Thursday, October 23, 2014

Caro-Kann Defense, Classical Variation

ALEXANDER BELIAVSKY vs. BENT LARSEN
Tilburg, 1981

1. e4, c6
2. d4, d5
3. Nc3, dxe4
4. Nxe4, Bf5
5. Ng3, Bg6
6. h4, h6
7. Nf3, Nd7
8. h5, Bh7
9. Bd3, Bxd3
10. Qxd3, Ngf6
11. Bf4, e6
12. 0-0-0, Be7
13. Ne5, a5
14. Rhe1, a4
15. Ng6! ....

White intends to break open Black's defenses.  The sacrifice is necessary.

15. .... Nd5

If 15....fxg6, 16. Qxg6+ Kf8, 17. Rxe6 with a good game for White.

16. Nf5!! ....

White intends to mate with Nxg7....

16. .... Bf8

If 16.....fxg6, then 17. Nxg7+ Kf8 (if 17....Kf7, 18. Qxg6+!!), 18. Nxe6+ and Black loses his Queen.

If 16.....exf5, then 17. Nxe7 Nxf4 (if 17.....Nxe7, then 18. Bd6), 18. Nxc6+ Kf8, 19. Qa3+ and Black loses his Queen.

17. Bd6!! ....

The Bishop could not be taken because of the threat Nxg7 mate or Nxd6 mate.

17. .... Rg8

If 17. .... fxg6, then 18. Nxg7+ Bxg7, 19. Qxg6 mate.

18. c4, Nb4
19. Qh3, fxg6
20. Rxe6+, Kf7
21. hxg6+, Kxe6
22. Re1+, Ne5

If 22.....Kf6, then 23. Nxh6 gxh6, 24. Re6+ Kg5, 25. e4 mate.

23. Bxe5, Resigns

White threatens 24. Nxh6+ Ke7, 25. Nxg8+ Ke8, 26. Bd6+ and White wins.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sicilian Defense, Botvinnik Defense I Edge Variation

ISTVAN BILEK vs. FLORIN GHEORGHIU
Bucharest, Romania, 1968

1. e4, c5
2. Nc3, Nc6
3. g3, g6
4. Bg2, Bg7
5. d3, d6
6. f4, e5
7. Nh3, Nge7

The Botvinnik Defense I, Edge Variation.

8. 0-0, 0-0
9. f5, gxf5
10. exf5, Bxf5
11. Rxf5!! ....

A necessary sacrifice to open up the e4-h7 diagonal.

11. .... Nxf5
12. Be4, Nfd4
13. Qh5, Re8

If 13...f5, then 14. Ng5 h6, 15. Bd5+ Kh8, 16. Qg6 (threatening Qh7 mate) hxg5, 17. Qh5+ Bh6, 18. Qxh6 mate.

If 13....h6, then 14. Bxh6 gxh6, 15. Qxh6 f5, 16. Bd5+ Rf7, 17. Ng5 with a good game for White.

14. Qxh7+, Kf8
15. Bg5, Qd7

If 15....f6, then 16. Bd5 fxg5, 17. Qg8+ Ke7, 18. Qxg7 mate.

16. Nd5, Re6

If 16....f6, then 17. Nxf6 Qe6, 18. Bd5 with a good game for White.

17. Rf1, Nxc2
18. Bg6!! ....

Taking advantage of the pin, White presses on with the attack.

18. .... N2d4
19. Bh6!!, Resigns

If 19....Bxh6, then 20.Qh8 mate. The same mating move follows after 19....g6 or g5.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Colle System

EDGAR COLLE vs. J. O'HANLON
Nice, 1930

The Colle System, also known as the Colle–Koltanowski system, is a chess opening strategy for White introduced by Belgian Edgard Colle in the 1920s, and further developed by George Koltanowski. This variation of the Queen's Pawn Game is characterised by a systematic if modest development of White's minor pieces to support a quick pawn move to the e4 square. It is solid, but inflexible.

Ignoring Black's responses in order to consider White's moves only, the typical plan is as follows: 1.d4 2.e3 3.Nf3 4.Bd3 5.0-0 6.Re1 7.c3 8.Nbd2 9.e4, with White rearranging his move order appropriately. It is a perfectly solid scheme of development, but, inflexibly applied, it cannot offer more than equality against a vigorous Black response. It may be a good tool for avoiding book variations, for Blitz play, or for forcing opponents to think for themselves early on. These days it is considered totally innocuous, and is rarely seen at Master level or above.

1. d4, d5
2. Nf3, Nf6
3. e3, c5
4. c3, e6
5. Bd3, Bd6
6. Nbd2, Nbd7
7. 0-0, 0-0
8. Re1, Re8
9. e4, dxe4
10. Nxe4, Nxe4
11. Bxe4, cxd4
12. Bxh7+!! ....

White has determined Black's weakness, and presses on with the attack.

12. .... Kxh7
13. Ng5+, Kg6
14. h4!!, Rh8

The pawn intends to land at h5, to menace the opponent King.

15. Rxe6!! ....

The move breaks apart the King's defenses.

15. .... Nf6

If 15....fxe6, then 16. Qd3+ Kf6 (if 16....Kh5, 17. Qf3+ Kxh4, 18. Qh3 or g3 mate.), 17. Qf3+ Ke5 (if 17....Ke7, 18. Qf7 mate), 18. Nf7 mate.

16. h5!!, Kh6

If 16....Rxh5, then 17. Qd3+ Kh6, 18. Nxf7 mate.

17. Rxd6 ....

White already wins with 17. Nxf7 but decides to place his Rook to safety.

17. .... Qa5
18. Nxf7+, Kh7
19. Ng5+ ....

White cannot attack with Qd3+ because of Bf5.

19. .... Kg8

If 19....Kh6, then 20. Ne6+ Kh7, 21. Qd3+ Kg8, 22. Rd8+.

20. Qb3+, Resigns

Black cannot prevent mate at f7. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Queen's Gambit Accepted, Janowski-Larsen Variation

ALBERTO FOGUELMAN vs. DAVID BRONSTEIN
Amsterdam International, 1964

1. d4, d5
2. c4, dxc4
3. Nf3, Nf6
4. e3, Bg4

The Janowski-Larsen Variation of Queen's Gambit Accepted.

5. Bxc4, e6
6. Qb3?!, Bxf3
7. gxf3 ....

The double-pawn structure may benefit White if he plans to castle on the queen side and his opponent on the king side, but White eventually castled where the war zone is.

7. .... c5
8. Qxb7, Ncd7
9. dxc5, Bxc5
10. f4 ....

Apparently White is trying to attack the e6 pawn, but this move benefited Black more.

10. .... 0-0
11. 0-0, Nd5
12. Rd1, Rb8
13. Qc6, Qh4!!

Black threatens Qg4+ threatening White's d1 Rook.

14. Nc3, Rb6

If 14.....Nxc3, 15. Rxd7 and the position favors White.

15. Qxd7, Nxf4!!

16. Ne2 ....

White could not take the f4 Knight because of 16.....Qxf2+ 17. Kh1 Qf3 mate.

16. .... Nh3+
17. Kg2 ....

Forced.  If 17. Kf1 Qxf2 mate.  If 17. Kh1 Qe4+, 18. f3 Qxf3 mate.

17. .... Nxf2
18. Rd4, Ng4

Black threatens 19....Qxh2 20. Kf1 Qf2 mate.

19. Rf4, Qxh2+
20. Kf1, Bxe3!!
21. Bd5, Bxf4

White resigns.  Black threatens Qf2 mate, Now, if 22. Ke1, then Qf2+, 23. Kd1 Qf1+, 24. Kc2 Qxe2+ and the position favors Black.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

French Defense, Winawer Fingerslip Variation - Kunin Double Gambit

KUNIN vs. OCHSENGOIT
Moscow, 1958

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

The Winawer Variation of the French Defense.

4. Bd2, dxe4
5. Qg4, Qxd4

The Kunin Double Gambit of the French Defense.  White sacrifices two central pawns to open up attacking lines.

6. 0-0-0, f5
7. Bg5, Qe5

An exchange of Queens would favor White.

8. Rd8+, Kf7
9. Nf3!!, Qa5

If 9....exf3, then 10. Qxb4 c5, 11. Qb5 Nc6, 12. Rxc8 Rxc8, 13. Qxc7+ and White gains materials.

10. Bb5!! ....

Despite dangers to his Queen and Knight, White presses on with the attack. This subtle move actually has two mating threats.  One is Be8+ followed by Bg6 or Bh5 mate, and the other is Ne5 (also mate).

10. .... Nc6?

Black might prolong the game with 10....Nf6 but the end result is also mate.   The game would continue:  11. Ne5+ Ke7, 12. Bxf6+ Kxf6 (not 12....gxf6, 13. Qg7+ Kxe8, 14. Qxf6+ Be7, 15. Qxh8 and mate next move.), 13. Nxe4+ Kxe5 (if 13....fxe4 then 14. Qf4+ Ke7, 15. Qg5 mate.), 14. f4+ Kxe4, 15. Qf3 mate.

