The Immortal

Let’s get some background information first.

Most of us have played the King’s Gambit, and some of us still do. It’s a good opening to learn tactics and, occasionally, strategies. The majority of the games start with 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3. Black can continue with 3…g5 and try to hold on his extra pawn, or play for his own attacking possibilities.

A rarer response is 3.Bc4, known as the Bishop Gambit. This variation allows White to explore relatively unknown territory.

Black usually counters with 3…Qh4+ moving the king, preventing White from castling, and isolating the h1-rook for at least the time being. But a queen check rarely ends the game. Black needs more active pieces to start any attack. He can try, after 3.Bc4 Qh4 4.Kf1, with 4…d5 and 4…Nf6, both leading to strong tactical play.

But perhaps the stronger reply is also the rarest. Black can play 4…b5!? The idea is since Black is up a pawn, he can give one up and still be of material equality and can even gain a tempo if White plays 5.Bxb5 (which is the most common move). And the extra tempo comes when Black plays 5…Bb7. This puts the bishop on the long diagonal to the white king, unable to castle.

Does this mean the Black wins? Not by a long shot! White has a lot of momentum built up, just waiting for Black to slip.

Here is the Immortal Game!

London, 1851

[The “Immortal Game”]
[Chernev, 1000 Best Short Games of Chess, #945 ; Tartkower, 500 Master Games of Chess, #227 ; Seirawan+Minev, Take My Rooks, pg. ix-xi]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 b5 5.Bxb5 Nf6

[It is a toss-up whether the immediate 5…Bb7 or 5…Nf6, delaying the Bb7 until the knight is better positioned.

Here are two games with 5…Bb7.

London, 1847
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 b5 5.Bxb5 Bb7 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.d3 Bxc3 8.bxc3 Nf6 9.Nf3 Qh5 10.Rb1!? g5!? (Black attacks on the side which the White king resides.) 11.Bxd7+ Nbxd7 12.Rxb7 O-O 13.Rb5 c5 14.d4 Nxe4 15.dxc5 Nxc3 16.Qxd7 Rad8 17.Qf5 Rd1+ 18.Kf2 Rxh1 19.Bb2 Nd1+ 20.Ke2 Nxb2 21.Rxb2 Rxh2 22.Kf2 g4 23.Qxh5 Rxh5 24.Nd4 Rxc5 25.Rb4 Rd8! (White cannot set up an adequate defence.) 26.Ne2 Rxc2 27.Kf1 Rd1+ 28.Kf2 Rdd2 29.Re4 f5 30.Re5 h5 -+

31.Kf1 Rxe2 32.Rxe2 Rxe2 33.Kxe2 Kg7 0-1

Mario Lanzani (2371)-Vladimir Pogosian (2204)
European Club Cup
Rijeka, Croatia, Mar. 14 2010
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 b5 4.Bxb5 Qh4+ 5.Kf1 Bb7 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.d3 Ne7 8.Qf3 Qf6 9.Nge2 g5 10.g3 Qg6 11.h4 f5 12.hxg5 fxe4 13.Nxe4 Bxe4 14.Qxe4 fxg3 15.Qxg6+ Nxg6 16.Kg2 a5 17.Nxg3 a4 18.Ne4 c6 19.Nf6+ Kd8 20.Bc4 d5 21.a3 Bd6 22.Ba2 Ra7 23.Be3 Rb7 24.b4 axb3 25.Bxb3 Nd7 26.Bd4 c5 27.Be3 Be5 28.Raf1 d4 29.Bc1 Nb6 30.a4 c4 31.dxc4 Ra7 32.Bd2 Nd7 33.Nxd7 Rxd7 34.c5 d3 35.Ba5+ Bc7 36.Bc3 Re8 37.cxd3 Rxd3 38.Rd1 Nf4+ 39.Kf1 Ree3 40.Rxd3+ Nxd3 41.Bf6+ Ke8 42.Bc2 Rf3+ 43.Ke2 1-0 RME]

6.Nf3 Qh6 (Easier would be 6…Qh5 and …g5 – Tartakower) 7.d3

[Glazkov and Estrin offer 7.Nc3 as White’s best. They continue 7…g5 (7…Bb7? 8.d4! Nxe4 9.Qe2 f5 10.d5!) 8.d4 Bg7 9.h4 Nh5 10.Rh2 g4 11.Ng5 Ng4+ 12.Ke1! with advantage to White. Perhaps 8…Nh5!? deserves attention. In this way, Black avoids 12.Ke1! – Seirawan+Minev.

Perhaps this was the stem game for Glazkov and Estrin:

London, 1851
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 b5 5.Bxb5 Nf6 6.Nf3 Qh6 7.Nc3 c6 8.Bc4 d6 9.d4 Nh5 10.Ne2 Be7 11.e5 d5 12.Bd3 O-O 13.Rg1 g5 14.Ke1 f6 15.g3 fxg3 16.Nxg3 Bg4 17.Nxg5 Bxd1 18.Nf5 fxg5 19.Nxh6+ Kg7 20.Bxg5 Bxg5 21.Nf5+ Rxf5 22.Bxf5 Kh6 23.Rxd1 Na6 24.Rd3 Rf8 25.Bg4 Rf4 26.Rh3 Re4+ 27.Kf1 Rf4+ 28.Ke2 Re4+ 29.Kd3 Nb4+ 30.Kc3 Nxa2+ 31.Kb3 Nc1+ 32.Ka4 Rxd4+ 33.Ka5 Bd8+ 34.Ka6 Rxg4 35.Rxg4 Bb6 36.Rg8 Ne2 37.e6 Nef4 38.e7 Ne6 39.Rxh5+ Kxh5 40.e8=Q+ 1-0 RME]

7…Nh5 (Here again 7…g5 is a more natural way of defending the gambit pawn. – Tartakower ; Glazkov and Estrin recommend 7…Bc5!? 8.d4 Bb6, we suggest 7…Be7!? followed by 8…Nh5 or 8…O-O. – Seirawan+Minev) 8.Nh4 [A subtle guard against 8…Ng3+, but 8.Kg1 (or 8.Kf2) would be a blunder on account of 8…Qb6+, followed by …Qxb5. – Tartakower] 8…Qg5 [This simultaneous assault on two pieces proves illusory. Better would be 8…g5 9.Nf5 Qg6. – Tartakower ; According to Kieseritzky, the decisive mistake. He recommends 8…g6! and if 9.g4 (9.g3 Be7) Nf6 10.Ng2 Qh3 11.Bxf4 Nxg4 with advantage for Black. – Seirawan+Minev] 9.Nf5 c6?! [In our opinion, this is the decisive error. Better was 9…g6 10.h4 Qf6!? (Not 10…Ng3+ 11.Ke1! Qf6 12.Nxg3 fxg3 13.Qe2, obviously to White’s advantage – Kieseritzky), when Black is still kicking. – Seirawan+Minev] 10.g4 Nf6 11.Rg1 cxb5 12.h4 Qg6 13.h5 Qg5 14.Qf3 (Threatening to win the Queen by 15.Bxf4, as well as 15.e5 attacking the Rook with his Queen while his King Pawn bites at the Knight. – Chernev) 14…Ng8 15.Bxf4 Qf6 16.Nc3 Bc5 (Black seeks salvation in a counter-attack. Steadier, however, would be 16…Bb7 – Tartakower) 17.Nd5! Qxb2

18.Bd6! (“Ganz grossartig gespielt” says Gottschall. – Chernev) 18…Bxg1 [If 18…Qxa1+ 19.Ke2 Qxg1 20.Nxg7+ Kd8 21.Bc7# If 18…Bxd6 19.Nxd6+ Kd8 20.Nxf7+ Ke8 21.Nd6+ Kd8 22.Qf8# – Chernev ; Some confusion exists here. Several authors (e.g. Chernev in “1000 Best Short Games of Chess” and Glazkov, Estrin in Korolevsky Gambit, 1988) give the move order as 18…Bxg1 19.e5 Qxa1. We used the text from “Encyclopedia of Chess Games” and other sources that we felt more authentic. – Seirawan+Minev] 19.e5! (Have another Rook! – Chernev) 19…Qxa1+ (A slight chance of a draw is afforded by 19…Qb2, etc. – Tartakower) 20.Ke2 (With a renewed threat of 21.Nxg7+ Kd8 22.Bc7# – Tartakower) 20…Na6 (Defending against 21.Nxg7+ Kd8 22.Bc7#, but the final blow comes from the other side. – Seirawan+Minev] 21.Nxg7+ Kd8 22.Qf6+! Nxf6 23.Be7mate 1-0 [White has given up a Queen, two Rooks, and a Bishop for one single, miserable Pawn (and mate, the cynic might point out.). – Chernev ; A forced mate by three minor pieces against the full array of the black pieces. – Tartakower]

Notes on Notes

Annotation is adding evaluations, thematic considerations, analyses, comments, notes and references to other games or manuals.

It is meant to help the chess enthusiast who is playing over a game.

