Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Black Square Anemia

Or, Why Did You Stray So Far From Home, Little Bishop?

What do you call the opening 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 Bb4? The ECO classification is A45, unusual Indian openings. Tim Sawyer did me the honor of including one of my games in this line as Game 1 in his Keybook II, and called it the Nimzo-Indian variation. "Sometimes I wonder," he wrote, "if Black realizes there's a pawn on e4 instead of c4."

Whatever you call it, if you try for the Blackmar-Diemer with 2.Nc3 you'll see it sooner or later. I can no longer remember where I first saw the line with 5.Qg4, but I've played it dozens, if not hundreds of times. In fact I'm sure I've played the exact game given below a dozen or more times in blitz. It's a little like the ubiquitous Halosar trap that is such a popular subject of YouTube videos.

But for all that, I never got the chance to play it in a rated OTB game. Larry Carroll, who recently returned to active play after some time away, got one a few days ago in a G/30 tournament. I've added a few short notes to Larry's game. For some detailed analysis of the line, see Tim's Keybook II.