Happy Birthday Fabiano Luigi Caruana!

 

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Caruana was born this day in 1992 (July 30) in Miami, Florida. He moved to Italy in 2005 but returned to the United States when he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 2014.

 

He claims dual citizenship of Italy and the United States.

 

He played his first tournament at the young age of five at the Polgar Chess Center in the appropriately named in Queens borough in New York.
Caruana earned his grandmaster in 2007, at the age of 14 years, 11 months, and 20 days—the youngest grandmaster in the history of both Italy and the United States at the time.

 

He won the Italian National Championship in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011 and the US Championship in 2016.
He is the third American to play in the (OTB) World Championship (after Marshall and Fischer), losing the playoff to Magnus Carlsen after drawing the match 6–6 (2018).

 

Here are some games from the amazing GM.

 

GM Fabiano Caruana-GM Emanuel Berg
Dresden Ol.
Germany, Nov. 20 2008
[Escalante]
[The first sacrifice is easy to find, the immediate second one is not so easy. Both require a belief that one’s attack must be successful.]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Bd3 c5 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Qe2 O-O 10.O-O b6 11.Bg5 Bb7 12.Rad1

 

[12.Bxf6 leads only to a draw. Kleeschaetzky-M. Mueller, Bundesliga, Oberliga Nord, Germany, 2001 continued with 12…gxf6 13.Bxh7+ Kxh7 14.Qe4+ f5 15.Qh4+ Kg7 16.Qg5+ Kh7 17.Qh5+ Kg7 18.Qg5+ Kh7 1/2-1/2.]
12…Qc7 13.Ne5 Rfd8 14.Kh1! (More common is 14.Rfe1. The text move allows the rook to use the f-file.) 14…Be7 15.Rde1 h6 16.Bh4 Nd5 17.Bg3 Bd6 18.Qe4 Nf6 19.Qh4 Nd7?!

 

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20.Nxf7! Kxf7 21.Rxe6!! Nc5 22.Rxd6 Rxd6 23.Qf4+ Ke7 24.Re1+ Kd7 (Stronger is 24…Ne6. Now White wins by a series of pins.) 25.Bb5+ Bc6 26.Qf5+ Ne6 27.Bxd6 Qxd6 28.Rxe6 (And now if 28…Qd1+, 29.Re1+ wins.) 1-0

 

GM Fabiano Caruna (2652)-GM Konstantin Landa (2664)
Torneo di Capodanno
Reggio Emilia, Italy, June 1 2010
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 (9…O-O is an alternative but Black doesn’t have to commit just yet.) 10.Kb1 (Caruna likes to tuck his king in for safety before doing anything aggressive.) 10…Bf6 11.h4 (Just in case Black decides castles on that side.) 11…h6?! (The h6-pawn is now a potential weakness and target.) 12.Nd4! Nxd4 (If Black castles on the queenside, then White has the annoying 13.Bb5. Black has problems castling on either side!) 13.Bxd4 Bxd4 14.Qxd4 O-O (Finally, Black castles. But he still has the same weaknesses.) 15.Rg1! (Obvious and good!) 15…Rae8 16.g4 (The purpose of 15.Rg1.) 16…Qc6 17.Bg2 Qa6 18.b3 Bd7 19.g5 h5 (A good defensive move. But does Black want to keep defending?) 20.g6! Re7 21.Bd5 Be6 22.Rde1 c5 (Black doesn’t have resources to defend adequately.) 23.Qd1 Rfe8 24.Qxh5 fxg6

 

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25.Rxe6 1-0 [Mating threats are breaking out. If 25…gxh5, then 26.Rxe7+ Kf8 (26…Kh8 27.Rxe8+ Kh7 28.Bg8+ Kh8 29.Bf7+ Kh7 30.Bg6+ Kh6 31.Rh8# ; 26…Kh7 27.Rgxg7+ Kh6 28.Rh7+ Kg6 29.Be4+ Kf6 30.Rhf7#) 27.Rf7+ Kg8 28.Rf5+ Re6 29.Bxe6+ Kh7 30.Rxh5#.]

GM F. Caruana-GM B. Gelfand
Zurich Chess Challenge
Switzerland, Mar. 1 2013
[Notes based on: Zura Javakhadze, en.chessbase.com/post/zurich-r6-caruana-wins-by-a-full-point-040313]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 (Again Catalan. It was the most played opening in this tournament.) 4…Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.Qc2 Nbd7 9.Bf4 b6 10.Rd1 Bb7 11.Ne5 (11.Nc3 is the main line.) 11…Nh5 12.Bd2 Nhf6 13.cxd5 cxd5 14.Nc6 Bxc6 15.Qxc6

 

2020_07_30_C

 

15…Qb8 [An interesting novelty! 15…Rc8 is the most played line. 16.Qb5 Nb8 17.e3 Ne8 18.Be1 Nd6 19.Qe2 Nc6 20.Nc3 Bf6 21.Rac1 Qd7 (1/2-1/2 Mchedlishvili,M (2651)-Alekseev,E (2683)/ Germany 2012/CBM 151 (35).
Since this game was played, Gelfand’s novelty has proven to be more ineffective.

 

GM Roman Ovetchkin (2529)-GM Grigoriy Oparin (2497)
Yekaterinburg, Russia, June 27 2013
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.Qc2 b6 9.Rd1 Bb7 10.Bf4 Nbd7 11.Ne5 Nh5 12.Bd2 Nhf6 13.cxd5 cxd5 14.Nc6 Bxc6 15.Qxc6 Qb8 16.Qb5 a6 17.Qd3 b5 18.Be1 Nb6 19.e3 Rc8 20.Nc3 b4 21.Ne2 Nc4 22.Rab1 Qb6 23.f3 Rc7 24.Bf2 Rac8 25.g4 Qa5 26.Be1 Qb5 27.Rdc1 Qb6 28.b3 Na3 29.Rxc7 Rxc7 30.Rc1 Nb5 31.Qd2 Ne8 32.Rxc7 Qxc7 33.Qc1 Bd6 34.Qxc7 Nexc7 35.Bf1 f6 36.Nc1 Kf7 37.Bd3 g6 38.h4 a5 39.Ne2 e5 40.dxe5 Bxe5 41.f4 Bb2 42.f5 g5 43.hxg5 fxg5 44.Bg3 Bf6 45.Nd4 Nxd4 46.Bxc7 Nc6 47.Bb5 Bd8 48.Bg3 Ne7 49.Bd7 Kf6 50.Be8 Ng8 51.Kf2 Ke7 52.Bc6 Nf6 53.Kf3 h5 54.gxh5 Nxh5 55.Be5 Nf6 56.e4 dxe4+ 57.Bxe4 Bb6 58.Bc6 Bc5 59.Bc7 g4+ 60.Kg2 Bd6 61.Bxa5 Nh5 62.Be4 Nf6 63.Bc6 Nh5 64.Be4 Nf6 65.Bb7 Nh5 66.Bc8 Ng7 67.f6+ Kxf6 68.Bxg4 Nf5 69.Kf3 Ke5 70.Ke2 Nd4+ 71.Kd3 Kd5 72.Bb6 Bc5 73.Bd8 Bd6 74.Bh4 Kc5 75.Bf2 Be5 76.Be6 Bf6 77.Bg8 Bg7 78.Be3 Bf6 79.Bf7 Bg7 80.Bc4 Bf6 81.Ke4 Bg7 82.Bd5 Bf6 83.Bh6 Be7 84.Bc4 Nb5 85.Kd3 Nd4 86.Bc1 Nb5 87.Be3+ Kc6 88.Bf7 Nd6 89.Bh5 Bf6 90.Bc1 Be5 91.Bg4 Kb6 92.Bd7 Kc5 93.Be3+ Kd5 94.Bf2 Ne4 95.Be6+ Kxe6 96.Kxe4 Bc3 97.Bc5 Be1 98.Kd4 Kd7 99.Kc4 Kc6 100.Bxb4 Bf2 101.a3 Be3 102.Bc3 Bc1 103.a4 Ba3 104.Bb4 Bc1 105.Bc5 Bd2 106.Bd4 Ba5 107.Bc3 Bc7 108.b4 Kb7 109.b5 Bb6 110.a5 Bd8 111.a6+ Ka8 112.Kc5 Bc7 113.Kc6 Bd8 114.Be5 Bb6 115.Bd6 Ba7 116.Bc5

 

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1-0

 

 

M. Muzychuk (2540)-Adam Kozak (2148)
Gibraltar Masters
Caleta, Jan. 1 27 2018
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 O-O 7.O-O Nbd7 8.Qc2 c6 9.Rd1 b6 10.Bf4 Bb7 11.Ne5 Nh5 12.Bd2 Nhf6 13.cxd5 cxd5 14.Nc6 Bxc6 15.Qxc6 Qb8 16.Qb5 a6 17.Qd3 b5 18.Bf4 Bd6 19.Bxd6 Qxd6 20.Nd2 Nb6 21.e4 Qe7 22.e5 Nfd7 23.Rdc1 Rac8 24.a3 Nc4 25.Rc2 g6 26.f4 Ndb6 27.Nf3 Nd7 28.h4 Ncb6 29.Rf2 Rc7 30.Bh3 Rfc8 31.Kg2 Rc1 32.Rxc1 Rxc1 33.g4 f5 34.exf6 Nxf6 35.Ng5 Ne4 36.Nxe4 dxe4 37.Qxe4 Qd7 38.f5 exf5 39.gxf5 Qc6 40.Qxc6 Rxc6 41.Kf3 Kf7 42.Ke4 Ke7 43.fxg6 hxg6 44.Ke5 Rc1 45.Bg2 Nd7+ 46.Kf4 Rd1 47.Re2+ Kf6 48.Ke4 Nb6 49.b3 Ke7 50.Re3 a5 51.Rc3 Re1+ 52.Kf4 Nd7 53.Rc7 Kd6 54.Rc6+ Ke7 55.Rxg6 Rd1 56.d5 Nf8 57.Rb6 Rd4+ 58.Be4 Nd7 59.Re6+ Kf7 60.Ke3 Rd1 61.Ke2 Rd4 62.h5 Nc5 63.Bg6+ Kg7 64.Rc6 Nxb3 65.h6+ 1-0.]

 

16.Qc2 b5 17.Qd3 b4 18.Be1 Qb6 19.Nd2 (Fabiano’s reaction on Gelfand’s novelty was probably the most natural.) 19..a5 20.Rac1 Rac8 21.e3 e5 (It looks like Boris missed his opponent’s next move. 21…Rfd8 looks more solid. But after 22.Bf1 White is better, due to the bishop pair.) 22.Bh3 Rc7 (22…e4 23.Qb3 +/=. In the late endgame Black’s central pawns might become a target of attack, this gives White very pleasant prospects.) 23.Bxd7 Nxd7 24.dxe5 Nxe5 (Gelfand activated his pieces but in my opinion, it hardly compensates a pawn.) 25.Qxd5 Rfc8 26.Nb3 Nc4 27.Rd4 Qa6 28.Rf4 Bf6 29.Qd3 Qe6 30.Re4 Qd6 31.Re8+! (Caruana simplifies the position in a nice tactical way and remains with an extra pawn.) 31…Rxe8 32.Qxd6 Nxd6 33.Rxc7 a4 34.Nc5 b3 35.axb3 axb3 36.Rc6 Bxb2 37.Nxb3 (37.Rxd6?! Ba3 38.Rb6 Bxc5 39.Rxb3. Knights on the board are obviously favorable for White.) 37…Ne4 38.Kg2 h5 39.f3 Ng5 40.Bf2 (The second time control has arrived and the Italian shows very high endgame technique.) 40…g6 41.Nc5 Ne6 42.Ne4 Bg7 43.Rb6 Ra8 44.h3 Ra2 45.f4 Ra5 46.Kf3 g5 47.Rb8+ Kh7 48.Nd6 f5 49.Rb6 g4+ 50.hxg4 fxg4+ (50…hxg4+ was the best try for survival.) 51.Kg2 Nc5 52.Nb7 (White has two connected pawns, so knights are no longer necessary on the board.) 52…Nxb7 53.Rxb7 Ra4 54.Rb6 Re4 55.Kf1 h4? (White is very close to victory but this move makes his task much easier.) 56.gxh4 g3 57.Bg1! Bh6 58.Kg2 (A very convincing victory by the Italian prodigy!) 1-0

 

GM Magnus Carlsen-GM Fabiano Caruana
World Ch., Game #11
London, Nov. 24 2018
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Be3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nd7 9.O-O-O Nf6 10.Bd3 c5 11.Rhe1 Be6 12.Kb1 Qa5 (12…d5!?) 13.c4 Qxd2 14.Bxd2 h6 15.Nh4 Rfe8 16.Ng6 Ng4 17.Nxe7+ Rxe7 18.Re2 Ne5 19.Bf4 Nxd3 20.Rxd3 Rd7 21.Rxd6 Rxd6 22.Bxd6 Rd8 23.Rd2 Bxc4 24.Kc1 b6 25.Bf4 Rxd2 26.Kxd2 a6 27.a3 Kf8 28.Bc7 b5 29.Bd6+ Ke8 30.Bxc5 h5 31.Ke3 Kd7 32.Kd4 g6 33.g3 Be2 34.Bf8 Kc6 35.b3 Bd1 36.Kd3 Bg4 37.c4 Be6 38.Kd4 bxc4 39.bxc4 Bg4 40.c5 Be6 41.Bh6 Bd5 42.Be3 Be6 43.Ke5 Bd5 44.Kf4 Be6 45.Kg5 Bd5 46.g4 hxg4 47.Kxg4 Ba2 48.Kg5 Bb3 49.Kf6 Ba2 50.h4 Bb3 51.f4 Ba2 52.Ke7 Bb3 53.Kf6 Ba2 54.f5 Bb1 55.Bf2 Bc2 1/2-1/2

 

 

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave-GM Fabiano Caruana X25
Blitz Game
Chessbrah May Invitational
Chess.com, May 2020
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.e3 Bb4 5.Qc2 a5 6.Nd5 d6 7.a3 Bc5 8.Be2 Be6 9.Nxf6+ Qxf6 10.b3 O-O 11.Bb2 Ba7 12.Rd1 Bf5 13.d3 Qe7 14.O-O Bg6 15.Qd2 Rad8 16.Rfe1 d5 17.cxd5 Rxd5 18.Qc3 Rfd8 19.Rd2 Rc5! -+ 0-1

From England, with Love

Martin Severin From (Apr. 8 1828-May 6 1895), an English player, came up with an intriguing gambit to deal with Bird’s opening (1.f4). It has proven to be so popular that it now the most common response to 1.f4 and is played in blitz chess, OTB games, and correspondence games.

