Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dutch Defense with ...b6 and ...Bb7

The Dutch Defense has been a favorite of such strong players as Morphy, Alekhine, and Botvinnik. Around 1990, I added it to my opening repertoire, although I still play the King's Indian Defense occasionally. In the past year*, I have defeated and drawn against many high-rated opponents with the classical Dutch. This system features the move ...e6, instead of ...g6 as in the Leningrad variation. When White plays an early Nf3, Black has the option of fianchettoing his QB by ...b6, ...Bb7, and sometimes plays ...a5 as well. If White deploys his QN to c3 before castling, Black can employ a Nimzo-Indian type set-up with ...Bb4. The moves ...e6, ...b6, and ...Bb7 can also be used in declining the Staunton Gambit.

Usually White counters Black's plan of ...Bb7 by playing g3 followed by Bg2. In 1995, I played two games as Black against candidate master Carvas John in which White developed his KB on the f1-a6 diagonal instead. The first encounter, played at the Somerset NJ quads in July, opened 1.Nf3 f5 2.d4 Nf6 3.Bg5 e6 4.e3 Be7 5.Bd3 b6 6.Ne5. Here 6...Bb7 was called for, since 7.Bxf6 Bxf6 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.Qxg6+ Ke7 leaves White with insufficient compensation for the piece. After the game continuation 6...O-O 7.Qf3 c6 8.Nd2 Ne4 9.Nxe4 Bxg5 10.Nxg5 Qxg5 11.h4 Qf6 12.h5 d6 13.Nxc6 Bb7 14.d5 exd5 15.Nd4 f4 16.O-O-O Nd7 White was clearly better due to Black's doubled d-pawns.

In spite of this, I managed to draw after 17.Qh3 Nc5 18.exf4 Qxf4+ 19.Kb1 Bc8 20.Qf3 Qxf3 21.Nxf3 Bg4 22.Rh4 Bxf3 23.gxf3 Rxf3 24.Bb5 Rxf2 25.Rxd5 Raf8 26.b4 R8f4 27.Bc4 Rxh4 28.Rd4+ Kf8 29.Rxh4 Nd7 30.Bd3 Nf6 31.Kb2 d5 32.Ka3 b5 33.Kb3 a6 34.a4 bxa4+ 35.Kxa4 Ne4 36.Ka5 Rf6 37.Bxe4 dxe4 38.Rxe4 g6 39.hxg6 hxg6 40.c4 Kf7 41.c5 g5 42.Rc4 Rc6 43.b5 axb5 44.Kxb5 Rc8 45.c6 Kg6 46.Kb6 Kh5 47.Kb7 Rf8 48.c7 g4 49.c8=Q Rxc8 50.Kxc8 g3 51.Kd7 g2 52.Rc1 Kg4 53.Ke6 Kf3, draw.

In the second game, played at the Hamilton NJ quads later that month, White tried a London System formation with 1.Nf3 f5 2.d4 Nf6 3.Bf4 e6 4.e3 b6 5.Nbd2 Bb7 6.Bc4 Be7 7.Qe2 O-O 8.h3 a5 9.a3 Ba6 10.Ne5 Bxc4 11.Qxc4 Nd5 (Here 11...Na6 was worth considering.) 12.O-O-O Bd6 13.Ndf3 Nxf4 14.exf4 c6 15.Rhg1 b5 16.Qb3 a4 17.Qe3 Na6

18.g4 b4 19.gxf5 bxa3 20.bxa3 Qe7 21.Nc4 Rxf5 22.Nfe5 Bxe5 23.fxe5 Raf8 24.Rg2 Nc7 25.Nd6 Rf3 26.Qe4 Rxa3 27.Kb2 Nb5 28.Rdg1 Ra2+! 29.Kxa2 Nc3+ 30.Kb2 Nxe4 31.Nxe4 Qb4+ 32.Kc1 g6 33.c3 Qa3+ 34.Kd1 Qb3+ 35.Ke2 a3 36.Re1 a2 37.Rgg1 Rf4 38.Ke3 Rh4 39.Rh1 Qc2 40.f3 Rxe4+ 41.fxe4 Qxc3+ 42.Kf4 Qxd4 43.Rhf1 Qd2+ 44.Kf3 Qh2 45.Rh1 Qxe5 46.Ra1 d5 47.exd5 exd5 48.Rhe1 Qc3+ 49.Kg2 d4 50.Rf1 Qb2+ 51.Kg3 c5 52.Rae1 Qb8+ 53.Kh4 Qd8+ 54.Kg3 d3 55.Ra1 d2 56.Rfd1 Qd3+ 57.Kf2 c4 58.Rxa2 c3, 0-1. White's queenside castling backfired in this game.

Sandwiched between these two games were a pair of Staunton Gambits that I defended successfully against national master Leslie Braun at the Marshall Chess Club. Both games opened by transposition with the moves 1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bg5 e6 4.e4 fxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxf6 Bxf6 7.Nf3 b6 8.Bd3 Nc6 9.c3 Bb7 10.Qe2 Qe7 11.O-O-O O-O-O 12.Kb1 Rdf8 13.Rhe1 Qd8 14.g3 Be7 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.dxe5.