EVALUATIONS, Informator Style

In 1966 the Šahovski Informator (more commonly known as Informator) was first published in Belgrade (then the capital of Yugoslavia). Introduced were many easy-to-understand symbols to help evaluate a game. They included a “+-“, meaning White is winning and “-+” meaning Black is winning. These symbols, because of their simplicity, became standard in annotated games. A more complete list, along with other universal symbols, can be found here:

EVALUATIONS, Chess Engines

Chess Engines give a +1.00 if White is pawn ahead. This does not necessarily that White is a physical pawn up in the game. Instead, White has a position that worth a pawn more than Black. An evaluation of +3.00 means that White is up a piece (1 piece = 3 pawns). This means White is winning.

Black’s advantages are indicated by a “-“ sign. So, a -1.00 means Black has a position worth a pawn up and -3.00 means he has a position worth an extra piece.

But they don’t usually tell you why a position is worth +0.45 or why 0.90 is better. Or how to use or exploit your advantage.

Stick with the Informator evaluations.


Sometimes it is useful to consider moves that support thematic ideas. For example, one could mention that in the Nimzo-Indian (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4), White wants to put a pawn on e4 with a broad center and threatening .e5. Or one could be reminded that in the King’s Gambit, a tempo is often worth more than a piece.


Simply put, an analysis is what will happen with best play from both players from a certain position. It can be easy as stating and showing a mate in 10 moves, or how a pawn grab can result in a loss for the player that took the pawn that proved to be poisonous.


Such items can make the game even enriching; more interesting. Here, we are introduced to what a player’s thoughts and concerns may be. And they may be non-chess related (like a how he might worry about missing a bus if he game goes on too long). And maybe he will tell us why he chose a Najdorf rather than a Pirc. (it’s happened before!)

REFERENCES to other games or manuals.

It is common for an annotator to reference the reader to other games that have similar themes in the opening, or other moves he can consider. It is not by only one game that a student learns the Game.

A good annotator is also one to seek out what others have said about the game, the opening, or a sacrifice. And give credit when it is due.

I enjoy annotating games – believe me, it helps and forces me to become better.

And when I do not, usually because someone’s annotations are better than mine, I document it.

Here is my basic format:

[A, B, C]

From a magazine

B= Name of article
C=Name of magazine, along with issue date

From a book or web page

B= Name of book or web page
C= Game number (such as Chernev’s 1000 Best Short Games of Chess or any other book where the games are numbered).

When something is unknown that section is left blank.

Sudakova (2381)-Stupak (2361)
St. Petersburg FINEC IM, Jan. 30 2007
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nc6 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nd7 6.c3 f6 7.Bb5 a6 8.Bxc6 bxc6 9.O-O fxe5 10.dxe5 c5 11.Qa4 Bb7 12.Nb3 a5 13.Bg5 Be7
(14…Bc8 15.Nxe6 and the black queen gets buried.) 1-0

Villanueva-IM Pablo Michel
Buenos Aires, 1960
[IM Minev, “Tactic, Tactics, and More Tactics – The Long Dozen”, Inside Chess, May 27 1991, pg. 28/9]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 c5 5.dxc5 Bxc5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bg5 Qa5 8.O-O-O?
(Recent theory shows 8.Bd2 Qd8 9.e3 O-O 10.Be2 with a slightly better game.) 8…Nb4 9.Qb3 Ng4! 10.a3 Nc6 11.Ne4 f5 12.Nxc5 Qxc5 13.h3? (White is in trouble. He thinks that in this way the f3-pawn will be saved.) 13…Nxf2! 0-1 (White missed the point that after 14.Be3 Black has 14…Na5 15.Qc3 Nxd1 winning an exchange.)

Phil Thoma (2153)-Kokesh (2009)
Team Ch., 1996
[Thoma, Oklahoma Chess Bulletin, Nov. 1996, pg. 7,8]
1.b4 Nf6 2.Bb2 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.f4 O-O 5.Nf3 d6 6.d3
(The only move to keep a knight on f3 and not trade off the white-squared bishops after 6…Bg4) 6…c6 (Announcing his intention of sending the lady to b6 where it hits two pawns and also keeps an eye on white’s ambitions.) 7.a4 (I wanted this move to work so badly that I gave up trying to calculate all the ensuring variations and just played it.) 7…Qb6 (And why not? The resulting firestorm was hard to see and the move itself was excellent.) 8.Qd2 (Only move.) 8…Ne4

9.a5 Nxd2
[Black rises to the occasion and plays the only move. For example, 9…Bxb2 10.axb6 Nxd2 11.Rxa7 Nxf3+ 12.gxf3 Nd7 (not 12…Rxa7 13.bxa7) 13.Rxa8 Nxb6 14.Ra2 Bg7 and White has the center. If 9…Qc7 10.Qc1 Bxb2 11.Qxb2 and N retreats.] 10.axb6 Nxf3+ (But here the dragon should strike back with 10…Bxb2 11.Rxa7 Nxb1 12.Rxa8 Nd7 and Black appears to have a big plus.) 11.gxf3 (Now it is too late for 11…Bxb2 as White wins the exchange.) 11…Na6 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 (And White now has the upper hand again.) 13.bxa7 Nxb4 14.Kd2 (It is important to understand that time is of the essence here. If White is to make use of the bone in the throat, he has to attack the Black king with utmost speed. The back rank must be cleared and the rooks brought into play. It is not dangerous for White to keep his king in the center because Black’s queen rook is tied to the bone.) 14…c5 15.Nc3 Bd7 (To stop 16.Na4) 16.Be2 Na6 (Maybe 16…Bc6 and stopping the knight maneuver is better, but I can understand Black’s reluctance to part with his prelate considering White’s could become powerful in attacking the Black king.) 17.Nd5 (The stallion rears and stomps down on a powerful square.) 17…Rxa7 (Otherwise 18.Nb6 wins the exchange.) 18.Nb6 (Note that 18.Nxe7 Be6 19.c4 Re8 20.Nd5 Bxd5 21.cxd5 Rea8 22.Rhb1 Nb4 23.Rxa7 Rxa7 24.Rb2 leaves Black with a big plus due to his passed b-pawn and dark square dominance.) 18…Bc6 19.h4 h5 (Necessary.) 20.Rhg1 Kf6 21.Rg5 (Stopping 21…e5 as 22.f5 would really turn the rackscrew.) 21…e6 22.e4 Re8 23.f5 exf5 24.exf5 Re5 25.fxg6 fxg6 (Not 25…Rxg5 26.gxf7 Kxf7 27.hxg5 and White rolls.) 26.Rg3 d5 27.Rag1 Be8 28.Nc8 Ra8 29.Nd6 Nb4 30.Nxe8+ Raxe8 31.Rxg6+ Ke7 32.R1g5 Kd8 33.Rxe5 Rxe5 34.Rg5 Rxg5 35.hxg5 d4 36.f4 h4 37.Bf3 b5 38.f5 Ke7 39.f6+ Kf7 40.Bh5+ Kg8 41.g6 h3 42.Bg4 (As after 42…h2 43.Be6+ Kh8 44.g7+ Kh7 45.g8=Q+ Kh6 46.Bf7 and mates next move.) 1-0

Lapshun (2566) – Paschall (2483)
New York Masters, 2003
[G. Shahade]
1.b4 d5 2.Bb2 Bg4 3.Qc1!!!
(NEW WORLD RECORD!!! Fastest Qc1 ever in master level chess!!! After watching enough of Lapshun’s openings I’ve run out of ways to poke fun at his unorthodox moves.) 3…Nd7 4.c4 e6 5.e3 Ngf6 6.a3 a5 7.c5 c6 8.Be2 Bxe2 9.Nxe2 b6 10.d4 Be7 (Lapshuns bishop on b2 isn’t looking so happy…) 11.O-O O-O 12.Nd2 Qc7 13.Qc2 Ng4 14.g3 f5 15.Nf4 Rf6 16.h3 Nh6 17.Nd3 a4? (A huge positional mistake…if black wanted to close up the position, he had to play ….b5 first.) 18.cxb6 (And all the sudden white has all the play…..the c-pawn is very weak, and the knights will come to e5 and f4.) 18…Qxb6 19.Rac1 Nb8 20.Nf3 Rf8 21.Nf4 Re8 22.Ne5 (Lapshun’s position looks extremely pleasing. Most of white’s pieces are very well placed, whereas blacks pieces are randomly scattered about.) 22…Ra6 23.Qe2 Bd6 24.Nfd3 Ra7 25.Rc2 Nf7 26.Rfc1 Nxe5 27.dxe5 (Ooops….and now the bishop that looked so bad earlier in the game, will trade itself for a rook after Bd4 next move.) 27…Bf8 28.Bd4 Qa6 29.Bxa7 Qxa7 30.Nc5 g6 31.Rc3 Bg7 32.f4 Bf8 33.h4 h6 34.Kf2 Re7 35.Qc2 Re8 36.Qd1 g5 37.hxg5 hxg5 38.Qh5 (Completely crushing, attacks the rook on e8, prepares either Qxg5 or Rh1.) 1-0

Celebrities Playing Chess

This might not improve your rating or your abilities, but it’s fun, interesting, and perhaps even revealing, to see how celebrities play the game. Maybe we can now call ourselves the PAWN-PAR-RAZZI.


