Monday, February 26, 2007

Philidor Counter Gambit 1996

In the past year*, I have played many exciting games in the Philidor Counter Gambit, my favorite defense.

After the opening moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.dxe5 fxe4 5.Ng5 d5, candidate master John MacArthur tried Steinitz's 6.Nc3, at the Somerset NJ quads in August 1995. The game proceeded 6...Bb4 7.Qd4 c5 8.Bb5+ Nc6 9.Qd1 Nge7 10.O-O Bxc3 11.bxc3 O-O 12.c4 Nd4 13.cxd Qxd5 14.Ba4

b5! 15.Bxb5 h6 16.Ba4 Ba6 17.Nh3 Bxf1 18.Qxf1 Qxe5 19.c3 Ne6 20.Bb3 Kh8 21.Qc4 Rf6 22.Be3 Rd8 23.Re1 Rd3 24.Bd4 cxd4 25.Qxd3 exd3 26.Rxe5 dxc3 27.Re4 Nc5 28.Rc4 Nxb3 29.Rxc3 d2 30.Rd3 Re6 31.Rd8+ Kh7, 0-1.

National master Sunil Weeramantry played the more usual 6.e6 at the Somerset NJ quads in October 1995 but with no more success after 6...Bc5 7.Nxe4 Be7 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Qe5 Nf6 10.Ng5 O-O 11.Nf7 Nc6 12.Qe2 Qe8 13.c3 Nd8 14.Bh6 Nxe6 15.Bxf8 Bxf8 16.Ne5 Nf4 17.Qe3 Bh6 18.Kd1

Nh3! 19.Qxh6 Nxf2+ 20.Kc2 Qxe5 21.Rg1 N2g4 22.Qd2 Qxh2 23.Qd4 Bf5+ 24.Kb3 b6 25.Nd2 c5 26.Nf3 Qd6 27.Qe5?? (27.Qd2 c4+ 28.Bxc4 dxc4+ 29.Kxc4 Be6+ 30.Kb5 Qc5+ 31.Ka6 Bc8#) Nxe5, 0-1.

Class A player Asuka Nakamura lost in a similar fashion at the Somerset NJ quads in April 1996 varying with 13.Bh6 Nd4 14.Qd2 Bb4 15.c3 Qxe6+ 16.Kd1 Rxf7 17.Qxd4 Ng4

18.Be3 c5 19.Qd2 d4 20.Bf4 dxc3 21.bxc3 Rd7 22.Bd3 Rxd3, 0-1.

Instead of 8.Qh5+,candidate master Richard Lunenfeld attempted Kosten's recommendation of 8.Ng5, at the Hamilton NJ quads in January 1996. The outcome of the game was the same following 8...Bxg5 9.Qh5+ g6 10.Qxg5 Qxg5 11.Bxg5 c6 12.Bd3 Bxe6 13.h4 Nd7 14.h5 gxh5 15.Rxh5 Ngf6 16.Rh6 Kf7 17.Nd2 Rag8 18.f4 Rg7 19.O-O-O Ng4

20.f5 Bxf5 21.Bxf5 Rxg5 22.Bxg4 Rxg4 23.Rf1+ Ke7 24.Re1+ Kd8 25.Re2 Rg6 26.Rh3 Nf6 27.c4 Re8 28.Rxe8+ Kxe8 29.cxd5 cxd5 30.Rb3 b6 31.Ra3 Rxg2 32.Rxa7 h5 33.Nf3 Rf2 34.Nh4 Rf4 35.Ng6 Rc4+ 36.Kd2 h4 37.Re7+ Kd8 38.Re6 Ne4+ 39.Ke3 h3 40.Ne5 Rc2 41.Rh6 h2 42.Kf3 Rxb2 43.Ng4 Rxa2 44.Nxh2 Kc7 45.Kf4 Nd6 46.Ng4 Ra4+ 47.Kf3 b5 48.Ne5 b4 49.Rh7+ Kb6 50.Rh6 Kc7 51.Rh7+ Kc8 52.Rh8+ Kb7 53.Rh7+ Ka8 54.Rh8+ Ka7 55.Rh7+ Nb7 56.Rd7 Ka6 57.Nd3 Ra3 58.Rxd5 Nc5 59.Ke2 Nxd3 60.Rxd3 Kb5 61.Rd8 Rc3 62.Kd2 Ka4 63.Rb8 Kb3 64.Rb7 Rc4 65.Rb8 Kb2 66.Rb7 b3 67.Rb8 Rd4+ 68.Ke3 Rd7 69.Ke2 Kc2 70.Rc8+ Kb1 71.Rb8 b2 72.Ra8 Rd5 73.Ra7 Kc2 74.Rc7+ Kb3, 0-1.