11. Ne5+!!, Resigns

Monday, October 13, 2014

Zukertort Opening, Queen's Pawn Defense

VLADIMIR KRAMNIK vs. ALEXANDER BELIAVSKY
Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1995

1. Nf3, d5

The Queen's Pawn Defense of Zukertort Opening.

2. g3, c6
3. Bg2, Bg4
4. 0-0, Nd7
5. d4, e6
6. Nbd2, f5
7. c4, Bd6
8. Qd3, Rb8
9. Re1, Nh6
10. cxd5, cxd5
11. h3, Bh5
12. e4!!, fxe4
13. Ng5, Bf7

If 13....Qxg5, then 14. Nxe4 Qe7, 15. Bg5 Nf6, 16. Nxd6 Qxd6, 17. Bf4 with a good play for White.

14. Ndxe4, dxe4
15. Nxe6!! ....


White breaks open the center pawns.

15. .... Bxe6

If 15....Qf6, then 16. Rxe4 Be7, 17. Bg5 and White gains material.

16. Qxe6, Qe7
17. Rxe4, Kd8

If 17....Qxd6, then 18. Rxd6+ Be7, 16. Bg5 Nf6, 17. Rae7 Nf5, 18. g4 and the pinned Knight will eventually fall.

18. Qd5!!, Resigns

If 18.....Qf8, then 19. Re6 Bc7, 20. Bg5+ Kc8, 21. Re7 Qd8, 22. Rc1 with excellent attacking possibilities.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Italian Game, Scotch Gambit Anderssen Attack

WILLIAM HENRY KRAUSE POLLOCK vs. ALLIES
Buffalo, New York, 1893

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Nf6
4. d4, exd4
5. 0-0, Nxe4
6. Re1, d5
7. Bxd5!, Qxd5
8. Nc3!! ....

The Scotch Gambit Anderssen Attack.  White takes advantage of the pins.

8. .... Qf5
9. Nxe4, Be6
10. Nxd4, Nxd4
11. Qxd4, h6
12. b3 ....

White opens the long diagonal....

12. .... a6
13. Bb2, a5
14. Rad1, f6
15. Qd7+!! ....

An unexpected attack.  Black has no choice but to capture the Queen.

15. .... Bxd7
16. Nd6+!!, Kd8
17. Nf7+ ....

Rather than capture the opponent Queen, White keeps the pressure....

17. .... Kc8
18. Re8+!!, Bxe8
19. Rd8 mate

A magnificently executed attack, made even more beautiful by a Queen sacrifice.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Modern Defense, Two Knights Suttles Variation Tal Gambit

MIKHAIL TAL vs. GEORGI TRINGOV
Amsterdam, 1964

1. e4, g6
2. d4, Bg7
3. Nc3, g6
4. Nf3 ....

The Two Knights Variation of the Modern Defense.

4. .... c6

The Suttles Variation.

5. Bg5, Qb6
6. Qd2, Qxb2

The Tal Gambit variation.

7. Rb1, Qb3
8. Bc4, Qa5
9. 0-0, e6
10. Rfe1, a6
11. Bf4, f5
12. dxe5, dxe5
13. Qd6!! ....

Part of a deep-seated foresight.  White sets a trap and webs a mating net.

13. .... Qxc3
14. Red1, Nd7
15. Bxf7+!! ....

A surprise attack!

15. .... Kxf7

Black's other option is equally grim. If 15.....Kd8, then 16. Ng5 and White mates after 17. Ne6.

16. Ng5+, Ke8
17. Qe6+, Resigns

Black cannot escape mate.  If 17.....Kd8, then 18. Nf7+ Kc7, 19. Qd6 mate.

If 17....Ne7, then 18. Qf7+ Kd8, 19. Ne6 mate.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Modern Defense, Three Pawns Attack

ARTHUR BISGUIER vs. BENT LARSEN
Zagreb, 1965

1. d4, g6
2. e4, Bg7
3. f4 ....

The Three Pawns Attack.

3. .... d6
4. Nf3, Nf6
5. Bd3, 0-0
6. 0-0, Nbd7
7. e5!, Ne8
8. Qe1, c5
9. f5, dxe5
10. fxg6, hxg6
11. Qh4, exd4
12. Bh6, Nef6
13. Ng5, Ne5

Black attacks the d3 Bishop, but actually is of no consequence.

14. Rxf6!!, Bh8

The Rook cannot be captured.  If 14....exf6, then 15. Bxg7 and White mates at h8 or h7.

If 14....Bxf6, then 15. Bg7 and same mate follows.

15. Rf1, Re8
16. Bf8, Bf6
17. Rxf6, exf6
18. Qh6!! ....

A terrific brilliancy.  White poses a mating threat at g7.

18. .... Rxf8
19. Qh7!!

A picture-perfect mate.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

French Defense, Tarrasch Variation Modern System

EFIM GELLER vs. ALEXEY DREEV
1990

1. e4, e6
2. d4, d5
3. Nd2, a6
4. Ngf3, c5
5. exd5, exd5
6. Be2, c4
7. 0-0, Bd6
8. b3, b5
9. a4, Bb7
10. bxc4, bxc4
11. Bxc4! ....

The first in a series of attacks.

11. ..... dxc4
12. Nxc4 ....

This Knight attack on d6 cannot be underestimated.  If 12.....Ne7, then 13. Nxd6 Qxd6, 14. Ba3 Qd7, 15. Re1 Ng6,  Black would not be able to castle anymore.

12. ..... Be7
13. Re1, Qc7
14. Rb1, Qxc4
15. Rxb7, Nc6
16. Nd2, Qxd4
17. Bb2, Qxa4
18. Re4, Qa2
19. Bxg7, 0-0-0
20. Rb3, Bf6

Black thinks he has solved the problem posed by the g7 Bishop.  He is terribly mistaken.

21. Qg4+!!, Kc7

If 21.....Rd7, then 22. Rd3 Ne5, 23. Rxe5 and White wins.

22. Qf4+, Kc8
23. Bxf6, Nxf6
24. Qxf6, Qxc2
25. Qf5+ ....

Black resigns.  He will lose his Queen after 25....Rd7, 26. Re8+ Rxe8, 27. Qxc2.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Italian Game Scotch Gambit, Nakhmanson Gambit

VLADIMIR SOKOLOV vs. RUSHNIKOV
Corr-1, 1966

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Nf6
4. d4, exd4
5. 0-0, Nxe4
6. Nc3 ....

The Nakhmanson Gambit.  White sacrifices the Knight to achieve greater Queen mobility.

6. .... dxc3
7. Bxf7, Kxf7
8. Qd5, Ke8
9. Re1+, Be7
10. Rxe4, d6
11. Bg5, cxb2
12. Rae1!, Rf8
13. Bxe7, Nxe7
14. Qh5+ ....

If 14. Rxe7 Qxe7, 15. Rxe7 b1=Q mate.

14. .... Kd7

If 14....g6, then 5. Qxh7 Bf5, 16. Rxe7+ and White wins.

15. Nd4, c5
16. Qg4, Kc7
17. Rxe7+, Qxe7
18. Rxe7+, Kd8
19. Qg5!!, h6

If 19....b1=Q, then 20. Re1 dis chk Kc7, 21. Qe7+Kb6, 22. Rxb1+ with a mating attack.

20. Rxb7 dis chk

Black resigns.  He cannot avoid mate even if he captures the Queen.  If 20......hxg5, then 21. Nc6+ Ke8, 22. Re7 mate.

If after 20. Rxb7, Black moves Rf6, then 21. Nc6+ Ke8, 22. Re7+ Kf8, 23. Qxg7 mate.

A brilliant ending!  And Black has a pawn waiting for promotion.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Queen's Gambit Accepted, Mannheim Variation

MARK TAIMANOV vs. LEV POLUGAEVSKY
USSR Championship, 1960

1. d4, d5
2. c4, exd4
3. Nf3, Nf6
4. Qa4+ ....

The Mannheim Variation.

4. .... Nbd7
5. Nc3, e6
6. e4, c5
7. d5, exd5
8. e5, d4
9. Bxc4, dxc3
10. exf6, Qxf6
11. Bg5, Qc6
12. 0-0-0, cxb2+

If 12....Qxa4, then 13. Rhe1+ Be7, 14. Rxe7+ Kf8, (if 14....Kd8, then 15. Rxd7+ Ke8, 16. Rd8 mate.) 15. Rxf7+ with a mating attack.

13. Kxb2, Be7
14. Rhe1, f6
15. Bb5, Qb6
16. Kc1 ....

Removing the King to safety in case Black moves pawn to a6.

16. .... fxg5
17. Bxd7, Kf8
18. Rxe7!! ....

White sacrifices the Rook in order to expose the King.

18. .... Kxe7
19. Qe4+, Kd8
20. Bf5+, Kc7
21. Qe5+, Kc6
22. Rd6+, Kb5
23. Qb2+, Resigns

Black can only escape mate at the cost of materials, including his Queen.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Italian Game Classical Variation, Greco Gambit Moeller-Bayonet Attack

FREDERIC LAZARD vs. AMEDEE GIBAUD
Paris, 1909

1. e4, e5
2. d4, exd4
3. Nf3, Nc6
4. Bc4, Bc5
5. c3, Nf6
6. cxd4, Bb4+
7. Nc3, Nxe4
8. 0-0 ....

