Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

BORIS SPASSKY vs. NUKHIM RASHOVSKY
USSR championship, 1973

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, d6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, Nf6
5. Nc3, a6
6. Bg5, e6
7. f4, Qc7
8. Bd3, N8d7
9. Qe2, b5
10. 0-0-0, Bb7
11. Rhe1, Be7
12. e5, dxe5
13. fxe5, Nd5
14. Bxe7, Nxc3
15. Qg4! ....

White sees possibilities on the kingside. He keeps Black from castling.

15. .... Nxd1

If 15....Kxe7, then 16. Nxe6 fxe6, 17. Qxg7+ Ke8, 18. Rf1!! and Black may either lose his Queen or get a back-rank mate.  A pretty continuation arises after 18....Kd1, 19. Qxh8+ Nf8, 20. Qxf8 Kd7, 21. Bxb5 mate.

16. Nxe6!!, Qc6

If 16.....fxe6, then 17. Qxe6 Qc6, 18. Bd6+ Kd8, 19. Rxd1 with a good attack for White.

17. Nxg7, Kxe7
18. Qg5+, f6

If 18.....Kf8, then 19. e6! fxe6, 20. Rf1+ and White wins.

19. exf6+, Kd8
20. f7+!!, Kc7

Forced. If 20....Nf6, then 21. Re8+ Rxe8, 22. Nxe8!!. White's additional pin on the Knight and queening pawn assures him of victory.

21. Qf4+, Resigns

The King has nowhere to go. If 21.....Qd6, then 22. Ne6+ Kc6, 23. Be4+....

If 22....Kc8 or 22....Kd8, White initiates mate by 23. Re8+.

If 22....Kb6, Black loses his Queen by 23. Re6.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Benoni Defense, Taimanov Variation

BORIS GULKO vs. VLADIMIR SAVON
Lvovzt, 1978

The Benoni Defense is a very aggressive opening that white can play against white's initial 1. d4. From this first move, Black must have multiple things that he can throw at white to give him a good chance to win

1. d4, Nf6
2. c4, c5
3. d5 .....

The Benoni Defense.

3. .... e6
4. Nc3, exd5
5. cxd5, d6
6. e4, g6
7. f4, Bg7
8. Bb5+ ....

The Taimanov Variation of the Benoni.

8. .... Nfd7
9. a4, 0-0
10. Nf3, Na6
11. 0-0, Nc7
12. Bd3, a6
13. Qe1, Rb8
14. e5, Nb6
15. f5!, dxe5
16. fxg6, fxg6
17. Bg5, Qd6
18. Qh4, N7xd5
19. Rad1, c4
20. Nxd5, cxd3

If 20....Nxd5, then 21. Bxc4 with a good game for White.

21. Ne7+, Kh8
22. Nxe5, Bf5

If 22.....Qxe5, then 23. Nxg6 double-check.

23. Rxf5!! ....

White takes advantage of weakness at g6 square.


23. .... Bxe5

If 23.....gxf5 or Rxf5, then 24. N5xg6 and white wins.

24. Rxe5!! ....

A surprise move.  The Rook cannot be taken because of White's threat Nxg6 double-check.

24. .... Rf7

Black resigns anyway.  There is no defense against 25. Rxd3.  Black's Queen would leave the d6 square and White initiates a mating attack with Bf6+.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gruenfeld Defense, Classical Exchange Variation

BORIS SPASSKY vs. JAN TIMMAN
Amsterdam, 1977

1. d4, Nf6
2. c4, g6
3. Nc3, d5
4. cxd5 ....

The starting point of the Exchange Variation.

4. .... Nxd5
5. e4, Nxc3
6. bxc3, Bg7
7. Bc4, 0-0
8. Ne2, b3
9. h4!, Nc6
10. Bd5, Qd7
11. h5! ...

The move signals an attack on Black's kingside.

11. .... Ba6
12. hxg6, hxg6
13. Nf4, e6
14. Qg4! ....

Black cannot capture the d5 Bishop because the pawn is pinned.

14. .... Rfd8
15. Bxe6!! ....

The sacrifice is necessary to break apart the defender-pawns.

 15. .... fxe6
16. Qxg6, Bc4
17. Qh7+, Kf7
18. Nh5, Rg8
19. Rh3!, Raf8
20. Nxg7!!, Rh8

If 20....Rxg7, then 21. Rf3+ Ke7, 22, Qxg7+ Kd8, 23. Rxf8+ and White wins the exchange.

21. Rf3+, Ke7
22. Ba3+, Nb4
23. Bxb4+, c5
24. dxc5!!, Rxh7

To keep the pressure, White sacrifices his Queen.

