Friday, 15 July 2011

Sicilian Grand Prix Attack - Gawain Jones

I was searching for a book on the Grand Prix Attack and I wanted something up to date ... I found this book by Gawain Jones to be one of the most recent publications ...

This guide covers the most popular lines for White and Black and is worth investing in to gain a better understanding of the attacking chances for both sides and the pitfalls. I bought the book over a year ago ... I haven't finished running through all the material just yet, but what I've read so far has given me some very nice ideas!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Grand Prix Attack - Basics

I think that the Grand Prix Attack is a great system for launching attacks on Black's King in the Sicilian! These blitz games I played recently are 5 mins each - The ideas for White in the Gr.Pr. are the following:

1) Aim the White squared Bishop down the a2-g8 diagonal biting on the f7 pawn.

2) Having played e4 and f4 get an early push in with f5 ... if you manage to exchange the pawn on e6 then this takes an enemy pawn off of the above mentioned diagonal exposing f7 even more!

3) Castle Kingside and aim the f1 Rook at f7.

4) Try and swap off Blacks long range Bishop on g7 - this removes a defender of the King ...

5) Play Qe1 with the plan to place her on either g3 or h4 with kingside attack in mind ...

6) Support the Queen with a Knight placed on g5 ready for attack on f7 and h7.

7) Instead, aim for a more closed position by hemming in the g7 Bishop with e5 and f6.

8) Get the rooks onto the 3rd rank in readiness to switch to the h & g-files to bolster the attack.

In subsequent posts I will fish out some simple tactics that I have used in attacking positions ...

Note: these are only ideas for White and may well NOT be possible - it really depends on what your opponent allows you to do.  Here are some sample games to play through ...

Grand Prix Attack - 1
[Event "Live Chess"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2011.07.04"]
[White "greg_b"]
[Black "A-Player"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "1492"]
[BlackElo "1490"]
[TimeControl "5 0"]
[Termination "greg_b won by checkmate"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.f4 d6 4.Bc4 e6 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.O-O Bd7 7.d3 a6 8.a4 Nc6 9.Bb3 Qc7 10.Qe1 Nd4
11.Nxd4 cxd4 12.Ne2 Ne7 13.Bd2 Rc8 14.h4 h5 15.Ng3 Rf8 16.f5 gxf5 17.exf5 exf5 18.Nxf5 Bxf5 19.Rxf5 Be5 20.Rxh5 Qc5 21.Bf4 Ng6 22.Bxe5 dxe5 23.Qf2 Rc6 24.Re1 Nf4 25.Rhxe5+ Qxe5 26.Rxe5+ Re6 27.Qxf4 Rxe5 28.Qxe5+ Kd8 29.Qd6+ Ke8 30.a5 f5 31.Ba4+ Kf7 32.Qd7+ Kg8 33.Bb3+ Kh8 34.Qxd4+ Kh7 35.Qd7+ Kh6 36.Qd6+ Kg7 37.Qe5+ Kh6 38.d4 f4 39.Kf2 f3 40.gxf3 Kh7 41.Qh5+ Kg7 42.d5 Rd8 43.Qe5+ Kf7 44.d6+ Kf8 45.Qe7# 1-0

Grand Prix Attack - 2
[Event "Live Chess"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2011.07.04"]
[White "greg_b"]
[Black "A-Player"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "1501"]
[BlackElo "1536"]
[TimeControl "5 0"]
[Termination "greg_b won by checkmate"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 d6 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.O-O d5 7.exd5 exd5 8.Bb5 Bd7 9.d3 Be7 10.Bxc6 Bxc6 11.Ne5 O-O 12.a4 Rc8 13.Nb5 Bxb5 14.axb5 Qb6 15.c4 dxc4 16.dxc4 Rfd8 17.Qc2 Bd6 18.b3 Re8 19.Nf3 Re6 20.Ng5 Re7 21.Qf5 Rce8 22.Bb2 h6 23.Nh3 Ne4 24.Rf3 Nd2 25.Rg3 Ne4 26.Rxg7+ Kf8 27.Qh7 Nf6 28.Qh8+ Ng8 29.Qxg8# 1-0

Friday, 8 July 2011

News & series on 'The Greats' from Steve !

