Blitz Adventures #11: Mate in 17

This was a quick game blitz game that ended in 17 moves from a completely equal position which makes it a little unique, most times a blunder takes a few moves to really exploit. My opponent opted for the Scotch game (Thanks to my Uncle’s tendency to play this I have a few things prepared) and I answered with the Intermezzo Variation which is not quite as accurate as the main line but threatens Mate in 1 if White doesn’t answer properly. There are a lot of decent ways to reply however some do create holes in the defense of White’s structure which I was able to take advantage of this time around. I’ll go into more detail in the game analysis below about possible replies and their short comings.

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Blitz 11
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Nxc6 Qf6 (Threatens mate on f2)

 

Blitz Adventures #10: Bob the Brave Bishop

I want to start off by saying dark square Bishop Bob you served well and boldly gave your self to bring the White King out of hiding, your sacrifice was not in vain. The game in question is a 22 turn miniature blitz following the Giuoco Piano Game: Main Line, Giuoco Pianissimo Variation which is mainline until the 6th move. As you can see in the position below the board is almost identical on both side except for the Knight Black has on c6 where as white has pushed his pawn to c3 instead. From this point on some questionable moves are played by White, not necessarily bad but somewhat slow and in the end deciding to forgo castling and play overly aggressively lost them the game.

Guccico Piano Blitz #10
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6

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Master Review #1: Nimzowitsch-Alapin 1914

This is the first game taken from Nimzowitsch’s book My System, it’s only 18 moves long deeming it a miniature but displays a few of the key points which he discusses early on. I never willingly go into the French as Black however as White it is good to have some tools in case Black decides that’s how it will be. Here it is a delayed exchange French where Alapin as Black recaptures with the Queen and looks to break the position with a c5xc4 pawn break. The line is generally very drawish with both Queens coming off, however this game Nimzowitsch doesn’t offer to trade Queens and keeps it more interesting. The position below is the critical moment where White forgoes his Knight and castles Queenside allowing Black to capture the Knight while baiting a trap that leads to Mate.

Nims 1914
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. exd5 Nxd5 5. Nf3 c5 6. Nxd5 Qxd5 7. Be3 cxd4 8. Nxd4 a6 9. Be2 Qxg2 10. Bf3 Qg6 11. Qd2 e5 12. O-O-O

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Rapid Time #5: Madness in the King’s Gambit

The King’s Gambit has always been known as one of the most exciting openings in chess history, it leads to odd piece placement, Kings who are stuck in the center of the board and gaps the surrounding defense ready to be exploited. Qh4+ is a common idea in King’s Gambit for Black to start to put pressure on the White King with hopes of getting the dark square bishop involved on the f2- c6  or e1 -b4 diagonal, both of those are seen in this game.

Rapid 5
1. f4 Nc6 2. e4 e5 3. Nh3 d6 4. Bb5 Bxh3 5. gxh3 Ne7 6. fxe5 dxe5 7. d3 a6 8. Bxc6+ Nxc6

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Chess Fundamentals #2: Mobility and Space

The idea of mobility and space is directly related to the opening phase of the game and also tied to development. In a typical game both sides fight to control the center and gain space in which to deploy and maneuver pieces in. The French Defense for Black is one such opening where White is allowed a spacial advantage by the line 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 which leads to the Advanced variation of the French Defense seen below.

French mobility
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5

As you can see here White’s e6 pawn controls the d7 and f7 squares which the Knight or Bishop could use in the future and additionally the Bishop on c8 is blocked in by the pawn chain on e6. In a position like this if Black isn’t aware of the plan needed his position could become overwhelmed and cramped by the loss a couple of squares and Bishop mobility. There are benefits to a closed structure that you find in an opening like this, the game becomes more positional and the tempo slows down which works well against a tactical and attacking opponent.

French mobility2
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Nc6 4. f4 f6
5. Nf3

Above a continuation from the previous image with what could be normal development for Black has actually lead to quite a good position for white. The Knight being placed on c6 is incorrect as it blocks the pawn from advancing to c5 and breaking the pawn structure which is a typical idea in the French Defense. Pawn to …f6 was played after which attacks the forward point of Whites pawns however f4 can recapture and White is left with a strong center and open diagonals along the c1-h6 and f1-b5 for the Bishops.

French mobility3
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Qb6
5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Be2

In this position you can see that Black is no longer as cramped as in the other opening, the Knight has a purpose in the center, the Bishop defends the c5 pawn, and the Queen eyes the b2 pawn if White moves the c1 Bishop. The computer rates this as equal currently, White has the space advantage on the King side and Black on the Queen side and both play on their respective sides. The French has a chance to be either a slow and quite game or an exciting one since both sides have chances to attack.

Linked is a French Defense Advanced Variation game where White Mates in 20 moves showing the more aggressive side while playing against the French. White plays a sacrificial line drawing the Black Queen into fire while simultaneously developing an attack.

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Rapid Time#4: The King Walketh (to the center of the board)

This game was against a 1730 rated player using Philidor Defense, something I haven’t had a lot of experience with but I don’t mind playing instead of the Spanish with 2…Nc6. The Bishop feels natural on c4 targeting the f7 pawn and assisting in the middle protecting d5. My rating is conservatively about 1200 right now and to be able to have such an interesting game come out in my favor was a great feeling. It includes a couple positional and tactical sacrifices that are always awesome when on your side.

Rapid#4
The critical position in the opening when Black began to lose due to Ne7 blocking the Queen from the e file.

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Chess Strategy #1: Doubled Pawns

In this post I wanted to talk about the idea of creating and exploiting stacked pawns that can occur early on in a game. When I first started playing I opened with the Ruy Lopez as many new players do. It was common, well studied and had a solid set up for white with good attacking and tactical chances. I traded the Bishop for Knight on c6 early instead of keeping pins and pressure on pieces, of course later on I learned of the benefits of the latter. I wont discount the idea of stacking an opponents pawns early on, especially if the player is lower rated. It provides and early weakness and a clear target to work towards from the opening. As you’ll see in this game I was able to stack Blacks pawns early and plant a Knight on e6 waiting until it was clear to attack. Doubled pawns aren’t always a problem, the second game is one I played as Black where I used the stacked pawns to my advantage and involved them into my position and attack instead of letting it become a weakness.

Strat #1
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Bxc6 bxc6

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Strat #1-2
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bc5 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. Nxe5 Qf6 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. e5 Qf5 8. d4 Qe4+ 9. Be3 Bb6 10. Nc3 Qf5 11. h3 Bxf3 12. gxf3 O-O-O

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