Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Viking-French-Blackmar-Diemer-... attack

I already played my opponent from yesterday evening a year or so ago. At that time, he accepted the f3 pawn and was swept away by a berserk attack. Have you ever seen the series "Vikings" ? Well, I looked like Ragnar Lothbrok and England was there to conquer.

Yesterday evening, my opponent choose the more cautious path - he initially declined the offered pawn but could not resist lateron.

Guido De Bouver - Robert De Hert
Antwerpen 2015.

1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 e6
Black steers into a French-like defense

4.Be3 (diagram)
Vikings on the horizon !

4...dxe4 5.fxe4 Nxe4 6.Nd2 (diagram)
Vikings have set ashore and immediately set camp.

6...Nxd2 7.Qxd2
King Aelle of Northumberland believes he won the first battle, but Ragnar sees it differently.

7...Bd6 8.Nf3 Nc6 9.Bd3 e5 ?
It is strange what the sight of a berserk viking does to man. King Aelle should have tried to reduce the viking forces by 9...Nb4, and if this fails, set up an outpost with Nd5.

10.000 exd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 0-0 (diagram)

Now Ragnar makes a premature attack, but king Aelle doesnt really benefit from this mistake.
13.Qc3 c5 14.Bf2 Qg5 15.Kb1 Be5 16.Qxc5 Qf6 (diagram)

17.Rf1 ! Bxb2 18.Bxh7+ Kxh7 19.Qxf8 Bf5 20.Qb4 (diagram)

The remainder of the game is of no interest to us - we dont want to witness the massacre that Ragnar imposes on the poor English defenders. But the suggested Viking attack certainly has some potency in it - especially as the defender is likely to make mistakes when faces with this unusual attack.

Editors note : This story is historically correct - vikings got into contact with chess when they travelled the seven seas, Ragnar did invade England, king Aelle suffered a terrible blow, and yes, the vikings would have played the Blackmar-Diemer if it had already been invented...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Oh horror, black develops faster in this Vienna sideline

We all know that the Vienna defense is annoying as black refuses the free f3. The result is a difficult choice for white, as he has the choice between the berserker attack with g4, sometimes followed up by the even more-than-hara-kiri h4. The other choice is the quiet fxe4, but also here, white is not without problems.

1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.fxe4 Nxe4 6.Qf3 Nxc3
The other option is 6...Nd6, protecting both the b6 pawn and f5 bishop.

7.bxc3 e6 (diagram)

In my book, I had given 8.Qxb7 Nd7 9.Nf3 as equality, but I am not so sure anymore now. Let's have a closer look.

8.Qxb7 Nd7

The alternative line 8...Qh4+ offers no winning chances for black, eg 8...Qh4+ 9.Kd1 Be4 and white has the luxury of choice between 10.Qc8+, 10.Qxc7 and 10.Bb5+. So back to our main line after 8...Nd7 9.Nf3 (diagram)

It is now black who has the luxury of choice. Let's consider today black's most challenging continuation 9...Rb8. The white majesty can go to c6 or capture on a7 - my silicon assistant prefers the capture after a long thought.

9...Rb8 10.Qxa7 (diagram)

The problem is that black now has 10...Bxc2 and white has no more development moves. Ideally, the white bishop wants to be developed to d3, but this is one of the few lines where this is not possible. Also, 11.Bg5 is not so good as black simply replies 11...Be7 and it is black who can castle first.

So, are we facing a simple, yet effective antidote against our beloved gambit ? It surely seems so.