Over at chessclub.com (aka ICC), I have been doing some Game of the Days for Chess.FM online broadcasts. I remember way back when Tony Rook started Chess.FM. At some point, I suggested Skype be used. Tony Rook was bought out, new leadership took control of ICC, and … Skype was introduced as a broadcast platform. I did Game of the Day for Rounds 9 and 10 of Dortmund 2010 Sparkassen (Naiditsch-Kramnik and Leko-Naiditsch). I learned from a viewer that Naiditsch is pronounced NIGH-ditch not NAY-ditch.
1) you play a game or observe a game where the opponent plays an inferior opening and you forget what to do (or, if you are observing, the inferior side “gets away with it” illogically) – check later with a computer!
In Lecture 1, I went over 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Qb6? 6. e5! Bc5 7. Ndb5! as an example to see the comprehensive, computer-backed, refutation.
2) you see a high level game giving an inferior opening some rough treatment and you want to meld that into a complete way of dealing with it – check with the computer! In lecture 2, I went over the Blumenfeld Declined (1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. d5 b5 5. Bg5!) as an example. Why am I the only person who heard of the Dutch Blumenfeld theme tournament?
Chukcha (Russian Eskimo) is going to Moscow and his friends ask him to bring back some butter.
They tell him to find it on sale, simply find the longest line.
He found the Lenin’s Tomb line instead.
When asked why he did not bring back any butter, he said “I found the longest line, but when I got closer, I found out the salesman was dead.”
How did Jinky Fischer Come About
Answering an email like this:
My name is miss JOY YAK i am single and 5.5ft.How are you,
i hope your are find and in sound health.I went through your profile today and i took interest on it. I am interested in your profile,Kindly contact me. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I will tell you more about myself and picture
And for Some Dutch Scenery
Mark Ginsburg and Christine Syben in Delft, Holland December 1989 - photo E. Tall
I have seen quite a few Blumenfelds recently and some of them worked quite well (Molner’s win as black vs Shankland, actually winning a brilliancy prize game at the Copper State International, Mesa, 2010) but I must conclude that white does very well DECLINING this particular gambit. ACCEPTING gives black a central preponderance with some not-so-vague attacking chances (see Alekhine’s famous win over Tarrasch, Bad Pistyan 1922) and DECLINING, in most cases, just gives black an ugly structure and white easy development, to boot! An easy call! I am surprised people accept these days because declining is so good. I will be the first to admit that black SHOULD have insufficient compensation for the pawn if white accepts, but practically speaking I enjoy the structures that come out the recommended declining lines we see in this article.
Let’s see the powerful DECLINING.
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. d5 b5?! If chess were this simple….
This position is already bad for black. I first suspected this fact when a Blumenfeld theme tournament was run in Holland (alluded to in a GM Hans Ree’s article in New in Chess) and black encountered very heavy weather in the complex of variations following 5. Bg5!.
Declining in order to win the game is not only a clever psychological ploy; it also follows the French proverb, “Reculer pour mieux avancer!” (retreat for a better attack!). Conversely, declining gives black ZERO attacking chances and white EXCELLENT chances for a major positional pull. Enough said!
5…Qa5+ This move is tricky, but no more than that. Black’s choices are limited, though. I probably don’t need to convince you too much that 5…h6? is outright weak and 5….d6 also leads to a white advantage. Let me know if you don’t know why. Do you have any other black moves you would like to try? It won’t help, white is convincingly better in all lines. The text move should get black in a lot of trouble.
See the comments section for the turgid try (has the practical effect of limiting white’s advantage, though) 5…b4.
6. Nc3! Very strong, and a move unjustly ignored by most theoretical works. Other interposition moves are weaker. Now white has a clear edge in all lines. Very surprisingly, though, Kaidanov goes wrong ON THE VERY NEXT MOVE ruining his powerful 6th.
6…Ne4? Yuck. Robson played this lemon violating the well-known precept against moving pieces twice in the opening. Doubly bad because this horse is really the only minor piece out there so far. 6…b4 is objectively stronger, but I don’t need to try too hard to convince you that black’s position is not good after the obvious 7. Bxf6 gxf6 8. Ne4. Let me know if you think black is all right there and I will give you a few more lines.
This position is terrible for black!
7. Bd2? No!!!! Arghhh! GM Kaidanov plays a shocking lemon in return ruining, for the most part, his fantastic position.
The bust to 6…Ne4? is the easy (and worse, known from theory) 7. cxb5!
Black is much worse in all lines. I would expect any GM to win handily. The variations are clear:
7. cxb5! Nxg5 (very instructive is the bust to even weaker 7… Bb7? which is 8. dxe6 fxe6 9. Bd2 Nxd2 10. Nxd2 d5 11. e4! and it’s totally lost for black as in Borovikov,V (2472)-Sharapov,E (2387)/Sevastopol 2000) 8. Nxg5 Be7 9. Qd2 and white has a big plus.
