Wonderful Winawer Wins

I am completing a miniature book titled, “3000 Winawer Miniatures”. Below are some games from this book that will be out later this year.

The opening moves of the Winawer, just in case you didn’t know are: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4.


W. Muir-F. Stratholt, 1934
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Bd2 cxd4 6.Nb5 Bc5 7.b4 Bf8 8.Qg4 g6 9.Nf3 Nc6 10.Bd3 a6 11.Nbxd4 Qc7 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.O-O Ne7 14.Rfe1 Bg7 15.Bg5 O-O 16.Bf6 Nf5 17.Bxf5 exf5 18.Qh4 Re8 19.Ng5 h6 20.Nf3 Be6 21.Re3 Rac8 22.Rae1 Qa7 23.Nd4 c5 24.Rh3 h5 25.Qg5 1-0

corres., 1945
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Bd2 cxd4 6.Nb5 Bc5 7.b4 Bb6 8.Qg4 g6 9.Nd6+ Kf8 10.Qf4 f6 11.exf6 Bc7

12.Qh6+! (12…Nxh6 13.Bxh6+ Kg8 14.f7#) 1-0

R. Steiner-V. Walsh
Australia, 1947

1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 e6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.Bg5 b6 7.O-O Bxc3 8.bxc3 dxe4 9.Bxe4 Qd6 10.Bxc6+ Qxc6 11.Ne5 Qe4 12.f3 Qf5 13.Bc1 Nd5 14.Re1 Nxc3 15.Qd2 Nd5 16.c4 Ne7 17.Ba3 Bd7 18.Rad1 Rd8 19.Bxe7 Kxe7 20.d5 f6 21.d6+ cxd6 22.Qxd6+ Ke8 23.Nc6 Qc5+ 24.Qxc5 bxc5 25.Rxe6+ 1-0

Reinhard Fuchs-Weyerstrass
Soest, 1972

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Be3 Nc6 6.f4 Qa5 7.Qd2 Nge7 8.Nf3 Nf5 9.Bf2 Bd7 10.Be2 Rc8 11.Kf1 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Ncxd4 13.Be1 Nxe2 14.Qxe2 d4 15.g4 dxc3 0-1

David Schurr-Robert Wilson
corres., 1951

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Nf3 Qa5 8.Qd2 Qa4 9.Rb1 c4 10.g4 Nbc6 11.h4 b6 12.Bh3 O-O 13.g5 Bd7 14.h5 g6 15.Bg4 Nf5 16.Nh2 Nce7 17.Bd1 Kh8 18.Ng4 Ng8 19.Nf6 ! +- Nxf6 20.gxf6 Be8 21.Qg5 Qa5 22.Rb4! (Eliminating all counter play.) 22…b5 23.Bg4 h6 24.Bxf5! (After 24…Bxf5 hxg5 25.hxg6+ Kg8 26.g7, White has a pretty pawn chain and mate coming.)


Europe, 1989/90

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.exd5 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 exd5 6.Bd3 Nf6 7.Ba3 Be6 8.Ne2 Nbd7 9.O-O Nf8 10.Ng3 Qd7 11.Rb1 c6 12.Qe2 Qc7 13.Nf5 O-O-O 14.Ba6 Bxf5 15.Bxb7+ Qxb7 16.Rxb7 Kxb7 17.Rb1+ 1-0

Brunner (2460)-Lempereur (2226)
Clichy Open
France, 1991

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 Kf8 8.a4 b6?! (This weakens the queenside, the same side that Black seeks counterplay in the French.) 9.Bb5 Qc7 10.Nf3 Ba6 11.O-O Bxb5 12.axb5 a5 13.dxc5 bxc5 14.c4 Nd7 15.cxd5 Nxd5 16.c4! +- (Solidifying White’s passed pawn.) 7…Ne7?! (Black had the better 7…Nb4 and 7…N5b6. The text leads to a cramp position.) 17.Qe4 Nb6 18.Rd1 Rc8 19.Rd6 h6 20.Bd2 g6 21.Bxa5! 1-0

R. Babich-H. Nordah
World Jr. Ch.
Bratislava, 1993

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7 7.Bd2 Ne7 8.Qg4 cxd4 9.cxd4 Qxc2 10.Qxg7 Rg8 11.Qf6 Nbc6 12.Nf3 Qe4+ 13.Be3 Rg6 14.Qh8+ Rg8 15.Qf6 Rg6 16.Qh8+ 1/2-1/2

Georges De Schryver-Hayden Lewin
Masters Tournament
IECC, 1997

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Be3 c4 6.Qg4 g6 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Qa5 9.Bd2 Nh6 10.Qf3 Nf5 11.g4 Nh4 12.Qf6 O-O 13.Bh6 Nf5 14.gxf5 Qxc3+ 15.Kd1 Qxd4+ 16.Ke2 Qg4+ 17.f3 gxf5 18.fxg4 1-0

