Friday, July 29, 2016

Old wine in new skins part 2

Last season I didn't participate at the clubchampionship of Deurne just like 2 years ago. The interest of the stronger players has been fading away for some time as mentioned in my article inactivity and there hasn't been a cure yet found for it. The alternative was for me again TSM Open but that competition ended already around new-year. After the last round of the Belgian interclubs in April I didn't manage to play any standard games anymore. To get back into shape for the Open Gent I decided just like 2 years ago to play the cup in Deurne.

From 2 earlier participations I had learned that the scientific approach puts myself in a very vulnerable position. The higher rated player gets a time-handicap defined by the rules and the combination with a surprise in the opening by my opponent created a very dangerous mix. Not seldom only a few minutes remained on my clock after the opening for playing the rest of the game. I couldn't win the cup this way.

This year I chose to disregard the scientific approach and play in a very practical way. This also corresponds better to my goal of getting back into shape. Each match in the cup means that one player proceeds and one player is eliminated. So if you want to play a maximum of games then you first need to win the matches. Therefore I chose practically after winning the first game to force the draw in the second game even in completely won positions. My openingchoices also deviated from my standard repertoire. When Robert Schuermans in the quarterfinale played a6 in the Spanish instead of his favorite Schliemann-gambit, I countered surprisingly with the exchange variation. Not only I avoided his preparation but I also managed to exchange the queens which to some extent disarmed him.

In my semi-finale against Marcel Van Herck and the finale against  Thierry Penson I decided to return to openings which I played more than a decade ago regularly. They are not part anymore of my standard repertoire as there exists at least 1 anti-dote but they seemed to me a good choice for the cup. The strategy worked. Both opponents were not prepared for this surprise and spent a lot of time in the opening which caused them to make errors quickly in the middlegame. Without showing something great, I won comfortable the cup.

