Kc1 N6a5 24.Qd1 Qb6 25.Qg4 Nb3+ 26.Kb1 Qg6+ 0-1

Capablanca-Beckman
Philadelphia, 1924
[This game was probably a simul.]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d5 5.Bxd5 g5 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.d4 Ne7 8.g3 fxg3 9.Kg2 Nxd5 10.hxg3 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Qxe4+ 12.Nf3 Bg4 13.Re1 Bxf3+ 14.Qxf3 Qxe1 15.Bxg5 Qe6 16.d5 Qe5 17.Bf4 Qe7 18.Qd3 Nd7 19.d6 cxd6 20.Bxd6 Qe6 21.Kf2 O-O-O 22.Re1



22…Ne5! (23.Bxe5 Rxd3 24.Bxg7 Rd2+ 25.Kf1 Qh3+) 0-1

Nietsche-Faktor
Chicago, 1942
[Chernev, 1000 Best Short Games of Chess, #191]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 g5 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.h4 d5 7.Bxd5 Nf6 8.Nc3 Nc6 9.Bxc6+ bxc6 10.d4 Ba6+ 11.Kg1 g4 12.Ne5 Qxe5! 13.dxe5 Bc5+ (14.Kh2 g3+ 15.Kh3 Bc8+ 16.Qg4 Bxg4#) 0-1

A. Miller-Curdo
Central N.E. Fall Open
Leominster, MA Nov. 11 1972
[John Curdo, “Chess Caviar”, #32 1982]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d5 5.Bxd5 Nf6 6.Nf3 Qh5 7.Nc3 Bb4 8.Ne2 (Curdo gives this move a “?”. But I think it’s more of a “?!” – RME) 8…Nxd5 9.exd5 g5 10.c3?! (RME) 10…Bd6 11.Qa4+ Kf8 12.Qd4 Rg8 13.Qf6 g4 14.Qd8+ Kg7? (What is wrong with 14..Bd7 – RME.) 15.Qg5+ Qxg5 16.Nxg5 Bf5 17.h3 Bd3 0-1 (18…Re8 or 18..h6)

Jaroslav Netusil (1990)-Miroslav Honcu (1890)
Czech Team Boys Ch., 2001

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d6 5.d4 g5 6.Nc3 Ne7 7.Nf3 Qh5 8.Kg1?! (8.Rg1 with the idea of h4.) 8…g4! 9.Ne1 f3! (And now Black has a very advanced pawn.) 10.g3?! (10.Nd3! is better.) 10…Rg8 11.Nd3 Bh6 12.Nf4 Bxf4 13.Bxf4 Ng6 (13…Be6 is an alternative.) 14.Be3 c6 15.b4 Nd7 16.b5 Nb6 17.Bd3 Be6 18.Qf1 d5 19.Kf2 (Better is 19.Re1 to bring the rook into play.) 19…O-O-O 20.a4 dxe4 21.Nxe4 Nd5 22.Bd2 f5 23.Ng5 Nf8 24.Qc1 f4 25.Nxe6 Nxe6 26.bxc6 Qh3 27.cxb7+ Kb8 28.Qf1 Qg2+ 29.Qxg2 fxg2 30.Rhe1? (White should play 30.Kxg2! and if 30…f3+, then 31.Kf2 and the White king is perfectly safe.) 30…Nxd4 31.Kxg2 Nf3 32.Red1 Nxd2 33.Rxd2 Ne3+ 34.Kf2 Nxc2 35.Rc1 fxg3+ 36.Kxg3 Nb4 37.Rc8+ Rxc8 38.bxc8=Q+ 1/2-1/2

Here are some sample lines that you might want to research before playing this version of the King’s Gambit. There are many more unknown or unclear lines than the usual (and over-used – in my opinion) 3.Nf3 lines. Use these lines to start your exploration. You might discover something new to your arsenal.

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1

4.Kf1 Qe7
4.Kf1 Ne7
4.Kf1 Nc6
4.Kf1 Nc6 5.Nf3
4.Kf1 Nf6
4.Kf1 Nf6 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.Nc3
4.Kf1 Bc5 5.d4 Bb6
4.Kf1 d6
4.Kf1 d6 5.d4
4.Kf1 d6 5.d4 Bg4 6.Nf3 g5
4.Kf1 d6 5.d4 Be6
4.Kf1 d6 5.d4 g5
4.Kf1 d6 5.Nf3 Qh5
4.Kf1 g5
4.Kf1 g5 5.Nc3 Bg7
4.Kf1 d5
4.Kf1 d5 5.exd5
4.Kf1 d5 5.exd5 Bd6
4.Kf1 d5 5.Bxd5
4.Kf1 d5 5.Bxd5 g5 6.Nf3 Qh5
4.Kf1 d5 5.Bxd5 g5 6.Nc3
4.Kf1 d5 5.Bxd5 g5 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.d4 Ne7

Hard to Argue – a TD story.

A few decades ago, I was a TD at a local chess club. It was an open tournament and maybe it is fair to say that all participants were adult males.

Some of these players were friends of mine, and other players were known mainly by their reputation.

As a TD my main responsibilities were making sure that the wall pairings were up on time, the players had the necessary equipment, and to be available if a problem comes up. Other than that, I could walk around the tournament room or read a book (an opportunity I took advantage of, as the only place quieter than a chess tournament is a library).

As it is happens, one of the players in the tournament was somewhat a former child prodigy, who was now in his early 20s. I knew his parents and we all friendly and courteous to each other. I will name this player, “J”, and his mom, “M”.

Another friend of mine, “B” was playing in the tournament and could actually win a prize (not necessary to the story, but he was good enough to occasionally win a club championship).

Both the United States Chess Federation (USCF) and International Chess Federation (FiDE – this is French acronym) state that a player loses the game if he is an hour late to the start of the round. Every player I know follows this rule. There are stories from the 1940s that a strong player arrives at the board 59 minutes late (sometimes even later than that), and with a handicap of an hour less to think about his move, somehow manages to draw (or even wins) the game.

The rule is that well-known.

Anyway, I had finished the pairings and they were up on the wall. “J” was playing Black against this person who thought he was a lawyer, argued like one sometimes, and knew all the tournament rules. Or so he thought. I will call him “K”.

The start time was 7:00 PM. Just before the wall clock reached 7 PM, I was looking for “J”, as he was the only one missing.

At exactly 7:00, I told the players to start their clocks and immediately heard the ticking of many small clocks. (After a while of playing tournament chess, one learns to tune out the ticking. It’s a useful skill to learn).

I sat down to do some paperwork. But before I could get comfortable, “K” comes to the TD table and said his opponent (“J”) was not at the table and he was going to use the wall clock to keep track of the time so he could claim victory one hour from now. Then he walked back to his table. OK, that got my attention. Was he asking me something or was he making a statement so I could not argue back?

I watched from the TD table as he walked back to his chair and sat down and looked at the wall clock. There was nothing in from of him, no set, no clock, nothing. He was sitting there, possible thinking he had an easy win. Maybe he really didn’t want to play.

I looked at him for a couple of minutes. Then I got up and slowly walked to his seat.

I told him he was welcomed to sit there. But if he wanted to “clock” his opponent, he needed a set and a clock in front of him. He looked at me shockingly, as if it was wrong for me to tell him about the rules, as he always thought he knew the rules better than I, a TD. I also wanted to give “J” somewhat extra time to get to his game.

I told him he could look up the rules and that I had a copy of the rules book in case he wanted to look it up (it is an actual rule).

He declined my offer. And sheepishly asked me if he could borrow a clock. I told him yes, he could borrow one. That was covered in the rules.

He got up and walked to another player. Well, I got the clock and came back to the TD table and said he was going to set the clock to 53 minutes as “J” was seven minutes late. I told him he had to start the time for one hour as he could not claim lost time. He agreed and made the correct change to the clock. And went back to his table, pressed the clock and played 1.d4.

Now, if you know something about tournament chess, he made a few minor errors here. One, you don’t need to make your first move on the board. You just need to start the clock. That way, your opponent cannot get more study time before he come to the board. Second, you play the move on the board and then hit the clock. At that point the move is considered complete. This is important for speed chess and time trouble.

Finally, and this only my opinion. You don’t open a chess game with 1.d4. It’s too slow of a game – you have to play 1.e4!

Meanwhile I was still looking for “J”. If something happened to him, I wanted to know. This tournament was played well before cell phones became ubiquitous.

No problems for the next hour. I finished my paperwork, my friend “B” won his game (but finished just outside the winner’s circle), and “J” didn’t show up.

How do I know at this point it was an hour? Well, “K” came up to the TD table and said it was an hour and I had to give him a point. I told I would, but it was still his responsibility to indicate that on the wall chart.

