Poisoned Pawn?

The term “Poisoned Pawn” appears twice in the opening naming lexicons. It can also be used in a more broader sense.

 

In general, the pawn on b2 is attacked by Black’s queen. If he does, he sure to face a massive, and sometimes very long, attack by the White’s pieces.

 

The question is, not can he take the pawn. But rather, can he withstand the attack? If he can, then he’ll be up a pawn in the endgame.

 
In a more literary sense, can Black eat the pawn without suffering indigestion? Now you know where the word, “poisoned” comes from.

 
Let’s get started.

 

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The Poisoned Pawn in the Najdorf is defined by the moves; 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6.

 

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White usually continues with 8.Qd2, allowing Black to take his b2 pawn. He knows that if nothing else, he’ll be one attacking. But how best to attack? And what to do when Black, as he typically does, counterattack?

 

Fischer was the main advocate of this Najdorf version, who played it from the mid 1960s to the early 1970s. Here is Fischer in his prime.

 

GM Bruno Parma-GM Fischer
Rovinj/Zagreb, Croatia, Apr. 12, 1970
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Be2 Bg7 12.O-O f5 13.Rfd1 O-O 14.exf5 exf5 15.Nd5 Nc6 16.Nxc6 bxc6 17.Ne7+ Kh8 18.Nxc8 Rfxc8 19.Qd3? (>19.Qxd6 Qxa2 20.Qc5, with the idea of Bd3) 19…Qc5+ 20.Kh1 Re8 -/+ 21.Qc4 Qxc4 22.Bxc4 Re4 23.Bxf7 Rf8 24.Bh5 Rxf4 25.Rb6 (>25.Rxd6 Rh4 with the idea of Be5 -/+. With the text move, White falls further behind.) 25…Be5 26.Rxa6 Rh4 27.Bf3 Rxh2+ 28.Kg1 c5 29.Ra8 Rxa8 30.Bxa8 Rh4 31.Bc6 Rb4 32.a4 Rb2 33.c4 Kg7 34.Rd3 Ra2 35.Kf1 Kg6 36.Re3 h5 37.Re2 Ra3 38.Rd2 h4 39.Ke2 Bf4 40.Rd3 Ra2+ 41.Kd1 Kf6 42.Rf3 Be5 43.Rd3 Ke7 44.Rd2 Ra3 45.Ke2 Bc3 46.Rd3 Ra2+ 47.Kd1 Bd4 48.Rh3 Bf6 49.Re3+ Be5 50.Rd3 Kd8 51.Rd2 Ra1+ 52.Ke2 Kc7 53.Bd5 Bf4 54.Rc2 Ra3 55.Rb2 Be5 56.Rd2 Rg3 57.Kd1 f4 0-1

 
It wasn’t until Fischer played in the World Championship that he met his equal, at least in this variation.

 

GM Spassky-GM Fischer
World Ch. Game #11
Reykjavik, 1972
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Nb3 Qa3 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Be2 h5 12.O-O Nc6 13.Kh1 Bd7 14.Nb1 Qb4 15.Qe3 d5 16.exd5 Ne7 17.c4 Nf5 18.Qd3 h4 19.Bg4 Nd6 20.N1d2 f5 21.a3 Qb6 22.c5 Qb5 23.Qc3 fxg4 24.a4 h3 25.axb5 hxg2+ 26.Kxg2 Rh3 27.Qf6 Nf5 28.c6 Bc8 29.dxe6 fxe6 30.Rfe1 Be7 31.Rxe6 1-0

 
To be sure, the response was cooked up by Spassky’s team both before and during the match. It was a quick defeat, and it’s no wonder that Fischer didn’t again in the match. Or ever again.

 

After winning the World Championship, Fischer disappeared for a couple of decades. During his absence several improvements were found for both sides. But without it’s chief proponent the variation is played by only a few top players.

 

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Black can also offer a poisoned pawn. In  this case the pawn is on g7.

 

The Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Winawer, offers a richer variation of play than the Najdorf. And it is played often.

 
The variation is triggered by the moves; 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7 7.Qg4. Black has a number of ways to attempt to gain the upper hand.

 

Haritonenko-Gorin
USSR, 1965
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7 7.Qg4 f5!? 8.Qg3 Ne7 9.Qxg7 Rg8 10.Qxh7 cxd4 11.Kd1 Bd7 12.Qh5+ Ng6 13.Ne2 Nc6 14.cxd4 O-O-O 15.g3

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15…Ncxe5! 16.dxe5 Ba4 17.Ra2 d4 18.Bg5 d3 0-1

 
White gets even here.

 

Escalante-NM Adaar
Thematic Tournament – Winawer Variation, Round 2
chess.com, Aug.-Sept. 2018
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 (The usual route to the Winawer. All games in the tournament began with this position.) 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 O-O (Some years ago Van der Tak wrote an article in NIC 8 titled, “Castling Into It?” where he explored Black’s kingside castling possibilities in the Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Winawer, and if it was a viable option for Black. I don’t think the resulting positions favor Black.) 8.Bd3 (Thanks to GM Van der Tak, and his article, I am convinced this is best move for White.) 8…Nbc6 9.Nf3 cxd4?? (This loses the game in a hurry.)
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10.Bxh7+! 1-0 [Black resigns due to 10…Kxh7 11.Qh5+ (stronger than the traditional Ng5+ as the potential escape square, g6, is denied to Black) 11…Kg8 12.Ng5 and White mates.]

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The term “Poisoned Pawn”, in a more general term, can be defined as a pawn on the b2 or g7 square that is offered to the enemy queen to lure her out of defending her king or deflecting her to an irrelevant area of the board.

 

The term can be used in the general sense.

 
GM Bent Larsen-IM Bela Berger
Amsterdam Izt.
Netherlands, 1964
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 d5?! 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.O-O Bg4?! 7.Re1 Be7 (Not 7…f6? because of 8.Nxe5! and Black is in a lot of trouble,) 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Nd4!? 10.Qg4!

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11…O-O [Castling into the same area as the enemy queen is already attacking is usually not a good idea (see above). One has to think about self-preservation in addition to attacking factors. But in this case, Black is forced into it. White’s queen breaks in on both the center and kingside after 10…Nxc2 11.Rxe5 Nxa1 (hopeless is 11…Nf6 12.Qxg7 Kd7 13.Qxf7) 12.Qxg7 Rf8 13.Rxd5 Qc8 14.Qxh7 c6 15.Rf5. Even worse is 10…Bf6? The move is not only passive but it also loses a piece after 11.Qxd4. So Black has to risk it.] 11.Rxe5 Nf6 12.Qd1 (White has the extra pawn and better position.) 12…Bd6 13.Re1 Re8 14.Be3 c5 15.Nd2 Bc7 16.Nf3 Qd6 17.Bxd4 cxd4 18.Rxe8+ Rxe8 19.c3 dxc3 20.bxc3 Nh5 21.Qa4 Re7 22.Qxa7 Nf4 23.Qxb7 h5 24.Qc8+ Kh7 25.h4 1-0

 

 

Here, each side can offer their poisoned pawns, but don’t as they have nothing to compensate for their lost material. Material and and tempi are the requisites for giving up the pawn.

 

 
Ashraf Salimov-Vadim Razin
Ukraine U16 Ch., ½ Finals
Dnipropetrovsk, Nov. 11 2004
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bb5 Qb6 6.Bxc6+ bxc6 7.O-O Ba6 8.Re1 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Bc5 10.Be3 Bxd4 11.Qxd4 Rb8 12.b3 Ne7 13.Qc5 Nf5 14.g4 Nxe3 15.Qxe3 c5 16.Qg5 O-O 17.Nd2 Qb4 18.Nf1 f5 19.exf6 Rxf6 20.h3 Rbf8 21.Qe5 Rxf2 22.Qxe6+ Kh8 23.Qxa6 Qd4 24.Ne3 (24.Qe6 Rxf1+ 25.Kg2 Qf2+) 24…Qf4 25.Nf1 Qf3 (Black has too much pressure on White’s weak point and she has to concede the point.) 0-1

A Gambit in the Dutch

The opening 1…f5 can be played against 1.d4, where it is known as the Dutch Defence. Against 1.c4, it is known as the Anglo Dutch. Against 1.Nf3, it is known as the Reti Dutch. And against 1.e4, it is known as bad move.

 

Nevertheless, the move 1…f5 leads to many tactical tangles with Black having a fair chance at emerging victorious.

The sequence 1.d4 f5 is the most common way for Black to play the Dutch. It is this approach we will look at now.

 

White has several ways to reply to Black’s aggressive move. He can play 2.Nc3, 2.Nf3, 2.Bg5 (stronger than one might suppose), 2.g3 (a safe, positional approach), and 3.c4 (a classical reply).

 

But he also has a gambit he can attempt; the Staunton (1.d4 f5 2.e4!?).

 

Black almost has to take the pawn. Otherwise White has a greater control of the center and declining the pawn can also easily lead to bad positions from the transposition of other openings.

 
Euwe-Weenink
Amsterdam, 1923
[Notes by ECO and Euwe]
1.d4 f5 2.e4 d6 3.exf5 Bxf5 4.Qf3 Qc8 5.Bd3 Bxd3 6.Qxd3 Nc6 7.Nf3 e6 8.O-O Qd7 9.c4 O-O-O 10.Re1 Nf6 +/- (10…e5 11.Nc3 +/-) 11.Bd2 Re8 12.Na3 Be7 13.b4 Rhf8 14.b5 Nd8 15.Nc2 Nh5 16.a4 g5 17.a5! +/-

 

Eloy Cantero Ramon (2078)-Jose Munoz Izcua
Montevideo, 1954
[A slight transposition occurs in the first two moves. If you really want, you can assume 1.d4 f5 2.e4 d6? were the moves played.]
1.e4 d6 2.d4 f5 3.Bd3! Nc6 4.exf5 Nxd4 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Nf6 7.g7+ Nxh5 8.gxh8=Q Nf6 9.Bh6 Ne6 10.Bf5 Bd7 11.Qxh7 Ng7 12.Qg6mate 1-0

 

Lidia Semenova (2280)-Olga Ignatieva (2135)
USSR Team Ch.
Riga, 1954
[The first four moves are from the Tarrasch French; 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 f5?!]
1.d4 e6 2.Nd2 f5 3.e4 d5 4.exf5 exf5 5.Ngf3 Nf6 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.O-O O-O 8.Ne5 c5 9.c3 c4 10.Bc2 Qc7 11.Ndf3 b5 12.Re1 a5 13.Nh4 g6 14.Bh6 Re8 15.Qd2 Ne4 16.Bxe4 dxe4 17.f4 Be6 18.Qe3 Nd7 19.Qg3 Nf8 20.Re3 Bxe5 21.fxe5 Qf7 22.Rf1 Qd7 23.Qg5 Qd8 24.Qf4 b4 25.Bg5 Qc7 26.Bf6 Nd7 27.Qh6 Nxf6 28.exf6 Qf7 29.Rg3 Qf8 30.Qg5 Qf7 31.Nxf5 Bxf5 32.Rxf5 bxc3 33.bxc3 Rab8 34.h4 Kh8 35.Re5 Rxe5 36.dxe5 Rb1+ 37.Kh2 Qd7 38.Qh6 Rb8 39.Rxg6 Rg8 40.Rxg8+ Kxg8 41.Qg5+ 1-0

 
So, Black usually takes the pawn. White can respond a number of ways. One good try is 4.Bg5!?

 
Capablanca-Masyutin
Simul
Kiev, Mar. 2 1914
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 c6 5.f3 exf3 (Probably better is 5…Qb6.) 6.Nxf3 e6 7.Bd3 d5 8.O-O Nbd7 9.Ne5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6
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11.Qh5+ Ke7 (11…g6? 12.Bxg6+! hxg6 13.Qxg6+ Ke7 14.Rxf6 Nxf6 5.Qg7+ Kd6 16.Nf7+) 12.Bxh7 Nf8 13.Qf7+ Kd6 14.Nc4+ dxc4 15.Ne4+ Kd5 16.Rf5+ Kxe4 17.Re1+ Kxd4 18.c3+ Kd3 19.Rd5mate 1-0

 

Reti-Euwe
Match
Rotterdam, 1920
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 g6 5.f3 exf3 6.Nxf3 Bg7 7.Bd3 c5 8.d5 Qb6 9.Qd2 Qxb2 10.Rb1 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 Qxb1+ 12.Kf2 Qxh1 13.Bxe7 d6 14.Bxd6 Nc6 15.Bb5 Bd7 16.Bxc6 Bxc6 17.Qe2+ 1-0

 

Lalic-Kovacevic
Croatia Ch., 1995
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 c6 5.f3 exf3 6.Nxf3 d5 7.Bd3 g6 8.Ne5 Qb6 9.Qe2 Qxb2 10.O-O! Qxc3 11.Bxf6 Rg8 12.Qf2! Nd7 13.Bxe7! Kxe7 14.Nxd7 Kxd7 15.Qf7+ Be7 16.Qxg8 Qxd4+ 17.Kh1 Qh4 18.Rae1 Kd6 19.g3 Qg5 20.Qe8 d4 21.h4 Qd5+ 22.Kh2 1-0

 
White also has 4.f3, paralleling the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (BDG).

 
It is usually not in Black’s interest to immediately take the pawn, as these games illustrate.

 

Blackburne-Bird
London, 1899
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 d5 6.Bd3 Bg4 7.O-O Nc6 8.Ne2 Bxf3 9.gxf3 Qd7 10.c3 e5 11.Bb5 Bd6 12.dxe5 Bxe5 13.f4 Bd6 14.Nd4 O-O 15.Kh1 a6 16.Bxc6 bxc6 17.f5 Rae8 18.Bg5 Be5 19.Ne6 Rf7 20.Bh4 Ne4 21.Qh5 c5 22.Rae1 Bf6 23.Rf4 Bxh4 24.Rxh4 Nf6 25.Qf3 Qd6 26.Rg1 c6 27.Ng5 Rfe7 28.Nxh7 Re1 29.Nxf6+ Qxf6 30.Rhg4 Rxg1+ 31.Rxg1 Re5 32.Rg6 Re1+ 33.Kg2 Qe5 34.Re6 Qxe6 35.fxe6 Rxe6 36.Qf5 Re2+ 37.Kg3 Rxb2 38.Qc8+ Kh7 39.Qxc6 1-0

 
Stephan-Bartels
corres., 1983
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 d5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Bd3 e6 8.Bg5 Be7 9.O-O O-O 10.Qe2 c5 11.Ng6 hxg6 12.Qxe6+ Kh8 13.Rf3 Nb6 14.Rh3+ Nh5 15.Qxg6 Kg8 16.Rxh5 Bxg5 17.Rh8+ Kxh8 18.Qh7mate 1-0

 

Zuechner-Kellerer
corres., 1988
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6 6.Bd3 Bb4 7.O-O Bxc3 8.bxc3 d5 9.Ng5 Qd7 10.Nxh7 Rxh7 11.Bxh7 Nxh7 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Qxg6+ Kd8 14.Rf7 Qxf7 15.Qxf7 Bd7 16.Qxh7 1-0

 

Zuechner-Angermann
corres., 1988
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6 6.Bd3 Bg7 7.Ng5 O-O 8.O-O d6 9.Nce4 Nxe4 10.Bxe4 Nc6 11.c3 Bd7 12.Rxf8+ Qxf8 13.Nxh7 Kxh7 14.Qh5+ Kg8 15.Bxg6 Qf6 16.Bg5 Qe6 17.Qh7+ Kf8 18.Rf1+ Bf6 19.Bh6mate 1-0

 

Instead, Black can try moves such as 4…Nc6 or 4..d5. While these moves are not a panacea, they do offer Black better chances than simply taking the f3-pawn and be defending the rest of the game.

