Chess Edinburgh lewischessmen2-75h 

Chandler Cornered

Desperate Dan v The Dalek + Don't Play The Najdorf

Keith Ruxton won the Grangemouth Open and has sent us a game.
C.Woods - K.Ruxton
I'm not impressed with White's 3.Bxf6 if it's theory
then someone else wants to re-write the book.
Surely White should wait till Black spends a tempo
to declare the Bishop's intentions before playing this.

After 3.Bxf6 White puts his Knights on the awkward squares e2 and f4.
A well timed 10...cxd4 forces 11.exd4 and Black uses the loose
f4 Knight as a developing and re-deploying target.

15.0-0 is wrong. The resulting open g and h files allows Black
a simple piece sac to expose the White King 21...Bxg3.

I have another example of this typical sac coming up and how
a player's 'sense of danger' deserts him.

After 21...Bxg3 I can find no defence for White. Look out for the
very pretty mate if White tries 24.Qe1.

[Click here to replay the game]
C.Woods - K.Ruxton

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 d5 3.Bxf6 gxf6 4.e3 c5 5.Ne2 Nc6 6.c3 e6 7.Nd2 Bd7 8.Nf3 Qb6 9.Rb1 Be7 10.Nf4 cxd4 11.exd4 Qc7 12.Qd2 h5 13.Bd3 Bd6 14.g3 h4 15.0-0 0-0-0 16.b4 Rdg8 17.Ng2 hxg3 18.fxg3 e5 19.Ne3 Ne7 20.Ne1 e4 21.Be2 Bxg3 22.hxg3 Qxg3+ 23.N1g2 Rh3 24.Rb2 [24.Qe1 Qh2+ 25.Kf2 Rxg2+ 26.Nxg2 e3] 24...Qh4

You will not find this in the 'Best Games of Connor Woods.'
Young Connor can play much better than this. White's play had
the air of inevitable defeat about it. Wrong approach. He should try.
"I'm White, I'm a good chess player."
Roll up his sleeves, bang out 1.e4 and forget who is playing.

(I've been playing Keith Ruxton for years. I know his weakness.
He plays really naff when a Queen down. Try it next time you
play him. Win his Queen, I bet you have excellent winning chances.)

Great Chess Games in History No.35
Desperate Dan v The Dalek

What happened?
Well this position arose. Dan to play.

Where did all those Rooks come from?
Well the Dalek likes Rooks. He looks like a Rook so
always under promotes to a Rook.
1.Qb6+ Rxb6 2.Nc7 mate.

A True Tale from The Royal Oak.

So there is me and Stuart Hayes amusing
the regulars with our guitars.
Hayes is a 1600 three chorder.
Unlike me, I'm a 1700 four chorder.

Anyway, much to the relief of everyone there
the proper band turned up so me and young Heyes
decanted to the bar and talked chess books.

Zebras cropped up. A good book we agreed.
"One of my chapters is printed wrongly." said he.
"Every other page is blank. I noticed it when I bought it"

"Why did you buy it then?" I asked.

"I thought it was how the publishers intended it."

"Eh?" was all I could say.

"You know Zebras, Black and White, the books pages blank
and writing. I thought it was a good idea."

I have not stopped laughing since he told me.
I can just imagine him looking at the faulty printing
thinking it was a good publicity stunt and buying the book.

So if anybody out there has a book with some blank pages or
indeed a chess set with some pieces missing. Contact Stuart Heyes.

Another game, another lose from M.Duke.
Nothing personal, he sent me 39 games, all losses. No wins.
P.Romilly (2222) - M.Duke (1685), Dundee Open, 2005
White played 1.e4 and Black played a Najdorf. Guess what happened.

Some chess books should carry a warning.
Not for players under 2000.

Potential buyers have to show their I.D., the seller looks
up their grade on a database. If they are under 2000 then no sale.

You would get under 2000 players coming up to you into the street,
just like the skanks that hang around outside the off license.

"Hey Mister, will you buy me the Latest Najdorf book for me?"

Chandler Rant No.189
The Najdorf is a very difficult opening to play as Black.
You have to be prepared to know a lot of theory. This is one opening
you cannot play off the cuff. You also have to be ready to defend
horrendous looking positions with all the cunning of a cornered rat.

I'm not in favour of under 1800 players adopting this opening.
It's a good players opening and then it's only good if it suits that
players style. Weaker players should select more solid openings
in answer to 1.e4. The French, Caro Kahn, 1...e5 or one of the 2...e6
variations of the Sicilian so they can get into a playable middle game.

This is where chess is played, in the middle game. This is where
learners need to pick up the experience.

An under 1800 playing a Najdorf against an over 2000 player is
simply 20 move suicide.

You do not agree.

OK then. You can argue with me but you cannot argue with maths.

I have the Informator No.1-No.93 CD. This gives a total of 94,612 games
usually played between GM's and IM's. 498 are White wins under 20 moves.
Less than 1% so under 20 move wins at that level are very very rare.

But if you look at the 498 short wins 157 are Sicilians, 32% and the
largest culprit is the Najdorf with 44 games.

So if the top players can come unstuck very quickly in this opening
then what hope does a weaker player have?