White intends to open-up the e-file.

8. .... Bxc3
9. d5 ....

White keeps the pressure mounting.

9. .... Bf6
10. Re1, Ne7
11. Rxe4, d6
12. g4 ....

The Greco Gambit, Moeller-Bayonet Attack.  An impressive variation of the Italian Game.


12. .... h6
13. h4, Kf8?

The only logical explanation for the latest Black move is that Black desired to take control of the h file, and at the same time remove the pin on his King.

14. h5, g5
15. Nd4, c6
16. Qf3, Nxd5
17. Bd2, Nc7
18. Rae1, d5
19. Bb4+, Kg7
20. Re7!!, dxc4

If 20....Bxe7, then 21. Bxe7 followed by 22, Bf6+ with a good attack on Black's king side.

21. Nxc6 ....

The move opens up the d file and would force the Black Queen to retreat.  If 21....bxc6, then 22. Rd1 Qd8, 23. Rxc7 ....

21. .... Qd3
22. Rxf7!! ....

A surprise move!  Black doesn't know what is coming.

22. .... Kxf7

White could win outright by 23. Ne5 double check, but he chooses a better plan....

23. Re7+, Kg8

Forced retreat.

24. Qxf6, Rh7
25. Re8+!!, Resigns

It would be useless to take the Rook because of White's threat 26. Qf8 mate.

An amazing finale.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Italian Game, Guioco Pianissimo Normal Variation

SERAFINO DUBOIS vs. WILHELM STEINITZ
London, 1862

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Nf6
4. d3, Bc5
5. 0-0, d6
6. Bg5, h6
7. Bh4, g5
8. Bg3, h5!!
9. Nxg5? ....

White should have moved h4, neutralizing Black's attack.

9. .... h4!
10. Nxf7 ....

10. .... hxg3!!

Black continues the attack sacrificing the Queen in the process.

11. Nxd8, Bg4!

Black takes advantage of the pin on f2.

12. Qd2, Nd4!!
13. Nc3 ....

White thought that the Knight is going to e2, that is why he did not move hxg3, because of what he thought was the threat Ne2+ winning his Queen.  But Black has the most perfect idea in mind.

13. .... Nf3+
14. gxf3 ....

Black cannot move his King to h1 because of Rxh2 mate.

14. .... Bxf3!!

Now White's doom is sealed.  Black threatens gxh2 mate.

15. hxg3 Rh1 mate.

A relentless attack by Black enhanced even more by a beautiful Queen sacrifice.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ruy Lopez Opening, Open Variation - Karpov Gambit

JUDIT POLGAR vs. SHAKHRIYAR MAMEDYAROV
Bled Olympiad, 2002

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, a6
4. Ba4, Nf6
5. 0-0, Nxe4
6. d4, b5
7. Bb3, d5
8. dxe5, Be6
9. Nbd2, Nc5
10. c3, d4
11. Ng5 ....

The Karpov Gambit in Open Variatiation.

11. .... Bd5

If 11....Qxg5, then 12. Nf3 followed by 13. cxd4.  Connected pawns at the center of the board would be formidable.

12. Nxf7!! ....

An unexpected move.  The beginning of White's devastating attack.

12. .... Kxf7

If 12....Bxf7, then 13. Bxf7+ Kxf7, 14. Qf3+ followed by 15. Qxc6 ....

13. Qf3+, Ke6
14. Qg4+, Kf7
15. Qf5+ Ke7

If 15....Kg8, then 15. Qe6+ Bxe6, 16. Bxe6 mate.

16. e6!!, Bxe6
17. Re1, Qd6
18. Bxe6, Nxe6
19. Ne4, Qe5
20. Bg5, Kd7

The Bishop cannot be captured because of the double-pin.

If 20....Ke8, then 21. Nd6+ Qxd6, 22. Rxe6 double-check.

21. Nc5+, Bxc5
22. Qf7!! ....

Better than 22. Rxe5 Nxe5, 24. Qxe5 ....

22. .... Kd6
23. Be7+, Kd5

If 23.....Nxe7, then 24. Rxe5+ Kxe5, 25. Re1+  followed by 26. Qxe6 mate.

Black eventually resigned.  White's threatens mate after Rxe5.






Friday, September 26, 2014

Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical Defense

SMBAT GARIGINOVICH LPUTIAN vs. MAXIM DLUGY
New York, 1998

1. d4, d5
2. c4, dxc4
3. e3, e6
4. Bxc4, Nf6
5. Nf3, c5
6. Qe2 ....

If 6. dxc5 Qxd1, the exchange of Queens would be bad for White.

6. .... a6
7. dxc5, Bxc5
8. e4, Qc7
9. e5, Ng4
10. 0-0, Nxf2
11. b4, Nh3+
12. Kh1, Nf2+
13. Rxf2, Bxf2
14. Nbd2, Ba7
15. Ne4, 0-0
16. Nf6+ ....

The sacrifice intends to open-up the g-file.

16. .... gxf6
17. gxf6, Nd7
18. Qd2 ....

The Queen is bound for g5, threatening mate.

18. .... Rd8
19. Qg5+, Kf8
20. Bf4, Qc6

If 20.....Qxc4, then 21. Bd6+ Ke8, 22. Qg8+ Nf8, 23. Qxf8+ Kd7, 24. Qe7+ Kc6, 25. Qxd8 ... and White wins more materials.

21. Rd1 ....


The threat of Bd6+ has become more plausible.

21. .... Nxf6
22. Rxd8+, Ne8
23. Ne5, Resigns

The White Queen has nowhere to go.  If 23....Qb6, then White continues the attack by 24. Rxe8+ Kxe8, 25. Qg8+ Ke7, 26. Qxf7+ Kd6, 27. Nd7+ and Black loses his Queen.

If 23....Qc7, then 24. Ng6+ hxg6, 25. Bxc7 ....

If 23....Qa4 or Qe4, then 24. Nd7+ Bxd7, 25. Bd6 mate.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sicilian Defense Closed Variation

FRANCISCO VALLEJO-PONS vs. IAN NEPOMNIACHTCHI
18th Pamplona International, 2008

1. e4, c5
2. Nc3, a6
3. Nge2, d6
4. g3, b5
5. Bg2, Bb7
6. d4, cxd4
7. Nxd4, e6
8. 0-0, b4
9. Nd5!! ....

A surprise sacrifice!  White intends to open-up the e-file.

9. .... exd5
10. exd5, Bc8

Black has accurately predicted that the Bishop is more important in the defense of the King.

11. Re1+, Be7
12. c4 ....

White intends to move his Queen to a4 followed by Nc6.

12. .... Kf8
13. a3, bxa3
14. Rxa3, Bg5
15. Bxg5, Qxg5
16. Ne6+ ....

Another surprise move by White.  taking advantage of Bishop's power along the main diagonal.

16. .... fxe6
17. dxe6, d5
18. Rf3+, Nf6
19. h4!!, Qg6
20. Qxd5!, Ra7
21. e7!!+ ....

The final attack.

21. .... Rxe7

If 21....Ke8, then 22. Qd8+ Kf7, 24. e8=Q+ Rxe8, 25. Qxe8 mate.

22. Rxe7, Qb1+
23. Kh2, Kxe7
24. Re3+, Be6

If 24....Kf8, then 25. Qd6+ Kf7, 26. Re7+ Kg6, 27. Be4+ and White has a great attack.

25. Qxe6+ ....

Black resigns, as mate is inevitable.

If 25....Kd8, then Qe7 mate.

If 25.....Kf8, them 26. Qe7+ Kg8, 27. Bd5+ Nxd5, 28. Qe8 mate.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Italian Game Evans Gambit Accepted

CAPTAIN WILLIAM DAVIES EVANS vs. ALEXANDER MCDONNELL
London, England, 1929

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Bc5
4. b4, Bxb4
5. c3, Bc5
6. 0-0, Nf6
7. d4, exd4
8. cxd4, Bb6
9. e5, d5
10. exf6, dxc4
11. Re1+, Kf8
12. d5, Na5
13. Be7! ....

White begins to dislodge the Black Queen from the back rank.

13. .... Qd7
14. fxg7, Kxg7
15. Qd2, Qg4

Black prevents White's check by Queen at g5.

16. Qc3+!, Kg8
17. Qxh8+!! ....

An unexpected Queen sacrifice!

17. .... Kxh8
18. Bf6+, Qg7
19. Re8 mate

Simply amazing!

Spanish Game, Bird Variation

GARRY KASPAROV vs. KHALIFMAN
FIDE Moscow Grand Prix, 2002

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, Nd4

The Bird Variation of Ruy Lopez Opening.

