Saturday, 27 April 2013

Taking the pawn is bad

Continuing on from the Petrov line that Burgess' The Mammoth Book Of Chess tells us is best for Black if the White pawn is taken on move 3 are these two lines of play from I.A. Horowitz's Chess Openings.

We're warned that Black taking the pawn "is bad".

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Nxe4 4. Qe2 Qe7 5. Qxe4 d6 6. d4 c5 7. Nc3 dxe5 8. Nd5 Qd6 9. Bf4 Nd7 10. O-O-O
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Nxe4 4. Qe2 Qe7 5. Qxe4 d6 6. d4 Nd7 7. Nc3 dxe5 8. Nd5 Nf6 9. Nxf6+ gxf6 10. Bb5+!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Don’t be too hasty

A word of caution for those starting out with the Petrov – if White takes the Pawn on his third move, Black shouldn’t immediately take White’s Pawn.

As E. E. Cunnington says in Chess Opening For Beginners, "... the Pawn cannot escape." More importantly, though – The Mammoth Book Of Chess by Graham Burgess points out that if Black takes the Pawn with his Knight, White then moving his Queen to e2 "wins material".

The Mammoth Book Of Chess illustrates a couple of lines with a real-life example (from then-future Grandmasters Nigel Short and David Norwood when they were ages 10 and 6 respectively) and the ideal play at move 4 for Black if he does in fact take the Pawn on move 3.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Nxe4 4. Qe2 Nf6 5. Nc6+ "Black overlooks a simple idea. He has to play this line, hoping for compensation for a pawn in the play following 6. d4"
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Nxe4 4. Qe2 Qe7 5. Qxe4 d6 6. d4

Saturday, 20 April 2013

I like Petrov’s Defence

1. e4 e5   2. Nf3 Nf6

When Black, it seems a nice way of saying right from the start, “Ok! You attack me - I attack you back!”

It doesn’t seem to be so popular lately due to it being considered an opening that often ends up with a draw, although Wikipedia mentions that "Grandmasters Karpov, Yusupov, Smyslov, Marshall, Kramnik, and Pillsbury have frequently played the Petrov as Black."

For my own sake as much as anyone else’s, I plan on going through my books and searching for Petrov’s Defence examples. There are a multitude of examples online, but hey, I like books (although the irony of then publishing them online isn’t lost on me...).

My old copy of David Brine Pritchard’s The Right Way To Play Chess simply states “Black answers the attack on his KP with a counter-attack on White’s KP.” [My copy actually has ‘on White’s QP’ printed, but that doesn’t make sense – White’s QP is quite safe at this point...] “White retains the minimal move advantage.”

Referring to another old book – Reverend E. E. Cunnington’s Chess Openings For Beginners, we find the following two examples of the opening:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Be7 7. O-O O-O ( 7... Nc6 )
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. e5 Ne4 5. Qxd4 d5 6. exd6 Nxd6 7. Nc3 Nc6

Monday, 15 April 2013


Comrades! Hello!

I will be playing chess and reading books and looking into things such as Petrov's (Petroff) Defence - the Russian Game. Of course!