What usually happens at our level is the game follows theory and
then White deviates because they do not know what the next suggested
move is. White then plays what looks like a good idea.
Black is on his own in a position that requires years of experience
at handling. They are just not up to the task.

Look at this. After the game I was told by the book players that
my 1.Qh3 was a TN. I played it because it looked like a good move.
I had no idea we were still following theory. I was just making natural
looking moves.G.Chandler - J.Bhopal. Edinburgh Open, 1980

[Click here to replay the game]
G.Chandler - J.Bhopal

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 Nbd7 10.Bd3 b5 11.Rhe1 Bb7 12.Qh3 Rc8 13.e5 dxe5 14.fxe5 Nxe5 15.Nxe6 fxe6 16.Qxe6 Nxd3+ 17.Rxd3 Bd5 18.Rxd5 Nxd5 19.Qxd5

In this case I practice what I preach.
I've played the Najdorf once as Black. I won but I never forgot
the feeling of impending doom this opening has. It seems full
of holes and White can sac and attack all over the board.

You need to watch the Kingside, the Queenside and the Centre.
White just plays normal simple moves and the board is suddenly covered
with threats, attacking ideas, tricks and traps galore.

'Know Yourself' is a good piece advice I read somewhere.
I know me. I am not a Fischer, Tal or Kasparov.

At our level White can blunder against the Najdorf and still win.
Witness this case. White's 13th move was an overconfident blunder.
It does not matter.
Black is an inexperienced 1685 player and defending.
He is on his own. His book got him so far but the book cannot give
him the street fighting skills that the Najdorf requires.

He falls back on what he knows. His King is in danger...He castles.
Better was 16...g6 17.exf7+ Kxf7 18.Qe2 Bg4 19.Qf2+ Qf6

16...0-0 17.Rg1 Be3? the blunder White was waiting for, the
blunder he knew that was bound to come. 18.Rxg2+ it's over.

[Click here to replay the game]
P.Romilly - M.Duke

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 Nbd7 10.g4 b5 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.g5 Nd7 13.f5 Bxg5+ 14.Kb1 Ne5 15.Qh5 Qd8 16.fxe6 0-0 17.Rg1 Be3 18.Rxg7+ Kxg7 19.Nf5+ Kh8 20.e7

Let us see how the good guys lose playing the Najdorf.
G.Bastrikov - B.Kogan, Russia 1971.

[Click here to replay the game]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qf3 Nbd7 8.0-0-0 Qc7 9.Qg3 b5 10.Bd3 Bb7 11.Rhe1 h6 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.e5 dxe5 14.Ncxb5 Qb6 15.Nxe6 fxe6 16.Bg6+

After 16...Kd7 17.Qa3+ and mate next move.
That looked so easy it was frightening.


Lets us look at the numbers again.
This time Black wins under 20 moves.
And what do you think is the most successful Black opening
at scoring under 20 move victories? The Najdorf.

Let us see a Black Najdorf shortie. L.Psakhis - V.Tukmakov, USSR 1979

[Click here to replay the game]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qc7 8.Qf3 b5 9.0-0-0 b4 10.e5 Bb7 11.Qh3 dxe5 12.Ncb5 axb5 13.Bxb5+ Bc6 14.fxe5 Bxb5 15.exf6 Bd7 16.Nf5 gxf6 17.Bxf6 Rg8 18.Qxh7 b3 19.Nd6+ Bxd6 20.Rxd6 Rf8

There are lots of tactical shots in the background of this game.
Remember Tukmakov was sitting in ideal conditions
playing one game a day with a relaxed time control.

If you think you up to the task playing 3 games a day in a cramped
noisy room sitting on a steel framed tubular chair where a 10 minute
think puts you in time trouble. Be my guest.

Weaker players need time to develop their sense of danger before
they get involved voluntarily in such quagmires.

Look at this position. It's another game by Flo König from division 3.

F.König - M.Goldie, Edinburgh 2005.
Black to play.

The Queen and Bishop battery are aiming at g6.
It's the first thing you see.

(If the first thing you saw was the Bishop hitting the Rook then
sentence yourself to 6 tactical puzzles and get yourself sorted out).

Yes. 12...Nb4 which gets rid of the d3 Bishop with a check.
Black played 12...Re8? (he needs sorting out) and was walloped with a sac on g6.

[Click here to replay the game]
F.König - M.Goldie

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 3.c3 e6 4.d4 cxd4 5.cxd4 Bb4+ 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Bd3 0-0 8.Bg5 Be7 9.Qc2 g6 10.h4 h5 11.e5 Nd5 12.Bh6 Re8 [12...Nb4 13.Qd2 Nxd3+ 14.Qxd3 Re8 15.g4 hxg4 16.h5 gxf3 17.hxg6 f5 18.Qxf3 Nc6 19.Qh5] 13.Bxg6 Bf8 14.Bxf7+ Kh8 15.Qg6 Bxh6 16.Qxh6

Though to be fair to Black, even after 12...Nb4 his proceeding play
still leaves him with a horrible position. In the notes I played
out a plausible variation using Fritz as Black. White wins.

So recap: You will not become a tactical genius by parrot reading
the first 8 moves of the Najdorf. There are no short cuts.

Right that's another Chandler Cornered rant done.
I'm off to open a bank account at Northern Rock.

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