Karl Marx (Political writer)-Meyer
Germany, 1867
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.O-O gxf3 6.Qxf3 Qf6 7.e5 Qxe5 8.d3 Bh6 9.Nc3 Ne7 10.Bd2 Nbc6 11.Rae1 Qf5 12.Nd5 Kd8 13.Bc3 Rg8

[13…Re8!? is not so well known and may be even better.

(1) 14.Bf6 d6 15.Bb5 Be6 16.Bxc6 bxc6 17.Bxe7+ Rxe7 18.Nxe7 Qc5+ 19.d4 Qxd4+ 20.Kh1 Kxe7 21.Qxc6 Rc8 22.c3 Qb6 23.Qe4 Rg8 24.Qxh7 Rg6 25.Re2 Qc5 26.Qh8 Kd7 27.Qa8 Qc6 28.Qxc6+ Kxc6 29.b3 Kd7 30.c4 Bf5 31.Rfe1 Re6 32.Kg1 Bg4 33.Re4 Bf5 34.R4e2 Bd3 35.Rxe6 fxe6 36.Kf2 e5 37.g3 fxg3+ 38.hxg3 e4 39.Rh1 Bd2 0-1 (Schallopp-Paulsen, Berlin, 1864)

(2) 14.Bf6 Bg5 15.g4 Qg6 16.Bxg5 Qxg5 17.h4 Qxh4 18.Qxf4 d6 19.Nf6 Ne5 20.Rxe5 dxe5 21.Qxe5 Bxg4 22.Qd4+ Kc8 23.Be6+ Kb8 24.Nd7+ Kc8 25.Nc5+ Kb8 26.Na6+ bxa6 27.Qb4mate 1-0 (Chigorin-Davidov, St. Petersburg, 1874).]

14.Bf6 Bg5 15.Bxg5 Qxg5 16.Nxf4 Ne5 17.Qe4 d6 18.h4 Qg4 19.Bxf7 Rf8 20.Bh5 Qg7 21.d4 N5c6 22.c3 a5 23.Ne6+ Bxe6 24.Rxf8+ Qxf8 25.Qxe6 Ra6 26.Rf1 Qg7 27.Bg4 Ng8 28.Rf7 1-0

GM Miguel Najdorf-Ernesto Ché Guevara (Revolutionary)
Blindfold Simul
Mar de Plata, 1949
[Leftist guerillas generally do better than most. Maybe it’s because they must be resourceful while planning their battles and they carry that resourcefulness to the chess table. Then again, Najdorf was playing blindfolded.]

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 h6 10.d4 Re8 11.Nbd2 Bf8 12.d5 Ne7 13.c4 bxc4 14.Nxc4 c6 15.dxc6 Nxc6 16.Be3 Be6 1/2-1/2

Koltanowski-Humphrey Bogart (Actor)
Blindfold exhibition game
San Francisco, Mar. 5 1952
[Bogart is one of best, both on screen and at the chessboard. He played around Expert level.]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5
(The Exchange Variation is a good way get out of “book”, and prepared lines.) 3…exd5 (Bogart probably know 3…Qxd5? can easily lead to a bad game for Black.) 4.Bd3 Nf6 5.Ne2 Bg4 6.O-O Bd6 7.f3 Be6 8.Bf4 O-O 9.Nd2 Nc6 10.c3 Ne7 11.Bxd6 Qxd6 12.f4 c5 13.Nf3 Nf5 14.Qd2 Ne4 15.Qc1 Rac8 16.dxc5 Qxc5+ 17.Ned4 Nxd4 18.Nxd4 Rc7 19.f5 Bd7 20.Bxe4 dxe4 21.Qf4 Re8 22.Rae1 Re5 23.Rxe4 Rxe4 24.Qxe4 Bc6 25.Qe3 Re7 26.Qg3 Re8 27.f6 g6 28.Qh4 h5 29.Re1 Rxe1+ 30.Qxe1 Qd6 31.Nxc6 Qxc6 32.Qe7 Qc8 33.h3 Qc6 34.b4 Qxc3 35.Qe8+ Kh7 36.Qxf7+ Kh6 37.Qe7 Qc1+ 38.Kf2 Qf4+ 39.Ke2 Qc4+ 40.Kf3 Kg5 41.f7+ 1-0

Here’s another Bogart game, with him showing off his skills.

Humphrey Bogart-Lauren Bacall (Actress), 1951
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.d3!?
(Played to limit counterplay.) 4…d5 5.exd5 Qxd5 6.c4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Qd6 9.a4 Bd7 10.Ba3 Qf6 11.Qe2 Nge7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Bxc6 Bxc6 14.Nxe5 Bxg2 15.Rg1 Bh3 16.Rg3 Be6 17.d4 c6 18.d5 cxd5 19.cxd5 Bxd5 20.c4 Be6 21.Re3 f6 22.Nd3 Kf7 23.Nf4 Rae8 24.Nxe6 Qb4+ 25.Kf1 Re7 26.Re1 Rhe8 27.Nd8+ Kf8 28.Rxe7 Rxe7 29.Qxe7+ Qxe7 30.Rxe7 Kxe7 31.Nxb7 1-0

Boris Becker (Tennis professional)-GM Garry Kasparov
Internet Exhibition Game
Berlin, Mar. 15 2000
1.e4 e5 2.Qh5?
(Did Becker actually think that this opening, so weak than even a young amateur would see the weaknesses inherent in it, would succeed against a player who was World Champion for an entire decade?) 2…Nc6 3.Qf3 Nd4 4.Qc3 Nf6 5.f3 g6 6.Ne2 c5 7.Nxd4 cxd4 8.Qb3 Bg7 9.Bc4 O-O 10.c3 d5 11.Be2 d3 12.Bxd3 dxe4 13.Bxe4 Nxe4 14.fxe4 Qh4+ 15.Kd1 Qxe4 16.Re1 Bg4+ 17.Re2 Qxe2+ 18.Kc2 0-1

Ray Charles (Singer, Entertainer)-GM Larry Evans
Reno, Mar. 8 2002
Chess Life Interview
[Ray Charles is blind and pays on a special board for the blind. This game was a casual game for a Chess Life interview. Ray plays well, but the GM is simply too much him (and most of us!)]
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bc5 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Qe2 O-O 8.Be3 Bxe3 9.Qxe3 Re8 10.f3 d5 11.Qd3 a5 12.O-O-O Ba6 13.Qd2 Bxf1 14.Rhxf1 dxe4 15.Qxd8 Raxd8 16.Rxd8 Rxd8 17.Rd1 Rxd1+ 18.Kxd1 exf3 19.gxf3 Kf8 20.Kc1 Ke7 21.Kd2 Ke6 22.Ke3 Nd5+ 23.Kd4 Nxc3 24.Kxc3 Kd5 0-1

Celebrity status does not depend solely on performers and politicians. Here is a slightly eccentric super genius trying his hand at the game.

Zurich 1913
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 O-O 8.e5! Ne4 9.Bd3
(9.Qc2 is also strong.) 9…Nxc3 10.bxc3 Bxc3+ 11.Kf1 Bxa1 12.Bxh7+ Kh8 13.Ng5 g6 14.h4 Kg7 15.h5 Rh8 16.hxg6 fxg6 17.Qf3 Qf8 18.Ne6+ dxe6 19.Bh6+ 1-0

Albert Einstein–Oppenheimer
Princeton, 1933
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 b5 5.Bb3 Nf6 6.O-O Nxe4 7.Re1 d5 8.a4 b4 9.d3 Nc5 10.Nxe5 Ne7 11.Qf3 f6?
(> 11…Be6) 12.Qh5+! g6 13.Nxg6! hxg6 (13…Rg8 14.Nxe7+ Kd7 15.Qxd5+ Ke8 16.Qxg8) 14.Qxh8 Nxb3 15.cxb3 Qd6? (15…Kf7) 16.Bh6 Kd7 17.Bxf8 Bb7 18.Qg7 Re8 19.Nd2 c5 20.Rad1 a5 21.Nc4! dxc4 (21…Qc7 22.Bxe7) 22.dxc4 Qxd1 23.Rxd1+ Kc8 24.Bxe7 1-0

Happy Birthday Zorica!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Hennig-Schara Gambit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following games demonstrate the reasons why.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

White’s best is to ignore the offered pawn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday Patrick Wolff!

Patrick Gideon Wolff is an American Grandmaster born this day in 1968.

He earned his IM title 1988 and his GM title in 1990.

But even before receiving his IM title he was already making news by winning the 1983 US National High School Championship and the 1987 U.S. Junior Championship.

He also participated in the World Junior Championships 1987. But Anand, who eventually gained the World Championship, won this event.

