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


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

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

Game Submission

Earlier this week I announced that International Chess Day was July 20th and I was requesting if any readers wanted a game to be published on this blog. The following is a submission that I am happy to post.

“Lucio Campiani”-MACBOOK PRO, Level 7
Italy, 2021
[Escalante]
1.Nc3 d5 2.e3

[Seemingly heading towards a Colle. White can also try 2.e4, which is a gambit that deserves to be played more often. Here are two games:

Dunst-Osher
New York, 1956
1.Nc3 (Dunst did much to popularize this opening. In fact, some references actually label 1.Nc3 the Dunst Opening.) d5 2.e4 d4 3.Nce2 c5 4.Ng3 g6 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.d3 Bg7 7.f4 Nf6 8.Nf3 a6 9.a4 Na5 10.Ba2 O-O 11.O-O Nc6 12.h3 b6 13.Bd2 Bb7 14.Bc4 Na7 15.f5 b5 16.Ba2 Nd7 17.fxg6 hxg6 18.Ng5 Bf6 19.Qg4 Bxg5 20.Qxg5 e6 21.Qh6 Qc7 22.Bf4 Qd8 23.Bg5 Qc7 24.Rf6 Qe5 25.Bxe6 1-0

T.D. Harding-N.N.
Simul, n.d.
1.Nc3 d5 2.e4 d4 3.Nd5 f5 4.Bc4 fxe4 5.Qh5+ g6 6.Qe5 c6 7.Nc7+ Kd7 8.Be6mate 1-0.]

3…Nf6 3.Bb5+ c6 4.e4 (An interesting and original gambit. White should not be able to get away with it, but trying out new ideas and themes ultimately enriches the game and makes the adventurous player a better one.) 4…cxb5 5.Nxb5 Nxe4 6.Qe2 a6 7.Nd4 e5 8.Ndf3 Bc5 9.Nh4 Nxf2?

[Black doesn’t have to take the pawn at this time. The attack on f2 is not going away and Black can get better play after 9…Qxh4 or even 9…O-O.

It has been claimed that chess computers can attack but can never defend. And that a computer’s greed is often its downfall. These two allegations were more true back in the 1980s, but we still have examples of these memes. Like this game.]

10.d4 Bxd4 11.Be3 Nxh1 12.O-O-O (White can’t play 12.Bxd4? due to 12…Qxh4+ and 13…Qxd4. Black’s overwhelming material advantage then become obvious and unanswerable.) 12…Bxe3+ 13.Qxe3 Qxh4 14.Rxd5 (14.Qxe5+ is probably better and is definitely better after 14….Qe7? 15.Qxg7! Rf8? 16.Nf3! with the idea of 17.Re1! +-.) 14…O-O 15.Qxe5 Qf2 16.b3 Qxg1+? (Despite winning the knight with a check, this move is an error. Black’s queen finds herself out of play and White’s rook and queen instantly become more active and Black falls behind in development. He should consolidate with 16…Be6 and 17…Nc6.) 17.Kb2 Qxg2 18.Rd8 Rxd8? (Again, greed negatively affects Black’s position. Better is 18…Be6! and his position actually improves.) 19.Qe7 Nc6 20.h4 Rd4?? 21.Qe8mate 1-0

And don’t worry if you could not submit your game due to natural disasters, political upheavals, viruses, or alien abductions. You can still submit things to this blog.

If you have a game you want to be seen here, or have a question, or a request, just email them to Rob@TheNewChessPlayer.com

Rob

This is Black.

A Well-Annotated Game

Due to lack of time, and that mainly due to lack of non-essential items like food and sleep, I can only supply a well-annotated game and the endgame is a challenging and fun one.

The opening is an English and here it is:

GM Jonathan Speelman-GM Yasser Seirawan
Candidates Match, Game #3
St. John, Canada, 1988
[John Nunn, “Candidates’ Matches”, BCM March 1988]
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 O-O 5.a3 Bxc3 6.Qxc3 b6 7.g3 (An innocuous choice. The most dangerous line is 7.b3, with e3 and Be2 to follow.) 7…Bb7 8.Bg2 d5 9.cxd5 exd5 (This could be an important novelty, since White cannot gain the advantage and could easily drift into an inferior position.) 10.O-O (10.d3 d4 11.Qc2 a5 12.Bg5 c5 reaches a position in which White’s backward e-pawn is the most important feature.) 10…Re8 11.Re1? [This is weak because f2 becomes a tactical weakness. 11.e3 is much better when 11…c5 12.d4 (12.b4 d4 is fine for Black) Nc6 13.dxe5 Ne4 14.Qc2 bxc5 is similar to the game, except White need not to worry about f2.] 11…c5 12.d4 (12.d3 d4 with a backward pawn and 12.b4 d4 followed by by 13…d3 are good for Black.) 12…Ne4 13.Qc2 Nc6 14.dxc5 bxc5 15.b3 Qb6?! [Black attempts to exploit 11.Re1? by preventing 16.Bb2 on account of 16…c4 , but a more direct method would have been 15…Nd4! 16.Nxd4 (16.Qd3 Qf6 is no better.) 16…cxd4 17.Bb2 Qf6 followed by …Rac8 and …Nc3 with a clear advantage for Black.] 16.e3 Rab8 17.Rb1

[Not a serious error, but the start of a dubious plan. The simplest line was 17.Nd2!

