Happy THANKSGIVING!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

After dinner, or whatever you may do, always remember to enjoy the dessert.

It’s White to move and win. Answer next week.

J. Dziel-S. Gorkiewicz
corres.
Poland 1990/2

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 Ne7 6.Qg4!? (White has a number of good moves here. Erdall-Hatherill, Pensacola, 1982 continued with 6.Ba3!? O-O 7.Bd3 b6 8.Nh3 Ba6 9.Bxh7+ Kh8 10.Qh5 Ng8 11.Bxg8+ Kxg8 12.Ng5 Qxg5 13.Qxg5 Re8 14.Be7 Nd7 15.Bf6 Nxf6 16.exf6 1-0.) 6…O-O 7.Bg5 Qd7 8.Bd3 Nbc6 9.h4 Nf5 10.Bf6 Nce7 11.h5 Kh8


Two recent tactical shorts

Earlier this week I won two interesting, and quite fun, games.

Oh! – before I go on, I’ve got to mention that I won both games on the same day. I found two resignations on my cell phone when I woke up. Nice way to start the day!

My opponent likes to keep the position closed. So a gambit is the way to go!

Escalante (2020)-“PaulKaspar” (1907)
USCF Internal Championship, Spring 2020 (Round 4)
chess.com, Oct.-Nov. 2021

1.e4 c6 (The Caro-Kann, usually a safe response to 1.e4.) 2.d4 d5 3.f3 (The gambit is known as the Fantasy variation. Not only is it tactical, but there are many unexplored paths.) 3…e6 4.Nc3 dxe4 5.fxe4 Bb4 6.Bd3 Ne7?! (Black also has 6…Qxd4 7.Bd2 Nd7 8.Nf3 Qd6!? But I was willing to try this line as White has some open lines to play with.) 7.a3 Ba5 8.Nf3 Nd7 9.O-O O-O (Better is 9…O-O. The text move closes all attacking chances by Black. And White’s attack is still brewing.) 10.e5! c5?


11.Bxh7+! (Black loses quickly after 11…Kxh7 12.Ng5+ Kg6 13.Qg4 f5 14.Qg3. His best, which only loses, is 11…Kh8 12.Ng5 Nxe5 13.Be3.) 1-0

Earlier this year I self-published 2000 Sozin Miniatures (3rd Edition) and 2000 Dragon Miniatures. I concluded, and stated in both books, that Black wastes time and can easily run into problems if he combines these two (separate) openings.

Escalante (2008)-“Tacktickle” (2111)
USCF Internal Championship, Spring 2020 (Round 4)
chess.com, Oct.-Nov. 2021

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 (OK – this is the Najdorf) 6.Bc4 (And this move makes this game into a Sozin Najdorf. Which doesn’t last long as Black attempts to make it into a main line Dragon.) 6…g6?! (This Najdorf Sozin-Dragon hybrid can cause Black to be on the defensive very quickly.) 7.Bb3 Bg7 8.Be3 O-O 9.f3 Nbd7 10.Qd2 (White continues to develop as if this game was a pure Dragon setup, a perfectly good response to the hybrid.) 10…Qc7 11.O-O-O Ne5 12.Bh6 Nc4? (Black has better with the counter-intuitive 12…Nc6, which at least keeps his center flexible.) 13.Bxc4 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 Qxc4 15.h4! (Opening up Black’s position by creating a pawn storm; a well-known thematic idea in the Dragon.) 15…Bd7 (> 15…Rc8) 16.h5! (The pawn now enters Black’s territory.) 15…Bc6 17.g4! Rfc8 18.g5 Nxh5 (This might be Black’s best move, but it runs into another thematic idea in the Dragon.)



19.Rxh5! gxh5 20.Nf5 1-0

Nameless gambit?

There is an opening, or rather a gambit, that appears to have no name. Yet, this series of moves is well-known among most chess players. But no matter what you may call it, Black doesn’t do that well.

Let’s look at it.

1.e4 b6

Now known as a Owen’s Defence, this move seeks to avoid main lines after 1.d4 and 1.e4. But as you will soon see, there are main lines that arise from 1.e4 b6 as well. And one of those lines is the gambit.

2.d4 Bb7

White takes advantage of the opportunity to take the center.

3.Bd3!?

Usual move here is 3.Nc3 e6 with similarities to a Nimzo-Queen’s Indian hybrid.

Before we get to the gambit line, let’s look at some tamer, and safer, Black lines.

Eliska Richtrova (2355)-Ewa Nagrocka (2145)
Wuppertal, Women’s, 1990
1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 b6 3.e4 Bb7 4.Bd3 Bd6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.O-O Bxc3 7.bxc3 Ne7 8.c4 O-O 9.Bb2 d6 10.Rb1 Nd7 11.Ng5 h6 12.Nh3 e5 13.f4 exd4 14.Bxd4 Nc6 15.Bc3 Qh4 16.Rf3 Nc5 17.Rg3 g6 18.Qd2 Rae8 19.Nf2 Ne6 20.Ng4 f6 21.f5 Ned4 22.Nxh6+ Kg7 23.Rxg6+ Kh7 24.Ng4 1-0

Zbigniew Gorecki (2005)-Augusto Caruso (2286)
Padova Open, Dec. 2 2000
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 b6 4.e4 Bb7 5.Bd3 d5!?
(By far, the most common response is 5…e6. The text move is an attempt to throw White off his game by introducing a less common move. It works in this game.) 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Qb3 Nxe4 8.Nxe4 dxe4 9.Bc4 Qe7 10.Bd2 Nc6 11.Bc3 O-O-O 12.Ne2 Qg5 13.O-O e3 14.f4 Qg4 15.h3 Qh5 16.Bxf7 Qxe2 17.Rae1 Qd3 18.Qe6+ Kb8 19.Rxe3 Nxd4 20.Qe5 Qc2 21.Rf2 Qf5 22.Bh5 Qxe5 23.fxe5 Bc5 24.b4 Nf5 0-1

Daniel Ludwig (2338)-FM Miles Ardaman (2356)
U.S. Masters, 2006
Hendersonville, NC, 2006
1.e4 b6 5.Nc3 Nxd3+ 6.Qxd3 e6 7.O-O-O Ne7 8.d5 d6 9.Qc4 e5 10.Nb5 Kd7 11.f4 a6 12.Nc3 exf4 13.Bxf4 Ng6 14.Bg3 Qg5+ 15.Kb1 h5 16.Nf3 Qg4 17.Rd4 h4 18.e5 Qxf3 19.gxf3 hxg3 20.e6+ fxe6 21.dxe6+ Kd8 22.Qe2 Rh6 23.Rg4 Ne5 24.Rxg3 Rxe6 25.Re1 Rf6 26.Ne4 Rf5 27.Rg5 Rf7 28.Rxe5 dxe5 29.Ng5 Re7 30.Qd3+ Rd7 31.Qf5 Bd6 32.Nf7+ Ke8 33.Nxe5 Re7 34.Qh5+ Kd8 35.Nf7+ Kd7 36.Qg4+ 1-0

But now Black unleashes his gambit:

3…f5

Black stakes a claim in the center and has the possible threat of …fxe4

White can decline the f-pawn of course.

Schelli-Andrae
corres. 1985
1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.Nc3 Nf6! 5.Qe2 e6 6.f3
(As it turns out, slow and quiet moves do not work in this variation. Better is 6.Bd2 with the idea of O-O-O, as the kingside is rapidly becoming a mess.) 6…fxe4 7.Bxe4 Nxe4 8.Nxe4 Be7 9.Nh3 O-O 10.Nhf2 Nc6 11.O-O Nxd4 12.Qd3 Nf5 13.Bd2 d5 14.Nc3 a5 15.Rfe1 Ba6! 0-1

Zolnierowicz-Zvara
Prague 1990
1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.f3 e5?!
(The start of a bad plan.) 5.dxe5 fxe4 6.fxe4 Bxe4?! (Black was hoping for 7. Bxe4? Qh4+ 8. Kf1 Qxe4. White avoids this problematic check with a simple developing move.) 7.Nf3 Bxd3 8.Qxd3 Bc5 9.Nc3 Nc6 10.Bg5 Be7 11.Bxe7 Ngxe7 12.O-O-O Ng6 13.e6 O-O 14.exd7 Kh8 15.Qe4 Na5 16.Rhe1 Qf6 17.Qxa8 1-0

Owosina-Khamdanov
Moscow Ol.
Russia, 1994

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.Qe2 Nf6 5.Nd2 (5.e5!?) 5…g6 6.Ngf3 fxe4 7.Nxe4 Bg7 8.Bg5 O-O 9.O-O-O Nc6 10.c3 Kh8 11.h4 Nh5 12.Qe3 Qe8 13.g4 Qf7 14.gxh5 Qxf3 15.hxg6 d5 16.Nd2 Qxe3 17.fxe3 e5 18.gxh7 Na5 19.Rhf1 c5 20.dxc5 bxc5 21.e4 c4 22.Be2 d4 23.Rxf8+ Rxf8 24.Rf1 d3 25.Rxf8+ Bxf8 26.Bg4 Kxh7 27.Bf5+ Kg7 28.Be6 Ba6 29.Bd5 Bb5 30.Be3 Kg6 31.Bxa7 Bh6 32.Bb6 Nc6 33.Kd1 Kh5 34.Bxc4 Bxc4 35.Nxc4 Kxh4 36.a4 Kg4 37.a5 Kf3 38.a6 Kxe4 39.a7 Nxa7 40.Bxa7 Kd5 41.Be3 Bf8 42.Nd2 Be7 43.c4+ Kc6 44.Ne4 Bb4 45.Bd2 Bc5 46.b4 Bd4 1-0 (Black can’t stop Kc1, Kb1, Ka2, Kb3, etc.)