Van Den Doel (2560)-Tondivar (2357)
Netherlands Women’s Ch., ½ Final
Leeuwarden, Mar. 16 2004

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Ba5 6.Bd2 Nc6 7.Qg4 Nge7 8.dxc5 O-O 9.f4 f6 10.Nf3 fxe5 11.fxe5 Ng6 12.O-O-O Ngxe5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.Qg3 Nc6 15.Nb5 Bxd2+ 16.Rxd2 b6 17.Nc7 Rb8 18.Bb5 1-0

Wichert (2255)-Payce
Webchess Open
ICCF, 2006

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Ba5 6.Bd2 cxd4 7.Nb5 Bc7 8.f4 a6 9.Qg4 g6 10.Nxc7+ Qxc7 11.Bd3 Nc6 12.Nf3 Nge7 13.O-O Bd7 14.Qh4 O-O-O 15.b4 b5 16.a4 bxa4 17.Bxa6+ Kb8 18.Qf2 Na7 19.b5 Bxb5 20.Rfb1 Ka8 21.Bxb5 Nxb5 22.Rxb5 Qxc2 23.Nxd4 Qc7 24.Rxa4+ Qa5 25.Raxa5mate 1-0

E. Blomqvist (2418)-E. Boric (2292)
Rilton Cup
Stockholm, Jan. 4 2009

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.e5 Qd7 6.Bd2 b6 7.Bb5 a6 8.Bd3 f5 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.O-O O-O 11.Re1 Bxc3 12.Bxc3 g6 13.Bd2 Qd6 14.Bh6 Re8 15.Qd2 Bb7 16.Ne5 Ne4 17.Bxe4 dxe4 18.Ng4 Red8 19.Bg5 Qxd4 20.Qf4 e3 21.Nh6+ (21…Kg7 22.Qf7+ Kh8 23.Bf6+ wins.) 1-0

Escalante (2020)-“gxtmf1” (1551)
Thematic Tournament
http://www.chess.com, June/July 2009

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Bd2 cxd4 6.Nb5 Be7 7.Qg4 Kf8 8.Nf3 Qb6 9.Bd3 h5 10.Qf4 Nc6 11.Nbxd4 Nxd4 12.Nxd4 g5 13.Qe3 Qxb2?! 14.O-O Bc5?? 15.Nxe6+! +- Bxe6 16.Qxc5+ Kg7 17.Rfb1 b6 18.Qe3 Qa3 19.Qxg5+ 1-0

Cell Phone Game, Mar. 2016

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Qg4 g6!? (This move is not as well known as 5…Kf8 or 5…Ne7. But it provides for some fast, sharp play.) 6.Bg5?! Qa5! 7.Nge2?! (Already White seems to be having problems with his king still stuck on e1.) 7…Nc6 8.g3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Qxc3+ 11.Bd2 Qxa1+ 12.Qd1 Qxd4 (Also winning, but considerably weaker, is 12…Nxd4 13.Qxa1 Nxc2+ -+) 13.Bd3 Qxe5+ 14.Be3 d4 15.Bb5? Qxb5 0-1

I have been writing this blog, weekly, since 2018. I have had great fun writing here, and it has (hopefully) made me a better player. I appreciate all those who have responded to this blog with questions comments, and occasionally games. And I hope to have made a positive influence on your play and appreciation of chess.

But my interest has been shifting and I do want to complete some book ideas and so I need to back away from this blog.

If you have a game you want to share, or show off to the world, now is your chance! Send a copy of your game (in PGN, text, DN or AN), and I will annotate it. Free!

Or if you have a question or an area you want covered, again, email me! Love to hear from you!

Enjoy the game and the day. May both be bright for you!

Two recent tactical shorts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19.Rxh5! gxh5 20.Nf5 1-0

Three Short Games

Escalante-“MikhailZorro” (1555)
King’s Bishop Gambit Thematic, Round 2
chess.com, Sept. 2021
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Qe7!?
(A rarity. The earliest example of a Master game with this move is Zalys-Zapata, Quebec Open, Canada, 1978 which continued 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.d3 g5 7.Nf3 c6 8.Nxg5 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Bxd5 Qxg5 11.Bf3 Qf6 12.Ne4 Qh4 13.Bd2 Be6 14.Bc3 f5 15.Bh5+ Bf7 16.Nf6+ Kd8 17.Bxf7 Bd6 18.Nh5 Be7 19.Bxh8 Nd7 20.Qf3 Kc7 21.Bg7 Bd6 22.Re1 Rd8 23.Re8 Rxe8 24.Bxe8 Nb6 25.Bf6! 1-0. I decided to copy White’s moves only because I had a problem finding a better ones.) 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.d3 g5 7.Nf3 h6 8.e5! Nh5 9.Nd5 (The immediate b4 is probably faster.) 9…Qc5 10.b4 Qc6 11.Nd4 Qa4? (Qg6) 12.Bb3 Qa6