The practical value of a surprise from the old box can and should not be underestimated. However I still was slightly puzzled when last month the Ukrainian topgrandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk won with a really dubious opening against the Cuban topgrandmaster Leinier Dominguez Perez in the 51st Capablanca memorial.
[Event "51st Capablanca Mem Elite"] [Site "Varadero CUB"] [Date "2016.06.13"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Dominguez Perez, L."] [Black "Ivanchuk, V."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C72"] [WhiteElo "2723"] [BlackElo "2710"] [PlyCount "74"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Na5 7. d4 Nxb3 8. axb3 f6 9. Nc3 Bb7 10. Nh4 Ne7 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Qf3 Qd7 13. Rd1 Qe6 14. Be3 g6 15. Bc5 Kf7 16. Qe3 Bg7 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. Nd5 Bxd5 19. Rxd5 Rhd8 20. Rxd8 Rxd8 21. Nf3 Bf8 22. h3 Qe6 23. Ne1 Rd4 24. f3 Qd6 25. Nd3 c5 26. Kf1 Bg7 27. Qe2 Bh6 28. Rd1 c4 29. bxc4 bxc4 30. Nf2 Ke7 31. Rxd4 Qxd4 32. Nd1 Bc1 33. b3 a5 34. c3 Qd2 35. Qxd2 Bxd2 36. Ke2 Bc1 37. bxc4 a4 0-1
A +2700 player knows an enormous amount of theory so I assume Leinier has seen this line before. Unfortunately for him this wasn't enough to keep the opening-advantage. For the umpteenth time the well calculated gamble of Chucky was successful. I am sure the opening is dubious as it was part of my standard repertoire till 2004, although with a different move-order. I still won my last game with the variation but afterwards I got convinced that I better play different lines.
[Event "Kersttornooi Deurne"] [Date "2004"] [White "Vanparys, P."] [Black "Brabo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C70"] [WhiteElo "2200"] [BlackElo "2317"] [PlyCount "100"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 b5 5. Bb3 Na5 {(I defended several years with success Na5 but now on a higher level, this opening becomes too risky to continue playing.)} 6. O-O d6 7. d4 f6 {(I could not solve the problems after f6 so I tried to get the alternative exd4 work but to no avail.)} (7... exd4 8. Nxd4 Bb7 {(Kupreichik and Mueller are/ were the biggest adepts of this system.)} (8... Ne7 $5 {(A number of strong players like Olafsson, Rolletscheck, Narciso Dublan have played this but I do not believe this is sufficient for equality.)} 9. Qf3 Nxb3 10. axb3 Bb7 11. Nc3 c5 12. Nf5 Nxf5 13. Qxf5 g6 14. Qh3 Bg7 15. Bh6 O-O 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 $14 ) (8... Bd7 {(This also has been tried by some strong players like Bricard and Velicka but it looks insufficient to me.)} 9. Qe2 $146 {(A novelty of Fritz which leads to typical complications a computer can only calculate.)} c5 10. e5 $1 cxd4 11. exd6 Be7 12. Rd1 Nxb3 13. axb3 Bf5 14. dxe7 $14 ) (8... Nxb3 9. axb3 Bb7 10. Nc3 g6 {(The international masters Stein and Schoene have tested this continuation several times in practice without good results.)} 11. Nd5 Bg7 12. Bg5 Qxg5 13. Nxc7 Ke7 14. Nxa8 Bxa8 15. Rxa6 Bxe4 16. Nf5 $3 gxf5 17. Qxd6 Ke8 18. f3 $16 ) 9. c4 {(Most likely there are other lines giving an advantage but one is enough as refutation.)} c5 (9... Nxc4 10. Bxc4 $1 bxc4 11. Na3 c5 12. Nf5 g6 13. Ng3 c3 14. bxc3 Bc6 15. Nc4 $16 ) (9... Nf6 10. cxb5 axb5 11. Nxb5 Nxb3 12. Qxb3 Be7 13. N1c3 O-O $16 ) ( 9... Nxb3 10. Qxb3 c5 11. Nf5 g6 12. Ng3 Bg7 13. cxb5 Nf6 14. Rd1 O-O 15. Bf4 $16 ) 10. Nf5 g6 11. Ng3 $1 Bg7 12. Nc3 $1 Ne7 13. cxb5 axb5 14. Nxb5 O-O 15. Bg5 Bc6 16. a4 Nxb3 17. Qxb3 Qd7 $14 ) 8. Nc3 { (In 2000 Feelders played Bxg8 in Gent but the chosen move in the game is considered more critical.)} Nxb3 {(Risky is further waiting with exchanging on b3.)} 9. axb3 Bb7 10. Qe2 Ne7 11. Rd1 $6 {(Fortunately Philip was not prepared for this system as I can not find equality after dxe5 which is still known by theory. In other words this opening is dubious and most likely only playable when the opponent is not a master and did not see the line before.)} (11. dxe5 $1 fxe5 {(dxe5 was played by specialists like Agdestein and Johannessen a number of times but black keeps having difficulties as shown in the analysis of the next move.)} 12. Ng5 (12. b4 Nc6 13. Be3 Qc8 14. Nh4 g6 15. Nd5 Ne7 16. Nf6 Kf7 17. Qf3 Nf5 $14 ) 12... h6 13. Ne6 Qd7 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. exd5 Nxd5 16. Qh5 Qf7 17. Qh3 c6 18. c4 bxc4 $16 ) 11... Qc8 12. d5 $146 {(I criticized this move after the game and recommended dxe5 but now after some extensive analysis it remains unclear how white get an advantage.)} (12. dxe5 $5 fxe5 $1 $146 {(That is now playable because black does not have to fear anymore f4 as e6 is protected.)} (12... dxe5 {(Black is lagging in development which allows white in different ways to find an advantage.)