Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hypermodern Defense

To simplify things: classical chess play in the center revolves around occupation by pawns, while hypermodern play involves control from the wings, by pieces.

The Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+) is a classical opening which often features a battle between White's "extra" center pawns and Black's "extra" piece, so it is not surprising that a "hypermodern" response has been developing of late.

perrypawnpusher - jdvatty
blitz FICS, 2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6

7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxc5 N8e7

This is a relatively unusual placement for Black's Knight (instead of going to f6), but jdvatty wants to use the f-file for his Rook.

9.0-0 b6

An alternative was seen in guest6567 [Louis Morin / mrjoker] - guest4702, blitz 2 12, ICC, 2004: 9...d6 10.Qe3 Rf8 11.d4 c5 12.c3 Bd7 13.f4 Rc8 14.f5 Bxf5 15.exf5 Rxf5 16.Rxf5 Qd7 17.Rf1 cxd4 18.cxd4 Rc2 19.Nc3 Qg4 20.Qf3 Qxd4+ 21.Be3 Qe5 22.Rae1 Nh4 23.Qf7+ Kd7 24.Bf2 Qg5 25.Rxe7+ Kc6 26.Rc7 checkmate

10.Qe3 Bb7

Or 10...Rf8 11.f4 d6 12.f5 Ne5 13.d4 Nc4 14.Qg3 Rf7 15.Nc3 Kf8 16.Bg5 h6 17.Bc1 Bb7 18.f6 Rxf6 19.Rxf6+ gxf6 20.Bxh6+ Ke8 21.Qg7 Kd7 22.Qg4+ Ke8 23.Qg7 Nd2 24.Qxf6 Bxe4 25.Nxe4 Nxe4 26.Qh8+ Kd7 27.Qxd8+ Rxd8 28.Re1 Nf5 29.Rxe4 Nxh6 30.Rh4 Nf5 31.Rh7+ Kc6 32.c3 Re8 33.Kf2 a5 34.b3 Rf8 35.Ke2 Re8+ 36.Kd2 Ne3 37.Rg7 Nf1+ 38.Kd3 Nxh2 39.g4 Nf3 40.g5 Nh4 41.c4 Nf5 42.d5+ Kb7 43.Rh7 Re7 44.Rxe7 Nxe7 45.Ke4 Ng6 46.Kf5 Nh4+ 47.Kf6 Kc8 48.g6 Nxg6 49.Kxg6 Kd7 50.Kf6 c6 51.Kf7 cxd5 52.cxd5 b5 53.a3 Kc7 54.Ke7 b4 55.a4 Kb6 56.Kxd6 Ka6 57.Kc6 Ka7 58.Kc7 Ka6 59.d6  Black resigned, perrypawnpusher - Lark, blitz FICS, 2009

11.f4 Kf7
Even the hypermodern strategist has to move a central pawn sometime, and now would have been good: after the game Rybka suggested 11...d5 and after 12.f5 (12.e5 allows the manic 12...d4 13.Qg3 d3 - check it out) Nh4 13.d3 Rf8 14.Qf2 dxe4 15.dxe4 Nexf5 16.exf5 Rxf5 White's center is gone and Black, if anyone, has an edge.

analysis diagram

Black also continued without the center pawn thrust in guest1730 [Louis Morin / mrjoker]- guest1656, blitz 2 12, ICC 2001 : 11...Rf8 12.d4 d6 13.f5 Nh8 14.g4 Qd7 15.c4 Nf7 16.Nc3 Kd8 17.b3 h6 18.h4 g5 19.h5 Nc6 20.Ba3 Qe8 21.Rad1 Kd7 22.e5 Nfxe5 23.dxe5 Qxe5 24.Qd3 Rae8 25.Rde1 Qd4+ 26.Qxd4 Nxd4 27.Rxe8 Rxe8 28.Bb2 Nf3+ 29.Kf2 Nh2 30.Rg1 Bf3 31.Rg3 Bxg4 32.Rg2 Bxf5 33.Rxh2 c6 34.Kf3 Rf8 35.Kg3 Be6 36.Ne2 c5 37.Bg7 Rf1 38.Bxh6 Ra1 39.Nc3 Rg1+ 40.Kf2 g4 41.Kxg1 g3 42.Rg2 Bg4 43.Rxg3 Bxh5 44.Ne4 Kc6 45.Rg5 b5 46.Rxh5 bxc4 47.bxc4 a5 48.Bf4 a4 49.Rh6 Kb6 50.Rxd6+ Ka5 51.Bd2 checkmate

12.f5 Ne5 13.d4 Nc4 14.Qf4

A better place for my Queen was d3.

The battle of pieces vs pawns is very clear.

14...Rf8 15.b3 Nd6 16.Nc3 Kg8

17.Ba3 Ng6

Provocative. Safer was 17...Ne8.

18.Qg4 Ne7

Black might have taken advantage of the opportunity his last move gave him to play 18...Qh4, as after 19.Qxh4 Nxh4 White has to slow down his pawn roller with 20.d5 and play positionally; or support it with 20.Rae1, and watch it be destroyed, as 20...Ba6 leads to active play and an even game, e.g. 21.Rf4 Ng6 22. Rg4 Nxf5 23.exf5 Rxf5. 

analysis diagram

19.f6 g6

Here my opponent decided to give the piece back. More in line with his hypermodern play would have been 19...Ng6 (again; Nimzovich would have loved it) 20.e5 c5 when White would destroy his own center and the game would become quite unclear after 21.exd6 Rxf6.

20.fxe7 Qxe7 21.Rae1 Rxf1+ 22.Rxf1

Now White is a pawn ahead, but Black can continue to induce complications after 22...Qe6, un-pinning his Knight and planning to pile up further on the e-pawn. Rybka suggests that White then swap Queens and exchange off Black's Knight: 23.Qxe6 dxe6 24.Bxd6 cxd6.

analysis diagram

It will be a long time, if ever, before White can make something out of his extra pawn.

One more point: if after 22...Qe6 23.Qxe6 dxe6 White tries 24.e5 instead, the Black Knight dances with 24...Nf5 and the pressure on White's center is intense.


Celebrating too soon. Yes, the e-pawn is attacked 3 times and only defended 2 times, but White left it to "hang" because one of Black's attackers was pinned to the other.

23.Bxe7 Nxc3

Black has played well and doesn't want to give the fight up yet.

I set my sights on checkmate.

24.Qxd7 Ba6 25.Bf6 Ne2+ 26.Kh1 Ng3+ 27.hxg3 Bxf1 28.Qg7 checkmate

I take my hat off to jdvatty for a fascinating game!

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