He gleefully went to enter this the result. And then put away his set. This is usually an indication that a player doesn’t want to play anymore tournament chess, and not so much that he want to clean up the place.

As “K” was putting away his set (and cleaning nothing else) “J” and “M” stepped into the tournament room. “M” asked where her son could play his (tournament) game as there didn’t seem to be any open chairs or sets.

I informed her that her son was an hour late for his game and according to the rules, his opponent claimed a win by forfeit.

She got angry and demanded her son to play the scheduled tournament game as it wasn’t her fault that she was an hour late (actually it probably was, esp. if she was the driver). But I kept calm and spoke quietly. I didn’t want to risk a friendship, nor did I want to create a disturbance for the other players.

She wanted me to reinstate the original pairings. I could not do that as we had a time limit for use of the building and some of us (including me) had to wake up early the next morning for work.

She wanted me to take the time lost, divided in half and each player would lose a ½ hour on the clock, just to be fair. (Sorry, I could not do that.)

About this time, “J” started to tell, almost beg, his mother that it was not that important and he was willing to go along with the TD’s suggestion. Other players, including some where still playing their game, began to follow the conversation.

She demanded how could I do this to his son. I told her that I had nothing against her son; I still thought he was an intelligent young man, who would do well in his life.

She wanted me to talk the situation over with his opponent and get him to play the game with her son.

I told her that I would do that. But the choice was going to be his to make.

So, I got up from my chair, walked over to “K” and told him that “J” was still willing to play the original tournament game with him. I also mentioned that it would be his decision and I would respect whatever decision he made.

He curtly replied, “no”. And then I could swear he had an evil grin on his face. Did he hear our conversation?

I thanked him and walked back to “M”, I told her that “K” said no and there was nothing else I could do for her or her son.

She got even more angry than before and told me to do my job. (I thought my job was to run a tournament, and not make exceptions). I didn’t even get a chance to tell her that I did everything possible and legal to give “J” some extra time to get to the board.

Her last words to me were, “It is your fault that we are no longer friends”.

I began saying, “I would hate to end a friendship for this”. But she was already walking out the door by the time I got between the second and third word.

I never saw her or “J” after that episode.

My friend, “B”, and some other players said I did the right thing. I quietly replied, “Thank you” and walked back to the TD table. And got through a few more chapters of a book.

Game of the Month

Starting in the 1940s Chess Review began a regular article titled, “Game of the Month”, where well-known and top players would write about a contemporary game and provide analysis and notes. Most articles were between one and two pages long.

When Chess Review merged with Chess Life, the new magazine was titled Chess Life and Review. The Game of the Month was continued, and some very good players contributed to the monthly article.

Later on, the magazine dropped the latter part of the title and was known as simply as Chess Life. The Game of the Month was still featured and treasured by many players.

But in the last few years, the Game of the Month has mysteriously disappeared. Was it because the cost of printing such an article became prohibitive? Or was it a casualty of the Internet, where are a player can analyze any game he desires and go into deeper detail than a monthly magazine can possibly do?

Here is perhaps the best game to be featured in that monthly article. It is easy to follow, the notes are clear and the Grandmaster who wrote the article was a well-respected player who must have put in many hours in his creation. This was the time before computers, word processors, the Internet, chess engines, and even ECO.

And here it is:

Many-headed Dragon

Mocking the move 1.b4, Tartakower named it the Orangutan Opening, but chess players took the famous grandmaster and writer seriously and adopted his title for this queer system. There is another name drawn from the (in this case non-existent) animal world which appears in chess opening theory. The chain of five connected Black pawns reminded someone of the head and tail of a dragon, and thus we have a strange name for an important line in the Sicilian Defense. Ill-informed about the origin of the name, some believed that the “Dragon” was Black’s powerful King Bishop, hidden on g7 and ready to breathe fire at the appropriate moment.

But apart from its fearsome name, one is surprised by the large number of tournament games played with this double-edged line in recent years and by the small number of draws in those games, the wheel of fortune favoring sometimes White, at other times Black. Despite many forced continuations which lead to clear decisions in this sharp system, it is extremely difficult to determine finally which side a given line favors. Just when one thinks he has found a refutation for a particular opponent’s conception, another idea or even a single move appears to reveal that the Dragon has many more heads than one to be lopped off.

The game below is just such an example. The winner spent years investigating the risks incurred in playing this variation and made it one of his strong weapons. The dangerous “Dragon” has been grateful to the man who was courageous enough to use it and has contributed its share of precious points toward his title as the new Yugoslav champion.

Planinec (2535)-Velimirović (2525)
Yugoslavia Ch.
Novi Sad, 1975
[GM Gligorić, Game of the Month – Many Headed Dragon”, Chess and Review, June 1975]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 [Premature is 6…Ng4? 7.Bb5+. Experimental is 6…a6 (compare to the note after Black’s 7th move.) 7.f3 Nbd7 8.Qd2 b5 9.a4 bxa4 10.Rxa4 Bg7 11.Be2 O-O 12.O-O Nc5 13.Ra3 Bb7 14.Rfa1 Qc8 15.Nb3 Nxb3 16.Rxb3 Nd7 17.Ra2 Qc7 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.exd5 a5 20.Bb5 Nb6 21.Qd3 Nd7 22.Rba3 Rfb8 23.Bxd7 Qxd7 24.b3 Qc7 25.c4 Rb7 26.Bd2 with advantage for White in GM Kavalek-GM Bilek, Sousse Izt., Sept. 1967.] 7.f3 (This signifies the beginning of the Rauzer Attack. White’s main weapon against the Dragon Variation. With this move White secures control of space and prepare a pawn assault on the Kingside.) 7…Nc6

[After 8.Bc4 Black may also play 8…Qb6 (threatening 9…Nxe4):


9.Bb3 allows 9…Ng4! and 9.Ncb5 a6 10.Nf5 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 gxf5 12.Bxa5 axb5 13.Bxb5 Rxa5 (White) plays a rather high price for Black’s Queen (as in Mohring-Hennings, Zinnowitz 1965); so there are two main alternatives left to White:

1) The sacrificial line 9.Nf5 Qxb2 10.Nxg7+ Kf8 11.Nd5 Nxd5 12.Qxd5

2) The solid line 9.Bg5 Qc7 10.g4 Bd7! 11.g5 Nhh5 12.Nd5 Qa5+ 13.c3.]

8.Qd2 O-O 9.Bc4 (Another basic move in the Rauzer Atttack. White occupies the important diagonal controls the central square d5.) 9…Bd7 10.O-O-O (This defines the position of White’s King too early. The more accurate order of moves is 10.a4, waiting for the opponent to clarify his plan of action on the opposite wing.) 10…Qb8 (Stein’s idea, which would be pointless after 10.a4 because of the positional 11.Nd5 or the attacking 11.a5.) 11.Bb3

[Fruitless is 11.Nd5 Nxd5 12.Bxd5 e6! 13.Bb3 (or 13.Bc4 Rc8) 13…a5. Also, too slow is 11.g4 b5! 12.Bb3 (if Black’s b5-pawn is taken, 12…Ne5 would follow) 12…a5 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.Bxd5 with chances for both sides, Sutein-Keene, Hastings 1967/8. Interesting is 11.h4 Rc8 (weaker is 11…a5 12.Bh6! Nxe4? 13.Nxe4 Bxd4 14.h5 d5 15.Bxd5 Qe5 16.Bxf8 Qxd5 17.Qh6! Nb4 18.Rxd4 Qxd4 19.Bxe7 Black resigns, Spassky-Levy, Nice Ol., 1974) or 11…b5 offering a pawn sacrifice for the initiative in connection with Black’s Ne5.]

