Friday, May 22, 2020

Italian Game, Max Lange Attack

VISWANATHAN ANAND vs. MAGNUS CARLSEN
Norway Rapid, April 1, 2017

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Nf6
4. d4, exd4
5. 0-0, Bc5

Black employs the Max Lange Attack.

6. e5, d5

Black opts to exchange pieces.

7. exf6, dxc4
8. Re1+, Kf8
9. Bg5 ...

White intends to capture the g7 pawn, while attacking the opponent's Queen.

9. ... gxf6
10. Bh6+, Kg8
11. Nc3, Bg4

Black cannot capture the Knight because of the mating threat Qxd8.

12. Ne4, b6
13. c3, Ne5

If 13....dxc3, then 14.Qxd8 Rxd8, 15. Nxf6 mate.

14. Nxe5!,  Bxd1



















A stunning Queen sacrifice!  This paves the way for White's victory.

15. Nd7!  ...

Now, it is clear.  White intends to capture the f6 pawn, which leads to mate.

15. ... Be7
16. N4xf6, Bxf6
17. Re8+!, Qxe8
18. Nf6 mate.

Great play by Anand.

Author's note:  While a You Tube video presentation exists, the game is not recorded in other chess literature.  Therefore, there is no certainty that the game was ever played.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange Variation

VISWANATHAN ANAND vs. IAN NEPOMNIACHTCHI
FIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup
May 2020

1.d4, Nf6
2. c4, g6
3. Nc3, d5
4. cxd5, Nxd5
5. Bd2, Bg7
6. e4, Nxc3
7. Bxc3, c5
8. d5! ...

Anand opts to neutralize immediately Black's g7 Bishop.  This is part of his overall strategy.

8. ... Bxc3
9. bxc3, Qd6

Black hopes to control the c7-h2 diagonal.

10. Qd2, 0-0
11. f4! ...

Most common chess engines regard this as White's best move, in preparation for a center advance.

11. ... e6
12. Nf3, exd5
13. Bc4 ...

If the d5 pawn is taken, White's King would be in danger.

13. ... Be6
14. 0-0, d4
15. f5! ...

 An unexpected move.  White sacrifices a Bishop for a great pawn advance.



















15. ... Bxc4

Black should have sacrificed this Bishop to neutralize White's impending attack.  Best move is Bxf5.

If 15...gxf5 then 16. Qg5+ Kh8, 17. Qf6+ Kg8, 18. exf5! pinning the Bishop.

16. e5!, Qd7
17. f6!,  Resigns

Mate cannot be prevented at g7.



Monday, April 27, 2020

Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack, Modern Line

VISWANATHAN ANAND vs. MANUEL APICELLA
Champigny sur Marne op, 1984

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, d6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, Nf6
5. Nc3, g6
6. Be3, Bg7
7. f3, 0-0

So far, we have seen the main line of the Sicilian, Dragon Variation.

8. Qd2 ...

White prepares to castle on the Queen side.

8. ... Nc6
9. 0-0-0, Bd7
10. h4!, Qa5

Black plans to attack the a2 pawn, presumably Black's weakest spot.

11. g4!, Rfc8
12. Nb3 ...

Effectively driving away Black's Queen.

12. ... Qe5
13. g5!, Nb4?!



















Again, Black prematurely attacks the a2 pawn.  He is hoping for 14. a3 Na2+, 15. Nxa2 Nxe4, 16. fxe4 Qxb2 mate.   But White's reply is unexpected.

14. Bd4! ...

Effectively destroying Black's line of attack.

14. ... Qe6
15. gxf6, exf6
16. Kb1, a5
17. Bh3, Qe8
18. Bxd7, Qxd7
19. a3, Nc6
20. Nd5, Nxd4
21. Nxd4, Qd8

Black prevents Nb6.

22. h5!, b5
23. hxg6, hxg6
24. Nf5! ...



















White threatens 25. Nxg7 Kxg7, 26. Qh6+!!

24. ... gxf5
25. Rdg1!   Resigns

Black has no defense against White's eventual Qg2.  Now, if 25....Qf8, then 26. Nxf6 mate.

If 25....Kf8 then 26. Rxg7 Ke8, 27. Rh8+ Kd7, 28. Rxf7+ Kc6, 29. Rxd8 Rxd8, 30. Rc7 mate.

A gem of a game.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Scandinavian Defense

HIKARU NAKAMURA vs. ALIREZA FIROUZJA
Magnus Carlsen Invitational 2020

1. e4, d5

Firouzja chooses the Scandinavian Defense.

2. exd5, Qxd5
3. Nc3, Qa5
4. b4 ...



















Known as the Leonhardt Gambit,  with the objective of driving away Black's Queen.  d4 is an alternative choice.

4. ...  Qxb4

5. Rb1, Qd6
6. d4, Qd8?!

A devious move.  Better options would be Nf6 or c6 (to control d5).

