A Fascinating Line in the Slav

Most chess players know of Szymon Winawer, the Polish chess player whose name is attached to a popular line in the French Defence (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4).


However, his name is also attached to a line in the Slav, namely the Winawer Counter Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.d4 c4 3.Nc3 e5!?). The purpose of this move is to free up Black’s pieces as soon as possible, even if it means giving up a pawn.
White can proceed in a number of ways.


First, he can play 4.e4?, but that is ruthlessly refuted by 4..dxc4 5.dxe5+ Qxd1. H.W. Jordan-Redpath Drummond, Canadian Ch., Toronto, 1936, continued with 6.Kxd1 Be6! 7.Nf3 Bc5 8.Ke2 Nd7 9.Be3 O-O-O 10.Rd1 Bxe3 11.Kxe3 Ne7 12.Nd2 b5 13.f4 Bg4 14.Nf3 g5 15.g3 gxf4+ 16.gxf4 Ng6 17.h3 Bxf3 18.Kxf3 Nc5 19.Be2 Ne6 20.Ke3 Nexf4 21.Bg4+ Kc7 22.Rhf1 Rxd1 23.Nxd1 Rd8 24.Be2 Nxe2 25.Rxf7+ Rd7 26.Rxd7+ Kxd7 27.Kxe2 Nf4+ 28.Kf3 Nxh3 29.Kg4 Ng1 30.Kf5 Ke7 31.Ne3 Ne2 32.e6 Nd4+ 33.Ke5 Nxe6 34.Nf5+ Kd7 0-1.


White can also play 4.e3 But that move usually doesn’t preserve the opening advantage.


Barcelona, 1935
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.e3 e4 5.Qb3 Nf6 6.f3 Qb6 7.Qc2 Bb4 8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Bf5 10.Ne2 Nbd7 11.Ng3 Bg6 12.f4 Nh5 13.Be2 Nxg3 14.hxg3 f5 15.a4 Nf6 16.Ba3 Bf7 17.cxd5 Nxd5 18.Kf2 O-O-O 19.c4 Nxe3 20.Qc3 Nxc4 21.Bxc4 Rxd4 22.Be2 Bc4 23.a5 Rd3+ 24.axb6 Rxc3 25.Bxc4 1-0


A. Nosenko (2524)-P. Simacek (2474)
Lower Silesia Cup
Legnica, Poland, Nov. 27 2016
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.e3 exd4 5.exd4 Nf6 6.Nf3 Be7 7.Qb3 O-O 8.Be3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b5 10.Bd3 Na6 11.a3 b4 12.Bxa6 bxc3 13.Bxc8 cxb2 14.Qxb2 Rxc8 15.O-O Nd5 16.Qb7 Qa5 17.Ne5 Qa4 18.Rfc1 Rc7 19.Qb2 c5 20.Qc2 Qa6 21.Qd3 Qe6 22.Rc2 Bf6 23.Nf3 c4 24.Qe2 Re8 25.Re1 Qa6 26.Nd2 Bxd4 27.Nxc4 h6 28.Qd3 Bc3 29.Rd1 Qxc4 30.Qxc4 Rxc4 31.Rxd5 Rd4 32.Rxd4 Bxd4 33.Kf1 Bxe3 34.Re2 f5 35.fxe3 Re4 36.Rf2 g6 37.Rf4 Rxf4+ 38.exf4 Kf7 39.Ke2 Ke6 40.h4 Kd5 41.Kd3 h5 42.g3 a6 0-1


Finally, he might try 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5, which creates and maintains a dynamic mix of tactics and forceful play.


It is from this line we find the following, fantastic, and ultimately satisfying, variation.


After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5 f6 7.Qa4+ Nd7 8.Ng4 (an attempt to weaken Black’s kingside), Black plays his surprise move.


8…Kf7! (or maybe even !!)


This move not only puts the Black king on a more active square, but allows his pieces to occupy more optimal squares without taking out the time to castle and then attempt to put his pieces on better squares, a tempo behind.


Is this a risky more? Yes. But not as much as you might believe. Access to Black’s kingside is checked (oh, I love puns!) by his pawns and the lack of activity on the that side of the board.


Let’s look at some White replies to 8…Kf7


9.Nxd5 has some hidden tactics to it. Black plays 9…Nb6! with the idea of 10.Nxb6 Qxb6 11.Ne3 Bb4+ 12.Bd2 Bxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Qxb2+ 14.Nc2 Be6 15.Qb4 Qxb4+ 16.Nxb4 Ne7! and the game retains its dynamic style. Chances are about even. This line has been pointed out by several masters.


That doesn’t mean that some players won’t play it.


