Saturday, December 20, 2014

Knights only move forward

I played a Vienna defense yesterday evening against a very young, but equally promising player who had to be pushed a bit to accept the f3 pawn. I deviated from my normal lines, but found myself without attacking moves and lost the game.

Guido De Bouver - Deon Lee
Mechelen, 2014.

1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.g5
The main alternative is 5.fxe4

5...Bg6 6.g5
another possibility is 6.h4 here, but 6...h6 seems to give b;lack the upper hand.

6...Nd5 7.Bg2 (diagram)
deviating from the normal 7.Nxe4

7...exf3 8.Nxf3 e6 9.Nh4 c6 10.0-0 (diagram)
Guess this is equal play. White's knight is misplaced on h4, but it can be exchanged any time.

Choosing again the best line

11.Ne4 Bc7 (diagram)
11...Bxe4 would have been better, leaving the knight on h4 looking at nothing.

12.Qf3 would have been equal

Again the best move, 12...Nb6 places the knight away from the action.

13.Be3 0-0 14.Qb3 Nbd7 15.Rf2 (diagram)

The remainder of the game is of no interest to us - especially since my young opponent make by look like a fool by sacrificing his queen and mating me when I was a queen up :-(

But what we noticed during post mortem analysis is that all of my horsemen only moved foreward during the whole game - guess that is a typical behaviour for a gambiteer..

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Shelter from the storm

I said it before and will continue to say it - expert knwoledge is required to play the Blackmar Diemer successfully. Yesterday I managed to play the line halfways, and, as a result, had to content with a draw.

Guido De Bouver - Stijn Van Vlaenderen

1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bh5 7.g4 Bg6 8.Ne5 Nbd7
I believe both e6 and c6 are better

9.Qf3 (diagram)

9...c6 is no good here, as white recaptures the pawn with an advantage : 9...c6 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.g5 (+=) So my opponent choose the best line.

9...e6 10.Qxb7 Nxe5 11.dxe5 Nd7 12.Bb5 (diagram)

Until this move, i was playing on automatic pilot. But now I starting wondering on how to convert my obvious advantage into a win.

only move.

I was a bit hesitant about this, because I vaguely remembered that black could equalize by removing the pin on knight with a sacrfice 13...Rxb5 14.Nxb5 and black overtakes the initiative ( even if Houdini still gives a white advanatge )

13...Bb4 (diagram)
I remembered a great sacrifice here if black was to play the natural 13...Be7 14.Bxd7 Kxd7 and now the killer move 15.Bg5 (++). but alas, my opponent went for a simple pin on my knight.

Ubntill now, I had been able to play bookmoves - they were lingering somewhere far away, but I was able to retrieve them correctly. But this move got me into thinking.

The correct move is 14.Bxd7 Kxd7 15.Be3 and the black king will have diffciculties to find shelter from the storm. Alas, I played 14.Qa4 and the game ended in a hardfought draw.

Coming back to best line 14.Bxd7 Kxd7 15.Be3 (diagram)

a/ 15...Qh4+ 16.Bf2 Qg5 17.Rd1+ Kc8 18.Qa6+ Rb7 19.0-0 Qxe5 20.Rfe1 Qa5 21.Qc6 (+)

b/ 15...Bxc3+ 16.bxc3 (++)

c/ 15...Bxc2 16.0-0 (++)

d/ 15...Ke8 16.Rd1 Qc8 17.Bg5 (+)

e/ 15...Kc8 16.0-0 (++)

So it is fair to conclude that the above line does not offer any hope for black - a reality check for those that have not yet embraced the joys of the Blackmar Diemer gambit.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Long Bogo - looking at sidelines

Today we look at an interesting sideline in the Long Bogo : 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6 ( the Bogoljubow defense ) 6.Bf4 ( the Long Bogo ) Bg7 7.Qd2 0-0 8.0-0-0 and now the interesting move 8...Nbd7 (diagram)

Scheerer recommends 9.Bh6 Nb6 10.h4 here, but its seems black is better after the obvious 10...Bg4, pausing the white attack before it even started. there must be surely a better way to handle this line. Let's see what happens if black tries to open up the h line, potentially at the cost of another pawn. I guess the most immediate way to do so is 9.h4.

Let's look at a few lines - I will cover today 9....Nh5, in a future post, I will cover some alternatives.

9.h4 Nh5 10.Be2 (diagram)

This looks strange, as black is able to exchange some pieces, but the aim of white is to open the g and h files.

a/ 10...Nxf4 11.Qxf4 (diagram)
...a1/ 11...Nf6 12.Ne5 (=)
...a2/ 11...h5 12.g4 (=)
...a3/ 11...h6 12.Kb1 (=)
...a4/ 11...c5 12.h5 (+=)
...a4/ 11...c6 12.h5 (+=)
...a5/ 11...e6 12.g4 (+=)
...a6/ 11...Nb6 12.h5 (=)

b/ 10...c6 11.Bh2
...b1/ 11...b5 12.g4 Nf6 13.g5 (=)
...b2/ 11...Qa5 12.g4 Nf6 13.g5 (=)
...b3/ 11...Nhf6 12.h5 (=)

c/ 10...c5 11.Bh2 cxd4 12.Nxd4 (=)

d/ 10...Nb6 11.Bh2 (=)

e/ 10...a6 11.Bh6 (=)

So we can conclude that the lin e8...Nbd7 9.h4 Nh5 brings no advantage to black. Maybe there are other black moves that give black some chances, let's discuss that next blog.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

If only I could remember

It is now three years and a half that I wrote my blog "Wild, wilder, wildest" on the line 1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 c5 3.d5 e6 4.e4 exd5 5.e5 (diagram)

And last friday, it actually happended - I got this positioning on the board in an offical rated game - if only I could have remembered the correct moves.

