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Friday, July 30, 2021

Samuel Schweber

     Samuel Schweber (July 16, 1936 - January 1, 2017) was an Argentine International Master who played in several Argentine championships. His best result being in 1963 when he finished 2nd behind Raimundo Garcia and in 1968 when he finished 2nd behind Najdorf. He was born in Zarate, a port city in the northeast of the province of Buenos Aires.
     A player with a solid style, Schweber is probably best remembered for his famous loss to Bobby Fischer in the 1970 Buenos Aires international tournament, but he had his share of successes. 
     In 1955 he finished 9th in the World Junior Championship in Antwerp (Boris Spassky won). He finished 2nd in the 1960 Sao Paulo Zonal tournament, but in the 1962 Interzonal in Stockholm he had a dismal result and finished 19th-20th. 
     In 1963, he tied for 3rd-5th in the Zonal at Fortaleza with Oscar Quinones and Mauro De Athayde. In the playoff at Rio de Janeiro in 1964 he finished 2nd Quinones. 
     He played for Argentina in five Olympiads: (1960, first reserve, (1964, third board), (1966, second reserve), (1980, fourth board and (1984, fourth board). Chessmetrics assigns him a high rating of 2578 in 1962 which placed him number 68 in the world. 
     A good example of his play can be seen in the following game against the (East) German IM Heinz Liebert where Schweber's sudden winning attack seemed to materialize out of nowhere. The game was played in the preliminaries of the Olympiad in Tel Aviv. 
     Liebert (born May 24, 1936) had a number of successes from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s: Ulan Bator 1956 (1st), Polanica Zdroj 1966 (2nd), Varna 1969 (4th), Kecskemet 1970 (2nd), Lublin 1972 (=2nd) and Smokovec 1975 (3rd). He's also represented East Germany at every Olympiad from 1962 to 1972. 
     At Tel Aviv Argentina's team was significantly weaker than usual because the Argentinian Chess Federation offered low prize fund for their national championship and imposed a regulation stating that only top championship players would qualify into Olympic team. As a result their top players (Najdorf, Panno, Rossetto and Julio Bolbochan and others) refused to take part. Thus the team consisted of Erich Eliskases, Raimundo Garcia, Schweber, Bernado Wexler and Raul Cruz. 
     The team qualified for the finals and finished 9th out of 14 teams. The first three places were taken by the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and West Germany. The US team (Samuel Reshevsky, Pal Benko, Anthony Saidy, Arthur Bisguier, Donald Byrne and William Addison) finished in a dismal 6th place. The US team got skunked 0-4 by the imposing Russian team (Petrosian, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Keres, Stein and Spassky)

Samuel Schweber - Heinz Liebert

Result: 1-0

Site: Olympiad Prelims, Tel Aviv

Date: 1964

King's Indian Attack.