 

Simagin-Kopylov
USSR, 1951
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 Nc6 5.fxe4 e5 6.dxe5 Nxe5 7.Nf3 d6 8.Bf4 Nxf3+ 9.Qxf3 Bg4 10.Qf2 Be7 11.Bc4 c6 12.h3 Bh5 13.g4 Bg6 14.O-O-O Rf8 15.Qg3 Nxg4 16.Bxd6 Nf2 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.Nb5 cxb5 19.Bxb5+ Kf7 20.Qb3+ Qe6 21.Bc4 1-0

 

Lehmann-Smyslov
Havana, 1965
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 Nc6 5.fxe4 e5 6.dxe5 Nxe5 7.Nf3 Bd6 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 O-O 10.Nd5 Nxf3+ 11.gxf3 Be7 12.Nxe7+ Qxe7 13.Qd2 d5 14.O-O-O dxe4 15.fxe4 Qxe4 16.Bxf6 Rxf6 17.Bg2 Qe8 18.Rhe1 Qf8 19.Qd5+ Kh8 20.Qd8 Bg4 21.Qxf8+ Raxf8 22.Rd4 Bc8 23.Re7 c6 24.h4 Kg8 25.h5 R6f7 26.Rxf7 Kxf7 27.Kd2 Kf6 28.Ke3 Kg5 29.Bf3 Bf5 30.c3 Re8+ 31.Kf2 Re7 32.b4 Rd7 33.Rc4 Be6 34.Re4 Bxa2 35.Re5+ Kf4 36.Ra5 Rd2+ 37.Ke1 Rh2 38.Be2 Be6 39.Bf1 Ra2 0-1

 

Zeise-Meinberger
corres., 1975
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 Nc6 5.fxe4 e5 6.dxe5 Nxe5 7.Nf3 Bd6 8.Nb5 Nxf3+ 9.Qxf3 Be5 10.Bf4 Qe7 11.O-O-O Kd8 12.Qg3 Re8 13.Bxe5 Qxe5 14.Qxg7 Nxe4 15.Qxe5 Rxe5 16.Bc4 c6 17.Nd6 Nxd6 18.Rxd6 h5 19.Rhd1 Kc7 20.Bf7 Re2 21.Bxh5 Rxg2 22.h3 Rg8 23.Bg4 a5 24.a4 Rh8 25.c4 Ra6 26.Rg6 Rb6 27.Kc2 Rb4 28.b3 d5 29.cxd5 cxd5 30.Rxd5 Bxg4 31.Rxg4 Rxh3 32.Rc5+ Kd6 33.Rxb4 axb4 34.Rb5 Rh2+ 35.Kd1 Rh1+ 36.Ke2 Rh2+ 37.Kf1 Rh1+ 38.Kg2 Rh7 39.Rxb4 Rf7 1/2-1/2

 

Ed Lasker-Alekhine
Match
London, 1913, Game 3
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 d5 5.fxe4 dxe4 6.Bg5 Bf5 7.Qe2 Nc6 8.Bxf6 exf6 9.O-O-O Bd6 10.Nxe4 O-O 11.Nxd6 cxd6 12.Qf2 Qa5 13.Bc4+ Kh8 14.Ne2 Nb4 15.Bb3 Rac8 16.Nc3 Bg6 17.Rhf1 b5 18.Rd2 Nd3+ 19.Rxd3 Bxd3 20.Rd1 b4 21.Rxd3 bxc3 22.Kb1 Rfe8 23.bxc3 Rxc3 24.Qd2 Rxb3+ 25.cxb3 Qf5 26.Kb2 Qf1 27.Re3 Rxe3 28.Qxe3 Qxg2+ 29.Ka3 h6 30.Qe6 Qc6 31.h4 h5 32.Qf7 Qe4 33.Qf8+ Kh7 34.Qxd6 Qxh4 35.d5 Qe4 36.Qc5 Qe5 37.b4 h4 38.d6 h3 39.Qc2+ f5 40.d7 h2 41.d8=Q h1=Q 42.Qc4 Qhe4 43.Qdg8+ Kh6 44.Qa6+ Kg5 45.Qxa7 Qc3+ 46.Qb3 Qexb4mate 1-0

 

Zurakhov-Korchnoi
Minsk, 1952
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 d5 5.Bg5 Bf5 6.fxe4 dxe4 7.Bc4 Nc6 8.Nge2 Qd7 9.O-O e6 10.d5 exd5 11.Nxd5 O-O-O 12.Nxf6 Bc5+ 13.Kh1 Qxd1 14.Raxd1 Rxd1 15.Rxd1 gxf6 16.Bxf6 Rf8 17.Rf1 Bg6 18.Ng3 Nb4 19.c3 Nd3 20.Bd4 Rxf1+ 21.Nxf1 Bxd4 22.cxd4 Nxb2 23.Be2 Kd7 24.Kg1 Nd3 25.Bxd3 exd3 26.Kf2 Kc6 27.Ke3 Kb5 28.g4 Kb4 29.h4 h6 30.h5 Bh7 31.Kf4 Kc3 32.Ke5 d2 33.Nxd2 Kxd2 34.Kf6 Ke3 35.Kg7 Bb1 36.Kxh6 Kf4 37.g5 Bxa2 38.Kg6 Bf7+ 39.Kh6 Kg4 40.g6 Bd5 0-1

 

Maroja-Padevsky
Yugoslavia, 1976
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 d5 5.fxe4 dxe4 6.Bc4 Nc6 7.Nge2 e5 8.Bg5 Nxd4 9.O-O Bg4 10.Qe1 Bxe2 11.Nxe2 Qd6 12.Rd1 Qc5 13.Nxd4 Qxc4 14.Nf5 Rd8 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.Qh4 Rxd1 17.Rxd1 Qf7 18.Qxe4 Qg6 19.Qd3 Bc5+ 20.Kh1 Rg8 21.Qd7+ Kf8 22.Qd8+ 1-0

 

Codazza-Passelli
corres.
Italy, 1992
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 d5 5.fxe4 dxe4 6.Bg5 Bf5 7.Bc4 Nc6 8.Nge2 Qd7 9.d5 Na5 10.Bb5 c6 11.dxc6 Qxd1+ 12.Rxd1 bxc6 13.Ba4 Rc8 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Rd5 1-0

 

B. Miller-M. White
corres.
CCLA Team Ch., 1995
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 d5 5.fxe4 dxe4 6.Bg5 Bf5 7.Bc4 Nc6 8.Nge2 e6 9.O-O Qd7 10.Qe1 O-O-O 11.Rd1 Na5 12.b3 Bb4 13.a3 Nxc4 14.axb4 Nb6 15.Ng3 Bg4 16.Rd2 Nbd5 17.Ncxe4 Rdf8 18.Rdf2 Kb8 19.c4 1-0

 

 

Gambit of the Day

Halloween_Gambit

 

Today, being Halloween, we present an appropriately named gambit for the day.

 

The Halloween Gambit, played since the 19th century, has never been popular. Among the reasons is that most players do not want to sacrifice a piece early in the opening, more so if the continuation of the game does not directly involve attacking the enemy king, or at least allowing him to say, “check!”

 

The opening move are 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5. With this move White willing gives up his knight with the idea to gain tempi on the opposing knight that  just captured his knight.

 

 

Let’s take a look at some lines.

 

First of all, Black does NOT to take White’s knight. By ignoring the knight on e5, he is effectively playing a gambit of his own. But his counterplay is less that White’s.

 

~~~~ 4.Nxe5 Bc5 ~~~~

 

 
Schlechter-Marshall
Monte Carlo, 1903
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Nf6 5.Be2 (Black would welcome 5.Nxc6? dxc6 6.Bc4 as he has winning game after 6…Bxf2+! 7.Kxf2 Qd4+.) 5…Nxe5 6.d4 Bd6 7.O-O Nc6 8.e5 Nxe5 9.dxe5 Bxe5 10.Bd3 d6 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bh4 g5 13.Bg3 Bg4 14.Qd2 Qe7 15.Rae1 O-O-O

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16.Qe3! (Inducing a weakness in Black’s castled position.) 16…b6 (16…Kb8? leads to a worse position after 17.Nb5 c5.) 17.a4 Kb8 18.a5 Bc8 19.axb6 axb6 20.Nb5 Bb7 21.Be2 Rhe8 22.Qa3 c6 23.Qa7+ Kc8 24.Na3 Kc7 25.Ba6 Rb8 26.Nc4 Nd7 27.Rxe5 dxe5 28.Bxe5+ Nxe5 29.Qxb6+ Kd7 30.Bxb7 Ke6 31.Nxe5 Qxb7 32.Qe3 f6 33.Nc4+ Kd5 34.Qd3+ Kc5 35.Nd6 Qxb2 36.c3 Kb6 37.Nc4+ (Winning the queen and the game.) 1-0

 

Wolf-Marshall
Monte Carlo, 1903
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Nf6 5.Be2 Nxe5 6.d4 Bd6 7.dxe5 Bxe5 8.Nb1 O-O 9.f4 Nxe4 10.Qd5 Qh4+ 11.g3 Nxg3 12.hxg3 Qxg3+ 13.Kd1 Bf6 14.Qd3 Qxd3+ 15.Bxd3 h6 16.Nc3 Bxc3 17.bxc3 d5 18.f5 Re8 19.Rg1 Kh7 20.Bf4 c5 21.f6+ g6 22.Bd6 Re6 23.Be7 c4 24.Be2 Re3 25.Kd2 Rh3 26.Rh1 Rxh1 27.Rxh1 Be6 28.Ke3 g5 29.Bh5 Rc8 30.Kd4 Rg8 31.Re1 Rc8 32.Rxe6 fxe6 33.Ke5 b5 34.Kxe6 d4 35.cxd4 a5 36.f7 Kg7 37.f8=Q+ Rxf8 38.Bxf8+ Kxf8 39.d5 b4 40.d6 b3 41.d7 1-0

 

Jacopo Motola (2217)-Giuseppe Bisignano (1864)
Open Carnevale
Milan, Feb. 18 2015
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Nc6 5.Nxc6 dxc6 6.Be2 Be6 7.d3 Qd7 8.h3 b5 9.a3 O-O 10.Bg5 Bd4 11.Qd2 Rab8 12.Be3 c5 13.Nd1 Qc6 14.Bf3 Qb6 15.c3 Bxe3 16.fxe3 Rfd8 17.Nf2 Nd7 18.Bg4 Ne5 19.Bxe6 Qxe6 20.Qe2 Rb6 21.O-O Qg6 22.d4 cxd4 23.exd4 Nc4 24.Nd3 Re8 25.Rae1 Qg5 26.e5 f6 27.b3 Nd2 28.Rf2 Nxb3 29.Qa2 1-0

 
Black, however, usually takes the knight. And White puts the question to Black’s knight after 5.d4. Neither 5…Nc4?! nor 5…Bb4 offer much.

 

~~~~ 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 ~~~~

 

Weenink-Apsheniek
Prague Ol., 1931
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qg4 Nxc3 8.Qxb4 Nd5 9.Qe4 Ne7 10.Bg5 d5 11.exd6 Qxd6 12.Bc4 Bf5 13.Qe2 Be6 14.Bxe6 Qxe6 15.Qxe6 fxe6 16.O-O-O h6 17.Bxe7 Kxe7 18.Rd3 Rhf8 19.f3 Rad8 20.Rhd1 Rxd3 21.Rxd3 Rf4 22.Kd2 Ra4 23.a3 Rh4 24.h3 Rh5 25.Ke3 Rg5 26.Kf2 Rb5 27.b3 Ra5 28.a4 Rc5 29.c4 a5 30.Ke3 b6 1/2-1/2

 

Chapman (2156)-Lindgren
Hallsberg Jr. Open
Sweden, Dec. 28 1972
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qd4 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Ng5 9.Ba3 Ne6 10.Qd5 Qg5 11.Bc4 f6 12.exf6 Qxf6 13.O-O Rb8 14.Rae1 Kf7 15.Re3 Kg8 16.Rf3 Qd8 17.Qf5 Qf6 18.Qc5 d6 19.Rxf6 1-0

 

Frank-Remsted
Pinneberg Open, 1996
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Bb4 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qd4 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 f5 9.Bd3 Qe7 10.O-O d6 11.exd6 Nxd6 12.Ba3 O-O 13.Bc4+ Kh8 14.Rfe1 Qf6 15.Qxf6 gxf6 16.Rad1 Rd8 17.Re7 Rd7 18.Rxd6 Rxd6 19.Re8+ Kg7 20.Rg8+ Kh6 21.Bc1+ Kh5 22.Be2+ Kh4 23.g3+ 1-0

 

Nicolaisen (2035)-Brondum
Politiken Cup
Copenhagen, July 28 2000
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qg4 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 d5 9.Qxg7 Rf8 10.Bh6 Qe7 11.Qxf8+ Qxf8 12.Bxf8 Kxf8 13.Bd3 1-0

 

Legvold-Peller
Dos Hermanas
Internet Section 07B, Mar. 7 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc4 6.Bxc4 Qe7 7.O-O Qb4 8.Bb3 d6 9.e5 Nd7 10.e6 fxe6 11.Bxe6 Be7 12.Nd5 Qa5 13.Bd2 Qa4 14.Nxc7+ Kd8 15.Nxa8 Qxd4 16.Ba5+ b6 17.Qxd4 bxa5 18.Qxa7 Rf8 1-0

 

Ankerst (2362)-Tokarchuk
Dos Hermanas
Internet Section 08B, Mar. 8 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Nxe4 8.Qg4 Nxc3 9.Qxg7 Rf8 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bxf6 Rxf6 12.exf6 Nd5 13.Qg8mate 1-0

 

Schoupal (1957)-Spalek (1572)
Brno II, Apr. 20 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Bb4 6.dxe5 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Nxe4 8.Qg4 Nxc3 9.Qxg7 Rf8 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bxf6 Rf7 12.Qxf7+ Kxf7 13.Bxd8 d6 14.Bxc7 dxe5 15.Bxe5 1-0

 

Kurilov (2312)-Kovar (2238)
White Nights Open
St. Petersburg, June 25 2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qg4 d5 8.Qxg7 Rf8 9.a3 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Qh4 11.g3 Qg4 12.Qxg4 Bxg4 13.Bg2 Nxc3 14.Bd2 Na4 15.Bh6 Rg8 16.Bxd5 Rg6 17.Be3 O-O-O 18.Bxf7 Rg7 19.e6 Bf3 20.O-O Rf8 21.Bd4 Rgxf7 22.exf7 Rxf7 23.Rfe1 c5 24.Be5 Nb6 25.a4 Nc4 26.Bf4 Kd7 27.Rab1 b6 28.Rb3 Bc6 29.Rc3 Na5 30.Rd3+ Kc8 31.Rde3 Bxa4 32.Re7 Rxe7 33.Rxe7 Bxc2 34.Rxa7 Nb7 35.Ra6 b5 36.Rc6+ Kd8 37.Rb6 Be4 38.Rxb5 Kd7 39.Rb6 c4 40.Be5 Nc5 41.Rd6+ Ke8 42.Bd4! (Either the knight or bishop is lost.) 1-0

 
Black has two reasonable options here.

