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.


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.)






[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.


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


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.]



(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.)




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 “Dragon” describes a vast complex variation in the Sicilian. Black sets up a fianchettoed bishop on g7, castles kingside, and hopes to attack on the queenside.


But where did the name Dragon come from?


So far, the research indicates that the name originated from the 19th century Russian player Fyodor Dus-Chotimirsk. He claimed to have invented the term in 1901 as Black’s kingside pawn structure resembled the constellation Draco. The constellation’s name means “dragon” in Latin.


It might also help to know that Dus-Chotimirsk was an amateur astronomer.


We can only assume that the fianchettoed bishop represents the head of the dragon while the bishop’s long diagonal is its tail. You will appreciate the long diagonal (tail) of the dragon after playing over a few games.

Here is an illustrated (AKA with diagrams) introduction to the Dragon.


M. Maric-S. Matveeva
Yugoslavia, 1992
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 g6 6.g3 Nc6 7.Nde2 b6 8.Bg2 Ba6 9.O-O Bg7 10.Nd5 O-O 11.Re1 Rc8 12.c3 Nd7 13.Be3 Nc5 14.Nd4 Ne5 15.Nb4 Bb7 16.f3 a5 17.Nd5 e6 18.Nf4 Nc4 19.Nb5 Ba6 20.Bxc5 Rxc5 21.a4 Nxb2 22.Qb3 Nxa4 23.Nxe6 Rxb5 24.Qxa4 fxe6

0-1 (Black is threatening White’s “c” pawn. And 25.c4? Rb4! loses more material than just a pawn.)


Milenko Lojanica-Gawain Jones
Victoria, 2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.O-O-O Rb8 11.Nxc6? bxc6 12.h4 Qa5 13.Nb1??  Nxe4! 0-1 (with the idea of Bxb2#.)


Ka Szadkowski (2300)-M. Mroziak (2406)
Polish Team Ch., 2nd League
Szklarska Poreba, Sept. 2 2017
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.O-O-O Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.h4 Rfc8 13.Bd3 Qa5 14.h5? Rxc3! 15.Qxc3 Qxa2+ 0-1


Jan Svatos (2280)-Pavel Jirovsky (2335)
Czech Chess Union Open Ch.
Prague, 1964
[A question for White. What is worse than worse having a bishop with long diagonal attacking your castled position? Having two bishops with long diagonals attacking your castled position! Not to mention the enemy queen and rooks. Details below.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.Be3 O-O 8.f3 Nc6 9.Qd2 a5 10.O-O-O a4 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.e5 Ne8 13.exd6 Nxd6 14.Be2 Qa5 15.Bd4 e5! (White was probably not expecting this move. It opens up the position in Black’s favor.) 16.Bc5 Qxc5 17.Qxd6 Qe3+! (This little zwischenzug keeps the advantage for Black. Obviously not 17…Qxd6? 18.Rxd6 and White is doing OK.) 18.Qd2 Qb6 19.Bc4 Qb4 20.b3 axb3 21.Bxb3 e4 22.Nb1 Qb6 23.c3? (All this move does is to loosen up White’s castled position. It’s hard to find a good move, but 23.fxe4!? keeps Black’s bishop from f5 for at least another move.) 23…exf3! 24.gxf3 Bf5! -+


25.Kb2 Rfb8! 0-1



The next two games are from the rarely played Zollner Gambit. Consider these games as sidenotes.


Raymond Martin (2230)-Raymond Vollmar (2143)
US Open
Fort Worth, TX, July 9 1951
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.O-O O-O 9.f4 Qb6 10.e5 (The Zollner Gambit) 10…dxe5 11.fxe5 Nxe5 12.Nf5 Qe6 13.Nxg7 Kxg7 14.Qd2 Re8 15.Rae1 Bd7 16.Bd4 Bc6 17.Qf4 Ned7 18.Bg4 Qd6 19.Qxd6 exd6 20.Rxe8 Rxe8 21.Bxd7 Bxd7 22.Nd5 1-0


L. H. Hansen (1993)-A. Groenn (2409)
Sveins Memorial
Oslo, June 24 2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 g6 7.O-O Bg7 8.Be3 O-O 9.f4 Qb6 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Nxe5 12.Nf5 Qe6 13.Nxg7 Kxg7 14.Qd2 Kh8 15.Nb5 Nc4 16.Bxc4 Qxc4 17.Na3 Qc6 18.Qd4 b6 19.Nc4 Bb7 20.Rf2 Rfd8 21.Qh4 Qe4 22.Qxe4 Nxe4 23.Rf4 Rac8 24.b3 f5 25.Re1 Ba6 0-1




David McTavish (2224)-Jura Ochkoos (2298)
Canada Open
Toronto, 1992
[Black has to be careful not trade off his dragon.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.O-O-O Qb8 11.h4 Rc8 12.Bb3 a5 13.a4 h5 14.g4 Nb4 15.Bh6 Rc5 16.gxh5 Nxh5 17.Rhg1 e6 18.Nf5 exf5 19.Rxg6 Kh7 20.Bxg7 f4 21.Rxd6 Be6 22.Bxe6! fxe6


23.Rd7! (Black is facing lines that end in mate. Lines like 23…Nxg7 24.Rxg7+! Kxg7 25.Rg1+ Kf7 26.Qd7+ Kf6 27.Qg7#) 1-0


Edwin Bhend-Otto Zimmermann
Zurich, 1954
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.O-O-O Na5? 10.Bh6! Be6 11.h4 Bc4 12.h5 Bxf1 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.hxg6 h5 15.Nf5+ 1-0


Yu Lie (2348)-Leon Hoyos (2395)
World U14 Ch.
Halkidiki, Greece, 2003
[If this is how someone under 14 plays chess, I would not want to play him as an adult! What makes this game more interesting is the fact is that since Black moved his dragoned bishop off the long diagonal, White takes over the long diagonal and uses it for HIS bishop.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bc4 Bg7 4.O-O Nc6 5.c3 e5 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 Nxd4 8.Nxd4 cxd4 9.Qf3! (Not just going for the easy mate but it also forces the Black queen to a vulnerable spot. Otherwise if 9…Nf6 or 9…Bf6, then 10.e5!) 9…Qf6 10.Qg3 Ne7 11.Bg5 Qe5 12.Bf4! (Willing to give up a pawn for continued rapid development.) 12…Qxe4 13.Bd3 Qd5 14.Bd6 Bf6 15.Re1 Kf8 16.Nd2 Qh5 17.Qf4 Bg5 18.Qe5 Kg8 19.Bxe7 Bxd2?! (Admittedly there is not much else Black can do. But now he is mated in three moves.)
20.Qxh8+!! Kxh8 21.Bf6+ 1-0


If a miniature is 25 moves or less, then what is a game that is 10 moves or less? This was a vexing question a young teen wanted to answer back in the 1980s.

He wanted to collect these games for both study and fun. But how would he do it?

There was no Internet, no ECOs, and no PGN files. And while libraries did exist, there were only slim sections dedicated to the subject of chess. He asked his friends, at least the ones who played chess. But they didn’t know either.

So, he decided to create his own lexicon and organization for these games.

He first started off by asking himself, when is smaller than a “mini”. Why “micro” of course! And he loved the idea of micros being 10 moves or less as 10 is an easy number remember. And he knew he could memorize games at least 10 moves long. And of course, he didn’t have a word processor so he would have to copy these games by hand. And he was lazy.

So, he set up the following conditions. One, they all had to be 10 moves or less. Two, they would be organized by mates (i.e., winning a king), wining of a queen, winning of a piece, and “others”. Three, the listing of the games needed be flexible to incorporate additional games.



Here is his work.

(P.S.: I added some ECO codes, notes, and additional games  to his original manuscript – RME).





Fool’s Mate
1.f3 e5 2.g4 Qh4mate 0-1


Scholar’s Mate
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Qf3 Nd4? (> Nf6!) 4.Qxf7mate 1-0


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.) 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

De Legal-Saint Brie
France, 1750
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 Bg4 4.Nc3 Nc6

5.Nxe5! Bxd1 6.Bxf7+ Ke7 7.Nd5mate 1-0

Munich, 1932
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Qe2 Ngf6?? (If Black insists on moving one of his knights, then 5…Ndf6 is the only way to go.) 6.Nd6mate 1-0 (This game has been repeated dozens of times. Obviously, something to remember.)

Vienna, 1925
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Bf4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bb4+ 6.Nbd2 Qe7 7.a3 Ngxe5 8.axb4 Nd3mate 0-1 (Another game that has been repeated dozens of time.)