11…a5 12.Ndb5 [Because of his premature 10th move, White has no time for active play and is forced to defend. Interesting is 12.a4 Rc8 (Playable is 12…Nxd4 13.Bxd4 b5.) 13.Ndb5 Nb4 14.Kb1 d5 15.exd5 Bxb5 16.Bf4 Rxc3 17.Bxb8 Rxb3 18.Be5 Bd3 19.cxd3 Nfxd5 20.Bxg7 Kxg7, draw! 1/2-1/2, Browne-Sosonko, Wijk aan Zee 1975.] 12…a4 (This pawn sacrifice will displace White’s pieces and open the a-file to counterplay by Black.) 13.Bxa4 (The soundness of this pawn sacrifice could be better tested by 13.Nxa4 Na5 14.Qe2 Nxb3+ 15.axb3 d5 16.exd5 Qe5 17.f4 Qf5 18.Kb1 Rfc8 19.Na7 Rc7 with a complicated game as in Savon-Stein, 30th USSR Ch., 1962.) 13…Rc8 14.Qe2 Na5 15.Bb3 (Otherwise 15…Nc4 would follow.) 15…Nxb3+ 16.axb3 (Not 16.cxb3 Rxa2.) 16…d5 (Prepares the centralization of Black’s Queen, one of the points of Black’s 10th move.) 17.exd5 (White’s Knight on c3 is needed to cover the weakness of the long diagonal.) 17…Qe5 (The first threat is 18…Bxb5.) 18.f4 Ra1+! (If 18…Qf5 19.Nd4) 19.Kd2 Ne4+ 20.Ke1 (Black would penetrate more easily after 20.Nxe4 Rxc2+! 21.Kxc2 Qxe4+.) 20…Rxd1+ 21.Kxd1 (White has no better reply: both 21.Nxd1 Qxd5 and 21.Qxd1 Nxc3 look worse.) 21…Qf5 22.Kc1 (White has to spend time looking out for his King’s safety. 22.Nxe4 Qxe4 would make Black’s task easier.)


22…Ra8! 23.Kb1 Nxc3+ 24.Nxc3 Qf6! (Another key move in Black’s attack.) 25.Bc1 [The threatened mating combination starting with 25…Qxc3 forces White to lock king even more into its dangerous position. 25.Qd3 Bf5 26.Qc4 doesn’t work because of 26…b5. (One sample line is 27.Qc6 Rc8 28.Qxb5 Rxc3 29.bxc3 Qxc3 30.Qb8+ Bf8 31.Qe5 Qxc2+ 32.Ka1 Bg7! – RME)] 25… b5 26.Ne4 (White’s only remaining chance is to prepare an escape route on c2 and at the same time to try to cover that weak diagonal.) 26…Qa6 27.c3 Bxc3 28.Nxc3 (After 28.bxc3 Qa1+ 29.Kc2 Ra2+ Black would win immediately.) 28…Bf5+ 29.Ne4 Qa2+ 30.Kc2 Rc8+ 31.Kd2 Qxb3 32.Qd3 (White has to give the piece back with his King still in the open.) 32…Qb4+ 33.Ke3 Rc4 34.Nf6+ (The piece is lost in any case, and this way Black’s pawn mass may be less valuable.) 34…exf6 35.Qa3 Re4+ 36.Kf2 Qd4+ 37.Kg3 Qxd5 38.Qf3 (If 38.h3 Re2) 38…Qe6 39.Rd1 Kg7 40.Rd3 Rc4 41.Re3 Be4 42.Qe2 Qf5 [Here Black could have also had a won game by 47…Rxc1 48.Rxe4 Qc6 (Black’s threats include …f5 and …Rc2. – RME) White sealed his move now.] 43.Rc3 Ra4 (Of course, Black has to retain all his pieces on the board. His basic plan is to keep his Bishop on the long diagonal and to penetrate with his heavy pieces along the two central files.) 44.Qd2 Ra7 45.Qe3 Rd7 46.Rc5 Qe6 47.Kf2 (If White tried 47.f5, then 47…Qd6+ 48.Kf2 g5 would be the best play, capturing White’s f-pawn later.) 47…Qd6 48.b4 Bb7 49.h3 Qd1 0-1

What Would You Do?

Tales from Tournaments

(1) Team A and Team B are playing in a team tournament. All teams have four players on their team. This is so that all teams involved a match have an equal number of white and black on the boards.

Team A is considered a favorite to win the event while Team B will probably finish in the middle of the tournament.

A few moves into the match, it is becoming obvious that Team B is simply copying moves from Team A. Team A player would play 1.e4 on board 1 and then the player on Team B would copy the move on board 2. After a few moves identical position would appear on boards on and two. And a different, but identical position would appear on boards 3 and 4.

You are the captain of Team A. What do you do?

And now you are the Tournament Director (TD). The incident has come to your attention. What do you do?

(2) At another tournament Player 1 refuses to play another player because he is Black. Of you want, the second player is gay, a woman, a person in a wheelchair, a Christian (he is wearing a crucifix), an atheist, a Communist (he is wearing a red shirt), or he can speak Spanish).

You are the second player. What you do?

You are the TD. You are convinced that above is true because player 1 has exclaimed, “I refuse to play my opponent because he is Black (or gay, a woman, etc.)” Again, what do you do?

(3) You are a TD in a big money tournament in the United States. One of the players brings out his cell phone and places it on the table. He tells you it is for music, he likes listening to music when playing. And then puts on his earphones.

What do you do?

Rulings and Recommendations Here :

Find the “!”

The “!” of course is referring to good, or even brilliant, moves. And most of the time, this also the move is tactical in some way, although a few may be more positional than tactical.

Your job here is find these moves in the next six games. To make finding these moves more fun, and slightly easier to solve, there is a clue before each game.

And if you need help or just want to see the end of the games, download the PDF file titled, “!_Moves”.

Here we go!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1) First move in the combination might be easy to find. But can you find all the following moves?

MR. Woodcock-Peter E. Williams
British Universities Ch., Preliminaries C
Manchester, Apr. 13 1970

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Be3 Qa5 7.Qd2 cxd4 8.Bxd4 Nge7 9.Bd3 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Nc6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Be2 c5 13.O-O d4 14.a3 dxc3 15.axb4 Qxb4? (White’s queen is more active than Black’s and should be taken or exchanged as soon as possible. 15…cxd2 is best.) 16.bxc3 Qb6 17.Rfb1 Qc7

2) A positional move as well as a tactical one.

GM Arthur Bisguier-Paul Brandts
Manhattan C.C. Ch.
New York, 1967
[Hans Kmoch, “Games from Recent Events”, Chess Review, May 1967]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Qe2 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 Bg4 9.d3 (Intent on rendering the pin on his Knight useless, White avoids 9.d4 as well as the weakening h3.) 9…Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.Re1 Nc6 12.Nbd2 Nh5 (Black ought still to castle. He is only compromising his own position in trying to act against White’s unweakened Kingside.) 13.Nf1 g5 (And this weakening is too serious. 13…g6 is hardly consistent but playable: 14.Bh6 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Bg5 16.Bb3 Nf4.) 14.h3! Nf4 (Black has to save this Knight: 14…Be6 or 14…Bd7 permits 15.Nxe5! etc.) 15.Bxf4 Bxf3 16.Qxf3 exf4 17.Qh5! (This blockading move thwarts Black’s plan thoroughly.) 17…Qb6 18.Rad1 Ne5 19.d4 cxd4 20.cxd4 Rc8 21.Bb3 Nc4 (Now 21…Nc6 22.e5 makes decisive headway.) 22.Nh2 Nxb2 23.Qxf7+ Kd8 24.Rd2 Nc4 25.Bxc4 bxc4 26.Nf3 Qb5 27.d5 Qe8 28.Qg7 Qf8 29.Qc3 (Naturally White avoids trading Queens. Now the showdown looms on the Queenside while Black’s Queen strays on the other wing. 30.Nd4 is a strong threat.) 29…Bf6 30.Qa5+ Kd7 31.Qa4+ Kd8

3) Sometimes castling is the best move. And sometimes it is not.

Rachel Crotto-Kathleen Hindle
Women’s Ol.
Haifa, Oct. 30, 1976

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Ng4 9.Bb5+ Bd7 (Back rightly avoids 9..Kf8? 10.Ne6+ fxe6 11.Qxd8+ Kf7 12.O-O+. So, what to do now? White plays a simple move and yet winning, move. But White still has yet to prove it.) 10.Qxg4 Bxb5 11.Ndxb5 Bxe5 12.Bh6 a6?

4) You don’t need to see it all the way to know if a move is good

Andre Lilienthal-Jose Raul Capablanca
Hastings, 1935

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 b6 6.f3 d5 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 Ba6 9.e4?! Bxc4 (Black also has 9…g5 or 9…dxc4 which are probably better.) 10.Bxc4 dxc4 11.Qa4+ Qd7 12.Qxc4 Qc6 13.Qd3 Nbd7 14.Ne2 Rd8 15.O-O a5 16.Qc2 Qc4 17.f4 Rc8 18.f5 18..e5 19.dxe5 Qxe4 (Possibly better is 19…Qc5+.)

5) Black only needs one piece!

V. Rubenchik (2308)-Saul Wanetick
US Amateur Team Ch. East, 1996
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.g3!? Bd7 7.Bg2 e6 8.O-O a6 9.a4 Be7 10.Kh1 O-O 11.f4 Nxd4 12.Qxd4 Bc6 13.Be3 Rc8 14.a5?! Ng4 15.Bg1 Bf6 16.Qb4 Bxc3 17.bxc3 f5 18.Rfd1 fxe4 19.Rxd6 Qf6 20.Bxe4?

