Dallying with the Dilworth

Recently I had an opportunity to analyze to the Dilworth variation of the Open Ruy Lopez.

 

To begin, let us look up the moves that lead up the Dilworth.

 

 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 (This move defines the Ruy Lopez, named after the 16th-century Spanish priest Ruy López de Segura.) 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 (The Open Variation of the RL. Black’s objective is to get good piece play by advancing his d-pawn and giving his pieces the freedom to roam across the board as well as pushing and protecting his d-pawn.) 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 (9.Nbd2 Nc5 10.c3 d4 11.Ng5 leads to interesting Karpov Gambit. I’ve researched this line and IMHO, White’s attack is almost worth the pawn he sacrificed.) 9…Bc5 (Black can also play 9…Be7, which will give him a more closed game.) 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2!? (With this move Black gives up a knight for White’s f2-pawn and in return, gets a pinned White Rook and misplaced White King. And the Dilworth fight is on!) 12.Rxf2 (A forced move. The real analysis begins here.)

 

Black can certainly play 12…Bxf2+ at this point. But better is delaying this capture as not only is rook pinned, but it’s fixed position temporarily hinders the movement of White’s pieces.

 
Bobby Fischer-W. Stevens
US Open
Oklahoma City, July 24 1956
[White gets a small advantage but can’t do anything with it.]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 Bxf2+ 13.Kxf2 f6 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Kg1 Rae8!? (15…Bg4 16.Nf1 Bxf3 17.Qxf3 Qxf3 18.gxf3 Rxf3 19.Be3 Ne7 20.Bg5! +/- ECO.) 16.Nf1 Ne5 17.Ne3 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 Qxf3 19.gxf3 Rxf3 20.Bd1 Rf7 1/2-1/2

 
Black must play 12…f6, or at least transpose into it.

 

We now continue.

 

12.Rxf2 f6

 
Two moves White should now avoid are 13.Nb3 and 13.Qe2. Again, not necessarily bad, but he has a better alternative.

 

Hennie Daniels-T. Farrell
England, 1943
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.Nb3 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 fxe5 15.Nc5 Bg4 16.Bb3 Ne7 17.h3 Bxf3 18.gxf3 Qd6 19.Ne4 Qd7 20.Ng5 h6 21.Ne4 c6 22.Be3 Qxh3 23.Bc5 Qh4+ 24.Ke2 Rxf3 25.Nf2 Raf8 26.Qg1 e4 27.Qg2 Ng6 28.Qf1 Nf4+ 29.Kd2 Nd3 30.Nxd3 Rxf1 31.Rxf1 Rxf1 0-1

 

Gyula Kluger (2250)-Laszlo Szabo
Hungary Ch.
Budapest, 1946
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.Qe2 fxe5 14.Nb3 Bxf2+ 15.Qxf2 e4 16.Qe1 Bg4 17.Nfd4 Ne5 18.Nc5 Qf6 19.Be3 Rae8 20.Qg3 h5 21.Bb3 Kh8 22.h3 Qd6 23.Qh4 Ng6 24.Qe1 Bc8 25.Ne2 Bxh3 26.Rd1 c6 27.gxh3 Rf3 28.Bd4 Rxh3 29.Qf2 Nh4 30.Nf4 Nf3+ 31.Kf1 Qxf4 32.Be3 Qg4 0-1

 

13.exf6! And now Black has to play 13…Qxf6 or 13…Bxf2+ .

 
We’ll look at 13…Qxf6 first.

 
White’s best is 14.Nb3! He wins most of the games as his knight move solidifies his position.

 

Ramon Ardid Rey-Jan Kleczynski X25
Paris Ol.
France, 1924
[This game appears to be the first time the Dilworth variation was played in a master game.]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6

 

2020_06_11_A

13…Qxf6 14.Nb3 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Ne5 16.Nc5 Bg4 17.Qxd5+ Kh8 18.Qe4 Qh4+ 19.Kg1 Nxf3+ 20.gxf3 Rae8 21.Bg5 Rxe4 22.Bxh4 Re5 23.fxg4 g5 24.Ne6 1-0

 

M. Paragua (2521)-C. Acor (2246)
Foxwoods Open
Ledyard, US, Mar. 20 2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Qxf6 14.Nb3 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Ne5 16.Kg1 c6 17.Be3 Bg4 18.Nbd2 Rae8 19.Bc5 Rf7 20.a4 Qh6 21.axb5 axb5 22.Kh1 Nd7 23.Bg1 Qh5 24.Qf1 Nf6 25.Re1 Rfe7 26.Rxe7 Rxe7 27.h3 Bf5 28.Bd1 Qe8 29.Bc5 Re6 30.Qf2 Ne4 31.Nxe4 Bxe4 32.Qg3 h6 33.Qc7 Kh7 34.b4 Rg6 35.Bd4 Qe6 36.Be5 Qf5 37.Kh2 Qf8 38.Bg3 Qf6 39.Qe5 Qf7 40.Nd4 Rg5 41.Qe6 Qa7 42.Bg4 Qa1 43.Qf7 Qb2 44.Nf3 1-0

 

Z. Abdumalik (2428)-N. Khomeriki (2347) X25
World Junior Girls Ch.
Tarvisio, Italy, Nov. 20 2017
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Qxf6 14.Nb3 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Ne5

 
2020_06_11_B

 

16.Kg3!? (A brave king! The usual move is 16.Kg1.) 16…g5 17.Qd4 h5 18.Bxg5 h4+ 19.Qxh4 Qg7 20.Nbd4 Nxf3 21.gxf3 1-0

 

White also can experiment with: 14.Qf1.

 

Smilov-Botvinnik
USSR Ch.
Moscow, 1943
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Qxf6 14.Qf1 Bg4 (14…g5 15.h3 h5 16.Nb3 Bxf2+ 17.Qxf2 g4 18.hxg4 hxg4 19.Qg3 +- ECO ; 14…Ne5 15.Nd4 Qh4 16.N2f3 Nxf3+ 17.Rxf3 Bg4 18.Rf2 Rae8 19.Bf4! +- Suetin.) 15.Kh1 Bxf2 16.Qxf2 Rae8 17.Qg3 Ne5 18.Bd1 Nd3 19.h3 Bh5 20.Bc2 Nf4 21.Ng1 c5 22.Ndf3 Ne2 23.Nxe2 Rxe2 24.Bd1 Re6 25.Bd2 h6 26.Kh2 Re4 27.Ng5 hxg5 28.Bxh5 Re5 29.Bf3 Qe7 30.a4 Kh7 31.axb5 axb5 32.Ra7 Qd6 33.Bg4 Rd8 34.Kh1 d4 35.cxd4 cxd4 36.Bf4 Re1+ 37.Qxe1 Qxf4 38.Rd7 Rxd7 39.Bxd7 d3 40.Bg4 d2 41.Qe2 b4 42.Qd3+ g6 43.Kg1 Kh6 44.b3 Kg7 45.Bf3 Qf7 46.Kf2 Qe6 47.Qe3 Qd6 48.Bd1 Qd5 49.g4 Kh7 50.Ke2 1-0

 

So Black almost has to play 13…Bxf2+ and come up with a plan after 14.Kxf2

 
He can try 14… fxe5!?

 

Edward Sergeant-George Thomas
Guildford, England, 1944
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.Nf1 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 fxe5!? 15.Kg1 e4! (The point of Black’s last move. More testing is needed for this line.) 16.Bg5 Qd7 17.Nd4 Bg4 18.Qd2 Ne5 19.Ne3 c6 20.Nxg4 Qxg4 21.Bd1 Qd7 22.Be2 Rf7 23.Bf4 Nc4 24.Bxc4 bxc4 25.Be3 Raf8 26.h3 h6 27.Ne2 Rf6 28.Kh2 g5 29.Ng3 Qd6 30.Bd4 Rf5 31.Qe3 R8f7 32.Kh1 Rf3 33.gxf3 Qxg3 34.fxe4 Rf3 35.Qg1 Qh4 36.Be5 Rxh3+ 37.Bh2 g4 38.Re1 Rxh2+ 0-1

 

But more common is 14…Qxf6.

 
White can go totally wrong after 15.Kg1

 
GM Ljubojevic-GM Yusupov
Interpolis
Tilburg, Sept. 27 1987
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Kg1 Rae8 16.Qf1 Bf5 17.Bxf5 Qxf5 18.b3 d4 19.cxd4 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Qc5 21.Bb2 Rxf1+ 22.Rxf1 Re2 23.Rf2 Rxf2 24.Kxf2 Qd5 25.Ke3 Qe5+ 0-1

 

GM E. Matsuura-FM Guilherme De Borba
Floripa Open
Florianopolis, Brazil, Jan. 25 2020
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Nbd2 Bc5 10.c3 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Kg1 Rae8 16.Qf1 Bf5 17.Bxf5 Qxf5 18.Nb3 Ne5 19.Nbd4 Nxf3+ 20.Nxf3 Qc2 21.h3 Re2 22.b3 Qxc3 23.Qxe2 Qxa1 24.Qe6+ Kh8 25.Qc6 Qxa2 26.Qxd5 Qb1 27.Qc5 Re8 28.Qc6 Rf8 1/2-1/2

 

But 15.Kf1 Ne5 keeps the game going. It is doubled-edged and White just has to find the correct 16th move. He didn’t in this game.

 

Lee-Hanley
La Palma C.C., 1982
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Ng3?! (Too slow.) 16…Rae8! (Taking advantage of the extra tempo.) 17.Kg1 Bg4 18.Qxd5+?! (It is not a good idea to open lines when your opponent is the one doing the attacking, even if it is a check.) 18…Kh8

2020_06_11_C

19.Be4 (Not 19.Qe4? Nxf3+! -+) 19…Rd8 20.Qc5 Rd1+ 21.Kf2 Bxf3 22.gxf3 Nd3+! 0-1

 

 
16.Kg1 is flashy and may not be the best for White. But it does lead to lots of excitement and can be a real crowd pleaser.

 

 
IM Nelson Mariano-IM Sophia Polgar
World Jr. Ch.
Matinhos, Oct. 1994
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Bc2 O-O 11.Nbd2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Kg1 Rae8 16.Nf1 Ne5 17.Be3 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 Qxf3 19.gxf3 Rxf3 20.Bd4

 
2020_06_11_D

 

20…Bh3 21.Ng3 Re6 22.Rd1 h5 23.Bb3 c6 24.Nxh5 Bg4 25.Nxg7 Rg6 26.Kg2 Rf7 27.Re1 c5 28.Be5 c4 29.Bc2 Bf5+ 30.Bg3 Bxc2 31.Ne8 Be4+ 32.Kg1 Rf3 33.a3 Kf8 34.Nc7 Rf7 35.Rf1 Rxf1+ 36.Kxf1 Ke7 0-1

 

Milan Babula (2323)-Jesper Skjoldborg (2274)
Czech Republic Open
Marianske Lazne, Jan. 29 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Kg1 Rae8 17.Be3 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 Qxf3 19.gxf3 Rxf3 20.Bd4 Bh3 21.Ng3 Re6 22.Rd1 h5 23.Bd3 h4 24.Nh1 c5 25.Bxc5 Re5 26.Bd6 Rg5+ 27.Ng3 hxg3 28.hxg3 Rf6 29.Bb8 Bf5 30.Bf4 Rgg6 31.Be2 Bg4 32.Kf2 Bxe2 33.Kxe2 Rf5 34.Kd3 Rc6 35.Re1 Kf7 36.Rh1 g5 37.Bb8 Rf2 38.g4 Rxb2 39.Be5 Rxa2 40.Rh7+ Kg6 41.Rg7+ Kh6 42.Rg8 Ra3 43.Rh8+ Kg6 44.Rg8+ Kf7 45.Rg7+ Ke6 46.Rg6+ Kxe5 47.Rxc6 b4 48.Rg6 Kf4 49.Kd4 bxc3 50.Kxd5 Kxg4 0-1

 

 

16.Be3 is better. White’s defences are improved with a flexible bishop.

 
Balashov-Tukmakov
USSR Ch., 1977
[ECO]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Rae8 17.Bd4 Bg4 18.N1d2 Qf4 19.Kg1 Nxf3+ 20.Nxf3 c6 21.Bd3 Bxf3 22.Qxf3 Qxf3 23.gxf3 Rxf3 24.Rd1 a5 25.Kg2 Rf4 26.Kg3 +/-

 

Kupreichik-Shereshevski
Sokolsky Memorial
Minsk, 1978
[ECO?]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Rae8 17.Bc5 Nxf3 18.gxf3 Rf7 19.Kg2 h5 20.Qd3 Qg5+ 21.Kh1 Bf5 22.Qxd5 c6 23.Qxc6 Bd7 24.Qg6 Qxc5 25.Bb3 +/- Ree7 26.Ng3 Qe3 27.Qxh5 Be6 28.Nf5 Rxf5 29.Qxf5 Bxb3 30.axb3 Qe2 31.Qd5+ Kh7 32.Qh5+ Kg8 33.Qd5+ Kh7 34.Rg1 Re5 35.Qf7 1-0

 

Kupreichik-Stoica
Kirovakan, Armenia, 1978
[ECO]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Qh4+ (16…Bg4? 17.Qxd5+ Kh8 18.Qe4 g6 19.Bd4 +-) 17.Kg1 Nxf3+ 18.gxf3 Rf6 19.Bd4 Qg5+ 20.Kh1 Bh3 21.Ne3 Rf7 22.Qg1 +/- Qf4 23.Qg3 Qxg3 24.hxg3 Rxf3 25.Bb3 Be6 26.Kg2 Rf7 27.Nxd5 Rd8 28.Nf4 Bxb3 29.axb3 c5 30.Ne6 Re8 31.Nxc5 Re2+ 32.Kh3 h5 33.Rxa6 Rf1 34.Kh4 Rf5 35.g4 hxg4 36.Ra7 Rf7 37.Rb7 Rxb2 38.Rxb5 Rh2+ 39.Kg3 Rh3+ 40.Kxg4 Rhf3 41.Ne6 1-0

 

GM Vassily Ivanchuk-GM Artur Yusupov
Linares, Feb. 21 1990
[Inside Chess?]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Rae8 17.Bc5 Nxf3 18.gxf3 Rf7 19.Ng3 Bg4 20.Kg1 Qxf3 21.Qxf3 Bxf3? 22.Rf1! +/- Rf6 23.b4! c6 24.Bf5? (>24.Bd4 Rf4 25.Bf5 with the idea of Bd7 +-) 24…Be2 25.Re1 Bh5 26.Rxe8+ Bxe8 27.Be7 Rh6 28.Bg5 Rd6 29.Be7 Rh6 30.Bc8 Bf7 31.Bc5 Be6 32.Bxa6 Bd7 33.Bb7 Kf7 34.Ne2 Ke6 35.Nd4+ Ke5 36.Nb3 Ke4 37.Bf2 Bh3 38.Nd4 Rg6+ 39.Bg3 Rf6 40.Bf2 Rg6+ 41.Bg3 Rf6 42.Bf2 Rg6+ 1/2-1/2

 

FM C. Olivares Olivares-FM W. Cuevas Araya (2187)
Chile Ch.
Santiago, Feb. 20 2019
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.Bc2 Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Be3 Rae8 17.Bc5 Qh4+ 18.Kg1 Rxf3 19.gxf3 Qh5 20.Nd2 Bh3 21.Kh1 Nc4 22.Bb3 Nxd2 23.Qxd2 Qxf3+ 24.Kg1 Qg4+ 25.Kh1 Qe4+ 26.Kg1 Qg4+ 27.Kh1 Qe4+ 28.Kg1 Qg6+ 29.Kh1 Qe4+ 30.Kg1 Re5 31.Be3 Qg4+ 32.Kh1 Qf3+ 33.Kg1 Qg4+ 34.Kh1 Qe4+ 35.Kg1 Qg6+ 36.Kh1 Qe4+ 37.Kg1 Qg4+ 38.Kh1 c6 1-0

 
And that’s where we stand. More analysis is needed!