(1) 17…Ne5 18.Bb2 Nxd2 19.Qxd2 d4 (19…Qxb3 20.Bxe5 Rxe5 21.Rab1 followed by Bxd5 with an edge for White) 20.exd4 Bxg2 21.dxe5 Ba8 22.Re3 with an unclear position.

(2) 17…Ba8 18.Bxe4! (The point that Spleeman had missed; it looks wrong to give up the white-square bishop, but Black has no way of exploiting the weakened kingside.)]

17…Ba8 18.Bd2? [But now White goes really wrong. This was the last chance to play 18.Nd2! and after 18…Ne5 (18…Qa5 19.Bxe4! dxe4 20.Bb2 is similar to line 1 above) 19.Bb2 Nxd2 20.Qxd2 Qxb3 21.Bxe5 Qxb1 22.Bxb8 Qxb8 23.Bxd5 with just an edge for Black.] 18…a5! (This leaves White with few constructive moves, while Black can still improve his position.) 19.Red1 d4 20.Re1 [Mission accomplished! 20.exd4 Nxd4 21.Nxd4 cxd4 (threat …d3) 22.Re1 Ng5! is very good for Black.] 20…Nxd2 21.Qxd2 a4?! (Tempting, but not the best. 21…c4 22.exd4 Rxe1+ 23.Qxe1 cxb3 24.d5 Na7 25.Ne5 is also far from clear, but Black should have prepared the simple line 21…dxe3 22.Rxe3 Rxe3 23.Qxe3 Nd4 when White’s tactics fail, for example 24.Ne5 Bxg2 25.Nd7 Qd8 26.Nxb8 Ba8 or 24.Re1 h6 25.Ne5 Bxg2 26.Nd7 Qd6 27.Nxb8 Bb7 and Black wins in both cases. Therefore, White would have to swap on d4, but this gives Black a slight advantage in the queen and rook ending.) 22.exd4 Rxe1+ 23.Qxe1? (This move justifies Black play. 23.Rxe1 axb3 24.Qe3 attacks e8 and c5, with a completely unclear position.) 23…axb3 (White is in a desperate situation and seizes the only available chance.) 24.d5 Nd4 25.Nxd4 cxd4 26.Qe7? [26.Qb4! is the only move to stay in the game. 26…Qxb4 27.axb4 Rxb4 28.d6 Bxg2 29.d7 Rb8 30.Rxb3 Rd8 31.Kxg2 f5 (31…Kf8 32.Kf3 Rxd7 33.Ke4 regains the pawn) 32.Rb7 Kf7 33.Kf3 Ke6 34.Ke2 leads to a draw, so Black’s best line is 26…Qa7! 27.Qc4 Qxa3 28.Qxd4 b2 29.Be4 Qa2, although this only gives him a slightly better position.] 26…h6 (26…g6 is also reasonable, but there is no reason to criticise Black’s play yet.) 27.d6 Bxg2 28.Kxg2 Qc6+ 29.Kh3 [29.Kg1 looks bad, but after 29…b2 30.d7 the obvious methods do not work, for example 30…Qc1+ 31.Qe1 Qxe1+ 32.Rxe1 Kf8 (32…b1=Q 33.d8=Q+) 33.Kg2 d3 34.Kf3 d2 35.Rb1 Ke7 36.Ke2 and White defends. However, 30…Kh7! is very strong, with the deadly threat of 31…Qc1+ 32.Qe1 Qxe1+ 33.Rxe1 b1=Q 34.b1=Q and White’s promotion is not check.]

29…Rb7! (The best move since 29…Re8 achieves nothing after 30.Qc7!) 30.Rc1 Qf3 [The only way to stay in the game. 30…Qxc1 31.Qxb7! (not 31.Qe8+ Kh7 32.Qe4+ f5 33.Qxb7 b2 34.d7 b1=Q 35.Qxb1 Qxb1 36.d8=Q Qf1+ and Black wins) 31…Qf1+ 32.Kg4 Qe2+ 33.Kh3 Qe6+ 34.Kg2 Qxd6 35.Qxb3 is better for Black, but not a clear win, so Seirawan tries for more.] 31.Rc7 Rb8 32.d7 Kh7! (Seirawan plays very accurately, but these moves took a toll on his clock.) 33.Rc1 [Not 33.Qe8 Rxe8 34.dxe8=Q Qf5+ (34…b2? 35.Qb5) 35.Kg2 b2 36.Rxf7 Qd5+ and Black wins. The rook retreat looks like capitulation, but it sets Black the maximum problems.] 33…b2 34.Re1? [This should have lost instantly, but even the superior 34.Rf1 doesn’t last long after 34…Qf5+ 35.Kg2 Qd5+ 36.f3 (36.Kh3 d3 37.Qe8 Qe6+) 36…b1=Q 37.Rxb1 Rxb1 38.d8=Q Rb2+ 39.Kg1 Qxf3, mating.] 34…Qd5? (A poor move which makes the win much harder. 34…Qxf2! was the killer.) 35.Qe8 Qd6? (Black could have still won by 35…Qb5!, but by now the decision was going to be made by the clock.) 36.Rb1 Qb6?? (Seirawan plays for a win by inertia and as a result he loses. The best move was 36…Qe6+, heading for a draw.) 37.Qxf7 (Suddenly Black is in big trouble. His only chance is 37…Qg6, but the sudden reversal is too much for Black and he collapses.) 37…Qd8? 38.Qf5+ Kh8 39.Qe6 d3 40.Rxb2 1-0

Happy Birthday Fabiano Luigi Caruana!

