Saturday, February 16, 2008

Misplaying The Opening

When playing any opening, it is very important that you know how to play your opening especially razor sharp openings where the the line between winning and losing is on a knife's edge. Opening traps are abundant and one slip is usually fatal (even an incorrect move order can be detrimental).

Take for example, this miniature game (I'm White) in the French defence.

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. Nd2 Nf6
4. e5 Nfd7
5. c3 c5
6. Bd3 Nc6
7. Ndf3 Be7
8. h4 O-O??

All is peaceful, yes? No..........

In this case, my opponent didn't know the French Tarrasch defence well enough and what follows was .....

9. Bxh7! Kxh7+
10. Ng5+

Now all variations after

10. .... Bxg5 11. hxg5+ Kg8 or Kg6 12. Qh5 and it's game over
10. .... Kg6 11. Qd3+ f5 12. exf6+ (en passant) Kxf6 13. Qf3+ and it's not even funny
10. .... Kg8 11. Qh5 Bxg5 12. hxg5 and White mates the French like what Kramnik probably does everyday


  1. it would appear that you have Renauld-Kahn's Art of the Checkmate, Art of Attack, HTBYDC by Murray Chandler down pat. bravo. impressive command of the essentials of chess.

    warmest, dk

  2. and, yes, BTW, Kramniks wife appears very, very lovely. i saw this when it first was published. man. nice to see this again!

  3. hi dk:

    Thanks! The funny thing was I didn't even have to calculate much. The position after 8... O-O was practically begging for 9. Bxh7+.

    I attribute this win to 2 things:

    a. Vukovic's masterpiece (as you mentioned)
    b. King's PowerPlay DVD 1

    It was indeed nice to see Kramnik's wedding photos again. So I thot I put it in.


  4. Your opponent must have had that sinking feeling as soon as you played Bxh7.

  5. LEP:

    In the game, there was a very long pause after Ng5+ and he prob. knew the jig was up.

    Incidentally, the alternative to not taking the Bishop with Kxh7 might have been better but Black would be forced to defend for a very long time.