 

But why this gambit so popular after 150 years? For one, it can lead to a quick mate for Black. Second, even if the game does not end in a quick mate, the initiative can quickly pass to Black. And all for the price of a pawn.

 

Many players have studied From’s Gambit and contributed to the it’s theory. It’s a labor of love, and because it’s chess, it is a complicated and forever friendship. Some players actually do fall in love with this opening.

Here is one of the earliest games played by it’s creator.

 

Mollastrom-From
Copenhagen, 1862
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e4 Ng4 6.g3? (White falls into a thematic trap of the From’s.)

 

2020_06_25_A

6…Nxh2! 7.Rxh2 Bxg3+ 8.Ke2 Bxh2 9.Nxh2 f5 10.Bg2 fxe4 11.Bxe4 Qh4 12.Qh1 O-O 13.Bd5+ Kh8 14.Qg1 Qh5+ 15.Bf3 Rxf3 16.Nxf3 Bg4 17.d3 Nc6 18.Bf4 Rf8 19.Bg3 Rxf3 20.Ke1 Qh6 21.Nc3 Nb4 0-1
Let’s look at some problems and early traps that can trouble and entrap White.

1.f4 e5

 

[White does not need to accept the offered pawn. He can play 2.f4 and the game is now a King’s Gambit. Which is another opening White having to learn. In any case, he is no longer playing a Bird’s. Or he can attempt other moves. But declining the gambit, unless it’s 2.f4, usually backfires.

 

Wageneder-Acs
Balatonbereny, 1992
1.f4 e5 2.Nf3 e4 3.Ng5 d5 4.e3 h6 5.Nxf7 Kxf7 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Qe5 Bg7 0-1

 

Hart-Vehre
corres., 1986
1.f4 e5 2.Nh3 d5 3.g3 Bxh3 4.Bxh3 exf4 5.O-O Bd6 6.d3 fxg3 7.hxg3 Nf6 8.Kg2 h6 9.c4 c6 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.Nc3 Qb6 12.e4 dxe4 13.Nxe4 Nxe4 14.dxe4 O-O 15.Rf3 Na6 16.Qe2 Rae8 17.Be3 Rxe4 18.Bf5 Re5 19.Qd2 Bc5 20.Bxc5 Nxc5 21.Qc2 Rfe8 22.Rf2 Qc6+ 23.Kh3 g6 24.Bg4 Ne4 25.Rg2 Ng5+ 26.Kh2 Nf3+ 0-1

 

N.N.-Sternberg
Berlin, 1959
1.f4 e5 2.d3 Bc5 3.Nf3 d6 4.fxe5 dxe5 5.Nxe5?? Qd4 6.Nf3 Qf2+ 7.Kd2 Be3+ 8.Kc3 c5 9.Bxe3 Qxe3 10.Kb3 c4+ 11.Kc3 [11.Kxc4 b5+ 12.Kc3 b4+ 13.Kxb4 (13.Kb3 Be6+ 14.c4 bxc3+ 15.Kxc3 Nd7 16.b3 Nb6 17.Kb2 a5) Nf6 14.c4 Nc6+ 15.Kc3 Ne4+ 16.Kc2 Nf2 is unclear.] 11…b5 12.a4 b4+ 13.Kxb4 Qb6+ 14.Kc3 Qa5+ 15.Kd4 (15.b4 cxb3+ 16.Kxb3 Be6+ 17.c4 Nc6) 15…Nf6 16.e4 Ng4 17.Qd2 Nc6+ 18.Kxc4 Be6mate 0-1.]

 

2.fxe5 d6

 

(Black can play 2…Nc6, delaying …d6, for a change of pace.)

 

3.exd6 Bxd6

 

 

[White now has a pawn but the pressure on his kingside is enormous. He can lose instantly with 4.h3?? Bg3#. He can also try the much stronger move, 4.d4. But even then, he has some problems.

 

Bird-Steinitz
London, 1866
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.d4 Nf6 5.Bg5 Nc6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.e3 Qd7 8.Bb5 O-O-O 9.Bxf6?! gxf6 10.d5 Qe7 11.Bxc6 Qxe3+ 12.Qe2 Qc1+ 13.Qd1 Rde8+ 14.Bxe8 Rxe8+ 15.Kf2 Qe3+ 16.Kf1 Bxf3 17.gxf3 Bc5 18.Kg2 Rg8+ 0-1

 

Warland-E. Eliassen (1758)
Norway U20 Ch.
Oslo, Apr. 12 2003
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.d4 Qh4+ 5.Kd2 Qxd4+ 6.Ke1 Qh4+ 7.Kd2 Bf4+ 8.e3 Qf2+ 9.Qe2 Bxe3+ 10.Kd3 Bf5+ 11.Kc3 Qxe2 12.Nxe2 Bxc1 13.Nxc1 Nf6 14.b3 O-O 15.Kb2 Nc6 16.Nc3 Nb4 17.Nd3 Nxd3+ 18.Bxd3 Bxd3 19.cxd3 Rad8 20.Rhd1 Rfe8 21.Rac1 c6 22.Kb1 Nd5 23.Kb2 Nb4 24.a3 Nxd3+ 25.Kc2 Nxc1 26.Rxd8 Rxd8 27.Kxc1 f5 28.Ne2 g5 0-1. So he, White, has to try 4.Nf3.]

 

4.Nf3

 

[Now Black has a couple of very popular choices; 4…g5 (an aggressive attacking move) and 4…Nf6 (a more secure move, securing some initiative, but allowing White to breathe a little).

 

Just in case you were interested in the other moves, here are few more.

 

Rothgen-Lochner
corres.
Thematic Tournament, 1961
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 f5 5.d4 Nf6 6.Bg5 O-O 7.e3 Qe8 8.Bc4+ Kh8 9.Qe2 Ne4 10.Nbd2 c6 11.O-O-O b5 12.Bd3 Qe6 13.c4 Ba6 14.Kb1 bxc4 15.Nxc4 h6 16.Bf4 Bxf4 17.exf4 Nd7 18.Nce5 Rfb8 19.Ka1 Bxd3 20.Rxd3 Ndf6 21.Rc1 Rb6 22.Ra3 Nd5 23.Qc4 Nd6 24.Qc5 Ne4 25.Qc4 Nd6 1/2-1/2

 

Warren-Wall
North Carolina, 1975
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 h5 5.g3 h4 6.Nxh4 Rxh4 7.gxh4 Qxh4mate 0-1

 

K. Zeh-Elm
Germany, 1963
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.g3 h5 6.Bg2 Nc6 7.c3 h4 8.Nxh4 Rxh4 9.gxh4 Qxh4+ 10.Kf1 Qf6+ 11.Ke1 O-O-O 12.Qb3 Re8 13.e3 Qh4+ 14.Kf1 Re6 0-1

 

Leroy-Tonoli
Liege, 1965
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.g3 h5 6.Bg2 h4 7.Nxh4 Rxh4 8.gxh4 Qxh4+ 9.Kf1 Bc5 10.Qe1 Qf6+ 0-1

 

Krause-Bohringer
corres., 1966
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.g3 h5 6.Bg2 Nc6 7.d3 Qe7 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bf4 Bxf4 10.gxf4 Qb4+ 11.Nc3 Qxf4 1-0.

 

Now let’s take a look at 4…g5!?. Obviously the pawn wants to advance to g4, driving the knight away so the queen can come to h4, giving check and creating a mess of White’s position.

 

White must do something about this threat.
5.e4 does not work.

 

N.N.-Bier
Hamburg, 1905
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.e4 g4 6.e5 gxf3 7.exd6 Qh4+ 8.g3 Qe4+ 9.Kf2 Qd4+ 10.Ke1 f2+ 11.Ke2 Bg4mate 0-1

 

Natapov-Razdobarin
USSR, 1969
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.e4 g4 6.Ng1 Qh4+ 7.Ke2 g3 8.Nc3 Qxh2 9.Rxh2 gxh2 10.Nf3 h1=Q -+

 

G. Stark-R. Buchanan
Colorado, 1980
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.e4 g4 6.e5 Qe7 7.Kf2 gxf3 8.exd6 Qh4+ 9.Ke3 Nf6 10.Qxf3 Nc6 11.Bb5 Qd4+ 0-1

 

Christoph Bohn-Michael Uhl
Multicoop Open
Budapest, 1992
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.e4 g4 6.e5 Bc5 7.d4 gxf3 8.dxc5 f2+ 9.Kxf2 Qxd1 10.Bb5+ Qd7 11.Bxd7+ Nxd7 12.Be3 Ne7 13.Re1 O-O 14.Bh6 Re8 15.Nc3 Nxc5 16.b4 Nd7 17.Nb5 Nd5 18.c4 a6 19.cxd5 axb5 20.e6 fxe6 21.Re3 e5 22.Rg3+ Kf7 23.Rg7+ Kf6 24.Kg1 e4 25.Rf1+ Ke5 26.Rxh7 Rxa2 27.Bg7+ Kxd5 28.Rd1+ Kc4 29.Rd4+ Kb3 30.Rh3+ e3 31.Rd3+ Kc2 32.Rdxe3 Rxe3 33.Rxe3 Ra4 34.Rc3+ Kd2 35.Rxc7 Nb6 36.h4 Ke3 37.Bh6+ Ke4 38.Bd2 Kd3 39.Be1 Ra1 40.Kf1 Ra2 41.h5 Bg4 42.h6 Nd5 43.Rc3+ Nxc3 44.Bh4 Ra1+ 0-1

 

Emily N. Patterson-Morgan Mahowald
Polgar Girls Open
Lubbock, 2009
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.e4 g4 6.e5 Qe7 7.Nd4 Bxe5 8.Ne2 g3 9.h3 Nc6 10.Nbc3 Bd4 11.Ne4 Qxe4 12.d3 Bf2+ 13.Kd2 Qe3+ 14.Kc3 Qc5+ 15.Kd2 Bf5 16.b3 O-O-O 17.Bb2 Bxd3 18.cxd3 Qe3+ 19.Kc3 Qe5+ 20.Kc2 Nb4+ 21.Kb1 Qe3 22.Nc1 f6 23.Qg4+ Rd7 24.Qxb4 Ne7 25.Bxf6 Nd5 26.Qh4 Rf8 27.Bb2 Qe1 28.Qe4 Be3 29.Qg4 Nc3+ 30.Bxc3 Qxc1mate 0-1.

 

But 5.d4 has promise as after 5…g4, he has 6.Ne5 and has some compensation for the pawn.]