 

One is static, and more or less stable, which slows down the play. The other is more dynamic, with chances for both sides.

 

We’ll take a look at the stable and static play first.

 

~~~~ 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 ~~~~

 
White can play 6.e5 or 6.d5. The first move obviously attacks the knight, but 6.d5 is more popular as White’s initiative is more positional and cramps Black. And White still has a later e5.
The 6.e5 continuation:

Riemann-Von Kraewel
Breslau, Mar. 26 1875
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Be2 Ng8 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.O-O Bb4 10.c3 Ba5 11.Bc4 Nge7 12.Bg5 O-O 13.Nf6+ Kh8 (13…gxf6 14.Bxf6 d5 15.Qh5 Qe8 16.Qg5+ Ng6 17.Qh6) 14.Qh5 h6 15.Bxh6 Ng6 16.Bxg7+ Kxg7 17.Qh7mate 1-0

 

“fcpanginen” (1999)-“odirtyredo” (1725)
Halloween Gambit Thematic Tournament
http://www.chess.com, 2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Be3 Bb4 8.Bc4 Nge7 9.O-O Ng6 10.Nd5 Ba5 11.c3 O-O 12.f4 Nce7 13.Nxe7+ Nxe7 14.f5 d5 15.Bd3 f6 16.e6 Bb6 17.g4 c6 18.g5 fxg5 19.Bxg5 Qc7 20.Qh5 c5

2019_10_31_B
21.f6! Ng6 22.f7+ Rxf7 23.exf7+ Kf8 24.Bxg6 cxd4 25.Qxh7 dxc3+ 26.Kh1 Bf5 27.Qh8mate 1-0

 
The 6.d5 continuation:

 

Grigor Minchev-Zoran Golubovic, 1990
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Qe7 9.Qe2 Ng8 10.d6 Qe6 11.Nb5 Bxd6 12.exd6 Qxe2+ 13.Bxe2 Kf8 14.f5 Ne5 15.dxc7 f6 16.Bf4 Ne7 17.O-O-O d5 18.Nd6 N5c6 19.Bf3 Bxf5 20.Nxf5 Nxf5 21.Bxd5 g5 22.Bxg5 fxg5 23.Rhf1 Ke7 24.Rxf5 Kd6 25.Rf7 h6 26.Bc4+ Kc5 27.Be6 a5 28.c8=Q Rhxc8 29.Bxc8 Rxc8 30.Rxb7 Re8 31.a4 Nd4 32.c3 Kc6 33.Rf7 Nb3+ 34.Kc2 Nc5 35.Rf6+ Re6 36.Rxe6+ Nxe6 37.b4 axb4 38.cxb4 Nf4 39.g3 Nd5 40.Rxd5 Kxd5 41.Kd3 Ke5 42.a5 Kd5 43.g4 Kc6 44.a6 Kb6 45.b5 1-0

 

R. Schlenker-D. Klostermann
Casual Game
Villingen-Schwenningen, Oct. 6 1993
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ng8 9.d6 cxd6 10.exd6 Qf6 11.Nb5 Kd8 12.Be3 Qe6 13.Qd4 Nf6 14.Bc4 Qe4 15.O-O-O Qxd4 16.Rxd4 Ne8 [16…a6 17.Re4 Nxe4 (17…axb5 18.Bb6# ; 17…Bxd6 18.Bb6+ Bc7 19.Bxc7#) 18.Bb6+ Ke8 19.Nc7+ Kd8 20.Bxf7!] 17.Bxf7 a6 18.Re4 Bxd6 19.Bb6+ Bc7

2019_10_31_C
20.Rhe1! d5 21.Rxe8+ Rxe8 22.Bxc7+ Kd7 23.Bxe8mate 1-0

 

Grigor Minchev-V. Velev
Bulgaria Students Tournament
Svishtov, Sept. 1994
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ng8 9.d6 cxd6 10.exd6 Qa5 11.h4 Qb4 12.Qe2+ Kd8 13.f5 Nxh4 14.a3 Nxg2+ 15.Qxg2 Qxd6 16.Bd2 Qe5+ 17.Be2 Qxf5 18.O-O-O Qg6 19.Qxg6 fxg6 20.Nb5 Nf6 21.Bf4 Ne8 22.Be3 a6 23.Bb6+ Ke7 24.Rhe1 axb5 25.Bc4+ Kf6 26.Bd8+ Kf5 27.Rd5+ Kf4 28.Rd4+ Kg3 29.Bh4+ Kh2 30.Bd5 Bc5 31.Rh1mate 1-0

 

“Brause” (2575)-“GeorgeJohn” (2330)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Bb4 7.dxc6 Nxe4 8.Qd4 Bxc3+?! 9.bxc3 Qe7 10.Qxg7 Nxc3+? (>10…Nf6+ 11.Be3 Rg8 12.Qh6 dxc6) 11.Be3 1-0

 

Zedtler Uwe-Winkler Andreas, 2002
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Bb4 9.Qd4 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Nh5 11.f5 Qh4+ 12.g3 (12…Qxd4 13.cxd4 Ne7 14.g4) 0-1

 

Pascutto-Simoni
E-Mail game
IECG, 2002
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne7 7.e5 Nfxd5 8.Nxd5 c6 9.Ne3 Qa5+ 10.Bd2 Qxe5 11.Bc3 Qe6 12.Be2 d5 13.O-O Qh6 14.Re1 Be6 15.Qd4 Nc8 16.Bd3 Bd6 17.Ng4 Bxh2+ 18.Kf1 Be5 19.Qxe5 Qh1+ 20.Ke2 Qxg2 21.Ne3 Qh3 22.Qxg7 Qh5+ 23.Kd2 Rf8 24.Ng4

2019_10_31_D

(Black certainly has his problems. White threatens 25.Nf6+ winning the queen. If Black tries to escape via d7, then the knight checks wins again. And if …Kd8, then White again wins the queen with 25.Bf6+. Black’s best 24…Qh4 25.Nf6+ Ke7 26.Nxh7, which has the sole benefit of not losing immediately.) 24…Qxg4 25.Qxg4 Ne7 26.Rxe6 1-0

 

Bruno Gaillard (2035)-Alexandre Platel (2088)
French Team Ch., North, Feb. 1 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Bb4 7.dxc6 Nxe4 8.Qd4 Qe7 9.Be3 O-O 10.Bd3 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Ba5 12.O-O Bb6 13.Qf4 Bxe3 14.fxe3 dxc6 15.Rab1 Rb8 16.Rb4 Be6 17.Qg3 g6 18.Rbf4 Rbe8 19.h4 Qc5 20.h5 Qxh5 21.Rh4 Qc5 22.Rh6 Kg7 23.Qh4 Qxe3+ 24.Rf2 Qxh6 25.Qf6+ Kg8 26.Rf4 Bf5 27.Rf3 Bxd3 28.cxd3 Qg7 29.Qf4 Qxc3 30.Rh3 Qe1+ 0-1

 

Roosink-Bergkamp
Haarlem Nova Open, July 2 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ne4 9.Nxe4 Bb4+ 10.c3 Ba5 11.d6 cxd6 12.Nxd6+ Kf8 13.Qd5 Qe7 14.Qxa5 b6 15.Qd5 Rb8 16.Nxf7 Rg8 17.Ng5 Bb7 18.Nxh7+ Ke8 19.Qxg8+ Nf8 20.Be2 Bxg2 21.Bh5+ Kd8 22.Nxf8 Kc7 23.Qc4+ Kd8 24.Ng6 Qe8 25.Rg1 Rc8 26.Qd4 Bh3 27.Rg5 a5 28.Qxb6+ Rc7 29.Be3 Be6 30.Qb8+ Rc8 31.Bb6mate 1-0

 

“Catalyst_Kh” (2655)-“odyson” (2405)
Halloween Gambit Thematic Tournament
http://www.chess.com, 2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ng8 9.d6 cxd6 10.exd6 Qf6 11.Nb5 Nxf4 12.Nc7+ Kd8 13.Qf3 Bxd6 14.Nxa8 Qe5+ 15.Qe3 b6 16.Qxe5 Bxe5 17.g3 Bb7 18.gxf4 Bd4 19.c3 Bxa8 20.cxd4 Bxh1 21.Bc4 Nh6 22.Bd2 Re8+ 23.Kf2 Be4 24.Rg1 g6 25.a4 Bf5 26.Re1 Ng4+ 27.Kf3 Nxh2+ 28.Kg3 Rxe1 29.Bxe1 Ng4 30.Bxf7 Nf6 31.Bc4 Ne4+ 32.Kf3 Nd6 33.Be2 Be4+ 34.Ke3 Bc6 35.a5 Nf5+ 36.Kf2 Nxd4 37.Bd3 Bd5 38.Bc3 Nc6 39.axb6 axb6 40.f5 Bf7 41.f6 Kc7 42.Bb5 Kd6 43.Bxc6 dxc6 44.Kf3 Kd5 45.Kg4 c5 0-1

 

T. Klepaczka (2240)-Mi. Olszewski (2533)
Rapid Game
European Ch.
Warsaw, Dec. 15 2012
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Bb4 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 d5 9.exd5 cxd5 10.O-O O-O 11.Bg5 c6 12.Qf3 Be7 13.Rfe1 Rb8 14.Rab1 Be6 15.Ne2 h6 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Nf4 Bd7 18.b3 Bg5 19.Nh3 Be7 20.c4 Bd6 21.cxd5 cxd5 22.Nf4 Bc6 23.Rbc1 Ba8 24.Ne2 Qg5 25.Qf5 g6 26.Qxg5 hxg5 27.Nd4 Rbc8 28.h3 Bf4 29.Rxc8 Rxc8 30.Ba6 Rd8 31.Re7 Bd6 32.Re1 Kg7 33.Kf1 Bc5 34.Rd1 Bb6 35.Ke2 Re8+ 36.Kd3 Re4 37.Kc3 g4 38.hxg4 Rxg4 39.g3 Re4 40.a4 Kf6 41.b4 Ke5 42.f4+ Kf6 43.a5 Bc7 44.Bd3 Re3 45.Ne2 g5 46.Kd4 Re8 47.Rc1 Bd6 48.b5 gxf4 49.gxf4 Bb4 50.Ra1 Bd2 51.b6 axb6 52.axb6 Be3+ 53.Kc3 Bxb6 54.Ra6 Rb8 55.Nd4 Ke7 56.Nf5+ Kd7 57.Bb5+ Kc7 58.Kd3 Rh8 59.Ra1 Rh3+ 60.Kc2 Bb7 61.Re1 Bc5 62.Be8 f6 63.Bb5 Rf3 64.Re6 Rxf4 65.Rxf6 Rf2+ 66.Kc3 d4+ 67.Kd3 Rf4 68.Rf7+ Kb6 69.Bd7 Ba6+ 70.Kd2 Bb4+ 71.Kc1 d3 72.Rf6+ Ka5 73.Re6 d2+ 0-1

 

With 5…Ng6, Black attempts to create a little chaos in the position. He can advance both his knights and pawns on the kingside and is even be willing to give up his extra knight if it will accomplish a win. White doesn’t have the ability to give up another knight and must deal with the upcoming threat.

 

Black’s plan, however, has a wrinkle in it. In order advance his knight and pawn, he must castle queenside. And that takes time.

 

As this is the most popular variation of the Halloween Gambit, let’s look at the moves which lead to the current position:

 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6. White normally continues with 6.e5, as he needs to gain as many tempi as possible.

 

Black’s most popular response is 6..Ng8 as he intends to redeploy his knight to e7 or h6 (the latter after the rook pawns advance). But let’s first take a look at other responses.

 

Grigor Minchev-Nejad, 1996
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Bg5 Qe6 8.Qf3 c6 9.O-O-O Ng8 10.h4 Bb4 11.d5 Qxe5 12.Bc4 Bxc3 13.bxc3 f6 14.Rde1 Kf8 15.Rxe5 Nxe5 16.Qe4 Nxc4 17.Qxc4 fxg5 18.hxg5 Ne7 19.Qf4+ Ke8 20.d6 Ng6 21.Qe4+ Kf7 22.Rh3 Rf8 23.Rxh7 Nf4 24.g3 1-0

 

Goldsmith (2247)-Tao Trevor (2390)
Adelaide Open
Australia, 2002
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Bb4 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.Qe2+ Qe7 9.Be3 d5 10.h4 Nxh4 11.g4 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 g5 13.Rb1 h6 14.c4 Qe4 15.Rxh4 gxh4 16.f3 Qe7 17.cxd5 h5 18.g5 b6 19.Kd2 Bb7 20.c4 O-O-O 21.Rb3 Qd7 22.Qh2 Qa4 23.Kc1 Kb8 24.Bf4 Rd7 25.Be5 Rg8 26.c5 Rxd5 27.cxb6 axb6 28.Bxc7+ Ka8 29.Qc2 Rdxg5 30.Qb2 Rg1 31.Qf2 Qc6+ 32.Kb2 Qxc7 33.Ra3+ Kb8 0-1

 

Sigfusson (2351)-Schubert (2005)
Reykjavik Open, Mar. 13 2002
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Bb4 7.exf6 Qxf6 8. Be3 d5 9.Qd3 c6 10.O-O-O O-O 11.Kb1 Bg4 12.f3 Bf5 13.Qd2 Rfe8 14.Bg5 Qd6 15.g4 Bd7 16.h4 Bxc3 17.Qxc3 a5 18.h5 Nf8 19.h6 Ne6 20.Be3 g5 21.Qd2 f6 22.Bd3 Re7 23.Bf5 Nf8 24.f4 Rae8 25.Rh3 Bxf5 26.gxf5 Qd7 27.fxg5 Qxf5 28. Rg3 Kh8 29.gxf6 Qxf6 30.Bg5 Qd6 31.Qg2 [On 31…Re6 (or 31…Rf7) White wins with 32.Bf6+ Rxf6 33.Qg8#] 1-0

 

Sigfusson (2344)-Nohr (2146)
Politiken Cup
Copenhagen, July 23 2005
[White didn’t win in the opening but his second attack is just beginning when Black resigns.]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Bb4 7.exf6 Qxf6 8. Qd3 O-O 9.Be3 d5 10.O-O-O c6 11.Kb1 a5 12.Qd2 Re8 13.h4 a4 14.Nxd5 cxd5 15.Qxb4 a3 16.h5 Nf8 17.b3 1-0

 
Now for the more common 6…Ng8.

 

Heemskerk-Loman
The Hague, 1890
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.f4 d5 8.Qf3 Bb4 9.g3 Bf5 10.Kd1 Bxc3 11.bxc3 Be4 12.Qg4 h5 13.Qh3 Bxh1 14.f5 Bf3+ 15.Be2 Bxe2+ 16.Kxe2 Qd7 17.Bg5 f6 18.e6 Qb5+ 19.Kd2 N6e7 20.Bf4 O-O-O 21.g4 Nh6 22.Bxh6 Rxh6 23.gxh5 Rdh8 24.Qg4 Rxh5 25.Qxg7 Rxh2+ 26.Kc1 Rh1+ 27.Kd2 R8h2+ 28.Ke3 Qe2+ 29.Kf4 Qe4+ 30.Kg3 Rg2mate 0-1

 

Mes-Spoel
corres.
Netherlands, 1992
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5 8.Bxd5 c6 9.Bb3 Be6 10.O-O Bxb3 11.axb3 Qd7 12.Ne4 a6 13.f4 Nh6 14.c3 O-O-O 15.Kh1 Be7 16.Be3 Nf5 17.Qe2 Qd5 18.Nd2 h5 19.c4 Qd7 20.d5 Nxe3 21.Qxe3 cxd5 22.Qa7 Qc7 0-1

 

Frank-Meyberg
Pinneberg Open, 1992
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5 8.Bxd5 c6 9.Bb3 Bb4 10.Qf3 Be6 11.Bd2 Bxc3 12.bxc3 N8e7 13.O-O O-O 14.Qd3 c5 15.f4 Rc8 16.Bc4 Bxc4 17.Qxc4 cxd4 18.Qxd4 Qxd4+ 19.cxd4 Rxc2 20.Bc1 Rfc8 21.Ba3 Nf5 22.d5 Ne3 23.Rf3 Nxd5 24.g3 R2c3 25.Rxc3 Rxc3 26.Bb2 Rc2 27.Ba3 h5 28.Bd6 Ne3 29.Bb8 a6 30.Ba7 Ng4 31.h3 Nh2 32.a3 Nf3+ 33.Kf1 h4 34.Bf2 hxg3 35.Bxg3 Ne7 36.Rb1 Nf5 37.Bf2 Nd2+ 0-1

 

Grigor Minchev-Plamen Lambev
Bulgaria Team Ch.
Svishtov, Oct. 27 1994
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d6 8.Qf3 Qd7 9.O-O dxe5 10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.Re1 Bd6 12.Bf4 f6 13.Bb5 c6 14.Rad1 Qe6 15.Qg3 Kf8 16.Bxe5 Bxe5 17.f4 cxb5 18.fxe5 Qb6+ 19.Re3 Bf5 20.Rd6 Qc5 21.Rd5 Qc8 22.Qf4 Be6 23.Qb4+ Ne7 24.exf6 gxf6 25.Rxb5 Rg8 26.Qe4 Qc6 27.Rxb7 Qxe4 28.Nxe4 Nf5 29.Rf3 Bd5 30.Rb4 Bxe4 31.Rxe4 Ne7 32.Rxf6+ Kg7 33.Rd6 Ng6 34.Rd7+ Kh8 35.c4 Rgd8 36.Rdd4 Kg7 37.c5 Rxd4 38.Rxd4 Ne5 39.b4 Rf8 40.b5 Rc8 41.c6 a5 42.Rd6 h6 43.Kf2 a4 44.Kg3 Nc4 45.Rd4 Nb6 46.Kf3 Rf8+ 47.Ke4 Rf2 48.Rd6 Rxa2 49.c7 Re2+ 50.Kd3 Re7 51.Rxb6 Rxc7 52.Ra6 Rc5 53.b6 Rb5 54.Kc4 Rb2 55.Kc5 Rc2+ 56.Kb5 Rb2+ 57.Kc6 Rxg2 58.b7 Rc2+ 59.Kb6 Rb2+ 60.Ka7 1-0

 

“Brause” (2560)-“humanoid” (2340)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 f5 8.Qh5 d6 9.e6 Nf6 10.Qxf5 Be7 11.O-O O-O 12.Qh3 c6 13.Bd3 d5 14.Re1 Qd6 15.Bxg6 hxg6 16.Bd2 Nh5 17.Na4 b6 18.b4 Nf4 19.Qc3 Nxe6 20.Rad1 Bg5 21.Rxe6 Bxe6 22.Bxg5 Bf5 23.Re1 Rae8 24.Re5 Rxe5 25.dxe5 Qe6 26.a3 Re8 27.f4 Be4 28.h3 Rc8 29.Qd2 c5 30.b5 d4 31.Nb2 Qa2 32.c3 Qb1+ 33.Kh2 Qc2 34.Qxc2 Bxc2 35.cxd4 cxd4 36.Bh4 Be4 37.Nd1 Kf7 38.Bg3 Rc2 39.Nf2 Bf5 40.Bh4 d3 41.Kg3 d2 42.Kf3 Be6 43.Ke3 Bb3 44.Nd1 Ra2 45.Nc3 Rc2 46.Nd1 Rc1 47.Kxd2 Rxd1+ 48.Kc3 Bd5 49.g3 Rh1 50.Kd4 Ke6 51.g4 Rd1+ 52.Ke3 Ra1 53.Kd4 Rd1+ 54.Ke3 Bg2 55.Ke2 Ra1 56.Be1 Rxa3 57.Bb4 Ra2+ 58.Ke3 Bxh3 59.g5 Bg4 60.Bf8 Kd5 61.Kd3 Ra3+ 62.Bxa3 Be6 63.Kc3 Ke4 64.Bd6 Kxf4 65.Bb8 Kxg5 66.Bxa7 Kf5 67.Bxb6 Bd7 68.Kd4 Bxb5 69.Bd8 Bd7 70.Bh4 Be6 71.Be7 Ba2 72.Bf8 g5 73.Bxg7