13.Nxc7+ 1-0

Escalante (1949)-“klaxcek2” (1771)
King’s Bishop Gambit Thematic, Round 2
chess.com, Sept. 2021
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Nf6 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.Nc3 d6 7.d4 g5 8.h4 h6 9.e5 Ng4 10.Qe1
(10.Qe2!?) 10…Be7?! (Black has to chance 10…Kd8) 11.Nd5! (White is practically winning after his move.) 11…Kd8

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

“henrysitohang060707” (1682)-Escalante
Blitz Game
chess.com, Oct. 23 2021
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bg5
(The Leningrad variation) 4…h6 5.Bh4 b5 (A gambit I wanted to try. Actually, it’s more of a bluff than a gambit. Alternate moves include …c5 and …Nc6) 6.e3 (Of course, White should take the pawn.) O-O 7.Bd3 (Again White’s best move was to take the pawn.) bxc4 (Black will make use of the extra tempo.) 8.Bxc4 d5 9.Bb3 Ba6 (Black has equalized here. And it’s quite possible that he now has a small advantage. So much for declining the gambit!) 10.Qf3 Nbd7 11.Ne2 c5 12.O-O Rc8 13.a3

13…cxd4 (chess.com computer says that Black missed a forced win here with 13…Bxc3! 14.bxc3 g5 15.Bg3 g4 16.Qf4 Bxe2 17.Qxh6 cxd4 18.Bh4 d3 19.Rfb1 Rxc3 20.Ba4 g3 21.f3 d2 22.Bxd7 d1=Q+ 23.Rxd1 Bxd1 The only thing I can say is “wow”.) 14.exd4 Bxc3 15.Nxc3 Bxf1 16.Rxf1 Qc7 17.Bg3 Qb7 (OK, 17…Qb6, striking the d4-pawn as well as the bishop, was better.) 18.Na4 Ne4 19.Re1 Nd2 [White resigns. Again, chess.com provides some stunning (and correct!) tactics : 19…Nd2 20.Qd1 Qxb3 21.Bf4 Qxd1 22.Rxd1 Nc4 23.h4 Rfe8 24.g4 Kh7 25.g5 hxg5 26.Bxg5 f6 27.Bf4 a5 28.Kg2 Kg6 29.Rd3 Kf7] 0-1

Clarke’s 100

My copy of Clarke’s 100 Soviet Miniatures came last week. And I had this long weekend to play over many of the games. Here is what I found.

First, the book is in Descriptive Notation (DN), not Algebraic Notation (AN). I knew this before as I have old copies of the British Chess Magazine (BGM), where the games first appeared in a series of articles titled, “Soviet Miniatures”. But I am mentioning this as many younger players are not familiar with DN and will find the games hard to follow. I translated the following games into AN, but obviously not the entire book.

Secondly, Clarke separated his collection into several thematic chapters such as “Queen Sacrifices”, “The Object is Mate”, and “King in the Centre”. That makes it easy to find games that fit your favorite style of attacking.

And finally, there are an incredible number of Sicilians. Of course, the Sicilian is well known to be a sharp opening. Still, there thirty-five (35) Sicilians in the book. Which comes out to 35%, a rather large percentage. The situation is not helped by the fact that one of chapters is titled, “Sicilicide”.

But it is an enjoyable book.

And now, onto the games!

Russian Ch., ½ Finals, 1957
[Clarke, 100 Soviet Miniatures, #6]
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 Na5
(A natural move but not a very good one. Better is 9… Nxd4 10. Bxd4 Be6, as Black need not fear the doubling of his e-pawn.) 10.Bb3 Bd7 (Too passive. … Probably he should have tried 10…a6 and if 11.Bh6, then 11…e5 12.Nde2 Be6.) 11.Bh6 Rc8 12.h4 Nc4 13.Bxc4 Rxc4 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.h5! e5 16.Nde2 Nxh5 (This is suicide. The only way to continue was 16… Be6 17.g4 Qe7 18.hxg6 fxg6.) 17.g4 Nf6 18.Qh6+ Kg8 19.g5 Nh5 20.Rxh5 gxh5 21.Nd5 f5 22.g6 hxg6 (All Black’s moves ae forced.) 23.Qxg6+ Kh8 24.O-O-O 1-0

