The Saemisch Surprise
Sideline the Alekhine Defense with
1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.Nc3 Nxc3 4.bxc3 d5 5.Ba3!?

By Michael Goeller

I assume that some players who use the Alekhine Defense do so for its surprise value. It is rather rarely seen, and probably many White players give it much less thought than other lines. A surprising counter-weapon for White is the Saemisch Attack (1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.Nc3). There are a number of ways to play this line, but I prefer to use it to play for control of the central dark squares after 3...Nxc3 4.bxc3! (reinforcing the center with an additional pawn rather than playing for speedy development with 4.dxc3) 4...d5 (the most common book recommendation, though 4...d6 and 4...c5 are also reasonable) -- and now I recommend that you "sideline" Black with the surprising 5.Ba3!? seeking absolute dominance of the dark squares. It's an interesting and little-known line that nonetheless has been used by some great players, including Tal, Yermolinsky, and Zaitsev. Below I have annotated 11 games that should give you a good "Saemisch surprise" repertoire that will let you turn the tables on the Alekhine Defense.

Game One: 4.bxc3 d5 5.Ba3!?

Mikhail Tal (2600) - Eversole (2000) [B02]

National Open/Chicago (1) 1988


1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nc3 Nxc3

Tal played this line a number of times in the 1970s, including the following nice win: 3... e6 4. d4! (4. Ne4!? f5 5. exf6 Nxf6 6. Nxf6+ Qxf6 7. d4) 4... Nxc3 5. bxc3 d6 6. f4 c5 7. Nf3 cxd4 8. cxd4 dxe5 9. fxe5 Bb4+ 10. Bd2 Qa5 11. Bd3 Nc6 12. O-O Bxd2 13. Nxd2 Qc3 14. Rf4 O-O 15. Kh1 Ne7 16. Ne4 Qb2 17. Rb1 Qxa2










18. Nf6+ gxf6 19. Bxh7+ Kh8 (19... Kxh7 20. Qh5+ Kg8 21. Rbf1!) 20. Rh4 Kg7 21. Qc1 Ng8 22. Bxg8 1-0 Tal,M-Gedevanishvili,D/Georgia 1970.

 

4. bxc3 d5

The following Tal game, widely annotated, first sparked my interest in this line: 4... d6 5. f4 dxe5 6. fxe5 Qd5 7. d4 c5 8. Nf3 Nc6 9. Be2 Bg4 10. O-O cxd4 (10... e6 11. Ng5!) 11. cxd4 e6 (11... Bxf3 12. Bxf3 Qxd4+ 13. Qxd4 Nxd4 14. Bxb7 Rd8 15. c3!) 12. Rb1 Qd7 13. Ng5! Bxe2 14. Qxe2










14... Be7 (14... Nxd4 15. Qd3! Bc5 16. Be3) (14... Qxd4+ 15. Be3) 15. c3 Bxg5 16. Bxg5 h6 (16... O-O 17. Qg4 Kh8 18. Rf3 f5 19. exf6 gxf6 20. Bxf6+) 17. Bc1 Ne7 18. Qf3 Nd5 19. c4 Nb4 20. c5 Nd5 21. c6 bxc6 22. Ba3 f5 (22... O-O-O 23. Bd6) 23. exf6 gxf6 24. Rb3 Kd8 25. Rfb1 Rh7 26. Qg3 Nb6 27. Rxb6 axb6 28. Qg8+ Qe8 29. Qxh7 1-0 Tal,M-Podgaets,M/Sochi 1970.

 

5. Ba3!?

This surprising move has not been often played in this position, but it has been tried by some interesting players, including Tal, and so is mentioned in several books on the Alekhine. White can, of course, stick to normal lines with d4 followed by either f4 or Nf3. But if you want to get your opponent out of his preparation, this is a pretty good idea. The Bishop slows Black's natural counterplay by ...c5 while also inhibiting the ...e6 advance, which would allow the exchange of dark squared Bishops and prevent Black from castling. Black has tried several approaches, which we examine in turn below.

 

 

5...Bf5?!

The Bishop is typically misplaced on this square and subject to attack. But this is a frequently seen move since the Bishop often goes to this square in comparable positions, such as in the Caro Kann Advance Variation.

 

6. Nf3!

Now that the Knight is not likely to be pinned, it can come forward and threaten the Bishop, perhaps by going to d4. More commital is 6. d4!? Nd7 7. g4?! Bg6?! (7... Be4! 8. f3 Bg6 9. h4 h5 10. e6!? fxe6 11. Bd3 Bf7 12. Rb1 Qb8 13. f4 c5) 8. h4 h6 9. Rb1 Qc8 10. h5 Bh7 11. Bd3 Bxd3 12. Qxd3 e6?! (better 12... Nb6!) 13. Bxf8 Nxf8?! 14. Qb5+ Nd7 15. Qxb7 Qxb7 16. Rxb7 1-0 Garcia,H-Kalejman,J/Zarate 1974 (38).

 

Interesting, as in the Caro Kann, is 6. h4!? h5.

 

6... Nd7?!

a) 6... Nc6 7. d4 (7. Rb1!?) 7... Na5 8. Bd3

b) 6... Bg4!? admits the error of the previous move and may be best, though White is clearly for choice after 7. Rb1 (7. h3) 7... b6 (7... Nd7 8. e6!?) 8. h3

 

7. Nd4!










7... e6

7... Bg6 8. e6

 

8. Bxf8 Nxf8 9. Rb1 Qc8 10. c4

10. Nxf5 exf5 11. Qf3

 

10... Be4

10... c5? 11. Nb5

 

11. Qg4 Rg8!?

a) 11... Ng6 12. f3! (12. cxd5!? Bxd5 (12... exd5? 13. Qxc8+ Rxc8 14. d3 c5 15. Nb5) 13. c4 Bc6 14. Nxc6 bxc6 15. h4! O-O (15... h5 16. Qe4 Qd7 17. Be2) 16. d4 Qa6!) 12... Bf5 13. Qg5 h6 14. Qe3 Ne7 15. Qb3

b) 11... Bg6? 12. cxd5 exd5 13. Qxc8+ Rxc8 14. Rxb7

 

12. cxd5 Bxd5 13. Bb5+?!

Here the form er World Champion starts to go wrong, likely because he underestimates his opponent. White is clearly for choice after the immediate 13. c4! Bc6 14. Nxc6 bxc6 15. Be2 Ng6 16. O-O!

 

13... c6 14. c4?










A move too late! White is still better, though, after the simple retreat 14. Be2

 

14... h5! 15. Qh3 Be4 16. d3 Qd7! 17. Qe3 O-O-O??

Immediately losing. Necessary was 17... Bxg2 18. Rg1 O-O-O! 19. Rxg2 Qxd4 and White is probably lost. An amazing reversal for Tal, who often benefitted from opponent's mistakes in the wildly tactical positions he created.

 

18. Qxe4! Qxd4










Or 18... cxb5 19. Nxb5 etc.

 

19. Bxc6! Qc3+

Not 19... Qxe4+ 20. Bxe4 winning.