Guido De Bouver - Thomas Schurins
1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 c5 3.d5 e6 4.e4 exd5 5.e5 Qe7 6.Qe2 Nh5 ?! (diagram)

Obviously, I had forgotten about the correct move now ( more on that below ), and played for winning the piece 7.g4. This wins a piece for two pawns, but my pawn structure gets suboptimal - to say the least.

7.g4 d6 8.gxh5 dxe5 (diagram)

At this point, I decided to defend my pawns on the h file ar every cost, hoping I could stand his impressive pawn centre.

9.h4 Nc6 10.Be3 Bf5 11.c3 d4 12.Bf2 (diagram)

So far, I have been able to hold on to my defense of the h pawns. But now things get more complicated as my opponent opens up the h file for his rook. Unfortunately, this opens a great diagonal for his black squared bishop.

12...g6 13.hxg6 hxg6 14.Bh3 d3 !! (diagram)
My queen wil get kicked around, so it is back to square zero.

15.Qd1 e4 16.Bxf5 gxf5 17.Qd2 Bh6 18.f4 Ne5 (diagram)

The rest of the game is not of further interest to us, but at this stage, I am still a pieve for two pawns ahead, I have preserved my h pawn, even got rid of the double h pawn. So I achieved what I was hoping for inthe opening, but the price I have to pay for it is quite high as black has a giganic centre with two passers,

In any case, I won the game - in fact, it was my h pawn that I treasured so much, that promoted into a queen. But I can hardly say that I was better in the last diagrammed position.

So dont play this line like this ! The correct move after  1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 c5 3.d5 e6 4.e4 exd5 5.e4 Qe7 6.Qe2 Nh5 is 7.Nc3 (diagram)

Black is completely lost as his queen will get kicked around the battle field, eg 7...Qe6 8.f4 g6 9.f5 !! (diagram)

In my analysis during the game, I had considered 7.Nc3 Qe6 8.f4 g6, but the crushing 9.f5 is hard to see at the board. Black is completely lost in this position, eg

a/ 9...gxf5 10.Qxh5 (++)

b/ 9...Qxf5 10.g4 Qe6 11.gxh5 (++)

c/ 9...Qc6 10.g4 Ng7 11.Bg2 (++)

So continue to read these lines - and remember them !

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New stuff on the Vienna defense by Lev Zilbermints

After my earlier blog on the Vienna defense, fellow gambiteer Lev Zilbermints kindly sent me some additional info on the 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 Bf5 5.g4 Bg6 6.h4 h6 line.

I had dismissed this line as unsound, but Lev suggests the straightforward 7.Nh3 (diagram) with some backup lines and games.

I have appended his comments below without modification.

Harding (1979:90) gives 7 Nh3! ef3 8 Qxf3 Nc6? 9 Bb5 Weissleder-Svensson, as cited in the German magazine Fernschach 1971. Bill Wall (1999:76) supplies the rest of the game score, stating that it was a 1966 correspondence game. The game concluded 9…e6? 10 Bxc6+ bxc6    11 Qxc6+ Nd7 12 Nf4 Bxc2 13 Nb5 Ba4 [13…Rc8 – Wall] 14 Nxc7+ Ke7 15 Ng6+ Kf6 16 h5 Bb4+ 17 Ke2 Bb5+ 18 Qxb5 1-0,  Game 50a.

Game 50b:  Zilbermints – “Reboare”, Internet Chess Club 5-minute blitz, 9/8/2012:  7 Nh3! exf3 8 Qxf3 Nc6 9 Bb5 e6 10 Nf4 Bxc2 11 Bxc6+ bxc6 12 Qxc6+ Nd7 13 Nb5 Bb4+ 14 Kf2 00 15 Qxc2 c5 16 a3 Ba5 17 Be3 cxd4 18 Nxd4 e5 19 Nc6 Qf6 20 g5 exf4 21 gxf6 fxe3 22 Kg2 Bb6 23 Ne7+ Kh8 24 fxg7 Kxg7 25 Kh3 1-0.

In modern times, the  move 7 Nh3 is Gary Lane’s recommendation. He gives the game                 S. Elgstrand – K. Honfi, Semi-Final World Correspondence championship 1959 (Game 51). Scheerer (2011:125) gives 7…exf3 8 Qxf3 c6 9 Nf4! Bc2 10 Rh2 Bh7 11 g5 Nd5 12 g6! Bxg6 (not 12…Nxc3? 13 gxf7+! Kxf7 14 Ne6+ Kxe6 15 Bh3+ Kd6 16 Qg3+ and mates) 13 Ncxd5 cxd5 14 Nxg6 fxg6 15 Rf2.

