Monday, August 02, 2010
Mad Dog Bites Hippo
I have annotated the game Esserman - Benjamin, 3rd NY International 2010 played last month at the Marshall Chess Club (tournament details here). I have a fondness for the "mad dog" approach to the Pirc and Modern, with an early Bc4 pointing like a sharp canine tooth toward Black's jugular at f7. But ever since Colin McNab's article on "Blunting the Bishop at c4" in Dangerous Weapons: The Pirc and Modern, I've been seeing a lot of hippopotamus set-ups against the line 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.Bc4, when Black often plays 4...e6!? (see diagram above). I was almost ready to give up on this aggressive approach, until I saw IM Marc Esserman's brilliant victory over GM Joel Benjamin--one of many upsets at the NY International.