 

20. Ke2 Rd4!?

Or 20... b6 21. Rhc1

 

21. Bxb7+ Kb8? 22. Qe3

22. Ba8+! and mate is unavoidable.

 

22... Ng6 23. Rhc1 Nf4+ 24. Kf3! g5 25. Rxc3 g4+ 26. Kg3 h4+ 27. Kxh4 1-0


Game Two:: Black Plays 5...e6?!

Horacio Garcia - Luis Buchaillot [B02]

Zarate op 3th/Zarate (6) 1974


1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nc3 Nxc3 4. bxc3 d5 5. Ba3 e6?!

This is White's dream move. Black clearly underestimates the price he pays to surrender kingside castling and weaken the dark squares with this exchange of Bishops.

 

6. Bxf8 Kxf8 7. d4

7. Qh5!

 

7... b6 8. Nf3 Ba6 9. Bxa6 Nxa6 10. Qd3 Nb8 11. O-O c5 12. dxc5! bxc5 13. Rab1 g6

13... c4 14. Qe3 Qc7 15. Nd4 Nd7 16. f4 Rb8 17. Rbe1

 

14. Rb7!?

14. Qe3!

 

14... Kg7 15. Qb5 Qc8 16. c4 Qe8?

16... Nc6! 17. cxd5 exd5 18. Ng5 Rf8! (18... Nxe5 19. f4!) (18... Nd8 19. Rd7 h6 20. Nxf7! Nxf7 21. e6 Rf8 22. Qe2!) 19. e6 Rb8 (19... Nd4 20. Qa6) 20. Rb1 Rxb7 21. Qxb7 Qxb7 22. Rxb7 h6 23. Nxf7 Kf6 24. e7 Nxe7 25. Nxh6

 

17. Ng5! dxc4 18. Rxf7+ Kh6










19. Qxe8! Rxe8 20. f4 Rh8 21. g4!

and Black cannot prevent mate by Rf3-h3. Equally effective is 21. Rf3 Kh5 22. Rh3+ Kg4 23. g3 h6 24. Rh4#

1-0


Game Three: Black Plays 5...d4!?

Karl Pedersen - Soren Brautsch [B02]

Denmark (2) 1993


1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nc3 Nxc3 4. bxc3 d5 5. Ba3 d4!?

This seemingly active move aids White by improving his structure and speeding his development. But it does contain some venom, as Black's queenside can develop very quickly in some lines and give him the initiative if White is not careful.

 

6. cxd4

An adventurous alternative is 6. Qf3 dxc3 (6... Nc6!? 7. Bb5 Bd7 8. Qg3 dxc3 9. dxc3! and White has a nice set-up after Rd1, Nf3, O-O, and possibly Bd3 etc.) 7. Qxc3 Nc6 8. Nf3 Qd5 9. Be2 Bg4 (9... Qe4 10. Bc5! Qg6 11. O-O Bh3 12. Ne1) 10. h3 Bxf3 11. Bxf3 Qxe5+ 12. Qxe5 Nxe5 13. Bxb7 Rb8 14. Rb1 e6 15. Bxf8 Rxf8 16. Ke2

 

6... Qxd4 7. Nf3 Qa4

7... Qe4+!? forces White to play carefully: 8. Be2 Nc6 (8... g5?! 9. d4! g4 10. Nh4) 9. d4 Bg4 10. c3! Bxf3 11. gxf3 Qg6 12. Qb1! the key move 12... O-O-O (12... Qg2?? 13. Qxb7 Qxh1+ 14. Kd2 Qxa1 15. Qxc6+ Kd8 16. Qd5+! Kc8 17. Ba6+ Kb8 18. Qd8#) 13. Qxg6 hxg6 14. e6! and white's two Bishops make the difference.

 

8. Qc1 Bf5

8... Nc6 9. Qb2 Qe4+ 10. Be2 Bg4 11. O-O!

 

9. Rb1

Better may be 9. Qb2!? Nc6 10. d4! Qxc2 (10... O-O-O 11. c3) 11. Qxc2 Bxc2 12. d5 Nd8 (12... Nb8 13. e6) 13. Nd4! Be4 14. Nb5 Kd7 (14... Rc8 15. Nxa7 Ra8 16. Nb5) 15. Rd1 a6 16. Nc3 Bf5 17. Be2! Kc8 (17... e6? 18. Bxf8 Rxf8 19. g4 Bc2 20. Rd2 Bg6 21. dxe6+ Kxe6 22. f4) 18. O-O e6 19. d6 Nc6 20. g4 Bc2 21. Rd2 Bg6 22. f4 h5 23. f5 exf5 24. gxf5 Bh7 25. Nd5

 

9... Nc6

9... Nd7 10. Be2 (10. d4) 10... O-O-O 11. Qb2 Nb6 12. d3 e6 13. Bxf8 Rhxf8 14. O-O

 

10. Be2

10. Rxb7! Qe4+ 11. Be2 Nxe5 12. Qb2 Nxf3+ 13. gxf3 Qe6 (13... Qxc2 14. Bb5+ or 13... Qd5? 14. Rb5 also favor White ) 14. Rb8+ Rxb8 15. Qxb8+ Qc8 16. Bb5+ Kd8 17. Qxa7

 

10... Nd4?!

a) 10... O-O-O! 11. Qb2 b6!

b) 10... Qxc2?! 11. Qxc2 Bxc2 12. Rxb7 O-O-O 13. Ba6 Nb8 14. Rxa7+ Nxa6 15. Rxa6 Kb7 16. Ra5 Kb6 17. Rc5

 

11. Nxd4 Qxd4 12. O-O O-O-O 13. Bf3 b6 14. e6!?

14. Bb4! Qxe5 (14... a5 15. Bc3) (14... e6 15. Bc3 Qf4 16. a4) 15. Qa3 a5 16. Rfe1 Qf6 17. Bxa5!

 

14... Bxe6 15. Rb4

15. Bb4!?

 

15... Qxd2 16. Qb2 Bf5 17. Rc4!










17... e6?

a) 17... Qd7 18. Bc5!! Kb8 (18... e5? 19. Bxb6) 19. Rd4 Qc8 20. Bxb6 cxb6 21. Rxd8 Qxd8 22. Qe5+

b) 17... Kb8 18. Qe5! (18. Qb5 Qd7 19. Bc6 Qc8) 18... Qd7 19. Rb1! e6 (19... Be6 20. Rc6!) 20. Bxf8 Rhxf8 21. Qa5 c6 22. Rcb4 Qb7 23. Rxb6 axb6 24. Rxb6

 

18. Qb5! Rd7 19. Qc6 1-0


Game Four: Black Plays 5...Nd7!?

Igor Zaitsev - Gojko Laketic [B02]

Moscow 1992


1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nc3 Nxc3 4. bxc3 d5 5. Ba3 Nd7!?

Risky, because White can try the pawn sac at e6. The idea is to play ...c5 and ...Qa5.

 

6. Nf3

White has a number of alternatives:

a) 6. e6!? Hort 6... fxe6 7. c4 g6 (7... c6 8. Bb2 e5 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. Nf3 d4 11. Bc4) 8. Bb2 Nf6 9. h4 Bg7 10. h5 Nxh5 11. Bxg7 Nxg7 12. Nf3 O-O

 

b) 6. d4 c5 7. e6!? is probably not as strong as the immediate sacrifice.