Dmitry Smolin-A. Tsybulnik
300 Years
St. Petersburg, Russia, 2003
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5 f6 7.Qa4+ Nd7 8.Ng4 Kf7 9.Ne3 Nb6 10.Qb3 Be6 11.a4 a5 (Otherwise, 12.a5 spells trouble for Black.) 12.g3 Ne7 13.h4 Nc6 14.Nc2 Bd6 15.Bh3 Bxh3 16.Rxh3 Nb4 17.Nxe4 Nxc2+ 18.Qxc2 dxe4 19.Qxe4 Bb4+ 20.Kf1 [Black wants to play …Re8 with the idea of a possible …Kg8 (if he wants to play it safe!). But he can’t yet play 20…Re8? as 21.Qxh7 is almost winning for White. So he moves to trade queens, after which White has almost no developed pieces while Black’s active pieces take over the board.] 20…Qd5 21.Qxd5+ Nxd5 22.g4 Rhe8 (Now that Black’s rook can move to e8, he is winning.) 23.Rd3 h5 24.g5 Re4 25.f3 Rxh4 26.Kg2 Bd6 27.e4 Nf4+ 28.Bxf4 Bxf4 29.Rb3 Rc8 30.Rc3 (30.Rxb7+? Kg6, and White can’t prevent …Rc2+.) 30…Rh2+ 31.Kg1 Rd8 32.Rc4 Rxb2 33.Rd1 Bxg5 34.Re1 Bf4 35.e5 fxe5 36.dxe5 Bxe5 37.Rce4 Bf6 38.R1e2 Rxe2 39.Rxe2 Rd4 40.Ra2 Rb4 0-1


E. Goudriaan-P. Ten Vergert
Netherlands U21 Ch.
Venlo, 2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5 f6 7.Qa4+ Nd7 8.Ng4 Kf7 9.Nxd5 Nb6 10.Nxb6 Qxb6 11.Ne3 Bb4+ 12.Bd2 Bxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Qxb2+ 14.Nc2 Be6 15.Qb4 Qxb4+ 16.Nxb4 a5 17.Nc2 b5 18.a3 Ne7 19.e3 Rhb8 20.Rb1 Bd7 21.f3 exf3 22.gxf3 Ra7 23.Bc4+ Kf8 24.Rb2 Rc7 25.Bd3 h6 26.Rhb1 Rcb7 27.Na1 b4 28.axb4 Rxb4 29.Rxb4 Rxb4 30.Rxb4 axb4 31.Nc2 b3 32.Nb4 Ba4 33.Kc3 Ke8 34.Kb2 Nc6 35.Nxc6 Bxc6 36.e4 g5 37.Kxb3 Ke7 38.Kc3 Kd6 39.Kd2 Bd7 40.Ke3 Be8 41.f4 Ke7 42.Be2 Bf7 43.Bg4 Be8 44.Bf3 Bd7 45.Bh5 Bc8 46.Bg6 Bg4 47.Bf5 Bd1 48.h3 Kf7 49.Bg4 Ba4 50.f5 Ke7 51.e5 Bc2 52.h4 Bb1 53.hxg5 hxg5 54.Kd2 Kd7 55.Kc3 fxe5 56.dxe5 Ke7 57.Kd4 Ba2 58.Kc5 Bb3 59.f6+ Kf7 60.Kd6 Kg6 61.Ke7 1-0


Sasa Jovanovic-Milovan Ratkovic
Belgrade Trophy 2010
Obrenovac, 2010
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5 f6 7.Qa4+ Nd7 8.Ng4 Kf7 9.Nxd5 Nb6 10.Nxb6 Qxb6 11.Ne3 Bb4+ 12.Bd2 Bxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Qxb2+ 14.Nc2= Be6 15.Qb4 Qxb4+ 16.Nxb4 Ne7 17.e3 Rac8 18.Be2 a5 19.Nc2 Rc7 20.Na3 Rhc8 21.Rhc1 Rxc1 22.Rxc1 Rxc1 23.Kxc1 Nd5 24.Kb2 Ke7 25.Nb5 Kd7 26.a3 Kc6 27.Bc4 Nf4 28.Bxe6 Nxe6 29.Nc3 Nc7 30.Nxe4 Kd5 31.Nd2 f5 32.Kb3 b5 33.Nb1 Ke4 34.Nc3+ Kd3 35.d5 Na6 36.Nxb5 Nc5+ 37.Kb2 Ke2 38.Nd4+ Kxf2 39.Nxf5 g6 40.Nh6 Kxe3 41.Kc3 Ke4 42.Kc4 Nd7 43.Nf7 Nb6+ 44.Kb5 Nxd5 45.Ng5+ Ke3 46.Nxh7 Kf2 47.h4 Kxg2 48.Nf8 Kg3 49.Nxg6 Kg4 50.Kxa5 Kh5 51.Nf4+ Nxf4 52.Kb5 Nd5 53.Kc5 Nc3 54.Kc4 Na4 55.Kb4 Nb6 56.Kb5 Nd5 1/2-1/2


A more common reply is 9.Ne3.


