Monday, May 26, 2014

Review of Pete Tamburro's "Openings for Amateurs"


Pete Tamburro's Openings for Amateurs (Mongoose 2014) lives up to its billing as an excellent introduction to the openings for scholastic and club players.  They just don't write books like this anymore -- ones that give good general advice on the openings and explore a variety of lines for advanced beginners and amateurs to play and learn from, with discussion they can quickly grasp and use.  In fact, this book fills a void in the contemporary chess literature last served by classics like Larry Evans and company's How to Open a Chess Game (1975) and I. A. Horowitz's How to Win in the Chess Openings (circa 1950s) -- both still in print (!) and both still in English descriptive notation (!) which tells you how few books have been published to take their place.  To be fair, there are some other contemporary books in this category, such as Sam Collins's Understanding the Chess Openings, which covers opening principles and surveys all of the major openings; but Collins's book, while useful, is more of a map than a guide. Pete Tamburro, meanwhile, wants to be your guide, and I can think of no better guide for amateurs than the man who invented "Openings for Amateurs" with his articles, videos, and online discussion forum.

The book is divided into two halves: "The Primer: Mistakes in the Opening Most Often Made by Amateurs, and Other Worries" (comprised of general opening advice with illustrative games and examples) and "Openings for Amateurs" (comprised of an opening repertoire with illustrative games and analysis).  The first half will mostly appeal to players rated between 1100-1900 (from advanced beginners to club players), while the second half has a lot to offer any players looking to expand their repertoires.  But even stronger players would do well not to skip the Primer, since it is chock full of useful "bonus" lines and repertoire analysis, so that the two halves really form a coherent whole in the end.  The material to illustrate principles in the Primer is usually drawn from basic or less important lines that are part of the repertoire -- such as ideas for meeting the King's Gambit, Danish, Halasz Center Gambit, and Vienna Gambit (part of an Open Games repertoire for Black), or the Grob and Orangutan (which you are bound to meet at some point). There is also a nice section titled "When Facing Some of the 'Pre-Planned' Openings, Don't Be Afraid to Have Your Own Plan Ready to Go," which offers a coherent repertoire for counter-attacking the Colle, Barry, and ZukeTamburro fills the Primer with interesting bonus material like this, also discussing some openings that don't make it into the repertoire such as the Barry Attack and Colle for White (not a bad 1.d4 repertoire) and C.J.S. Purdy's "All-Purpose Defense" for Black with ...e6, ...d5, and ...c5, leading to a French or Tarrasch Defense depending on White's choices.  

Most players will find the "Openings for Amateurs" repertoire portion of the book to be its main attraction.  As a player who has always played "amateur" lines, I liked Tamburro's opening choices a lot and was surprised at how many were already part of my repertoire or had been in the past.  Then it slowly dawned on me that I have known Tamburro's work for well over a decade, so he has already had his influence on me!

Tamburro recommends a repertoire built around 1.e4 for White.  For Black against 1.e4 he suggests either 1...e5 (heading toward sharp Open Games) or 1...c5 (heading toward the Sicilian Dragon).  And for Black against 1.d4 he recommends either 1...Nf6 (heading toward the Nimzo-Indian or Bogo-Indian) or 1...f5 (heading toward the Stonewall Dutch).  Along the way, he also discusses the Reversed Dragon line of the English, which can be used for White or Black.  Typically, each chapter here will discuss a number of interesting options before focusing on the repertoire line, so there is plenty of bonus material here as well.  

The principles that Tamburro uses in choosing an opening include that it: does not require a lot of memorization, follows general principles, makes you feel comfortable, makes your opponent uncomfortable, and is an opening "you can grow with" (meaning it doesn't allow a known equalizing line or have a known refutation that your stronger opponents are sure to know).  For the remainder of this review, I'd like to take a closer look at this repertoire, which seems very well chosen for its intended reader:

Sicilian Defense, Chekhover/Rossolimo, Closed and Alapin (1.e4 c5)
Tamburro starts in the right place, as the Sicilian is the line you are most likely to face if you open with 1.e4.  To help combat this important defense, he discusses three alternatives which will appeal to a variety of styles.  After all, one of his key principles is that you need to choose openings that you feel comfortable playing.

I especially like the lines with Bb5 for White.  Tamburro recommends 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3, meeting 2...d6 with 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 and 2...Nc6 with 3.Bb5 or an Alapin-like 3.c3 (covered later).  He also discusses possible transposition to Alapin-like lines if Black chooses 2...e6.   Sample games here include Tal–R. Byrne, Biel Interzonal 1976J. Polgár–Shirov, Las Palmas 1994Vojtek–Debnar, Slovak Team Chp. 1997Firat–Reshetnikov, Moscow 2013Rossolimo -  Müller, Bad Gastein 1948Rossolimo - Kottnauer, Bad Gastein 1948; and Rossolimo - Romanenko, Salzburg 1948.  The coverage of the Chekhover is first-rate and includes material I wish I had seen before writing my own "Notes on the Chekhover Sicilian (B53)."  

The closed line with 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 followed by 3.g3 is another good option for players seeking to limit their theory.  Sample games here include Smyslov–Denker, USA-USSR Radio Match 1946 and Spassky–Geller, Candidates’ Match (6) 1968.  Though I usually play the Grand Prix Attack myself (another amateur favorite), I have also tried the Closed with g3, especially as a way of addressing the move order 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6!? when White's light-squared Bishop will probably be most comfortable fianchettoed.  I learned a lot about this line from analyzing Capablanca - Zhenevsky, Moscow 1925, which demonstrates the strategic depth of the opening for both players, and from IM Attila Turzo's excellent video The Basic Principles of the Closed Sicilian for White (ChessLecture) which covers some of the same territory that Tamburro does.  