I wouldn't recommend 7. dxc5?! when White's dynamic chances seem insufficient compensation for the long-term structural weaknesses this move generates after 7... Nxe5! (7... e6!? 8. Nf3 b6) 8. Bb5+ Nc6 (8... Bd7 9. Qxd5 Bxb5 10. Qxe5 Qd7 11. Nf3 Qg4 12. Nd4 Qxg2 13. O-O-O Bd7 14. Rhe1) 9. Qd3 e6 (9... e5!) (9... g6!?) 10. Nf3 Be7 (10... Bd7 11. O-O a6 12. Bxc6 Bxc6 13. Ne5 Bb5 14. c4 dxc4 15. Qe3 Qc7) 11. Ne5 Qc7 12. Qg3! Bd7 (12... O-O?? 13. Nxc6 Qxg3 14. Nxe7+) 13. Bxc6 Bxc6 14. Qxg7 O-O-O 15. Nxc6 Qxc6 16. Qxf7 Rd7 17. Qf3 Rf8 18. Qh3?! (18. Qe3! Qa4?! 19. c6!) 18... Qa4! 19. Bc1 Qe4+ 20. Be3 Qc4 21. Bh6 Rg8 22. Qd3 Qh4 (22... Rxg2) 23. Be3 Rxg2 24. c6! Rc7 25. cxb7+ Rxb7 26. Qa6 1/2-1/2 Bone,E-Martz,W/US Open 1972.

7... fxe6 8. Nf3 (8. Bxc5!?) 8... Qa5! 9. Bb2 g6 10. h4 Bg7 11. h5 O-O 12. hxg6 h6?! (12... hxg6 13. Bd3 Rf6 14. Qd2) 13. Qd2 Nf6 14. Bd3 (14. c4!=) 14... Ne4 15. Bxe4 dxe4 16. Ng1 cxd4 17. Ne2 Rxf2! 18. cxd4 Qxd2+ 19. Kxd2 e5 20. dxe5 Bg4 21. Rae1 Rc8 22. c3 h5 23. Ke3 Rxg2 24. Bc1 Bxe5 25. Kxe4 Bf6 26. Nf4 Rxa2 27. Nxh5 Ra4+ 28. Ke3 Rxc3+ 29. Kf2 Ra2+ 30. Kf1 Rf3+ 0-1 Pert,R-Hinks Edwards,T/England tt 1997.

 

c) 6. f4 c6 7. Nf3 Qa5 8. Qc1 might be my preference, trying to avoid the d4 advance for as long as possible.

 

6... Nb6

6... c5! Hort 7. c4!? (7. Be2 g6 8. O-O Bg7 9. d4 Qa5 10. Bb2=) (7. e6 fxe6 8. Ng5?! Qa5 9. Nxe6? Nf6! Hort) 7... d4 8. Bd3 Qa5 9. Bc1 g6 10. Qe2 Bg7 11. O-O O-O 12. e6

 

7. d4 Bg4 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 Qd7 10. Rb1 e6 11. Bxf8 Kxf8 12. Bd3 Kg8 13. O-O Rc8










14. Qe3?!

Much better for White is 14. a4! a5 15. Rb5 Ra8 16. c4

 

14... h5 15. f4 g6 16. a4 a5 17. Rb5 Ra8 18. c4 dxc4 19. Be4 Rd8 20. c3 Nxa4 21. Rxb7 Nb6 22. Ra7 a4 23. Rb1 Rb8 24. Bf3

1/2-1/2

[Michael Goeller]


Game Five: Black Plays 5...c6

Joseph Tabor - Vladimir Bagirov [B02]

Baja 1971


1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nc3 Nxc3 4. bxc3 d5 5. Ba3 c6 6. f4!

I prefer this move, which reinforces White's control of dark squares and relieves him of the necessity of advancing d4 to defend the e-pawn. The alternative is to develop quickly with 6.Nf3 and consider sacrificing the e-pawn by e6!? at the right moment. I could find only one example, which was not favorable to White:

6. Nf3 Bg4 (6... Nd7 7. Qe2! (7. c4!? Qa5 8. Bb2) (7. e6!?) 7... Nb6 8. Qe3 Nc4 (8... Bf5 9. Nd4) 9. Bxc4 dxc4 10. O-O) 7. h3 Bxf3 (7... Bh5 8. e6!? (8. Be2) ) 8. Qxf3 Qa5 9. Bb4?! (9. c4! dxc4 10. Qe3 e6! (10... c3 11. Qxc3) (10... b5 11. e6) 11. Bxf8 Rxf8 12. Bxc4 Nd7 13. f4 O-O-O=) 9... Qa4 10. d4 (10. e6!? fxe6 11. Qh5+ Kd7 12. Bc5 Qxc2) 10... a5 11. Bc5 Nd7 12. Bd3 b6 13. Bf5? (13. e6 fxe6 14. Bxb6 Nxb6 15. Qh5+ Kd8 16. O-O) 13... bxc5 14. Bxd7+ Kxd7 15. Qxf7 Qc4! 16. e6+ Kd8 17. Rb1? Qxc3+ 18. Kf1 Qxc2 19. Rb7?? Qd1# 0-1 Altschuler,B-Chernin,O/New York USA 1999

 

6... Qa5! 7. Qc1 Bf5?!

The Bishop is typically misplaced on this square. A better development scheme for Black is the logical 7... g6! 8. Nf3 Bh6!? 9. g3 Qc7 (9... c5 10. Rb1 Qc7 11. Bb5+ Bd7 12. e6!? fxe6 13. O-O) 10. d4! with double edged play, since White has achieved strong control of dark squares at the expense of light squares.

 

8. Nf3 Nd7 9. Rb1 Qc7 10. Nd4! e6 11. Be2!

Most flexible. Also fine is 11. Bxf8 Nxf8 12. Nxf5 exf5 13. d4 Ne6 14. Bd3

 

11... c5?! 12. Nxf5 exf5 13. c4 dxc4?!

13... d4 14. Bf3! Rb8 15. O-O

 

14. Bxc4 O-O-O 15. O-O










Fritz favors White here, and I cannot disagree. At the very least he has the two Bishops and the slightly better structure. In any event, it was sufficient for Bagirov to accept a draw here.

1/2-1/2

Game Six: Black Plays 5...b6

Alex Yermolinsky - Vladimir Bagirov [B02]

Krasnodar 1980


1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nc3 Nxc3 4. bxc3 d5 5. Ba3 b6 6. d4

6. Qf3!? c5? 7. Bb5+! (7. c4 Be6 8. Nh3 Nc6 9. Nf4 Nd4 (9... Bf5 10. Nxd5 Nd4) ) 7... Bd7 8. e6! (8. Qxd5? Bxb5 9. Qxa8 Bc6 10. Qxa7 Bxg2) 8... fxe6 9. Qh5+ g6 10. Qe5 Rg8 (10... Bxb5 11. Qxh8 Qd6 12. Nf3) 11. Qxe6 Rg7 (11... Rh8? 12. Qe5 Rg8 13. Qxd5!) 12. c4! 0-1 Brzeski,M-Bach,M/Koszalin POL 2006

 

6... c5!

