Kindred’s Special: Just a Chess Short to Enjoy

Here is a variation on the French Defense that the gambit bug called the Alapin Gambit proves it can sting.

1. e4  e6  2. d4  d5  3. Be3  dxe4  4. Nd2  Nf6 5. f3  Nd5  6. Qe2  Nxe3  7. Qxe3  exf3  8. Ngxf3  Be7  9. Bd3  Nd7  10. O-O-O  Nf6.

White has a clear spatial edge re square count.  This Knight has moved twice and seems a bit slow given the rapid placement of White’s own forces and central terrain.  I would venture to say that White stands better after Black’s Knight tour to reach f6.  Once more the answer to a good plan is our square count theory that suggests a better idea is to COUNTERATTACK the center by 10….c5.

11. Ne5  O-O  12. Rhf1  Bd7.

Again, it appears Black has no plan.  Even a bad plan is better than no plan.  Maybe 12. …c5  13. dxc5  Qa5  14. Nb3  Qxa2 but White might control the d5 square with 15.c4. The black Queen is a little out of action where White is massing his on the open lines leading to the King.

13.  g4  Bd6.

Black fails to see White’s next or he probably would play 13. ….Nd5 that fails a sufficient remedy test for previous Black play.

14. Rxf6!  Bxe5

Nothing helps.  14. … gxf6  forced as 14, ,,, Qxf6 illustrates the overworked piece idea as the d7 Bishop is gobbled up by the Knight with sharp and deadly Knight fork of Rook and Queen.

15. dxe5  gxf6  16. Qh6  f5  17. gxf5  f6  18. fxe6  (1-0).

A lesson to learn from this battle is that the defense must try to achieve a tempi equilibrium and build on a plan. Capablanca’s axiom in his excellent book CHESS FUNDAMENTALS was to use the most economical means necessary to refute attack.  I think the main feature of his axiom is to always make room for the pieces, especially the King, to have space and energy while protecting men and territory.  As a few games have illustrated, it is advisable to be mindful of his direction in the art of defense.


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