Finally, the c3 Sicilian is a completely different animal but also a good system for amateurs, some of whom might also want to experiment with the Smith-Morra (which is definitely not a line that Tamburro recommends, let me be clear!)  Samples games include Alekhine–Podgorny, Prague 1943 and Sveshnikov–Bonsch, Cienfuegos 1979.  All-in-all, a great set of options for meeting the Sicilian, and definitely all lines you can "grow with."

French, Tarrasch Variation (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2)
This is a good approach to the French and fits well with other recommendations, especially the c3 Sicilian (which Tamburro shows can reach similar positions).   Illustrative games include Rublevsky–Dyachkov, Russia Club Cup 1998; Karpov–Kuzmin, Leningrad Interzonal 1973; and Tiviakov–Zhang Pengxiang, Olympiad 2006

Caro-Kann, Fantasy Variation (with 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3!?)
Probably one of Tamburro's most surprising recommendations is the Fantasy Variation, which has been an interest of mine (see my bibliography on the Fantasy Variation of the Caro-Kann, for instance) and a line that I definitely plan to return to after reading this chapter! I would recommend the recent book Extreme Caro-Kann by Alexey Bezgodov for serious students. Sample games here include Tatai - Mariotti, Reggio Emilia 1967-68; Smyslov - Gereben, Moscow vs Budapest 1949; and Robson–Shankland, U.S. Junior Ch. 2010 (where Tamburro has some improvements on White's play).  Interestingly, in his excellent earlier book Learn Chess from the Greats, Tamburro gave a "?!" mark in his annotations to White's third move.  Clearly he has had a change of heart over the years!

Austrian Pirc (1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4)
I have been one of many players inspired by Tamburro's "Openings for Amateurs" lectures at ICC/ChessFM, where he presented on the line 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.e5 dxe5 6.dxe5!? exchanging Queens to achieve a favorable ending.  I wrote about this line in the article "The Simplified Pirc."  It's definitely a solid system that will teach you a lot about chess and score you many points.  And if Black does not exchange pawns in the center, he will be under quite a bit of pressure. Sample games include Bronstein–Benko, Monte Carlo 1969 and Z. Polgár–Shchekachev, Vienna 1991.  

Canal Variation of the Alekhine's Defense (1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Bc4)
I have from time to time experimented with a "Mad Dog" opening repertoire built around 1.e4 with an early Bc4 for White against most everything Black can play, and it naturally features the Canal Variation against the Alekhine with 4.Bc4 (though I have also experimented with the gambit line of the Chase Variation with 3.c4 Nb6 4.c5 Nd5 5.Bc4!? as well).  I agree with Tamburro's view that Canal's approach is underestimated by theory and I was glad to see him discuss it.  Sample games include Canal–Pérez, Madrid 1951, and Sax–D. Burić, 2002.

Scandinavian (1.e4 d5 2.exd5)
I like Tamburro's repertoire against the Scandinavian, especially 2...Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.d3!? which I play also, ever since I saw Andrew Martin mention that it might be White's "most dangerous" option.  Tamburro also covers some of my favorite attacking lines, including the sharp 2...Nf6 3.d4 Nxd5 4.c4 Nb6 5.Nf3 Ng4 6.c5! N6d7 7.Bc4, which is another one of those "Mad Dog" lines where the Bishop aims at f7.  Sample games include Houska–Keitlinghaus, Bundesliga 2003/04; Losev–Orlinkov, Moscow 2010; R. Byrne–Rogoff, U.S. Chp. 1978; and Lisetskaya–Everitt, ICCF 2011.

Spanish Four Knights (1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bb5)
About eight years ago I visited Fred Wilson at his book shop in New York City, where he completely sold me on the Spanish Four Knights by calling it a "real man's" opening -- because it leads to hand-to-hand combat and has been played by some of the toughest players in chess history.  Following Wilson's recommendations, I played and analyzed it quite a bit (see my bibliography and articles one, two and three on the line in what should have been a much longer series).  On the only occasion that I visited Pete Tamburro at his home, we discussed our mutual interest in the Four Knights and he photocopied some fascinating historical analysis for me from the January 1922 issue of British Chess Magazine (which he also discusses at length in his book).  The article he copied recommended meeting Rubinstein's  4...Nd4 with the simple 5.O-O! -- the same line I had learned from Wilson and discussed in my first article.  Sample games in this chapter include Capablanca–H. Steiner, Los Angeles 1933; Maróczy–F. Treybal, Prague 1908; and Perlis–Freymann, St. Petersburg 1909.  Besides those books mentioned in my bibliography, there are also the more recent The Four Knights Game by Andrey Obodchuk and The Four Knights: Move by Move by Cyrus Lakdawala -- the latter of which also discusses the next line via Glek's move order.

Paulsen Vienna with g3 (1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3)
This line has been a favorite of mine, as I discuss in my Glek Four Knights and Paulsen Vienna Bibliography.  It really fits the bill for an opening that you can play on general principles without a lot of memorization.  Sample games from the book include Motwani–B. Jónsson, Iceland 1992 and Bisguier–Snow, U.S. Amateur Team East 2013.

Open Games as Black (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6)
I have always been attracted to the open games for both White and Black, and there are many good opening manuals to support that choice (John Emms's Play the Open Games as Black is still a favorite of mine). I'm glad that Tamburro does not shy away from this approach, as it has always struck me as the most principled defense for Black and the one most likely to lead to fun and interesting games for amateurs.  Tamburro recommends the Fritz Variation of the Two Knights Defense against the Italian and main lines against the Scotch.  Sample games here include Sachs - Friedman, Cleveland 1948; Spielmann–Eliskases, Match 1936; Showalter–Gossip, New York 1889; and Smeets–M. Adams, Staunton Memorial 2008.  In the last chapter of the book, Tamburro discusses the Ruy Lopez as White and Black, recommending the Marshall Gambit for serious students, but also discussing the fun to be had with the Schliemann (3...f5).  For those interested, I had a couple of articles on GM Josh Friedel's use of the Fritz-Ulvestad Defense (see first and second) and a webliography and commentary on the Two Knights for Black.  I also have an interesting piece on the Anti-Modern 5...Ng4.