} 13. Be3 (13. Nh4 g6 14. Be3 Kf7 15. Nf3 Nc6 16. Nd5 Bd6 17. Rac1 Rd8 18. c4 bxc4 19. bxc4 Rb8 20. Nd2 Kg7 $14 ) 13... Ng6 (13... b4 14. Na4 Bxe4 15. Nc5 Qg4 16. Nxe4 Qxe4 17. Nd2 Qxc2 18. Rdc1 Qf5 19. Rxc7 $14 ) (13... Kf7 14. Nh4 g6 15. Nf3 Bg7 16. Ne1 Nc6 17. f3 Rd8 18. Nd3 Nd4 19. Qf2 Ne6 20. Qh4 $14 ) 14. Nd5 Bd6 15. c4 O-O 16. c5 Bxd5 (16... Be7 17. Nh4 Bxd5 (17... Bd8 18. Nxg6 hxg6 19. f3 g5 20. b4 Qe6 21. Rac1 Rb8 22. Qc2 c6 23. Nb6 $16 ) 18. Nxg6 hxg6 19. exd5 Rd8 20. Qd2 Kf7 21. b4 Qf5 22. Rac1 $16 ) 17. exd5 Be7 18. d6 Bd8 $14 ) 13. Ne1 (13. Ng5 h6 14. Nh3 g6 15. f4 Bg7 16. fxe5 Bxe5 17. Rf1 g5 18. Qh5 Kd8 19. Nf2 Qe6 $11 ) 13... Ng6 14. Bg5 h6 15. Qh5 Qe6 16. Bd2 Be7 17. Nd5 Bd8 18. Nd3 $11 ) (12. b4 $5 $146 {(A strange but multi-functional move by Fritz which I already was familiar with in this type of position. The idea is first to avoid b4 and/or c5. Next white has some interesting plans of transferring the knight to a5 via b3 or to put pressure on the black center by c4-c5.)} Ng6 13. Nd5 Be7 14. c4 Bd8 $1 15. c5 O-O $1 16. Qc2 Qg4 $1 17. c6 Bc8 18. Ne3 Qh5 19. Re1 Ne7 20. Ra5 Kh8 $13) 12... Ng6 13. b4 Be7 14. h4 $5 {(A weird and risky plan to allow such weakening of the kingside. A more natural plan is Nd2 to get the knight to a5 via b3 with a complex position.)} Qg4 15. g3 O-O 16. Nd4 $1 {(This permits white to keep the balance.)} Qxe2 17. Ndxe2 f5 18. exf5 Rxf5 19. Be3 Raf8 20. Ra3 Bd8 21. Ne4 h6 22. b3 Ne7 23. c4 bxc4 $6 {(I avoid the opening of the queenside but this just makes things worse as after my move white gets very active play and his pawnstructure becomes more healthy. Better must be R5f7 and black is maybe a bit passive but still very solid.)} 24. bxc4 Rf3 25. Kg2 $6 {(Quite risky to put the king in the diagonal of the black bishop.)} R3f7 26. f4 Bc8 $2 {(I miss that after exf4, white can not get his knight on e6. After the game-continuation white gets full control in the center so also a clear advantage.)} (26... exf4 $1 27. Nxf4 Nf5 $1 28. Ne6 $4 Re7 $1 $19 { (The bishop of b7 is a deadly sniper.)}) 27. fxe5 dxe5 28. Nc5 $2 { (An improvement was to put the bishop on c5 to counter blacks activity and at the same time prepare the breakthrough with d6.)} Rf6 $6 {(Black likes to remove the possibility of d6 and also cover a6 but a much more clever method was Nf5.)} 29. Nc3 $6 {(A bit sharper and likely also stronger is Ne6 which frees c5 for the bishop and neutralizes blacks pair of bishops.)} Nf5 30. N3e4 Rg6 31. Kh2 Nd6 32. Nxd6 cxd6 33. Ne4 Rf3 $4 {(Only after the execution of the move I realized that something was wrong. However the salvation with Bxh4 recommended by Shredder is not easy to discover.)} (33... Bxh4 $1 34. gxh4 Rg4 35. Nxd6 Rxh4 36. Kg3 Rg4 37. Kh3 Bd7 38. Rd2 Rf3 39. Kh2 Rg6 40. Rg2 Rh3 41. Kg1 Rxd6 42. Bc5 Rf6 $13) 34. h5 $2 {(White rightly notices that the rook at g6 is uncomfortable but h5 is not the right move-order. Winning immediately was Kg2.)} (34. Kg2 Bg4 35. Rf1 Rxf1 36. Kxf1 Bc7 37. Kf2 Bf5 38. h5 Rg4 39. Nd2 g6 $18 {(White breaks through on the queenside with b5 and gets a winning advantage.)}) 34... Rg4 35. Kg2 Rxe4 36. Kxf3 Rxc4 37. Rc1 Bg4 38. Kf2 Rxb4 39. Rxa6 Rb2 40. Kg1 Bf6 41. Rxd6 Bxh5 42. Rb6 Re2 43. Bf2 $6 {(Hereafter black gets d2 for the rook which allows him to easily stop the dangerous passed pawn. Somewhat stronger is Rb3 although a draw still looks the most fair result here.)} Rd2 44. d6 Bf3 45. Re1 Kf7 46. Be3 Rd3 47. Kf2 Bg4 48. Rc1 $6 {(Ra1 or Bc5 are more accurate but it is not easy to see all the details in big time-trouble, or even with more time on the clock.)} Ke6 49. Rcc6 Kf5 $6 {(H5 is more precise but I was already for a while playing blitz so time became more important than the accuracy of the moves.)} 50. Rc7 Kg6 {(The allotted time was 2 hours for the full game and above the game was unrated. Still it remains sad to lose in a equal position especially for the other team-players.)} 0-1
I got acquainted with the opening by a book of 1986 Spanish gambits by Leonid Shamkovich and Eric Schiller. The analysis were not of a high quality but till today (mainly in online blitz) I still get a lot of pleasure with it. The opening gets called different names by people. One of the first players playing it on a high level was the Russian grandmaster Mark Taimanov in 1955 so sometimes it is named after him. In the book which I read, it is called the wing-variation which is also an option given on Some prefer it to call the Norwegian variation as several strong players from Norway played it like the strong Norwegian grandmaster Simen Agdesteinthe Norwegian IM Svein Johannessen and the Norwegian IM Arne Zwaig.

Today I didn't introduce yet old (dubious) openings in my standard-chess. I am convinced of the practical value even against very strong players. Winning is important but that is not the only thing which counts for me in chess.


Addendum 29 July 2016
I realized after posting this article, that the opening discussed in this article also helped me to win a game against Nicola Capone a couple of years ago in Leuven. The analysis of that game was published in the article If you read the analysis then you can even find the link.

No comments:

Post a Comment