Carlsson- Thomas Engqvist
Sweden, 1988
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5 f6 7.Qa4+ Nd7 8.Ng4 Kf7 9.Ne3 Nb6 10.Qb3 Be6 11.f3 f5 12.fxe4 fxe4 13.g3 Nf6 14.Ng2 Nh5 15.a4 Qd7 16.Nf4 Nxf4 17.Bxf4 Nc4 18.Bg2 Be7 19.O-O Rhf8 20.Rf2 Kg8 (I have not been able to locate the entire game. Perhaps a generous reader can help.)


IM Michael Wiedenkeller (2443)-FM Thomas Engqvist (2366)
Sweden Ch.
Goteborg, 1990
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5 f6 7.Qa4+ Nd7 8.Ng4 Kf7 9.Ne3 Nb6 10.Qb3 Be6 11.a4 a5 12.g3 Ne7 13.h4 Nc6 14.Nc2 Nb4 15.Bh3 Bxh3 16.Rxh3 Qc8 17.Rh1 Nxc2+ 18.Qxc2 Bb4 19.Qb3 Qc4 20.Qxc4 Nxc4 21.Kd1 Bxc3 22.bxc3 b5 23.Rb1 bxa4 24.Rb7+ Ke6 25.Bf4 Rhd8

26.Kc2 Rd7 27.Rxd7 Kxd7 28.Ra1 Ra7 29.Rxa4 Rb7 30.Bc1 h5 31.f3 exf3 32.exf3 Kc6 33.Kd3 Re7 34.Rxc4+ dxc4+ 35.Kxc4 Re1 36.d5+ Kd7 37.Ba3 Re3 38.Bf8 g5


Wolfram Von Alvensleben (2235)-Martin Maier (2225)
Oberliga Nord W 9394
Germany, 1994
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5 f6 7.Qa4+ Nd7 8.Ng4 Kf7 9.Ne3 Nb6 10.Qb3 Be6 11.g3 f5 12.Bh3 g6 13.a4 a5 14.O-O Nf6 15.Ng2 Kg7 16.f3 Bf7 17.Bf4 Bd6 18.Bxd6 Qxd6 19.Nb5 Qe7 20.Rac1 Nc4 21.Qc3 Rhc8 22.b3 Nd6 23.Qd2 Nxb5 24.axb5 b6 25.Rc6 Rxc6 26.bxc6 Rc8 27.Rc1 Rc7 28.Ne3 Qe6 29.b4 axb4 30.Kf2 Rxc6 31.Rb1 Qc8 32.Qxb4 Qd7 33.Ra1 Be6 34.Ra8 Ne8 35.fxe4 fxe4 36.Bxe6 Rxe6 37.Rb8 Rf6+ 38.Kg2 Qf7 39.Ng4 Re6 40.Rxb6 Rxb6 41.Qxb6 Nf6 42.Ne5 Nd7 43.Qd6 Nxe5 44.Qxe5+ Kf8 45.g4 Kg8 46.Kg3 h6 47.Qf4 Kg7 48.Qxf7+ Kxf7 49.Kf4 Ke6 50.h3 g5+ 51.Ke3 Kd6 52.Kd2 1/2-1/2


P. Golubka-V. Stradej
Vsetin Open 2015
Czech Republic, 2015
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5 f6 7.Qa4+ Nd7 8.Ng4 Kf7 9.Ne3 Nb6 10.Qb3 Be6 11.a4 a5 12.g3 Bb4 13.Bg2 Ne7 14.Nc2 Nc6 15.O-O Re8 16.Nxb4 Nxb4 17.Nb5 Nc4 18.Bf4 g5 19.Bc1 Kg7 20.f3 e3 21.f4 g4 22.f5= Bf7 23.Qd1 Rc8 24.Nc3 Qd7 25.Rf4 Kh8 26.Rxg4 Qxf5 27.Rf4 Qg5 28.b3 Nb6 29.Bb2 Bg6 30.Rc1 Rc6 31.Bh3 Be4 32.Nxe4 Rxe4 33.Rxe4 dxe4 34.d5 N6xd5 35.Rxc6 bxc6 36.Qf1 Kg7 37.Bf5 h5 38.Bxe4 h4 39.Qf5 Qxf5 40.Bxf5 hxg3 41.hxg3 Kh6 42.Kg2 Kg5 43.Be4 f5 44.Bf3 f4 45.Be4 fxg3 46.Kxg3 Kh5 47.Kf3 Kg5 48.Bd4 1-0


Finally, White can play 9.f3, hoping to open the kingside.


