Sunday, September 18, 2016

A New Morning

Looking at the date of my latest post - it is really time to post again. So, with the Bob Dylan album "New Morning" from 1970 playing in the background, I choose to write again on a game I played last weekend.

Guido De Bouver - NN
1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 e6
A superdefensive Caro Kan French !

7.Bg5 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Qe1 Nbd7 10.Rd1
I knew this was not the best move, but I realised my opponent ( who choose not to be named ) has prepared against the Blackmar Diemer, so I wanted to deviate from the normal paths.

10....Nb6 11.Bd3 Nbd5 12.Qh4 (diagram)

Let's have a closer look at the position. White has wasted 2 moves to get to the ideal Euwe defense position ( Bc4 and Rd1 ), whilst black has played the suboptimal c6. Is this still playable for white ?

The only move for black

Seems like a natural move, but 13.Nxd5 Nxd5 14.c4 is much stronger

Again the only move (diagram)

Probably not the bets move, but both Bxe7 and Bxg6 lead to a difficult endgame ahead for white

14...f6 15.Nxf6 (diagram)

Here black played 15...Ndxf6, which was punished by the unexpected 16.Nxg6 and I won quickly.

Seems like black's only move an advantage is 15...Rxf6 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Qe4 with black having two white pieces for the rook.

Bottomline : dont deviate from the established path by wasting time with silly moves like 10.Rd1. But even then, black's path to success is far from easy.

Doesn't that sound like a new morning ?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Start Trek continued

Hope you enjoyed the "Star Trek" idea from last post. Let's look at another line today - for the fun of it !

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Ne5 e6 8.Nxf7 ?? Kxf7 9.0-0 Bg6 10.Qe2 (diagram)

Alternatives to 10.Qe2 are 10.Qg4, 10.Bf4 and 10.Re1 - maybe they provide white with a better attack - check it out yourself.

10...Qxd4+ 11.Kh1 Qd7 12.Bg5 (diagram)
"The proof of the pudding is in the eating" - the only way for black to maintain a clear lead is by taking another pawn and thus opening even more lines - thus risking even more.

Black now has two options to moves to maintain his lead : 12...Na6 and 12...b5.

Let's look at the first : 12...Na6 ( a6 is obviously not the target for the horseman as it wants to defend the e6 pawn from the relatively safe c7 square ) 13.Rad1 Qe7 14.Ne4 Bxe4 15.Qxe4 Nac7 (diagram)

I have to admit, I am here a bit without ideas to continue the attack. White's pieces are all over the board, but black defends everything - and has an extra piece and pawn !!

Any imporvements ??

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Star Trek attack.

Some 15 years ago, when I started to get interested in the Blackmar Diemer, I was often faced with the annoying O'Kelly defense. Over time, I learned to deal with it, but at the time, it was a defense that made me tremble with fear.

So I started to investigate stange lines, to make the attack playable - that's how I come to discover the Start Trek attack : "To boldly go were no man has gone before"... I remember the feedback from a fellow BDG author : "That 's quite optimistic ?!"

Anyway, here is the Star Trek attack : 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Ne5 e6 8.Nxf7 ?? Kxf7 9.0-0

Let's look at black's most natural response : 9...Ke8 10.Kh1 (diagram)
I often need this move, so why not play it immediately - it allows me to wait for black's move and respond accordingly.

Let's look at one of black's most normal moves : 10...Nbd7 11.Qe2 (diagram)

Black has many moves at his disposal, let's see what happens if he tries to defend the pawn with 11...Qe7 12.Bg5 (diagram)

Black can now try to run in his king to safety, eg 12...Kd8 13.Rae1 Kc7 14.Bf4+ Kc8 15.h3 and with has compensation for the piece

From the starting position above, the defender could try to initiate a pawn storm on the white king : 12...h6 13.Bh4 g5 14.Bg3 h5 15.Rae1 h4 16.Bd6 with a difficult position

Lastly, the normal line 12...Nb6 13.Bb3 Nbd5 brings equal play after 14.Bxd5

So it sure seems the Star Trek attack might be worth a closer look !

Saturday, March 12, 2016

O'Kelly is OK

Some say that the O'Kelly is a great defense - that might be true.

However, I say, the O'Kelly line is a great attack - the game I played yesterday evening proves so.

Guido De Bouver - Bram Verschoren
Mechelen, 2016

1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.g4 !!

As suggested in a famous Chesscafe article.

7...Nxg4 8.Nh4 g6 9.h3 Nf6 10.Bg5 e6 ?

Better would have been 10...Ne4. But in the game, I now missed the equalizing move : 11.d5 !!

11.Qe2 Be7 12.0-0-0 Nd5

With two pawns up, black exchanges a few pieces. Cant be bad...

13.Bxe7 Nxc3 14.Qe5.

Black now makes a horrible mistake. Simply 14...Kxe7 would have left me with 15.bxc3 Nd7 and black won a very important tempo as compared to the actual game.

14...Nax2+ 15.Bxa2 Ke7

Now I have a crucial extra move for the pawn, which allows me to open up the centre. However, when returning home, my silicon assistant says 16.Nxf5 gxf5 17.Rhe1 is actually a lot better for white.

16.d5 cxd5 17.Nxf5 gxf5 18.Rhe1

18...Qa5 19.Rxd5

Here my opponent took the piece on a2 and suggested a draw. Myself, I had a terrible headache and did not want to look any further and agreed to the draw, as we both saw 19...Qxa2 20.Qd6+ Kf6 21.Qe5+ with a perpetual check.

However, the position allows for a mate in 6, can you find it ?

19...Qxa2 20.Qd6+ Kf6 21.Rxf5+ !!

Ouch !! that hurts.

21...Kxf5 22.Qe5+ Kg6 23.Rg1 Kh6 24.Qg5 mate.

Pity I did not see that finish... But I certainly know now that the O'Kelly defense is actually a great attack.