4.exf5

This move lets Black spear the h1-rook. But this move is probably the best for White. Things now get very interesting.

Black cannot immediately take the g-pawn as he loses quickly.

Here is the game that popularized White’s response to Black’s gambit.

Greco-N.N.
Rome 1620?

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 (White is willing to give up his rook to get the king.) 4…Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Nf6 (This is a huge error. Black has to play 6…Bg7 7.gxh7+ Kf8 8.hxg8=Q+ Kxg8 and while White’s rook may fall, Black has to worry about his very exposed king. Amusing by the way, is 6.fxg6 e5? 7.g7+ Ke7 8.Qxe5+ Kf7 9.gxh8=N#) 7.gxh7+ (White is now willing to give up his queen for the forced mate. King safety is more important than safety for the rook or queen, and even both. Note: While 7.g7+ Nxh5 8.gxh8=Q Bxh1 9.Qxh7 would eventually win, the text move is faster, and fast attacks are always better for winning the game (less mistakes possible) and for one’s own ego.) 7…Nxh5 8.Bg6mate 1-0

So Black must do something other than to immediately take the g2-pawn or the h1-Rook. In fact, he can never the rook (due to the tempi needed to take the rook and the fact that his king ends up being a target). And probably can’t ever take the g2-pawn either.

Here is why he can never take the rook:

Hecker-Roos
Dusseldorf, 1935

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Bg7 7.gxh7+ Kf8 8.hxg8=Q+ Kxg8 9.Qg5 Bxh1 10.f3 Rxh2 11.Qd5+ e6 12.Qxa8 Qh4+ 13.Kd1 Qf2 14.Qxb8+ Kf7 15.Ne2 Bxf3 16.Kd2 Bxd4 (16…Qxd4 17.Qe8+ Kxe8 18.Ke1 Rh1+ 19.Ng1 Qxg1+ 20.Bf1 Qxf1+ 21.Kd2 Qe2#) 17.Bg6+ (17.c3 Be3+ 18.Kc2 Bxe2 19.Bg6+ Kg7 20.Bd2 Bxd2 21.Nxd2) 17…Kg7 (18.Qg8+ Kxg8 19.Bh7+ Kxh7 20.Kd3 Qxe2+ 21.Kxd4 c5+ 22.Kc3 Qxc2#) 0-1

Zakeralo-Drevoricev, 1955
1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Bg7 7.gxh7+ Kf8 8.hxg8=Q+ Kxg8 9.Qg5 Bxh1 10.f3 Rxh2 11.Qd5+ e6 12.Qxa8 Qh4+ 13.Kd1 Qf2 14.Qxb8+ Kf7 15.Ne2 Bxf3 16.Nc3 Qf1+ 17.Kd2 Bh6mate 0-1

Standler-Muhin
corres. 1973
1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Bg7 7.gxh7+ Kf8 8.hxg8=Q+ Rxg8 9.Nf3 Bxh1 10.Ng5 Qe8 11.Nh7mate 0-1
(similar to the Greco game above.)

Kapitaniak-Mino
Romania, 1976

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Bg7 7.gxh7+ Kf8 8.Nf3! Bxh1 9.Ne5 Bxe5 10.dxe5 Bd5 11.hxg8=Q+ Kxg8 12.Qg6+ Kf8 13.Bh6+ Rxh6 14.Qxh6+ Kf7 15.Bg6+ Ke6 16.Bh5+ Kxe5 17.f4+ Kf5 18.Qg5+ Ke4 19.Qe5# 1-0

Waller-Wurditsch
Austria Ch., 1977

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Bg7 7.gxh7+ Kf8 8.Nf3 Nf6 9.Qg6! Bxh1 10.Bh6 Rxh7 11.Ng5 Bxh6 12.Nxh7+ Nxh7 13.Qxh6+ Kf7 14.Qxh7+ Ke6 15.Qh6+ Kd5 (15…Kf7 16.Bg6+ Ke6 17.Be4+ Kf7 18.Qh7+ Kf8 19.Bg6 Bd5 20.Qh8+ Bg8 21.Qh6#) 16.Nc3+ Kxd4 17.Qe3mate 1-0

Jennings-Diebert
Columbus, 1979

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Bg7 7.gxh7+ Kf8 8.Nf3 Nf6 9.Qg6 Bxh1 10.Bh6 Rxh7 11.Ng5 Bxh6 12.Nxh7+ Nxh7 13.Qxh6+ Kf7 14.Bg6+ Ke6 15.Bxh7+ Kd5 16.Nc3+ Kc4 (16…Kxd4 17.Qe3+ Kc4 18.b3#) 17.Bd3+ Kxd4 18.Qe3mate 1-0

What happens if Black was to take the f3-knight instead of the h1-rook? The short answer is that it is better as Black loses at a slower pace.

Carlsson-Frausing
Denmark, 1977

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Bg7 7.gxh7+ Kf8 8.Nf3 Nf6 9.Qg6 Bxf3 10.Rg1 Rxh7 11.Qg3 Be4 12.Bxe4 Nxe4 13.Qf3+ Kg8 14.Qxe4 d5 (14…Nc6?! 15.Bf4 +-) 15.Qe6+ Kh8 16.Nc3 +- (16.Bg5? Qd7! ; 16.Rg2 Qd7 17.c3 e5) 16…Qd7 17.Qxd5 Qxd5 18.Nxd5 Nc6 19.c3 e5 20.Nxc7 Rc8 21.d5 +- Rxc7 22.dxc6 Rxh2 23.Be3 Rxc6 24.O-O-O Rc7 25.Rd8+ Kh7 26.Rgd1 Rh4 27.R8d7 Rhc4 28.Kc2 Kg8 29.R1d5 Kf8 30.Rxc7 Rxc7 31.b3 Ke7 32.c4 Ke6 33.a4 Bf8 34.a5 Bc5 35.axb6 axb6 36.Kc3 Rf7 37.b4 Bd4+ 38.Bxd4 exd4+ 39.Kxd4 Rf4+ 40.Kd3 Rf3+ 41.Ke4 Rf6 42.Rb5 Kd7 43.f4 Kc6 44.Rg5 Re6+ 45.Kf5 Re1 46.Rg6+ Kc7 47.b5 Rc1 48.Rc6+ Kd7 49.Kf6 Rh1 50.f5 Rh4 51.Kg7 Rg4+ 52.Kf7 Rf4 53.f6 Rh4 54.Kg7 Rg4+ 55.Kf8 Rf4 56.f7 Rg4 57.Rxb6 Rxc4 58.Rg6 Rf4 59.Kg8 Ke7 60.Rg2 1-0

Kolenbrander-Perrenet
corres.
Netherlands, 1979

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Bxg2 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Bg7 7.gxh7+ Kf8 8.Nf3 Nf6 9.Qg6 Bxf3 10.Rg1 Rxh7 11.Qg3 Be4 12.Bxe4 Nxe4 13.Qf3+ Nf6 14.Qxa8 d5 15.Nc3 c6 16.Bf4 Nfd7 17.O-O-O e5 18.dxe5 Qc7 19.Rxg7 Kxg7 20.Nxd5 cxd5 21.Qxd5 Nf8 22.Rg1+ 1-0

Well, If Black can’t take the h1-rook, or the f3-knight, can he at least take the g2-pawn? Black must play this move to gain any material for the attack that is about to commence on his side of the board, so he is virtually forced to play into this variation with the queen check.