Ruslan Sherbakov (2495)-Aleksander Czerwonski (2370)
Katowice Open, 1992
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5 f6 7.Qa4+ Nd7 8.Ng4 Kf7 9.f3 Nb6 10.Qd1 Bxg4 11.fxg4 Bd6 12.e3 Ne7 13.g3 Qd7 14.Bd2 Rhc8 15.b3 a6 16.Be2 Ba3 17.Rb1 Bb4 18.Nxe4 Bxd2+ 19.Nxd2 Qe6 20.Nf1 Rc3 21.Bd3 Rac8 22.h3 R8c7 23.Rh2 Nbc8 24.Rc2 Rxc2 25.Bxc2 Nd6 26.Bd3 Ne4 27.Rc1 Nc3 28.Qd2 Ne4 29.Bxe4 Rxc1+ 30.Qxc1 Qxe4 31.Kf2 Qd3 32.Nd2 b5 33.Nf3 h6 34.Qd2 Qb1 35.Qa5 Qc2+ 36.Qd2 Qb1 37.Ne1 Qe4 38.Qa5 Qe6 39.Nf3 Qe4 40.Ne1 Qe6 41.Qc7 Qe4 42.Qb6 Qh1 43.h4 Qe4 44.Qxa6 Qxg4 45.Qxb5 Qf5+ 46.Ke2 Qg4+ 47.Kf2 Qf5+ 48.Ke2 Qg4+ 49.Kd2 Qxg3 50.h5 Qh2+ 51.Qe2 Qb8 52.Nd3 Nf5 53.Qf3 Ne7 54.Qg2 Qb5 55.Kc2 g5 56.hxg6+ Nxg6 57.Qh3 Kg7 58.a4 Qe8 59.Nc5 h5 60.Qxh5 Qxe3 61.Qxd5 Qf2+ 62.Kc3 Qe1+ 63.Kc4 Qf1+ 64.Kb4 f5 65.Qd7+ Kf6 66.a5 Qe1+ 67.Kb5 f4 68.a6 Qe2+ 69.Kb6 1-0


Boris Chatalbashev (2524)-Lexy Ortega (2499)
Padova Open
Italy, 1999
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 e4 6.Ne5 f6 7.Qa4+ Nd7 8.Ng4 Kf7 9.f3 Ne7 10.Qb3 Nb6 11.Nxe4 Nc6 12.Nc3 Nxd4 13.Qd1 Nc6 14.e3 Bc5 15.Bd3 f5 16.Nf2 d4 17.exd4 Re8+ 18.Ne2 Nxd4 19.O-O Nxe2+ 20.Bxe2 Qxd1 21.Bxd1 Be6 22.b3 Rad8 23.Bg5 Rc8 24.Rc1 Nd5 25.Kh1 Be3 26.Rxc8 Rxc8 27.Ne4 Kg6 28.h4 fxe4 29.fxe4 Bxg5 30.exd5 Bxd5 31.hxg5 Kxg5 32.Kh2 Rc1 33.Kg3 h5 34.Re1 Kf6 35.Kf2 Ra1 36.Bxh5 Rxa2+ 37.Ke3 Rxg2 38.b4 g6 39.Be2 Ke5 40.Bf3 Ra2 41.Kd3+ Kd6 42.Bxd5 Kxd5 43.Re7 Ra3+ 44.Kc2 b5 45.Rc7 a6 46.Rc5+ Ke6 47.Kb2 Rd3 48.Kc2 Rd6 49.Rg5 Kf6 50.Rg1 g5 51.Rf1+ Ke5 52.Re1+Kf4 53.Rf1+ Ke3 54.Rg1 Rd2+ 55.Kc3 Rd5 56.Ra1 Rd6 57.Rg1 Rc6+ 58.Kb3 Rg6


Remember, this is a gambit. And the best way to learn a gambit, or any opening for that matter, is to experiment, both with a partner and by yourself.


Have fun with it!



A Wrong Turn at From’s

I really do enjoy playing the Bird (1.f4). But I fear the From’s Gambit (1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 with the idea of …d6). I say “with the idea of …d6” as Black doesn’t have to play …d6 so soon. He can play 2…Nc6 first and then play 3…d6. Or not at all.

This often puts White off his learned theory and he has to think for himself. It allows him to make an error. Which he often does.




