Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Sicillian Defence 2.f4 Mikhail Tal's approach

The way that Tal dealt with 2.f4 is shown in the following game. At the time that this game was played several of England's leading grandmasters, notably Hebden, Hodgson and Watson had employed 2.f4 as a means of unseating the Sicillian experts.

By playing 2.f4 White aims to steamroll down the Kingside and hold the initiative. It is certain that up until the time of playing, more theoretical advances had been made for the benefit of White after 2.f4. Although it ended in a draw this game provides some good pointers on dealing with 2.f4.

Hartson vs Tal
(Tallinn 1979)

1.e4 c5
2.f4 d5
3.exd5 Nf6
4.Bb5+ Bd7
5.Bxd7+ Qxd7
6. c4 e6
7.Qe2 Bd6
8.dxe6 fxe6
9.d3 0-0
10.Nf3 Ng4
11.Nc3 Nc6
12.0-0 Bxf4
13.Qe4 Qd4+!

(Tal always likes to find a simple win and reaches some very
tactically promising positions ... !

After 14.Nxd4 Bxh2+ White gets mated.)

The game continued ...

14.Qxd4 cxd4
15.Bxf4 dxc3
16.Bd6 Rfd8
17.c5 cxb2
18.Rab1 b6
19.Rxb2 bxc5
20.Bxc5 Rxd3
21.h3 Nf6
22.Rc1 Rad8
23.Kh2 e5
24.Bf2 e4
25.Rxc6 exf3
26.Bxa7 Rd2
27. Rcc2 Rxc2

1/2 - 1/2

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Evening Standard

If your a London commuter then remember to pick up a free 'Standard' on your way home and do the tactics puzzle! Leonard Barden has been a chess commentator for years and regularly provides a puzzle and it's solution in the Evening Standard - free newspaper. The games are up to date and some of the puzzles are quite challenging ...

Monday, 9 November 2009

A risky scarifice can shock and disarm an opponent!

I was rummaging through some old chess publications (I inherited) from the 1980's last night in an attempt to find some old Albin counter-gambit games. Instead I stumbled across this little gem of a "Budapest" ...

France - 5th International Open of Ales:

Castel vs Quintana

1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 e5
3. d5 Bc5 (White elects to push the pawn instead of capturing on e5)
4. h3 ... Now Black seizes an opportunity ...
... Bxf2+ (LOOKS RISKY?!)
5. Kxf2 Ne4+
6. Ke3 f5
7. Nf3 d6 (releasing a sacrificial Bishop)
8. Nc3 f4+
9. Kxe4 Bf5+
10. Kxf5 Qf6+
11. Ke4 Qg6 mate!

A corker of a King Hunt !!!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Simple tactics lead to a simple win ...

Often, simple tactics lead to a win. Here is an example of a Rapidplay Internet game played on http://www.freechess.org/ where some tactical shots are employed to convert a drawn game into a win ...

Sicilian Defense

greg_b vs A.N. Other

1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 a6
6. Be2 Nbd7
7. Be3 e6
8. Qd2 Be7
9. 0-0-0 Nc5
10. f3 e5
11. Nf5 Bxf5
12. exf5 Qc7
13. g4 e4
14. g5 exf3
15. Bxf3 Nfd7
16. Nd5 Qd8
17. Nxe7 Qxe7
18. Rhe1 0-0
19. Bxc5 Qd8
20. Bxd6 Re8
21. Rxe8+ Qxe8
22. Bxb7 Ra7
23. Bc6 Qc8
24. Bg2 Nb6
25. Bc5 (miscalulating back rank mate in haste ... !)
25. ... Qxc5
26. Qd8+ Qf8
27. Qxf8+
27. ... Kxf8 (Qxb6 was the correct move ... !)
28. f6 gxf6
29. gxf6 Nd7
30. Bc6 Nxf6
31. Rd8+ Ke7
32. Rd3 Rc7
33. Bf3 Rc5
34. b4 Rf5
35. a4 Rf4
36. c3 Rh4
37. Rd2 Rh3
38. Rf2 Nd7
40. Rd2+ Kc7 (Black has now opened himself up to a simple tactic ... !
41. Rxd7+ Kxd7 Bg4+ wins rook & game!!)
41. Rxd7 Kc8
42. Rd3 Rxh2
43. Rd2 Rh3
44. Rd3 Kb8
45. b5 axb5
46. axb5 Rh4
47. Kc2 Ra4
48. Kb3 Ra1
49. Kc4 Rb1
50. Rd7 f5
51. Rxh7 Rf1
52. Bd5 Rf4+
53. Kc5 Ra4
54. Kb6 (if black is not careful a simple mate follows ... )
54. ... Kc8
55. Be6+ Kd8
56. Bxf5 Rc4
57. Rh3 Ke7
58. Re3+ Kf6
59. Bd7 Kg5
60. Ka6 Ra4+
61. Kb7 Rc4
62. b6 Kf6
63. Kb8 Rc5
64. b7 Kg7
65. Re7+ Kf6
66. Re6+ Kf7
67. Rc6 Ra5
68. Kc7 Ra7
69. Rb6 Ke7
70. Kc6 Ra3
71. b8=Q Rxc3+
72. Kb5 Kxd7
73. Rb7+ Ke6
74. Qe8+ Kd5
75. Rd7#