I enjoy researching chess openings. There are many opening positions where the other side may falter, fall into a trap, or even just find himself in bad position. Knowing how to take advantage of these mistakes is essential in correspondence. So, yeah theory and knowing well-researched lines are important.
But occasionally, a player may want to venture into the unknown, or create a new line. There are many reasons for this.
One is that the competing players may eventually know what lines a player excels in and try to learn his favorite lines. For example, a dedicated Najdorf player may avoid playing in the Sicilian, just to throw one player out of sync. Another is that sometimes a player can get tired playing the same lines, even if he does well with them. Just how many times can one play the Euwe variation of the Advance French? Or perhaps he wants to enjoy a game, fresh and unburden with theory. He may study this new thought with analysis or not, depending on his confidence.
One quick and easy way to try out a novelty is a blitz game. There is less stress, and one does not have to worry about losing some well-earned rating points.
Escalante-“Avila83″ (1643) Blitz Game chess.com, Feb. 17 2021 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nf3 (A move I have been experimenting.) 3…a6 (3…Qe4+? 4.Be2 and White has a small lead in development.) 4.Be2 b5?! (Flanking in a Center Counter game!? Doesn’t seem consistent.) 5.d4 Bb7 6.Nc3 Qd8 7.Be3 [White has an interesting gambit here: 7.Ne5!? Bxg2 8.Rg1 Bb7 9.Bf3 c6 (not 9…Bxf3? 10.Qxf3 +-) 10.Ne4 and his development outweighs his pawn minus. This is something to research!] 7…Nf6 8.O-O g6 (> 9…e6.) 9.Qd2 Bg7 10.Rad1 O-O 11.Bh6 Re8 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.Rfe1 (13.Qe3!?) 13…Nbd7 14.Ne5 Qc8 15.Ng4?! (With the idea of 15..Nxg4? 16.Bxg4 with a pin on the d7-knight. But White has no good continuation. Only if the f6-knight moves does White have anything positive. Better is 15.b4 which blocks any queenside expansion with …c5.) 17…Nd5?? (Incredibly the f6-knight moves!) 16.Qh6+ Kg8 17.Nxd5 Bxd5 (Please forgive the next few moves. It was blitz game.) 18.Ne5 (18.Rd3! with the idea of Rh3 is hard to stop. In fact, it wins!) 18…Nf6 19.h3 (Bad, as it stops a future Rd3, Rh3. White can try a later Re4, Rh4. But why should he wait?) 19…e6 20.Bf3 Bxf3 21.Nxf3 Nh5 22.Ng5 Qd8?? 23.Qxh7+ 1-0
Escalante-“chessNrun” Practice the French Thematic Tournament, Round 2 chess.com, 2020/1 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 g6 5.Bg5 Be7
[White got a very good game in Kvick-Thuring, Sweden, 1978, which reached this position by transposition: 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e6 4.Nxe4 g6 5.Bg5 Ne7? (Black makes the best move by blocking, but with the wrong piece.) 6.Nf6# 1-0.]
[White 5…Be7 has been seen before, this move, 6.h4 is a true, almost untested gambit. Previous moves included the tempo wasting 6.Be3?!, which doesn’t give White anything to cheer about. I should be honest here. While preparing this game for this week’s post, I came across this game.
Imagine, my gambit idea was tried and tested in tournament 18 years before I ventured it. And by someone who is less than 16 years old! Ah, chess is hard enough even if you do not come up with original ideas!]
6…Bxg5 7.hxg5 Nc6 8.Nf3 Nge7? 9.Nf6+! (This is again a natural move. Black is in trouble, although it is hard to see to the end.) 9…Kf8 10.Qd2 Nd5 11.Ne4 Kg7 12.O-O-O a5 [Black, who can’t castle (on either side), has a blocked h8-rook, and doesn’t want to open the center, makes for a break on the queenside.] 13.c4! (If Black is not going to open the center, then White must.) 13…Ndb4 14.a3 Bd7 15.d5 exd5 [White is winning, but still has to be careful. 16.Nf6? Bf5! 17.Qc3 (or 17.axb4? axb4 and Black threatens 18…b3 and 19.Ra1#) 17…Na2+ and Black wins.] 16.cxd5 [Now two Black pieces are under attack, White has all the attacking possibilities, will win material, and Black is lost. 16…Bf5 is Black’s best. But he still loses after 17.axb4! (White gets rid of Black’s biggest threat) 16…Bxe4 (17…Nxb4 18.Qd4+ Kg8 19.Nf6+ Kf8 20.Nxh7+! Rxh7 21.Rxh7 Na2+ 22.Kd2 Qe7 23.Rh8#) 18.Qc3+ f6 (18…Kg8 19.dxc6 Qe7 20.Rd7 axb4 21.Qxh8+! Kxh8 22.Rxe7 Ra1+ 23.Kd2) 19.dxc6 Qe7 20.Rd7. Consider this position a +-.]