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(Ok, is there anyone who believes this is NOT a drawn position? Yet the players continue to move the pieces for another 82 moves. At this point you can be forgiven for skipping to the next games.) 73…g4 74.Ke3 Be6 75.Bf6 Bd5 76.Kd4 Be6 77.Bh4 Ba2 78.Bg3 Bf7 79.Kc5 Ba2 80.e6 Bxe6 81.Kd4 Ba2 82.Ke3 Bd5 83.Kd3 Ba2 84.Ke2 Be6 85.Kf2 Ba2 86.Ke1 Bf7 87.Kd1 Ke4 88.Ke2 Bd5 89.Kf2 Bc4 90.Kg2 Be2 91.Be1 Kf5 92.Kg3 Bd1 93.Bd2 Ke4 94.Bg5 Kd3 95.Bf4 Be2 96.Be5 Kc2 97.Bd6 Kd1 98.Kf4 Ke1 99.Be5 Kf2 100.Bd4+ Kg2 101.Ke3 Bd1 102.Be5 Bc2 103.Kf4 Kh3 104.Bd6 g3 105.Bc5 g2 106.Bg1 Bb3 107.Ke5 Bg8 108.Kd6 Kg3 109.Kc5 Kf3 110.Kd4 Ke2 111.Be3 Kf1 112.Ke5 Ba2 113.Bd4 Bb3 114.Ke4 Ke2 115.Ke5 Bc2 116.Kd5 Bb1 117.Ke5 Bc2 118.Ke6 Bb1 119.Kd5 Bc2 120.Kc4 Bg6 121.Kd5 Bh7 122.Ke5 Bg8 123.Kf6 Ba2 124.Ke5 Bg8 125.Ke4 Ba2 126.Kf4 Bg8 127.Bc5 Ba2 128.Ke5 Bb1 129.Kd5 Bh7 130.Bd4 Bc2 131.Ke5 Bh7 132.Kd6 Bc2 133.Kc6 Bd3 134.Kd5 Bg6 135.Ke5 Bh5 136.Kf4 Bf3 137.Bg1 Bd5 138.Ke5 Bc6 139.Kd6 Bb7 140.Kc7 Ba8 141.Kb8 Bf3 142.Bd4 Be4 143.Kc7 Bb7 144.Kb6 Kf3 145.Bg1 Ke4 146.Kc5 Kf3 147.Bd4 Kg4 148.Kb4 Bd5 149.Bg1 Kf3 150.Kc3 Bc4 151.Kd4 Ke2 152.Kc5 Bd3 153.Kb4 Kf3 154.Kb3 Bb5 155.Ka3 Kg4 156.Bd4 1/2-1/2

 

“Brause” (2470)-“humanoid” (2400)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 f5 8.Qh5 d6 9.g4 fxg4 10.Bd3 N8e7 11.Bg5 Rg8 12.Qxh7 1-0

 

“Brause” (2485)-“humanoid” (2385)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 f5 8.Qh5 d6 9.g4 Qh4 10.Nd5! 1-0

 

“Brause” (2490)-“humanoid” (2380)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 f5 8.Qh5 d6 9.Bf4 Qh4 10.Qxh4 Nxh4 11.Bg5 Ng6 12.Nb5 Kd7 13.e6+ Kc6 14.d5+ 1-0

 

“Brause”-N.N. (1800)
Internet Game
Germany, Sept. 8 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 c6 8.Qf3 f6 9.O-O d5 10.exd6 Bxd6 11.Ne4 N8e7 12.Qxf6!?

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12…gxf6? (Black might just survive 12…Rf8 13.Nxd6+ Kd7 14.Qe6+ Kc7. But then we would be denied an entertaining miniature.) 13.Nxf6+ Kf8 14.Bh6mate! 1-0

 

Vermaat- Tondivar
Leeuwarden Ch., July 1 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5 8.Bxd5 c6 9.Bb3 Be6 10.O-O Qd7 11.Ne4 O-O-O 12.Be3 Kb8 13.c4 f5 14.exf6 Nxf6 15.Ng5 Bf5 16.d5 h6 17.Nf3 c5 18.Ba4 Qc7 19.b4 Ne4 20.Rc1 Bd6 21.bxc5 Nxc5 22.Nd4 Rhf8 23.Rc3 Ne5 24.Bc2 Bxc2 25.Rxc2 a6 26.f4 Ned3 27.g3 Rde8 28.Ne6 Nxe6 29.Qxd3 Nc5 30.Qd2 Ne4 31.Qc1 Nxg3 32.hxg3 Rxe3 33.c5 Rxg3+ 34.Kh2 Rg4 35.cxd6 Qxd6 36.Qe3 Qxd5 37.Rf3 Qh5+ 38.Rh3 Qf5 39.Rb2 Qxf4+ 40.Qxf4+ Rgxf4 41.Kg2 Ra4 42.Re3 Rf7 43.Rc2 Rg4+ 44.Kh3 h5 45.Rc5 g6 46.Re6 Rf3+ 47.Kh2 Rf2+ 48.Kh3 Rf3+ 49.Kh2 Ra3 50.Re2 Rga4 51.Re6 Rxa2+ 52.Kh1 Rb4 53.Rxg6 Rh4+

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(54.Kg1 Rg4+ 55.Rxg4 hxg4 56.Rg5 Rc2 and Black wins easily.) 0-1

 

Bagatsch (2125)-J. Hess
Oberliga Ost B
Germany, Nov. 27 2005
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d6 8.Qf3 Be6 9.Qxb7 Rb8 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bxd7+ Kxd7 12.Qxa7 dxe5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Bf4 Bd6 15.Bxe5 Bxe5

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16.O-O-O+! Bd6 17.Rxd6+! Kxd6 18.Rd1+ Kc6 19.Qa6+ Kc5 20.Ne4+ 1-0

 

Alexander Smirnov (2234)-Petr Kosolapov
Russia Central Region Ch.
Tula, Mar. 19 2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 Bb4 8.Qf3 f6 9.O-O Bxc3 10.bxc3 d6 11.Re1 Kf8 12.Qd5 Qe8 13.Ba3 N6e7 14.exd6 Nxd5 15.d7+ Nde7 16.dxe8=Q+ Kxe8 17.Bxg8 Rxg8 18.Rxe7+ Kd8 19.Rae1 Bf5 20.Rf7 Bg6 21.Rf8+ Rxf8 22.Bxf8 Bxc2 23.Bxg7 f5 24.Bf6+ Kd7 25.Re7+ Kd6 26.Rxh7 Rc8 27.h4 Kc6 28.Be5 Bb1 29.a3 b5 30.h5 a5 31.h6 f4 32.Rf7 1-0

 

“odyson” (2399)-“Catalyst_Kh” (2677)
Halloween Gambit Thematic Tournament
http://www.chess.com, 2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5 8.Bxd5 N8e7 9.Bg5 Qd7 10.Be4 Nf5 11.Qd3 Bb4 12.O-O-O Bxc3 13.bxc3 h6 14.Bd2 O-O 15.h4 Qe6 16.Kb1 Rd8 17.f4 h5 18.Ka1 Nge7 19.Be1 c6 20.g3 b5 21.Rb1 Qc4 22.Rxb5 Qxb5 23.Qxb5 cxb5 24.Bxa8 Be6 25.Bf3 Bd5 26.Bxd5 Nxd5 27.Kb2 Rc8 28.Rg1 Nfe3 0-1

 

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

 

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Fischer, the Invincible

Recently, I was going over some games from the 1963/64 US Championship. That tournament stands out for at least three reasons.

 
(1) The winner was the first, and so far, the only one, to achieve a perfect score in the Championship.

 

(2) Fischer won his sixth Championship in a row. He would eventually win eight of them, which was another perfect score as he played in a total of eight Championships.

 

(3) Fischer played a King’s Gambit, a rarity in a national championship. It was also one of his best games.
Here is the game, annotated by Fischer, with a few additional notes (mostly to highlight some background information) by me (RME).

 

 

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. (But 4…Qh4+ is, by far, still the most common response in the Bishop’s Gambit as it displaces White’s king and prevent him from transposing into other variants of the King’s Gambit. RME.)] 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.

(Here is the game in its entirety.

Macdonnell-de la Bourdonnais
Match, London, 1834
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d6 5.d4 Bg4 6.Qd3 Nc6 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Qb3+ Kg6 9.Qxb7 Nxd4 10.Qxa8 Nf6 11.Na3 f3 12.g3 Bh3+ 13.Ke1 Qg4 14.Be3 d5 15.Qxa7 Nc6 16.Qxc7 d4 17.Bd2 Qxe4+ 18.Kd1 f2 19.Nxh3 Qf3+ 20.Kc1 Qxh1+ 0-1. RME)]

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. (This move also eliminates any quick victories by White as his bishop is thwarted. RME)] 6.Qe2

[Moving the bishop back is really not an option.

Harrwitz-Mayet
Match
Berlin, 1847
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d6 5.Nc3 Be6 6.Be2?! Qf6 7.d4 g5 8.d5 Bc8 9.Nf3 h6 10.h4 Be7 11.Nb5 Na6 12.Bd2 Qg7 13.Bc3 f6 14.Kg1 g4 15.Nfd4 f3 16.Bf1 Bd8 17.gxf3 gxf3+ 18.Kf2 Nc5 19.Qxf3 a6 20.Na3 Bg4 21.Qf4 h5 22.Re1 Nh6 23.Rg1 Be7 24.b4 Na4 25.Ne6 Qh7 26.Nxc7+ Kd7 27.Nxa8 Nxc3 28.Nb6+ Kc7 29.Nbc4 f5 30.Kg2 fxe4 31.Kh1 Nxd5 32.Qxe4 Qxe4+ 33.Rxe4 Bf3+ 34.Bg2 Bxe4 35.Bxe4 Nxb4 36.Rg7 Kd8 37.Bxb7 Nf5 38.Rf7 Nxh4 39.Na5 d5 40.c3 Ke8 41.Rxe7+ Kxe7 42.cxb4 Kd6 43.Bxa6 Nf5 44.Bd3 Ne7 45.Nc2 Rg8 46.Nb7+ Ke6 47.Nc5+ Kd6 48.a4 Nc6 49.Nb7+ Ke7 50.Nc5 Kd6 1/2-1/2. Fischer didn’t mention this game, but in all fairness, he didn’t have access to the Internet. RME]

6…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

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17…Qxh4? [The losing move. Relatively best is 17…Kb8 (preventing Nxh5!) (Fischer is referring to White’s threat of 18.Nxh5! Rxh5 19.Qxg4+, winning the rook and the game. RME) but his game is already bad. (The advanced pawn on e5 which is crippling Black’s play on the kingside. RME).] 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
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[Tripling on the Bishop file. (And being material up, the victory is not too far off. RME)] 32…Ne6 33.Qe5 Ng5 34.Qxe7 Rxe7 35.Rf8+ (Trading down to skin and bones.) 35…Rxf8 36.Rxf8+ 1-0

 

I Beat A 2812!

Yes, this is true.

 

And this is the story.

 

In order to gain an established rating, you must play events obviously. During the time you start playing tournament games and your rating more or stabilizes, you are issued a provisional rating. This rating can wildly swing as you win and lose games.

 

In 1988 my correspondence rating was settling into a stable one. My opponent’s rating was still in wild flux before he and I started our game.

 

And this is the game.

 

A.I.-Escalante
corres. 1990
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5 (This is the Wilkes-Barre Variation, an extremely tactical and popular opening in the 1980s.  It was my favorite opening at this time as well. And it also seems to have been a favorite of my opponent as he made book move almost to the end of the game. Kenneth Williams’s pamphlet, The Real American Wilkes-Barre, published in 1979, was probably the reason for its popularity.) 5.Nxf7 (An alternate move is 5.Bxf7+. But if tactical is your M.O., then you can’t beat 5.Nxf7 for the pins, forks, checks, and sacrifices.) 5…Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7.Ke3!? [7.Kg1 is another move. But boldly (or maybe even recklessly) moving one’s king to the center in this variation is stronger than it appears (IMHO) as Black doesn’t have too many pieces developed and White is ahead materially.]

7…Qh4

[Black has the choice of the text move and 7…Qe7. I chose 7…Qh4 as I felt the queen was more active on this square.

Remember I mentioned this was popular opening back in the 1980s? Here two very strong players trying out 7…Qe7!? Notes are from NIC Yearbook #4.

Van de Loo-Hesslin
Netherlands, 1985
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5 5.Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7.Ke3 Qe7 8.c3 Nd4 9.Kxe4 Qh4+ 10.Ke3 Qf4+ 11.Kd3 d5 12.Bxd5 Bf5+ 13.Kc4 b5+ 14.Kc5 Qh4 15.Nxe5 O-O-O 16.c4 Rxd5+ 17.cxd5 Rd8 18.Nc3 Nc6 19.Qa4!! Qe7+ (19…bxa4 20.Nc6 -/+) 20.Kxb5 Qxe5 21.Qc4?! (21.Qa6+!? Kb8 22.Qc6 Bd7) 21…Nd4+ 22.Ka4 Bd7+ 23.Ka5?! (Ka3!?) 23…Nc6+ 24.Ka6? (Ka4) 24…Nb8+ 25.Kxa7 (unclear) c6? (Qd6! -+) 26.Nb5! (with the idea of Kb6, Na7#) 26…Bf5 27.d4 Rd7+ 28.Ka8 (Kb6!) 27…Qe7 29.dxc6 Be4 30.d5 Bxd5 31.Qxd5 Rxd5 32.Na7+ Kd8 33.Kxb8?! (33.Bf4 with the idea of c7) 33…Qc7+? [33…Qe5 34.Kb7 (34.Ka8? Kc6!) Rb5 35.Nxb5 Qxb5=] 34.Ka8 Ra5 (Ke8!?) 35.Bg5+!! Rxg5 (35…Ke8 36.Rae1 Kf7 37.Re7+ -+) 36.Rad1+ Ke8 37.Rhe1+ Kf8 38.Rd7 Qxh2 39.Ree7 Qxg2 40.Rb7 Rc5 41.c7 Qg4 42.Rf7+! Ke8 43.b4 Rc2 44.a4 h5 45.a5 h4 46.b5 h3 47.Nc6! h2 48.Rxg7!! 1-0 Back to the game!]

8.g3 Nxg3 9.hxg3 Qd4+ 10.Kf3 d5!

[Black has the option of 10…O-O, letting his rook into play. However, again IMHO, the text move is stronger as it allows Black’s c8-bishop to come into play AND lay claim to the center.

Oleksenko-Malksirits, corres., 1984, continued with 11.Rh4!? e2+ 12.Kg2 d5 13.Rf4 dxc4 14.Qf1 Rxf7 15.Rxf7 Bg4 16.Nc3 Ne5 17.Qf2! Bf3+ 18.Rxf3 exf3+ 19.Kg1 Qd7 20.d4 cxd3 21.Bf4 Ng6 22.Qxf3 dxc2 23.Rc1 Nxf4 24.Qxf4 Rf8 25.Qc4+ Kh8 26.Rxc2 c6 27.Qc5 Rf5 28.Rf2+ 1-0]

11.Be2

[All this studying for correspondence can pay off. Here is another game by the author.

Escalante-Tym Belanger, US Amateur Team Ch., Feb., 20 2006, 11.Rh4 e4+ 12.Kg2 Rf8 13.Bxd5 Qxd5 14.Qh5 Qxh5 15.Rxh5 Rxf7 16.Rxh7 Nd4 17.Na3 Bg4 -/+ 18.Rh8+ Rf8 19.Rxf8+ Kxf8 20.c3 Bf3+ 21.Kf2 Nf5 22.d3 Rd8 23.dxe4 Bxe4 24.Bg5? (>24.Bf4 c6 25.Nc4) 24…Rd3 25.Bf4 Rf3+ 26.Ke2 Nxg3+ 27.Bxg3 Rxg3 28.Rf1+ Ke7 29.Kd2 Rd3+?! (>29…Rg2+ 30.Ke3 Bc6 31.Nc4? Bb5) 30.Ke2 Rg3 31.Kd2 g5 32.Re1 Kf6 33.Rxe4 Kf5 34.Re2 Kf4 35.Nb5 Kf3 36.Nd4+ Kg4 37.Rf2 Kh3 38.Ke2 Rg4 39.a4 Re4+ 40.Kd3 Re1 41.Rf3+ Kg2 42.Rf7! +- (White wins with a windmill.) 42…g4 43.Rxc7 Kf2 44.Rf7+ Kg1 45.Rxb7 Rf1 46.Rg7 g3 47.Rxg3+ Kh1 48.Rg7 Rb1 49.b4 Rd1+ 50.Kc2 Rf1 51.Rxa7 Rf2+ 52.Kd3 Rf8 53.Rg7 Rf3+ 54.Kc4 (Of course not Nxf3, stalemate!) 54…Rf8 55.b5 Rc8+ 56.Kb4 Rf8 57.a5 Rf3 (Another attempt at stalemate.) 58.a6 Rf2 59.c4 Rf1 60.a7 Ra1 61.b6 Rb1+ 62.Kc5 Ra1 63.b7 Rxa7 64.b8=Q Rc7+ (Yet another try at stalemate; the third of the game. 65.Qxc7 is a draw, so…) 65.Rxc7 1-0]

11…O-O (11…Bxe2 Bg4 12.Kg2 Qe4 13.Bf3! +-) 12.Rf1? (Kg2! – K. Williams)

2019_07_25

12…Bh3!! 0-1 (This is stronger than 12…Qe4+ 13.Kf2 Rxf7+ and either 14.Ke1 or 14.Kg1 and the White king lives. But after 12…Bh3!!, White has a choice between …Rxf7# or losing a massive amount of material with 13.Bd3 Rxf7+ 14.Ke2 Bg4+ 15.Ke1 Rxf1+ 16.Kxf1 Bxd1.)

 

correspondence_AI_1

FIREWORKS

Fireworks-pastel-colors-jpg

 

Fourth of July in the US is considered our Independence Day. A day we love to celebrate with parades, hot dogs, ball games, barbeques, and fireworks.

 

We can’t provide the parades, ball games, barbeques, and our hot dogs are reserved. But we can give you fireworks. Check out these games.

 

Keres-Siitam
Estonia Jr. Ch.
Parnu, 1933
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 (This opening is known as the Mason or Keres Gambit. By either name, it leads to many tactical games.) 3…Nc6 4.d4 Bb4!? 5.Bxf4 Qh4+ 6.g3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Qe7 8.Bg2 d6 9.Nf3 Qxe4+ 10.Kf2 Bf5 11.Re1 Qxe1+ 12.Qxe1+ Nge7 13.d5 O-O 14.dxc6 Bxc2 15.Qxe7 Rae8 16.Qxc7 Re4 17.cxb7 Rfe8 18.b8=Q Re2+ 19.Kg1 Rxg2+ 20.Kxg2 Rxb8 21.Qxb8mate 1-0

 

