Archive for the ‘chess lessons’ Category

More Fighting Chess from the 2016 Chess Olympiad

September 6, 2016

Today’s featured game from the 2016 Chess Olympiad includes an attack straight out of a chess hustler’s playbook which leads to a victory in just 27 moves. Hats off to Bader Al-Hajiri (Kuwait) and Rodwell Makoto (Zimbabwe) for playing such an entertaining game. Enjoy…

 

[Event “Chess Olympiad”]
[Site “Baku, Azerbaijan”]
[Date “2016.9.5”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Al-Hajiri, Bader”]
[Black “Makoto, Rodwell”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Eco “C48”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ FOUR KNIGHTS’ GAME,C48]}

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Nc3 Nf6

4.Bb5 Bc5

5.Nxe5

 

Position after 5. Nxe5

Position after 5. Nxe5

 

5… O-O {!?}

( 5…Nxe5 6.d4 {The Fork Trick} Bd6 7.f4 (7.dxe5 Bxe5 8.Be3 c6 9.Be2 O-O) 8.  Nc6 8.e5 {The Fork Trick: Part Two} O-O 9.exd6 Re8+
{And oddly enough, black is fine.} )

( 5…Bxf2+ {?!} 6.Kxf2 Nxe5 7.d4 Ng6 ( 7…Nfg4+ 8.Ke1 c6 9.dxe5 d6 10.Be2 Nxe5 11.Bf4
{and white is winning.} ) ( 7…Neg4+ 8.Kg1 c6 9.Be2 d5 10.exd5
O-O 11.dxc6 bxc6 12.h3 Nh6 13.g4 {I’d be happy to play as white from here.}) 8.e5 c6 9.exf6 {!} Qxf6+ 10.Qf3 Qxf3+ 11.gxf3 cxb5 12.Re1+
Kd8 13.Nxb5 {and white is better.} )

6.Nf3

( 6.O-O Nxe5 7.d4 Bd6 8.f4 Nc6 9.e5 Bb4 10.exf6 Qxf6 11.Nd5 Qxd4+ 12.Be3 Qxd1 13.Raxd1
Bd6 14.f5 f6 15.Bf4 Ne5 16.Bxe5 fxe5 17.f6 c6 18.Ne7+ Bxe7 19.fxe7
Re8 20.Bc4+ d5 21.Rxd5 cxd5 22.Bxd5+ Be6 23.Bxe6+ Kh8 24.Rf7
h5 25.Kf2 Kh7 {…1-0, Kulaots Kaido (EST) 2581 – Roiz Michael (ISR) 2652 , Plovdiv 3/22/2012 Ch Europe})

( 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.Nf3 Nxe4 8.Nxe4 Re8 9.d3 f5 10.O-O fxe4 11.dxe4
Bg4 12.Qe2 )

6… Nd4

7.Nxd4 ( 7.Be2 Nxe2 8.Qxe2 d5 9.d3 Bb4 10.e5
Re8 11.O-O Bg4 {Looks like a fun position for both colors.} )

7… Bxd4

8.Ne2 {?} {Bader Ali-Hajiri is asking for trouble with this move. Better was:}
( 8.O-O Re8 9.Be2 Bxc3 10.dxc3 Nxe4 )

 

Position after 8. Ne2

Position after 8. Ne2

 

8… Bxf2+ {!} {Rodwell Makoto responds with fire.}

9.Kxf2 Nxe4+

10.Ke1 Qf6 {Attacks like these are usually reserved for the street chess hustlers. I’m taking notes.}

11.Rf1 Qh4+

12.Ng3 Re8 {Threatening a discovered check with Nc3 which wins the queen.}

 

Position after 12... Re8

Position after 12… Re8

 

13.Be2 Nxg3 {Not sure I agree with voluntarily trading pieces here. Black is attacking and
therefor should be looking to bring in more force not remove it.}

14.hxg3 Qxg3+

15.Rf2 {Bader Al-Hajiri has done a fine job weathering Rodwell Makoto’s creative attack.}

15… d5

16.Kf1 {?} {Unpinning the rook and bishop by stepping aside is tempting but now when
black’s queen moves to h2 white will be in serious trouble. Much better was:}
( 16.d4 Qh2 17.Bf4 Qg1+ 18.Rf1 Qxg2 19.Rf2 Qg1+ 20.Rf1 Qg2 {draw by repetition.})

 

Position after 16. Kf1

Position after 16. Kf1

 

16… Qh2 {!}

17.Rf3 Bg4 ( 17…d4 18.d3 Bg4 19.c3
Re6 20.Bf4 Qh1+ 21.Kf2 Rxe2+ 22.Qxe2 Qxa1 {is another way to go about the attack.})

18.a4 {?} {Trying to make up for his earlier mistakes, Beder Al-Hajiri will try to get
both of his rooks unified in the third rank. This is a very unusual plan and unfortunately, for Al-Hajiri, not very effective.}

( 18.Re3 {Exchanging the queens and freeing the pieces was a much better plan for white.}
Qh1+ 19.Kf2 Qxd1 20.Bxd1 Bxd1 21.d4 c6 22.c3 f6 23.Bd2 )

18… Re6

19.Raa3 {Bader Al-Hajiri has accomplished his goal behind playing 18. a4.}

 

Position after 19. Raa3

Position after 19. Raa3

 

19… d4 {!} {With one pawn push, Rodwell Makoto takes away his opponent’s chances of placing
a rook into the open e-file. This is a crushing blow to white.}

20.Rh3 {Bader Al-Hajiri tries to resurrect some purpose for his rooks being in the third rank.}

20… Rf6+

21.Rhf3 ( 21.Raf3 Bxh3 22.gxh3 Rg6 23.Ke1 Re8 {is even worse for black.})

21… Re8 {Rodwell Makoto has four pieces left and they are all involved in the attack on Bader Al-Hajiri’s king.}

