Benko (Volga) GambitA57

Chris Seeman (1358)
Laurence Coker (1678)

Kansas Open (3.18)

I include this loss to Kansas Reserve Champion Christopher Seeman, one of his 5 wins.. Mistakes are made, but there are some learning points in the game, especially concerning protected passed pawns.

1. d4 A57: Benko/Volga Gambit 1... Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. Nc3 b4 5. Nb1 g6 6. b3 d6 7. Nd2 Bg7 8. Bb2 O-O 9. e3 a5 10. Bd3 e6 11. dxe6 fxe6 12. Ne2 Bb7 13. O-O Qe7 14. Qc2 Na6 15. Nf4 Qf7 16. Rad1 e5 17. Nd5 Nxd5 18. cxd5 Bxd5 19. Ne4 Rfd8 20. Ng5 Qb7 21. e4 Qe7 22. Nxh7 ? This should lose a piece. 22... Bf7 23. Bxa6 Rxa6 24. Qd3

24... Kxh7 ? wlc-Black, with his concern about 25.Qh3, completely forgets that his rook on a6 is attacked. White cannot save his knight anyway. If 24.... Raa8 25.Qh3 Be6 34.g4 Bh8 and the knight on h7 is history. This one mistake should decide the game, but black gets back in the game later, as white makes the mistake 27.Rd3? allowing 27....c4! 25. Qxa6 Bh6 26. Qe2 Be6 27. Rd3 ? # 27... c4 ! 28. Rdd1 wlc-If 28.bxc4, then Bxc4 wins back the exchange. 28... c3 29. Bc1 Bxc1 30. Rxc1 Qg5 31. Qd3 d5 32. exd5

32... Rxd5 wlc-Ron Luther after the game thought that 32...Bxd5, followed by 33.Qg3 Qxg3 'f' or 'h'xg3 trading off queens was the way to go. Then, black threatens a4 at an opportune time. 33. Qa6 Qe7 34. Rfd1 Rxd1+ 35. Rxd1

35... c2 ? wlc-Ron Luther, analyzing the game afterwords, stated this is a mistake. Black should exchange off all material (Queen's especially) before even thinking of advancing the pawn. A protected passed pawn is very powerful, and gets more so with less material on the board, but becomes weak if advanced prematurely. 36. Rc1 Bf5 37. Qxa5 Qd6 38. Qa7+ Kh6 39. Qe3+ g5 40. Qf3 e4 ? This loses the 'c' pawn and the game. 41. Qe2 Qd3 ? wlc-Short of time, I forgot the bishop was no longer guarding the c2 pawn. 42. Rxc2 Qd4 43. Rc6+ Bg6 44. h3 Qa1+ 45. Kh2 Qe5+ 46. Kg1 Qa1+ 47. Qf1 Qxa2 Black loses on time. But, he is lost anyway. 1-0



Laurence Coker (1678)
Virgil Renne (1516)

Kansas Open (2.17)

I am including this one other game I played in the Kansas Open, because it shows what to do if you are just about out of time and you think there are insufficient losing chances. Stop the clock, and call for the Tournament director. I salvaged a draw in this game which is surely lost by the clock.

1. e4 C41: Philidor Defence 1... e5 2. Nf3 d6 wlc-I have been playing a long time, and I think this is the first time anyone has played the Philidor against me. I am very used to seeing either 2...Nc6 or 2...Nf6 after 1...e5.# 3. Bc4 wlc-According to Nick de Firmian, the best move and most aggressive attempt for an advantage here is 3.d4 3... h6 wlc-Out of book. Black is worried about 4.Ng5 MCO 14 lists a wide variety of responses by black here such as 3...Be7, 3...Nd7, 3...Qf6, 3...Be6, 3....Bg4, and even lastly 3...Nc6 transposing into the Hungarian Defence. 3...h6 isn't one of the better moves. 4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Be7 7. h3 wlc-Another aggressive idea here would have been 7.Bf4 followed by 8.Qd2 and 8.0-0-0, trying to launch a kingside attack. Certainly putting the bishop on f4 makes more sense. 7.h3 is played because white is wanting to place the dark-squared bishop on e3, and doesn't want black playing Ng4. 7... Bd7 8. Be3 Nc6 9. Bb3 Na5 10. Qe2 Nxb3 11. axb3 a6 12. f4 wlc-Probably better to castle kingside and wait to see what black does before advancing this pawn. 12... c5 13. Nf3 Bc6

