Monday, December 12, 2005

The Colle in Black and White

I have been working on several PGN files with Colle games related to the lines that FM Steve Stoyko covered in his Lecture #5. I am especially interested in the Queen's Indian / Hedgehog formation that Steve has played himself. I found two very interesting games of his on opposite sides of this line in the obscure book "The Dogs of War," which collects Colle games from New Jersey tournament players of many ranks. The critical difference between the two games is that as Black Steve plays ...Pd6! but as White his opponent plays the less-strong ...Pd5?! allowing White to dominate the e5 square with Ne5! Worth comparing.

Also of interest are several unannotated Colle games from the wonderful book "Colle Plays the Colle" by Adam Harvey that feature the set-ups that Steve discussed, including also where Black plays ...d5, ...Nbd7, ...c5, ...g6, and ...Bg7. If you play the Colle as White, by the way, Harvey's book is a must-have. I actually don't play it myself (though I do recommend it to my students), but the book is such a wonderful piece of historical opening research that I simply had to have it.

Last but not least, I have posted the annotated PGN file of the fascinating game Kupchik-Capablanca, Lake Hopatcong 1926 that features a Queen's Indian set-up against the Colle that takes an interesting turn toward a Dutch (with ...Ne4 and ...f5). The plan that Capablanca executes in this game is simply ingenious and must be studied closely to be appreciated. With the pawn formation locked in the center and his play on the queenside, the great Cuban champion begins pushing his pawns on the kingside in what first appears to be a weakening of his position there, inviting attack. But his plan is very deep, because these pawn moves are actually establishing a fortress there, and when Kupchik brings his army to that side (where it will not be able to break through), only then does Capa begin his decisive attack on the other flank. A great game to study.

I will be finishing my annotations this week and likely posting java applets of them. But for those who prefer the PGN files anyway, I thought I'd make them available now.

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