4. Nxd4, exd4
5. 0-0, c6
6. Bc4, d5
7. exd5, cxd5
8. Bb5, Bd7
9. Re1, Nd7
10. c4, a6
11. Bxd7, Qxd7
12. d3, 0-0-0
13. Nd2, Kb8
14. b4, dxc4
15. dxc4, Nc6
16. b5, axb5
17. cxb5, Nb4
18. Nc, Qf5

Black threatens Nc2.

19. Re5, Qc2
20. Bf4 ! ....

Attacking the opponent King and defending the Queen at the same time.

20. .... Qxd1
21. Rxd1, Ka8

If 21....Nxa2, then 22. Re2+ and White wins a piece.

22. a3!, f6
23. axb4, Resigns

Black has no defense against 24. Ra1+.  If 23.....fxe5, then 24. Ra1+ Kb8, 25. Bxe5+ Kc8, 26. Nb6 mate.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Philidor Defense, Exchange Variation

JOHN COCHRANE vs. BONNERJEE MOHISHUNDER
Unknown Location, 1854

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, d6
3. d4, exd4
4. Qxd4, Nc6
5. Bb5, Bd7
6. Bxc6, Bxc6
7. Bg5, f6
8. Bf4, Qe7
9. Nc3, Qe6
10. 0-0, Ne7
11. Rfe1, h6
12. Nd5!, Qd7
13. Nh4 ....

White sets a trap.  If 13....g5, then 14. Nxf6 winning Black's Queen.

If 13.....Bxd5, 14. exd5 g5, 15. Ng6 Rg8, 16. Rxe7 Bxe7, 17. Re1 with a good pin.

13. .... Kf7
14. c4, Bxd5
15. exd5, g5
16. Re6, Bg7
17. Rae1, Rhe8
18. Qe4, gxf4
19. Qh7, c6
20. R1e4, cxd5

21. Rxf6+!!, Kxf6

Black has no other choice.

22. Rxf4+!!, Ke6

If 22....Ke5 or Kg5, then 23. Qxg7+ Kxf4, 24. Qg3+ Ke4, 25. Qe3 mate.

23. Qxg7, Qc6
24. Qg4+, Nf5

Black is hoping for 25. Qxf5+ Ke7, 26. Qf6+ Kd7, and the Black King escapes.

25. Nxf5 ....

Black resigns.  White threatens 26. Nd4+ or Ne3+ with a good attack.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Italian Game, Evans Gambit Morphy Attack

HERMANN CLEMENZ vs. EISENSCHMIDT
Dorpat, 1890

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Bc5
4. b4 ....

The Evans Gambit.  White sacrifices a pawn to establish control of the center.

4. .... Bxc4
5. c3, Bc5
6. d4, exd4
7. cxd4, Bc6
8. 0-0, d6
9. Nc3 ....

The Evans Gambit, Morphy Attack.

9. .... Bd7
10. e5!, dxe5
11. Re1, Nge7

It would be futile to defend the e5 pawn.

12. Ng5, Be6

If 12....0-0, then 13. Nxf7 Rxf7, 14. Qf3 White has a strong attack.

13. Bxf6, fxf6
14. Nxf6, Qd6
15. Nxg7, Kf8
16. Qg4, Bxd4?

Black could have fared batter if 16....Rg8, 17. Ne6+ Kf7, 18. Ng5+ Ke8, 19. Qh5+ Qg6.

17. Ne4, Qb4
18. Ne6+, Ke8
19. Nf6+, Kf7
20. Ng5+, Kf8

If 20....Kxf6, then White clinches victory with 21. Qe6+ Kg7, 22. Qf7+ Kh6, 23. Nf3+ with a mating attack.

21. Ba3 ....

Done to save the Rook at e1.

21. .... Qxa3
22. Qe6 ....

Threatens mate at f7.

22. .... Nd8

Black covers the threatened square.  So he thought.  Now comes a shocker....

23. Qf7+ ....

Black is caught flat-footed !

23. .... Nxf7
24. Ne6 mate.

Magnificent!



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sicilian Defense, Nimzowitch Advance Variation

PAUL KERES vs. WILLIAM WINTER
Warsaw, 1935

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, Nf6
3. e5, Nd5
4. Nc3, e6
5. Nxd5, exd5
6. d4, d6
7. Bg5, Qa5+
8. c3, cxd4
9. Bd3 ....

If 9. Nxd4, then Black fortifies its center by dxe5.

9. .... dxc3
10. 0-0, cxb2
11. Rb1, dxe5
12. Nxe5, Bd6
13. Nxf7!, Kxf7
14. Qh5+ ....

Seeing an opening, White begins to attack.

14. .... g6
15. Bxg6+, hxg6
16. Qxh8, Bf5
17. Rfe1, Be4

If 17....Bxb1, then 18. Qf6+ Kg8 19. Re8+ and mate follows.

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

Black resigns.  White would be able to capture the other Black Bishop with a strong attack.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

King's Gambit Accepted, Lolli Gambit

GIOACHINO GRECO vs. NN
Italy, 1620

1. e4, e5
2. f4, exf4
3. Nf3, g5
4. Bc4, g4
5. Bxf7 ....

The Lolli Gambit.  White sacrifices major pieces in order to bring the opponent King to the center of the board.


5. .... Kxf7
6. Ne5+, Ke6
7. Qxg4+, Kxe5
8. Qf5+, Kd6
9. d4!, Bg7
10. Bxf4+, Ke7
11. Bg5+, Bf6

If 11....Nf6, then 12. e5 pinning the Knight.

12. e5!, Bxg5
13. Qxg5, Ke8
14. Qh5+, Ke7
15. 0-0, Qe8
16. Qg5, Ke6
17. Rf6+! ....



 17. .... Nxf6
18.  Qxf6+, Kd5
19. Nc3, Kxd4
20. Qf4+, Kc5
21. b4+!! ....

Now, Black is doomed.  No matter his move, White clinches victory.

21. ....Kc6
22. Qc4, Kb6
23. Na4 mate.

White also mates by 23. Nd5.   A picture-perfect mate.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Slav Defense, Exchange Variation

LAGOS PORTISCH vs. TIGRAN VARTANOVICH PETROSIAN
Moscow, 1967

1. d4, d5
2. c4, c6
3. cxd5, cxd5
4. Nc3, Nf6
5. Nf3, Nc6
6. Bf4, e6
7. e3, Bd6
8. Bg3, 0-0
9. Bd3, Re8
10. Ne5, Be5
11. dxe5, Nd7
12. f4, Qb6
13. 0-0, Qxe3
14. Kh1, Qb6
15. Qh5, Nf8
16. Rf3, Ng6
17. Bf2, Qd8
18. Nb5, Nce7
19. Nd6, Bd7
20. Bh4, Qb6
21. Rh3 .....

Preparing for attack along the h-file.

21. .... h6
22. Bf6, Qxb2
23. Rf1, Nf5
24. Bxf5 ....

If 24.....exf5 then 25. Bxg7 followed by Qxh6 and mate follows.

If 24......gxf6, then 25. Bxg6 fxg6, 26. Qxf6+ and mate follows.

Black resigns.   Magnifico!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Countergambit - Alapin Variation

HEINRICH WAGNER vs. WILHELM SCHOENMANN
Correspondence, 1919

1. d4, d5
2. c4, e5

The Albin Countergambit.   Black offers the e5 pawn as a counter-gambit to White's c4 pawn.

3. dxe5, d4
4. Nf3, Nc6
5. Nbd2 ....

The Alapin Variation.

5. .... f6
6. e6, Bxe6
7. a3, a5
8. b3, f5
9. Bb2, Bc5
10. Qc2, Qe7
11. g3, 0-0-0
12. Qd3, Nh6
13. Bg2, Ng4
14. 0-0, h5
15. b4, axb4
16. axb4, Nxb4
17. Qb3, Nc6
18. Qb5, Bb6
19. Bxd4, Bxd4
20. Nxd4, Rxd4
21. Qxb7+!! ....

Rather than waste time, White decides to attack right away.

21. .... Kxb7
22. Rfb1+, Kc8
23. Bxc6, Qa3

Black sacrifices his Queen to let the King escape.  If 24. Rxa3 Kd8, 25. Ra8+ Ke7 and the King escapes.  But White, knowing Black's delaying tactics, decides to accelerate his game plan.

24. Rb8+, Kxb8
25. Rxa3, Resigns

Black cannot prevent White's Rook from going to a8 and mate.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Benko Gambit

SHAKHRIYAR MAMEDYAROV vs. BENIAMIN GALSTIAN
EU-ch U18, 2002

1. d4, c5
2. d5, Nf6
3. c4, b5

The Benko Gambit.   Originally named Volga Gambit, this opening line was promoted by Pal Benko, a Hungarian-American Grandmaster.

4. Qc2, bxc4
5. e4, e6
6. Nc3, Bb7
7. Bxc4, exd5
8. exd5, d6
9. Nge2, Be7
10. Ng3, 0-0
11. 0-0, g6

Black prevents the g3 Knight from attacking, but in so doing creates a weakness in his king side.