One of the joys of reading old chess magazines is to enjoy the games from old tournaments as if they were new. One can also find many obscure games that many players may have overlooked, forgot, or have never seen.
An example of this is the 3rd Annual Women’s Tournament in Belgrade, 1967. This account was covered by Dr. Petar Trifunovich in the June 1967 issue of Chess Review.
Unfortunately, his article has a disparaging remark at the end of his otherwise excellent article. Writing about the older chess champions who must eventually yield their championships and glory to younger players, and the usual fluctuations in performance in tournament play, he states, “… : today, a woman player puts up a good game; the next day, she hands out gifts. But that phenomenon is easy to understand: the female is more subject to physiological mutations than the male.”
Today, we would like think that the male has more acceptance of the female than ever before. They have, and for the better of both. Is there more work to be done here? Yes, and quite a bit more.
Now it is time to get off the soapbox and back to the article.
This tournament seems to have vanished from history. I have tried to locate other games from this tournament to add to this week’s blog, but I cannot locate the tournament nor any additional games.
If you, the gentle reader, can find this tournament, or games from this tournament, online, please let me know, or email a link or a PGN or text of the games.
Right now, this blog would be only known place to find these games. Unless you have a copy of the June 1967 issue of Chess Review.
Alexandra Nicolau-Edith Bilek Women’s Tournament Belgrade, 1967 [Dr. Petar Trifunovich, “3d Annual Women’s Tournament”, Chess Review, June 1967] 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Bc4 c5 4.dxc5 Qa5+ 5.c3 Qxc5 6.Qb3 (Here White begins collecting tempi.) 5…e6 7.Be3 Qc7 8.Na3! (She wins a tempo at this juncture by virtue of the threat of 9.Nb5.) 5…a6 (The text does prevent 9.Nb5 but permits 9.Bb6, which mortifies Black’s whole Queen flank.) 9.Bb6 Qf4 10.Ne2! (Black may well not have expected this move; but of course, this is a position in which one does not count Pawns!)
10…Qxe4 11.O-O! Nc6 (Black cannot win a piece by 11…d5 because of 12.Rad1 dxc4 13.Rd8+ Ke7 14.Qb4+ winning.) 12.f4! (White is threatening to snare the Queen with 13.Ng3.) 12…d5 13.Ng3 dxc4 14.Nxc4 Qd5 15.Rad1 Nd4 (Black lacks any better choice. 15…Qb5 collapses before 16.Nd6+.) 16.Bxd4 Bxd4+ 17.Rxd4 Qc6 18.Rfd1 Kf8 19.Nb6 Rb8 20.Rc4 Qe8 21.Qb4+ Kg7 22.Qd6 Qb5 23.Rb4 1-0
The best way to describe the Grand Prix attack is White’s attempt to apply the themes found in a King’s Gambit to the Sicilian. After 1.e4 c5 2.f4, White’s f-pawn temporarily blocks opening the f-file and in particular, access to the f7-square. White naturally tries to trade off this pawn, or sacrifice it, depending how aggressive he may be.
The Sicilian Dragon is common set up in the Sicilian. The thematic moves by Black are …g6, …Bg7, …Nf6, and …O-O, with a reasonably safe king. However, in the Grand Prix Black usually does not have enough time to play all these moves; White’s f-pawn can become a problem very quickly.
N.N. (2221)-GM Julio Becerra (2610) 3 minute game ICC, Mar. 24 2010 1.f4 g6 2.e4 c5 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nf6 5.e5 Nc6 6.Qd1 Ng8 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.Bc4 Nh6 9.Be3 (White would love to castle here. But if he plays O-O, then that puts an end to his kingside expansion. So, he’s left with trying O-O-O. And that takes one more tempo that he can afford.) 9…O-O 10.Nc3 Ng4 11.Bg1 d6 12.h3 Nh6 13.exd6 exd6 14.Qd2 Re8+ 15.Be2 Nf5 16.O-O-O (16.g4 Bxc3 17.Qxc3 Rxe2+ 18.Kxe2 Ng3+) 16…Ng3 17.Rh2 Bxc3 0-1
DRAGON vs. Grand Prix-2 2.f4 g6 3.Nc3
This is a common line. And this variation has enough tactical play to interest any player.