14. Qd3 ?! Either 14.Bf2 or 14.e5 would have been better. 14... d5 15. exd5 Nxd5 16. Nxd5 Qxd5 17. Qe2 Rd8 18. O-O O-O 19. Rad1 Qe6 20. Qf2 Bxf3 21. Qxf3 b6 22. Rfe1 Qf6 23. c3 a5 ?! A positional mistake, because white is able to play c4 and lock up the queenside. 24. Qe2 Rxd1 25. Rxd1 Rd8 26. Rxd8+ Bxd8 27. Qd3 Be7 28. Qd2 Qd6 29. Qxd6 Bxd6 30. c4 ! A good move. The queenside is all locked up.# 30... f5 31. g4 fxg4 32. hxg4 Kf7 33. Kg2 Be7 34. Kf3 g6 35. Ke4 h5

36. Kf3 wlc-Actually Fritz liked 36.gxh5 gxh5 37.Kf5 better. I just did not like the idea of creating an outside passed pawn for black, even though I wasn't able to calculate the ending. 36... Kf6 37. Bf2 hxg4+ 38. Kxg4 Ke6 39. Be3 Bf6 40. Bc1 Kf7 41. Kf3 Bd4 42. Kg4 Kf6 43. Kg3 Kf5 44. Kf3 Bf6 45. Bd2 Bxb2 wlc-The loss of the backward "b" pawn is of no consequence in this game, because black made the mistake of advancing his "a" pawn to a5.# 46. Be3 Bf6 47. Bf2 Ke6 48. Be1 Kd6 49. Ke4 Bd4 50. Bd2 Kc6 51. f5 gxf5+ 52. Kxf5 Bb2 53. Ke6 Ba3 54. Be1 Bb4 55. Bf2 b5 56. cxb5+ Kxb5 57. Kd5 wlc-With 4 seconds left on my clock, I asked Bob Holliman to declare this a draw by insufficient losing chances, which he did. The rule states if a Class C player can get a draw or win against a Master in the noted position, it should be declared a draw. The tournament director does have the option of continuing the game with a time delay clock if he so desires, which Holliman did in my last game in the tournament, which I am not going to list. # 1/2-1/2



George Verhage (1668)
Benjamin Pettijohn (1638)

Kansas Open (3)

Benjamin Pettijohn plays an unusual variation of the Sicilian and wins the game in the opening when George Verhage plays the opening incorrectly. Benjamin finished with 4.5 with a draw in the last round against Shane Evans, only to discover Chris Seeman won his last game to win the Reserve section. Evans and Pettijohn finished tied for second.

1. e4 B40: Sicilian: 2...e6, Unusual lines 1... c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4

John Nunn in his book "Beating the Sicilian 3" calls this the Pin variation (Chapter 11). Believe it or not, I have played against this in a postal game. More common responses for black are either 5...a6 transposing into the Kan or 5...Nc6 transposing into the Taimanov. 6. Bg5 ? wlc-According to Nunn, the only continuation by white that gives black any trouble is 6.e5 Nd5 7. Bd2 Nxc3 8.bxc3 and either 8....Be7 9.Qg4 or 8..... Ba5?! 9.Qg4 with complications. Also, possible sixth moves for white are responses 6.Qd3 or 6.Bd2. The text move 6.Bg5 is inferior. 6... Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 Qa5