Sicilian Dragon (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6)
For those who are not up to playing the open games as Black, Tamburro recommends the Sicilian Dragon, which was my own first line (picked up from the classic How to Think Ahead in Chess by Fred Reinfeld and I.A. Horowitz).  As Tamburro notes, you don't have to do a lot of deep opening study to get started with this line at the amateur level, but as you climb up the ratings ladder you will have to hit the books -- or at least check out my webliography.  Tamburro's sample games include Vasiukov–Parma, Rijeka 1963; M. Burrows–Felgaer, Gibraltar Masters 2013; and Rauzer–Botvinnik, USSR Ch. 1933.

English, Reversed Dragon (1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2)
Some years ago we had a "Reversed Dragon" theme tournament at the Kenilworth Chess Club, in which I really enjoyed participating.  It definitely convinced me that this is a great line for amateurs, as Tamburro had already discussed in one of his ICC/Chess FM lectures. Here he outlines a repertoire that follows the games of former World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik: Botvinnik–Lundin, Stockholm 1962; Botvinnik–Portisch, Monte Carlo 1968; Botvinnik–Söderborg, Stockholm 1962; and Benko–Botvinnik, Monte Carlo 1968.  I think a player who adopted this and the Sicilian Dragon as Black would have an interesting lifetime system.  

Nimzo- and Bogo-Indian (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4)
Tamburro makes a great case for the Hübner Variation but also covers a wide range of methods of handling this solid defense.  The Hübner was nicely discussed recently by Jeremy Silman in his series "Riding the Winds of Fashion, Part One" and "Part Two" at Chess.com, which should definitely convince you that this is an opening you will learn a lot from playing.  Sample games from Tamburro's book include Pinter–Timman, Las Palmas Interzonal 1982; Spassky–Fischer, World Championship 1972; González–Perrine, corr. 1943; Abramavicius–Ribera, Hamburg 1930; and Colle - Capablanca, Karlsbad 1929.

Dutch Stonewall (1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 d5 5.Nf3 c6 6.O-O Bd6)
I had noticed that Tamburro was playing the Dutch Stonewall in recent years, and his interest in the line may have been part of what led me to experiment with it myself. I put together an article on The Stonewall in Black and White, which has been a favorite of readers ever since (probably my most popular article ever to judge from the stats).  And the Stonewall definitely has much to recommend it, not least because of its well deserved reputation for leading to super-solid positions.  Sample games include Flohr - Botvinnik, Match (10) 1933Marshall–Chigorin, Ostend 1905; Gurevich - Illescas, Sanxenxo 2004; Kasparov - Illescas, Dos Hermanas 1996Turner–Agdestein, Tromsø 2008; and Lenic - Kuzubov, World Youth 2005.

Ruy Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5) Tamburro ends with "A Plea for the Ruy Lopez" as a great line for lifelong learning.  But that one fell on deaf ears: like most amateurs, I will do anything to avoid the Spanish Torture, even by "flipping the Bird" at the Lopez Bishop with 3...Nd4!?  But this might be the best chapter in the book for those willing to listen.

Overall, this is a great book with much to recommend it.  Download an excerpt from the Mongoose website for more details.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Bird Defense (C61) of 40 Years Ago


I have been reading 40 Years of Friendship, 100 Games of Chess by Wayne Conover, Steve Pozarek, and Eugene Salomon (Smashwords eBook 2014), which I picked up mostly out of nostalgia for New Jersey chess: I knew all three players when I was a young member of the Westfield Chess Club from 1979-1984.  I also correctly predicted the book would contain some of former New Jersey champion Pozarek's games with the Bird Defense from the 1970s, which I have used to analyze the classic Bird line 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.O-O c6 6.Bc4 Nf6 -- last popular about 40 years ago, but perhaps due for a revival.  It was Pozarek who introduced me to the Bird Defense in a series of articles on this specific variation.  That series began in the Westfield Chess Club Newsletter of March 1980 (edited by UNIX inventor Ken Thompson), in the same number that featured Wayne Conover's annotated victory over an IM and the crosstable of a 5-minute tournament where Gene Salomon finished second behind future IM Mike Valvo -- and a 14-year-old unrated kid named Mike Goeller finished in the middle of the strong field.  



In retrospect, I think it was also Pozarek who introduced me to the idea that amateurs can make useful contributions to chess theory.  I am a collector of amateur chess memoirs and game collections like this one, and I find that I have often discussed in this blog the important contributions they offer to theory: Sidney Bernstein's Combat: My 50 years at the Chessboard shows ways of playing a New York approach to 1...Nc6 and ...h5 in the Dragon (among numerous other interesting ideas); Dr. Philip Corbin's Calypso Chess features games with the Smith-Morra Gambit and the Elephant Gambit; Asa Hoffmann's Chess Gladiator offers a game with Janowski's Brother Indian (among many other original opening ideas); Ariel Mengarini's Predicament in Two Dimensions: The Thinking of a Chessplayer illustrates the Albin Counter Gambit with Nge7; and Billy Colias's posthumous Midwest Master offers insight into the Grand Prix Attack for Black and White.  The spirit of chess amateurism is alive and well, and the present volume does not hesitate to offer up some opening novelties and insights of its own.


