Fun Opening Tasks

An opening task is simply a goal that must be met from the initial position of the pieces. All moves must be legal to reach the goal and complete the task.

 

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Tasks have been proposed such as the finding or creating a game in which have the most consecutive pawn moves by one player.

 

 

Years ago, in my early twenties, I challenged myself to find the quickest way to deliver a smothered mate. To my surprise the solution was quite easy to find. In fact, there were two solutions.

 

1.Nc3 g6 (alternately White can mate by 1… e6 2.d4 c6 3.Ne4 Ne7 4.Nd6#) 2.Ne4 e6 3.d4 Ne7 4.Nf6mate 1-0

 

 

Then I wanted to find the quickest way to win a game by a promotion. Better, if I can find an underpromotion. So, in these pre-Internet days, I had to find the answer in a chess book.

 

I searched longer than my previous quest, but I did find such a game. If remember correctly, it was from a Chernev book.

 

Wiede-Goetz
Strasbourg, 1880
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.b3 Qh4+ 4.g3? fxg3 5.h3? (Black now has a forced mate in three.) 5…g2+ 6.Ke2 Qxe4+ 7.Kf2

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7…gxh1=Nmate! 0-1

 

The time between these two tasks, and the third one presented below, was about 30 years. This third task was proposed by a member of chess.com who asked, “What’s the minimum number of moves to force a checkmate using 3 bishops, assuming the position is farthest from checkmate?”

 

This is what I came up with.

 

Analysis
[Escalante, 2020]
1.e4 e5 2.d4 Ba3 3.dxe5 Bxb2 4.Bxb2 d5 5.Bc4 d4 6.Ba3 Kd7 7.e6+ Ke8 8.exf7+ Kd7 9.fxg8=B Nc6 10.Bce6+ Ke8 11.Bgf7mate 1-0

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Of course, the King of such opening tasks is Sam Loyd (January 30, 1841 – April 10, 1911), who not only solved some very unusual opening tasks, but created literally thousands of chess problems, math puzzles, logic problems, and folding paper tricks.

 

SamLoyd400x400_6

 

 

One of his most famous tasks was to find the least number of moves in which a stalemate position can occur.

 

The solution may not be known to most players, but two enterprising young Swedish players decided to use it in one of their games. Apparently, they didn’t know or care what the organizers thought about their rather short game. Probably the latter.
Johan Upmark-Robin Johansson
Swedish Jr. Ch.
Borlange, 1995
[ECO: A10]
1.c4 h5 2.h4 a5 3.Qa4 Ra6 4.Qxa5 Rah6 5.Qxc7 f6 6.Qxd7+ Kf7 7.Qxb7 Qd3 8.Qxb8 Qh7 9.Qxc8 Kg6 10.Qe6 1/2-1/2
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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.)

 

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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”

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!

The Lousy Lolli

Some gambits are good for a surprise value only. Or they are thought to be simple enough to defend; no prior research is necessary to find a win.

 

But what if you really had to defend such a gambit? You never seen it before, you never analyzed it, but there it is, over the board and your clock has been started. You have a feeling that you should be able to beat it. But your clock is still ticking and you know you just have win this game, if for nothing except one’s own pride.

 

The Lolli Gambit is one of those gambits. You just know there is a defence. But what is the strategy? What are the moves?

 

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

 
I call it the Lousy Lolli. I originally called it that as it seems to be lousy for White. But if Black doesn’t find the right moves, then it can easily become very lousy for him.

 
According to Wikipeida, Giambattista Lolli (1698 – 4 June 1769) was an Italian chess player and one of the most important chess theoreticians of his time.

 
Let’s first define the gambit:

 

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+. White has sacrificed a piece in a position that resembles the Muzio. But he sacrifices his bishop too early.

 
Obviously Black can  decline the gambit. But he has lost a pawn, cannot castle, and his king is misplaced. White has at least a “+/-”.