6) Again, sometimes it just takes one piece. Or two of the same.

GM Inkiov-IM Lukin
Plovdiv, 1984
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Nbd7 7.Qd2 e6 8.f3 Qc7 N 9.g4 h6 10.h4 Ne5 11.Rg1 Nfd7 12.f4 Nc4 13.Bxc4 Qxc4 14.g5 hxg5 15.hxg5 g6 16.O-O-O b5 17.b3! Qc7 18.f5 Ne5?! 19.Rh1 Rxh1 20.Rxh1 Bd7 21.fxe6 fxe6 22.Rh7! Qa5 23.Kb1! O-O-O?

The answers, if you need them, can be found here :

Canadian Chess Chat

Last week I was pleasantly surprised. I had ordered set of Canadian Chess Chat magazines from the 1977.  What made it so fun to read?

First, the games were printed in algebraic notation (AN), years before Chess Life did. The annotations were concise and clear and the games contained enough diagrams to assist the reader with his enjoyment. Our northern neighbors did a good job with magazine.

If I am allowed note one minor gripe, it is that some of the notes seem to have translated from another language, most probably French. There are naturally some glitches and mixed-up of tenses. But they are fun to read!

The publication, Canadian Chess Chat, was published from 1974 to about 1992.

Here are some games from the magazine.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Gabor Kadas-IM Enrico Paoli
Agard, Hungary Sept. 1976
[“Selected Games”, Canadian Chess Chat, March 1977]
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.d4 d5 4.e5 e6?! (4…Nc6 5.a3 Bf5 or 5.Ne2 Bf5 6.Nf4 e6 looks better for Black.) 5.a3 Nc6 6.axb4 Bxb4+ 7.c3 Be7?! (7…Bf8 might be better.) 8.Bd3 h5 9.g4 hxg4 10.Qxg4 g6 11.Na3 Bxa3 12.Bxa3 Qh4 13.Qe2 Nge7 14.Nf3 Qh5 15.h4 Nf5 16.Kd2 Qg4 17.Rag1 Qf4+ 18.Kd1 (Of course, not 18.Kc2?? Qxf3 19.Qxf3 Ncxd4+.) 18…Qh6 19.Ng5 Bd7 20.Qb2 b6 21.Rg4 Qg7 22.c4 dxc4 23.Bxc4 O-O-O 24.Ke2 Kb7 25.Ra1 Bc8 (On 25…Rxh4 26.Rxh4 Nxh4 27.Bc5! and White’s attack comes through. Black tries to turn against the weak d-pawn.) 26.Nf3 Rd7 27.Bc5 Rhd8


28.d5!! (An excellent move which decides the game.) 28…Nb8 (28…exd5 29.Bxd5! Rxd5 30.Rxa7+ Kxa7 31.Qxb6+ Ka8 32.Ra4+ leads to mate.) 29.Rxa7+!! 1-0 (29…Kxa7 30.Qxb6+ Ka8 31.Bd3 +-)

K. Monro-G. Zerkowitz
Vancouver Island Open
Canada, 1977
[Canadian Chess Chat, May 1977]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nc6 4.c3 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Nf6 6.Nxf6+ Qxf6 7.Nf3 h6 8.Bd3 Bd7 9.Be3 Bd6 10.Nd2 e5 11.d5 Nd8 12.c4 Qe7 13.Qc2 Bc5 14.O-O Bxe3 15.fxe3 O-O 16.Rf2 Qg5 17.Qc3 f6 18.Raf1 Nf7 19.Ne4 Qh4 20.Rxf6 gxf6 21.Nxf6+ Kg7 22.Nxd7 Rfe8 23.Nf6 Re7 24.Ne4 Rae8 25.Ng3 Qg5 26.Rf3 Kh8 27.Ne4 Qg7 28.Rg3 Ng5 29.Qb4 Rg8? 30.Nxg5! 1-0

GM Efim Geller-Andrew Whiteley
European Team Ch.
Moscow, Apr. 1977
[“European Team Championship”, Canadian Chess Chat, June 1977]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bb3 b4 9.Ne2 Bb7 10.O-O c5 11.Nf4 cxd4? (This move which opens the center, the e-file, is absolutely wrong. Better was 11…Nb6) 12.exd4 Nb6 13.Ng5 Bd5 14.Nxd5 Nfxd5 15.Ba4+ Nd7 16.Qh5 Qe7 17.Re1 g6 18.Qf3 N5b6 (Threatened Nxf7 and Bc6. Now Geller finishes the “job” in a few more moves.) 19.d5 Nxd5 20.Nxf7 Qxf7 21.Qxd5 O-O-O 22.Qa8+   1-0

GM Velimirović-GM Romanishin (2595)
Keres Memorial
Tallinn, 1977
[“Keres Memorial in Tallinn”, Canadian Chess Chat, July 1977]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Be7 4.e5 b6 5.g4! Ba6 6.Bxa6 Nxa6 7.f4 h5!? 8.gxh5 Bh4+?! (Better was 8…Bb4 9.Nf3 Rxh5 10.Ng5 g6.) 9.Kf1 Ne7 10.Qe2 Nb8 11.Nd1 Nbc6 12.c3 Qd7 (Better was 12…Nf5 13.Ne3 Nce7.) 13.Ne3 g6 (There was no other choice was White threatens Nf3. Now, on the opening f- and h-files Black gets counterplay.) 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.Nf3 O-O-O 16.Rg1! Rdf8 17.Rg4 g5 18.Ng2 Nf5 19.Kg1? (Misjudges the position! The h-file is more dangerous! 19.fxg5 was the right move, for ex.: 19…Qh7 20.Bf4, or 19…Nce7 20.Kg1 Ng6 21.Bf4 Qh7 22.Rf1 and after exchanges on h4 White will have the advantage) 19…Qh7 20.fxg5


20…Bg3!!  21.Bf4 (If 21.hxg3 the following nice ending is possible: Nfxd4 22.cxd4 Qh1+ 23.Kf2 Rh2 24.Qa6+ Kb8 25.Ke3 Rxf3+ 26.Kxf3 Qxg2+ 27.Ke3 Qf2+ etc.) 21…Qh5! 22.Rxg3 Nxg3 23.Bxg3 Rxf3 24.Re1 Rxg3! 25.hxg3 Qh2+ 0-1 (If 26.Kf2 Rf8+ 27.Ke3 Qxg3+ 28.Kd2 Rf2 wins the queen.)

Alexander Zakharov-GM Anatoly Karpov
USSR Ch.
Moscow Dec 13 1976
[“Games from the 44th USSR Championship”, Canadian Chess Chat, Sept. 1977]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 c5 6.f3 d6 7.e4 Nc6 8.Ne2 b6 9.Ng3 O-O 10.d5 Na5 11.Bd3 Ba6 12.Qe2 Nd7! 13.f4 exd5 14.cxd5 Bxd3 15.Qxd3 c4 (Otherwise White will play c3-c4. And the square c5 will give a good place for the knight.) 16.Qf3 Nb3 17.Rb1 Re8 18.O-O Ndc5 19.Be3 Nxe4 20.Nxe4 Qe7 21.Nd2 (White’s only chance is in exchanges.) 21…Qxe3+ 22.Qxe3 Rxe3 23.Nxc4 Rxc3 24.Nxd6 Nd2 25.Rbc1 Rd3 26.Rfd1 Rxd5 27.Ne4 Nb3 28.Rxd5 Nxc1 29.Kf2 Nb3 30.Rd7 f5 31.Nd6 Nc5 (Arrives in time, otherwise no chances for winning the game.) 32.Re7 g6 33.Nf7 Kf8 34.Rc7 Ne6 35.Rb7 Re8 36.Nd6? (36.Ng5! gives better chances for a draw in the rook endgame) 36…Re7 37.Rb8+ Kg7 38.g3 Nd4 39.Ne8+ Kf7 40.Nd6+ Ke6 41.Nc4 Kd5 0-1

GM Smyslov-Grigorian
USSR Ch., 1977
[“Games from the 44th USSR Championship”, Canadian Chess Chat, Sept. 1977]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e6 7.O-O Qc7 8.f4 Nbd7 9.a4 b6 10.Bf3 Bb7 11.Qe2 e5!?  12.Nd5! Nxd5 13.exd5 g6! 14.Nc6 Bg7 15.fxe5 (Coming into consideration 15.c4 O-O 16.f5 Rfe8 17.Be4 Rac8 18.f6 Bf8 19.Ra3 and Rh3 with a serious king-side attack.) 15…Nxe5 16.Nxe5 Bxe5 (If 16…dxe5 17.d6 Qd7 18.Bh6!) 17.Bh6 f6! 18.c4 Kf7 19.Bg4 Bc8 20.Bxc8 Raxc8?? (20…Qxc8 was necessary, on which Smyslov planned 21.Be3 Re8 22.Qd3!) 21.Rxf6+!! (And the game suddenly decided due to the unprotected king.) 21…Kxf6 22.Qg4 Qc5+ 23.Kh1 Ke7 24.Bg5+! 1-0

Obviously I am not the only one who enjoyed this magazine. If you watched The Queen’s Gambit you may have noticed this “Easter egg” that was sitting on a table.

