Monday, March 20, 2017

A tough nut to crack

Just looking at "Long Bogo" Bogoljubow position with my new Stockfish 8 toy boy 👰  : 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf4 g6 6.Bf4 Bg7 7.Qd2 0-0 8.0-0-0 Bf5 (diagram)

I always believed 9.h3 was the key move here, but now I am not so sure anymore since white cannot avoid black swapping some pieces ; 9.h3 Ne4!! 10.Nxe4 Bxe5

Stockfish 8 now gives 11.Ng5 (diagram) as best and follows up 11...Bd5 (diagram)

I think everyone will agree with me that this is not a good position for the attacker - white has nothing for the pawn, maybe some distant development advantage, but certainly not worth a pawn. Stockfish suggests 12.Be3 as best now, which is certainly not a killer move 😞

Going back one move, at depth 26/46, my silicon assistant finds nothing better. Also at move 10, there is nothing better, so any improvement must come at move 9, when white played 9.h3.

The alternative is 9.Bh6 (diagram) which has the benefit of not exchanging any pieces needlessly as 9...Bxh6 10.Qxh6 Ng4 11.Qd2 is equal.

What did we learn today ? 8...Bf5 9.Bh6 is to be preferred over 8...Bf5 9.h3 in the Long Bogo. We will look at possible black moves in my next post.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Major improvement in GiveAway Declined variation

Just loaded Stockfish 8 and I have to admit, results are spectacular.

I was still glancing through the positions resulting after the GiveAway variation 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.g4 Bg6 when Stockfish 8 quickly found an improvement to 8.h4 and 8.g5, namely 8.Qe2 (diagram)

The order of the moves is key here - white delays h5 or g5 and plays first a waiting move. Only when black commits to a move, white then moves its kingside pawns.

Let's look at a few lines.

A. 8...e6 9.h4
...A1. 9...h6 10.Ne5 (+)
...A2. 9...b5 10.Bb3 (=)
...A3. 9...h5 10.Ne5 (+)
...A4. 9...Bb4 10.h5 (=)
...A5. 9...Nxg4 10.Bg5 (diagram)

......A5a. 10...Be7 11.0-0-0 (=)
......A5b. 10...f6 11.Bxe6 (++)
......A5c. 10...Qc7 11.Bxe6 fxe6 12.Qxe6+ (+=)
......A5d. 10...Qb6 11.Bxe6 (++)
......A5e. 10...Qa5 11.Bxe6 (++)
......A5f. 10...Qd7 11.0-0-0 (++)
......A5g. 10...Qd6 11.0-0-0 (+)

B. 8...b5 9.Bb3
...B1. 9...a5 10.a3 (=)
...B2. 9...b4 10.Na4 (=)
...B3. 9...e6 10.h4 (+=)
...B4. 9...Nbd7 10.h4 (+=)

C. 8...Nxg4 9.Rg1 (+=)

D. 8...Nbd7 9.g5
...D1. 9...b5 10.Bb3 (=)
...D2. 9...Nh5 10.Rf1 (=)
...D3. 9...Nd5 10.0-0 (=+)
...D4. 9...Ng8 10.Bf4 (+)
...D5. 9...Ng4 10.h3 (++)

So it seems Stockfish 8 is much stronger then its previous version - it unearthed a simple improved to the GiveAway Declined variation in a matter of minutes.
Now fix the GiveAway Accepted !!!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Dispair in the GiveAway variation

hello Blackmar Diemer fans,

Yesterday evening I played a few blitz games in my local chess club, several of them were based on the Ziegler/O'Kelly defense

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 when I venture the surprising 7.g4 !!
Because of obvious reasons, I called this the GiveAway variation.

Black should of course accept the gift and capture 7...Nxg4, but yesterday evening, most of my opponents choose to play it carefully with 7...Bg6

What can now complicate things again with yet another sacrifice 8.h4!!  Nxg4 9.Ng5 (diagram)

Black has two moves 9...h5 and 9...Nh6

After the seemingly robust 9...Nh6, white gets great attacking chances with 10.Qe2 (diagram)
A. 10...Qxd4 11.Be3 Qg4 12.Qxg4 Nxg4 13.h5 (=)
B. 10...Qc7 11.Be3 (=)
C. 10...e6 11.d5 (=)
D. 10...b5 11.Bb3 (=)
E. 10...Nd7 11.Bf4 (=)

So the robust 9...Nh6 does not offer any advantages, let's look at the more aggressive 9...h5 10.Bf4 (diagram)
White is risking all here and black can remian on top in various ways
F. 10...b5 11.Bb3 e6 12.Qe2 Bb4 13.Bxe6 (=+)
G. 10...e6 11.Qe2 Bb4 12.0-0-0 0-0 13.Bd3 (=+)
H. 10...Nd7 11.Qe2 Nb6 12.Bb3 (=+)

So it seems the ultra aggressive 8.h4 is not so good if black decline sthe pawn in the GiveAway variation. The problem is that 8.g5 might not offer better prospects 😓 aftre 8.g5 Nd5 (diagram)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Castling on both sides

hi Blackmar Diemer fans !

Today I'd like to share a game when both players rushed out to attack the enemy kings - bust as usual, the Blackmar Diemer side prevails.