 

Ioan Panait (1680)-Silvia Poenariu
Deva Team Tournament, 1999
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Ke7 6.Bxg8 Rxg8 7.O-O gxf3 8.Qxf3 Bh6 9.Nc3 c6 10.d4 Qf8 11.e5 d5 12.exd6+ Kxd6 13.Ne4+ Kc7 14.Qh5 Qg7 15.Rf2 Bg4 16.Qxh6 Qxh6 17.Bxf4+ Qxf4 18.Rxf4 Be6 19.Nf6 Rh8 20.Re1 Bxa2? (Black has to try 20…Bc8 or 20…Bd7) 21.b3! +/- h6 22.Ra1 Bxb3 23.cxb3 Na6 24.Ng4 h5 25.Rf7+ Kb6 26.Ne5 Rhd8 1-0

 

 

So Black is forced to take the offered bishop. Now the natural 6.Ne5+, causing further disruption of Black’s defensive plans, is almost automatically played. White played 6.O-O in the following game, winning mainly, and possibly only, because of Black’s greed.

 
William Wallace Young-Frank Marshall
15 Board Simul
Bordentown, NJ, Apr. 28 1913
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.O-O gxf3? 7.Qxf3 Qf6 8.d4 Qxd4+ 9.Be3 Qf6 10.Nc3 Ne7 11.Bxf4 d6 12.Qh5+ Kg7 13.Bh6+ 1-0

 
So let’s get back to 6.Ne5+, White’s best continuation.

 
Greco-N.N.
Italy, 1620?
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke6 7.Qxg4+ Kxe5 8.Qf5+ Kd6 9.d4 Bg7 10.Bxf4+ Ke7 11.Bg5+ Bf6 12.e5 Bxg5 13.Qxg5+ Ke8 14.Qh5+ Ke7 15.O-O Qe8 16.Qg5+ Ke6 17.Rf6+ Nxf6 18.Qxf6+ Kd5 19.Nc3+ Kxd4 20.Qf4+ Kc5 21.b4+ Kc6 22.Qc4+ Kb6 23.Na4mate 1-0

 

George B. Spencer-N.N.
Minneapolis Chess Club, 1893
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke6 7.Qxg4+ Kxe5 8.d4+ Kxd4 9.b4 Bxb4+ 10.c3+ Bxc3+ 11.Nxc3 Kxc3
2020_06_04_A

12.Bb2+! Kxb2 (If Black was to play 12…Kd3!?, then White would castle queenside to continue the attack.) 13.Qe2+ Kxa1 14.O-Omate 1-0

 

By now, you have probably figured out that 6…Ke6? puts the Black in the way of further harm. The alternate move, 6…Ke8 makes White’s mating efforts much hard as Black can now put his pieces in front of his king, instead of behind him where they become mere spectators.

 

 

Let’s look at a few games with the idea of seeing additional opening themes and tactical possibilities. Black can win if he can sidestep the complications. And if he can’t …

 

Murcey De Villette – Maubuisson
Paris, 1680
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke8 7.Qxg4 (The most common continuation. White needs to continue his attack and maybe win some material back. This move does both.) 7…Nf6 8.Qxf4 d6 9.Nc4 Qe7 10.Nc3 Nc6 11.O-O Bg7 12.d3 Rf8 13.Qg5 Be6 14.Ne3 Kd7 15.Bd2

2020_06_04_B

(Black needs to either tuck his king in the queenside with 15…Rae8 and 16…Kc8 or try to simplify the board. He can’t do the first as he doesn’t have enough tempi. But his alternate plan is possible and probably even good. 15…Ng4! is his best move.) 15…Rae8?! 16.Ncd5 Bxd5 17.exd5 Ne5 18.Nf5 Qf7 19.Nxg7 Re7 20.Qf5+ Kd8 21.Ne6+ Ke8 22.Nxf8 Kxf8 23.Qxf6 1-0

 

Staunton-N.N.
London, 1846
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke8 7.Qxg4 Nf6 8.Qxf4 d6 9.Nf3 Nc6 10.d4 Qe7 11.O-O Bd7 12.e5 dxe5 13.dxe5 Nd5 14.Qe4 Be6 15.Bg5 Qc5+ 16.Kh1 Ncb4 17.c4 Nb6 18.b3 Be7 19.Nd4 Bg8 20.Bxe7 Qxe7 21.Nf5 Qd7 22.Qh4 Rd8 23.Qf6! (with the idea of Ng7+) 1-0

 

von Heydebrand und der Lasa-Nielsen Govert
Copenhagen, Feb. 19 1869
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke8 7.Qxg4 Nf6 8.Qxf4 d6 9.O-O Bg7 10.Nf3 Nc6 11.d4 Bg4 12.Be3 Ne7 13.Nc3 Qd7 14.e5 Nfd5 15.Qg5 Nxe3 16.Qxe3 d5 17.Ng5 Be6 18.Qf3 h5 19.Nb5 Bf5 20.c4 Bh6 21.e6! Qc6 22.Nf7 Rh7 23.Ne5 Qb6 24.Nd7 1-0