Happy Birthday Zorica!

… who is celebrating her 60th birthday today (Apr. 8). She is a Serbian player who earned her Woman International Master (WIM) in 1982. And won the Yugoslav Women’s Championship twice (1985 and 1987).

She does well in active piece play and unclear positions. Here are a few games of this still young woman.

Bettina Trabert (2165)-IM Zorica Nikolin (2165)
Women’s Ol.
Dubai, 1986
[B22]
1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.Bc4 Qc7 6.Qe2 Nb6 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.Nf3 d5 9.O-O
(9.exd6!?) 9…Bg4 10.Bf4 e6 11.Rc1?! (White gets out of the pin with 11.cxd4 Nxd4 12.Qe3 Nf5 13.Bxf5 Bxf5.) 11…dxc3 (Black now has the advantage.) 12.Nxc3 a6 13.a3 Be7 14.b4 Qd8 15.Rab1 Nd4 16.Qe3 Nxf3+ 17.gxf3 Bh5 18.Ne2 Bg6 19.Rb3 Bxd3 20.Rxd3 Rc8 21.Rxc8 Nxc8 22.Nd4 Nb6 23.Bg3 Nc4 24.Qe2 Qd7 25.f4 g6 26.f3 O-O 27.Be1 Rc8 28.Qg2 Kh8 29.Rc3 Nb6 30.Qc2 Rc4 31.Rxc4 dxc4 (Black can also play 31…Nxd4, but it’s important to gain a promising potential passed pawn.) 32.Bf2 Qa4 (> 32…Qc7) 33.Qc1 Bd8 34.Ne2 Qd7 35.Bc5?! (> 35.Nd4)


35…Qd3! -+ 36.Nd4 Nd5 37.Qc2 Qxc2 38.Nxc2 b6 39.Be3 b5 40.Kf2 Kg8 41.Nd4 Bb6 (Black simplifies by trading down and win with her advanced c-pawn.) 0-1

WGM Shilan Liu (2325)-WIM Zorica Nikolin (2325)
Women’s Izt.
Tuzla, 1987
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2
(The tactical Dilworth, a good surprise opening. Advantage lies with the person who either studied it more deeply or is more tactically inclined.) 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ (13…Qf6 is an alternate move.) 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Kg1 g5 16.h3!? (16.Nb3, the most common move, runs into 16…g4! 17.Qd3 Rf7, and Black probably has a slight advantage. Proving it will take more analysis than we have space here. We have to ask, did White know this and willing avoided it?) 16…h5 17.Nf1 g4 18.hxg4 hxg4 19.Ng5 Qf2+ 20.Kh1 Qh4+ 21.Kg1 Qf2+ 22.Kh2 1/2-1/2

Ljupco Radicevski (2159)-WIM Zorica Nikolin (2230)
Skopje Open, Dec. 17 1998
[A03]
1.f4 d5 2.g3 Nf6
[ECO gives 2…Qd6 3.Bg2 e5 4.fxe5 Qxe5 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Nf3 Qh5 7.O-O Bc5+ 8.d4 Bb4 (unclear), citing Wade-Barcza, Belgrade 1954.] 3.Bg2 c5 4.d3 Nc6 5.Nf3 g6 6.O-O Bg7 7.Qe1 d4 8.Na3 Nd5 9.Bd2 O-O 10.c3 Bf5!? (More common is 10…e5. The text move indicates that Black wants prefers piece development over space.) 11.h3?! h5! (Only now does Black seek space for her pieces in light of White loosening of his kingside.) 12.Nc2 Qd7 13.Kh2 e5 14.c4 Nde7 15.Nh4 Rae8 16.b4 exf4 17.gxf4 b6 18.b5 Nd8 19.Qg3 Be6 20.Bf3 Nf5 21.Nxf5 Bxf5 22.Rg1 f6 23.Ne1 Qc7 24.Ng2 g5 25.Bxh5 Re7 26.Raf1 Ne6 27.Bf3 Bh6 28.Bd5 Kh8 29.Qf3 Rh7 30.Rh1


30…g4! 31.Qf2 Rg8 32.hxg4 Bxf4+ 33.Kg1 Bh2+ 34.Rxh2 Qxh2mate 0-1

WIM Zorica Nikolin (2209)-WGM Svetlana Prudnikova (2411)
Yugoslavia Women’s Ch.
Belgrade, Oct. 19 1999
[B89]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9.O-O-O O-O 10.Rhg1 Nxd4

[There is nothing wrong with this move of course. But 10…Na5 11.Bd3 b5 is more common. And Black still has to be careful.

Klaic (2390)-Barlow (2510), 15th World Correspondence Ch., continued with 12.g4 b4 13.Na4!? Bd7? 14.Nb6! Qxb6 (14…Rb8 15.Nxd7 Nxd7 16.Bxa6) 15.Nxe6 Qxe3+ 16.Qxe3 fxe6 17.g5 Nh5 18.e5 d5 19.g6 1-0.]

11.Bxd4 b5 12.Bb3 b4 13.Na4 Bd7 14.e5 Bb5 15.Qe1 (15.Qe3!?) 15…Nd7 16.exd6 Bxd6 17.Nc5 Nxc5 18.Bxc5 Qg5+ 19.Be3 Qe7 20.Kb1 a5 21.c4 bxc3 22.Qxc3 Rfc8 23.Qd4 Bc5 24.Qe4 Bxe3 25.fxe3? (25.Bc2!) 25…a4 26.Bc2 g6 27.a3 Bc6 28.Qd3 Rab8 29.Ka1 Be8? [29…Bxg2! 30.Rxg2? (30.Bc1!) Qb7!] 30.Rd2 Bb5 31.Qe4 Bc6 32.Qd3 Qb7 33.Bb1 Bd5 34.e4 Bb3 35.Qe3 Rd8 36.h4 Rxd2 37.Qxd2 Qe7 38.g3 e5 39.Rc1 Rd8 40.Qe3 h5 41.Qb6 Qd6 42.Qxd6 Rxd6 43.Ba2? (43.Bc2!) 43…Rd3 44.Bxb3 axb3 45.a4 f5 46.Kb1 fxe4 47.a5 Rd6 48.Re1 Kf7 49.Kc1 Rc6+ 50.Kd1 Ra6 51.Rxe4 Rxa5 52.Rb4 Ke6 53.Rxb3 Kf5 54.Rb6 Ra1+ 55.Ke2 Rg1 56.Kf2 Rc1 57.Ke3 Rc2 58.Kf3 Rc1 59.Ke3 Rf1 60.Ke2 Rb1 61.Ke3 Rc1 1/2-1/2

FIDE’s New Variant

GM Daniel King will have a bunny on the chess board if he has his way.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FIDE, the world governing body of chess, announced a new version of the game today.

The new version would make chess more popular for TV audiences if the pace of the game was speeded up.

The popular Netflix show, “The Queen’s Gambit” may have something to do with it, officials say.

The originator of this new game was Grandmaster Daniel King of England, who was of the opinion that chess was too slow of a game to ever become popular on TV.

His FIDE page, with his titles, can be found here.

https://ratings.fide.com/profile/400068

He even has a Wikipedia entry.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_King_(chess_player)

The new version would leave the 8 x 8 board and pieces intact. The only change is for each player to secretly select a file, write it down, fold it the paper so no one else can see it, and then place the paper next to the clock so it is in full view, but not the content, to everyone.

At any time during the game which a player who wishes to move a pawn on that file, and that pawn is blocked by a single Piece or Pawn (POP), can jump over that POP and land on the square just behind the POP.

At this stage, according to GM King, this pawn becomes a bunny, ready to keep jumping until it becomes a new queen.

If the player who makes such a move is challenged by an opponent, he can unfold and show his paper that had previously been kept next to the clock.

Questions were raised by some members of the press. Mr. King answered them all with pride and confidence. Here are a select few.

Q: What if two pawns of the same color are on the same file?

A: If a pawn is directly behind another, then that one can jump over the other pawn. The pawn that is now behind, can now leap over the other one on the player’s next turn. If left alone, these two pawns can leap-frog over each other and two queens can come at a quicker pace.