Blindfold Game
New York, 1935
1.e4 e5 2.Ne2 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nbc3 Qa5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Nb4 7.Bd2 Bf5 8.Rc1 Bxc2 9.Rxc2 Nd3mate 0-1


Finland, 1962
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.Nxe5 Nc6 4.Qh5+ Ke7 5.Qf7+ Kd6 6.Nc4+ Kc5 7.Qd5+ Kb4 8.a3+ Ka4 9.b3mate 1-0


New York, 1896
1.d4 f5 2.Bg5 h6 3.Bh4 g5 4.Bg3 f4 5.e3 h5 6.Bd3 Rh6 7.Qxh5+! Rxh5 8.Bg6mate 1-0


Vienna, 1902
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nd7 3.Bc4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ng5+ Kf6 (6…Ke8 7.Ne6 wins the queen.) 7.Qf3mate 1-0


Bern, 1992
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Bg4 4.dxe5 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 dxe5 6.Bc4 f6? 7.Qb3 Qd4?? 8.Bf7+ Ke7 [Stronger is 8…Kd8 9.Bxg8 (not 9.Qxb7 Qb4+ and Black cuts his losses to a single pawn..) 9…Qxe4+ 10.Be3 with the idea of Bd5 +-. An interesting and fun line for White is 10…Rxg8? 11.Qxg8 Qxg2 12.Qxf8+ Kd7 13.Qf7+ Kc6 (not 13…Kc8 14.Qe8#) 14.Nc3!! +- and while Black can restore material equality after 14.Qxh1+ 15.Ke2! Qxa1, he is mated by 15.Qd5#.] 9.Qe6+ Kd8 10.Qe8mate 1-0





Paris 1924
[Note: There is considerable doubt about the authenticity of this game. But it is a nice miniature.]
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nd2 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.h3? [4.Ngf3 Bc5 5.e3 Bxe3 6.fxe3 Nxe3 7.Qe2 Nxc2+ 8.Kd1 Nxa1 9.b3 (9.Ne4!? O-O!? 10.Bg5!? Qe8) d5 10.Bb2 (10.exd6!? Qxd6 11.Bb2) Nxb3 11.axb3 Be6 (11…Bg4 12.e6! Bxe6 13.Bxg7) 12.Qb5+! And with White’s active pieces, the position is suddenly unclear!] 4…Ne3! 0-1

corres., 1930
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.a3 d6 5.exd6 Bxd6 6.g3?? Nxf2 (7.Kxf2 Bxg3+ wins White’s queen.) 0-1


Hernandez Hugo-Clara Melendez Romeo
Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1977
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.Be2 Nc6 5.d4 Bxf3? 6.Bxf3 Qxd4?? 7.Bxc6+ 1-0 (But it is almost certain it was played before. If so, who first played it?)


Moscow, 1979
1.e4 e6 2.d4 f5!?! (The Kingston Defence. It would be more popular, but Black keeps losing.) 3.exf5 exf5 4.Bd3 d6 5.Ne2 Qf6 6.O-O Ne7 7.Re1 Bd7 8.Nf4 Qxd4 9.c3 Qb6 10.Nd5 Qa5 11.Bb5! (11…Bxb5 12.b4 catches the queen.) 1-0


Troppau, 1914
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bc5 3.Nxe5 Bxf2+ 4.Kxf2 Qh4+ 5.g3 Qxe4 6.Qe2! Qxh1 7.Bg2 1-0

Cambridge, 1860
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Bg4 4.dxe5 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 dxe5 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.Qxb7 Qc6? 9.Bb5 1-0


Chocen, 1950
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 g6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Ng4 (8…dxe5?? 9.Bxf7+ wins the queen, which as occurred many, many times before. Black has blocked this threat but White finds another way!) 9.e6 f5 10.Bf4 d5
11.Nxd5! cxd5 12.Bb5+ (A tactic worth remembering.) 1-0

Blitz Game
Pasadena, 1990
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.d4 exd4 (Bxd4) 5.Nd5 Qc6 (Qd8) 6.Ne5! Qa4 7.Bb5 Qa5+ (7…Qxb5? 8.Nxc7+ +-) 8.Bd2 Bb4 9.Bxb4 +- 1-0


Philadelphia, 1936
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.d5 Bc5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bxd8 Bxf2 0-1

US Open, 1950
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.a3 d6 6.e3 Bf5 7.exd6 Bxd6 8.Be2 Qf6 9.Nd4 Nxf2! 10.Kxf2 Bc2+ 0-1


Rjasan, 1973
1.e3 e5 2.d4 d5 3.Qf3 e4 4.Qf4 Bd6 0-1




Italy, circa 1620
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 Bg4 4.h3 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 Nf6 6.Qb3 Nxe4 7.Bxf7+ Kd7 8.Qxb7 Ng5 9.Bd5 Na6 10.Qc6+ Ke7 11.Qxa8 1-0


London, 1849
1.e4 c5 2.Bc4 e6 3.Nc3 Ne7 4.f4 d5 5.Bb5+ Nbc6 6.d3 d4 7.Nce2 Qa5+ 0-1


IM Shirazi-IM Peters X25
US Ch.
Berkeley, CA, 1984
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.axb4? Qe5+ (Winning a rook.) 0-1 (This game remains the shortest game played in the US Championships.)

Zalakaros, 1988
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Bg4 4.dxe5 Nd7 5.exd6 Bxd6 6.Be2 Ngf6 7.Bg5 Qe7 8.Nc3 O-O-O 9.O-O Bxf3 10.Bxf3 Qe5 0-1

Escalante (1820)-Howell (1917)
November Budget Special
Westminster C.C., Nov. 19 1994?
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.d4 exd4 5.O-O fxe4 6.Bxg8 Rxg8 7.Ng5 Bf5 8.Qxd4 Qf6 9.Qd5 c6 10.Qxg8 h6 11.Nh7 1-0



Korody-Bologh, 1933
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.e3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 dxe3 6.Bxb4 exf2 7.Ke2 fxg1=N+[The (in)famous “Lasker Trap”. White loses no matter what he does. And don’t ask me why it’s called the “Lasker Trap” – Bologh played it first!] 
8.Rxg1? Bg4+ 0-1

E. Schiller-ACCULAB
corres., 1991
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nd5 Qd6 5.d4 Nxd4 6.Nxd4 exd4 7.Bf4 Qc6 8.Nxc7+ Ke7 9.Nxa8 Qxe4+ 10.Be2 1-0 (Black is completely busted.)

P. Lang-H. Multhopp
World Open, 1995
1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Nc3 O-O 6.e4 Re8 7.d3 Ng4 8.Be2 Nxh2! 9.Nxh2 Bg3+ 10.Kf1 Qd4 0-1

An interesting draw at the end provides food for thought.

Palatnik (2445)-Balashov (2550)
Voronezh, Russia, 1987
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Bxc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bg4
8.Ng5 Bxd1 9.Bxf7+ Kd7 1/2-1/2



So why didn’t this young man continue his work?

Well, he did. But now he uses a laptop with a word processor.

Reviewing A Classic

What makes a “classic”? It is something that keeps its value or interest for years or decades.


One book that fits this definition is “100 Soviet Miniatures”.


Beginning in April 1962 issue of the British Chess Magazine (BCM), P.H. Clark wrote a series of articles under the heading of “Soviet Miniatures”. The articles were collected and published together as “100 Soviet Miniatures” in 1963.


The games are short (after all, this is a miniatures book!) and enjoyable. The notes are concise, clear, and revealing. Finally, The book is written for the club player (which includes most of us).


And he is correct in his analysis. The progress of chess theory, even with the constant use of engines, do not overturn his notes. The book appears to be out of print, but you can find a used one on Amazon (which has everything).


The only drawback for some players is that the games and notes are in Descriptive Notation (DN) rather than Algebraic Notation (AN).
I’ve copied two of the 100 games, translated them into AN, and added my notes when necessary. See if you can’t agree, this book is a classic.




M. Yudovitch Jr.-Strom
Team Ch. Of the “Spartak” Club
Moscow, 1961
[P.H. Clark, “Soviet Miniatures”, BCM, Sept. 1962, pg. 266]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.e5 Ne4 7.Qg4 Qa5 8.Qxe4 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qxc3+ 10.Kd1 Qxa1 11.Nb5! d5!


[Black played the weaker 11…Kd8 in Tamas Ruck (2310)-Zsolt Korpics (2355), Koszeg, Hungary, 1996 and got promptly punished after 12.c3! Qxa2 13.Bg5+ f6 14.exf6! +- Qa1+ 15.Kd2 Qb2+ 16.Qc2 Qxc2+ 17.Kxc2

1-0 (White threatens 18.f7#. On other moves Black loses the rook, and the game, to 18.fxg7+.) – RME]

12.exd6 Na6 13.d7+ Kxd7?


[As Koifman demonstrated, the correct policy was to sacrifice a piece by 13…Bxd7 14.Qxb7 O-O! In the centre the black King is far more exposed that White’s, which soon finds a safe post at e2.

We assume Clark meant Ilya Koifman, the Russian master.

Alexander Kuzovkin-Ilya Koifman
Moscow Burevestnik- Ch., 1974
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Bc4 O-O 8.Bb3 Nc6 9.f3 Bd7 10.Qd2 Qa5 11.O-O-O Rfc8 12.Rhe1 Ne5 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bxh6 Bxh6 15.Qxh6 Rxc3 16.bxc3 Qa3+ 17.Kb1 a5 18.Qc1 Qc5 19.a3 a4 20.Ba2 Ra6 21.Re3 Rb6+ 22.Ka1 Nc4 23.Bxc4 Qxc4 24.Qd2 e5 25.Ne2 Be6 26.Nc1 d5 27.exd5 Nxd5 28.Rde1 Bf5 29.Rxe5 Qb5 30.Nd3 Bxd3 31.cxd3 Qc5 32.Qc1 Rb3 33.Rxd5 Rxa3+ 34.Kb2 Qb6+ 35.Kc2 Qb3+ 36.Kd2 Ra2+ 37.Ke3 Qxd5 38.d4 Rxg2 0-1.]


