Caro Double Blunder on the 4th Move!
In the recent USCL match Boston – Baltimore, we had this curiosity:
Esserman,Marc (2492) – Enkhbat,Tegshsuren (2425) [B12]
USCL Baltimore vs Boston Internet Chess Club (11), 01.11.2010
Caro-Kann Primitive Lunge Variation
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.g4?
A huge lemon! Too soon! Before we go on, read this article from 2009.
LOL! A gigantic reciprocal lemon! Black misses a golden opportunity afforded by white’s premature pawn advance. The right move, as you might have guessed, is 4…Be4!
Why? With his 4th move, white is trying to get the bishop to go back to the horribly passive and self-blocking square of d7. Black complies, but it was a bluff. In many Caro variations, a bishop abandonment of the c8-g4 diagonal means white will get in the e5-e6 pawn sacrifice with good effect. However after 4…Be4! 5. f3 Bg6, the e5-e6 move is downright weak, as a later Qd8-d6 eyes g3. The details are in the prior article. Essentially by falling for the white bluff, black ruins his own game. But if he knew the right move, he could exploit the weaknesses caused by white’s 4th.
At least Enkhbat should have tried 5…Na6! as he actually played in 2009! The game could continue 6. cxd5 and now in 2009 he missed, but had at his disposal, the inventive 6…Nb4! with counterplay as was mentioned a year ago!
Talk about missed opportunities; these are opportunities already seen in Enkhbat’s prior game!
6.Nc3 Ne7 7.Nf3 Ng6 8.h4 Be7 9.h5 Nf8 10.g5 Na6 11.c5 Nc7 12.Be3 b6 13.b4 bxc5 14.bxc5 Rb8 15.Rc1 Rb2 16.Bd3 Qb8 17.Nd2 f5 18.gxf6 gxf6 19.Qg4 Kf7 20.Rg1 Ne8 21.Bxh7 Bd8 22.Bg8+ Black resigns 1-0
This game features, yet again, a double blunder on move 4! 4. g4? is very bad (it should be prepared with 4. Nc3) and then black inexplicably fails to exploit the opportunity by missing 4….Be4!. The lemon 4…Bd7? has a pedigree – it was played by the great Tigran Petrosian vs Bronstein. Yet 4…Be4! leads to an advantage in all lines for black.
We’ve seen this lemon line before in the USCL. But the amazing thing is that Teshburen was involved in that game too. Incredibly, Charbonneau played 4. g4? against… the same Teshburen in 2009, who… played the weak 4…Bd7? – he didn’t learn from that incident! However, Charbonneau, in a more recent USCL game, did demonstrate learning and found 4. Nf3! in Charbonneau-Kaufman in earlier NY-Bal match action this year. White won that game convincingly after essaying a known gambit of the b-pawn.
The amusing thing about 4. g4? is that it really wrecks white’s game if black plays the simple 4…Be4! – white on no account wants to play f2-f3 but he has to! With g3 weakened things go downhill! Check the notes to Charbonneau-Teshburen for the gory details!