IM Wolff (2370)-IM Sokolov (2525)
World Jr. Ch.
Baguio, July 1987
[Notes by IM Wolff, in “Anand Wins World Junior Championship”, Chess Horizons, Oct.-Nov., 1987, pg. 18]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9.O-O-O Qc7 10.Bb3 O-O? (Now Black is clearly worse. Best is 10…Na5 with unclear complications.) 11.Rhg1 b5 12.g4 Na5 13.g5 Nxb3+ 14.axb3 Nd7 15.f4 b4 16.Nf5 exf5 17.Nd5 Qd8 18.exf5 Re8 19.Bd4! (A suggestion of Andy Soltis. ECO gives 19.g6 with complications.) 19…Bf8 (If 19…Bf6, Sokolov pointed out 20.Qxe8+ Qxe8 21.gxf6, which wins.) 20.Qh5 Re4 21.Bf6 Qe8 22.Nc7 Nxf6 23.gxf6 Qd8 24.Nd5!? (Or 24.fxg7 Be7 25.Nxa8 Bb7 26.Nb6 Qxb6? 27.Qxh7+ +-) 24…Bb7 25.fxg7 Be7 26.Rg3 Bf6 27.Rh3 Bxg7 28.Qxh7+ Kf8 29.f6? (29.Qxg7+ mates in four.) 29…Bxf6 30.Qxe4 Qa5 31.Qf5 Bg7 32.Qd7 1-0

Here is another event from 1988, noted for the tactical attack.

IM Patrick Wolff-WIM Alisa Mikhailovna Galliamova
Adelaide 1988
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9.O-O-O Qc7 10.Bb3 O-O 11.Rhg1 b5 12.g4 Rb8

13.g5! Nd7 14.Qh5 Nxd4 15.Bxd4 b4 16.g6 hxg6 17.Rxg6 Nf6 18.Rxg7+ 1-0

And here Wolff is facing the World Champion as Black. It’s a miniature against one of the game’s best.

GM Kasparov-IM Wolff- X25
New York City, 1988

1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c6 4.d4 exd4 5.Qxd4 d5 6.cxd5 cxd5 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.Qa4 Be7 9.O-O O-O 10.Be3 Ng4 11.Bd4 Nxd4 12.Nxd4 Qb6 13.Nc3 Qh6 14.h4 g5 15.Nxd5 Bd8

[White definitely has some problems with his castled position and coordination with his pieces. Incredibly, he might be lost already.

GM Mihai Şubă-GM Gilberto Milos
Spanish Open
Ponferrada, 1992
16.Rfc1 gxh4 17.Rxc8 Rxc8 18.Nf5 Rc1+ 19.Bf1 Qh5 20.Nfe7+ Bxe7 21.Nxe7+ Kh8 22.Qd4+ f6 23.Rxc1 hxg3 24.Kg2 Qh2+ 25.Kf3 Ne5+ 26.Ke3 Qxf2+ 27.Ke4 Qh2 28.Qc5 g2 29.Nf5 Nd7 30.Qe7 g1=Q 31.Qxd7 Qe5+ 32.Kd3 Qg8 0-1.]

16.Rac1 gxh4 17.Rxc8 hxg3 18.Nf3 Nh2 19.Rfc1 Rxc8 20.Rxc8 Nxf3+ 21.exf3 gxf2+ 22.Kf1 Qd2 23.Nf6+ Kg7 24.Ne8+ Kh8 25.Qe4 Bh4 0–1

GM Patrick Wolff somehow found the time to win the two US Championships (1992 and 1995).

We’ll end here with perhaps his most well-known game. But it’s for a different reason than winning a championship or a brilliancy.

GM Vassily Ivanchuk-GM Patrick Wolff
Biel Interzonal
Switzerland, July 16 1993
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 Nc6!?

[A relative rare, but otherwise good, response to 3.e4.

GM Karpov (2745)-Vadim Milov (2635), Biel, 1997, conitinued with 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.d5 Ne5 6.Bf4 Ng6 7.Be3 Nf6 8.Nc3 e5 9.Bxc4 a6 10.O-O Bd6 11.Be2 O-O 12.Nd2 Bd7 13.Rc1 Qe7 14.a3 b5 15.Nb3 Nf4 16.Bf3 Kh8 17.Na2 g5 18.Nc5 Rg8 19.Nb4 Rg6 20.Qc2 g4 21.Be2 Rag8 22.Rfd1 N6h5 23.g3 Bc8 24.Nc6 Qg5 25.Bf1 Rh6 26.Qc3 Nf6 27.Nd3 Qh5 28.h4 gxh3 29.Ndxe5! Rg7 30.Bxf4 Nxe4 31.Qe3 Qf5 32.Bxh6 h2+ 33.Kxh2 Nxf2 34.Bxg7+ Kxg7 35.Rd4 1-0.]

4.Be3 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.d5 Ne7 7.Bxc4 Ng6 8.f3 Bd6 9.Qd2 Bd7 10.Nge2 a6 11.Bb3 b5 12.a4 O-O 13.O-O Qe7 14.Rac1 Nh5 15.g3 h6 16.Bc2 Rab8 17.axb5 axb5 18.Ra1 Ra8 19.Bd3 Bb4 20.Rxa8 Rxa8 21.Qc2 Bc5 22.Nd1 Bd6 23.Nf2 Nhf4!

[If this position looks familiar it’s because Kasparov (remember him?) chose this this game as a starting point for the climax in the 2020 Netflix limited series, “The Queen’s Gambit”.] 24.Rc1 Qg5 25.Kh1 Qh5 26.Ng1 Nxd3 27.Nxd3 f5 28.Nc5 Bc8 29.Rf1 Ne7 30.Qd3 fxe4 31.fxe4 Qg6 32.Kg2 Kh7 33.Nf3 Ng8 34.Nh4 Qg4 35.Nf5 Nf6 36.h3 Qg6 37.g4 Bxc5 38.Bxc5 Ra4 39.Rf3 Rc4 40.Be7 Bxf5 41.Rxf5 Rd4 42.Qe3 Rxe4 43.Qf3 Rf4 44.Rxf4 exf4 45.Bxf6 Qxf6 46.Qd3+ Qg6 47.Qe2 c6 48.Kf3 cxd5 49.Kxf4 Qf6+ 50.Kg3 Qd6+ 51.Kf3 b4 52.h4 Qf6+ 53.Kg3 Qd6+ 54.Kf3 Qf6+ 55.Kg3 g6 56.Qe8 Qd6+ 57.Kf3 Kg7 58.g5 hxg5 59.hxg5 d4 60.Qe4 d3 61.Qb7+ Kf8 62.Qc8+ Ke7 63.Qb7+ Ke6 64.Qe4+ Kd7 65.Qb7+ Kd8 66.Qa8+ Kc7 67.Qa7+ Kc8 68.Qa8+ Kc7 69.Qa7+ Kc6 70.Qa6+ Kc5 71.Qxd6+ Kxd6 72.Ke3 Ke5 1/2-1/2

The Dragon vs. the Grand Prix

The best way to describe the Grand Prix attack is White’s attempt to apply the themes found in a King’s Gambit to the Sicilian. After 1.e4 c5 2.f4, White’s f-pawn temporarily blocks opening the f-file and in particular, access to the f7-square. White naturally tries to trade off this pawn, or sacrifice it, depending how aggressive he may be.

The Sicilian Dragon is common set up in the Sicilian. The thematic moves by Black are …g6, …Bg7, …Nf6, and …O-O, with a reasonably safe king. However, in the Grand Prix Black usually does not have enough time to play all these moves; White’s f-pawn can become a problem very quickly.

Let us look at some games and theory.

DRAGON vs. Grand Prix
1.e4 c5 2.f4 g6

1) 2.f4 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nf6 5.e5
2) 2.f4 g6 3.Nc3
3) 2.f4 g6 3.Nf3 Nc6
4) 2.f4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nf6


DRAGON vs Grand Prix-1
2.f4 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nf6 5.e5

This variation shares much in common with a main line of Hyper-Accelerated Dragon (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nf6 5.e5.) But White’s pawn on f4 is a liability.

See the last game in this section.

Play this variation as White at your own risk.

IM Julian Hodgson-Lexy Ortega
Petrosian Memorial
Yerevan, 1986
1.e4 c5 2.f4 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nf6 5.e5 Nc6 6.Qd3 Ng8 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Nc3 d6 9.exd6 Nf6 10.O-O-O O-O 11.Nf3 Bf5 12.Qd2 Rc8 13.Bc5 Qa5 14.dxe7 Rfe8 15.Ba3 Nb4 16.Bxb4 Qxb4 17.Nd4 Rxe7 18.a3 Qb6 19.Bb5 Rec7 20.Rhe1 Rxc3 21.bxc3 Ne4 22.Nxf5 gxf5 23.Qd7 Qc5 24.Rd3 Bxc3 25.Ree3 Qxa3+ 26.Kd1 Qa1+ 27.Ke2 Qe1+ 28.Kf3 Qf2mate 0-1

Eduard Gorovykh (2118)-Andrey Dashko (2361)
Maikop Open, Apr. 2004
1.e4 c5 2.f4 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nf6 5.e5 Nc6 6.Qd3 Ng4 7.h3 Nh6 8.g4 Bg7 9.Nf3 O-O 10.Nc3 b5 11.Nxb5 Bb7 12.Be2
(Stronger is 12.Bg2.) 12…Nb4 13.Qb3 a5 14.a3 Na6 15.Be3 Be4 16.O-O Qc8 17.Nc3 Bb7 18.Rad1 d6 19.exd6 exd6 20.Nd5 Re8 21.Nb6 Nc5 22.Qc4 Nxg4 23.Nxc8 Nxe3 24.Nxd6 Nxc4 25.Bxc4 Re7 26.Ng5 Bxb2 27.f5 Kg7 28.Bxf7 Bf6 29.Ne6+ Nxe6 30.fxe6 Bc6 31.Rf4 Rd8 32.Rc4 (White missing 32.Nf5+! The game could have continued with 32…gxf5 33.Rxd8 Rxe6 34.Bxe6 Bxd8 35.Bxf5, and White obviously has the advantage.) 32…Rc7 33.Rd3 Be7 34.Ne8+ 1-0