According to Blackmar-Diemer Gambit World #29, December 1987, Karol Honfi Sr. was a Hungarian candidate master who played the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit extensively in the 1950s and 1960s. His son, International Master Karol Honfi Jr., also played the BDG occasionally. The article’s author is  Niels Jorge Jensen. He cites the German-language book Gambit Eroffnungen , by Laszlo Alfoldi, as saying that both Honfis promoted the BDG in Hungary.  Finally, it must be mentioned that some sources give the date of Game 51 incorrectly. It is 1959, not 1955 or 1950, as some sources have it! Harding gives the 1959 date. Fortunately, I have a photocopy of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit Volume 2, Number 7, dated July 1963. It was a small newsletter published by Nicholas Kampars between 1962-1967. The date given there is 1959. The German site gives the date 1958. So, which is the correct one? I think that the 1959 date is the accurate one. Diemer’s book was not published until 1957. Thus, few people outside of Germany would have heard of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. Indeed, the first BDG in America since Blackmar’s time as Diemer put it, was not played until 1955.

Game 51: 1 d4 d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 Bf5 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nh3 c6 8 Nf4 Qd6 9 Be3 e5  10 Nxg6 fxg6 11 dxe5 Qxe5 12 f4 Qa5 13 g5 hxg5 14 fxg5 Nd5 15 Qg4 Nd7 16 Qxe4+ Ne7          17 O-O-O   O-O-O 18 Bh3 Nf5 19 h5 Rxh5 20 Qe6 Bc5 21 Bf4 Bd4  22 Qxg6 Bxc3 23 bxc3 1-0  S. Elgstrand – K. Honfi Jr., Semi-Final World Correspondence Championship, 1959.
David Robert Lonsdale (2009) gives the date 1950 for the Elgstrand - Honfi Jr. game.  But this cannot be correct, since Gunderam invented his attack only in 1955/1956.  The earliest publication of the Gunderam Attack is from 1956, in an Austrian chess periodical.

Game 52:  (Moves 1-7 same as in Game 51) 7 Nh3 c6 8 Bc4?  exf3  9 h5?! f2+  10 Nxf2 Bh7       11 Be3 Nbd7 12 Bb5 e6 13 Qf3 Nd5 14 Nfe4 Nxe3 15 Qxe3 Be7 16 d5 cxd5 17 Nxd5 Bxe4          18 Qxe4 exd5  19 Qxd5 00 20 000 Nc5 0-1, Jose Miguel Loscos Vilafranca – Antonio Hernando Garcia, Spain 1993.

Game 52a: (Moves 1-7 as in game 51) 7 Nh3 c5 8 d5 Qc7 9 Nf4 Bh7 10 g5 Nfd7 11 g6 Bxg6       12 Nb5 Qe5  13 Nxg6 hxg6 14 f4 Qf6 15 Nc7 Kd8 16 Nxa8 e6 17 dxe6 Qxe6 18 Bh3 Qc6 19 00 Be7 20 Be3 Bxh4 21 Qd2 Rf8 ++ -  1-0/35, Zilbermints – “JohnnyBallgame,” ICC 5-minute rated blitz, 6/17/2013.

Game 52b:  (Moves 1-7 as in game 51) 7 Nh3 c5  8 d5 a6 9 Nf4 Bh7 10 g5 Nfd7 11 g6 Bg8 12 gxf7+ Bxf7 13 fxe4 Ne5 14 Bh3 g6 15 Nd3 Bg7 16 Nxc5 00 17 Nd3 Qb6 18 Nf2 Kh7 19 00 Be8 20 Kg2 Nf3 21 Ng4 Nxh4+ 22 Kh1 Rxf1+ 23 Qxf1 Bd7 24 Qf4 Bxg4 25 Qxg4 Qf2 26 Bf4 Nd7 27 Bg3 Qf3+ 28 Qxf3 Nxf3 29 Bxd7 1-0, Zilbermints – “sunlen”, ICC, 5 0 rated blitz, August 2013.

Game 53: (Moves 1-7 same as in Game 51) 7 Nh3 exf3 8 Nf4 Be4 9 Nxe4 Nxe4 10 Qxf3 Qxd4  11 c3 Qe5  12 Be3 c6 13 Bg2 Nf6 14 000 Qa5 15 g5 hxg5 16 hxg5 Rxh1 17 Bxh1 Nfd7 18 g6 Qxa2 19 gxf7+ Qxaf7 20 Qg4 e5 21 Be4 Kd8 22 Ne6+ 23 Bg6 Qg8 24 Bc5 Bxc5 25 Nxc5 Qd8 26 Bf5 1-0, Laurent Tinture – Daniel Mostowik, ICCF correspondence, 1997.
Game 53a: 1 d4 d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 Bf5 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nh3 exf3 8 Qf3 c6 9 Nf4 Bxc2 10 Be3 Qa5 11 Bd3 Bxd3 12 Nd3 Nbd7 13 00 g5 14 h5 Bg7 15 Rae1 000 16 a4 Rhf8 17 b4 Qc7 18 Bf2 Nb6 19 b5 Nc4 20 bc6 bc6 21 Re7 Qe7 22 Qc6 Qc7 23 Qa6+ Kb8 24 Rb1+ Ka8 25 Nb5 Qd3 ½ - ½ /51 moves, Shaw – Quinatar, correspondence 1972.
Game 53b:  1 d4 d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 Bf5 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nh3 exf3 8 Qf3 c6 9 Nf4 Bxc2 10 Rh2 Bh7 11 g5 Ng8 12 g6 Bg6 13 Ng6 fxg6 14 Bd3 Qd6 15 Rg2 ++-, 1-0/23, Zilbermints-Tiva, ICC 5-minute rated blitz, 4/12/2013.

