Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grandmaster's refutation

Some time ago, I was playing last board in the Belgian teamcontest. My team and the opponents' were struggling at the bottom, fighting for every point to avoid being transfered to a lower league. Anyway, our opponents had strenghtened themselves with the services of GM Vladimir Baklan, with a rating of 2620 number 166 in the world.

Our first board got crushed by this famous GM, and so did I on board 8, loosing a complicated Leningrad Dutch.

After the game, at the bar, I cornered GM Baklan and tried to sell him my book "Attack with the Blackmar Diemer". He is from Ukraine, so I started the discussion on Ignatz Von Popiel, a polish-ukrainian player. At least I got his attention.

He knew quite well about the Blackmar Diemer, and showed negative feelings about our gambit, indicating that the initiative did not outweigh the pawn.

We grabbed a board and he quickly showed me what he would play. Since he showed the line so quickly, I believe this was lingering in the back of his head, maybe even once prepared.

Guido De Bouver - GM Vladimir Baklan
offhand analysis
1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bf5 6.Ne5 c6 7.g4 Bg6
Here my famous opponent paused and said "and where is the white initiative ?"

I proudly played 8.h4 ( for sure he would understand my initiative now... )
His response 8...Nbd7 was played equally fast.
Luckily I remebered the refutation 9.Qe2 !!!

Now my GM opponent's attitude started changing. He started playing several moves, only to take them back after a short analysis. He then concluded with "Ok, white does have some compensation". What he actually meant was that black is lost in this line, eg

9...Nxe5 10.dxe5 Nd5 11.h5 Nxc3 12.bxc3 Qa5 13.Bb2 and white is better.

9...Nb6 10.h5 Bxc2 11.Qxc2 Qxd4 12.Qf5 and white is better

9...h5 10.Nxg6 fxg6 11.Bg5 and white is better once again

9...Qa5 10.h5 Be4 11.Nc4 winning

After the offhand analysis, my GM said that he might have to consider 5...g6 instead of 5...Bf5. But analysing the lines, no, enough. Of course I would never be able to win a game against him in one of the above "won" positions. But still, it only shows that the Blackmar Diemer is a serious chess opening, with white having a clear compensation for the sacrificed pawn.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Equalising move for the unaware

Last weekend I faced an unusual line in the Teichmann.
1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bh5 7.g4 Bg6 8.Ne5 e6 9.Qf3 Bb4

My opponent did not seem very concerned about the threat of Qxb7 - in fact he seemed to be unaware about the possible white lines, he justed wanted to play something active...

I continued 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.Qxb7 and got finally a draw after 11...Qxd4.

So how should white proceed after 9...Bb4 ? 10.Qxb7 does not offer anything after 10...Be4 11.Qb5+ Nfd7 12.Rg1 and white's position is a mess. So there is nothing else than 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.Qxb7 Qxd4. 12.Bb5+ (which I played in the game...) brings only problems after 12...Ke7 (my opponent was so kind as to play 12...c6 aftre which I secured the draw after 13.Bd2 ) and now black can grasp the initiative after 13.Bd2 Qe5+ 14.Be2 Qg3+ 15.Kf1 Bxc3 16.Bxc3 Nd5

So white should continue 9...Bb4 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.Qxb7 Qxd4 12.Bd2. Black only has 12...Bxc3, aftre which white can play 13.Bxc3 or 13.bxc3.

13.Bxc3 gives black a simple draw after 13...Qe3+ 14.Be2 Ne4 and the roles are inverted - black now sacrificed material and white needs to defens carefully.

13.bxc3 is stronger and denies black this simple draw, with following black options :

a/ 13...Qe5+ 14.Kd1 (+)

b/ 13...Qd5 14.Bg2 (++)

c/ 13...Qe4+ 14.Qxe4 Nxe4 15.Bg2
...c1/ 15...Nxd2 16.Bxa8 Nc4 17.Rb1 (+=)
...c2/ 15...f5 16.Bxe4 fxe4 17.000
a draw seems inevitably.

So this line seems to be a simple equalising line for black against the whole Blackmar Diemer as white does not seem to have much options. Talking about a disappointment !

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The last mistake is decisive...

I blitzed today an Euwe defense, with both players make mistakes in turn.

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Nf6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bd3 Nd5 !?