Maybe Black can play 4…Nf6 and wait a tempo or two before snagging the g2-pawn. Can that win the game for him? I don’t know, but with the games on hand, I wouldn’t count on it.

Ploder-Daikeler
corres., 1986

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.fxe6 dxe6 7.Qe2 Qe7 8.Bg5 Nbd7 9.O-O O-O-O 10.Ne5 g6 11.Ba6 Kb8 12.Bxb7 Kxb7 13.Nxd7 Rxd7 14.Qf3+ Rd5 15.Bxf6 Qb4 16.Nc3 Qxb2 17.Nxd5 exd5 18.Qxd5+ Ka6 19.Rab1 Qxc2 20.Rfc1 Qf5 21.Qc4+ 1-0

“TrustHim”-“MikeMinaev”
VOG Chess

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Nf6 5.Be2 Bxg2 6.Bh5+ g6 7.fxg6 Bg7 8.gxh7+ Nxh5 9.Qxh5+ Kf8 10.Qf5+ Bf6 11.Bh6+ Kf7 12.Qh5+ Ke6 13.Qg4+ Kd6 14.Bf4+ e5 15.Bxe5+ Bxe5 16.dxe5+ Kxe5 17.f4+ Kd6 18.Qg6+ Kc5 19.b4+ Kxb4 20.Qxg2 Qh4+ 21.Kd1 Nc6 22.Qd5 Qf6 23.Ne2 Qxa1 24.a3+ Qxa3 25.Nxa3 Kxa3 26.Qb3mate 1-0

Turner-Moreland, 1993
1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Nf6 5.Be2 e6 6.Bh5+ Ke7 7.Bf3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 d5 9.Qe2 Qd7 10.Nf3 c5 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Ng5 Nc6 13.Nxe6 Kf7 14.Ng5+ Kg8 15.Qe6+ Qxe6+ 16.fxe6 Nd4 17.Na3 Nxe6 18.O-O Nd4 19.Re1 Re8 20.Rxe8 Nxe8 21.c3 Ne2+ 22.Kf1 Nxc1 23.Rxc1 Nd6 24.Rd1 d4 25.cxd4 cxd4 26.Rxd4 Be7 27.Rd5 h6 28.Nf3 1-0

Ariel Mordetzki-Andres De La Torre (1692)
Marcel Duchamp Open
Montevideo, Feb. 12 2017

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 f5 4.exf5 Nf6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.O-O Bd5 (At this point Black has white squared holes in his position that will prove hard to cover.) 8.c4 Bf7!? 9.Nc3 c6 10.Qa4 Qc7 11.Qa6 Qc8 12.Qxc8+ Rxc8 13.Rfe1 g6 14.fxg6 hxg6 15.Bf4 Kd8 16.Ng5 Bg8 17.Bxg6 Bxc4 18.Bf7! +- Nh5 19.Bxc4 Nxf4 20.Nf7+ Kc7 21.Nxh8 Bg7 22.g3 Nh3+ 23.Kg2 Rxh8 24.Rxe7 Bf8 25.Re8 Nf6 26.Rxf8 Rxf8 27.Kxh3 Rh8+ 28.Kg2 1-0

Longest Sea-serpent?

Chernev called them “SEA-SERPENTS”. What are they? Simply put, they are chess games exceeding 100 moves. The name reminds one of the long list of moves each player has to record in a tournament game.

Which brings up the following question: “Just how long is the longest game in chess?”

Is it 120 moves? 150 moves? Not even close.

175 moves? Getting closer.

200 moves? Still longer.

250 moves, right?

Nope!

The longest game in history is whopping 269 moves, played over 23 ½ hours.

It seems ridiculous, but it’s true. I was amazed when I goth news – even more when I finally got the score.

I made some notes to the game and added a few diagrams just in case you get lost. I also added a PGN file (minus the diagrams of course) – for those of you who rather push buttons than pieces (or don’t have a readily available set).

Let’s go!

Ivan Nikolić-Goran Arsović
Belgrade, Feb. 17 1989
[E95]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 Nbd7 7.O-O e5 8.Re1 Re8 [Black can’t be too aggressive in the KID. ECO gives the following: 8…Ng4?! 9.h3 (or 9.Bg5 f6 10.Bh4 g5 11.Bg3 Nh6 12.Qd2 Nf7 13.Rad1 g4 14.Nh4 exd4 15.Nb5 +/- Bilek-G. Garcia, Havana 1965) 9…exd4 10.Nxd4 Nxf2 11.Kxf2 Qh4+ 12.Kf1 f5 13.Nf3 fxe4 14.Qd5+ +/-.] 9.Bf1 h6!? (An unusual move. Marini-Czerniak, Mar del Plata Zonal 1950, continued with 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.h3 b6 12.Be3 Bb7 13.Qc2 Kh7 14.Red1 c6 15.c5 Qe7 16.cxb6 axb6 17.Nd2 b5 18.a3 Nh5 19.Nb3 Nf4 20.Rd2 Ne6 21.Rad1 Red8 22.Na2 Rac8 23.f3 Ndf8 24.Nc5 Nd4 25.Qc3 Nfe6 26.Nxe6 Qxe6 27.b4 Rc7 28.Nc1 f5 29.Nd3 Qf6 30.f4 fxe4 31.Nxe5 g5 32.fxg5 Qxe5 33.Bxd4 Qxg5 34.Bxg7 Rxd2 35.Qxd2 Qxg7 36.Qf4 c5 37.Qf5+ Qg6 38.Rd7+ Rxd7 39.Qxd7+ Qg7 40.Qxg7+ Kxg7 41.bxc5 Bc6 42.Kf2 Kf6 43.Ke3 Ke5 44.g4 Kd5 45.Bg2 Kxc5 46.Bxe4 Be8 47.h4 Kd6 48.Kf4 Ke6 49.g5 hxg5+ 50.Kxg5 Ke7 51.Bd5 Kd6 52.Ba2 Ke7 53.Bb3 Kd6 54.Bc2 Ke7 55.Bg6 Bc6 56.h5 Kf8 57.Bd3 Kg7 58.h6+ Kf7 59.Kf5 Bd7+ 60.Ke5 Bg4 61.Bxb5 Bd1 62.Bd3 Bh5 63.Kd4 Kf6 64.Kc3 Kf7 65.Kb4 Bd1 66.Bc4+ Kg6 67.Bb3 Be2 68.a4 Kxh6 69.Bc4 Bf3 70.a5 1-0.) 10.d5 Nh7 11.Rb1 f5 12.Nd2 (And Muresan-Semenova, Women’s World Semi-Finals, 1983, continued with 12.b4 f4 13.Ba3 Bf8 14.Nd2 g5 15.Nb3 Ndf6 16.c5 Re7 17.Na5 Rg7 18.Nc4 g4 19.Rb3 Ng5 20.cxd6 cxd6 21.b5 Nf3+ 22.Kh1 Nxe1 23.Qxe1 h5 24.b6 a6 25.Na5 h4 26.Bc4 g3 27.Nd1 Qe8 28.fxg3 hxg3 29.hxg3 Qg6 30.Nf2 Qh7+ 0-1.) 12…f4 13.b4 g5 14.Nb3 Bf8 (14…Ndf6!?) 15.Be2 Ndf6 16.c5 g4 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.a3 Ng5 19.Bf1 Re7 20.Qd3 Rg7 21.Kh1 Qe8 22.Nd2 g3 23.fxg3 fxg3 24.Qxg3 Nh3 25.Qf3 Qg6 26.Nc4 Bd7 27.Bd3 Ng5 28.Bxg5 Qxg5 29.Ne3 Re8 30.Ne2 Be7 31.Rbd1 (Rbc1!?) 31…Rf8 32.Nf5 Ng4 33.Neg3 h5 34.Kg1 h4