14.Bc4 Rd8 15.Ke2 Ke8 16.Re1 (Threatening 17.Bg5. White is now fully developed and is ready for the attack.) 16…Qf6 17.Qxh7 b6 (In order to be able to block the enemy c4-Bishop by …Nc5 after 18.Qh8+ Ke7 19.Ba3+.) 18.Ba3 Bb7 (Now he has the square c1 for his King, White therefore decides to recover the exchange.) 19.Nd6+ Rxd6 20.Bxd6 Qg5 (Defending against 21.Bb5+ Kd8 Qh8#. White replies by renewing the threat of the Bishop check, and this time it cannot be stopped.) 21.Qd3 Nc5 22.Bb5+ Nd7 23.c4 (Since the immediate 23.Bxd7+ Kxd7 24.Bf4+ would be met by 24…Qd5. Now 23…Qd8 permits the white Queen to return to h7 and force the win, so Black is reduced to desperation.) 23…Qxg2 24.Bc7 Bc6 (24…Bc8 was useless because of 25.Rd1 Qg4+ 26.Kf1 e5 27.Bc6, etc. The text move gives White the chance to bring off a more striking finish on the same lines.) 25.Rg1!


(If the Rook is captured then 24.Bxc6 wins; while 25…Qe4+ 26.Qxe4 Bxe4 loses to 27.Rd1. So -) 1-0




Ukraine Ch.
Kharkhov, 1959
[P.H. Clarke, “100 Soviet Chess Miniatures”, Game # 45]
(While there was a certain air of the rustic about the last two games, the next is more elegant and thereby a finer illustration of the virtues of the modern approach. Black selects a variation very much in vogue at present, and his opponent evidently decides that the second player ought not to be allowed to get away with such transgressions of the natural laws. Accordingly, he sacrifices first a piece and then the exchange and pursues the whole attack with great vigour to the end. When it is over one is left with the impression that whatever the final word is as to the correctness of the initial offer, White really had created something.) 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Bg5 (The value of this move is not so clear here because Black, having already moved his e-pawn, can immediately drive off the Bishop without having his pawn structure affected.) 6…h6 7.Be3 (After 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Ndb5 Qd8 White makes no progress and the absence of his important black-squared Bishop may be felt in the long run. – Clark is entirely right – RME) 7…a6 8.Qf3 (Concentrating on rapid development – the opposite to Black.) 8…Qc7 9.O-O-O b5 (Safer is 9…Nc6 to be followed by …Bd7 and …0-0-0. White is so indignant at the sight of the text move, which disdains the principle he himself has been so careful to keep, that he there and then determines to punish the offender.) 10.Bxb5+!? axb5 11.Ndxb5 Qc6? (In spite of appearances to the contrary 11…Qd7 is a better defence; the intention is to answer 12.e5 with 12…Bb7 and thus gain a valuable tempo. Indications are that Black should be able to hold the position, but with all the possibilities at White’s disposal it would be a very difficult task in practice. Here are some variations: 11…Qd7 12.e5 Bb7 13.Qg3 Ne4 14.Nxe4 Qxb5 15.Nxd6+ Bxd6 16.exd6 Rxa2 17.Qxg7 Ra1+ 18.Kd2 Qd5+ 19.Bd4 Rxd1+ 20.Rxd1 Rf8 and still the outcome is unclear ; 11…Qd7 12.Nxd6+ Bxd6 13.e5 Bb7 14.Qg3 Bxe5 15.Qxg7 Rg8 16.Rxd7 Rxg7 17.Rxb7 with a complicated ending ; 11…Qd7 12.Rd2 Bb7 13.Rhd1 Nxe4 14.Nxe4 Qxb5 15.Rxd6 Nc6 with chances for both sides.) 12.e5! (The point now is that after the exchange of Queens there is Nc7+, and this disorganizes Black completely.) 12…Nd5 (Holding everything…until the next crashing blow.) 13.Rxd5! exd5 14.Nxd5 Bb7 (Although he has an extra Rook, Black is without resource against all White’s threats, e.g. 14…Be6 15.Ndc7+ Kd8 16.Qxc6 and Nxa8 ; 14…Bd7 15.Nbc7+ Kd8 16.Qxf7 dxe5 17.Nxa8 Qxa8 18.Rd1 with a winning attack ; 14…Rxa2 15.Kb1 Ra5 16.Nbc7+ Kd8 17.Qxf7 dxe5 (otherwise e5-e6 comes.) 18.Rd1 and again White should win. In every case Black pays the penalty for not having brought his men out earlier.) 15.Nbc7+ Kd8 16.Qxf7

16…Na6 (White threatened to mate beautifully by 17.Ne6+ Kc8 18.Qe8+! Qxe8 19.Nb6#. The text move permits another delightful finish, in which the White Knights leap and prance around the Black King.) 17.Ne6+ Kc8 18.Nb6+ Kb8 19.Nd7+ 1-0


Wikipedia defines the horizon effect as: a problem in artificial intelligence whereby, in many games, the number of possible states or positions is immense and computers can only feasibly search a small portion of them, typically a few plies down the game tree. Thus, for a computer searching only five plies, there is a possibility that it will make a detrimental move, but the effect is not visible because the computer does not search to the depth of the error (i.e., beyond its “horizon”).


What it means, in more understandable words, is that when a chess computer finds a move, or a series of moves, that loses material, or some other advantage, it stops analyzing that move or series of moves. This can lose the game, or at least the advantage, as it fails to see a strong reply or the continuation of play that will allow it to retain or increase its advantage.

An early example of the horizon effect can be found in this game.

De Legal-Saint Brie?
France, 1750
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 Bg4 4.Nc3 Nc6

5.Nxe5 Bxd1?? (There were many computers in the early 1980’s would simply take the offered queen, as it was taught that being up a queen would lead to victory and would therefore stop analyzing. This simple trap caused consternation and scorn by some players as they wanted a “serious” chess computer. By the way, this trap is known as De Legal’s mate.) 6.Bxf7+ Ke7 7.Nd5mate 1-0

A more recent example can be found in this game:


Escalante-“andersonwillians” (1511)
Najdorf Thematic Tournment
Chess.com, July-August 2019
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 g6 7.f3 Bg7 8.Be3 O-O 9.Qd2 Nc6 10.O-O-O Bd7 (The Najdorf has transposed into a Dragon, B77 to be exact.) 11.g4 Rc8 12.Be2 Ne5 13.h4 Nc4 14.Bxc4 Rxc4 15.h5 Qc7 16.Kb1 Rc8 17.hxg6 hxg6 18.Nde2 (This is an important move as it provides another piece to guard c3 and puts a stop to Black’s attack.) 18…Be6 19.Bh6 Bh8?
20.Bf8! (This keeps the Black’s king from escaping to the center.) 20…Kxf8 (Not 20…Rxf8 21.Qh6! +-. Best for Black is 20…Nh5 21.Rxh5 gxh5 22.Qh6 Rxf8 23.Rh1 Bg7 24.Qxh5, and now if 24…f5 25.Nf4! wins on the spot.) 21.Rxh8+ Ng8

22.Rxg8+! (The chess.com computer recommends 22.Qh6+ Ke8 23.Rxg8+ Kd7 24.Rxc8 Qxc8 25.e5 Kc7 26.exd6+ exd6, when White is obviously winning. But the text move is better as it leads to a forced mate. So why did chess.com computer miss this move? Probably because it saw that White loses the exchange and concluded that’s not a good way to proceed. So it stopped analyzing.) 22…Kxg8 23.Qh6! f6 (Black is in Zugzwang, as his king is paralyzed and he can’t get help in time. 23…d5 24.Rh1 +-) 24.Qxg6+ Kf8 25.Rh1 1-0 (25…Bg8 26.Rh8 e6 and now either 27.Qxg8+ or 27.Rxg8+ mates.)



Najdorf Miniatures

I’ve entered another Najdorf thematic tournament. This is a good way to (really) learn an opening.


There are many approaches to learning an opening. One can consult an expert in the variation (but illegal once the games begin). Another approach is to gather up the books, a board, pens, paper, and some highlighters.


My favorite approach to play over some miniatures and learn some tactics and ways to take down an opponent quickly. It saves time on studying. Extra time to take down other opponents. Plus, it’s fun!

Here are some Najdorf miniatures.


They are breathtaking in their elegance, clarity, and forcefulness. And they all begin with the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6.

To warm up the tactic monster in you we’ll start with some games that are not exactly main line.


