Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Early London

ChessBase products like MegaBase and BigBase contain millions of games and are excellent tools for opening research. But for historical research they can still not compete with old-fashioned books and magazines. However, acquiring antiquarian chess books can be expensive and even shifting rapidly through them is a quite time consuming activity.

Fortunately my club, Oslo Schakselskap, has got a nice library with some good collections of books as well as bound magazines - primarily in German language. And from time to time I spend some hours browsing for games of interest. This old London game I found in Deutsche Schachzeitung 5/1915.

G.Lovas - L.Asztalos,Budapest 1915
1.d4 d5 2.Bf4!?
This is the London move-order that interests me the most.
2...c5!? 3.e3

3.e4!? is a more enterprising option.
3...e6 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nd2 Qb6 6.Qb1
For some reason this queen position is more common in the Torre than in the London.
6...Bd7 7.Bd3 Nf6 8.Ngf3 Be7 9.0–0

As the annotator points out, 9.h3 is probably more exact.

Here 9...Nh5 would have been critical.
10.Ne5 Rfd8 11.Ndf3 Be8 12.Ng5 h6??

Now it's a forced mate in seven:
13.Bh7+ Kf8 14.Ng6+! fxg6 15.Nxe6+ Kf7 16.Qxg6+! 1-0 (16...Kxe6 17.Bg8+ Bf7 18.Bxf7+ Kd7 19.Qf5 is mate)

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