6... Qd7 7. f4 c5 8. c4? (8. dxc5 e6 9. Qd4 Nc6 10. Qf2) 8... dxc4 (8... Qa4! 9. Qf3 Nc6 10. dxc5 Nd4 11. Qxd5 Nxc2+ 12. Kf2 Rb8) 9. Bxc4 cxd4 10. e6 fxe6 11. Qh5+ g6 12. Qe5 Rg8 13. Rd1 Bg7 14. Qe2 Rf8 15. Nh3 Bh6 16. O-O Nc6 17. c3 e5 18. cxd4 exd4 19. Qe4 Bb7 20. Rfe1 Rf6 21. Ng5 Bxg5 22. fxg5 Rd6 23. Bxd6 Qxd6 24. Be6 Kd8 25. Bd5 Kc7 26. Bxc6 Bxc6 27. Qxe7+ Qxe7 28. Rxe7+ Kd6 29. Rxh7 Kd5 30. Rh4 1-0 Honfi-Weyerstrass.

 

7. f4

a) 7. Nf3 Qd7 (7... e6 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Bd3 Be7 10. O-O Nc6 11. Re1 Rc8 12. dxc5 bxc5 13. c4 Qa5 14. Bc1 dxc4 15. Bf1 (15. Bxc4?? Qc3) (15. Be4!) 15... Nd4 16. Nxd4 cxd4 17. Re4 1-0 Traub,B-Spiegel,S/Germany 1995 (46)) 8. Rb1 Ba6 9. Bxa6 Nxa6 10. O-O e6 11. Qe2 Qa4 12. dxc5 Nxc5 (12... Qxa3 13. Qb5+ Ke7 (13... Kd8 14. Ng5) 14. Qc6 (14. cxb6 axb6 15. Qc6 Nb8 16. Qxb6 Nd7) 14... Rb8 15. Qd6+ Ke8 16. Qc6+ Ke7=) 13. Nd4 a6 14. Bxc5 Bxc5 15. Nb3 O-O 16. Nxc5 bxc5 17. f4 Rab8 18. Rxb8 Rxb8 19. f5 Qe4 20. Qxa6 exf5 21. Qd6 Rc8 22. a4 g6 23. a5 Qe3+ 24. Kh1 Re8 25. a6 Qxe5 26. Qxc5 Qe2 27. Ra1 Qc4 28. Qxc4 dxc4 29. a7 Ra8 30. Kg1 Kf8 31. Kf2 Ke7 32. Ke3 Kd6 33. Kd4 Kc6 34. Kxc4 Kb7 35. Kb5?! (35. Kd5! Rd8+! 36. Ke5 Ka8 37. c4!) 35... Rxa7 36. Re1!? (36. Rxa7+ Kxa7 37. Kc6 f4!) 36... Kc8 37. c4 Rb7+ 38. Kc5 Rc7+= 1/2-1/2 Lalic,S-Regan,N/Chambery 1995 (62)

b) 7. dxc5?! e6 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. cxb6 axb6 10. Bxf8 Kxf8 11. c4 Qc7! (11... Bxb5!? 12. cxb5 Qc7! 13. Ne2! Qxe5 14. O-O) 12. Nf3? (12. Ne2 Qxe5 13. O-O) 12... Bxb5 13. cxb5 Qc3+ 14. Ke2?! Ke7? (a) 14... Nd7! 15. Qd3 Qc7) (b) 14... Ra4 15. Re1=) 15. Qd3 Rc8 16. Nd4 Rc4 17. Rhd1 Nd7 18. Nc6+ (18. Qxc3 Rxc3 19. Rd3 Rc4 20. Nc6+ Kf8) 18... Ke8 19. Qxh7? Re4+? (19... Qb2! 20. Qg8+ Nf8 21. Kf1 Qxb5) 20. Kf1 Qxc2 21. Qh5 (21. Qxg7!) 21... Rxa2 22. Rxa2 Qxa2 23. g3 Qc4+ 24. Kg2 Qxb5 25. Nd4 Qa4 26. Nxe6! g6 27. Qh8+ Ke7 28. Qf8+ Kxe6 29. Qe8+ Kf5 30. Qxf7+ Kg5 31. Rxd5 Rd4 32. h4+ Kh6 33. Qg8 g5 34. h5 Nf8 35. Qxf8+ Kxh5 36. Qf5 Kh6 37. Qf6+ Kh5 38. Qe7 g4 39. Qh7+ Kg5 40. Qg7+ Kh5 41. Qf7+ Kg5 42. Rxd4 Qxd4 43. Qf4+ 1-0 Prie,E-Karr,J/Montpellier 1996

c) 7. Bb5+!? Bd7 8. Bd3 Nc6 9. Nf3 c4 10. Be2 Bg4 11. Ng1!? Bxe2 12. Nxe2 e6 13. Bxf8 Rxf8= Vorotnikov - Agzamov, USSR 1974

 

7... e6 8. Nf3

a) 8. Rb1 Na6 9. Bb5+ Ke7 10. Qd3 Nb8 11. dxc5 f5 12. cxb6+ Kf7 13. Bxf8 Rxf8 14. bxa7 Rxa7 15. a4 Ba6 16. Nf3 h6 17. Nd4 Qc8 18. O-O Bxb5 19. Qxb5 Qxc3 20. Nxf5 Nd7 21. Ng3 g6 22. Qe2 Qd4+ 23. Kh1 Qxa4 24. f5 gxf5 25. Nxf5 exf5 26. e6+ Kg7 27. exd7 Qxd7 28. Qe5+ Rf6 29. Rb6 Qe7 30. Qxf6+ Qxf6 31. Rxf6 Kxf6 32. g4 Kg5 33. Rxf5+ Kxg4 34. Rxd5 Ra2 35. Rc5 Kf3 36. h3 h5 37. Kg1 h4 38. Rc3+ Ke2 39. Kg2 Ra4 40. Rc8 Ke3 41. Rc3+ Ke2 42. Rc8 Ke3 43. Rc3+ Ke2 44. Rc8 Ke3 1/2-1/2 Aliberti,A-Arnold,G/USA 1996

b) 8. Bb5+?! Bd7 9. Bd3 Qc7

 

8... Qd7 9. Bd3










9. Rb1 Ba6 10. Bxa6 Nxa6 11. O-O g6 12. Qe2 Qa4! 13. f5!? gxf5! (13... Qxa3? 14. Qb5+ Kd8 15. Ng5) 14. Ng5 h6 (14... Qxa3! 15. Qh5 O-O-O 16. Nxf7 Be7! 17. Nxh8 Rxh8 18. Qf7 Kd7 19. c4!? Qe3+ 20. Rf2 Qh6 21. cxd5 Rf8 22. Qxe6+ Qxe6 23. dxe6+ Kxe6 24. c3 Rd8) 15. Nxf7! Kxf7 16. g4 Qxa3 (16... Rg8 17. Kh1) 17. gxf5 Rg8+ 18. Kh1 Rg7 (18... Rg5 19. fxe6+ Kg8 (19... Kxe6? 20. Rf6+ Ke7 21. Qf3) 20. Qf3) 19. Qh5+ Kg8 20. f6 Qxc3! (20... Rg5 21. Rg1) 21. fxg7 Bxg7 22. Rf7 Qe3 23. Rg1 Qe4+ 24. Rg2 Qe1+ 25. Rg1 1/2-1/2 Haik,A-Torre,E/Athens Wch-jr 1971.