Game 54: (Moves 1-7 same as in Game 51) 7 Nh3 exf3 8 Qxf3 c6 9 Nf4 Bh7 10 g5 Nfd7 11 g6 Bxg6 12 Nxg6 fxg6 13 Bd3 Nf6 14 Bxg6+ Kd7 15 Bf4 e6 16 000 Bd6 17 Be5 Qe7 18 Rhf1 Rf8       19 Bxd6 Qxd6  20 d5 cxd5 21 Ne4 Qe5 22 Nc5+ Kc6 23 Rfe1 Qd6 24 Rxe6 Kxc5 25 Qa3+ 1-0, Zilbermints – “FishPuppy”, 5-minute blitz, Internet Chess Club, 2012.

Game 54a: 1 d4 d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 Bf5 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nh3 exf3 8 Qf3 c6 9 Nf4 Bh7 10 g5 Nfd7 11 g6 Bg8 12 gxf7+ Bxf7 13 Bd3 Nf6 14 Be3 Nbd7 15 h5 Qa5 16 000 000 17 Ng6 Rg8 18 Kb1 Kb8 19 Bf4+ Ka8 20 Bg3 e6 21 Ne5 Be8 22 Bg6 Bb4 23 Ne2 Nxe5 24 Bxe5 Bxg6 25 hxg6 Rgf8 26 Qh3 Rfe8 27 Bxf6 gxf6 29 Qxh6 Qf5 29 g7 Rg8 30 Qh8 Qg6 31 Rdg1 Qf7 32 Qh6 Be7 33 c3 f5 34 Nf4 Bf6 35 Nh5 Be7 36 Re1 Rd6 37 Rhg1 e5 38 Qh7 exd4 39 Rxe7! 1-0, Zilbermints – IM Christer Hartmann, 5 0 r blitz, ICC, 12/23/2012.

The main alternative to 9 Nf4 seems to be 9 Be3. However, at the present moment, it seems to be doubtful in light of the two games played with it (Games 54a-54b).

Game 54b: 1 d4 d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 Bf5 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nh3 exf3 8 Qf3 c6 9 Be3?! Bxc2 10 Rh2 Bh7 11 g5 Nd5 12 Bc4 e6 13 Rf2 Bf5, 0-1/50, Zilbermints – “Gateway”, ICC 3 0 rated blitz, 7/26/2013.

Game 54c: 1 d4 d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 Bf5 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nh3 exf3 8 Qf3 c6 9 Be3?! Bxc2 10 Rh2 Bh7 11 g5 Nbd7 12 gf6 Nf6 13 Bc4 e6 14 000 Qe7 15 Bd3?! Better is 15 Rf1 with continuing pressure. 15…Bxd3 16 Rxd3 000 17 Rf2 Rd7 18 Rf4 Qd8 19 Bh2 Bd6 20 Bd6 Rd6 21 Rfd2 Qd7 22 Nf2 Rhd8 23 Nfe4 Nxe4 24 Nxe4 Rd5 25 Nb3 g5! =+, 0-1/37+, Zilbermints – NM Juan Tica, Rahway Swiss, New Jersey, 7/13/2013.  

Game 54d: 1 d4 d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 Bf5 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nh3 e5 8 dxe5 Qd1 9 Kd1 Nfd7 10 Nd5 Kd8 11 f4 c6 +/= , Zilbermints – IM Dmitry Zilberstein, ICC, 5 minute rated blitz, 6/25/2013, drawn in 59 moves.

Game 54e: 1 d4 d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 Bf5 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nh3 exf3 8 Qf3 c6 9 g5?! Nd5 10 Nxd5 Qxd5 11 Qxd5 cxd5 12 Bg2 e6 13 c3 hxg5 14 hxg5 Nc6 15 00 Bd6 16 Bf4 Be7 17 Rae1 Bf5 18 Re3, 0-1, Weegenaar - Verschuuren, corr NLD jub, 1991.

It should be noted that after 7 Nh3 e6 there is the premature attacking move 8 g5?! which I personally would not make. The game Christian Maier – Robert Sutterer, Kirchhelm 1982, continued 8…hxg5 9 hxg5 Nd5 10 Ne4 Nc6 11 Bb5 Qd7 12 Qe2 a6 13 Bxc6 Qxc6 14 c4 Nb6 15 b3 000 =+ although drawn in 55 moves, Game 55.

Game 56: 7 Nh3 e6 8 g5?! hxg5 9 hxg5 Nd5 10 Ne4 c6 11 Bd3 Bf5 12 Nef2 Bb4 13 Kf1 Nd7 14 Qe2 g6 15 c4 Nc7 16 Be3 Ke7 17 Kg2 Ne8 18 d5 cxd5 19 Bd4 Rh4 20 f4 dc4 21 Bxf5 Bxf5 22 Qc4 Bd6 23 Rae1 Nf8 24 Kg3 Ng6 25 Qc3 Kf8 26 Nd3 Rc8 27 Qb3 b6 28 Rxe6 Rg4+ 29 Kf3 Nh4+ 30 Ke2 fxe6 0-1, Alejandro Melchor Munoz – Niels Joergen Jensen, correspondence 1990.