[...] 1.e4 c5 2.♘f3 e6 3.d3 ♘c6 4.g3 d5 5.♘bd2 ♘f6 6.♗g2 ♗e7 7.O-O In spite of what some authors claim in their opening books, the KIA is not one of those openings where you can play the same set up and use the same strategy against anything black plays and so avoid a lot of opening study. To play the opening correctly white's strategy will be determined what type of setup black selects...here the French Defense setup. In a prelude to white's K-side attack, which will be opposed by a Q-side counterattack, white will close the center with e5. 7...O-O 8.♖e1 b5 9.e5 Chasing away the N and leaving black with a distinct lack of minor piece protection for his K. Since the e-Pawn is such an important part of whites plans he must be careful to make sure that it is overprotected should black try and undermine it with .. .f6. At some point the N on d2 can head for either e3 or g4 (an especially nice square if black has played ...Qc7). 9...♘d7 10.♘f1 b4 Black's plan is simple...get his Q-side Ps on the move and hopefully force white to make positional concessions. The idea is to advance his P all the way to a3 to gain control of c3 and d4 so he can use his Ns effectively. Another idea is to play ...d4 and make d5 a N outpost. The disadvantage for black is that he will have to be careful defending his K as the slightest slip up can be fatal. 11.h4 Both sides begin the Pawn race. 11...a5 12.h5 a4 13.h6 g6 This logical looking move allows white to gain the advantage.
13...f5 was much better. Then after 14.exf6
14.hxg7 is less effective. After 14...♔xg7 white has no effective way of continuing with his K-side plans.
14...♗xf6 white's advantage is minimal after he tends to black's Q-side play with 15.a3 ♘de5 16.♘xe5 ♗xe5 17.♘h2 gxh6 18.axb4 cxb4 19.♖xe5 ♘xe5 20.♘g4 ♘xg4 21.♕xg4+ ♔h8 22.♗xh6 ♖f7 23.♕xb4 and white is better.
14.♘1h2 ♗a6 15.♘g4 c4
15...♘d4 failed to blunt white's attack. 16.♘xd4 cxd4 17.b3 a3 18.♘h2 ♖c8 19.♘f3 ♕b6 20.♗g5 ♗xg5 21.♘xg5 Kamsky,G (2713)-Lenderman,A (2582)/US Chp, Saint Louis 2014. White went on to win.
16.dxc4 Proved to be better for white. 16...♗xc4 17.b3 axb3 18.cxb3 ♗b5 19.♗e3 White stands well. Vorobiov,D (2129)-Vunder,A (2284)/St Petersburg 2006
16...a3 17.b3 ♘a7 The idea is to continue on to c3. 18.♗f4 ♘b5 19.♕d2 ♘c3 A classical outpost. By now back has equalized thanks to white's slip on move 16. 20.♘g5 ♖c8 21.♘h3 ♖c6 22.♗g5 ♗xg5 23.♘xg5 ♕e7 24.♗f1 ♖fc8 25.♕f4 cxb3 26.cxb3 ♗xf1 27.♔xf1 ♘b5 Liebert intends to get play on the c-file, but it can be easily neutralized. 28.♖e3 A better plan would have been 28.Kg2 and then challenge black on the c-file. 28...♖c3 This turns out poorly.
28...♖c2 29.♖f3 ♖f8 White's attack is at a standstill and the chances arre equal after either 30.Ne3 or 30.Rc1
29.♖ae1 White is determined to play Rf3 and black is determined to stop him and as a result both sides are missing better moves.
29.♖xc3 was better. No matter how black captures white maintains the initiative, but finding a way to breakthrough could prove difficult. 29...bxc3 The most aggressive plan. 30.♘f3 ♕b4 31.♖c1 White is better and in Shootouts scored +2 -0 =3.
29...♖xe3 30.♖xe3 So as to play the R to f3, but this should have allowed black right back in the game.
30.♕xe3 was correct because now if 30...♘c3 (30...♖c3 31.♕d2 white is better.) 31.♖c1 Here, too, white enjoys a slight advantage.
30...♖c3 An unfortunate move that prevents Rf3, but it's tactically faulty and loses quickly. Now it's white to play and win.
30...♘c3 Seizes the advantage because after white's intended 31.♖f3 ♖f8 32.♘f6+ ♘xf6 33.exf6 ♕e8 white has to take a move to defend his a-Pawn with 34.♕d2 and now black seizes the initiative with 34...e5
31.♘f6+ ♘xf6 32.exf6 ♕f8 Nothing was better. Now white has a move that totally smashes black. 33.♖xe6 His position is so good that he could take on e6 with the N and also win.
33.♘xe6 fxe6 (33...♕e8 34.♘g7 wins at once.) 34.♖xe6 ♖c7 35.♕e5 ♖c8 To save the Q. 36.♖e7 wins
33...♖c8 (33...fxe6 allows mate in 3. 34.f7+ ♔h8 35.♕e5+ ♕g7 36.hxg7#) 34.♖e7 ♕xh6 35.♔g2 ♖f8 36.♖e1 Black resigned. His Q is trapped unless he makes a retreat square.
36.♖e1 ♖c8 37.♖e7 ♖f8 38.♕e5 ♘c3 39.♘xf7 ♕c1 40.♖e8 and black can only delay mate for a few moves.
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Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Norfolk Gambit