35.Qxg4! Qxg4 36.Nh6+ Kh7 37.Nxg4 hxg3 38.Ne3 gxh2+ 39.Kxh2 Rh8 40.Rh1 Kg6+ 41.Kg1 Rc8 42.Be2 Rc3 43.Rd3 Rc1+ 44.Nf1 Bd8 45.Rh8 Bb6+ 46.Kh2 Rh7+ 47.Rxh7 Kxh7 48.Nd2 Bg1+ 49.Kh1 Bd4+ 50.Nf1 (50.Kh2! and White starts making progress.) 50…Bg4 51.Bxg4 Rxf1+ 52.Kh2 Bg1+ 53.Kh3 Re1 54.Bf5+ Kh6 55.Kg4 Re3 56.Rd1 Bh2 57.Rh1 Rg3+ 58.Kh4 Rxg2 59.Kh3 Rg3+ 60.Kxh2 Rxa3 61.Rg1 Ra6 62.Rg6+ Kh5 63.Kg3 Rb6 64.Rg7 Rxb4 65.Bc8 a5 66.Bxb7 a4 67.Bc6 a3 68.Ra7 Rb3+ 69.Kf2 Kg5 70.Ke2 Kf4 71.Ra4 Rh3 72.Kd2 a2 73.Bb5 Rh1 74.Rxa2 Rh2+ 75.Be2 Kxe4 76.Ra5 Kd4 77.Ke1 Rh1+ 78.Kf2 Rc1 79.Bg4 Rc2+ 80.Ke1 e4 81.Be6 Ke5 82.Bg8 Rc8 83.Bf7 Rc7 84.Be6 Rc2 85.Ra8 Rb2 86.Ra6 Rg2 87.Kd1 Rb2 88.Ra5 Rg2 89.Bd7 Rh2 90.Bc6 Kf4 91.Ra8 e3 92.Re8 Kf3 93.Rf8+ Ke4 94.Rf6 Kd3

95.Bb5+ Kd4 96.Rf5 Rh1+ 97.Ke2 Rh2+ 98.Kd1 Rh1+ 99.Kc2 Rh2+ 100.Kc1 Rh1+ 101.Kc2 Rh2+ 102.Kd1 Rh4 103.Ke2 Rh2+ 104.Kf1 Rb2 105.Be2 Ke4 106.Rh5 Rb1+ 107.Kg2 Rb2 108.Rh4+ Kxd5 109.Kf3 Kc5 110.Kxe3 Rb3+ 111.Bd3 d5 112.Rh8 Ra3 113.Re8 Kd6 114.Kd4 Ra4+ 115.Kc3 Ra3+ 116.Kd4 Ra4+ 117.Ke3 Ra3 118.Rh8 Ke5 119.Rh5+ Kd6 120.Rg5 Rb3 121.Kd2 Rb8 122.Bf1 Re8 123.Kd3 Re5 124.Rg8 Rh5 125.Bg2 Kc5 126.Rf8 Rh6 127.Bf3 Rg6 128.Rc8+ Rc6 129.Ra8 Rb6 130.Rd8 Rd6 131.Rf8 Rg6 132.Rf5 Rd6 133.Kc3 Rd8 134.Rg5 Rd6 135.Rh5 Rd8 136.Rf5 Rd6 137.Rf8 Ra6 138.Rc8+ Rc6 139.Ra8 Rb6 140.Ra5+ Rb5 141.Ra1 Rb8 142.Rd1 Rd8 143.Rd2 Rd7 144.Bg2 Rd8 145.Kd3 Ra8 146.Ke3 Re8+ 147.Kd3 Ra8 148.Kc3 Rd8 149.Bf3 Rd7 150.Kd3 Ra7 151.Bg2 Ra8 152.Rc2+ Kd6 153.Rc3 Ra2 154.Bf3 Ra8 155.Rb3 Ra5 156.Ke3 Ke5 157.Rd3 Rb5 158.Kd2 Rc5 159.Bg2 Ra5 160.Bf3 Rc5 161.Bd1 Rc8 162.Bb3 (FIDE’S Laws of Chess, Article 10.9a, stipulates that the 50 move draw rule can be extended to 100 moves when a position of K+R+B vs. K+R is reached. Here the Pawn invalidates that extension.) 162…Rc5 163.Rh3 Kf4 164.Kd3 Ke5 165.Rh5+ Kf4 166.Kd4 Rb5 167.Bxd5 (It now seems that White, after putting in so many moves and so much effort, might just win. But with this capture, a drawish K+R+B vs. K+R position is reached. And the game goes on. And on and on and on.) 167…Rb4+ 168.Bc4

168…Ra4 169.Rh7 Kg5 170.Rf7 Kg6 171.Rf1 Kg5 172.Kd5 Ra5+ 173.Ke6 Ra4 174.Bd5 Rf4 175.Re1 Rf6+ 176. Ke5 Rf5+ 177.Kd4 Kf6 178.Re6+ Kg5 179.Be4 Rf6 180.Re8 Kf4 181.Rh8 Rd6+ 182.Bd5 Rf6 183.Rh1 Kf5 184.Be4+ Ke6 185.Ra1 Kd6 186.Ra5 (186.Ra6+ and White gains a tiny advantage. Not enough to win, but he needs all the advantages he can gain to win the game.) Re6 187.Bf5 Re1 188.Ra6+ Ke7 189.Be4 Rc1 190.Ke5 Rc5+ 191.Bd5 Rc7 192.Rg6 Rd7 193.Rh6 Kd8 194.Be6 Rd2 195.Rh7 Ke8 196.Kf6 Kd8 197.Ke5 Rd1 198.Bd5 Ke8 199.Kd6 Kf8 200.Rf7+ Ke8 201.Rg7 Rf1 202.Rg8+ Rf8 203.Rg7 Rf6+ 204.Be6 Rf2 205.Bd5 Rf6+ 206.Ke5 Rf1 207.Kd6 Rf6+ 208.Be6 Rf2 209.Ra7 Kf8 210.Rc7 Rd2+ 211.Ke5 Ke8 212.Kf6 Rf1+ 213.Bf5 Rd2 214.Rc1 Rd6+ 215.Be6 Rd2 216.Rh1 Kd8 217.Rh7 Rd1 218.Rg7 Rd2 219.Rg8+ Kc7 220.Rc8+ Kb6 221.Ke5 Kb7 222.Rc3 Kb6 223.Bd5 Rh2 224.Kd6 Rh6+ 225.Be6 Rh5 226.Ra3 Ra5 227.Rg3 Rh5 228.Rg2 Ka5 229.Rg3 Kb6 230.Rg4 Rb5 231.Bd5 Rc5 232.Rg8 Rc2 233.Rb8+ Ka5 234.Bb3 Rc3 235.Kd5 Rc7 236.Kd4 Rd7+ 237.Bd5 Re7 238.Rb2 Re8 239.Rb7 Ka6 240.Rb1 Ka5 241.Bc4 Rd8+ 242.Kc3 Rh8 243.Rb5+ Ka4 244.Rb6 Rh3+ 245.Bd3 Rh5 246.Rc6 Rg5 247.Rh6 Ra5 248.Bc4 Rg5 249.Ra6+ Ra5

250.Rb6 (250.Bb2+ Kb5) 250…Rg5 251.Rb4+ Ka5 252.Rb2 Rg3+ 253.Kd4 Rg5 254.Bd5 Ka4 255.Kc5 Rg3 256.Ra2+ Ra3 257.Rb2 Rg3 258.Rh2 Rc3+ 259.Bc4 Rg3 260.Rc2 Rg5+ 261.Bd5 Rg3 262.Rh2 Rc3+ 263.Bc4 Rg3 264.Rh8 Ka3 265.Ra8+ Kb2 266.Ra2+ Kb1 267.Rf2 Kc1 268.Kd4 Kd1 269.Bd3 Rg7 1/2-1/2