22.Kf2 Qh4+

23.Kg1 Rfe6

24.g3 Qh5

25.Bf1 {?} {Its impossible to defend against such force with such a disorganized position. However, Rfe3 was the more accurate choice.} ( 25.Rfe3 Bxe2 26.Qxe2 Qxe2 27.Rxe2 Rxe2 28.Rf3 )

 

Position after 25. Bf1

Position after 25. Bf1

 

25… Re1{!} {Just crushing.}

26.Rae3 R8xe3

27.Rxe3 Rxe3 {and Bader Al-Hajiri resigns as his queen is trapped.}
0-1

 

Final Position

Final Position

Hidden Gems Abound at the 2016 Chess Olympiads

September 4, 2016

One of my favorite hobbies is treasure hunting for beautifully instructive chess games during the annual Chess Olympiads. With more than 180 countries each sending their best male and female teams to compete in one event, the Chess Olympiads is a veritable mother load of chess gems. For hunting these chess treasures, I follow along at:

The official site for the 2016 FIDE Chess Olympiads

http://www1.bakuchessolympiad.com//

 

 

Chess Daily News

https://chessdailynews.com

 

ChessGames.com

http://www.chessgames.com/index.html

 

FM Qiu Zhou of Canada

FM Qiyu Zhou of Canada

And to illustrate just the kind of hidden gems I am talking about, I present Sindira Joshi (Nepal) vs. Qiyu Zhou (Canada) from round 1 of the 2016 FIDE Chess Olympiads. Enjoy…

[Event “Chess Olympiad”]
[Site “Baku, Azerbaijan”]
[Date “2016.9.2”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Joshi, Sindira”]
[Black “Zhou, Qiyu”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Eco “C54”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ ITALIAN GAME & HUNGARIAN def.,C54]}

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.d4 {The start to the Scotch.}

3… exd4

4.Bc4 Bc5

5.c3 {Transposing to a Giuoco Piano.}

5… Nf6

6.cxd4 Bb4+

7.Bd2 {White could have also chosen the equally popular Moeller Attack by playing Nc3 and gambitting the e-pawn.}

( 7.Nc3 Nxe4 8.O-O Bxc3 9.d5 Bf6 10.Re1 O-O 11.Rxe4 Ne7 12.d6
cxd6 13.Qxd6 Nf5 14.Qd5 d6 15.Bg5 Bxg5 16.Nxg5 Qxg5 17.Qxf7+
{1-0, Euwe Max (NED) – Van Mindeno A, Netherlands 1927 It “AVRO”} )

 

Position after 7. Bd2

Position after 7. Bd2

 

7… Nxe4

8.Bxb4 Nxb4

9.Bxf7+ Kxf7

10.Qb3+ d5 {Discovered by Gioachino Greco, this line is a mere 400 years old.}

 

Position after 10... d5

Position after 10… d5

 

11.Qxb4 {Greco preffered Ne5+ here.}

11… Rf8

12.Nc3 {So far so good for the much lower rated Sindira Joshi. Her chances are about equal here.}
( 12.O-O Ng5 13.Ne5+ Kg8 14.Nc3 c6 15.f4 Nf7 16.Ne2 Nd6 17.Ng3
a5 18.Qa3 a4 19.Qb4 a3 20.bxa3 Nb5 21.a4 Qd6 22.Rab1 Qxb4 23.Rxb4
Nc3 24.Rb3 Nxa4 25.Ne2 Ra6 26.g3 Nb6 27.Nc3 Na4 28.Ne2 Nb6 29.Nc3
Nc4 30.Nxc4 dxc4 31.Rb4 b5 {…1/2-1/2, Schaefer Markus (GER) 2390 – Postny Evgeny (ISR) 2595 , Plovdiv 10/19/2010 Cup European Club})

12… Nxc3 13.bxc3 {?} {A slight innacuracy. Better was Qxc3 as seen in this game:}

( 13.Qxc3 Kg8 14.O-O Qd6 15.Ne5 Bf5 16.Rae1 Rae8 17.Re3 Re6 18.Rfe1
Ref6 19.b4 {1/2-1/2, Danilenko Dmitriy (UKR) 1992 – Pavlov Maxim (UKR) 2327 , Alushta 5/18/2006 Ch Ukraine (1/2 final)})

13… Kg8

14.Ne5 {?} {Another harmless looking mistake. Much better was h4 to prevent Qg5.}

 

Position after 14. Ne5

Position after 14. Ne5

 

14… Qg5 {Here comes trouble.}

15.g3 {?} {As dangerous as it looks, castling is to be preferred here.}

15… Rxf2 {!} {Qiyu Zhou starts her combination with a beautiful rook sacrifice.}

 

Position after 15.... Rxf2

Position after 15…. Rxf2

 

16.Kxf2 Qd2+

17.Kf3 Bh3 {Qiyu Zhou is putting on a tactical clinic.}

 

Position after 15... Bh3

Position after 15… Bh3

 

18.Rad1 {Sindira Joshi seems to be playing the most accurate responses but Qiyu Zhou continues to press her advantage.}

18… Bg2+

19.Kg4 Qe2+

20.Kh4 Bxh1 {Not just to win the exchange but also to set up a vicious fork.}

 

Position after 20... Bxh1

Position after 20… Bxh1

 

21.Rxh1 Qe4+ {and now Sindira Joshi’s only chance is to hope for a rare blunder from Qiyu Zhou.}

22.Kh3 Qxh1 {Qiyu Zhou concludes the prefectly executed 8 move combination.}

23.Qe7 {Sindira Joshi finally has a choice but it is to pick her own poison.}

( 23.Qxb7 Rf8 24.Qxc7 Qf1+ 25.Kh4 Qf6+ 26.Kh3 Qf5+ 27.g4 Qf1+
28.Kg3 Qf4+ 29.Kg2 g5 {seems very unpleasant for white.} ) {%09DB}