     Thankfully we were blessed when the dreaded derecho (pronounced “deh-REY-cho") that was up in Wisconsin late last night and was forecast to hit my neck of the woods around 8 o'clock this morning split in two with about a 125 mile gap between the halves and we were in the gap! 
     A derecho (“straight ahead” in Spanish) is a fast moving band of thunderstorms with destructive hurricane force straight line winds along the entire span of the storm front that is maintained over a time span of at least six hours. 
    On August 10–11, 2020, a powerful derecho swept across Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana and caused high winds and spawned an outbreak of weak tornadoes. Some areas reported torrential rain and large hail. Sustained wind speeds of 70 miles per hour (110 kilometers per hour) were prevalent; in some areas wind speeds hit 120-140 miles per hour. As you can see, we have reason to be thankful!
     The Norfolk Gambit (aka Prisoner's Gambit) begins with either 1.Nf3 d5 2.b3 c5 3.e4 or 1.Nf3 d5 2.b3 Nf6 3.Bb2 c5 4.e4. 
     Its inventor, Claude Frizzell Bloodgood III (July 14, 1937 – August 4, 2001, who was also known as Klaus Frizzel Bluttgutt III), once published a book on it titled "Nimzovich Attack." These days it's sometimes called the Nimzo-Larsen Attack because Bent Larsen was notorious for opening games with 1.b3. 
     No matter what you call the opening, columnist Phillip A. York wrote, "...if you are willing to commit to an attack which will decimate the bean counters of the chess world, this book is for you." That's an exaggeration, I think.
     Dale M. Brumfield, an anti-death penalty advocate, cultural archaeologist, American Grotesk history teller and author of 11 books described the gambit's inventor as "quick, sleazy and cheap: a former Virginia death row inmate lied and scammed his way to the top of the chess world." His article on Bloodgood that appeared in Lessons From History HERE is a good 10-minute read. 
     As for the gambit, although it was a blitz game, Carlsen once played it against Viswanathan Anand and the game is analyzed by GM Igor Smirnov on Youtube HERE
     A while back while playing some 10-minute games online I remembered the Norfolk Gambit and decided to try it. The only problem was I remembered it wrong and played 1.Nf3 d5 2.e4 which I guess you could call the Norfolk Gambit Accelerated. Needless to say, the following game wasn't very well played by either side, but it shows the fun you can have with this gambit.

