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.


  1. well...you said it yourself....I say play the BDG....after all you love it...great site Guido!.....My impression is that you tried to improvise.....I have been there and it's not fun.....BDG is a problem, but more so for black than white...and computer analysis is all very well and useful...but over the board one could get away with playing not the "best move" ....whatever that may mean....chess is a practical game after all! Often i will deliberately chose to play an "inferior move"...I gamble that opponent will not play the best one ( given the history of his/her moves)....and if so then my move is the "best one"...I never "play the board"....And GMs ?Ahead of a match ....they prepare for an opponent.....Just a thought.

  2. I don't know much about the theory of the Geller Gambit (may look into it at some point in the future, though, for the line does interest me) but I recall it being regarded by grandmasters as dubious- so indeed, you may as well have played 2.e4! But as you say, 6.e5 hitting the knight on f6 is stronger than Qc2.

  3. That's a poor lesson learned. First of all 6.e5 is not necessarily stronger as all the lines after Nd5 7.a4 e6 leave White struggling for compensation. Moreover 6.Qc2 has been played by Spassky in the past and he knew a few things about playing gambits - and never tried 2.e4. Then you could have found out here how to play this funny gambit:


    7.a4 is bad indeed. Far better is not only 7.Bg5 but also 7.Be2, 8.O-O and evt. 9.Bg5.
    In fact 7.a4 shows you haven't learned another lesson as well, the one taught by the great attacking player Rudolf Spielmann: the goal of a gambit is NOT winning back material at the first opportunity.

  4. Enjoy:

    MNb - Haller,P [D43]
    em WS/H/187, 2009

    1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Qc2 Nh5 12.d5 Nxg3 13.hxg3 Bg7 14.dxe6 fxe6 15.e5 Qe7 16.a4 a6 17.Qg6+ Qf7 18.Qe4 0-0-0 19.Qe3 Qe7 20.axb5 cxb5 21.Qa7 Nb8 22.Qb6 Rhe8 23.Nxb5 axb5 24.Qxb5 Rd5 25.Qxc4+ Nc6 26.b4 Qxb4 27.Qc2 Rc5 28.Qh7 Bxe5 29.Nxe5 Rxe5 30.Bf3 Qe7 31.Qg6 Rf8 32.Rfb1 Ref5 33.Ra4 Rc5 34.Rxb7 Rc1+ 35.Kh2 Kxb7 36.Bxc6+ Kxc6 37.Qe4+ Kb5 38.Ra2 Rc4 39.Qe5+ Qc5 ½-½

    Nieuweboer,M (1979) - Groß Winter,G (2319) [D44]
    em CL/2010/C2a ICCF, 25.01.2010

    1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.0-0 h6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bg3 b4 11.Na4 Nxe4 12.Be5 Nef6 13.Bxc4 g4 14.Bxf6 Qxf6 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Qxe5 17.Qxg4 Bd7 18.Rad1 h5 19.Qf3 Rd8 20.Rfe1 Qc7 21.Rd3 c5 22.Red1 Ke7 23.Nxc5 Qxc5 24.Qb7 Qxc4 25.Rxd7+ Rxd7 26.Rxd7+ Kf6 27.Qf3+ Ke5 ½-½

    Nieuweboer,M (2015) - Calder,H (2026)
    em CL/2007/FT1A ICCF, 01.09.2007

    1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 a5 10.Qc2 g4 11.Ne5 Qxd4 12.Rd1 Qb6 13.h3 gxh3 14.Rxh3 Bg7 15.Nxf7 Kxf7 16.e5 Nd5 17.Bh5+ Kg8 18.Qg6 1-0

    You won't get funny stuff like this after 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 c6 or Nf6 4.f3 c6.

  5. Very interesting stuff- I have to confess that, despite having read most of Mark Morss's online articles (including a few on the Queen's Gambit), I obviously overlooked that one. I had assumed that 6.Qc2 must be inferior because most sources don't seem to mention it, but maybe it's rather because of the various transpositions with other lines.
    Doing a bit of research, Morss (aka Markovich) still believed in this line as of 2009: http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1243661319
    Looking over the resulting positions, it does appear that the real error involved copping out at move 7 rather than move 2.