Tag Archives: learning

Opening Theory:Queen’s Gambit Declined-Marshall Defense

First a little history on the QG opening, it’s one of the oldest known openings having been mentioned as far back as 1490 and anaylized throughout the 17th by Greco and 18th by Stamma. In early modern chess Queen pawn openings were not as common as King pawn, this was during the swash buckling and heroic Romantic Era on the board where grand Checkmates were the fashion. Opening with 1.d4 led to slower more positional games which hadn’t been picked up until the tournament in Vienna in 1873.

Here is our starting point for the QGD:Marshall as I will always capture the central pawn with the wing pawn. After cxd5 Black is forced to recapture with the Queen or the Knight if Black recaptures at all. Although I have never seen anyone play 3…c6 which leads to the Tan Gambit, it is a choice of response however the majority of the people will recapture. Rare as other variations may be I will still take a look at them in the analysis linked below along with the mainlines and personal preferences and why.

Opening Review and Analysis

QGD Marhall
1. d4 d5 2. c4 Nf6 3. cxd5

Blitz Adventures #13: Blackmar-Diemer Gambit

After the previous success with the Blackmar-Diemer gambit I have been throwing it around more in the 10-min blitz pool with a decent win rate. I’ve noticed that Nf6 is the most popular response attempting to keep the pawn even though 3…c6 leads to a transposition of the Caro Kann which is a calmer but lesser known opening especially in the 1200 elo range. This game showcases the power of connected Rooks on the 7th rank leading to mate in 4 as the Queen jumps in.

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Blitz 13
1. d4 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. f3 exf3 5. Nxf3 Bg4 6. Be2

Blitz Adventures #12: Playing Flashy

I am incredibly excited to be able to present and analyze this game seeing as how the Blackmar-Diemer gambit is one of my favorite openings, it is also one of only a few gambits playable after 1.d4 for White. I believe it captures the spirit of chess akin to the Romantic Era (15th-18th century) where quick and tactical battles were more popular instead of long term and positional play. As with most gambits if opponents aren’t very well prepared even the most dubious gambits can be dangerous. Later on in the game following a successful opening I get a little flashy and sacrifice a Rook for a pawn forcing a Queen trade and a weaker Black King.

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Blitz 12
1.d4 d4 2.e4

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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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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