Game 57: 1 d4 d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 Bf5 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nh3 e6 8 Nf4 Bh7 9 Be3 Bb4 10 Bg2 exf3 11 Bxf3 Be4 12 a3 Bxc3+ 13 bxc3 Bxf3 14 Qxf3 Nd5 15 Bd2 Nd7 16 Nxd5 exd5 17 Qxd5 c6 18 Qe4+ Qe7 19 Qxe7+ Kxe7 20 Kf2 Nf6 21 Rae1+ Kd7 22 Kf3 Rhe8 23 c4 Rxe1 24 Rxe1 Re8 25 g5 Rxe1 26 Bxe1 hxg5 27 hxg5 Ne8 28 Bg3 Nd6 29 Bxd6 Kxd6 30 a4 Ke6 31 Ke4 Kd6 32 c5+ Ke6 33 a5 f5+ 34 gxf6 gxf6 35 c4 b6 36 cxb6 axb6 37 a6 1-0, Ole Dravnieks – Buckingham, corr. 1988.

Game 58: (Moves 1-7 same) 7 Nh3 e6 8 h5 Bh7 9 a3 Bd6 10 f4 Nd5 11 Nb5 a6 12 Nxd6+ cxd6 13 c4 Ne7 14 Be3 d5 15 Qb3 Qd7 16 f5 exf5 17 Nf4 fxg4 18 Be2 Bf5 19 cxd5 00 20 Rd8 21 Rhf1 Qc7+ 22 Kb1 Nd7 23 Ng6 Bxg6 24 hxg6 Qd6 25 gxf7+ Kf8 += 1-0/45, Mikael Helin – Kaj Vinding Pedersen, Copenhagen 2003.

Let us now see what Scheerer says in his book. After 7 Nh3 Nc6! looks good. Then 8 Bb5 e6 9 Nf4 ( or 9 g5 hxg5 10 hxg5 Bh5!) 9…Qd6 10 fxe4 Bxe4 11 Rg1 000 White had less than nothing for the pawn in K. Boese – A. Kiprov, corr. 1961, Game 59.

My chess practice disagrees with Scheerer’s analyses. After 7…Nc6! the best move for White is 8 Be3 (Games 62 – 63).

Game 60: 1 d4 d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 Bf5 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nh3 e6  8 Nf4 Bh7? 9 g5! Nd5 10 Ncd5 ed5 11 g6 Bxg6 12 Nxg6 fxg6 13 fxe4 Be7 14 Qg4 00 15 e5! g5  16 Qe6+ Kh8 17 Bd3! Rf3 18 hxg5! Rxd3 19 cd3 Bxg5 20 Qg6 Bxc1 21 Rc1 Nc6 22 Kd2! Nxd4 23 Rxh6+!! Kg8 24 Qh7+ Kf8 25 Rf1+ Ke8 26 Qxg7 Qe7 27 Qh8+ Kd7 28 Rf7 Nf3+ 29 Kc1, 1-0, Zilbermints – Roger Pedersen, West Orange, NJ, Double Round-Robin Quad, 8/7/2012.

Game 61: 1 d4 d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 Bf5 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nh3 Nc6 8 Be3 exf3 9 Qxf3 e5 10 Bb5 e4  11 Qg3 Bb4 12 00 00 13 Bxc6 bxc6 14 Nf4 Bd6 15 Qh3 Qe7 16 g5 hxg5 17 hxg5 Nd5 18 Nfd5 cxd5 19 Nxd5 Qd8 20 Nf6+ gxf6 21 gxf6 Qc8  22 Qh4 Rb8 23 Kg2 Rb5 24 Bg5 Rb2 25 Rac1 Qa6 26 Rf2 Rfb8 27 Qh6 1-0, Zilbermints – IM Rudy Douven, Internet Chess Club, 5-minute blitz, 5/29/2011.

Game 62:  1 d4 d5 2 e4 dxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 f3 Bf5 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nh3 Nc6 8 Be3 e5 9 d5 Nd4 10 Bxd4 exd4 11 Qxd4 a6 12 Nxe4?
Better is 12 000!  according to my chess computer.  Then 12…Bd6 13 g5 hxg5 14 hxg5 Nd7 15 Ne4 Be5 16 Qe3 Qe7 17 Bg2 Qb4 with a slight edge for White.   On 12…exf3         13 Re1+ Be7 14 g5! hg5  15 hg5 Nh5 16 Nf4! += 
12…Ne4! 13 fxe4 Qxh4+  14 Nf2 Qe7 =+ 0-1/58, Zilbermints – “PalmTree”, Internet Chess Club 5-minute blitz, 5/17/2005.

Thanks Lev for sharing this with us - impressive stuff - maybe I have to reconsider my opinion on this line.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Can black hold in the Teichmann Exchange ?

My stats indicate I get the Teichmann Exchange most often. I dont know why, because the white attack is simple and fast. But the defender thinks that, by exchanging the knight on f3, he is one piece closer to a winning end game. Things are not so simple however as white has nice attacking chances.