The Lousy Lolli

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 
Let’s first define the gambit:

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

2020_06_04_B

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

2020_06_04_C

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

 

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

2020_06_04_D

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

2020_06_04_E

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

Poisoned Pawn?

The term “Poisoned Pawn” appears twice in the opening naming lexicons. It can also be used in a more broader sense.

 

In general, the pawn on b2 is attacked by Black’s queen. If he does, he sure to face a massive, and sometimes very long, attack by the White’s pieces.

 

The question is, not can he take the pawn. But rather, can he withstand the attack? If he can, then he’ll be up a pawn in the endgame.

 
In a more literary sense, can Black eat the pawn without suffering indigestion? Now you know where the word, “poisoned” comes from.

 
Let’s get started.

 

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

 

The Poisoned Pawn in the Najdorf is defined by the moves; 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6.

 

2020_03_19_A

White usually continues with 8.Qd2, allowing Black to take his b2 pawn. He knows that if nothing else, he’ll be one attacking. But how best to attack? And what to do when Black, as he typically does, counterattack?

 

Fischer was the main advocate of this Najdorf version, who played it from the mid 1960s to the early 1970s. Here is Fischer in his prime.

 

GM Bruno Parma-GM Fischer
Rovinj/Zagreb, Croatia, Apr. 12, 1970
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Be2 Bg7 12.O-O f5 13.Rfd1 O-O 14.exf5 exf5 15.Nd5 Nc6 16.Nxc6 bxc6 17.Ne7+ Kh8 18.Nxc8 Rfxc8 19.Qd3? (>19.Qxd6 Qxa2 20.Qc5, with the idea of Bd3) 19…Qc5+ 20.Kh1 Re8 -/+ 21.Qc4 Qxc4 22.Bxc4 Re4 23.Bxf7 Rf8 24.Bh5 Rxf4 25.Rb6 (>25.Rxd6 Rh4 with the idea of Be5 -/+. With the text move, White falls further behind.) 25…Be5 26.Rxa6 Rh4 27.Bf3 Rxh2+ 28.Kg1 c5 29.Ra8 Rxa8 30.Bxa8 Rh4 31.Bc6 Rb4 32.a4 Rb2 33.c4 Kg7 34.Rd3 Ra2 35.Kf1 Kg6 36.Re3 h5 37.Re2 Ra3 38.Rd2 h4 39.Ke2 Bf4 40.Rd3 Ra2+ 41.Kd1 Kf6 42.Rf3 Be5 43.Rd3 Ke7 44.Rd2 Ra3 45.Ke2 Bc3 46.Rd3 Ra2+ 47.Kd1 Bd4 48.Rh3 Bf6 49.Re3+ Be5 50.Rd3 Kd8 51.Rd2 Ra1+ 52.Ke2 Kc7 53.Bd5 Bf4 54.Rc2 Ra3 55.Rb2 Be5 56.Rd2 Rg3 57.Kd1 f4 0-1

 
It wasn’t until Fischer played in the World Championship that he met his equal, at least in this variation.

 

GM Spassky-GM Fischer
World Ch. Game #11
Reykjavik, 1972
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Nb3 Qa3 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Be2 h5 12.O-O Nc6 13.Kh1 Bd7 14.Nb1 Qb4 15.Qe3 d5 16.exd5 Ne7 17.c4 Nf5 18.Qd3 h4 19.Bg4 Nd6 20.N1d2 f5 21.a3 Qb6 22.c5 Qb5 23.Qc3 fxg4 24.a4 h3 25.axb5 hxg2+ 26.Kxg2 Rh3 27.Qf6 Nf5 28.c6 Bc8 29.dxe6 fxe6 30.Rfe1 Be7 31.Rxe6 1-0

 
To be sure, the response was cooked up by Spassky’s team both before and during the match. It was a quick defeat, and it’s no wonder that Fischer didn’t again in the match. Or ever again.

 

After winning the World Championship, Fischer disappeared for a couple of decades. During his absence several improvements were found for both sides. But without it’s chief proponent the variation is played by only a few top players.

 

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

 
Black can also offer a poisoned pawn. In  this case the pawn is on g7.

 

The Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Winawer, offers a richer variation of play than the Najdorf. And it is played often.

 
The variation is triggered by the moves; 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7 7.Qg4. Black has a number of ways to attempt to gain the upper hand.

 

Haritonenko-Gorin
USSR, 1965
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7 7.Qg4 f5!? 8.Qg3 Ne7 9.Qxg7 Rg8 10.Qxh7 cxd4 11.Kd1 Bd7 12.Qh5+ Ng6 13.Ne2 Nc6 14.cxd4 O-O-O 15.g3

2020_03_19_B
15…Ncxe5! 16.dxe5 Ba4 17.Ra2 d4 18.Bg5 d3 0-1

 
White gets even here.

 

Escalante-NM Adaar
Thematic Tournament – Winawer Variation, Round 2
chess.com, Aug.-Sept. 2018
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 (The usual route to the Winawer. All games in the tournament began with this position.) 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 O-O (Some years ago Van der Tak wrote an article in NIC 8 titled, “Castling Into It?” where he explored Black’s kingside castling possibilities in the Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Winawer, and if it was a viable option for Black. I don’t think the resulting positions favor Black.) 8.Bd3 (Thanks to GM Van der Tak, and his article, I am convinced this is best move for White.) 8…Nbc6 9.Nf3 cxd4?? (This loses the game in a hurry.)
2020_03_19_C
10.Bxh7+! 1-0 [Black resigns due to 10…Kxh7 11.Qh5+ (stronger than the traditional Ng5+ as the potential escape square, g6, is denied to Black) 11…Kg8 12.Ng5 and White mates.]

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

 

The term “Poisoned Pawn”, in a more general term, can be defined as a pawn on the b2 or g7 square that is offered to the enemy queen to lure her out of defending her king or deflecting her to an irrelevant area of the board.

 

The term can be used in the general sense.

 
GM Bent Larsen-IM Bela Berger
Amsterdam Izt.
Netherlands, 1964
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 d5?! 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.O-O Bg4?! 7.Re1 Be7 (Not 7…f6? because of 8.Nxe5! and Black is in a lot of trouble,) 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Nd4!? 10.Qg4!

2020_03_19_D

11…O-O [Castling into the same area as the enemy queen is already attacking is usually not a good idea (see above). One has to think about self-preservation in addition to attacking factors. But in this case, Black is forced into it. White’s queen breaks in on both the center and kingside after 10…Nxc2 11.Rxe5 Nxa1 (hopeless is 11…Nf6 12.Qxg7 Kd7 13.Qxf7) 12.Qxg7 Rf8 13.Rxd5 Qc8 14.Qxh7 c6 15.Rf5. Even worse is 10…Bf6? The move is not only passive but it also loses a piece after 11.Qxd4. So Black has to risk it.] 11.Rxe5 Nf6 12.Qd1 (White has the extra pawn and better position.) 12…Bd6 13.Re1 Re8 14.Be3 c5 15.Nd2 Bc7 16.Nf3 Qd6 17.Bxd4 cxd4 18.Rxe8+ Rxe8 19.c3 dxc3 20.bxc3 Nh5 21.Qa4 Re7 22.Qxa7 Nf4 23.Qxb7 h5 24.Qc8+ Kh7 25.h4 1-0

 

 

Here, each side can offer their poisoned pawns, but don’t as they have nothing to compensate for their lost material. Material and and tempi are the requisites for giving up the pawn.

 

 
Ashraf Salimov-Vadim Razin
Ukraine U16 Ch., ½ Finals
Dnipropetrovsk, Nov. 11 2004
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bb5 Qb6 6.Bxc6+ bxc6 7.O-O Ba6 8.Re1 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Bc5 10.Be3 Bxd4 11.Qxd4 Rb8 12.b3 Ne7 13.Qc5 Nf5 14.g4 Nxe3 15.Qxe3 c5 16.Qg5 O-O 17.Nd2 Qb4 18.Nf1 f5 19.exf6 Rxf6 20.h3 Rbf8 21.Qe5 Rxf2 22.Qxe6+ Kh8 23.Qxa6 Qd4 24.Ne3 (24.Qe6 Rxf1+ 25.Kg2 Qf2+) 24…Qf4 25.Nf1 Qf3 (Black has too much pressure on White’s weak point and she has to concede the point.) 0-1

The French Problem

Many years ago. I was playing a tournament. Sometime between my morning game and afternoon game I met a young guy.

 

He was asking for help against the French Defence, saying he had a problem trying to figure it out so he could win as White.

 

He didn’t have a board or a set. I set up my pieces on my board so I can both see the moves. By the way, if you ever attend a tournament, ALWAYS bring a set with you. You want to show off you are making some investment in learning more about the game.

 

Anyway, I set up the board.

1

 

I then asked if he knew the Advanced Variation (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5).

 

 

He said, “It’s been analyzed to death and the only way for White to try to gain an advantage was to play the Milner-Barry.” “But,” he continued, “White still loses”.

 

I don’t completely understand what he was trying to tell me. It sounded like he was repeating someone who knew the names of the variations, but little else. Maybe I’ll unravel it.

 

I figured we both have the time. Let’s keep the conversation going.

 

 

I replied, “Ok, how about the Classical Variation (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5)?”

 

He answered me, “But it’s even more drawish than the Advanced Variation!”

 

“Ok. So what do you think of the Winawer (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4)?”

 

“Too much stuff to remember! And I don’t have the time to study all the lines.”

 

It turns out he didn’t want an improvement it the main lines. He wanted a brand-new way to counter 1.e4 e6.

 

 

I told him the French Defence got its name from a correspondence game between the cities of London and Paris in 1834.

 

 

London Chess Club-Paris Chess Club
corres. 1834
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bd3 c5 6.Qe2+ Be7 7.dxc5 O-O 8.Be3 Re8 9.Bb5 Nc6 10.Nd4 Bxc5 11.Bxc6 bxc6 12.c3 Bxd4 13.cxd4 c5 14.Qd3 Qb6 15.O-O Ba6 16.Qb3 Qxb3 17.axb3 Bxf1 18.Kxf1 Ng4 19.dxc5 Nxe3+ 20.fxe3 Rxe3 21.Nd2 Rae8 22.b4 Rd3 23.Rxa7 Rxd2 24.b5 Rxb2 25.b6 d4 26.b7 d3 27.Ra8 Kf8 0-1

 

 

But the basic ideas go way back to Greco.

 

 

Greco-N.N.
Rome, 1620?
1.e4 e6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Bd3 Nc6 4.Nf3Be7 5.h4 O-O 6.e5 Nd5 7.Bxh7+! (yes, this famous sacrifice originated with Greco.) 7…Kxh7 8.Ng5+ Bxg5 9.hxg5+ Kg8 10.Qh5 f5 11.g6 Re8 12.Qh8mate 1-0

 

 

And I concluded, “To find a new way to combat the French may not be possible.”

 

“Please anything! Even if it might be bad for White. I want something to at least try.”

 

OK, the opened the door a little.

 

The Schlechter Variation is defined by the moves 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3. White’s bishop gets an early start in the game. However, it can be almost immediately challenged by Black’s knight.

 

But let’s not get too far ahead. Black can quickly lose the game (which is what my friend wanted to hear) if he falters.

 

 

Tarrasch-Kuerschner
Nuremburg, 1893
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 Nf6 4.e5! Nfd7 5.Nf3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.O-O f6 8.Re1 f5 9.Be3 c4?!(9…Be7, with the idea of 10…O-O is definitely better.) 10.Bc2 Be7 (Black plays this move a bit late and it doesn’t coordinate well with his previous move.) 11.b3 b5 12.a4 bxa4 13.bxc4 dxc4 14.d5 Ncxe5 15.dxe6 Nxf3+ 16.Qxf3 Nb6 17.Qxf5 Bf6 [Black has serious problems here. If 17…Rf8, then 18.Qh5+ g6 19.Bxg6+ hxg6 (or 19…Rf7 20.Bxf7+ Kf8 21.Bh6#) 20.Qxg6+ Rf7 21.Qxf7#.] 18.Bc5 Bb7 19.Qg6+! hxg6 20.Bxg6mate 1-0

 

Vega Gutierrez (2236)-Korneev (1630)
La Laguna Open
Spain, May 6 2009
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 c5? 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nc3 Qd6 6.Nb5 Qb6 7.Bf4 Na6 8.Nf3 Nf6 9.Ne5 Qa5+ 10.c3 Nd5 11.Bg5 Qb6 12.Qa4 Bd7 13.Nd6+ Qxd6 14.Nxd7 Be7 15.dxc5 Nxc3 16.bxc3 Qxd3 17.Ne5+ b5 18.cxb6 1-0

 

Whitfield-Belson
Toronto, 1934
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 dxe4 4.Bxe4 Nf6 5.Bd3 c5 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Nf3 O-O 8.O-O Nc6 9.c3 (Seems solid and reasonable.) 9…e5?! (There are not too many games with this position. But even with lack of games, this move seems to weaken Black too much for further consideration by other French players.) 10.Bg5 Re8 11.Qc2 h6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Nbd2 Bb6 14.Ne4 Qe7 15.Ng3 g6 16.Bxg6 fxg6 17.Qxg6+ Kf8 18.Nh5 Qf7 19.Qxh6+ Ke7 20.Ng5 Qf5 21.Rad1 Bd7 22.Qd6+ Kd8 23.Ng7 Qg4 24.N5e6+ 1-0

 

 

 

But Black can equalize in the main line after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 dxe4 4.Bxe4 Nf6 5.Bd3 c5 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Nf3 Nc6.