[Event “Belgrade”]
[Site “Belgrade YUG”]
[Date “1989.02.17”]
[White “Nikolić, Ivan”]
[Black ” Arsović, Goran”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “E95”]
[PlyCount “538”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 Nbd7 7.O-O e5 8.Re1 Re8 {Black can’t be too aggressive in the KID. ECO gives the following: 8…Ng4?! 9.h3 (or 9.Bg5 f6 10.Bh4 g5 11.Bg3 Nh6 12.Qd2 Nf7 13.Rad1 g4 14.Nh4 exd4 15.Nb5 +/- Bilek-G. Garcia, Havana 1965) 9…exd4 10.Nxd4 Nxf2 11.Kxf2 Qh4+ 12.Kf1 f5 13.Nf3 fxe4 14.Qd5+ +/-.} 9.Bf1 h6 {An unusual move. Marini-Czerniak, Mar del Plata Zonal 1950, continued with 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.h3 b6 12.Be3 Bb7 13.Qc2 Kh7 14.Red1 c6 15.c5 Qe7 16.cxb6 axb6 17.Nd2 b5 18.a3 Nh5 19.Nb3 Nf4 20.Rd2 Ne6 21.Rad1 Red8 22.Na2 Rac8 23.f3 Ndf8 24.Nc5 Nd4 25.Qc3 Nfe6 26.Nxe6 Qxe6 27.b4 Rc7 28.Nc1 f5 29.Nd3 Qf6 30.f4 fxe4 31.Nxe5 g5 32.fxg5 Qxe5 33.Bxd4 Qxg5 34.Bxg7 Rxd2 35.Qxd2 Qxg7 36.Qf4 c5 37.Qf5+ Qg6 38.Rd7+ Rxd7 39.Qxd7+ Qg7 40.Qxg7+ Kxg7 41.bxc5 Bc6 42.Kf2 Kf6 43.Ke3 Ke5 44.g4 Kd5 45.Bg2 Kxc5 46.Bxe4 Be8 47.h4 Kd6 48.Kf4 Ke6 49.g5 hxg5+ 50.Kxg5 Ke7 51.Bd5 Kd6 52.Ba2 Ke7 53.Bb3 Kd6 54.Bc2 Ke7 55.Bg6 Bc6 56.h5 Kf8 57.Bd3 Kg7 58.h6+ Kf7 59.Kf5 Bd7+ 60.Ke5 Bg4 61.Bxb5 Bd1 62.Bd3 Bh5 63.Kd4 Kf6 64.Kc3 Kf7 65.Kb4 Bd1 66.Bc4+ Kg6 67.Bb3 Be2 68.a4 Kxh6 69.Bc4 Bf3 70.a5 1-0.} 10.d5 Nh7 11.Rb1 f5 12.Nd2 {And Muresan-Semenova, Women’s World Semi-Finals, 1983, continued with 12.b4 f4 13.Ba3 Bf8 14.Nd2 g5 15.Nb3 Ndf6 16.c5 Re7 17.Na5 Rg7 18.Nc4 g4 19.Rb3 Ng5 20.cxd6 cxd6 21.b5 Nf3+ 22.Kh1 Nxe1 23.Qxe1 h5 24.b6 a6 25.Na5 h4 26.Bc4 g3 27.Nd1 Qe8 28.fxg3 hxg3 29.hxg3 Qg6 30.Nf2 Qh7+ 0-1.} f4 13.b4 g5 14.Nb3 Bf8 {14…Ndf6!?} 15.Be2 Ndf6 16.c5 g4 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.a3 Ng5 19.Bf1 Re7 20.Qd3 Rg7 21.Kh1 Qe8 22.Nd2 g3 23.fxg3 fxg3 24.Qxg3 Nh3 25.Qf3 Qg6 26.Nc4 Bd7 27.Bd3 Ng5 28.Bxg5 Qxg5 29.Ne3 Re8 30.Ne2 Be7 31.Rbd1 {Rbc1!?} Rf8 32.Nf5 Ng4 33.Neg3 h5 34.Kg1 h4 35.Qxg4 $1 Qxg4 36.Nh6+ Kh7 37.Nxg4 hxg3 38.Ne3 gxh2+ 39.Kxh2 Rh8 40.Rh1 Kg6+ 41.Kg1 Rc8 42.Be2 Rc3 43.Rd3 Rc1+ 44.Nf1 Bd8 45.Rh8 Bb6+ 46.Kh2 Rh7+ 47.Rxh7 Kxh7 48.Nd2 Bg1+ 49.Kh1 Bd4+ 50.Nf1 {50.Kh2! and White starts making progress.} Bg4 51.Bxg4 Rxf1+ 52.Kh2 Bg1+ 53.Kh3 Re1 54.Bf5+ Kh6 55.Kg4 Re3 56.Rd1 Bh2 57.Rh1 Rg3+ 58.Kh4 Rxg2 59.Kh3 Rg3+ 60.Kxh2 Rxa3 61.Rg1 Ra6 62.Rg6+ Kh5 63.Kg3 Rb6 64.Rg7 Rxb4 65.Bc8 a5 66.Bxb7 a4 67.Bc6 a3 68.Ra7 Rb3+ 69.Kf2 Kg5 70.Ke2 Kf4 71.Ra4 Rh3 72.Kd2 a2 73.Bb5 Rh1 74.Rxa2 Rh2+ 75.Be2 Kxe4 76.Ra5 Kd4 77.Ke1 Rh1+ 78.Kf2 Rc1 79.Bg4 Rc2+ 80.Ke1 e4 81.Be6 Ke5 82.Bg8 Rc8 83.Bf7 Rc7 84.Be6 Rc2 85.Ra8 Rb2 86.Ra6 Rg2 87.Kd1 Rb2 88.Ra5 Rg2 89.Bd7 Rh2 90.Bc6 Kf4 91.Ra8 e3 92.Re8 Kf3 93.Rf8+ Ke4 94.Rf6 Kd3 95.Bb5+ Kd4 96.Rf5 Rh1+ 97.Ke2 Rh2+ 98.Kd1 Rh1+ 99.Kc2 Rh2+ 100.Kc1 Rh1+ 101.Kc2 Rh2+ 102.Kd1 Rh1+ 103.Ke2 Rh2+ 104.Kf1 Rb2 105.Be2 Ke4 106.Rh5 Rb1+ 107.Kg2 Rb2 108.Rh4+ Kxd5 109.Kf3 Kc5 110.Kxe3 Rb3+ 111.Bd3 d5 112.Rh8 Ra3 113.Re8 Kd6 114.Kd4 Ra4+ 115.Kc3 Ra3+ 116.Kd4 Ra4+ 117.Ke3 Ra3 118.Rh8 Ke5 119.Rh5+ Kd6 120.Rg5 Rb3 121.Kd2 Rb8 122.Bf1 Re8 123.Kd3 Re5 124.Rg8 Rh5 125.Bg2 Kc5 126.Rf8 Rh6 127.Bf3 Rd6 128.Re8 Rc6 129.Ra8 Rb6 130.Rd8 Rd6 131.Rf8 Ra6 132.Rf5 Rd6 133.Kc3 Rd8 134.Rg5 Rd6 135.Rh5 Rd8 136.Rf5 Rd6 137.Rf8 Ra6 138.Re8 Rc6 139.Ra8 Rb6 140.Ra5+ Rb5 141.Ra1 Rb8 142.Rd1 Rd8 143.Rd2 Rd7 144.Bg2 Rd8 145.Kd3 Ra8 146.Ke3 Re8+ 147.Kd3 Ra8 148.Kc3 Rd8 149.Bf3 Rd7 150.Kd3 Ra7 151.Bg2 Ra8 152.Rc2+ Kd6 153.Rc3 Ra2 154.Bf3 Ra8 155.Rb3 Ra5 156.Ke3 Ke5 157.Rd3 Rb5 158.Kd2 Rc5 159.Bg2 Ra5 160.Bf3 Rc5 161.Bd1 Rc8 162.Bb3 {FIDE’S Laws of Chess, Article 10.9a, stipulates that the 50 move draw rule can be extended to 100 moves when a position of K+R+B vs. K+R is reached. Here the Pawn invalidates that extension.} Rc5 163.Rh3 Kf4 164.Kd3 Ke5 165.Rh5+ Kf4 166.Kd4 Rb5 167.Bxd5 {It now seems that White, after putting in so many moves and so much effort, might just win. But with this capture, a drawish K+R+B vs. K+R position is reached. And the game goes on. And on and on and on.} Rb4+ 168.Bc4 Ra4 169.Rh7 Kg5 170.Rf7 Kg6 171.Rf1 Kg5 172.Kc5 Ra5+ 173.Kc6 Ra4 174.Bd5 Rf4 175.Re1 Rf6+ 176.Kc5 Rf5 177.Kd4 Kf6 178.Re6+ Kg5 179.Be4 Rf6 180.Re8 Kf4 181.Rh8 Rd6+ 182.Bd5 Rf6 183.Rh1 Kf5 184.Be4+ Ke6 185.Ra1 Kd6 186.Ra5 {186.Ra6+ and White gains a tiny advantage. Not enough to win, but he needs all the advantages he can gain to win the game.} Re6 187.Bf5 Re1 188.Ra6+ Ke7 189.Be4 Rc1 190.Ke5 Rc5+ 191.Bd5 Rc7 192.Rg6 Rd7 193.Rh6 Kd8 194.Be6 Rd2 195.Rh7 Ke8 196.Kf6 Kd8 197.Ke5 Rd1 198.Bd5 Ke8 199.Kd6 Kf8 200.Rf7+ Ke8 201.Rg7 Rf1 202.Rg8+ Rf8 203.Rg7 Rf6+ 204.Be6 Rf2 205.Bd5 Rf6+ 206.Ke5 Rf1 207.Kd6 Rf6+ 208.Be6 Rf2 209.Ra7 Kf8 210.Rc7 Rd2+ 211.Ke5 Ke8 212.Kf6 Rf2+ 213.Bf5 Rd2 214.Rc1 Rd6+ 215.Be6 Rd2 216.Rh1 Kd8 217.Rh7 Rd1 218.Rg7 Rd2 219.Rg8+ Kc7 220.Rc8+ Kb6 221.Ke5 Kb7 222.Rc3 Kb6 223.Bd5 Rh2 224.Kd6 Rh6+ 225.Be6 Rh5 226.Ra3 Ra5 227.Rg3 Rh5 228.Rg2 Ka5 229.Rg3 Kb6 230.Rg4 Rb5 231.Bd5 Rc5 232.Rg8 Rc2 233.Rb8+ Ka5 234.Bb3 Rc3 235.Kd5 Rc7 236.Kd4 Rd7+ 237.Bd5 Re7 238.Rb2 Re8 239.Rb7 Ka6 240.Rb1 Ka5 241.Bc4 Rd8+ 242.Kc3 Rh8 243.Rb5+ Ka4 244.Rb6 Rh3+ 245.Bd3 Rh5 246.Re6 Rg5 247.Rh6 Rc5+ 248.Bc4 Rg5 249.Ra6+ Ra5 250.Rh6 {250.Bb2+ Kb5} Rg5 251.Rh4 Ka5 252.Rh2 Rg3+ 253.Kd4 Rg5 254.Bd5 Ka4 255.Kc5 Rg3 256.Ra2+ Ra3 257.Rb2 Rg3 258.Rh2 Rc3+ 259.Bc4 Rg3 260.Rb2 Rg5+ 261.Bd5 Rg3 262.Rh2 Rc3+ 263.Bc4 Rg3 264.Rh8 Ka3 265.Ra8+ Kb2 266.Ra2+ Kb1 267.Rf2 Kc1 268.Kd4 Kd1 269.Bd3 Rg7 1/2-1/2