76172

Caruana was born this day in 1992 (July 30) in Miami, Florida. He moved to Italy in 2005 but returned to the United States when he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 2014.

 

He claims dual citizenship of Italy and the United States.

 

He played his first tournament at the young age of five at the Polgar Chess Center in the appropriately named in Queens borough in New York.

Caruana earned his grandmaster in 2007, at the age of 14 years, 11 months, and 20 days—the youngest grandmaster in the history of both Italy and the United States at the time.

 

He won the Italian National Championship in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011 and the US Championship in 2016.

 

He is the third American to play in the (OTB) World Championship (after Marshall and Fischer), losing the playoff to Magnus Carlsen after drawing the match 6–6 (2018).

 

Here are some games from the amazing GM.

 

GM Fabiano Caruana-GM Emanuel Berg
Dresden Ol.
Germany, Nov. 20 2008
[Escalante]
[The first sacrifice is easy to find, the immediate second one is not so easy. Both require a belief that one’s attack must be successful.]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Bd3 c5 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Qe2 O-O 10.O-O b6 11.Bg5 Bb7 12.Rad1

 

[12.Bxf6 leads only to a draw. Kleeschaetzky-M. Mueller, Bundesliga, Oberliga Nord, Germany, 2001 continued with 12…gxf6 13.Bxh7+ Kxh7 14.Qe4+ f5 15.Qh4+ Kg7 16.Qg5+ Kh7 17.Qh5+ Kg7 18.Qg5+ Kh7 1/2-1/2.]

 

12…Qc7 13.Ne5 Rfd8 14.Kh1! (More common is 14.Rfe1. The text move allows the rook to use the f-file.) 14…Be7 15.Rde1 h6 16.Bh4 Nd5 17.Bg3 Bd6 18.Qe4 Nf6 19.Qh4 Nd7?!

2020_07_30_A

20.Nxf7! Kxf7 21.Rxe6!! Nc5 22.Rxd6 Rxd6 23.Qf4+ Ke7 24.Re1+ Kd7 (Stronger is 24…Ne6. Now White wins by a series of pins.) 25.Bb5+ Bc6 26.Qf5+ Ne6 27.Bxd6 Qxd6 28.Rxe6 (And now if 28…Qd1+, 29.Re1+ wins.) 1-0

 

GM Fabiano Caruna (2652)-GM Konstantin Landa (2664)
Torneo di Capodanno
Reggio Emilia, Italy, June 1 2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Qd2 Be6 9.O-O-O Qd7 (9…O-O is an alternative but Black doesn’t have to commit just yet.) 10.Kb1 (Caruna likes to tuck his king in for safety before doing anything aggressive.) 10…Bf6 11.h4 (Just in case Black decides castles on that side.) 11…h6?! (The h6-pawn is now a potential weakness and target.) 12.Nd4! Nxd4 (If Black castles on the queenside, then White has the annoying 13.Bb5. Black has problems castling on either side!) 13.Bxd4 Bxd4 14.Qxd4 O-O (Finally, Black castles. But he still has the same weaknesses.) 15.Rg1! (Obvious and good!) 15…Rae8 16.g4 (The purpose of 15.Rg1.) 16…Qc6 17.Bg2 Qa6 18.b3 Bd7 19.g5 h5 (A good defensive move. But does Black want to keep defending?) 20.g6! Re7 21.Bd5 Be6 22.Rde1 c5 (Black doesn’t have resources to defend adequately.) 23.Qd1 Rfe8 24.Qxh5 fxg6

2020_07_30_B

25.Rxe6 1-0 [Mating threats are breaking out. If 25…gxh5, then 26.Rxe7+ Kf8 (26…Kh8 27.Rxe8+ Kh7 28.Bg8+ Kh8 29.Bf7+ Kh7 30.Bg6+ Kh6 31.Rh8# ; 26…Kh7 27.Rgxg7+ Kh6 28.Rh7+ Kg6 29.Be4+ Kf6 30.Rhf7#) 27.Rf7+ Kg8 28.Rf5+ Re6 29.Bxe6+ Kh7 30.Rxh5#.]

 

GM F. Caruana-GM B. Gelfand
Zurich Chess Challenge
Switzerland, Mar. 1 2013
[Notes based on: Zura Javakhadze, en.chessbase.com/post/zurich-r6-caruana-wins-by-a-full-point-040313]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 (Again Catalan. It was the most played opening in this tournament.) 4…Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.Qc2 Nbd7 9.Bf4 b6 10.Rd1 Bb7 11.Ne5 (11.Nc3 is the main line.) 11…Nh5 12.Bd2 Nhf6 13.cxd5 cxd5 14.Nc6 Bxc6 15.Qxc6

2020_07_30_C

15…Qb8 [An interesting novelty! 15…Rc8 is the most played line. 16.Qb5 Nb8 17.e3 Ne8 18.Be1 Nd6 19.Qe2 Nc6 20.Nc3 Bf6 21.Rac1 Qd7 (1/2-1/2 Mchedlishvili,M (2651)-Alekseev,E (2683)/ Germany 2012/CBM 151 (35).

