Saturday, 21 August 2021

071. Another Line in a Book

White: TomOne - all-play-all tournament,, 2021

I've finally finished my book, which will be out whenever it's out. How much other people will be interested in it all remains to be seen.

From my own perspective, for my own chess, I now have a well-worked-out, extremely comprehensive repertoire with the black pieces after 1 e4 e5, though remembering what I've written may prove challenging over the board. Distance chess, no problem; I can just look it up. Since everything in the book has been through Stockfish, this gives me a quite considerable advantage (not least because no one else has it yet).

For instance, I've just had a game with a sort of Vienna Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 f4 exf4 4 Nf3 g5 and then 5 Bc4. Hmmm, what did I have to say about that?

“a) 5 Bc4 allows Black a favourable Hanstein Gambit, which was favourable anyway; e.g. 5...Bg7 6 d4 d6 7 0-0 h6 8 Nd5 Nce7 and White had nothing, P.Faulkner-J.Tait, Notts Championship 1996. However, Black can also go for more: 5...g4! 6 0-0 (6 d4 transposes to line C21) 6...gxf3 7 Qxf3 (instead, 7 d4 is line C21 again; while 7 Bxf7+ Kxf7 8 Qxf3 Qh4 9 d4 Nxd4 10 Qd3 Ne6 11 Bxf4 Nxf4, M.Vachier Lagrave-H.Nakamura, blitz 2020, leaves Black with far too much after 12 Rxf4+ Qxf4 13 Rf1 Qxf1+ 14 Qxf1+ Ke8, even if it’s all sitting at home) 7...Qh4 8 d4 (or if 8 Nd5, J.Nebel-S.Ter Sahakyan, Titled Arena blitz 2021, then 8...Bc5+ 9 Kh1 Ne5 10 Qxf4 Qxf4 11 Rxf4 Kd8 wins) 8...Nxd4 9 Qd3 Ne6 10 Bxe6 (or 10 Nb5 Qe7 11 Bxf4 Nxf4 12 Rxf4 Kd8 13 Rxf7 Qc5+ 14 Rf2 Ne7 and so on) 10...dxe6 11 Bxf4 Qe7 12 Nb5 e5 13 Be3 a6 14 Nc3 Be6 and Black won, O.Westermann-D.Van Donk, corr. 2017.”

Okay, 5...g4! it is then. (Line C21 is the Pierce Gambit, 5 d4, by the way.) The game continued 6 0-0 gxf3 7 Qxf3 Qh4 8 Nd5 Bc5+ 9 Kh1 Ne5.

Here I suddenly thought: What about 10 Qc3 - ? I can't remember whether I looked at that or not. Well, clearly Black should reply 10...Ng4! 11 h3 Nf2+ 12 Kh2 and then maybe 12...Kd8 and I'm threatening ...Nxe4 or ...c7-c6 or just ...Qg3+, seeing as I'm a piece up. And my opponent did play Qc3 but inserted 10 Nxc7+ first, which made it even better for Black, and I won in short measure.

Having mentioned at move ten that I'd researched the whole line with Stockfish a couple of months before, and feeling a bit bad about it, I duly apologized afterwards. My opponent was gracious, taking the loss in good heart. Maybe I shouldn't say that our return game just followed Reprintsev-Yanvarjov, Uzhgorod 1988, until a few forced moves from my side left me winning this one too.

Information is a powerful thing.