Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Weeramantry - Bisguier, USATE 2008

I have annotated the game Weeramantry - Bisguier, U.S. Amateur Team East 2008, which would be interesting enough because of the players themselves, who have been so important to the history of chess in the U.S. But it also features a very interesting theory duel from these Open Game specialists in the rare line 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 g6!?

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 g6!?

You don't see that very often, in part because theory says Black cannot afford such a slow development of the Bishop with White opening up lines so rapidly. In fact, several books recommend that White play in gambit style with 5.Bg5 or 5.c3, though (as I indicate in my notes) these are not necessarily refutations. More dangerous, perhaps, is 5.Ng5!? which I have not seen discussed before, though the existing games greatly favor White. Weeramantry played the relatively straightforward recapture 5.Nxd4 and after 5...Bg7 6.Be3 Black uncorked a novelty with 6...Na5!? I was surprised that no one had ever played this before, since the position is far from unknown. I wonder if it is something Bisguier has analyzed or if he just thought it up at the board? In any case, it makes me want to take a closer look at the whole variation.

As I mention in my Review of Dangerous Weapons 1.e4 e5, I have experimented with an Open Game system for Black built around an early ...g6. Lines might include:
  • 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 (The Smyslov Variation of the Ruy Lopez)
  • 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 (Three Knights)
  • 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 g6 (Scotch)
  • 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 h6 5.O-O g6!? (Two Knights Defense, Closed Variation)
  • 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qe3 g6!? (Center Game)
I actually gave it up to some extent because of the line featured in the game with an early Bc4 for White. Perhaps it's time to have another look?

If you like this system against 1.e4, you might also consider playing the King's Indian Defense as Black -- especially what some have called the Glek Variation of the Classical (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.O-O exd4 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 Nc6 10.Be3 Nh5), as seen in the game Van der Sterren - Glek, Germany 1994. After all, the two systems are not only thematically related but they can actually begin to converge on occasion, as in the line 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4!? Bg7 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.Be2 O-O 9.Be3 Re8 etc. -- though you are not likely to see that transposition from someone who plays 1.e4. In any event, it's nice to have an opening system that feels coherent.

I saw the Weeramantry - Bisguier game in the latest issue of Atlantic Chess News, which arrived in the mail just yesterday and includes several games from the U.S. Amateur Teams East. Chess Life (May 2008) also offers several interesting USATE games, including a remarkable loss by our club champion, NM Mark Kernighan, against a rising young star... I won't go into the details since I'm sure Mark is still smarting from that loss, but it is worth a look. I'll have to take another browse through the games file at NJSCF.


katar said...

fyi, Nigel Davies has a chessbase product called "e4 for the creative attacker" that recommends the Big Clamp for white against most black formations.

big clamp includes e4 g3 f4, and usually c3 and d4. i mention this b/c of your reference re: g3 in a 1.e4 context.

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael,
first off, let me mention that I am a regular reader to Your Kenilworthian Blog, and I would like to thank you for all Your hard labor which is almost beyond my imagination. Especially I enjoy your works on repertoires for beginners or amateurs like me.

Between all this ever so entertaining and well-advising annotations I feel I must hint to the fact that you might mistakenly refer to the line in the match you cited from 1994 as being the "Glek Defense" in the King´s Indian. According to my studies up to now the Glek Defense in E94 is characterized by "7.0-0 Na6!?" and does not occur in the cited game.

Strange enough, as far as the results of a quick overview at chessgames com on the games played by Glek are concerned, Glek did not seem to play "his very own" Variation too often... anyway not yet in 1994, really. But he did really play it in 2005 in a match Pinter vs Glek (E94) also covered by chessgames com. - For any comments or answers please feel free to mail me at aim,

Keep up all the good work!

H. E. B.


Anonymous said...

in addition, let me correct myself, he d-i-d- play it earlier than 1994, e.g. against Shirov in 1991.