Category Archives: Correspondence

Correspondence #4: King’s Indian Transposes to an Exchange Grunfeld and Destruction Ensues

So I managed to play against two of my favorite opening structures in one game. The KID has been popular because it’s aggressive and is a a must know when playing online at this point, I enjoy playing against it because I know it well. The Exchange Grunfield is very similar to the Marshall Defense against the Queens Gambit (if you’ve read I’ve wrote about the Marshall on this blog you’ll know I say to never play it).

Corr 4
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. Nc3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4

Black is going for the counter strike to the center from the flanks as more modern openings go. The downside here is if you  don’t know that you have to play on the flanks and continue in the fashion of a normal game White gets an absolutely awesome position. I have a feeling that Black knew some theory but it quickly ran out in the next 3 moves as c5, the proverbial pawn break Black needs after 6…Nxc5 7. bxc3, was never played.

Corr 4-2 Here is the position stated above, Black needs to break the control White has over the center immediately. Rather than c5 Black plays a6 which is far too slow and continues to push the Queen side pawns in lieu of developing the Queen side pieces.


We come to the above position where Black has played b5 and I respond with a4. Playing a4 forces Black to make some choices where none of the answers lead to anything good. The computer recommends Black to play b4 in the attempts to undermine the structure temporarily giving away a pawn and then play Nc6 to fork the b and d pawns while accepting isolated a and c pawns.


Minor advantages add up over time, the weak c pawn, the lack of center control, the eventual two bishops all culminate in a dominate position for me in the end. Check out the full game and analysis on Lichess below.

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Correspondence #3: The Dubious Ne4!?

This was an exchange Slav with Nf3 Nf6 Nc3 Ne4!? This is a suspect move this early, the typical idea is for Black to play e6 and Bb4 pinning the Knight and then play Ne4 looking to double attack the piece while pinned. Having been and exchange Slav Qc2 is a nice reply and the Queen already has an open file to sit on while defending the c3 Knight and attacking the e4 Knight. It’s possible this is a pet line of my opponents and might work in a blitz game to catch someone off guard but in a longer game where time isn’t such a factor it can be exploited. The game hit some fireworks on move 7 where Nxd5 is played where if the Queen captures the Queen is free to take the Bishop on c8 with check (that’s what happens).

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Correspondence #2: Mounting Pressure

This game was against a 1698 over the course of two days, the critical point of it comes from the middle game where the two Bishops lined up x-ray attacks and defender removal tactics which  require a few moves of depth to see. Black makes a reasonable move and castles however doing so removes the 2nd defender of the Knight and also puts the Knight into a pin with the Rook. The position below is where Black castles and allows for tactics to happen, either Black loses a pieces or the exchange. After the exchange was lost I played sensible and solid moves to retain the +2 advantage till the end game where the passed b pawn was threatening to promote. Blacks Knight couldn’t maneuver quick enough against the pawn and Rook to stop it and Black resigned upon realizing this.

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Correspondence #1: Man Vs Machine

I picked up playing some correspondence games lately, it allows you to play as many games as you want with the stipulation of at least one move a day. This means you can get into some serious calculations and really train for accuracy and depth.  The most recent game was against the highest player I’ve played and beat on record, needless to say he was not happy about it. I was accused of cheating but upon inspection of the the game afterwards we’ll be able to see some of the obvious moves and mistakes my opponent made. He had the audacity to accuse me when he made a mistake in the opening which forced him to lose a piece, it wasn’t even out of theory that I’ve played many times before, Re1 and push the pawn.

A big difference between me and the people I play on correspondence is the investment of time I place in it, when a position leaves the opening book it’s not uncommon for me to mull over a complicated position throughout the course of the day and make the move when I finally get home. Many people make moves with in a few minutes or so and wonder why the position they get isn’t optimal and why I seem to have the answer to the position. In the game I’ll look at today I spent at least 2 hours alone on the critical move of the game and the subsequent lines where I decided to sacrifice my Knight for an attacking sequence on the King.

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Cor 1