Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Something else

I played a nice Mokele Mbembe today that I wanted to share with you.
1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Ne4 ?!? the starting point of the Mokele Mbembe
Black's knight seems quite exposed in the middle - but in fact there is no simple refutation.
Black's latest move will certainly get your opponent's clock ticking.

3.f3 ?! ( see below ) Nc5 4.d4 Ne6 5.d5 Nc5 6.b4 Nca6 7.b5 Nc5

A strange position - the black horseman has moved three times to the c5 outpost, whilst white has made seven pawn moves and black 7 knight moves - a position Diemer would have certainly appreciated.

I went on to win easily after 8.Be3 as white's pawns proved to be too far advanced to be effective.

But after the game I noticed I could have improved on move 3, as 3...e6 would have been much stronger.

So once again we see that it is absolutely crucial to get a thorough opening knowledge when playing sharp lines, such as the Blackmar Diemer or the  Mokele Mbembe - it will get your opponent thinking from move one !!

Getting to the bottom of it ( part 2 )

Last post discussed the Seidel-Hall attack in the Teichmann Exchange line, with black playing the "inferior" 10...Bd6.

We learned that, despite a marvellous sacrifice in one particular line, white could not achieve equality when playing 11.00

So let's look at the alternative 11.Ne4

a/ 11...00 12.Bd2 Black's bishop is badly placed, with white have great attacking chances in all lines,
a1/ 12...Bc7 13.h4 with a tiny white advantage, eg 13...Nbd7 14.000
a2/ 12...Na6 13.000 with a small white plus
a3/ 12...Be7 Yes my computer suggests this retreat ( is he desperate for good black moves ?? )  13.000 equal
a4/ 12...e5  13.c4 Ne7 14.h4 exd4 15.h5 with an obvious advantage for white despite the two pawn deficit

b/ 11...Bc7 12.Rf1 giving white the better play
b1/ 12...00 13.Qh5 and white is better
b2/ 12...Qe7 13.Bd2, equal aftre 13...Nb4 14.Bxb4 Qxb4+ 15.c3 Qe7 16.000
b3/ 12...Qd7 13.Bd2 and a small white advantage

c/ 11...Nb4 12.00 White unleashes a violent attack
c1/ 12...00 13.Nf6+ Where have we seen this before ? and black can safely resign
c2/ 12...Qe7 or 12...Qd7 13.Qxf7+ winning
c3/ 12...Rf8 black's only chance of survival 13.Rf2 Nxd3 14.Qxd3 with a small white advantage

d/ 11...Be7 loosing a tempo, but that's not so bad yet, as the e4 square is not available for the white queen 12.Bd2
d1/ 12...Nd7 13.000 with complete equality
d2/ 12...00 13.000 and white has a small initiative, eg 13...Nd7 14.c4
d3/ 12...Qb6 13.c4 and white is slightly better
d4/ 12...Qc7 13.000 and white is better

e/ 11...Na6  12.Rf1 with a small white advantage.

Bottomline, playing 10...Bd6 in the Seidel Hall variation of the Teichmann Exchange variation does not offer anything for black if white answers correctly 11.Ne4. White should avoid the incorrect 11.00 as black will have a slight edge.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting to the bottom of it

Im my book, I already touched on a interesting position in the Teichmann Exchange variation 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 4.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.g4 e6 9.g5 Nd5 10.Bd3 Bd6 11.00 00 12.Ne4

Loading this into the strongest available engine ( Houdini 1.5a ) gives the assessment of +0.2 in black's favour after 12...Bc7 13.c3

Mmm, let's look. 12...Bc7 13.c4 ! instead of 13.c3

a/ 13...Nb4 14.Nf6+ !!! What a sacrifice - white wins on brute force.
a1/ 14...Kh8 15.Qe4 g6 16.Qh4 winning
a2/ 14...gxf6 15.Bxh7+ Kxh7 ( after Kg7 and Kh8 follows a "quick" mate in 6 ) 16.Qh5+ Kg8 ( Kg7 is mate in 5 ) 17.gxf6 Qxd4+ ( all other moves mate quickly ) 18.Rf2 and black is helpless against the threats Rg2 and Qg5

b/ 13...Ne7 14.Be3 defending d4 first. My book "Attack with the Blackmar Diemer" stopped here, saying black is slightly better.

The problem now is that after 14...Nd7, black has no weakness and can start to counterattack and possibbly exchange with moves like Nf5, or increasing the pressure on d4 with Bb6.