Markus Loeffler (2426)-J. Ramseier
Ticino Open
Mendrisio, Oct. 30 1999
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Qf3!? (Not exactly book, but White is trying to lay claim to some key squares.) 6…Qc7 7.Bg5 Nbd7 8.O-O-O b5 9.Nd5 Qa5 10.Nc6 1-0


GM Onischuk (2581)-IM Bajarani (2417)
Voronezh Master Open
Russia, June 14 2013
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Nb3!? g6 7.Be2 Bg7 8.O-O O-O 9.Re1 Nbd7 10.a4 b6 11.Be3 Bb7 12.f3 Qc7 13.Qd2 Rfe8 14.Red1 Rac8 15.Bf1 Nc5 16.Qf2 Nfd7 17.Nd4 Qb8 18.Rd2 Ne5 1-0


GM David Anton Guijarro (2631)-GM Hao Wang (2729)
FIDE World Blitz Ch.
Dubai, June 19 2014
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Qd3!? Nbd7 7.Be2 Nc5 8.Qe3 e6 9.Bd2 Be7 10.g4 d5 11.exd5 exd5? 12.O-O-O O-O 13.f3 Bd7 14.g5 Nh5? 15.f4 g6 16.Bxh5 gxh5 17.Nxd5 Re8 18.Bc3 Bg4 19.Nf5! Bxf5 20.Qe5 f6 21.Qxf5 Qc8 22.Nxf6+ 1-0

6.Rg1 is relatively unexplored and rare in OTB tournaments. Just perfect for correspondence play!


M. Mahjoob (2510)-R. Kalugampitiya (2135)
Tata Steel Team Ch.
Kolkata, India, Dec. 27 2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Rg1!? (White takes command of the g-file, important in many variations of the Najdorf.) 6…b5 7.g4 Bb7 8.g5 Nxe4 9.Nxe4 Bxe4 10.Qg4 Bb7 11.Bg2 Bxg2 12.Qxg2 Nd7

13.g6! e6 (Black can’t take the pawn due to 13…hxg6 14.Ne6! fxe6 15.Qxg6#. If instead Black moves his queen, then White wins material. I’ll you figure it out.) 14.gxf7+ Kxf7 15.Bg5 Qc8 16.O-O-O Ra7 17.Nxe6 1-0

Here are two more games with the interesting 6.Rg1!?.


Luis Esquivel (2212)-Neuris Delgado (2254)
G. Garcia Memorial
Santa Clara, Cuba, June 2 2004
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Rg1 e5 (A common reply to 6.Rg1.) 7.Nb3 h5 8.Bg5 Be6 9.Qd2 Nbd7 10.O-O-O Rc8 11.f4 Be7 12.f5 Bc4 13.Bxc4 Rxc4 14.Qd3 b5 15.Rge1 Qc8 16.Bxf6 Nxf6 17.Re2 Qc7 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.Qxd5 O-O 20.f6 Bxf6 21.Qxd6 Bg5+ (22.Kb1 Rd8 23.Qxc7 Rxd1+ 24.Nc1 Rxc1#.) 0-1


Wojciech Moranda (2451)-Roman Nechepurenko (2431)
European Jr. Ch.
Herceg Novi, Sept. 2005
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Rg1 e5 7.Nb3 b5 8.g4 Bb7 9.Bg2 b4 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Be7 12.a3 bxa3 13.Rxa3 a5 14.Ra4 Nd7 15.Bd2 Nb6 16.Bxa5 Qc8 17.Ra2 O-O 18.Nc1 Nc4 19.Bc3 Rxa2 20.Nxa2 Qc5 21.Be4 Bh4 22.Qe2 Ra8 23.b3 Rxa2 24.bxc4 Ra3 (White faces the embarrassing 25.Bb2 Re3! -+) 0-1

The move 6.a4 leads to a slower game. But one can lose the game just as quickly.


Sevastopol, 1978
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 e6 7.a5 b5 8.axb6 Qxb6 9.Be3 Ng4 10.Qxg4 Qxb2 11.Bb5 Nd7 12.Kd2 axb5 13.Rxa8 Ne5 14.Qe2 Nc4 15.Qxc4 bxc4 16.Rxc8 Kd7 17.Ra8 1-0


Balashov-Sunye Neto
Wijk aan Zee, 1982
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 e5 7.Nf3 h6 8.Bc4 Qc7 9.Bb3 Be6 10.O-O Nbd7 11.Nh4 g5 12.Nf5 Nc5 13.Ne3 Nxb3 14.cxb3 Rd8 15.Bd2 Bg7 16.Rc1 Qb8 17.Ncd5 Nxd5 18.exd5 Bd7 19.h4 Bf6 20.Qf3 Ke7 21.Bb4 b5 22.Rc6 1-0

The move 6.Be3 is an interesting combination of tactics and strategy. It’s played by many Grandmasters. Let’s take a close look.


Perenyi-Lengyel, 1983
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 b5 7.a4 bxa4 8.Rxa4 e6 9.Bb5+ Nfd7 10.O-O Bb7 11.Bc4 Nc5 12.Rb4 Qc8 13.f4 Be7 14.f5 e5 15.f6 exd4 16.fxg7 Rg8 17.Bxf7+ Kd7 18.Rxb7+! 1-0


Nicolau (2290)-Nowarra
Subotica, Yugoslavia, 1967
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.Qf3 Nbd7 8.O-O-O Qc7 9.Be2 Ne5 10.Qg3 b5 11.f4 Nc4 12.e5 dxe5 13.fxe5 Nxe3 14.Qxe3 Nd7 15.Rhf1 Nxe5 16.Ncxb5 axb5 17.Bxb5+ Bd7 18.Bxd7+ Nxd7 19.Qf3 Nb6 20.Nb5 1-0


IM J. Peters (2572)-O. Maldonado (2275)
American Open
Los Angeles, Nov. 1995
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 e6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qd2 a6 9.O-O-O Qc7 10.f4 O-O 11.Rhg1 Re8 12.g4 Nd7 (Jack Peters suggested 12…Nxd4 13.Bxd4 e5.) 13.g5 Rb8 14.h4 b5 15.h5 b4

16.g6! (Again, the move g6. Maybe there is something to attacking with one’s own g-pawn.) 16…Nc5 17.gxf7+ Kxf7 18.Nf5! exf5 19.Bc4+ Kf8 20.Bxc5 Na5 21.Qd5 1-0

White can try to include a Keres Attack (an early g4) plan with Be3. But that idea seems risky.


GM Shirov (2746)-GM Van Wely (2643)
Istanbul Ol
Turkey, 2000
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 e5 8.Nf5 g6 9.g5 gxf5 10.exf5 d5 11.Qf3 d4 12.O-O-O Nbd7 13.Bd2 Qc7 14.gxf6 dxc3 15.Bxc3 Qc6 16.Qg3 Qxh1 17.Bg2 Bh6+ 18.Bd2 Bxd2+ 19.Kxd2 Qxg2 20.Qxg2 a5 21.f4 exf4 22.Qg7 Rf8 23.Re1+ Kd8 24.Re7 Kc7 25.Qxf8 1-0


GM Alexander Onischuk (2660)-GM Bologan (2668)
Poikovskii International
Russia, 2001
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 e5 8.Nf5 g6 9.g5 gxf5 10.exf5 d5 11.Qf3 d4 12.O-O-O Nbd7 13.Bd2 Bd6 14.Bc4 Qc7 15.Bb3 dxc3 16.Bxc3 e4 17.Rhe1 Be5 18.Rxe4 Nxe4 19.Qxe4 O-O 20.Rxd7 Bf4+ 0-1


Shapiro (2251)-Mirabile (2202)
National Chess Congress
Philadelphia, Nov. 27 2005
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 e5 8.Nf5 g6 9.g5 gxf5 10.exf5 d5 11.Qf3 d4 12.O-O-O Nbd7 13.Bd2 dxc3 14.Bxc3 Qc7 15.gxf6 Nxf6 16.Bd3 Bh6+ 17.Kb1 Bf4 18.Rde1 Qe7 19.Qxf4 1-0

I do not know what is the best response to the Keres. But I do know that …h6 is perhaps not the best response.


Horvath (2350)-Schinzel (2385)
Baden, 1980
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 h6 8.Qf3 Nc6 9.Rg1 Ne5 10.Qh3 Nexg4 11.Rxg4 e5 12.Nf5 g6 13.Rh4 gxf5 14.exf5 d5 15.O-O-O d4 16.f4 Qa5 17.fxe5 dxc3 18.exf6 Qxa2 19.Re4+ Be6 20.Rxe6+ 1-0


GM Svidler-GM Topalov
Elista, 1998
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 h6 8.f4 e5 9.Nf5 h5 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.Qxd5 g6 12.O-O-O gxf5 13.exf5 Nc6 14.Bc4 Qf6 15.fxe5 Nxe5 16.g5 Qxf5 17.Bb3 Qf3 18.Qd2 Qc6 19.Rhf1 Be6 20.Bxe6 fxe6 21.Rf6 O-O-O 22.Rxe6 Bg7 1-0


R. Sullivan-D. Dimit
corres., prison game, 2003
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4 h6 8.f4 b5 9.Bg2 Bb7 10.g5 hxg5 11.fxg5 b4 12.Na4 Nxe4 13.Qg4 d5 14.Bxe4 dxe4 15.O-O-O Bd5 16.Nxe6 TN fxe6 17.Nb6 Nd7 18.Nxd5 exd5 19.Qe6+ Be7?! 20.Qg6+ +- Kf8 21.Rhf1+ 1-0

Let’s jump a little ahead.


The most common response to the Najdorf is 6.Bg5. It leads to fascinating combinations with many ideas. I know I will face it at least once in the tournament.


