Sunday, July 29, 2012

Does this look like a Frenchman ?

A weird French position occurs after 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 e6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Nf3 (diagram). It looks like a French defense, but differs a lot, since the knight is not at e7 but at d7.

Today, we will look at black's strongest continuation 7...Qb6 8.Be2 (diagram)

a/ 8...Be7 9.00 00 10.Kh1 
A completely equal position has occured. Black has tremendous problems in developing his light squared bishop. Unfortunately, white does not have any immediate target either.

b/ 8...cxd4 9.cxd4
The inclusion of the natural exchange on d4 favours white as it frees the c3 square for the knight.
...b1/ 9...Be7 10.00 (=)
...b2/ 9...a6 10.00 (=)
...b3/ 9...Bb4+ 10.Nc3 (+=)
...b4/ 9...f6 10.Nc3 (+=)

c/ 8...f6 9.00
...c1/ 9...Be7 10.Kh1 (=)
...c2/ 9...fxe5 10.dxe5 (+=)
...c3/ 9...f5 10.a3 (+=)

d/ 8...a6 9.00 (=)

Onbiviously, I am just scratching on the surface of these "Frenchish" lines, but is clear that white has nothing to fear.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Can you believe your eyes ?

Wanted to share something with you that seems too great.

After 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 c6 10.g5, black must take an important decision that determines the nature of the game. The most obvious choice is 10...Nd5, after which white continues the fierce attack with 11.Bd3 (diagram).

White once again threatens complete destruction, so black has to act accordingly. Let's look at the black options :

a/ 11...Qc7 12.Bxg6
...a1/ 12...hxg6 13.00 (++)
...a2/ 12...fxg6 13.Qg4
......a2a/ 13...Qc8 14.00 (++)
......a2b/ 13...Qd6 14.Ne4 (++)
......a2c/ 13...Qe7 14.00 (++)
......a2d/ 13...Nxc3 14.bxc3 (+)

b/ 11...Qe7 12.Bxg6
...b1/ 12...hxg6 13.00 (++)
...b2/ 12...fxg6 13.Rf1 (++)

c/ 11...f6 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.Bxg6+ (++)

d/ 11...f5 12.gxf6
...d1/ 12...Qxf6 13.Bxg6+ hxg6 14.00 Qxf3 15.Rxf3 (+=)
...d2/ 12...gxf6 13.Nxg6 hxg6 14.Bxg6 (+)

e/ 11...Nxc3 12.Bxg6
...e1/ 12...Qxd4 13.Qxf7+ Kd8 14.Bf4 (++)
...e1/ 12...Qd5 13.Bxf7+ (++)

f/ 11...Nd7 12.Nxg6
...f1/ 12...hxg6 13.Nxd5
......f1a/ 13...cxd5 14.00 Qe7 15.Bd2 (+)
......f1b/ 13...exd5 14.00 Qe7 15.Bd2 (++)
...f2/ 12...fxg6 13.00 (+)

So it seems black is busted in all lines. But let's have a further look at one particular line, # f1a (diagram).

I had analysed this position in my book "Attack with the Blackmar Diemer" before and concluded it was roughly equal after 15...f5 16.gxf6 gxf6 17.Bxg6+ Kd8 18.Rf2. But now I see that the odd looking 18.Kh1 (diagram) is given as a win by my silicon friend. What a strange move ! But check out the lines yourself, it does win.

So after some very deep analysis, we have to conclude that 10...Nd5 11.Bd3 wins by force ! Can you really believe this ?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A real refutation - help needed.

In our  search for the refutation of the Blackmar Diemer, we come to a line that will surprise many as the defender deliberately plays an anti-positional move, blocking his centre.

In the Gunderam defense, black may surprise the attacker after 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bf5 6.Ne5 c6 7.g4 and now, insteading of retreating to g6, black plays the anti-positional move 7...Be6 (diagram)

In my book "Attack with the Blackmar Diemer", I had suggested 8.Bc4, but this seems not optimal now, as black can get rid of his badly placed bishop and free his game after 8...Bxc4 9.Nxc4, eg 9...b5 10.Ne5 b4 11.Na4 and white's position resembles that of a complete beginner.