At the USATE 1996, candidate master Jonathan Wolff avoided 7.Nxe4, but his 7.Nf7 led to quick defeat after 7...Qf6 8.Qe2 Bxe6 9.Nxh8 Nc6 10.c3 O-O-O 11.Nd2 Ne5 12.Nb3 Nd3+ 13.Kd2 Bxf2 14.Kc2 Nh6 15.Be3 Rxh8 16.Qd2

Ng4 17.Bxf2 Ndxf2 18.Rg1 e3 19.Qd4 Bf5+ 20.Kc1 Qxd4 21.Nxd4 Be4 22.h3 Ne5 23.b3 Rf8 24.Kb2 Nfd3+ 25.Bxd3 Nxd3+ 26.Ka3 c5 27.Nc2 Rf6 28.b4 Ra6+ 29.Kb3, 0-1.

The Zukertort attack 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nxe5 dxe4 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Nxg6 Nf6 9.Qe5+ Kf7 was featured in several games. At the Somerset NJ quads in September 1995, candidate master John Mather continued with 10.Bc4+ Kg7 11.Bh6+ Kxh6 12.Nxh8 Bb4+ 13.c3 Qxh8 14.cxb4 Qf8 15.Rc1 Qxb4+ 16.Kf1 (16.Rc3!?) Qd6 17.f4 Kg7 18.Bb5 Nc6 19.Qxd6 cxd6 20.Bxc6 bxc6 21.Rxc6 d5 22.Ke2 Bd7 23.Rc7 Kg6 24.Rhc1 Bb5+ 25.Kd2 a6

26.Re7 Re8 27.Re5 Rxe5 28.fxe5 Ng4 29.Rc5 e3+ 30.Ke1 Nf2 31.a4 Bc4 32.Rc6+ Kf5 33.Rf6+ Ke4 34.e6 Nd3+ 35.Kd1 Bb3+ 36.Ke2 Nf4+ 37.Ke1 Nxg2+ 38.Kf1 Nf4 39.e7 Bxa4 40.Rf8 Bb5+ 41.Kg1 Kf3 42.e8=Q Bxe8 43.Rxe8 e2 44.h4 Nd3 45.Rf8+ Kg3, 0-1.

At the Manhattan Chess Club in December 1995, candidate master Victor Ying preferred 15.a3 but was defeated after 15...Qd6 16.O-O-O Nbd7 17.Qxd6 cxd6 18.f3 Nb6 19.Bb3 exf3 20.gxf3

Bf5 21.Kd2 Bd7 22.Rde1 Nbd5 23.Rhg1 Rc8 24.Bxd5 Nxd5 25.Re4 Kh5 26.h4 h6 27.Rc1 Rg8 28.Rf1 Rg2+ 29.Kc1 Bf5 30.Re8 Rc2+ 31.Kd1 Rxb2 32.Rg1?? Rb1+, 0-1.

Rather than 10.Bc4+, national master Stanislav Ritvin essayed 10.Nxh8+, at the Somerset NJ quads in March 1996. This led to a hard-fought victory for Black following 10...Kg7 11.Bh6+ Kxh8 12.Bxf8 Nc6 13.Qc5 Nd7 14.Qd5 Qxf8 15.Qxe4?! Qb4+ 16.Kd1 Qxb2 17.Rc1 Nf6 18.Qf4 Qxd4+ 19.Qxd4 Nxd4