Yuri Petrovich Guskov-Gerasimos Fournarakos
Nikea Open, 2004

1.e4 g6 2.f4 c5 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nf6 5.e5 Nc6 6.Qd3 (6.Qd1 is considered weaker.) 6…Ng8 (6…Nh5?! 7.Be2) 7.Bd2 Bg7 8.Bc3 f6 9.Nf3 Qc7 10.Nbd2 fxe5 11.Qc4 Qb8 12.O-O-O e6 13.fxe5 Nge7 14.Ne4 O-O 15.Nf6+ Bxf6 16.exf6 d5 17.Qh4 Nf5 18.Qg5 Nd6 19.Qh6 Rf7 20.Bd3 d4 21.Nxd4 Ne5 22.Nf3 Nxf3 23.gxf3 Qc7

24.Bxg6 1-0

N.N. (2221)-GM Julio Becerra (2610)
3 minute game
ICC, Mar. 24 2010

1.f4 g6 2.e4 c5 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nf6 5.e5 Nc6 6.Qd1 Ng8 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.Bc4 Nh6 9.Be3 (White would love to castle here. But if he plays O-O, then that puts an end to his kingside expansion. So, he’s left with trying O-O-O. And that takes one more tempo that he can afford.) 9…O-O 10.Nc3 Ng4 11.Bg1 d6 12.h3 Nh6 13.exd6 exd6 14.Qd2 Re8+ 15.Be2 Nf5 16.O-O-O (16.g4 Bxc3 17.Qxc3 Rxe2+ 18.Kxe2 Ng3+) 16…Ng3 17.Rh2 Bxc3 0-1

DRAGON vs. Grand Prix-2
2.f4 g6 3.Nc3

This is a common line. And this variation has enough tactical play to interest any player.

If White play d2-d3, g2-g3, Bg2, f2-f4, Nf3, and O-O, the opening becomes the Big Clamp.

Hastings 1974/5, 1974
1.e4 g6 2.Nc3 Bg7 3.f4 c5 4.b3 d6 5.Bb2 Nf6 6.Bb5+ Nc6 7.Bxc6+ bxc6 8.Qe2 O-O 9.Nf3 Qa5 10.O-O-O Ba6 11.Qe1 c4 12.Kb1 cxb3 13.axb3 Rab8 14.d3 Nd7 15.Nd5 Qd8 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Qc3+ Kg8 18.Qxc6 Bb7 19.Qc4 Bxd5 20.Qxd5 Qc7 21.f5 Rb4 22.fxg6 hxg6 23.h4 Rc8 24.Rc1 Qc3 25.Ng5 e6 26.Qxd6 Rcb8 0-1

Escalante (1744)-R.C. Rice (1965)
Labate’s Active Chess, Jan. 2 1988
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 d6 4.Bb5 e5 5.Bxc6+ bxc6 6.Nf3 exf4 7.O-O g5 8.d4 d5 9.exd5 cxd5 10.Re1+ Be6

11.Rxe6+! fxe6 12.Ne5 Nf6 13.Qd3 Rc8 14.Qh3 cxd4 15.Qxe6+ Qe7 16.Qxc8+ Qd8 17.Qc6+ Nd7 18.Nxd5 Be7 19.Nc7+ 1-0

St. Petersburg Ch., 1993/4
[Goncharov, CCY 15/81]
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 d6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bc4 Bg7 6.O-O e6 (6…Nf6!?) 7.d3 Nge7 8.Qe1 O-O 9.f5 Nd4 (9…exf5) 10.Nxd4 Bxd4+ 11.Kh1 f6 12.fxe6 Kg7 13.Qh4 h5 14.Ne2 d5 (14…Be5) 15.exd5 Nxd5? (15…Be5 16.Nf4 b5 17.Bb3 Bb7 18.c4 Re8 19.Bc2 +/-) 16.Nxd4 +- cxd4 17.Bxd5 Qxd5 18.e7 1-0

Attila Piroth-Rigo Janos
Hungary Team Ch., 1995
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.f4 Bg7 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.d3 Rb8 6.g3 b5 7.Bg2 b4 8.Ne2 a5 9.O-O a4 10.d4 cxd4 11.Nexd4 Ba6 12.Re1 Na5 13.f5 Qb6 14.e5 Bb7 15.Kh1 Rc8 16.f6 Bf8 17.Ng5 Rc5 18.e6!

18…Bxg2+ (18…dxe6!? leads to another set of complex lines. The reader may want to spend time here to discover some of the beautiful lines.) 19.Kxg2 Qb7+ 20.Kg1 Rxg5 21.exd7+ Qxd7 22.Bxg5 h6 23.fxe7 Bg7 24.Nb5! [A fantastic move to end such an engaging game. But 24.Ng5! is a better (and more beautiful) move.] 1-0

Mark Van Schaardenburg-Walter Tonoli
Belgium Team Ch., 1997

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.f4 Bg7 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bc4 e6 6.f5 Nge7 7.fxe6 dxe6 8.d3 O-O 9.Bf4 Na5 10.O-O Nxc4 11.dxc4 Qxd1 12.Raxd1 Bxc3 13.bxc3 b6 14.Ne5 f6 15.Bh6 Rf7 16.Rd8+ 1-0

Sam Turner-Megan Owens
South Wales Ch.
Caerleon, July 12 2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.f4 Bg7 4.Bc4 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.O-O Nf6 7.d3 O-O 8.Qe1 e6 9.Qh4 Nh5 10.Qh3 d5 11.Bb3 dxe4 12.dxe4 Nd4 13.Nxd4 Bxd4+ 14.Kh1 a6 15.g4 Nf6 16.e5 b5 17.Qf3 Nxg4 18.Qxg4 Bb7+ 19.Rf3 Qh4 20.h3 Qxg4 21.hxg4 Bxf3+ 22.Kh2 c4 23.Nxb5 axb5 24.c3 cxb3 25.cxd4 Rxa2! 0-1

DRAGON vs. Grand Prix-3
2.f4 g6 3.Nf3 Nc6

This is the main line. White still has option of Bc4, but 4.Bb5 is more popular 4.Bb5 does a better job in disrupting Black’s development.

GM Bisguier-Casillas
Hartford, 1977
1.e4 c5 2.f4 Nc6 3.Nf3 g6 4.Bb5 Bg7 5.Bxc6 bxc6 6.d3 Nf6 7.Nc3 d6 8.O-O O-O 9.Qe1 Rb8 10.b3 Nh5!?
(10…Bg4!?) 11.f5 gxf5 12.Qh4 Nf6 (12…Bxc3? 13.Qxh5 Bxa1 14.Ng5 +-) 13.Bh6 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 e5 15.Ng5 Qe7 16.exf5 d5 17.Rae1 Bd7 18.Re3 Rb4 19.Rg3 1-0

Guillermo Malbran (2350)-Gerardo Cativelli (2235)
Najdorf Open
Buenos Aires, 1993
1.e4 c5 2.f4 Nc6 3.Nf3 g6 4.Bb5 Nf6 5.Bxc6 bxc6 6.d3 Bg7 7.O-O d6 8.Qe1 O-O 9.Qh4 Re8 10.f5 gxf5 11.Bh6 Bxh6 12.Qxh6 e5 13.Ng5 Qe7 14.exf5 Kh8 15.Nd2 1-0
(Black can’t stop 16.Ne4 with the idea of 17.Nxf6+.)

Andreas Gikas (2177)-Helmut Schmuck (2101)
Berlin Team Tournament, Oct. 5 2006
1.f4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.e4 g6 4.Bb5 Bg7 5.Bxc6 bxc6 6.d3 Nf6 7.c4 O-O 8.O-O d6 9.Nc3 Rb8 10.Qe1 Ne8 11.f5 gxf5 12.Qh4 fxe4 13.Ng5 h6 14.Ngxe4 f5 15.Bxh6 fxe4 16.Rxf8+ Bxf8 17.Bxf8 Nf6 18.Bxe7 Qxe7 19.Nxe4 Rxb2 20.Nxf6+ Kf7 21.Qh7+ Kf8 22.Qg8mate 1-0

DRAGON vs. Grand Prix-4
2.f4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nf6

Here, with Black’s bishop already on g7, White can reasonably play .Bc4 as Black is more likely to castle kingside. These lines resemble more of the Dragon than the Grand Prix.