 

Since this game was played, Gelfand’s novelty has proven to be more ineffective.

 

GM Roman Ovetchkin (2529)-GM Grigoriy Oparin (2497)
Yekaterinburg, Russia, June 27 2013
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.Qc2 b6 9.Rd1 Bb7 10.Bf4 Nbd7 11.Ne5 Nh5 12.Bd2 Nhf6 13.cxd5 cxd5 14.Nc6 Bxc6 15.Qxc6 Qb8 16.Qb5 a6 17.Qd3 b5 18.Be1 Nb6 19.e3 Rc8 20.Nc3 b4 21.Ne2 Nc4 22.Rab1 Qb6 23.f3 Rc7 24.Bf2 Rac8 25.g4 Qa5 26.Be1 Qb5 27.Rdc1 Qb6 28.b3 Na3 29.Rxc7 Rxc7 30.Rc1 Nb5 31.Qd2 Ne8 32.Rxc7 Qxc7 33.Qc1 Bd6 34.Qxc7 Nexc7 35.Bf1 f6 36.Nc1 Kf7 37.Bd3 g6 38.h4 a5 39.Ne2 e5 40.dxe5 Bxe5 41.f4 Bb2 42.f5 g5 43.hxg5 fxg5 44.Bg3 Bf6 45.Nd4 Nxd4 46.Bxc7 Nc6 47.Bb5 Bd8 48.Bg3 Ne7 49.Bd7 Kf6 50.Be8 Ng8 51.Kf2 Ke7 52.Bc6 Nf6 53.Kf3 h5 54.gxh5 Nxh5 55.Be5 Nf6 56.e4 dxe4+ 57.Bxe4 Bb6 58.Bc6 Bc5 59.Bc7 g4+ 60.Kg2 Bd6 61.Bxa5 Nh5 62.Be4 Nf6 63.Bc6 Nh5 64.Be4 Nf6 65.Bb7 Nh5 66.Bc8 Ng7 67.f6+ Kxf6 68.Bxg4 Nf5 69.Kf3 Ke5 70.Ke2 Nd4+ 71.Kd3 Kd5 72.Bb6 Bc5 73.Bd8 Bd6 74.Bh4 Kc5 75.Bf2 Be5 76.Be6 Bf6 77.Bg8 Bg7 78.Be3 Bf6 79.Bf7 Bg7 80.Bc4 Bf6 81.Ke4 Bg7 82.Bd5 Bf6 83.Bh6 Be7 84.Bc4 Nb5 85.Kd3 Nd4 86.Bc1 Nb5 87.Be3+ Kc6 88.Bf7 Nd6 89.Bh5 Bf6 90.Bc1 Be5 91.Bg4 Kb6 92.Bd7 Kc5 93.Be3+ Kd5 94.Bf2 Ne4 95.Be6+ Kxe6 96.Kxe4 Bc3 97.Bc5 Be1 98.Kd4 Kd7 99.Kc4 Kc6 100.Bxb4 Bf2 101.a3 Be3 102.Bc3 Bc1 103.a4 Ba3 104.Bb4 Bc1 105.Bc5 Bd2 106.Bd4 Ba5 107.Bc3 Bc7 108.b4 Kb7 109.b5 Bb6 110.a5 Bd8 111.a6+ Ka8 112.Kc5 Bc7 113.Kc6 Bd8 114.Be5 Bb6 115.Bd6 Ba7 116.Bc5

2020_07_30_D

1-0

 

M. Muzychuk (2540)-Adam Kozak (2148)
Gibraltar Masters
Caleta, Jan. 1 27 2018
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 O-O 7.O-O Nbd7 8.Qc2 c6 9.Rd1 b6 10.Bf4 Bb7 11.Ne5 Nh5 12.Bd2 Nhf6 13.cxd5 cxd5 14.Nc6 Bxc6 15.Qxc6 Qb8 16.Qb5 a6 17.Qd3 b5 18.Bf4 Bd6 19.Bxd6 Qxd6 20.Nd2 Nb6 21.e4 Qe7 22.e5 Nfd7 23.Rdc1 Rac8 24.a3 Nc4 25.Rc2 g6 26.f4 Ndb6 27.Nf3 Nd7 28.h4 Ncb6 29.Rf2 Rc7 30.Bh3 Rfc8 31.Kg2 Rc1 32.Rxc1 Rxc1 33.g4 f5 34.exf6 Nxf6 35.Ng5 Ne4 36.Nxe4 dxe4 37.Qxe4 Qd7 38.f5 exf5 39.gxf5 Qc6 40.Qxc6 Rxc6 41.Kf3 Kf7 42.Ke4 Ke7 43.fxg6 hxg6 44.Ke5 Rc1 45.Bg2 Nd7+ 46.Kf4 Rd1 47.Re2+ Kf6 48.Ke4 Nb6 49.b3 Ke7 50.Re3 a5 51.Rc3 Re1+ 52.Kf4 Nd7 53.Rc7 Kd6 54.Rc6+ Ke7 55.Rxg6 Rd1 56.d5 Nf8 57.Rb6 Rd4+ 58.Be4 Nd7 59.Re6+ Kf7 60.Ke3 Rd1 61.Ke2 Rd4 62.h5 Nc5 63.Bg6+ Kg7 64.Rc6 Nxb3 65.h6+ 1-0.]