 

9... Ba6

9... Qa4! 10. Bc1 (10. Qc1 c4 11. Bxf8 cxd3 12. Bxg7 Rg8 13. Bf6 Rxg2 14. cxd3 Ba6) 10... Nc6 11. Be3 Qa5 12. Bd2

 

10. O-O Be7 11. Bc1!? Bxd3 12. cxd3 Nc6 13. dxc5 Bxc5+ 14. Kh1 O-O 15. Qe2 Rac8 16. Bd2 Ba3 17. Rab1 Rfe8 18. Rb3 Bf8 19. a4 Na5 20. Rb5 Nb7 21. Ra1 Rb8 22. Nd4 Bc5 23. Nc2 Rec8 24. Qf3 Na5 25. h3 Nc6 26. Rbb1 Be7 27. Rb5 f6 28. exf6 Bxf6 29. d4 a6 30. Rb2 Na5 31. Ne3 Nc4 32. Nxc4 Rxc4 33. Rab1 Qc6 34. f5 Rxa4 35. Bf4 Rb7 36. Re2 exf5 37. Rbe1 Rf7 38. Qh5 Rf8 39. Re8 g6 40. Rxf8+ Kxf8 41. Qxh7 Bg7 42. Bh6 Bxh6 43. Qxh6+ Kg8 44. h4 1-0


Game Seven: Black Plays 5...g6

Guillermo Malbran - Diego Leonardo Dominguez [B02]

Escobar op g75' 2nd/Escobar (1) 2004


1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nc3 Nxc3 4. bxc3 d5 5. Ba3 g6 6. d4 b6 7. f4 Ba6?! 8. Bd3!?

8. Bxa6 Nxa6 9. Qe2 (9. e6 fxe6 10. Qe2 Qc8 11. Qe5 Rg8 12. Nf3 Bg7 13. Qe2) 9... Qc8 10. c4

 

8... c5 9. e6!

A typical and intuitive, long-term sacrifice in this line. White will inevitably have a kingside attack.

 

9... fxe6 10. Nf3 Bg7

10... c4 11. Bf1!? (11. Be2 Bh6 12. Ng5 Bxg5 13. fxg5 O-O 14. Bf3) 11... Bh6 (11... Bg7 12. Qe2 Qd7 13. g3) 12. g3

 

11. h4

11. Ng5!?

 

11... Qc7 12. Qd2 Bxd3 13. cxd3 O-O 14. g3 cxd4 15. cxd4 Nc6 16. Rc1 Qd7 17. Bb2 Rac8 18. h5 Na5?!

18... g5!? 19. h6 Bh8 20. Ne5 Nxe5 21. fxe5 Rf5 22. Rh5

 

19. hxg6 Rxc1+ 20. Bxc1 hxg6 21. Qh2 Qc7 22. Bd2! Kf7 23. Qh7

23. Ng5+ Ke8 (23... Kf6 24. Qe2) 24. Nxe6

 

23... Qc2

23... Rh8 24. Ne5+ Qxe5+ 25. dxe5 Rxh7 26. Rxh7

 

24. Ne5+ Ke8 25. Qxg6+ Kd8 26. Qxg7 Qb1+ 27. Ke2 Qxh1 28. Qxf8+ Kc7 29. Qxe7+ Kb8 30. Bxa5 Qg2+ 31. Kd1 bxa5 32. Nc6+ Kc8 33. Nxa7+ Kb8 34. Nc6+ Kc8 35. Na7+ Kb8 36. Nb5 Qf1+ 37. Kd2 Qf2+ 38. Kc1 Qe1+ 39. Kc2 Qe2+ 40. Kb3 Qd1+ 41. Ka3 Qxd3+ 42. Ka4 Qc4+ 43. Kxa5 Qc6 44. Qa7+ Kc8 45. Qc5 Qxc5 46. dxc5 1-0


Game Eight: Black Plays 5...g6

Horacio Garcia - Walter Ader Hausman [B02]

La Serena (3) 1972


1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nc3 Nxc3 4. bxc3 d5 5. Ba3 g6 6. d4 Bg7

6... c6!? 7. Bd3 Na6 8. Nf3 Qa5 9. Bb2 Bg4 10. O-O Qa4 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Qxf3 Bg7 13. Qe2 b5 14. f4 Garcia - Fran. Benko, Zarate 1974

 

7. Bd3

7. g4!? was surprisingly successful in one game. 7... h5 (7... O-O 8. f4 Qd7 9. h3 f6 10. Nf3 Re8 11. Qd3 Qa4 12. c4=) 8. gxh5 Rxh5 9. Be2 Rh8 10. Bf3 Bf5 11. Ne2 c6 12. Qb1 Qb6 13. Ng3 Qxb1+ 14. Rxb1 Bc8 15. h4 b6 16. h5 gxh5 17. Nxh5 Bh6 18. Bc1 Kf8 19. Nf6 Bg7 20. Rxh8+ Bxh8 21. Bh6+ Bg7 22. Bxg7+ Kxg7 23. Ne8+ 1-0 Depasquale,C-Cook,P/Ballarat 1999.

 

7... O-O 8. f4










The basic tabiya of this variation has been achieved: White will use his greater control of space and of the dark squares to initiate a kingside attack -- usually by pushing forward the f-pawn, though sometimes the h-pawn. Black will try for queenside play and pressure against the potentially weak doubled c-pawns. I prefer White's chances.

 

8... b6

8... Nd7 9. Nf3 c5 seems more dynamic.

 

9. Nf3 c5 10. O-O c4

Many players will do this, thinking that it "fixes" the weak doubled pawns. But in reality it simplifies White's task, since the center is closed and Black's counterplay will take a long time to develop on the queenside.

 

11. Be2 Nc6 12. h3

12. Nh4!? followed by f5 is also possible, since Black cannot play .. .e6 due to the pin on the e-pawn.

 

12... Bh6

 

13. Bc1!?

a) 13. Nh2! with the idea of Ng4 is also an idea. 13... Bf5 14. Ng4 Bg7 15. Bf3 Qd7 16. Ne3

b) 13. Nh4!? f6 14. Qe1

 

13... b5 14. g4!? f5! 15. g5

When Black stops the break at f5, you go for the break at h5 instead.

 

15... Bg7 16. h4! Bd7 17. h5 gxh5 18. Nh4 Be8 19. Kf2 a5 20. Rh1 e6 21. Be3 b4

This positi on is typical of those seen in the King's Indian Attack or the Closed Variation of the Sicilian. It is not really clear whose attack will triumph, but White does have the advantage of attacking his opponent's king most directly!

 

22. Bxh5 bxc3 23. Rh2 Rb8 24. Bxe8

24. g6?! h6!

 

24... Qxe8 25. Qe2 Rb2 26. a3 Bxe5!

26... Rf7?! 27. g6!

 

27. Nf3!

27. dxe5 d4

 

27... Bg7 28. Rah1 Qg6

We have reached something of a standoff.

 

29. Rxh7!?

White cashes in his chips. Perhaps 29. Nh4 Qf7 30. Nf3 would be a nice draw offer.