In terms of chess news, it appears to have been rather a quiet week. So much so that despite a few tournaments rumbling on, the headline story is the revelation that Peter Falk – better known to many as Colombo – quite liked chess. A far cry from the wild tales of political corruption and alien abduction of my last update. Rather than trying to hash together some tortuous links between a scruffy detective and the game of chess, I figured I’d look back and begin my series on some chess characters of years ago. This week, Wilhelm Steinitz:

Steinitz was the 1st chess world champion, and held his title between 1886 and 1894. In the early stages of his career, Steinitz rose to the top by playing the all-out attacking chess which was almost mandatory at the time. Refusing any sacrifice or even trying to defend against an attack was regarded as unsporting, if not downright cowardly, and many chess games of this period are a bit like a Rocky Balboa fight with players just flaying wildly at each other in utter disregard of their own safety. Not always the best idea, but it certainly makes for entertaining chess.

Later on in his career, however, Steinitz became the catalyst for a dramatic revolution in how chess was played and understood. By using a slow and subtle positional style, he was able to efficiently manoeuvre his pieces into good positions and jab away at his opponent without ever risking too much. Steinitz’s approach proved too much for the rough and ready attack-minded brawlers of the time, who reports suggest would often later attribute their loss to a damaged pinky finger which meant they weren’t able to move their pieces as well. Eventually, however, the world caught up and Steinitz would lose his title in 1894 to one of the greats of chess history, Emanuel Lasker.

On a personal level Steinitz, like many other chess players that will feature in this series, was a little odd. He is generally held to have had a rather violent temper and was quick to insult others around him, possibly due to acute ‘short-man syndrome’. He also didn’t quite seem to understand the concept of money, making various dodgy decisions and eventually dying as a pauper leaving his wife destitute. On the plus side, he had a cool beard.

Finally, for those who picked up on the boxing references and have time to spare, have a search for chess-boxing on youtube.




Dragon Basics

1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 cxd4 (open sicilian)
4. Nxd4 Nc6
5. Nc3 Nf6
6. Bc4 g6 (White play Fischer's favoured placement of the Bishop)
7. Bg5 Bg7 (Black plays the Dragon)

8. Qd2 Bd7 (White would ideally like to swap off the Dragon Bishop on h6 or g7 because this piece becomes stronger generally speaking the longer it is left on and kept alive!)

9. f3 h5 (White's move is designed to stop Ng4, but Bishop has already moved to g5 therefore White maybe planning a g4 push - but that would leave f3 weakened? Black has decided to defer castling with h5 to avoid an exchange of Bishops)

10. 0-0-0 a6 (Now White has castled Q-side - Black must start operations on this side of the board)

11. a3 Rc8 (I guess that white plans to stop the Knight hopping to b4, but the White Queen already controls this square so that 'extra' move may cost White!)

12. Ba2 Ne5 (I think that White preempted the Knight's move to e5, which is a standard line in the Dragon)

13. h3 Nc4 (Again, a pawn move without a real purpose! The better move is to attack Black's kingside and make him think ... h3 is too slow! )

14. Bxc4 Rxc4

15. Rde1 Qb6

16. Nb3 a5 (Black wants to dislodge the Knight on b3)

17. Kb1 a4 (Black achieves his objective)

18. Nc1 Nxe4! (Sacrificing the Knight for the game! The diagonal is clear for the Dragon Bishop to support mate on b2 and Queen is en-prise - the ideal Sicilian Dragon position for Black ... and a win)

if 19. Nxe4 then Qxb2# or if  19.fxe4 then Bxc3 20.Nd3 Bxd2 looks fine

0 - 1

Note: the above game was played at an amateur level (5 mins each on the clock). Stronger lines for White and Black are obviously playable but the character of this game provides great instruction for the amateur player who wants to aquaint themselves with the plans in the Sicilian Dragon.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Controversy surrounding Rybka ...

I read an interesting article in the Metro this morning about Rybka ...

Rybka Metro Article