White is in trouble already, as the black queen is attacking the g5 bishop and c3 pawn at the same time. Also, the knight is attacking the unprotected e4 pawn. What a mess so early in the game. 8. Bxf6 Qxc3+ 9. Ke2 wlc- What else? 9... gxf6 10. Nb5 wlc-Better would have been 10.Rb1 10... Qc6 11. Kf3 ? Better is 11.Qd3 Na6 12.Nd6+ Ke7 13.Rd1 with a slight advantage for white. 11... f5 12. Bd3 ? wlc-The losing move. This loses a piece. Better would have been 12.Qd4 Rg8 13.Nd6+ Ke7 14.Rd1 and white lives on. 12... fxe4+ 13. Bxe4 Qxb5 wlc-The game is essentially over now. I show one more diagram latter to show Benjamin's handling of a won position. 14. Rb1 Qh5+ 15. g4 Qh3+ 16. Ke2 Qxg4+ 17. f3 Qg2+ 18. Ke3 d5 19. Qd4 Qg5+ 20. Kf2 Qh4+ 21. Ke2 Rg8 22. Rbg1 Rxg1 23. Rxg1 Nd7 24. Rg8+ Nf8 25. Qg7 Qe7 26. Bxh7 b6 27. h4 Ba6+ 28. Bd3 Bxd3+ 29. cxd3 f6 30. Qg6+ Qf7

Countering any white threats. 31. Qg3 Rc8 32. Rg7 Qh5 33. Kd2 Qe5 34. Qg4 Qb2+ 35. Ke3 Qc1+ 36. Kf2 Rc2+ 37. Kg3 e5 38. Qh5+ Kd8 39. Qf7 Qf4+ 40. Kh3 Rh2# 0-1


Three KnightsC46

Ed Mefford (1592)
John Pedry (1745)

Kansas Open (5)

By now you know I have an interest in unusual openings. There are several mistakes made in the game, but if anything, I like being able to put a Latvian Gambit in the bulletin. Mr. Pedry ended up tied for 4th place overall in the Reserve with 4.0 points.

1. e4 C40: Latvian and Elephant Gambits 1... e5 2. Nf3 f5

I wanted to show a diagram of this position. Do people actually play this Latvian Gambit? I guess so. What would you as white move? 3. Nc3 wlc-A safe move. It is not going to give white any advantage. Better for white are either 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.d4 d6 5.Nc4 fxe4 or 3.exf5 e4 4.Ne5 Nf6 5.Be2 d6 Bh5+ with complications. Also, given by Nick de Fimirian in MC0 14 is 3.Bc4 fxe4 4. Nxe5 Qg5 with a wild game, white trying to take advantage of f5, which weakens the a2-g8 diagonal. 3... Nc6 4. a3 fxe4 5. Nxe4 d5 6. Ng3 e4 7. Ng1 Bc5 ? # A developing move that is a mistake. Do you see why? 8. c3 ? White return s the favor with a mistake of his own and never recovers. 8.Nxe4 dxe4 9.Qh5+! any move 10.Qxc5 wins a pawn. 8... Nf6 9. d4 exd3 10. Bxd3 O-O 11. Be3 ? Better is 11.Nf3 11... Bxe3 12. fxe3 Ng4 13. Nh3 wlc-Not 13.Qe2, because of 13...Rf2 and white is in even bigger trouble. 13... Qe7 14. Qe2 Nxe3

White is dead lost. 15. Bxh7+ wlc-An unsound sacrifice to try to mix things up. Better is 15.Kd2, but after 15...Na5, white still is in trouble. 15... Kh8 ? The best way to refrute a sacrifice is to accept it. 15...Kxh7 and white really doesn't have anything. 16. Qh5 ? Seems reaonable, but black has 16...Bg4 and it is over soon. 16. Be4 dxe4 17. Qxe3 Bxh3 18. gxh3 Rae8 19. O-O-O Rf3 20. Qe2 Qg5+ 21. Kb1 wlc-This is a better continuation by white. 16... Bg4 ! A very good move. 17. Qg6 Nxg2+ 18. Kd2 Qe3+ 19. Kc2 Ne5 20. Qg5 Bxh3 21. Qxe3 Nxe3+ 22. Kb3 Kxh7 23. Rae1 N3c4 24. Re2 Bg4

White resigns in a hopeless position. 0-1



Bruce Draney (1913)
Kyle Camarda (1848)

Kansas Open (3)

I e-mailed Kyle Camarda, our new Kansas Champion, about the Kansas Open. He thought this was his best game in the tournament. I am listing the game with his comments (Kyle) and mine (wlc).