Vienna, 1894
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 d6 4.exd6 Bxd6 5.d4 Nf6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bf2 Ne4 9.e3 g4 10.Bh4 gxf3 11.Bxd8 f2+ 12.Ke2 Bg4+ 13.Kd3 Nb4+ 14.Kxe4 f5mate 0-1


F. Lavoisier-E. Schipper
corres., 1989
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 g5 4.d4 g4 5.Ng5 d5 6.exd6 Qxd6 7.c3 f5 (Schipper also considered 7…Qg6!? 8.d5 h6 9.dxc6 hxg5 10.Qd5 bxc6 11.Qxg5 Qxg5 12.Bxg5 Bd6 – unclear) 8.Qb3 Qe7 9.d5 Nd8 10.h3 Bh6 11.Qa4+? (11.h4) 11…Bd7 12.Qf4 Nf7 13.h4 Ne5!


14.Qg3 Nf6 15.Ne6? Bxc1 16.Qxe5 (16.Nxc7+ Kf7 17.Nxa8 Qd6! -+) 16…Bxe6 17.dxe6 O-O-O 18.a3? Rd5 19.Qg3 Rhd8 20.e3 Rd1+ 21.Ke2 Qxe6 0-1


North American Open, Dec. 30 1993
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 g5 4.h3 d6 5.d4 dxe5 6.Bxg5? f6 7.Bh4 e4 8.Nfd2 (8.d5 Nce7 Bucker) 8…Qxd4 9.Nc3 (9.c3!?) 9…Bb4 10.Nb3? (10.e3 Qxe3+) 10…Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qxc3+ 12.Nd2? (Qd2) 12…e3 -+ 13.Rb1? Nd4 14.Rc1 Bf5 (with the idea of 15…O-O-O) 0-1


Action Chess
Westminister Chess Club
Mar. 10 1994
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 g5 4.g4 d6 (4…g4 5.Ng5!? is another way of complicating the position.) 5.d4 Bxg4 6.Bxg5 Be7 7.Bxe7 Qxe7 8.exd6 cxd6!? 9.Bg2 (9.h3? Bxf3 -+) 9…Bxf3 10.Bxf3 Qh4+ 11.Kf1? (Kd2) 11…Nxd4 12.Bxb7 Nf5?! (Nh6!?) 13.Qd3! (White usually has a good game after this thematic move. Black should make every effort to prevent this move.) 13…Ngh6 14.Bxa8? (Qe4+ -+) 14…Ng4!! 15.Bc6+ Ke7 16.Qe4+ Kd8! 17.Qf3 Nfe3+! 18.Qxe3 Nxe3+ 0-1


Westminster Chess Club, Jan. 19 1995
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.e4?? (Mr. Hacker and I talked about this game after its conclusion. I asked him if he remembered our previous game. He said he did and didn’t want to lose in the same way again. I have admit, he was successful.) 3…Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qxe4+ 5.Kf2 Bc5+ 6.d4 Bxd4+ 7.Kg3 Bxe5+ 8.Kh3? [8.Kf2 Bd4+ 9.Kg3 Nf6!! 10.Bd3 (10.Be2 Be3!! 11.Bxe3 Qxe3+ 12.Bf3 Ne4+ 13.Kh4 Qh6+ 14.Bh5 Qg5+ 15.Kh3 Nf3#!) Nh5+! 11.Qxh5 Qe1+ 12.Kf3 Qf2+ 13.Ke4 Qxg2+ 14.Qf3 (14.Nf3 Qxh1) d5+ 15.Kxd5 Be6+ 16.Ke4 Qg6+ wins!] 8…d5+ 9.g4 h5 -+


Wisconsin Ch., 1999
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 g5 4.d4 g4 5.Ng5 d5 6.exd6 (White almost has to take the “d5” pawn as Black has an advantage in the center if the pawn is left alone.) 6…Qxd6 7.c3 f5 8.Na3 h6 9.Nb5 Qe7 10.Bf4 hg5 11.Nc7+ Kd8 12.Na8 gxf4 13.d5 Ne5 14.Qd4 Rh6 15.e3 b6 16.O-O-O fxe3 17.Bb5 Rd6 18.Kb1 Bh6 19.Rhf1 Nf6 20.Kc2 f4 21.Rf4 Bf4 22.Qf4 Bb7 23.Nb6 axb6 0-1


Blitz Game
AOL, Jan. 18 2003
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 d6 4.exd6 Bxd6 5.b3 Ne5 6.e3 Bg4 7.Qe2 Qf6 8.d4 Nxf3+ 9.gxf3 Bxf3 10.Qf2 Bxh1 11.Bb2 Qxf2+ 12.Kxf2 Bxh2 13.Nd2 Ne7 14.d5 Nxd5 (14…Bxd5 is better) 15.Bc4 O-O-O 16.Rxh1 Nb4 17.Ne4 Bd6 18.Bxg7 Rhg8 19.Rg1 Bf8 20.Bxf7 Rxg7 21.Rxg7 Bxg7 22.Nc5 Rd2+ 23.Ke1 Rxc2 0-1