However, there is one line that always bothered me :

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.g4 Qxd4
Blacks grab another pawn : "a pawn is a pawn"

9.Be3 Qb4
moving away from the file where it comes under attack of the rook

10.0-0-0 (diagram)

10...e6 is now the best defending move, even if 10...Nbd7 has to be respected.

10...e6 11.g5 Nd5 12.Bd4 (diagram)

White has moved his blacksquared bishop to a great diagonal. Thinsg are getting complicated for black !

Only move

13.h4 (diagram)
Let's see what black is up to. 13.Kb1 is also possible, but that is not the kind of move a gambiteer likes to play.

Let's assess this position

a/ 13...Be7 14.Bxg7 Rg8 15.Nxd5 cxd5 16.Bc3 Qa4 17.Bd3 and white has an obvious advantage (+)

b/ 13...Rg8 14.Bh3 (+)

c/ 13...f6 14.Bh3 (+)

d/ 13...f5 14.gxf5 Nxf6 15.Bh3 (+)

e/ 13...0-0-0 14.Qxf7 Qe7 15.Qf3 (+=)

f/ 13...Bd6 14.a3
...f1/ 14...Bf4+ 15.Kb1 Qa5 16.Nxd5 Qxd5 17.Qxf4 Qxh1 18.Be2 (++)
...f2/ 14...Qa5+ 15.Bxg7 Rg8 16.Nxd5
......f2a/ 16...cxd5 17.Bc3 (+=)
......f2b/ 16...Rxg7 17.b4 Qd8 18.Nf4 (+=)

g/ 13...Qd6 14.Kb1
...g1/ 14...Qf4 15.Qe2 (+=)
...g2/ 14...0-0-0 15.Bg2 (=)
...g3/ 14...c5 15.Nxd5 (=)
...g4/ 14...e5 15.Ne4 (+=)

So the unimaginable has become reality - there are a few lines that give  black equality in the Teichmann Exchange !!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Did he finally go mad ?

This afternoon, I got to talk to one of my BDG buddies. We went through my sunday game which I started off as follows :

1.d4 Nf6 2.f3
Inviting ( no, begging !! )  my opponent to go into a Blackmar Diemer... But alas, my opponent wisely thanked for the invitation.
I played the normal (??) move here.

"Stop right here", my chess buddy said. "Why not consider 3.g4 ?? You will play it lateron anyway - why not play it right now ?"

At first, I could not believe my eyes. But my friend was right - what is keeping me from this adacious move ? It is a legal move after all !

Let's check out the natural line 3...Bg7 4.h4 (diagram)

Now believe me or not, my Stockfish chess assistant indicates that only one move offers black an advantage. Can you find it ? I bet you wont.

Let's check out a few alternatives

a/ 4...d6 ( the normal Pirc-ish move ) 5.h5

and now black only has 5...gxh5 6.g5 Nfd7 7.Rh5 leading to equality.

b/ 4...c5 5.d5
...b1/ 5...e6 6.e4 exd5 7.e5 (?!)
......b1a/ 7...Qe7 8.Qe2 Ng8 9.Nc3 (=)
......b1b/ 7...Ng8 8.Nc3 d4 9.Nd5 Ne7 10.Nf6+ (=+) with a complicated game
...b2/ 5...d6 6.e4 (=)
...b3/ 5...Qa5+ 6.Kf2 !!!! (=)
...b4/ 5...0-0 6.h5 (=)

c/ 4...d5 5.h5

...c1/ 5...Qd6 6.Nh3 (=)
...c2/ 5...c5 6.h6 Bf8 7.e3 (=)
...c3/ 5...gxh5 6.g5
......c3a/ 6...Nfd7 7.Nh3 (=)
......c3b/ 6...Ng8 7.Nh3 (=)

I am sure you will tell me this opening does not make sense. But hey, remember Diemer's "immortal" game against Trommsdorf in 1975 in Bagnieux, France. That game stood the test of time - and I am sure, most of our games wont be remembered in 50 years time...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cleaning up old stuff

Today I was sort of forced by my wife to clean up my study room. Unlike the room of my daughters, my study room is filled with chess related stuff - you will find no posters of the latest boys band, merely a few CD's of Bob Dylan or Neil Young. And chess stuff. That's it, but it's enough to drive my wife crazy. In any case, whilst realigning my stuff a bit, thus satisfying the master of the family, I came upon a nice game I played last year.

Guido De Bouver - Tony Peleman
Mechelen, 2013.
1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bh5 7.g4 Bg6 8.Ne5 Nfd7 ?!

I had never seen this move before. Challenging my outpost knight with 8...Nbd7 is often seen, after which white gets a decent attack with the thematic 9.Qf3. But this move seems to violate the basic rules of the chess openings, as the knight is moved twice.

I decided to continue with 9.Qf3 c6 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.Bc4 e6 12.0-0 and the came equalized somehow.

During analysis, it became obvious I had let the fish off the hook at move 11. And indeed, the odd looking 11.Rh2 !? seems the simplest way for white to complicate things and keeping the pressure on the defender. It might not be the sttrongest move, but certainly is the most difficult for black to defend against.

