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.