So it is clear that 13.c4 is spectacular, but rather wishfull thinking chess, hoping for 13...Nb4

Deviating on move 13 is no option either, as 12...Bc7 13.Qh5 is also insufficient, as 13...Nd7 gives black a small edge.

Hodini shows no improvement on move 12, so probably 11.00 was premature - but more on this next blog.

fyi - Scheerer only considers 10...Bd6 11.00 Qe7 ?! , but does not even mention blac's strongest reply 11...00.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Correctness of Lemberger

I was looking up the assessment of my latest Lemberger game in Scheerer's book.

After 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nxe4 Qxd4 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nf3, Scheerer suggests 6...Qd5 7.Qe2, indicating that 7.00 Bg4 8.Nc3 Qd6 9.h3 Bh5 10.Nb5 Qe7 11.Be4 a6 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13.Nc3 f6 is better for black, as in the game Leisebein-Lange, 2004.

Even if black won this game, this position does not seem a clear cut. After 14.Re1, black has following lines :

a/ 14...Rd8 15.Qe2 and now

a1/ 15...Qf7 16.Qxa6 Bxf3 17.gxf3 
a11/ 17...Qe6 and Houdine gives me 7 possible moves with complete equality
a12/ 17...Ne7 18.f4 with complete equality, eg 18...Qg6+ 19.Kh2 Qxc2 20.Be3
a13/ 17...Qg6+ 18.Kh2 with small white advantage
a2/ 15...a5 16.g4 Bf7 17.Bg5 with small white advantage
a3/ 15...Bxf3 16.Qxf3 Qe6 17.Qh5+ with small white advantage
a4/ 15...Qc5 16.Be3 with white advantage

b/ 14...Bf7 15.Bf4 with small white advantage

c/ 14...Bg6 15.Bf4 with small white advantage

d/ 14...a5 15.Bf4 with equal game

So bottomline : I cant see black's advantage in the posiyion after 13.Nc3 f6. In fact, black is struggling for equality. So don't believe everything you read in the books - even the assessment of "experts" is often flawed.  Do your homework and assess the position yourself, using your style as the ultimate guideline, 

There are in fact authors who claim they can produce a chess book or DVD each day ! Needless to say they are also have a distinct opinion on the Blackmar Diemer... 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Diemer-Duhm (continued)

I got an interesting mail from an attentive reader on my previous post, questioning the correctness of the position after 13.Qf2 in my previous post. Let's look at the alternatives

a/ 13...Kxh7 14.Ng5+ Kg6 15.Qg3 improves on my previous post, but black cannot hope for more than equality, eg

a1/ 15...Qa5 16.Ne4+ Kh7 17.Nf6+ gxf6 18.Qh4+ draw
a2/ 15...Ne4 16.Nxe4+ Kh7 17.00 with white advantage
a3/ 15...Re8 16.Nxe6+ Kf6 17.Bg5+ Kxe6 18.Bxd8 Kd7+ 19.Kf1 with complicated play
a4/ 15...Kf6 16.Nh7+ Ke7 17.Qxg7 followed by
a41/ 17...Kd6 18.Bg5 f6 19.Nxf6 with small white advantage
a42/ 17...Ne4 18.00 with white advantage

b/ 13...g6 14.Ng5 Kg7 (forced) 15.00

b1/ 15...f5 16.Qh4 followed by
b11/ 16...Ne2+ 17.Kh1 Nxc1 18.Rf3!! with white advantage
b12/ 16...Rf6 17.Rf3 with white advantage
b13/ 16...Qf6 17.Nxe6+ with white winning

c/ 13...d3 14.Ng5 with a very difficult position

14...f6 All other moves loose quickly 15.00 and black's only chance consists of the odd looking 15...Nd1 16.Rxd1 fxg5 17.Rxd3 Nd7 18.Qc2 with equal game.

d/ 13...Nd7 14.00 with an equal position

e/ 13...Nc6 14.Ng5 f6 15.Qh4 fxg5 16.Qh5 Rf6 17.Bg6+ Kg8 18.Bxg5 with white advantage

There are sure other moves to be considered, such as 13...e5, but I guess you 've got the idea - there are different openings than the Blackmar Diemer that result in aggresive kingside attacks, But then again, they are closely related as they often have the same ideas in common.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Diemer Duhm Gambit

I blitzed an interesting Diemer-Duhm this morning - lucky I knew the DDG theory up to move 13.