If White play d2-d3, g2-g3, Bg2, f2-f4, Nf3, and O-O, the opening becomes the Big Clamp.
18…Bxg2+ (18…dxe6!? leads to another set of complex lines. The reader may want to spend time here to discover some of the beautiful lines.) 19.Kxg2 Qb7+ 20.Kg1 Rxg5 21.exd7+ Qxd7 22.Bxg5 h6 23.fxe7 Bg7 24.Nb5! [A fantastic move to end such an engaging game. But 24.Ng5! is a better (and more beautiful) move.] 1-0
I have some older chess playing friends. Some of them are now looking forward to retirement. And like so many soon-to-be-retirees they are thinking of moving to places where they can enjoy their hobbies and skills full time.
So, here is a list of potential retirement locations for my older, chess playing friends:
First the easy ones to locate.
QUEENS [n. a borough in the city of New York. After all, having more than one queen is usually better than having just one.]
If that location is not big enough, then one can choose the following:
QUEENSLAND [n. a state comprising the northeastern part of Australia.]
Of course, many players would prefer the king.
KINGSTOWN [n. the capital, chief port, and main commercial center of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.]
KING’S CANYON [n. a National park in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, US.]
KINGS CROSS [n. a district in Central London, England.]
KING CITY [n. a city in California.]
And if a chess player really enjoys a king hunt, then this might be the place:
KINGSBURY [n. a district of northwest London in the borough of Brent.]
KINGSBURY [n. a suburb in Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.]
Interesting that some players really, really like their bishops. In which case, they may decide on moving to:
BISHOP [n. a city in Inyo County, California, and Nueces County, Texas. If you decide to live both, you may want to have different colored houses, say one being White, and the other Black. But that’s up to you!]
Now, here are the harder ones.
Finding a city named simply Knight has proven impossible to find. But the German word for Knight is Springer.
And there are many Springer Streets in the United States Most of them are in residential areas where one can rent or buy.
If that is not enough for a player who loves putting his knight on e5 (or K5 in descriptive), he may enjoy living here:
KNIGHTS LANDING [n. a city of Yolo County, California.]
Finding a city simply named ROOK has also been impossible to find. But a ROOK DRIVE exists in Huntington Beach.
For more than a street, one might try CASTLE CITY MOBILE HOME PARK, a Senior Retirement living location in Newcastle, CA. It sounds like a perfect fit for elderly and still active chess players.
And one can still live in a castle in Europe. If he is willing to travel a bit and spend a lot more.
In Green Bay, WI, there is a PAWN DRIVE,
and a PAWN AVENUE in Quincy, IL,
but strangely, there doesn’t seem to be a pawn shop on those streets.
A fun game to play over. More fun if you are White!
What is the Borg? For Star Trek aficionados, they are an evil group of aliens who kidnap indigenous and sentient life forms and enslave them by use of electronic and computer implants.
But for the chess player, it is a dangerous, reply by Black against 1.e4. And when we say dangerous, we mean dangerous for Black, not White.
What makes this opening so bad for Black?
First of all, White can open the game with 1.g4 and Black can’t stop that move. But Black can really only play this move after 1.e4 (Both 1.d4 g5? 2.Bxg5 and 1.Nf3 g5? 2.Nxg5 quickly loses the game for Black).
Secondly, no one have ever claimed that 1.g4 is a good move. And it’s even worse when it is played a move behind for the following reason:
Thirdly, the move 1.g4 severely weakens White and since Black is a move behind, his reply 1…g5 weakens him even more.
But how did Black’s opening 1.e4 g5 get the name, Borg? Well, the move 1.g4 is known as Grob’s Opening. And Borg is Grob spelled backwards.
But this name only took hold after Star Trek, The New Generation introduced the Borg in an episode titled, “Q Who?”, which aired on May 8, 1989.