Munich Ol., 1936
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 Be7 8.O-O-O Qc7 9.f4 b5 10.e5 dxe5 11.Bxb5+ axb5 12.Ndxb5 Qb6 13.fxe5 Rxa2 14.Kb1

14…Ne4! 15.Nxe4 Rxb2+! 16.Kxb2 Qxb5+ 0-1


Matov-GM Fischer
Vinkovci, 1968
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Be2 Qb6 9.Qd2 Qxb2 10.Rb1 Qa3 11.O-O Nbd7 12.f5 Ne5 13.Kh1 O-O 14.Rb3 Qc5 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Na4 Nc4 17.Qf4 Qxd4 18.Rd3 Qe5 19.Qg4 exf5 20.exf5 Ne3 0-1


Svensson (2386)-J. Zimmermann (2327)
Spiltan Fonder IM
Gothenburg, Sweden, Aug. 15 2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Be7 9.e5 Ng8 10.exd6 Qxd6 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.O-O-O Bd7 13.g3 Nc6 14.Bg2 O-O-O 15.Bxc6 bxc6 16.Rhe1 Nh6 17.Qd3 Kb7 18.Qc4 c5 19.Nb3 Ka7 20.Re5 Nf5 21.Rxc5 Rc8 22.g4 1-0


USSR, 1975
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.O-O-O Nbd7 10.Qg3 b5 11.Bxb5 axb5 12.Ndxb5 Qb8 13.e5 dxe5 14.fxe5 Nxe5 15.Rhe1 Nc4 16.Qc7! +- Nd5 17.Rxd5 O-O 18.Bxe7 1-0


Sweden, 1983
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 h6 9.Bh4 Qc7 10.O-O-O Nbd7 11.Be2 Rb8 12.Qg3 O-O 13.Rhf1 Nb6?! (This move seems too slow.) 14.Kb1 Bd7 15.Qe1 Na4 16.Nxa4 Bxa4 17.Bd3 Bd7 18.g4 Nxg4 19.Rg1 Nf6 20.e5 dxe5 21.fxe5 Nd5 22.Qg3 g5 23.Bxg5! Bxg5

24.Qxg5+!! 1-0 [Because of 24…hxg5 (forced) 25.Rxg5+ Kh8 26.Rh5+ Kg7 27.Rg1#]

New ideas can come from relatively unknown sources. This one is from a 1973 issue of Tennessee Chess News.


Robert Coveyou-Ed Porter
Tennessee, 1973
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.O-O-O Nbd7 10.Bd3 b5 11.Rhe1 Bb7 12.Qg3 b4 13.Nd5! exd5 14.exd5 Nc5 15.Nf5 O-O 16.Rxe7 Qb6 17.Bxf6 Nxd3+ 18.Kb1 1-0

New ideas can come also come from correspondence games. Here are two of them.


corres., 1971/3
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 b5 8.e5 dxe5 9.fxe5 Qc7 10.Qe2 Nfd7 11.O-O-O Bb7 12.Qg4 h5 13.Nxe6! Qc6 14.Qe4 Qxe6 15.Qxb7 Qc6 16.Rxd7 1-0


corres., 1967
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 b5 8.e5 dxe5 9.fxe5 Qc7 10.Nf3 b4 11.Nb5 axb5 12.exf6 Nd7 13.Bxb5 Ra5 14.Qe2 gxf6 15.Bxf6 Rg8 16.Nd4 Qb6 17.Bxd7+ Bxd7 18.O-O-O Rxa2 19.Kb1? (>19.Nb3) 19…Ra8 20.Nb3 (And now it’s too late!) 20..Qa7 (21.Kc1 Bh6+ 22.Rd2 Qa1+ 23.Nxa1 Rxa1#) 0-1

We’ll stop here and allow you to catch your breath.


Until next time.

Boring Queen’s Gambit? Try the Slav!

Many players, especially beginners, dislike the Queen’s Gambit. They call it boring, positional, and not fun to play, from either side! Some even wonder why this opening is not banned (due it being boing, etc.).


Maybe they should try the Slav. It’s tactical, full of tension and a single misstep can be fatal.


Here is a list of miniatures to play when you are feeling sluggish.


And a final game, which is not a miniature, but belongs here. You’ll see why at the end.


Meanwhile …  enjoy!




Jensen (1873)-Fries (2038)
US Open
Los Angeles, 1991
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 dxc4 4.e4 b5 5.a4 e5 6.Nge2 b4 7.Nb1 Nf6 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.d5 Bb7 11.Ng3 Bc5 12.Nf5 cxd5 13.Ne3 Bxe3 14.fxe3 Qh4+ 15.g3 Qxe4 16.Rg1 Qxe3+ 17.Qe2 Qxg1 18.Qxe5+ Kd8 0-1


GM Agdestein (2600)-Zsuzsa Polgar (2565)
Active Chess
Exhibition Match
Oslo, 1996
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e3 Nf6 5.b3 Nbd7 6.Bb2 Bd6 7.Qc2 O-O 8.O-O-O?! (Premature. Better is 8.Nf3 and try to castle kingside.)  8…a5 9.Nf3 a4 10.Nxa4 dxc4 11.bxc4 b5! (Using her queenside pawns Zsuzsa opens up the queenside with her pawns.) 12.cxb5 cxb5 13.Bxb5 Ba6 14.Bxa6 Rxa6 15.Nd2 Qa8 16.Nc3 Rc8 17.Ndb1 Rxa2 18.Rd3 Nd5 19.Qb3 Nb4 20.Rd2 Qxg2 21.Rhd1 Qb7! 0-1 (Black threatens 22…Nd3+.)


Berlin, 1987
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Qb3 Qb6 7.Nxd5 Qxb3 8.Nc7+ Kd8 9.axb3 Kxc7 10.Bf4+ Kc8 11.Ne5 f6 12.Nc4 Nd7 13.f3 Bc2 14.e4 Bxb3 15.Na5 Bf7 16.Nxc6 e5 17.Nxa7+ Kb8 18.dxe5 fxe5 19.Be3 Bc5 20.Rd1 Bxe3 21.Rxd7 Be8 22.Rd3 Bd4 0-1


Jelena Popovic-Elena Stotskaja
Rimavska Sobota, 1992
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.Bg5 e6 6.e3 Be7 7.Ne5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Bg3 Nbd7 10.Bd3 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 Nh5 12.cxd5 exd5 13.Qf5 f6 14.Qg6+ Kf8 15.Qf7mate 1-0


Dias (2295)-Gillford
World Jr. Ch.
Calcutta, 1998
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bf5 5.Qb3 Qb6 6.Bf4 Nbd7 7.e3 e6 8.Qxb6 axb6 9.Nh4 Bg4 10.f3 Bh5 11.Bd3 Bg6 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.O-O Nh5 14.Bg5 Bd6 15.Rfb1? Bxh2+! 16.Kxh2 Nf4+ 17.Kg3 Nxd3 18.cxd5 exd5 19.e4 f6 20.Bd2 dxe4 21.Nxe4 f5 22.Ng5 Nf6 23.b4 f4+ 0-1


Kuzubov (2535)-Wademark (2182)
Port Erin Open
Isle Of Man, Sept. 24 2005
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Na6 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Bf4 Qa5 7.e3 e6 8.a3 Bd7 9.Bd3 Be7 10.Ne5 Nb8 11.O-O O-O 12.Bg5 Qd8 13.f4 Nc6 14.Rf3 Nxe5 15.fxe5 Ng4 16.Bxh7+ Kxh7 17.Rh3+ Nh6 18.Qd3+ Kg8 19.Bxh6 f5 20.exf6 Bxf6 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Qh7mate 1-0


 Technically, the next three games constitute the Tolush-Geller Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4).


JCCA Webchess Open
ICCF, 2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 b5 6.Be2 e6 7.O-O Be7 8.a4 b4 9.e5 Nd5 10.Ne4 c3 11.bxc3 Nxc3 12.Nxc3 bxc3 13.Ba3 c5 14.Qc2 Ba6 15.Bb5+ Bxb5 16.axb5 O-O 17.dxc5 Qa5 18.Rfb1 Nd7 19.c6 Bxa3 20.cxd7 1-0


Bosboom (2471)-Stellwagen (2621)
Netherlands Ch.
Hilversum, Apr. 4 2008
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 b5 6.Qc2 e6 7.g4 Bb7 8.g5 Nfd7 9.h4 Na6 10.a3 Be7 11.Be3 Qa5 12.Nd2 c5 13.d5 Ne5 14.Ra2 exd5 15.exd5 O-O 16.Qf5 Bd6 17.h5 Rae8 18.h6 g6 19.Qb1 Ng4 20.Nde4 Bxd5 21.Bd2 Bf4 22.Kd1 Bxe4 23.Nxe4 Nxf2+ 0-1


GM Gaprindashvili-Z. Polgar
FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament
Shanghai, 1992
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 c6 5.e4 b5 6.e5 Nd5 7.a4 Bf5 8.Be2 b4 9.Nh4 bxc3 10.Nxf5 e6 11.Ng3 cxb2 12.Bxb2 Bb4+ 13.Kf1 c3 14.Bc1 O-O 15.Ne4 Nd7 16.Bd3 f5 17.exf6 N7xf6 18.Ng5 Qd6 19.Qc2 h6 20.h4 hxg5 21.hxg5 Ng4 22.Bh7+ Kf7 23.Qe4