12. Bg5, Nbd7
13. Rae1, Re8
14. f4, h6
15. f5 !! ....

White takes advantage of the weakness in g6 square.  If 15....hxg5, then 16. fxg6 Kg7, 17. gxf7 Kxf7, 18. Qh7+ ... White's attack is decisive.  Now, in this variation, after 17. gxf7 Rf8, 18. Nf5+ ... White threatens Rxe7 and the attack remains decisive.

In the same variation above, if 16....Ne5, then 17. Rxe5 dxe5, 18. gxf7 Kxf7, 19. Qh7+ Kf8, 20. Qh8+ Kf7, 21. d6 mate.

15. .... Kg7
16. fxg6, fxg6
17. Bf4, Ng4
18. h3, Nge5
19. Bxe5, Nxe5
20. Rxe5, dxe5
21. Nh5+, gxh5
22. Rf7+, Resigns

Black's position is hopeless after 22....Kxf7, 23. Qh7+ Kf8, 24. d6! and White threatens mate at f7 or f8.

If after 22....Kxf7, 23. Qh7+ Kf6, 24. Ne4 mate.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Nimzo-Indian Defense, Classical - Noa Variation

IVAN SOKOLOV vs. LEVON ARONIAN
37th Chess Olympiad, 2006

1. d4, Nf6
2. c4, e6
3. Nc3, Bb4
4. Qc2, d5

The Noa Variation of Nimzo-Indian Defense.

5. cxd5, exd5
6. Bg5, c5
7. dxc5, h6

Black tries to "unpin" his Knight.

8. Bh4, g5
9. Bg3, Ne4
10. Bxb8, Qf6

Adding pressure on the beleaguered Knight at c3.

11. Bg3, Nxc3

Now, White's problem starts to grow.

12. a3, Bf5
13. Qd2, Ba5
14. b4, Ne4
15. Qc1, Rc8
16. Ra2 ....

If 16. bxa5 Rxc5, 17. Qd1 Qc3+ White loses the game.

16. .... Rxc5!!

17. Qa1, Qc6

Black takes advantage of the pin, threatening Rc1+, and offers the h8 Rook as a freebie.

18. Qe5+, Kd8
19. Qxh8+, Kd7

White resigns. There is no stopping Rc1 threatening mate.

Slav Defense, Winawer Countergambit

ALEXANDER BELIAVSKY vs. BORIS GELFAND
Linares 1992

1. d4, d5
2. c4, c6
3. Nc3, e5

The Winawer Countergambit of the Slav.

4. dxe4, d4
5. Ne4, Qa5
6. Nd2, Nh6

The Black Queen could have taken the e4-pawn, but Black decides to complicate the position.

7. Nf3, Nf5
8. g3, Ne3
9. fxe3, dxe3
10. a3, Bf5
11. Bg2, Bc5
12. b4 ....

White decides to trade his Rook for the opponent's Bishop in order to ease Black's attack on the kingside.

12. .... Bxb4
13. axb4, Qxa1
14. 0-0, exd2
15. Qxd2, 0-0
16. Bb2, Qa6
17. Ng5, Bg6
18. e6!!, f6

If 18....fxe6, 19. Rxf8 Kxf8, 20. Nxf6 the position favors White.

19. e7, Re8
20. Bh3 ....

White sets up a poisoned pawn.

If 20....Rxe7, then 21. Be6+ (....Kh8, 22. Rxf6 gxf6, 23. Bxf6 mate) Kf8, 22. Bxf6 gxf6, 23. Qd8+ Re8, 24. Rxf6+ and mate in succeeding moves.

Black cannot take White's Knight because of the threat Be6+ followed by Rf8+.

20. .... Qb6
21. c5, Qc7
22. Be6+, Kh8
23. Rxf6, Nd7
24. Rxg6, Resigns

Black realizes that hope is lost after 24....hxg6, 25. Nf7+ Kh7, 26. Qg5 with a mating attack.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Modern Defense, Standard Line

JUDIT POLGAR vs. ALEXEY SHIROV
Amsterdam, 1995

1. e4, g6
2. d4, Bg7
3. Nc3 ....

The Standard Line of the Modern Defense.

3. .... c6
4. Bc4, d6
5. Qf3, e6
6. Nge2, b5
7. Bb3, a5
8. a3, Ba6
9. d5, cxd5
10. exd5, e5
11. Ne4, Qc7
12. c4!, bxc4
13. Ba4, Nd7
14. N2c3, Ke7?!

A better continuation for Black is N8f6, which could have prevented the incoming slaughter.

15. Nxd6!! ....

15. .... Qxd6

Not 15...Kxd6, because of 16. Ne4+ Ke7, 17. d6 double check.

16. Ne4, Qxd5
17. Bg5, Ndf6

If 17....f6, then 18. Rd1 Qb7, 19. Rxd7 and White wins.

18. Rd1, Qb7
19. Rd7+, Qxd7
20. Bxd7, h6
21. Qd1, Resigns

Black could not prevent 22. Qd6+ which ensures victory for White.

If 21....hxg5, 22. Qd6+ Kd8, 23. Bc6+ Kc8, 24. Bxa8 ....

A fantastic game!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Countergambit - Fianchetto Variation

JOHN VAN DER WIEL vs. SERGEI TIVIAKOV
Staunton CC Albin Theme Invitational, 2001

1. d4, d5
2. c4, e5

The Albin Countergambit.

3. dxc5, d4
4. Nf3 ....

If 4. e3 Bb4+, 5. Bd2 dxe3!!, and the position would take us to a popular chess opening trick called the Lasker's Trap.

4. .... Nc6
5. g3, Bg4
6. Bg2, Qd7

Black should not be in haste to take the e5 pawn.  If 6....Bxf3, 7. Bxf3 Nxe5, 8. Bxb7 and White gets compensation for the pawn.

7. 0-0, 0-0-0
8. Nbd2, h5
9. b4 ....

Designed to open up the b-file.  But Black takes the bait ....

9. .... Nxb4
10. a3, Na6
11. Nb3, d3
12. Be3, Ne7
13. Na5, b6
14. e6, Qd6

If 14....Qxe6, then 15. exd3 which solves the pawn problem.

If 14....fxe6, then 15. Ne5 threatening the Queen and the g4 Bishop.

15. Ng5!! ....

Threatening both b7 and f7 squares.  Black could not parry the simultaneous threats.

15. .... dxe2
16. Qa4, exf1=Q
17. Rxf1, fxe6

If 17...bxa5, then 18. Rb1! with good attacking possibilities.

18. Nb7, Qd3
19. Qxa6, Resigns

White threatens Nc5 check with consequent mate at b7, which cannot be prevented without loss of materials.

If 19....Re8, then 20. Nc5+ Kd8, 21. Nf7 mate.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Queen's Gambit Declined, Alapin Variation

HARRY NELSON PILLSBURY vs. MAX JUDD
Saint Louis, 1898

1. d4, d5
2. c4, e6
3. Nc3, b6

The Alapin Variation of Queen's Gambit Declined.

4. Nf3, Bb7
5. Bf4, Bd6
6. Bxd6, Qxd6
7. cxd5, Bxd5
8. e4, Bb7
9. Rc1, a6

Prevents 10. Nb5 ... which would be disastrous for Black.

10. Bd3, Ne7
11. 0-0, 0-0
12. e5, Qd8
13. Bxh7+ ....

A classic attack at the opponent's flank.

13. .... Kxh7
14. Ng5+, Kh6

If 14....Kg6, Black's position would be aggravated by 15. Qg4 with a menacing pin.

15. Qd2, Kg6
16. Ne2!!, Nd5

Black's move prevents 17. Nf4+ but White has other things in mind.

17. Qd3+!!, Kxg5
 
Add caption
Black has no choice but to accept the offered Knight.  If 17....Kh6, then 18. Qh7+ Kxg5, 19. f4+ and Black would be ensnared in a mating web.

18. f4, Kh6
19. Qh3, Kg6
20. f5!!, exf5

If 20....Kg5, Black would be totally helpless against 21. Rf3 followed by 22. Rg3 mate.

21. Rxf5 ....

If 21. Qxf5+ Kh6, 22. Rf3 g6, 23. Rh3+ Kg7 and the King is safe.

The text move threatens 22. Qh5 mate.

21. .... Rh8
22. Qg4+, Kh7
23. Rxf7!, Resigns

White threatens 24. Qxg7 mate.  If Black protects the pawn, White still mates by 24. Qh5.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sicilian Defense, Nimzowitch - Exchange Variation

BUKHUTI GURGENIDZE vs. ANATOLY LEIN
USSR Championship, 1967

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, Nf6
3. e5, Nd5
4. Nc3, Nxc3

The Nimzowitch - Exchange Variation of the Sicilian Defense.

5. dxc3, Qc7
6. Bf4, Nc6
7. Bc4, e6
8. 0-0, b6
9. Re1, f5
10. Nh4!, g6
11. Nxf5!! ....

The first of a series of sacrifices aimed at dismantling Black's central pawn structure.

11. .... Na5

If 11....gxf5, then 12. Qh5+ Kd8, 13. Rad1 followed by Bxe6 and White's attack would be overwhelming.