Kazakhstan Ch.
Karaganda, May 30 1958
[Clarke, 100 Soviet Chess Miniatures, #42]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Ng8 9.Bd4 f6
(A better defence is 9…c5 10.Bxc5 Qc7 11.Bd4 Bxe5. The text move results in a weakening of Black’s pawn formation.) 10.f4 Qa5 (If 10…d5 11.exd6 Qxd6 White can play 12.Qf3! with advantage. Posting the Queen on f3, where it continually hits at c6 is an ever-recurring motif in this variation, as it will be seen.) 11.e6! d6 [If 11…dxe6, White intends 12.Qf3! Bd7 (or 12…Bb7 13.Bc4) 13.O-O-O followed by Bc4 and Rhe1, when Black would find it hard to defend all his weak spots. 11…d5 could be met by 12.f5! consolidating the advanced pawn (12…gxf5? 13.Qh5+, etc.).] 12.Qf3 Bb7 13.Bd3 Rb8

14.b4! Qxb4? [This leads to summary defeat. He had to play 14…Qc7 (the Queen is dubiously placed after 14…Qa3 15.Qe3!), upon White could maintain his advantage (consisting of easier development and greater command of space by 15.Qe3.] 15.Rb1 Qxd4 (A good as forced, for 15…Qxd4 permits Rxb7, etc. The susceptibility to attack of the point c6 has already been illustrated several times; but never so forcibly as in the following play.) 16.Qxc6+!! Kf8 17.Rxb7 Rd8 (A terrible blunder would be 17…Re8? 18.Qxe8!) 18.Qc7 Re8 19.Rb8 Qe3+ 20.Kd1 Qxe6 21.Rxe8+ Kxe8 22.Bb5+ Kf8 23.Qb8+ 1-0

USSR Ch., 12 Finals
Odessa, 1960
[Clarke, 100 Soviet Miniatures, #76]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 f5
(The Cordel Variation of the Classical Defence. Like the Schliemann, it is suspected of being too loosening.) 5.d4 (Of the several alternatives here 5.Bxc6 is perhaps the simplest and best.) 5…fxe4 (Also playable is 5…exd4.) 6.Ng5 (At this stage 6.Bxc6 is usual; after 6…dxc6 7.Nxe5 Bd6 8.O-O! the position is considered to favour White. The text move poses certain new problems, and they are not solved by Black’s play here!) 6…Be7 7.dxe5! (A surprise. Black discovers that 7…Bxg5 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Qxg5 Qxg5 10.Bxg5 Nxe5 is answered by 11.Bf4 and 12.Bxc7 with a better ending for White. So he decides to take the e-pawn straightaway – while he can!) 7…Nxe5?? 8.Ne6! 1-0

GM Alexander Tolush-Lev Aronson
Moscow, 1957
[Clarke, 100 Soviet Miniatures, #28]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 3.cxd5
(This is not thought to be the best, since it helps Black to bring out his pieces rapidly. Both 3.Nc3 and 3.Nf3 are preferred and in both cases White can count on some positional advantage.) 3…Qxd5 4.Nf3 Bg4? (A typical maneuver in this defence, but quite wrong here. Correct is 4…e5! 5.Nc3 Bb4 and Black has achieved his goal: active play for his pieces – and more, equality in the centre.) 5.Nc3 Qa5 (Nor is 5…Qd7 very good, e.g. 6.d5 Bxf3 7.exf3 Ne5 8.Bf4 and the threat of 9.Bb5 is decisive.) 6.d5 O-O-O 7.Bd2 Bxf3 [Helping White still further by developing his f1-bishop for him. However, the position was already hopeless; for example, 7…Nb4 8.e4 Qb6 (or 8…e6 9.a3 Na6 10.Na4, etc.) 9.Rc1 with a winning attack.] 8.exf3 Nb4 [Or 8…Ne5 9.Rc1 Qb6 10.Be3 Qxb2 (10…c5 11.Na4 Qa5+ 12.Bd2! or 10…Qa5 11.a3!) 11.Nb5 again with a winning position.] 9.a3 Nxd5 (Aronson resigns himself to loss of material at once; but as we have seen, the threats were not to be denied for long, e.g. 9…Na6 10.b4 Qb6 11.Be3, etc.) 10.Na4! 1-0 [At best he can reach a lost ending by 10…Nb6 11.Bxa5 Rxd1+ 12.Rxd1 Nxa4 13.Bb5 Nb6 (not 13…Nxb2 14.Rd2) 14.Bxb6 axb6 (or 14…cxb6 15.Rc1+ Kd8 16.Ke2!) 15.Bd7+ Kb8 16.Be6!]

Clarke may not have known that this game is an exact duplicate of Alekhine-Nenarokov, Moscow, 1907. Then again, there was no Soviet Union at that time, only Russia.