 

5.d4 g4  6.Ne5

Lochner-Negyesy
corres., 1962
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.d4 g4 6.e4 gxf3 7.Qxf3 Be6 8.Nc3 c6 9.Be3 Qh4+ 10.g3 Qg4 11.Qf2 Bb4 12.Bg2 Ne7 13.O-O Qh5 14.d5 Bd7 15.Ne2 Bd6 16.Bd4 Rf8 17.Bf3 Bg4 18.e5 Bb4 19.Nf4 Qf5 20.Bxg4 Qxg4 21.Ne6 Nxd5 22.Nxf8 Qg8 23.e6 1-0

 

Bird-Em. Lasker
Match
England, 1892
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.d4 g4 6.Ne5 Bxe5 7.dxe5 Qxd1+ 8.Kxd1 Nc6 9.Bf4 Be6 10.e3 Nge7 11.Bb5 O-O-O+ 12.Kc1 Bd5 13.Rg1 a6 14.Be2 Be6 15.Nc3 h6 16.Bd3 Ng6 17.Bxg6 fxg6 18.Rd1 Rde8 19.e4 g5 20.Bg3 Rhf8 21.b3 h5 22.Rd2 h4 23.Bf2 Nxe5 24.Be3 h3 25.Bxg5 g3 26.hxg3 Rf1+ 27.Kb2 Rxa1 28.Kxa1 h2 29.Rd1 Ng4 30.Rh1 Bf7 31.Kb2 c6 32.Kc1 Bg6 33.Kd2 Rxe4 34.Nd1 Rd4+ 35.Ke2 Rxd1 36.Rxd1 Be4 37.Rd8+ Kc7 38.Rd1 Bxg2 39.Bd8+ Kc8 40.Bb6 Bd5 41.c4 h1=Q 42.Rxh1 Bxh1 0-1

 

Gigas-Popp
corres.
Thematic Tournament, 1961
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.d4 g4 6.Ne5 Bxe5 7.dxe5 Qxd1+ 8.Kxd1 Nc6 9.Bg5 Nge7 10.Nc3 Bf5 11.e4 Be6 12.Bb5 O-O-O+ 13.Ke1 Rhg8 14.Bh4 Rd7 15.Bxe7 Rxe7 16.Bxc6 bxc6 17.Rf1 Rg5 18.Kf2 Rxe5 19.Kg3 f5 20.exf5 Bxf5 21.Rf2 h5 22.Raf1 Bh7 23.Rd2 Rc5 24.Rf6 Rg7 25.Rh6 Bg6 26.Ne2 Rxc2 27.Rxc2 Bxc2 28.Rxh5 Rd7 29.Rh8+ Kb7 30.Kxg4 Bd1 31.Re8 Rd2 32.Kf3 Rxb2 33.h4 c5 34.Kf2 c4 35.Ke1 Bxe2 36.Rxe2 Rb1+ 37.Kd2 Kb6 38.h5 Kc5 39.Kc3 Rc1+ 40.Rc2 Rh1 41.g4 Rh3+ 42.Kb2 Kb4 43.Rg2 Kc5 1/2-1/2

 

Gergel-V. Zilberstein
Leningrad Izt., 1973
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.d4 g4 6.Ne5 Bxe5 7.dxe5 Qxd1+ 8.Kxd1 Nc6 9.Bf4 Nge7 10.e3 Ng6 11.Bb5 Bd7 12.e6 Bxe6 13.Bxc7 Bd5 14.Rg1 Nh4 15.Bf1 Ne7 16.Nc3 Bc6 17.e4 f5 18.Bd3 fxe4 19.Bxe4 Bxe4 20.Nxe4 O-O 21.c3 Nd5 22.Bg3 Nxg2 23.Kc2 Rae8 24.Nd6 Re2+ 25.Kb3 Nde3 26.Nxb7 Rf6 27.Nd6 h5 28.Nc8 Kh7 29.a4 a6 30.a5 h4 31.Bd6 Rff2 32.Rgb1 Nf5 33.Ra4 Nge3 34.Bc7 Rxh2 35.Bxh2 Rxh2 36.Re4 g3 37.Ne7 g2 38.Nxf5 Nxf5 39.Rg1 h3 40.Ree1 Nh4 41.c4 Nf3 42.c5 Nxg1 43.c6 Nf3 44.Re7+ Kh6 45.c7 g1=Q 0-1
(Another try for White is 5.g3, securing h4 for his knight. Black could try 5…f5, but it doesn’t work too well.)

 

5.g3 f5

Kirrinis-von Sadern
corres., 1954/6
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 f5 6.d4 f4 7.e4 g4 (7…fxe3 8.Bxe3 g4 9.Bc4!) 8.e5 Be7 9.Bxf4! gxf3 10.Qxf3 Be6 (10…h5 11.Bd3!) 11.Nc3 Bb4 12.O-O-O c6 13.d5! cxd5 14.Nxd5 Qa5 15.Nxb4 Qxb4 16.Bh3! Bf7? 17.e6! 1-0

 

Klaus Bernhard-F. Felgentreu
Bundeswehr Ch.
Stetten, 1988
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 f5 6.e3 Qf6 7.Nc3 Ne7 8.Bc4 h5 9.Rf1 h4 10.g4 fxg4 11.Ne4 Qg7 12.Nfxg5 Bxh2 13.Nf6+ 1-0
[But 5…h5, applying more pressure on White’s kingside, seems to work to keep the balance, with Black still having a slight advantage in the Initiative department and White still keeping his extra pawn.]

 

5.g3 h5

 

Oliver Meschke (2007)-Joseph Nadrowski (1688)
Sparkassen Open B
Dortmund, 2006
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 h5 6.d4 g4 7.Nh4 Be7 8.Ng2 Nf6 9.Qd3 Qd5 10.c4 Qf5 11.Nc3 Nc6 12.e4 Qf3 13.Be3 Bb4 14.Rg1 Qxe4 15.O-O-O Bxc3 16.Qxc3 Qe7 17.Bd3 Nb4 18.Qb3 Nxd3+ 19.Rxd3 Bf5 20.Qb5+ c6 21.Qxf5 Ne4 22.Re1 Nd6 23.Qc5 Kd7 24.Bg5 1-0

 

Rolando Fesalbon (2113)-Mark Ozanne (1961)
Turin Ol.
Italy, 2006
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 h5 6.d4 g4 7.Nh4 Be7 8.Ng2 h4 9.Qd3 hxg3 10.Qxg3 Nf6 11.Nc3 Rh3 12.Qf2 Nc6 13.Be3 g3 14.Qg1 Bd6 15.Nf4 Rxh2 16.Rxh2 gxh2 17.Qxh2 Bf5 18.O-O-O Qe7 19.Bg1 O-O-O 20.e3 Re8 21.Bh3 Ng4 22.Bxg4 Bxg4 23.Nce2 Kb8 24.Kd2 Nb4 25.a3 Nc6 26.c3 Na5 27.Ke1 Nc4 28.Qg2 Bxe2 29.Nxe2 Nxe3 30.Bxe3 Qxe3 31.Kf1 a6 32.Qf2 Qg5 33.Rd3 Rh8 34.Ng3 Qc1+ 35.Kg2 Rg8 36.b4 f5 37.c4 f4 38.c5 fxg3 39.Qe2 Bf4 40.Rf3 Qd2 41.Qxd2 Bxd2 42.b5 axb5 0-1
[And Black still has 5…g4.]

 

5.g3 g4

 

 

White can still fail spectacularly with 6.Ng1? h5! 7.Bg2 h4! -/+ (Analysis by O’ Connell)

 

R. Runas-Escalante
Blitz Game (5 min to 1 minute)
Buena Park, CA, Nov. 7 1987
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 g4 6.Nd4 h5! 7.Bg2 h4 8.Nc3 hxg3 9.hxg3 Bxg3+ 10.Kf1 Qf6+ 11.Kg1 (11.Nf3 Rxh1+ 12.Bxh1 Qh6 13.Bg2 gxf3 14.Bxf3 Bh3+ 15.Kg1 Bg4 -+) 11…Qf2mate 0-1

 

Eduard Konovalov (2125)-Seit Karaev (2003)
Anapa Open, 2007
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 g4 6.Nd4 h5 7.Nc3 h4 8.Bg2 h3 9.Bf1 Bxg3+ 10.hxg3 Qxd4 11.e3 Qe5 12.Ne2 Nf6 13.d4 Qe4 14.Rh2 Bf5 0-1

 

Sorenson-Jacobsen
Denmark, 1971
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 g4 6.Nh4 h5 7.d4 Be7 8.Ng2 Nf6 9.Nf4? (9.Bg5) 9…h4 10.Rg1 Nc6 11.e3 Ne4 12.Bd3 Ng5 13.Be2 hxg3 14.hxg3 f5 15.Nd2 Nxd4! 16.exd4 Qxd4 17.Rg2 Qe3 18.Rf2 Bc5 19.Nd3 Ne4!

2020_06_25_B

20.Nf3 (20.Nxe4 Rh1+ 21.Rf1 Rxf1+ 22.Kxf1 Qg1# ; 20.Rg2 Nxd2 21.Nf2 Nf3+ 22.Kf1 Qxf2+! 23.Rxf2 Rh1+ 24.Kg2 Rh2+ 25.Kf1 Rxf2#) 20…Rh1+ 21.Rf1 Qf2+ 22.Nxf2 Bxf2mate 1-0

 
[But White should still be OK. He does win some games after all!]

 
E. Koscielny (1876)-Fabian Bouche (1588)
Cappelle la Grande Open
France, 2013
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 g4 6.Nh4 f5 7.d4 f4 8.Qd3 Qe7 9.Nc3 Nf6 10.Bxf4 Bxf4 11.gxf4 Nc6 12.O-O-O Nb4 13.Qg3 Nh5 14.Qf2 Rf8 15.e3 Bf5 16.Nxf5 Rxf5 17.Bb5+ c6 18.Bd3 Ra5 19.a3 Nd5 20.Nxd5 cxd5 21.Qe2 Rc8 22.Qxg4 Kd8 23.Qxh5 Rxa3 24.Qxd5+ Ke8 25.Qg8+ Kd7 26.Bf5+ Kd6 27.Qxc8 Qxe3+ 28.Kb1 1-0

 

Uwe Ritter (1991)-Jens-Ole (1676)
12th Lichtenberger Sommer
Berlin, 2013
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 g4 6.Nh4 f5 7.e3 Qe7 8.Qe2 Nf6 9.Ng2 Bxg3+ 10.hxg3 Ne4 11.Rh2 Nxg3 12.Qf2 Ne4 13.Qh4 Qxh4+ 14.Rxh4 Nc6 15.Bb5 Bd7 16.Bxc6 Bxc6 17.Nf4 O-O-O 18.d3 Ng5 19.Nd2 g3 20.Nh3 g2 21.Ng1 Rdg8 22.Kf2 Rg7 23.Nb3 Rhg8 24.Nd4 Bd7 25.Ndf3 Nxf3 26.Kxf3 Rg3+ 27.Kf2 R8g7 28.Rxh7 Rxh7 29.Kxg3 Bc6 30.Bd2 Rh1 31.Kf2 Kd7 32.Re1 Rh2 33.e4 fxe4 34.dxe4 b5 35.Nf3 1-0

 

[Now let’s look at at the more conservative 4.Nf3 Nf6. White has choices here. He can play 5.d4, which is again, equal in chances.]

4.Nf3 Nf6  5.d4

Nyman-Larsen
Denmark, 1966
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 (5.e4 Ng4 leads back to our first game.) 5…O-O 6.Bg5 Re8 7.Qd3 Nc6 8.a3 h6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bf2 Ne4 11.h3 Bf5 12.Qd1 Bf4 13.g4 Nxf2 14.Kxf2 Be3+ 15.Kg2 Nxd4 16.gxf5 Nxf3 17.Qxd8 Nh4+ 18.Kg3 Raxd8 19.Nc3 Nxf5+ 20.Kg2 Rd2 21.Rc1 h5 22.Nd1 Bb6 23.Kh2 Rexe2+ 24.Bxe2 Rxe2+ 25.Nf2 Rxf2+ 26.Kg1 Re2+ 27.Kf1 Ng3mate 0-1

 

R. Phillips-Escalante
1 minute game
Anaheim, 1986
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 (6…Bg3+!? 7.Kd2 Bxf3 8.exf3 Qxd4+ 9.Ke2) 7.gxf3? (>7.exf3 Bg3+ 8.Ke2 Nc6) 7…Bg3+ 8.Kd2 Qxd4mate 0-1

 

R. Klein-S. Mueller
PF Open
Eisenberg, Germany, 1993
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 b6 6.Bg5 Bb7 7.Nc3 Qe7 8.Qd3 O-O 9.O-O-O Re8 10.g3 h6 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.Bg2 Qe7 13.Rhe1 Bb4 14.Nh4 Qg5+ 15.e3 Bxg2 16.Nxg2 Bxc3 17.Qxc3 Qd5 18.Nf4 Qxa2 19.d5 Qa4 20.Rd4 Qd7 21.e4 Qe7 22.e5 Na6 23.h4 Rad8 24.Nh5 Nc5 25.Rg4 Kh8 26.Rxg7 Rxd5 27.e6 Na4 28.Rh7+ Kxh7 29.Qg7mate 1-0

 

Bird-Steinitz, 1867
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 Nc6 6.Bg5 Bg4 7.e3 Qd7 8.Bb5 O-O-O 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.d5 Qe7 11.Bxc6 Qxe3+ 12.Qe2 Qc1+ 13.Qd1 Rde8+ 14.Bxe8 Rxe8+ 15.Kf2 Qe3+ 16.Kf1 Bxf3 17.gxf3 Bc5 18.Kg2 Rg8+ 0-1

 

Fried-Schlechter
Vienna, 1897
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 Nc6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bf2 Ne4 9.e3 g4 10.Bh4 gxf3 11.Bxd8 f2+ 12.Ke2 Bg4+ 13.Kd3 Nb4+ 14.Kxe4 f5+ 0-1

 

Bird-Blackburne
London, 1879
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 Ne4 6.Nc3 f5 7.Qd3 Qe7 8.Nb5 Nc6 9.Nxd6+ Qxd6 10.c3 O-O 11.g3 Re8 12.Bg2 Qe7 13.O-O Nd6 14.Re1 Bd7 15.Bg5 Qf8 16.Bf4 Rad8 17.Ng5 g6 18.Bxd6 cxd6 19.Bd5+ Kg7 20.Qd2 Ne7 21.Be6 Ng8 22.d5 Nf6 23.Bxd7 Rxd7 24.Ne6+ Rxe6 25.dxe6 Re7 26.Qxd6 Qe8 27.Rad1 Rxe6 28.Qc7+ Re7 29.Qd8 Qf7 30.Rd6 Re8 31.Qa5 b6 32.Qb5 Qe7 33.Qd3 Qf7 34.c4 Re7 35.Rd1 h5 36.Qc3 Rc7 37.b3 Qe7 38.Qd4 Kf7 39.b4 g5 40.c5 bxc5 41.bxc5 Ne4 42.Qd5+ Kg7 43.Rd7 Rxd7 44.Qxd7 Kf6 45.Qxe7+ Kxe7 46.c6 1-0

 

Bird-Blackburne
England, 1892
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 Ne4 6.Qd3 f5 7.Nc3 O-O 8.Nxe4 fxe4 9.Qxe4 Bf5 10.Qxb7 Nd7 11.Qb3+ Kh8 12.Bg5 Qe8 13.Qe3 Qh5 14.c3 Rab8 15.Qd2 Nb6 16.b3 Nd5 17.Rc1 h6 18.Bh4 Bf4 19.Qb2 Ne3 20.Bf2 Rbe8 21.Bxe3 Bxe3 22.c4 Be4 23.Rc3 Bxf3 24.Rxe3 Rxe3 25.gxf3 Qxf3 26.Kd2 Qxh1 27.Kxe3 Qxf1 28.Kd3 Rf3+ 29.Kd2 Rf2 30.Kd3 Qh3+ 0-1

 

Guischard-Gedult
Paris, 1972
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 Ng4 6.Nc3 Bxh2 7.Bg5 Bg3+ 8.Kd2 f6 9.Bh4 Nf2 10.Qc1 Nxh1 0-1
[He can play 5.g3, which is more complicated, but still equal in chances.]