In the middle section of the book, Conover, Pozarek, and Salomon offer contributions to theory in the Leningrad Dutch, the Caro Kann Defense, the Averbakh Variation of the King's Indian, and the Alekhine Defense.  Though there should be fewer games and a little more theory in this part, it is still more than most readers would expect to find.  This part of the book is made up mostly of games from Conover and Salomon, who studied together and played many of the same openings, but Pozarek tries his best with the Alekhine (using mostly his co-authors' games).  Too bad he didn't think to write about the Bird.  I would have liked to see more off-beat openings like that one.  After all, amateurs tend to experiment more than the pros.

Steve Goldberg's "Stories from Grandpaat ChessCafe offers two useful critiques of the book.  I especially agree with his complaint about the number of diagrams, considering that, as an e-book, it would not have cost anything to add more.  I also agree with the implicit criticism in Goldberg's title, because the memoir part of the book seems less written for a general reader than, as Pozarek explicitly tell us, "first and foremost" for "families and friends."  However, there are definitely some very good games in these pages against a lot of quality opposition, including a whos-who of Northeast chess history: Pal Benko, Joel Benjamin, John Fedorowicz, Arnold Denker, William Lombardy, Steve Stoyko, Leroy Dubeck, Scott Massey, Mike Valvo, Orest Popovych, and Edgar McCormick. It even has some simultaneous games against such one-name luminaries as Korchnoi, Petrosian and Alekhine(!)  And practically none of these games will be found in the databases.  In fact, if it were not for this book, all of these games would vanish and remain unknown, like so many great master games.  

As with all amateur volumes, written as a "labor of love," it has something to offer those willing to take the time to look.  The following diagrams highlight some of the better moments enjoyed by these three players:


(1) Conover - Rozier
White to play and win.
(2) Zweibel - Pozarek (see game)
Black to play and win.
(3) Salomon - Watson
White to play and win.
Solutions: (1) 46.Nf5! (forcing mate in 9 moves or fewer); (2) 14....Bxf2+!; and (3) 61.Rc4!! (the only way to win)

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Dimock Theme Tournaments and The Brooklyn Daily Eagle


While assembling and analyzing the games from the Alrick H. Man Vienna Gambit Theme Tournament of 1924-1925 for an article on the event (which should go up next week), I decided to do some more searching to see if any additional games from the tournament might be found.  I began by double-checking The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (about which I wrote two years ago in "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Archive Online") and discovered (thanks to help from researcher David Moody -- a.k.a. Phony Benoni at Chessgames.com) that the entire Eagle archive is now searchable online at the Brooklyn Newsstand (http://newsstand.bklynpubliclibrary.org).  The site is much easier to use than the Fulton History website I discussed in my earlier post.  The Brooklyn Newsstand was produced by Newspapers.com but is free of charge; the larger site, meanwhile, charges about the same as Netflix, though they offer a 7-day free trial.  

I found no additional games from the Alrick H. Man tournament, but I did turn up information about a number of Dimock theme tournament events and located many of the chess columns I had previously examined on microfilm.  The search interface of the Brooklyn Newsstand has definitely encouraged me to return to my long-standing project to research all of the Dimock theme tournaments.  I have been told by other chess researchers, who have looked through the Eagle archives for other information, that there were a large number of Dimock theme tournaments at the Marshall Chess Club, and I therefore suspect I have only scratched the surface in my research thus far.  For instance, I have not yet identified the tournaments of 1928 or any that may have occurred in the 1930s or beyond (Harold Edwin Dimock lived until 1967 after all).  And for some tournaments I only have scant information or a passing reference.

Most of my search for theme tournament news and games has focused on the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, but this time I also searched the New York Evening Post because it once had an excellent chess column as well.  In fact, one of the Post's early columnists was Emanuel Lasker.  I had learned that Horace Ransom Bigelow took over Lasker's column around the time of the Dimock and Alrick H. Man events.  As Bigelow was often himself a participant in Dimock tournaments, it seemed likely he would have published some games.  Unfortunately, I discovered that Bigelow's first column did not appear until November 4, 1925, which was after the early tournaments that interested me most.  However, he did publish at least a couple of articles on the later Dimock events (such as this one from June 2, 1926), so I will have to look at his column some more to see if other Dimock games might be unearthed there. 

For those interested in locating Bigelow's columns in the New York Evening Post through the Fulton site: he was generally published on Wednesdays, typically in the entertainment section (often near the "Daily Cross-Word Puzzle") and under the title "The Chessboard" -- though he also published columns on other days, especially during major chess events.  He also published a chess problem with every column, numbered sequentially beginning with "Problem No. 1" in that first column.  So you can sometimes use "Problem No. X" or "Chess Problem No. X" as a search term to locate a specific column -- though, unfortunately, this does not always work due to the poor quality of some of the reproductions and the inaccurate optical character recognition (OCR) that results.  Lasker's column "Over the Chess Board" also published about the same number of problems, by the way, and will also often appear in results using this method.  Helms's chess column in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle usually appeared on Thursdays in the Sports section (section "A"), which was separately numbered and near the back of the paper, and it also featured a sequentially numbered chess problem that can sometimes help in locating specific dates.  The column was usually published on Wednesday when Thursday was a holiday (especially Thanksgiving), and Helms often ran columns on additional days during major chess events. The nice thing about the Brooklyn Newsstand site is that it only searches the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archive and makes it easy to scroll through the pages (especially with the new viewer); so I often find it easiest to simply locate the Thursday papers by searching by date (e.g.: September 29, 1921) and then scroll to the Sports section to locate Helms's column.  It helps to consult a historical calendar before you start. (I mention all of these things because I wish I had that information myself before I began researching these columns and may thus save others some trouble).