23… Qf1+ {Qiyu Zhou grabs the initiative again.}

 

Position after 23... Qf1+

Position after 23… Qf1+

 

24.Kh4 Qf6+ {Qiyu Zhou wisely choses to force an exchange of queens and head into a rook vs. knight endgame.}

25.Qxf6 gxf6

26.Nd7 Kf7

27.Nc5 b6

28.Nd3 Re8

29.Nf4 {Hats off to Sindira Joshi for continueing to play on and give us a chance to study good endgame technique.}

 

Position after 29. Nf4

Position after 29. Nf4

 

29… c6

30.Kg4 Re3

31.Kf5 {Nothing can be done to save white’s queenside pawns from a Qiyu Zhou’s rampaging rook.}

31… Rxc3

32.Nh5 Rc2

33.h4 Rxa2

34.Kf4 a5

35.Ke3 b5

36.Nf4 a4

37.Nd3 a3

38.Nb4 Rb2 {Sindira Joshi resigns as there is no hope left for white.} 0-1

 

Final Position

Final Position

Puzzle Worthy Position 30

August 18, 2016

“Who speaks to the instincts speaks to the deepest in mankind, and finds the readiest response.” – Amos Bronson Alcott

White to Move

After much deliberation, I chose Bxd5! After which, my opponent’s rook gobbled up my queen.

White to move and mate in 2.

Puzzle Worthy Position 18

May 4, 2016

Easy puzzle tonight from a fun victory. What is white’s best move?

What is white’s best move?

Complete game:
[Event “SocialChess”]

[Site “Internet”]

[Date “2016.05.03”]

[Round “-“]

[White “Chris Torres”]

[Black “okun’ok (1574)”]

[Result “1-0”]
 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. Nc3 O-O 5. d3 Nc6 6. Bg5 h6 7. h4 hxg5 8. hxg5 Nh7 9. Nd5 Nxg5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Qh5 f6 12. Nxf6# 1-0

Reader Submitted Question on Spielmann – Capablanca (1928)

May 1, 2016
Rudolf Spielmann

Rudolf Spielmann

Chris,

(Child’s name) and I were playing this game and couldn’t figure out why Spielmann won the game (Jose Raul Capablanca vs Rudolf Spielmann 1928) , since it’s not forced mate.

Thank you.

Best regards,
(Parent)

 

 

Answer:

 

Good question! Capablanca is one of my heroes but Spielmann is possibly the most overlooked chess genius in history. Unfortunate for Mr. Spielmann, he reached his peak in a very difficult time (the 1930’s) for chess players. In this period, sponsors for major events were hard to find and Europe was racing down the road toward WWII. Even still, Spielmann obtained a lifetime even record against the great Capablanca which modern chess players constantly marvel in envy at.

Now for the specifics of your question… The final position of Capablanca – Spielmann, Bad Kissingen 1928 looked like this:

 

Final position of Capablanca - Spielmann, Bad Kissingen 1928

Final position of Capablanca – Spielmann, Bad Kissingen 1928

 

The first thing we notice is that Rudolf Spielmann is threatening a mate in one with Qxg2#. To avoid mate, Capablanca could play (a)Qf3 or (b)pawn to f3. If Q f3:

After 40. Qf3.

After (a)40. Qf3.

Black responds with Qe1+ and Capablanca will aslo lose his queen.

White is in check and will lose his queen.

White is in check and will lose his queen.

 

So now for option (b):

Position after 40. f3.

Position after (b)40. f3.

This is a much better alternative to choice (a) but Capablanca would still lose. Immediately, I spot a nice fork that will win an additional pawn for black.

Position after 40... Qb1+.

Position after 40… Qb1+.

After 41. Kh2 Qxb5 42. Kg3 Qc4 black is ahead by a solid three points of material in an endgame and will eventually be able to convert his material advantage into a win.

Position after 42... Qc4.

Position after 42… Qc4.

Here, Capablanca would avoid trading queens and play something like:

43. Qd2 Qc5 44. Kh2 Be6 45. Kg3 g5 46. Kh2 Kg7 47. Qb2+ Kg6 48. Qd2 Qd5 49. Qc3 Qc4 50. Qe1
Qd4 51. Qb1+ Kg7 52. Kg3 Qe5+ 53. Kf2 Qc5+ 54. Kg3 Qxa5 and black should be able to use his extra force to win the endgame.

Position after 54... Qxa5.

Position after 54… Qxa5.

Capablanca respected Spielmann enough not to waste any extra energy on a forgone conclusion. Even still, I would be very disappointed if one of my students resigned as white where Capablanca did. Queen endgames are notoriously difficult to play properly and resigning in positions like these result in far fewer miraculous comebacks and more importantly the resigning player misses out entirely on important learning opportunities.

 

For those interested in learning more about this incredible chess battle, the entire game is pasted below. Enjoy…

[Event “Bad Kissingen”]
[Site “Bad Kissingen GER”]
[Date “1928.08.17”]
[Round “6”]
[White “Jose Raul Capablanca”]
[WhiteElo “?”]
[Black “Rudolf Spielmann”]
[BlackElo “?”]
[Result “0-1”]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.e3 b5 6.a4 b4 7.Na2 e6 8.Bxc4 Be7 9.O-O
O-O 10.b3 c5 11.Bb2 Bb7 12.Nc1 Nc6 13.dxc5 Na5 14.Ne5 Nxc4 15.Nxc4 Bxc5 16.Nd3
Qd5 17.Nf4 Qg5 18.Bxf6 Qxf6 19.Rc1 Rfd8 20.Qh5 Rac8 21.Rfd1 g6 22.Rxd8+ Qxd8
23.Qe5 Be7 24.h3 Rc5 25.Qa1 Bf6 26.Rd1 Rd5 27.Rxd5 exd5 28.Ne5 Qd6 29.Nfd3 Ba6
30.Qe1 Bxe5 31.Nxe5 Qxe5 32.Qxb4 Bd3 33.Qc5 Qb8 34.b4 Qb7 35.b5 h5 36.Qc3 Bc4
37.e4 Qe7 38.exd5 Bxd5 39.a5 Qe4 0-1

 

If you have a question about chess, feel free to email me at chesslessons@aol.com

A crafty stalemate

December 28, 2015

From page 57 of Hendricks Move First, Think Later, Chapter 6 Pattern-like Knowledge. The following position is a good example of how we look for patterns in chess and fail to see solutions that do not fit into those. See if you can find the draw for white here, I know I certainly couldn’t….