1.d4 d5 2.e4 e6 3.c4
I always try this against the French, even if it seems far weaker than the Blackmar Diemer lines

3...dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.f3
Diemer's pawn

A strong move by black - often called the refutation of the Diemer Duhm

6.a3 Bxc3 7.bxc3 00 8.fxe4 Nxe4 9.Nf3
White seems to have less than nothing for the pawn - but now white's preparation comes in handy.

9...c5 10.Bd3 Nxc3
10...f5 was the other good option

11.Qc2 cxd4 12.Bxh7+ Kh8 13.Qf2
White unleashes a violent attack

13...Kxh8 14.Ng5+ Kg6 15.h4
My silicon assistant indicates that 15.Qg3 is better, eg 15...Kf6 16.Nh7+ Ke7 17.Qxg7 with a decisive attack.

15...f5 16.h5+ Kf6 17.h6 Rg8 18.hxg7 Rxg7 19.Rh6+ Ke7 20.Qh4 1-0

Obviously black's play was far from perfect after move 16, but I guess this game shows the tremendous attacking chances in the Diemer Duhm Gambit - but expert knowledge is certainly needed to be succesfull in these lines.

Improvement on my last Lemberger

I got an interesting comment on my last Lemberger game by Mr Sawyer.
He suggested to play 8.Bb5 ( see diagram ) after the Lemberger setup 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nxe4 Qxd4 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Qd8 7.Qe2 Be7, moving the king's bishop a second time, and following up with 8...Bd7 9.00 Nf6 10.Rd1

I feel quite reluctant about this move, as it 
- violates the principle of moving a piece twice in the opening
- does not allow for queenside castling ( with the subsequent rook on the open d file )
- does not seem forcing

After the suggested 10.Rd1, black can easily play 10...Nxe4

White has following options :
a/ 11.Qxe4 Bd6 
a1/ 12.c4 with complete equality, eg 12...a6 13.Ba4 Qe7=
a2/ 12.Be3 with black getting the initiative after12.. f5 13.Qd5 Qf6

b/ 11.Bxc6 
b1/ 11...bxc6 12.Qxe4 f6 with an interesting, but complicated position
b2/ 11...Nd6 12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.Nxe5 Qe6 with white regaining the pawn

So Tim's suggested 8.Bb5 is certainly safer than my continuation 8.Be3 f5 9.000 fxe4 10.Bxe4.

If it is better remains open - guess it boils down to the individual taste of the attacker - try to regain the pawn in favorable conditions or continue the attack at all cost. I obvioulsy opt for the second choice.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What can I do more ?

I got a wild Lemberger gambit yesterday evening. After the game - which I lost - I felt desperate : "What can I do more ?". The nicest girl can only give what she has - as the Flemish proverb goes. Well, the Blackmar Diemer complex has given me a lot, but sometimes it also takes...

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5
The Lemberger countergambit. My opponent has read my book in detail and was convinced there was no black advantage in the main Blackmar Diemer lnes. So he prepared for this popular countergambit.

Other lines include 4.Qh5 and 4.Nge2

4...exd4 might be simpler for black


5...Nc6 6.Nf3 Qd8 7.Qe2 Be7 8.Be3
Highly provocative - and black accepts the challenge

8...f5 9.000

9...fxe4 10.Bxe4 Bd7 11.Bxc6 bxc6 12.Nxe5 Bd6 13.Qh5+ g6 14.Nxg6 Nf6 15.Qh4 Rg8 16.Nf4 Rg4 17.Qh6 Bf8

White has no more options in this lost position as 18.Qh3 simply looses after 18...Rxf4 19.Rxd7 Qxd7 20.Qxd7+ Kxd7 21.Bxf4 Bd6 and black's piece proved to be stronger than my two pawns.

I felt really disappointed aftre this intense game - what can I do more ? Well maybe 13.Rhe1, with following lines :
- 13...Bxe5 14.Qh5+ Kf8 15.Bc5+ Bd6 16.Rxd6! cxd6 17.Bxd6+ Ne7 18.Qf3+ winning
- 13...Nf6 14.Qc4 winning instantly
- 13...Kf8 14.Qf3+ Nf6 15.Bc5 Be8 16.Qf4 with a tremendous attack.

So what could I have done  more - look beyond the obvious 13.Qh5+ and centralise rooks with 13.Rhe1 !