The future for armchair chess historians is looking brighter every day.  Besides the increasing number of options for researching newspaper columns, there is a growing library of free resources online, especially through Google Books.  Already quite a few volumes of the American Chess Bulletin (see ACB 13-15 1916-1918 and ACB 18 1921) and classic old books, such as Marshall's Chess Swindles, are available for free there.  If I were a retired chess player with decent eyesight, a good internet connection, and obsessive compulsive tendencies (which I expect to be in less than 20 years), I think I could keep myself busy with chess history projects for the rest of my days.

To give you some sense of what you can find in these old columns, I append the results of my research so far into the sponsored theme tournaments held at the Marshall Chess Club in the 1920s.  This is an ongoing project so there are still quite a few gaps.  As always, I welcome additions from interested or knowledgeable readers.



Greco Counter Gambit, Dimock Theme Tournament (October 1921)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Bc4
Frank James Marshall, Bruno Forsberg, A.B. Hodges, and Charles Jaffe played in a double-round quadrangle tournament.  I had intended to feature these games in my Urusov Gambit website, but their theoretical value did not merit close attention.
  • September 15, 1921 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) News and Reshevsky - Duncan
  • September 29, 1921 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)
  • October 6, 1921 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)
  • October 13, 1921 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)
  • October 20, 1921 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)
  • October 27, 1921 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)
American Chess Bulletin 18 (1921): 195.
Danish Gambit, Dimock Theme Tournament (1922)
1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3
Frank Marshall, Bruno Forsberg, Anthony Santasiere, Horance Ransom Bigelow, Marcel Duchamp, and M. D. Hago.  Early entrant Philips withdrew.  The tournament ran from the middle of October through the middle of November and has been thoroughly documented in Vlastimil Fiala's The Chess Biography of Marcel Duchamp: Volume One (1887-1925): 69-74, which was reviewed by John S. Hilbert. Fiala notes: "no game, however, has so far been found from the tournament" (Fiala 70).   My own explorations have not changed this sad fact, which makes this (in my view) one of the great losses to chess history.  All we have are news accounts, including mentions in the New York Evening Post (October 18, 1922) and The New York Times (October 22, 1922) -- with enough news that standings for each round and the complete crosstable were reconstructed by Fiala.  But no games have ever been found. I personally searched through the microfilm of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle from this period about a decade ago but did not turn up any games either. Here are some of the first links to The Brooklyn Daily Eagle chess columns for anyone who is interested:
  • October 19, 1922 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)
  • October 26, 1922 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)
  • November 2, 1922 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)
Lasker Defense to the Evans Gambit, Dimock Theme Tournament (1923)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.O-O d3 7.d4 Bb6
Frank James Marshall, Anthony Santaslere, Rudolf Smirka, Bruno Forsberg, F. E. Parker, and Jacobs.  Early entrants Horace Ransom Bigelow and Erling Tholfsen withdrew. 
  • June 7, 1923 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Evans Gambit tourney announced
  • October 25, 1923 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)
  • November 8, 1923 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)
  • November 15, 1923 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)
  • November 22, 1923 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)
  • December 27, 1923 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)



Urusov / Ponziani Gambit, Dimock Theme Tournament (1924)
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4
Frank James Marshall, Carlos Torre, Anthony Santasiere, Erling Tholfsen, Rudolf Smirka, Horace Ransom Bigelow, and Bruno Forsberg.  This tournament is fully documented at my Urusov Gambit / Dimock Theme Tournament site (which I assembled from the microfilm).  It was an excellent event with theoretically significant games.  Here are links to the original scores and news available in the online archive:
  • October 2, 1924 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Urusov first games
  • October 5, 1924 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) First round news
  • October 9, 1924 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Urusov
  • October 16, 1924 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Urusov news
  • October 23, 1924 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) - missing from the online record?
  • October 30, 1924 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Urusov
  • November 6, 1924 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Urusov
  • November 13, 1924 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Urusov
  • November 20, 1924 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Urusov games
  • November 26, 1924 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Urusov
  • December 4, 1924 (Brooklyn) (Fulton)
  • December 11, 1924 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Urusov
  • April 9, 1925 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) mention

Vienna Gambit, Alrick H. Man Theme Tournament (1924-1925)
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4
Frank James Marshall, Carlos Torre, Erling Tholfsen, Horace Ransom Bigelow, Rudolf Smirka, C. E. Norwood, and G. Gustafson.  The game Torre - Norwood, which I have already annotated online, only appeared in the American Chess Bulletin. I should have all of the games posted by next week, using the games to offer a useful introduction to the Vienna Gambit (C29).

  • December 24, 1924  (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Vienna
  • January 15, 1925 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Vienna
  • February 19, 1925 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Vienna
  • February 26, 1925 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Vienna
  • March 26, 1925 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Vienna results
  • April 2, 1925 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Vienna
Giuoco Piano, Dimock Theme Tournament (1925)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c4 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.exd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3
Frank James Marshall, Carlos Torre, Albert S. Pinkus, C. S. Howell, Anthony Santasiere, and Herman Steiner.  This tournament might be my next project.
  • October 8, 1925 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Dimock Giuoco
  • October 15, 1925 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Dimock Giuoco
  • October 22, 1925 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Dimock Giuoco
  • October 29, 1925 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Dimock Giuoco
  • November 5, 1925 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Dimock Giuoco - news
  • November 12, 1925 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Dimock Giuoco
  • November 25, 1925 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Dimock Giuoco
  • February 4, 1926 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Dimock Giuoco - late game
Sicilian Wing Gambit, Dimock Theme Tournament (1926) 
1.e4 c5 2.b4
It appears that this tournament was combined with the next, as players of the Black pieces were allowed to choose whether they preferred to play against the Sicilian Wing Gambit with 1...c5 2.b4 or the Evans Gambit following 1...e5 etc.  A similar format, but with White choosing, was tried in 1927.