Tartajubow - Guest

Result: 1-0

Site: On line, Game 10

Date: 2021

Norfolk Gambit Accelerated

[...] 1.♘f3 d5 2.e4
2.b3 This is the correct beginning of the gambit. 2...c5 (2...♘f6 3.♗b2 c5 4.e4) 3.e4 In my database this move scores +20 -30 for white with only 6 draws. It's definitely not a move to play if you are looking for a draw! 3...dxe4 4.♘g5 e6 5.♘xe4 ♘h6 6.♗b2 ♘c6 7.♗b5 ♗d7 8.♕h5 ♘f5 9.♘a3 a6 10.♗xc6 ♗xc6 11.d3 ♕a5+ 12.♔f1 c4 13.g4 ♗xe4 14.dxe4 c3 15.♗c1 ♗xa3 16.gxf5 ♗b2 17.♗xb2 cxb2 18.♖d1 ♖d8 19.♖xd8+ ♕xd8 20.♔g2 g6 21.fxg6 ♖g8 22.♖d1 ♖xg6+ 23.♔f1 ♕f6 24.♕c5 ♖g1+ 25.♔xg1 ♕g5+ 26.♕xg5 1-0 Jones,G (2640)-Bacrot,E (2722)/chess.com INT 2018
2...dxe4 3.♘g5 ♘f6 4.♗c4 e6 5.O-O This move looks natural, but Stockfish thinks it's hideous and immediately changed its evaluation from -0.35 to -3.50, ten times as bad!
5.♘c3 This move has a stamp of approval from Stockfish. 5...♗d7 6.♘gxe4 ♗c6 7.♕e2 ♘bd7 8.♘g5 ♕e7 9.f4 ♘b6 10.♗b3 a5 11.a4 ♘bd5 12.d3 and at Dortmund in 1995 even though black is slightly better a 2075 player named G. Opalka held 2545 rated D. Smagin to a draw.
5...h6 This is why 5.O-O was so bad...the N has to retreat with its tail between its legs to the awful square h3. 6.♘xf7 This was my intention anyway, but it is quite unsound. Fortunately, I am not playing Stockfish which evaluates the position at -5.70 which is totally won for black.
6.♘h3 e5 7.d3 exd3 8.♘c3 and black is better after either 8...Nc6 or 8...Bb4, but he should avoid taking on c2. 8...dxc2 9.♗xf7+ ♔e7 10.♕xd8+ ♔xd8 and black is still better, but his advantage is not as great as if he avoids 8...dxc2 11.♗g6
6...♔xf7 7.♘c3 ♕d4 Continuing to develop with ...Bc5 and ...Nc6 was better. 8.d3 Going after the P on e4 would be unsuccessful. It's better to try and get some pieces into play.
8.♗b3 ♗d6 9.♖e1 ♕e5 10.g3 ♘c6 11.♕e2 ♘d4 12.♕e3 ♗c5 13.♘xe4 (13.♕f4 ♕xf4 14.gxf4 ♘f3+) 13...♘xb3 14.♘xc5 ♕xe3 15.♖xe3 ♘xa1
8...exd3 9.♗xd3 ♕d7 An unnecessary waste of time. Again, a developing move like 8...Nc6 would have been better. 10.f4 Naturally engines want me to play something like 10.Re1 and just wait. Instead, my plan was to begin a K-side attack at all costs. 10...g6 Earlier moves like ...Nc6 and ...Bc5 were mentioned and they are still good choices. 11.g4 Just awful screams Stockfish, but it adds that 11.Be3 doesn't help white's miserable position much. 11...♗c5+ 12.♔g2 ♕c6+ I missed this and now I either have to trade Qs with no hope of ever getting together some kind of an attack or move the K to g3. Instead, I decided to walk into a pin and lose a P. 13.♖f3 ♘xg4 While this is not as safe as the engine's recommendation it's not bad, but it does allow white some play...or more properly, to make some attacking gestures.
13...b5 Per Stockfish, but I really don't understand it. 14.♗xb5
14.♘xb5 ♗b7 with a sweet position with an evaluation of nearly 7Ps in black's favor.
14...♕d6 15.♖d3 ♕b6 16.b4 ♕b7+ 17.♖f3 ♗xb4 and black is, according to Stockfish winning by over 5.5 Ps.
14.♗e4 ♕b6 15.♖g3 White's counterplay is really nothing more than a fantasy. 15...h5 16.h3 ♘e3+ This turns the fantasy into a reality! Correct was 16...Nf6
16...♘f6 17.♗xg6+ ♔e7 Black's K is safe and there's no way to get at it. Here is a pretty variation: 18.♗e4 (18.♕e2 ♕c6+ 19.♔h2 b6 20.f5 ♗d6 wins) 18...♗d7 19.f5 ♗d4 20.♗g5 h4 21.♖d3 ♖g8 22.♕d2 ♘c6 23.fxe6 ♕c5 24.exd7 ♖xg5+ 25.♔h1 ♖ag8 White has no good moves.
17.♗xe3 ♗xe3 18.♗xg6+ ♔e7 19.♗xh5 This is a huge mistake that gives the advantage back to black.
19.♕e1 ♗f2 20.♘d5+ Less good is 20.Qxf2 20...♔f8 21.♕c3 ♗d4 22.♘xb6 followed by Nxa8 wins for white.
19...♖d8 A gross blunder that allows a mate in 4.
19...♕c6+ 20.♗f3 ♕d6 and black's B and P material advantage assure him of the win...at least if you are an engine or a Grandmaster. Here's the remaining moves in a Shootout. 21.♕e2 ♕d2 22.♖e1 ♕xe2+ 23.♖xe2 ♗d4 24.♘d5+ ♔d6 25.♖g6 ♗d7 26.♖d2 ♗e8 27.♖g5 exd5 28.♖xd5+ ♔e7 29.♖2xd4 ♘c6 30.♖e4+ ♔f6 31.♗g4 ♗f7 32.♖f5+ ♔g7 33.♖e3 ♖ad8 34.♔g3 ♖d2 35.♖g5+ ♔f8 36.♖c3 ♗xa2 37.b3 ♗b1 38.♗f5 ♖h6 39.h4 ♖f6 40.♗e4 ♖e6 41.♗d5 ♖ee2 42.♗xc6 bxc6 43.♖xc6 ♖xc2 44.♖xc2 ♖xc2 45.h5 ♖c3+ 46.♔g4 ♖xb3 47.♖d5 ♖b2 48.h6 ♖g2+ 49.♔f3 ♖h2 50.♖b5 ♗h7 51.♖b7 ♖c2 52.♖xa7 ♖c6 53.♔e3 ♔e7 54.f5 ♗xf5 55.♔d4 ♗h7 56.♖a2 ♖xh6 57.♔c5 Black wins
20.♖g7+ ♔f6 (20...♔f8 21.♖f7+ ♔e8 22.♖h7+ ♔f8 23.♕xd8#) 21.♖f7#
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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Hamburg 1910

