In the above position, after 27. Bd2 Kh8 28. Ba5??, how many ways does black have to win? This is what I contemplated for about 20 minutes after missing the move(s) and letting the win slip away along with my team's chances of winning the U1800 title. Excuse me while I bang my head against the table for awhile.
This postponed game from last night again validates the exchange French as an attacking weapon nonpareil.
Analysis is not computer-assisted, so consume at risk.
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd?! (a patzer move occasionally favored by the likes of Morphy, Kasparov, and Jim West) exd 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Bd6 6. Ne2 Ne7 7. Qc2 Be6 8. Bf4 h6 (seems to signal ...O-O) 9. Nd2 Qd7 10. BxB PxB?! (Max was playing for a win and a chance at one of the excellent trophies and needed to mix things up. While the doubled center pawns cramp white's pieces slightly, they prove a weakness very shortly. Maybe setting up for O-O-O was a more straightforward way to imbalance things) 11. Ng3?! (Nf4) O-O +/= 12. O-O Rac8 13. Qd1 (...Nxd4 was afoot) Bf5?! (not a strong bishop but why volunteer it?) 14. NxB NxN 15. Re1? (Qg4 is much stronger, with ...g6 being the only satisfactory defense as Max pointed out, since after 15...Nce7 Rfe1 is uncomfortable) Nfe7 16. Qf3 (Qh5 maybe more economical) Rfe8 17. Nf1 Nb8 18. Ne3 Qc6 (this concession is necessary to defend the doubled pawn, now white can attack the kingside without risk) 19. Qh4 Nd7 20. Ng4 Nf8 21. Re3 Neg7 22. Rg3 Qb6 23. b3 (hoping vainly for ...Rxc3?) Qa5
24. BxN NxB (...fxB leads to the same) 25. NxP+ PxN 26. RxN+ PxB 27. QxP+ 1/2-1/2 with perpetual check to follow, the coward's way out. This brings my total in the exchange French to 1 win, 0 losses and many, many draws.
First the good news: a rare short win this weekend at the USATE where my opponent assisted me on a nice combination...in the following position he played 11...QxN (forced) and after 12. Bc4 Qxd4?? there is a forced win of black's queen in 3. A painful missed opportunity will be posted later.
In reviewing my openings in preparation for USATE, I have finally made my way to the question of what to play against Bird's Opening (1.f4)? On those rare occasions when I encounter it, I have been playing the Schlechter's Gambit 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6, but a review of lines at the French site "L'Ouverture Bird
" has been rather discouraging. And I have to ask myself, "Why play something risky against somebody foolish enough to play 1.f4 anyway?" There is always Kasparov's choice (see Romanishin - Kasparov, Leningrad 1976
) of 1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 Bg4 4.b3 Nbd7 5.Bb2 c6 6.Be2 Qc7 7.O-O Bxf3 8.Bxf3 e5, which looks reasonable.
What do Bird player's fear? What do you play against this? What would Don do? Or, what would Don rather you didn't? :-)
Labels: bird's opening, opening analysis
FM Steve Stoyko is leading the Kenilworth Chess Club A team again this year, with the same members as last year: NM Scott Massey, NM Ed Allen, expert Bob Rose and expert Mike Goeller as alternate. Last year we finished 5-1, losing only to the infamous "GGGg" team.
What other teams have Kenilworth Chess Club members? How many "Chessaholics" teams is Mike Wojcio putting together?
Use the comments to answer, or if someone wants to give a complete listing in a post that would be great.
Labels: USATE, USATE 2009
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