18.Nxf7+ Kc8 19.Nd6+!! (Much better than taking the rook and losing the initiative. Keep the enemy king on the run!) 19… Kd8 20.Qg5+ Nf6 21.Qxf6+ Kd7 22.Qf7+ Kd8 23.Nc4 Qxb2+ 24.Kxb2 b5 25.Bd6 a3+ 26.Kb1 bxc4 27.Qc7+ Ke8 28.Qe7mate 1-0
Alan R. LeCours-Richard Pugh New York Ch. Kerhonkson, Aug. 31 2003 1.e4 g5 2.d4 e5?! 3.d5 d6 4.Nc3 g4 5.Be3 Nf6 6.Qd2 Nbd7 7.O-O-O Rg8 8.Bd3 a6 9.Nge2 Nc5 10.Ng3 Bd7 11.Kb1 b5 12.Nce2 a5 13.c3 b4 14.c4 a4 15.Nc1 c6 16.f3 Qa5 17.Rhe1 Nb3 18.axb3 a3 19.bxa3 (19…Qxa3 20.Qa2, and White keep his extra piece.) 1-0
Escalante-“Chsstrrrst” (1637) Blitz Game chess.com, Jan. 16 2021 1.e4 g5 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Bxg5 Qb6 5.Qc1= [The chess.com computer says this is an error and suggests the sharper 5.c4, and then the question becomes, can Black reasonably take the b2-pawn with his Queen?
5…Qxb2 6.Nd2, White’s best move, and now:
6…Qxd4?! 7.Ngf3 +/- Qg4 8.cxd5!, and the position between +/- and +- for White.
6…cxd4 7.Bxc4, and White has the advantage.
6…Nc6 7.Rb1 Qxa2 8.Ngf3, and there should be an infinity sign here (which means an unclear position, but I can’t upload that symbol here).]
6.cxd4 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bd3 Bg4 8.Nbd2 O-O-O 9.O-O f6 10.exf6 exf6 11.Bf4 h5 12.h3 Bd7 13.Nh4 Nh6? (Better is 13…Ne5 as the move not only stops Ng6, but White can’t open the c-file with c4.) 14.Ng6 +/- Bg7 15.Nxh8 Rxh8 16.Nf3 Nf5 17.Re1 Nb4 18.Qd2 Nxd3 19.cxd3! (Finally, opening the c-file and Black is ill equipped to defend his isolated king on that file.) 19…h4
If Black chooses to ignore the Bxg5 threat, he might also want to counter-attack. And he occasionally succeeds.
IM Craig W. Pritchett-IM Michael J. Basman Great Britain Ch. Southampton, England, 1986 1.e4 g5 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c5!? (This is an interesting, and possibly even a good, move.) 4.d5 h6 5.h4?! (This is possibly where White starts to go wrong. The position is closed and he should not open it up so soon.) 5…gxh4 6.Nf3 d6 7.Nxh4 Nd7 8.Nf5 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Ne5 10.Bb5+ Kf8 11.Be2 Qa5 12.Kf1 Bxf5 13.exf5 Nf6 14.Rxh6 Kg7 15.Rxh8 Rxh8 16.Kg1 Qxc3 17.Rb1 Ne4 18.Bh5 Qd4 19.Be3 Qxd1+ 20.Bxd1 Nc3 21.Ra1 Nxd5 22.Bc1 b5 23.Bb2 f6 24.Rb1 b4 25.Be2 Nf4 26.Bf1 Rh5 27.Bxe5 fxe5 28.g4 Rg5 29.f3 Kf6 30.a3 a5 31.axb4 axb4 32.Bc4 d5 33.Bf1 Rg8 34.Ra1 Rb8 35.Ra6+ Kg5 36.Ra7 c4 37.Rxe7 b3 38.cxb3 cxb3 0-1
But if White remains flexible, he can often take the pawn and still have enough pieces and space to engineer an attack. There is also the issue of Black trying to win the b2-pawn with his queen.
Vladimir Petrienko-Jan Svatos Trimex Open Pardubice, Czech Republic, 1992 1.e4 g5 2.d4 Bg7 3.Bxg5 c5 4.Be3 Qb6 5.Nc3 (Again, we have the question about Black taking the b-pawn with his queen. The biggest counter-threat from White is of course, Nd5. So, again, is it worth for Black to take the b-pawn? According to result of this game, the answer is No.)
This week is Robert Rowley’s birthday! He was born Jan. 12 1950, earned his FM title and won the Arizona State Chess Championship a total of eleven times.
Many of his game are based on sound play and tactics making them enjoyable, and understandable, for beginning and intermediate players.
Let’s look a couple of his games.