In the first game, I played 16...Rf7 17.f4 g5 18.fxg5 Bxg5 19.Qh5 Rg7 20.Rf1 Be7 21.Rf2 Bxe4 (better 21...Qe8) 22.Bxe4 Rg5 23.Qe2 Kb8 24.Bc6 d6 25.Rf7 Bf8 26.exd6 Bxd6 27.Rd7 Qc8 28.R1xd6 cxd6 29.Rb7+ Qxb7 30.Bxb7 Kxb7 31.Qxe6 Rg6.

I was lucky to win this game in 64 moves. It was played at a Thursday night game/30 tournament, and my opponent missed a win before blundering in time pressure.

A few days later, at a game/60 event, I improved with 16...g5 17.Bb5 c6 18.Bc4 Qe8 19.a4 Rf5 20.Nd6+ Bxd6 21.Rxd6 Rhf8 22.Red1 Rxf2 23.Qe3 Qg6+ 24.Qd3 Qxd3+ 25.R1xd3 R2f7 26.Rd2 Kc7 27.b4 Bc8 28.Bd3 h6 29.Kb2 Rf2 30.Bc2 Rxd2 31.Rxd2 Ba6 32.Kb3 Rf3 33.Rd4 Re3 34.Re4 Rxe4 35.Bxe4 Be2 36.Kc2 d6 37.Kd2 Bc4 38.Bc2 dxe5 39.Ke3 Kd6 40.Bd1 a5 41.bxa5 bxa5 42.Bc2 Bd5 43.Bd1 Kc5 44.Bc2 e4 45.Kd2 Kc4 46.Bd1 e3+, 0-1.

In the remaining games except one, White played d4 and c4 in conjunction with fianchettoing his KB. At the 1995 Dumont Chess Club Championship in October, candidate master Jules Platt allowed a Nimzo-Indian formation by 1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.Qc2 b6 6.g3 Bb7 7.Bg2 O-O 8.O-O Bxc3 9.Qxc3 Ne4 10.Qc2 Qc8 11.Nd2 Nxd2 12.Bxd2 Bxg2 13.Kxg2 Qb7+ 14.f3 Nc6 15.Bc3 d6 16.Rae1 Rae8 17.b3 e5

18.dxe5 Nxe5 19.Qd2 a5 20.a4 h6 21.h3 Rf7 22.Qd4 Nd7 23.Bb2 Nc5 24.Qc3 d5 25.Kf2 d4 26.Qc2 Ne6 27.Qd3 c5 28.e3 dxe3+ 29.Rxe3 Rd8 30.Qc3 Nd4 31.Rfe1 Rdf8 32.Re8 Qd7 33.Rxf8+ Rxf8 34.Qd3 Rd8 35.Re5 Nc6 36.Rd5? Nb4 37.Qc3 Nxd5 38.cxd5 Qf7 39.Qe5 Rxd5 40.Qe2 Qd7 41.Bc3 Kf7 42.f4 g6 43.g4 fxg4 44.hxg4 Qe6 45.Qa6 Qxg4 46.Qb7+ Rd7 47.Qe4 Qe6 48.Qa8 Qxb3 49.Qh8 Qc2+, 0-1. If not for White's blunder on move 36, the game should have been drawn.

Shortly thereafter, at the Somerset NJ quads in December, national master Todd Lunna avoided the usual c4 and Nc3 in favor of the solid though less ambitious plan of Bg5 and Nbd2. Here are the moves of that game. 1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.O-O Nf6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Nbd2 O-O 8.Re1 Ne4 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.Ne5 d6 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.Bxe4 fxe4 13.Ng4 Nd7 14.Qd2 Nf6 15.Nxf6+ Qxf6 16.Qe3 Rae8 17.Kg2 d5

18.f4 c5 19.c3 Rc8 20.Rad1 c4 21.Rf1 b5 22.a3 a5 23.Rf2 b4 24.axb4 axb4 25.Ra1 Ra8 26.Rff1 b3 27.Rab1 Ra2 28.Qd2 h5 29.e3 Rfa8 30.Qe2 g6 31.h3 Kf7 32.Qf2 Ke7 33.h4 Qf5 34.Qe2 Kf6 35.Kh2 Qg4 36.Qxg4 hxg4 37.Kg2 Rh8, draw.

Two weekends later, my game as Black against national master Dean Ippolito at the Manhattan Chess Club opened as follows: 1.Nf3 e6 2.c4 f5 3.d4 Nf6 4.g3 b6 5.Bg2 Bb7 6.O-O a5. I have found 6...a5 to be a useful waiting move. The problem with the mechanical development 6...Be7 and 7...O-O is that Black's KB is not very active on e7. Besides there is no need for Black to hurry with kingside castling since his king is in no danger. 7.Nc3 Bb4 8.Bd2 Bxc3 9.Bxc3 Ne4 10.Qc2 Nxc3 11.Qxc3 O-O 12.Rad1 d6 13.Ne1 Bxg2 14.Nxg2 Qe7 15.f4 Nd7 16.Qf3 Nf6 17.Ne1 Ne4 18.Nd3 Rad8 19.Nf2 Nxf2 20.Rxf2 d5

21.Qc3 Qb4 22.Rc1 Qxc3 23.Rxc3 Rf7 24.e3 Re7 25.Rfc2 Rdd7 26.a4 dxc4 27.Rxc4 Kf7 28.Kf2 Ke8 29.Kf3 h5 30.h3 g6 31.e4 Kd8 32.b4 axb4 33.Rxb4 Rd6 34.g4 hxg4+ 35.hxg4 Rh7 36.Rbc4 Rh3+ 37.Kg2 Rh7 38.Kf3 Rh3+ 39.Kg2 Rh7 40.Kf3, draw.

