Sunday, April 28, 2013

Visitors statistics

Canada is leading the all-time pageviews on my blog, far ahead of the United States, followed by Belgium and the United Kingdom and France.

The first visitor ever on my blog, way back in March 2011 ( apart from myself and my wife ) came from Iran.

The most popular browser is Safari ( on Mac ), whilst Windows clients are still leading over Mac and iPad.

Thanks to you all for visiting my site !

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Latvian-Blackmar-Diemer gambit

I focused on the Sneiders Attack some time ago, and concluded black has the upper hand. But what should white play when black bravely counterattacks with 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5 ? My favorite has always been 4.Nxe4, as white maintains a complicated game.

Balck can respond in several ways, today I will focus on black's best move 4...Qxd4 after which white must play 5.Bd3.

Black now has the luxury of choice, the strongest being 5...f5 6.Nf3 (diagram)

Where should the black majesty go ? Let's see what happens when she moves back to her original place, home sweet home, after all ?

White now has 7.Neg5 (diagram)

Black might now be tempted into 7...e4, trying to win a piece.  But now comes the move 8.Ne5!! (diagram)

Wow, what a move ! But my silicon assistant does find some great lines that no human will ever find behind the board ( unless of course you read my column ). Now we cant examine all possible moves here, but let's see whta happens if black eats the piece - a piece is a piece after all !!

8...exd3 9.00 (diagram)

a/ 9...Qf6 10.Rfe1
My computer sees this now as a line from the Latvian gambit (C40) !!! Maybe he just wants to be kind to me, as he knows I love the Latvian nearly as much as the Blackmar-Diemer
...a1/ 10...Ne7 11.Nef7
......a1a/ 11...f4 12.Bxf4 (offering a second piece) Qxf3 13.Qxd3 (+=)
......a1b/ 11...h6 12.Nxh8 g6 13.Ngf7 (+=)
......a1c/ 11...g6 12.Qxd3 (++)
......a1d/ 11...Rg7 12.Qxd3 (++)
......a1e/ 11...Nc6 12.Nxh8 (+=)
......a1f/ 11...Nd7 12.Nxh8 (++)
...a2/ 10...Be7 11.Nef7
......a2a/ 11...h6 12.Nxh8 hxg5 13.Qh5+ Kd7 14.Qh7 (+)
......a2b/ 11...f4 12.Qxd3 (+=)
......a2c/ 11...Nc6 12.Nxh8 (+=)

b/ 9...Qd5 10.Re1 Be7 11.Qh5+ (+)

c/ 9...Qd4 10.Nef7 (+=)

d/ 9...Nf6 10.Nef7 (+)

e/ 9...Nc6 10.Qh5+ g6 11.Nxg6 Nf6 12.Re1+ (+=)

So we have it finally confirmed - the Blackmar-Diemer is superior to the Latvian !

Friday, April 19, 2013

Minor line in the Euwe

Sometimes people hate it when their opponent doesn't play the recommended book moves. So do I. It is so frustrating to see your opponent deviate from the main line - you know the line he plays is not the best, but how to refute it ? That sometimes gets to you, and you fail to play good moves.

So a good preparation is crucial, especially when playing sharp opening.

That's why I consider today one of these inferior, but very hard to beat sidelines in the Euwe defense.

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6 6.Bg5 Nc6 (diagram)

My silicon assistant kindly suggests 4 options :

a/ 7.Bb5 (diagram)
...a1/ 7...Be7 8.00 (=)
...a2/ 7...Bd7 8.d5 exd5 9.Nxd5 (=)
...a3/ 7...a6 8.Bxc6+ bxc6 9.Ne5 (=)
...a4/ 7...Bd6 8.00 (=)

b/ 7.Ne4 (diagram)
After 7...Be7, white has nothing else than 8.Nxf6+ (=)

c/ 7.Bd3 (diagram)
After 7...Be7 we reach a well known position which is hard to play for many gambiteers.

d/ 7.Qd2 (diagram)
7...h6 urges white to exchange or retreat, but weakens his kingside. This might not be bad, since black can force the exchange, eg 7...h6 8.Bf4 Bd6 (=+)

So I believe the simple 8.Bb5 is strongest. Black can force a small advantage after 7...Be7. But I will cover that in a later blog.

So we see these so called bad moves are not that bad at all !

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chess and abstract art

I am back from a week of holiday in a sunny place, but still found the time to visit an exposition with my two children on the paintings of Wassily Kandinsky  ( ), the father of the abstract art.

Kandinsky was born in Moscow in 1866 and died in France in 1944. He is widely considered the first abstract painter. I really recommend anybody to see his work when you get the chance - Abstract paintings might seem rather strange to you at first sight, but it really starts making sense when you try to understand the underlying ideas.

Now I wont go as far as saying that chess is art, but if the games of Anderssen relate to the "romantic" form of art, and Steinitz ( with his positiona play ) and Alekhine ( with his treatment of the opening ) are exponents of the more "realistic" or "modern" treatment, Kandinsky might represent the attacking and chaotic form of chess that is associated with the Blackmar Diemer gambit.

One of the basic ideas of abstract art is "The form is the material expression of the abstract contents". Guess this applies to our beloved gambit - the sacrifice of the f pawn ( the form ) is the expression of the abstract contents ( the immediate attack on the enemy king and the desire to risk all to mate the enemy king ).

Some might argue that the resulting positions in the Blackmar Diemer look like an abstract painting, but I can assure you - that is purely coincidence... :-)