25. cxb6+, Resigns

If 25....Kd8, then 26. Rxf8+ Qe8, 27. Rxe8+ Kd7, 28. Rd1+ Kc6, 29. bxa7.  The soon-to-be-resurrected Queen would be too much for Black to handle.

Monday, October 14, 2013

French Defense, Tarrasch Variation, Open System Euwe-Keres Line

MIKHAIL TAL vs. WOLFGANG UHLMANN
Moscow, 1971

1. e4, e6
2. d4, d5
3. Nd2, c5

The Tarrasch Variation of the Sicilian Defense.

4. N1f3 ....

The Open System Euwe-Keres Line.  In this variation, both sides play critically at the middle of the board.

4. .... Nc6
5. Bb5, dxe4
6. Nxe4, Bd7
7. Bg5, Qa5+
8. Nc3, cxd4
9. Nxd4, Bb4

If 9....Nxd4, then 10. Bxd7+ Kxd7, 11. Qxd4+ and White has the advantage.

10. 0-0, Bxc3
11. bxc3, Qxc3
12. Nf5!! ...

White decides to sacrifice the Knight in order to open up the e file.

12. .... exf5
13. Re1, Be6
14. Qd6, a6
15. Bd2, Qxc2
16. Bb4 ....






















16. .... axb5

Forced. If 16....N8e7, White's Queen simply takes the Knight (and mate).

If 16....Rd8, 17.  Rxe6+ fxe6, 18. Qxe6+ N8e7, 19. Qxe7 mate.

17. Qf8+, Kd7
18. Red1+, Kc7
19. Qxa8, Resigns

White's formidable position cannot be undermined.  If 19....Nxb4, then 20. Rac1 and Black's Queen is lost.

Moreover, Black's Knight at g8 is pinned.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical Defense, Steinitz Development Variation

ALEXANDER ALEKHINE vs. EERO EINAR BOOK
Margate, 1938

1. d4, d5
2. c4, dxc4
3. Nf3, Nf6
4. e3, e6
5. Bxc4, c5
6. 0-0, Nc6
7. Qe2, a6
8. Nc3, b5
9. Bb3, b4
10. d5, Na5
11. Ba4+, Bd7
12. dxe6, fxe6

Correct reply. If 12....Bxa4, then 13. exf7+ Ke7, 14. Nxa4 which favors White.

13. Rd1, bxc3
14. Rxd7!! ....

A crushing and unexpected attack.

14. .... Nxd7
15. Ne5!, Ra7
16. bxc3, Ke7

Black removes his King from the pin.

17. e4, Nf6

If 17....Nxe5, then 18. Bg5+ wins the Black Queen.

18. Bg5, Qc7
19. Bf4, Qb6
20. Rd1, g6
21. Bg5, Bg7
22. Nd7!! ....

Giving room for an attack move: e5 which would have a disastrous effect.






















22. .... Rxd7

Black has no choice but to take the pesky Knight.

23. Rxd7+, Kf8
24. Bxf6, Bxf6
25. e5!!, Resigns

Black would have no reply to White's 26. Qf3+ with a mating threat at f7.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Italian Game: Scotch Gambit - Max Lange Attack

BOZIDAR KAZIC vs. B. VUKOVIC
Unknown Location, 1940

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Nf6
4. d4, exd4
5. 0-0, Bc5
6. e5 ....

The Max Lange Attack.  A similar game is found in this blog (Fred Brown vs. Gibbs, London, 1918).

6. .... d5
7. exf6, dxc4
8. Re1, Kf8
9. Bg5, gxf6
10. Bh6+, Kg8
11. Nc3, Bg4
12. Ne4, b6
13. c3, Ne5
14. Nxe5!! ....

White used his own Queen as bait.






















14. ....  Bxd1
15. Nd7 ....

The Knight could not be taken because of N4xf6 mate.

15. .... Be7

Black defends the f6 pawn, but White proves that the defense is futile.

16. Nexf6+, Bxf6
17. Re8+, Qxe8
18. Nxf6 mate.

A picture-perfect mate.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Caro-Kann Defense: Panov Attack, Modern Defense Reifir-Spielmann Line

MIKHAIL BOTVINNIK vs. RUDOLF SPIELMANN
Moscow, 1935

1. c4, c6
2. e4, d5
3. exd5, cxd5
4. d4, NF6
5. Nc3 ....

The Panov Attack.  This is an opening thoroughly studied and recommended by Anatoly Karpov, former world chess champion.

5. ...., Nc6
6. Bg5, Qb6

The Modern Defense, Reifir-Spielmann Line.

7. cxd5, Qxb2

Black is willing to exchange Knights, which would be in his favor.