“obisb” (1501)-Escalante
Blitz Game
Chess.com, Mar. 5 2017
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 d6 4.exd6 Bxd6 5.d3 Nf6 6.e4 Ne5 7.Be2 Bg4 8.O-O Qe7 9.Bf4 O-O-O 10.Bxe5 Bxe5 11.Nxe5 Bxe2 12.Qxe2 Qxe5 13.Nc3 h5 14.Rf5 Qd4+ 15.Kh1 g5 16.Rxg5 Ng4 17.Rxh5 Nf2+ 18.Kg1 Rxh5 19.Qxh5 Nh3+ 20.Kh1 Qg1+ 21.Rxg1 Nf2mate 0-1


Three games from the 1970’s.

Recently I bought some old state chess magazines, all from 1970 to 1975. They were all purchased from ebay and I found some wonderful gems in this collection.


Almost all the games had to be translated from Descriptive Notation (DN) into Algebraic Notation (AN) as DN was the most popular method of recording and analyzing games.


Here are three games I found to be enjoyable, and even instructive.




Proll (1998)-Babinski (2157)
US Open
New York, 1974
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Nxe4 8.O-O Bxc3 9.d5 (The Moller Gambit.) 9…Bf6 10.Re1 Ne7 11.Rxe4 d6 12.Bg5 Bxg5 13.Nxg5 h6 14.Qh5!? (Usual is 14.Qe2, followed by 15.Re1 and putting pressure on the “e” file.) 14…g6? (This move just weakens Black’s kingside pawn structure at a time when he needs it the most. White is practically winning here. Black can sidestep many of his troubles with 14…O-O.) 15.Qh4 [Another winning try is 15.Qf3 hxg5 16.Rae1 Rh4 17.Qf6 Rxe4 18.Rxe4 Bf5 19.Bb5+ c6 20.dxc6 Bxe4 21.c7+ Nc6 22.cxd8=Q+ Rxd8 23.Qd4 d5 24.Qxa7 Rd7 25.Bxc6 bxc6 26.Qa8+ Ke7 27.Qxc6 Rd6 28.Qc5 1-0 (Treybel-Engler, Prague, Nov. 28 1908)] 15…Bf5 16.Re3 Kf8 17.Qd4 Kg8


18.Qxh8+! 1-0


Steve Ellis-Dwight Weaver
Nashville vs. Memphis Match
Tennessee, 1974
[“Nashville – Memphis Match 1974”, Tennessee Chess News, Nov. 1974]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Bc4 Be7 7.Be3 O-O 8.Qe2 Nxe4 9.Nxe4 d5 10.O-O-O dxc4 11.Nxe6 Qa5 12.Nxf8 Bxf8 13.Nc5 Qxa2 14.Qf3 Qa1+ 15.Kd2 Qxb2 16.Ke2 Qxc2+ 17.Rd2 Qg6 18.h3 Bf5 19.Qxb7 Na6 20.Qxa8 Nxc5 21.Bxc5 Bd3+ 22.Ke1 Qe6+ 23.Be3 Be4 24.Qxa7 c3 25.Rd8 Qb3 26.Rxf8+! Kxf8 27.Qc5+ Ke8 28.Qe5+ Kd7 29.Qxe4 c2 30.Kd2 Qb2 31.Qd4+ 1-0