Evans Gambit, Dimock Theme Tournament (1926)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.O-O
Cordel Ruy Lopez, Dimock Theme Tournament (1926-1927)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5
Budapest Defense and Alekhine, Dimock Theme Tournament (1927)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 or 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5
Anthony Santasiere, Rudolf Smirka, Fred Reinfeld, Milton Hanauer, H. Fajans, and T. M. Croney.  White could choose to play against the Budapest or the Alekhine Defense. 
  • December 8, 1927 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) Santasiere games.
  • December 22, 1927 (Brooklyn) (Fulton) final results
English Opening, Dimock Theme Tournament (1929)
1.c4 e5
Frank James Marshall, Erling Tholfsen, Fred Reinfeld and others.
Unknown, Dimock Theme Tournament (1929)
Erling Tholfsen, Frank James Marshall, Fred Reinfeld, M. Hanauer.  I did not find additional mention of the event in November 7, November 21, or December 5 issues.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Vienna Gambit (C29) Bibliography


I have decided to return to my project on the Alrick Man Vienna Gambit Theme Tournament of 1924-1925, so I thought I'd compile a bibliography on the Vienna Gambit (C29), which opens 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 and usually continues 3...d5 4.fxe5 Nxe4 when White then has a choice among 5.d3, 5.Qf3 and 5.Nf3.  Part of my inspiration for returning to the Alrick Man project comes from an article in New in Chess Yearbook #110 (2014), which presents the Vienna Gambit as an interesting territory in which to "just play chess" in creative ways, as in the game Jobava - Mamedyarov, Warsaw 2013.  This is an attractive idea, and one I think the Alrick Man games demonstrate.  You can also find a lot of creativity in the games of other players who have favored the Vienna Gambit, including Jonny Hector, Dragoljub Janošević, Heikki Westerinen, Karel Hromadka, and Rudolf Spielmann.

The Vienna Gambit might make an interesting addition to a Four Knights repertoire, starting 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 when you can choose between 3.Nf3 or 3.f4!? for times when you are looking for an offbeat adventure.  Vienna Gambit game collections can be found at Chessgames (C29)Spielmann playing C29 as White, Vienna Gambit 3...exf4? 4.e5, Vienna Gambit f5 Variation365 ChessChess-DB, ChessTempoChessTempo2, ChessTempo1, and ChessAge.

Bibliography

"A Worthy Alternative" by Alexander Finkel, New in Chess Yearbook #110 (2014): 135-139.  Focuses on the line 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5 4.fxe5 Nxe4 5.Nf3 Bc5, featuring the recent game Jobava - Mamedyarov, Warsaw 2013, which continued 6.Qe2! Bf5! 7.Nd1 with complex play.  Other games include Lehtivaara - Virtanen, Finland Junior Ch 1987; Uritzky - Kogan, Tel Aviv 1996; Pedersen - Ochsner, Denmark tt 2001-2002; Lemmers - Vedder, Netherlands tt 2013-2014; Andreikin - Kramnik, Moscow WCh Blitz 2010; Milotai - Fichtl, Brno 1957; Hector - Hagen, Copenhagen 2012; Ljubojevic - Ciocaltea, Skopje ol 1972; Narmontas - Gustafsson, Warsaw rapid 2008; and Vavra - Fernandez Garcia, Barcelona tt 1993.




Game Of the Week: GM Jobava vs. GM Mamedyarov by Joel Benjamin, ICC Video (November 29, 2013).  Some useful notes on the widely discussed Jobava game.  Membership required.

"Alrick H. Man Vienna Gambit Theme Tournament" by Michael Goeller, Kenilworth Chess Club (January 2011).  My first and (so far) last article on this theme tournament at the Marshall Chess Club that ran from December 1924 - April 1925 and was sponsored by club member and philanthropist Alrick H. Man.  In this first article, I had annotated the game Carlos Torre - C. E. Norwood, which began 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5 4.fxe5 Nxe4 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Qe2!  I will soon be posting all of the games from this theme tournament.






The Vienna with 3.f4 by Nigel Davies, ChessBase DVD (2011)
"Besides the traditional lines such as 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5 4.fxe5 Nxe4 and 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 exf4 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Nxf7, Davies examines modern treatments such as 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5 4.exd5 and 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 exf4 4.Nf3 g5 5.d4 d6 6.d5!?. He also shows why many of the typical reactions at club level are bad. Video running time: 4 hours."  Also at ChessCentral.

"Vienna Gambit - 5. d3" by Subhodh Kotekal & Tony Palmer, West Michigan Chess (2011).

"Vienna Gambit - 5. Nf3" by Subhodh Kotekal & Tony Palmer, West Michigan Chess (2011).  Some questionable analysis and old sources, but not a bad overview. 

Boris Alterman, Vienna Gambit video lecture series at ICC (2010).  Part One (Preview, Members); Part Two (Preview, Members); Part Three (Preview, Members); Part 4 (Preview, Members) - requires Windows Media Player.







The ABC of the Vienna by Andrew Martin, ChessBase DVD (2009)
Reviewed by Louis Lima.  "IM Andrew Martin argues that the Vienna is a good practical choice. White can steer the game into all manner of interesting positions according to Black’s response. He may play sharply or positionally. Black must respond very accurately to demonstrate equality.  Video running time: 3 hours 42 minutes."

"The Rough Guide to Vienna" by Gary Lane, Opening Lanes #119 at ChessCafe (2008).  Discusses some games where Black plays the passive d6 defense, which is generally not effective against the Vienna.

The Art of Sacrifice in Chess, Game 20 by Katar, ChessVideos.tv (2007).  A useful commentary on the game Spielmann - Flamberg 1914.

Shock and Awe in the Vienna Gambit by George Eraclides, Pawn's Progress blog (October 2006).  An interesting game of the author's with the Oxford d3 line and eventual O-O-O!?