20.Bd3 Bg4+ 21.Kd2 Rd8 22.Rhe1 Bf5 23.Bxf5 Nxf5+ 24.Ke2 Kg7 25.Kf1 Kf7 26.Rcd1 Rxd1 27.Rxd1 Nd6 28.Ke2 Ke6 29.Kd3 Nd5 30.Re1+ Kf6 31.g3 Nb4+ 32.Kc3 a5 33.a3? Nb5+ 34.Kb3 Nd4+ 35.Kc3 Ndxc2 36.Rd1 Nxa3 37.Rd7 h6 38.Kb3 Nb5 39.h4 (39.Ka4 Nc3+ 40.Kxa5?? Nc6#) Na6 40.Rd5 a4+ 41.Kb2 c6 42.Rh5 Kg6 43.Re5 Nac7 44.g4 Nd5 45.Re6+ Kg7 46.f4 Nxf4 47.Re7+ Kg6 48.Rxb7 Nd3+ 49.Ka1 Ne5 50.Rb6 Nd4 51.Ra6 Nxg4 52.Rxa4 c5 53.Kb2 Ne5 54.Kc3 Ndf3 55.Re4 Kf5 56.Ra4 h5 57.Ra5 c4 58.Ra1 Kg4 59.Rh1 Nxh4 60.Rg1+ Kf4 61.Rh1 Kg5 62.Rg1+ Kh6 63.Rg8 Nhf3 64.Kc2 h4 65.Kd1 Kh5 66.Ke2 h3 67.Rh8+ Kg4 68.Rg8+ Kf4 69.Rf8+ Ke4 70.Kf2 h2 71.Kg2 Ng4 72.Re8+ Nge5 73.Rf8 c3 74.Rc8 Kd3 75.Rd8+ Ke2 76.Rc8 Kd2 77.Rd8+ Nd3 78.Kh1 c2 79.Rc8 Nf2+, 0-1.

There were also some games in the lines featuring Bc4. At the Manhattan Chess Club in October 1995, candidate master Nagib Gebran played 4.Bc4 but went down to defeat after 4...exd4 5.Ng5 Nh6 6.O-O Nc6 7.Re1 f4 8.Bxf4 Qf6 9.Qf3 Be7 10.Bd5 Ne5 11.Qg3 c6 12.Bb3 Bd7 13.Bd2 O-O-O 14.f4 Ng6 15.e5 Qf5 16.e6 Be8 17.Bc4 Qc5 18.Bd3 Nf5 19.Qh3 Ne3 20.Ne4

Nxf4 21.Qf3 Qe5 22.c3? Nxd3 23.cxd4 Nxe1 24.Qxe3 Nc2 25.dxe5 Nxe3 26.Bxe3 d5 27.Ng5 d4 28.Bf4 Rf8 29.g3 h6 30.Ne4 g5 31.Bd2 Bg6 32.Nf2 Bf5 33.Na3 Bxe6 34.Nc2 Bc5 35.Nd3 Bb6 36.b3 Bf5 37.Nce1 Rde8 38.Kg2 Be4+ 39.Kg1 Rf5 40.Bb4 Rexe5 41.Nxe5 d3+, 0-1.

Finally, here are the moves of my game as Black against candidate master George Krauss from the Hamilton NJ quads in February 1996: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.Bxg8 Rxg8 5.d3 c6 6.c4 Nd7 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.O-O f4 9.d4 Qc7 10.b3 Bg4 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Bb2 g5 13.Qe2 O-O-O 14.Rad1 Rxd1 15.Rxd1

Bxf3 16.Qxf3 g4 17.Qd3 g3 18.hxg3 fxg3 19.f3?! (19.Qe3!?) Qb6+ 20.Kh1?? (20.c5 ) Rg5, 0-1.

In April 1996, I purchased an electronic book featuring over 2,000 games in the Philidor Defense. Of these, approximately 65 were the 3...f5 variation. I would like to conclude this article with a sampling of these PCG's.