     The big news in the world of chess didn't come until December 8, 1910, when Emanuel Lasker defeated David Janowski (+8 =0 +3) in the world championship match in Berlin. Actually, that probably couldn't be called BIG news because Janowsky never had a chance of winning. It was Lasker's last serious chess for three and a half years. 
     Almost a year earlier in January and February Lasker had played a ten game match against Carl Schlechter. Originally they were to play 30 games, but a lack of money caused it to be shortened to 10 games. 
     After nine games Schlechter was leading 5-4 (+1 -0 =8) and all he needed to win the match was another draw. At one point in that last game he was actually winning, but instead he managed to lose the game and the match was tied. Was this match for the world championship? Maybe, maybe not. See: chessgamedotcom, Wikipedia and ChessBase  
     In March, 1910 Britain defeated the US in the 12th cable match. by a score of 6.5-3.5. There had been a series of cable matches starting in 1896 played between the two countries every year (except for a three year gap from 1904-1906) and the last was to be played in 1912. At the end of the matches each team had won six matches and one was drawn.
     George Wolbrecht of St. Louis won the Western Chess Association Open (US Open) in Chicago and in England Henry Atkins won the British Championship in Oxford. 
     About the only other notable chess news in 1910 was the big international tournament in Hamburg. Capablanca was invited but didn't play. He wrote that he had accepted the invitation and was ready to go when illness prevented him from making the voyage. He was adamant that his last minute withdrawal which sparked comments by some players that he was scared away by the strong lineup was silly.
     He wrote, "...I was not afraid, and had no reason to be, I soon proved to the satisfaction of all, when the following year I won the first prize in the strongest tournament that has ever been held: the first San Sebastian tournament." 
     Hamburg was Yates' first important international tournament and Tarrasch objected to his inclusion because Yates wasn't strong enough to be playing in such an important event. Naturally, Tarrasch lost to Yates.