Bishop’s Gambit Anyone?

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

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

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

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

So White is left with 4.Kf1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greco-N.N., 1620
[Greco]

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

Harrwitz-Anderssen
Match, Breslau, 1848

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

P. Morphy-A. Morphy
New Orleans, 1848

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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

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

Weiss-Brasket
Minnesota Masters Cup Invitational, 1989

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hard to Argue – a TD story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The rule is that well-known.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game of the Month

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

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

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

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

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

And here it is:

Many-headed Dragon

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Exploring a Gambit

Recently I was going over an old collection of some 1990s games.

I found this little-known gambit in the French. The opening moves were 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4, and now instead of 4.Nxe4 (the Rubinstein), White plays 4.f3. This tempts Black to play 4…exf3 5.Nxf3, and White has an extra developing move for the pawn.

I could not find a name for this gambit. So, I made one up. And in keeping with convention of naming openings that feature an early f3 and allowing Black to take the pawn apparently for free, I decided to name it, “The French Fantasy Variation”. Or FFV for short.

The first two games presented are the first two I found with these opening moves.

Beesley-Lynn
Auckland Open, 1999

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.Be3 Nf6 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 e6 9.Bd3 Bb4 10.O-O Bxc3 11.bxc3 Qd5 12.Qg3 Nbd7 13.c4 Qa5 14.Qxg7 Rg8 15.Qh6 Ke7 16.c5 Qc3 17.Rab1 b5 18.Rb3 Qa5 19.Bg5 Rxg5 20.Qxg5 Rg8 21.Qf4 Kd8 22.Qh4 Qd2 23.Qf2 Qg5 24.Ra3 Nd5 25.Rxa7 Rg7 26.Be4 N7f6 27.Bxd5 Nxd5 28.Rxf7 Rg6 29.Rf3 b4 30.Kh2 h5 31.Rg3 Qxg3+ 32.Qxg3 Rxg3 33.Kxg3 Ne3 34.Re1 h4+ 35.Kf2 Nxc2 36.Rxe6 Kc7 37.Re4 Na3 38.Rxh4 Nb5 39.d5 cxd5 40.Rxb4 Nc3 41.Ke3 Nxa2 42.Rb6 Nc3 43.Rd6 1-0

Stracy-Gibson
Auckland Open, 1999
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.Be3 Nf6 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 e6 9.Bd3 Bb4 10.O-O Bxc3 11.bxc3 Qd5 12.Qg3 Nbd7 13.c4 Qa5 14.Qxg7 Rg8 15.Qh6 Ke7 16.c5 Qc3 17.Rab1 b5 18.Rb3 Qa5 19.Bg5 Rxg5 20.Qxg5 Rg8 21.Qf4 Kd8 22.Qh4 Qd2 23.Qf2 Qg5 24.Ra3 Nd5 25.Rxa7 Rg7 26.Be4 N7f6 27.Bxd5 Nxd5 28.Rxf7 Rg6 29.Rf3 b4 30.Kh2 h5 31.Rg3 Qxg3+ 32.Qxg3 Rxg3 33.Kxg3 Ne3 34.Re1 h4+ 35.Kf2 Nxc2 36.Rxe6 Kc7 37.Re4 Na3 38.Rxh4 Nb5 39.d5 cxd5 40.Rxb4 Nc3 41.Ke3 Nxa2 42.Rb6 Nc3 43.Rd6 1-0

These games show some promise for the FFV! I am excited so far! Do these New Zealanders know something about chess opening that most other players don’t? I had to look up some more games, just to make sure that this opening, while definitely exciting, is also somewhat sound. I don’t want any negative surprises hitting me while playing this in an OTB or online tournament.

During my quest I found that Black can also do well. More troubling is that I didn’t find too many Master level games with this opening. Now it could be that 4.f3 was hardly played as there was very little theory on it, or the Master lever players didn’t think it was a great, or even a good, gambit to play. Of course, one way of deciding is to analyze it for oneself, namely me!

Let’s look at several games in which Black did well.

Sebastian Gramlich (2080)-Holger Rasch (2259)
Rhein Main Open
Bad Homburg, Germany, June 10 2004

1.d4 d5 2.e4 e6 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Nf6 6.Bd3 c5 7.O-O cxd4 8.Ne4 Nc6 9.Nfg5 Be7 10.Bd2 h6 11.Nxf7 Kxf7 12.Qh5+ Kg8 13.Nxf6+ Bxf6 14.Rxf6 gxf6 15.Qg6+ Kf8 16.Rf1 f5 17.Bxf5 Ke7 18.Re1 Qg8 19.Qh5 Bd7 20.Qh4+ Kd6 21.Bf4+ Kc5 22.Bd3 a6 23.Bc7 Qg5 24.b4+ Kxb4 25.c3+ Kxc3 26.Qh3 Kb4 27.Bb6 Qd2 28.Rb1+ Ka3 29.Bc4+ Qe3+ 30.Qxe3+ dxe3 31.Bc5+ Ka4 32.Rb3 Nb4 33.Rxb4+ Ka5 34.a3 b5 35.Bxe3 Rac8 36.Be2 Bc6 37.g3 Bd5 38.Bd2 Kb6 39.a4 Rc2 40.Rd4 Kc5 0-1

Frits Bakkes-P. Borman (2214)
Nova Open
Haarlem, Netherlands, July 2 2004

1.d4 d5 2.e4 e6 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Nf6 6.Bc4 Be7 7.Bf4 O-O 8.Ne5 Nbd7 9.Qf3 Nb6 10.Bd3 Nbd5 11.Nxd5 Qxd5 12.Qg3 b6 13.O-O-O Qxa2 14.Nc6 Bd6 15.Bxd6 cxd6 16.Qxd6 Bb7 17.Nb4 Qa1+ 18.Kd2 Qa5 19.c3 Qg5+ 20.Kc2 Qxg2+ 21.Kb3 Rfd8 22.Qf4 Qg4 23.Qxg4 Nxg4 24.Rhg1 Nxh2 25.d5 Nf3 26.Rg3 Ne5 27.dxe6 fxe6 28.Rdg1 g6 29.Be2 a5 30.Nc2 a4+ 31.Ka3 Bd5 32.Re3 Nc4+ 33.Bxc4 Bxc4 34.Nd4 Rd6 35.Rge1 Kg7 36.Kb4 b5 37.Re5 h5 38.Rg1 Kh7 39.Reg5 Bd3 40.Nxb5 Bxb5 41.Kxb5 Rd5+ 42.Rxd5 exd5 43.Rd1 Rb8+ 44.Ka5 Rxb2 45.Rxd5 Kh6 46.c4 h4 47.c5 g5 48.c6 Rc2 49.Kb5 Rb2+ 50.Kc5 Kh5 51.Kd6 Rb6 52.Rc5 h3 53.Kc7 Rxc6+ 54.Kxc6 Kh4 55.Kd5 h2 56.Ke5 h1=Q 0-1

In the first two games Black played 5…Bg4 and lost both. In the second set of two, Black played 5…Nf6, and won both.

