Saturday, November 27, 2010

Confusing the Enemy

In the following game, six of Black's 14 moves were pawn moves, the remaining were King moves.  It would not take a statistician to guess the outcome.

Helsinki, 1944

1. e4, c5
2. d4, cxd4
3. Nf3 ....

White deviated from the usual 3. Qxd4 ... intending to confuse the opponent.  Black is advised to reply 3....Nc6 or 3....d6.

3. .... e5

Black turns the game into a gambit, hoping to trap White into capturing the e-pawn: 4. Nxe5,Qa4+ winning the Knight.

4. c3!, dxc3
5. Nxc3, d6
6. Bc4, h6

Black is afraid of 7. Ng5, but Black's f7 pawn is more vulnerable than he thinks.

7. Bxf7, Kxf7
8. Nxe5 ....

The Queen's pawn is pinned, and this fact makes the attack possible.

8. .... Ke7

Black has no satisfactory reply. If 8.....Ke8, 9. Qh5+ and mate follows.

If 8....Ke6, then 9. Qd5+ Kf6, 10. Qf7+ Kxe5, 11. Bf4 Kd4, 12. Qd5 mate.

If 8....Kf6 then 9. Qd4! Qe8, 10. Nd5+ Ke6, 11. Nc7 winning the Queen.

9. Nd5+, Ke6
10. Qg4+, Kxe5
11. Bf4+, Kd4

If 11....Kxe4, then 12. Nc3+ Kd4, 13. Qd1+ Kc4, 14. Qd5+ Kb4, 15. a3 mate.

12. Be3+, Ke5

If 12....Kc4, then 13. Qe2 mate.

13. Qf4+, Ke6
14. Qf5 mate

White energetically pursued Black's King taking advantage of open files.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sicilian to Danish

White turns a Sicilian opening to Danish Gambit. Black unknowingly cooperated in the magnificent outcome.

Warsaw, 1933
Sicilian Defense (Danish Gambit by transposition)

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, Nf6
3. e5, Nd5
4. Nc3, e6
5. Nxd5, exd5
6. d4, d6
7. Bg5, Qa5+

If 7....Be7, then White gains a pawn by 8. Bxe7 Qxe7, 9. dxc5 ..

8. c3, cxd4
9. Bd3!? ....

Offering pawns one after another, White plays for a dashing attack.

9. .... dxc3
10. 0-0, cxb2
11. Rb1, dxe5?

This move opens the e-file and increases Black's attacking prospects.

12. Nxe5, Bd6

Of course not 12....f6 because 13. Qh5 is devastating. At this point, 12....Be6 is preferable.

13. Nxf7, Kxf7
14. Qh5+, g6

Black's situation is shaky. If 14....Kf8, then 15. Bxh7 etc. If  14....Ke6, then 15. Bf5+ Ke5, 16. Re1+ Kd4, 17. Be3+ Kc3, 18. Qd1 and Black can resign.

15. Bxg6 hxg6
16. Qxh8, Bf5

Preventing the loss of another pawn. If 16....Nd7, then 17, Qh7+ Kf8, 18. Bh6+ Ke8, 19. Qxg6+ etc.

17. Rbe1, Be4

A mating position arises for White after 17....Bf8, 18. Re7+ Bxe7, 19. Qh7+ Kf8, 20. Qxe7+ Kg8, 21. Bf6 etc.

18. Rxe4!!, dxe4
19. Qf6+, Resigns

White wins after 19....Ke8, 20. Qe6+ Kf8, 21. Bh6 mate.  If 19....Kg8, then 20. Qxg6+ Kf8, 21. Qxd6+ Kg8, 22. Qe6+ Kg2 (If 22....Kh8, then 23. Bf6+ Kh7, 24. Qf7+ Kh6, 25. Qg7+ Kh5, 26. g4 mate.); 23. Qe7+ Kg6, 24. Qf6+ Kh7, 25. Qf7+ Kh8, 26. Bf6 mate.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Lazy King and the Traveler Queen

The importance of castling is again reiterated in today's post.  The game below also underlines the chess theory that the Queen should not be moved too early in the game, since it could be trapped and an easy target for attack.

Riga, 1913

1. e4, e6
2. d4, d5
3. Nc3, Nf6
4. exd5, Nxd5
5. Nf3, c5
6. Nxd5, Qxd5

The Black Queen began traveling...

7. Be3!, cxd4
8. Nxd4, a6
9. Be2, Qxg2?

Black fell to White's trap.

10. Bf3, Qg6
11. Qd2, e5

12. 0-0-0 ....

White decides to sacrifice the Knight in exchange for an open position, taking advantage of the uncastled King.

12. .... exd4
13. Bxd4 ....

White now threatens 14. Bxg7 Bxg7, 15. Qd8 mate.