 

 

 

Tartakower-Torre
Moscow, 1925
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 dxe4 4.Bxe4 Nf6 5.Bd3 c5 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.O-O Qc7 9.Nc3 Bd7 10.Bg5!? (A move that may be slightly too aggressive.) 10…O-O-O 11.Qe2 e5 (ECO evaluates this position as equal. Personally, I think if any player has the advantage, it is Black.) 12.Be4 Bg4 13.Bxc6  Qxc6 14.h3 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Qxf3 16.gxf3 Bd4 17.Nd1 Rd6 18.c3 Bb6 19.Ne3 Nh5 20.Nf5 Rd3 21.Rad1 Rxf3 22.Nd6+ Kc7 23.Kg2 e4 24.Nxe4 Rf5 25.Be3 Re5 26.Ng3 Nxg3 27.Bxb6+ Kxb6 28.fxg3 Re2+ 29.Rf2 Rhe8 30.Rd2 1/2-1/2

 

Ruiz Sanchez (2455)-Gallego Alcaraz (2448)
Guillermo Garcia Elite
Santa Clara, Cuba, May 17 2017
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 c5 4.Nf3 dxe4 5.Bxe4 Nf6 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.O-O Qc7 9.Nc3 Bd7 10.a3?!  (A move that may be slightly too passive.) 10…a6 11.Ne4 Ba7 12.Qe1 Ng4 13.h3 h5 14.Qc3 Bd4 15.Qd2 f5 16.Neg5 Ba7 17.hxg4 hxg4 18.Qf4 Qxf4 19.Bxf4 gxf3 20.Nxf3 O-O-O 21.Rfe1 Rh5 22.Bc4 Rdh8 23.Kf1 g5 24.Bxg5 e5 25.Be3 e4 -/+ 26.Ng1 Bb8 27.f4 Rh2 28.b4 R8h4 29.g3 Rg4 30.Re2 Rh7 31.Bf2 Ne7 32.Rd1 Bc7 33.Red2 Bc6 34.Be6+ Kb8 35.Re1 Rh1 36.c4 Ba4 37.Re3 Bb6 38.c5 Bc7 39.Bd7 Bc6 40.Bxc6 bxc6 41.Rb3 Nd5 42.Re2 Kb7 43.Kg2 Rh7 44.Kf1 Rg6 45.a4 Nf6 46.b5 a5 47.b6 Bd8 48.Rd2 Nd5 49.Ne2 Bf6 50.Bd4 Bxd4 51.Rxd4 Rh1+ 52.Kf2 Rgh6 53.Rxd5 cxd5 54.Ke3 Rc6 55.Rb5 Rd1 56.Rxa5 d4+ 57.Kf2 Rd2 58.Ra7+ Kb8 59.a5 d3 60.Ke3 Rxe2+ 61.Kd4 d2 62.Kd5 Rxc5+ 0-1

 

 

Here’s a game which shows my suggestion to my friend is not so unique after all.

 

 

IM Yan Teplitsky instructed his women team competing in the 35th Chess Olympiad in Bled to play this variation. Maybe there is something more about this opening.

 

 

Dina Kagramanov-Elenoara Ambrosi
Women’s Ol.
Bled, 2002
[IM Yan Teplitsky, “35th Chess Olympiad – Bled, Slovenia”, En Passant (Canada’s leading chess magazine), Apr. 2003]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3 (A rare line that does not have a very good reputation.)3…dxe4 4.Bxe4 Nf6 5.Bf3 c5 6.Ne2 Nc6 7.Be3 Qb6 8.b3 cxd4?![Now White gets to untangle her pieces. Much better is 8…Nxd4 (also for Black is to develop her queenside with 8…Bd7) 9.Nxd4 e5 10.Ne2 e4.] 9.Nxd4 Qa5+(While 9…Ne5 10.O-O Bc5 11.c3 Bd7 12.b4 Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3 Bxd4 14.Bxd4 Qc6 15.Qg3 is just as bad for Black, here 9…Bc5 10.Nxc6 Bxe3 11.fxe3 bxc6 12.Kf2 led to comfortable position for Black in Sirlett-Benggawanm Bled ol f (2) 2002, from the same match.) 10.Qd2 Qxd2+ (A funny continuation is 10…Nxd4 11.Qxa5 Bb4+ but White can just recapture the knight.) 11.Nxd2

 

2020_02_27
11…Nxd4?[Black is behind in development, and has a much better way of playing by depriving White of the bishop pair with 11…Ne5! 12.Nb5 Nxf3+ 13.Nxf3 Nd5 14.c4 (but not 14.Bxa7? Bd7 15.a4 Bxb5 16.axb5 Bc5 and Black wins.) 14…Nxe3 15.fxe3 Bb4+ and Black is better.]12.Bxd4 Bd6 13.Nc4 Be7 14.O-O O-O 15.Na5! Nd5 16.c4 Nb4?(Black now loses a pawn. Much better is 16…Bb4 although Black still isn’t happy after  17.cxd5 Bxa5 18.dxe6 fxe6 19.Rac1.)17.Nxb7 Nc2 18.Na5 Nxd4 19.Bxa8 Bd7 20.Rad1 e5 21.Bd5 Rb8 22.Rfe1 Bd6 23.Nb7 Bc7 24.Nc5 Bg4 25.f3 Bc8 26.Rxd4 1-0

 

 

Attacking by Castling, Part 2

You probably want to again read the first part of this series. I have greatly updated and enlarged Part 1 to cover more games and ideas. I hope you enjoy the additions.

 

And now onto Part 2.

 

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

 

 

Perhaps the best well-known, as well as the first known case of mating, while is this game.

 
Please remove the R on a1 as the combination at the end does not work with the extra rook.

 

Morphy-N.N.
New Orleans, 1858
[Ra1]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 (The Fried Liver Attack was more popular in the 19th century. It’s largely due to the idea that the sacrifice is too strong for Black to survive. But strangely, it now appears that Black is doing O.K.) 6…Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 Nd4 9.Bxd5+ Kd6 10.Qf7 (with the idea of Ne4#) 10…Be6 11.Bxe6 Nxe6 12.Ne4+ (White has a large advantage here. The only question is whether position is a +/- or a +-.) Kd5 13.c4+ Kxe4 14.Qxe6 Qd4 15.Qg4+ Kd3 16.Qe2+ Kc2 17.d3+ Kxc1 18.O-Omate! 1-0

 

2020_02_13_A

 

 

George B. Spencer-N.N.
Minneapolis Chess Club, 1893
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.Bxf7+ (The Lolli Gambit. It’s unclear if Black should play 5…Ke7 or the text move. In this case, Black can expect little respite from the checks.) 5…Kxf7 6.Ne5+ Ke6 7.Qxg4+ Kxe5 8.d4+!?

 

[Greco-N.N., Italy, 1620?, continued with 8.Qf5+ Kd6 9.d4 Bg7 10.Bxf4+ Ke7 11.Bg5+ Bf6 12.e5 Bxg5 13.Qxg5+ Ke8 14.Qh5+ Ke7 15.O-O Qe8 16.Qg5+ Ke6 17.Rf6+ Nxf6 18.Qxf6+ Kd5 19.Nc3+ Kxd4 20.Qf4+ Kc5 21.b4+ Kc6 22.Qc4+ Kb6 23.Na4mate 1-0. Both moves seem good enough to win the game.]

 
8…Kxd4 9.b4 Bxb4+ 10.c3+ Bxc3+ 11.Nxc3 Kxc3

2020_02_13_B

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

 

N.N.-C. Meyer
Ansbach, Germany, 1931
1.b3 d5 2.Bb2 Bg4 3.h3 Bh5 4.Qc1 Nd7 5.e3 e5 6.Be2 Ngf6 7.Bxh5 Nxh5 8.Qd1 g6 9.f4 Qh4+ 10.Ke2 Ng3+ 11.Kd3 Nc5+ 12.Kc3 Nge4+ 13.Kb4 Nd3+ 14.Ka4 b5+ 15.Ka5 Bb4+ 16.Ka6 Qf6+ 17.Kb7 Qb6+ 18.Kxa8 O-Omate 0-1

 

Lodewijk Prins-Lawrence Day
1968 Lugano Olympiad
Switzerland, 1968
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 a6 4.Be2 Nc6 5.O-O Nf6 6.Nc3 Qc7 7.a3 b6 8.d4 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Bb7 10.Be3 Bd6 11.h3 Be5 12.Qd3 h5 13.Rfc1 Bh2+ 14.Kf1 Ne5 15.Qd1 Nxe4 16.Na4 Nc5 17.Nxb6 Qxb6 18.Nf3 Qc6 19.Bxc5 Bf4 20.Be3 Bxe3 21.fxe3 Ng4 22.hxg4 hxg4 23.Ne1 Rh1+ 24.Kf2 g3 25.Kxg3 Rxe1 26.Qxe1 Qxg2+ 27.Kf4 g5 28.Ke5 Qe4+ (There are some sources which claim that White resigned here. Personally, I prefer that the game continued to the mate.) 29.Kf6 Qf5+ 30.Kg7 Qg6+ 31.Kh8 O-O-Omate 0-1

 

 

Now you might believe that mating by castling can only happen when the enemy king is on your first rank. But that isn’t true.

 

 

Antonin Kvicala-N.N.
[B20]
1.e4 c5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 e6 4.Nc3 a6 5.d4 b5 6.d5 bxc4 7.dxc6 d6 8.e5 d5 9.Bg5 f6 10.exf6 Nxf6 11.Ne5 h6 12.c7 Qxc7 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Qh5+ Ke7 15.Qf7+ Kd6 16.Qxf6 Be7 17.Ne4+ dxe4 18.O-O-Omate 1-0

 

N.N.-Ryan Marcelonis
Internet Game, Sept. 15 2015
[Believed to be the fastest game ending in a castling mate.]
1.e4 c5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 d6 4.e5 Qc7 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.d4 dxe5 7.Nxe5 Nxe5 8.dxe5 Bxb5 9.a4 Qxe5+
2020_02_13_C

10.Kd2? (White has the better 10.Be3 Qxb2 11.axb5 Qxa1 12.O-O e6, and while he is losing, he is not completely lost.) 10…O-O-Omate 0-1

STOP BRAGGING!

There must be something between large egos and chess players. They, the players, are known for bragging and boasting for the prowess in the game, sometimes even justified. But really, do we need all this boasting, bragging, arrogance, crowing, cockiness, after every game?? What ever happened to just being a gentleman? Isn’t that what tutors and teachers of the game (try to) install into their students?

 
But such attitudes go at least far back as the 19th century. Morphy faced some pretty big egos and when he traveled to Europe and some American players were apparently doing the same in the states.

 
Maybe it’s now just part of the game.

 

It was back in the 1980’s when I was first started to study and learn chess, as opposed to just playing the game. Labate’s Chess Centre held a blitz tournament every Friday night and I took part in many of these tournaments.

 

During this particular Friday night there was an expert chess player. He was slightly tall, and slightly skinny lad in his 20s. He had dark hair and walked around the room with an air of arrogance. He was also my first-round opponent.

 
We walked to the table and even before we shook hands he said he was better than me and was going to beat me. I remembered replying, “Shall I resign now?”

 

He didn’t expect that. But we still had a game to play.

1.e4 c5 2.f4 (The Grand Prix attack. It was very popular in the latter part of the 1980s. Black has a number of ways to combat this King’s Gambit version of the Sicilian, including 2…d5. Which is the main reason I gave up on this Sicilian sideline.) 2…d6 3.Nf3 Bg4?! (This is not the best as the game now mirrors the Kings’ Gambit more closely; a opening I knew- and still know – very well.) 4.Bc4 Nc6 5.e5!? (I am guessing my opponent would have difficulty with this move as he was playing very, very fast, trying to be beat me on time as well as position. All is fair in a 5 minute game.) 5…dxe5 (My opponent actually laughed at this point. He whispered to me, “I’ve won a pawn.” Then he looked at me before continuing, “Now what?”) 6.Nxe5 (I remember thinking, and maybe I did respond to him with, “But I’ve won a piece”. He looked at the free queen and smiled and smiled and excitedly asked me, “How are going to win without your queen?” He grabbed it quickly.) 6…Bxd1 (I just sat there for a little while as my opponent basked in his glory and gluttony. Have to admit it, but I did enjoy savoring the moment before playing my move.) 7.Bxf7# 1-0

 

And my opponent stood up and walked away without saying a word or shaking my hand. What did all his boasting do for him? Nothing but a source of a amusement for his opponent.

 

 

It was in 1991 that the US Open was last held in Los Angeles, CA. I played in that tournament and remembered playing chess morning, noon, and night. I know I shipped at least a few meals during that tournament.
Anyway…

 

One of my opponent was slightly drunk when he and I sat down to play in the Open. Unfortunately, he slightly squiffy. He walked with a off-balance gait, spoke in a slurred speech and I smelled alcohol on his breath when he sat down. Yup, he was drunk.

 

Gomez Baillo-Escalante
US Open
Los Angeles, Aug. 6 1991
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d5 (We’ve reached the Marshall Attack. This Black defence was more popular in the early 1990s and I was keen to try it out in this Open.) 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.d4 (More common is 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5.) 10…exd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.cxd4 (12.Qxd4 is better.) 12…Be6 13.Nc3 c6 14.Qh5 Qd7 15.Nxd5 cxd5 16.Bc2 g6 17.Qe5 Bd6 18.Qg5 Be7 19.Qh6 Bf6 20.Bg5 Bg7 21.Qh4 Bf5 22.Rac1 Rac8 23.Bxf5? Rxc1! 24.Rxc1 Qxf5 25.g4? Qe4 26.Be3 Bxd4 -+ 27.Bh6 Re8 28.Bg5 Bxb2 29.Qh6 Bxc1 30.Bxc1 Qxg4+ 31.Kf1 Qe2+ (with the idea of Re4) 0-1

 

Now, it was good game. But I didn’t feel right about getting it published. After all, I beat someone who was clearly not at his best. I wanted to be humble.

 

Well, two years later, a CD collection of chess games titled, Déjà vu, had this game in it. To this day, I don’t know how it ended up in there.

 

So much for being humble. I didn’t brag, but still, somehow, it got published.

 
But does such a thing as misplaced bragging happen in Master chess? I found this game in Chernev’s excellent “The Fireside Book of Chess”.]

 
Frank Marshall – Duz-Hotimirsky
Carlsbad, 1911
[D30]
[Chernev spelled “Carlsbad” as “Karlsbad”, a more popular form of spelling the city name in the 1940’s. All other notes by Chernev.]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 dxc4 4.e3 a6 5.Ne5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.Bxc4 Bc6 8.O-O Bd6 9.Nc3 Qh4 10.f4 Nf6 11.Bd2 Ng4 12.h3 Qg3

2020_01_16

(Black threats are 13…Qh2# and 13…Qxg2#. Dus had already run into the next room, exclaiming excitedly in his broken German, “Poor Marshall dead! Must be mate!” …) 13.Qxg4 (… One minute later he returned with “I am dead”.) 1-0

A Dragon Trap

Curious-Blue-Dragon-and-Drake-Studying-Giant-Book-of-Magic-Statue-19-in.