Here are is another Keres/Mason Game. Black has the advantage after 6.…Ba6+. Now try to find Black’s best moves from this point.

 

N.N.-Chadwick
corres.
PCCA Gambit Tournament, 1911
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 Qh4+ 5.Ke2 b6! 6.Nf3 Ba6+ 7.Kd2 Qf2+ 8.Ne2 Nb4 9.a3 Nf6 10.Qe1 d5 11.Kc3 Nxe4+ 12.Kb3 Bc4+ 13.Ka4

2019_07_04_A

13…b5+ (Alex Dunne, writing in the Dec. 2000 issue of Chess Life, notes that 13…a5 14.Nc3 Qxc2+ 15.b3 Qxb3# wins faster. Would you have found that idea?) 14.Ka5 Nc6+ 15.Ka6 b4+ 16.Kb7 Rb8+ 17.Kxc6 Rb6+ 18.Kxc7 Bd6+ 19.Kc8 Ke7mate 0-1

 

Victor Knox (2320)-Krzysztof Pytel (2381)
Manchester, 1981
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Bd2 Ne7 6.Nb5 O-O 7.c3 (7.Bxb4 doesn’t seem to fare too well. Vasiliev (1703)-Lysakov (2032) Petr Izmailov Memorial, Tomsk, Russia, June 13 2013, continued with 7…cxb4 8.Nd6 Nbc6 9.Nf3 f6 10.Bd3 fxe5 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Nxc8 Nxd3+ 13.Qxd3 Rxc8 14.O-O-O Ng6 15.h4 Nf4 16.Qe3 Qf6 17.Qxa7 Ra8 18.Qd4 Ne2+ 0-1) 7…Ba5 8.dxc5 Bc7 (> 8…Ng6) 9.f4 Nd7 10.b4 b6 11.cxb6 Nxb6 12.Nf3 Bb7 (Black is coming close to equality, or at least an unclear position. However, he needs to either active his kingside or defend it. He does neither.) 13.Bd3 Nc4? (Now comes the thematic Bxh7+ and subsequent king walk.)

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14.Bxh7+! Kxh7 15.Ng5+ Kg6 16.Qg4 f5 17.Qg3 Qd7 (17…Qc8 18.Nc7) 18.Nxe6+ Kf7 19.Qxg7+ Kxe6 20.Nd4mate 1-0

 

Escalante-“Me4ok” (1846)
corres.
http://www.chess.com, 2019
[B57]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 d6 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Nh5 9.e6?

 

(This is what sometimes happens when I analyze a game in my head. Most of the time, this is not problem. But this time I thought he had played 8…Ng4, and 9.e6 works well in that variation.

 

By the way, after 8…Nh5, 9.Qf3 is considered the best move here. A few games illustrate the possibilities.

 

GM Fischer-N.N.
Simul
New York, 1963
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 g6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Nh5 9.Qf3 e6 (9…d5? 10.Nxd5! cxd5 11.Bxd5) 10.g4 Ng7 11.Ne4 Qa5+ (11…d5? 12.Nf6+ Ke7 13.Qa3+ Qd6 14.Qxd6#) 12.Bd2 Qxe5 13.Bc3 (The black queen is trapped.)
2019_07_04_C
1-0

 

Sarapu-Cornford
New Zealand Ch.
Christchurch, 1967
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 g6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Nh5 9.Qf3 e6 10.exd6 Qxd6 11.g4 Ng7 12.Bf4 e5 13.Bxf7+ Kd7 14.Rd1 exf4 15.O-O Ba6 16.Ne4 Bxf1 17.Nxd6 Bxd6 18.Qxf4 1-0

 

Mayerhofer (2203)-Klimes (2365)
IPCA World Cup
Czech Republic, 2003
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 g6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Nh5 9.Qf3 d5 10.Nxd5 e6 11.Nc3 Bb7 12.O-O Be7 13.Bh6 Bg5 14.Rad1 Qe7 15.Bxg5 Qxg5 16.Ne4 Qe7 17.Nd6+ Kf8 18.Nxf7 Qxf7 19.Qxf7+ Kxf7 20.Rd7+ Kf8 21.Rxb7 Ng7 22.Rd1 a5 23.Rdd7 Nf5 24.Bxe6 1-0

 

De Haas (2171)-Bakker
Nova Open
Haarlem, July 2 2004
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 g6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Nh5 9.Qf3 d5 10.Nxd5 cxd5 11.Bxd5 Rb8
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12.Bxf7+ Kd7 13.Qd5+ Kc7 14.Qc5+ Kb7 15.Bd5+ Ka6 16.Qc6+ 1-0

 

Now let’s get back to the original game.)

 

9…fxe6! (Oops! Black definitely has the advantage.) 10.Qf3 (Trying to keep Black from castling.) 10…d5! (Another good move. This bolsters his pawn structure.) 11.Bb3 (Forced. White wants to keep the bishop on the diagonal.) 11…Bg7 12.Bg5 Nf6? (Black could have tried 12.Rf8, and forgo castling to use the open “f” file.) 13.O-O-O O-O!? [Seems safe. But White’s bishop is still on the diagonal. If Black’s plan is king safety (always important), then he probably should hide his king on h8.] 14.Qg3 c5? (Again, …Kh8 is called for. All this move does is loosen his pawn structure. Perhaps he wanted to push …c4, getting rid of the bishop. But this approach is too slow.) 15.Rhe1 (White’s development is now superior, for the cost of a pawn. His bishop is about to become very active.) 16…Bd7? 16.Bxf6! (The start of a combination to open lines against the enemy king.) 16…exf6
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17.Nxd5! Kh8 [Now he moves his king to safer square. But he loses a critical tempo in the process. By the way, taking the knight leads to immediate disaster. I’ll let the reader figure it out the moves (it’s more fun that way!)] 18.Nc7 +- Qe7 19.Nxa8 Rxa8 20.Qc7 Rd8 21.Rxe6 Bh6+ 22.Kb1 Bxe6 23.Rxd8+ 1-0

 

GM Fabiano Caruna (2652)-GM Konstantin Landa (2664)
Torneo di Capodanno
Reggio Emilia, Italy, June 1 2010
[C42]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Qd2 Be6 9.O-O-O Qd7 10.Kb1 Bf6 11.h4 h6 12.Nd4 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Bxd4 14.Qxd4 O-O (So far, we are still in “book”.) 15.Rg1 [White played 15.Be2 in GM R. Ponomariov (2751)-GM Hao Wang (27433), Kings Tournament, Bucharest, Oct. 11 2013, with the continuation of 15…Rae8 16.Bf3 b6 17.g4 Qb5 18.g5 Qc4 19.gxh6 Qxd4 20.Rxd4 gxh6 21.Bc6 Rd8 22.Ra4 a5 23.b4 axb4 24.cxb4 Bd7 25.Bxd7 Rxd7 26.Re1 Kg7 27.Kb2 Kg6 28.Ra3 Kh5 29.Rg3 f5 30.Re6 b5 31.Kb3 f4 32.Rgg6 Rh7 33.f3 Rf5 34.c4 bxc4+ 35.Kxc4 Re5 36.Ref6 Kxh4 37.Rxf4+ Kh3 38.Rfg4 h5 39.Rg3+ Kh2 40.Rg2+ Kh1 41.Rg1+ Kh2 42.R6g2+ Kh3 43.Rg7 Rxg7 44.Rxg7 Re3 45.a4 Ra3 46.Kb5 c5 47.bxc5 1/2-1/2. Caruna’s move seems clearer and stronger.] 15…Rae8 16.g4 Qc6 17.Bg2 Qa6 18.b3 Bd7 19.g5 h5 20.g6 Re7 21.Bd5 Be6 22.Rde1 c5 23.Qd1 Rfe8 24.Qxh5! +- fxg6
2019_07_04_F
25.Rxe6! (Black resigned as he gets checkmated after 25…Rxe6 26.Qxg6. Or he could play on by taking the queen first, and then still get mated after 25…gxh5 26.Rxe7+ Kh7 27.Be4+ Kg8 28.Rgxg7+ Kh8 29.Rh7+ Kg8 30.Rxe8# .) 1-0

 

“jovialdick” (2178)-“blueemu” (2297)
Match
Team Malaysia vs The Canadian Team
chess.com, Aug. 2018
[This game can be found in a forum titled, “A Heroic Defense in the Sicilian Najdorf – Kids, don’t try this at home!” on chess.com. Notes in green are by Escalante, those in red by “blueemu”. I hesitate to include any diagrams, since virtually every move after White 10th would necessitate a diagram.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.f4 (Another common move here is 9.Qf3, with the idea of activating pieces over using the kingside pawns to cramp and attack Black’s position.) 9…Bb7 (Black’s only good idea with his white bishop is to fianchetto it. He has play it soon anyway.) 10.e5 (This move is the direct result of White’s previous move. The attack, however, is double-edged as White’s king is not exactly safe if his attack should fail.) 10…dxe5 11.fxe5 Bc5 12.Be3 Nc6 13.exf6 Bxd4 14.fxg7 [Another crazy possibility (pointed out by one of the Master-strength players who was drawn by the carnage) was 14 Nd5!? instead of the piece sacrifice 14. fxg7 that White actually played.] 14…Bxe3+ 15.Kh1 Rg8 16.Bxe6 Rxg7 17.Bxf7+ Rxf7 18.Qh5 Ne5 [Florian, writing in Informant 19, game 453, gives this move “!!” and a -+. The game, Cervenka (2190)-A. Schneider (2266), Czechoslovakia, 1974, continued after 18…Ne5!! -+, with 19.Qxe5+ (19.Rae1 Qg5! -+ ; 19.Rf5 Qd2, are again Florian’s notes to the game.) 19…Qe7 20.Qh8+ Kd7 21.Rad1+ (or 21.Rxf7 Qxf7 22.Qe5 Bxg2+ 23.Kxg2 Rg8+ 24.Kh3 Qf3+ 0-1, as in Kaleb-Sostra, corres., Keres Memorial, 1982) 21… Ke6 0-1. Back to original game. ; Black is indeed winning after 18. … Ne5!! but I messed up on move 20 with 20. … Rd8?! allowing White to head into a very drawish position by swapping everything off on f7 after 21. Rae1 Kf8 and White takes on f7 then recovers his piece on e3.] 19.Qxe5+ Qe7 20.Qh5 Rd8 [20…b4?! is too slow. Miranda Rodriguez (2167)-Ruiz Sanchez (2392), Capablanca Memorial, Havana, May 11 2010 continued with 21.Rae1 bxc3 22.Rxf7 Qxf7 23.Rxe3+ Kf8 24.Qc5+ Kg7 25.Rg3+ Kf6 26.Qd4+ Kf5 27.Qf2+ 1-0 ; Black had a much better 20th move, playing 20. … Kf8! (instead of playing it one move later, as I actually did) 21. Rae1 Re8! and White is lost because he cannot recover his piece, while the Black King is now safe (for a given value of “safe”).] 21.Rae1 Kf8 22.Qxh7 Bd4 23.h3 Rd7 24.Qg6 Qh4 25.Re8+ Kxe8 26.Qg8+ Ke7 27.Rxf7+ Kd6 28.Qb8+ Kc5 29.Rf5+ Kb6 30.Kh2 Qe1 31.Nd5+ Rxd5 32.Rxd5 Bg1+ 0-1

The Daring Damiano

The Petrov (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6) has a reputation for being drawish. But that doesn’t mean that there no pitfalls.

 

Let’s take a look at one of them, sometimes called “The Daring Damiano” (don’t ask me why).

 

The moves are 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nxe4. Although White has several moves available to choose from, he almost always chooses 4.Qe2. The main reason is that it activates his queen and he can quickly win the game if Black stumbles.

 

Let’s take a look at a common (at least among beginners) trap from this position and let’s call it “Ancient Chess Trap” (or ACT). The moves that make this (bad) variation are (in case you need review all the move so far) are : 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nxe4 4.Qe2, and now Black can lose quickly lose with 4…Nf6??

2019_03_28

5.Nc6+! +-

 

This trap is one worth remembering as it can come up in other openings and is a nice way to end a rated game early enough so you can enjoy playing blitz chess for the rest of the day.

 

After the better 4…Qe7, the game can continue with 5.Qxe4 d6 6.d4 dxe5 [Black almost has to take the pawn. After 6.d4 Nd7, White won nicely with 6.d4 Nd7 7.f4!? f6?! 8.Be2 fxe5 9.fxe5 dxe5 10.O-O exd4 11.Bh5+ Kd8 12.Bg5 Nf6 13.Rxf6 Qxe4 14.Rd6# 1-0 (Steinkuehler-Horwitz, Manchester 1961).] 7.Qxe5 Qxe5+ 8.dxe5 Bf5, giving Black a decent chance.

 
This was starting point for Hertan’s article in the February 1990 issue of Chess Life. By the way, his article was titled, “The Daring Damiano”. It may the first time anyone has used the term to describe this variation in the Petrov.

 

The big question here, is how should White continue? The answer is not clear.

 

9.Bb5+ doesn’t look so good after the obvious 9…c6. In addition, Sapfirov-Yaroslavsev, USSR 1971, continued with 9.Bb5+ Nd7!? 10.O-O Bxc2 11.Bf4 c6 12.Be2 Bf5 13.Nc3 Be7 = (ECO evaluation). So Black can at least equalize.

 
It turns out that 9.Bd3 is an error as Black can continue with 9.Bd3? Bxd3 10.cxd3 Nc6 and his development is no worse than White and Black may already have the advantage.

 

9.c3 has possibilities. After 9.c3 Nd7 10.f4 O-O-O 11.Be3 f6 (this move deserves either !? or ?!), Black won after 12.Be2 fxe5 13.O-O exf4 14.Rxf4 Re8 15.Rxf5 Rxe3 16.Bg4 h5 17.Kf2 Re4 18.Bh3 g6 19.Nd2 gxf5 0-1 (R. Oosting (1983)-FM S. Muehlenhaus (2199), HZ Open, Netherlands Aug. 6 2017).

 
Other games with 9.c3

 

Fridthjofsdottir-Canela
Thessaloniki Ol., 1984
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nxe4 4.Qe2 Qe7 5.Qxe4 d6 6.d4 dxe5 7.Qxe5 Qxe5+ 8.dxe5 Bf5 9.c3 Nd7 10.Bf4 O-O-O 11.Nd2 Bc5 12.Nb3 Bb6 13.Nd4 Bg6 14.O-O-O Rde8 15.Re1 Nc5 16.Bc4 Rhf8 17.Rd1 Re7 18.f3 Rfe8 19.Rhe1 Nd7 20.e6 fxe6 21.Bxe6 Kb8 22.Bxd7 Rxe1 23.Bxe8 Rxe8 24.Bg3 Kc8 25.Re1 Rxe1+ 26.Bxe1 Bxd4 27.cxd4 Kd7 28.Bg3 Bd3 29.Be5 Bf1 30.g3 Be2 31.Bxg7 Bxf3 32.Kd2 Ke6 33.Ke3 Bd5 34.a3 Kf5 35.Be5 c6 36.Bb8 a6 37.Kd3 Ke6 38.Kc3 Kd7 39.Kb4 b6 40.Kc3 Kc8 41.Be5 Kd7 42.Kd3 Ke6 43.Bc7 b5 44.Kc3 Kd7 45.Bb6 Be6 46.Kb4 Kd6 47.Ka5 Bc8 48.Bc5+ Kc7 49.Kb4 Bf5 50.Kc3 Kd7 51.Kd2 Ke6 52.Ke3 h5 53.Kf4 Kf6 54.Be7+ Kg6 55.Ke5 a5 56.Kd6 Be4 57.a4 bxa4 58.Bd8 Bd5 59.Bxa5 Kg5 60.h3 Kf5 61.g4+ 1/2-1/2

 

Herbrechtsmeier-Duerr
Badenweiler Open
Germany, 1988