4.Nf3 Nf6  5.g3

 

Deppe-Spohr
corres., 1960
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.g3 Nc6 6.d4 Bf5 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.c3 O-O-O 10.Nbd2 Rhe8 11.Qa4 (11.Nc4 Be4!) 11…Bd3 12.Kd1 Bf5 13.Bg2 Qe7 14.Re1 Qe3 15.Ng1 Ne5 16.Qxa7 c6 17.Nh3 Nd3 18.Nc4 Nxb2+ 19.Nxb2 Bb4 20.Bxc6 Rxd4+ (20…Bc2+) 21.Qxd4 Rd8 22.Bxb7+ Kc7 23.Bd5 1-0

 

Krause-Schutt
corres., 1968
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.g3 Nc6 6.d3 Ng4 7.Bg5 f6 8.Bf4 Bxf4 9.gxf4 Nd4 10.Na3 O-O 11.Qd2 Re8 12.Ng1 Ne3 13.h3 Qd6 0-1

 

Kremer-Lungmuss
corres.
Thematic Tournament, 1961
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 Bg4 7.d3 Bc5 8.Nc3 a6 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.Qd2 O-O-O 12.Rf1 Rhe8 13.Qf4 Qe6 14.e4 Nb4 15.O-O-O g5 16.Qd2 Nxa2+ 17.Kb1 Bb4 18.h3 Nxc3+ 19.bxc3 Ba3 20.Ka1 Qb6 21.Rb1 Qa5 22.Rb3 Bc1+ 0-1

 

Kny-Grusman
corres.
European Ch., 1973/4
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 Bg4 7.c3 Qe7 8.O-O O-O-O 9.d4 Rde8 10.Re1 Ne4 11.d5 Ne5 12.Bf4 Bc5+ 13.Nd4 Nc4 14.b3 Ncd6 15.Qd3 Qf6 16.Nd2 Nxc3 0-1

 

Hip-Abunan
Moscow Ol.
Russia, 1994
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 Bf5 7.d3 Qd7 8.O-O h5 9.Nh4 Bg4 10.Qe1 O-O-O 11.e3 Nh7 12.Qf2 g5 13.Nf5 h4 14.Nxd6+ Qxd6 15.gxh4 gxh4 16.h3 Be6 17.e4 Rdg8 18.Kh1 Qd7 19.Kh2 Ng5 20.Bxg5 Rxg5 21.Nd2 Rhg8 22.Rg1 Rg3 23.Nf3 Bxh3 24.Nxh4 Bxg2 25.Rxg2 Qh3+ 26.Kg1 Qxh4 27.Qf5+ Kb8 0-1

 

Hanegby-Maria Perez
corres.
WCCF, EQ2389, 2002
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.g3 Ng4 6.Bg2 h5 7.O-O h4 8.h3 Bxg3 9.d4 Qd6 10.Qd3 Nh2 11.Qe4+ Kf8 12.Nxh2 Bxh2+ 13.Kh1 Bg3 14.Bf4 Bxf4 15.Rxf4 Nc6 16.Nc3 g5 17.Rf2 Qxd4 18.Raf1 Qxe4 19.Rxf7+ Ke8 20.Nxe4 g4 21.Rxc7 gxh3 22.Bf3 Rh6 23.Bh5+ Rxh5 24.Nf6+ Kd8 25.Rg7 Bg4 26.Nxg4 Rh8 27.Rff7 1-0

 

B. Sharwood (1878)-T. Greco (2155)
corres.
1992 USCF Team Ch.
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 g4 6.Nh4 Ne7 7.d4 Ng6 8.Nxg6 hxg6 9.Qd3 Nc6 10.c3 Bf5 11.e4 Qe7 12.Bg2 O-O-O 13.Be3 Rxh2 14.Rxh2 Bxg3+ 15.Kf1 Bxh2 16.exf5 Re8 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.Bd2 Qh4 19.Na3 Bg3 20.Be3 Qh1+ 21.Ke2 Qxa1 22.Nc2

2020_06_25_C

22…Qc1! (Z) 23.fxg6 fxg6 24.Qxg6 Rxe3+ 25.Nxe3 Qe1+ 26.Kd3 Qb1+ 27.Nc2 Qf1+ 28.Ke3 Bf4+ 29.Ke4 Qf3+ 30.Kf5 Bd2+! 31.Ke6 Qd5+ 32.Ke7 Qg5+! 33.Qxg5 Bxg5+ 34.Ke6 Bd2 35.d5 c5 0-1

 
So, is this the end of From’s Gambit? No, just the start of the beginning.
“…I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Humphrey Bogart, “Casablanca”

Chess and Checkers

When I was in High School, and just beginning to understand the theories of chess, an old man came to visit us at the table. This episode probably then happened a park.

 

He watched with some intensity, as I and my opponent were engrossed in our game. After the game ended (I think I won), he asked, almost with a sneer, “so what is the difference between checkers and chess?”

 

 

I didn’t exactly why he was asking this question. But I gave him my best answer and replied, “Chess is more complicated”.

 

 

With that, the old turned around and departed. Maybe he thought I was rude and me being a male teenager, that may be true. Or is because he didn’t expect the conversation to go that way. Or he may have thought he has interacting with younger teens (after all, when I was 14 I could still pass for a 12 year-old).

 

 

So, I got to thinking, what are differences between chess and checkers. And I drew up a list. Which I promptly lost. But I remember most of it. And now with the magic of the Internet, and blogging in particular, here is my list (corrected for spelling and grammar).

 

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

 

 

WHAT IS THE SAME

 

The boards are identical in size (8 x 8).

 

Each board has 64 squares.

 

A man moving to the 8th rank is promoted.

 

 

MakingChessComputer1

 

It is a game usually played by only two competitors.

 

 

WHAT IS DIFFERENT

 

Checkers is played on a red and black board. Chess is typically played on a white and black board.

 

In checkers, each player starts with only 12 men. In chess, each player starts with 16 men.

 

checkers

 

In checkers, all the men look the same, move the same way, and are of equal value. In chess, the pieces look different, move differently, and are worth different values.

 

 

pawns-3467512_960_720

 

In checkers, Black moves first. In chess, White moves first.

 

In checkers, a man reaching the 8th rank can only be promoted to a King. In chess, a man reaching the 8th rank can be promoted to a Queen, a Rook, a Bishop, or a Knight. But never to a King.

 

In checkers, players use only 32 squares of the board. In chess, both players use all 64 squares.

 

In checkers, players may only move their men diagonally. In chess, players may move their pieces diagonally, forward, backwards, and horizontally.

 

In checkers, a player captures a man by jumping over them. In chess, a player can capture a man by occupying their place on the board.

 

In checkers, only a king can move backwards. In chess, Knights, Bishops, Rooks, Queens, and Kings can move backwards. Pawns are the only units that may only move forward.

 

 

maxresdefault

In chess, there are rules for en passant and castling. No such rules exist for checkers.

 

In checkers, captures are mandatory. In chess, players may decline a capture.

 

In checkers, openings are decided by lot. In chess, opening play is determined by the players.

 

 

And for us chess enthusiasts:

 

Chess has a high cultural value. People equate us chess players as possessing great intelligence, a fantastic memory, and in its purest form; grace.

 

It is possible to be a prodigy in math, music, or chess.

 

Two examples;

 

Frank Brady wrote “Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy”.

 

 

 

Wikipedia has an article titled, “Chess Prodigy”.

 

 

No checkers player has ever been known or labeled as a prodigy.

 

Dallying with the Dilworth

Recently I had an opportunity to analyze to the Dilworth variation of the Open Ruy Lopez.

 

To begin, let us look up the moves that lead up the Dilworth.

 

 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 (This move defines the Ruy Lopez, named after the 16th-century Spanish priest Ruy López de Segura.) 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 (The Open Variation of the RL. Black’s objective is to get good piece play by advancing his d-pawn and giving his pieces the freedom to roam across the board as well as pushing and protecting his d-pawn.) 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 (9.Nbd2 Nc5 10.c3 d4 11.Ng5 leads to interesting Karpov Gambit. I’ve researched this line and IMHO, White’s attack is almost worth the pawn he sacrificed.) 9…Bc5 (Black can also play 9…Be7, which will give him a more closed game.) 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2!? (With this move Black gives up a knight for White’s f2-pawn and in return, gets a pinned White Rook and misplaced White King. And the Dilworth fight is on!) 12.Rxf2 (A forced move. The real analysis begins here.)

 

Black can certainly play 12…Bxf2+ at this point. But better is delaying this capture as not only is rook pinned, but it’s fixed position temporarily hinders the movement of White’s pieces.

 
Bobby Fischer-W. Stevens
US Open
Oklahoma City, July 24 1956
[White gets a small advantage but can’t do anything with it.]
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 12.Rxf2 Bxf2+ 13.Kxf2 f6 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Kg1 Rae8!? (15…Bg4 16.Nf1 Bxf3 17.Qxf3 Qxf3 18.gxf3 Rxf3 19.Be3 Ne7 20.Bg5! +/- ECO.) 16.Nf1 Ne5 17.Ne3 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 Qxf3 19.gxf3 Rxf3 20.Bd1 Rf7 1/2-1/2

 
Black must play 12…f6, or at least transpose into it.

 

We now continue.

 

12.Rxf2 f6

 
Two moves White should now avoid are 13.Nb3 and 13.Qe2. Again, not necessarily bad, but he has a better alternative.

 

Hennie Daniels-T. Farrell
England, 1943
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.Nb3 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 fxe5 15.Nc5 Bg4 16.Bb3 Ne7 17.h3 Bxf3 18.gxf3 Qd6 19.Ne4 Qd7 20.Ng5 h6 21.Ne4 c6 22.Be3 Qxh3 23.Bc5 Qh4+ 24.Ke2 Rxf3 25.Nf2 Raf8 26.Qg1 e4 27.Qg2 Ng6 28.Qf1 Nf4+ 29.Kd2 Nd3 30.Nxd3 Rxf1 31.Rxf1 Rxf1 0-1

 

Gyula Kluger (2250)-Laszlo Szabo
Hungary Ch.
Budapest, 1946
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.Qe2 fxe5 14.Nb3 Bxf2+ 15.Qxf2 e4 16.Qe1 Bg4 17.Nfd4 Ne5 18.Nc5 Qf6 19.Be3 Rae8 20.Qg3 h5 21.Bb3 Kh8 22.h3 Qd6 23.Qh4 Ng6 24.Qe1 Bc8 25.Ne2 Bxh3 26.Rd1 c6 27.gxh3 Rf3 28.Bd4 Rxh3 29.Qf2 Nh4 30.Nf4 Nf3+ 31.Kf1 Qxf4 32.Be3 Qg4 0-1

 

13.exf6! And now Black has to play 13…Qxf6 or 13…Bxf2+ .

 
We’ll look at 13…Qxf6 first.

 
White’s best is 14.Nb3! He wins most of the games as his knight move solidifies his position.