Q: This proposal sounds like typical British humor; even more like a Monty Python skit.

A: Is that a question? The term “bunny” comes from the fact that bunnies and rabbits do jump. The knight already leaps so we couldn’t really use the word “horse”. Frogs also leap, but I think you might have more problems with that word. This announcement also comes close to Easter. So, “bunny” is it.

Q: What benefits does this version offer over the classical, non-bunny, chess?

A:  One the biggest problem we have selling chess to the television audience is when the position is locked with pawns, each of them facing another pawn of the opposite color. Have one of those pawns with the ability to jump over will open the position in which at least one of the players may need to scramble. That will be good for ratings.

Another advantage is that since the file that supports “bunnies”, is unknown to everyone except the player, it creates a mystery. And of course, a player may choose to never use this bunny feature, in which case the mystery may never be answered. That also would be good for TV ratings.

We are still working on a symbol for the bunny jump that would be easy to write, understand, and use. We could use an Easter egg, but I really think “bh”, for “bunny hop” would suffice.

With that, GM King had to answer a phone call from England. He promised that this variation was expected to make it’s first appearance at a FIDE event sometime this Spring.

The Hennig-Schara Gambit

I briefly touched on the Hennig-Schara Gambit in my last post (an opening named after two players).

But after I reviewed it, I thought it might be a fascinating subject to share. So here are some surprising opening moves for you, the good reader.

The gambit starts with the moves, 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4. White gets an early advantage while Black develops. The game can easily enter lines where tactics and unclear continuations come into play.

Basically, with the c-file and d-file open, Black’s dream position would be one that he would castle queenside and have the enemy king stuck in the center. This obviously cannot happen in all games as can White castle kingside and Black often has a problem developing his b8-bishop, necessary for him to castle queenside.

But before going over the main lines, let’s first take a look at well-known trap that many Black players fall into, especially in speed chess.

Fidlow-I. Mayer
Berlin, 1950
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.dxe6 dxc3?

6.exf7+ Ke7 7.fxg8=N+! Rxg8 8.Bg5+ 1-0

Instead of 5…dxc3? Black should have responded with 5…Bxe6 and gain a tiny, minute advantage.

Zeljko Mackovsek-FM Sergey Trussevich
Josipa Ipavca Memorial
Sentjur, Slovenia, Sept. 14 2011
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.dxe6 Bxe6 6.Ne4 Nf6 7.Nxf6+ Qxf6 8.Nf3 Nc6 9.g3 Bc5 10.Bg2 O-O 11.O-O Rfe8 12.Bg5 Qg6 13.a3 h6 14.Bf4 Rad8 15.Ne1 Bg4 16.Bf3 Bh3 17.Bg2 Bg4 18.Bf3 Bxf3 19.Nxf3 d3 20.exd3 Rxd3 21.Nd2 Nd4 22.Qb1 Ne2+ 23.Kh1 Nxf4 24.Qc1 Qc6+ 25.f3 Re2 0-1

Which leaves White with taking the pawn. He can either take it immediately with 5.Qxd4 or the move after with 5.Qa4+ Bd7 (played to disrupt Black’s development and close the d-file, at least for the moment).

White’s first plan, 5.Qxd4 is an obvious move. Black’s response is overwhelmingly in favor of 5…Nc6, if only because 5…Nf6 fails.

Marshall-Howard
Sylvan Beach, 1904
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nf6?! 6.e4 exd5 7.exd5 Be6 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.d6 Nc6 10.Qd3 Be6 11.Bf4 a6 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13.Nf3 Qb6 14.O-O Rd8 15.Rfe1 Nh5 16.Rad1 Qb7 17.Be5 Nf6 18.Bxf6 Rxd6 19.Nd4 gxf6 20.Ne4 c5 21.Nxd6+ Bxd6 22.Nxe6 1-0

And White almost has to play, after 5.Qxd4 Nc6, the move 6.Qd1, as 6.Qa4 fails spectacularly.

Rejfir-Menchik
Maribor, 1934
1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qa4 exd5 7.Nf3 Bc5 8.Qb5 Qd6 9.g3 Nf6 10.Bg5 Ne4 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.Nd2 O-O 13.Nxe4 Bb4+ 14.Bd2 Bxd2+ 15.Nxd2 Nd4 16.Qc4 Be6 17.Ne4 Qb6 18.Qd3 Rac8 19.Nc3 Qxb2 20.Rb1 Qxc3+ 0-1

R. Q. Martin-Radoicic
New York Open 1967
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qa4 exd5 7.Nf3 d4 8.Nb5 Bd7! 9.a3 Rc8 10.Nbxd4


10…Bb4+!! 11.Kd1 Nxd4 12.Qxb4 Nc2 13.Qe4+ Be6+ 0-1

And now with the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qd1, a tabiya has been reached, with chances for both sides.

Smyslov-Aramanovic
Moscow Ch., 1945
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qd1 exd5 7.Qxd5 Be6 8.Qxd8+ Rxd8 9.e3 Nb4 10.Bb5+ Ke7 11.Ke2 Nc2 12.Rb1 a6 13.Ba4 Bc4+ 14.Kf3 Ne1+ 15.Kg3 Rd6 16.f4 Rg6+ 17.Kf2 Nd3+ 18.Kf3 Ne1+ 1/2-1/2

Smyslov-Estrin
Chigorin Memorial
Leningrad, 1951
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qd1 exd5 7.Qxd5 Be6 8.Qxd8+ Rxd8 9.e3 Nb4 10.Bb5+ Ke7 11.Kf1 Nf6 12.Nf3 Nc2 13.Rb1 Bf5 14.Bd2 g5 15.Rc1 h6 16.e4 Nxe4 17.Rxc2 Nd6 18.Nd4 Nxb5 19.Nxf5+ Kf6 20.Nxb5 Kxf5 21.Ke2 1-0

J. Breytenbach-M. O’Sullivan
South Africa 1982
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qd1 exd5 7.e3 Nf6 8.Nf3 Bc5 9.Bb5 O-O 10.h3 a6 11.Ba4 Qd6 12.O-O b5 13.Bc2 Be6 14.b3 Rad8 15.Bb2 d4 16.exd4 Nxd4 17.Ne4 Nxe4 18.Bxe4 f5 19.Nxd4 fxe4 20.Nc2 Bxf2+ 21.Kh1 Qg3 22.Qh5 Rd5! 23.Qe2 Bxh3 24.Qxe4 Bxg2+! 0-1
(25.Qxg2 Rh5+)

Thompson (2189)-Jepson (2412)
Copenhagen Open
Denmark, 2001
1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qd1 exd5 7.e3 Nf6 8.Nf3 Bb4 9.Bd3 O-O 10.O-O Bg4 11.Nb5 Qb6 12.a3 Be7 13.Nc3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Ne5 15.Qe2 Rfd8 16.Bc2 Rac8 17.Bf5 Rc6 18.e4 Qa6 19.Qxa6 Rxa6 20.Nxd5 Nxd5 21.exd5 Rxd5 22.Be4 Rd7 23.Bf4 Bf6 24.Rfe1 Ng6 25.Bxg6 hxg6 26.Re8+ Kh7 27.Be5 Rd2 28.Rb1 Re2 29.f4 Rc6 30.Rf1 Rcc2 31.Rf3 Rxg2+ 32.Kf1 Rxh2 0-1

Bayram (2308)-Essing (2253)
European Ch.
Batumi, Georgia, 2002
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qd1 exd5 7.e3 Nf6 8.Nf3 Bb4 9.Be2 Ne4 10.Bd2 Bxc3 11.Bxc3 Nxc3 12.bxc3 O-O 13.O-O Be6 14.Nd4 Na5 15.f4 Qf6 16.Qe1 Bf5 17.Nxf5 Qxf5 18.Rd1 Rfe8 19.Bd3 Qe6 20.Rf3 f5 21.Qh4 g6 22.h3 Rac8 23.g4 Rxc3 24.gxf5 gxf5 25.Kh2 Kh8 26.Rg3 Rc7 27.Rdg1 Qf7 28.Qg5 Rcc8 29.Bxf5 Rcd8 30.Rg4 1-0

One line which we DO NOT recommend for White is: 6.Qd1 exd5 7.Qxd5 Bd7 8.Nf3 Nf6 9.Qd1 Bc5 10.e3? Qe7 11.a3 O-O-O 12.Be2? Bh3!

The following games demonstrate the reasons why.

