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This game made really a big impression on me, and it still does.
Easily on my list of 100 best chess games ever.
Sam's a tactical powerhouse, and to toast him like that... speaks volumes.
The way I see it, the easiest way to claim sufficient compensation for the pawn is when you have the big center with e6 d5 and c5. Now I know you could have compensation too without it, but on my skill level that's a lot more difficult to prove.
However in a lot of variations Nc3 followed by e4 is very annoying. Besides Qa4+ can be very annoying too, as f7f5 points out.
For example in the regular accepted Blumenfeld:
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 c5 4 d5 b5 5 dxe6 fxe6 6 cxb5 d5 7 Nc3 Nbd7 8 e4!
The computer gives white a pretty nice edge here for example:
8...d4 9 e5 Ng4 10 Ng5! Ndxe5 11 f4! dxc3 12 Qxd8+ Kxd8 13 fxe5 with a nice position for white.
Note that after 7 ...d4, which seemed logical to me the computer likes Na4 a lot!
Deviating with 7 ...Bb7 doesn't even prevent e4 so not that much better.
So after this I analyzed the a6-variation and repeatedly found the same problem. For example this variation:
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 c5 4 d5 b5 5 dxe6 fxe6 6 cxb5 a6 7 bxa6 Bxa6 8 Nc3 d5 9 Qa4+ Nbd7? 10 Qc6!
So here black is practically forced to trade queens and that does not seem to be a good idea. So basically my goal is to play d5 and prevent e4 by white. If that cannot be reached by accurate play, then I'm not comfortable playing the resulting positions a pawn down.
The next variation seems to be very interesting and it seems that I achieve my goals by delaying to take the a6-pawn.
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 c5 4 d5 b5 5 dxe6 fxe6 6 cxb5 a6 7 bxa6 d5
An important difference with the regular Blumenfeld is that Nc3 is met by d4 now! This means that white can forget about playing e4 and black is thus establishing a nice center. Interestingly the computer at first likes e4, but a few moves later he agrees there's not much there after Nxe4.
White's most direct try for quick trades to get into the endgame a pawn up:
8 e3 Nxa6 9 Bb5+ Bd7 10 Bxd7+ Qxd7 11 Ne5 Qb7 12 Qa4+ Nfd7 13 Qxd7+ Qx d7 14 Nxd7
White's up a pawn but black has full compensation.
To avoid these trades for black the next continuation is possible:
8 e3 Be7 9 Bb5+
Both Bd7 and Nbd7 are viable options although Bd7 seems easier to play for black.
I'd like to hear your opinions on these variations or on my approach in general.
Great video. Thanks!
Great game, I love your videos!
Great stuff. Definitely putting the blumenfeld gambit in my opening rep. for black.
That sure put back the favour on Sam! That's whats chess.com is about!
@White_Knight - the reasons for 23...Nb3 are explained in the video between 12:12 and 13:40 timestamps).
Incidentally, analysis by IM Mark Ginsburg indicates that 23...Qd3 was the best move.
"HUUUUUUUGE mistake... either this was timed or these guys don't break 2k in rating. instead of 23...Nb3 you downright win material after 23...Nd3+ ..."
I'm no expert, and haven't analyzed deeply, but if I found what I thought to be an error in IM or GM play, I'd express it without slandering the talents of the experts, who likely understand the position better than I do. (What I mean is, I *would* express my critique, but I'd be guarded in my commentary, and not go so far as saying the players should be rated 600 points lower than they are, etc. I'd also expect to find myself in the wrong, as I'm not *that* confident of my chess superiority.)
In any case, black went for the mate, and got it, which is more impressive than accepting a rook for a knight and two pawns in material.
HUUUUUUUGE mistake... either this was timed or these guys don't break 2k in rating. instead of 23...Nb3 you downright win material after 23...Nd3+ the outpost supported by the queen and no counterthreat or compensation is given for being down an ox. Am I overlooking something? As I see it aside from the linked passed pawns, white has nothing else going for him....
I loved the game, wow!
Great game against a great player. Very instructive tactics. Thanks!
We used ICC (http://www.chessclub.com/) for this video, but you can do the same thing right here on chess.com with the Analysis Board. Go into Live Chess, and click "New Analysis Board" underneath the game seeks. You can highlight squares with a right click, draw arrows by right clicking and holding it down between two squares, and clear all arrows and squares with a left click.
does anyone know what program is used to show these videos? like highligting squares and drawing arrows and what not
by GM Mackenzie Molner
Today International Master Mackenzie Molner brings on the "Mac Attack"! Or is it the "Mac Sac"? Either way, Mac delivers a ferocious attack on white's doorstep, and fellow Chess.com Video Author, GM Sam Shankland, was unable to escape from this mess. An ideal game to memorize and understand fully as a Blumenfeld Gambit player, and one that earned Mac the Brilliancy Prize at the 2010 Copper State International.
Players: Shankland, Sam
vs. Molner, Mackenzie
Related: « Part 1
Part 3 »
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GM Mackenzie Molner
International Master Mackenzie Molner is one of the rising young stars in America. He has been ranked amongst the top juniors in the United States for more than ten years. Originally, from New Jersey, "Mac" recently graduated from NYU with a Bachelor's Degree in Romance Languages, with a specialty in Spanish (he also speaks German, French and Russian). Mac considers himself a Professional Chess Player/Coach.
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