You may know it already. Or maybe you just heard about it.

 

But there is a trap in the Sicilian Dragon which catches many players each year. Including Masters.

 

And if you can defeat a Master within a few moves of the game; well, it’s probably something worth memorizing.

 

First some background information.

 

The Sicilian Dragon is a large complex of moves and variation that all feature a fianchettoed bishop on g7.

 

This trap is to be found in the Levenfish Variation and is defined as 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 (B71, if you are familiar with ECO).

The reasoning behind 6.f4 is to support a large center for White and to support a well-timed e5.

 

The first reason is easy to see. The second is not so easy as one has to visualize such a move (e5) and determine if it is a threat after each and every move.

 

In fact, many players do not suspect that .e5 may be coming so soon in the game and confidently, and yet innocently, play 6…Bg7?, which gives White a huge, almost winning, advantage.

 

The moves are 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7. And now White plays 7.e5, which attacks the knight with White having a strong center and better mobility for his pieces.

 

Even not reaching the main trap of the line, Black can lose very, very fast.

 

FM Perelshteyn-Shivaji (2230)
Pan Am Intercollegiate, 1998
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5
2019_12_19_A8…Nfd7 (8…Nd5 9.Bb5+ ; 8…Ng4 9.Bb5+ Nc6 10.Nxc6 Qxd1+ 11.Nxd1 Bd7 12.Nd4 Bxe5 13.Bxd7+ Kxd7 14.Nf3) 9.e6 Ne5 10.exf7+ Kxf7 11.Be2 Nbc6 12.O-O+ Bf6 13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.Bf4 Kg7 15.Qc1 h6 16.Kh1 Qb6 17.Ne4 Be6 18.Be3 Qc7 19.Nc5 Bf7 20.Bf4 Qb6 21.Qe3 Nc4 22.Ne6+ Bxe6 23.Qxe6 Na5 24.Be5 Qb7 25.Ba6 1-0

 

Hugo Spangenberg-Sergio Medina
Buenos Aires, 1999
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 Nfd7 8.e6 Nf6 9.Bb5+ Kf8 10.exf7 Kxf7 11.Qf3 e6 12.Be3 d5 13.O-O-O Rf8 14.h4 Nc6 15.h5 Ne7 16.g4 Kg8 17.hxg6 hxg6 18.g5 Ng4 19.Qxg4 Bxd4 20.Bxd4 1-0

 

L. Zsiltzova Lisenko (2284)-P. Berggren (1913)
World Blind Ch.
Goa, India, Oct.9 2006
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 Ng4 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.Qxg4 dxe5 10.fxe5 Bxe5 11.Bxd7+ Nxd7 12.Nf3 Bg7 13.O-O O-O 14.Kh1 Rc8 15.Qh4 Bxc3 16.bxc3 Rxc3 17.Bh6 Rxc2 (If 17…Re8, then 18.Qd4 still wins.) 18.Bxf8 Nxf8 19.Qa4 Qc7 20.Qxa7 e5 21.Qe3 Nd7 22.Rac1 e4 23.Ng5 Qc5 24.Qxc5 Rxc5 25.Rxc5 1-0

 

D. Tahiri (2099)-F. Niehaus (2204)
Lichtenberger Sommer
Berlin, Aug.24 2006
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 Nh5 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.e6 fxe6 10.Nxe6 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qc8 12.Bxd7+ Nxd7 13.O-O Nc5 14.Qd4 Nf6 15.Ng5 Qf5 16.Re1 Kd7

2019_12_19_B
17.Re5! 1-0

 

The prevalent thought among most Black players at this point to first remove the attacking pawn from e5 and then worry about the knight. This idea, while valid in many positions in chess, actually places Black in worse position, due to the now-opened lines White has his disposal.

 

Let’s review the moves once again.

 

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5

 

Black still has his knight under attack and he has to do something. Meanwhile, White has increased his attacking possibilities. White’s win is more certain.

 

V. Ortiz-J. Romagosa
corres., 1946
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Bg4 9.Bb5+ Nbd7 10.Qd3 Ng8 11.Qe4 Bxe5 12.Qxe5 Nf6 13.Bh6 Qb8 14.Qxb8+ Rxb8 15.Bg7 Rg8 16.Bxf6 exf6 17.O-O 1-0

 

Bubenyik-Mayer
corres., 1967
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Ng8 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.e6 Bxb5 11.Ncxb5 Nf6 12.Qf3 Qb6 13.exf7+ Kxf7 14.Qb3+ e6 15.Nc7 Qxc7 16.Qxe6+ Kf8 17.Qxf6+ Bxf6 18.Ne6+ Kf7 19.Nxc7 1-0

 

D. Berezjuk-P. Carlsson
European Youth Ch.
Rimavska Sobota, 1992
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Nh5 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.e6 Bxb5 11.exf7+ Kxf7 12.Qf3+ Nf6 13.Ndxb5 Qd7 14.O-O Qc6 15.Qg3 Nd7 16.Be3 Rhf8 17.Nxa7 Qc4 18.Rad1 Kg8 19.Qf4 Qxf4 20.Rxf4 Bh6 21.Rf3 Bxe3+ 22.Rxe3 Rxa7 23.Rxe7 Rf7 24.Re3 Ra5 25.a3 Rf5 26.Ne4 Nxe4 27.Rxe4 Rf2 28.Rc4 Nf8 29.h3 Ne6 30.b3 Re2 31.Rf1 Rd7 32.Rf2 Rd1+ 33.Rf1 Rdd2 34.Rg4 Rxc2 35.Rg3 Nd4 36.Rf6 Nf5 37.Rxf5 Rxg2+ 38.Rxg2 Rxg2+ 39.Kxg2 gxf5 40.Kf3 Kf7 41.Kf4 Ke6 42.h4 Kf6 43.h5 Ke6 44.h6 Kf6 45.a4 Kg6 46.a5 Kxh6 47.b4 Kg6 48.b5 h5 49.a6 1-0

 

Mueller-Hoffmann
St. Ingbert Open
Germany, 1995
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Bg4 9.Bb5+ Kf8 10.Ne6+ 1-0

 

FM Perelshteyn-Shivaji (2230)
Pan Am Intercollegiate, 1998
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5

2019_12_19_C

8…Nfd7 (8…Nd5 9.Bb5+ ; 8…Ng4 9.Bb5+ Nc6 10.Nxc6 Qxd1+ 11.Nxd1 Bd7 12.Nd4 Bxe5 13.Bxd7+ Kxd7 14.Nf3) 9.e6 Ne5 10.exf7+ Kxf7 11.Be2 Nbc6 12.O-O+ Bf6 13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.Bf4 Kg7 15.Qc1 h6 16.Kh1 Qb6 17.Ne4 Be6 18.Be3 Qc7 19.Nc5 Bf7 20.Bf4 Qb6 21.Qe3 Nc4 22.Ne6+ Bxe6 23.Qxe6 Na5 24.Be5 Qb7 25.Ba6 1-0

 

Incredibly, White’s attacking chances increase even more if Black’s knight was to move to g4 or d5.

 

8.fxe5 Ng4

 

Aguilera-Lopez
Madrid, 1946
[This game has been repeated many times. Memorize it!]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Ng4? (>Nfd7)

2019_12_19_D

9.Bb5+ Kf8? (After 9….Bd7, White plays 10.Qxg4 as Black’s bishop is pinned. Nevertheless, this move is the lesser evil.) 10.Ne6+ 1-0

 

Pilnik-Kashdan, 1948
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Ng4 9.Bb5+ Nc6 10.Nxc6 Qxd1+ 11.Nxd1 a6 12.Ba4 Bd7 13.h3 Nh6 14.Nxe7 Bxa4 15.Nd5 Rd8 16.c4 Nf5 17.Bg5 Rd7 18.N1c3 Bc6 19.O-O-O h5 20.Nc7+ Kf8 21.Rxd7 Bxd7 22.Rd1 Bxe5 23.Rxd7 h4 24.Ne4 Nd4 25.Rd8+ Kg7 26.Ne8+ Kh7 27.N4f6+ Bxf6 28.Nxf6+ 1-0

 

Glenn Cornwell-Jerry Gray
Southern Amateur
Tennessee, 1972
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Ng4? (8…Nd7 9.e6!) 9.Bb5+ Kf8 10.Ne6+ fxe6 11.Qxd8+ Kf7 12.O-O+ Nf6 13.Rxf6+ Bxf6 14.Qd4 Bg7 15.Bg5 Nc6 16.Bxc6 bxc6 17.Rf1+ Kg8 18.Qc5 1-0

 

Crotto-Hindle
Haifa Ol., 1976
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Ng4 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Qxg4 Bxb5 11.Ndxb5 Bxe5 12.Bh6 a6 13.Rd1 Qb6 14.Qc8+ 1-0

 

B.Probola-A.Plicner
Polish U16 Ch.
Zakopane, Jan. 21 2001
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Ng4 9.Bb5+ Kf8 10.Ne6+ fxe6 11.Qxd8+ Kf7 12.O-O+ Bf6 13.Rxf6+ Nxf6 14.Qxh8 a6 15.exf6 exf6 16.Bh6 1-0

8.fxe5 Nd5

 

Watts-Pierce
corres., 1946
1.e4 c5 2.Ne2 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Nd5 9.Bb5+ Kf8 10.Rf1 Bxe5 11.Qf3 Nf6 12.Bh6+ Kg8 13.Nde2 Nc6 14.Rd1 Bxc3+ 15.Qxc3 Bd7 16.Rxf6 exf6 17.Rxd7 Qa5 18.Bxc6 Qxc3+ 19.Nxc3 bxc6 20.Ne4 1-0

 

R. Nezhmetdinov-P. Ermolin
Kazan Ch., 1946
1.e4 c5 2.Ne2 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Nd5 9.Bb5+ Kf8 10.O-O Bxe5 (10…e6 11.Qf3) 11.Bh6+ Kg8 (11…Bg7 12.Bxg7+ Kxg7 13.Nxd5 Qxd5 14.Nf5+) 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 13.Nf5 Qc5+ 14.Be3 Qc7 15.Nh6+ 1-0

 

Crisovan-Rey
Switzerland, 1951
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Nd5 9.Bb5+ Kf8 10.O-O Bxe5 11.Bh6+ Kg8 12.Nxd5! Qxd5
2019_12_19_E

13.Nf5! Qc5+ (Not 13…Qxb5 due to 14.Nxe7#. The text move also loses. But Black is lost as White also threatens Qd8+.) 14.Be3 Qc7 15.Nh6+ Kg7 16.Rxf7mate 1-0

 

N.N.-Karlin
Pan Am Intercollegiate, 1998
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Nd5 9.Bb5+ Kf8 10.O-O e6 11.Qf3 Qe7 12.Bg5 1-0

 

Nicolaisen-Skovgaard
Politiken Cup
Copenhagen, 2001
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Bg7 7.e5 dxe5 8.fxe5 Nd5 9.Bb5+ Kf8 10.Nxd5 Qxd5 11.O-O Bxe5 12.Bh6+ Kg8 13.Nf5 Qc5+ 14.Be3 Qc7 15.Nh6+ Kg7 16.Rxf7mate 1-0

 

How does Black get out of such mess if White was to play the Levenfish?

 

8.f4 Nc6!? is useful to Black as the Nc6 protects the Queen on d8.

 

Evans-Reshevsky
New Orleans, 1955
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bg4 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Bg7 10.Be3 O-O 11.Rd1 Qa5 12.a3 Rac8 13.Be2 Nd7 14.e5 Nb6 15.O-O dxe5 16.Nb5 Nd4 17.Bxd4 exd4 18.Qxb7 Nc4 19.Bxc4 Rxc4 20.Nxa7 d3 21.Kh2 dxc2 22.Rc1 Qd2 23.Nc6 Kh8 24.Qb5 Re4 25.Nb4 Rxf4 26.Qg5 Rf2 27.Qxd2 Rxd2 28.Rxc2 Rxc2 29.Nxc2 Bxb2 30.Rf3 Rc8 31.Ne3 Kg7 32.Nd5 e6 33.Nb4 e5 34.Rb3 Bd4 35.Nd5 Rc5 36.Nb6 e4 37.Kg3 f5 38.a4 Ra5 39.Kf4 Kf6 0-1

 

Djuric-Mencinger
Ljubljana, 1981
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.Bd3 a6 9.O-O O-O 10.Kh1 b5 11.a4 b4 12.Nd5 Bb7 13.f5 Nxd5 14.exd5 Ne5 15.Be4 Nd7 16.Ng5 Qa5 17.Bd2 h6 18.fxg6 hxg5 19.c4 fxg6 20.Qg4 Nf6
2019_12_19_F
21.Qe6+ Kh7 22.Qh3+ Kg8 23.Qe6+ Kh7 24.Qh3+ Kg8 25.Qe6+ 1/2-1/2

Perhaps even better for White is 6.Be3, a favorite of Tal.

 

James Drasher-Brian Polka
US Amateur Team, East
Parsippany NJ, Feb. 13 1999
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Nc6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Be2 O-O 9.Qd2 Ng4 10.Bg1 Bd7 11.h3 Nf6 12.O-O-O Rc8 13.g4 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Bc6 15.Bd3 Qc7 16.g5 Nd7 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.h4 Nc5 19.h5 f5 20.hxg6 hxg6 21.Rh6 Rg8 22.Bc4 Nxe4 23.Rh7+! Kf8 (23…Kxh7 24.Qh2+ Kg7 25.Qh6#) 24.Qd4! Nxc3

2019_12_19_G

25.Qg7+! 1-0

 

But Black can improve by NOT moving his Bishop so early. He can play after 6.f4, 6…Nbd7. This prevents any checks and the knight lays siege on e5, which also prevents .e5. The variation is known as Flohr Variation.

 

U. Andersson- Raimundo Garcia
Skopje-Krusevo-Ohrid, 1972
1.Nf3 g6 2.e4 c5 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.f4 Nbd7 7.Nf3 Qc7 8.Bd3 Bg7 9.O-O O-O 10.Qe1 a6 11.Kh1 b5 12.e5 dxe5 13.fxe5 Ng4 14.e6 Nc5 15.Qh4 Nxd3 16.cxd3 Bxe6 17.Ng5 h5 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.Bg5 Rxf1+ 20.Rxf1 Rf8 21.Rxf8+ Kxf8 22.Ne4 Bxb2 23.Bd2 Bf6 24.Qh3 Qe5 25.Qg3 Qxg3 26.Nxg3 Nf2+ 27.Kg1 Nxd3 28.Kf1 Kf7 29.Ne4 e5 30.g3 Nb2 31.Nc5 Nc4 32.Bc1 a5 33.Ke2 Nd6 34.Bd2 b4 35.Kd3 e4 36.Nxe4 Nxe4 37.Kxe4 Ke6 0-1

 

F. Vreugdenhil (2150)-A. Summerscale (2423)
Coulsden International
England, Sept. 5 1999
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f4 Nbd7 7.Nf3 Qc7 8.Be3 Bg7 9.Bd3 a6 10.h3 b5 11.a3 Bb7 12.O-O Nc5 13.Bd4 O-O 14.g4 e5 15.fxe5 Nfxe4 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Qe1 dxe5 18.Bxe4 Bxe4 19.Qxe4 exd4 20.Nxd4 Qg3+ 21.Kh1 Qxh3+ 22.Kg1 Rae8 0-1

 

And Black, now playing this newer variation, can survive. At in least the opening.

