Welcome to the holy month of Ramadan. I’m really excited to enjoy a beautiful month of remembering Allah and thanking him for all his blessing he bestowed upon us.
I hope you have a pleasant month and wish you a pleasant Ramadan.
And of course: Mubarak Alaykum El Shaher!
two days and no comments? hehe lol, this is what happens when they have no tourney in ramadan 🙂
I like u to make a tournament in ramdan..
this year i like to join in a tournaments..
but i havent see any tournament in kwt 😦
Don’t worry guys. We’re putting a hold on tournaments this month so we can have a great tournament next month.
Big tournament with big prizes!
Isn’t that what we all want ^_^
ya Khalid it is right , it is good to have a big tournament rather …. 😀 rather than 1 or 2 small ones …. 🙂
so i well take a big prizes 😛 😀
no im just kidding..
i well play with a strong players..
Good Luck Every One..!!
Poisoned pawn attacks
There are some gambit lines, and I count the Scandinavian as one of them, where the moves come easy for the gambiteer, and if their opponents are not prepared, they could go under quite easily. On the other hand there are those lines, for example the Evans Gambit, which call for a lot of preparation and practice before one can even think of trying them out in a tournament game.
The Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Sicilian Najdorf falls under the second category — it is quite difficult to play for both sides. For White you need a lot of theoretical exercises and an attacking instinct for a chance at any success. This begs the question as to why you played the Poisoned Pawn in the first place — if you were going to put in that much work, then why not simply play one of the main lines which can give you attacking chances without sacrificing a pawn?
I am tempted to quote the great teacher Siegbert Tarrasch, who avers that people play gambits to get a reputation as a dashing player at the cost of losing a game.
And yet there are those who are so finely tuned to the Poisoned pawn subtleties that they happily go into it confident that they can outplay their opponents. Last Friday I quoted IM Tibor Karolyi, who named Jan Timman and Alexander Beliavsky as two such people. Let us see.
The 1985 Taxco Interzonal was won in dominating fashion by Jan Timman with nine wins and six draws (12/15). Two-thirds of the way he was leading the tournament by a full point ahead of the Canadian Kevin Spraggett, but rather than relaxing in the final five games Jan put in a finishing spurt of 4/5 to leave everyone eating his dust. Here is the game which started that tremendous push.
Timman, Jan H. (2650) — Sisniega, Marcel (2470) [B97]
Taxco Interzonal (11), 1985
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.a3!?
This quite rare move is for people who want to play the poisoned pawn without giving up the pawn. Of course 8…Qxb2?? is not possible because of 9.Na4.
8…Nc6 9.Nb3 Be7
[9…Qe3+ 10.Qe2 Qxe2+ 11.Bxe2 leaves White with a small edge because of the weak black pawn on d6]
[10.Qf3 is another possibility]
10…0-0 11.0-0-0 Rd8 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.g4
White has managed to come up with an attack at no material investment.
13…Bd7 14.g5 Be7 15.h4 Na5 16.Nxa5 Qxa5 17.Kb1 Qc5 18.h5 b5
Now it starts.
19.g6 a5 20.h6 fxg6 21.hxg7 Bf6
[21…b4 22.Nd5!! exd5 23.Qh2! Kf7 24.Rxd5 Qc6 (to prevent Bc4) 25.Qxh7 Rg8 26.f5 the attack is winning]
22.e5! dxe5 23.Ne4 Qe7 24.Qxd7! Rxd7 25.Rxd7 exf4
[26.Rxe7 Bxe7 is not convincing]
26…Rb8 27.a4 h5 28.Rg1 Qxg7 29.Rxg7+ Kxg7 30.c3 Be7 31.Bd3 e5
[31…Kh6 32.Nd6! Rg8 33.Nf7+ Kg7 34.Ng5 (34.Bxg6? Kf6; 34.Ne5 g5) 34…e5 it is still a game]
32.Kc2 Rb6 33.b4 axb4 34.a5 Rb8 35.a6 bxc3 36.Rb1 Ra8 37.Rb7 Kf8 38.a7 Bd8 39.Bc4 g5 40.Nxg5 Bb6 41.Nh7+ Ke8 42.Nf6+ Kd8 43.Rd7+ Kc8 44.Ba6# 1-0
GM Alexander Beliavsky used the Poisoned pawn Variation in two consecutive games during the 1982 Lucerne Olympiad and scored 2/2. There is this brevity:
Beliavsky, Alexander G (2620) — Stean, Michael (2420) [B97]
Lucerne olym (9), 08.11.1982
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Nb3 Nbd7
Normally Black will play 9…Qa3 to get his queen out of the b2 prison. In fact, from now until move 11 he should still do so.