7. Bc4, Nf6
8. Nf3, e6
9. 0-0, Be7
10. Ne5! ...

Now, White prepares for a center attack.

10. ...  0-0
11. Re1, c5

Black challenges the center pawn.   Chess observers say Nf6 is a better move.

12. d5 !!

White chooses to advance the pawn, hoping for an exchange.

12. ...  exd5
 13. Nxd5,  Be6?

Considered a blunder by chess observers.   But after 13....Nxf5, 14. Qxd5 Qxd5,  15. Bxd5 Bf6,  16. Nxf7 Rxf7, 17. Re8+  White's attack becomes fatal.

14. Nxf7!!,  Resigns



















If 14....Rxf7 then 15. Nxe7 Qxe7, 16. Rxe6!  White wins.

If 14....Bxf7 then 15. Nxe7+ Kh8, 16. Qxd8 Rxd8, 17. Bxf7  White has the advantage.

If 14....Kxf7 then 15. Rxe6 Kxe6, 16. Nxf6+ Kxf6, 17. Qf3+ Kg6, 18. Qe4+ Rf5,  19. Qe6+ Kh5, 20. Be2+ kH4, 21. g3+ Kh3, 22. Qxf4 mate.

This was one of Nakamura's best games.







Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spanish Game: Berlin Defense, Rio de Janeirro Variation

ALBERT WRITING FOX vs. ALBERT CLERC
Paris, 1901

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, Nf6
4. 0-0, Nxe4
5. d4, Be7
6. Qe2, Nd6
7. Bxc6, bxc6
8. dxe5, Nb7
9. Nc3, 0-0
10. Be3, Nc5
11. Bxc5, Bxc5
12. Ne4, Be7
13. Rad1, a5
14. Rfe1, a4
15. Nd4, Qe8

Preempting 16. Nxc6 ....

16. Qh5, Kh8
17. Nf6 ....


















17. ....Bxf6

If 17.....gxf6 then 18. exf6 pinning the Bishop.

18. exf6, Qd8
19. fxg7+, Kxg7
20. Nf5+, Kh8
21. Qh6, Rg8

To prevent Qg7 mate.

22. Re8 ...

Black resigned.


















Black cannot parry simultaneous mating threats Qg7 and Qf6.  If 22.....Qg5 then 23. Qxg5 Rxe8 24. Qg7 mate.





Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Caro-Kann Defense, Main Line


Rudolf Spielmann vs. Balduv Hoenlinger
Vienna, 1929

1. e4, c6
2. d4, d5
3. Nc3, dxe4
4. Nxe4, Nf6
5. Ng3, e6
6. Nf3, c5
7. Bd3, Nc6

Black loses his Queen after 7....cxd4, 8. Nxd4 Qxd4, 9.Bb5+...

8. dxc5, Bxc5
9. a3, 0-0
10. 0-0, b6
11. b4, Be7
12. Bb2, Qc7
13. b5, Na5
14. Ne5, Bb7
15. Ng4, Qd8
16. Ne3, Nd5
17. Qh5!, g6
18. Ng4!, Bf6

If 18....gxh5 then 19. Nh6 mate.

19. Nxf6, Nxf6
20. Qh6, Rc8
21. Rad1, Qe7
22. Rfe1, Ne8

Black secures the g7 square.

23. Nf5!!, Qc5

If 23....gxf5 then 24. Bxf5 with mating threat at h7.

24. Re5, Bd5
25. Ne7+ .....


Black resigned.  If 25.....Qxe7 then 26. Qxh7+ Kxh7, 27. Rh5+ Kg8, 28. Rh8 mate.

Fabulous game !!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Central Pawn Sacrifice

A pawn sacrifice at the center of the board is sometimes necessary to open up a central file.  This post gives us an example of an attack while the opponent King is not yet castled.

 BORIS SPASSKY vs. ALEX AFTONOMOV
Leningrad, USSR, 1949

1. d4, d5
2. c4, dxc4
3. Nf3, Nf6
4. e3, e6
5. Bxc4, c5
6. 0-0, e6
7. Qe2, Nc6
8. Nc3, b5
9. Bb3, Bb7
10. Rd1, cxd4
11. exd4, Nb4
12. d5!! ....

White intends to open the e-file.

 





















12. ... N4xd5
13. Bg5, Be7
14. Bxf6, gxf6

Not 14.....Bxf6, Black would lose a piece after 15. Nxd5 Bxd5, 16. Rxd5 ...

15. Nxd5, Bxd5
16. Bxd5, exd5
17. Nd4, Kf8
18. Nf5, h5

 





















Black thought that White's Queen is going to h5, so he 'blocks' the square.  White's reply surprises him.

19. Rxd5!! Qxd5
20. Qxe7+, Kg8
21. Qxf6!! Resigns

Black cannot handle the simultaneous threats at e7 (Knight fork) and mate at g7.

To view the game in PGN format, you may visit  Spassky vs. Aftonomov.
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