Three Pawns for a Piece

This blog was going to feature the Dragon. But one of my correspondence games ended today (12-11-2019), and it inspired the following article.

Enjoy!

 

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

 

Most players know a piece is equal to three pawns. Materially, this is even. The advantage, however, is to the side that is attacking.

 

In a line of the Najdorf Sozin, White sacrifices a piece for those three pawns. Despite some technical problems to solve, he usually does well.

 

The sacrifice begins with the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7?! 10.Bxe6! fxe6 11.Nxe6.

 

This is White doing well.

 
Stark-Geisel
corres.
E. Germany, 1989
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qc8 12.Nxg7+ Kd8 13.Nf5 Rf8 14.Bh6 Rf7 15.Qg3 Qe6 16.Rad1 Nh5 17.Qe3 Nd7 18.Bg5 Nhf6 19.Qg3 Ne5 20.f4 Ned7 21.Nxe7 1-0

 

Wallner (2075)-Pfaffel (1970)
Graz Ch., 1994
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qd7? [This is an error. Better is the more common 11.Qc8. You’ll find this same error (11…Qd7?) in some of the following games.] 12.Nxg7+ Kf7 13.Nf5 Nc6 14.Nd5 Ne5 15.Qg3 Bxd5 16.Qg7+ Ke8 17.Qxh8+ Bg8 18.Qg7 Nxe4 19.Qxg8+ 1-0

 

Guerrero Rodriguez (2130)-Frias Careaga (1399)
Mexico Ch.
Hermosillo, Mar. 29 2002
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.Qf3 Bb7 9.O-O Be7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qc8 12.Nxg7+ Kf7 13.Nf5 Nbd7

[13…b4?! doesn’t offer Black too much.

13…b4 14.Bg5 Rg8 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Nxd6 Qxd6 17.Rad1 Bd4 18.Ne2 Nc6 19.Nxd4 Nxd4 20.Qe3 Kc8 21.Rxd4 Qg6 22.g3 a5 23.c3 Ra6 24.cxb4 axb4 25.Rc1+ Kb8 26.Rxb4 h5 27.a4 Re6 28.Qf4+ Ka8 29.Rc5 Rd8 30.Rxb7 Rd1+ 31.Kg2 Qxe4+ 32.Qxe4 Rxe4 33.Rh7 1-0 (N. Aliavdin (2377)-I. Lada (2130), Karkonosze Open A, Karpacz, Poland, Feb. 22 2011.]

14.Bg5 Qf8 15.Bh6 Qd8 16.Nd5 Bxd5 17.exd5 Nf8 18.Bg7 Ng6 19.Bxh8 Qxh8 20.Rae1 Ra7 21.Qe3 Rb7? (22.Qe5+ K~ 23.Qc8+ ~ 24.Qxb7) 1-0

 

Langerak-Smits
Hengelo U10 Open, Aug. 4 2003
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 b5 7.Bb3 e6 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qd7 12.Nxg7+ Kd8 13.Nf5 Rf8 14.Bg5 Qe8 15.Rad1 Kc7 16.Qd3 Qd7 17.e5 dxe5 18.Qxd7+ Nfxd7 19.Nxe7 Nc6 20.Ncd5+ Kb8 21.Nxc6+ Bxc6 22.Nb4 1-0

 

Atousa Pourkashiyan (2241)-Irine Kharisma Sukandar (2303)
Rapid Game
Women’s WMSG
Beijing, Oct. 6 2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Be7 8.O-O b5 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qd7 12.Nxg7+ Kf7 13.Nf5 Qe6 14.Qh3 Bf8 15.Bh6 Rg8 16.Bxf8 Kxf8 17.Qh6+ Kf7 18.Qf4 Rd8 19.Rad1 Bc6 20.Nxd6+ Kg6 21.Rd3 h6 22.Nf5!

2019_12_12_A

1-0 (White’s threat is aimed at h6. If 22…Rh8, then 23.Qg3+ does the trick.)

 

A. Danin (2570)-Gera Richter (2101)
Schloss Open
Werther, Germany, Mar. 24 2013
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qc8 12.Nxg7+ Kf7 13.Nf5 Nbd7 14.Qg3 Bf8 15.Nxd6+ Bxd6 16.Qxd6 Nxe4 17.Nxe4 Bxe4 18.Bg5 Qc6 19.Qe7+ Kg6 20.Rad1 Bd5 21.Bc1 Nf6 22.Rd3 Ne4 23.f4 Rhf8 24.g4 Bf7 25.Rh3 Kg7 26.Be3 Rae8 27.Qh4 h5 28.f5 Rg8 29.g5 Kf8 30.g6 Re5 31.Qf4 Qd5 32.Rxh5 Ke8 33.Rh4 Kd7 34.Rh7 Re7 35.Qf3 Ke8 36.Kh1 Nf2+ 37.Rxf2 Qxf3+ 38.Rxf3 Bd5 39.Rxe7+ Kxe7 40.Kg2 Kf6 41.Bd4+ Kg5 42.Kf2 Bxf3 43.Kxf3 Kxf5 44.g7 Re8 45.c3 Kg6 46.Kf4 Kh7 47.Be5 Rd8 48.Ke3 Rd5 49.Ke4 Rd2 50.c4 bxc4 51.Bd4 a5 52.a4 Rd1 53.Kd5 c3 54.bxc3 Rd2 55.c4 Rxh2 56.c5 Rh5+ 57.Kc4 Rh1 58.c6 Rh6 59.Kb5 Kg8 60.c7 1-0

 
Now Black does not have to take the offered bishop. He can simply decline the material. But he is still a pawn down and White has a budding attack.

 

This is White doing very well.

 

Beukenhorst-Roellig
Germany U20 Ch.
Hamburg, 1993
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 Qb6? (Black is lost. White can just play 11.Be3 and gain a tempo in every line.) 11.Be3 fxe6 12.Nxe6 Qc6 13.Nd5 Nbd7 14.Nxg7+ Kf7 15.Nf5 Bf8 16.Bd4 Ne5 17.Nh6+ 1-0

 

Escalante-“kennethvenken”
Najdorf Thematic
http://www.chess.com, 2019
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 Qb6? 11.Be3 fxe6 12.Nxe6 Qc6 13.Nxg7+ Kf8 14.Nf5 Nbd7 15.Nd5 Bd8 16.Bh6+ Kf7 17.Rfe1 Ne5 18.Qb3 [The chess.com computer suggests 18.Qa3! (hitting the d6 pawn) Nxd5 19.Nxd6+ Qxd6 20.Qxd6 Bc7 21.Qa3 Nf6 22.Qb3+ Kg6. But there is nothing wrong with the text move which is more direct.]

2019_12_12_B

18…Nxd5

[Not 18…Qc5? due to 19.Nxf6+ Kxf6 20.Bg7+ Kg5 (20…Kg6? 21.Qe6+ Bf6 22.Qxf6+ Kh5 23.Qh6+ Kg4 24.h3#) 21.Qe6 and Black can’t fight off mate; 21…Qxf2+ 22.Kxf2 Ng4+ 23.Kg3 Bf6 24.Nxd6 Be5+ 25.Bxe5 Nxe5 26.h4+ Kh5 27.Qxe5+ Kg6 28.Qg5#, 21…Nf3+ 22.gxf3 Qxf2+ 23.Kxf2 Bb6+ 24.Ke2 h6 25.Bxh6+ Rxh6 26.Qxh6#, 21…Kf4 22.Bh6+ Bg5 23.Bxg5+ Kxg5 24.Qh6+ Kg4 25.h3#, 21…Bf6 22.Qxf6+ Kh5 23.Qh6+ Kg4 24.h3#, 21…Kg5 22.Qh6+ Kg4 23.h3#, 21…Kh5 22.Qh6+ Kg4 23.h3#.]

19.Rad1 Qd7 20.Rxd5 Bxd5 21.Qxd5+ 1-0 [Black resigned. He’s facing lines such as 21…Qe6 22.Nxd6+ (22…Kf6 23.Bg7+! +-) 22…Ke7 23.Nf5+ Kf6 24.Qxa8 Rg8 25.Bg7+ Rxg7 26.Nxg7 Kxg7 27.Qb7+ Kf6 28.Qxh7 Bb6 29.Qh6+ Ng6 30.e5+ Kf5 31.Qh5+.]

 

A Gambit in the Dutch

The opening 1…f5 can be played against 1.d4, where it is known as the Dutch Defence. Against 1.c4, it is known as the Anglo Dutch. Against 1.Nf3, it is known as the Reti Dutch. And against 1.e4, it is known as bad move.

 

Nevertheless, the move 1…f5 leads to many tactical tangles with Black having a fair chance at emerging victorious.

The sequence 1.d4 f5 is the most common way for Black to play the Dutch. It is this approach we will look at now.

 

White has several ways to reply to Black’s aggressive move. He can play 2.Nc3, 2.Nf3, 2.Bg5 (stronger than one might suppose), 2.g3 (a safe, positional approach), and 3.c4 (a classical reply).

 

But he also has a gambit he can attempt; the Staunton (1.d4 f5 2.e4!?).

 

Black almost has to take the pawn. Otherwise White has a greater control of the center and declining the pawn can also easily lead to bad positions from the transposition of other openings.

 
Euwe-Weenink
Amsterdam, 1923
[Notes by ECO and Euwe]
1.d4 f5 2.e4 d6 3.exf5 Bxf5 4.Qf3 Qc8 5.Bd3 Bxd3 6.Qxd3 Nc6 7.Nf3 e6 8.O-O Qd7 9.c4 O-O-O 10.Re1 Nf6 +/- (10…e5 11.Nc3 +/-) 11.Bd2 Re8 12.Na3 Be7 13.b4 Rhf8 14.b5 Nd8 15.Nc2 Nh5 16.a4 g5 17.a5! +/-

 

Eloy Cantero Ramon (2078)-Jose Munoz Izcua
Montevideo, 1954
[A slight transposition occurs in the first two moves. If you really want, you can assume 1.d4 f5 2.e4 d6? were the moves played.]
1.e4 d6 2.d4 f5 3.Bd3! Nc6 4.exf5 Nxd4 5.Qh5+ g6 6.fxg6 Nf6 7.g7+ Nxh5 8.gxh8=Q Nf6 9.Bh6 Ne6 10.Bf5 Bd7 11.Qxh7 Ng7 12.Qg6mate 1-0

 

Lidia Semenova (2280)-Olga Ignatieva (2135)
USSR Team Ch.
Riga, 1954
[The first four moves are from the Tarrasch French; 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 f5?!]
1.d4 e6 2.Nd2 f5 3.e4 d5 4.exf5 exf5 5.Ngf3 Nf6 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.O-O O-O 8.Ne5 c5 9.c3 c4 10.Bc2 Qc7 11.Ndf3 b5 12.Re1 a5 13.Nh4 g6 14.Bh6 Re8 15.Qd2 Ne4 16.Bxe4 dxe4 17.f4 Be6 18.Qe3 Nd7 19.Qg3 Nf8 20.Re3 Bxe5 21.fxe5 Qf7 22.Rf1 Qd7 23.Qg5 Qd8 24.Qf4 b4 25.Bg5 Qc7 26.Bf6 Nd7 27.Qh6 Nxf6 28.exf6 Qf7 29.Rg3 Qf8 30.Qg5 Qf7 31.Nxf5 Bxf5 32.Rxf5 bxc3 33.bxc3 Rab8 34.h4 Kh8 35.Re5 Rxe5 36.dxe5 Rb1+ 37.Kh2 Qd7 38.Qh6 Rb8 39.Rxg6 Rg8 40.Rxg8+ Kxg8 41.Qg5+ 1-0

 
So, Black usually takes the pawn. White can respond a number of ways. One good try is 4.Bg5!?

 
Capablanca-Masyutin
Simul
Kiev, Mar. 2 1914
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 c6 5.f3 exf3 (Probably better is 5…Qb6.) 6.Nxf3 e6 7.Bd3 d5 8.O-O Nbd7 9.Ne5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6
2019_12_05

11.Qh5+ Ke7 (11…g6? 12.Bxg6+! hxg6 13.Qxg6+ Ke7 14.Rxf6 Nxf6 5.Qg7+ Kd6 16.Nf7+) 12.Bxh7 Nf8 13.Qf7+ Kd6 14.Nc4+ dxc4 15.Ne4+ Kd5 16.Rf5+ Kxe4 17.Re1+ Kxd4 18.c3+ Kd3 19.Rd5mate 1-0

 

Reti-Euwe
Match
Rotterdam, 1920
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 g6 5.f3 exf3 6.Nxf3 Bg7 7.Bd3 c5 8.d5 Qb6 9.Qd2 Qxb2 10.Rb1 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 Qxb1+ 12.Kf2 Qxh1 13.Bxe7 d6 14.Bxd6 Nc6 15.Bb5 Bd7 16.Bxc6 Bxc6 17.Qe2+ 1-0

 

Lalic-Kovacevic
Croatia Ch., 1995
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 c6 5.f3 exf3 6.Nxf3 d5 7.Bd3 g6 8.Ne5 Qb6 9.Qe2 Qxb2 10.O-O! Qxc3 11.Bxf6 Rg8 12.Qf2! Nd7 13.Bxe7! Kxe7 14.Nxd7 Kxd7 15.Qf7+ Be7 16.Qxg8 Qxd4+ 17.Kh1 Qh4 18.Rae1 Kd6 19.g3 Qg5 20.Qe8 d4 21.h4 Qd5+ 22.Kh2 1-0

 
White also has 4.f3, paralleling the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (BDG).

 
It is usually not in Black’s interest to immediately take the pawn, as these games illustrate.