Read the full article via http://ift.tt/1Zwkluu

Remembering Emory Tate on the Occasion of his Birthday

December 27, 2015
Photo of Emory Tate taken on 10/10/2015

Photo of Emory Tate taken on 10/10/2015

 

Tomorrow, 12/27/2015, would have been Emory Tate’s 57th birthday. Emory left chess enthusiasts with so much to remember him by that he will truly never be forgotten. Below, I am sharing Emory’s account of his victory in a blindfold simul held just one week before his untimely passing. All of the colorful annotations are Emory Tate’s and are placed here as an example of the passion he brought to every chess class he taught. Further proof that Emory, right up until his life ended, was a professional of the highest order.

 

[Event “Emory Tate’s Blindfold Simultaneous Exhibition”]

[Site “Fremont, California (USA)”]
[Date “2015.10.10”]
[Round “”]
[White “Tate, Emory (USA)”]
[Black “Opponent 2/5”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “D20”]
[Annotator “Emory Tate”]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 {The first surprise came early.. This was my only d4 game and this move was
played by World Champion Karpov as black many many times…. This set my nerves on edge.}

Position after 2... dxc4.

Position after 2… dxc4.

 

3.e4 {Still I choose aggression.}

Position after 3. e4.

Position after 3. e4.

 

3… Nc6 {A fine move. White must react.}

Position after 3... Nc6.

Position after 3… Nc6.

4.d5 {OK}

Position after 4. d5.

Position after 4. d5.

 

4… Ne5 {A serious response… and I seem to remember that I should take on c4 now and
play the Qa4 tactic… leading to a long positional struggle. Again??? I refuse.}

Position after 4... Ne5.

Position after 4… Ne5.

5.f4 { A move seeking tactics..}

Position after 5. f4.

Position after 5. f4.

 

5… Nd3+ {Clearly best.}

Position after 5... Nd3+.

Position after 5… Nd3+.

6.Bxd3 cxd3 7.Qxd3 e6 {Now my queen is in an uncomfortable pin.. My d pawn is exposed. These new kids play very well indeed… I had to go into deep reserves of my own skill set.}

Position after 7... e6.

Position after 7… e6.

8.Nc3 Nf6 {The pressure is at the breaking point. Calm is required.}

Position after 8 ... Nf6.

Position after 8 … Nf6.

9.Nf3 exd5 {Why not c6 to crack my position once and for all??? I had prepared d6 with
nasty forks all around the center. Failing that, I protect the d6 pawn with e5
and a win! Still and all, black has two bishops and a wonderful game.. I am in trouble. The limit of tactics is revealed.}

 

Position after 9... exd5.

Position after 9… exd5.

10.e5 {I gasp for air.}

Position after 10. e5.

Position after 10. e5.

10… Nh5 {Quite risky.. Even fearless.}

Position after 10... Nh5.

Position after 10… Nh5.

11.Qxd5 {I did not want to trade queens blindfolded, but if Nd5 then c6 puts me in a pickle!}

Position after 11. Qxd5.

Position after 11. Qxd5.

11… Qxd5 12.Nxd5 Kd7 {Necessary agression.}

Position after 12. Kd7.

Position after 12. Kd7.

13.g4 {I thought here that I had tricked my young opponent… but NO!!}

Position after 13. g4.

Position after 13. g4.

13… Kc6 {!} {Meeting fire with fire. I was puzzled. What to do? So I remained calm..}

Position after 13... Kc6.

Position after 13… Kc6.

14.gxh5 Kxd5 {My pawn structure is compromised, and under eniormous pressure I announced
0-0-0 check.. only to be told.. “illegal move.” and it all came back to me.. I
have 5 boards and 5 dangerous opponents.. ultimate failure is just over the mental horizon. Honestly…}

Position after 14... Kxd5.

Position after 14… Kxd5.

15.Rg1 {Then I played Rg1 (not only to restrict his development, but a mult-faceted
move.. if he wants to move the f8 bishop, perhaps he might play g6 giving my
doubled h pawn exchangibility. Value… and there are other factors.) I was
playing my hardest now. I keep his bishop off g4, a move which could ruin me. And I survive another moment.}

Position after 15. Rg1.

Position after 15. Rg1.

15… Ke4 {A super-aggressive play. Against Tate?}

Position after 15... Ke4.

Position after 15… Ke4.

16.Ng5+ Kd3 {And he is deep in my rear area. Now I see. I considered a drawing sequence..
i.e., Nf7 Rg8 Nh6 Rh8 Nf7 Rg8 etc… Until I noticed he can break the sequence
at any time with Bb4 check. I became a bit desperate so I tossed in a check….}

Position after 16... Kd3.

Position after 16… Kd3.

17.Rg3+ Kc2 {Honestly?}

Position after 17... Kc2.

Position after 17… Kc2.

18.Rc3#  1-0

Position after 18. Rc3#

Position after 18. Rc3#

 

 

More Useful Junk

December 16, 2015

It’s nice to have friends who appreciate fun chess. Rick Kennedy  recently featured one of my swashbuckling victories on his blog about the Jerome Gambit.