So let's chekc out 11.Rh2

It seems there are only a few decent black replies : 11...e5 and 11...e6.

a/ 11...e5 12.Rf2 (diagram)
...a1/ 12...f6 13.Bd3 (+)
...a2/ 12...Qe7 13.Bf4 !! (+)
...a3/ 12...Qf6 13.Qd3
......a3a/ 13...Qh4 14.Be3 (+=)
......a3b/ 13...Qe7 14.Bf4 (+=)
......a3c/ 13...Qe6 14.d5 (+=)
......a3d/ 13...Qd6 14.Be3 (+=)
......a3e/ 13...Qd8 14.Be3 (+=)

b/ 11...e6 12.Rf2 (diagram)
...b1/ 12...Qf6 13. Qe3
......b1a/ 13...Qe7 14. Bd2 (+=)
......b1b/ 13...Qd8 14.Bd2 (+=)
......b1c/ 13...Qh4 14.Qf4 Qe7 15.Be3 (+=)
...b2/ 12...Qe7 13.Bf4 (+)

Editor's note : it seems Guido forgot about his post "Handling the do nothing line" where the line 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bh5 7.g4 Bg6 8.Ne5 Nfd7 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.Bg5.
Guess it is a matter of taste which line is better :-)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The sacrifice on e4 in the Paleface Pirc

Yesterday I was crushed to death in a Paleface Pirc. The game was played at fast speed, but still, I was sort of humiliated with my opening. read carefully so you dont end up like this !

Guido De Bouver - Roel Hamblok ( Antwerpen )
1.d4 c5 2.d5 g6 3.e4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d6 5.Be3 Nf6 6.Qd2 Qa5 7.f3 a6 8.g4 b5 (diagram)

White has declared his intentions on the kingside whilst blacks expands on the queenside - a typical idea in the Paleface Pirc.

My next move was too slow : 9.h4. This move is too slow as it allows for 9...h5, but my opponent had a different plan : 9...b4 (diagram)

Oh horror - black is attacking a piece first. Probably an indication that I am not doing so well. But now I missed a simple sacrifice.

10.Nce2 ??? (diagram)

As soon as I released my piece, I saw the combination. 10.Nd1 would have been ok for white.

10...Nxe4 Of course.
11.fxe4 Bxb2 12.Rad1 Bxg4 (diagram)

And with one piece for three pawns, I could safely resign here as my position is hopeless.

Dont fall for this idea - it can happen in other Paleface Pirc positions also.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The times they are a changing.

Yes, the times they are a-changing. And so does the evaluation of some wild Blackmar Diemer lines.

Take the obscure line in teh Ziegler ( aka O'kelly ) defense 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.g4  !! This line was suggested by IM Stefan Bucker in a famous article published in 2010 on

I have played trhis lately twice in five minute games on and both of my opponents went astray quickly. And also, the gambit has some real potency. Look at the line

7...Nxg4 8.Nh4 g6 9.Nxf5 gxf5 10.h3 Nf6 11.Bg5 e6 and now 12.d5 (diagram)

I challenge you to defend this position here as black. Not simple, is it ?

I wont go as far as saying that 7.g4 is better than 7.Bg5. I wont play it, certainly not in rated over-the-board games, but it is perfect for blitz games.

And who knows, maybe one day, the times will be changing...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Bypassing that annoying Vienna defense

I have always hated the Vienna defense since black is always able to exchange some pieces and thus reduce white's winning chances. I always felt that white is fighting for a draw.

For that reason, I have worked in the past on several white options, originating aftre 5.g4 Bg6 6.g5 Nd5 7.Nxe4. Not without any modesty on my part, the line 7...Nc6 8.c4 was dubbed the "De Bouver attack" and yielded terrible complications.

However, black could bypass this dreaded attack and simply play 7...e6 and now 8.h4 does not seem to equalize.

That's why I look today at the next white option : the "More than Hara Kiri" line, originating after 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 Bf5 5.g4 Bg6 6.h4 (diagram)

White's most ambituous try is probably 6...Qd6, but white's reply 7.Bg2 is both unexpected and good.

Also interesting is 6...exf3 7.Qxf3 and white gets an equal game with all pieces still on the board.

The popular 6...h5 is rather simple to play for white after 7.g5 Nd5 8.Nxe4 (diagram) and white is certainly not worse than in the lines without the h4 moves.

Let's look now at the best black repsonse, 6...h6. Scheerer suggests 7.Bg2 here, but I think he overlooked the simple 7...Nc6, leaving white a pawn down without any compensation.

Summary : the More than Hara Kiri line seems to be refuted by the simple 6...h6 as Scheerer's suggestion 7. Bg2 does not provide any equality.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

screwed up in a Slav ambush

I partipated in a tournament last weekend. My 5th round opponent knew I played the Blackmar Diemer and was prepared for it, since I had played a Blackmar Diemer against him a year ago or so.

So I had the bad idea of playimng something else...

1.d4 d5 2.c4
No mother what the grandmasters say : bad choice - 2.e4 is far better/

The Slav

3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 b5 6.Qc2
My knowledge of theory had ended here. Better was 6.e5, entering the Geller gambit.

6...e6 7.a4
Cant be bad, can it ?

7...a6 (diagram)
This cant be right !!!

8.axb5 cxb5 9.Nxb5 (diagram)
I won my gambit pawn back and my position is far better !!!

But my opponent got me into a known Slav ambush.