 

Blackburne-Bird
London, 1899
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 d5 6.Bd3 Bg4 7.O-O Nc6 8.Ne2 Bxf3 9.gxf3 Qd7 10.c3 e5 11.Bb5 Bd6 12.dxe5 Bxe5 13.f4 Bd6 14.Nd4 O-O 15.Kh1 a6 16.Bxc6 bxc6 17.f5 Rae8 18.Bg5 Be5 19.Ne6 Rf7 20.Bh4 Ne4 21.Qh5 c5 22.Rae1 Bf6 23.Rf4 Bxh4 24.Rxh4 Nf6 25.Qf3 Qd6 26.Rg1 c6 27.Ng5 Rfe7 28.Nxh7 Re1 29.Nxf6+ Qxf6 30.Rhg4 Rxg1+ 31.Rxg1 Re5 32.Rg6 Re1+ 33.Kg2 Qe5 34.Re6 Qxe6 35.fxe6 Rxe6 36.Qf5 Re2+ 37.Kg3 Rxb2 38.Qc8+ Kh7 39.Qxc6 1-0

 
Stephan-Bartels
corres., 1983
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 d5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Bd3 e6 8.Bg5 Be7 9.O-O O-O 10.Qe2 c5 11.Ng6 hxg6 12.Qxe6+ Kh8 13.Rf3 Nb6 14.Rh3+ Nh5 15.Qxg6 Kg8 16.Rxh5 Bxg5 17.Rh8+ Kxh8 18.Qh7mate 1-0

 

Zuechner-Kellerer
corres., 1988
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6 6.Bd3 Bb4 7.O-O Bxc3 8.bxc3 d5 9.Ng5 Qd7 10.Nxh7 Rxh7 11.Bxh7 Nxh7 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Qxg6+ Kd8 14.Rf7 Qxf7 15.Qxf7 Bd7 16.Qxh7 1-0

 

Zuechner-Angermann
corres., 1988
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6 6.Bd3 Bg7 7.Ng5 O-O 8.O-O d6 9.Nce4 Nxe4 10.Bxe4 Nc6 11.c3 Bd7 12.Rxf8+ Qxf8 13.Nxh7 Kxh7 14.Qh5+ Kg8 15.Bxg6 Qf6 16.Bg5 Qe6 17.Qh7+ Kf8 18.Rf1+ Bf6 19.Bh6mate 1-0

 

Instead, Black can try moves such as 4…Nc6 or 4..d5. While these moves are not a panacea, they do offer Black better chances than simply taking the f3-pawn and be defending the rest of the game.

 

Simagin-Kopylov
USSR, 1951
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 Nc6 5.fxe4 e5 6.dxe5 Nxe5 7.Nf3 d6 8.Bf4 Nxf3+ 9.Qxf3 Bg4 10.Qf2 Be7 11.Bc4 c6 12.h3 Bh5 13.g4 Bg6 14.O-O-O Rf8 15.Qg3 Nxg4 16.Bxd6 Nf2 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.Nb5 cxb5 19.Bxb5+ Kf7 20.Qb3+ Qe6 21.Bc4 1-0

 

Lehmann-Smyslov
Havana, 1965
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 Nc6 5.fxe4 e5 6.dxe5 Nxe5 7.Nf3 Bd6 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 O-O 10.Nd5 Nxf3+ 11.gxf3 Be7 12.Nxe7+ Qxe7 13.Qd2 d5 14.O-O-O dxe4 15.fxe4 Qxe4 16.Bxf6 Rxf6 17.Bg2 Qe8 18.Rhe1 Qf8 19.Qd5+ Kh8 20.Qd8 Bg4 21.Qxf8+ Raxf8 22.Rd4 Bc8 23.Re7 c6 24.h4 Kg8 25.h5 R6f7 26.Rxf7 Kxf7 27.Kd2 Kf6 28.Ke3 Kg5 29.Bf3 Bf5 30.c3 Re8+ 31.Kf2 Re7 32.b4 Rd7 33.Rc4 Be6 34.Re4 Bxa2 35.Re5+ Kf4 36.Ra5 Rd2+ 37.Ke1 Rh2 38.Be2 Be6 39.Bf1 Ra2 0-1

 

Zeise-Meinberger
corres., 1975
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 Nc6 5.fxe4 e5 6.dxe5 Nxe5 7.Nf3 Bd6 8.Nb5 Nxf3+ 9.Qxf3 Be5 10.Bf4 Qe7 11.O-O-O Kd8 12.Qg3 Re8 13.Bxe5 Qxe5 14.Qxg7 Nxe4 15.Qxe5 Rxe5 16.Bc4 c6 17.Nd6 Nxd6 18.Rxd6 h5 19.Rhd1 Kc7 20.Bf7 Re2 21.Bxh5 Rxg2 22.h3 Rg8 23.Bg4 a5 24.a4 Rh8 25.c4 Ra6 26.Rg6 Rb6 27.Kc2 Rb4 28.b3 d5 29.cxd5 cxd5 30.Rxd5 Bxg4 31.Rxg4 Rxh3 32.Rc5+ Kd6 33.Rxb4 axb4 34.Rb5 Rh2+ 35.Kd1 Rh1+ 36.Ke2 Rh2+ 37.Kf1 Rh1+ 38.Kg2 Rh7 39.Rxb4 Rf7 1/2-1/2

 

Ed Lasker-Alekhine
Match
London, 1913, Game 3
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 d5 5.fxe4 dxe4 6.Bg5 Bf5 7.Qe2 Nc6 8.Bxf6 exf6 9.O-O-O Bd6 10.Nxe4 O-O 11.Nxd6 cxd6 12.Qf2 Qa5 13.Bc4+ Kh8 14.Ne2 Nb4 15.Bb3 Rac8 16.Nc3 Bg6 17.Rhf1 b5 18.Rd2 Nd3+ 19.Rxd3 Bxd3 20.Rd1 b4 21.Rxd3 bxc3 22.Kb1 Rfe8 23.bxc3 Rxc3 24.Qd2 Rxb3+ 25.cxb3 Qf5 26.Kb2 Qf1 27.Re3 Rxe3 28.Qxe3 Qxg2+ 29.Ka3 h6 30.Qe6 Qc6 31.h4 h5 32.Qf7 Qe4 33.Qf8+ Kh7 34.Qxd6 Qxh4 35.d5 Qe4 36.Qc5 Qe5 37.b4 h4 38.d6 h3 39.Qc2+ f5 40.d7 h2 41.d8=Q h1=Q 42.Qc4 Qhe4 43.Qdg8+ Kh6 44.Qa6+ Kg5 45.Qxa7 Qc3+ 46.Qb3 Qexb4mate 1-0

 

Zurakhov-Korchnoi
Minsk, 1952
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 d5 5.Bg5 Bf5 6.fxe4 dxe4 7.Bc4 Nc6 8.Nge2 Qd7 9.O-O e6 10.d5 exd5 11.Nxd5 O-O-O 12.Nxf6 Bc5+ 13.Kh1 Qxd1 14.Raxd1 Rxd1 15.Rxd1 gxf6 16.Bxf6 Rf8 17.Rf1 Bg6 18.Ng3 Nb4 19.c3 Nd3 20.Bd4 Rxf1+ 21.Nxf1 Bxd4 22.cxd4 Nxb2 23.Be2 Kd7 24.Kg1 Nd3 25.Bxd3 exd3 26.Kf2 Kc6 27.Ke3 Kb5 28.g4 Kb4 29.h4 h6 30.h5 Bh7 31.Kf4 Kc3 32.Ke5 d2 33.Nxd2 Kxd2 34.Kf6 Ke3 35.Kg7 Bb1 36.Kxh6 Kf4 37.g5 Bxa2 38.Kg6 Bf7+ 39.Kh6 Kg4 40.g6 Bd5 0-1

 

Maroja-Padevsky
Yugoslavia, 1976
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 d5 5.fxe4 dxe4 6.Bc4 Nc6 7.Nge2 e5 8.Bg5 Nxd4 9.O-O Bg4 10.Qe1 Bxe2 11.Nxe2 Qd6 12.Rd1 Qc5 13.Nxd4 Qxc4 14.Nf5 Rd8 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.Qh4 Rxd1 17.Rxd1 Qf7 18.Qxe4 Qg6 19.Qd3 Bc5+ 20.Kh1 Rg8 21.Qd7+ Kf8 22.Qd8+ 1-0

 

Codazza-Passelli
corres.
Italy, 1992
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 d5 5.fxe4 dxe4 6.Bg5 Bf5 7.Bc4 Nc6 8.Nge2 Qd7 9.d5 Na5 10.Bb5 c6 11.dxc6 Qxd1+ 12.Rxd1 bxc6 13.Ba4 Rc8 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Rd5 1-0

 

B. Miller-M. White
corres.
CCLA Team Ch., 1995
1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 d5 5.fxe4 dxe4 6.Bg5 Bf5 7.Bc4 Nc6 8.Nge2 e6 9.O-O Qd7 10.Qe1 O-O-O 11.Rd1 Na5 12.b3 Bb4 13.a3 Nxc4 14.axb4 Nb6 15.Ng3 Bg4 16.Rd2 Nbd5 17.Ncxe4 Rdf8 18.Rdf2 Kb8 19.c4 1-0

 

 

Gambit of the Day

Halloween_Gambit

 

Today, being Halloween, we present an appropriately named gambit for the day.

 

The Halloween Gambit, played since the 19th century, has never been popular. Among the reasons is that most players do not want to sacrifice a piece early in the opening, more so if the continuation of the game does not directly involve attacking the enemy king, or at least allowing him to say, “check!”

 

The opening move are 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5. With this move White willing gives up his knight with the idea to gain tempi on the opposing knight that  just captured his knight.

 

 

Let’s take a look at some lines.

 

First of all, Black does NOT to take White’s knight. By ignoring the knight on e5, he is effectively playing a gambit of his own. But his counterplay is less that White’s.

 

~~~~ 4.Nxe5 Bc5 ~~~~

 

 
Schlechter-Marshall
Monte Carlo, 1903
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Nf6 5.Be2 (Black would welcome 5.Nxc6? dxc6 6.Bc4 as he has winning game after 6…Bxf2+! 7.Kxf2 Qd4+.) 5…Nxe5 6.d4 Bd6 7.O-O Nc6 8.e5 Nxe5 9.dxe5 Bxe5 10.Bd3 d6 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bh4 g5 13.Bg3 Bg4 14.Qd2 Qe7 15.Rae1 O-O-O

2019_10_31_A

16.Qe3! (Inducing a weakness in Black’s castled position.) 16…b6 (16…Kb8? leads to a worse position after 17.Nb5 c5.) 17.a4 Kb8 18.a5 Bc8 19.axb6 axb6 20.Nb5 Bb7 21.Be2 Rhe8 22.Qa3 c6 23.Qa7+ Kc8 24.Na3 Kc7 25.Ba6 Rb8 26.Nc4 Nd7 27.Rxe5 dxe5 28.Bxe5+ Nxe5 29.Qxb6+ Kd7 30.Bxb7 Ke6 31.Nxe5 Qxb7 32.Qe3 f6 33.Nc4+ Kd5 34.Qd3+ Kc5 35.Nd6 Qxb2 36.c3 Kb6 37.Nc4+ (Winning the queen and the game.) 1-0

 

Wolf-Marshall
Monte Carlo, 1903
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Nf6 5.Be2 Nxe5 6.d4 Bd6 7.dxe5 Bxe5 8.Nb1 O-O 9.f4 Nxe4 10.Qd5 Qh4+ 11.g3 Nxg3 12.hxg3 Qxg3+ 13.Kd1 Bf6 14.Qd3 Qxd3+ 15.Bxd3 h6 16.Nc3 Bxc3 17.bxc3 d5 18.f5 Re8 19.Rg1 Kh7 20.Bf4 c5 21.f6+ g6 22.Bd6 Re6 23.Be7 c4 24.Be2 Re3 25.Kd2 Rh3 26.Rh1 Rxh1 27.Rxh1 Be6 28.Ke3 g5 29.Bh5 Rc8 30.Kd4 Rg8 31.Re1 Rc8 32.Rxe6 fxe6 33.Ke5 b5 34.Kxe6 d4 35.cxd4 a5 36.f7 Kg7 37.f8=Q+ Rxf8 38.Bxf8+ Kxf8 39.d5 b4 40.d6 b3 41.d7 1-0

 

Jacopo Motola (2217)-Giuseppe Bisignano (1864)
Open Carnevale
Milan, Feb. 18 2015
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Nc6 5.Nxc6 dxc6 6.Be2 Be6 7.d3 Qd7 8.h3 b5 9.a3 O-O 10.Bg5 Bd4 11.Qd2 Rab8 12.Be3 c5 13.Nd1 Qc6 14.Bf3 Qb6 15.c3 Bxe3 16.fxe3 Rfd8 17.Nf2 Nd7 18.Bg4 Ne5 19.Bxe6 Qxe6 20.Qe2 Rb6 21.O-O Qg6 22.d4 cxd4 23.exd4 Nc4 24.Nd3 Re8 25.Rae1 Qg5 26.e5 f6 27.b3 Nd2 28.Rf2 Nxb3 29.Qa2 1-0

 
Black, however, usually takes the knight. And White puts the question to Black’s knight after 5.d4. Neither 5…Nc4?! nor 5…Bb4 offer much.

 

~~~~ 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 ~~~~

 

Weenink-Apsheniek
Prague Ol., 1931
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qg4 Nxc3 8.Qxb4 Nd5 9.Qe4 Ne7 10.Bg5 d5 11.exd6 Qxd6 12.Bc4 Bf5 13.Qe2 Be6 14.Bxe6 Qxe6 15.Qxe6 fxe6 16.O-O-O h6 17.Bxe7 Kxe7 18.Rd3 Rhf8 19.f3 Rad8 20.Rhd1 Rxd3 21.Rxd3 Rf4 22.Kd2 Ra4 23.a3 Rh4 24.h3 Rh5 25.Ke3 Rg5 26.Kf2 Rb5 27.b3 Ra5 28.a4 Rc5 29.c4 a5 30.Ke3 b6 1/2-1/2

 

Chapman (2156)-Lindgren
Hallsberg Jr. Open
Sweden, Dec. 28 1972
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qd4 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Ng5 9.Ba3 Ne6 10.Qd5 Qg5 11.Bc4 f6 12.exf6 Qxf6 13.O-O Rb8 14.Rae1 Kf7 15.Re3 Kg8 16.Rf3 Qd8 17.Qf5 Qf6 18.Qc5 d6 19.Rxf6 1-0

 

Frank-Remsted
Pinneberg Open, 1996
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Bb4 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qd4 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 f5 9.Bd3 Qe7 10.O-O d6 11.exd6 Nxd6 12.Ba3 O-O 13.Bc4+ Kh8 14.Rfe1 Qf6 15.Qxf6 gxf6 16.Rad1 Rd8 17.Re7 Rd7 18.Rxd6 Rxd6 19.Re8+ Kg7 20.Rg8+ Kh6 21.Bc1+ Kh5 22.Be2+ Kh4 23.g3+ 1-0

 

Nicolaisen (2035)-Brondum
Politiken Cup
Copenhagen, July 28 2000
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qg4 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 d5 9.Qxg7 Rf8 10.Bh6 Qe7 11.Qxf8+ Qxf8 12.Bxf8 Kxf8 13.Bd3 1-0

 

Legvold-Peller
Dos Hermanas
Internet Section 07B, Mar. 7 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc4 6.Bxc4 Qe7 7.O-O Qb4 8.Bb3 d6 9.e5 Nd7 10.e6 fxe6 11.Bxe6 Be7 12.Nd5 Qa5 13.Bd2 Qa4 14.Nxc7+ Kd8 15.Nxa8 Qxd4 16.Ba5+ b6 17.Qxd4 bxa5 18.Qxa7 Rf8 1-0

 

Ankerst (2362)-Tokarchuk
Dos Hermanas
Internet Section 08B, Mar. 8 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Nxe4 8.Qg4 Nxc3 9.Qxg7 Rf8 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bxf6 Rxf6 12.exf6 Nd5 13.Qg8mate 1-0

 

Schoupal (1957)-Spalek (1572)
Brno II, Apr. 20 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Bb4 6.dxe5 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Nxe4 8.Qg4 Nxc3 9.Qxg7 Rf8 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bxf6 Rf7 12.Qxf7+ Kxf7 13.Bxd8 d6 14.Bxc7 dxe5 15.Bxe5 1-0

 

Kurilov (2312)-Kovar (2238)
White Nights Open
St. Petersburg, June 25 2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qg4 d5 8.Qxg7 Rf8 9.a3 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Qh4 11.g3 Qg4 12.Qxg4 Bxg4 13.Bg2 Nxc3 14.Bd2 Na4 15.Bh6 Rg8 16.Bxd5 Rg6 17.Be3 O-O-O 18.Bxf7 Rg7 19.e6 Bf3 20.O-O Rf8 21.Bd4 Rgxf7 22.exf7 Rxf7 23.Rfe1 c5 24.Be5 Nb6 25.a4 Nc4 26.Bf4 Kd7 27.Rab1 b6 28.Rb3 Bc6 29.Rc3 Na5 30.Rd3+ Kc8 31.Rde3 Bxa4 32.Re7 Rxe7 33.Rxe7 Bxc2 34.Rxa7 Nb7 35.Ra6 b5 36.Rc6+ Kd8 37.Rb6 Be4 38.Rxb5 Kd7 39.Rb6 c4 40.Be5 Nc5 41.Rd6+ Ke8 42.Bd4! (Either the knight or bishop is lost.) 1-0

 
Black has two reasonable options here.