But what are the alternatives ? Let's look at 8.g5. Black has two reasonable replies : 8...Nd5 and 8...Nfd7.

a/ 8...Nd5 9.Ne4 (diagram)

Doesn't look good for white, does it ? Black has simple killer moves, such as Nd7 or g6 to develop quickly

b/ 8...Nfd7 9.Nd3 (diagram)

A strange position occurs. It looks like white's game is that of a complete beginner, with black also not doing very well... One thing is for sure - black has made less committing moves than white ! Na6 and g6 seem once again simple development moves that give black the advantage.

So dear BDG friends, how do you assess this line ? Scheerer had called 7...Be6 the main line, and his analysis confirmed that the lines are "quite solid for black, and it is difficult to find a clear way for the advantage for White here.". I would go even further and use the "R" word !

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Two other Hubsch gambit games

After my review of Eric Jego's book, I am adding just two other Hubsch gambit games against titled players.

Guido De Bouver - FM Clement Houriez, 2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 Nxe4 4.Nxe4 dxe4 5.Bxc4 Nc6 6.c3 e5 7.d5 Ne7
My young opponent had just received his first IM norm a week ago, so I guess this Hubsch gambit was just a distraction on his way to the top. Anyway, he played the moves instantly. After the game, he told me this was his prepared answer to avoid the difficulties of the Blackmar Diemer. He surely was playing at lightning speed in this rated over-the-board game.

8.f3 exf3 9.Nxf3 f6 (diagam)
Here my opponent started to think for more than 20 minutes and decided to simply defend his extra pawn. Guess the alternative was 9...c6. So what do I have here ? Black's position is super solid and is simply a pawn up.

10.00 Nf5
Superstrong ! Guess only masters see this move. It took him another 15 minutes of thinking. But now the remainder of the game is "a matter of technique"...

11.Qc2 Bc5+ 12.Kh1 00 13.b4 Be3 14.d6+ (diagram)
Luckily I still had this one - otherwise I could have resigned by now ( not that it didnt matter a lot... )

14...Kh8 15.Bb3
Bad - 15.Bd3 would have allowed me to struggle on.

15...Bxc1 16.dxc7 Qxc7 17.Qxc1 Rd8 18.c4 Be6 19.Qb2 Ne3
And here I decided not to waste my opponent's time anymore. Guess he had proven his point...

The third Hubsch gambit game I played against a titled player gave me some hope of winning. I already covered this one in an earlier post. I am adding it without any comment.

Guido De Bouver - FM Peter De Jonghe, 2012.

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 Nxe4 4.Nxe4 dxe4 5.Bc4 e6 6.Nh3 Be7 7.Qe2 Qxd4 8.Be3 Qe5 9.000 Nc6 10.Bf4 Qf5 11.g4 (diagram)

11...Qg6 12.Bb5 e5 13.Bxe5 Bxg4 14.Qd2 Rd8

These games show why I dont fancy the Hubsch anymore - as opposed to the Blackmar Diemer, it is quite difficult to create an attack against the black king. Instead, it is white that is fighting to find good moves. One thing is sure - the Bubsch leads to short games ( at least when I am playing them... ).

Monday, July 9, 2012

An interesting Hubsch gambit game

I am back from a short holiday and, as a follow up of my last post, am posting a Hubsch gambit game I played against an IM. I am adding some additional analysis.

Guido De Bouver - IM Steven Geirnaert
Kappelle-Op-den-Bos, 2012.

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 Nxe4 4.Nxe4 dxe4 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.c3 e5 7.d5 Nb8 8.f3
My last move was not so strong - f3 is thematic but black does not have to take.

8...Bf5 (diagram)

Threatening to gain back the pawn

Blocking g4

10.Be3 Bxh4 and I duly resigned here ( after 10 moves... )

So it is clear that the combined 8.f3 and 9.h4 is bad. But what to play after 8...Bf5 ? Seems there is nothing, so the error lies with 8.f3.

Maybe 8.Ne2 is better - but it seems to me black is simply a pawn up after Bd6 ?

Sure there is room for improvement, but it seems this line puts the heat on white.