 

Blackburne-N.N.
Simul
Canterbury, England, June 1903
[Based on the tactical ending, there is a good chance this game was played blindfolded. But I am unable to confirm this.]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke8 7.Qxg4 Qf6 (The less aggressive, but stronger, move is 7…Nf6. Now White has a growing advantage.) 8.d4 Bh6 9.O-O Qg7 10.Qh5+! +- Ke7 11.Bxf4 Bxf4 12.Rxf4 Nf6 13.Qh4 d6 14.Nc3 c6 15.Raf1 Rf8 16.Nf7 Rxf7 17.e5 dxe5 18.dxe5 Nd7 19.exf6+ Nxf6

2020_06_04_C

20.Ne4! Be6 21.Nxf6 Kf8 22.Nxh7+ Kg8 23.Rxf7 Bxf7 24.Nf6+ Kf8 25.Qb4+ 1-0

 

S. Shaw-P. Sokol
corres., 1943
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke8 7.Qxg4 Nf6 8.Qxf4 d6 9.Nc4 Rg8 10.O-O Be7 11.d4 Rg4 12.Qh6?! (Perhaps a little too aggressive. Better is 12.Qe2, with about an equal game.) 12…Rg6 13.Qh4 Qd7 14.Ne3 Qh3 15.Qf4 Qh5 16.Nc3 Nc6 17.Ncd5 Nxd4 18.Qf2

2020_06_04_D

18…Ne2+ 0-1 (White rightfully resigns due to 19.Kh1 Qxh2+!!)

 

N. Lelen-K. Marzec
US Open
Los Angeles, 1991
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke8 7.Qxg4 Nf6 8.Qxf4 d6 9.Nf3 Qe7 10.Nc3 Nc6 11.O-O Rg8 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.exd5 Rg4 14.Qxg4 Bxg4 15.Re1 Ne5 16.Nxe5 dxe5 17.d4 Kd7 18.dxe5 Qc5+ 19.Be3 Qxd5 20.h3 Bc5 21.hxg4 Bxe3+ 22.Rxe3 Qc5 23.Re1 Re8 24.Kh2 Qxc2 25.e6+ Kc8 26.R1e2 Qg6 27.e7 Qxg4 28.Rf3 Rxe7 29.Rxe7 Qh4+ 0-1

 

Firas Al Hantouli (2200)-Khaled
Asia Ch.
Dubai, 1996
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke8 7.Qxg4 Nf6 8.Qxf4 d6 9.Nf3 Qe7 10.Nc3 Nbd7 11.O-O Kd8 12.d4 b6 13.e5 Ne8 14.Qe4 Rb8 15.Bg5 Ndf6 16.exf6 Qxe4 17.f7+ Qe7 18.Bxe7+ Bxe7 19.Nd5 c6 20.Nxe7 Kxe7 21.Rae1+ Kd8 22.Ng5 Rf8 23.fxe8=Q+ Rxe8 24.Rxe8+ Kxe8 (and 25.Nxh7) 1-0

 

Juerg Gruber-Ioan Avram
Pizol Open, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke8 7.Qxg4 Nf6 8.Qxf4 d6 9.Nf3 Bg7 10.O-O Ng4 11.h3 Rf8 12.Qg3 Be5 13.Nxe5 Rxf1+ 14.Kxf1 Nxe5 15.Qg8+ Kd7 16.Qxh7+ Kc6 17.Qg7 b6 18.d4 Ba6+ 19.Kg1 Ned7 20.Qf7 Nf6 21.Bg5 Nbd7 22.Nc3 Qe8 23.Qb3 Rc8 24.Re1 Qg8 25.Qa4+ Kb7 26.Bxf6 Nxf6 27.b4 Qc4 28.Ne2 Nxe4 29.c3 Nxc3 30.Nxc3 Qxc3 31.Qd1 Qxb4 32.Qf3+ Kb8 33.Qd5 0-1

 