 

29... Qxh7 30. Rxh7 Kxh7 31. Kg3 Re8??










A typical blunder: this is the right place for the Rook, but the wrong time for him to go there! White is probably in some trouble after 31... Kg8 32. Bg1 Re8

 

32. Ne5! Bxe5 33. Qh5+ Kg7 34. Qxe8 Bxd4 35. Qd7+ Kf8

It looks like mate after 36.Bxd4 Nxd4 37.g6 etc.

1-0

Game Nine: Black Plays on the Light Squares

G. Russek (2395) - C. Depasquale (2305) [B02]

ol (men)/Elista RUS (4) 1998


1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nc3 Nxc3 4. bxc3 d5 5. Ba3 h5 6. d4 Qd7

A useful move, inhibiting e6 by White and preparing to attack on the queenside by Qa4. Black's formation is designed to exploit the light squares and to attack White's damaged pawns. But the dark squares and the kingside fall to White.

 

7. Rb1 a6 8. Bd3 Qa4 9. Qc1 Nc6 10. Nf3 g6










11. Ng5! Bh6 12. f4 Bxg5

12... Qa5 13. Qb2 (13. O-O Bxg5 14. fxg5 Qxc3) 13... O-O (13... Nxd4?? 14. Bb4) 14. O-O

 

13. fxg5 Nd8 14. O-O Ne6 15. Rb4 Qd7 16. Qe3 b5 17. Rbb1 Bb7 18. Rf2 O-O 19. Rbf1 Rae8 20. h4 Bc8 21. Rf3 Qc6 22. Qf2 Qxc3 23. Bxg6 fxg6 24. Rxc3 Rxf2 25. Rxf2 a5 26. Rc6 b4 27. Bb2 Bd7 28. Ra6 a4 29. Ra7 Rb8 30. Bc1 Kg7 31. Be3 Rb6 32. Ra5 Bb5 33. Rd2 a3 34. c3 bxc3 35. Rc2 Bc4 36. Rxa3 Rb2 37. Raxc3 Rb1+ 38. Kh2 Ra1










39. a3

39. Rxc4!! dxc4 40. d5 Nd8 41. Rxc4 Rxa2 42. Rxc7 would have won. Now White allows a draw, possibly due to time pressure.

 

39... Kf7 40. Rc1 Ra2 41. R1c2 Ra1 42. Bf2 Rd1 43. Rc1 Rd2 44. Be3 Ra2 45. R1c2? 1/2-1/2


Game Ten: Black Alternatives

Michael Goeller - Devin Camenares [B02]

Casual Game/E-mail Correspondence 2003


The following was a casual correspondence game, which I had annotated for the benefit of my young opponent, and now perhaps for you as well!

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nc3 Nxc3

The exchange is l ikely the best move. Alternatives allow White to grab the center directly with 4.d4! or to try a host of other ideas.

1) 3... e6 4. d4! ( The old book line was 4. Nxd5!? exd5 5. Qf3?! but this does not turn out well for White after(5. f4!? d6 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. d4 c5 8. c3 Nc6 9. Be2 cxd4=) 5... c6 (5... Nc6!? is a novel idea of David Levin's, which may or may not work, published in Atlantic Chess News 6. Qxd5 Nb4!? 7. Qb3! (7. Qe4?! Qe7 8. Bb5! (8. Bd3 d5 9. Qf4 (9. exd6 Qxe4+ 10. Bxe4 f5! 11. a3 fxe4 12. axb4 Bxd6 13. Ne2 Bf5) 9... g5! (9... c5!?) 10. Qe3 Bg7) 8... c6 (8... f6!?) 9. Ba4 d5 10. Qe2 Bf5 (10... b5 11. Bb3 Qg5 12. g3 Qg6 13. d3 a5 14. a3 Na6 15. Be3) 11. d4 Nd3+ 12. cxd3 Qb4+ 13. Bd2 Qxa4) (7. Qc4?! d5 8. exd6 Bxd6) 7... Qh4 8. Nf3! (8. d3?! Bc5 9. Nh3 d6 10. Bg5 Qh5 11. Be2 Qg6) 8... Qe4+ 9. Kd1 Be7! David Levin 10. d4 (10. d3 Qf5 11. Bd2 a5) 10... O-O (10... a5 11. a3 a4 12. Qc4 Na6 13. d5) 11. a3 Nc6 12. Qd3 d5 13. exd6 Qxd3+ 14. Bxd3 Bxd6) 6. d4 (6. c4?! d6!) 6... d6 7. Bd3 (7. Qg3 dxe5 8. dxe5 Na6 9. c3 Nc5! 10. Nf3 Ne4 11. Qf4 Bc5 12. Be3 Qb6 Aalbersberg--Solozhenkin, Sitges 1993) 7... dxe5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Qg3 Na6 10. Nf3 Nb4 11. O-O Nxd3 12. cxd3 Qd7 13. Be3 c5 14. a3!? Bf5 15. Rfc1 d4 16. Bd2 Oral-Pribyl, Pardubice 2002, which is analyzed by Nigel Davies in Gambiteer I (Everyman 2007)) (4. Nf3!? is a solid choice, when 4... d6 5. Nxd5 (5. Ne4 f5 6. exf6 Nxf6 7. Nxf6+ Qxf6 8. d4) (5. d4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 dxe5 7. Nxe5) 5... exd5 6. d4 dxe5 7. dxe5) (4. Ne4!? f5!? (4... d6 5. d4 dxe5 6. dxe5) 5. exf6 (5. Nc3!? d6) (5. Ng3) 5... Nxf6 6. Nxf6+ Qxf6 7. d4 Bb4+!? 8. c3 O-O 9. Nf3) 4... d6 (4... Nc6 5. f4 (5. Ne4!?) (5. Nf3) 5... Nxc3 6. bxc3) 5. Nf3 Nxc3 6. bxc3 dxe5 7. Nxe5 is considered better for White.

 

2) 3... c6!? 4. d4! (4. Bc4!? Nxc3 5. dxc3 d5 6. Bd3) (4. Nxd5 cxd5 5. d4 d6 6. f4 Nc6 7. c3) (4. Qf3!? Nb4 5. Bc4! is suggested by Nigel Davies in Gambiteer I) 4... Nxc3 5. bxc3 d6 6. f4

 

3) 3... Nb6?! 4. d4 (4. a4!? Davies)

4. bxc3

Keres used to prefer 4. dxc3 with the idea of getting speedy development, which can carry an advantage even into the ending that follows 4.. ..d6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bc4 dxe5 7.Qxd8+ etc. Those interested in this line would do well to check out Nigel Davies analysis in Gambiteer I (Everyman 2007).

 

4... d6!?

Most books recommend the easier approach with 4... d5! 5. d4 (5. Ba3!?) 5... c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be2 Bg4 (7... Bf5!?) 8. O-O e6=

 

5. f4 Bf5!?

and this seems overly commital, especially since the Bishop might be exposed on this square and it might be better placed on g4 pinning White's Knight in some lines.