Ted Bielbaum (2029)-Stuart Samuel (2016)
Danvers C.C. Ch.
Massachusetts, Aug. 31 1973
[Notes based “Tournament Games”, Chess Horizons, Jan.-Feb. 1975]
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.Nf3 dxe5 4.e4?! (Transposing into a sort of King’s Gambit Declined, but with the addition of the moves “fxe5” and “dxe5” helps Black.) 4…Bc5!? [It appears From’s Gambit, or at least this variation, was a popular opening in the 1970s. Here is another game from the same time period. 4…f5!? 5.d4 fxe4 6.Nxe5 Be6 7.Be2 Nd7 8.Bf4 Nxe5 9.Bxe5 Bd6 10.O-O Nf6 11.Bh5+ Kd7 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.d5 Bc5+ 14.Kh1 Bg8 15.Qg4+ Kd6 16.Qf4+ Kd7 17.Bg4+ Ke8 18.Qxe4+ Be7 19.Nc3 h5 20.Rxf6 hxg4 21.Qg6+ Kd7 22.Qxg4+ Ke8 23.Re1 Qd7 24.Rf8+ 1-0 (Thompson-Taylor, South Carolina, 1970)] 5.c3 Nc6! (Normal lines are 5…Nf6 6.Nxe5 Qe7 7.d4 Bd6 8.Nf3 and 5…Bb6 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 Nf6=. Too risky would be 5…Qe7 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 Qxe4+? 8.Kf2! Be7 9.Nc3.) 6.Bb5 Nf6!? (6…Bd7! prevents 7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4? Nxd4! 9.Nxd4) 7.Nxe5 O-O (7…Nxe4? 8.Qf3! O-O 9.Qxe4 +-) 8.Nxc6? (Too dangerous. White should play 8.Bxc6! bxc6 9.d4 Nxe4 10.O-O Qd5 11.Bf4=) 8…bxc6 9.Bxc6 Nxe4!? [Leading to unclear complications. If 9…Qd3!? 10.Qf3 (10.Bxa8? Bg4) Qc2 11.Qd1! Qd3 12.Qe2 (12.Qf3=) 12…Ba6 13.Qxd3 Bxd3 14.Bxa8 Rxa8 15.b4 Bb6 16.Bb2 Nxe4 17.c4 Nf2 18.c5 Nxh1 19.Bd4 Re8+ wins!] 10.d4 (Both 10.Bxa8?? Bf2+ and 10.Bxe4 Qh4+ get mated. 10.Qf3? Nf2! 11.d4 Nxh1 12.dxc5 Qh4+ 13.g3 Qxh2 14.Bxa8 Re8+ 15.Be3 Bg4! -+) 10…Qh4+ 11.g3 Nxg3 12.hxg3 Qxg3+ 13.Kd2 Be7? [A blunder. After 13…Qf4+ 14.Kc2? (14.Kd3? loses to 14…Ba6+ 15.Kc2 Qf5+ 16.Kb3 Rab8+) 14…Bf5+ 15.Kb3 Rab8+ 16.Kc4 Qd6, Black wins. White must permit the draw by 14.Ke1! Qg3+ 15.Kd2 Qf4+.] 14.Qf3 Qg6 15.Be4 f5 16.Bxa8 1-0 (The editor must have had fun annotating this game!)



King’s Gambit Game

The King’s Gambit has the reputation of being a wild, attacking, tactical opening. Of the many variations, perhaps the most violent of them all is the Muzio, where White freely gives up a piece and launches a fierce attack on the Black.

Sometimes the effort is successful, sometimes Black, despite having been under constant pressure for almost the entire game, wins it.

But it’s always entertaining.


During the summer I participated in a thematic team match. The opening chosen was the King’s Gambit. I, however, decided to make it into a Muzio.

Here is the game!


Live Wire vs. King’s Gambit Thematic Team Match
http://www.chess.com, Aug. 2017
[Escalante and the chess.com computer]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.O-O (This is the Muzio Gambit) 5…gxf3 6.Qxf3 Bc5+ 7.Kh1 d5 8.Qxf4 f6!? [After 8…Qf6, White has the advantage after 9.Qxc7. Worse are 8…Nf6 9.Bxd5 O-O (or 9…Be7 10.e5 O-O 11.exf6 Qxd5 12.Qg3+ +-) 10.Qg5+, 8…Nh6 9.Qxh6 dxc4 10.Qg7 Bd4 11.e5, and 8…Be6 9.Bxd5 Bxd5 10.exd5 Qxd5 11.Nc3 Qe6 12.d4 Bxd4 13.Nb5 Bb6 14.Bd2 Qf6 15.Qe4+ Qe6 16.Qxb7, all winning. The chess.com computer suggests 8…Qe7 9.exd5 f5 10.d4 Bd6 11.Qf2 11…Qg7 12.Bf4 Ne7 13.Nc3] 9.exd5 Bd6 10.Qh4 Nd7?! (The knight turns out to be misplaced here. White threatens 11.Qh5+ and gain a significant advantage. Best 10… Qd7 to lessen the appeal of the check.) 11.Qh5+ Kf8 12.d4 Nb6 13.Bb3 Qe8 14.Qh4 (Chess.com suggests this is a mistake., giving 14.Qxe8+ Kxe8 15.c4 Ne7 16.c5 Nf5 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.Nc3 Kf7. But I wanted to keep the queens on the board as it is easier to attack with a queen than without one. And I am playing a human, a person, a mistake-maker, not a computer. So let’s keep up the pressure.) 14…Qg6 (This move may be a mistake. Chess.com gives 14…Qe2 as being better and gives the continuation of 15.Re1 Qg4 16.Qxg4 Bxg4 17.c4 Bb4 18.Nc3 Rd8 19.a3. But White can vary with 15.Bxh6+ Nxh6 16.Qxh6+ and now 17.Nc3 seems to be in White’s favor.) 15.c4 Nd7 16.c5 Be7 17.Nc3 f5 18.Qf4 Ndf6 19.Qxc7?! (Somehow this doesn’t look right!) 19…Ne8 20.Qf4 h6 (White’s past pawns in the center certainly gives him the advantage in the area of the board. But they also function as a blockade to any further White attacks in the center. Meanwhile, there is activity in the kingside and he should pay attention to that part of the board.) 21.g4 Bg5 22.gxf5 Qf6 (Here is an agreement with chess.com computer and myself. Best was 22… Qh5. And after 23.Qg3 Ngf6 24.d6 Rh7 25.Be6 Rg7 26.Bxg5 Qxg5 27.Qf2, White has some problems. Perhaps 19.Qxc7 was a mistake after all. Maybe the idea of establishing a strong pawn center is a mistake and White should keep open all the attacking files, ranks, and diagonals.) 23.Qe5 [23.Ne4 only works if Black decides to pawn grabbing adventure; 23…Qxd4?! 24.Nxg5 Qxd5 (Better, of course, is 24…hxg5) 25.Bb3 Qxc5 26.Ne4 Qe7 27.Bf4 fxe4 28.Bxh6+ +-] 23…Ng7 24.Bxg5 hxg5 25.Ne4 Qh6 (25…Qxe5 26.dxe5 Bxf5 27.Ng3 Nh6 28.Nxf5 Ngxf5 29.Bc2 Ng4 30.Rxf5+ and I don’t know who exactly has the advantage.)