Nikolai Nasikan-Vitaliy Pasemko
Stepichev Memorial
Kiev, Dec. 28 2004
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke8 7.Qxg4 Nf6 8.Qxf4 d6 9.Nf3 Bg7 10.O-O Kf8 11.d4 Kg8 12.e5 dxe5 13.dxe5 Nd5 14.Qg3 h6 15.c4 Nb6 16.b3 Nc6 17.Bb2 Be6 18.Nc3 Bxc4 19.Rad1 Qe7 20.bxc4 Nxc4 21.Nd5 Qc5+ 22.Kh1 Nxb2 23.Nf6+ Kf7 24.Nd7 Qe7 25.Nh4+ Ke8 26.Qg6+ Kd8 27.Nb6+ Nxd1 28.Rxd1+ Qd6 29.Rxd6+ cxd6 30.Qxd6+ Ke8 31.Nxa8 Bxe5 32.Nc7+ Kf7 33.Qe6+ Kg7 34.Nf5+ Kf8 35.Qe8mate 1-0

 

Fahad A. Al Turky (1903)-Abdulrahman A. Masrahi (1863)
World Rapid Ch.
St. Petersburg, Dec. 26 2018
[Black defends accurately, picks up more material, and the concludes with a fine sacrifice. A Black player’s dream!]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke8 7.Qxg4 Nf6 8.Qxf4 d6 9.Nf3 Qe7 10.O-O Bg7 11.Nc3 Rf8! (The right ratio of defence and attacking possibilities.) 12.Qh4 Bg4 13.e5 Bxf3 14.Rxf3 dxe5 15.d3 Nbd7 16.Bg5 Qc5+ 17.Be3 Qd6 18.Raf1 c6 19.Bg5 Qd4+ 20.Qxd4 exd4 21.Re1+ Kf7 22.Ne4 Kg8! (If the king can’t find refuge on the queenside, then he should go to the kingside!) 23.Nd6 Nd5 24.Rg3 Kh8 25.a3 Be5 26.Rxe5 Nxe5 27.b3 Nf7 28.Nxb7 Nxg5 29.Rxg5 Rae8 30.h3 Rg8 31.Rf5

2020_06_04_E

31…Rxg2+! 32.Kh1 (32.Kxg2 Ne3+) 32…Rxc2 0-1

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

Poisoned Pawn?

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

 

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

 

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

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

 
Let’s get started.

 

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

 

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

 

2020_03_19_A

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

2020_03_19_B
15…Ncxe5! 16.dxe5 Ba4 17.Ra2 d4 18.Bg5 d3 0-1

 
White gets even here.

 

Escalante-NM Adaar
Thematic Tournament – Winawer Variation, Round 2
chess.com, Aug.-Sept. 2018
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 (The usual route to the Winawer. All games in the tournament began with this position.) 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 O-O (Some years ago Van der Tak wrote an article in NIC 8 titled, “Castling Into It?” where he explored Black’s kingside castling possibilities in the Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Winawer, and if it was a viable option for Black. I don’t think the resulting positions favor Black.) 8.Bd3 (Thanks to GM Van der Tak, and his article, I am convinced this is best move for White.) 8…Nbc6 9.Nf3 cxd4?? (This loses the game in a hurry.)
2020_03_19_C
10.Bxh7+! 1-0 [Black resigns due to 10…Kxh7 11.Qh5+ (stronger than the traditional Ng5+ as the potential escape square, g6, is denied to Black) 11…Kg8 12.Ng5 and White mates.]

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

 

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

 

The term can be used in the general sense.

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

2020_03_19_D

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

Attacking by Castling, Part 2

You probably want to again read the first part of this series. I have greatly updated and enlarged Part 1 to cover more games and ideas. I hope you enjoy the additions.

 

And now onto Part 2.

 

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

 

 

Perhaps the best well-known, as well as the first known case of mating, while is this game.

 
Please remove the R on a1 as the combination at the end does not work with the extra rook.

 

Morphy-N.N.
New Orleans, 1858
[Ra1]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 (The Fried Liver Attack was more popular in the 19th century. It’s largely due to the idea that the sacrifice is too strong for Black to survive. But strangely, it now appears that Black is doing O.K.) 6…Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 Nd4 9.Bxd5+ Kd6 10.Qf7 (with the idea of Ne4#) 10…Be6 11.Bxe6 Nxe6 12.Ne4+ (White has a large advantage here. The only question is whether position is a +/- or a +-.) Kd5 13.c4+ Kxe4 14.Qxe6 Qd4 15.Qg4+ Kd3 16.Qe2+ Kc2 17.d3+ Kxc1 18.O-Omate! 1-0

 

2020_02_13_A

 

 

George B. Spencer-N.N.
Minneapolis Chess Club, 1893
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ (The Lolli Gambit. It’s unclear if Black should play 5…Ke7 or the text move. In this case, Black can expect little respite from the checks.) 5…Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke6 7.Qxg4+ Kxe5 8.d4+!?

