Saturday, December 24, 2011

Terrible complications in the Vienna defense

In my previous posts, I discussed some interesting possibilities in the Vienna defense occuring after 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 Bf5.

Black declines the gambit by developing a piece.

I showed that the "More than Hara Kiri" gambit occuring after 5.g5 Bg6 6.h4 should not pose any problem for the defender as 6...h6 is a simple and effective defense.

I also proved that white does not get full compensation in the alternative line 5.fxe4 Nxe4 6.Qf3 as 6...Nxc3 7.bxc3 e6 as both 8.Qxb7 and 8.Bd3 are insufficient.

So what should the attacker play in the Vienna ? Let's have a look at 5.g5 Bg6 6.g5. Black best option now is 6...Nd5 7.Nxe4, reaching the basic "Hara Kiri" position.

Let's explore black's most natural move 7...Nc6, threatening 8...e5 ( the alternative 7...e6 is answered by 8.h4 )

Untill recently, 8.c4 Ndb4 9.a3 was dismissed because of the simple 9...Qxd4

But, it seems to me that white can take the black knight after all, eg 10.axb4 Bxe4 11.fxe4 Qxe4+ 12.Kf2 Qxh1 13.Nf1
Now it is very worthwhile to investigate this position since this line is quite forced after 8.c4. Black's queen is trapped on h1 and black needs to be very carfeul to get some compensation for it.

a/ 13...h6 14.g6
...a1/ 14...fxg6 15.Qa4 (+-)
...a2/ 14...f6 15.Qa4 (++)
...a3/ 14...f5 15.Qd5 (++)
...a4/ 14...e6 15.Qa4 (+=)
...a5/ 14...Rd8 15.Qa4 (=)

b/ 13...e6 14.Qa4 (+-)

c/ 13...e5 14.Qa4
...c1/ 14...Bxb4 15.Bg2 Be1+ 16.Nxe1 Qxh2 17.Nf3 Qh5 18.Nxe5
......c1a/ 18...00 19.Nxc6 bxc6 20.Bxc6 (=)
......c1b/ 18...Qh4+ 19.Kf3 (+=)
...c2/ 14...e4 15.Bg2 Qxg2+ 16.Kxg2 exf3+ 17.Kxf3 Bxb4 18.Be3 (=)
...c3/ 14...Rd8 15.Be3 (=)

d/ 13...Rd8 14.Qa4
...d1/ 14...e5 transposing to (c3)
...d2/ 14...e6 (+-)

So I guess the suggested line Vienna defense line 7...Nc6 8.c4 Ndb4 9.a3 Qxd4 10.axb4 provides white with an interesting attack, in which black must choose very precise defensive moves in order to survive.

Other authors ( including Scheerer ) had given black a large advantage after 7...Nc6 8.c4, but this analysis proves the opposite and restores the Hara Kiri line as the main Vienna defense line.Consider that thought as my best christmas present ever !

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vienna defense - when black exchanges everything

Last post indicated that the "More than Hara Kiri" attack is wrong, and I recommended white to play the simple 5.fxe4.

Black now may wish to exchange the knight with 5...Nxe4 6.Qf3 Nxc3 7.bxc3.

After black's simple 7...e6 my book, I recommended 8.Qxb7, regaining the pawn, but I believe the continuation 8...Nd7 9.Nf3 Rb8 is better for black, eg

a/ 10.Qc6 Bxc2! 11.Bg5 Be7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 and both 13.Bb5 and 13.Rc1 fail to equalize

b/ 10.Qxa7 Bxc2! and 11.Bg5 and 11.Qa5 offer not enough.

c/ 10.Qa6 Bxc2! is even worse for white.

So I started looking for an improvement to 8.Qxb7 and believed 8.Bd3 might be better. After the simple 8...Bxd3, white has the choice between 9.cxd3 and Qxd3.

d/ 9.cxd3 and black has the killer move 9...Qd5! with obvious advantage

e/ 9.Qxd3 complicates things a bit more for black, but still does not address white's lack of pieces.

Bottomline - exchanging all pieces in the suggested Vienna defense is a strong defense and leaves white with a bad position.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The "More than Hara Kiri" gambit

The Hara Kiri gambit in the Vienna defense is characterized by 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 Bf5 5.g4

White can follow up with the "More than Hara Kiri gambit" ( I name that I just made up myself... ) with 5...Bg6 6.h4

Black's best reply is obviously 6...h6 after which the attacker needs to come up with a good move. Scheerer suggests 7.Bg2 in his book, but it seems to me that 7...Nc6 wins easily, as black has the luxury of choices after 8.Be3 .

