Tuesday, 25 December 2012

A gift for Christmas

I'm currently playing a number of friendlies for Australia in Correspondence Chess, with the games all starting to get quite interesting. As is my habit, I normally follow established theory in the openings, having neither the time or ability to try and poke a hole in someone else's opening analysis. But occasionally I end up in an opening position which seems to be quite new.
In one of my games I played a pretty offbeat opening, and got to a position where I seemed to be winning material. But I smelt a rat, especially as the reference work I was relying on seemed not to mention the piece winning line. Turns out my opponent had set an interesting trap, which had been played in a similar but different opening. Fortunately I decided to check the line in this other opening, where the whole trap was laid bare before me.
As I am loathe to discuss actual games in progress on this blog (in case a helpful reader fills the comment section with analysis) I will offer the trap from the other line as a gift.
If you play against either the Alekhine's Defence or even the Scandinavian then be aware of the following trick. 1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 Ne4!? 4.Nce2 d4 5.c3 dxc3! Now 6.Qa4+ looks like it wins a piece but 6. ... Nd7 7.Qxe4 Nc5! leaves White in a heap of trouble. The Black knight is landing on d3 and will either fork on f2 or even support cxb2, and Black is better in either case. So best for White is to avoid the check, and simply recapture the pawn with 6.bxc3!

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