Or, 7. cxb5! Nxc3 8. bxc3 Qxc3+ 9. Bd2 Qf6 10. e4 and white, again, has a big plus and should win. I will let the reader work out the powerful reply to the lame Benko-like move 7. cxb5 a6?! here. Warning: in a prior game, white went wrong after 7. cxb5 a6 but as a clue, white has a big, big improvement right away (if you find that prior game, which might put you off course a little bit).
Here is the prior game: 7. cxb5! a6?! 8. Bd2! (only now!) Nxd2 (forced) 9. Nxd2! axb5 (nothing better) and now… what’s the right move?
White to play and get a big edge
In the prior game, the careless 10. e4? was played. Unfortunately after 10. e4? c4! black has equal chances. Replace the tenth move lemon with something stronger, readers. Do you see it? It results in a big white edge. This is the final link in the chain proving 5. Bg5! is strong!
The Divergence 5. Bg5! d6!?
White, of course, can play 6. dxe6 and look forward to an edge. However, also interesting is 6. cxb5!?.
A good answer to 5...d6
There might follow 6…Qa5+ (What else? 6…exd5? 7. Bxf6 is terrible for black; 6…h6 7. Bxf6 Qxf6 8. Nc3 is a solid white edge, and the lame “Benko move” 6…a6? is outright weak due to 7. e4! Be7 8. Nc3 with a big white plus) 7. Bd2 Qxb5 8. Nc3 (with white gaining so much time on black’s queen he must be better) 8…Qb7 (relatively speaking the best placement for black’s queen which is not a good advertisement for his position; of course 8…Qxb2?? fails to 9. Rb1 followed by Nb5 and white wins) 9. e4 exd5 10. exd5 Be7 (note that 10…Nxd5? 11. Qa4+ Nd7 12. Nxd5 Qxd5 13. Bb5+ loses for black. 11. Bb5+ Bd7 12. Bc4 and white is better.
For reader enjoyment, let me take one of these lines further:
5…d6 6. cxb5! a6? 7. e4! Be7 8. Nc3 exd5 9. Bxf6! (hyper-accurate!) 9…Bxf6 10. Qxd5 Ra7 11. e5! (a surprising unusual breakthrough!) 11…dxe5 (11…Be6 12. Qxd6 wins for white) 12. Qxc5 Rc7 (12…Rd7 13. Be2 wins) 13. Qe3 (or 13. Qb4 which is also quite good) 13…O-O 14. Rd1 and black is in very bad shape.
The second installment of Danny Rensch’s Copper State International was a big success, especially for norm hunters. The event was made possible by the generous support of John Lalonde and his Abstrax, Inc. playing site in Mesa, AZ.
Mackenzie Molner made a 2nd GM norm with a superb score of 6/9 in the “A” group round-robin and what a bunch of games he played! In the “B” Swiss, numerous norms were made too. All the games posted here are from the Monroi website.
GM Timur Gareev (left) watches as Mackenzie Molner shows him the last round Bartholomew-Molner game that gave Mackenzie a GM norm
Here’s Molner’s last round game, a romantic 19th century Evans Gambit!
The Blumenfeld “enjoys” a terrible reputation theoretically.
5.dxe6 This is one of those gambits that White does not need to take. In fact, the text move gives Molner what he wants; activity.
Strong, for example, is the straightforward 5. Bg5! (long known to be a dangerous weapon) 5…Qa5+ (the turgid 5…b4 is tougher, but leads to ugly formations where white has a2-a3 at his convenience) 6. Nc3! – surprisingly strong and not the focal point of most Blumenfeld theory.
Quick Development to Challenge the Blumenfeld
Now, it’s not fun for black. For example, the impulsive 6…Ne4? (6…b4 7. Bxf6 gxf6 8. Ne4 is an uphill struggle for black with white enjoying a nagging plus) and now 7. cxb5! as white SHOULD have played in Kaidanov versus Robson, US Ch 2010, and other games. White is better in all lines after 7. cxb5!. This rather little known line is quite powerful versus the Blumenfeld. One example line: 7. cxb5 a6 8. Bd2! (always, this) 8…Nxd2 9. Nxd2 axb5 10. e3! (not 10. e4? c4=, as occurred in a prior game) 10..c4 11. Qh5! – a devastating blow. White wins after all moves, including the tricky try 11…Ba3!? 12. dxe6 dxe6 13. Nxc4! and the smoke clears with white a clean pawn ahead.
5…fxe6 6.cxb5 a6 7.bxa6 Bxa6 8.g3 Nc6 9.Nc3 Be7 10.e4? (10. Bh3!?) 10…Qb6 11.Be2 White’s 8. g3 now does not make sense at all.