So I guess I will stick to my old faithfull 5.fxe4, which gives white a simple equal game.

The main line now runs 5...Nxe4 6.Qf3 Nd6 7.Bf4 with white having a nice development for the pawn. Be assured that this line is simpler for the attacker than the "More than Hara Kiri gambit".

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Goering gambit

I recently got an old book on the Goering gambit in the Scotch game, occuring after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3

Seems to me this awfully looks like a Blackmar Diemer gambit ??

Unfortunately the main line is 4...dxc3 5.Bc4, but 5.Nxc3 seems also quite good.

From Wikipedia :
The Göring Gambit is a relative of the Danish Gambit that starts with 4.c3. White sacrifices one or two pawns in return for a lead in development, and typically follows up by putting pressure on f7 with Bc4, Qb3 and sometimes Ng5, while Nc3-d5 is another common motif. The Oxford Companion to Chess notes that the gambit was first played at high levels by Howard Staunton in the 1840s, and the earliest game with it was probably played in 1843. The first game with the gambit accepted may be Meek vs Morphy, New York 1857. Carl Theodor Göring introduced it into master play in 1872, but while Göring's name is most often associated with the one-pawn gambit (5.Nxc3) Göring invariably used the double-pawn gambit with 5.Bc4. The gambit has been played by Ljubomir Ljubojevic, David Bronstein, Frank Marshall, and Jonathan Penrose. In casual games Alexander Alekhine often transposed to it via the move order 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3, when ...Nc6 for Black and Nf3 for White often followed. In general, the opening is unpopular at master level but is more popular at club level. It is recommended to study the Göring Gambit in connection with the Danish.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

No country for old men

Some time ago, I looked at the "normal" Teichmann Defense occuring after 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bh5 7.g4 Bg6 8.Ne5 e6 9.Qf3 c6 10.g5 Nd5 11.Bd3 Nd7 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.00 Qe7 14.Nxd5 cxd5.

I suggested that 15.Rf2 is the best move, effectively putting this line to rest. I also indicated that 10...Nh5 is a better black defense.

Now there is also the akward 10...Ng8, deliberately giving white the initiative ( and attacking the pawns at d4 and c2 ).

Scheerer describes 11.Bd3 rather extensively. However, when creating my book more than a year ago, it seemed to me that white is worse after the simple continuation 11.Bd3 Qxd4 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.Rf1 Qh4+

But today, I have been looking deeper in this hugely complex gambitline and I believe it provides white with at least an equal game.

Let's start our analysis by noting that black has no alternative to 11...Qxd4, as 11...Nd7 is effectively met by 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.Rf1 Qe7 14.Bf4 (+=), for example 14...000 15.Qxc6+ bxc6 16.Ba6#.

Also 11...f5 is met by 12.gxf6 Qxf6 13.Qf3 (+-)

That brings us to 11...Qxd4 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.Rf1, the starting point of my analysis

a/ 13...f5 14.gxf6 Qh4+ 15.Rf2 Nxf6 16.Bxg6 Kd8 17.Bf4 (+=)

b/ 13...Qe5+ 14.Be3 (+-)

c/ 13...Qd7 14.Bxg6 (++)

d/ 13...Qh4+ ( the main move ) 14.Rf2 Bc5 ( the only move to obtain a potential advantage ) 15.Qxf7+ Kd8 16.Ne4 Bxf2+ 17.Nxf2
...d1/ 17...Ne7 18.Bd2 Nd7 ( only move that does not loose ) 19.000
......d1a/ 19...Rf8 20.Qxe6
........d1a1/ 20...Rxf2 21.Bxg6 Nd5 22.Qe8+ Kc7 23.Qxa8 (=)
........d1a2/ 20...Qxf2 21.Bxa5+ (+=)
........d1a3/ 20...Nd5 21.Ne4 (+)
......d1b/ 19...Nd5 20.Ne4 (+=)
......d1b/ 19...Re8 20.Bxg6 (+)
...d2/ 17...Nd7 18.Bd2
......d2a/ 18...Ne7 transposing above
......d2b/ 18...Kc7 19.Bf4+ (+=)
......d2c/ 18...Qa4 19.Qxg7 (++)
...d3/ 17...Qb4+ 18.Bd2
......d3a/ 18...Qe7 19.Qxg6 (+=)
......d2b/ 18...Qxb2 19.Qf8+ (++)

So black can only obtain a draw in this hugely complex line if he is able to find the correct moves again and again... The Blackmar Diemer is indeed no country for old men, as the movie goes.