Readers of this blog probably remember Chris Torres. He hosts the Chess Musings blog. He presented the Jerome gambit game Amateur – Blackburne, London as “The Most Violent Chess Game Ever Played!” He followed up with “Another Lesson in the Jerome Gambit”, giving one of his own games….

Read the full article via http://ift.tt/1mmHq4w

Der Fischer Konig vs. Der Burgermeister

October 1, 2015

I have been teaching more from the games of Bobby Fischer lately due to the recent release of the movie Pawn Sacrifice. Below are the notes to a lesson I gave last week about Bobby Fischer’s shortest recorded loss. Enjoy…

fischer

[Event “Bobby Fischer’s Simultaneous Exhibition Tour”]
[Site “San Francisco (USA)”]
[Date “1964”]
[Round “”]
[White “Fischer Robert J (USA)”]
[Black “Burger Robert Eugene (USA)”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Eco “C57”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ TWO KNIGHTS’ def.,C57] Fischer Robert J (USA) +6 =0 -2}

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Bc4 Nf6

4.Ng5 d5 {It’s sad that the majority scholastic chess players have played both sides of this line many times but…}
5.exd5 Nd4 {(continued) Know nothing about the exciting Fritz Variation. For this reason, I
have included many of my favorite games from the Fritz Variation of the Two Knight Defense in this lesson.}

Position after 5... Nd4.

Position after 5… Nd4.

6.c3

( 6.d3 Bg4 7.f3 Bh5 8.Nc3 h6 9.Nge4 Nxe4 10.Nxe4 Qh4+ 11.Nf2
Bc5 12.O-O O-O-O 13.c3 Nf5 14.b4 Bb6 15.a4 a6 16.a5 Ba7 17.b5
axb5 18.a6 b6 19.Bxb5 Rxd5 20.Ra4 Qd8 21.Bc6 Rd6 22.Bb7+ Kb8
23.g4 b5 24.Rb4 Rxd3 25.Qe2 Rxc3 26.Qxe5 Bxf2+ 27.Kxf2 Rxc1 28.Rxb5
Qd2+ 29.Qe2 Rxf1+ 30.Kxf1 Qxe2+ 31.Kxe2 Nd4+ {0-1, Dunn FW – Lasker Emanuel (GER), Great Britain 1908 Simultan})

6… b5

Position after 6... b5.

Position after 6… b5.

7.Bf1

( 7.O-O bxc4 8.cxd4 exd4 9.Qa4+ Qd7 10.Qxc4
Qxd5 11.Qxc7 Bd6 {??} ( 11…Be7 12.d3 Bb7 13.Nf3 ) 12.Re1+ Be6
13.Qxf7+ {1-0, Dagher Walid (LIB) – Shamieh Mahmoud (LIB), Beirut 2001 Ch Lebanon})

( 7.cxd4 bxc4 8.dxe5 Nxd5 9.Qf3 Qxg5 10.Qxd5 Rb8 11.O-O Bd6
12.d3 Qf5 13.dxc4 Be6 14.Qc6+ Bd7 15.Qd5 Be6 16.Qc6+ Bd7 17.Qa6
Qxe5 18.g3 Bh3 19.Qxa7 Qe4 20.Qxb8+ Ke7 21.f3 Qe2 22.Bg5+ f6
23.Bxf6+ Kxf6 24.Rf2 Qe1+ {0-1, Schoettler Katharina (GER) – Mucha Annegret (GER), Willingen 2001 Ch Germany})

( 7.Bb3 Nxb3 8.Qxb3 Qxd5 9.O-O Bb7 10.Qxd5 Nxd5 11.d4 f6 12.Ne6
Kf7 13.Nxf8 Rhxf8 14.dxe5 fxe5 15.Na3 a6 16.c4 Nb4 17.Rd1 Bc6
18.Bg5 h6 19.Be3 Rfd8 20.cxb5 Bxb5 21.Nxb5 axb5 22.a3 Nd3 23.b4
Ke6 24.Kf1 Nb2 25.Rxd8 Rxd8 26.Ra2 Nc4 27.Ke2 Ra8 28.Bc1 Kd5
29.Kd3 Nb6 30.f3 Ra6 31.Kc3 Nc4 32.Kb3 Ra4 33.Rc2 h5 34.Rxc4
{1-0, Szczepkowska Karina (POL) – Olsarova Tereza (CZE), Czech Republic 1/23/2011 Czech League 2010/11})

( 7.Bd3 Bf5 8.Bxf5 Nxf5 9.Qf3 Nh4 10.Qh3 {a novelty 10. Qg3 – Calota – Petersen, Duisburg 1992}
( 10.Qg3 Ng6 11.d4 Qxd5 12.dxe5 Qxe5+ 13.Qxe5+ Nxe5 14.O-O {=} )
Ng6 11.d4 Qxd5 12.O-O Bd6 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nd2 Nd3 15.Nb3 c5 16.Qe3+
Kf8 17.Qf3 Re8 18.Qxd5 Nxd5 19.Nf3 f6 {} $15 {} 20.g3 Nb6 21.Rd1
c4 22.Nbd4 a6 23.b3 Kf7 24.Kf1 Bc5 25.bxc4 bxc4 26.Bd2 Rb8 27.Rab1
Rhc8 28.Bf4 Nxf4 29.gxf4 Na4 30.Rxb8 Rxb8 31.Ne2 Rb2 32.Rd2 Ke6
33.Kg2 Rxd2 34.Nxd2 Kd5 35.Kf3 f5 36.Nf1 Nb2 37.Neg3 g6 38.Ne3+
Kc6 39.Ngf1 Kb5 40.Nd2 a5 41.Ke2 Nd3 42.Ndxc4 Nxf4+ 43.Kd2 Nh3
44.Ne5 Nxf2 45.c4+ Ka4 46.Nc2 Ne4+ 47.Kc1 Ba3+ 48.Nxa3 Kxa3 49.Nd3
Kxa2 50.Kc2 Ka3 51.c5 Ka4 52.c6 Kb5 53.c7 Nd6 54.Ne5 Kb6 55.Nd7+
Kxc7 56.Nf8 Ne4 57.Nxh7 Kd6 58.Nf8 g5 59.Ng6 Ke6 {0-1, Morozevich Alexander (RUS) 2610 – Timman Jan H (NED) 2590 , Amsterdam 1996 Memorial J.Donner})

