Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No comment

Guess this requires no further explanation.

But until now, I never noticed the subtitle : "Man muss ein Stuck Unsicherheit ertragen konnen !" by Sigmund Freud ( translation "One should be able to cope with some uncertainty !" ).

Funny statement by a person who was committed to a psychiatric clinic lateron - but maybe it was not chess that got him into this mental state, maybe he just read too many books by Freud ?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Time to cash in ?

It is often so hard for Blackmar Diemer gambiteers to decide when to cash in. White sacrifices a pawn for development in the opening, but needs to work hard to show something tangible. Often comes a time when white can regain the sacrificed material, mostly at the expense of exchanging some pieces. Typically this exchange results in matching the black development to the attacker's.

But should white allow this equalising process when he has the opportunity ? Or should the attcker continue the attack at all cost, burning all of his bridges ? This is truely a difficult choice, but decides on winning or loosing.

Yesterday evening I was confronted with this choice. I could have cashed in on move 12, but choose to continue the attack - I was duely punished.

Guido De Bouver - Van Bladel
1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.g4
The Seidel-Hall attack in the Teichmann Exchange defense.

8...Nd5 ?!
The normal continuation is 8...e6 9.g5 Nd5. White wins a tempo compared to this normal continuation as white has not wasted g5 to dislodge the black knight.

9.Bd3 e6 10.00 Qf6 11.Nxd5 cxd5

The dilemma occurs. Cash in with 12.Qxf6 gxf6 13.Rxf6 Bg7 14.Rf4 and white has a small advantage as the development lead has not yet completely evaporated.

I choose to continue the attack and sacrifce yet another pawn.

Inviting black to capture on d4, after which the dark squared bishop can come into play quickly.

12...Qxd4+ 13.Be3 Qb4 14.Rf4 Qd6 15.Raf1 f6 16.Qh4

A strange move. Black prepares g5. 17.Rxf6 would have given me the better game, but I failed to see the consequences of 17...Be7 18.Rf8+ Rxf8 19.Rxf8+ Kd7 20.Rf7 Nc6 with an even game.

17.Qh5 Nd7 18.Kg2
My rook on f4 was pinned as this would have given black the queen's check on g3, so I decided to remove the pin.

18...Ne5 19.Bb5 g6 20.Qh4
Black could now have settled matters with 20...g5 as the threat on d8 can be disregarded, eg 21.Qh5 gxf4 22.Qd8+ Kc7 23.Qxa8 fxe3 and black is too many pieces ahead.

20...Be7 21.Rf2 ??
The loosing move in this hugely complex position. 20.Rxf6 would have given me decent chances. The remainder of the game resembles a torture.

21...g5 22.Qh6 Ng6 23.Qg7 Nh4+ 24.Kh1 Kc7 25.Rxf6
Too little, too late. So far, I had spent 1 hr 45 hours of thinking time and had only 15' left for the remaining 16 moves.


Loosing, but also 26.Qxe7+ Qxe7 27.Rf7 Qxe7 28.Rxf7+ Kb8 29.Bd4 Rf8 is not sufficient

26...Rf8 27.Qg7 Rhg8 28.Qxh7 Rh8
Great play by my opponent, opening the h file.

29.Qg7 Nf5!!
and I duly resigned here 0-1

I could have cashed in on move 12, but choose to sacrifce yet another pawn. Wrong choice - shit happens...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Is this really playable ?

I was gettng some feedback on the "The Bouver gambit" in the Vienna defense from a friend. Instead of the regular continuation 5.g4 Bg6 6.g5 Nd5 7.Nxe4 Nc6 8.c4 Ndb4 9.a3 Qxd4 10.axb4 he suggested 9.a3 Bxe4 10.fxe4 Qxd4

White's pawn centre is a complete mess, and resembles the play of a chess novice. Furthermore, white has not yet captured the piece and is even a pawn behind. So could white survive this ? Let's look at the possibilities after 11.Qe2.

It seems that 11...000 is a great black move. It sacrifies a piece, but develops the rook. White must waste a tempo to capture the knight, but has no other options ( 12.Bh3 is also suggested, but white has to capture anyway after 12...e6, so the immediate 12.axb4 is more flexible ).

After 11.Qe2 000 12.axb4, Houdini believes that the only good black move is 12...e6, releasing the black squared bishop ( 12...e5 allows white one developing move with 13.Bh3+ Kb8 and now 14.b5 wins ).

Houdini now suggests 13.Bh3 or Be3, both with equality. Let's look a little further on 13.Be3

a/ 13...Bxb4+ 14.Kf2 Qxe4 15.Nf3
Black has several moves here to continue the attack against the white king. Opening the g and/or h-file with the simple 15...h6 seems most promising, eg 16.gxh6 gxh6 17.Rg1 (=)
White's king has found some shelter and the resulting position is highly uncertain, with black having the attack ( but without a clear refutation )

b/ 13...Qxe4 14.Bg2 ( 14.Nf3 as above allows for Nxb4 )
...b1/ 14...Qf5 15.c5 Nxb4 16.Qb5 (=)
...b2/ 14...Bxb4+ 15.Kf2
......b2a/ 15...Qf5+ 16.Nf3 (=)
......b2a/ 15...Qh4+ 16.Kf1 (+=)

So it seems the white monarch can find some temporary support behind his pieces. But this might not be sufficient to survive in the long run...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Great plan for the new year !