Dr. A. A. Mengarini-M. Radoicic
Third Forum Open
New York, 1967
[Hans Kmoch, “Games from Recent Events”, Chess Review, July 1967]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qd1 exd5 7.Qxd5 Bd7 8.Nf3 Nf6 9.Qd1 Bc5 10.e3 Qe7 11.a3
(11.Be2 is urgent.) 11…O-O-O 12.Be2 (Now White returns the Pawn for no obvious reason. 12.Bd2 is indicated. White has a difficult job then but does after the text move also.) 12…Bh3 13.Qc2 Bxg2 14.Rg1 Bxf3 15.Qf5+ Kb8 16.Qxf3 Ne5 17.Qf5 g6 18.Qc2 Rd7 19.b4 Bb6 20.Bb2 Rc8 21.Rd1 Rdc7 22.Qb3

22…Bxe3!! (This brilliant breakthrough destroys whatever dreams of safety White has.) 23.fxe3 (On 23.Nb5, Black probably continues with 23…Bxf2+ 24.Kxf2 Ne4+) 23…Nf3+! 24.Bxf3 (Or 24.Kf2 Rxc3! 25.Bxc3 Rxc3 26.Qxc3 Ne4+, etc.) 24…Qxe3+ 25.Be2 (White has nothing better.) 25…Qxg1+ 26.Kd2 Qg5+ 27.Kc2 (Or 27.Ke1 Qh4+ 28.Kd2 Rxc3! or 28.Kf1 Qh3+ 29.Ke1 Ne4 30.Rd3 Qh4+ with a winning attack.) 27…Ne4 28.Rd3 Rxc3+! 29.Bxc3 Rxc3+! 30.Rxc3 Qd2+ 0-1

Eric Marathee (2068)-Herve Daurelle (2230)
Paris Ch.
France, July 24 1999
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nc6 8.a3 Nf6 9.Qd1 Bc5 10.e3 Qe7 11.Be2 O-O-O 12.Nf3 Bh3 13.Qb3
(13.Qa4 may be the only move here – RME.) 13…Bxg2 14.Rg1 Bxf3 15.Bxf3 Ne5 16.Bh1 Rhe8 17.Na4 Nd3+ 18.Ke2 Ne4 19.Bxe4 Qxe4 20.Bd2 Nf4+ 21.Ke1 Qf3 22.Qd1 Nd3+ 0-1

White has better luck with 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 as Black’s counter attack is slowed down by his bishop on d7.

Bill Wall-P. McKone
Palo Alto, CA, 1989
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Nf3 Nf6 8.Bg5 Nc6 9.Qe3+ Be6 10.O-O-O Be7 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Qh6 Qc7 13.e4 Nb4 14.Kb1 O-O-O 15.Nd4 dxe4 16.Be2 Rxd4 17.Rxd4 Bxa2+ 18.Nxa2 Qc2+ 19.Ka1 Nxa2 20.Rc4+ 1-0

A main line goes 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nf6. Now the question is, “Can White take the b7-pawn?” The answer is yes. But it’s not recommended.

C. Ford-P. Herbers
CalChess Ch.
Stade, CA, 1994
[The reason not to grab the “b” pawn.]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nf6 8.Qxb7?


7…Nc6 9.e3 Nb4 10.Bb5 Nc2+ 11.Kf1 Nxa1 12.Bxd7+ Nxd7 13.Qe4+ Be7 14.Qb1 Ne5 15.Qxa1 Rc8 16.Nge2 Qd3 17.Qb1 Rxc3 0-1

“weiran” (1775)-“mrjoker” (1778)
Blitz Game
ICC, September 6, 2008
[The reason not to grab the “b” pawn, part 2. Louis Morin is presumably “mrjoker”.]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nf6 8.Qxb7 Nc6 9.Bf4 Nb4 10.O-O-O
(10.Rc1! was much better.) 10…Rc8 11.Kb1 Rxc3 (A little too fancy. I saw 11…Bf5+! 12.e4, but simply missed 12…Qxd1+! 13.Nxd1 Bxe4+.) 12.bxc3 (I was expecting 12.Rxd7. Even with the help of Fritz I cannot find anything better than a perpetual check after 12…Qa5 13.a3 Qf5+ 14.e4 Nxe4 15.Ka1 Nc2+ 16.Ka2 Rc5 17.Bb5 Nc3+ 18.bxc3 Nb4+ 19.axb4 Qc2+ etc.) 12…Bf5+ 13.Kb2 Qxd1 14.Qb8+ Kd7 15.Qxa7+ Kc6 16.Qc7+ Kb5 17.c4+ (Again it seems as if a perpetual check should be the logical outcome after 17.Qb7+ Kc4 18.e4+ Qxf1 19.Nf3 Nd3+ 20.Kc2 Nb4+ 21.cxb4 Qd3+ 22.Kc1 Qc3+ 23.Kd1 Nxe4 24.Nd2+ Nxd2 25.Qxf7+ Kd3 26.Qxf5+ Ne4 27.Qh3+ etc.) 17…Ka6 (Sorry, no more checks.) 18.Kc3 Qc2+ 19.Kd4 Qb2+ 20.Ke3 Qc3mate 0-1

White’s best is to ignore the offered pawn.

Neuman (247)-Kasper (1948)
Marienbad Open
Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic, Jan. 15 2011
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nf6 8.Qb3 Bc5 9.Nf3 Bc6 10.Bg5 O-O 11.e3 h6 12.Rd1 Qe7 13.Bh4 g5 14.Bg3 Ne4 15.Nxe4 Bxe4 16.Bd3 Bb4+ 17.Ke2 Nc6 18.Bxe4 Qxe4 19.Qd3 Qe6 20.Qb3 g4 21.Nd4 Qxb3 22.Nxb3 Rad8 23.a3 Be7 24.Rxd8 Rxd8 25.Rd1 Bf6 26.Rxd8+ Nxd8 27.Nd4 Kg7 28.Kd3 Kg6 29.b3 Be7 30.a4 h5 31.Ke4 Bb4 32.Kd5 1-0

Jorczik-S. Buecker (2345)
Staufer Open
Germany, Jan. 5 2010
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nf6 8.Qd1 Bc5 9.Nf3 O-O 10.e3 Nc6 11.Be2 Qe7 12.O-O Rfd8 13.a3 a6 14.Bd2 b5 15.b4 Bd6 16.Qc2 Rab8 17.Rfd1 Rb6 18.Be1 Bg4 19.g3 Rc8 20.Rac1 h5 21.Ng5 g6 22.Bxg4 hxg4 23.Nge4 Nxe4 24.Nd5 Qe5 25.Nxb6 Rc7 26.Nd5 Ng5 27.Nxc7 Ne7 28.Ne8 Nf5 29.Nxd6 Nxd6 30.Rxd6 Qxd6 31.Qc8+ Kh7 32.Qxg4 Qd5 33.Qh4+ Kg7 34.Qd4+ 1-0

So Black usually plays 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nc6, and after 8.Qd1, another tabiya is reached. Let these be a starting point for your analysis!

Vasja Pirc-Alexander Alekhine
Bled, 1931
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nc6 8.Bg5 Nf6 9.Qd2 h6 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.e3 O-O-O 12.O-O-O Bg4 13.Nd5 Rxd5 14.Qxd5 Ba3 15.Qb3 Bxd1 16.Qxa3 Qxf2 17.Qd3 Bg4 18.Nf3 Bxf3 19.Qf5+ Kb8 20.Qxf3 Qe1+ 0-1
(21.Kc2 Rc8 22.Qg3+ Ne5+ 23.Kb3 Qd1+ 24.Ka3 Rc5 25.b4 Rc3+)

M. Fenollar Jorda (2129)-Jo Molina (2341)
Mislata Open
Spain, Aug. 27 2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nc6 8.Bg5 Be7 9.Bxe7 Ngxe7 10.Qd3 O-O 11.O-O-O Qa5 12.Qxd7 Rad8 13.Qg4 Nb4 14.Rd3 Nxa2+ 15.Nxa2 Qxa2 16.Nh3 Rc8+ 17.Kd2 Qxb2+ 18.Ke3 Ng6 19.f4 Qb6+ 20.Kf3 Qf6 21.Qg5 Qc6+ 22.Kg3 Rfe8 23.e3 Qc1 24.Kf3 Rc3 25.Rxc3 Qxc3 26.Bb5 Qxe3+ 27.Kg4 Rc8 1-0