Trying to trap the queen with 10.a3 fails to 10…Nc5 11.Ra2 Nxb3 12.Rxb2 Nxd2 13.Kxd2 Nd7 and Black is almost winning.
Too much provocation.
OK, time to end this.
12.Nxc5 dxc5 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Rab1 Qa3 15.Nxb5! 1-0
And this masterpiece.
Beliavsky, Alexander G (2620) — Pinter, Jozsef (2535) [B97]
Lucerne olym (8), 07.11.1982
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Nb3 Nc6 10.Bd3 Be7 11.0-0 Qa3 12.Rae1
White plans 13.e5 dxe5 14.fxe5 and after the knight moves White will play Bxe7 to remove Black’s primary defender of the black squares around his King.
12…h6 13.Bh4 Qb4
Interesting is 13…g5 14.fxg5 Ng4 15.Qf4 Nce5.
The idea is to catch the Black queen via 15.a3 Qxa3 16.Ra1 Qb4 17.Ra4.
14…Na5 15.a3 Nxb3 16.cxb3 Qa5 17.b4 Qd8
[17…Qxa3? loses the queen to 18.Ra1 Qxb4 19.Ra4 Qb3 20.Rb1 etc]
18.e5 dxe5 19.fxe5 Nd5 20.Ne4 0-0 21.Bb1 Bd7 22.Qc2 Rc8 23.Bc5 g6 24.Qd2?! Kg7 25.Bxe7 Qxe7 26.Rf3 Bb5 27.Nf6 Rh8?
The only move here is 27…Rfd8! and White might be well advised to take the draw with 28.Qxh6+ Kxh6 29.Rh3+ Kg7 30.Rh7+ etc..
28.Nxd5 exd5 29.e6 f6?
Pushing this pawn to f5 was relatively better.
30.Rg3 g5 31.Qxd5 Be8 32.Qf5 Rc4 33.Rf3 h5?! 34.Rd1 Rh6 35.Rfd3 Rc7 36.Rd7 Bxd7 37.exd7
Hereabouts both players were under heavy time pressure so please do not be so critical of their moves.
38…Rh8 39.Qe4 Rh6 40.Qe8 Rh8 41.Qg6+ Kf8 42.Ba2 1-0
I hope this short article will inspire our readers to try it out for themselves. No one can consider themselves truly a chessplayer without experiencing the Poisoned pawn.
Thanks Defender for an intriguing article ^_^
your welcome khaled… expect more opening theory from me in the near future:) by the way, when will be our next tournament here in kuwait?
If all plans go right, then October.
I really wish I could have the mind frame for such a great game.. I guess I need more practice.
Back in 2007 Garry Kasparov wrote a book on Revolution in the 70s. He makes a lot of sense:
“Glancing through the history of the development of chess thinking, we see that earlier such breakthroughs, beginning with Philidor’s ‘L’analyse du jeu des Echecs,’ were always associated with the names of titans. Steinitz created a theory of positional play and tried to place the playing of the opening onto scientific lines. Tarrasch conveyed Steinitz’s ideas to the broad masses, and Rubinstein brilliantly developed these ideas in practice. The hyper-modernists — Nimzowitsch, Reti and Gruenfeld — revealed to the world openings which overturned previous conceptions about control of the center and ‘correct’ pawn structure. And these openings were brought to the fore by Alekhine himself! Then Botvinnik introduced an aggressive conception for Black: instead of the usual struggle for equality, a deliberate disruption of the positional equilibrium and sharp play for seizing the initiative. Finally, Fischer demonstrated the need for the further refining and deepening of opening preparation for both colors.”
In the 70 the emergence of the information area had a profound effect on the study of opening play:
“Opening preparation was imperceptibly but rapidly raised to a qualitatively different level. It no longer simply required play move by move, but the development of your ‘own’ variations, and a deep understanding of a whole class of standard positions, arising from different openings (for example, with an isolated d-pawn or ‘hedgehog’-type).”