Does this mean Black’s 5th move determine the outcome of the game? Probably not. But such a decision is rendered academic as Black has a much better 4th move, namely 4.Bb4.

This move develops a piece, pins a knight, bring Black one move closer to castling, and still leaves White with a weakened kingside pawn structure.

And White must be careful. 5.fxe4? can lead to an immediate disaster.

Irfan Redzepovic (2115)-Hartmut Riedel (2230)
Landesliga N Bayern 95/96
Germany, 1996

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.f3 Bb4 5.fxe4? Qh4+ 6.g3 Qxe4+ 7.Kf2 Bxc3 8.bxc3 Qxh1 9.Nf3 Bd7 10.Ba3 Nf6 11.Qd3 Ng4+ 12.Ke2 Nxh2 0-1

And even with best moves, White should still lose.

Jan Hennig-Gerhard Zach
Stuttgart Ch. B
Germany, 2004
1.d4 d5 2.e4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 dxe4 5.fxe4 Qh4+ 6.g3 Qxe4+ 7.Qe2 Qxh1 8.Nf3 Bxc3+?!
(Black can increase his pressure on White’s exposed King and unorganized pieces with 8…b6! If 9.Qb5+, then 9…c6 10.Qxb4 Qxf3.) 9.bxc3 Nf6 10.Ba3 (White wants to castle queenside and then play Bg2, trapping the black queen.) 10…b6 11.O-O-O Bb7 (Ba6!) 12.Bg2 Bxf3? (Ba6! would still do the trick!) 13.Bxf3 Qxd1+ 14.Qxd1 +- c6 15.Qh1 Kd7 16.c4 Rc8 17.g4 h6 18.h4 g5 19.hxg5 hxg5 20.Qh6 Ne8 21.Qf8 Kc7 22.Qxf7+ Nd7 23.Qxe6 Ng7 24.Qxc6+ Kd8 25.Qd6 Ne8 26.Qe7+ Kc7 27.d5 1-0

White of course, does not have to play 5…fxe4. But other moves result in other problems for White.

Hagen Oettinger (2151)-Filip Daniel Goldstern (2391)
Seefeld Open
Austria, Sept. 12 1999
1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.f3 Bb4 5.Be3 Nf6 6.a3 Nd5 7.Qd2 Bxc3 8.bxc3 exf3 9.Nxf3 c6 10.c4 Nxe3 11.Qxe3 Qa5+ 12.Nd2 Nd7 13.Bd3 c5 14.d5 Qc3 15.Rd1 Qe5 16.Qxe5 Nxe5 17.Ne4 b6 18.O-O Ke7 19.Ng5 f6 20.Be4 Rb8 21.Nf3 Nxc4 22.Rfe1 e5 23.Nh4 Nd6 24.a4 Bd7 25.Ra1 c4 26.g3 Rbc8 27.c3 Rc5 28.Ng2 f5 29.Bf3 Kf6 0-1

Tim McGrew (1221)-Ron Gore (1598)
Michigan Amateur Open
Kalamazoo, Oct. 23 2004

1.d4 d5 2.e4 e6 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.f3 Bb4 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Nf6 7.Bg5?! h6 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.fxe4 Qh4+ 10.Kd2 Qxe4 11.Nf3 O-O 12.Bd3 Qf4+ 13.Ke2 Nc6 14.Rf1 Qd6 15.Kf2 b6 16.Kg1 Bb7 17.Qe1 Ne7 18.Qe3 Bxf3 19.Rxf3 Nd5 20.Qd2 Rad8 21.Rg3 Qf4 22.Qe1 c5 23.Rf3 Qc7 24.Qe4 g6 25.Qe1 cxd4 26.cxd4 Ne7 27.Qh4 Qc3 28.Raf1 Qxd4+ 29.Qf2 Qxf2+ 30.R3xf2 Kg7 31.Rf4 Nf5 32.R1f3 Rd4 33.Rxd4 Nxd4 34.Rf4 e5 35.Re4 f6 36.Kf2 Rc8 37.Rg4 f5 38.Rg3 e4 39.Be2 Nxe2 40.Kxe2 Rxc2+ 41.Kd1 Rc5 42.Re3 Kf6 43.Kd2 Ke5 44.Rh3 h5 45.Rg3 Rc6 46.Rb3 f4 47.Rb5+ Rc5 48.Rb3 Kd4 49.Rb4+ Rc4 50.Rb1 e3+ 51.Ke2 Rc2+ 52.Kf1 e2+ 53.Ke1 Kd3 54.Rb3+ Rc3 55.Rb1 Rxa3 56.Kf2 Kc2 57.Re1 Re3 58.g3 g5


0-1

Dominic Klingher (1829)-George Stoleriu (2227)
European Youth Ch., Boys U14
Porec, Croatia, Sept. 21 2015

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.f3 Bb4 5.Be3 Nf6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Nd5 8.Qd2 b6 9.Bg5 f6 10.fxe4 fxg5 11.exd5 exd5 12.Nf3 g4 13.Ne5 O-O 14.c4 Ba6 15.cxd5 Qxd5 16.Nxg4 Qe4+ 17.Ne3 Re8 18.Bxa6 Nxa6 19.Kf2 Rad8 20.c3 Nc5 21.Rad1 Qf4+ 22.Ke2 Qg4+ 23.Kf1 Rxe3 0-1

Now I probably would not play this gambit in an OTB or online tournament. But speed chess, well, that’s another story!

Game Collecting

Most players create a collection of full and partial games for their own pleasure or study.

Themes include favorite games of a famous player, beloved openings, offbeat or unusual mating patterns, miniatures, tactical sacrifices, positional considerations, pawn endings, rook endings, and even games they have played.

Players have been collecting games at least since Greco, who published his games sometime after 1500. He covered openings and spectacular wins in the opening, and claimed to have played all the games in his collection (but the modern opinion is that he simply copied at least some of the games from other collections and made an anthology of them).

Players have made their collections from index cards. This works well if you are deciding whether a new move in an opening is worth analyzing. You write down a game with the new move on an index card. Repeat. And keep going.

When you have collected enough index cards with the new move, you can place them on a table, organize them, and then play over the games on the cards. This is a flexible method as you can easily discard a game and substitute another card that you think will be a better study.

When done, organize the cards by any criteria you want, and then attach a rubber band around them and they are ready to use again.

Index cards are also good if you want to collect all the games of a players. When a new game is played, all you have to do is copy the newest game on a card and you are ready to add it to your collection. It also easy find out what he is most likely to do when he has to face your pet Najdorf variation.

Chess players have also created scrapbooks full of interesting and helpful games, problems, analyses, and the like from newspapers, magazines, and even old books.

This makes such collections much easier to travel and can hold more information than index cards.

For those players who can write also small, small note pads have been used to write down games and the occasional study or problem. Usually, you would meet them at tournaments, and they would be collecting games for publication. But this method was (and is) not meant to be long-lasting. Instead, the reporter, editor, or fellow chess player would transfer the game and notes to a more permanent medium.

But with the almighty laptop (and the Internet), it is now far easier to create a collection, make it a more-or-less a continuing collection and update it at one’s leisure.

The most common method of game collection in the Internet age is to use a PGN generator. PGN is short for Portable Game Notation, it is what the computer uses to display the moves of a game, and it looks like this:

[Event “?”]
[Site “Kiev”]
[Date “1954.??.??”]
[White “Kutsenok”]
[Black “Akimov”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “C35”]
[PlyCount “30”]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Bc4 Nf6 $1 5.e5 Ng4 6.O-O d5 7.Bb3 $2 Nc6 8.d4 g5 9.h3 $2 h5 $1 10.hxg4 hxg4 11.Nh2 g3 12.Ng4 Rh4 13.Nf6+ Bxf6 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Re1+ Kf8 0-1 {Black kingside pawns threaten to advance.}

A few notes here. The computer will translate a “$1” as an “!” and a “$2”as a “?”. Any notes in a { } will allow you to read the note when you play over the game on a computer, and a ply is exactly ½ of a move. Hence, this game is 15 moves, and the ply is 30. The game is from Clarke’s 100 Soviet Miniatures.

The big drawback of this method is that you need a computer to play, study, or simply enjoy the game. And in the case of electrical power going down, you can be out of luck.

With the rise of on-line publishing, players can also upload and print books of their favorite games, players, openings, and ideas on the game. This can be expensive (on-line printers need to make their profit), but it is rather easy to add new games and ideas, and even change one’s own annotations as fast as you can type.

Which is an important skill when writing anything on the Internet, social sites, and even a blog.

And now a game from Tal’s Tactical Treatment of an opponent. Maybe this is something you can add to your collection.

