ein Geshenk von Nikola

So this summer I was stuck in New York while most of my friends went to far away places, returning with stories of long distance bike touring, late night parties and proof that everywhere else is better than here. While I battled hurricanes and earthquakes, they were drinking strong beer on the continent and bronzing themselves on far away beaches.

Luckily, one of my friends took pity on me and brought me back an awesome chess journal from abroad: Schach: deutsch schachzeitung 8.

This little ‘zine is packed with interviews, games, articles, and – I daresay – journalism. I’m going to see if I can get a subscription somehow here in the states. One interesting article was an interview with the awesome Jan Gustafsson, who runs one of the best chess blogs on the internet. As an aside, it’s strange that more GM’s don’t have websites with commentary.

In any case, one whacky game that caught my eye from the magazine (perhaps a bad example as most of the games analyzed in the ‘zine were of a very high quality) was the following one.

The move from this game which caught my eye was not the early h4, h5 (where was this played, Washington Square Park?) but rather the push by white c5! It’s an idea which isn’t new at all, but which is new to me. I first encountered it in Wojo’s Weapons Volume 2, in which Dean Ippolito gives a number of fantastic lines for white against the Kings Indian Defense. One such line was the following: 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.d4 d6 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3 e5 8.d5 Ne7 9.c5!? giving the following position:

the idea behind this early pawn push is in its most cursory explanation to attack black on the queenside before black has time for kingside expansion and a straightforward KID style attack. If dxc5 is simply terrible- it goes without saying- after 9…Ne8 10.cxd6 cxd6 white has the ability to seize control of the c-file, and gain space on the queenside quickly with plans like Qd1-Qb3, and a4,a5 etc. This plan is nastier than it looks and is so simple that it’s almost scandalous how well it works in practice. Naturally, black should try 10.Nxd6, but the resulting position is hardly the straightforward KID that most practitioners of this line had envisioned. That little kernel of chess knowledge brought to you by Dean Ippolito’s Wojo’s weapons- two books that I highly recommend for the Catalan player.

Interestingly, today I met a gentleman at the Marshall chess club who was from Poland and claimed to have worked with Wojo a long time ago- and also to be the programmer behind “swiss perfect,” the main competitor of Swiss Sys, the tournament pairing software commonly used in the U.S. to run major tournaments. He had a handful of interesting anecdotes to share- one which I did not know was that Wojo himself was a second to Tal at a young age.

Back to Schach-

another game from Schach: Deutschland Zeitung which caught my eye was the following gem between two Americans- Lenderman and Kamsky.