 

[Greco-N.N., Italy, 1620?, continued with 8.Qf5+ Kd6 9.d4 Bg7 10.Bxf4+ Ke7 11.Bg5+ Bf6 12.e5 Bxg5 13.Qxg5+ Ke8 14.Qh5+ Ke7 15.O-O Qe8 16.Qg5+ Ke6 17.Rf6+ Nxf6 18.Qxf6+ Kd5 19.Nc3+ Kxd4 20.Qf4+ Kc5 21.b4+ Kc6 22.Qc4+ Kb6 23.Na4mate 1-0. Both moves seem good enough to win the game.]

 
8…Kxd4 9.b4 Bxb4+ 10.c3+ Bxc3+ 11.Nxc3 Kxc3

2020_02_13_B

12.Bb2+! Kxb2 (If Black was to play 12…Kd3!?, then White would castle queenside to continue the attack.) 13.Qe2+ Kxa1 14.O-Omate 1-0
Black get his revenge in these games.

 

N.N.-C. Meyer
Ansbach, Germany, 1931
1.b3 d5 2.Bb2 Bg4 3.h3 Bh5 4.Qc1 Nd7 5.e3 e5 6.Be2 Ngf6 7.Bxh5 Nxh5 8.Qd1 g6 9.f4 Qh4+ 10.Ke2 Ng3+ 11.Kd3 Nc5+ 12.Kc3 Nge4+ 13.Kb4 Nd3+ 14.Ka4 b5+ 15.Ka5 Bb4+ 16.Ka6 Qf6+ 17.Kb7 Qb6+ 18.Kxa8 O-Omate 0-1

 

Lodewijk Prins-Lawrence Day
1968 Lugano Olympiad
Switzerland, 1968
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 a6 4.Be2 Nc6 5.O-O Nf6 6.Nc3 Qc7 7.a3 b6 8.d4 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Bb7 10.Be3 Bd6 11.h3 Be5 12.Qd3 h5 13.Rfc1 Bh2+ 14.Kf1 Ne5 15.Qd1 Nxe4 16.Na4 Nc5 17.Nxb6 Qxb6 18.Nf3 Qc6 19.Bxc5 Bf4 20.Be3 Bxe3 21.fxe3 Ng4 22.hxg4 hxg4 23.Ne1 Rh1+ 24.Kf2 g3 25.Kxg3 Rxe1 26.Qxe1 Qxg2+ 27.Kf4 g5 28.Ke5 Qe4+ (There are some sources which claim that White resigned here. Personally, I prefer that the game continued to the mate.) 29.Kf6 Qf5+ 30.Kg7 Qg6+ 31.Kh8 O-O-Omate 0-1

 

 

Now you might believe that mating by castling can only happen when the enemy king is on your first rank. But that isn’t true.

 

 

Antonin Kvicala-N.N.
[B20]
1.e4 c5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 e6 4.Nc3 a6 5.d4 b5 6.d5 bxc4 7.dxc6 d6 8.e5 d5 9.Bg5 f6 10.exf6 Nxf6 11.Ne5 h6 12.c7 Qxc7 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Qh5+ Ke7 15.Qf7+ Kd6 16.Qxf6 Be7 17.Ne4+ dxe4 18.O-O-Omate 1-0

 

N.N.-Ryan Marcelonis
Internet Game, Sept. 15 2015
[Believed to be the fastest game ending in a castling mate.]
1.e4 c5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 d6 4.e5 Qc7 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.d4 dxe5 7.Nxe5 Nxe5 8.dxe5 Bxb5 9.a4 Qxe5+
2020_02_13_C

10.Kd2? (White has the better 10.Be3 Qxb2 11.axb5 Qxa1 12.O-O e6, and while he is losing, he is not completely lost.) 10…O-O-Omate 0-1

STOP BRAGGING!

There must be something between large egos and chess players. They, the players, are known for bragging and boasting for the prowess in the game, sometimes even justified. But really, do we need all this boasting, bragging, arrogance, crowing, cockiness, after every game?? What ever happened to just being a gentleman? Isn’t that what tutors and teachers of the game (try to) install into their students?