11…Bxe2 12.Qxe2 Nd4 13.Nxd4?! (13. Qd1 Nb3! 14. Rb1 and white holds) 13…cxd4 14.Nd1 Qa5?! (14…d5! 15. exd5 Bb4+! is very strong)
15.Bd2 Bb4 16.f3 O-O 17.a3 Bxd2 18.Qxd2 Qa6 19.Qxd4 d5 20.e5 Nd7 21.Kf2? White misses a great chance for an edge with 21. f4! – for example, 21. f4! Rac8 22. Ne3! Nc5 23. Rd1 and now 23…Ne4? is met by 24. Nxd5!, winning for white.
21…Rac8 22.Ne3 Nc5 23.Rae1 Nb3? A serious blunder in an otherwise snappy game. 23…Qd3! is crushing. 24. Rd1 Ne4+ 25. Kg2 Rc2+!! forces mate!
24.Qd1 Qb7 Now white is right back in the game!
25.f4? The right move, not easy to find, is 25. Rhf1!
25…d4 26.Nc2 g5! Black’s attack flares up again!
27.Nb4 gxf4 28.g4? The final miscue. 28. Rhf1 was relatively best with a small black edge.
A last round rout by Pruess over the tournament leader GM Fridman! Fridman had been leading by a full point but this shocking defeat sent him back to a three-way tie for first. Fridman recovered and won the blitz playoff (over GMs Kacheishvili and Kekelidze).
As Pruess tells it, he wanted to see black play 3….e6 as he was in the mood to just play that closed game. In the game, Fridman goes a much riskier route (Fridman has even written about this in magazines) but gets annihilated! 3….Qb6!? is all the rage and favored by Georgian grandmasters. For example, the recent game annotated in New In Chess, Nepomniatchi – Jobava saw 3…Qb6!? 4. a4!? with insanity.
Incredibly strong. The rook on a6 is tied to the knight on c5; the knight cannot move, but the queen by force picks up the knight! Black cannot defend it!
Kg8 31.Qc4 1-0
And the actual winner of the Best Game prize was this nice game by veteran IM Nikolai Andrianov, coming off a three year period of no chess! His victim, talented young player IM Jacek Stopa, was one of the pre-event favorites by rating, but had a horrible start. He recovered somewhat in the 2nd half.
1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.e3 Bg7 5.d4 cxd4 6.exd4 d6 7.d5 Ne5 8.Nxe5 Bxe5 9.Be2 Bd7?! 10.O-O Rc8?! 11.Be3 Qa5? This queenside demonstration greatly worsens black’s position, losing multiple tempi, and these are important tempi helping white with the break that he wants, c4-c5.
12.a3 Nf6? Leaving the bishop out to dry.
13.b4 Qc7 14.Rc1 a5 15.f4 White also had Nb5-d4 with a huge advantage.
Bxc3 16.Rxc3 axb4 17.axb4 h5 18.Bd4 With this forever bishop, white is winning easily.
Rg8 19.Re1 Kf8 20.Bf1 Bf5 21.Rce3 h4 Black is making rather aimless moves all over the board. Well, he has to, he’s almost in total zugzwang already. But an important principle comes to mind: if black has played very weakly so far (far below his published rating) he has to be good at something! And that something in this game is resourcefulness in lost games. Still, the position has put black well over the edge into losing territory. White’s next elementary tactical blow requires only a small amount of accuracy.
22.Rxe7 One way to win. Another elementary win is 22. Qe2 and e7 collapses. I am not sure why I did not look at the obvious 22. Qe2. After 22. Qe2 black has to resign.
22…Qxe7 23.Rxe7 Kxe7 24.Qe1+ Ne4 25.Bd3
25. c5! wins. 25. c5! Rge8 26. Qxh4+ Kf8 27. cxd6 and black collapses. The text also wins.
25…Rge8 26.Qxh4+? What a bad move! The first simple miss. 26. Bxe4 Kf8 (forced) 27. Qxh4 Rxe4 28. Bf6! Ke8 and now do you see it? I thought black’s king was running so I didn’t go for this line, but here white wins easily. The answer is the nice quiet move 27. Qh7! (I overlooked this) and the threat of Qg8+ and Qxf7 is unstoppable and wins immediately.
26…Kd7 Black takes his chance to run in another direction but this should have been hopeless. For some reason, I started playing quickly for no reason and let him totally escape. Quite an upsetting turn of events. From this point forward, my calculation ability was non-existent!
27.c5! Of course. White is still winning. So far, so good.
27…dxc5 28.Bb5+? White doesn’t understand that better is 28. bxc5! Nxc5 29. Bb5+ Kd6 30. g4! and wins. For example, 30…Bd7 31. Qf6+! (this is why white needs to get the black knight away from e4!) 31…Kc7 32. Bxc5! and wins.