9...axb5!!! 10.Rxa8 Bb7 11.Ra1
I started to feel unconfortable, especially since my opponent was smiling all the time

11...Nxe4 (diagram)
And here I knew I was in really deep shit

Desperately trying to get my king into safety

12...Bb4+ (diagram)
Black develops quickly

13.Bd2 Nxd2 14.Nxd2 Qg5 (diagram)
Here I decided to resign. My king has no place to go as castling queenside is not possible anymore.

What a nice trap !!

Lessons learned - stick to the Blackmar Diemer and dont mess with Slav gambits.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Fixing the Ziegler

My previous post "A blow to the Ziegler" showed some problems in the "new" Ziegler lines.

After 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Bg5 e6 8.Nh4 Bg6 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.Qd3 Be7 11.0-0-0 Ng4, black seems to be clearly on top.

Not that this is the only problem to be fixed - after 11.0-0-0, a quick scan with Stockfish unearths many more problematic black moves, but that is another problem...

Back to the lines aftre 11...Ng4. It is obvious that 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 are necessary.

In my previous post, I only considered the aggressive 13.Bxe6, but now I am pretty sure that 13.Qf3 (diagram) is the best move.

It seems to me that both 13...Nf6 and 13...Qh4 are possible for black. Let;s look at 13...Nf6. White now tries to open the centre with 14.d5 (diagram).

It seems to me white has at leats an equal game in all lines, apart from one : 14...Rh4 !!! (diagram) Obviously, this move is hard to find over the board, but it poses white some serious problems.

a/ 15.d6 Qd8 16.Qe2
...a1/ 16...Nbd7 17.Kb1 (=) to (=+)
...a2/ 16...b5 17.Bxe6 fxe6 18.Qxe6+ Kf8 19.g3 (=)
...a3/ 16...Kf8 17.g3 (=)

b/ 15.Bb3
...b1/ 15...cxd5 16.Rhe1 (=+)
...b2/ 15...Nxd5 16.Nxd5 cxd5 17.Rhe1 (=+)

c/ 15.dxe6 Rxc4 16.exf7+ Kxf7 17.Rhe1 Qc7 18.Ne4 Rxe4!! 19.Rxe4 Nbd7 (=+)

d/ 15.dxc6 Nxc6 16.Bb5 Qc7 (=+)

So we see that 13.Qf3 Nf6 14.d5 Rh4 15.d6 Qd8 16.Qe2 gives a hard, but playable game.

What a relief, I beleived for some time the Ziegler actually did refute the Blackmar Diemer ! but that does not seem to be the case - provided I can fix all other problems :-(

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A simple trap in the lemberger countergambit

This morning I enjoyed a simple victory in the Lemberger.
1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nxe4 exd4 5.Bb5+ c6 6.Qe2 (diagram)

My opponent played the second best move here : 6...Be6 7.Bc4
And now fell for the simple trap 7...Bxc4 8.Bf6#

Surely it was just a blitz game, but I have won the same trap in a normal over the board game against an opponent rated fide 1750, so it is \surely not as simple as it seems. Let's look at the possibility starting from move 6.

a. 6...Be6 7.Bc4 (diagram)
...a1/ 7...Bb4+ 8.Bd2
......a1a/ 8....Bxd2+ 9.Nxd2 (+=)
......a1b/ 8....Bxc4 9.Nf6+ Kf8 10.Bxb4+ Ne7 11.Qxc4 (+)
......a1c/ 8....Qe7 9.0-0-0 Bxd2+ 10.Rxd2 (+)
......a1d/ 8....d3 9.cxd3 (+=)
...a2/ 7...Bd6 8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.Qg4 (+)
...a3/ 7...Be7 8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.Nf3 (+=)
...a4/ 7...Nf6 8.Ng5 (+=)
...a5/ 7...Na6 8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.Nf3 (+=)

b. 6...Be7 7.Bc4 (diagram)
...b1/ 7...Bf5 8.Nf3 (=)
...b2/ 7...Be6 8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.Nf3 (+=)
...b3/ 7...b5 8.Bd3 (+=)
...b4/ 7...Nf6 8.Nxf6+ gxf6 9.Qh5 (+=)

c/ 6...Qe7 7.Nd6+ Kd8 8.Qxe7 Kxe7 9.Nxc8+ Kd7 10.Bc4 (+=)

d/ 6...Bb4+ 7.c3 ( there are better ways for white, but this one is the only ones that maintains some winning chances for white ) (diagram)
...d1/ 7...cxb5 8.cxb4 
......d1a/ 8...Ne7 9.Qxb5+ (-)
......d1b/ 8...Nc6 9.Bf4 (=)
......d1c/ 8...a6 9.Bf4 (+=)
......d1d/ 8...Qe7 9.Nd6+ (+=)
......d1e/ 8...Bd7 9.Bg5 (+)
......d1f/ 8...Be6 9.Qxb5+ Nc6 10.Bf4 (=)
...d2/ 7...dxc3 8.bxc3 (=)
...d3/ 7...Be7 8.Bc4 (+=)
...d4/ 7...Ne7 8.Bd3 (=)
...d4/ 7...Qe7 8.cxb4 cxb4 9.Nd6+ (+=)

So we see that the gambit has many traps that may lead so a quick win, but it is not really correct, as it can be refuted, but white is no material down and can still fight back after 6...Bb4+ 7.c3 cxb5 8.cxb4 Ne7 9.Qxb5+ Nbc6 10.Ne2 (diagram)