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nxe4 4.Qe2 Qe7 5.Qxe4 d6 6.d4 dxe5 7.Qxe5 Qxe5+ 8.dxe5 Bf5 9.c3 Nd7 10.Bf4 O-O-O 11.Nd2 Re8 12.Nc4 f6 13.O-O-O fxe5 14.Bg3 g6 15.Bd3 Bg7 16.Bc2 h5 17.h4 Nc5 18.Rhe1 e4 19.Bf4 a6 20.Ne3 Rhf8 21.Bg3 Bh6 22.Kb1 Nd3 23.Nxf5 gxf5 24.Bxd3 exd3 25.Rxe8+ Rxe8 26.Rxd3 Re1+ 27.Kc2 Re2+ 28.Kd1 Rxb2 29.Rf3 Rd2+ 30.Ke1 Rxa2 31.Rxf5 Bd2+ 32.Kd1 Bxc3 33.Rf8+ Kd7 34.Rf7+ Ke6 35.Rxc7 Be5 36.Bxe5 Kxe5 1/2-1/2

 

Jolanta Zawadzka (243200-Ewa Harazinska (2310)
Polish Women’s Ch.
Poznan, Apr. 1 2016
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nxe4 4.Qe2 Qe7 5.Qxe4 d6 6.d4 dxe5 7.Qxe5 Qxe5+ 8.dxe5 Bf5 9.c3 Nd7 10.Bf4 O-O-O 11.Bc4 Nxe5 12.Bxe5 Re8 13.f4 f6 14.O-O fxe5 15.fxe5 Bc5+ 16.Kh1 Bxb1 17.Raxb1 Rxe5 18.Bd3 h6 19.b4 Be7 20.Bf5+ Kb8 21.Bg4 Bf6 22.Bf3 Re3 23.c4 Rd8 24.a4 c6 25.a5 Kc7 26.b5 cxb5 27.Rxb5 b6 28.c5 bxc5 29.Rxc5+ Kd6 30.Rc6+ Ke7 31.Rb1 Rd6 32.Rc7+ Rd7 33.Rc4 Rd4 34.Rcc1 Ra3 35.Rb7+ Rd7 36.Re1+ Kd8 37.Rb8+ Kc7 38.Rb7+ Kd8 39.Rb5 Bc3 40.Rb8+ Kc7 41.Rb7+ Kd8 42.Rb8+ Kc7 43.Rb7+ 1/2-1/2
White can offer a pawn with 9.Nc3. Black should not take it and play the most reasonable development move; 9…Nc6. The c-pawn is still vulnerable, and Black is free to castle queenside, giving his king safety and his activity to his rook.

 

Finally, White can sidestep this variation with 6.d4 dxe5 7.dxe5 Nc6. But that is for another post.

Swiss Gambit

Most players know of Froms’ Gambit [1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3), with continuation of either 4…g5 (to drive away the knight) or 4…Nf6 (to defend and ready to redeploy the knight to g4 or e4)].

 

But White can also offer a similar gambit after 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3. This gambit is known as the Swiss Gambit. Because of its rarity, most players are not aware of it or it’s thematic ideas.

 

Let’s take a look the gambit after the opening moves (1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3).

2019_03_14_a

If Black was to take the pawn, he would be a pawn up in the game. However, it would be hazardous to do so as both of White’s bishops (after 3…exd3 4.Bxd3) would be activated and his own kingside would be vulnerable. There are two things that slow down White’s attack. The first is the f-pawn, which unlike in the From’s Gambit (which does not have such an advanced pawn), blocks the bishop from going to f4 or g5. The second thing is that Black usually plays an early 4…Nf6, to stop the h5 checks.

 
Now, lets look at some games.

 

First, Black does not have to take the pawn. But such a plan can be risky as the d3-pawn can easily capture the e4-pawn and White has a nice center, without having to sacrifice a pawn.

 

Ranniku-Karakas
Briansk, 1965
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 g6 4.dxe4 e5 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bc4 Qe7 7.Nc3 exf4 8.Qe2 d6 9.Bxf4 Be6 10.O-O-O Nc6 11.Bb5 Bd7 12.Bg5 Bg7 13.Nd5 Qd8 14.e5 dxe5 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 16.Qxe5+ Kf7 17.Nxf6 1-0

 

Priehoda (2404)-Cyprian
Kubin Open, 1978
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 e3 4.Bxe3 Nf6 5.Nc3 d5 6.d4 Bf5 7.Bd3 e6 8.Nf3 c6 9.O-O Bb4 10.Ne2 Nbd7 11.Ng3 g6 12.Qe2 O-O 13.Bd2 Bxd2 14.Qxd2 Qc7 15.Rae1 Rae8 16.h3 b6 17.Nh1 Nh5 18.Ne5 Nxe5 19.fxe5 c5 20.Bb5 Rc8 21.g4 cxd4 22.gxf5 exf5 23.Qxd4 Rcd8 24.e6 Qe7 25.Bd7 Nf6 26.Qh4 Qc5+ 27.Nf2 Qe7 28.Nd3 Kg7 29.Qd4 Kh6 30.Ne5 Ne4 31.Qe3+ Kg7 32.Nc6 Qh4 33.Nxd8 f4 34.e7 Rf6 35.Qf3 Nd2 36.Qg4 1-0

 

Petran (2341)-Veselsky (2200)
Slovakia Ch.
Dolny Kubin, 1979
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e3 5.d4 e6 6.Bd3 Bb4 7.Bxe3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 O-O 9.Nf3 d6 10.O-O Nbd7 11.Bd2 Qe8 12.Qe2 Rf7 13.Rae1 Nf8 14.f5 h6 15.Nh4 Bd7 16.Qf3 Qc8 17.Qg3 Nh5 18.Qh3 Nf6 19.Ng6 N6h7 20.fxe6 Bxe6 21.Rxf7 Bxh3 22.Ree7 Nxg6 23.Rxg7+ Kf8 24.Ref7+ Ke8 25.Bxg6 1-0

 
If Black wants to decline the pawn offer, he must play an early …d5.

 

Heinola-Lehtivaara
Tampere Hervanta, 1987
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 d5 4.dxe4 dxe4 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Be3 c6 8.Nge2 Bf5 9.O-O-O Nbd7 10.Bd4 Kc7 11.Ng3 e6 12.Be5+ Nxe5 13.fxe5 Ng4 14.Ncxe4 Nxe5 15.Be2 g6 16.h3 h5 17.Kb1 h4 18.Nxf5 gxf5 19.Ng5 Re8 20.Rhe1 Rh6 21.Rd2 Bc5 22.Bf1 Nd7 23.Bc4 e5 24.Red1 Nb6 25.Bb3 Be3 0-1

 

And he must play it accurately.

 

R. Oberlin-R. Berggren
US Open
Los Angeles, 1991
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 d5 4.Nh3 Nf6 5.Nf2 exd3 6.Bxd3 Nc6 7.O-O b6? (This setup of the knight on c6 and the bishop going to b7 seems too slow and out of touch with a tactical opening such as this one. Black soon finds himself short of moves.) 8.Nd2 Bb7 9.Nf3 Qd7 10.Ng5 Nd8 11.Bxh7 e6 12.Bg6+ Ke7 13.Re1 Kd6 (Let the King Hunt begin!)

2019_03_14_b

4.f5 exf5 15.Nd3 Qa4 16.Bf4+ Kc6 17.Ne5+ Kc5 18.Qd2 d4 19.b4+! Kd5 20.c4+ 1-0

 

It is only after 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 that the real battle begins.

De Groot-Anderssen
Amsterdam, 1875
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Ne4 Nc6 8.c3 d6 9.Nfg5 Nxe4 10.Nxe4? (>Bxe4) 10…g6 11.Qe2 e5 12.O-O Bf5 13.Ng5 Bxd3 14.Qxd3 Bxg5 15.fxg5 Qe7 16.Qh3 Qd7 17.Be3 Qxh3 18.gxh3 0-1

 

After the moves 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6, White has three excellent choices of 6.Ng5 (A brazen attempt at an attack, probably best for a blitz game), 6.Ne5 (a more cautious and shy approach to an attack), and 6.Be3 (a developing move that allows White to castle queenside if the need arises).

 

Bird+Dobell-Gelbfuhs
Vienna, 1873
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 (a very good move as the knight usually finds itself involved in White’s attack.) 5…e6 (this move is the most common as it allows his bishop to develop and bolsters his defense of his weak point on f7.) 6.Ng5!? g6 (not 6…Bc5? because of 7.Bxh7 Kf8 8.Nxe6+, winning) 7.h4 Bh6 8.h5 Bxg5 9.fxg5 Nd5 10.hxg6 Qe7 11.Rxh7 Rxh7 12.gxh7 Qb4+ 13.Kf1 Qh4 14.Bg6+ Ke7 15.Qh5 1-0

 

Popp-Jørgensen
corres.
IECC, 2000
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Ng5 c6 7.h4 Bg4 8.Be2 Bxe2 9.Qxe2 g6 10.Qe6 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qf5 12.Qf7+ Kd7 13.h5 gxh5 14.Rxh5 Qc5 15.Rh1 Qxc2 16.Ne6 Qe4+ 0-1

 

Christian Maltais (2134)-Daniel J. Freire (2047)
corres.
DE10A /pr 48
ICCF, 2016
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Ng5 d5 7.Qe2 Bc5 8.Nd2 O-O 9.Ndf3 Qd6 10.h4 Nc6 11.c3 h6 12.Ne5 hxg5 13.hxg5 Ne4 14.Bxe4 dxe4 15.g6 Rf5 16.Nf7 Rxf7 17.Qh5 Qf8 18.Qh8mate 1-0

 

Ivar Jakobsson-Hakan Johansson
Stockholm, 1974
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Ne5 d6 7.O-O b6 8.Ng4 Ba6 9.Nxf6+ Qxf6 10.Re1 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 Nc6 12.Qf3 Kd7 13.Nd2 d5 14.c4 Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Nd4 16.Qh3 Rae8 17.cxd5 Nc2 18.Ne4 Qh6 19.dxe6+ Kc8 20.Qf3 Kb8 21.Nxc5 bxc5 22.Qb3+ Nb4 23.a3 a5 24.axb4 cxb4 25.Rxa5 1-0

 

Schirmer-Schleipen, 1956
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Be3 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.Nbd2 Nd5 9.Ng5 Bxg5 10.fxg5 Rxf1+ 11.Nxf1 Nxe3 12.Bxh7+ Kf8 13.Nxe3 Qxg5 14.Qf3+ Qf6 15.Qh5 Ke7 16.Rf1 Qh6 17.Qf7+ Kd6 18.Rd1+ Kc6 19.Be4+ d5 20.Bxd5+ exd5 21.Qxd5+ Kb6 22.Nc4+ 1-0

Thinking of Jimmy Quon

This morning I was thinking of Jimmy Quon. For those who don’t know was one of the nicest chess players you could ever meet and he achieved his Master title while he was in his late teens.

 

But I have to admit I didn’t like him when we first met. I thought him to be arrogant and more than slightly condescending.

 

It was when Jimmy found out that I was analyzing some sharp, tactically rich variations of the Two Knights Defence games that we became friends. He was impressed by some of the lines, and more importantly, how well I could come up with responses to some interesting problems of the variations.

 

You see, both Jimmy and I were interested in studying and playing tactical games. Which would greatly serve us in a tournament at Cal Tech.

 

Siamese chess is an extremely tactical variant of chess that be defined as “a variation with two boards, four players, and general mayhem”.

 
Jimmy and I studied for this tournament. And won it with a score of 19-1. The lone loss was due to one of the players telling my opponent a winning move in a complicated position.

 

He, the kibitzer, was immediately condemned by the organizer, the TD (amazing he even spoke up in front of them), the other players who were watching the game, and his own teammates.

 

He was not on good terms with most players before this event and was on bad terms after this event.

 

I remembered running into Jimmy on a Wednesday night, just before the American Open (held every Thanksgiving weekend). I had to smile when I saw him playing a TN in a Siamese game, a variation we had studied for the Cal Tech tournament.

 

I lost contact with him for a while. I found out he was teaching at San Diego and I was proud he did was doing something he liked. His subject, by the way, was teaching chess.

 

Jimmy suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2010. It was one of those cases in which you had only hours to live. It happened so fast that a friend who wanted to see him, had to immediately drive from Orange County, CA to San Diego and didn’t know if he could do it in time. He made it.

 

You won’t find too many games from Jimmy Quon on the Internet as he played most of his in the pre-Internet era. And I know you won’t find this one.

 

J. Quon-Forte
Blitz Game
Labate’s Chess Center
Anaheim CA, 1986
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Nxe4 5.Qxd4 Nf6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.Qh4 d6 9.O-O-O O-O 10.Bd3 h6 11.Rhe1!?

[Estrin analyzed 11.Bxh6 gxh6 12.Qxh6 Ne5 (12…Nb4 13.Ng5 Nxd3+ 14.Rxd3 Bf5 15.Rg3 Bg6 16.Ne6! +/-) 13.Nxe5 dxe5 14.Qg5+ Kh8 15.Bf5 (with the idea of Rd3) +/-. But Jimmy’s idea has it’s own merits.]

11…hxg5 12.Nxg5 Re8 13.Kb1 Bd7?! 14.Nd5! Be6 15.Bh7+ Kf8

2018_12_20

16.Rxe6! +- Nxd5 17.Bg6 Nc3+ 18.bxc3 Kg8 19.Qh7+ Kf8 20.Qh8mate 1-0

 

In 2011 a Jimmy Quon Memorial was held in Los Angeles. Here are two games.

 

GM Mackenzie Molner (2458)-GM Mark Paragua (2521)
Jimmy Quon Memorial
California Market Center, Los Angeles, Jan. 19 2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Bc4 Qb6 8.Bb3 e6 9.Qd2 Be7 10.O-O-O Nc5 11.Rhe1 O-O 12.f4 h6 13.h4 Qa5 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.g4 e5 16.fxe5 Bxe5 17.Rg1 Be6 18.Kb1 Rac8 19.g5 h5 20.g6 Nxb3 21.axb3 Bg4 22.Rxg4 hxg4 23.Nf5 Bf6 24.Nd5 Qxd2 25.Nxf6+ gxf6 26.Rxd2 fxg6 27.Ne7+ Kf7 28.Nxc8 Rxc8 29.Rxd6 f5 30.exf5 gxf5 31.Rd7+ Kf6 32.Kc1 g3 0-1

 

Alessandro Steinfl (2209)-GM Daniel Naroditsky (2419)
Jimmy Quon Memorial
California Market Center, Los Angeles, Jan. 23 2011
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 (The Four Pawns variation of the King’s Indian – a rarity.)5…O-O 6.Nf3 Na6 7.Bd3 e5 8.fxe5 dxe5 9.d5 Qe7 10.O-O Nc5 11.Bc2 a5 12.Qe1 Nh5 13.Be3 b6 14.Rd1 Bg4 15.Nb5 f5 16.exf5 e4 17.d6 cxd6 18.Bxc5 dxc5 19.Qxe4 Qxe4 20.Bxe4 Rae8 21.Bd5+ Kh8 22.Nd6 Re7 23.fxg6 hxg6 24.Nf7+ Rexf7 25.Bxf7 Nf4 26.Bd5 Bxb2 27.Rb1 Bd4+ 28.Nxd4 cxd4 29.g3 Ne2+ 30.Kg2 Rd8 31.Rxb6 Bf5 32.Rd1 d3 33.Rd2 Nc3 34.Bf3 a4 35.g4 Be4 36.c5 Rd4 37.c6 Bd5 38.c7 1-0

 

 

Calling all Smith-Morra Players

Most players are aware of the Smith-Morra Gambit (1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 ). And some of them actually use the gambit. And a few even win their majority of the games with it.

 

But not too many know about this sideline of the gambit. Here, White insists on giving up third pawn. He can do this by either playing 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 or 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nf3.

 

Results are mixed; you might want to first try these ideas out on a blitz game.

 

 

