DrDave's blog

Modern Classics - the Scotch Gambit

The old Italian-style attacking openings for White have not been played
at the top level of chess for a long while. Was Jonathan Penrose the
last master to venture the Scotch Gambit? Anyhow, even if the masters
have got it all under control, the rest of us can still play in the
Romantic, gambit style. It's also easy to recommend to juniors.

In pursuit of nostalgia, several people have been posting material on
the web about the Scotch Gambit and related openings.

r-bqkbnr
pppp-ppp
--n-----
--------
--BpP---
-----N--
PPP--PPP
RNBQK--R

A Queen sacrifice

I played an extremely boring last-round game at Torquay, choosing the English Defence, which is usually good for a scrap at my level.

Archer-Lock,C - Regis,D Torbay Open Riviera (5), 20.11.2011

1.d4 e6 2.c4 b6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e4 Bb7 5.Bd3 f5 6.Qh5+ g6

The Queen check is supposed to weaken the black King's-side, but it also has some benefits for Black; f5 is strengthened and the g7 square can be a bolt-hole for the black Queen.

7.Qe2 Nf6 8.Bg5 fxe4 9.Bxe4 Bxe4 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.Qxe4 Nc6 12.Nf3 0-0 ½-½

Rex Willis Memorial Tournament 2011 - a participant's view

[Just some notes that emerged on Saturday; even if I had written this on
Tuesday night I expect most of the moves would be wrong, so take them
with a pinch or three of salt!]

The Tournament is a Gambit Theme Rapidplay, 10 minutes each with an
obligatory gambit for all players determined for each round.

Round 1: Benko Gambit (White vs Giles)


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 Bxa6

The Benko is a sound gambit; Black gets enough play for the pawn. I
played the most solid moves I could think of, insisting on castling

Nagy-Keen, Friendly, 18 Oct 2011

[pgn]

[Event "Friendly"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2011.10.18"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Nagy, Dan"]
[Black "Keen, Charlie"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B23"]
[PlyCount "62"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 ({Well, I thought you were planning to play} 3. f4
$1) 3... e6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 {This may not be a bad result, I know Charlie
has been looking to play systems with ...e5 not ...e6.} 5... Bc5 6. Be3 (6. Nb3
$5 {is logical and may give a slight plus} 6... Bb4 7. Be2 (7. Bd2)) (6. Ndb5
$1 {looks best to me, even though it means moving a piece twice.} 6... d6 7.

Pairing of the decade?

[pgn]
[Event "Bygger'n Masters"]
[Site "Gausdal"]
[Date "2006.10.02"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Hammer, Jon Ludvig"]
[Black "Time, Jonathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C11"]
[WhiteElo "2306"]
[BlackElo "1864"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2006.09.24"]

1. e4 e6 2. Nf3 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. d4 c5 6. dxc5 Nc6 7. Bf4 Bxc5 8.
Bd3 f6 9. exf6 Nxf6 10. Qe2 O-O 11. O-O-O a6 12. Rhe1 b5 13. Ne5 Nd4 14. Qd2
Qa5 15. Be3 b4 16. Nb1 Nf5 17. Bxc5 Qxc5 18. Bxf5 exf5 19. Nd3 Qd6 20. Qxb4
Qxh2 21. Nf4 a5 22. Qd4 Qh6 23. Nc3 Bb7 24. Re7 Ne4 25. Kb1 Bc6 26. Ncxd5 Rad8

Making Tactics Work

1. A chess tactic is an unstoppable threat.  Often you can Avoid, Block, Capture or Defend your way out of a threat, but if you can't, you're probably on the receiving end of a tactic.

2. Tactical themes include:

  • jumps, mates, forks, nets, pins & ties

A fuller list of tactical themes might be:

Novel Opening Play

Jonathan wanted to have something on this session thinking about the English Opening, but, in case you don't play that system, I'll broaden it out a bit.

The experience of meeting novelty
---------------------------------

It needn't be a completely new move, of course, just new to you.

Let's see if we can create that experience for you.

Some examples that we came up with:

As White, facing 1.d4 e5!?
As White, facing 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4!?
As Black, facing 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4!?

What are we going to do now? 1/2

[pgn]
[Event "PC2 12/7/11 23:45"]
[Site "Palm Handheld"]
[Date "2011.07.12"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Southall, Chris"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r1bq1rk1/2pn1pbp/1p1p1np1/pP2p3/2P5/2N1PN2/PB1PBPPP/R2Q1RK1 w - - 0 10"]
[PlyCount "26"]

10. d4 {Chris says: "Move 10 was where I wasn't sure what to do. I had
developed my minor pieces and felt like I needed to challenge black's solid
setup and open lines for my bishop which is somewhat blunted. I was also wary
of black's knight getting into c5. I also had an eye on the c6 square as black

Bobby Fischer Against the World

Just been to see Bobby Fischer Against the World at the Exeter PictureHouse.

Lots to say about it (I'm a Fischer nut, but there were loads of stills I hadn't seen, and live footage) but I mentioned one error I thought I noticed:

The breakthrough Game 3 of Spassky-Fischer was indeed notable for its unusual opening play by Fischer, but it was a defence he had played before, contrary to what I think people were saying in the film.

[pgn]
[Event "Interzonal"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "1970.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "22"]
[Result "0-1"]

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Chess Quotes

"The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made."
— -- TARTAKOVER