Robert Rowley-IM Jeremy Silman World Open Philadelphia, 1990 [Escalante] 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.O-O Be7
[Also interesting is 5…c5!? GM Ulf Andersson-Ivar Bern, corres., Norwegian 50-Year Postal Jubilee, 1995/6, continued with 6.Bg5 Na6 7.Na3 Nc7 8.c4 b4 9.Nc2 a5 10.e4!! Bxe4 11.Re1 Bxc2 12.Qxc2 cxd4 13.Nxd4 Ra6 (Here Ulf was ready to introduce another nasty tactical trick. 13…Rb8 14.Nc6 dxc6 15.Bxc6+ Ke7 16.Rad1 Qc8 17.Qd2 and the threat of 18.Qd6mate and 18.Qe3! are decisive.) 14.Rad1 h6 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.Qa4 Bc5 17.Nxe6! (White’s enormous pressure had to be released somehow.) 17…Bxf2+ 18.Kh1 Rxe6 (Or 18…Nxe6 19.Qxd7+ Kf8 20.Qc8+ with a mate in two.) 19.Qxd7+ Kf8 20.Rxe6 Qxe6 21.Qxc7 g6 22.Rf1 (Ivar Bern decided to save his stamps due to 22…Bb6 23.Qb7 f5 24.Rd1 and the treat 25.c5 puts a period to Andersson’s little masterpiece.) 1-0 – notes to this game by Inside Chess.]
6.Qd3 a6 7.c4 bxc4 8.Qxc4 O-O 9.Nc3 Qc8!? (This move does have other purposes other than protecting the b7-bishop. It takes the queen out of the possible pin after Bg5 and supports queenside play. Finally, Black is not committed to …d6, even though that is the right move for the d-pawn. He can still …d5 if the position warrants it.)10.Bg5 d6(Well, there goes the ..d5 plans.) 11.Rac1 Nbd7 12.Na4 Bd8 13.Nd2 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Rb8 15.Qc6 Rb4 16.Rc4 Rxc4 17.Nxc4 Be7 18.Rc1 Nb8 19.Ncb6 Nxc6 20.Nxc8 Rxc8 21.Rxc6 h6 22.Bxf6 Bxf6 23.e3 a5 24.b3 Bd8 25.Kf3 Ra8 26.Nc3 Kf8 27.e4 Ke7 28.Ke3 Kd7 29.d5 f5 30.f3 fxe4 31.fxe4 Bg5+ 32.Kd3 Rf8 33.Nb5 Bd8 34.Nd4 exd5 35.exd5 Rf1 36.Rc2 Rd1+ 37.Kc4 Bf6 38.Nc6 Re1 39.a4 h5 40.b4 (40.Nxa5 works just as good, and perhaps a little better than the text, in creating an a-pawn passer.) 40…axb4 41.Nxb4 Ra1 42.Kb5 Bd4 43.a5 Bc5 44.Nc6 Rd1 45.Kc4 Re1 46.a6 Re8 47.Ra2 Kc8 48.Kb5 Bb6 49.Ra4 g5 50.h4 g4 51.Rf4 Rh8 52.Rf5 Bc5 53.Kc4 Bg1 54.Kd3 Bh2
55.Rf1 1-0 (As Rb1 and Rb8 cannot be stopped.)
Rowley-Hurdle Phoenix FIDE Futurity Arizona, 1980 [Hurdle, “Games from the Phoenix FIDE Futurity”, Chess Life, Aug. 1981] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Nbd7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Nxe5 9.Bf4! (A move that appears to refute this variation – Escalante.)
9…Nfd7 (Moving the knight on e5 is embarrassing after Nbd5.) 10.Bb5 Bg7 11.Qe2 O-O 12.O-O-O a6 13.Bxd7 (Any retreat by this Bishop allows Black to begin his attack with …b5. Very interesting is 13.Bxe5 Nxe5 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.Rxd8 Rfxd8 where Black has Rook, Bishop, and pawn plus pressure for the Queen. The position would be fairly equal but Black can improve with 13.Bxe5 Bxe5 14.Bxd7 Bf4+, keep the pawn.) 13…Nxd7 14.Bg5 Qb6! 15.Qxe7! Bxd4 16.Rxd4 Qxd4 17.Bh6 Qf6 (Now White is down an entire Rook but he has all the play. This is the critical position of the game, and perhaps 17…b5 wins. If 18.Rd1 Qf6 19.Bxf8 Qf4+ 20.Kb1 Nxf8 21.Rd8 Bb7 22.Qxf8#. So perhaps 21…Qh6 22.Nd5 Bb7 23.Nf6+ Kh8 24.Qxf7 Qg7 and Black holds. Rowley suggested 21.Nd5! Qh6 22.Nf6+ Kh8 23.Qe4!, and then 23…Rb8 24.Qe5 Ra8 25.Qd4, in either case setting up a winning discovery. Of course, Black could abandon the Rook and counter attack the Knight. For example, 23…Ra7 24.Qd4 Qg7 25.Qxa7 Qxf6 and it’s still a hard fight. Back to the game.) 18.Bxf8 Qf4+ 19.Kb1 Nxf8 20.Nd5 Qf5 (Defending the Bishop. If Black tries 20…Qh6?, then 21.Nb6 Rb8 22.Qc7 leads to disaster on the Queenside.) 21.Nf6+ Kg7 22.Ne8+ Kg8 1/2-1/2
The game which has been described as a game of skill, where players rely on memory, tactics, long winded strategies, good moves, and healthy diet (it helps – believe me), leaving nothing to chance or clairvoyance, does allow, and sometimes even encourage, supernatural intervention. (I have seen players pray before a game.)