Y. Balashov-M. Tseitlin
USSR, 1969
1.e4 d6 2.Nc3 g6 3.f4 Bg7 4.Nf3 c5 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.d3 Nc6 7.O-O O-O 8.Qe1 Nd4 9.Bb3 Nxb3 10.axb3 Bd7 11.f5 gxf5 12.Qh4 Ne8 13.Ng5 h6 14.Nh3 fxe4 15.Bxh6 Bxh3 16.Nxe4 Qd7 17.Bxg7 Nxg7 18.gxh3 f6 19.Rae1 Rf7 20.Re2 Raf8 21.Rg2 d5

22.Rg6! dxe4 23.Rh6 Nh5 24.Qxh5 1-0

Bo Adler-M. Melander
Sweden Open
Hallsberg, 1975
1.e4 d6 2.f4 c5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 g6 5.Bc4 Bg7 6.O-O O-O 7.d3 e6 8.Qe1 Nc6 9.f5 d5 10.Bb3 dxe4 11.dxe4 c4 12.Bxc4 exf5 13.e5 Re8 14.Kh1 Ng4 15.Bg5 Qa5 16.Nb5 Ngxe5 17.Bxf7+ Kxf7 18.Nd6+ Kf8 19.Nxe8 Qxe1 20.Raxe1 Nxf3 21.Rxf3 Ne5 22.Rfe3 Kxe8 23.Bf4 Kf7 24.Bxe5 Bh6 25.Rh3 Bd2 26.Rxh7+ 1-0

H.J. Plaskett-M.P. Varnham
SCCU Jr. Squad Ch., Apr.23 1977
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.O-O Nf6 7.d3 O-O 8.Qe1 a6 9.a4 Nd7 10.f5 Kh8 11.Qh4 Nde5 12.Ng5 h6 13.Nxf7+! Nxf7 14.fxg6 Nfe5 15.Bxh6 Nxg6 16.Qh5 Nce5 17.Bc1+ 1-0

N. Mitkov (2532)-J. Alvarez (2317)
Istanbul Ol.
Turkey, 2000
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 Nc6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bc4 Bg7 6.O-O Nf6 7.d3 O-O 8.Qe1 a6 9.f5 Na5 10.fxg6 hxg6 11.Bb3 Nxb3 12.axb3 Nh7 13.Qh4 e6 14.Bg5 f6 15.Bd2 f5 16.Qg3 e5 17.Nd5 f4 18.Qxg6 b6 19.Be1 Rf7 20.Bh4 Qf8 21.Nxb6 Raa7 22.Nxc8 1-0

E. Urquhart (2214)-Kim Nguyen
Montreal, July 20 2002
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.O-O O-O 7.d3 Nc6 8.Qe1 Bg4 9.Qh4 Nd4 10.Nxd4 cxd4 11.Nd5 Be6 12.f5 Bxd5 13.exd5 Rc8 14.Bg5 b5 15.Bb3 Qb6 16.Rae1 Rc7 17.fxg6 hxg6 18.Rf3 a5 19.Rh3 Rfc8 20.Bh6 Bh8 21.a4 bxa4 22.Bxa4 Qxb2

23.Bc1! 1-0

Stoma (2294)-Olszewski (2458)
DMP Ekstraliga
Karpacz, Poland, Sept. 9 2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 Nc6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bc4 Bg7 6.O-O Nf6 7.Qe1 O-O 8.e5?! dxe5 9.fxe5 Ng4 10.e6 fxe6 11.Bxe6+ Kh8 12.h3 Bxe6 13.Qxe6 Nge5 14.Ne2 c4 15.d3 Rf6 0-1

Henrique Nemeth Jr. (1896)-Juliana Luiza (1888)
Campeonato Paranaense Absoluto 2010
Campo Mourão, Brazil, Jan. 28 2011
1.e4 d6 2.f4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 O-O 6.d3?!
(Not a good move if White intends to castle queenside as Black’s bishop has a more open diagonal.) 6…c5 7.h3 Nc6 8.Be3 Na5 9.Bb3 Nxb3 10.axb3 a6 11.Qd2 b5 12.g4 Bb7 13.g5 Nh5 14.Rg1 Qc8 15.O-O-O?! Bc6 16.Ne2 a5 17.Ng3 Nxg3 18.Rxg3 a4 19.bxa4 Rxa4 20.Qe1 Ra2 21.b3 Qa6 22.Kd2

22…Rxc2+! 0-1

V. Fedoseev (2506)-S. Solovjov (2394)
St. Petersburg, May 31 2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.f4 Bg7 4.Nf3 d6 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.e5 dxe5 7.fxe5 Ng4 8.e6 fxe6 9.Ne4 O-O 10.Qe2 Nc6 11.Nxc5 Nb4 12.d4 Qd6 13.c3 Nd5 14.Ng5 e5 15.h3 Nf2 16.O-O exd4 17.Nge6 d3 18.Qe1 b6 19.Nxf8 Nxh3+ 20.gxh3 bxc5 21.Bg5 Kh8 22.Qh4 1-0

Patrick Borges De Paula (1836)-Sergio Santana Otano
Camp.Mineiro Classico 2016
São Sebastião do Paraíso, Brazil, Oct. 21 2016
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 Nf6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bc4 Bg7 6.O-O O-O 7.d3 Bg4 8.Qe1 Bxf3 9.Rxf3 Nc6 10.Rh3!? e5 11.f5 Nd4 12.Bg5 Qa5 13.Qh4 Nh5 14.fxg6 hxg6 15.g4 Ne6 16.gxh5 Nxg5 17.Qxg5 Qd8

18.Qxg6! Qf6 19.Rf1 Qxg6+ 20.hxg6 Bh8 21.Bxf7+ Rxf7 22.gxf7+ Kg7 [And now White wins with either 23.f8=Q+ Rxf8 24.Rg3+ Kh7 25.Rxf8 b6 26.Rh3+ or 23.Rg3+ Kf8! (only move to prolong the game.) 24.Rg8+ Ke7 25.Nd5+ +-.] 1-0

Henrique Nemeth Jr. (2014)-Dimitri Vinicius Da Si Ferraz (1800)
Regional Sul Brasileiro de Xadrez
Clube de Xadrez de Curitiba, Brazil, Apr. 14 2017
1.e4 c5 2.f4 d6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 g6 5.Bc4 Bg7 6.O-O O-O 7.d3 a6 8.a4 Nh5 9.Ng5 Bd7 10.f5 Nc6 11.fxg6 hxg6 12.Bxf7+ Kh8 13.Bxg6 Nf6 14.Nd5 Bg4 15.Qe1 Nd4 16.Qh4+ Bh5 17.Nxf6 exf6 18.Qxh5+ Kg8 19.Qh7mate 1-0

Juan Carlos Gonzalez Moreno (1555)-Jimena Perez Garcia (1624)
Tenerife Team Ch.
Canary Islands, Spain, Jan. 19 2019
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 Nf6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bc4 Bg7 6.O-O O-O 7.d3 Bg4 8.Qe1 Bxf3 9.Rxf3 Nc6 10.Rh3 Nd4 11.Qd1 Qd7 12.Ne2 Ng4 13.c3 Nxe2+ 14.Qxe2 b5 15.Bxb5 Qxb5 16.Qxg4 Bf6 17.f5 Rab8 18.Qf4 h5 19.fxg6 fxg6 20.Qh6 Kf7 21.Qh7+ Bg7??
(Black can, and should, play 21…Ke8. And while he still has some defending to do, he has not yet lost.) 22.Rf3+ Ke8 23.Qxg7 1-0

Robert Rowley

This week is Robert Rowley’s birthday! He was born Jan. 12 1950, earned his FM title and won the Arizona State Chess Championship a total of eleven times.

Many of his game are based on sound play and tactics making them enjoyable, and understandable, for beginning and intermediate players.

Let’s look a couple of his games.

Robert Rowley-IM Jeremy Silman
World Open
Philadelphia, 1990
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.O-O Be7

[Also interesting is 5…c5!? GM Ulf Andersson-Ivar Bern, corres., Norwegian 50-Year Postal Jubilee, 1995/6, continued with 6.Bg5 Na6 7.Na3 Nc7 8.c4 b4 9.Nc2 a5 10.e4!! Bxe4 11.Re1 Bxc2 12.Qxc2 cxd4 13.Nxd4 Ra6 (Here Ulf was ready to introduce another nasty tactical trick. 13…Rb8 14.Nc6 dxc6 15.Bxc6+ Ke7 16.Rad1 Qc8 17.Qd2 and the threat of 18.Qd6mate and 18.Qe3! are decisive.) 14.Rad1 h6 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.Qa4 Bc5 17.Nxe6! (White’s enormous pressure had to be released somehow.) 17…Bxf2+ 18.Kh1 Rxe6 (Or 18…Nxe6 19.Qxd7+ Kf8 20.Qc8+ with a mate in two.) 19.Qxd7+ Kf8 20.Rxe6 Qxe6 21.Qxc7 g6 22.Rf1 (Ivar Bern decided to save his stamps due to 22…Bb6 23.Qb7 f5 24.Rd1 and the treat 25.c5 puts a period to Andersson’s little masterpiece.) 1-0 – notes to this game by Inside Chess.]