National master Sean Colure fianchettoed both his bishops against my Dutch Defense at the Somerset NJ quads in February 1996, as follows: 1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.O-O Nf6 6.b3 Be7 7.Bb2 O-O 8.Nbd2 Qc8 9.c4 d6 10.Qc2 Ne4 11.Ne1 Nxd2 12.Qxd2 Bxg2 13.Nxg2 Nd7 14.f3 e5 15.dxe5 dxe5 16.Qd5+ Kh8 17.Rad1 Bd6

18.Kh1 Nf6 19.Qc6 Qe8 20.Qxe8 Raxe8 21.Ne3 g6 22.Kg2 Kg8 23.Nd5 Nxd5 24.Rxd5 e4 25.f4 Kf7 26.Rfd1 a5 27.h3 Ke6 28.Be5 Bxe5 29.Rxe5+ Kf6 30.Rd7 Rxe5 31.fxe5+ Kxe5 32.Rxc7 Kd4 33.Kf2 Kc3 34.c5 bxc5 35.Rxc5+ Kb4 36.Rc4+ Kb5 37.Rc7 h5 38.Ke3 Rd8 39.Rb7+ Kc5 40.a4 Kc6 41.Ra7 Kb6 42.Rg7, draw.

At the USATE 1996, my game as Black against senior master Angelo Young varied from the Ippolito game by transposition with 7.d5 Na6 8.Nd4 Bc5 9.Nc3 O-O 10.Nb3 e5 11.a3 Qc8 12.Nxc5 Nxc5 13.Be3 d6 14.b4 axb4 15.axb4 Rxa1 16.Qxa1 Nce4 17.Nxe4 Nxe4 18.Qb1 Nf6 19.Qb3 Qa8 20.Qb2 Qa6

21.b5 Qa4 22.Rc1 Ra8 23.f3 Qa2 24.Qc2 Qxc2 25.Rxc2 Bc8 26.Kf2 Nh5 27.Bc1 f4 28.Rc3 Ra4 29.Bf1 g5 30.Ra3 Rxc4 31.Bxf4 gxf4 32.Ra8 Kg7 33.Rxc8 Nf6 34.gxf4 exf4 35.Bh3 Rc5 36.Be6 Kg6 37.h3 h6 38.h4 h5 39.Ke1 Nxd5 40.Bxd5 Rxd5 41.Rxc7 Rxb5 42.Rc6 Kf5 43.Rxd6 Ke5 44.Rd8 Rb1+ 45.Kd2 Rh1 46.Rb8 Rxh4 47.Rxb6 Rh2 48.Rh6 Kf5 49.Rh8 Kg5 50.Kd3 h4 51.Rg8+ Kf5 52.Rf8+ Kg5 53.Rg8+ Kf5 54.Rg4 h3 55.Rh4 Kg5 56.Rh8 Kf5 57.e3 fxe3 58.Kxe3 Rh1 59.Kf2 Kf4 60.Rf8+ Kg5 61.Kg3 Kg6 62.Ra8 Kf5 63.Ra5+ Kg6 64.Ra4 Kf5 65.Ra5+ Kg6 66.Rb5 Rf1 67.Rb2 Kf5 68.Rb5+ Kg6 69.Rb3 Rh1 70.Kf4 Rg1 71.Rb6+ Kg7 72.Rb7+ Kg6 73.Rb6+ Kg7 74.Rb7+ Kg6 75.Rb6+, draw.

Finally, at the Somerset NJ quads in March 1996, my game as Black against national master Neil Basescu reached by a different move order the position from the Platt game after move 15 but continued instead with 16.e4 fxe4 17.fxe4 e5 18.d5 Ne7

19.b4 Rxf1 20.Rxf1 Rf8 21.Rxf8+ Kxf8 22.c5 Qa6 23.cxd6 cxd6 24.Be1 Qa3 25.b5 Ke8 26.Bd2 h6 27.Bc1 Qb4 28.Qd3 Kd7 29.a3 Qa4 30.Kf3 Ng8 31.Bd2?! Qd1+ 32.Qe2 Qb3+ 33.Kg2 Nf6 34.Qf3 Qc2 35.Qf5+ Kc7 36.Qf2 Qxe4+ 37.Kg1 Qxd5 38.Bxh6 Ng4 39.Qc2+ Kb8 40.Bxg7? Qd4+ 41.Kh1 Qa1+, 0-1.

*{This article originally appeared in the March-April 1996 issue of Atlantic Chess News}