Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Pirc defense against the Paleface

I have been loosing a number of Paleface games lately as I attacked like a madman on the kingside, whilst my opponent did the same on the queenside.

Now, in a previous post, I showed how to transpose into the Benoni defense, with equal chances for both players. But that is possibile only when black plays c5 rather quickly.

Unfortunately, some black defenders will choose a Pirc-like setup and delay the development of the c5 advance. What is the best white setup against that system ? Let's browse for the moves played by leading grandmasters in the position after 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d6 3.e4 g6 (diagram)

Anand is twice in the database, twice against Mikhail Gurevich. He played 4.Be3 in both occasions ( as to avoid the advance of the c pawn to c5 ). Also Kramnik and Kasparov played the move 4.Be3, so it cant be that bad. Let's look at the Anand-Gurevich game in Venaco (France) 2005. After 4...Bg7, Anand played 5.Qd2, immediately declaring his intentions.

Gurevich now played 5...Nc6. With the advance of the c pawn blocked, Anand played 6.Nc3. With the knight on c6, black was now ready to play 6...e5. Anand now closed the centre with the advance 7.d5 (diagram).

Putting this in Rybka gives white already a decent advantage, and the game continued 7...Nd4 8.Nge2 Nxe2 9.Bxe2 00 and finally 10.g4 (diagram) !!

With the attack on the kingside already in place, Gurevich tries to attack on the queenside with 10...c5, but this is easily countered now with the simple 11.dxc5 bxc6 12.000 (diagram)

Rybka gives white a clear advantage now, eg after 12...d5 13.exd5 Qa5 14.dxc6 ( Rybka improves Anand's play by 14.Bc4, winning ) Be6 15.g5  Rfd8 16.Qe1 Nd5 17.Nxd5 Qxa2 18.c4 and white has a won game.

Bottonline - dont play g4 to quickly in your wild kingside attacks. Make sure you can deal with the c5 counterattack !

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Another nonbeliever

I regularly play blitz games on - my handle is Ajaxke. This morning I found some reference to the Blackmar Diemer gambit in a column. Please check it out yourself, but dont get too angry at the author. He calls the Blackmar Diemer one of the "..borderline-sound gambits...." !! As some authority already said 2000 years ago, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"...

Monday, October 15, 2012

It aint over till the fat lady sings

My quest to prove a white advantage 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 Nd5 11.Bd3 Nd7 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.00 Qe7 was highlighted by fellow Blackmar Diemer gambiteer Gary Lane. Unfortunately, my suggestion 15.Bd2 was whispered by some incorrect iPad Stockfish analysis. 

Today, I am listing the correct white line - proving that white is better in this line.

15.Rf2 (diagram) is the move !! White prepares for a triple attack on the f7 pawn and anticipates better on black potential replies

a/ 15...000 16.Qxf7 (diagram)
...a1/ 16...Rxh3 17.Qxg6
......a1a/ 17...Rh4 18.Bf4 e5  19.dxe5 (+=)
......a1b/ 17...Qb4 18.Qxe6 Qxd4 19.Qxh3 Bc5 20.Be3 Qxe3 21.Qxe3 Bxe3 22.Re1 (+=)
......a1c/ 17...Qe8 18.Qxe8 Rxe8 19.Bg6 (+=)
......a1d/ 17...e5 18.Rf7 (+)
...a2/ 16...Rh4 17.Qxe7 Bxe7 18.Kg2 (+=)
...a3/ 16...Qxf7 17.Rxf7 
......a3a/ 17...Rxh3 18.Bf4 (+)
......a3b/ 17...Nb6 18.Bf4 (+)
...a4/ 16...Qd6 17.Kg2 (+)
...a5/ 16...e5 17.Qxg6 (+)

b/ 15...Rh5 16.Qg4 (diagram)
...b1/ 16...000 17.Bf4 
......b1a/ 17...e5 18.dxe5 (+=)
......b1b/ 17...f5 18.gxf6 Nxf6 19.Qg3 (+=)
......b1c/ 17...a6 18.Re1 (+)
......b1d/ 17...Qe8 18.c4 (+=)
......b1e/ 17...Nb6 18.Raf1 (+)
...b2/ 16...Rc8 17.Bd2 (+=)
...b3/ 16...Nb6 17.Be3 (++)
...b4/ 16...Rc8 17.Bd2 (+=)
...b5/ 16...a6 17.Bd2 (+)

c/ 15...f5 16.gxf6 gxf6 17.Bxg6+ Kd8 18.Rg2 (diagram) (+=)

d/ 15...Rh4 16.Be3
...d1/ 16...f5 17.gxf6 gxf6 18.Bxg6+ Kd8 19.Re1 (+=)
...d2/ 16...e5 17.Qxd5 Rxh3 18.Bd2 (+=)
...d3/ 16...000 17.Qg3 (+=)

e/ 15...Rc8 16.Bd2 (+=)

So, I guess the fat lady actually did sing today !

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Opening Lanes

Gary Lane  has some notes on my blog "Can you believe your eyes ?" on his own blog on Unfortunately, I have since then discovered that the line is not really winning, as I suggested before ( shit happens... ). I posted an improvement to black's play in "Stockfish on iPad versus Houdini on Windows" which shows that black is equal. But the line is so difficult that it is surely possible to find improvements for either side. To be continued.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Blackmar Diemer ?... Never heard of.

Last saturday I was playing an open tournament in Belgium - seven rounds of fast chess - each player gets 25' of time. In the first round I got paired to GM Petr Velička. As expected, I got crushed. He played an unusual move in my beloved Scandinavian defense, I sacrificed a pawn ( which he happily accepted ) for development, but never saw it back. Finally, with only s few minutes left on the clock, I decided to play my last card and sacrificed a piece to bring his king in the open. Again, he did not hesitate, took the piece and rebuffed my last attack.

Between rounds, I asked GM Petr Velička on his opinion on the Blackmar Diemer. He said "What, I don't know this opening". I re-asked, and said "You know, the Blackmar Diemer, the opening in which white sacrifices his f3 pawn." Again he answered "Never heard of such an opening." So I showed him the initial moves 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3. "Never seen that" he confirmed once again, Unfortunately, after being beaten to death in our game, I realised that I was not in a position to question the chess knowledge of my GM opponent. So I asked him what he would do in this position. He was kind enough to look at the position for 15 minutes or so and we analysed 4...exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.g4 e6 9.g5 Nd5 10.Bd3 Bd6 (diagram).

I said I wrote a book on it, maybe he would be interested... ? "I dont read books."  he said firmly and commented "Look's okay" as he dashed off, as our next round was about to start

Now I understand how Diemer must have felt when he got standard replies back from the leading chess players when trying to sell the Blackmar Diemer... But it also shows that we need to market our opening more and grasp every opportunity to show the lines to "serious" chess players. Maybe, maybe, we will get them interested.

PS. I noticed another FIDE master in the tournament with a book on the Smith Morra. Maybe there is a slight chance they get into gambit play again... Let's hope.