6.Qd3 a6 7.c4 bxc4 8.Qxc4 O-O 9.Nc3 Qc8!? (This move does have other purposes other than protecting the b7-bishop. It takes the queen out of the possible pin after Bg5 and supports queenside play. Finally, Black is not committed to …d6, even though that is the right move for the d-pawn. He can still …d5 if the position warrants it.)10.Bg5 d6 (Well, there goes the ..d5 plans.) 11.Rac1 Nbd7 12.Na4 Bd8 13.Nd2 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Rb8 15.Qc6 Rb4 16.Rc4 Rxc4 17.Nxc4 Be7 18.Rc1 Nb8 19.Ncb6 Nxc6 20.Nxc8 Rxc8 21.Rxc6 h6 22.Bxf6 Bxf6 23.e3 a5 24.b3 Bd8 25.Kf3 Ra8 26.Nc3 Kf8 27.e4 Ke7 28.Ke3 Kd7 29.d5 f5 30.f3 fxe4 31.fxe4 Bg5+ 32.Kd3 Rf8 33.Nb5 Bd8 34.Nd4 exd5 35.exd5 Rf1 36.Rc2 Rd1+ 37.Kc4 Bf6 38.Nc6 Re1 39.a4 h5 40.b4 (40.Nxa5 works just as good, and perhaps a little better than the text, in creating an a-pawn passer.) 40…axb4 41.Nxb4 Ra1 42.Kb5 Bd4 43.a5 Bc5 44.Nc6 Rd1 45.Kc4 Re1 46.a6 Re8 47.Ra2 Kc8 48.Kb5 Bb6 49.Ra4 g5 50.h4 g4 51.Rf4 Rh8 52.Rf5 Bc5 53.Kc4 Bg1 54.Kd3 Bh2

55.Rf1 1-0 (As Rb1 and Rb8 cannot be stopped.)

Phoenix FIDE Futurity
Arizona, 1980
[Hurdle, “Games from the Phoenix FIDE Futurity”, Chess Life, Aug. 1981]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Nbd7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Nxe5 9.Bf4! (A move that appears to refute this variation – Escalante.)

9…Nfd7 (Moving the knight on e5 is embarrassing after Nbd5.) 10.Bb5 Bg7 11.Qe2 O-O 12.O-O-O a6 13.Bxd7 (Any retreat by this Bishop allows Black to begin his attack with …b5. Very interesting is 13.Bxe5 Nxe5 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.Rxd8 Rfxd8 where Black has Rook, Bishop, and pawn plus pressure for the Queen. The position would be fairly equal but Black can improve with 13.Bxe5 Bxe5 14.Bxd7 Bf4+, keep the pawn.) 13…Nxd7 14.Bg5 Qb6! 15.Qxe7! Bxd4 16.Rxd4 Qxd4 17.Bh6 Qf6 (Now White is down an entire Rook but he has all the play. This is the critical position of the game, and perhaps 17…b5 wins. If 18.Rd1 Qf6 19.Bxf8 Qf4+ 20.Kb1 Nxf8 21.Rd8 Bb7 22.Qxf8#. So perhaps 21…Qh6 22.Nd5 Bb7 23.Nf6+ Kh8 24.Qxf7 Qg7 and Black holds. Rowley suggested 21.Nd5! Qh6 22.Nf6+ Kh8 23.Qe4!, and then 23…Rb8 24.Qe5 Ra8 25.Qd4, in either case setting up a winning discovery. Of course, Black could abandon the Rook and counter attack the Knight. For example, 23…Ra7 24.Qd4 Qg7 25.Qxa7 Qxf6 and it’s still a hard fight. Back to the game.) 18.Bxf8 Qf4+ 19.Kb1 Nxf8 20.Nd5 Qf5 (Defending the Bishop. If Black tries 20…Qh6?, then 21.Nb6 Rb8 22.Qc7 leads to disaster on the Queenside.) 21.Nf6+ Kg7 22.Ne8+ Kg8  1/2-1/2

The AMAR Gambit

The AMAR gambit is a rarity in chess.

First, let’s talk about the name of the gambit. Many players are convinced that AMAR is an acronym for Absolutely Mad And Ridiculous. And they are at least half correct, it is an absolutely mad and ridiculous opening. But the opening is named after Charles Amar, a 1930s player from Paris.

What makes this opening so bad? Well, the opening starts with 1.Nh3. And with this move White gives up his claim for the center, loses a tempo with his knight, and retards his own development.

Black probably has the advantage after either 1…e5 or 1…d5.

After 1.Nh3 d5, the game can continue with 2.g3 e5 3.f4, and the position of the AMAR gambit has been reached. Let’s see what White has done. With 2.g3 and 3.f4, he not only has the same problems as before, but has also tacked on a few more problems. His kingside is considerably weakened, he has open lines to his king, namely the d8-h4 diagonal (the same one used in Fool’s Mate), and he has sacrificed (lost?) a kingside pawn.

What has White gotten for all this mess? If Black plays 3…exf4, then White can win back the f-pawn with 4.Nxf4. He then has an OK position for his knight. And White can try castling.

Black, however, doesn’t have to play 3…exf4, leaving White with an entirely lost position. White can still try to castle kingside and maybe have some play along the f-file. But he usually doesn’t have the time to castle or make any long-term plans.

Really, White does better with the King’s Gambit.


AMAR Gambit

1) 3.f4
2) 3.f4 exf4 4.Nxf4
3) 3.f4 Bxh3


Black can decline the gambitted pawn. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, Black has stronger moves.

B.C. Allison-M.H. Stubbs
Australia Ch. (reserves)
Cooma, 1974
1.Nh3 d5 2.g3 e5 3.f4 e4 4.Bg2 Bc5 5.e3 Nf6 6.O-O Bg4 7.Qe1 Nc6 8.Nf2 Be6 9.c4 Nb4 10.Qd1 Qd7 11.cxd5 Bxd5 12.Nc3 Qe7 13.a3 Nc6 14.Nxd5 Nxd5 15.Nxe4 Bb6 16.b4 O-O-O 17.Qc2 Kb8 18.Rb1 Nf6 19.Nc5 Rd6 20.a4 a6 21.Nxb7 Kxb7 22.b5 axb5 23.axb5 Qd7 24.Qa4 Ra8 25.Bxc6+ Rxc6 26.bxc6+ Qxc6 27.Qxc6+ Kxc6 28.Bb2 Ne4 29.Rbc1+ Kd5 30.Rc2 Ra2 31.Rfc1 f6 32.Kf1 Ba5 33.Bc3 Nxc3 34.dxc3 Rxc2 35.Rxc2 Kc4 36.Rd2 Bxc3 37.Rd7 c5 38.Ke2 Kb3 39.Kd1 c4 40.Rxg7 Bb4 41.Rxh7 c3 42.Rb7 1-0

Arthur Stobbe (1835)-David Hillery (2274)
Golden Knights, 1999
1.Nh3 e5 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.f4 e4 5.Nf2 Bc5 6.e3 h5 7.d4 exd3 8.Nxd3 Bb6 9.Nc3 Bg4 10.Bf3 d4 11.Na4 Nc6 12.Nxb6 axb6 13.e4? Nxe4 14.Bxg4 hxg4 15.Qxg4 Qf6 16.O-O Kf8 17.b3 Qh6 18.Qe2 Nxg3 19.Qg2 Nxf1 20.Kxf1 Qxh2 21.Bb2 Ra5 22.a4 Rah5 23.c3 Rh3 24.Nf2 Qxf4 25.Qxh3 Rxh3 0-1

Stephan Mueller-Christoph Jablonowski
Oberliga Nord N 0506
Germany, Oct. 23 2005
1.Nh3 d5 2.g3 e5 3.f4 Bd6 4.fxe5 Bxe5 5.d4 Bf6 6.Bg2 Ne7 7.O-O Ng6 8.Qd3 O-O 9.Nd2 Be6 10.Nb3 Nd7 11.c3 Rc8 12.Be3 Be7 13.Na5 c6 14.b4 b6 15.Nb3 Nf6 16.Nf4 Bd7 17.Kh1 Qc7 18.Bg1 Rce8 19.Rae1 Bd6 20.Nh3 Ne4 21.Bf2 Bf5 22.Qf3 Qd7 23.Nf4 Bg4 24.Qd3 Bxf4 25.gxf4 Nxf4 26.Qe3 Nxg2 27.Kxg2 Nxf2 28.Qxf2 Bh3+ 29.Kh1 Bxf1 30.Qxf1 Re3 31.Qg2 Qf5 32.Nd2 Rd8 33.c4 Qg6 34.Qf2 Qc2 35.Rf1 f6 36.Nf3 Qxe2 37.cxd5 Qxf2 38.Rxf2 cxd5 39.Ng1 Rd3 0-1

3.f4 exf4 4.Nxf4

Certainly Black can take the pawn. Well, he ends up with a much better position than White, who finds himself on the defensive. It is not known if this is a forced win for Black, but it is close to one.

British Jr. Ch., 1965?
1.Nh3 d5 2.g3 e5 3.f4 exf4 4.Nxf4 Bd6 5.d3 h5 6.Bg2 h4 7.e4 Nf6 8.Nc3 Bg4 9.Qd2 hxg3 10.hxg3 Rxh1+ 11.Bxh1 g5 12.Nfxd5 Bxg3+ 13.Kf1 Nxd5 14.Nxd5 c6 15.Qg2 Qd6 16.Nc3 Qf6+ 17.Kg1 Qd4+ 0-1

3.f4 Bxh3

It took a while for Black to figure out the winning strategy. And that strategy to attack first, and then continue to attack, attack, and attack.

