Another Look at the Maróczy Defence Pawn Grab!

In the last game I played as Black against my regular opponent, he opened with 1. e4 and I replied with my repertoire move, 1… d6. A few moves later we found ourselves with a situation that seemed familiar!

  1. e4 d6
  2. d4 Nf3
  3. Nc3 e5

We arrive at the Maróczy Defence by transposition. (The pure Maróczy Defence is 1. e4 d6, 2. d4 e5…)

Next, my opponent decided to advance his Queen’s pawn, which the Chess.com engine rates as “good,” which really means just “okay.” Clearly, the chess engine prefers to exchange pawns, which often leads to an early exchange of queens (4. dxe5 dxe5, 5. Qxd8+ Kxd8).

I responded with 4… Be7 and realized that if my opponent were to play 5. Bg5 the “Maróczy Defence Pawn Grab” (as I call it) would be in play…

Back in April I completely missed the opportunity (see my previous blog post and video) when the exact same situation occurred. This time around, my opponent had completely forgotten about that game and conveniently played 5. Bg5? again, just as he did in April!

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Don’t Miss This Chance To Grab White’s d5 Pawn in the Modern Defence…

I wheeled out the good old Modern 1… d6 Defence to 1.e4 in this game against my regular opponent, but I missed a great opportunity in the fifth move to claim an advantage with 5… Nxd5!

Here are the opening moves:

1. e4 d6 2. d4 e5 3. d5 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Nc3 Nxd5!

This sequence is a variation of the Pirc Defence known as the Maróczy Defence, which brings out Black’s central pawns in the first two moves, delaying Nf6.

The “easy chess tip” in this game is easy to learn but not so easy for a casual player to spot if unaware of it.

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Don’t Forget En Passant!

The en passant chess move is a pawn capture that can only happen immediately after a pawn makes a move of two squares from its starting square and lands on the same file as an adjacent enemy pawn.

The adjacent enemy pawn may immediately capture the pawn as if the pawn had only moved one square forward.

En Passant Giphy

Here’s a video I made about a situation that arose in a chess game between two unrated amateurs in which the en passant chess move could have preserved White’s advantage had he used it…

Video: Don’t Forget En Passant!

(NOTE: I forgot to remove Black’s h8 Rook from the analysis board in the video! It should not be there. The illustrations below show the correct set up for this situation.)

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Hiroshima Open Chess Tournament 2019: Round 1, Garcia v Hurley

I’m competing as an unrated player in the Hiroshima Open Chess Tournament, a round-robin consisting of seven games, brought to us by the Osaka Abeno Chess Club.

They hold an open competition in a different Japanese city every year, and this year, 2019, they decided to hold it in Hiroshima, which is very convenient as that is where I happen to live!

The event took place over the long weekend of September 21st-23rd 2019 at Aster Plaza, about ten minutes’ walk south from Peace Park.

As an unrated player I was not sure what to expect, or how many people would be competing, but my goal was to avoid bottom place at all costs!

I was the first person to arrive, and apart from a notice on a TV monitor confirming that the event was taking place, there was no sign that a chess competition was about to take place. Then, about ten minutes before the doors officially opened, a small group of chess players began to straggle in. It turned out that there were just fourteen of us, including two players from the Hiroshima Chess Circle. There were eleven players from Osaka, ten of whom were Japanese men and the eleventh a Filipina woman called Melody.

At 1:20pm the first round got under way…

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Simon Williams v Charlie Storey: British Championships 2019, Round 3

Here’s the Ginger GM, Simon William’s video account of his victory over Charlie Storey in the third round game of the British Chess Championships in Torquay in the summer of 2019.

I am posting this game because both Simon and Charlie are acquaintances of mind and occasional quaffing partners. I have learnt a lot from both of these professional players. Indeed, Charlie was the first person I met when I participated in my first ever chess tournament at the British Chess Championships in Torquay back in 2013.

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