( 7.Be2 Nxe2 8.Qxe2 Qxd5 9.O-O Bb7 10.f3 O-O-O 11.b4 h6 12.Ne4
Nxe4 13.Qxe4 Qxe4 14.fxe4 Bxe4 15.Rxf7 Bd3 16.a4 Bd6 17.axb5
Rhf8 18.Rf2 e4 19.g3 Rxf2 20.Kxf2 Rf8+ 21.Ke3 Be5 {0-1, Billot Daniel (FRA) 1757 – Adda Olivier (FRA) 2089 , Val Maubuee 1990 It (open) (b)})

Position after 7. Bf1.

Position after 7. Bf1.

7… Nxd5

8.cxd4 Qxg5

9.Bxb5+ Kd8

10.Qf3
( 10.O-O Bb7 11.Qf3 exd4 12.d3 Qe5 13.Na3 Rb8 14.Nc4 Qe6 15.Na5
Ba8 16.Bg5+ f6 17.Rfe1 Ne3 18.Nc6+ Bxc6 19.Bxc6 fxg5 20.fxe3
Bb4 21.Re2 Rf8 22.exd4 Rxf3 23.Rxe6 Rf8 24.a3 Be7 25.Rae1 Rb6
26.d5 Rf7 27.b4 a6 28.g4 Rb8 29.Kg2 Rb6 30.R1e5 h6 31.Re4 Rb8
32.h3 Rb6 33.a4 a5 34.bxa5 Rb2+ 35.Re2 Rxe2+ 36.Rxe2 Rf8 37.Rxe7
Kxe7 38.a6 {1-0, Paoli Enrico (ITA) 2300 – Baretic Dragoljub (SRB) 2097 , Vrsac 1969 It})

Position after 10. Qf3.

Position after 10. Qf3.

10… Bb7

11.O-O e4

( 11…Rb8 12.Qg3 ( 12.d3 Qg6 13.Qg3 exd4 14.Na3 Bxa3 15.bxa3 Nc3 16.Qxg6 hxg6 17.Bc4 Ne2+
18.Kh1 Ke7 {0-1, Leonhardt Paul – Englund Fritz, Stockholm 1908 Izt} )
Qxg3 13.hxg3 exd4 14.Re1 Bd6 15.a3 Nf6 16.Bf1 h5 17.d3 Ng4 18.Nd2
h4 19.gxh4 Bh2+ 20.Kh1 Rxh4 21.Ne4 f6 {0-1, Gornoi Alexei (EST) – Ragger Markus (AUT) 2655 , Mureck 1998 Ch Europe (juniors) (under 10)})

Position after 11... e4.

Position after 11… e4.

12.Qxe4  Bd6

13.d3 {?}

( 13.Re1 c6 14.Bf1 Kc7 15.Qf3 f5 16.Nc3 Nb4 17.d3 Qh4 18.g3 Qf6 19.Bf4 Rad8 20.Be5 Bxe5
21.dxe5 Qe6 22.Rac1 c5 23.Qe3 Qc6 24.Ne4 Na6 25.Rxc5 Nxc5 26.Rc1
Kb8 27.Rxc5 Qb6 28.Nd6 f4 29.gxf4 Rd7 30.Bg2 Ba6 31.Rc3 Qxe3
32.fxe3 Rhd8 33.b4 Rc7 34.Rxc7 Kxc7 35.b5 Bc8 36.Nxc8 Rxc8 37.Bc6
a6 38.a4 axb5 39.axb5 Rf8 40.d4 g5 41.d5 gxf4 42.d6+ {1-0, Koskivirta Ossi – Pichler Manfred Dr (GER), corr. 1984})

Position after 13. d3.

Position after 13. d3.

13… Bxh2+ {!}

( 13…Nf4 14.Bxf4 Qxb5 15.d5 Qxb2 16.Bxd6 cxd6 17.Re1 Qf6 18.Nc3 Rc8 19.Qb4 Re8 20.Qa5+ Kd7 21.Qa4+{1-0, Fischer Robert J (USA) 2780 – NN (ITA), Montreal 1964 Simultan})

14.Kxh2 Nf4 {White resigns} 0-1

I told my students that Fischer resigned too early. How would have you continued as white?

I told my students that Fischer resigned too early. How would you continue as white?

Bobby Fischer’s Game of the Century

September 8, 2015

pawn-sacrifice-poster

In honor of the upcoming release of Pawn Sacrifice, I present my lesson notes for Bobby Fischer’s Game of the Century.


1 GRUNFELD def.

Byrne D. – Fischer R.

0:1, 1956.

1. ¤f3 The knight is correctly placed on f3 in so many openings that Donald Byrne is keeping his intentions hidden and not committing yet to any plan. 1… ¤f6 Fischer decides to do the same for one move and see what Byrne prefers. 2. c4 A common enough start for the English Opening or a Queen’s Gambit Declined by transposition. 2… g6 Bobby Fischer is opting for a hyper-modern approach. That is to say that Fischer’s pawns are absent from the center of the board early on thus inviting Donald Byrne to occupy the center with his pawns, which later become the targets of Fischer’s attack. 3. ¤c3 With the lack of confrontation on the board, Byrne is in cruise control and just placing pieces where he likes. 3… ¥g7 Once strong players play g6 early, they rarely fail to place the bishop on g7 imediately there after. 4. d4 Fischer has allowed Byrne to establish a nice advantage in the center. Once again, Fischer’s approach is called hyper-modern. 4… O-O White controls the center but black is already castled.