English Miniatures

No, we are not talking about tiny replicas of various English manors or of small red-coated toy soldiers.

What we mean are chess games lasting twenty-five moves or less and that begin with the move 1.c4 (the English Opening).

The English opening can be an independent opening but it can also easily transpose into other openings such as the myriad of Indian Defences (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4), the Marcozy Bind in the Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4), and the Reti (1.Nf3 d5 2.c4).

But we’ll keep to independent lines for this miniatures post. These lines include, after 1.c4, 1…Nf6, 1…e5,  and 1…c5.

Now, sit back and enjoy the games!

1.c4 (Various replies)

Arndt-Schulze Bisping
corres., 1987
1.c4 b5 2.cxb5 e5 3.e4 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nc3 Qe6 6.Qf3 c6 7.bxc6 Nxc6 8.Nb5 Qd7 9.Bd3 Bb7 10.Be4 Nf6 11.Ne2 Nd4 12.Nbxd4 Nxe4 13.Qf5 exd4 14.Qe5+ (Black gets a lot of play after 14.Qxd7+ Kxd7) 14…Kd8 15.f3 Nc5 16.Qxd4 Qxd4 17.Nxd4 Nd3+ 18.Ke2 Ba6 0-1

Enghien 1999
[IM Peters, LA Times]
1.c4 c6 2.e4 d5 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nbd7 6.Nf3 a6 7.d4 Nb6 8.Ne5 Nbxd5?? (Black stands only a shade worse after 8…Nfxd5 9.Bd3, while 8…g6 9.Be2 Bg7 10.Bf3 O-O 11.Qb3 e6 12.dxe6 Bxe6 13.Qd1 Nfd5 gives him some compensation for his pawn.) 9.Qa4+! Bd7 10.Nxd7 (If 10…Qxd7, White wins material by 11.Bb5 axb5 12. Qxa8) 1-0

Irina Krush-Krupkova
Women’s Ol.
Elista, 1998
[Notes by Chess Life]
1.c4 g6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qh4 Nxc3 7.Qd4 f6 8.Qxc3 Nc6?! (Best is 8…e5!, and if White likes material then 9.Nxe5 fxe5 10.Qxe5+ Qe7 11.Qxh8 Nc6 is the way to go.)9.b4 e5? (9…a6)10.b5 Nd4 11.Nxd4 exd4 12.Qc4 b6 13.g3 Bc5 14.Bg2 Rc8 15.O-O Qe7 16.Bb2 Qe6 17.Bd5 Qd6 18.e3 Bxb5?? 19.Qxb5+ c6 20.Qa6 1-0

1.c4 Nf6

“bigt111210” (1346)-Escalante (1978)
“Let’s Play!”
www.chess.com, Jan. 2014

1.c4 Nf6 2.f3? e5! 3.e4 Nxe4! 4.fxe4 Qh4+ 5.Ke2 (Better is 5.g3 Qxe4+ 6.Qe2 Qxh1 7.Qxe5+ and White has some counterplay.) 5…Qxe4+ 6.Kf2 Bc5+ 7.Kg3 (Even after 7.d4, Black still has a forced mate after 7…Bxd4+)7…Qf4+ 8.Kh3 d5+ 9.g4 h5 10.Be2 (10.Kh4 g5+ 11.Kh3 hxg4+ 12.Kg2 Qf2+) 10…hxg4+ 11.Kg2 12.Qf2mate 1-0

Mrs. Bruce-Dr. Gray
England 1960 something
1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 c6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.d4 g6 7.Nc3 Bg7 8.O-O O-O 9.Bd2 Ne4 10.e3 Bg4 11.h3?! Nxd2 12.Qxd2 Bf5 13.Nh4 Be6 14.Rac1 Qd7 15.Kh2 g5 16.Nf3 g4 17.Ng5 (17.Nh4 Bf6) 17…gxh3 18.Nxe6 hxg2 19.Nxf8

19…gxf1=N+ (Always good to see an underpromotion, especially one that wins the game!) 20.Rxf1 Rxf8 0-1

de Veauce-Cafferty
Birmingham, England 1974
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.e4 Bb7 5.e5 Ne4 6.Bd3 Nxc3 7.dxc3 d6?! 8.Ng5 dxe5?

9.Nxf7! Qf6 (9…Kxf7? loses faster to 10.Bg6+.) 10.Nxh8 g6 11.Qg4 Qxh8 12.Qxe6+ Be7 13.Bg5 1-0

Nuremburg, 1988
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Nf3 O-O 6.O-O Nbd7 7.b3 Re8 8.Bb2 e5 9.Qc2 c6 10.d4 Qc7 11.Rfd1 Nh5 12.dxe5 dxe5 13.Ne4 c5 14.Nd6 Re7 15.Ng5 Nb6 16.Nb5 1-0 (White has an overwhelming position. One line is 16…Qb8 17.Rd8+ Bf8 18.Rad1 a6 19.Qd3, with the idea of 20.Rxf8+.)