I considered most 5... dxe5 6. fxe5 Qd5!? 7. d4 Bf5!? when I fantasized about 8. Nf3 Qe4+ 9. Kf2 Qxc2+ 10. Qxc2 Bxc2 11. e6! fxe6 12. Bc4 Nd7 13. Ng5 e5 14. Nf7 Nb6 15. Be6

 

6. Nf3

I considered the positional idea 6. d4 e6 7. Bd3 Bxd3 8. cxd3!? -- mostly ou t of the perverse pleasure in gaining so many central pawns. One of the advantages of the Saemisch attack is just that: whereas the Alekhine player likes to trade off White's advanced pawns and win the central battle over time, the Saemisch system brings more pawns to the center than Black can trade....

 

6... e6 7. Be2 d5?!

This clearly wastes a valuable tempo. If Black intends to play a "French" formation he should play 4....d5 and establish the center pawn in one move rather than two.

a) 7... dxe5 8. fxe5 Qd5!? (8... c5!) 9. O-O Nc6 10. d4 (10. Rb1!?)

 

b) 7... Nd7 8. O-O d5 9. Nd4 Bg6 10. f5 exf5 11. e6 Nf6 12. exf7+ Kxf7 13. Nxf5 Bxf5 14. Rxf5 Qd7 15. Bg4 Qc6 16. Qf3 g6 17. Re5 Re8 18. d4 Bd6 19. Rxe8 Rxe8 20. Bg5 Be7 21. Rf1 Kg7 22. Qf4 Bd8 23. Bc8 b6 24. g4 Re4 25. Bh6+ Kh8 26. Qf3 Qe8 27. g5 Ng8 28. Qf8 Qxf8 29. Rxf8 Be7 30. Re8 c5 31. Bd7 cxd4 32. cxd4 a5 33. c3 b5 34. Bc6 Bxg5 35. Rxe4 Bxh6 36. Re8 Kg7 37. Bxd5 Nf6 38. Re7+ Kh8 39. Bg2 Bd2 40. d5 Kg8 41. d6 Kf8 42. Bc6 Bxc3 43. Re8+ 1-0, Ciric-Marovic, Amsterdam 1968.

 

c) 7... c5! 8. Rb1 Qc7 9. O-O Nc6 10. Nh4 Bg6 11. exd6 Bxd6 12. d3=

8. Rb1!

Black's time loss provokes an immediate attack.

 

8... b6

This pawn advance weakens the white squares on the queenside and allows for some interesting tactical themes. But alternatives are not much better.

a) 8... Nd7?! 9. Rxb7 Nb6? 10. Rxb6! axb6 11. Bb5+ Ke7 (11... c6 12. Bxc6+ Ke7 13. Bxa8) 12. Nd4

 

b) 8... Bc5?! 9. Rxb7! (9. d4 Bb6 10. Ba3!) 9... Bb6 10. Nd4! Qc8 11. Bb5+ Kf8 12. Rxb8 Rxb8 13. Nc6

 

c) 8... Nc6 9. Rxb7 Na5 (9... Qc8 10. Rb3) 10. Nd4! a6 11. Rb1

 

d) 8... Qc8 9. Nh4 Bg6 10. Nxg6 hxg6 11. c4!

9. Nd4!










A very typical knight deployment in this line, and one reason to delay the d4 advance!

 

9... a6!?

Though this is a fully reasonable move, preventing Bb5+ and making the pawn push to b5 possible, I think further time loss is dangerous here. Black needs to develop. Yet it is hard to find a viable alternative:

a) 9... Qh4+!? 10. g3 Qh6! (10... Qh3 11. Bf1! Qg4 (11... Qh6 12. Nxf5 exf5 13. Qf3! c6 14. c4) 12. Qxg4! Bxg4 13. h3 Bh5 (13... Bf5 14. Nxf5 exf5 15. c4! dxc4 (15... d4?! 16. Bb2 Bc5 17. c3 dxc3 18. Bxc3) 16. Bxc4 h5 17. d4) (13... c5?! 14. hxg4 cxd4 15. Bb5+ Kd8 16. cxd4) 14. g4 Bg6 15. f5 exf5 16. gxf5 Bh5 17. Bb5+ Kd8 18. Nc6+ Kc8 19. Nxb8 Rxb8 20. Bc6) 11. Nxf5 exf5 12. c4! dxc4 13. Bxc4

 

b) 9... Bg6 10. Bb5+ Nd7 11. Bc6 Rb8 12. Qe2! Qh4+ 13. g3 Qe7 14. Qa6 Be4 15. O-O Qd8 16. d3 Bg6 17. f5 Bxf5 18. Nxf5 exf5 19. Qxa7

 

c) 9... Be4 10. Bb5+ Nd7 11. O-O c5 12. d3 Bxg2!? 13. Nxe6! fxe6 14. Kxg2 Qe7 15. c4 O-O-O 16. Qf3

10. O-O!??

I could not resist this potentially wild and tactical move. And I'm glad I chose it since otherwise the game would have been much more fun for me than for my opponent. Now things can get hairy. It may be that White probably does best to grab the Bishop and then work to open up the rather closed position to give his Bishops scope by preparing a break with c4 or g4!? But the resulting positions did not appeal to me as much as the game continuation. 10. Nxf5! exf5 11. O-O Nc6!? (11... Be7 12. d4 O-O 13. Bd3 g6 14. g4!?) 12. d4 Qd7 (12... b5 13. a4!) 13. Bd3 Be7 14. Qf3 (14. Be3 Na5 15. Qf3 b5) 14... Qe6 15. Bb2 b5 16. a4 bxa4 17. c4 Rd8 18. cxd5 Qxd5 19. Qg3 O-O 20. c4 Qd7 21. d5 Bc5+ 22. Kh1 Nb4 23. Ba3 Nxd3 24. Qxd3 Bxa3 25. Qxa3.

 

10... Bc5!

This move seems the best way to challenge White's plans and to force him into double-edged tactics where Black might get some chances for counter-attack on White's exposed King. The alternatives either allow White to open up the f-file with good attacking play or allow transposition to lines similar to 10.Nxf5 but with practically an extra tempo for White.

a) 10... h5!? 11. Nxf5 exf5 12. d4 (12. Bf3 b5 13. d3 c6 14. Be3) 12... h4 13. c4

 

b) 10... Bg6 11. f5! exf5 12. Nxf5 c5 13. d4 Nc6 14. Be3 and White has an ideal attacking position, where Black will likely be obliged to play Bxf5 to finish his development, when the two Bishops and half-open b and f-files make for a great game.

11. g4

The problem with castling is that it almost forces White to follow through with this wild attacking move. The alternative lets Black regroup: 11. d3 Nc6 12. Be3 Bg6 13. Qe1 Qd7 14. Bf3 Ne7=

 

11... Bg6

Or 11... Bxd4+ 12. cxd4 Bg6 13. f5 exf5 14. gxf5 Qg5+ 15. Kh1 Bxf5 16. d3 Qg6 17. Bh5 (17. Rg1 Qe6 18. Rxg7 Nd7 19. Bh5) (17. Bf3) 17... Qe6 18. c4 dxc4 19. Qf3 c6 20. Qxf5 Qxf5 21. Rxf5 g6 22. Rxb6 gxf5 23. dxc4

 

12. f5










12... Bxd4+?