5. ¥f4 Donald Byrne passes up the opportunity to completely occupy the center with pawn e4 in favor of developing another piece. Had he played e4, the game would have entered into the territory of the King’s Indian Defense. 5… d5 Fischer wastes no more time and strikes at white’s center. Now the opening has been defined as a Grunfeld Defense. 6. £b3 This is the Russian System. Donald Byrne turns the tables and attacks Fischer’s center pawn a third time. Fischer can either defend it with c6 or capture on c4. 6… dxc4 Fischer takes on c4 which forces Donald Byrne to recapture with the queen. 7. £xc4 Donald Byrne still is controlling space, time and force. 7… c6 Fischer’s move is a favorite of chess engines but 7…Na6(Kasparov) and 7… Be6(Svidler) are also interesting options for black.

[7… ¤a6 8. e4 c5 9. dxc5 ¥e6 10. £b5 ¥d7 11. £xb7 ¤xc5 12. £b4 ¤e6 13. ¥e5 a5 14. £a3 £b6 15. ¥c4 ¦fc8 16. ¥xf6 ¥xf6 17. ¤d5 £b8 18. ¤xf6 exf6 19. ¥xe6 ¥xe6 20. O-O £b4 21. £xb4 axb4 1/2-1/2, Topalov Veselin (BUL) 2690 – Kasparov Garry (RUS) 2851 , Sarajevo 1999 It (cat.19);

7… ¥e6 8. £xc7 ¤d5 9. £xd8 ¦xd8 10. ¤xd5 ¥xd5 11. e3 ¤d7 12. ¥g5 f6 13. ¥h4 ¦ac8 14. ¥d3 e5 15. e4 ¥c4 16. ¥xc4 ¦xc4 17. b3 ¦b4 18. ¥g3 ¥f8 19. ¦b1 ¦c8 20. O-O exd4 21. ¦fd1 ¤c5 22. ¦bc1 d3 23. ¦xd3 ¦xe4 24. ¦dd1 1/2-1/2, Sokolov Ivan (NED) 2663 – Svidler Peter (RUS) 2735 , France 5/ 5/2004 Ch France (team) 2004]

 

8. e4 With the exception of castling, white has seemingly achieved a dream positon. 8… ¤bd7 Bobby Fischer patiently develops his other knight. The more aggressive 8…b5 is also playable. However, it would be picking a fight with white when white is in a better position(more development) to fight from. 9. ¦d1 Donald Byrne places his rook where it “sees” more quares and is in the same file as Fischer’queen. For players who want to have the option to castle, Be2 is also fine.

[9. ¥e2 £a5 10. b4 £d8 11. ¦d1 ¤b6 12. £d3 ¤h5 13. ¥g3 ¥e6 14. O-O a6 15. £b1 ¤xg3 16. hxg3 £c7 17. a4 ¦ad8 18. a5 ¤c8 19. ¤a4 ¥g4 20. e5 ¤a7 21. ¤c5 ¤b5 22. ¥xb5 axb5 23. £e4 h5 24. ¦fe1 ¦d5 25. £f4 ¦fd8 26. ¦d3 £c8 27. ¤g5 ¥f5 28. ¦d2 ¥h6 …1-0, Vasilescu Lucian-Mihail (ROM) 2394 – Marjanovic Slavoljub (SRB) 2508 , Bucharest 1999 Memorial V.Ciocaltea (cat.10)]

 

9… ¤b6 Bobby Fischer begins untangling his position with inititiative. 10. £c5 For decades, many chess pundits criticized this move. Now, most strong engines agree with Donald Byrne in stating that Qc5 is best. However, the natural Qb3 is also interesting:

[10. £b3 ¤h5 11. ¥e3 ¥e6 12. £a3 £d6 13. £a5 ¥c4 14. b3 ¥xf1 15. ¢xf1]

 

10… ¥g4 and Fischer’s light-squared bishop finally gets to a good square. 11. ¥g5? Donald Byrne’s first mistake. Rather than move the same piece twice and lose time, it would have been better to play Be2 which elimintaes a pin and prepares the white king for castling.

[11. ¥e2 ¤fd7 12. £a3 ¥xf3 13. gxf3 e5 (13… ¦e8 14. ¥e3 +0.18 CAP) 14. dxe5 £e8 15. ¥e3 £xe5 16. f4 £e8 17. e5 f6 18. £b3 ¢h8 19. e6 ¤b8 20. a4 £e7 21. a5 ¤c8 22. h4 b6 23. h5 f5 24. hxg6 h6 25. ¥d4 ¢g8 26. ¥e5 ¥xe5 27. fxe5 ¢g7 28. £c4 ¦e8 29. ¦d3 £xe6 30. £f4 ¦h8 …1-0, Tisdall Jonathan D (NOR) 2500 – Vark Liina (EST) 2051 , Osterskars 1995 It (open)]

 

11… ¤a4!!! Donald Byrne committed a crime and Bobby Fischer responds immediately with punishment. But isn’t the knight on a4 free for the taking? Not exactly! 12. £a3! I give this move an exclamation mark because Donald Byrne choses to retreat his queen to a relatively useless square rather than fall into Fischer’s brilliant trap.

[12. ¤xa4 ¤xe4 13. ¥xe7 (13. £xe7 £a5 14. b4 £xa4 15. £xe4 ¦fe8 16. ¥e7 ¥xf3 17. gxf3 ¥f8 18. ¥e2 ¦xe7 19. £d3 ¥h6 20. f4 ¦ae8 21. ¦d2 £xb4 is terrible for white.; 13. £c1 ¥xf3 14. gxf3 £a5 15. ¥d2 ¤xd2 16. £xd2 £xa4 17. ¥e2 £xa2 18. O-O £d5 is also terrible for white.) 13… ¤xc5 14. ¥xd8 ¦e8 15. ¥e2 ¤xa4 16. ¥g5 ¤xb2 and after the complicated exchanges, black is much better.]