Kasparov now went into a description of some chess battle formations which were developed in the ‘70s, like the Hedgehog, the Chelyabinsk Variation, Sicilian Najdorf with 6.Be3 (people used to exclusively play 6.Bg5), Caro-Kann with 3.e5, Sicilian 2.c3, and many more.
This modern way of playing the chess openings has already evolved further and now, heavily influenced by the information age where playing engines can check and verify analyses, many of the new wave of laptop carrying chess prodigies have gone into more concrete chess.
It is no longer enough to know the general rules of opening play like:
1. you should open the position if you are more developed;
2. knights before bishops;
3. go for the two bishops;
4. move your pieces in order to control the central squares e4,e5,d4,d5.
5. knights must be developed to f3 instead h3, to c3 instead a3. They must be developed to f6 instead h6, to c6 instead a6 for Black
6. Use rooks to control open and/or half-open lines.
7. Do not attack early. Develop all your pieces before the attack.
2009 World Cup champ Boris Gelfand has written about the new qualities:
“The availability of the information and the means of its processing changes the very process of training, and the chess becomes more intense. The purely practical skills become more important. One can see this in the games of Anand. He has brilliant talent and deep understanding of chess, but he is also a splendid practical player. And this brings the results.
“Nakamura is a player of a new generation. He does not hide, he shows off that he has not read a single book and does not know the end game theory. Instead of studying the works of Tarrasch he prefers to be 24 hours on the ICC. However, he has convincing competitive results. This is a very interesting phenomenon”.
The new style is to calculate all the variations.
1. As Nigel Short said, “Modern chess is much too concerned with things like pawn structure. Forget it. Checkmate ends the game.”
2. The essence of chess is seeing the move after (Gerald Abrahams)
3. Calculate one move more than you have done (Laszlo Szabo)
4. Play for surprise, not according to the rules (Domenico Ercole del Rio)
Take, for example, the following game.
Rukavina, Josip (2409) — Hartung, Jerry (2191) [D48]
EU-ch 11th Rijeka (4), 09.03.2010
1.c4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.d4 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3
This is the starting point of the Meran Variation, an invention of the great Akiba Rubinstein. This line underwent a renaissance in the ‘80s because of the tactical subtleties available to both player. It is not enough to know the “ideas behind the opening.” Here calculation and tactical alertness (concrete analysis!) reign supreme.
This game is a perfect illustration of the above. Right here Black has the choice between 8…a6 9.e4 c5, hitting back immediately before White can play e4-e5; or 8…Bb7 9.0-0 b4 10.Na4 c5 11.e5 Nd5. Take note that in both cases a swift …c6-c5 is essential to the line. What if Black were to mix the lines? You will be surprised at how quickly this can be punished.
8…a6 9.e4 Bb7?
As can be seen from the above note correct is 9…c5. But so what? Can White exploit the mix-up? The answer is yes.
10.e5 Nd5 11.Nxd5 cxd5
[11…exd5 is both unnatural and bad. White will continue 12.Ng5! Bb4+ 13.Kf1 h6 14.Qh5 0-0 15.Bh7+ Kh8 16.Bf5 with tremendous player. The f7-pawn is attacked but after 16…Qe7 White’s attack hits home with 17.Nh7 Rfe8 18.Bxh6! Kg8 19.Bxd7 Qxd7 20.Qg5 f6 21.Nxf6+ etc]
12.Ng5 Bb4+ 13.Kf1 h6 14.Qh5 Qe7
Black can try castling into it with 14…0-0 but White has a 100% score in this line:
1. 15.h4 Qb6 (15…Qe8 16.Bh7+ Kh8 17.Rh3 Be7 18.Nxe6 1-0 Sinkovics,P (2415)-Bex,P (2175)/Biel 1995) 16.Be3 f5 17.Qg6 hxg5 18.hxg5 Rfc8 19.Rh7 Bf8 20.Qh5 1-0 De Souza, M. (2359)-Silva, T./Americana 1999.