 

16.Qc2 b5 17.Qd3 b4 18.Be1 Qb6 19.Nd2 (Fabiano’s reaction on Gelfand’s novelty was probably the most natural.) 19..a5 20.Rac1 Rac8 21.e3 e5 (It looks like Boris missed his opponent’s next move. 21…Rfd8 looks more solid. But after 22.Bf1 White is better, due to the bishop pair.) 22.Bh3 Rc7 (22…e4 23.Qb3 +/=. In the late endgame Black’s central pawns might become a target of attack, this gives White very pleasant prospects.) 23.Bxd7 Nxd7 24.dxe5 Nxe5 (Gelfand activated his pieces but in my opinion, it hardly compensates a pawn.) 25.Qxd5 Rfc8 26.Nb3 Nc4 27.Rd4 Qa6 28.Rf4 Bf6 29.Qd3 Qe6 30.Re4 Qd6 31.Re8+! (Caruana simplifies the position in a nice tactical way and remains with an extra pawn.) 31…Rxe8 32.Qxd6 Nxd6 33.Rxc7 a4 34.Nc5 b3 35.axb3 axb3 36.Rc6 Bxb2 37.Nxb3 (37.Rxd6?! Ba3 38.Rb6 Bxc5 39.Rxb3. Knights on the board are obviously favorable for White.) 37…Ne4 38.Kg2 h5 39.f3 Ng5 40.Bf2 (The second time control has arrived and the Italian shows very high endgame technique.) 40…g6 41.Nc5 Ne6 42.Ne4 Bg7 43.Rb6 Ra8 44.h3 Ra2 45.f4 Ra5 46.Kf3 g5 47.Rb8+ Kh7 48.Nd6 f5 49.Rb6 g4+ 50.hxg4 fxg4+ (50…hxg4+ was the best try for survival.) 51.Kg2 Nc5 52.Nb7 (White has two connected pawns, so knights are no longer necessary on the board.) 52…Nxb7 53.Rxb7 Ra4 54.Rb6 Re4 55.Kf1 h4? (White is very close to victory but this move makes his task much easier.) 56.gxh4 g3 57.Bg1! Bh6 58.Kg2 (A very convincing victory by the Italian prodigy!) 1-0

 

GM Magnus Carlsen-GM Fabiano Caruana
World Ch., Game #11
London, Nov. 24 2018
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Be3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nd7 9.O-O-O Nf6 10.Bd3 c5 11.Rhe1 Be6 12.Kb1 Qa5 (12…d5!?) 13.c4 Qxd2 14.Bxd2 h6 15.Nh4 Rfe8 16.Ng6 Ng4 17.Nxe7+ Rxe7 18.Re2 Ne5 19.Bf4 Nxd3 20.Rxd3 Rd7 21.Rxd6 Rxd6 22.Bxd6 Rd8 23.Rd2 Bxc4 24.Kc1 b6 25.Bf4 Rxd2 26.Kxd2 a6 27.a3 Kf8 28.Bc7 b5 29.Bd6+ Ke8 30.Bxc5 h5 31.Ke3 Kd7 32.Kd4 g6 33.g3 Be2 34.Bf8 Kc6 35.b3 Bd1 36.Kd3 Bg4 37.c4 Be6 38.Kd4 bxc4 39.bxc4 Bg4 40.c5 Be6 41.Bh6 Bd5 42.Be3 Be6 43.Ke5 Bd5 44.Kf4 Be6 45.Kg5 Bd5 46.g4 hxg4 47.Kxg4 Ba2 48.Kg5 Bb3 49.Kf6 Ba2 50.h4 Bb3 51.f4 Ba2 52.Ke7 Bb3 53.Kf6 Ba2 54.f5 Bb1 55.Bf2 Bc2 1/2-1/2

 

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave-GM Fabiano Caruana X25
Blitz Game
Chessbrah May Invitational
Chess.com, May 2020
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.e3 Bb4 5.Qc2 a5 6.Nd5 d6 7.a3 Bc5 8.Be2 Be6 9.Nxf6+ Qxf6 10.b3 O-O 11.Bb2 Ba7 12.Rd1 Bf5 13.d3 Qe7 14.O-O Bg6 15.Qd2 Rad8 16.Rfe1 d5 17.cxd5 Rxd5 18.Qc3 Rfd8 19.Rd2 Rc5! -+ 0-1

A Continuation of From’s

A few posts ago I wrote about From’s Gambit (see “From England, with Love.”)

 
The research needed for that article helped this one. I finally got to play a From’s Gambit. And while the game is not perfect, it was a lot of fun to play.