 

One is static, and more or less stable, which slows down the play. The other is more dynamic, with chances for both sides.

 

We’ll take a look at the stable and static play first.

 

~~~~ 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 ~~~~

 
White can play 6.e5 or 6.d5. The first move obviously attacks the knight, but 6.d5 is more popular as White’s initiative is more positional and cramps Black. And White still has a later e5.
The 6.e5 continuation:

Riemann-Von Kraewel
Breslau, Mar. 26 1875
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Be2 Ng8 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.O-O Bb4 10.c3 Ba5 11.Bc4 Nge7 12.Bg5 O-O 13.Nf6+ Kh8 (13…gxf6 14.Bxf6 d5 15.Qh5 Qe8 16.Qg5+ Ng6 17.Qh6) 14.Qh5 h6 15.Bxh6 Ng6 16.Bxg7+ Kxg7 17.Qh7mate 1-0

 

“fcpanginen” (1999)-“odirtyredo” (1725)
Halloween Gambit Thematic Tournament
http://www.chess.com, 2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Be3 Bb4 8.Bc4 Nge7 9.O-O Ng6 10.Nd5 Ba5 11.c3 O-O 12.f4 Nce7 13.Nxe7+ Nxe7 14.f5 d5 15.Bd3 f6 16.e6 Bb6 17.g4 c6 18.g5 fxg5 19.Bxg5 Qc7 20.Qh5 c5

2019_10_31_B
21.f6! Ng6 22.f7+ Rxf7 23.exf7+ Kf8 24.Bxg6 cxd4 25.Qxh7 dxc3+ 26.Kh1 Bf5 27.Qh8mate 1-0

 
The 6.d5 continuation:

 

Grigor Minchev-Zoran Golubovic, 1990
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Qe7 9.Qe2 Ng8 10.d6 Qe6 11.Nb5 Bxd6 12.exd6 Qxe2+ 13.Bxe2 Kf8 14.f5 Ne5 15.dxc7 f6 16.Bf4 Ne7 17.O-O-O d5 18.Nd6 N5c6 19.Bf3 Bxf5 20.Nxf5 Nxf5 21.Bxd5 g5 22.Bxg5 fxg5 23.Rhf1 Ke7 24.Rxf5 Kd6 25.Rf7 h6 26.Bc4+ Kc5 27.Be6 a5 28.c8=Q Rhxc8 29.Bxc8 Rxc8 30.Rxb7 Re8 31.a4 Nd4 32.c3 Kc6 33.Rf7 Nb3+ 34.Kc2 Nc5 35.Rf6+ Re6 36.Rxe6+ Nxe6 37.b4 axb4 38.cxb4 Nf4 39.g3 Nd5 40.Rxd5 Kxd5 41.Kd3 Ke5 42.a5 Kd5 43.g4 Kc6 44.a6 Kb6 45.b5 1-0

 

R. Schlenker-D. Klostermann
Casual Game
Villingen-Schwenningen, Oct. 6 1993
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ng8 9.d6 cxd6 10.exd6 Qf6 11.Nb5 Kd8 12.Be3 Qe6 13.Qd4 Nf6 14.Bc4 Qe4 15.O-O-O Qxd4 16.Rxd4 Ne8 [16…a6 17.Re4 Nxe4 (17…axb5 18.Bb6# ; 17…Bxd6 18.Bb6+ Bc7 19.Bxc7#) 18.Bb6+ Ke8 19.Nc7+ Kd8 20.Bxf7!] 17.Bxf7 a6 18.Re4 Bxd6 19.Bb6+ Bc7

2019_10_31_C
20.Rhe1! d5 21.Rxe8+ Rxe8 22.Bxc7+ Kd7 23.Bxe8mate 1-0

 

Grigor Minchev-V. Velev
Bulgaria Students Tournament
Svishtov, Sept. 1994
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ng8 9.d6 cxd6 10.exd6 Qa5 11.h4 Qb4 12.Qe2+ Kd8 13.f5 Nxh4 14.a3 Nxg2+ 15.Qxg2 Qxd6 16.Bd2 Qe5+ 17.Be2 Qxf5 18.O-O-O Qg6 19.Qxg6 fxg6 20.Nb5 Nf6 21.Bf4 Ne8 22.Be3 a6 23.Bb6+ Ke7 24.Rhe1 axb5 25.Bc4+ Kf6 26.Bd8+ Kf5 27.Rd5+ Kf4 28.Rd4+ Kg3 29.Bh4+ Kh2 30.Bd5 Bc5 31.Rh1mate 1-0

 

“Brause” (2575)-“GeorgeJohn” (2330)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Bb4 7.dxc6 Nxe4 8.Qd4 Bxc3+?! 9.bxc3 Qe7 10.Qxg7 Nxc3+? (>10…Nf6+ 11.Be3 Rg8 12.Qh6 dxc6) 11.Be3 1-0

 

Zedtler Uwe-Winkler Andreas, 2002
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Bb4 9.Qd4 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Nh5 11.f5 Qh4+ 12.g3 (12…Qxd4 13.cxd4 Ne7 14.g4) 0-1

 

Pascutto-Simoni
E-Mail game
IECG, 2002
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne7 7.e5 Nfxd5 8.Nxd5 c6 9.Ne3 Qa5+ 10.Bd2 Qxe5 11.Bc3 Qe6 12.Be2 d5 13.O-O Qh6 14.Re1 Be6 15.Qd4 Nc8 16.Bd3 Bd6 17.Ng4 Bxh2+ 18.Kf1 Be5 19.Qxe5 Qh1+ 20.Ke2 Qxg2 21.Ne3 Qh3 22.Qxg7 Qh5+ 23.Kd2 Rf8 24.Ng4

2019_10_31_D

(Black certainly has his problems. White threatens 25.Nf6+ winning the queen. If Black tries to escape via d7, then the knight checks wins again. And if …Kd8, then White again wins the queen with 25.Bf6+. Black’s best 24…Qh4 25.Nf6+ Ke7 26.Nxh7, which has the sole benefit of not losing immediately.) 24…Qxg4 25.Qxg4 Ne7 26.Rxe6 1-0

 

Bruno Gaillard (2035)-Alexandre Platel (2088)
French Team Ch., North, Feb. 1 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Bb4 7.dxc6 Nxe4 8.Qd4 Qe7 9.Be3 O-O 10.Bd3 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Ba5 12.O-O Bb6 13.Qf4 Bxe3 14.fxe3 dxc6 15.Rab1 Rb8 16.Rb4 Be6 17.Qg3 g6 18.Rbf4 Rbe8 19.h4 Qc5 20.h5 Qxh5 21.Rh4 Qc5 22.Rh6 Kg7 23.Qh4 Qxe3+ 24.Rf2 Qxh6 25.Qf6+ Kg8 26.Rf4 Bf5 27.Rf3 Bxd3 28.cxd3 Qg7 29.Qf4 Qxc3 30.Rh3 Qe1+ 0-1

 

Roosink-Bergkamp
Haarlem Nova Open, July 2 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ne4 9.Nxe4 Bb4+ 10.c3 Ba5 11.d6 cxd6 12.Nxd6+ Kf8 13.Qd5 Qe7 14.Qxa5 b6 15.Qd5 Rb8 16.Nxf7 Rg8 17.Ng5 Bb7 18.Nxh7+ Ke8 19.Qxg8+ Nf8 20.Be2 Bxg2 21.Bh5+ Kd8 22.Nxf8 Kc7 23.Qc4+ Kd8 24.Ng6 Qe8 25.Rg1 Rc8 26.Qd4 Bh3 27.Rg5 a5 28.Qxb6+ Rc7 29.Be3 Be6 30.Qb8+ Rc8 31.Bb6mate 1-0

 

“Catalyst_Kh” (2655)-“odyson” (2405)
Halloween Gambit Thematic Tournament
http://www.chess.com, 2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ng8 9.d6 cxd6 10.exd6 Qf6 11.Nb5 Nxf4 12.Nc7+ Kd8 13.Qf3 Bxd6 14.Nxa8 Qe5+ 15.Qe3 b6 16.Qxe5 Bxe5 17.g3 Bb7 18.gxf4 Bd4 19.c3 Bxa8 20.cxd4 Bxh1 21.Bc4 Nh6 22.Bd2 Re8+ 23.Kf2 Be4 24.Rg1 g6 25.a4 Bf5 26.Re1 Ng4+ 27.Kf3 Nxh2+ 28.Kg3 Rxe1 29.Bxe1 Ng4 30.Bxf7 Nf6 31.Bc4 Ne4+ 32.Kf3 Nd6 33.Be2 Be4+ 34.Ke3 Bc6 35.a5 Nf5+ 36.Kf2 Nxd4 37.Bd3 Bd5 38.Bc3 Nc6 39.axb6 axb6 40.f5 Bf7 41.f6 Kc7 42.Bb5 Kd6 43.Bxc6 dxc6 44.Kf3 Kd5 45.Kg4 c5 0-1

 

T. Klepaczka (2240)-Mi. Olszewski (2533)
Rapid Game
European Ch.
Warsaw, Dec. 15 2012
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Bb4 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 d5 9.exd5 cxd5 10.O-O O-O 11.Bg5 c6 12.Qf3 Be7 13.Rfe1 Rb8 14.Rab1 Be6 15.Ne2 h6 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Nf4 Bd7 18.b3 Bg5 19.Nh3 Be7 20.c4 Bd6 21.cxd5 cxd5 22.Nf4 Bc6 23.Rbc1 Ba8 24.Ne2 Qg5 25.Qf5 g6 26.Qxg5 hxg5 27.Nd4 Rbc8 28.h3 Bf4 29.Rxc8 Rxc8 30.Ba6 Rd8 31.Re7 Bd6 32.Re1 Kg7 33.Kf1 Bc5 34.Rd1 Bb6 35.Ke2 Re8+ 36.Kd3 Re4 37.Kc3 g4 38.hxg4 Rxg4 39.g3 Re4 40.a4 Kf6 41.b4 Ke5 42.f4+ Kf6 43.a5 Bc7 44.Bd3 Re3 45.Ne2 g5 46.Kd4 Re8 47.Rc1 Bd6 48.b5 gxf4 49.gxf4 Bb4 50.Ra1 Bd2 51.b6 axb6 52.axb6 Be3+ 53.Kc3 Bxb6 54.Ra6 Rb8 55.Nd4 Ke7 56.Nf5+ Kd7 57.Bb5+ Kc7 58.Kd3 Rh8 59.Ra1 Rh3+ 60.Kc2 Bb7 61.Re1 Bc5 62.Be8 f6 63.Bb5 Rf3 64.Re6 Rxf4 65.Rxf6 Rf2+ 66.Kc3 d4+ 67.Kd3 Rf4 68.Rf7+ Kb6 69.Bd7 Ba6+ 70.Kd2 Bb4+ 71.Kc1 d3 72.Rf6+ Ka5 73.Re6 d2+ 0-1

 

With 5…Ng6, Black attempts to create a little chaos in the position. He can advance both his knights and pawns on the kingside and is even be willing to give up his extra knight if it will accomplish a win. White doesn’t have the ability to give up another knight and must deal with the upcoming threat.

 

Black’s plan, however, has a wrinkle in it. In order advance his knight and pawn, he must castle queenside. And that takes time.

 

As this is the most popular variation of the Halloween Gambit, let’s look at the moves which lead to the current position:

 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6. White normally continues with 6.e5, as he needs to gain as many tempi as possible.

 

Black’s most popular response is 6..Ng8 as he intends to redeploy his knight to e7 or h6 (the latter after the rook pawns advance). But let’s first take a look at other responses.

 

Grigor Minchev-Nejad, 1996
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Bg5 Qe6 8.Qf3 c6 9.O-O-O Ng8 10.h4 Bb4 11.d5 Qxe5 12.Bc4 Bxc3 13.bxc3 f6 14.Rde1 Kf8 15.Rxe5 Nxe5 16.Qe4 Nxc4 17.Qxc4 fxg5 18.hxg5 Ne7 19.Qf4+ Ke8 20.d6 Ng6 21.Qe4+ Kf7 22.Rh3 Rf8 23.Rxh7 Nf4 24.g3 1-0

 

Goldsmith (2247)-Tao Trevor (2390)
Adelaide Open
Australia, 2002
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Bb4 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.Qe2+ Qe7 9.Be3 d5 10.h4 Nxh4 11.g4 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 g5 13.Rb1 h6 14.c4 Qe4 15.Rxh4 gxh4 16.f3 Qe7 17.cxd5 h5 18.g5 b6 19.Kd2 Bb7 20.c4 O-O-O 21.Rb3 Qd7 22.Qh2 Qa4 23.Kc1 Kb8 24.Bf4 Rd7 25.Be5 Rg8 26.c5 Rxd5 27.cxb6 axb6 28.Bxc7+ Ka8 29.Qc2 Rdxg5 30.Qb2 Rg1 31.Qf2 Qc6+ 32.Kb2 Qxc7 33.Ra3+ Kb8 0-1

 

