SOS - Secrets of Opening Surprises

| 10 | Opening Theory

No time to study opening theory? Shock your opponent with an SOS! 
With an SOS you deviate early (usually before move 6!) from regular lines in mainstream openings. So you will reach positions you have actually studied without having memorized tons of stuffy theory, while gaining time on the clock! And you will have fun watching the horror on your opponent's face... 

Every month, the editor of the SOS Secrets of Opening Surprises book series, IM Jeroen Bosch, annotates a game which was recently played with an SOS-variation.

SOS Game of the Month: April 2012

SOS Game of the Month April [See SOS–13, Chapter 6, p.55] The present game was played at the end of 2011. Black employs the Delayed Budapest Gambit against White's Catalan set-up to great effect. He effortlessly crushes his stronger opponent (who outrated him by some 250 points) almost straight from the opening.
I decided to single out this game as it perfectly illustrates the ideas behind our SOS weapon 1. d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 e5!?. As I argued in SOS–13 the additional tempo (3. g3) may be detrimental to the first player: a real surprise!

Here's the complete text of this game annotation:

Delayed Budapest Gambit - E00
Erik Blomqvist
Rasmus Holving
Stockholm Rilton Cup 2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 e5!? 4.dxe5 Ng4



For 5.e4 Nxe5 6.f4 Nec6 see the Game of the Month of September 2010 (a game Laznicka-Timman).
5.f4?! Bc5 6.Nh3 d6 looks excellent for Black.
A main line in the regular Budapest Gambit is 5.Bf4, but now 5...g5!? (which is also played in the Budapest)demonstrates that it could be unfortunate to have the pawn on g3 - White cannot play 6.Bg3 as he would like to.


This is the other reason why 3...e6-e5 is such a clever idea. Black provokes e2-e3, and in combination with White's third move it becomes clear that the light squares are weakened in White's camp.

6.e3 Nc6



In the same Rilton Cup (but a few days later, so it was 2012 by now!) White played 7.Bg2 which was my main line in SOS–13. After 7...Ngxe5 8.Nxe5 Nxe5 9.0–0 0–0 10.Nc3 d6 White played 11.Qe2 (11.b3 Bg4! was my improvement over the game Quinteros-Tempone, Mar del Plata 1995) and now too  11...Bg4! would have been best, when Black is already for preference. (The less accurate 11...Bf5 12.Rd1 was instead the game continuation in Lindgren-Von Bahr, Stockholm 2012.)

7...Ncxe5 8.Nxe5 Nxe5 9.Bg2 d6 10.b3

When both sides castle first, 10.0–0 0–0 11.b3 Bg4! again transposes to the note on the game Quinteros-Tempone.


Of course! Here too, this is most annoying for White.



Like it or not, it was better to avoid this weakening move.
After 11.Qc2:
- 11...Qf6!? 12.Bb2 (Black obtains a dangerous attack after 12.0–0 Nf3+ 13.Kh1 0–0 14.Bb2 Qh6 15.h4 f5) 12...0–0 13.Nd5 (13.0–0 Nf3+ 14.Kh1 Qh6 transposes to the previous note) 13...Nd3+! 14.Qxd3 Qxb2 15.0–0 c6 is approximately equal.
- 11...Bf3 12.Bxf3 Nxf3+ 13.Kf1 0–0 14.Kg2 Ne5 is perhaps a tiny edge for White.
- 11...Nf3+?! 12.Kf1 is less effective.
- But both 11...Qd7 and 11...0–0 are perfectly playable too.





White is perhaps provoked by Black's previous move into this active move. The modest 12.0–0 was safer.

12...Ng4 13.Qd3 0–0 14.0–0

Nothing good comes from 14.h3 Nxe3! 15.Bxe3 Bxe3 16.Qxe3 Re8 17.Ne4 f5 18.0–0 Bc6.


Black has grabbed the initiative. White has to make some unpleasant choices now about how to defend e3.


This comes up against a strong reply. But none of the alternatives are very attractive:
- 15.Nd1? Qf6 16.Bb2 Rxe3! (16...Qh6 also wins).
- 15.Nd5 c6 16.b4 cxd5 17.bxc5 Qf6 18.Bd2 dxc4 19.Qxd6 Bc6, with a slight advantage.
- 15.Be4!? Qf6! 16.h3 (16.Bd2 Qh6 17.h4 f5) 16...Nh6 17.g4 (17.Bg2 Bf5–+; 17.Kh2 Rxe4 18.Nxe4 Qxa1–+) 17...Rxe4! 18.Nxe4 Qh4!, with superb attacking chances.


15...Qf6! 16.Bd2

The best chance was 16.h3, but it is still met by 16...Bf5 17.Ne4 Qxa1, and White will be an exchange down.


White is lost against the excellent coordination of his opponent's forces.


17.Qe2 Rxe3–+.
17.Ne4 Qh6 18.h3 Bxe4 19.Bxe4 Qxh3–+.


17...Rxe4! 18.Nxe4 Qg6 19.b4 Bxe4 20.Qc3

20.Qe2 Bc6–+ 21.bxc5? Qe4 mates.



And White had enough.

More from IM JoopDeGroot
SOS - Secrets of Opening Surprises - July 2013

SOS - Secrets of Opening Surprises - July 2013

SOS - Secrets of Opening Surprises - June 2013

SOS - Secrets of Opening Surprises - June 2013