Showalter - Blackburne, London 1899

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.dxe5 fxe4 5.Nd4 d5 6.Nc3 c6 7.Be2 Bb4 8.O-O Ne7 9.Bh5+ Ng6 10.f4 O-O 11.Bxg6 hxg6 12.Nce2 Qh4 13.Be3 Na6 14.c3 Bc5 15.b4 Bb6 16.Qb3 Qe7 17.a4 Be6 18.a5 Bxd4 19.Nxd4 Rac8 20.Nxe6 Qxe6 21.Bxa7 g5 22.Rae1 Nc7 23.Bb6 gxf4 24.Bxc7 Rxc7 25.Rxe4 Rcf7 26.Re2 f3 27.gxf3 Rxf3 28.Rfe1 Qh3 29.Qb1 Qh4 30.e6 Rf2, 0-1.

Stepanov - Maliutin, Moscow 1992

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Neg5 h6 7.Nf7 Kxf7 8.Nxe5+ Ke7 9.Ng6+ Kf6 10.Qf3+ Bf5 11.Nxh8 Qe7+ 12.Be2 Qe4 13.g4 Qxf3 14.Bxf3 Bxc2 15.h4 Nc6 16.g5+ Kf5 17.Be3 Bb4+ 18.Kf1 Nge7 19.Nf7 Rf8 20.Bh5 Ke6 21.a3 Ba5 22.Ne5 Nxe5 23.dxe Nf5 24.Bc5 Rh8 25.b4 Bb6 26.Bxb6 axb6 27.Rc1 Nd4 28.Re1 Be4 29.Bg4+ Kxe5 30.f3 Rf8 31.Rh3 Kd6 32.Kg2 Bc2 33.Kg3 c5 34.Rh2 Bd3 35.bxc5+ bxc5 36.Rb2 b5 37.gxh6 gxh6 38.Kf2 c4 39.Rd2 Ra8 40.f4 Rxa3 41.Re8 Nb3 42.Rxd3 cxd3 43.f5 Nc5 44.f6 Ne4+ 45.Kg2 Ra2+ 46.Kg1 Ra7 47.Re6+ Kc5, 0-1.

Martin - Schlenker, Germany 1990

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Bc4 exd4 5.Nxd4 fxe4 6.Bxg8 Rxg8 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Qd5 Rg7 9.Bg5 Be7 10.Qxe4 Bf5 11.Qxb7 Bxg5 12.Nxf5 gxf5 13.Qxa8 Re7+ 14.Kd1 c6 15.Re1 Qb6 16.Nd2 Bxd2 17.Rxe7+ Kxe7 18.Kxd2 Qxf2+ 19.Kd3 Nd7 20.Qb7 Ke6 21.Qc8 Ke7 22.Qb7 Ke6, draw.

Airapetian - Arhipkin, Erevan 1981

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.exf5 e4 5.Ng5 Nf6 6.Ne6 Bxe6 7.fxe6 d5 8.Be2 Qd6 9.O-O Qxe6 10.f3 Bd6 11.fxe4 dxe4 12.b3 Nbd7 13.Na3 c6 14.Nc4 Bc7 15.Ne3 O-O-O 16.b4 Qd6 17.g3 Qxb4 18.a3 Qc3 19.Rb1 Ne5 20.Nf5 Nf3+ 21.Bxf3 exf3 22.Rxf3 Qc4 23.Rb4 Qf7 24.Qf1 Rhe8 25.Rfb3 Bb6 26.Bf4 Ne4 27.Qh3 Qd7 28.Qxh7 g5 29.Qxd7+ Rxd7 30.Be3 g4 31.Rd3 Rd5 32.Nh6 Nf6 33.Kg2 Rh5 34.Nf7 Bc7 35.Rb1 Nd5 36.Bf2 Re2 37.c4 Nb6 38.c5 Rf5 39.Rf1 Rxf7 40.cxb6 Bxb6 41.Kg1 Kd7 42.Be3 Rxf1+ 43.Kxf1 Rxh2 44.d5 c5 45.Bf4 c4 46.Rd1 Rh1+ 47.Ke2 Rxd1 48.Kxd1 Bc7 49.Be3 a6 50.Kc2 Be5 51.Bc5 b5 52.a4 Bd6 53.Bf2 b4 54.Kd2 Be5 55.Bc5 b3 56.Bb4 Bxg3, 0-1.

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