Sigfusson (2351)-Schubert (2005)
Reykjavik Open, Mar. 13 2002
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Bb4 7.exf6 Qxf6 8. Be3 d5 9.Qd3 c6 10.O-O-O O-O 11.Kb1 Bg4 12.f3 Bf5 13.Qd2 Rfe8 14.Bg5 Qd6 15.g4 Bd7 16.h4 Bxc3 17.Qxc3 a5 18.h5 Nf8 19.h6 Ne6 20.Be3 g5 21.Qd2 f6 22.Bd3 Re7 23.Bf5 Nf8 24.f4 Rae8 25.Rh3 Bxf5 26.gxf5 Qd7 27.fxg5 Qxf5 28. Rg3 Kh8 29.gxf6 Qxf6 30.Bg5 Qd6 31.Qg2 [On 31…Re6 (or 31…Rf7) White wins with 32.Bf6+ Rxf6 33.Qg8#] 1-0

 

Sigfusson (2344)-Nohr (2146)
Politiken Cup
Copenhagen, July 23 2005
[White didn’t win in the opening but his second attack is just beginning when Black resigns.]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Bb4 7.exf6 Qxf6 8. Qd3 O-O 9.Be3 d5 10.O-O-O c6 11.Kb1 a5 12.Qd2 Re8 13.h4 a4 14.Nxd5 cxd5 15.Qxb4 a3 16.h5 Nf8 17.b3 1-0

 
Now for the more common 6…Ng8.

 

Heemskerk-Loman
The Hague, 1890
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.f4 d5 8.Qf3 Bb4 9.g3 Bf5 10.Kd1 Bxc3 11.bxc3 Be4 12.Qg4 h5 13.Qh3 Bxh1 14.f5 Bf3+ 15.Be2 Bxe2+ 16.Kxe2 Qd7 17.Bg5 f6 18.e6 Qb5+ 19.Kd2 N6e7 20.Bf4 O-O-O 21.g4 Nh6 22.Bxh6 Rxh6 23.gxh5 Rdh8 24.Qg4 Rxh5 25.Qxg7 Rxh2+ 26.Kc1 Rh1+ 27.Kd2 R8h2+ 28.Ke3 Qe2+ 29.Kf4 Qe4+ 30.Kg3 Rg2mate 0-1

 

Mes-Spoel
corres.
Netherlands, 1992
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5 8.Bxd5 c6 9.Bb3 Be6 10.O-O Bxb3 11.axb3 Qd7 12.Ne4 a6 13.f4 Nh6 14.c3 O-O-O 15.Kh1 Be7 16.Be3 Nf5 17.Qe2 Qd5 18.Nd2 h5 19.c4 Qd7 20.d5 Nxe3 21.Qxe3 cxd5 22.Qa7 Qc7 0-1

 

Frank-Meyberg
Pinneberg Open, 1992
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5 8.Bxd5 c6 9.Bb3 Bb4 10.Qf3 Be6 11.Bd2 Bxc3 12.bxc3 N8e7 13.O-O O-O 14.Qd3 c5 15.f4 Rc8 16.Bc4 Bxc4 17.Qxc4 cxd4 18.Qxd4 Qxd4+ 19.cxd4 Rxc2 20.Bc1 Rfc8 21.Ba3 Nf5 22.d5 Ne3 23.Rf3 Nxd5 24.g3 R2c3 25.Rxc3 Rxc3 26.Bb2 Rc2 27.Ba3 h5 28.Bd6 Ne3 29.Bb8 a6 30.Ba7 Ng4 31.h3 Nh2 32.a3 Nf3+ 33.Kf1 h4 34.Bf2 hxg3 35.Bxg3 Ne7 36.Rb1 Nf5 37.Bf2 Nd2+ 0-1

 

Grigor Minchev-Plamen Lambev
Bulgaria Team Ch.
Svishtov, Oct. 27 1994
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d6 8.Qf3 Qd7 9.O-O dxe5 10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.Re1 Bd6 12.Bf4 f6 13.Bb5 c6 14.Rad1 Qe6 15.Qg3 Kf8 16.Bxe5 Bxe5 17.f4 cxb5 18.fxe5 Qb6+ 19.Re3 Bf5 20.Rd6 Qc5 21.Rd5 Qc8 22.Qf4 Be6 23.Qb4+ Ne7 24.exf6 gxf6 25.Rxb5 Rg8 26.Qe4 Qc6 27.Rxb7 Qxe4 28.Nxe4 Nf5 29.Rf3 Bd5 30.Rb4 Bxe4 31.Rxe4 Ne7 32.Rxf6+ Kg7 33.Rd6 Ng6 34.Rd7+ Kh8 35.c4 Rgd8 36.Rdd4 Kg7 37.c5 Rxd4 38.Rxd4 Ne5 39.b4 Rf8 40.b5 Rc8 41.c6 a5 42.Rd6 h6 43.Kf2 a4 44.Kg3 Nc4 45.Rd4 Nb6 46.Kf3 Rf8+ 47.Ke4 Rf2 48.Rd6 Rxa2 49.c7 Re2+ 50.Kd3 Re7 51.Rxb6 Rxc7 52.Ra6 Rc5 53.b6 Rb5 54.Kc4 Rb2 55.Kc5 Rc2+ 56.Kb5 Rb2+ 57.Kc6 Rxg2 58.b7 Rc2+ 59.Kb6 Rb2+ 60.Ka7 1-0

 

“Brause” (2560)-“humanoid” (2340)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 f5 8.Qh5 d6 9.e6 Nf6 10.Qxf5 Be7 11.O-O O-O 12.Qh3 c6 13.Bd3 d5 14.Re1 Qd6 15.Bxg6 hxg6 16.Bd2 Nh5 17.Na4 b6 18.b4 Nf4 19.Qc3 Nxe6 20.Rad1 Bg5 21.Rxe6 Bxe6 22.Bxg5 Bf5 23.Re1 Rae8 24.Re5 Rxe5 25.dxe5 Qe6 26.a3 Re8 27.f4 Be4 28.h3 Rc8 29.Qd2 c5 30.b5 d4 31.Nb2 Qa2 32.c3 Qb1+ 33.Kh2 Qc2 34.Qxc2 Bxc2 35.cxd4 cxd4 36.Bh4 Be4 37.Nd1 Kf7 38.Bg3 Rc2 39.Nf2 Bf5 40.Bh4 d3 41.Kg3 d2 42.Kf3 Be6 43.Ke3 Bb3 44.Nd1 Ra2 45.Nc3 Rc2 46.Nd1 Rc1 47.Kxd2 Rxd1+ 48.Kc3 Bd5 49.g3 Rh1 50.Kd4 Ke6 51.g4 Rd1+ 52.Ke3 Ra1 53.Kd4 Rd1+ 54.Ke3 Bg2 55.Ke2 Ra1 56.Be1 Rxa3 57.Bb4 Ra2+ 58.Ke3 Bxh3 59.g5 Bg4 60.Bf8 Kd5 61.Kd3 Ra3+ 62.Bxa3 Be6 63.Kc3 Ke4 64.Bd6 Kxf4 65.Bb8 Kxg5 66.Bxa7 Kf5 67.Bxb6 Bd7 68.Kd4 Bxb5 69.Bd8 Bd7 70.Bh4 Be6 71.Be7 Ba2 72.Bf8 g5 73.Bxg7

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(Ok, is there anyone who believes this is NOT a drawn position? Yet the players continue to move the pieces for another 82 moves. At this point you can be forgiven for skipping to the next games.) 73…g4 74.Ke3 Be6 75.Bf6 Bd5 76.Kd4 Be6 77.Bh4 Ba2 78.Bg3 Bf7 79.Kc5 Ba2 80.e6 Bxe6 81.Kd4 Ba2 82.Ke3 Bd5 83.Kd3 Ba2 84.Ke2 Be6 85.Kf2 Ba2 86.Ke1 Bf7 87.Kd1 Ke4 88.Ke2 Bd5 89.Kf2 Bc4 90.Kg2 Be2 91.Be1 Kf5 92.Kg3 Bd1 93.Bd2 Ke4 94.Bg5 Kd3 95.Bf4 Be2 96.Be5 Kc2 97.Bd6 Kd1 98.Kf4 Ke1 99.Be5 Kf2 100.Bd4+ Kg2 101.Ke3 Bd1 102.Be5 Bc2 103.Kf4 Kh3 104.Bd6 g3 105.Bc5 g2 106.Bg1 Bb3 107.Ke5 Bg8 108.Kd6 Kg3 109.Kc5 Kf3 110.Kd4 Ke2 111.Be3 Kf1 112.Ke5 Ba2 113.Bd4 Bb3 114.Ke4 Ke2 115.Ke5 Bc2 116.Kd5 Bb1 117.Ke5 Bc2 118.Ke6 Bb1 119.Kd5 Bc2 120.Kc4 Bg6 121.Kd5 Bh7 122.Ke5 Bg8 123.Kf6 Ba2 124.Ke5 Bg8 125.Ke4 Ba2 126.Kf4 Bg8 127.Bc5 Ba2 128.Ke5 Bb1 129.Kd5 Bh7 130.Bd4 Bc2 131.Ke5 Bh7 132.Kd6 Bc2 133.Kc6 Bd3 134.Kd5 Bg6 135.Ke5 Bh5 136.Kf4 Bf3 137.Bg1 Bd5 138.Ke5 Bc6 139.Kd6 Bb7 140.Kc7 Ba8 141.Kb8 Bf3 142.Bd4 Be4 143.Kc7 Bb7 144.Kb6 Kf3 145.Bg1 Ke4 146.Kc5 Kf3 147.Bd4 Kg4 148.Kb4 Bd5 149.Bg1 Kf3 150.Kc3 Bc4 151.Kd4 Ke2 152.Kc5 Bd3 153.Kb4 Kf3 154.Kb3 Bb5 155.Ka3 Kg4 156.Bd4 1/2-1/2

 

“Brause” (2470)-“humanoid” (2400)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 f5 8.Qh5 d6 9.g4 fxg4 10.Bd3 N8e7 11.Bg5 Rg8 12.Qxh7 1-0

 

“Brause” (2485)-“humanoid” (2385)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 f5 8.Qh5 d6 9.g4 Qh4 10.Nd5! 1-0

 

“Brause” (2490)-“humanoid” (2380)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 f5 8.Qh5 d6 9.Bf4 Qh4 10.Qxh4 Nxh4 11.Bg5 Ng6 12.Nb5 Kd7 13.e6+ Kc6 14.d5+ 1-0

 

“Brause”-N.N. (1800)
Internet Game
Germany, Sept. 8 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 c6 8.Qf3 f6 9.O-O d5 10.exd6 Bxd6 11.Ne4 N8e7 12.Qxf6!?

2019_10_31_F

12…gxf6? (Black might just survive 12…Rf8 13.Nxd6+ Kd7 14.Qe6+ Kc7. But then we would be denied an entertaining miniature.) 13.Nxf6+ Kf8 14.Bh6mate! 1-0

 

Vermaat- Tondivar
Leeuwarden Ch., July 1 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5 8.Bxd5 c6 9.Bb3 Be6 10.O-O Qd7 11.Ne4 O-O-O 12.Be3 Kb8 13.c4 f5 14.exf6 Nxf6 15.Ng5 Bf5 16.d5 h6 17.Nf3 c5 18.Ba4 Qc7 19.b4 Ne4 20.Rc1 Bd6 21.bxc5 Nxc5 22.Nd4 Rhf8 23.Rc3 Ne5 24.Bc2 Bxc2 25.Rxc2 a6 26.f4 Ned3 27.g3 Rde8 28.Ne6 Nxe6 29.Qxd3 Nc5 30.Qd2 Ne4 31.Qc1 Nxg3 32.hxg3 Rxe3 33.c5 Rxg3+ 34.Kh2 Rg4 35.cxd6 Qxd6 36.Qe3 Qxd5 37.Rf3 Qh5+ 38.Rh3 Qf5 39.Rb2 Qxf4+ 40.Qxf4+ Rgxf4 41.Kg2 Ra4 42.Re3 Rf7 43.Rc2 Rg4+ 44.Kh3 h5 45.Rc5 g6 46.Re6 Rf3+ 47.Kh2 Rf2+ 48.Kh3 Rf3+ 49.Kh2 Ra3 50.Re2 Rga4 51.Re6 Rxa2+ 52.Kh1 Rb4 53.Rxg6 Rh4+

2019_10_31_G

(54.Kg1 Rg4+ 55.Rxg4 hxg4 56.Rg5 Rc2 and Black wins easily.) 0-1

 

Bagatsch (2125)-J. Hess
Oberliga Ost B
Germany, Nov. 27 2005
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d6 8.Qf3 Be6 9.Qxb7 Rb8 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bxd7+ Kxd7 12.Qxa7 dxe5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Bf4 Bd6 15.Bxe5 Bxe5

2019_10_31_H

16.O-O-O+! Bd6 17.Rxd6+! Kxd6 18.Rd1+ Kc6 19.Qa6+ Kc5 20.Ne4+ 1-0

 

Alexander Smirnov (2234)-Petr Kosolapov
Russia Central Region Ch.
Tula, Mar. 19 2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 Bb4 8.Qf3 f6 9.O-O Bxc3 10.bxc3 d6 11.Re1 Kf8 12.Qd5 Qe8 13.Ba3 N6e7 14.exd6 Nxd5 15.d7+ Nde7 16.dxe8=Q+ Kxe8 17.Bxg8 Rxg8 18.Rxe7+ Kd8 19.Rae1 Bf5 20.Rf7 Bg6 21.Rf8+ Rxf8 22.Bxf8 Bxc2 23.Bxg7 f5 24.Bf6+ Kd7 25.Re7+ Kd6 26.Rxh7 Rc8 27.h4 Kc6 28.Be5 Bb1 29.a3 b5 30.h5 a5 31.h6 f4 32.Rf7 1-0

 

“odyson” (2399)-“Catalyst_Kh” (2677)
Halloween Gambit Thematic Tournament
http://www.chess.com, 2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5 8.Bxd5 N8e7 9.Bg5 Qd7 10.Be4 Nf5 11.Qd3 Bb4 12.O-O-O Bxc3 13.bxc3 h6 14.Bd2 O-O 15.h4 Qe6 16.Kb1 Rd8 17.f4 h5 18.Ka1 Nge7 19.Be1 c6 20.g3 b5 21.Rb1 Qc4 22.Rxb5 Qxb5 23.Qxb5 cxb5 24.Bxa8 Be6 25.Bf3 Bd5 26.Bxd5 Nxd5 27.Kb2 Rc8 28.Rg1 Nfe3 0-1

 

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

 

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