If 11....exf5, then 12. e6! Qxf4, 13. exd7+ Kd8, 14. Re8+ Kc7, 15. d8=Q+ Nxd8, 16. Qxd8+ Kb7, 17. Bd5+ and White's attack gets more than enough compensation for the sacrificed pieces.

12. Bd5, Bb7
13. Nd6!, Bxd6
14. exd6, Qc8
15. Bh6, Rg8
16. Qf3, Bxd5
17. Qxd5, Nc6
18. Rad1 ....

Now, White threatens 19. Rxe6 dxe6, 20. d7 double-check.

18. .... Nd8
19. Qg5 ....

Now, White threatens Qe7 mate.

19. .... Nc6
20. Qf6, g5

At this point, White is already winning, but decided to go for a clean mate, not just material advantage.

If 20.....Qd8, 21. Rxe6+ dxe6, 22. Qxe6+ Ne7, 23. d7+ and Black must sacrifice his Queen to prevent mate.

21. Re5, Resigns

White threatens Rxg5 and mate soon after.

Splendid game!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Nimzo-Indian Defense, Bernstein Defense Except Gligoric System

WALTER SHAWN BROWNE vs. LJUBOMIR LJUBOJEVIC
Italy, 1978

1. d4, Nf6
2. c4, e6
3. Nc3, Bb4
4. e3, 0-0
5. Bd3, c5

The Bernstein Defense Except Gligoric System variation.

6. Nf3, d5
7. 0-0, cxd4
8. exd4, dxc4
9. Bxc4, b6
10. Bg5, Bb7
11. Re1, Nbd7
12. Rc1, Rc8
13. Qb3 ....

White defends the c4 Bishop, attacks Black's Bishop at b4, and at the same time exerts more pressure on the e6 pawn.

13. .... Qe7
14. Bd5 ....

White neutralizes Black's control of the long diagonal, taking advantage of the pin on the Queen.

14. .... Ba6

White wins a piece after 14....Bxd6, 15. Nxd6 Qd6, 16. Nxb4 ....

15. Qa4, Bxc3
16. bxc3, Nb8
17. Bb3, b5
18. Qa5, Qb7?

Black desperately needed to remove the Queen out of pin.  If 18....h6, then 19. Bh4 g5, 20. Nxg5 hxg5, 21. Bxg5 and White still retains the pin.

19. Bxf6, gxf6
20. d5!! .....

A freeing move, which creates mobility for White's pieces.

20. .... exd5
21. Qb4, Qd7
22. Qh4, Kg7
23. Nd4, Resigns

White threatens 24. Re7 followed by Nf5+ with a blistering attack.

If 23....Rce8, then 24. Bc2 Rxe1, 25. Rxe1 (...h6, 26. Nf5+ ...) Rh8, 26. Nf5+ with renewed threats.  

Simply fantastic !

Friday, February 21, 2014

French Defense, Classical - Burn Variation

VESELIN TOPALOV vs. EVGENY BAREEV
Linares, 1994

1. e4, e6
2. d4, d5
3. Nc3, Nf6
4. Bg5, dxe4

The Burn Variation of the Classical French Defense.  See a similar game.

5. Nxe4, Be7
6. Bxf6, Bxf6
7. c3, Nd7
8. Qc2, e5
9. dxe5, Nxe5
10. f4, Ng5
11. g3, 0-0
12. Bd3, Qd5!

Black pins the Knight as threat against the Rook on h1.

13. a3, Nxf4
14. Nxf6 ....

If 14....gxf4, 15. Bh4+ Kf1, 16. f4 Black gets to compensate the sacrifice.

14. .... gxf6
15. Bxh7+, Kg7
16. Qe4, Re8

If 16....Qxe4, 17. Bxe4 Re8, 18. 0-0-0 Rxe4, 19. gxf4 Rxf4, 20. Ne2 White would be able to secure his King and mobilize his pieces.

17. Qxe8, Bf5

Black sets a trap.  

18. Qxa8 ....

White falls into the trap. Black now spins a mating web.

18. .... Qe4+
19. Kf2 ....

If 19. Kd1 or Kd2, Black replies with Qe2+ followed by Qc2 mate.

If 19. Kf1, then 19....Bh3+, 20. Nxh3 Qe2+, 21. Kg1 Qg2 mate.

19. .... Qg2+
20. Ke3 ....

If 20.....Ke1, 21. Nd3+ Kd1, 22. Bf4 mate.

20. .... Nd5+
21. Kd4, Qd2+
22. Kc5 ....

If 22. Kc4 Nb6+, 23. Kb3 Be6+, 23. Kb4 Qxb2+ followed by Qxc3; and mate follows shortly thereafter.

22. .... Qe3+
23. Kc4 ....

If 23. Kxd5, then 23....Be6 mate.

23. .... Nb6+

White resigns, as the mating web is too much to handle.  If 24. Kb4, then ....Qe4+, 25. Kb3 Bb6+ and mate follows after.

If 24. Kb3, then ....Qe6+, 25. Kb4 Qc4+, 26. Ka5 Qc5 mate.

UnBareevable!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

English Opening, King's English Variation Kramnik-Shirov Counter

FARHAD TAHIROV vs. ALEXEY SHIROV
Villa de Canada de Calatrava, 2007

1. c4, e5
2. Nc3, Bb4

The Kramnik-Shirov Counter of the King's English Variation.

3. Qc2, Nf6
4. a3, Bxc3
5. Qxc3, Nc6
6. b4, 0-0
7. e3, d5
8. cxd5, Qxd5
9. b5, Nd4!

An ingenuous way of opening the e-file.  Note that White has not yet castled.

10. exd4, exd4
11. Qc4, Re8+
12. Kd1 ....

White loses his Queen after 12. Be2 or Ne2.

12. .... Qh5+
13. Be2, Qg6
14. Nf3, Be6

If 14....Qxg2, then Black replies with 15. Rg1 followed by 16. Bb2 and Black has a better position.

15. Qc2 ....

If 15. Qxd4, Black attacks with 15....Bb3+ Ke1, 16. Rad6 with attacking possibilities.

15. .... d3!
16. Qxd3 ....

Not 16....Bxd3 because Black replies with Qxg2, threatening both the Knight and the Rook.

16. .... Bf5
17. Qc4, Rxe2!!

A brilliant move.  If White's Queen captures the Rook, Black replies with 18....Bd3 followed by Re8 with a mating threat.

If 17....Kxe2, then 17....Bd3+, 18. Qxd3 Re8+ and White loses his Queen.

18. Nh4, Qh5
19. Qxe2 ....

White has forgotten an earlier threat.

19. .... Bc2+
20. Ke1, Re8
21. Qxe8, Nxe8

White resigns.  Black threatens Qe5+.  Now, if 22. Nf3 Qxb5 prevents White from castling and mobilizing his pieces. Then, if 23. Ra2 Qc4, 24. Rb2 Qe4+ and mate follows shortly.

Monday, February 17, 2014

English Defense, Symmetrical Anti-Benoni Variation

RAFAEL VAGANIAN vs. ALBIN PLANINC
Hastings, 1974

1. d4, Nf6
2. c4, c5

The position has reached the Symmetrical Variation where both sides advanced the c-pawns two squares, maintaining symmetry.

3. Nf3 ....

White avoided the Benoni Defense that would arise after 3. d5, hence this line is called Anti-Benoni.

3. .... cxd4
4. Nxd4, e6
5. Nc3, Bb4
6. Ndb5, 0-0

Not 6....a6, then 7. Nd6+ Bxd6, 8. Qxd6 which places White's Queen in a strategic square.

7. a3, Bxc3
8. Nxc3, d5!
9. Bg5, h6
10. Bxf6, Qxf6
11. cxd5, exd5
12. Qxd5 ....

It looks like White has grabbed a pawn, but Black now begins to control the center.

12. .... Rd8
13. Qf3, Qb6

If 13....Qxf3, 14. exf3 Re8+, 15. Be2 White's Bishop has become active.

14. Rd1, Rxd1
15. Nxd1, Nc6
16. Qe3, Nd4

Threatening 17....Nc2 double-check.

17. Qe8+, Kh7
18. e3, Nc2+
19. Kd2, Bf5!!

Sacrificing the rook to defend the Knight, but actually a mating scheme.

20. Qxa8, Qd6+
21. Kc1 ....

If 21. Ke2, then 22. Qd3 mate.

21. .... Na1
22.  Qxb7, Qc7

White resigns, as he cannot avoid mate without sacrificing the Queen, as in 23. Qxc7 Nb3 mate.

Amazing finale.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

French Defense, Classical - Burn Variation

JUDITH POLGAR vs. FERENC BERKES
Hunguest Hotels Super Chess Tournament, 2003

1. e4, e6
2. d4, d5

The Classical Variation of the French Defense.

3. Nc3, Nf6
4. Bg5, dxe4

The Burn Variation, named after Amos Burn, one of the leading chess players in the 19th century, and a chess writer.

