Kindred’s Kaleidoscope: Chess Minatures Galore

Fighting chess comes in many guises with normal opening patterns that suddenly explode due to ever-so-slight a miscue. Lets begin with some action of the Ruy Lopez systems.

1.e4  e5  2.Nf3  Nc6  3.Bb5  Nf6  4.O-O  Bc5  5.Nxe5

One of the main variations of the Berlin Defense and less explored than the more usual 4…Nxe4 variation which is another story.  Even so, this is very tricky and White must be aware of all the nuiances as he can easily go astray very quickly. Common now is 5…Nxe5 6.d4  a6 7.Ba4  Nxe4  8,Qe2  Be7  9.Qxe4  Ng6 10.c4 O-O11.Nc3 d6  12.Nd5 with a freer position (de Firmian/Fishbein, NYC, 1989).

5….Nxe4  6.Nxf7  Kxf7  7.Qh5+ g6  8.Qd5+ Kg7  9.Bxc6 Re8

Forced but strong!! defending the Knight and developing on the open e-file with sq/ct jumping as the Rook threatens to dig deep into the White position.

10.Ba4  c6  13.Qd3 Qh4 12.g3  Qh3

Black has forced weaknesses in the King’s camp and White pieces are scattered with no plan available to rout Black’s pieces.

13.b4  Nxf2

Here is a perfect example of the f2 inherent weakness coming home to roost. The illusion is that White has the Black King exposed as well.

14.Qc3+ Kg8  15.Qxc5  Ng4  16.Bb3+ d5! 17.Bxd5+ Be6

White was hoping for …cxd5 18.Qxd5+ Be6  19.Qg2.

18.Rf8+ Kg7  19.Bb2+  Kh6  20.Rxe8  Rxe8  21.Bf3  Qxh2+  22.Kf1  Qxg3  23.Bxg4  Bc4+  24.d3  Re1 mate  (Kusnesow/Spasski).

                                                ***

Another path followed by White that Black must be prepared for is the Exchange variation that goes after 1.e4  e5  2.Nf3  Nc6  3.Bb5  a6 where the most common followup is 4.Ba4 giving Black a host of defensive setups to adopt. White can avoid this be directing the play into the Exchange Variation 4.Bxc6 which Fischer made popular with some nice wins with it. However, since then Black has managed to discover some ideas to give good play for the compromised pawn structure.

4…dxc6  5.O-O  f6  6.d4  exd4  7.Nxd4  c5  8.Nb3  Qxd1  9.Rxd1  Bd7

A good alternative and maybe a little more accurate is 9. Interesting is a plan based upon my sq/ct theory making immediate aggressive moves into pressuring the enemy squares. 10.Bf4 O-O-O 11.Nc3 Be6 12.Rxd8+ Kxd8 13.Rd1+ Kc8 14.Nd5.

10.a4  b6  11.Nc3  O-O-O  12.Bf4  Ne7  13.a5!  c4

Too slow. Black needs to play 13…Kb7 to add protection of the pawn structure.

14.axb6  cxb3?

Probably 14…cxb6 15.Rxa6  Kb7  16.Rda1 Nc8! best 17.Nd4.

15.bxc7  Re8  16.Rxa6  Bc6  17.Nb5  bxc2  18.Nd6+ Kxc7   19.Ra7+ Kb8  20.Nb5+ Kc8  21.Rc7+ Kb8  22.Rxe7+ Kc8 23.Na7 mate. (Petrow/Schtschetinin).

More to come. End of Part I.

                                      ***

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