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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Monkey's Bum Attack

     The Exeter Chess Club offers some good general guidelines to the Modern Defense, but the other day a line called the Monkey's Bum Attack (aka the Bishop's Attack) caught my eye and I was intrigued with it. I thought about trying in on LSS if someone would ever play the Modern Defense, but so far I have not run into it. But, before playing it I wanted to let Komodo 8 analyze it for awhile to see it it was worth trying on LSS. The result is a 16 page pdf booklet you can download via Dropbox. 
     I came to the conclusion that it's not something I want to try on LSS because there just did not seem to be any lines that don't give black a significant advantage. However, that's correspondence chess with strong engines. OTB is something else and in that realm it just might be worth a try. 
     Although it may be loosely defined as any approach against the Modern Defense involving an early Bc4 and Qf3, threatening "Scholar's mate", it is strictly defined by the sequence of moves: 1. e4 g6 2. Bc4 Bg7 3. Qf3 e6 4. d4 Bxd4 5. Nd2 Bg7 6. Nb3 
     This aggressive opening grew out of a desire to crack the Modern Defense. British IM Nigel Povah invented the opening in the early 1970s and he showed the moves to his friend Ken Coates, who proclaimed "if this works, then I'm a monkey's bum." The name stuck and the opening is still highly playable, at least OTB,  as GM Simon Williams has demonstrated.
     A more popular approach against the Modern Defense is the Monkey's Bum Deferred. It has been employed by John Nunn, Sergei Rublevsky and Judit Polgar. In the Deferred Variation Bc4 and Qf3 are played only after White has developed his QN. For example: 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c6 4.Bc4 d6 5.Qf3. Usually White castles K-side and then attacks with f3-f4. 

     For correspondence play, the deferred line seems like a more likely candidate, but I'm not sure it's worth investigating right now because I can't remember ever having run into the Modern Defense. I'll keep it in mind though if I ever do. 

    The following game proved a miserable failure for the Monkey's Bum thanks, in no small part, to Ciocaltea's brilliant play. Bellon is a Spanish GM of whom Kingpin Magazine once wrote, “the Spaniard proved a severe test for all the leading players managing to trick all of us at one time or another.” Ciocaltea (January 16, 1932, Bucharest, Romania – September 10, 1983, Manresa, Spain) was a GM.

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