5. Nxe4, Be7
6. Bxf6, Bxf6
7. Nf3, 0-0
8. Qd2, Nd7
9. 0-0-0, Be7
10. Bd3, b6
11. Neg5, h6
12. Bh7+, Kh8
13. Be4 ....

White sets a trap.  With this move it seems White intends to capture the Rook on a8.

13. .... hxg5

Black falls into the trap.  With a few more moves, White opens the h-file.

14. g4, Rb8
15. h4, g6
16. hxg6+, Kg7
17. Qf4, Bb7
18. Rh7+!! ....

Another sacrifice! White uses the h-file to her utmost advantage.

18. .... Kxh7
19. Qh2+, Kg8
20. Rh1 ....

At this point, White wins the game.  But Black manages to prolong the game further.

20. .... Bxg5+
21. Nxg5 ....

What happens if White just moves the King away?  If 21. Kb1, the game may continue ....Bh4, 22. Nxh4 Qf6, 23. Nxg6 Qg7, 24. Ne7 mate.

Polgar made the text move, knowing that she is winning anyway.

21. .... Qxg5+
22. f4, Qxf4+
23. Qxf4, Bxe4
24. Qxe4, Resigns

Without his Queen, Black is lost. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch Defense - Pillsbury Variation

MIGUEL NAJDORF vs. LAJOS PORTISCH
Varna, 1962

1. d4, d5
2. c4, e6
3. Nc3, Nf6
4. Nf3, c5
5. cxd5, Nxd5
6. e3, cxd4
7. exd4, Bb4
8. Qc2, Nc6
9. Bd3, Nxc3
10. bxc3, Nxd4

Black takes advantage of the pin on White's King.

11. Nxd4, Qxd4
12. Bb5+, Ke7

If 12....Bb7, then 13. Bxb7 Qxb7, 14. cxb4 and White is one piece up.

13. 0-0, Qxc3
14. Qe2, Bd6

Not 14....Qxa1 because of 15. Bg5! 

15. Bb2, Qa5
16. Rfd1, Rd8
17. Qh5, f6

If 17....a6, then 18. Qh4+ f6, 19. Bxf6 gxf6, 20. Qxh7+ Kf8, 21. Qh8+ Kf7, 22. Qxd8 and the position favors White.

18. Qxh7, Kf7

If 18....Qxb5, then 19. Qxg7+ Ke8, 20. Qh8+ Ke7, 21. Bxf6+ with an overwhelming attack.

19. Be2 ....

Preparing for an attack on h5.

19. .... Qg5

Black defends the g7 pawn. In the course of the game, Black has underestimated the importance of this defense.  The alternative 19.....Bf8 will not hold because of 20. Bh5+ Ke7, 21. Qg6 with a mating threat at f7.

20. Bc1, Bxh2+
21. Kxh2, Qe5+

Black also threatens the a1 Rook.

22. f4!!, Resigns

The Black Queen is driven away, and there is no stopping White in a mating attack.  If 22...Qxa1, then 23. Bh5+ Kf8, 24. Qh8+ Ke7, 25. Qxg7 mate.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Semi-Slav Defense, Stoltz Variation - Shabalov Attack

BORIS GELFAND vs. ALEXANDER SHABALOV
Bermuda Round Robin, 2004

1. d4, d5
2. c4, c6
3. Nc3, Nf6
4. Nf3, e6
5. e3, Nbd7
6. Qc2, Bd6
7. g4 ....

This innocuous sacrifice is meant to open the g-file.

7. .... dxc4
8. Bxc4, b6
9. e4, Bb7
10. e5, c5
11. exf6, Bxf3
12. fxg7, Rg8
13. Qxh7+, Nf6
14. Bb5+, Ke7
15. Bg5, Bf4

If 15....Bxh1, then 16. Qh6 winning the Knight and the game.

16. Qh3, Bxh1
17. Bxf4, Qxd4
18. Qg3, Ne4
19. Qh4+, Qf6

If 19....f6, then 20. Rd1 Qb4, 21. Rd7+ and White's attack would be overwhelming.

20. g5, Qf5
21. 0-0-0, Rad8
22. Rxd8, Kxd8

Black's King is trying to escape from the tight situation he is in.

23. Bd3, Rxg7
24. Nxe4 ....

White loses after 24. Qh8+ Ke7, 25. Qxg7 Qxf4+, followed by 26.....Nxc3 or 26.....Qd2 depending on White's move.

With the text move, if Black captures the Bishop with 24....Bxe4, then White wins Black's Queen with 25. Bxe4 Qxe4, 26. Bc7+.

24. .... Rh7
25. Bc7+, Resigns

If 25....Kxb7, then 26. Qg3+ and White's attack will be decisive.  Now, if 26....e5, then 27. Nf6 and White wins the Rook.

Now, if Black decides not to capture the Bishop, he loses the Queen by a double-check, or the Rook after 25....Ke7, 26. Qg3 Qd5, 27. Nf6.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pirc Defense, Classical - Schlechter Variation

BORRIS SPASSKY vs. YASSER SEIRAWAN
It (shv.), 1984

1. e4, d6
2. d4, Nf6
3. Nc3, g6
4. Nf3, Bg7
5. h3, 0-0
6. Be3, a6
7. a4, b6
8. Bc4, Bb7
9. e5, Ne4
10. Nxe4, Bxe4
11. Ng5! ....

This sacrificial move intends to open the g-file for White's attack.

11. .... Bxg2
12. Rg1, Bc6
13. Qg4, e6
14. 0-0-0, Nd7
15. h4, dxe5
16. dxe5, Qe7

Black moves the Queen out of harm's way.

17. Rxd7 ....

The Black Knight is much too powerful in his present post.

17. .... Bxd7
18. h5!, f5
19. Qh3 ....

If 19. exf6 Bxf6, 20. hxg6 h6, White's attack fizzles out.

19. .... f4
20. hxg6!! ....

White begins to deliver the final blows.  If 20....hxg6, then 21. Qh7 mate.

If 20.....h6, then the game may continue 21. Bd2, Rae8, 22. Nf7 with a clear advantage for White.

20. .... Bxe5

Black finally takes the e5 pawn, partly to secure the h7 pawn.

21. Nxe6, Bxe6
22. Bxe6+, Kg7

If 22.....Kh8, then 23. Rh1 which adds pressure to the h7 pawn.

23. gxh7, Resigns

If 23. Qxh7+ Kf6, and Black's King manages to escape.

Now, Black's King is forced to retreat:  23.....Kh8, but then comes the crushing blow: 24. Rg8+ Rxg8, 25. hxg8=Q mate.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sicilian Defense, Scheveningen Variation - English Attack

GARRY KASPAROV vs. LOEK VAN WELY
Wijk aan Zee Corus, 2000

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, d6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, Nf6
5. Nc3, a6
6. Be3 ....

The Scheveningen Variation - English Attack, modeled after the Yugoslav (Rauzer) Attack in the Sicilian Dragon. White castles in the queenside and a sharp game usually occurs.

6. .... e6
7. f3, b5
8. g4, h6
9. Qd2, Nbd7
10. 0-0-0, Bb7
11. h4, b4
12. Na4, d5
13. Bh3, g5
14. Bg2 ....

If 14. hxg5 hxg5, 15. Bxg5 dxe4, 16. fxe4 Bxe4, the position favors Black.

14. .... gxh4
15. Rxh4, dxe4
16. g5!! ....

Attacking simultaneously the f6 Knight and the e4 pawn.

16. .... Nd5
17. Rxe4, hxg5
18. Bxg5, Qa5
19. f4! ....

Opening the b7-g2 diagonal, which would be crucial in the impending attack.

19. .... Rh2
20. Nxe6, fxe6
21. Rxe6+, Kf7
22. Qd3 .....

 22. .... Bg7

If 22....Kxe6, then 23. Qg6+ N7f6,  24. Bxd5+ followed by 25. Qxf7+ with a devastating attack.

23. Qf5+, Kg8
24. Rxd5, Qxa4

If 24....Bxd5, 25. Bxd5 White's Bishop in the long diagonal would be very powerful.

25. Re7, Resigns

White intends to mate after 26. Qf7+ and 27. Qxg7.

Now, if 25....Rf8, 26. Qg6 Rh7, 27. Rxd7, and White sustains attack on g7.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Semi-Slav Defense

The Semi-Slav Defense is a mixture of the Queen's Gambit Declined and the Slav Defense, characterized by Black's pawns advance to both c6 and e6.

The following game is one of Anand's best.

"Anand's love of the Semi-Slav defense goes way back. In 1991 in Brussel, the then 21-year-old Indian grandmaster made headlines by exchanging punches with the former world champion Anatoly Karpov during their quarterfinal Candidates match. The Semi-Slav was Anand's main defense. The score was tied before the last game.