23…Nxf2 24.Kxf2 Ke7+ 25.Ke2 Qg3 0-1


Sulava (2531)-Abolianin (2385)
Imperia Open
Italy, 2001
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.a4 g6 6.e3 Bg7 7.Bd3 O-O 8.O-O c5 9.Nxd5 Nxd5 10.cxd5 cxd4 11.e4 e6 12.dxe6 Bxe6 13.Ng5 Bc8 14.f4 Nc6 15.Bd2 h6 16.Nf3 Be6 17.Qe1 Re8 18.Qg3 Qd6 19.h4 Kh8 20.Rae1 Rad8 21.h5 g5 22.e5 gxf4 23.Qxg7+ 1-0


German Northwest League, 1988
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.e3 e6 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 c5 9.e4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Bd6 11.Be3 O-O 12.e5 Bxe5 13.Qf3 Bxd4 14.Qxa8 Bxc3+ 15.bxc3 Qxd3 16.Qxb8 e5 17.Qa7 Qxc3+ 18.Ke2 Be6 19.f3 Qb2+ 20.Bd2 Bc4+ 0-1


Miller (2180)-Stephen Jones (2359)
Southern California Open, 1995
[I first annotated this game in Rank and File.]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.e3 b5!? 6.cxd5 cxd5 7.Bd3 Bb7?! (Unless Black gets a Knight on e4 to exchange off and open the diagonal, the Bishop will merely be an onlooker to the proceedings.) 8.O-O Nbd7 9.Ne5 e6 10.f4 Be7 11.Qf3 O-O 12.g4! b4 (Black has little counterplay, and cannot come up with a good play to organize his forces.) 13.Ne2 Ne4 14.Ng3 Nd6 15.Bd2 (To connect both Rooks.) 15…Nb6 (The Black Knights are still trying to find good squares. Meanwhile White continues to build his attack.) 16.g5 a5 17.Qh5 Ne4 18.Rf3 Qe8 19.Nxe4 dxe4 20.Rh3 (White’s Bishop is, of course, immune from capture.) 20…h6 21.Ng4 (D Nxh6+) 1-0


Fang (2355)-Nichols (2046)
New Hampshire Open, 1997
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 a6 5.c5 g6 6.Bf4 Bg7 7.h3 Nbd7 8.e3 O-O 9.Be2 Re8 10.O-O Ne4 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.Nd2 e5 13.dxe5 Nxc5 14.Rc1 Nd3 15.Bxd3 exd3 16.Nc4 Re6 17.Rc3 Re8 18.Rxd3 Qh4 19.Nb6 Ra7 20.Nxc8 Rxc8 21.Rd7 g5 22.Rd8+ Rxd8 23.Qxd8+ Bf8 24.Bxg5 1-0


GM Kamsky-GM Kramnik
Candidate’s Match, 1994
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7 11.exf6 Bb7 12.g3 c5 13.d5 Qb6 14.Bg2 O-O-O 15.O-O b4 16.Na4 Qb5 17.a3 Ne5 18.axb4 cxb4 19.Qd4 Nc6 20.dxc6 Rxd4 21.cxb7+ Kc7 22.Be3 e5 23.Nc3 bxc3 24.bxc3 Bc5 25.cxd4 1-0


R. Hungaski (2366)-A. Nasri (2227)
World Jr. Ch.
Yerevan, 2006
1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 e6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.h4 g4 11.Ne5 h5 12.O-O Nbd7 13.Qc2 a6 14.Rad1 Be7 15.f3 Rg8 16.fxg4 hxg4 17.Nxf7 Kxf7 18.e5 c5 19.d5 Qb6 20.exf6 Bxf6 21.Ne4 1-0


GM Loek Van Wely-GM Alexander Morozevich
Wijk aan Zee, 2001
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 c5 6.d5 Bf5 7.e3 e6 8.Bxc4 exd5 9.Nxd5 Nc6 10.Qb3 Qd7 11.Nxf6+ gxf6 12.Bd2 Rg8 13.Bc3!?  O-O-O 14.Bxf7 Rxg2! 15.Nh4

15…Ne5! 16.Nxf5 Nd3+ 17.Kf1 Rxf2+ 18.Kg1 Kb8 19.Qe6?! Rxf5 20.h4 Bd6 21.Rf1? Rg8+ 0-1 (In view of …Qg7#)


Ikonnikov (2560)-Vitoux (2264)
Port Erin Open
Isle Of Man, Sept. 24 005
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 c5 6.d5 Bf5 7.e4 Nxe4 8.Nxe4 Bxe4 9.Bxc4 Qd6 10.O-O Nd7 11.Re1 Nf6 12.Bb5+ Kd8 13.Bc4 h6 14.Bd2 a6 15.Bc3 Qf4 16.Ne5 Kc8 17.f3 Bg6 18.g3 Qg5 19.f4 Qh5 20.Be2 1-0


Alan Fichaud-Robert Jacobs (2415)
ATB 2, 1998
1.c4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Na6 6.e4 Be6 7.Ne5 Qa5 8.f3 Rd8 9.Be3 Qb4 10.Qe2 g6 11.Nxc4 Bg7 12.a5 O-O 13.Ne5 Rxd4 14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.Bxd4 Qxd4 16.Qxa6 Rb8 17.Qe2 Nd7 18.Nd1 Nc5 19.Qc2 Nb3 20.Ra3 Qb4+ 21.Nc3 Nd4 22.Qc1 Qxb2 23.Qxb2 Rxb2 24.Bd3 Rxg2 0-1


Eduardo Ortiz-Matthew Ho
Pacific Southwest Open
Los Angeles 2003
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Na6 6.e4 Bg4 7.Bxc4 Bxf3 8.gxf3 e6 9.Be3 Be7 10.Rg1 O-O 11.f4 Qa5 12.Kf1 Qb4 cxd4 15.Bxd4 Nc5 16.Rg5! h6 17.Rxc5! Bxc5 18.Bxf6 Be7 (18…gxf6 19.Ra4 snares the Queen.) 19.Be5 Bf6 20.Bxf6 gxf6 21.f5 Qd6 22.Qg4+ Kh8 23.fxe6 fxe6 24.Rd1 Qe7 25.Bxe6 1-0


GM Polugaevsky (2585)-Drasko (2465)
Sarajevo, 1987
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.O-O O-O 9.Nh4 Nbd7 10.f3 Bg6 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Qc2 Rc8 13.Rd1 Qb6 14.Kh1 c5 15.d5 Ne5 16.Be2 Rfe8 17.dxe6 Qxe6 18.Nb5 Nc6 19.Bc4 Qf5 20.Bxf7+ 1-0


Vandenburg (1979)-Blechar (2237)
CCLA Team Ch., 1999
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.Bg5 Bb4 8.Nxc4 Qd5 9.Bxf6 Qxc4 10.Qd2 Qb3 11.Bxg7 Rg8 12.Be5 c5 13.Bxb8 cxd4 14.Be5 O-O-O 15.Bxd4 Rxd4! (16.Qxd4 Qxb2) 0-1


Waxman-Wes White
Jay Chemical, 1981?
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 c6 4.Qc2 Ne4 5.Bf4 Bf5 6.Qb3 Qa5+ 7.Nbd2 e5 8.dxe5 Bc5 9.e3 Bb4 10.Rd1 Nc5 0-1


C. Gabriel (2531)-GM Huebner (2636)
Germany, Jan. 28 2006
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Qb3 dxc4 5.Qxc4 Bf5 6.g3 e6 7.Bg2 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.Qb3 Qb6 10.Nbd2 Rd8 11.Nc4 Qxb3 12.axb3 Rd5?? (13.Nb6 axb6 14.Rxa8 +-) 1-0


 GM Gelfand (2733)-GM Van Wely (2683)
Blindfold Game
Melody Amber
Monaco, 2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Qb3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 Nbd7 7.e3 Be7 8.Nc3 O-O 9.Bd3 b6 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.O-O Bb7 12.Rfc1 a6 13.Na4 b5 14.Nc5 Nxc5 15.dxc5 Ne4 16.Bxe7 Qxe7 17.c6 Bc8 18.a4 bxa4 19.Rxa4 Nd6 20.Qa3 Qc7 21.b4 Qb6 22.b5 Nxb5 23.Bxb5 Qxb5 24.Rb4 Qe2 25.Rb2 1-0


And the last game, as promised. It’s a game full of Queens, and appropriately quite tactical.