After this move White seems to be winning by force. Black should haveseriously considered sacrificing the Bishop at g6 for the open h-file, when things could get very interesting:

a) 12... Nc6!! 13. fxg6 (13. Kg2!? Bxd4 (13... Nxe5 14. fxg6 hxg6 15. Qe1 Bd6 16. h3 g5 17. Nf3 Ng6 18. d4 Bf4 19. Bd3) (13... Nxd4 14. cxd4 Bxd4 15. Rb3!) 14. fxg6 (14. cxd4 exf5 15. gxf5 Qg5+ 16. Kh1 Bxf5 17. d3 Qg6 18. Bh5 Qe6 19. c3) 14... Bxe5! (14... hxg6?! 15. cxd4 Qh4 16. Rh1 Nxd4 17. Bf1) 15. gxf7+ (15. d4 Bd6 16. gxf7+) 15... Kf8 16. d4 Bd6 17. Qd3 Qh4 18. h3) 13... hxg6 14. Bb2 (14. Qe1 Nxd4 15. cxd4 Bxd4+ 16. Kh1 Bxe5 17. Bb5+ axb5 18. Qxe5 Rxa2 19. Rxb5 Rxc2 20. Qxg7 Rxh2+ 21. Kxh2 Qh4+=) 14... Qh4 15. Rf2 Nxe5 16. Rg2 g5 17. Qe1 Ng6! is quite a fight.

 

b) 12... Qh4!? Black sees that the h-file will soon open, giving him good counterplay on the exposed White King. But I doubt it is worth a pawn. 13. Kg2! There is no hurry to grab the Bishop at g6 and allow Black the open h-file.(13. fxg6 hxg6 14. Rf2 Nc6 15. Bb2 Nxe5 16. Rg2 g5) 13... Bxd4 14. cxd4 Nc6 (14... exf5 15. gxf5 Qg5+ 16. Kh1 Bxf5 17. d3 Qg6 with the same position considered above to be favorable to White.) 15. fxg6! White actually doesn't have to grab the piece, but who can resist?(15. Rb3!? exf5 16. Rh3 Qg5 17. d3 f4 18. Bxf4 Qe7 19. c3 O-O) 15... hxg6 16. Rh1 Bring it on! I just don't believe Black has enough for a piece! But I could be wrong.... 16... Qh3+ (16... Nxd4 17. Bf1 (17. h3) ) 17. Kg1 (17. Kf2 Nxd4 (17... Qh4+ 18. Kg1 Nxd4 19. Bb2 Nxe2+ 20. Qxe2) 18. Qf1 (18. Bf1 Qh4+ 19. Kg1 f5 20. c3 Nb5 21. a4 Na7 22. d4) 18... Qh4+ (18... Qh6 19. Ke1) 19. Kg1 f5 20. exf6 O-O 21. Kg2 Rxf6 22. Qe1 Qxe1 23. Rxe1 Nxc2) 17... Nxd4 18. Bf1 Qh4 (18... Qf3 19. Qxf3 Nxf3+ 20. Kf2 Nxe5 21. Kg3 and though Black has three pawns for the piece it just does not seem like adequate compensation for White's two Bishops, which should be able to create great attacking possibilities.) 19. Bb2 Nc6 20. c4

13. cxd4 exf5 14. gxf5 Qg5+ 15. Kh1 Bxf5 16. d3 Qg6 17. Bf3

17. Rg1 Qe6 18. Rxg7 Nc6 19. Qg1 Ne7 (19... O-O-O 20. Bh5 Bg6 21. Rxg6) 20. Bg5

 

17... b5?










This seems to lose very quickly, but Black would eventually succumb at this point:

a) 17... Qe6?! 18. c4 c6 19. cxd5 cxd5 20. Qb3

 

b) 17... c6! most tenacious 18. Rxb6 (18. Rg1! Qe6 19. Rxg7 Nd7 (19... Bg6 20. Rxb6) ) 18... Nd7 (18... Qe6 19. c4 Nd7 20. Bxd5) 19. Rb7 Qe6 (19... O-O-O 20. Ra7 c5 (20... Nb8 21. Bh5) 21. Bxd5 cxd4 22. Qf3) 20. Ba3

 

c) 17... Be6? 18. Bh5

 

d) 17... h5 18. Bxd5 Ra7 19. Qf3 Be6 20. Be4 Qg4 21. Qf2

 

e) 17... Ra7 18. Bxd5 Bg4 19. Qe1

 

f) 17... Nc6!? 18. Bxd5 O-O-O 19. Rg1 Rxd5 20. Rxg6 hxg6 21. Qf3

18. e6!

This thrust prevents the Black Queen from escaping to the vacated b6 square by disrupting the open 6th rank line. It also strengthens White's attack on the White squares and is therefore superior to simply capturing the pawn at d5. Now when White plays Bxd5 he will threaten both a8 and f7. Black seems lost.

18. Bxd5 c6 19. Rg1 cxd5 20. Rxg6 hxg6 is actually less clear, despite the Queen versus Rook and Bishop advantage.

 

18... O-O

The pawn is immune from capture:

a) 18... Bxe6?? 19. Bh5

 

b) 18... Qxe6? 19. Re1 Be4 20. Bxe4!

 

c) 18... fxe6?? 19. Bh5

19. Bxd5 c6 20. exf7+

20. Rg1 Qf6 21. exf7+ Rxf7 22. Bg5

 

20... Rxf7

20... Kh8 21. Ba3 cxd5 22. Bxf8 Qxf7 23. Bxg7+!! Kxg7 24. Qd2

 

21. Bxf7+ Qxf7 22. a4

22. Qf3

 

22... Nd7

22... bxa4

 

23. axb5 cxb5 24. Qf3 Rf8 25. Ba3 Be6 26. Qg3

Not 26. Bxf8?? Bd5! but also winning is 26. Qxf7+ Rxf7 27. Kg1

 

26... Qxf1+ 27. Rxf1 Rxf1+ 28. Kg2 Rf6 29. Qc7

1-0

[Michael Goeller]


Game Eleven: Black Plays 4...d6 and 5...g6

Edwin Zuiderweg - Sander Velema [B02]

Harmonietoernooi 2006/Groningen (6.20)


The following is a recent and attractive game I came across with this line.

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. Nc3 Nxc3 4. bxc3 d6 5. f4 g6 6. d4 Bg7 7. Bd3 O-O 8. Nf3 d5 9. O-O c5 10. Be3 c4 11. Be2 Qa5 12. Qd2 Bg4 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Bxf3 e6 15. g4 f5 16. exf6 Bxf6










17. f5 gxf5 18. gxf5 exf5 19. Bh6 Rd8 20. Bh5 Nd7 21. Rxf5 Qb6 22. Kh1 Kh8 23. Bf7 Rg8 24. Bxg8 Rxg8 25. Raf1 Qd6 26. Bf4

26. Qf4

 

26... Qe6 27. Bh2 Qe4+ 28. R5f3 Bg5 29. Qe1 Re8 30. Qxe4 dxe4 31. Rf7 Nb6 32. Be5+ Rxe5 33. dxe5 Nd5 34. Rxb7 Bf4 35. Rd7 1-0

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Games in PGN

Copyright © 2007 Michael Goeller

Read more about the Saemisch Attack in an article from Leonid's News Archive.