Chess puzzle #30: Viktor the Terrible gets crushed

The Benkö (Volga) Gambit is a rare guest at grandmaster level. But on club level it is a populair opening. Black gets a lot of pressure for his pawn and his position almost plays itself whereas white has to be constant on his guard.

The problem for white is that it is difficult to develop his pieces in a harmonious way. These are the reasons why this gambit is so popular among club players.

On grandmaster level this opening is a less frequent guest because it’s not considered to be completely sound. Grandmasters mainly use the Benkö as a surprise weapon. Grandmaster Vladimir Baklan won games with this gambit against Artur Yusupov, Sergey Volkov and Viktor Korchnoi!

Although Viktor Korchnoi was clearly past his prime in 2000, he still was a very strong player. But even he had trouble to fight the Benkö. After 17 moves the combatants reached the diagram position. Viktor has just played 17. Nf4-g2. What on earth could be wrong with this move?Read More »

Wish you luck?

This August I played a tournament in the Göteborg chess week. For me it was ages ago since I played a single Round Robin with nine other combatants.

There were a lot of ups and downs. In the end I shared third price with some others. Maybe not bad for a start, but I was not happy with the qualitiy of my play (or better to say ‘the lack off quality’). Far form it. 

One thing strikes me as odd. Before the start of the game it is of course normal to shake your opponents hands. Most of them said ‘I wish you luck!’ Luck? Wasn’t it Viktor Korchnoi who once wrote:Read More »