 

Ramon Ardid Rey-Jan Kleczynski X25
Paris Ol.
France, 1924
[This game appears to be the first time the Dilworth variation was played in a master game.]
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6

 

2020_06_11_A

13…Qxf6 14.Nb3 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Ne5 16.Nc5 Bg4 17.Qxd5+ Kh8 18.Qe4 Qh4+ 19.Kg1 Nxf3+ 20.gxf3 Rae8 21.Bg5 Rxe4 22.Bxh4 Re5 23.fxg4 g5 24.Ne6 1-0

 

M. Paragua (2521)-C. Acor (2246)
Foxwoods Open
Ledyard, US, Mar. 20 2008
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Qxf6 14.Nb3 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Ne5 16.Kg1 c6 17.Be3 Bg4 18.Nbd2 Rae8 19.Bc5 Rf7 20.a4 Qh6 21.axb5 axb5 22.Kh1 Nd7 23.Bg1 Qh5 24.Qf1 Nf6 25.Re1 Rfe7 26.Rxe7 Rxe7 27.h3 Bf5 28.Bd1 Qe8 29.Bc5 Re6 30.Qf2 Ne4 31.Nxe4 Bxe4 32.Qg3 h6 33.Qc7 Kh7 34.b4 Rg6 35.Bd4 Qe6 36.Be5 Qf5 37.Kh2 Qf8 38.Bg3 Qf6 39.Qe5 Qf7 40.Nd4 Rg5 41.Qe6 Qa7 42.Bg4 Qa1 43.Qf7 Qb2 44.Nf3 1-0

 

Z. Abdumalik (2428)-N. Khomeriki (2347) X25
World Junior Girls Ch.
Tarvisio, Italy, Nov. 20 2017
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Qxf6 14.Nb3 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Ne5

 
2020_06_11_B

 

16.Kg3!? (A brave king! The usual move is 16.Kg1.) 16…g5 17.Qd4 h5 18.Bxg5 h4+ 19.Qxh4 Qg7 20.Nbd4 Nxf3 21.gxf3 1-0

 

White also can experiment with: 14.Qf1.

 

Smilov-Botvinnik
USSR Ch.
Moscow, 1943
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Qxf6 14.Qf1 Bg4 (14…g5 15.h3 h5 16.Nb3 Bxf2+ 17.Qxf2 g4 18.hxg4 hxg4 19.Qg3 +- ECO ; 14…Ne5 15.Nd4 Qh4 16.N2f3 Nxf3+ 17.Rxf3 Bg4 18.Rf2 Rae8 19.Bf4! +- Suetin.) 15.Kh1 Bxf2 16.Qxf2 Rae8 17.Qg3 Ne5 18.Bd1 Nd3 19.h3 Bh5 20.Bc2 Nf4 21.Ng1 c5 22.Ndf3 Ne2 23.Nxe2 Rxe2 24.Bd1 Re6 25.Bd2 h6 26.Kh2 Re4 27.Ng5 hxg5 28.Bxh5 Re5 29.Bf3 Qe7 30.a4 Kh7 31.axb5 axb5 32.Ra7 Qd6 33.Bg4 Rd8 34.Kh1 d4 35.cxd4 cxd4 36.Bf4 Re1+ 37.Qxe1 Qxf4 38.Rd7 Rxd7 39.Bxd7 d3 40.Bg4 d2 41.Qe2 b4 42.Qd3+ g6 43.Kg1 Kh6 44.b3 Kg7 45.Bf3 Qf7 46.Kf2 Qe6 47.Qe3 Qd6 48.Bd1 Qd5 49.g4 Kh7 50.Ke2 1-0

 

So Black almost has to play 13…Bxf2+ and come up with a plan after 14.Kxf2

 
He can try 14… fxe5!?

 

Edward Sergeant-George Thomas
Guildford, England, 1944
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.Nf1 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 fxe5!? 15.Kg1 e4! (The point of Black’s last move. More testing is needed for this line.) 16.Bg5 Qd7 17.Nd4 Bg4 18.Qd2 Ne5 19.Ne3 c6 20.Nxg4 Qxg4 21.Bd1 Qd7 22.Be2 Rf7 23.Bf4 Nc4 24.Bxc4 bxc4 25.Be3 Raf8 26.h3 h6 27.Ne2 Rf6 28.Kh2 g5 29.Ng3 Qd6 30.Bd4 Rf5 31.Qe3 R8f7 32.Kh1 Rf3 33.gxf3 Qxg3 34.fxe4 Rf3 35.Qg1 Qh4 36.Be5 Rxh3+ 37.Bh2 g4 38.Re1 Rxh2+ 0-1

 

But more common is 14…Qxf6.

 
White can go totally wrong after 15.Kg1

 
GM Ljubojevic-GM Yusupov
Interpolis
Tilburg, Sept. 27 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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Kg1 Rae8 16.Qf1 Bf5 17.Bxf5 Qxf5 18.b3 d4 19.cxd4 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Qc5 21.Bb2 Rxf1+ 22.Rxf1 Re2 23.Rf2 Rxf2 24.Kxf2 Qd5 25.Ke3 Qe5+ 0-1

 

GM E. Matsuura-FM Guilherme De Borba
Floripa Open
Florianopolis, Brazil, Jan. 25 2020
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.Nbd2 Bc5 10.c3 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Kg1 Rae8 16.Qf1 Bf5 17.Bxf5 Qxf5 18.Nb3 Ne5 19.Nbd4 Nxf3+ 20.Nxf3 Qc2 21.h3 Re2 22.b3 Qxc3 23.Qxe2 Qxa1 24.Qe6+ Kh8 25.Qc6 Qxa2 26.Qxd5 Qb1 27.Qc5 Re8 28.Qc6 Rf8 1/2-1/2

 

But 15.Kf1 Ne5 keeps the game going. It is doubled-edged and White just has to find the correct 16th move. He didn’t in this game.

 

Lee-Hanley
La Palma C.C., 1982
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Ng3?! (Too slow.) 16…Rae8! (Taking advantage of the extra tempo.) 17.Kg1 Bg4 18.Qxd5+?! (It is not a good idea to open lines when your opponent is the one doing the attacking, even if it is a check.) 18…Kh8

2020_06_11_C

19.Be4 (Not 19.Qe4? Nxf3+! -+) 19…Rd8 20.Qc5 Rd1+ 21.Kf2 Bxf3 22.gxf3 Nd3+! 0-1

 

 
16.Kg1 is flashy and may not be the best for White. But it does lead to lots of excitement and can be a real crowd pleaser.

 

 
IM Nelson Mariano-IM Sophia Polgar
World Jr. Ch.
Matinhos, Oct. 1994
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.Bc2 O-O 11.Nbd2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Kg1 Rae8 16.Nf1 Ne5 17.Be3 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 Qxf3 19.gxf3 Rxf3 20.Bd4

 
2020_06_11_D

 

20…Bh3 21.Ng3 Re6 22.Rd1 h5 23.Bb3 c6 24.Nxh5 Bg4 25.Nxg7 Rg6 26.Kg2 Rf7 27.Re1 c5 28.Be5 c4 29.Bc2 Bf5+ 30.Bg3 Bxc2 31.Ne8 Be4+ 32.Kg1 Rf3 33.a3 Kf8 34.Nc7 Rf7 35.Rf1 Rxf1+ 36.Kxf1 Ke7 0-1

 

Milan Babula (2323)-Jesper Skjoldborg (2274)
Czech Republic Open
Marianske Lazne, Jan. 29 2004
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Kg1 Rae8 17.Be3 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 Qxf3 19.gxf3 Rxf3 20.Bd4 Bh3 21.Ng3 Re6 22.Rd1 h5 23.Bd3 h4 24.Nh1 c5 25.Bxc5 Re5 26.Bd6 Rg5+ 27.Ng3 hxg3 28.hxg3 Rf6 29.Bb8 Bf5 30.Bf4 Rgg6 31.Be2 Bg4 32.Kf2 Bxe2 33.Kxe2 Rf5 34.Kd3 Rc6 35.Re1 Kf7 36.Rh1 g5 37.Bb8 Rf2 38.g4 Rxb2 39.Be5 Rxa2 40.Rh7+ Kg6 41.Rg7+ Kh6 42.Rg8 Ra3 43.Rh8+ Kg6 44.Rg8+ Kf7 45.Rg7+ Ke6 46.Rg6+ Kxe5 47.Rxc6 b4 48.Rg6 Kf4 49.Kd4 bxc3 50.Kxd5 Kxg4 0-1

 

 

16.Be3 is better. White’s defences are improved with a flexible bishop.

 
Balashov-Tukmakov
USSR Ch., 1977
[ECO]
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Rae8 17.Bd4 Bg4 18.N1d2 Qf4 19.Kg1 Nxf3+ 20.Nxf3 c6 21.Bd3 Bxf3 22.Qxf3 Qxf3 23.gxf3 Rxf3 24.Rd1 a5 25.Kg2 Rf4 26.Kg3 +/-

 

Kupreichik-Shereshevski
Sokolsky Memorial
Minsk, 1978
[ECO?]
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Rae8 17.Bc5 Nxf3 18.gxf3 Rf7 19.Kg2 h5 20.Qd3 Qg5+ 21.Kh1 Bf5 22.Qxd5 c6 23.Qxc6 Bd7 24.Qg6 Qxc5 25.Bb3 +/- Ree7 26.Ng3 Qe3 27.Qxh5 Be6 28.Nf5 Rxf5 29.Qxf5 Bxb3 30.axb3 Qe2 31.Qd5+ Kh7 32.Qh5+ Kg8 33.Qd5+ Kh7 34.Rg1 Re5 35.Qf7 1-0

 

Kupreichik-Stoica
Kirovakan, Armenia, 1978
[ECO]
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Qh4+ (16…Bg4? 17.Qxd5+ Kh8 18.Qe4 g6 19.Bd4 +-) 17.Kg1 Nxf3+ 18.gxf3 Rf6 19.Bd4 Qg5+ 20.Kh1 Bh3 21.Ne3 Rf7 22.Qg1 +/- Qf4 23.Qg3 Qxg3 24.hxg3 Rxf3 25.Bb3 Be6 26.Kg2 Rf7 27.Nxd5 Rd8 28.Nf4 Bxb3 29.axb3 c5 30.Ne6 Re8 31.Nxc5 Re2+ 32.Kh3 h5 33.Rxa6 Rf1 34.Kh4 Rf5 35.g4 hxg4 36.Ra7 Rf7 37.Rb7 Rxb2 38.Rxb5 Rh2+ 39.Kg3 Rh3+ 40.Kxg4 Rhf3 41.Ne6 1-0

 

GM Vassily Ivanchuk-GM Artur Yusupov
Linares, Feb. 21 1990
[Inside Chess?]
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Rae8 17.Bc5 Nxf3 18.gxf3 Rf7 19.Ng3 Bg4 20.Kg1 Qxf3 21.Qxf3 Bxf3? 22.Rf1! +/- Rf6 23.b4! c6 24.Bf5? (>24.Bd4 Rf4 25.Bf5 with the idea of Bd7 +-) 24…Be2 25.Re1 Bh5 26.Rxe8+ Bxe8 27.Be7 Rh6 28.Bg5 Rd6 29.Be7 Rh6 30.Bc8 Bf7 31.Bc5 Be6 32.Bxa6 Bd7 33.Bb7 Kf7 34.Ne2 Ke6 35.Nd4+ Ke5 36.Nb3 Ke4 37.Bf2 Bh3 38.Nd4 Rg6+ 39.Bg3 Rf6 40.Bf2 Rg6+ 41.Bg3 Rf6 42.Bf2 Rg6+ 1/2-1/2

 

FM C. Olivares Olivares-FM W. Cuevas Araya (2187)
Chile Ch.
Santiago, Feb. 20 2019
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 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Rae8 17.Bc5 Qh4+ 18.Kg1 Rxf3 19.gxf3 Qh5 20.Nd2 Bh3 21.Kh1 Nc4 22.Bb3 Nxd2 23.Qxd2 Qxf3+ 24.Kg1 Qg4+ 25.Kh1 Qe4+ 26.Kg1 Qg4+ 27.Kh1 Qe4+ 28.Kg1 Qg6+ 29.Kh1 Qe4+ 30.Kg1 Re5 31.Be3 Qg4+ 32.Kh1 Qf3+ 33.Kg1 Qg4+ 34.Kh1 Qe4+ 35.Kg1 Qg6+ 36.Kh1 Qe4+ 37.Kg1 Qg4+ 38.Kh1 c6 1-0

 
And that’s where we stand. More analysis is needed!

Happy Birthday Andy!!

Today is Andy Soltis’ birthday!

 

 

Born on May 28, 1947 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, his contributions to chess has been enormous.

 

For those of you might have been hiding under a rock since 1980, he’s a prolific author, frequent contributor to Chess Life, and even made into the world’s elite of chess, earning his IM title in 1974 followed by a GM title in 1980.

Let’s go over some of his games first.