13. .... Nc6
14. Bf6!! ....

Fantastic!  The threat now is 15. Qd8+ Nxd8, 16. Rxd8 mate.

14. .... Qxf6

If 14....gxf6 or 14....Be6, then 15. Bxc6+ and White wins.  If 14....Be7 then 15. Bxc6+ bxc6, 16. Qd8+ Bxd8, 17. Rxd8 mate.

15. Rhe1+, Be7

If 15...Be6, then White mates with 16. Qd7.

16. Bxc6+, Kf8
17. Qd8+, Bxd8
18. Re8 mate

White took exceptional advantage of Black's uncastled King and wandering Queen.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Flank Attack

In chess, a struggle may happen along the a-file or h-file - a flank attack.  This situation may be aggravated by a trap or a sacrifice paving the way for an attack in an open file.  This phenomenon is best illustrated in the following post, a brilliant game in which the great grandmaster Adolf Anderssen demolished Mayet in just 12 moves.

Berlin, 1851

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, Bc5
4. c3, Nf6
5. Bxc6 ....

Modern masters would perhaps prefer 5. d4 fortifying the center and getting rid of the pesky Bishop.

5. .... dxc6

Modern chess theory would suggest 5....bxc6 to be followed by 6....d5, but Anderssen has something up his sleeve.

6. 0-0 ....

Ill-timed.  The best move is still 6. d4.

6. .... Bg4!
7. h3 ....

Intending to drive off the annoying Bishop...

7. .... h5!

8. hxg4? ....

A bad move. White obligingly opened the h-file, paving the way for Black's attack.

8. .... hxg4
9. Nxe5, g3!!
10. d4, Nxe4!

Black threatens 11. Rh1+  Kxh1, 12. Qh4+  Kg1, 13. Qh2 mate.

11. Qg4?, Bxd4

Anderssen may win in another way by 11....gxf2+, 12. Rxf2  Rh1+, 13. Kxh1  Nxf2+ winning the Queen.

12. Qxe4, Bxf2+

White resigns, as there is no stopping 13. Rxf2 (forced)  Qd1+, 14. Rf1  Rh1+, 15. Kxh1  Qxf1 mate.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Scotch Game

Match, 1888
Scotch Game

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. d4, exd4
4. Nxd4, Nf6
5. Nxc6, bxc6
6. Bd3, d5

Afterwards, the usual move is 7. exd5, cxd5; but White tries something different, hoping to drive the Black's Knight to the back rank.

7. e5, Ng4
8. 0-0, Bc5!

An attacking move, one crucial to center play. If 8....Nxe5, then 9. Re1 f6 (or Bd6), 10. f4 and White wins.

9. h3, Nxe5
10. Re1, Qf6!!

Hmmm...White senses a trap. The f2 pawn is very vulnerable.

11. Qe2, 0-0

If Black tries 11....Bd6, then White replies with 12. f4 winning the Knight. Since the Knight is lost anyway, Black decides to wait for the right time to attack.

12. Qxe5, Qxf2+
13. Kh1 ....

Of course not 13. Kh2 since White would lose the Queen after 13....Bd6.

14. gxh3, Qf3+
15. Kh2, Bd6
16. Qxd6, Qf2+

White resigns, since Black takes the Rook before confiscating White's Queen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Spanish Game, Berlin Defense

New York, 1918

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. d4, d6
4. Nc3, Nf6
5. Bb5, Bd7
6. 0-0, Be7
7. Re1, exd4
8. Nxd4, Nxd4
9. Qxd4, Bxb5
10. Nxb5, 0-0
11. Qc3, ....

Threatening 12. Qxc7...

11. .... c6
12. Nd4, Nd7

Black's Knight gives way to his Bishop.

13. Nf5, Bf6
14. Qg3, Ne5
15. Bf4, Qc7
16. Rad1, Rad8
17. Rxd6!! ....

The bombshell!  This move came very unexpectedly.

17. .... Rxd6
18. Bxe5, Rd1

If 18.....Bxe5, then 19. Qxe5 and White wins the Queen or the Rook because of a mating threat at g7.

19. Rxd1, Bxe5
20. Nh6+, Kh8
21. Qxe5!! ....

A magnificent move.  But Black has no choice but to capture.  If 21....Qc8, then 22. Nf5 f6, 23. Qe7 Rg8, 24. Nd6 and White wins the Queen or mates at f7.

22. .... Qxe5
23. Nxf7, Resigns

White comes ahead in material after winning the Queen.  If  23....Rxf7, then 24. Rd8+ and wins.

This game is one of Capablanca's best. A superb performance!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Center Play

Keeping a solid central pawn structure is crucial to a defensive chess play.  Once the center breaks down, it would be easy for the attacker to penetrate.  The posted game is an excellent model of this theory.