 

“brandquito”-Escalante
Blitz Game
chess.com, July 15 2020
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e3

 

(Most popular, after 5.e3 is 5…Ng4 with lines progressing with 6.Qe2 Nc6 7.Nc3.)

 

5…Nc6!?

2020_07_16_A

6.Be2

 

[A slightly passive move. 6.Bb5 should be considered. Here are four games illustrating that White’s play does not have to be limited to the kingside.

 

Speer-Heemsoth
corres.
Thematic Tournament, 1961
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e3 Nc6 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.d3 Qe7 8.Nc3 O-O-O 9.Bd2 Ng4 10.Qe2 Nb4 11.Bxd7+ Rxd7 12.O-O-O f5 13.h3 Nf6 14.Nd4 g6 15.a3 Nbd5 16.Nxd5 Nxd5 17.c4 Nf6 18.Bc3 Re8 19.Nc2 Nh5 20.Qf3 Bg3 21.Rd2 c5 22.Rhd1 Qe6 23.Kb1 Kb8 24.Re2 Be5 25.Bxe5+ Qxe5 26.g4 fxg4 27.hxg4 Nf6 28.Rf2 Re6 29.d4 Qg5 30.dxc5 Qxc5 31.Qf4+ Kc8 32.Nd4 Red6 33.g5 Ne8 34.Rc1 Re7 35.Rc3 a6 36.Qg4+ Kb8 37.Rf8 Ka7 38.b4 Qc7 39.Kb2 Rd8 40.Rf4 Ng7 41.c5 Nh5 42.b5 Qxf4 43.b6+ Kb8 44.exf4 Rxd4 45.c6 bxc6 46.Rxc6 Re8 47.Qg1 Rd5 48.Qc1 Ng3 49.Re6 Rc8 50.Re8 1-0

 

Antoshin-Belov
Moscow, 1984
[Gambit Revue, 2/1991]
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e3 Nc6 6.Bb5! (A new idea.) 6…O-O (6…Bd7 should be preferred and 7.O-O O-O 8.Nc3 a6 9.Bxc6 Bxc6 10.d3 Re8 11.a4 although and here White has a clear advantage.) 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.O-O Re8 9.Nc3 Bg4 10.Qe1 Rb8 11.d3 Qe7 12.e4 Bxf3 13.gxf3! (The natural 13.Rxf3 would be a serious mistake because of 13…Be5! with full domination by Black.) 13…Nh5 (13…Be5 Now gives nothing. 14.f4 Bd4+ 15.Kh1 with a better position for White.) 14.f4 f5 15.e5 Bc5+ 16.Kh1 Qf7 17.Qe2 Bd4 18.Qf3 Bxc3 (18…Re6 19.Ne2? Bxb2? 20.Rb1 +-) 19.bxc3 Qd5 20.c4 Qxf3+ 21.Rxf3 g6 22.Ba3 Kf7 23.d4 Red8 24.Rd1 Ke6 25.Bc1 Rb1 26.Rfd3 Ra1 27.d5+ Kf7 28.Be3 Rxa2 29.dxc6 Rxd3 30.cxd3 Re2 31.Bc1 Ng7 32.d4 Rc2 33.d5 Rxc4 34.e6+ Kg8 35.Be3 Ne8 36.Bxa7 Kf8 37.Bd4 Ke7 38.Be5 Nd6 39.Re1 Ra4 40.Bxd6+ cxd6 41.Rb1 1-0.

 

Vladimir Malaniuk (2600)-Roman Ovetchkin (2475)
Russia Cup
Omsk/Perm, 1998
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e3 Nc6 6.Bb5 O-O 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.O-O c5 9.b3 Ne4 10.Bb2 f5 11.Na3 Bb7 12.Nc4 Qe7 13.d3 Ng5 14.Nxg5 Qxg5 15.Qd2 Rae8 16.Rae1 Re6 17.e4 f4 18.Rf3 Rh6 19.Nxd6 cxd6 20.Rg3 1-0

 

Claude Oger (19970-Xavier Lebrun (2205)
Elancourt Open, Apr. 22 2006
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e3 Nc6 6.Bb5 O-O 7.Nc3 Bg4 8.Be2 Re8 9.O-O Qe7 10.Kh1 Rad8 11.a3 Nh5 12.Qe1 Ne5 13.d4 Ng6 14.Qf2 Nf6 15.Bd2 c6 16.Bd3 Bc8 17.h3 Nh5 18.Ne2 Bb8 19.Rg1 Nf6 20.Nc3 c5 21.Rae1 a6 22.Ne2 b5 23.c3 Bb7 24.Nf4 Ne4 25.Bxe4 Qxe4 26.Ng5 Qf5 27.h4 Nxf4 28.exf4 h6 29.Nh3 Qxh3mate 0-1.]

 
6…Bf5

 

(Black could obviously try 7…O-O but I usually like to castle to the opposite side of my opponent – it opens more possibilities to attacking their castled king. R. Norman-M.Varner, corres., 1991 continued with 6…O-O 7.O-O Be6 8.Nc3 Nd7 9.b3 Nde5 10.Ne4 Nxf3+ 11.Bxf3 Bd5 12.Bb2 Bxe4 13.Bxe4 Qh4 14.Rf4 Bxf4 15.exf4 Qxf4 16.d3 Rad8 17.Qe1 Rfe8 18.Qc3 Nd4 19.Re1 Kh8 20.Bc1 Qxc1 21.Rxc1 Ne2+ 22.Kf1 Nxc3 23.Bf3 c6 24.a3 g6 …0-1.)