~~~~ 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 ~~~~

 

Andrew Cooper (2175)-J.L. Foster (2040)
Barnstaple, England, 1972
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 Nc6 5.Nxc3 d6 6.Nf3 e5 7.O-O Be7 8.b4 Nf6 9.h3 O-O 10.b5 Na5 11.Bd3 Qc7 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.exd5 b6 14.Be3 Nb7 15.Rc1 Nc5 16.Qc2 f5 17.Be2 Qd8 18.Rfd1 Bd7 19.a4 Rc8 20.Qa2 Bf6 21.Ne1 Qe8 22.Nc2 Kh8 23.Nb4 Qf7 24.Bd3 g5 25.Be2 Rg8 26.Kh1 Ra8 27.Rg1 f4 28.Bd2 g4 29.Qa3 Ne4 30.Be1 gxh3 31.gxh3 Rxg1+ 32.Kxg1 Rg8+ 33.Kf1 Qg6 34.Bf3 Bxh3+ 35.Ke2 Nc5 36.Kd1 Bf5 37.Be2 Qg1 38.Nd3 f3 39.Bxf3 Nxd3 40.Qc3 Rc8 0-1

 

Gustavo Celis (2379)-Juan Pablo Seminara (2326)
FMDA (A)
Buenos Aires, 1992
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.O-O Be7 7.Nxc3 d6 8.Qe2 a6 9.Rd1 Qc7 10.Bf4 Nf6 11.e5 Nh5 12.Bg5 Bxg5 13.Nxg5 Nf4 14.Qf3 Nxe5 15.Qxf4 Qxc4 16.Nce4 O-O 17.Rac1 Qxa2 (White’s two knight are well-placed, but they have do something before Black fully develops.)