GM Tal-Kennedy
World Student Ch.
Varna, 1958

[Minev, “Digging into the Most Notorious Bulletin”, Inside Chess, Sept. 5, 1994]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 cxd4 8.Bd3 (Tal’s favorite continuation throughout his career and one that theory still gives as “unclear”.) 8…Nbc6?! (The immediate 8…Qa5 9.Ne2 is critical … After the text, White has no problems with his e5-pawn.) 9.Nf3 Bd7 (If now 9…Qa5, then 10.O-O.) 10.cxd4 Qc7 11.O-O O-O-O 12.a4 f5 13.Qxg7 h5 14.Qg5 Rdg8 15.Qd2 Na5 16.Ba3 Nec6 17.Bd6 Qd8 18.Qc3 Be8 19.Rab1 Rg7 20.Bb4 h4 21.Bxa5 Qxa5 22.Qxa5 Nxa5 23.Rfe1 h3 24.g3 Nc4 25.Bxc4 dxc4 26.d5! f4 27.Re4! exd5 28.Rxf4 Bxa4 29.Nd4 Re7 30.Rf5 Kc7 31.f4 Rd8 32.Rf6 Bd7 33.Rd6! b5 34.Rxd5 a6 35.f5 Rf8 36.Rf1 Bc8 37.f6 Rd7? 38.Ne6+ 1-0

When Two is Not Enough

Every player values his queen. And there is little wonder why. It is the most powerful piece of the game and with it, sometimes by itself, quickly mate the opposition. Take a look at Scholar’s Mate (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Qf3 Nd4 4.Qxf7#), Fool’s Mate (1.f4 e5 2.g4 Qh4#), even a trap in the Petrov (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nxe4 4.Qe2 Nf6 5.Nc6+).

It stands to reason that a player would welcome another queen joining his ranks. Even more so if the opponent fails to do the same. Imagine the possibilities!

But chess is not so simple. A second queen does not automatically confer or guarantee victory.

Let’s look at some opening examples.

Littlewood-Andrews
England 1981
[D22]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bg4 5.Bxc4 e6 6.h3 Bh5 7.Nc3 a6 8.O-O Nbd7 9.e4 e5 10.g4 exd4 11.gxh5 dxc3 12.e5 cxb2 13.exf6 bxa1=Q 14.Bxf7+! Kxf7 15.Qd5+ Ke8 16.f7+ Ke7 17.Re1+ Ne5 18.Bg5mate 1-0

Sprenger (2199)-Danner (2369)
Austrian Ch., 2002
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Nc6 8.e5 h6 9.Bh4 Nxd4 10.exf6 Nf5 11.fxg7 Qxh4+ 12.g3 Nxg3


13.gxh8=Q Ne4+ 14.Ke2 Qf2+ 15.Kd3 Nc5+ 16.Kc4 b5+ 17.Nxb5 axb5+ 18.Kc3 b4+ 19.Kc4 d5+ 20.Kb5 Bd7+ 0-1

So, what happened? Well, in both cases, the promoted queen finds herself in a corner on the board. A corner, as you probably know, is a square in which the queen has less moves, less mobility, and less power than existing on the side or in the center of the board.

And since the promotion occurred in the opening, there are many pieces on the board that block or hinders the movement of the newly born queen.

The side with the extra queen usually has to spend an extra tempo or two to get the brand-new queen into play.

All of which subtracts from usually positive aspect of an additional queen.

Let’s take a look at two other games.

The first shows a White king under tremendous pressure from Black’s knight, passed pawn, and sole queen. It also shows how fond some players have for their multiple queens, and an unwillingness to give one of them up.

Chigorin-Blackburne
Vienna, 1898
1.e4 e6 2.Qe2!?
(Chigorin is credited with coming up with this move. Its main goal is to harass Black’s development as the queen on e2 can easily be put into play on either side of the board.) 2…b6 (2…c5 is an alternate move.) 3.Nc3 Bb7 4.Nh3 Nc6 5.d3 g6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Qd2 Bxg5 8.Nxg5 Qe7 9.f4 O-O-O 10.O-O-O f6 11.Nf3 Nh6 12.d4 d5 13.e5 f5 14.Bb5 a6 15.Be2 Nf7 16.h3 h5 17.Rhg1 Rdg8 18.g3 Kb8 19.Kb1 Ka7 20.Ka1 Nb8 21.Rb1 Nd7 22.b4 b5 23.a4 c6 24.Qc1 Ra8 25.a5 Rag8 26.Na2 g5 27.Qe3 Nf8 28.Nc1 h4 29.gxh4 gxf4 30.Qf2 Rxg1 31.Qxg1 Rh6 32.Nd3 Ng6 33.h5 Nh4 34.Nxh4 Qxh4 35.Qg7 f3 36.Bxf3 Qxd4+ 37.Rb2 Nd6 38.Qxh6 Nc4 39.Qf4 Qc3 40.h6 c5 41.h7 cxb4 42.h8=Q b3! (Counterplay!) 43.Qf8 bxc2 44.Qc5+ Ka8

45.Qfd4?? [Chigorin himself analyzed his blunder. White wins after 45.Qfxc4! bxc4 (45…dxc4 46.Qc8+) 46.Qb4 Qxb4 47.Rxb4 cxd3 48.Kb2. 45.Qc1 +-.] 45…Qxa5+ 0-1

The second one demonstrates how a queen in the corner can still be more of a spectator on the corner than a contributing member, even in an endgame. And how an Initiative can trump the extra material.

WFM Natalya Tsodikova (2196)-FM Jon Jacobs (2200)
Mechanics Institute vs. Marshall match
chess.com, Oct. 15 2019
[GM Nick de Firmian. “Mechanics’ Versus Marshall”, CL, Jan. 2020]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.b3 Bg7 4.Bb2 0-0 5.Bg2 d5 6.0-0 c5 7.c4 d4 8.b4 Nc6 9.bxc5 e5 10.d3 Nd7 11.Nfd2 Nxc5 12.Ba3 Qa5 13.Ne4 Nxe4!? (An interesting Exchange sacrifice for the initiative. Black has active pieces for the material and dark square play.) 14.Bxf8 Bxf8?! (Even stronger was 14….Nxf2! 15.Rxf2 Bxf8. The weakness of e3 would add to Black’s compensation for the Exchange.) 15.Bxe4 Qc7 16.Nd2 a5 17.Bg2 f5 18.a3 a4 19.Qc2 Bc5 20.Rfb1 Qe7 21.Qb2 Ra6 22.Qc1 Kg7 23.Rb5 Na7 24.Rb2 Nc6 25.Raa2 g5 26.Rb1 Kg6 27.Rb5 Na7 28.Rbb2 Nc6 29.g4?! (White goes for the win! This was a hard-fought match and the players go all out, yet the position now becomes very sharp.) 29….Bxa3 30.gxf5+ (Bad is 30.Rxa3 Qxa3 since 31.Rb6 is not check.) 30….Bxf5 31.Ne4? Bxb2 32.Qxb2 Qb4 33.Qc1 h6 34.Ng3 a3 35.Nxf5 Kxf5 36.Be4+ Kf6 (Black is winning on the queenside, but his king is unsafe on the opposite wing. Natalya quickly switches fronts.) 37.Qf1! Kg7 38.Qh3 Ne7 39.Qd7 Kf6 40.Qxb7 Rb6?! (Here Jon misses his best chance. He should play for the endgame where his king is safe. 40….Qxb7! 41.Bxb7 Rb6 42.Be4 Rb3 is difficult for White, e.g. 43.Kf1 Ke6 44.Ke1 Kd6 45.Kd2 Kc5 46.Kc2 Kb4 with full control of the board.) 41.Qa8!? Qb1+ 42.Kg2 Qxa2 43.Qf8+ Ke6 44.Qxh6+ Kd7 45.Qxb6 Qb2 46.Qa7+ Ke8 47.Qa4+ Kf8 48.Qd7?! (Best was 48.Qa8+ Kf7 49.Qa7 a2 50.Bd5+ Kf6 51.Qa6+ Kg7 52.Qa7 Kf8 53.Qa8+ Kg7 54.Qa7 forcing the draw.) 48….a2 49.Bd5 Nxd5 (Black still has winning chances after 49….Qb6.) 50.cxd5 a1=Q

51.Qd8+ Kf7 52.Qd7+ Kf6 53.Qe6+ Kg7 54.Qe7+ Kg6 55.Qe6+ Kg7 56.Qe7+ Kg6 57.Qe6+ Kh5 58.Qh3+ Kg6 (Black is a whole queen up, but his king cannot escape the checks.) 59.Qe6+ 1/2-1/2