Paris, 1933
1.Nh3 d5 2.g3 e5 3.f4 Bxh3 4.Bxh3 exf4 5.O-O fxg3 6.hxg3 Nf6 7.d3 Nc6 8.Nc3 Bd6 9.Bg5 Bxg3 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.e4 Rg8 12.Nxd5 Be5+ 13.Kh1 Qd6 14.c3 Rg3 15.Qh5 Rxd3 16.Rad1 Rxd1 17.Rxd1 Ne7 18.Ne3 Qc5 19.Qxh7 Nc8 20.Qg8+ 1-0
(Forced is 20…Qf8 21.Rd8+ Kxd8 22.Qxf8#.)

H. Meyers-T. Alvarez
Dominican Republic, 1966
1.Nh3 d5 2.g3 e5 3.f4 Bxh3 4.Bxh3 exf4 5.O-O fxg3 6.e4 gxh2+ 7.Kh1 dxe4 8.Nc3 Nf6 9.d3 exd3 10.Bg5 dxc2 11.Qf3 Be7 12.Qxb7 Nbd7 13.Bxd7+ Nxd7 14.Bxe7 Kxe7 15.Nd5+ Kf8 16.Nxc7 Nc5 17.Ne6+ Nxe6 18.Qxf7mate 1-0

Guernsey Open, 1980
1.Nh3 d5 2.g3 e5 3.f4 Bxh3 4.Bxh3 exf4 5.O-O fxg3 6.e4 gxh2+ 7.Kh1 dxe4 8.d3 Nf6 9.Nc3 exd3 10.Bg5 Be7 11.Qf3 O-O 12.Rae1 Nc6 13.Qg2 Nh5
(> 13…Kh8) 14.Bxe7 Nxe7 15.Bg4 d2 16.Re5 Nf6 17.Rxf6 gxf6 18.Rd5 Qb8 (> 18…Qxd5) 19.Rh5 Kg7 20.Qxd2 Rh8 21.Ne4 1-0

William Preston-Roelof Westra
Hull Congress Open, Sept. 14 1996
1.Nh3 d5 2.g3 e5 3.f4 Bxh3 4.Bxh3 exf4 5.O-O fxg3 6.e4 dxe4 7.d3 Bc5+ 8.Kh1 Qh4 9.Qg4 Qxg4 10.Bxg4 Nf6 11.Bc8 Nbd7 12.Bxb7 Rb8 13.Bxe4 Nxe4 14.dxe4 gxh2 15.Nc3 O-O 16.b3 Bd4 17.Bb2 Ne5 18.Rad1 c5 19.Kxh2 Ng4+ 20.Kg3 Ne3 21.Rxd4 Nxf1+ 22.Kf2 cxd4 23.Nd5 Ne3 24.Ne7+ Kh8 25.Bxd4 Nxc2 26.Bb2 Rbd8 27.Nf5 f6 28.Kg3 Rd3+ 29.Kf4 g5+ 30.Kg4 Ne3+ 31.Nxe3 Rxe3 32.Kf5 Re2 33.Ba3 Rf7 34.Ke6 Kg7 35.Kf5 h5 36.Bc5 h4 37.a4 h3 38.b4 h2 0-1

William Preston-A. Bulbeck
Hull Congress Open, Sept. 15 1996
1.Nh3 d5 2.g3 e5 3.f4 Bxh3 4.Bxh3 exf4 5.O-O Bd6 6.e4 fxg3 7.d4 Qh4 8.Qf3 Qxh3 -+ 9.Qxf7+ Kd8 10.Bg5+ Ne7 11.Rf3

11…Qxh2+ 12.Kf1 g2+ 13.Ke1 g1=Q+ 14.Rf1 Qxg5 15.Qf3 Qc1+ 16.Qd1 Qe3+ 0-1

Igor Glazyrin-Artur Gataullin
Russia U26 Ch.
Ufa, May 10 2004
1.Nh3 d5 2.g3 e5 3.f4 Bxh3 4.Bxh3 exf4 5.O-O fxg3 6.e4 gxh2+ 7.Kh1 dxe4 8.d3 Nf6 9.Nc3 exd3 10.Bg5 Be7 11.Qf3 Nc6 12.Rae1 O-O 13.Qg2 Kh8 14.Rxe7 Qxe7 15.Nd5 Qe2 16.Nxf6 Qxg2+ 17.Bxg2 h6 18.Bh4 dxc2 19.Kxh2 Nb4 20.Nh5 Nxa2 21.Nxg7 f6 0-1

Correspondence Quickies

corres., 1989/91
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4
(The Urusov Gambit. This gambit can also arise from the Bishop’s Opening: 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nf3.) 4…d5 5.exd5 Bg4 6.O-O Be7 7.Qd3 c6 8.Nxd4 Nxd5 9.Re1 O-O 10.Bxd5 cxd5 11.h3 Bh5 12.Nc3 Nc6 13.Nxd5 Qxd5 14.Nxc6 Qxc6 15.Rxe7 Rad8 16.Qe4 Rd1+ 17.Kh2 Qf6 18.Rxb7 Bg6 19.Qf3 Qxf3 20.gxf3 Bxc2 21.b4 Rc8 22.Rxa7 h6 23.b5 Bf5 24.b6 g5 25.b7 1-0

Joe Ei-Ken Scott
Golden Knights, USCF, 1982
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.Bd2 Qd8 9.Bc4 e6 10.O-O-O Qb6?! 11.Ne4 Qxd4? 12.Ba5 Qxc4

13.Qxf6! gxf6 14.Nxf6+ Ke7 15.Bd8mate 1-0

Poland Ch., 1992
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 Ne7 9.d4 exd4 10.Nxd5 Nxd5 11.Qe4+ Kf6 12.Qxd4+ Kg6 13.Qxd5 Qe7+ 14.Be3 c6 15.Bd3+ Kf6 16.Qf3+ 1-0

S. Chasin-G. Bucciardini X25
European Masters Tournament, 1990/3
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.O-O Bc5 6.c3 Nxe4 7.cxd4 d5 8.dxc5 dxc4 9.Qxd8+ Kxd8 10.Rd1+ Bd7 11.Be3 Ke7 12.Na3 Be6 13.Nd4 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Rhd8 15.f3 Nf6 16.Rac1 c3 17.b3 Nd5 18.Nb5 c2! 19.Re1 a6 20.Nc3 Nb4 21.Re4 f5 22.Rh4 Kf7 23.Ne2 h6 24.g3? Bd5! 0-1

You must treat the Ruy Lopez with respect!

Philip Williams-Kenneth Jemdell
Golden Knights, 1986
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nd4 5.Nxe5 b5 6.Bb3 Qg5 7.Ng4 d5 8.Bxd5 Bxg4 9.f3 Bxf3 10.gxf3 Qg2 11.Rf1 Be7! 0-1

Alex Dunne (2183)-Juan Ortiz (1706)
Golden Knights, 1996
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 Bd7 5.Nc3 f6 6.Be3 a6 7.Bc4 Nge7 8.Qe2 Bg4 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.Nxe5 1-0

corres., 197?
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 a6 5.Ba4 b5 6.Bb3 h6 7.c3 Nf6 8.Bc2 Bb7 9.O-O exd4 10.cxd4 Be7 11.Re1 O-O 12.Nbd2
(White keeps developing. The knight move is defending his king and can opens the way for the knight to play a part in a kingside attack.) 12…Na5 (This knight is not doing anything useful here. When Black brings it back he has lost two tempi.) 13.Nf1 (This knight is heading for more active duties on the kingside.) 13…Nc4 14.Ng3 Re8 15.Nf5 Nb6 16.Bxh6 gxh6 17.Nxh6+ Kf8 18.Ng5 Qd7 19.Ngxf7 Kg7 20.Qd3 Nxe4 21.Rxe4 (Black has floated into a lost position. White sacrifice is easy as he has his eyes on the king.) 21…Bxe4 22.Qg3+ (Because of 22…Kf6 23.Qg5+ Ke6 24.Qg4+ Kf6 25.Qxe4) 1-0

Neal Moenich (1606)-Z. L. King (1706)
ASPCC, 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bd7 6.Nc3 Qf6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Bc4 g6 9.O-O Bg7 10.Re1 Nh6 11.f4 Ng4 12.Qe2 Qh4 13.h3 Bd4+ 14.Kh1 Nf2+ 15.Kh2 Nxh3 16.g3 Qh6 17.Kg2 Nxf4+ 18.Bxf4 Qh3+ 19.Kf3 Bg4mate 0-1

And I have to do a blog post on this opening!

Anker Aasum-Lothar Frenzel
corres., 1989
1.Nc3 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.f3 Bf5 5.g4 Bg6 6.g5 exf3 7.Qxf3 Qd4 8.Qxb7 Ng4 9.Qxa8 Qf2+ 10.Kd1 Ne3+ 0-1