The Vienna Game C23-C29 by Gregory Huber, ChessBase (2006).  Reviewed by Hansen.  "The work consists of a clearly laid out database containing 26 texts and 330 games, 220 of which have been annotated by the author. In addition there is a large database containing more than 27,000 games (a good 300 of which have been annotated), a training database with 124 training questions and a large opening tree constructed from all the games."

Play 1.e4 e5! by Nigel Davies, Everyman Chess (2005): 178-182.  Takes as its main game Hellers - Karpov, Haninge 1990 and also discusses Milner-Barry - Haygarth, Sunderland 1966 and Hromadka - Bogoljubow, Mahrisch-Ostrau 1923.

"Sideways" by Gary Lane, Opening Lanes #75 at ChessCafe (March 2005)
Looks at Black's options in the Wurzburger Trap line, based on analysis by reader Patrick Byrne, where Black might save himself by 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5 4.fxe5 Nxe4 5.d3 Qh4+ 6.g3 Nxc3!

White Repertoire 1.e4 by Alexander Bangiev, ChessBase CD (2003)
Though I do not agree with all of Bangiev's opinions on these lines, I think he makes a very thorough and useful presentation and analysis, covering lots of lines and offering many analyzed games.  The rest of the repertoire is very interesting, along the lines of "the Big Clamp" theme.  If you are interested in lines with an early f4 for White, get a copy of this while it still exists.  You can find a useful review at Seagaard by Pelle Bank.


"How to Win on the Internet" by Gary Lane, Opening Lanes #50 at ChessCafe (2002).  Discusses some games of interest to Vienna theory, including 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 d6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bb5 and 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 f5 3.exf5 with a King's Gambit Accepted plus extra tempo.

"Fischer Plays Again" by Gary Lane, Opening Lanes #45 at ChessCafe (September 2002)
Looks at the Wurzburger Trap line from the White perspective.

"The Romantic 5.Qf3: Classical Main Line 4.fxe5 Nxe4 5.Qf3 " by A.C Van der Tak, New in Chess Yearbook #62 (2002): 123-128.  Sample games include Sax - Pavasovic, Nova Gorica 2001; Noskov - Kunits, Correspondence USSR 1936; Swanson - Baker, England tt 2000; Arnaudov - Hristov, Teteven 1991; Depasquale - Charles, Suncoast 1999; Darvall - Lovejoy, Canberra 2001; Grau - Van Schelinga, Buenos Aires ol 1939; Shaw - Parker, Hastings 1995-1996; Vankov - Angelov, Corr. ch Great Britain 1992; Vankov - Sergiev, Corr. ch Great Britain 1992; Spielmann - Schenkein, Vienna 1913; Vankov - Unglaub, Correspondence 1991; Swanson - Yeo, Great Britain 1998; Schwarzbach - Chalupetzky, Correspondence 1908; Antal - Lukacs, Budapest 2000; Hromadka - Lasker, Mahrisch Ostrau 1923; Kazic - Poljakov, Novi Sad 1945; Koniger - Maler, Munchen 1993; and Paulsen - Schiffers, Breslau 1889, among others.

Vienna Game by Gary Lane, Everyman Chess (2000): 10-41.  I find Gary Lane's book somewhat useful, but his goal is simply to survey the opening and not necessarily to identify the best lines for White.  I was especially disappointed by his dislike of Qe2 lines for White, which often are the best try for advantage.  Main games include Adams - Anand, Linares (4) 1994; Adams - Xu Jun, Cap d'Agde 1994; Murshed - Babu, Sakthi 1996; Flaisigova - Krivec, World Junior Ch 1998; Yegiazarian - Estrada, Linares 1999; De la Riva - Fernandez, Barcelona 1993; Vorotnikov - Kuzmin, Orel 1997Bauer - Heidenfeld, Zell 1991; Lehtivaara - Flear, Lenk 1992; Mallahi - Quintero, World Junior Ch 1999; Bronstein - Malaniuk, Hastings 1995; Polasek - Vrana, Prague 1992; Biolek - Mokry, Olomouc 1997; Seret - Spassky, French Ch 1990; Kunte - Garbisu, World Junior Ch 1995; Gruettner - Kraus, Giessen 1991; Kimenko - Navabi, World Junior Ch 1999; Antal - Lengyel, Budapest 1998; Depasquale - Charles, Australian Open 1999; Koeniger - Maier, Munich 1993; Paglilla - Blatny, Buenos Aires 1998; and Maslachenko - Skatchkov, Orel 1996

Play the Open Games as Black by John Emms, Gambit (2000): 30-35.
Emms offers a very good repertoire for Black and good analysis to support it.  His treatment of the Vienna, while naturally biased toward Black, is worth examining.  Sample games include Vorotnikov - Kapengut, USSR 1975
Hromadka - Lasker, Mahrisch Ostrau 1923; Vulfson - Lilienthal, Kuibyshev 1942Hromadka - Bogoljubow, Mahrisch-Ostrau 1923; Hon - Van der Sterren, London 1992; Sax - Plaskett, Lugano 1986; Ljubojevic - Ciocaltea, Skopje OL 1972; L'Hoste - Boudre, Val Maubuee 1990; Sorensen - Flear, Hastings 1988; Swanson - Fernandez Garcia, Lucerne OL 1982; Uritzky - Kogan, Tel Aviv 1996Janosevic - Baretic, Yugoslavia 1977; and Boog - Godena, Geneva 1993.

"The English in Exile?" by Gary Lane, Opening Lanes #7 at ChessCafe (July 1999)
Looks at 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 f5?!  But the best answer is 3.Nf3!

