Posts Tagged ‘1981 Pan-Am Intercollegiate Chess Championship’

The Fabulous 00s: Hammer Time

October 7, 2008

A Foray Into the English-Dutch with Mr. Hammer

No, not MC Hammer.  Jon Ludwig Hammer!

The talented Norwegian junior J.L. Hammer and I had a battle royale at the North American Open, Las Vegas, 2006.   He emanated a lot of original ideas in this game and other games.  It’s easy to see a future GM with this guy.

It’s kind of humorous that I was 2435 FIDE many years before he was born then he pops into existence and quickly eclipses me.

The author with pink glasses (OK one of two guys with pink glasses) and other ne’er do wells before their declining years. Pan-Ams, 1981, New York City.  Spot the future US Champion.

Join the workforce, Mr. Hammer!  Waste many years in doctoral studies!  See yourself decline!  (Sour Grapes).  Here’s his rating chart – quite a rise with it standing at 2522 at present.

Mr. Hammer is doing just fine, thank you.

M. Ginsburg – Jon Ludwig Hammer  Crazy Norwegian Subvariation of the English-Dutch. North American Open, Las Vegas, NV, December 2006.

1. c4 b6 2. d4 e6 3. a3 Bb7 4. Nc3 f5!? Very logical.

5. Nf3 Nf6 6. d5 Na6 Another perplexezoid variation here is 6…Bd6!? 7. Nd4 (7. g3) 7…Be5!? 8. dxe6 O-O! with good counterplay.  Both 6…Na6 and 6…Bd6 are totally viable.

7. b4

Position after 7. b4.  It’s Hammer Time.


Wow!!  I’ve heard of irregular openings… but this?   GM Bauer was unsuccessful with 7…g6! 8. Bb2 Bg7 9. Qb3 O-O 10. e3 c5!? in Suba-Bauer Calvia 2005, 1-0, 50 moves, but black looks all right at this point.  Black also has 10…Qe7!? 11. Be2 and now 11…c5 with very good chances at complete equality.  The line especially with the careful 7…g6! deserves to live!

8. axb4 Bxb4 9. Bd2 9. Qb3 a5 with very unclear play.

9…exd5 Not bad at all is 9…O-O!? and if 10. Qb3 once again the pesky 10…a5.  Better for white seems 9…O-O 10. e3 where 10…f4?! is insufficient due to 11. exf4 Bxc3 12. Bxc3 exd5 13. Be2.

10. cxd5 Qe7 11. Qb3 Bxc3 12. Bxc3 Bxd5 13. Qa3 c5?! Clearly it was on black’s agenda to attack crazily but 13…Qxa3 with a small disadvantage  would have been a lot safer.

14. e3 f4 15. O-O Be6 15…Bxf3 is safer.

16. exf4 O-O? 16…Ne4 was called for.

17. Bd3 17. Ng5 was also strong.


Now comes a good finish.

17. f5 Bxf5 18. Bxf5 Rxf5 20. Qa4! Double attack on d7 and g4.

Position after 20. Qa4.

20…Nxf2 If 20…Nf6 21. Rhe1 Qf8 22. Bxf6 Qxf6 23. Rxd7 decides.

21. Qa2+ The long-range queen picks up the N on f2.

21…c4 22. Qxf2 Rb5 23. Qd4 and black resigns.


If for example 23…Rc8 24. Rhe1 Qf7 25. Qxd7 is the end.