 
But such attitudes go at least far back as the 19th century. Morphy faced some pretty big egos and when he traveled to Europe and some American players were apparently doing the same in the states.

 
Maybe it’s now just part of the game.

 

It was back in the 1980’s when I was first started to study and learn chess, as opposed to just playing the game. Labate’s Chess Centre held a blitz tournament every Friday night and I took part in many of these tournaments.

 

During this particular Friday night there was an expert chess player. He was slightly tall, and slightly skinny lad in his 20s. He had dark hair and walked around the room with an air of arrogance. He was also my first-round opponent.

 
We walked to the table and even before we shook hands he said he was better than me and was going to beat me. I remembered replying, “Shall I resign now?”

 

He didn’t expect that. But we still had a game to play.

1.e4 c5 2.f4 (The Grand Prix attack. It was very popular in the latter part of the 1980s. Black has a number of ways to combat this King’s Gambit version of the Sicilian, including 2…d5. Which is the main reason I gave up on this Sicilian sideline.) 2…d6 3.Nf3 Bg4?! (This is not the best as the game now mirrors the Kings’ Gambit more closely; a opening I knew- and still know – very well.) 4.Bc4 Nc6 5.e5!? (I am guessing my opponent would have difficulty with this move as he was playing very, very fast, trying to be beat me on time as well as position. All is fair in a 5 minute game.) 5…dxe5 (My opponent actually laughed at this point. He whispered to me, “I’ve won a pawn.” Then he looked at me before continuing, “Now what?”) 6.Nxe5 (I remember thinking, and maybe I did respond to him with, “But I’ve won a piece”. He looked at the free queen and smiled and smiled and excitedly asked me, “How are going to win without your queen?” He grabbed it quickly.) 6…Bxd1 (I just sat there for a little while as my opponent basked in his glory and gluttony. Have to admit it, but I did enjoy savoring the moment before playing my move.) 7.Bxf7# 1-0

 

And my opponent stood up and walked away without saying a word or shaking my hand. What did all his boasting do for him? Nothing but a source of a amusement for his opponent.

 

 

It was in 1991 that the US Open was last held in Los Angeles, CA. I played in that tournament and remembered playing chess morning, noon, and night. I know I shipped at least a few meals during that tournament.
Anyway…

 

One of my opponent was slightly drunk when he and I sat down to play in the Open. Unfortunately, he slightly squiffy. He walked with a off-balance gait, spoke in a slurred speech and I smelled alcohol on his breath when he sat down. Yup, he was drunk.

 

Gomez Baillo-Escalante
US Open
Los Angeles, Aug. 6 1991
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d5 (We’ve reached the Marshall Attack. This Black defence was more popular in the early 1990s and I was keen to try it out in this Open.) 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.d4 (More common is 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5.) 10…exd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.cxd4 (12.Qxd4 is better.) 12…Be6 13.Nc3 c6 14.Qh5 Qd7 15.Nxd5 cxd5 16.Bc2 g6 17.Qe5 Bd6 18.Qg5 Be7 19.Qh6 Bf6 20.Bg5 Bg7 21.Qh4 Bf5 22.Rac1 Rac8 23.Bxf5? Rxc1! 24.Rxc1 Qxf5 25.g4? Qe4 26.Be3 Bxd4 -+ 27.Bh6 Re8 28.Bg5 Bxb2 29.Qh6 Bxc1 30.Bxc1 Qxg4+ 31.Kf1 Qe2+ (with the idea of Re4) 0-1

 

Now, it was good game. But I didn’t feel right about getting it published. After all, I beat someone who was clearly not at his best. I wanted to be humble.

 

Well, two years later, a CD collection of chess games titled, Déjà vu, had this game in it. To this day, I don’t know how it ended up in there.

 

So much for being humble. I didn’t brag, but still, somehow, it got published.

 
But does such a thing as misplaced bragging happen in Master chess? I found this game in Chernev’s excellent “The Fireside Book of Chess”.]