Russia 1939
[You’ll find this one in Chernev’s 1000 Best Short Games (game  #115).]
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.e4 Nb4 5.Qa4+ N8c6 6.d4 Bd7 7.Bb5 Nxd4 8.Kf1 Nxb5 9.Qxb4 e5 10.Qc4 Nxc3 11.bxc3 (11.Qxc3 Bb5+ 12.Ke1 Bb4! 13.Qxb4 Qd3 -+) 11…a6 12.a4 Bb5 0-1

World Jr. Ch.
Romania 1991
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 O-O 5.d3 d6 6.Rb1 e5 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.O-O a5 9.a3 h6 10.b4 axb4 11.axb4 Nh5 12.b5 Ne7 13.Bd2 f5 14.Qc2 f4 15.Rfc1 g5 16.Nd5 Nf6 17.Nxe7+ Qxe7 18.Bc3 Qf7 (So far Black has only the tiniest advantage. But now White makes three lemon moves.) 19.Rf1?! Qh5 20.Bb2? Bh3 21.c5? (But then, what else?) 21…Ng4 0-1

French Teams Ch., 1991
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 O-O 5.d3 d6 6.Rb1 e5 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.O-O Bf5!? (More aggressive than the usual 8…h6.) 9.Re1 Qd7 10.Bg5 Bh3 11.Bxh3 Qxh3 12.Nd5 Ng4 13.Ne3 f5 14.Nxg4 fxg4 15.Nh4 Bf6 16.Bxf6 Rxf6 17.Rf1 g5 0-1

1.c4 e5

Sylvain Zinser (2295)-Gedeon Barcza (2490)
Birseck, Switzerland, May 1971
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 d6 3.g3 f5 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.e3 Be7 6.Nge2 O-O 7.O-O c6 8.b3 Qe8 9.d4 Qh5 10.Ba3 Re8 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Bxe7 Rxe7 13.Qc2 Be6 14.Rad1 Nbd7 15.Na4 Rf8 16.Rfe1 Ne4 17.f4 Ndf6 18.Nec3 Bc8 19.Qe2 Qxe2 20.Rxe2 b5 0-1

Venice, 19741.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.Nf3 Bc5 5.d3 O-O 6.O-O d6 7.Nc3 Bd7 8.e3 += Bb4?! 9.Ne2 e4 10.dxe4 Nxe4 11.Qc2 Re8 (11…Bf5? 12.Nh4)12.a3 Bc5 13.b4 Bb6 14.Bb2 +/- Qe7 (Interesting, and perhaps even better is 14…Nxf2!? 15.Kxf2!?) 15.Nf4 Nf6 16.Ng5! Ne5 17.Nd5 (17…Qd8 18.Bxe5 Rxe5 19.Nxf6+)1-0

Gausdal, 1991
1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.d3 f5 6.e4 d6 7.Nge2 Nf6 8.O-O O-O 9.Nd5 Ne7 10.Nxf6+ Bxf6 11.d4 c6 12.dxe5 Bxe5 13.Bh6 Re8 14.Nd4 fxe4 15.Bxe4 d5 16.cxd5 Nxd5 17.Re1 Nf6 18.Qb3 Kh8 19.Nf3 Be6 20.Qb7 Re7 21.Qc6 Ne4 22.Rad1 Qe8 23.Ne5 1-0

S. Lorenz (2287)-A. Orlov (2364)
Germany, 2001
1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e4 d6 6.Nge2 Be6 7.d3 Qd7 8.Nd5 Nce7 9.d4 c6 10.Nxe7 Nxe7 11.d5 Bh3 12.O-O h5 13.dxc6 bxc6 14.Bxh3 Qxh3 15.Qxd6 Rd8 16.Qa3 h4 17.Qf3 Qxf1+ 0-1

J. Grant (2201)-Harborne
Great Britain Ch., 2002
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 Bb4 4.Nd5 Bc5 5.Bg2 d6 6.e3 f5 7.Ne2 e4 8.d4 exd3 9.Nef4 Nb4 10.O-O Nxd5 11.cxd5 Qf6 12.Qxd3 Ne7 13.Bd2 Ng6 14.Bc3 Qf7 15.Ne6 Rg8 16.Qb5+ Qd7 17.Nxc7+ 1-0

GM van den Doel-FRITZ 6
Dutch Ch.
Rotterdam, 2000
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.e4?! Bc5 4.g3 O-O 5.Bg2 Nc6 6.Nge2!?  d6 7.d3? Ng4! (A brutal response from the computer!) 8.O-O f5 9.Na4 (9.exf5 also loses.)9…Nxf2 10.Rxf2 Bxf2+ 11.Kxf2 f4 (11…fxe4+ 12.Kg1 exd3) 12.gxf4 exf4 13.Ng1 Qh4+ 14.Kf1 f3 15.Nxf3 Qxh2 0-1 (Black threatens …Bh3 and …Ne5.)