Siegbert Tarrasch - F.D. Yates

Result: 0-1

Site: Hamburg

Date: 1910

Queen's Gambit Declined

[...] 1.d4 d5 2.♘f3 ♘f6 3.c4 e6 4.e3 ♗e7 5.♘c3 c5 6.♗d3 ♘c6 7.O-O O-O 8.b3 b6 9.♗b2 ♗b7 10.♖c1 ♖c8 11.cxd5 ♘xd5 12.♘e2
12.♘xd5 ♕xd5 13.♗c4 ♕h5 14.dxc5 ♖fd8 15.♕e2 ♗xc5 16.♗a6 ♗xa6 17.♕xa6 ♘b4 18.♕xa7 with equal chances. Hevia Alejano,C (2493)-Pazos Gambarrotti, P (2254)/ Bucaramanga COL 2014
12.dxc5 ♘xc3 13.♗xc3 ♗xc5 14.♕e2 ♕e7 15.♖fd1 ♗a3 16.♗b2 ♗xb2 17.♕xb2 Draw agreed. Najdorf,M-Eliskases,E/ Santa Fe 1956
12...cxd4 13.♘exd4 ♘xd4 14.♘xd4 ♖xc1 15.♕xc1 ♗d6 16.♘f3 ♕e7 17.♕a1 f6 18.♘d4 So far the game has been quite boring and a draw looks like a natural outcome. Yates' next move was probalbly played with the intention of opening up the K-side with ...f4 18...f5 There does not seem to be any hope of getting ... f4 in...if white plays correctly. 19.♖c1 This natural looking move occupying the open file throws away the game! Black to play and win.
19.♗c4 Had to be played after which black's sacrifice won't work. 19...♘xe3 20.fxe3 ♕g5 21.♖f2 ♕xe3 In the game with the R on c3 this would be a check. 22.♗xe6+ ♔h8 23.♘xf5 ♕xe6 24.♗xg7+ ♔g8 25.♘h6+ ♕xh6 26.♗xh6 ♖f7 27.♕d4 ♗f8 28.♕c4 ♗xh6 29.♕xf7+ mates
19.♗c4 f4 would fail. 20.e4 ♘f6 21.♘f5 ♕c7 22.♗xe6+ ♔h8 23.♖c1 ♕b8 24.♖d1 ♗c5 25.♘xg7 wins.
(19.♗c4 ♘c7 20.♖d1 ♗c5 would be completely equal.) 19...♘xe3 With this move Yates commences an unstoppable attack with his two Bs and Q. Eventually the R will also get in on the action and finish off the game. 20.fxe3 ♕g5 21.♔f2 ♕xg2+ 22.♔e1 ♗xh2 Good enough.
22...f4 is a crusher. 23.♔d1 fxe3 24.♗c3 ♖f2 25.♖c2 ♗e4 with an easy win.
23.♖c2 isn't sufficient to save the game. 23...♕g3+ 24.♔d2 ♕f2+ 25.♗e2 f4 26.♕e1 fxe3+ 27.♔d1 ♗e4 28.♕xf2 ♗xc2+ 29.♔xc2 exf2 30.♗f1 e5 with a won ending.
23...e5 Even better was 12...f4
23...f4 24.♖c3 fxe3 25.♔d1 There is no place to hide. (25.♖xe3 ♕f2+) 25...♕g1+ 26.♔c2 ♗e4+ 27.♖d3 (27.♗d3 ♖f2+ 28.♘e2 ♖xe2#) 27...♖c8+ 28.♗c3 ♕xa1 mates in 5
24.♘e6 ♗g3+ The remainder of the game is a King hunt. 25.♔d1 ♗f3 26.♗xf3 ♕xf3+ 27.♔c2 ♕e4+ 28.♔d2 ♕d5+ 29.♘d4 exd4 30.♗xd4 f4 31.e4 ♕xe4 32.♖c4 ♖d8 33.a4 ♗f2 White resigned.
33...♗f2 34.♔c1 ♗xd4 35.♕c3 ♕h1+ 36.♔b2 ♕h2+ 37.♔a3 ♗xc3 38.♖xc3 ♕d2 39.♖c4 a5 40.♖c6 ♕d1 41.b4 ♕b1 42.b5 ♖d3+ 43.♖c3 ♖xc3#
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