Bird Defense Fishing Pole
|Black to play|
What's the best move to continue the attack?
On Thursday night I played young Praveen Balakrishnan in Round 6 of the Kenilworth Chess Club summer tourney, employing my favorite Bird Defense to the Ruy Lopez. For the second week in a row, I found myself sacrificing material for a direct attack on my opponent's king. In this case, I employed what Brian Wall likes to call "the fishing pole" theme: dangling my Knight at g4 for capture in order to open the h-file. My young opponent, who obviously had never been hooked before, gobbled the Knight and went down to speedy defeat. At least it is very unlikely he will ever fall for that trap again.
Brian Wall plays the Fishing Pole via the Berlin Defense with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Ng4!? trying to provoke 5.h3 h5! and the bait has been set and is hard to resist. See Lee - Wall, Kansas Open 2007 for a nice illustration. Wall has posted endless examples of his "Fishing Pole" online and in the Unorthodox Openings Yahoo group. If you have a spare 15 minutes or so, it's worth checking out his Fishing Pole: First Blood Part 1 and Part 2 on Youtube, which examine a game where GM Walter Browne lost to the Fishing Pole in a simul, intercutting scenes from Rambo for dramatic effect. If nothing else, it will definitely help you to resist the bait yourself!