8.Nxd5 Bxg5
This was the first mistake. 8...exd5 would have been much stronger

9.Nxg5 exd5 10.Nxf7 (diagram)
My mistake. 10.Qe2+ Qe7 11.Qxe7+ Kxe7 12.00 f6 13.Rae1+ would have been much stronger

The third mistake. 10...Qe7 11.Ne5 00 12.Qe2 would have been equal

11.Qh5+ (diagram)
Fourth mistake. 11.00 would have settled matters immediately.

final mistake. 11...Ke7 12.Qe5+ would have given black surviving chances.

12.00 black resigns.

Five mistakes in a twelve move blitz game - guess this is only possible in the Blackmar Diemer !

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nb5 - it must be right !

last post discussed the line 5...Bg4 6.h3 Bxg4 7.Qxf3 c6 8.g4 Qxd4 9.Be3 Qd6.
It seemed that white can equalise rather easily with 10.g4, but getting an advantage seemed unlikely for either player.

Black can also play more ambituously 9...Qb4 10.000
White's pieces are all ready for the kill, but the black prey keeps on struggling...

a/ 10...Nbd7 11.g5 Ne5 12.Qg3 Nfd7 13.Bd4
...a1/ 13...Qd6 14.Ne4 (+=)
...a2/ 13...Qa5 14.Nb5 (My loverboy - see my previous post) (+=)
...a3/ 13...f6 14.h4 (+=)
...a4/ 13...Nc4 14.Bxc4 Qxc4 15.Qc7 (++)
...a5/ 13...Ng6 14.Qc7 (+)

b/ 10...h6 11.Nb5 (Ahhhh, finally... ) Na6 12.Nxa7
...b1/ 12...Qe4 13.Qxe4 Nxe4 14.Bg2 (+=)
...b2/ 12...Nb8 13.Nb5 (once again) Na6 14.Bd4 (+=)
...b3/ 12...Nc7 13.Nxc6 Qe4 14.Qxe4 Nxe4 15.Na7 (+=)
...b4/ 12...e6 13.Bxa6 Bc5 14.Bxc5 Qxc5 15.Bxb7 (+=)
...b5/ 12...Qa4 13.Bb5 (wow...what a's queen is kicked around all sides) (+)

c/ 10...Qa5 11.g5 Nfd7 12.Nb5 (yep - another appearance)
...c1/ 12...e6 13.Bd4 (+=)
...c2/ 12...cxb5 13.Qxb7 (++)
...c3/ 12...Ne5 13.Qf5 (++)

d/ 10...a6 (preventing Nb5) 11.g5 Nfd7 12.Be2
...d1/ 12...e6 13.Rhf1 (+)
...d2/ 12...Ne5 13.Qg3 (+=)

e/ 10...e6 (black's only good move ) 11.g5 ( diagram )
In my book "Attack with the Blackmar Diemer", I also recommended 11.Nb5, but this leads only to equality after 11...Qa5.
...e1/ 11...Nd5 12.Bd4 (=)
...e2/ 11...Nfd7 12.Bd4 (+=)

So we learn that black, despite his two pan advantage, can only obtain equality in only single line after his reckless pawn grab 5...Bg4 6.h3 Bxg4 7.Qxf3 c6 8.g4 Qxd4 9.Be3 Qb4 10.000. I never came across this move on a serious over-the-board game, but it occurs rather frequent in blitz.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A killer move in the delayed Ryder

I admit - my recommendation on a line in the Teichmann Exhange was wrong. I had published the continuation 10.Nb5 in my book "Attack with the Blackmar Diemer" on the line 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.g4 Qxd4 9.Be3 Qd6.
I had given the continuation 10...Qd7 11.Rd1 Qc8 a small advantage as black - which is very correct - but now I realise that there are better moves than 10.Nb5.