Before we start, let me introduce you to Caïssa, the goddess of chess, who showers her favors on prodigies and like Nike (the goddess of victory), occasionally smiles on lower rated.
No one has ever seen Caïssa, but she is around, esp. when chess is being played. Here is one interpretation, but she can also be found on the chessboard itself.
Now it is possible for both players to error in a game. And yet one player still emerges with a win. The goddess always wants to reward the player who willing to take a chance.
“createsure”-Escalante Thematic Tournament – Practice The French (U1900) – Round 2 chess.com, 2020/1 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.exd5 exd5 (A cross between the Tarrasch and the Exchange variations of the French. It gives White a small advantage and is usually played when one is content with a draw.) 5.Bd3 Bd6 6.Ne2 O-O 7.O-O Re8 8.c4 c6 9.Re1 Bxh2+?! (I was hoping for a quick win here with the classical bishop sac on the kingside. However, this move is an error as White has some very beneficial knights to keep his king safe.) 10.Kxh2 Ng4+ 11.Kg3!
[And Black is facing the prospect of a quick loss after a bad sacrifice and a pair of equally bad hallucinations. Obviously moving back to g1 leads to an early mate. But this is the illusion. White wins after 11.Kg1 Qh4 12.Nf3 Qxf2+ 13.Kg1, with the idea of Rf1. I had considered 11.Kg3 and knew it was usually a bad king move as it leads directly to a fun king hunt for the attacking player. I didn’t consider the move was worth studying. But I should have! 11…Qd6+ leads to either 12.f4 Re3+ 13.Kh4 Qh6#, or the better 12.Nf4! Rxe1 (else 13.Rxe8+) 13.Qxe1g5 14.Qe8+ Kg7 and it is White who wins after 15.Nb3.] 11…Qg5 (Now the values of 12.f4 and 12.Nf4 switch places. 12.Nf4 is not good because 12…Ne3+ 13.Kf3 Bg4+ 14.Kg3 Bxd1+ 15.Kh2 Qxf4+ 16.g3 Qxf2+. But 12.f4 Re3+ 13.Nf3 wins!) 12.Qb3?? (White, after facing the threats, both real and illusionary, unbelievably blunders, and allows Black to finish the game with ease.) 12…Ne3+ -+ 13.Kf3 Qg4mate 0-1
Gods and goddesses have always encouraged not just good behavior, but also good health.
In the following game, my inebriated opponent came to the board red-eyed and reeking of alcohol. It didn’t help him, but it helped in keeping me awake as I find alcohol disagreeable in smell, in taste and by ingestion. Did I mention this was a night game?
Gomez Baillo-Escalante US Open Los Angeles, CA 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 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.d4 exd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.cxd4 Be6 13.Nc3 c6 14.Qh5?! (Does White actually believe his premature queen sortie is going to lead to a quick mate? Maybe the alcohol is taking it’s toll as my opponent is playing about 200 pints below his rating. I have a reasonable excuse for my weaker moves; I am 200 points below my opponent’s rating. But I’m sober and that is an advantage in chess.) 14…Qd7!? (Black could play 14…Nf6, but I like my knight just where it is!) 15.Nxd5 (It stands to reason that if I like my knight just where it is, then my opponent does not like my knight where it is. Black has a slight disadvantage.) 15…cxd5 16.Bc2 g6 17.Qe5?! (17.Qe2 was better.) 17…Bd6 (With this simple move, Black now gains a slight advantage.) 18.Qg5 Be7 19.Qh6 (White is fixated on a kingside mating strategy. Tunnel vision helps see deep in a position. But this is not the only part of the board. Other ideas and strategies are emerging.) 19…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 (Black misses 29.Qxg4+! -+. But he finds it the next move.) 30.Bxc1 Qxg4+ 31.Kf1 Qe2+ 0-1
Now that we are starting a new year, it’s time to start creating new.