26.f6! Nf5 27.d6 Bd7 28.f7! (A Black defensive knight is lost – White is winning.) 28…Nge7 29.dxe7+ Nxe7 30.Nf6 Rd8 (Chess.com computer declares a mate in nine moves. How do these silicon monsters find such mates in such a short time? Meanwhile, the same beastly monster suggests 30…Bc6+. But in this line too, Black has some serious problems; 31.d5 Bb5 32.Ng4 Qh5 33.Rae1 Ng6 34.Qd6+ Kg7 35.Qf6+ Kh7 36.f8=Q Rhxf8 37.Re7+ Nxe7 38.Qxe7+ Kh8 39.Rxf8+ Rxf8 40.Qxf8+ Kh7 41.Nf6+) 31.Nxd7+ Rxd7 32.Qb8+ Kg7 33.f8=Q+ 1-0


Welcome here!

This is the beginning of a chess blog. It is my intention that his blog will feature chess games (esp. miniatures), endings,  thoughts, and other interesting items about the game.

This is a work in progress, with the idea of perpetual improvement.

Maybe you have thoughts about what chess blog might be or how to improve it. If so, let me know – love to know your thoughts.

Here is short game I think you will appreciate.

Alfred Freidl-Ganzer
corres., 1962
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 dxe4 6.f3
(The Winckelmann Gambit, in which White gambits his “f” pawn to access a very open f” file. It’s a gambit that I am now experimenting and so far, the results have been positive. Winckelmann has his name attached to the gambit, not for creating it, but because he was successful in popularizing it by his many brilliant games in the early 1990’s.) 6…exf3 (Accepting the gambit is now considered not the best strategy. But if one cannot accept it, what then is the proper response?) 7.Nxf3 c6 8.Bd3 Nd7 9.O-O Qa5 10.Bd2 Ngf6 11.Qe1 O-O (Usually castling is a good idea as it puts one’s king in a safer space. In this game, and maybe even this gambit, castling may put this king in harm’s way.) 12.Ng5! (To provoke weaknesses in Black’s castled position.) 12…h6 13.c4 Qb6 14.c5 Qc7 15.Nf3 b6 16.Qh4 h5 17.Bf4 Qb7 18.Bd6 Re8 19.Ne5 bxc5 20.Rab1 Nb6 21.dxc5 Rd8 (Now we’ll see the power of the using the “f” file.)  22.Rxf6! gxf6 23.Qxf6 Rxd6 24.cxd6 1-0


 Here’s an early game by Winckelmann;


corres., 1984
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 dxe4 6.f3 exf3 7.Nxf3 Ne7 8.Bd3 Ng6 9.O-O O-O 10.Ng5 h6 11.Nxf7 Rxf7 12.Bxg6 Rxf1+ 13.Qxf1 Qe7 14.Qd3 Bd7 15.Bf4 c6 16.Be5 Be8 17.Bxe8 Qxe8 18.Qg3 g5 19.h4 Nd7 20.hxg5 Nxe5 21.Qxe5 Qg6 22.gxh6 Qxh6 23.Re1 Re8 24.Re3 1-0