As mentioned in my blog update yesterday, I’ll try to focus my live blitz games on opening variations that I’ve looked at in detail in my exploratory posts. I think this is more interesting because I have more ideas to talk about. I’ll still play some blitz games in other lines, but for now I’m going to try this new approach.
As it turns out, I had already recorded a few Fried Liver games over the past couple weeks, as well as a Danish Gambit video yesterday, so we’ll get this party started.
This game was a 10|0 live blitz game on Chess.com. I had the Black pieces and, of course, went into the Polerio Defense against my opponent’s Fried Liver variation. We see another game with the Ba4 retreat, and how this can lead to a lot of problems for White. We also see one of the most extreme development advantages in action–the final position is quite pretty.
After you have watched the video, check out the image and text below the video for some further commentary.
If you’ve already watched the video, you’ve seen the final position. Black sacrificed a piece for the attack, but is he really down material? When counting material, we sometimes forget that we should be focused on the amount of pieces who can realistically influence the game.
In what is essentially the final position, White is indeed up a piece, but he really only has two pieces involved in defense. You could argue that the f1 Rook and e1 Queen are defending, but they are both stuck and helpless to save their King. Three of White’s other pieces are on their original squares, and the “active” Bishop had to make several moves only to go back to the first rank, where, as it turns out, it was also helpless. In contrast, Black has three pieces directly attacking (h4 Queen, f3 Bishop, and b6 Bishop), and two more pieces that are already involved and just a move or two away from joining the attack (c4 Bishop and e8 Rook).
It is not often in the Fried Liver Attack, Polerio Defense line that Black’s Queenside Knight is able to join the attacking party. Remember, this is the same Knight that voluntarily throws itself to the edge of the board, about as far as possible from the enemy King, in order to give the rest of the Black forces a chance to strike the winning blow. In this game, the Knight travels from b8 to c6 to a5 to c4 to e5 and then to a devestating square on f3. As it turns out, the final Knight move was unecessary, as I had a more brutal way to checkmate, but this was fun as well.