I am assuming you have a laptop, phone or tablet. Let’s spice up the appearance of your device.
First of all, we have to decide what device we are going working on.
A laptop’s wallpaper is going to be layout pattern with basically a 3 x 2 ratio.
A phone’s wallpaper is going to be portrait layout pattern with basically a 2 x 3 ratio.
The following directions are set up for designing on a laptop. If you are creating a wallpaper for your phone, change Right to Top, and Left to Bottom.
Now create a totally white layer on PhotoShop (you can use other image editors, I’m not picky). This will serve a background. Label this as Layer 1.
Now the subject matter.
Since both you and I love chess (at least you are reading this blog), let’s start with a game.
Now, most players would readily advertise a game they won, and I suggest you do the same here.
First make sure your game has no errors in the score or in the notes (you did annotate it, didn’t you? If not, a few notes will make your game stand out even more.)
Copy Layer 1 (the background). Now crop it so that is approximately 45 percent of the width of Layer 1. Call this new Layer 2.
Increase your font size of your game and use the enter key as necessary so that the game score (plus your notes) fits neatly into your Layer 2. You could also use a text box to do the same. Check which option is best for your creation. This, believe it, or not, is probably, the hardest part.
Oh! One more thing – make the color of your game score something other than white – you do want to show off your game!
Now, create a diagram, of the winning position, or any other that shows a winning, or surprise move.
I use Linares chess fonts which I purchased back in the 1990s. But there are others on the Internet you can download, some even for free.
You are going to be repeating a step here.
Again, create a copy of Layer 1. Crop it so that is approximately 45 percent of the width of Layer 1. Call this new Layer 3.
Move Layer 2 to the left side of the Layer 1.
Move Layer 3 to the right side of the Layer 1.
Now adjust the size, placement, and colors of all three layers to get a wallpaper to your taste (yes, this sounds like something out of a cookbook).
Garnish with any else you might want to add. For example, an emoji, a smiling face, or tournament bulletin or ad, might just add something to your overall design.
Save your file as a PSD (so you can easily change it later) and then as a JPEG so you can show it off.
PS – I included mine to share. You can also do the same. Let’s create! =)
If you ask chess players what was Fischer’s defence against 1.d4, most would say the King’s Indian Defence (KID). A few would also say the Gruenfeld as well (remember the “Game of the Century” they might yell out).
But Fischer also had a third option, one which he used for surprise and special occasions. That defence is known as the Benoni and is characterized as 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5. Black intends to strike on the queenside and is willing to sacrifice a pawn to gain a powerful attacking position from that side of the board.
Some games from the Great One.
GM Pomar-GM Fischer Havana Ol. Cuba, 1966 [Note: Fischer had to play all his games in this event by telephone due to US restrictions on trade and travel to Cuba. Consequently, all his games took longer to finish than most of the others.] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Be2 Bg7 8.f4 O-O 9.Nf3 Re8 10.Nd2 c4 11.Bf3 Nbd7 12.O-O b5 13.Kh1 a6 14.a4 Rb8 15.axb5 axb5 16.e5 dxe5 17.Nde4 Nxe4 18.Nxe4 Nf6 19.d6 Be6 20.Nc5 e4 21.Nxe4 Nxe4 22.Bxe4 Qb6 23.f5 gxf5 24.Bc2 Qd4 25.Qh5 Qg4 26.Qxg4 fxg4 27.Bg5 Bxb2 28.Rad1 b4 29.d7 Red8 30.Ba4 b3 31.Rfe1 Kg7 32.Bxd8 Rxd8 33.Rd6 Bf6 34.Red1 Bg5 35.Rb6 h6 36.Rc6 Ra8 37.Bb5 Bxd7 38.h4 Bxc6 39.Bxc6 c3 40.hxg5 c2 41.gxh6+ Kh8 0-1