8. Rc1, Nb4
9. Na4 ....

White sets a trap.






















9. .... Qxa2

If 9.....Qa3, then 10. Rc3 Nc2+ 11. Qxc2 Qd6 12. Rxc8+ Rxc8 13. Qxc8+ Qd8 14. Bb5+ Nd7 15. Bxd7 mate.  However, in this variation, Black's Queen may escape but may suffer relentless attack after 10....Nd3+ 11. Bxd3 Qd6 12. Qc1 Bd7 13. Nc5 ....

10. Bc4!!, Bg4

Black creates a distraction, but White is unperturbed.

11. Nf3, Bxf3
12. gxf3, Resigns

Black's only move is Qa3 and after that the Queen is trapped after 13. Rc3 as in above variation.

Monday, October 7, 2013

French Defense, Winawer Variation

ALEXANDER ALEKHINE vs. ARON NIMZOWITSCH
Bled, 1931

1. e4, e6
2. d4, d5
3. Nc3, Bb4

This variation, named after Szymon Winawer and pioneered by Nimzowitsch and Botvinnik, is one of the main systems in the French Defense3... Bb4 pins the knight on c3, forcing White to resolve the central tension.

4. Nge2, dxe4
5. a3, Bxc3
6. Nxc3, f5
7. f3 ....

White resolves the central tension, but Black gains a pawn in the process.

7. .... exf3
8. Qxf3, Qxd4
9. Qg3, Nf6
10. Qxg7, Qe5+
11. Be2, Rg8
12. Qh6, Rg6
13. Qh4, Bd7
14. Bg5, Bc6
15. 0-0-0, Bxb2
16. Rhe1, Be4
17. Bh5! ....

White's attack begins.
 





















17. .... Nxh5
18. Rd8+!!, Kf7
19. Qxh5, Resigns

White threatens Qxh7+.  Now, if 19....Qg7, then 20. Nxe4 fxe4, 21. Rf1+ clinches victory for White.

If 19....Kg7, then 20. Rg1 f4, 21. Bh6+ Kf6, 22. Rxg6+ hxg6, 23. Rf8+ Ke7, 24. Qxe5.  Black's Queen is gone and White wins the game.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Italian Game, Scotch Gambit - Max Lange Attack

FRED BROWN vs. GIBBS
London, 1918

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Nf6
4. d4 ....

The e-pawn is sacrificed in order to open up the e-file.

4. .... exd4
5. 0-0, Bc5
6. e5! ....

The Max Lange Attack.  The position can arise from many different opening lines. including the Two Knights Defense, Petroff Defense, Bishop's Opening, and Center Game.

6. .... d5
7. exf6, dxc4
8. Re1+!!, Kf8
9. Bg5, gxf6?

This move aggravated Black's position.  Black instead should have moved his Queen to a safer location.

10. Bh6+, Kg8
11. Nc3, Bg4
12. Ne4, Bb6?

Better for Black is Be7 in order to defend the pawn at f6.

13. Qe2 ....

Threatening Nxf6, then Qe8.

13. .... Ne5
14. Nxe5 ....






















A totally unexpected Queen sacrifice.

14. .... Bxe2

Better (but still inadequate) reply for Black is 14. .... Bf5, 15. Qf3 fxe5, 16. Qxf5  ...

15. Nd7 !! ....

Threatening N(any)xf6+.  At this point we could not see any solution for Black.

15. .... Ba5
16. N7xf6, Qxf6
17. Nxf6 mate.

Beautiful.

Danish Gambit Accepted, Copenhagen Defense

HANS LINDEHN vs. LADISLAS MACZUSKI
Paris, 1863

1. e4, e5
2. d4, exd4
3. c3, dxc3
4. Bc4, cxb2

The Danish Gambit Accepted is marked by a series of pawn sacrifices in return for an open center where White can attack furiously.

5. Bxb2, Bb4+
6. Nc3, Nf6
7. Nge2, Nxe4

It is hard to believe at this point that White is giving away another pawn for free.

8. 0-0, Nxc3,
9. Nxc3, Bxc3

Materially superior, Black thought that the best way to victory is to exchange pieces.  He is unaware of the danger that the open lines brought.

10. Bxc3, Qg5
11. Re1+, Kd8

Forced.  If 11....Kf8, then 12. Qe2 Qd8, 13. Qh5 g6, and mate follows.

12. f4, Qxf4
13. Bxg7, Rg8
14. Qg4 ....


14. .... Qd6

If 14....Qxg4, then 15. Bf6 mate.

15. Bf6+, Qxf6
16. Qxg8 mate

White's victory is attributed to Black's greed, without considering defense of central structure.
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