Metz-Chess1, 1991
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Be2 Bb7 9.O-O b4 10.Na4 Be7 11.Qc2 Rc8 12.Rd1 O-O 13.Bd2 a5 14.Be1 c5 15.dxc5 Qc7 16.Rac1 Nxc5 17.Rd4 Qb8 18.Nb6 Rcd8 19.Nc4 Be4 20.Qd2 Qa7 21.Nce5 h6 22.h3 Ba8 23.Bc4 Nfe4 24.Qe2 Qb8 25.Rcd1 Bf6 26.Nd7 Nxd7 27.Rxd7 Rxd7 28.Rxd7 Bc6 29.Rd1 Rd8 30.Nd4 Ba8 31.f3 Nc5 32.Rc1 Qb6 33.Bf2 g6 34.Nb3 Nxb3 35.Bxb3 Bb7 36.Rd1 Rxd1+ 37.Bxd1 Ba6 38.Qd2 Be7 39.Bb3 Bc5 40.Bd1 Kg7 41.e4 e5 42.Bxc5 Qxc5+ 43.Kh2 Bb5 44.Bb3 Bc6 45.Qd8 a4 46.Bd5 Qd4 47.b3 a3 48.Qd6 Bb7 49.Qd7 Bxd5 50.exd5 Qf4+ 51.Kh1 Qc1+ 52.Kh2 Qf4+ 53.Kh1 e4 54.fxe4 Qf1+ 55.Kh2 Qf4+ 56.Kh1 Qf1+ 57.Kh2 Qf4+ 58.Kh1 Qxe4 59.d6 Qe1+ -/+ 60.Kh2 Qe5+ 61.Kh1 Qa1+ 62.Kh2 Qxa2 63.Qe7 Qd2 64.Qe5+ Kh7 65.Qf6 Qd5 66.Qe7 a2 67.d7 a1=Q 68.d8=Q Qxb3

69.Qdf8 (69.Qef8? Qe5+ -+) 69…Qg7! -+ 70.Qb8 h5 71.Qbxb4 Qd5 72.Qbe4 Qb3 73.Q7e5 Qxe5+ 74.Qxe5 Qe6 75.Qc7 g5 76.Qc2+ Kh6 77.Qc3 f6 78.Qb4 Qe5+ 79.Kg1 Qe3+ 80.Kf1 Qf4+ 81.Qxf4 gxf4 82.Ke2 Kg5 83.Kd3 Kh4 84.Ke4 Kg3 85.Kf5 h4 86.Ke4 Kxg2 87.Kxf4 Kxh3 88.Kf3 f5 0-1






Swiss Gambit

Most players know of Froms’ Gambit [1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3), with continuation of either 4…g5 (to drive away the knight) or 4…Nf6 (to defend and ready to redeploy the knight to g4 or e4)].


But White can also offer a similar gambit after 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3. This gambit is known as the Swiss Gambit. Because of its rarity, most players are not aware of it or it’s thematic ideas.


Let’s take a look the gambit after the opening moves (1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3).


If Black was to take the pawn, he would be a pawn up in the game. However, it would be hazardous to do so as both of White’s bishops (after 3…exd3 4.Bxd3) would be activated and his own kingside would be vulnerable. There are two things that slow down White’s attack. The first is the f-pawn, which unlike in the From’s Gambit (which does not have such an advanced pawn), blocks the bishop from going to f4 or g5. The second thing is that Black usually plays an early 4…Nf6, to stop the h5 checks.

Now, lets look at some games.


First, Black does not have to take the pawn. But such a plan can be risky as the d3-pawn can easily capture the e4-pawn and White has a nice center, without having to sacrifice a pawn.


Briansk, 1965
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 g6 4.dxe4 e5 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bc4 Qe7 7.Nc3 exf4 8.Qe2 d6 9.Bxf4 Be6 10.O-O-O Nc6 11.Bb5 Bd7 12.Bg5 Bg7 13.Nd5 Qd8 14.e5 dxe5 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 16.Qxe5+ Kf7 17.Nxf6 1-0


Priehoda (2404)-Cyprian
Kubin Open, 1978
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 e3 4.Bxe3 Nf6 5.Nc3 d5 6.d4 Bf5 7.Bd3 e6 8.Nf3 c6 9.O-O Bb4 10.Ne2 Nbd7 11.Ng3 g6 12.Qe2 O-O 13.Bd2 Bxd2 14.Qxd2 Qc7 15.Rae1 Rae8 16.h3 b6 17.Nh1 Nh5 18.Ne5 Nxe5 19.fxe5 c5 20.Bb5 Rc8 21.g4 cxd4 22.gxf5 exf5 23.Qxd4 Rcd8 24.e6 Qe7 25.Bd7 Nf6 26.Qh4 Qc5+ 27.Nf2 Qe7 28.Nd3 Kg7 29.Qd4 Kh6 30.Ne5 Ne4 31.Qe3+ Kg7 32.Nc6 Qh4 33.Nxd8 f4 34.e7 Rf6 35.Qf3 Nd2 36.Qg4 1-0


Petran (2341)-Veselsky (2200)
Slovakia Ch.
Dolny Kubin, 1979
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e3 5.d4 e6 6.Bd3 Bb4 7.Bxe3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 O-O 9.Nf3 d6 10.O-O Nbd7 11.Bd2 Qe8 12.Qe2 Rf7 13.Rae1 Nf8 14.f5 h6 15.Nh4 Bd7 16.Qf3 Qc8 17.Qg3 Nh5 18.Qh3 Nf6 19.Ng6 N6h7 20.fxe6 Bxe6 21.Rxf7 Bxh3 22.Ree7 Nxg6 23.Rxg7+ Kf8 24.Ref7+ Ke8 25.Bxg6 1-0

If Black wants to decline the pawn offer, he must play an early …d5.


Tampere Hervanta, 1987
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 d5 4.dxe4 dxe4 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Be3 c6 8.Nge2 Bf5 9.O-O-O Nbd7 10.Bd4 Kc7 11.Ng3 e6 12.Be5+ Nxe5 13.fxe5 Ng4 14.Ncxe4 Nxe5 15.Be2 g6 16.h3 h5 17.Kb1 h4 18.Nxf5 gxf5 19.Ng5 Re8 20.Rhe1 Rh6 21.Rd2 Bc5 22.Bf1 Nd7 23.Bc4 e5 24.Red1 Nb6 25.Bb3 Be3 0-1


And he must play it accurately.


R. Oberlin-R. Berggren
US Open
Los Angeles, 1991
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 d5 4.Nh3 Nf6 5.Nf2 exd3 6.Bxd3 Nc6 7.O-O b6? (This setup of the knight on c6 and the bishop going to b7 seems too slow and out of touch with a tactical opening such as this one. Black soon finds himself short of moves.) 8.Nd2 Bb7 9.Nf3 Qd7 10.Ng5 Nd8 11.Bxh7 e6 12.Bg6+ Ke7 13.Re1 Kd6 (Let the King Hunt begin!)


4.f5 exf5 15.Nd3 Qa4 16.Bf4+ Kc6 17.Ne5+ Kc5 18.Qd2 d4 19.b4+! Kd5 20.c4+ 1-0


It is only after 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 that the real battle begins.

De Groot-Anderssen
Amsterdam, 1875
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Ne4 Nc6 8.c3 d6 9.Nfg5 Nxe4 10.Nxe4? (>Bxe4) 10…g6 11.Qe2 e5 12.O-O Bf5 13.Ng5 Bxd3 14.Qxd3 Bxg5 15.fxg5 Qe7 16.Qh3 Qd7 17.Be3 Qxh3 18.gxh3 0-1


After the moves 1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6, White has three excellent choices of 6.Ng5 (A brazen attempt at an attack, probably best for a blitz game), 6.Ne5 (a more cautious and shy approach to an attack), and 6.Be3 (a developing move that allows White to castle queenside if the need arises).


Vienna, 1873
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 (a very good move as the knight usually finds itself involved in White’s attack.) 5…e6 (this move is the most common as it allows his bishop to develop and bolsters his defense of his weak point on f7.) 6.Ng5!? g6 (not 6…Bc5? because of 7.Bxh7 Kf8 8.Nxe6+, winning) 7.h4 Bh6 8.h5 Bxg5 9.fxg5 Nd5 10.hxg6 Qe7 11.Rxh7 Rxh7 12.gxh7 Qb4+ 13.Kf1 Qh4 14.Bg6+ Ke7 15.Qh5 1-0


IECC, 2000
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Ng5 c6 7.h4 Bg4 8.Be2 Bxe2 9.Qxe2 g6 10.Qe6 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qf5 12.Qf7+ Kd7 13.h5 gxh5 14.Rxh5 Qc5 15.Rh1 Qxc2 16.Ne6 Qe4+ 0-1


Christian Maltais (2134)-Daniel J. Freire (2047)
DE10A /pr 48
ICCF, 2016
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Ng5 d5 7.Qe2 Bc5 8.Nd2 O-O 9.Ndf3 Qd6 10.h4 Nc6 11.c3 h6 12.Ne5 hxg5 13.hxg5 Ne4 14.Bxe4 dxe4 15.g6 Rf5 16.Nf7 Rxf7 17.Qh5 Qf8 18.Qh8mate 1-0


Ivar Jakobsson-Hakan Johansson
Stockholm, 1974
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Ne5 d6 7.O-O b6 8.Ng4 Ba6 9.Nxf6+ Qxf6 10.Re1 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 Nc6 12.Qf3 Kd7 13.Nd2 d5 14.c4 Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Nd4 16.Qh3 Rae8 17.cxd5 Nc2 18.Ne4 Qh6 19.dxe6+ Kc8 20.Qf3 Kb8 21.Nxc5 bxc5 22.Qb3+ Nb4 23.a3 a5 24.axb4 cxb4 25.Rxa5 1-0


Schirmer-Schleipen, 1956
1.f4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.d3 exd3 4.Bxd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Be3 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.Nbd2 Nd5 9.Ng5 Bxg5 10.fxg5 Rxf1+ 11.Nxf1 Nxe3 12.Bxh7+ Kf8 13.Nxe3 Qxg5 14.Qf3+ Qf6 15.Qh5 Ke7 16.Rf1 Qh6 17.Qf7+ Kd6 18.Rd1+ Kc6 19.Be4+ d5 20.Bxd5+ exd5 21.Qxd5+ Kb6 22.Nc4+ 1-0

Najdorf Thematic, part 2

As mentioned before, I have entered into Najdorf Thematic Tournament at chess.com. I have advanced to the next round; it seems my Sozin variation is scoring some delightful wins for me.