2. 15.Nh7 Re8 16.Bxh6! (16.h4 f5 17.Bxh6 gxh6 18.Qg6+ Kh8 19.Qxh6 Kg8 20.Qg6+ Kh8 21.Qh6 Kg8 22.Rh3 f4 1-0 Buitrago,J (2160)-Martinez,J (2251)/Cali 2007) 16…gxh6 17.Qxh6 Bf8 (17…Be7 18.Nf6+ Bxf6 19.Bh7+ 1-0 Horvath, K. (2130)-Tessedik, K. (2010)/Budapest 2003) 18.Nxf8 Nxf8 19.h4 and wins.
Wesley So once played the following game.
So, Wesley (2254) — El Taher, Fouad (2468) [C27]
Dubai op 8th Dubai (4), 26.04.2006
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Bc5 4.Nc3 d6 5.f4 Ng4 6.f5 h5 7.Nh3 Ne3 8.Bxe3 Bxe3 9.Qf3 Bc5 10.Qg3 Rg8 11.Rf1 c6 12.Bxf7+ Kxf7 13.Qg6+ Kf8 14.f6 gxf6 15.Rxf6+ Qxf6 16.Qxf6+ Ke8 17.Ng5 Rf8 18.Qg6+ Kd8 19.Na4 Bf2+ 20.Kd2 Ke7 21.Qg7+ Ke8 22.Nh7 1-0
A quick victory, but is White’s opening play sound? Let’s look at it again.
Morano, Angel Mario (2293) — Alvarez, Jorge Horacio (2271) [C27]
ARG Maestros7 corr Argentina (9), 15.12.1999
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 d6 5.f4
Position after 5.f4
White is now vulnerable to a …Ng4 followed by …Qh4 attack. Haven’t you won with Black countless times already? Actually, 5.f4 is a high-level trap. Because after …
5…Ng4 6.f5! Nf2?! 7.Qh5 g6
[7…0-0? 8.Nf3 Nxh1 9.Ng5 h6 10.Nxf7]
Too hard to resist. Retribution is swift.
10.fxg6! fxg5 11.g7 Kd7 12.Qe6+ Kc6 13.Qd5+ Kd7 14.Qf7+ Kc6 15.Bb5+ Kb6 16.Be8! 1-0
Black resigns, because after 16…Qxe8 17.Qb3+ Ka6 18.gxh8Q Qxh8 19.Qb5#
Concrete chess (2)
We continue our discussion on “concrete” chess, not relying on general principles but more on calculating moves and variations. Back in 1938, during the semifinals of the Championship of the USSR Botvinnik played this game:
Sokolsky, Alexey — Botvinnik, Mikhail [D94]
URS-ch sf Leningrad, 1938
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.e3 0-0 6.Be2 e6 7.0-0 b6 8.cxd5 exd5 9.b3 Bb7 10.Bb2 Nbd7 11.Qc2
Here is Botvinnik’s comment: “It is gradually becoming apparent that White has no plan of play whatever, and is occupied only with the “development” of his pieces. Perhaps this was sufficient 50 years ago, but in our day, when at the 6th to 8th move every master formulates his plan for the middle game, there is no “better” way of getting a cramped and passive position than by aiming only at development.
11…a6 12.Rac1 Rc8 13.Rfd1 Qe7 14.Qb1 Rfd8 15.Bf1 c5 16.dxc5 bxc5 17.Ne2 Bh6 18.Ba3 Ng4 19.Qd3 Nde5 20.Nxe5 Qxe5 21.Ng3 Qf6 22.Nh1 d4 23.Qe2 Ne5 24.exd4 cxd4 25.Rxc8 Bxc8 26.Re1 d3 27.Qd1 Bg4 28.Qa1 d2 29.Rxe5 d1Q 30.Re8+ Rxe8 31.Qxf6 Be2 32.Ng3 Bg7 33.Qc6 Bb5 34.Qc1 Qxc1 35.Bxc1 Re1 36.Be3 Ra1 37.a4 Bd3 38.f4 Rb1 39.Kf2 Bxf1 40.Nxf1 Rxb3 0-1
His point was that playing automatically according to general principles might not cut it. In current day we have even brought the concept further — with silicon help many players have been going through the calculation tables and there is no more regard for “correct opening play.” There are a lot of young players now who play chess without finesse — who just go straight for the through. A recent game by the Mexican GM Manuel Leon Hoyos will illustrate this very clearly.