 

 

IM Andrew Soltis-GM Miguel A Quinteros
Cleveland, May 5 1975
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 e6 7.Be2 Be7 8.f4 Qc7 9.O-O Nc6 10.Be3
(Both White and Black have solid positions. But White has more space which translates into greater coordination, mobility and freedom for his pieces. That is more than enough for White to have the advantage.) 10…Bd7 11.Qe1 O-O 12.Qg3 Rab8 13.Kh1 Kh8 14.Bf3 g6 15.Nxc6 bxc6 16.e5 Ne8 17.Ne4 d5 18.Ng5 Rxb2 19.Qh4 Bxg5 20.Qxg5 Ng7 21.Bc5 Re8 22.Be7 Kg8 23.Bf6 Reb8 24.Bg4 Ne8 25.Be7 Qc8 26.Ra3 Rb1 27.Bd1 a5 28.Qh6 Ng7 29.Rh3! 1-0

 

 

Edward Westing-GM Andrew Soltis
Bermuda, Feb. 1 2002
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 c5 4.c3 cxd4 5.cxd4 d5 6.e5 Nc6 7.h3

[White has also tried :

7.Be2 Nh6 8.O-O O-O 9.Nc3 Bg4 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 e6 12.Bg4 Qb6 13.Be3 Qxb2 14.Na4 Qa3 15.Nc5 b6 16.Nd7 Rfd8 17.Nf6+ Bxf6 18.exf6 Nf5 19.Bxf5 exf5 20.g4 Qd6 21.Qd2 fxg4 22.hxg4 Qxf6 23.Bg5 Qf3 24.Bxd8 Qxg4+ 25.Kh2 Rxd8 0-1 [Svoboda-Dobrovolsky (2387), Monravia Team Ch., 2000]

and

7.Nbd2 Nc6 8.h3 Bf5 9.Bb5 Qb6 10.Qa4 Bd7 11.Bxc6 Bxc6 12.Qa3 Bb5 13.Nb3 Qc6 14.Qc5 Qd7 15.Bd2 b6 16.Qc2 Rc8 17.Qd1 f6 18.Rc1 Kf7 19.Rxc8 Qxc8 20.Qc1 Qf5 21.Kd1 Nh6 22.Re1 Rc8 23.Bc3 Kg8 24.Qe3 Nf7 25.e6 Nd8 26.Kd2 Rc6 27.g4 Qxe6 28.Qf4 Qd7 29.h4 Re6 30.Re3 Rxe3 31.fxe3 Ne6 32.Qg3 Qc7 33.Qg2 Qc4 34.Nc1 Nd8 35.b3 Qc6 36.a4 Ba6 37.Na2 Bc8 38.Nb4 Qd6 39.Nd3 a5 40.g5 Bf5 41.Nfe1 Nf7 42.Nf4 fxg5 43.hxg5 e6 0-1 [Sequera (2378)-Macieja (2615), Ann Open, Curacao, Nov. 2 2002]

 

7…Nh6 8.Bb5 O-O 9.O-O Nf5 10.Nc3 Bd7 11.Nxd5 Nxe5! 12.dxe5 [Or 12.Bxd7 Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3 Qxd7 14.Be3 Rfd8 15.Nc3 Nxd4 16.Bxd4 Bxd4 17.Rad1 Qc6 18.Qxc6 bxc6 19.Rfe1 e5 20.Rc1 (-1.39 Stockfish)] 12…dxe5 Bxb5 13.Re1 Bc6 14.Nb4 Qxd1 15.Rxd1 Bxf3 16.gxf3 Bxe5 -+ 17.Rd5 Bd6 18.Bd2 Rfd8 19.Bc3 a5 20.Rxd6 Rxd6 21.Nc2 b6 22.Kg2 Rad8 23.Ne3 Nxe3+ 24.fxe3 Rd1 25.Rxd1 Rxd1 26.Kf2 f6 27.f4 Kf7 28.Kf3 Ke6 29.Bd4 b5 30.a3 Rf1+ 31.Kg2 Rb1 32.Kf3 Kd5 33.Bc3 a4! 0-1 (White can’t stop the Black king from entering on the queenside.)

 

 

Soltis didn’t confine himself to merely playing the game. An important variation in the Sicilian Dragon was named after him.

 

Let’s review the opening moves.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 (The main line in the Dragon. White usually castles queenside and attempts to storm Black’s castled kingside with his pawns and follow up with pieces. Sacrifices are common threats for both sides.) 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.O-O-O Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5 12.h4 (White has played this move to maintain and continue his threats of opening Black’s kingside. Experience has shown that Black usually ends up on the losing side if he allows White’s h-pawn to continue his advancement. So…) 12…h5!?

 

 

(Now White’s h-pawn is stopped. Does this mean Black is going to win? Not necessarily. Does it mean White is going to win? Not necessarily either. But it does mean White has to look for other way to infiltrate the kingside.)

 

Here is the inauguration of this variation.

Barczay-Soltis
Reggio Emilia
Italy, Jan. 1 1971
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.f3 O-O 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.Bb3 Rc8 11.h4 h5 12.O-O-O Ne5 13.Bg5 Nh7 14.Bh6 Bxh6 15.Qxh6 Rxc3 16.bxc3 Qa5 17.Kb1 Qxc3 18.Qd2 Qc5 19.Ne2 a5 20.Qd4 Qc7 21.Nc3 Nf6 22.a4 Rc8 23.Kb2 Be6 24.Rhe1 Kg7 25.f4 Nc6 26.Qd2 Nb4 27.Re3 Qb6 28.Qd4 Rc5 29.e5 dxe5 30.fxe5 Ng4 0-1

 

A good way to start off the New Year!

 

Here are two other games worthy of study.

S. Hwemp (2280)-K.D. Mueller (2445)
corres.
ICCF, 6/7 Cup, ½ Finals, 1990/1
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.O-O-O Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5 12.h4 h5 13.Kb1 Nc4 14.Bxc4 Rxc4 15.Nde2 b5 16.Bh6 b4 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.exd5 Qa5 20.b3 Rc5 21.Qd4+ Kh7 22.g4

 

 


22…Rxc2! 23.Nc1? (23.Kxc2 Qxa2+ 24.Kd3 Bb5+ 25.Ke4 Qc2+ 26.Kf4 e5+ 27.dxe6 fxe6+) 23…Rfc8 24.Rhe1? Qa3 0-1

 

IM Alexander Khalifman (2530)-Stanislav Savchenko (2480)
USSR Ch.
Simferopol, Ukraine, 1988
[Don’t fret about the titles. Both players earned their GM titles a few years later; Khalifman in 1990 and Savchenko in 1993.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.h4 Ne5 11.Bb3 h5 12.O-O-O Rc8 13.Bh6 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 Rxc3 15.bxc3 Qc7 16.Kb1 Rc8 17.g4 a5 18.gxh5 a4 19.Bd5 Nxd5 20.exd5 Qxc3 21.hxg6 fxg6 22.Rhg1 Bf5 23.Nxf5 Qxc2+

 

 

(A situation in which neither Black nor White can win. But they both can lose. A draw is best for both players.) 1/2-1/2

 

GM Soltis also promoted another, lesser-known, variation, in the Sicilian. Entitled the “Chameleon Sicilian” it runs as:

 

 

1.e4 c5 2.Ne2!?

 

The point being it is impossible for Black to know what White is attempting to do. White can play the Closed Sicilian with 3.d3, 4.g3 and 5.Bg2. Or he can open the game up with: .d4 cxd4 .Nxd4 at any time. It’s especially troublesome for Dragon addicts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Andy Soltis has written a weekly chess column for the New York Post since 1972 and a monthly column (“Chess to Enjoy”) for Chess Life since 1979.

 

 

 

 

In addition to his weekly and monthly columns, he has written several books including; The Best Chess Games of Boris Spassky (1973), Pawn Structure Chess (1976), Chess to Enjoy (1978), Karl Marx Plays Chess : And Other Reports on the World’s Oldest Game (1991), Soviet Chess 1917–1991 (1999), Bobby Fischer Rediscovered (2003), and many others.

 

 

 

His books are a mixture of games, analysis, and fresh observations on the opening and other aspects of play. His column, “Chess to Enjoy”, covers historical viewpoints, human interest stories, computer analysis (and sometimes their failings), and literary perspectives. He is known to use humor to illustrate important points.

 

 

 

For his chess writings, he was named “Chess Journalist of the Year” in 1988 and 2002 by the Chess Journalists of America.

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Andy Soltis!!

Secret Games of Botvinnik vs. Averbakh

During his playing career Botvinnik battled played a number of players who were of GM strength in secret matches. They were all played in the USSR, and were meant to prepare him for Olympiads, important tournaments, and matches with Western (i.e., non-Warsaw Pact) players.

 
They were played in secret so Botvinnik could experiment with different openings, and of course to keep any loses away from prying Western eyes.

 
His most common match player during the 1950s was GM Averbakh.

 

As he put it, “As a sparring partner, I evidently suited Botvinnik, and over the next two years we played about 25 training games. The time control was the standard one of two and a half hours for 40 moves. If a game remained unfinished, it was not normally resumed.”

 

Here are four of those secret games.

 

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

 

GM Botvinnik-GM Averbakh
Training Game
Moscow, Oct. 1955
[By the mid-1950s, Averbakh was considered an expert in the endgame. But here, he never gets to the endgame!]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.g4 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Qa5 11.h4 Be6 12.h5 Rfd8 13.hxg6 hxg6 14.a3 d5 15.e5 Nd7 16.Qh2 Nf8 17.Bd3 f6 18.exf6 exf6 (White has the advantage and can win a number of ways. He chooses the most direct route.)

 
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19.b4! (Trapping the queen.) 1-0

 

 

GM Botvinnik-GM Averbakh
Training Game, June 6 1955
[E56]
[With everything else being equal, a passed pawn is worth more than a pawn.]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nf3 c5 7.O-O Nc6 8.a3 (8.Qc2 is also good.) 8…Ba5 9.cxd5 exd5 10.dxc5 Bxc3 11.bxc3 Bg4 12.c4 Ne5 13.cxd5 Nxf3+ 14.gxf3 Bh3 15.e4! (White is willing to give up the exchange for a powerful, mobile pawn center.) 15…Nd7

[So why can’t Black take advantage of the exchange sacrifice?

Here is one answer:

Jesus Rodriguez-Oscar Vieira Ferreira (2065)
Argentina Team Tournament
Tucuman, 1971
15.e4 Bxf1 16.Bxf1 Nd7 17.Be3 f5 18.Bh3 fxe4 19.fxe4 Ne5 20.f4 Nc4 21.Qd4 Nxe3 22.Qxe3 Qf6 23.Rf1 Rae8 24.e5 g5 25.Qg3 Qg7 26.Be6+ Rxe6 27.dxe6 gxf4 28.Qxg7+ Kxg7 29.Rd1 Rf5 30.Rd7+ Kg6 31.Rd5 Kg7 32.e7 Kf7 33.e6+ Kxe6 34.Rxf5 1-0.

The text game provides another answer.]

16.Kh1 Bxf1 17.Bxf1 Nxc5 18.Be3 b6 19.e5 Qd7 20.f4 Rfd8 21.Bg2 Rac8 22.Qf3 Nb3 23.Rd1 Rc3 24.f5 Nc5 25.f6 Rd3 26.Rg1 g6 27.Qf4 Qe8 28.Bxc5 bxc5 29.Re1 R3xd5 30.Bxd5 Rxd5 31.Qh6 Qf8 32.Qh3 Qd8

 

2020_05_21_B

 

33.e6! 1-0

 

 

GM Botvinnik-GM Averbakh
Training Game, Oct. 1956
[E29]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 c5 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Nc6 8.e4 cxd4 9.cxd4 Nxd4 10.e5 Qa5+ 11.Kf1 Ne8 12.Bb2!? [White has two good choices here; 12.Bd2 (ECO’s line), and 12.Bb2, which seems to be a Botvinnik TN.] 12…Nc6 13.Nf3 f5 14.Qc2 d6 15.Re1 dxe5 16.Nxe5 Nf6 17.h3 Qc5 18.g4 Ne4 19.Nxc6 Qxc6

 

2020_05_21_C

 

20.Rg1! (White’s next moves are designed to open the diagonals for his bishops by eliminating the center pawns.) 20…Rf7 21.Re3 Qc5?! (21….Kf8 might seem anti-thematic, and perhaps even a little bizarre, but it’s important to get out of the soon-to-opened g-file.) 22.gxf5 exf5 23.Bxe4 fxe4 24.Qc3 1-0

 

 

GM Botvinnik-GM Yuri Averbakh
Training Game, 1956
[C63]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.d3 Nf6 8.Qe2 [Botvinnik has what he wants; a few small advantages (in this case, space and positional) he can take to the endgame.] 8…Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Qd5 11.Bg5

[Also good is 11.O-O O-O 12.Be3 Rad8 13.b3 b6 14.Rad1 Qd7 15.Nxf6+ Rxf6 16.Qg4 Qd5 17.Qe4 Rg6 18.Kh1 Re8 19.f3 Rf8 20.Bg1 Bd6 21.Rde1 Re8 22.Re2 Rg5 23.Bh2 Rh5 24.Rfe1 Qa5 25.Qxc6 1-0, E. Szalanczy (2237)-M. Lyell (2225), First Saturday, Budapest, Sept. 4 2012.]

11…Nxe4 12.dxe4 Qf7 13.Qxf7+ Kxf7 14.Be3 Ke6 (Black’s king travels to the center to contest the center squares.) 15.Ke2
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(White’s advantages are now easier to perceive. One is that two of Black’s queenside pawns are doubled. A bigger problem is that his e5-pawn is isolated. Finally, White’s bishop has more freedom of movement than Black’s. Black’s biggest plus is his strongly placed king on e6.)

15…Rhf8

[Black can also try 15…Rad8. After 16.Rad1 (not 16.Bxa7? b6!) 16…Rd6 17.Rxd6+ cxd6 18.a4 (Again, not 18.Bxa7? due to 18… a8). Stockfish prefers 15…Rad8 16.h4 h5 17.g3 Rd7 18.a4 g6 19.Rag1 a6 20.Ra1 Rhd8 21.f3 Rf8 22.Rhg1 Rdd8 23.Rgb1 Rf7 or even the more immediate 15….h5 16.h4 a6 17.g3 Rad8 18.a4 a5 19.Rag1 g6 20.Rc1 Rhf8 21.Ra1 Rh8 22.Rag1 b6 23.f3 Rhf8. Verdict: White has definite, and annoying (for Black), advantages. The big question is: “Can White win?” The answer is: “Probably yes, especially if you are a GM”.]