Here’s one of them from the second round.



Escalante-“KINGLOU” (1546)
Thematic Tournament – Sicilian Najdorf, 2nd round
chess.com, 2018
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e5 [This move looks weak as it opens the diagonal for the bishop, but the nut is not so easy to crack. Black must be willing to have doubled pawns on the e-file (after …Be6) and suffer the difficulties of his pawn structure in coordinating his pieces.] 7.Nf3 (7…Nf5 eliminates much of Whites’s pressure  after 7…Bxf5. 7.Nde2 is the more positional approach. 7.Nf3 resembles a Two Knight’s Defence, something I more familiar with.) 7…Nc6 (7…Be7 is better as it would have allowed 8….O-O after 8.Ng5.} 8.Ng5 {This position is now very similar to the Two Knight’s Defence, where Black is forced to give to give up a pawn. However, in this game, White already has the greater mobility, coordination, and the initiative.) 8…d5 9.Nxd5 Nxd5 10.Bxd5 Be6 (White has a strong tactical response to Black’s lack of development.)


11.Nxe6! fxe6 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13.Qh5+ g6 14.Qxe5 Rg8 [Better is 14… Kf7 15.O-O (15.Bg5?! Be7 and Black’s king, despite not being able to castle, will be safe on the kingside) Bg7 16.Qf4+ Qf6 17.Qc7+ Qe7 18.Qxc6 Rhc8 19.Qa4 and White remains on top.] 15.Qxe6+ Qe7 16.Qxg8 Qxe4+ 17.Be3  O-O-O (Black’s best move; everything else loses faster.) 18.O-O Bd6 19.Qb3! (19.Qxh7? is a mistake due to 19…Be5 with the idea of …Rh8.) 19…Qe5 20.g3 h5 21.Qb6 Kd7 22.Qb7+ Bc7 23.Bf4 Qa5 (Better, but still losing is 23…Rb8 24.Rad1+ Ke7 25.Qxc6 Rb6 26.Qd7+ Kf6 27.Bxe5+ Bxe5 28.Qd8+) 24.Rad1+ Ke7 25.Bxc7!



Dutch Treats

The Dutch is an aggressive response to 1.d4. It is also extremely risky.

Here are some miniatures showing how White (and Black!) can win quickly.


Copenhagen, 1994
1.d4 f5 2.Qd3!? d5 3.g4! (White does well if he can get this move in.) 3…fxg4 4.h3 g3 5.fxg3 Nf6 6.Nc3 c6 7.e4 dxe4 8.Nxe4 Nxe4 9.Qxe4 Qa5+ 10.Bd2 Qd5 11.Bg2 Be6 12.Qe2 Qc4 13.Qe3 Bd5 14.Bxd5 Qxd5 15.Nf3 Nd7 16.b3 O-O-O 17.c4 Qd6 18.Ng5 e5 19.Nf7 Qxd4 20.Qxd4 exd4 21.Nxh8 Ne5 22.O-O 1-0

GM W. Browne-GM R. Byrne
US Ch.
Mentor, 1977
1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bg5 (One purpose of this bishop move is to cripple Black’s kingside pawn structure. As in this game.) 3…d5 4.Bxf6 exf6 5.e3 Be6 6.Bd3 g6 7.Qf3 c6 8.Nge2 Nd7 9.h3 Qb6 10.g4 Qxb2 11.Rb1 Qa3 12.gxf5 Bf7 13.Rxb7 Bb4 14.O-O O-O-O 15.Rxb4 Qxb4 16.Ba6+ Kc7 17.Rb1 Qd6 18.Rb7+ Kc8 19.Rb3+ Kc7 20.Rb7+ Kc8 21.e4 Nb8 22.Nb5 cxb5 23.Qc3+ Nc6 24.e5 Qc7 25.e6 1-0


Pomar Salamanca-GM Bent Larsen
Spain, 1975
[GM Larsen was noted for doing well in off-beat openings.]
1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 d5 3.f3 c5 4.e4 e5 5.Bb5+ Bd7 6.Bxd7+ Nxd7 7.Nxd5 cxd4 8.Ne2 fxe4 9.fxe4 Ngf6 10.Bg5 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qc5 12.Nxf6+ Nxf6 13.Ng3 h5 14.Qf3 h4 15.Ne2 Qxc2 16.Qf5 Qxe4 17.Qe6+ Be7 18.Bb4 Nd5 19.Bxe7 Nf4 20.Qc4 Kxe7 0-1


Chigorin Memorial
Saint Petersburg, Russia, 1994
1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bf4 c6 4.e3 Nf6 5.Bd3 g6 6.h4 Be6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.h5 Nbd7 9.Ng5 Bg8 10.h6 Bf8 11.Qd2 e6 12.O-O-O Qe7 13.f3 e5 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Be2 Ned7 16.e4 fxe4 17.fxe4 O-O-O 18.exd5 Bxd5 19.Nxd5 Nxd5 20.Bg4 Qf6 21.Ne6 Ba3 22.Qd4 Qe7 23.bxa3 Qxa3+ 24.Qb2 Qa4 25.Rd4 1-0


Hamilton-J. Scheider
Georgia Ch., 1981
1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 fxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Be7 7.Ne5 O-O 8.Nxf6+! Bxf6 9.Qh5 Nxe5 10.Bxh7+ Kh8 11.Bg6+ 1-0

USSR, 1975
1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 d6 4.Bg2 c6 5.O-O Qc7 6.Nbd2 e5 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.e4 fxe4 9.Ng5 e3 10.Nde4 Nxe4 11.Bxe4 exf2+ 12.Rxf2 Bc5 13.Qh5+ Ke7 14.Nxh7 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Qa5 16.Bg5+ Kd6 17.Qg6+ Kc5 18.Be3+ Kc4 19.Bd3+ Kd5 20.c4mate 1-0

IM Heinz Wirthensohn-IM Lin Ta
Novi Sad. Ol.
Yugoslavia, 1990
1.Nf3 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d6 4.d4 g6 5.b3 Bg7 6.Bb2 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.Nbd2 Kh8 9.c4 Ne4 10.Qc2 d5 11.Ne5 Nxd2 12.Qxd2 Be6 13.Qb4 b6 14.Rfd1 a5 15.Qd2 Ra7 16.Rac1 dxc4 17.d5 cxd5 18.Nxg6+! 1-0


Hjorth (2502)-A. Wang (2206)
US Open, 1995
1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.c4 d5 6.O-O O-O 7.b3 c6 8.Bb2 Ne4 9.Nbd2 Nd7 10.Ne1 Qa5 11.Nxe4 fxe4 12.f3 exf3 13.Nxf3 dxc4 14.bxc4 e5 15.e3 exd4 16.exd4 Nb6 17.c5 Nc4 18.Qe2 Nxb2 19.Qxe7 Rf7 20.Qe2 Qc3 21.Rac1 Qa3 22.Ng5 Rxf1+ 23.Rxf1 Bd7 24.Qe7 h6 25.Qf7+ 1-0


Monacell (2473)-Elburg (2306)
ICCF, 2002
1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nh3 Bg7 5.Nf4 Nc6 6.Nc3 O-O 7.h4 d6 8.d5 Ne5 9.h5 Bd7 10.e4 fxe4 11.Nxe4 Nxh5 12.Ng5 Nxf4 13.gxf4 Nf7 14.Nxh7 Re8 15.Be3 Bxb2 16.Be4 c6 17.Rg1 Bc3+ 18.Bd2 Bg7 19.Rxg6 e5 20.Qh5 exf4 21.O-O-O Re5 22.Rxg7+ 1-0


Krasnov (1955)-Manvelyan (2293) X25
Mechanics’ Summer Tournament
Mechanics’ Institute, San Francisco, June 4 2013
1.d4 g6 2.Nf3 Bg7 3.g3 f5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 O-O 6.Bg2 d6 7.O-O Qe8 8.e4 fxe4 9.Ng5 Bg4 10.Qb3 Nc6 11.Be3 h6 12.Ngxe4 Nxe4 13.Nxe4? (>13.Bxe4 Bf5 14.Bxf5 Rxf5 15.Nd5) 13…Nxd4 14.Qxb7 Nf3+ 15.Kh1 c5 16.h3 Bd7 17.Nxd6 $4 exd6 18.Bxf3 Rxf3 19.Qxf3 Bc6 0-1


1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.dxe5 Ng4 5.Nf3 Bb4 6.Bd2 Qe7 7.Nd5 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 Qc5 9.e3 O-O 10.b4 1-0


Greber (1740)-Curdo (2405)
US Open
Concord, 1995
1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.g3 O-O 6.Bg2 d6 7.O-O c6 8.Re1 Nh5 9.e4 f4 10.Ne2 fxg3 11.fxg3 Na6 12.a3 Bg4 13.Qd3 e5 14.d5 Nc5 15.Qe3 cxd5 16.cxd5 Qb6 17.Nd2 Bh6!
18.Qxh6 Nd3+ 0-1