09 December 2014

Lesson of the Week

Most of my advanced students this week will see a position from Anderssen -- Staunton, London 1851. Focus, however, will be upon an unplayed variation. I used a position from late in this game as the week's lesson early in 2014 (see "Find the Best Move").

Anderssen,Adolf -- Staunton,Howard [B40]
London knockout London (3.1), 1851

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e6 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Ba7 7.Bd3 Ne7 8.0–0 0–0 9.Qh5 Ng6 10.e5 Qc7 11.Rae1 b5 12.f4 Bb7 13.Ne4

Andressen is beginning to build an attack that will punish Staunton for his poor handling of the opening that a century later would begin to be called the Kan variation of the Sicilian Defense.

Staunton decided to eliminate Anderssen's centralized knight with 13...Bxe4. Had he played 13...Nc6, however, how would Anderssen continue the attack? See diagram below.

White to move
Theoretical Position

My beginning students were shown the second position from Saturday's problem solving contest (see "Sacrificial Attack"). After explaining the solution, they were given a worksheet containing the first five problems from January's "Creating Knight Forks". They needed and were given lots of help.


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  2. 1.Ng5 h6, 2.Nxf7 wins to either 2...RxN, 3.BxNg6 followed by 4.BxRf7+ or by 2...NxNd4, 3.Nxh6+

    1. White certainly has an advantage in that line, which seems simple enough. I refuse to admid how much time I spent looking at this position before Ng5 stopped being my first choice.

      I wonder if 1.Rf3 might be a wee stronger. 2.Nf6+ then becomes a significant threat. 1...Rfd8 seems to be Black's best defense, but it is not good enough.