 

12… ¤xc3!! At first glance this move looks like a mistake. Why would Bobby choose to exchange knights and allow white to strengthen d4? Because, Fischer removes e4’s defender which allows him to trap Byrne’s king in the center after Nxe4 at the cost of allowing Byrne to fork his queen and rook after Bxe7. It’s complicated and beautiful. 13. bxc3 Byrne has nothing better than simply following Fischer’s lead. 13… ¤xe4 Bobby Fischer is starting to open the center onto his opponent’s uncastled king. 14. ¥xe7 Capturing on e7 and threatening Fischer’s queen seems natural but the side effect is the creation of an open-file in which white’s king sits. 14… £b6 An interesting choice by Fischer. Here is analysis of some of the other options:

[14… £d5 15. ¥xf8 ¥xf8 16. £b3 £xb3 17. axb3 ¦e8 and Fischer is winning but converting this into a win against Byrne would require a lot of maturity and superb technique from the 13 year old Bobby Fischer.;

14… £e8 Looks to capitalize on white’s king safety issues but Byrne would have a nifty reply. 15. ¦d3 with the idea of rook to e3. 15… c5! I believe Fischer would have spotted this stunner. 16. ¥xf8 ¥xf8 17. £b2 cxd4 18. cxd4 £a4 I still prefer black’s position but this is definately very unclear with chances for both sides.]

 

15. ¥c4! It’s been said that “the best defense is a good offense” and that is why Donald Byrne places his bishop offensively on c4 rather than defensively on e2. It’s a brilliantly aggressive move and that is why I give it an “!”

[15. ¥e2 ¦fe8 16. c4 c5 17. ¥xc5 ¤xc5 18. dxc5 £e6 19. £e3 £a6 20. £b3 ¦e7 21. ¢f1 ¦ae8 Doesn’t look like much fun for white and black is clearly better.;

15. ¥xf8 ¥xf8 16. £b3 ¦e8 17. £xb6 axb6 Even with the queens off the board, Fischer’s attack is decisive. 18. ¥e2 (18. ¥d3 ¤xc3 19. ¢d2 ¤xd1) 18… ¤xc3 19. ¦d2 ¥f5 20. ¤g1 ¥b4 21. ¢f1 ¤b1 22. ¦d1 ¤d2 23. ¦xd2 (23. ¢e1 ¦a8 24. a4 ¦xa4 25. ¦xd2 ¦a2) 23… ¥xd2]

 

15… ¤xc3! Bobby Fischer offers up a knight for the second time in this game. 16. ¥c5 Accepting the knight offering would have been dangerous for Byrne:

[16. £xc3 ¦ae8! 17. £e3 £c7 18. ¥xf8 £a5 19. ¢f1 ¦xe3 20. fxe3 ¥xf8]

 

16… ¦fe8 Fischer’s rook enters the game with style. 17. ¢f1 ¥e6!!! In chess, I like to think of moves as statements in a conversation. This move says: “Hello World. My name is Bobby Fischer. My destiny is to become World Champion.” 18. ¥xb6 And Donald Byrne’s move says, “Enough is enough kid. Show me what you got!”

[18. £xc3 £xc5 19. dxc5 ¥xc3 20. ¥xe6 ¦xe6 Had Donald played this improvement, I wonder if this game would still be referred to as “The Game of The Century.” Irregardless, Bobby would have won from this position having extra material and immediate access to both rooks.]

 

18… ¥xc4 “Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel As the images unwind, like the circles that you find in The windmills of young Bobby’s mind!” 19. ¢g1 forced 19… ¤e2! In chess we refer to this motif as a windmill. 20. ¢f1 forced 20… ¤xd4 yum 21. ¢g1 forced 21… ¤e2 still spinning 22. ¢f1 forced 22… ¤c3 These positions are fun to play. As black you know you at least have a draw with the infinite checking possibilities so the pressure is off and you can search for the win.

 

23. ¢g1 forced 23… axb6! The dizzying windmill stops but Byrne finds that his queen and rook are under attack. 24. £b4 Donald Byrne, of course, decides to save his queen. 24… ¦a4! Bobby Fischer doesn’t allow Donald Byrne to escape. 25. £xb6 This move is almost forced. However, I suppose Donald Byrne could have tried:

[25. £d6 ¤xd1 26. £xd1 ¦xa2 Doesn’t look too fun with black threating to win a queen and/or checkmate.]

 

25… ¤xd1 After this capture, Byrne’s position is hopeless. 26. h3 It is very sporting of Byrne to continue the game rather than resigning to allow Fischer to complete his masterpiece. 26… ¦xa2 27. ¢h2 ¤xf2 Bobby Fischer’s technique is impeccable.

 

28. ¦e1 A desperate but necessary method of activating his pieces. 28… ¦xe1 29. £d8 ¥f8 30. ¤xe1 ¥d5 Bobby Fischer is moving in for the kill.

 

31. ¤f3 ¤e4 32. £b8 b5 33. h4 h5 34. ¤e5 ¢g7 It’s important to take a moment to unpin the bishop. 35. ¢g1 ¥c5 With the activation of the dark bishop, there is no escaping allowed for the white king. 36. ¢f1

[36. ¢h2 ¤d2 37. ¢h1 ¦a1 38. ¢h2 ¤f1 39. ¢h1 ¤g3 40. ¢h2 ¥f2 41. £h8 ¢xh8 42. ¤xg6 fxg6 43. ¢h3 ¦h1#]

 

36… ¤g3 37. ¢e1 ¥b4 38. ¢d1 ¥b3 39. ¢c1 ¤e2 40. ¢b1 ¤c3 41. ¢c1 ¦c2# A masterpiece!

 

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