16.h4 Rf7 17.h5 h6 18.Rh3 Bg5 19.Rd1 Raf8 20.f3 a5 21.Rg3 Kf6 22.Rg4 a4 23.g3 Ke6 24.Rf1 Bxe3 25.Kxe3 Rd7 26.f4 Rf6 27.Rg6 Kf7 28.fxe5 Rxf1 29.e6+ Ke7 30.exd7 1-0

 

[30….Kxd7 31.Rxg7+ Kd6 (31…Kd8 is passive. White will eventually win by slowly, surely, and simply moving up the board. Black’s only chance to bring his king up and challenge White for control of the board. But White still wins.) 32.Rg6+ Ke5 33.Rxh6 Rc1 34.Rh8.]

DRAGON TALES and TREATS

Blue_Dragon_by_mustanglover

 

The “Dragon” describes a vast complex variation in the Sicilian. Black sets up a fianchettoed bishop on g7, castles kingside, and hopes to attack on the queenside.

 

But where did the name Dragon come from?

 

So far, the research indicates that the name originated from the 19th century Russian player Fyodor Dus-Chotimirsk. He claimed to have invented the term in 1901 as Black’s kingside pawn structure resembled the constellation Draco. The constellation’s name means “dragon” in Latin.

 

It might also help to know that Dus-Chotimirsk was an amateur astronomer.

 

We can only assume that the fianchettoed bishop represents the head of the dragon while the bishop’s long diagonal is its tail. You will appreciate the long diagonal (tail) of the dragon after playing over a few games.

Here is an illustrated (AKA with diagrams) introduction to the Dragon.

 

M. Maric-S. Matveeva
Yugoslavia, 1992
[B70]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 g6 6.g3 Nc6 7.Nde2 b6 8.Bg2 Ba6 9.O-O Bg7 10.Nd5 O-O 11.Re1 Rc8 12.c3 Nd7 13.Be3 Nc5 14.Nd4 Ne5 15.Nb4 Bb7 16.f3 a5 17.Nd5 e6 18.Nf4 Nc4 19.Nb5 Ba6 20.Bxc5 Rxc5 21.a4 Nxb2 22.Qb3 Nxa4 23.Nxe6 Rxb5 24.Qxa4 fxe6

2020_04_16_A
0-1 (Black is threatening White’s “c” pawn. And 25.c4? Rb4! loses more material than just a pawn.)

 

Milenko Lojanica-Gawain Jones
Victoria, 2009
[B78]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.O-O-O Rb8 11.Nxc6? bxc6 12.h4 Qa5 13.Nb1??  Nxe4! 0-1 (with the idea of Bxb2#.)

 

Ka Szadkowski (2300)-M. Mroziak (2406)
Polish Team Ch., 2nd League
Szklarska Poreba, Sept. 2 2017
[B76]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.O-O-O Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.h4 Rfc8 13.Bd3 Qa5 14.h5? Rxc3! 15.Qxc3 Qxa2+ 0-1

 

Jan Svatos (2280)-Pavel Jirovsky (2335)
Czech Chess Union Open Ch.
Prague, 1964
[A question for White. What is worse than worse having a bishop with long diagonal attacking your castled position? Having two bishops with long diagonals attacking your castled position! Not to mention the enemy queen and rooks. Details below.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.Be3 O-O 8.f3 Nc6 9.Qd2 a5 10.O-O-O a4 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.e5 Ne8 13.exd6 Nxd6 14.Be2 Qa5 15.Bd4 e5! (White was probably not expecting this move. It opens up the position in Black’s favor.) 16.Bc5 Qxc5 17.Qxd6 Qe3+! (This little zwischenzug keeps the advantage for Black. Obviously not 17…Qxd6? 18.Rxd6 and White is doing OK.) 18.Qd2 Qb6 19.Bc4 Qb4 20.b3 axb3 21.Bxb3 e4 22.Nb1 Qb6 23.c3? (All this move does is to loosen up White’s castled position. It’s hard to find a good move, but 23.fxe4!? keeps Black’s bishop from f5 for at least another move.) 23…exf3! 24.gxf3 Bf5! -+

2020_04_16_B

25.Kb2 Rfb8! 0-1

 

 

The next two games are from the rarely played Zollner Gambit. Consider these games as sidenotes.

 

Raymond Martin (2230)-Raymond Vollmar (2143)
US Open
Fort Worth, TX, July 9 1951
[B73]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.O-O O-O 9.f4 Qb6 10.e5 (The Zollner Gambit) 10…dxe5 11.fxe5 Nxe5 12.Nf5 Qe6 13.Nxg7 Kxg7 14.Qd2 Re8 15.Rae1 Bd7 16.Bd4 Bc6 17.Qf4 Ned7 18.Bg4 Qd6 19.Qxd6 exd6 20.Rxe8 Rxe8 21.Bxd7 Bxd7 22.Nd5 1-0

 

L. H. Hansen (1993)-A. Groenn (2409)
Sveins Memorial
Oslo, June 24 2011
[B73]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 g6 7.O-O Bg7 8.Be3 O-O 9.f4 Qb6 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Nxe5 12.Nf5 Qe6 13.Nxg7 Kxg7 14.Qd2 Kh8 15.Nb5 Nc4 16.Bxc4 Qxc4 17.Na3 Qc6 18.Qd4 b6 19.Nc4 Bb7 20.Rf2 Rfd8 21.Qh4 Qe4 22.Qxe4 Nxe4 23.Rf4 Rac8 24.b3 f5 25.Re1 Ba6 0-1

 

 

 

David McTavish (2224)-Jura Ochkoos (2298)
Canada Open
Toronto, 1992
[Black has to be careful not trade off his dragon.]
[B78]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.O-O-O Qb8 11.h4 Rc8 12.Bb3 a5 13.a4 h5 14.g4 Nb4 15.Bh6 Rc5 16.gxh5 Nxh5 17.Rhg1 e6 18.Nf5 exf5 19.Rxg6 Kh7 20.Bxg7 f4 21.Rxd6 Be6 22.Bxe6! fxe6

2020_04_16_C

23.Rd7! (Black is facing lines that end in mate. Lines like 23…Nxg7 24.Rxg7+! Kxg7 25.Rg1+ Kf7 26.Qd7+ Kf6 27.Qg7#) 1-0

 

Edwin Bhend-Otto Zimmermann
Zurich, 1954
[B76]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.O-O-O Na5? 10.Bh6! Be6 11.h4 Bc4 12.h5 Bxf1 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.hxg6 h5 15.Nf5+ 1-0

 

Yu Lie (2348)-Leon Hoyos (2395)
World U14 Ch.
Halkidiki, Greece, 2003
[B27]
[If this is how someone under 14 plays chess, I would not want to play him as an adult! What makes this game more interesting is the fact is that since Black moved his dragoned bishop off the long diagonal, White takes over the long diagonal and uses it for HIS bishop.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bc4 Bg7 4.O-O Nc6 5.c3 e5 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 Nxd4 8.Nxd4 cxd4 9.Qf3! (Not just going for the easy mate but it also forces the Black queen to a vulnerable spot. Otherwise if 9…Nf6 or 9…Bf6, then 10.e5!) 9…Qf6 10.Qg3 Ne7 11.Bg5 Qe5 12.Bf4! (Willing to give up a pawn for continued rapid development.) 12…Qxe4 13.Bd3 Qd5 14.Bd6 Bf6 15.Re1 Kf8 16.Nd2 Qh5 17.Qf4 Bg5 18.Qe5 Kg8 19.Bxe7 Bxd2?! (Admittedly there is not much else Black can do. But now he is mated in three moves.)
2020_04_16_D
20.Qxh8+!! Kxh8 21.Bf6+ 1-0

The Quiet Bishop Move

A quiet bishop move is one that does not deliver a check, does not fork, and usually it doesn’t even attack a piece directly. Indeed, it appears to do nothing.

 

But it does.

 
The forcefulness of the Quiet Bishop Move can be seen best from the following examples.

 

 

Reti-Bogoljubov
New York, 1924
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Nf6 (The text move is a little passive. Black has several options here including 3…c6, 3…dxc4, and 3…g6.) 4.Bg2 Bd6 5.O-O O-O 6.b3 Re8 7.Bb2 Nbd7 8.d4 c6 9.Nbd2 Ne4 10.Nxe4 dxe4 11.Ne5 f5 12.f3 exf3 13.Bxf3 Qc7 14.Nxd7 Bxd7 15.e4 e5 16.c5 Bf8 17.Qc2 exd4 18.exf5 Rad8 19.Bh5 Re5 20.Bxd4 Rxf5 21.Rxf5 Bxf5 22.Qxf5 Rxd4 23.Rf1! Rd8 24.Bf7+ Kh8

2020_04_09_A

25.Be8! (The bishop does nothing except to isolate the enemy king. But now White has several forced mates. First, he threatens 26.Qxf8#. Black can try 25…Rxe8, but after 26.Qxf8+, White has the well-known back rank mate. And Black is still mated after 25…h6 26.Qxf8+ Kh7 27.Bg6+! Kxg6 28.Qf5#. Black resigns.) 1-0

 
Zoltan Ribli-Andras Adorjan
Hungary, 1983
1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 b6 4.e3 e6 5.d4 cxd4 6.exd4 Bb7 7.a3 d5! 8.cxd5 Nxd5= 9.Ne5 a6 10.Qa4+ Nd7 11.Nxd5 b5! 12.Qb3 Bxd5 =/+ 13.Qg3 Nxe5 14.dxe5 h5! 15.h4 Rc8 -/+ 16.b4 g6 17.Bg5 Be7 18.Bxe7 Qxe7 19.Be2 Bc4! 20.Rc1 O-O! 21.Bxh5 a5! 22.bxa5 Qa7! 23.Bd1 Qxa5+ 24.Qc3 Qa8! 25.Qe3 Rfd8 26.Bf3? Qa5+ 27.Qc3

2020_04_09_B
27…Bf1!! (The bishop does nothing except to isolate the enemy king. As an added bonus White’s queen is now being attacked by the Rook. Even here the bishop is also quiet, allowing another piece to potentially capture the queen. I’ll let you figure out why White can’t play 28.Qxa5?) 0-1

 
A bishop move that is a little louder.

 
Walter Harris-Anthony Cantone
US Open
Omaha, Nebraska, July 24 1959
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 Nc6 13.dxc5 dxc5 14.Nf1 Rd8 15.Qe2 Be6

(So far this is all theory.

GM Fischer-GM Erich Eliskases, Mar del Plata, Argentina, 1960 continued instead with the alternate 15…Nh5!?. White played the simple, and yet strong, 16.a4 Rb8 17.axb5 axb5 18.g3 g6 19.h4 Be6 20.Ne3 c4 21.Ng5 Bxg5 22.hxg5 Na5 23.Ng4 Bxg4 24.Qxg4 Nb3 25.Bxb3 cxb3 26.Be3 Ra8 27.Rxa8 Rxa8 28.Rd1 Qc6 29.Rd5 f5 30.Qd1 f4 31.gxf4 exf4 32.Qxb3 Qc4 33.Qxc4 bxc4 34.Bd4 f3 35.Be3 h6 36.gxh6 Nf6 37.Rd6 Kf7 38.Rxf6+ Kxf6 39.Bd4+ Kg5 40.h7 Kf4 41.Kh2 g5 42.h8=Q Rxh8+ 43.Bxh8 g4 44.e5 1-0.)

16.Ne3 h6 17.Nh2 Rac8 18.Nf5!? Bxf5 19.exf5 c4 20.Ng4! Re8 21.Qf3 Rcd8 22.Qg3! Kh8 23.Nxh6! gxh6 24.Bxh6 Rg8 25.Qh4 Nh7? 26.f6! Bxf6

2020_04_09_C

 

27.Bg5! 1-0

Corona Problems? No problem!

I haven’t been to a tournament or even a club for some time now.

 

Mostly this is due with the “Stay Home” initiative.

 

The gym is closed. So is the local college, the library, the mall, bookstores, movie houses, amusement parks, coffee houses, fast food restaurants, churches, and various work places. The beach is still open here in Huntington Beach. But city and county officials are talking about closing that too.

 

So, what do if you really want to play chess?

 

Naturally, there is the Internet. I play on chess.com. But you can find many other sites to play Blitz, Bughouse, and even tournament games.

 

 

s-l1600 (1)

And get out those old Informants! The books you acquired some time ago, and just didn’t have the time to read or study from it. Go ahead, grab an issue, a pen, a highlighter and a notepad. Mark up the book, write your notes on the paper, and have some fun!

 

If you have a word processor, you might enter your favorite games and your notes right onto your laptop.

 

But what to do if you don’t have any Informants? Well, any chess book will do! Even if it is written by Reinfeld and annotated in Descriptive Notation (DN). Hint! – his best book is 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations.

 

s-l500 (3) BCF_Yearbook_Cover_1995_2s-l500 (2)

 

And then proceed as above.

 
And if you are one of those rare chess players who doesn’t own a single book on chess, then you still have options to enjoy the game.

 

You can always read and study various chess magazines. Even old ones.

BCM_2001_June

 

They can be ordered on ebay.com And available in different languages.