GM H. Olafsson-D. Mayers (1908)
US Summer Open, 2001
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 g6 3.d4 d6 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.f4 Be6 7.e4 Nd7 8.Nf3 f6 9.Be2 Bc5 10.Rf1 c6 11.f5 Bf7 12.g4 g5 13.h4?

13…h5 14.hxg5 hxg4 15.g6 gxf3 16.gxf7 f2+ 17.Kd2 Nh6 18.Nd1 Nxf7 19.Nxf2 Ke7 20.Ng4 Nd6 21.Bd3 Rag8 22.Ne3 Rg3 23.Ke2 Bxe3 24.Bxe3 Rhh3 0-1

1.c4 c5

GM Karl Robatsch-IM Silvino Garcia Martinez
Chigorin Memorial
Sochi, 1974
1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.e4 Qa5+ 5.Nc3 Nc6? (Black would do better with 5…d6 or 5…e6. In any case, Black is lacking in development.) 6.d5 Nd4?! (Perhaps Black would do better with 6…Ne5. But things are already looking dismal.) 7.Bd2 Qb6 8.Nxd4  Bxd4 9.Rb1 d6 10.Nb5 Bg7 11.Qa4 Bd7

12.Ba5! Qa6 (12…Bxb5 13. cxb5 +-) 13.Nc7+ Kf8 14.Qa3 1-0

B. Corneliussen-M. Jensen
Lyngby, 1991
1.e3 e5 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 Ne7 4.Nb5 d5 5.Qa4 Bd7 6.Nd6mate 1-0

Brian Ruggerio (2063)-Richard Dumerer (1750)
US Amateur Team Ch., Midwest, 1997
1.c4 c5 2.b3 Nc6 3.Bb2 e6 4.g3 Nf6 5.Bg2 Be7 6.Nf3 O-O 7.O-O Rb8 8.Nc3 a6 9.Rc1 b6 10.e3 Bb7 11.Qe2 Re8 12.Rfe1 Bf8 13.Ng5 d5 14.cxd5 exd5

15.Nxd5 Nxd5 16.Qh5 h6 17.Qxf7+ Kh8 18.Bxd5 Ne7 19.Ne6 Nf5 20.Nxd8 1-0

E. Rios (2125)-A. Guetchkov (2173)
World Open, 2001
1.e4 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 e6 6.Nge2 d6 7.d3 Nge7 8.O-O O-O 9.Be3 Nd4 10.Rb1 Nec6 11.a3 Rb8 12.b4 b6 13.f4 Bb7 14.Qd2 f5 15.h3 Qd7 16.Kh2 Nxe2 17.Nxe2 Nd4 18.Nc3 Ba8 19.Qf2 h6 20.Ne2 Nc2 21.Nc1 Qa4 22.b5 fxe4 23.dxe4 Qxc4 24.Rd1 Bxe4 25.Rxd6 0-1

H. Itkis (2120)-Jeremy M. Volkmann
US Open, 2004
1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 c5 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e3 O-O 6.Nge2 e6 7.d4 cxd4 8.exd4 d5 9.O-O dxc4 10.Qa4 Bd7 11.Qxc4 Bc6 12.Bf4 Qb6 13.Bxc6 Nxc6 14.Na4 Qb4 15.Qxb4 Nxb4 16.Bd6 Nc6 17.Bxf8 Kxf8 18.Rac1 Ne4 19.Rfd1 Rd8 20.Kf1 Nd6 21.f3 Nxd4 22.Nxd4 Bxd4 23.f4 Ne4 24.Rc4 1-0

John Moriarty (1941)-Donald Reithel (2087)
CCLA, 2002
1.c4 c5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.Nc3 g6 5.a3 e6!? (Correspondence players love to try out novelties. Here, the more common move is 5…d6.) 6.Rb1 (A reasonable reply.) 6…d5 (There is ample opportunity for independent study.) 7.Nh3 d4 8.Ne4 Nxe4 9.Bxe4 a5 10.Nf4 Qc7 11.O-O Bd7 12.b3 Ra6 13.e3 Bg7 14.Bb2 O-O 15.Qc2 Ne7 16.Kg2 f5 17.Bf3 Rd6 18.h4 Bc6 19.e4 fxe4 20.Bxe4 d3! 0-1 (The bishop can’t take the pawn, the queen could take it but it loses immediately to 21…Bxd3, and the queen is also lost after 21.Qc3.)

