Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thanks Tempo: Alapin French

Thanks to Tempo for showing me an opening that made the French fun for once: the Alapin Gambit. Below is my second time ever with it (I played it once in Blitz last night). I played recklessly, purposely erring on the side of ignoring threats rather than responding to phantoms if it was at all unclear to me. This lead me into a severely down and out situation, getting stomped on the queenside. I managed to miss a couple of obvious one-move tactics near the end but somehow managed to pull out the win.

It actually made it more fun to have only a vague idea of the moves. After I played Nxf3 I had nothing to go on, except I remembered Tempo saying "If he wants to trade his Knight for your dark bishop, let him." So that helped.

Here's the game in all its ugliness. I like the opening and will get a book on it. To the opening pedants out there, yes I know it isn't GM-level sound...but it was fun as hell!


Blogger Temposchlucker said...

look at move 9 how much white is ahead in development!
move 10 c3 instead of O-O-O. You need your white squared bishop on d3 to deliver mate. O-O-O took the schwung out of your play. The bishop to c4 gave him an extra tempo with b5.

11/11/2007 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tempo: that was one of my main candidates. As I said in the text, I was basically ignoring threats unless I was 100 percent sure they were significant. I saw his Knight move, and was like "I'll deal with it if he makes it." In retrospect, it wasn't a phantom at all.

I like this style for blitz right now: ignore anything but the most clearly nonphantom threats. That way, I'll better learn which threats are real as they will punish me and then I'll really learn :)

Today I was just kind of relaxed, didn't care for some reason about this game so I played very risky. Also, with players rated less than 1400 I am starting to get sloppy, thinking "If I go down material he will make a mistake and I'll make it up."

Bad habits!!! Play the board, not the rating!!!

11/11/2007 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

I was basically ignoring threats

That is a very good attitude for a gambiteer! I'm usually only reacting when my opponent threatens mate. You will find that having the initiative will often hypnotize your opponent and makes him to move on the same side of the board as you are playing. Which is wrong, of course. Especially frenchplayers tend to sit as rabbits in the light. After all, why do they play the french? Not because they are lovers of openingstudy or that they like complicated positions. Boy, I wished that J'adoube was still around!

c3 gives you the extra option of Bb1, when the black queen starts messing around on the queenside. Besides that, it reinforces d4.

11/11/2007 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Tempo: LMAO.

Yes, I now see the wisdom of c3. I hadn't even noticed the nifty little mobility boost it gives the bishop. :)

11/11/2007 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger takchess said...

I play this as well based on tempos recommendation to give it a try.

It feels somewhat Kinggambitish

Tim Sawyer has a book on this.

11/12/2007 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks Tak for the link (and Tempo who emailed it to me!). Have you seen the book by Sawyer?

11/12/2007 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Loomis said...

I haven't checked this thoroughly, but it looks like 22. d5 could have rocked black's world.

11/12/2007 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Loomis said...

Ok, 22. d5 Bf6 might save black. Maybe 22. Rxf5 threatening Ra5 and planning to meet 22. ... a5 with 23. d5 where now Bf6 can be met by Rxf6.

11/12/2007 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Rxf5 is a great idea that I hadn't considered. With these crazy open games I've been playing I think I need to look more carefully at pins created by the rooks that I typically have lined up in the center! That's the second one I missed (first was that Knight grab I could have made).

11/12/2007 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger takchess said...

Yes. I own Sawyer's book . It's the only book I am aware of on this and it is like most gambiting books pleasantly optimistic from the gambiteer viewpoint.

It is not a bad book and if you are going to play this longterm you would find worthwhile.


11/12/2007 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Polly said...

What a wild game. I'm not sure I could stomach playing such stuff.

What viewer is that you're using? The window is kind of small, but I look being able to include notes.

11/12/2007 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Polly: I love games like this that get my blood pressure up. His queen right next to my king unable to mate, me slowly trying to build up an attack. Crazy complicated unclear lines. :)

The viewer is from, their version 2.0 viewer. I have mixed feelings about it: the sizing is a little weird. It is too big to fit comfortably in my blog (hey, perhaps I'll just change the width of my blog!), but I like having it so people don't have to go to another site to see the game, and the fact that it includes comments is nice, at least for lightly annotated games (unfortunately if you scroll down to see comments it also scrolls past the board, but I think there are options you can use to change the height of the whole thing so it doesn't do that).

So for lightly or unanottated games I'll use this, but for extended annotations which I usually do I'll probably keep using

Or I'll put game w/o annotation here, and put the heavy annotation at

It's all evolving :)

11/12/2007 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

I think I am starting to like these kinds of openings as they are so good for learning to think tactically during games. Lots of opportunities inevitably come up, and it's good to learn patterns of tactics I often miss.

Though I should say I can't stand the King's Gambit. That's too sharp for my tastes. Only the truly crazy go down that avenue :)

11/12/2007 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Pale Morning Dun - Errant Knight de la Maza said...

"Though I should say I can't stand the King's Gambit. That's too sharp for my tastes. Only the truly crazy go down that avenue :)

Given time and a bit of practice, you will find the sweet nectar that can be obtained from 1.e4 e5 2.f4 irresistable. The king's gambit is a true land of chess delight.

Plus, your games are never long. It's over in 30 moves or or lose ;)

11/12/2007 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

PMD: I like the Danish. A tad less sharp, and nice synergy with the Smith Morra (which, incidentally, is just a crazy dangerous weapon but the problem is there are SO many traps white can set it takes a while to master it I think).

11/12/2007 10:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BDK - Alapin, that's the name that was escaping me (see recommendation for you somewhere in chessloser's comments).

Pale Morning - King's Gambit veteran Morozevich allegedly annotated a game thus:
1.e4 e5
2.Nf3 "Previously I used to lose a pawn with 2.f4"


11/13/2007 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

that's how you can become strong in chess. Give a pawn or a knight and still try to win:)

11/13/2007 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger transformation said...

BDK, youve become quite an attacking player. got directed here, throught the also excellent Robert Pearson. warmly, dk

11/13/2007 08:13:00 PM  

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