2018_09_27_A

18.Nxh7! Ng6 19.Nhf6+ gxf6 20.Nxf6+ Kg7 21.Nh5+ Kg8 22.Qf6 1-0

 

Xavier Pinero Fernandez (2277)-Lionel Gachon (2275)
Active Chess, 1992?
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 e6 5.Nf3 Qc7 6.Qe2 Nc6 7.O-O Nf6 8.e5 Ng4 9.Nxc3 a6 10.Bf4 b5 11.Bd3 Bb7 12.h3 Nh6 13.g4 Be7 14.Rac1 Qa5 15.Rfd1 Ng8 16.Ne4 h6 17.Nc5 Bxc5 18.Rxc5 g5 19.Bd2 Qxa2 20.Bc3 h5 21.Nxg5 hxg4 22.Nxf7 Kxf7 23.Bg6+ Kxg6 24.Qxg4+ Kf7 25.Rxd7+ Nge7 26.Kh2 0-1

 

Francisco Adell Corts (2196)-Alexis Cabrera (2502)
Cullera International
Spain, 2003
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 e6 5.Nxc3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Qc7 7.Qe2 Nf6 8.Nb5 Qb8 9.e5 Ng4 10.Bf4 Bb4+ 11.Kf1 a6 12.Nd6+ Bxd6 13.exd6 b5 14.Bb3 Nf6 15.Rd1 a5 16.Ng5 Nd8 17.Be5 Bb7 18.Bc2 Ra6 19.Bxh7 Kf8 20.Be4 Bd5 0-1

 

GM T. Gareev (2618)-Scott White
Blindfold Simul, Dec. 3 2016
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Nxc3 a6 7.Bf4 Nge7 8.O-O Ng6 9.Bg3 b5 10.Bb3 Be7 11.Nd5 exd5 12.exd5 O-O 13.dxc6 dxc6 14.Qc2 Qb6 15.h4 c5 16.Bd5 Bb7 17.Bxb7 Qxb7 18.h5 Nh8 19.Rfe1 Rad8 20.a4 c4 21.axb5 axb5 22.Qf5 Bf6 23.Be5 Qd5 24.Rad1 Qe6 25.Rxd8 Qxf5 26.Rxf8+ Kxf8 27.Bd6+ Be7 28.Rxe7 Qd3 29.Re6+ 1-0

 

“Ziryab” (1940)-“Nomen Nescio” (1978)
Blitz Game
ACS, Mar.5 2018
[“Ziryab”]
1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 c6 5.Nf3 d6 6.O-O Nf6 7.Qe2 Bg4 8.Rd1 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Be7 (9…c2 and White is busted.) 10.e5 Ng8 (10…O-O 11.exf6 and White is better ; 10…c2 still works.) 11.Qxf7+ Kd7 12.exd6 Nf6 (12…Kc8 13.Be6+ Nd7 14.dxe7) 13.Be6mate 1-0

 

~~~~ 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 cxb2 ~~~~

 

Lukes-Jan Holub (2020)
Czechoslovakia Army Ch.
Prague, Aug. 24 1955
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2 Nc6 6.Ne2 Nf6 7.O-O e6 8.Nbc3 Na5 9.Bd3 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 Qxd5 12.Nf4 Qg5 13.Nh3 Qe7 14.Qh5 Nc6 15.Ng5 g6 16.Qf3 e5 17.Bc4 Be6 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.Bb5 Qc7 20.Rac1 Rc8 21.Qf6 1-0

 

Xavier Pinero Fernandez (2277)-Victor Vehi Bach (2365)
Active Chess
Barcelona, 1996
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 e6 5.Nf3 cxb2 6.Bxb2 Qa5+ 7.Nc3 Bb4 8.Rc1 Nf6 9.O-O Nc6 10.e5 Ng4 11.Nb5 O-O 12.Bd3 f5 13.exf6 Nxf6 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Rc4 Rf7 16.Rg4+ Kh8 17.Qa1 e5 18.Qb1 d5 19.Rh4 e4 20.Bxe4 dxe4 21.Qxe4 Bd7 22.Qg6 Raf8 23.Rh5 Qxb5 24.Qxf7 Qxf1+ 25.Kxf1 Rxf7 26.Rb5 b6 0-1

 

Lucio Maurino (2235)-Juan Pablo Hobaica (2368)
Argentina U26 Ch., 1997
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2 e6 6.Nf3 d6 7.O-O Nf6 8.Nc3 Be7 9.Qe2 O-O 10.Rfd1 Qa5 11.Nb5 d5 12.exd5 exd5 13.Qxe7 dxc4 14.Bxf6 Nc6 15.Qd6 Qxb5 16.Rd5 Qb4 17.Qg3 g6 18.Rh5 c3 19.Rh4 Qc5 20.Rxh7 Kxh7 21.Ng5+ 1-0

 

Handigol (2008)-Chernobilskiy (1883)
Neil Falconer Tournament
Mechanics’ Institute, San Francisco, Sept. 24 2013
1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2 Bb4+ 6.Nc3 Qe7 7.Nge2 Nf6 8.O-O O-O 9.Qb3 Nc6 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.Bxd5 Bd6 12.f4 Bc5+ 13.Kh1 Kh8 14.Qg3 f6 15.e5 f5 16.Rac1 Nb4 17.Bb3 d5 18.a3 Nc6 19.Nc3 Nd4 20.Nxd5 Qf7 21.Rxc5 Nxb3 22.Rxc7 1-0

 

~~~~ 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nf3!? ~~~~

 

Bernd Oltersdorff-Geyer
corres.
East Germany, 1962
1.d4 c5 2.e4 cxd4 3.Nf3 Qa5+ 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Nf6 6.Bc4 Nxe4 7.Qd4 Nxc3 8.b4 Qb6 9.Qxc3 e6 10.a3 Nc6 11.Be3 Qd8 12.O-O-O a6 13.Rhe1 b5 14.Bg5 Ne7 15.Bxe6 fxe6 16.Rxe6 dxe6 17.Rxd8+ Kxd8 18.Qc6 Ra7 19.Ne5 Bd7 20.Qb6+ Rc7+ 21.Kb2 Kc8 22.Qxa6+ Rb7 23.Nxd7 Nd5 24.Qa8+ Kc7 25.Qd8+ 1-0

 

Rafael Leitao (2360)-Aron Correa (2390)
Brazil Ch.
Americana, 1995
1.d4 c5 2.e4 cxd4 3.Nf3 Qa5+ 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 d6 7.O-O Nf6 8.Bf4 a6 9.Rc1 Ne5 10.Nxe5 dxe5 11.Bd2 Qd8 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.exd5 g6 14.Bc3 Bg7 15.f4 Qd6 16.Qe2 f6 17.fxe5 fxe5 18.a3 Bd7 19.Bb4 Qb6+ 20.Kh1 Rc8 21.d6 e6 22.Qg4 Rxc4 23.Qxc4 Qe3 24.Qh4 1-0

 

Kontra-Slavomir Gulvas
Slovakia Ch.
Bratislava, June 2004
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Nxc3 d6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.h3 a6 8.O-O  b5 9.Bxf7+ Kxf7 10.e5 e6 11.Ng5+ Ke7 12.exf6+ gxf6 13.Nd5+ exd5 14.Qxd5  Kd7 15.Ne6 Qb6 16.Be3 Qb8 17.Qf5 Be7 18.Rac1 Bb7 19.Bb6 Ke8 20.Qh5+ Kd7  21.Qf5 Ke8 22.Rfd1 Kf7 23.Qd5 Ke8 24.Qh5+ Kd7 25.Nc5+ 1-0

 

 

~~~~ 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nf3!? e5 ~~~~

 

Eugenio Szabados-Giovanni Emilio Rottigni
Venice, 1923
1.d4 c5 2.e4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e5 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Ng5 Bb4 8.Nxf7 Qa5 9.Bd2 Rf8 10.a3 Bxc3 11.Bxc3 Qc5 12.b4 Qb6 13.Nd6+ Kd8 14.O-O a6 15.Rb1 Qc7 16.a4 Nd4 17.f4 Qxd6 18.fxe5 Qxe5 19.Bxd4 Qc7 20.Rc1 1-0

 

Igor Bondarevsky-Genrikh Kasparian
USSR Ch.
Tbilisi, 1937
1.d4 c5 2.e4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e5 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 d6 7.Ng5 Nh6 8.O-O Bg4 9.Bxf7+ Nxf7 10.Qxg4 Nxg5 11.Bxg5 Be7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nd5 Qd7 14.Qh5+ g6 15.Qh4 Qg7 16.Nf6+ Kd8 17.f4 Rc8 18.Nd5+ Ke8 19.Qh3 Ne7 20.Rac1 Rxc1 21.Rxc1 Nc6 22.Qe6+ Kd8 23.Qxd6+ Ke8 24.Nc7+ 1-0

 

Igor Bondarevsky-Peterson
USSR Ol.
Moscow, 1959
1.d4 c5 2.e4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e5 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 d6 6.Bc4 Nc6 7.Ng5 Nh6 8.O-O Bg4 9.Bxf7+ Nxf7 10.Qxg4 Nxg5 11.Bxg5 Be7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nd5 Qd7 14.Qh5+ g6 15.Qh4 Qd8 16.Qh6 Qa5 17.b4 Nxb4 18.Qg7 O-O-O 19.Rab1 1-0

 

Fidel Albertoni-Roque Eckenfels
corres.
Argentina, 1977
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e5 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 d6 7.O-O Be7 8.Nd5 Nf6 9.Ng5 O-O 10.Nxf6+ Bxf6 11.Qh5 Bxg5 12.Bxg5 Qe8 13.f4 Be6 14.f5 Bxc4 15.Bf6 Ne7 16.Rf3 Ng6 17.Bxg7 Qd8 18.Bxf8 Qh4 19.Qxh4 Nxh4 20.Rc3 d5 21.Be7 1-0

 

Joseph Gallagher (2531)-Jim Plaskett (2450)
Commonwealth Ch.
England, 1986
1.d4 c5 2.e4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e5 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 d6 6.Bc4 Nc6 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.Ng5 Nh6 9.Bd5 Nd4 10.Qd1 Be7 11.Nf3 Nxf3+ 12.Qxf3 Qg4 13.Nb5 O-O 14.Be3 Qg6 15.Bxa7 Be6 16.Bxb7 Bc4 17.a4 d5 18.b3 Bb4+ 19.Kd1 Rxa7 20.Nxa7 Qb6 21.bxc4 Qxa7 22.Bxd5 Qd4+ 23.Kc2 Qd2+ 24.Kb3 Bc3 0-1

 

~~~~ 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nf3!? cxb2 ~~~~

 

Gaudin-de Gency
corres., 1925
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nf3 cxb2 5.Bxb2 e6 6.Bc4 b6?! 7.O-O Ba6 8.Nbd2 Bxc4 9.Nxc4 Nf6 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.e5 Qf4 (One can criticize this move as White has more pieces developed than Black. But if the Black queen goes back to d8, then Black has a very cramped game. But after the text move, he still has a very cramped game.) 12.Rc1 Nc6 13.Nd6+ Bxd6 14.Qxd6 (From this point onward, White’s game almost plays itself due to the cramped position of Black’s game.) 14…Rd8 (Not 14…f6, in attempt to flee to f7 or at least break the bind imposed by the e5 pawn, due to 15.Rxc6! dxc6 16.Qxe6+) 15.Rfd1 Qe4 16.Nd4 Nxd4 17.Rxd4 Qe2 18.h4 Qh5 19.a4 1-0

 

Rothgen-G. Meystre
corres.
Europe Tournament, 1961
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e5 4.c3 dxc3 5.Bc4 cxb2 6.Bxb2 Nc6 7.O-O d6 8.Nc3 Be6 9.Nd5 Nf6 10.Qe2 Be7 11.Ng5 Nd7 12.Nxe6 fxe6 13.Nf4 exf4 14.Bxg7 Nde5 15.Bxh8 f3 16.Qc2 Bf6 17.Bxf6 Qxf6 18.Rfc1 Nd4 19.Qa4+ Kf8 20.g3 Nxc4 21.Qxc4 Ne2+ 22.Kf1 Nxc1 23.Rxc1 Qb2 24.Rc3 Qb1+ 1/2-1/2

 

Helgren-Soderlung
Uppsala, 1967
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nf3 cxb2 5.Bxb2 e6 6.Bc4 Qa5+ 7.Nbd2 Nf6 8.O-O Nc6 9.Bb3 Qh5 10.e5 Ng4 11.Nc4 b6 12.Nd6+ Bxd6 13.Qxd6 Bb7 14.Rfd1 Rd8 15.Ba4 Nh6 16.Ba3 Nf5 (Black is dodging mating threats. But this strategy cannot be sustained for long.) 17.Qc7 Ba8

2018_09_27_B

18.Rxd7! Rxd7 19.Qc8+ 1-0 (19…Rd8 20.Bxc6+ Bxc6 21.Qxc6+ Rd7 22.Rd1 +-)

 

An. Meszaros (2286)-M. Orso (2328)
Caissa IM
Kecskemet, Hungary, Nov. 16 2013
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nf3 cxb2 5.Bxb2 Nc6 6.Bc4 d6 7.O-O Nf6 8.Nc3 e6 9.Re1 Be7 10.Rc1 O-O 11.Ng5 a6 12.Kh1 b5 13.Bb3 Na5 14.Bc2 Nc4 15.Ba1 Bb7 16.f4 h6 17.Nf3 Rc8 18.Re2 Re8 19.Qe1 Bf8 20.Nd4 d5 21.e5 Nh5 22.Qf2 b4 23.Nd1 a5 24.g4 Nxf4 25.Qxf4 Be7 26.Rf2 Rf8 27.Qg3 Bh4 28.Qd3 g6 29.Rxf7 Nxe5 30.Rg7+ Kxg7 31.Nxe6+ Kg8 32.Bxe5 Qe8 33.Nxf8 Qxe5 34.Qxg6+ Qg7 35.Qe6+ Kxf8 36.Bg6 Rd8 37.Nb2 Qf6 38.Qxf6+ Bxf6 39.Rc7 Bxb2 40.Rf7+ Kg8 41.Rxb7 d4 42.Bd3 Bc3 43.h4 a4 44.g5 hxg5 45.hxg5 Rc8 46.Kg2 a3 47.g6 Be1 48.Kf3 Rc6 49.Kg4 Rc3 50.Bf5 Re3 51.Bc2 Rg3+ 52.Kf5 Rc3 53.Bb3+ Rxb3 54.axb3 Bc3 55.g7 Kh7 56.Kf6 d3+ 57.Kf7 Bxg7 58.Rxb4 Kh6 59.Rb6+ Kh7 60.Rb4 Kh6 61.Rb6+ Kh7 1/2-1/2