Miguel Cuellar-GM Fischer Sousse Izt. Tunisia, 1967 [Hans Kmoch, “Games from Recent Events”, Chess Review, Jan. 1968.] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.Bg5 (Recent experiences with this move are discouraging.) 8…h6 9.Bf4 g5 10.Bc1 (Understandably, White dislikes both trading the Bishop for Knight by 10.Bg3 Nh5 or 10.Be3 Ng4 and 10.Bd2 interfering with his intended Nd2. So the Bishop has, if one may put it so, achieved a but less than nothing.) 10…O-O 11.Nd2 Nbd7 12.Be2 Ne5 13.Nf1 (Apparently hoping to exploit the hole on f5, White again loses time. He ought to castle instead.) 13…b5 (An excellent pawn sacrifice. Here Fischer shows his extra sense for grasping any attacking possibility.) 14.Bxb5 (Declining the sacrifice by 14.Ng3 is no better because of 14…Qa5! 15.O-O and Black has either 15…b4 16.Nb1 c4 17.Nd2 c3 18.bxc3 bxc3 etc., or 15…Bd7 followed possibly by 16.a4 b4 17.Nb1 c4 18.Nd2 Rfc8 19.Qc2 Qc5 etc.) 14…Qa5 15.Ng3 (Black wins on 15.Bd3 Nxd3+ 16.Qxd3 Nxe4 17.Qxe4 Bxc3+ 18.Bd2 Bxd2+ 19.Nxd2 Ba6.) 15…c4 16.O-O Rb8 17.Qa4 Qxa4 18.Bxa4 Nd3 (The swap of Queens has changed the situation, but little. Black has a strong initiative for his Pawn.) 19.Bb5 (A better defense is 19.Rb1 Then 19…Ng4 threatens 20…Bxc3 but is met by 20.Bc2.) 19…Ng4 20.Nge2 Nxc1 21.Raxc1 Ne5 22.b3 cxb3 23.axb3 a6 24.Ba4 Nd3 25.Rc2 f5 26.Ng3 (White makes matters worse: 26.exf5 Bxf5 27.Rd2 is necessary.) 26…f4! 27.Nge2 f3 28.Ng3 fxg2 29.Kxg2 Bg4! (Now Black has positional advantages which must win one way or another.)
30.Nf5 (White loses a piece: but the plausible 30.f3 also loses quickly because of 30…Bxf3+! and 31.Kh3 31…Nf4# or 31.Rxf3 Ne1+ or 31.Kg1 Bd4+ etc. 30.Nd1 may hold out longer but not really for long.) 30…Nf4+ 31.Kg3 (There is no difference after 31.Kg1 but 31.Kh1 allows mate in two.) 31…Bxf5 32.exf5 Bxc3 33.Kf3 (Or 33.Rxc3 Ne2+, and the damage amounts to a full Rook.) 33…Be5 34.Ke4 Rb4+ 35.Rc4 Rfb8 36.f6 Kf7 37.Kf5 Rxc4 38.bxc4 Ne2 39.Re1 Nd4+ 40.Kg4 h5+ 41.Kh3 Kxf6 0-1
GM Spassky-GM Fischer World Ch. Reykjavík, Iceland, 1972 Game #3 [This was the first time ever that Fischer beat Spassky in a game. Immediately following this victory Fischer went on a rampage to win the title.] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Nd2 Nbd7 8.e4 Bg7 9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0 Re8 11.Qc2 Nh5!? (A seemingly antipositional move allows White to shatter Black’s kingside pawn structure, but Fischer’s attack proves to be unstoppable as Spassky could not find all the right moves.)
[It is difficult to state what is the best move for White here. One try is 13.h3 h4 14.a4, placing some pressure on the wings.
GM Boris Spassky-GM Fischer World Ch.?* Sveti Stefan & Belgrade Yugoslavia, Oct. 10 1992 Game 16 [* – This event is not universally recognized as World Championship by FIDE, the USCF and most other international and national chess organizations. To be fair, this event would be best characterized as an exhibition match. For more information, consult the various Inside Chess issues that covered this event in greater detail. Now on to the game!] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 d6 4.Nc3 g6 5.e4 Bg7 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bg3 Qa5 9.Bd3 Nxe4 10.Bxe4 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qxc3+ 12.Kf1 f5 13.Rc1 Qf6 14.h4 g4 15.Bd3 f4 16.Ne2 fxg3 17.Nxg3 Rf8 18.Rc2 Nd7 19.Qxg4 Ne5 20.Qe4 Bd7 21.Kg1 O-O-O 22.Bf1 Rg8 23.f4 Nxc4 24.Nh5 Qf7 25.Qxc4 Qxh5 26.Rb2 Rg3 27.Be2 Qf7 28.Bf3 Rdg8 29.Qb3 b6 30.Qe3 Qf6 31.Re2 Bb5 32.Rd2 e5 33.dxe6 Bc6 34.Kf1 Bxf3 0-1