The Complete Vienna by Mikhail Tseitlin and I. B. Glazkov, Batsford (1995)

Die Wiener Partie by Laszlo Jakobetz  and Laszlo Somlai, Reinhold Dreier Verlag (1994)

"Vienna Game: Hector vs Hector" by René Olthof with notes by Alexander Bangiev, New in Chess Yearbook #30 (1993):  75-80. Features the Classical Main Line 4.fxe5 Nxe4 5.Nf3 Be7 6.Qe2.  Rollig - Hector, Berlin 1993; Spielmann - Kaufmann, Vienna 1917; Florian - Lilienthal, Budapest - Moscow 1949; Euwe - Reti, Bad Pistyan 1922; Spielmann - Maroczy, Teplitz - Schonau 1922Spielmann - Reti, Vienna 1922; Spielmann - Yates, Marienbad 1925Konstantinopolsky - Keres, Moscow 1940; Hector - Schmid, Metz 1988; Hector - Brull, Lagnisko 1988; Hector - Blauert, Berlin 1988;  Hector - Kakageldiev, Manilla 1992; Hector - Brinck, Naestved 1988; Hector - Campora, Royan 1988; Hector - Chiburdanidze, Berlin 1988; Hector - Z. Polgar, Val Maubuee 1988; Hector - Ivkov, Cannes 1989; Hector - Inkiov, Kobenhavn 1990; Westerinen - Matanovic, Forssa 1972; Westerinen - Lengyel, San Feliu 1973; Gurieli - Akmilovskaya, Frunze 1975; Ekebjaerg - Kramer, Correspondence 1988; Hellers - Karpov, Haninge 1990; Bangiev - Kunze, Berlin 1993; Blackburne - Judd, New York 1889; Janosevic - Gligoric, Beograd 1964; Janosevic - Reshevsky, Maribor 1967; Janosevic - Baretic, Yugoslavia 1977; and Bangiev - Howell, Biel 1993.

The Vienna Game and Gambit, Revised 2nd edition, by A.E. Santasiere and Ken Smith, Chess Digest (1992)

"Vienna Game: Oxford Variation" by A.C Van der Tak, New in Chess Yearbook #19 (1991): 60-63.  A survey of games with the Classical Main Line 4.fxe5 Nxe4 5.d3 with useful notes on the game Seret - Spassky, Angers 1990, and then a collection of very lightly annotated games, including Znosko-Borovsky - Cohn, St. Petersburg 1909; Hromadka - Spielmann, Prague 1924; Heidenfeld - Roele, Amsterdam 1954; Milner-Barry - Hanninen, Moscow ol 1956; Beckers - Denckens, Correspondence Belgium 1961; Kirby - Wilken, Correspondence South Africa 1961; Noskov - Stoliar, Leningrad 1966; Sax - Ciocaltea, Vrnjacka Banja 1974; and Iskov - Donner, Swendborg 1981, among others.

Der Wiener Partie by Jerzy Konikowski, Münster Verlag (1990)

Vienna Game by Alexander Konstantinopolsky Vladimir Lepeshkin, Batsford (1986)

Vienna Opening, Tim Harding, Batsford (1976)

The Vienna Game and Gambit by A. E. Santasiere, Chess Digest Books (1974): 51-66.  Relatively little of the pamphlet is devoted to the Vienna Gambit, with the majority of attention devoted to Weaver Adams's favorite lines of the Bishop's Opening, including the Frankenstein-Dracula variation.  In this section, game references include Christiansen - Schulz, Roskilde 1968; Sultan Khan - Weenimk, Liege 1930; Spielman - Kaufmann, Vienna 1917; Florian - Lilienthal, Budapest 1949; Spielmann - Teichmann, Teplitz - Schoner 1922; Janosevic - Wade, Solingen 1968; Janosevic - Lengyel, Maribor 1967; Janosevic - Reshevsky, Maribor 1965; Janosevic - Gligoric, Belgrade 1964; Spielmann - Loman, Schevenigen 1923; Spielmann - Reti, Vienna 1922; Konstantinopolsky - Keres, Moscow 1940; Mattison - Rubinstein, Prague 1931; Kan - Botvinnik, Moscow 1935; Chartinonaschuilli - Agschamov, Kaluga 1968; Westerinen - Camilleri, Raach 1969; van der Weide - Horne, Hastings 1967; Spielmann - Yates, Prague 1931; Spielmann - Vidmar, Semmering 1926; Mieses - Rubinstein, Match 1909; Wolf - Vidmar, Carlsbad 1907; Euwe - Yates, Hague 1921; Spielmann - Flamberg, Mannheim 1914; Nikitin - Zeschkovsky, Alma - Alta 1968 (!); Spielmann - Marshall, New York 1927; Ivaschin - Boriseenko, Kuilyschev 1948; Spielmann - Romanovsky, Moscow 1925; Boros - Lilienthal, Budapest 1933; Hromadka - Lasker, Mahrisch - Ostran 1923; Hromadka - Spielmann, Trentscher - Teplitz 1926; Hromadka - Johner, Pistyan 1922; Hromadka - Bogolyubov, Mahrisch - Ostram 1923; Horseman - Gligoric, Hastings 1956/1957; Steinitz - Blackburne, Match 1876; and Baretic - Nikolic, Hastings 1961 among others.

500 Master Games of Chess by S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont (1952).  Gives the games Hromadka - Schreiber, Munich 1936; Spielmann - Maroczy, Teplitz - Schonau 1922; and Kan - Botvinnik, Moscow 1935.

"Wienerisch," Die Hypermoderne Schachpartie by S. G. Tartakower, Wiener Schachzeitung (1924): 208-212.  Gives the game Spielmann - Maroczy, Teplitz - Schonau 1922.

Die Wiener Partie by Curt von Bardeleben (1893).  Available at Google Books.