I was so frustrated yesterday after my bad loss in the Hubsch gambit ( cfr The difficult Hubsch gambit ) against a FIDE master that I reconsidered my earlier blog on a way to avoid the Hubsch ( cfr Wild, wilder, wildest ).

So let's pick up where we started on 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3

I my post Wild, wilder, wildest I considered the continuation 2...c5 3.d5 e6 4.e4 exd5 5.e5 with terrible complications.

Let's look now at 2...c5 3.d5 d6, which might transpose to a kind of Benoni after the suggested 4.c4

The resulting positions after 4...e6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.e4 Bg7 can be easily reached from the Saemisch variation of the King's Indian Defence ( or through the Benoni ).

Now the most popular line is 8.Bg5

White provokes 8...h6, hoping to make use of its weakness.

8...00 9.Qd2, and now we have reached a very normal position that has appeared so many times in grandmaster play.

Black' options include :

9...a6 10.a4

9...h6 10.Be3 ( my copy of "The complete Benoni" by Lev Psakhis warns against 10.Bxh6 Nxe4 but Houdini fails too see black advantage after 11.Nxe4 Qh4+ 12.g3 Qxh6 13.Qxh6 Bxh6 14.Nd6 )

9...Na6 10.Nge2 ( or 10.Bc4 )

9...Bd7 10.Nge2 ( or 10.a4 )

9...Re8 10.Be2 ( or 10.a4 or 10.Nge2 )

Lots of these lines were favoured by players like Spassky and Korchnoi, so it seems the Blackmar Diemer is only one oddity ( 2.f3 ) away from becoming a regular chess opening !!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The difficult Hubsch gambit

Most Blackmar Diemer gambiteers hate it when the defender chooses the Hubsch. And so do I ( I had to face the Hubsch 8 times in my over-the-board career and only got a 37.5% result - I always played 5.Bc4... ). I got a Hubsch defense yesterday against a FIDE master and misplayed it completely, far overvalueing development.

De Bouver Guido - FM Peter De Jonghe, 15-JAN-2012.

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 Nxe4 4.Nxe4 dxe4 5.Bc4 e6 6.Nh3 Be7 7.Qe2

Winning a second pawn

8.Be3 ?!

Now black could have settled matters already by taking a third pawn 8...Qxb2 9.00 and white has less than nothing for his three pawns. But my opponent was kind to me and allowed me to castle.

8...Qe5 9.000 Nc6 10.Bf4 Qf5

Now I screw up completely with 11.g4, after which the remainder of the game was only a formality for my opponent, but 11.Bxc7 would have given me some decent chances.

So where did I go wrong ? Obvioulsy 11.g4. Also 8.Be3. Maybe 6.Nh3 is not optimal and 6.c3 is better. But 6.Bc4 is also not that strong and 6.Be3 or 6.Bf4 are to be recommended. Maybe even 3.f3, but this seems to allow 3...c5 ?

Too many worries, too few answers...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Further details on new exciting Vienna line

I was away for two weeks to escape the holiday fuss and have been considering white's chances in the new Vienna continuation I unveiled in my last blog.

By the way, what name should we give it ? Does "De Bouver gambit" sound too harsh ??

Anyway, after 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 Bf5 5.g4 Bg6 6.g5 Nd5 7.Nxe4 Nc6 8.c4 Nb4 9.a3 Qxd4 10.axb4 Bxe4 11.fxe4 Qxe4+ 12.Kf2 Qxh1 13.Nf3, black is fare ahead in material but sees his queen cornered on h1.

I showed that black's only defense consists of 13...Rd8 14.Qa4 e5 15.Be3
White now wins the black queen, so the only question is how much material can black win in exchange for his queen.

After 15...e4 16.Bg2 Qxa1 17.Qxa1 exf3 18.Bxf3, black is still ahead in material and white must capitalize on his lead in development.

a/ 18...Bxb4 19.Bxc6+ bxc6 20.Qa4
...a1/ 20...Bd6 21.Qxc6+
......a1a/ 21...Kf8 22.h4 (+=)
......a1b/ 21...Rd7 22.Qe4+ Be7 23.c5 (+=)
......a1c/ 21...Ke7 22.Bd4 (+=)
...a2/ 20...Be7 21.Qxc6+
......a2a/ 21...Kf8 22.Qxc7 (+-)
......a2b/ 21...Rd7 22.Qa8+ (+=)
...a3/ 20...a5 21.Qxc6+ (+-)

b/ 18...Bd6 19.c5
...b1/ 19...Bxh2 20.Bxc6+ bxc6 21.Qh1 Be5 22.Qxc6+ (=)
...b2/ 19...Be5 20.b5
......b2a/ 20...Nd4 21.Qxa7 (+=)
......b2b/ 20...Nb4 21.Qxa7 (+=)
......b2c/ 20...Ne7 21.Qxa7 (+=)
......b2a/ 20...Nb8 21.Qxa7 (+-)
...b3/ 19...Be7 20.Bxc6+ bxc6 21.Qxa7 (+-)

c/ 18...Be7 19.b5 Ne5 20.b3 (+=)

d/ 18...Nxb4 19.Bxb7 (+=)

e/ 18...Ne5 19.Qa4+ c6 20.b5 (+=)

So it seems the "De Bouver" gambit gives white in all but lines a small but tangible advantage. Talking about a reversal in the Blackmar Diemer theory !