Leon Hoyos, Manuel (2556) — Khaetsky, Roman (2385) [A80]
Arctic Chess Challenge Tromso NOR (6), 05.08.2010
1.Nc3 d5 2.d4 f5 3.g4!?
Some sort of Wing Gambit (1.e4 c5 2.b4!?), but with the difference that he will be destroying his kingside pawn cover.
3…fxg4 4.h3 g3 5.fxg3 Nf6 6.Bg2!? c5 7.Bg5 Nc6
If 7…cxd4 then 8.Qxd4!? Nc6 9.Qh4 e6 10.0-0-0 Be7 11.e4! White has a strong initiative.
8.Nf3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 e5 10.Bxf6! gxf6 11.e3!!
Opening up the d1-h5 diagonal — one exclamation point is for the objective strength of the move and the other for the subjective strength — the shock value. I was surprised to find out that the position after 10…gxf6 has occurred before. Both games had continued 11.Nxc6?! bxc6 12.e3 and now after either 12…Be6! as in T. Gerwert — S. Saunders, Email 1999 or 12…Qb6 as in Teske, H (2425)-Kristiansen, J (2445)/ Voronezh 1987 Black undoubtedly has the better game.
Forced. If he declines the piece then 11…h5 12.Nde2! wins the d5-pawn.
12.Qh5+ Kd7 13.Nxd5 Be7 14.0-0-0 Qg8!
In order to be able to answer Qf5+ with …Qe6.
The move 15.Qf5+ is not so impressive, as 15…Qe6!? 16.Qxe6+ Kxe6 17.Nc7+ Kd6! 18.Nxa8 Bf5 is unclear.
15…Kxe7 16.Qc5+ Kf7 17.Rhf1 Qxg3?
Previously the position for Black is difficult but not hopeless, but with this move it becomes lost.
18.Bxc6! bxc6 19.Qxd4! Qg5 20.h4 Qh6 21.Qc4+! Ke7 22.Qxc6 Qxe3+ 23.Kb1 Qe6 1-0
After the forced 24.Qc7+ Bd7 25.Rxd7+ Qxd7 26.Re1+ White wins.
By the way, Leon Hoyos has been working as second for Vassily Ivanchuk for some time. I guess some of the great Ukrainian’s ideas have rubbed off on him!
Boris Gelfand has described Hikaru Nakamura as the epitome of the player with a concrete chess style. At the early stage of his career Nakamura did not read chess books — he was not tutored on the chess classics — He learned chess playing blitz on the Internet servers and has earned quite a reputation as a fast player.
In November 2009, Nakamura participated in the BNbank blitz tournament in Oslo, Norway. He reached the final by winning all 12 of his games. In the championship, he faced the highest rated player in the world and reigning World Blitz Champion Magnus Carlsen on Carlsen’s home territory. Nakamura won the match 3-1, further enhancing his reputation as one of the best blitz players in the world.
In blitz everything is tactics — you don’t have time to ponder on deep strategical concepts. Here is an example of the whirlwind tactics with which he has assaulted the chess Olympus.
Nakamura, Hikaru (2729) — Van Wely, Loek (2677) [B94]
4th NH Chess Tournament Amsterdam NED (7), 19.08.2010
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 Nbd7
This move has been catching on recently because after 6…e6 7.f4 White can, if he wants, force a draw.
7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.Bxf6 Nxf6
Really weird. The Batsford Chess Openings book from 1994 gives this line as winning for White if Black plays 10…gxf6. Now, if 10…Nxf6 then 11.e5 with a big edge for White. And you know what is even weirder? Chessbase reports that Van Wely had annotated a game with this line for a forthcoming issue of New in Chess and had given this line up to 12…Nd7 as losing.
Van Wely must have forgotten that he is playing Black.
11.e5 dxe5 12.fxe5 Nd7?
[12…Ng4 is the only move, although he has still not equalized]
13.Nd5 Qc5 14.Nb3 Qc6 15.Na5 Qc5 16.Nxb7 Qc6
Loses, but I don’t know what to suggest: 16…Bxb7 17.Rxb7 Rc8 18.Bxa6 e6 19.Bb5! wins just the same.
Van Wely resigns because of 17Nxb6 18.Nf6+! exf6 19.Qd8#
Chess in the 21st century — concrete chess.