 

7.O-O h5 8.Nh4?! (8…c4!?) 8…Be6 9.Rxf6? (This might work if Black was forced to play 9…gxf6? and now either 10.Bxh5 or 10.d4. But even then Black has the advantage.) 9…Qxf6 10.g3 g5 11.Ng2 h4 12.g4 h3 13.Ne1 Qe5 (>13…O-O-O! which will save Black a tempo or two.) 14.Nf3 Qf6 15.Nc3 Bxg4 16.Ne4 Qf5 (>16…Qg6!) 17.Nexg5? (This can’t be good. Much better is 17.Nxd6+ cxd6 and White rids himself of an annoying bishop. The text move, moreover, freely opens the g-file to Black’s rooks without him having to work for it.)

 

2020_07_16_B

 

17…O-O-O?! (A reasonable move. But not the best. Black should immediately use the open file that was freely given to him with 17…Bxf3 18.Bxf3 Qxg5+ or 18.Nxf3 Qg4+.) 18.Qf1 Bxf3 (A move best described as better late than never.) 19.Nxf3 Rhg8+ 20.Kh1 Rg2 21.Bd3 Qg4 22.Ng1?? Rxh2mate 0-1

The Lousy Lolli

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 
Let’s first define the gambit:

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

2020_06_04_B

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

2020_06_04_C

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

 

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

2020_06_04_D

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

2020_06_04_E

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

50 Years Ago

On Apr. 17th 1970, just after the conclusion USSR vs. Rest of the World match, a blitz tournament took place in Herceg Novi, then part of Yugoslavia.

 

Many of the world class players who participated in the USSR match joined the blitz tournament. Among them were three ex-world champions (Smyslov, Petrosian, and Tal), one future world champion (Fischer would win the title two years later), other players who had participated in the world championship matches and tournaments, and still others who would in the future.

 

Despite several renowned Soviet blitz players, it was Fischer, then in his prime, who captured first place. By a large margin.

 

The difference between Fischer and second placed Tal (who was one of the renowned Soviet players), was an outstanding 4 ½ points.

 

Many of the games were not recorded, which was understandable in the pre-computer days. However, many Tal’s games (about half) could not be reconstructed or were not available after play. This is all more surprising given that Tal was known for his phenomenal memory.

 

Still we have some wonderful games from the tournament. Various games of the top two players from the tournament are given below. Their games are still popular and enjoyable five decades later.

 

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

 

1970hercegnoviblitz

 

 

GM Fischer-IM Ostojic
Blitz Game
Herceg Novi, Apr. 17 1970
[This game has been published in various publications and blogs, including this one.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.e5 Ng8 8.Bc4 Bg7 9.Bf4 Qa5 10.O-O Bxe5 11.Bxe5 Qxe5 12.Re1 Qc7
2020_05_07_A

13.Qd4! +- (13.Qd5 would also work but this is the fastest way to victory.) 13…f6 14.Bxg8 Rxg8 15.Qxf6 d5 16.Re2 Ba6 17.Nxd5 cxd5 18.Qxa6 Rf8 19.Rae1 Rf7 20.Qe6 Rd8 21.c3 Kf8 22.g3 d4 23.cxd4 Rxd4 24.Qe5 Qxe5 25.Rxe5 Rd2 26.R1e2 Rxe2 27.Rxe2 Rf6 28.Kf1 Rc6 29.Ke1 e6 30.Kd2 Ke7 31.Re4 Rb6 32.b3 Ra6 33.a4 Kd6 34.Rh4 h5 35.Rd4+ Ke7 36.Kc3 Rc6+ 37.Rc4 Ra6 38.Rc7+ Kf6 39.Kb4 Rb6+ 40.Kc4 a6 41.a5 Rd6 42.b4 Rd2 43.Kc5 Rxf2 44.Kb6 e5 45.Kxa6 e4 46.b5 e3 47.Rc1 Ke5 48.b6 Rg2 49.b7 Rb2 50.Ka7 g5 51.b8=Q+ Rxb8 52.Kxb8 1-0

 