Correspondence Quickies

corres., 1989/91
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4
(The Urusov Gambit. This gambit can also arise from the Bishop’s Opening: 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nf3.) 4…d5 5.exd5 Bg4 6.O-O Be7 7.Qd3 c6 8.Nxd4 Nxd5 9.Re1 O-O 10.Bxd5 cxd5 11.h3 Bh5 12.Nc3 Nc6 13.Nxd5 Qxd5 14.Nxc6 Qxc6 15.Rxe7 Rad8 16.Qe4 Rd1+ 17.Kh2 Qf6 18.Rxb7 Bg6 19.Qf3 Qxf3 20.gxf3 Bxc2 21.b4 Rc8 22.Rxa7 h6 23.b5 Bf5 24.b6 g5 25.b7 1-0

Joe Ei-Ken Scott
Golden Knights, USCF, 1982
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.Bd2 Qd8 9.Bc4 e6 10.O-O-O Qb6?! 11.Ne4 Qxd4? 12.Ba5 Qxc4

13.Qxf6! gxf6 14.Nxf6+ Ke7 15.Bd8mate 1-0

Poland Ch., 1992
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 Ne7 9.d4 exd4 10.Nxd5 Nxd5 11.Qe4+ Kf6 12.Qxd4+ Kg6 13.Qxd5 Qe7+ 14.Be3 c6 15.Bd3+ Kf6 16.Qf3+ 1-0

S. Chasin-G. Bucciardini X25
European Masters Tournament, 1990/3
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.O-O Bc5 6.c3 Nxe4 7.cxd4 d5 8.dxc5 dxc4 9.Qxd8+ Kxd8 10.Rd1+ Bd7 11.Be3 Ke7 12.Na3 Be6 13.Nd4 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Rhd8 15.f3 Nf6 16.Rac1 c3 17.b3 Nd5 18.Nb5 c2! 19.Re1 a6 20.Nc3 Nb4 21.Re4 f5 22.Rh4 Kf7 23.Ne2 h6 24.g3? Bd5! 0-1

You must treat the Ruy Lopez with respect!

Philip Williams-Kenneth Jemdell
Golden Knights, 1986
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nd4 5.Nxe5 b5 6.Bb3 Qg5 7.Ng4 d5 8.Bxd5 Bxg4 9.f3 Bxf3 10.gxf3 Qg2 11.Rf1 Be7! 0-1

Alex Dunne (2183)-Juan Ortiz (1706)
Golden Knights, 1996
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 Bd7 5.Nc3 f6 6.Be3 a6 7.Bc4 Nge7 8.Qe2 Bg4 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.Nxe5 1-0

corres., 197?
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 a6 5.Ba4 b5 6.Bb3 h6 7.c3 Nf6 8.Bc2 Bb7 9.O-O exd4 10.cxd4 Be7 11.Re1 O-O 12.Nbd2
(White keeps developing. The knight move is defending his king and can opens the way for the knight to play a part in a kingside attack.) 12…Na5 (This knight is not doing anything useful here. When Black brings it back he has lost two tempi.) 13.Nf1 (This knight is heading for more active duties on the kingside.) 13…Nc4 14.Ng3 Re8 15.Nf5 Nb6 16.Bxh6 gxh6 17.Nxh6+ Kf8 18.Ng5 Qd7 19.Ngxf7 Kg7 20.Qd3 Nxe4 21.Rxe4 (Black has floated into a lost position. White sacrifice is easy as he has his eyes on the king.) 21…Bxe4 22.Qg3+ (Because of 22…Kf6 23.Qg5+ Ke6 24.Qg4+ Kf6 25.Qxe4) 1-0

Neal Moenich (1606)-Z. L. King (1706)
ASPCC, 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bd7 6.Nc3 Qf6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Bc4 g6 9.O-O Bg7 10.Re1 Nh6 11.f4 Ng4 12.Qe2 Qh4 13.h3 Bd4+ 14.Kh1 Nf2+ 15.Kh2 Nxh3 16.g3 Qh6 17.Kg2 Nxf4+ 18.Bxf4 Qh3+ 19.Kf3 Bg4mate 0-1

And I have to do a blog post on this opening!

Anker Aasum-Lothar Frenzel
corres., 1989
1.Nc3 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.f3 Bf5 5.g4 Bg6 6.g5 exf3 7.Qxf3 Qd4 8.Qxb7 Ng4 9.Qxa8 Qf2+ 10.Kd1 Ne3+ 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.


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