Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Lasker Defense to the QGD

diagram Black to play.
On Thursday, September 29, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. at the Kenilworth Chess Club, FM Steve Stoyko will lecture on The Lasker Defense to the Queen's Gambit Declined (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.Nf3 O-O 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 Ne4) which he has studied and played for decades. Tomorrow night's talk is actualy the first in a series devoted to the Lasker running every two weeks (beginning Thursday) at the same time and covering the main line and all related lines (including the Exchange Variation and Catalan). The cost of the lecture is $5 (but I am willing to pick up the tab on the first one for anyone who cannot afford it!)
Personally I am very interested in the lecture for several reasons: (1) because I always learn a lot from Steve about chess no matter what his topic; (2) because I want to learn more positional lines where things happen more slowly in order to improve my overall understanding of the game; and (3) because I want to expand my repertoire so that I have something more than the Albin Countergambit when facing 1.d4 d5 2.c4. I am sure anyone who comes will not be disappointed.

As part of my preparation, I have been looking at GM Andy Soltis's book on the Lasker and annotating some games with the line on the computer (as I typically do as part of learning a new line). I have been focusing on the games of chief practitioners, such as Guimard, Eliskases, and Jussupow (or Yusupov -- who famously played the line against Karpov in a candidate's match). I ended up compiling and posting an annotated PGN of 42 interesting games (including one of Kasparov's). I'd also recommend that you review the games Steve has played this year with the Lasker against NM Mark Kernighan, including Kernighan-Stoyko, KCC Club Championship 2005 and Kernighan-Stoyko, Hackettstown 2005.

The game Guimard - Eliskases, Mar del Plata 1941 is interesting mostly because it features two of the chief practitioners of the Lasker pitted against each other. It also has a very cute conclusion (see diagram above). As usual, you can play the game over online, download the PGN, or get the PGN as text below.

[Event "Mar del Plata"]
[Site "Mar del Plata"]
[Date "1941.??.??"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Guimard, Carlos E"]
[Black "Eliskases, Erich Gottlieb"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D57"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "1941.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 O-O 7. e3 Ne4 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. cxd5 ({This and the line beginning} 9. Nxe4 dxe4 10. Nd2 { are the most forcing choices for White.}) 9... Nxc3 10. bxc3 exd5 {This game be tween two Lasker Defense experts can tell us a lot about what might be the best strategy for both sides.} 11. Qb3 Qd6 $5 ({More common is} 11... Rd8 12. c4 dxc4 13. Bxc4 Nc6 14. Qc3 Bg4 $11 {when White cannot retreat with} 15. Nd2 $2 {as in the game due to} Rxd4 $1) 12. c4 (12. Bd3 $5 Nd7 13. Qc2 Nf6 $11) 12... dxc4 13. Bxc4 Nc6 14. Qc3 Bg4 15. Nd2 $1 { Preventing Black from damaging his kingside with 15...Bxf3 16.gxf3.} Rad8 16. O-O Ne7 17. Rfc1 $5 b6 ({Premature is} 17... c5 $6 18. Ne4 $1 cxd4 $1 19. Nxd6 dxc3 20. Nxb7 $14 {and White appears to win a pawn.}) 18. Ne4 $1 Qd7 (18... Qg6 19. Ng3 c6 20. Bd3 $1 $14) 19. Ng3 c6 20. Qa3 $5 { This piece attack seems less effective than one with a pawn starting} (20. a4 $1 Rfe8 21. a5 {since Black cannot advance} b5 $2 22. Bb3 { without leaving his c-pawn dreadfully weak.}) 20... Ra8 21. h3 $6 {White begins to drift without a definite plan. This move drives the Bishop to where it wants to go.} Be6 22. Be2 ({Better} 22. Bxe6 Qxe6 23. Rc2) 22... Rac8 23. Nh5 Ng6 24. Qb2 $5 f5 $1 { Defending the g-pawn while beginning a kingside offensive.} 25. a4 {Too late.} f4 $6 {Likely premature, though Black has the right idea.} ({ An interesting idea might be} 25... Bd5 26. a5 b5 $5 {weakening the Queenside structure but stopping White's queenside play in preparation for the attack on the kingside.}) 26. Bd3 $6 ({White misses a nice tactical trick in} 26. d5 $1 cxd5 (26... Bxd5 27. Bg4 $1) (26... Qxd5 $4 27. Qxg7#) 27. Rxc8 Rxc8 28. Bd3 Qf7 29. Bxg6 Qxg6 30. Nxf4 $14) 26... Bf5 $1 ({Also possible was} 26... fxe3 $5 27. fxe3 $1 (27. Bxg6 Rxf2 $1 28. Rc2 Bf5 $1 29. Bxf5 Qxf5 $40) 27... Nh4 28. Nf4 Bd5 $13) 27. e4 $2 {Part of Black's plan! Now the fireworks begin.} Bxh3 $1 28. f3 (28. gxh3 Qxh3 $17 {wins the wayward Knight at h5.}) 28... Qe7 $5 29. a5 Nh4 30. axb6 axb6 31. gxh3 (31. Ba6 Nxf3+ $1 (31... Qg5) (31... Bxg2) 32. gxf3 Qg5+ 33. Kh2 Qxh5 34. Bxc8 Bxc8+ 35. Kg1 (35. Kg2 Qh3+ 36. Kf2 $4 Qh2+) 35... Qxf3 $40 {and Black has a winning attack for only the Exchange.}) 31... Qg5+ 32. Kh1 Qxh5 33. Be2 Kh8 34. Ra3 Rf6 $1 ({Black is not ready yet for} 34... Nf5 $6 35. exf5 Qxh3+ 36. Kg1 Rxf5 37. Bf1 Rg5+ 38. Bg2 $13) 35. Rg1 (35. Qxb6 Nf5 $1) 35... Nf5 $1 36. Kh2 Ne3 (36... Ng3 $1) 37. Ra7 $2 ({More unclear is} 37. Qxb6 $1 Rcf8 (37... Rg6 38. Ra5 $1 Qh4 39. Rxg6 Qf2+ 40. Kh1 Qxe2 41. Qb7 Qxf3+ 42. Kh2 $13) 38. Qc7 R6f7 39. Qxc6 Qh4 40. Ra2 Qf2+ 41. Kh1 Qh4 42. Kh2 $11) 37... Rg6 $1 38. Qa1 Rg5 39. d5 $4 Qxh3+ $3 1-0

2 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

You mean 0-1, since Wh gets chackmated on the next move ...