28…Kd6 29.Be5+?? A terrible blunder. If white had paused a little, there are two wins remaining. Win 1. 29. Bxc5+ Nxc5 30. Qf6+ (this resource was never on my radar) 30…Kxd5 31. Bxe8 Rxe8 32. Qxf7+ and wins. Win 2. 29. bxc5+ Nxc5 30. g4! and wins decisive material.
29…Rxe5 What am I doing? 30.fxe5 Kxd5 31.g4? Yet another terrible move blitzed out. 31. Qe7 keeps good winning chances. For example, 31. Qe7 cxb4 32. Qxf7+ and white will also pick up b4 and should convert the win.
31…Be6 Now all the wins have disappeared. What an amazing number of bad blunders to not win!
White never took his chance to play c2-c3 or c2-c4 in the early stages of the game, moves he needed to get chances.
18.h3 Ra7 19.Nh2 h5! Stopping the obvious threat of Nh2-g4. Now white’s king side pawns are fixed awkwardly. 20.Nf3 Raf7 21.Ne2 Nf5 22.Qf2 Qc7 23.Nh4 Nxh4 24.Qxh4 Nd4! Simple chess. The f4 point collapses and the game.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Qb6? Amazing brinkmanship and a move I thought was unplayable! Joel Benjamin annotated the game Hess-Lapshun in US Chess Online but both players were not familiar with that. In the online notes, the variation is just kaput for black. Ravichandran had apparently consulted some other theory source. Ravichandran said after the game he wanted to catch white by surprise with this. Well, it’s a shock for sure.
White starts out responding in the best way.
6.e5! Correct and natural enough.
6…Bc5 Black blitzed this out; he has no choice.
7.Be3!? This move is not bad. Hess found the more forcing 7. Nd4-b5! and now Lapshun lost miserably with 7…Ng8. In fact other players have lost this miniature too. The f2 pawn is untakeable. Why? The variations are nice.
For fun, look at 7. Ndb5! Bxf2+ 8. Ke2 (8. Kd2?? Qe3 mate would be embarrassing!) 8…Nd5 9. Nd6+ Ke7 10. Nxd5+ exd5 11. Qd5 Rf8 12. Bg5+f6 13. exf6 gxf6 14. Qe5+!! and forced mate!
For completeness, 7. Ndb5! Bxf2+ 8. Ke2 Ng4 9. h3! Ng4 and now white goes on a king walk to win: 10. Nd6+! Ke7 11. hxg4 Qf2+ 12. Kd3 Nc6 and now white can win a brilliancy prize: 13. Nf5+!! exf5 14. Nd5+ Kf8 15. Be3! and wins! If black put his king on f8 in this line, white can vary with 13. Nce4! and wins a piece.
I asked Ravichandran after the game and he said he intended 7….a6. Apparently his theoretical source points to that. Well, it’s the best move!
Pruess said after the game (separately) he was concerned about the 7…a6 resource since 8. Nd6+ is not clear.
Some junior at the tournament ran 7….a6 through an engine and told me later on that 7…a6 8. Qf3! (a resource not seen by Pruess but known to his opponent) is strong. Computer power! Nevertheless, 8. Qf3 Nd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. Nc3 Bb4! and black can fight on with a worse, but defensible, position. What did we learn? Not much, except that black in this game was successful with the early brinkmanship!
7…Nd5 8.Nxd5 exd5 9.Nf5? A big lemon. White must have miscalculated something.
After the strong 9. Nb5! white can still fight for an edge. 9…Bxe3 10. fxe3 Qxe3+? 11. Qe2 is terrible for black. He loses after, e.g., 11…Qxe2+ 12. Bxe2 Na6 13. Nd6+ Ke7 14. O-O Rf8 15. Nf5+ and wins. Needless to say, taking on e3 is not forced. 10..O-O 11. Qd4! leaves white with an edge but again black can defend. Another example line: 9. Nb5! O-O 10. Bxc5 Qxc5 11. Qd2 a6 12. Nd6 Nc6 13. O-O-O with a white plus.
Qxb2 10.Nxg7 At this stage, it was impossible to realize the computer recommendation of 10. Bd4 is stronger with equal chances.
Kd8 11.Bg5+? The real losing move. White must have been totally disoriented and thinking about earlier missed chances. After this white is just dead. 11. Be2 Bxe3 12. fxe3 and white can play that position and have good prospects to draw. 11. Be2 Bb4+? is bad: 12. Kf1 and black can’t take on e5 due to Bd4.
Kc7 12.Bf4 Qc3+ A lethal intermediate check well known to Sveshnikov lovers, this occurs in many early Be6 lines of the Sveshnikov forcing white to do acrobatics.
13.Bd2 The problem is that 13. Ke2 Qc4+ 14. Kf3 Qe4+ 15. Kg3 Bxf2+! wins.