 
Frank Marshall – Duz-Hotimirsky
Carlsbad, 1911
[D30]
[Chernev spelled “Carlsbad” as “Karlsbad”, a more popular form of spelling the city name in the 1940’s. All other notes by Chernev.]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 dxc4 4.e3 a6 5.Ne5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.Bxc4 Bc6 8.O-O Bd6 9.Nc3 Qh4 10.f4 Nf6 11.Bd2 Ng4 12.h3 Qg3

2020_01_16

(Black threats are 13…Qh2# and 13…Qxg2#. Dus had already run into the next room, exclaiming excitedly in his broken German, “Poor Marshall dead! Must be mate!” …) 13.Qxg4 (… One minute later he returned with “I am dead”.) 1-0

Three Pawns for a Piece

This blog was going to feature the Dragon. But one of my correspondence games ended today (12-11-2019), and it inspired the following article.

Enjoy!

 

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

 

Most players know a piece is equal to three pawns. Materially, this is even. The advantage, however, is to the side that is attacking.

 

In a line of the Najdorf Sozin, White sacrifices a piece for those three pawns. Despite some technical problems to solve, he usually does well.

 

The sacrifice begins with the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7?! 10.Bxe6! fxe6 11.Nxe6.

 

This is White doing well.

 
Stark-Geisel
corres.
E. Germany, 1989
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qc8 12.Nxg7+ Kd8 13.Nf5 Rf8 14.Bh6 Rf7 15.Qg3 Qe6 16.Rad1 Nh5 17.Qe3 Nd7 18.Bg5 Nhf6 19.Qg3 Ne5 20.f4 Ned7 21.Nxe7 1-0

 

Wallner (2075)-Pfaffel (1970)
Graz Ch., 1994
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qd7? [This is an error. Better is the more common 11.Qc8. You’ll find this same error (11…Qd7?) in some of the following games.] 12.Nxg7+ Kf7 13.Nf5 Nc6 14.Nd5 Ne5 15.Qg3 Bxd5 16.Qg7+ Ke8 17.Qxh8+ Bg8 18.Qg7 Nxe4 19.Qxg8+ 1-0

 

Guerrero Rodriguez (2130)-Frias Careaga (1399)
Mexico Ch.
Hermosillo, Mar. 29 2002
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.Qf3 Bb7 9.O-O Be7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qc8 12.Nxg7+ Kf7 13.Nf5 Nbd7

[13…b4?! doesn’t offer Black too much.

13…b4 14.Bg5 Rg8 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Nxd6 Qxd6 17.Rad1 Bd4 18.Ne2 Nc6 19.Nxd4 Nxd4 20.Qe3 Kc8 21.Rxd4 Qg6 22.g3 a5 23.c3 Ra6 24.cxb4 axb4 25.Rc1+ Kb8 26.Rxb4 h5 27.a4 Re6 28.Qf4+ Ka8 29.Rc5 Rd8 30.Rxb7 Rd1+ 31.Kg2 Qxe4+ 32.Qxe4 Rxe4 33.Rh7 1-0 (N. Aliavdin (2377)-I. Lada (2130), Karkonosze Open A, Karpacz, Poland, Feb. 22 2011.]

14.Bg5 Qf8 15.Bh6 Qd8 16.Nd5 Bxd5 17.exd5 Nf8 18.Bg7 Ng6 19.Bxh8 Qxh8 20.Rae1 Ra7 21.Qe3 Rb7? (22.Qe5+ K~ 23.Qc8+ ~ 24.Qxb7) 1-0

 

Langerak-Smits
Hengelo U10 Open, Aug. 4 2003
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 b5 7.Bb3 e6 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qd7 12.Nxg7+ Kd8 13.Nf5 Rf8 14.Bg5 Qe8 15.Rad1 Kc7 16.Qd3 Qd7 17.e5 dxe5 18.Qxd7+ Nfxd7 19.Nxe7 Nc6 20.Ncd5+ Kb8 21.Nxc6+ Bxc6 22.Nb4 1-0

 

Atousa Pourkashiyan (2241)-Irine Kharisma Sukandar (2303)
Rapid Game
Women’s WMSG
Beijing, Oct. 6 2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Be7 8.O-O b5 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qd7 12.Nxg7+ Kf7 13.Nf5 Qe6 14.Qh3 Bf8 15.Bh6 Rg8 16.Bxf8 Kxf8 17.Qh6+ Kf7 18.Qf4 Rd8 19.Rad1 Bc6 20.Nxd6+ Kg6 21.Rd3 h6 22.Nf5!

2019_12_12_A

1-0 (White’s threat is aimed at h6. If 22…Rh8, then 23.Qg3+ does the trick.)