The magical use of the long diagonal h1-a8 helped Anand to win the world championship matches against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008 (Game 3) and Veselin Topalov in 2010 (Game 12). He owns the diagonal, it is his highway to the chess crown. Aronian saw the light bishop come to life and it was a monster. And things got worse after Anand also included the dark bishop into his attack."

by Lubomir Kavalek, International Chess Grandmaster

LEVON ARONIAN vs. VISWANATHAN ANAND
Wijk ann Zee, 2013

1. d4, d5
2. c4, c6
3. Nf3, Nf6
4. Nc3, e6
5. e3, Nbd7
6. Bd3, dxc4
7. Bxc4, b5
8. Bd3, Bd6

The Meran Variation goes 8...a3, 9. e4 c5 ...

9. 0-0, 0-0
10. Qc2, Bb7
11. a3, Rc8!?

This move is a preparation for c5 pawn advance.

12. Ng5 ....

A positional trap that may lead to 12....Bxh2+, 13. Kxh2 Ng4+, 14. Kg1 Qxg5, 15. f3 Ngf6, 16. b4 with a better position for White.

12. .... c5!

Now, all pieces break loose.

13. Nxh7 ....

White wins a pawn, but his Knight gets stranded along the way.  

13. .... Ng4!

Not as good as 13....c4, 14. Nxf6 Nxf6, 15. Be2 and White gets the edge.

14. f4 ....

White blocks the long diagonal, but Anand decides to use his other Bishop.

If 14....h3, then 15. Bh2+ Kh1, 16. Qh4 and Black has plenty of counterplay.

14. .... cxd4!
15. exd4?!, Bc5!

A surprise move.  This Bishop sacrifice is designed to take control of the g1-a7 diagonal.

16. Be2? ....

White underestimated Black's next move. But capturing the Bishop still retains Black's lead: 16. dxc5 Nxc5, 17. Be2 Qd4+.

16. .... Nde5!!

17. Bxg4 ....

The e5 Knight cannot be captured: 17. fxe5 Qxd4+, 18. Kh1 Qg1+, 19. Rxg1 Nf2 mate.

If 17. dxc5 Qd4+, 18. Kh1 Nf2+, 19. Rxf2 Qxf2 and Black mates either at g2 or at the first rank.

17. .... Bxd4+
18. Kh1, Nxg4
19. Nxf8, f5!

There is no need for the Black Queen to rush to h4.  If 19....Qh4, then 20. Qh7+ and the attack collapses.

20. Ng6 ....

This prevents the Queen move for the moment.  Black still wins after 20.Qd3 Qh4, 21.Qg3 Qxg3, 22.hxg3 Kxf8, 23.Rd1 (23.Nd1 Ke7 threatening 24...Rh8 mate.) 23...Bxc3; or after 20.Qe2 Qh4! 21.Qxe6+ Kxf8 22.Qxf5+ Kg8 23.Qe6+ Kh8.

20. .... Qf6
21. h3 ....

Other moves would not help.  If 21.Qd3 Qxg6 22.Qg3 Nf2+-+; or 21.Ne5 Nxh2! 22.Rf2 Qh4 23.Kg1 Qg3-+.

21. .... Qxg6
22. Qe2 ....

After 22. hxg4 Qh6 mates.

22. .... Qh5!

Threatening 23....Qxh3 mate.

23. Qd3, Be3!

White resigns. The move effectively blocks the defense of the h-pawn where the White Queen threatens mate by 24....Qxh3+.  If 24. Bxe3 Qxh3+, 25. Kg1 Qxg2 mate.

An amazing chess brilliancy of Viswanathan Anand.  The game bears a striking similarity to the game between Rotweli and Rubinstein in Lodz (1907).  That game is known as Rubinstein's Immortal Game, and considered one of the greatest chess games of all time.

Nimzo-Indian Defense, Bishop Attack Classical Defense

LOEK VAN WELY vs. PETER ACS
Essent Crown 2002

1. d4, Nf6
2. c4, e6
3. Nc3, Bb4
4. e3, 0-0
5. Bd3, d5
6. cxd5, exd5
7. Nge2?! ....

A dubious move.  A better post for the Knight is at f3.

7. .... Re8
8. 0-0, Bd6!

Black sees a weakness in White's seventh move, and sends a Bishop into action.

9. a3? ....

A useless move. The Bishop is no longer there.

9. .... Ng4!!
10. h3, Nh2
11. Re1, Nf3+!!

By this sacrifice, Black manages to create havoc in the opponent's king side.

12. gxf3, Qg5+
13. Kh1 ....

If 13. Kf1, then 13....Bxh3 mate.

13. .... Qh4
14. Nf4, Bxh3
15. Ncxd5, Re6!!
16. Nxe6 ....

White has no choice but to capture the Rook which is destined to h6.

16. .... Bf5 discovered check
17. Kg1, Qh2+
18. Kf1, Bg3!!

White resigns.  There is no defense against the threats 19....Bxd3+ followed by  20....Qxf2 mate.

A truly remarkable game.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sicilian Defense, Paulsen - Bastrikov Variation

MIKHAIL GOLUBEV vs. VLADIMIR PODINIC
Lasker Autumn GM 2001

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, e6
3. Nc3, Nc6
4. d4, cxd4
5. Nxd4, Qc7

The Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation.

6. Be3, a6

The Paulsen (Kan) Variation.

7. Bd3, Nf6
8. 0-0, Ne5
9. h3, Bc5
10. Kh1 ....

Preparing for eventual f4, and getting the King out of the way.

10. .... d6
11. f4, Ng6
12. Qe1, 0-0
13. f5, Ne5
14. Qh4, b5
15. Rf3 ....

An ingenious way of "removing" the pesky Knight at e5, while opening the g file for an attack on the king side.

15. .... Nxf3
16. gxf3, Qb6
17. Rg1!! ....

White sacrifices a piece for control of the g-file.

17. .... Bxd4
18. e5!! ....

18. .... Bxe3

If 18....dxe5, then 19. Qxf6 g6, 20. fxg6 fxg6, 21. Rxg6+ hxg6, 22. Qxg6+ Kh8, 23. Qh7 mate.

19. Rxg7!!, Kh8

If 19.....Kxg7, then 20. exf6+ Kh8, 21. fxe6, and White threatens mate at h7.

20. Rxh7!! ....

Better than 20. exf6 h6, and Black manages to prolong the game.

20. .... Nxh7
21. f6 !!!, Resigns

Black cannot avoid being mated.  A fantastic game.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sicilian Defense, Fischer-Sozin Attack Flank Variation

GARRY KASPAROV vs. BORIS GELFAND
Linares, 1993

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, d6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, Nf6
5. Nc3, a6
6. Bc4, e6
7. Bb3, b5

The Fischer-Sozin Attack Flank Variation.

8. 0-0, Be7

Gelfand knowingly avoided the complications that may arise after 8....b4, 9. Na4 Nxe4, 10. Qg4 which favors White.

9. Qf3, Qc7
10. Qg3, 0-0
11. Bh6, Ne1
12. Rad1, Bd7
13. Nf3, b4
14. Ne2, a5
15. Nf4, Kh8

If 15....a4, 16. Nh5 g6, 17. Bxf8 ....

16. Bg5, Nf6
17. Qh4, Bb5
18. Nd4!!, Be8

If 18....Bxf1, then 19. Ndxe6 fxe6, 20. Ng6+ Kg8, 21. Bxe6+ ...., a situation which favors White.

19. Ndxe6, fxe6
20. Nxe6, Qa7
21. e5!!, dxe5
22. Nxf8, Bxf8
23. Bxf6, gxf6
24. Rd8 ....

The culminating attack.

24. .... Nd7

If 24....Qe7 the game may continue 25. Qc4 Bf7 26. Qxf7 Qxf7 27. Bxf7 Kg7 28. Bd5 and White gets material advantage.  In this variation, if after 25. Qc4 Kg7 26. Rfd1 with a tremendous attack.

25. Qg4, Resigns

Black cannot prevent mate at g8.  If 25....Bg7 then 26. Qe6 ....

Fantastic Kasparov attack!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

King's Gambit Accepted, Double Muzio Gambit

ALEXEY SHIROV vs. J. LAPINSKI
Daugavpils, 1990

1. e4, e5
2. f4, exf4
3. Nf3, g5
4. Bc4, g4
5. 0-0, gxf3
6. Qxf3, Qf6
7. e5! ....

Intended to lure the Black Queen away from f7, which White is targeting.

7. .... Qxe5
8. Bxf7+ ....

The Double Muzio Gambit. So far, White has already sacrificed two pieces.

8. .... Kxf7
9. d4, Qxd4+
10. Be3!! ....

The objective of White's 9th move.  Now, White gets a tempo.

10. .... Qf6

Not 10....Qxb2, 11. Qxf4+ Nf6, 12. Bd4 and the position favors White.

11. Bxf4, Ke8
12. Nc3, Nc6
13. Nd5, Qg6
14. Rae1+, Be7
15. Bd6!! ....







This elegant move opens the f-file for a mating threat at f8, whichever way the White Bishop is captured.

15. .... Kd8

Black removes the pin, thinking the King would be safe.  He is mistaken.

16. Qf8+, Bxf8

Black is clearly lost.  White may mate by 17. Rxf8 Qe8, 18. Rxe8. White's next move is much shorter.

17. Bxc7 mate.

Dazzling moves by Shirov.
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