Let's take the natural 10.g5 as a starter - if it weren't for the potential g5, why play g4 anyway ?

a/ 10...Nd5 11.000 e6 12.Bb5 !!
( The Killer move - it is very probable that the gambiteer will get his opponent thinking on that move ! It certainly puts pressure on the knight on d5 and the queen on d6, but is it correct ? )
..a1/ 12...Nd7 13.Nxd5
....a11/ 13...exd5 14.Bf4 Qc5 15.Rhe1+ Be7 16.Qe2 (=) and the initiative outweigh the pawns
....a12/ 13...cxd5 14.Rf1 +=
..a2/ 12...cxb5 13.Rf1 Qd7 14.Nxd5 exd5 15.Rxd5 Qe6 16.Rd4 Be7 17.Re4 Qxa2 18.Rxe7+ Kxe7 19.Qxb7+ Nd7 20.Bc5 Kd8 21.Re1 Qa1+ 22.Kd2 (=) resulting in a very unbalanced position
..a3/ 12...Be7 13.Nxd5 exd5 14.Rxd5 (=)

b/ 10...Nfd7 11.Bf4
..b1/ 11...Qe6+ 12.Be2 (=)
..b2/ 11...e5 12.Bd2 (=)
..b3/ 11...Qd4 12.Rh2 !! (=)
..b4/ 11...Ne5 12.Qg3 (=)
..b5/ 11...Qg6 12.000 (+=)
..b6/ 11...Qb4 12.000 (+=)
..b7/ 11...Qc5 12.000 (+=)

In addition, you might want to consider the simpler 10.Rd1, which might even be better than the crazy continuation described above.

I admit, my killer move does not win instantly - but hey, if you want to play it safe, play something quiter than the Blackmar Diemer !

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Long Bogo (2)

Last post focused on black's immediate attempt to exchange in The Long Bogo by playing 8...Bg4.

Unfortunately for white, black can also try 8...Nd5, attcking both the knight on c3 and the bishop on f4. So this move is black's second try to exchange pieces.

White should complicate matters with 9.Be5

a/ 9...Bxe5 ( simplest but very bad ) 10.dxe5 c6 11.Qh6 ++

b/ 9...Nxc3 10.Qxc3
..b1/ 10...Bg4 11.Be2 =
..b2/ 10...Bf5 11.h4 =
..b3/ 10...Nd7 11.Bxc7 Qe8 12.Bb5 =
..b4/ 10...Bh6+ 11.Kb1 =

c/ Bf5 10.Bxg7 Kxg7 11.Bc4 =

d/ Bg4 10.Bc4 =

e/ Be6 10.h4 =

f/ Nf6 10.Qf4 =

g/ c6 10.h4 =

h/ f6 10.Bg3 =

Bottomline, black's try to simplufy the Long Bogo 8...Nd5 does not bring any advantage for black nor white.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Long Bogo

Today I am looking at an alternative to the Studier Attack.
1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6 6.Bf4 Bg7 7.Qd2 00 8.000
I will concentrate today on 8...Bg4 and will cover other lines later

Black often plays 8...Bg4 with a simple objective : exchanging a piece to come to a winning endgame.

White's options inlcude 9.Bc4, 9.Be2, 9.Kb1 and 9.h3

9.h3 does not bring anything, as white's kingside looks silly after 9...Bxf3 10.gxf3 e6

9.Kb1 seems a bit slow, as black can try to exchange yet another piece with 9...Nd5

Black can try the simple ( and tested ) strategy Nd7, Nb6, Nd5 against 9.Bc4, leading nowhere for white

So 9.Be2 seems like the sole contender !!

a/ 9...Nd5 ( trying to exchange as much as possible ! ) 10.h3 !!
..a1/ 10...Be6 11.Be5 =
..a2/ 10...Bf5 11.Be5 =
..a3/ 10...Bc8 11.Be5 =
..a4/ 10...Bxf3 11.Bxf3
....a41/ 11...c6 12.Bg5 =
....a42/ 11...e6 12.Nxd5 exd5 13.g4 +=
....a43/ 11...Nxc3 12.Qxc3 +=
....a44/ 11...Nxf4 12.Bxb7 =
..a5/ 10...Nxf4 11.hxg4 =
..a6/ 10...Nxc3 11.Qxc3 =

b/ 9...Bxf3 10.Bxf3 +=

c/ 9...Nbd7 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 =

d/ 9...Nc6 10.d5 Nb4 11.a3 a5!! =

e/ 9...e6 ?! 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 =

f/ 9...c6 10.h3 =

So it seems that white has nothing to fear in The Long Bongo from black's attempt to simplify matters immediatley by playing 8...Bg4.

At least some good news from the Bogoljubow front...