 

A. Danin (2570)-Gera Richter (2101)
Schloss Open
Werther, Germany, Mar. 24 2013
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qc8 12.Nxg7+ Kf7 13.Nf5 Nbd7 14.Qg3 Bf8 15.Nxd6+ Bxd6 16.Qxd6 Nxe4 17.Nxe4 Bxe4 18.Bg5 Qc6 19.Qe7+ Kg6 20.Rad1 Bd5 21.Bc1 Nf6 22.Rd3 Ne4 23.f4 Rhf8 24.g4 Bf7 25.Rh3 Kg7 26.Be3 Rae8 27.Qh4 h5 28.f5 Rg8 29.g5 Kf8 30.g6 Re5 31.Qf4 Qd5 32.Rxh5 Ke8 33.Rh4 Kd7 34.Rh7 Re7 35.Qf3 Ke8 36.Kh1 Nf2+ 37.Rxf2 Qxf3+ 38.Rxf3 Bd5 39.Rxe7+ Kxe7 40.Kg2 Kf6 41.Bd4+ Kg5 42.Kf2 Bxf3 43.Kxf3 Kxf5 44.g7 Re8 45.c3 Kg6 46.Kf4 Kh7 47.Be5 Rd8 48.Ke3 Rd5 49.Ke4 Rd2 50.c4 bxc4 51.Bd4 a5 52.a4 Rd1 53.Kd5 c3 54.bxc3 Rd2 55.c4 Rxh2 56.c5 Rh5+ 57.Kc4 Rh1 58.c6 Rh6 59.Kb5 Kg8 60.c7 1-0

 
Now Black does not have to take the offered bishop. He can simply decline the material. But he is still a pawn down and White has a budding attack.

 

This is White doing very well.

 

Beukenhorst-Roellig
Germany U20 Ch.
Hamburg, 1993
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 Qb6? (Black is lost. White can just play 11.Be3 and gain a tempo in every line.) 11.Be3 fxe6 12.Nxe6 Qc6 13.Nd5 Nbd7 14.Nxg7+ Kf7 15.Nf5 Bf8 16.Bd4 Ne5 17.Nh6+ 1-0

 

Escalante-“kennethvenken”
Najdorf Thematic
http://www.chess.com, 2019
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 Qb6? 11.Be3 fxe6 12.Nxe6 Qc6 13.Nxg7+ Kf8 14.Nf5 Nbd7 15.Nd5 Bd8 16.Bh6+ Kf7 17.Rfe1 Ne5 18.Qb3 [The chess.com computer suggests 18.Qa3! (hitting the d6 pawn) Nxd5 19.Nxd6+ Qxd6 20.Qxd6 Bc7 21.Qa3 Nf6 22.Qb3+ Kg6. But there is nothing wrong with the text move which is more direct.]

2019_12_12_B

18…Nxd5

[Not 18…Qc5? due to 19.Nxf6+ Kxf6 20.Bg7+ Kg5 (20…Kg6? 21.Qe6+ Bf6 22.Qxf6+ Kh5 23.Qh6+ Kg4 24.h3#) 21.Qe6 and Black can’t fight off mate; 21…Qxf2+ 22.Kxf2 Ng4+ 23.Kg3 Bf6 24.Nxd6 Be5+ 25.Bxe5 Nxe5 26.h4+ Kh5 27.Qxe5+ Kg6 28.Qg5#, 21…Nf3+ 22.gxf3 Qxf2+ 23.Kxf2 Bb6+ 24.Ke2 h6 25.Bxh6+ Rxh6 26.Qxh6#, 21…Kf4 22.Bh6+ Bg5 23.Bxg5+ Kxg5 24.Qh6+ Kg4 25.h3#, 21…Bf6 22.Qxf6+ Kh5 23.Qh6+ Kg4 24.h3#, 21…Kg5 22.Qh6+ Kg4 23.h3#, 21…Kh5 22.Qh6+ Kg4 23.h3#.]

19.Rad1 Qd7 20.Rxd5 Bxd5 21.Qxd5+ 1-0 [Black resigned. He’s facing lines such as 21…Qe6 22.Nxd6+ (22…Kf6 23.Bg7+! +-) 22…Ke7 23.Nf5+ Kf6 24.Qxa8 Rg8 25.Bg7+ Rxg7 26.Nxg7 Kxg7 27.Qb7+ Kf6 28.Qxh7 Bb6 29.Qh6+ Ng6 30.e5+ Kf5 31.Qh5+.]