GM Tal-GM Fischer
Blitz Game
Herceg Novi, Apr. 17 1970
[For most of the game it is even. White eventually gets the advantage, only to see the advantage, and then the game, slip away.]
[B50]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Bc4 Be7 5.d3 Nf6 6.O-O Nc6 7.Ne1!? (A move deserving of more attention. ECO gives 7.Ng5 O-O 8.f4 h6 9.Nf3 exf4, leading to an equal game.) 7…O-O 8.f4 [Despite position’s almost pacific appearance, the game has a lot of tension. From this position, played 33 years later, Black chose 8.exf4 and soon gained the advantage: 9.Bxf4 Be6 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.h3 Qe8 12.Bh2 Qg6 13.Nf3 Nh5 14.Ne2 Rf7 15.Nd2 Raf8 16.Rxf7 Rxf7 17.c3 Bh4 18.Nc4 d5 19.exd5 exd5 20.Ne5 Nxe5 21.Bxe5 Rf2 22.g4 Qg5 23.Bg3 Bxg3 24.Nxg3 Qf4 25.Nf1 Ng3 0-1 (Kim Pilgaard – George-Gabriel Grigore, Kings Cup, Bucharest, 2003).] 8…a6 9.a4 exf4 10.Bxf4 Be6 11.Bxe6 fxe6 12.Bg3 Qb6 13.Qd2 Ng4 14.Nf3 Nd4 15.Rab1 Nxf3+ 16.gxf3 Ne5 17.Kg2 Ng6 18.Ne2 Nh4+ 19.Bxh4 Bxh4 20.b4 Qc7 21.bxc5 dxc5 22.a5 Rf6 23.f4 Raf8 24.Rb6 Bg5 25.e5 Rf5 26.Rxe6 Qf7 27.Rd6 Bxf4 28.Rxf4 Rxf4 29.Nxf4 Qxf4 30.Qxf4 Rxf4 31.Rd7 (White has the advantage due to his advanced pawns and Black’s isolated king on the back rank. But the game still needs to be won!) 31…Ra4 32.e6 Kf8 33.Rf7+ Ke8 34.Rxg7 Rxa5 35.Rxb7 Ra2 36.Kf3 Rxc2 37.Rxh7 c4 38.d4 c3 39.d5 Rd2 40.Ke4 c2 41.Rc7 Kd8 42.Rc4 a5 43.h4 a4 44.Ke5 a3 45.d6 Re2+ 46.Kf5 Rf2+ 47.Kg4 a2

 

2020_05_07_B

 

48.d7?? (White falters at the moment of truth ; 48.e7+ Kd7 49.Rc7+ Kxd6 50.e8=Q Kxc7 51.Qe5+ Kd7 52.Qd4+ Ke7 53.Qb4+ Ke6 54.Qb6+ Kd7 55.Qb7+ Ke8 56.Qc8+ and it’s a draw!) 48…Ke7 49.Rc8 Rd2 50.Re8+ Kf6 51.e7 Rxd7 (Black promotes first and gives the first check. Bobby, like most of his games of the tournament, was also probably ahead in time.) 0-1

 

GM Tal-GM Uhlmann
Blitz Game
Herceg Novi, Apr. 17 1970
[A15]
[One does not give Tal a free tempo!]
1.g3 d5 2.Bg2 Nf6 3.c4 dxc4 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.O-O a6 6.Na3 c5 7.Nxc4 e6 8.d4 Rb8? (The rook does nothing except to get itself into trouble. Better, and more enterprising, is 7…Nb6!?) 9.Bf4 Ra8 10.dxc5 Nxc5? (Better for Black is 10….Nd5, and while not winning, it has the dual benefits of not losing more tempi and getting somewhat out of the pin.) 11.Bd6 Nxc5 12.Bxf8 Kxf8 13.Qd4 Nd7 14.Rac1 h5 15.Rfd1 Qf6 16.e4 Qxd4 17.Rxd4 N5f6 18.Nd6 Ke7 11.Qxd8+ Kxd8 12.Rfd1+ Nfd7 13.Nb6 Ra7 14.Bb8!

 

2020_05_07_C

 

1-0

 

GM Tal-GM Borislav Ivkov
Blitz Game
Herceg Novi, Apr. 17 1970
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Bg5 h6 5.Be3 b6 6.Nf3 Bb7 7.Bd3 Nd7 (When Black makes this move the message he sends out is, “I’m going to play …e5 or …c5.” If he doesn’t make either of these two moves, then the message becomes, “Attack me!”. Black doesn’t make this error, but Tal still attacks!) 8.Qd2 c5 9.O-O-O Ngf6 10.b3 c4 11.Bxc4 Nxe4 12.Nxe4 Bxe4 13.Rhe1 Bxf3 14.gxf3 e6 15.Bf4 Nf6

2020_05_07_D

 

16.Bxe6! fxe6 17.Rxe6+ Kf7 18.Rxd6 (White also has 18.d5) 18…Qc8 19.Be5 Rd8 20.Rxd8 Qxd8 21.Rg1 Qd7 22.Qd3 Qf5 23.Qc4+ Qe6 24.Qc7+ Qe7 25.Qc4+ Qe6 26.Qd3 Qf5 27.Qc4+ Qe6 28.Qxe6+ Kxe6 29.Rxg6 … 1-0

 
GM Tal-GM Korchnoi
Blitz Game
Herceg Novi, Apr. 17 1970
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 a6 5.exd5 exd5 6.Be2 c4 7.O-O Bd6 8.Re1 Ne7 9.b3 b5 10.a4 c3 11.Nf1 b4 12.Ne5 O-O 13.Bf4 f6? 14.Nd3 Bxf4 15.Nxf4 Qd6 16.Bf3! Nbc6 17.Ne3 Qxf4 18.Nxd5 Nxd5 19.Bxd5+ Kh8 20.Bxc6 Ra7 21.Qe2 Qxd4 22.Rad1 Qc5 23.Qe8 Raf7 24.Rd5 Qb6 25.Qxf7 1-0