The Philidor Clamp
NM James R. West posted his win over FM Steve Stoyko at the 4-County Open in Mt. Arlington this past weekend, and I liked it enough that I've annotated it.
I have been playing the Philidor myself of late, generally seeking the Antoshin Variation by 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 (4.Qxd4 is similar) 4...Nf6 5.Nc3 Be7 and Black has good chances, as Christian Seel demonstrates in his excellent little book The Philidor: A Secret Weapon (Chessgate 2007). Often, however, I have opponents averse to theory playing 3.Bc4!? when I usually respond 3...Be7, hoping to transpose back to Antoshin lines. But I also sometimes play 3...f5! hoping for what I like to call "The Philidor Clamp" that follows 4.d3?! (typical of the theory fearing) 4...c6! 5.O-O?! (practically a blunder) 5...f4! and Black has a winning bind, even though he has only moved pawns. Watch how James West, the Philidor Counter Gambit expert, demonstrates the utter hopelessness of White's position....
You can find the game on West's blog without notes. West also posted some great links today to analysis in Kaissiber #27 (see pages 32, 33, and 34) which offers an even stronger version of the PCG "refutation" that I suggest in my notes, beginning 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4! f5!? 4.exf5!
Labels: opening analysis