 
You can also download games from the Internet in PDF, PGN, http, or text fashion.

 
If you want human interaction, you can email a friend. Request games to enjoy or study. Offer to play games via email. Or even by telephone.

Old-fashioned blue telephone on a white background.
I did that, pre-Internet. Just be sure to have a pen and notepad or scoresheet – you might want a copy of the game (another hint here!)

 

Most important of all, during this time of self-isolation and possible mass paranoia and hysteria, keep busy. Don’t miss an opportunity to enjoy the one thing that a virus can’t block you from doing; that is to enjoy your game, your life.

 

David Cummings-Yura Ochkoos
Kitchener Octoberfest Open
Ontario, Canada, 2002
[This game can be found in “Across Canada”, in the December, 1992 issue of “En Passant”, published by Chess Federation of Canada. Notes by Escalante (who is stuck at home).]
1.c4 e6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 c5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 Nc6 6.cxd5 exd5 7.O-O Be7 8.Be3 c4 9.Ne5 O-O 10.b3 cxb3 11.Qxb3 Na5 (ECO gives 11…Bd6 as being equal. But now it appears that the text move is slightly stronger. Meanwhile, we are still in “book”.) 12.Qa4 a6 13.Bd2 Nc4 14.Nxc4 b5 15.Qc2

[Egon Brestian (2475)-Reinhard Lendwai (2405), Austria Ch., 1991, continued instead with 15.Ba5 Qe8 16.Qc2 bxc4 17.Nc3 Be6 18.e4 dxe4 (Qd7!?) 19.Nxe4 Nd5 20.Nc5 Bxc5 21.dxc5 Qe7 22.Bb6 Rab8 23.Rab1 Qf6 24.a4 Rfc8 25.a5 Nc3 26.Rbc1 Nb5 27.Rfd1 Nd4 28.Qe4 Nb3 29.Rxc4 Bxc4 30.Qxc4 Nxc5 31.Bxc5 Qg5 32.Bd5 Kh8 33.Qd4 Rb5 34.Bb6 Rc1 35.Bf3 Rxd1+ 36.Qxd1 h5

2020_03_26_A

37.Qd8+! (Simplifying into a winning 2B vs. R endgame.) 37…Qxd8 (37…Kh7? 38.Qxg5 Rxg5 39.Bb7 wins.) 38.Bxd8 Kh7 39.Bb6 Kg6 40.Be2 1-0]

 
15…bxc4 16.Nc3 Be6 17.Bg5 Rb8 18.e3 Qa5 19.Rab1 Bb4?! 20.Bxf6 Bxc3 21.Be5 Rb5 22.e4 Rd8 23.a4! Rxb1 24.Rxb1 dxe4 25.Bxe4 Bxd4? 26.Bxd4 Rxd4

2020_03_26_B

27.Qc3!! 1-0

The French Problem

Many years ago. I was playing a tournament. Sometime between my morning game and afternoon game I met a young guy.

 

He was asking for help against the French Defence, saying he had a problem trying to figure it out so he could win as White.

 

He didn’t have a board or a set. I set up my pieces on my board so I can both see the moves. By the way, if you ever attend a tournament, ALWAYS bring a set with you. You want to show off you are making some investment in learning more about the game.

 

Anyway, I set up the board.

1

 

I then asked if he knew the Advanced Variation (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5).

 

 

He said, “It’s been analyzed to death and the only way for White to try to gain an advantage was to play the Milner-Barry.” “But,” he continued, “White still loses”.

 

I don’t completely understand what he was trying to tell me. It sounded like he was repeating someone who knew the names of the variations, but little else. Maybe I’ll unravel it.

 

I figured we both have the time. Let’s keep the conversation going.

 

 

I replied, “Ok, how about the Classical Variation (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5)?”

 

He answered me, “But it’s even more drawish than the Advanced Variation!”

 

“Ok. So what do you think of the Winawer (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4)?”

 

“Too much stuff to remember! And I don’t have the time to study all the lines.”

 

It turns out he didn’t want an improvement it the main lines. He wanted a brand-new way to counter 1.e4 e6.

 

 

I told him the French Defence got its name from a correspondence game between the cities of London and Paris in 1834.

 

 

London Chess Club-Paris Chess Club
corres. 1834
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bd3 c5 6.Qe2+ Be7 7.dxc5 O-O 8.Be3 Re8 9.Bb5 Nc6 10.Nd4 Bxc5 11.Bxc6 bxc6 12.c3 Bxd4 13.cxd4 c5 14.Qd3 Qb6 15.O-O Ba6 16.Qb3 Qxb3 17.axb3 Bxf1 18.Kxf1 Ng4 19.dxc5 Nxe3+ 20.fxe3 Rxe3 21.Nd2 Rae8 22.b4 Rd3 23.Rxa7 Rxd2 24.b5 Rxb2 25.b6 d4 26.b7 d3 27.Ra8 Kf8 0-1

 

 

But the basic ideas go way back to Greco.

 

 

Greco-N.N.
Rome, 1620?
1.e4 e6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Bd3 Nc6 4.Nf3Be7 5.h4 O-O 6.e5 Nd5 7.Bxh7+! (yes, this famous sacrifice originated with Greco.) 7…Kxh7 8.Ng5+ Bxg5 9.hxg5+ Kg8 10.Qh5 f5 11.g6 Re8 12.Qh8mate 1-0

 

 

And I concluded, “To find a new way to combat the French may not be possible.”

 

“Please anything! Even if it might be bad for White. I want something to at least try.”

 

OK, the opened the door a little.

 

The Schlechter Variation is defined by the moves 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3. White’s bishop gets an early start in the game. However, it can be almost immediately challenged by Black’s knight.

 

But let’s not get too far ahead. Black can quickly lose the game (which is what my friend wanted to hear) if he falters.

 

 

Tarrasch-Kuerschner
Nuremburg, 1893
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 Nf6 4.e5! Nfd7 5.Nf3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.O-O f6 8.Re1 f5 9.Be3 c4?!(9…Be7, with the idea of 10…O-O is definitely better.) 10.Bc2 Be7 (Black plays this move a bit late and it doesn’t coordinate well with his previous move.) 11.b3 b5 12.a4 bxa4 13.bxc4 dxc4 14.d5 Ncxe5 15.dxe6 Nxf3+ 16.Qxf3 Nb6 17.Qxf5 Bf6 [Black has serious problems here. If 17…Rf8, then 18.Qh5+ g6 19.Bxg6+ hxg6 (or 19…Rf7 20.Bxf7+ Kf8 21.Bh6#) 20.Qxg6+ Rf7 21.Qxf7#.] 18.Bc5 Bb7 19.Qg6+! hxg6 20.Bxg6mate 1-0

 

Vega Gutierrez (2236)-Korneev (1630)
La Laguna Open
Spain, May 6 2009
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 c5? 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nc3 Qd6 6.Nb5 Qb6 7.Bf4 Na6 8.Nf3 Nf6 9.Ne5 Qa5+ 10.c3 Nd5 11.Bg5 Qb6 12.Qa4 Bd7 13.Nd6+ Qxd6 14.Nxd7 Be7 15.dxc5 Nxc3 16.bxc3 Qxd3 17.Ne5+ b5 18.cxb6 1-0

 

Whitfield-Belson
Toronto, 1934
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 dxe4 4.Bxe4 Nf6 5.Bd3 c5 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Nf3 O-O 8.O-O Nc6 9.c3 (Seems solid and reasonable.) 9…e5?! (There are not too many games with this position. But even with lack of games, this move seems to weaken Black too much for further consideration by other French players.) 10.Bg5 Re8 11.Qc2 h6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Nbd2 Bb6 14.Ne4 Qe7 15.Ng3 g6 16.Bxg6 fxg6 17.Qxg6+ Kf8 18.Nh5 Qf7 19.Qxh6+ Ke7 20.Ng5 Qf5 21.Rad1 Bd7 22.Qd6+ Kd8 23.Ng7 Qg4 24.N5e6+ 1-0

 

 

 

But Black can equalize in the main line after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 dxe4 4.Bxe4 Nf6 5.Bd3 c5 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Nf3 Nc6.

 

 

 

Tartakower-Torre
Moscow, 1925
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 dxe4 4.Bxe4 Nf6 5.Bd3 c5 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.O-O Qc7 9.Nc3 Bd7 10.Bg5!? (A move that may be slightly too aggressive.) 10…O-O-O 11.Qe2 e5 (ECO evaluates this position as equal. Personally, I think if any player has the advantage, it is Black.) 12.Be4 Bg4 13.Bxc6  Qxc6 14.h3 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Qxf3 16.gxf3 Bd4 17.Nd1 Rd6 18.c3 Bb6 19.Ne3 Nh5 20.Nf5 Rd3 21.Rad1 Rxf3 22.Nd6+ Kc7 23.Kg2 e4 24.Nxe4 Rf5 25.Be3 Re5 26.Ng3 Nxg3 27.Bxb6+ Kxb6 28.fxg3 Re2+ 29.Rf2 Rhe8 30.Rd2 1/2-1/2

 

Ruiz Sanchez (2455)-Gallego Alcaraz (2448)
Guillermo Garcia Elite
Santa Clara, Cuba, May 17 2017
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 c5 4.Nf3 dxe4 5.Bxe4 Nf6 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.O-O Qc7 9.Nc3 Bd7 10.a3?!  (A move that may be slightly too passive.) 10…a6 11.Ne4 Ba7 12.Qe1 Ng4 13.h3 h5 14.Qc3 Bd4 15.Qd2 f5 16.Neg5 Ba7 17.hxg4 hxg4 18.Qf4 Qxf4 19.Bxf4 gxf3 20.Nxf3 O-O-O 21.Rfe1 Rh5 22.Bc4 Rdh8 23.Kf1 g5 24.Bxg5 e5 25.Be3 e4 -/+ 26.Ng1 Bb8 27.f4 Rh2 28.b4 R8h4 29.g3 Rg4 30.Re2 Rh7 31.Bf2 Ne7 32.Rd1 Bc7 33.Red2 Bc6 34.Be6+ Kb8 35.Re1 Rh1 36.c4 Ba4 37.Re3 Bb6 38.c5 Bc7 39.Bd7 Bc6 40.Bxc6 bxc6 41.Rb3 Nd5 42.Re2 Kb7 43.Kg2 Rh7 44.Kf1 Rg6 45.a4 Nf6 46.b5 a5 47.b6 Bd8 48.Rd2 Nd5 49.Ne2 Bf6 50.Bd4 Bxd4 51.Rxd4 Rh1+ 52.Kf2 Rgh6 53.Rxd5 cxd5 54.Ke3 Rc6 55.Rb5 Rd1 56.Rxa5 d4+ 57.Kf2 Rd2 58.Ra7+ Kb8 59.a5 d3 60.Ke3 Rxe2+ 61.Kd4 d2 62.Kd5 Rxc5+ 0-1

 

 

Here’s a game which shows my suggestion to my friend is not so unique after all.

 

 

IM Yan Teplitsky instructed his women team competing in the 35th Chess Olympiad in Bled to play this variation. Maybe there is something more about this opening.

 

 

Dina Kagramanov-Elenoara Ambrosi
Women’s Ol.
Bled, 2002
[IM Yan Teplitsky, “35th Chess Olympiad – Bled, Slovenia”, En Passant (Canada’s leading chess magazine), Apr. 2003]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 (A rare line that does not have a very good reputation.)3…dxe4 4.Bxe4 Nf6 5.Bf3 c5 6.Ne2 Nc6 7.Be3 Qb6 8.b3 cxd4?![Now White gets to untangle her pieces. Much better is 8…Nxd4 (also for Black is to develop her queenside with 8…Bd7) 9.Nxd4 e5 10.Ne2 e4.] 9.Nxd4 Qa5+(While 9…Ne5 10.O-O Bc5 11.c3 Bd7 12.b4 Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3 Bxd4 14.Bxd4 Qc6 15.Qg3 is just as bad for Black, here 9…Bc5 10.Nxc6 Bxe3 11.fxe3 bxc6 12.Kf2 led to comfortable position for Black in Sirlett-Benggawanm Bled ol f (2) 2002, from the same match.) 10.Qd2 Qxd2+ (A funny continuation is 10…Nxd4 11.Qxa5 Bb4+ but White can just recapture the knight.) 11.Nxd2

 

2020_02_27
11…Nxd4?[Black is behind in development, and has a much better way of playing by depriving White of the bishop pair with 11…Ne5! 12.Nb5 Nxf3+ 13.Nxf3 Nd5 14.c4 (but not 14.Bxa7? Bd7 15.a4 Bxb5 16.axb5 Bc5 and Black wins.) 14…Nxe3 15.fxe3 Bb4+ and Black is better.]12.Bxd4 Bd6 13.Nc4 Be7 14.O-O O-O 15.Na5! Nd5 16.c4 Nb4?(Black now loses a pawn. Much better is 16…Bb4 although Black still isn’t happy after  17.cxd5 Bxa5 18.dxe6 fxe6 19.Rac1.)17.Nxb7 Nc2 18.Na5 Nxd4 19.Bxa8 Bd7 20.Rad1 e5 21.Bd5 Rb8 22.Rfe1 Bd6 23.Nb7 Bc7 24.Nc5 Bg4 25.f3 Bc8 26.Rxd4 1-0