Guido De Bouver - NN

1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6
The Euwe defense

6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bd3 c5
One of the better defensive moves. I had played many times against this opponent, so I realized he had prepared this line. I needed to get something differently.

New, but bad :-(

8...0-0 9.0-0-0 Nbd7 (diagram)

10.h4 a6 11.h5 h6 12.Bd2 b5 13.g4 c4 (diagram)
The pawn storm on both side of the board has appeared

14.Be4 Rb8 15.g5 hxg5 16.Rdg1 b4 (diagram)
It seems like black's pawn storm has more stamina ?!
But now comes the killer move ( I thought 1 hr to find and confirm it )

17.Bxg5 !! bxc3 18.Bh6
Here my opponent made a crucial mistake in this complicated position

Black thinks to see the victory - the idea of Rb1+ Kxb1 Qb6+ Kc1 Qb2+ Kd1 Qb1 is appealing

19.Qg2 (diagram)
Opening an escape field on d2 aftre black's mate attack
And victory was soon mine !!!

After 7...c5, white should play the simple 8.dxc5 (diagram) and obtain equality.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A New Morning

Looking at the date of my latest post - it is really time to post again. So, with the Bob Dylan album "New Morning" from 1970 playing in the background, I choose to write again on a game I played last weekend.

Guido De Bouver - NN
1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 e6
A superdefensive Caro Kan French !

7.Bg5 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Qe1 Nbd7 10.Rd1
I knew this was not the best move, but I realised my opponent ( who choose not to be named ) has prepared against the Blackmar Diemer, so I wanted to deviate from the normal paths.

10....Nb6 11.Bd3 Nbd5 12.Qh4 (diagram)

Let's have a closer look at the position. White has wasted 2 moves to get to the ideal Euwe defense position ( Bc4 and Rd1 ), whilst black has played the suboptimal c6. Is this still playable for white ?

The only move for black

Seems like a natural move, but 13.Nxd5 Nxd5 14.c4 is much stronger

Again the only move (diagram)

Probably not the bets move, but both Bxe7 and Bxg6 lead to a difficult endgame ahead for white

14...f6 15.Nxf6 (diagram)

Here black played 15...Ndxf6, which was punished by the unexpected 16.Nxg6 and I won quickly.

Seems like black's only move an advantage is 15...Rxf6 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Qe4 with black having two white pieces for the rook.

Bottomline : dont deviate from the established path by wasting time with silly moves like 10.Rd1. But even then, black's path to success is far from easy.

Doesn't that sound like a new morning ?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Start Trek continued

Hope you enjoyed the "Star Trek" idea from last post. Let's look at another line today - for the fun of it !

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Ne5 e6 8.Nxf7 ?? Kxf7 9.0-0 Bg6 10.Qe2 (diagram)

Alternatives to 10.Qe2 are 10.Qg4, 10.Bf4 and 10.Re1 - maybe they provide white with a better attack - check it out yourself.

10...Qxd4+ 11.Kh1 Qd7 12.Bg5 (diagram)
"The proof of the pudding is in the eating" - the only way for black to maintain a clear lead is by taking another pawn and thus opening even more lines - thus risking even more.

Black now has two options to moves to maintain his lead : 12...Na6 and 12...b5.

Let's look at the first : 12...Na6 ( a6 is obviously not the target for the horseman as it wants to defend the e6 pawn from the relatively safe c7 square ) 13.Rad1 Qe7 14.Ne4 Bxe4 15.Qxe4 Nac7 (diagram)

I have to admit, I am here a bit without ideas to continue the attack. White's pieces are all over the board, but black defends everything - and has an extra piece and pawn !!

Any imporvements ??

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Star Trek attack.

Some 15 years ago, when I started to get interested in the Blackmar Diemer, I was often faced with the annoying O'Kelly defense. Over time, I learned to deal with it, but at the time, it was a defense that made me tremble with fear.

So I started to investigate stange lines, to make the attack playable - that's how I come to discover the Start Trek attack : "To boldly go were no man has gone before"... I remember the feedback from a fellow BDG author : "That 's quite optimistic ?!"

Anyway, here is the Star Trek attack : 1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Ne5 e6 8.Nxf7 ?? Kxf7 9.0-0

Let's look at black's most natural response : 9...Ke8 10.Kh1 (diagram)
I often need this move, so why not play it immediately - it allows me to wait for black's move and respond accordingly.

Let's look at one of black's most normal moves : 10...Nbd7 11.Qe2 (diagram)

Black has many moves at his disposal, let's see what happens if he tries to defend the pawn with 11...Qe7 12.Bg5 (diagram)

Black can now try to run in his king to safety, eg 12...Kd8 13.Rae1 Kc7 14.Bf4+ Kc8 15.h3 and with has compensation for the piece

From the starting position above, the defender could try to initiate a pawn storm on the white king : 12...h6 13.Bh4 g5 14.Bg3 h5 15.Rae1 h4 16.Bd6 with a difficult position

Lastly, the normal line 12...Nb6 13.Bb3 Nbd5 brings equal play after 14.Bxd5

So it sure seems the Star Trek attack might be worth a closer look !