1. e4 B98: Sicilian Najdorf: 6 Bg5 e6 7 f4 Be7, sidelines 1... c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Be7 8. Qf3

wlc-A very standard position in Najdorf Sicilian. Black's next move deviates from the normal book lines. 8... Nc6 wlc-In my Big DataBase 2002 of 2.2 million games the most common responces are 8....Qc7 (2421), 8...h6 (392), 8....Nbd7 (212), 8....Qa5 (132), and finally 8....Nc6 (63). The later is an uncommon response, which Kyle states he has used before with good results. 9. O-O-O Qc7 10. g4 Bd7 11. Bg2 Rc8 12. h3 Kyle-White is defending against possible threats of ...e5 and . ...Bxg4. But, this passive play gives black a chance to start an attack. 12... b5 13. a3 ?! wlc-Fritz liked 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Qf2 b4 15.Nce2 better. 13.a3 gives black an open file to the white king. Black's response 13...b4 to 13.a3 is best and to be expected. 13... b4 14. axb4 Nxb4 15. Rd2 Qa5 16. Nb3 Na2+ 17. Nxa2 Qxa2

Kyle-The white queenside is being breeched, and white has no attacking prospects. 18. Rd3 h6 19. Bh4 Ba4 20. e5 ?! Kyle-This allows a little tactic..... 20... Bxb3 21. Rxb3 Qa1+ 22. Kd2 Qa5+ 23. Kd1 dxe5 24. Qb7 wlc-Kyle gives this a question mark and states "Now white has one move to develop and shore up his defenses, but instead, he tries a counter attack." He doesn't say what that move is, but Fritz likes 24.fxe5 Qxe5 25.Qb7 0-0 26.Qxa6 best. 24... Rd8+ 25. Rd3 Rxd3+ 26. cxd3 Qa4+ 27. b3 ? Kyle-This just gives white more squares near the white king. Now black's goal is to put the black queen on b2. wlc-Fritz liked 27.Kc1 better. 27... Qa1+ 28. Kc2 Qa2+ 29. Kd1 Qb1+ 30. Kd2 Qb2+ 31. Kd1 Kyle-The white king is fully hemmed in, so black just needs one more piece in the attack. 31... O-O # 32. Qxe7 ? wlc-This loses very quickly as it allows black's next move. The queen is guarding the c8 square and b3 square.Kyle-Even without this mistake, white is winning, but now the conclusion comes quickly. 32... Rc8 ! White resigns. It's forced mate in seven according to Fritz. 0-1 [Open Section]



Ryan Thompson
Robert Glick (1896)

Kansas Open (1)

I have a short Sicilian Dragon win by Robert Glick. Mr. Thompson deviates from the book on move #15 and gets quickly crushed. Of course, the very bad error on move 21 speeds the process up.

1. e4 B76: Sicilian Dragon: Yugoslav Attack, 9 g4 and 9 0-0-0 1... c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. f3 Bg7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. O-O-O d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Bd4 e5 13. Bc5 Be6

This is book up until this point with even chances for both sides. Black offers to give up the rook on f8 by 13..Be6. If white takes 14.Bxf8 Qxf8, experience shows that black gets the better game, because of the Dragon bishop. Threatened after 14.Bxf8 Qxf8 is 15...Bh6 pinning the white queen. 14. Bc4 wlc-This is a minor line for white, but appears perfectly playable. Normal with extensive analysis is the more common 14.Ne4, trying to play for a positional advantage for white. 14... Re8 wlc-Black deviates from the more common 14...Nxc3 in this position. Tricky and in black's favor is 14...Nxc3 15.Bxe6 Nxd1 16.Bd7 Nxb2 and white resigned in Bjerring-Hanson, Copenhagen op Copenhagen, 1985. After 17.Kxb2 comes 17...Rb8+ and white is in trouble. Also, played by white is 14...Qh4, hoping to play 15....Red8 15. Nxd5 wlc-This is perfectly playable continuation. 15... cxd5