Stockholm, 1937

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, d6
3. d4, Nf6
4. Nc3, N8d7
5. Be2, Be7
6. 0-0, h6
7. b3 ....

White intends to position his Bishop at b2, to apply indirect pressure on Black's e5 pawn.

7. .... c6
8. Bb2, Qc7
9. Qd2, g5

Black's last move weakens his long diagonal.  Black should have kept a tight defensive game.

10. Rfd1, Nf8?

Black intends to post his Knight at f4 via g6, but it never made it. He should have concentrated on developing his pawn structure at the center,

11. dxe5, dxe5
12. Nxe5!! ....

 12. .... Be6

If 12....Qxe5, then White replies with 13. Nd5 Qxb2, 14. Nc7 mate.  In this variation, if 13....Qd6, then 16. Nxf6+ and wins.

13. Nb5!!, Qb8

If 13....cxb5, then 14. Bxb5 N8d7, 15. Bxd7 Bxd7, 16. Nxd7 Nxd7, 17. Bxh8.   In this variation, if 15....Kf8, then 16. Bxe6 fxe6, 17. Ng6+.  Either way, White wins.

14. Qa5 !! ....

A pretty move.  Black cannot shoo away the Queen with 14....b6 because of 15. Nxc6 bxa5, 16. Nxb8 Rxb8, 17. Nc7 mate.  In this variation, if 16....Bd8, then 17. Rxd8 Kxd8, 18. Bxf6+ and White wins.

14. .... Bd8
15. Rxd8, Qxd8
16. Nc7+, Resigns

There is no hope for Black.  If 16....Ke7, then 17. Ba3+ and White wins.

White executed one brilliant move after another.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

King's Gambit Declined

Berlin, 1863

1. e4, e5
2. f4, Bc5
3. Nf3, d6
4. Bc4, Nf6
5. Nc3, 0-0
6. d3 ....

After 6. fxe5 fxe5, 7. Nxe5 Black replies with 7....Qd4! and he would have a good game.

6. .... Ng4?

Black is enticed by  ....Nf2, but 6....Nc6 is a much better reply.

7. Rf1, Nxh2?
8. Rh1! ....

Black hoped for 8. Nxh2 Qh4+ followed by ...Qxh2, giving him an excellent game.

8. .... Ng4
9. Qe2, Bf2+?

A useless move. It disabled White's castling but at this point of the game, castling for White does not signify.

10. Kf1, Nc6
11. f5!, Bc5
12. Ng5!!, Nh6

If 12....Nf6 White wins with 13. Nxh7 Nxh7, 14. Qh5 etc.

13. Qh5, Qe8

14. Nxh7, Kxh7
15. Bxh6, g6

Of course not 15....gxh6, 16. Qxh6+ and mate next move.

16. Qxg6+!!, fxg6
17. Bxf8 mate.

An artistic finale.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ignatz Kolisch, Vienna Game

Ignatz Kolisch was a Baron of the Austrian Empire.  He was ranked number  one chess player in the world between July 1867 and November 1868.  He later became involved in banking and abandoned chess in favor of the stock market.

Paris, 1859
Vienna Game

1. e4, e5
2. Bc4, Nf6
3. Nc3, c6

Most players prefer 3....Nc6. Combative players may choose 3...Nxe4, which goes 4. Nxe4 d5.

4. d3, b5

Black's last move turned out well, but 4....d5 is stronger.

5. Bb3, a5
6. a4, b4
7. Na2? ....

White voluntarily exiled his Knight to a useless square, where it is stranded for the rest of the game.

7. .... d5
8. exd5, cxd5
9. Nf3, Nc6
10. Qe2, Bg4
11. 0-0, Bc5

If 11...e4, then 12. dxe4 dxe4, 13. Qb5....and the Knight becomes unpinned. At this point, if 13....exf3, then 14. Qxc6 Bd7, 15. Qxf3... and Black loses much material.

12. Bg5, h6
13. h3, h5?!

What does Black have in mind? He could have won the exchange outright by 13....Bxf3, 14. Bxf6 Bxe2, 15. Bxd8 Bxf1.

14. hxg4, hxg4

Now we see the reason for Black's 13th move. The open h-file paves the way for an attack.

15. Nxe5, Nd4
16. Qe1 ....

White waits. He is a piece ahead and threatens 17. Nc6+ winning Black's Queen.

16. .... Ne4!!

A magnificent blockade. If the Knight is taken e.g. 17. dxe4 then17.....Qxg5 and White's attack fizzles.

17. Bxd8, Ng3!!

Now we see the reason behind the Queen sacrifice. Black threatens mate at h1. The attacking Knight cannot be captured because of 18....Ne2 mate.

18. Ng6+, N4e2+
19. Qxe2, Nxe2 mate.

A superb masterpiece. The game reflects Kolisch's dazzling style.
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