Kashlinskaya (2288)-Solovjova (2275)
Russian Women’s Cup
St. Petersburg, Nov. 4 2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nc6 8.Bg5 Nf6 9.Qd2 h6 10.Qe3+ Be6 11.Rd1 Qe7 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Nd5 Bb4+ 14.Nxb4 Nxb4 15.Qd2 Nxa2 16.Nf3 O-O 17.e3 Bb3 18.Ra1 Rad8 19.Nd4 Rfe8 20.Be2 a5 21.O-O b6 22.Bf3 Nb4 23.Rfc1 Qg6 24.Rc7 Nc2 25.Rxc2 Bxc2 26.Qxc2 Qxc2 27.Nxc2 Rd2 28.Nd4 Rxb2 29.g3 Re5 30.Nc6 Rc5 31.h4 Rcc2 32.Rd1 g6 33.Rd7 Rxf2 34.Bd5 Rfd2 35.Bxf7+ Kf8 36.Rxd2 Rxd2 37.Bb3 Rb2 38.Ba4 b5 0-1

Voloshin (2411)-Koziak (2484)
Niki Open
Nachod, Czech Republic, July 8 2011
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nc6 8.Bg5 Nf6 9.Qd2 h6 10.Bh4 g5 11.Bg3 Bb4 12.f3 Qa5 13.e4 Rd8 14.Bd3 Be6 15.Nh3 Bc4 16.Nf2 Bc5 17.Nd5 Qxd2+ 18.Kxd2 Nxd5 19.exd5 Bxd5 20.Rhe1+ Kf8 21.Ke2 f5 22.Rac1 Bb6 23.Rxc6 Bxc6 24.Bxf5 Bb5+ 25.Bd3 Bxd3+ 26.Nxd3 Rh7 27.Nf2 Bxf2 28.Bxf2 Rc7 29.Bxa7 Rc2+ 30.Kf1 Rdd2 31.b4 Rxg2 32.a4 Rxh2 33.Bc5+ Rxc5 34.bxc5 Rh1+ 0-1

GM Karpov-IM J. Hector
Haninge, 1990
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nc6 8.e3 Nf6 9.Qb3 Bc5 10.Nf3 O-O 11.Be2 Be6 12.Qa4 Qc7 13.O-O Rad8 14.Bd2 Ng4 15.Rfd1 Bd6 16.g3 Qe7 17.Be1 f5 18.Nd5 Qf7 19.Ng5 Qh5 20.h4 Bc8 21.Nf4 Bxf4 22.Rxd8 Nxd8 23.Qxf4 Nc6 24.Qc7 1-0

K. Strand – H. Sabel
corres.
Norway vs. Finland, 1990
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nc6 8.e3 Nf6 9.Qb3 Bc5 10.Nf3 Qe7 11.a3 O-O-O 12.Qc2 Kb8 13.Be2 g5 14.b4 g4 15.Nh4 Bb6 16.Bb2 h5 17.O-O-O Rc8 18.Nf5 Bxf5 19.Qxf5 a5 20.b5 Nb4 21.Kb1 Rc5 22.Qf4+ Bc7 23.axb4 Bxf4 24.bxc5 Be5 25.Na4 Bxb2 26.Nxb2 Ne4 27.Rc1 Nxf2 28.Rhe1 Rc8 29.e4 Rxc5 30.Rxc5 Qxc5 31.Bc4 Qb4 0-1

Where do the Names of the Openings Come From?

Sometimes the opening is named after the pieces. The King’s Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4), the Queen’s Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4), the Two Knights Defence (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6), the Three Knights Defence (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6), the Four Knights Opening (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6), the Bishop Opening (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4), and the Bishop Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4).

Pawns are featured in the Two Knights Variation of the Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3), the Three Pawns Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Bc4 Bh4+ 5.g3 fxg3 6.O-O), and the Four Pawns Variation in the King’s Indian Defence (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4) and the Four Pawns Attack in the Alekhine’s Defence (1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4).

Escalante-“Krazy1234”
Smart Phone Game, July-Aug., 2016
1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 g5!?
(Too aggressive – more like reckless.) 6.d5 gxf4 7.Bxf4 Bf5 8.Nf3 h6 9.Nh4 e6 (9…Bh7 10.e6 fxe6 11.dxe6 Qc8 12.Be2 Qxe6 13.O-O Nxc4 14.Bg4) 10.Nxf5 exf5 11.Bd3 Rg8 12.O-O N8d7 13.e6 Nf6 14.exf7+ Kxf7 15.Bxf5 (+/-, but now almost winning.) 15…Nxc4 16.Be6+ Kg7 17.Qc1! Rh8 18.Qxc4 Be7 19.Nc3 Nh5 20.Be3 Rf8 21.Qg4+ Bg5 22.h4 Nf6 23.Bd4

1-0 (White has a piece, two pins, and all the attacking chances; Black has nothing.)

But this, the opening names – not the opening play – can get boring.

So …

Some openings are named after the first person who was successful with the opening moves. Others are named after a player or student of the game who first published the analysis.

Opening names such as Alekhine’s Defence (1.e4 Nf6), Fischer’s Defence in the King’s Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 and now 3…d6 instead of the usual 3…g5), Larsen’s Opening (1.b3), the Ruy Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 Bb5), the Marshall Attack (a variation of the Ruy Lopez going 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d5), the Albin Counter- Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5), Anderssen’s Opening (1.a3), the Najdorf (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6), and the Benko Gambit (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5).

And that’s just for starters.

We also have the Smith-Morra (1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 – actually named after two players), the Caro-Kann (1. e4 c6, another opening named after two players), the von Hennig-Schara Gambit (yet another opening named after two players):

Anton Schara-Ernst Gruenfeld
Vienna 1918
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qd1 exd5 7.Qxd5 Bd6 8.Bg5 Nge7 9.Qd2 f6 10.Bh4 Qb6! 11.Nf3
(11 Qxd6? Qxb2) 11…Bb4 12.e3 Bf5 13.Bc4 Na5 14.Bd3 Rd8 15.Nd4 Nac6 16.Nxf5? Nxf5 17.Bg3 Nxg3 18.hxg3 Ne5 19.Bb5+ Qxb5 0-1.

The Greco-Counter Gambit, by the way, is named after Greco who the first known person to write about the openings. The opening moves are 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5!?. And the opening is also known as the Latvian Gambit.

This is a good time to segue into another area where chess openings are named after not just one or two players, but after a group of localized players who studied and popularized these openings. Not only do we have the Latvian, but also the Budapest (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5), the French (1.e4 e6), and the English (1.c4).

Making things interesting is that some openings are named after cities and countries. We have the Catalan (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3), the Saragossa (1.c3), the Italian (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4), the Berlin Defence (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6), the Vienna (1.e4 e5 2.Nc3), and the London (1.d4 Nf6 and White will play an early .Bf4).

Openings are also named after animals. Most players know of the Dragon (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 and Black will soon play …g6, …Bg7, and usually …Nf6).

GM Jaan Ehlvest (2532)-Margeir Petursson (2513) X25
Puhajarve Rapid
Estonia, Nov. 25 2016
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.O-O Nc6 8.Nb3 O-O 9.Re1 a6 10.Bg5 b5 11.Bf1 Bb7 12.Qd2 Re8 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.exd5 Ne5 15.a4 Nc4 16.Bxc4 bxc4 17.Na5 c3 18.Nxb7 cxd2 19.Nxd8 dxe1=Q+


0-1

And some might even know the Chameleon (1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nce2, and now White can continue with the Closed Sicilian with .d3 and .g3, or the Open Sicilian with .d4 cxd4 .Nxd4).

But how many players are familiar with the Elephant Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5), the Orangutan (1.b4), the Pterodactyl Variation (1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4 c5 5.Nf3 Qa5), or the Vulture Defence (1.d4 c5 2.d5 Nf6 3.c4 Ne4)?

Some players would mistakenly add the Bird (1.f4). But this opening was named after the English player, Henry Edward Bird (1830–1908).

But there are some opening names that are mysterious.

For example, the opening moves 1.d4 Nf6 are collectively known as the Indian Defences, such as the King’s Indian Defence, the Queen’s Indian, the Nimzo-Indian, the Old Indian. But why? We don’t know either.

And who knows where the Fried Liver Attack (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7)? It is said that Black, playing this variation, is dead as a piece of fried liver But, why Fried Liver and not, say, Fried Chicken or even Fried Zucchini? Surely, more people know what chicken and zucchini than Fried Liver? Maybe Fried Liver is less desirable or digestible? And Black is surely not dead after taking the knight on f7 – there are ways for him to fight on, and even to win. Ok, back to tropic.

We also have the Benoni (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5). Where did that name come from and how did it become popular? We know the latter comes from “a Hebrew term meaning “son of my sorrow” (cf. Genesis 35:18) – the name of an 1825 book by Aaron Reinganum about several defenses against the King’s Gambit and the Queen’s Gambit”, as least according to Wikipedia. But why and how did it become popular if it concerns itself with the Queen’s Gambit?

Finally, we have the Halloween Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5), where it is said that this gambit is scary. We agree – but to which side?