16. Bb5 ?! This wins the exchange, but causes unnecessary complications where white has to be very careful how he continues with the game. It allows black to have a strong center, to open up his dragon bishop, and to have free access to the "c" file to continue his attack on the king. Better was 16.Bxd5 Bxd5 17.Qxd5 and either 17...Qf6 or better 17...Qg5+ 18.Qd2 Qh4 with a draw in VanLandeghem- Kafka, Glorney and Faber Cup, Dublin, 2000. 16... Qc7 17. Bxe8 Qxc5 18. Ba4 Rb8 19. Rhe1 a5 20. Kb1 ? Another mistake. This just moves the king onto the semi-open 'b' file with the black rook on b8. Risky business! 20. Bb3 Qb6 21. a4 d4 22. Qd3 Bh6+ (22... Bxb3 wlc-This variation is also playable for black, as he strives for equality with his pawn center. 23. cxb3 Qxb3 24. Qxb3 Rxb3 25. Kc2 Rb4 26. b3 f5 27. g3 Kf7) 23. Kb1 Bf5 24. Re4 Bxe4 25. fxe4 wlc-This i s a better continuation, giving back the exchange to blunt both black's attack and black's advance of his central pawns. 20... e4 wlc-Opening up the attack to bring the Dragon bishop into play.# 21. Re3 ?? This loses quickly. Better is 21.Bb3, though with that, black plays 21.... a4, winning the light-squared bishop. With 21.b3, there follows 21....Bh6, just as bad. 21... Rxb2+ 22. Kc1 Rxa2 23. Rb3 Ra1+ White resigns as it is mate in one. 24.Rb1 Qa3# 0-1 [Open Section]



Tim Steiner (1946)
Mikail Korenman (1837)

Kansas Open (2)

I include this game, Tim Steiner vs. Mikhail Korenman, because it illustrates the correct way to play the King's Indian Attack, as well as illustrating the interesting tactics involved in it. It illustrates an alternative system to play against those French Defense players, and there are so many.

1. e4 A08: King's Indian Attack 1... e6 2. d3 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. Ngf3 Nf6 5. g3 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O b6 wlc-In MCO-14, a more aggressive system for black with queenside expansion is recommended. Black plays 7....b5 here, followed by 8... a5, and later ...Rb8 and ...Ba6 with black trying for queenside counterplay to oppose white's kingside play. MCO-14, page 711, column #1. Game following-Urban vs.Uhlmann 1990. 8. Re1 Bb7 9. e5 Nfd7 10. Nf1 Nc6 11. c3 Qe8 12. Qe2

The ideal set up for white in the King's Indian Attack. 12... d4 13. c4 Bd8 14. Bf4 Bc7 15. Qd2 f6 16. exf6 Bxf4 17. Qxf4 Rxf6 18. Qc7 Rb8 19. Ng5 Nf8 20. Bd5 h6

21. Nxe6 wlc-This starts a six move exchange of material that wins white two pawns. 21... Nxe6 22. Rxe6 Rxe6 23. Re1 Nd8 24. Bxe6+ Nxe6 25. Rxe6 Qxe6 26. Qxb8+ Bc8 27. Qxa7 Kh7

White has won two pawns. The exchange queens at this point would result in a lost endgame for black. 28. Qa8 Qd7 29. Qe4+ g6 ? This weakens black's kingside, exposing the black king to attack.. Better would have been 29....Kh8. 30. Nd2 Bb7 31. Qe5 h5 wlc-Better is 31.... g5 and 32.Kg6 or the waiting move 31....Ba8. The text moves gives dark-square weaknesses around the black king and gives white a good place to put his knight. 32. Ne4

32... Qd8 ?? This loses very quickly. Necessary was 32... .Bxe4. Black, though two pawns down still has some chances with queen's still on the board. 33. Ng5+ Kg8 34. Qe6+ Kg7 35. Qf7+ Kh6 Black resigns. wlc-There follows either 36.Ne6 or 36.h4 and black is going to lose major material or get mated. 1-0 [Open Section]