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Bird Defense – Part 2-A

In this second part, I will try to put some light at the second Black’s main option 5..c6 of the Bird Defense which is reached after the following moves:

1 e4 e5

2 Nf3 Nc6

3 Bb5 Nd4

4 NxNd4 exd4

5 o-o c6

  1. A.   In this Part 2-A article, the less dangerous option 6 Ba4 is analyzed, while Kasparov’s choice, 6 Bc4, is left for the next Part-2-B article.

  6…Nf6 7.d3


 [7.c3 d3! This d3-pawn is like a bone in White's throat.

  8.Qf3 d5!

          (8...Qa5? is a mistake in view of:

9.Bb3 Qe5

10.Qxd3 Nxe4


 This is stronger than Khalifman's Qe2, which is objectively also good.


12.Qc2 Bd6

 13.g3 0–0


 9.e5 Ng4

 10.Qxd3 Nxh2!

 which is at least equal for Black. A possible continuation can be:


 (11.Kxh2 Qh4+ 12.Kg1 Qxa4 is much better for Black.)



12.Kxh2 h5 planning h4, g5. Very strange: White has castled and his king is still insecure from Black's attack.]



 8.Bg5 dxe4


9.dxe4 h6!


 This creates the possibility of a future g5, enabling the posting of the f8-bishop on b8-h2 diagonal.

 [9...Be7 is less active:

 10.e5 Nd5

11.Bxe7 Nxe7

12.Bb3 0–0

 13.Nd2 a5

 (13...Ng6 is less accurate: 14.f4 Nh4 15.Ne4 Nf5 16.Qh5 forcing Black to exchange queens, thus entering a less favorable ending.)


 14.a4 Be6

 15.Bxe6 fxe6

16.Nb3 Nf5

17.Qd3 Qd5 with equal play. This secured line may appeal to less-adventurous style players.]

 10.Bh4 Be6



[11.e5 g5


(in case of 12.Bg3 Black plays 12...Ne4 planning  h5, Qd7, and long castling, with a strong initiative)


13.Qf3 Qd7 followed by the usual long castling.]





          [If  12.Nd2 then  12...Qc7 followed by long castle (yes!!!)]



 13.Bf2 Bxf4


 14.Qxd4 0–0 with great prospects for Black.

Below is some games from which we can profit from the players’ mistakes. Sometimes, it is better avoiding making mistakes by learning from the others’.

 Balashov,Yuri S (2540) – Guseinov,Aidyn (2325)

URS-ch, 1988

 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.0–0 c6 6.Ba4 Nf6 7.c3 d3 8.e5 Ne4 9.Qf3 Nc5 10.Bd1 d6 11.b4 Ne6 12.Qxd3 dxe5 13.Qxd8+ Kxd8 14.d3 g5 (Why not 14..a5 or 14..Kc7?) 15.Re1 f6 16.Nd2 Kc7 17.Ne4 Be7 18.Bb3 a5 19.bxa5 Rxa5 20.Bd2 Re8 21.d4 exd4 ?! (21 ..Rd8 or 21..b6 looks better) 22.cxd4 Ra8 23.Bc3 f5 24.d5 cxd5 25.Nf6 Bxf6 26.Bxf6 Rf8 27.Be5+ Kc6 28.Rad1 d4 29.Rc1+ Kb5 30.Bc4+ Ka4 31.Bd6 Re8 32.Re5 Bd7 1–0

 Wedberg,Tom (2485) – Soltis,Andrew E (2410)

 New York , 1990

 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.0–0 c6 6.Ba4 Nf6 7.d3 d5 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.Nd2 Be7 10.Ne4 0–0 11.Qh5 Be6 12.Bb3 a5 13.a4 Qd7 14.Bd2 f6 15.Rfe1 Rfe8 16.h3 b6 17.Re2 Bb4 18.c3 dxc3 19.bxc3 Bf8 20.d4 Qf7 21.Qxf7+ Bxf7 22.Rae1 Red8 23.Rb1 Rab8 24.Bc4 Rd7 25.Nc5 Bxc5 26.dxc5 Rdb7 27.Ba6 Ra7 28.Bd3 Rab7 29.Ba6 Ra7 30.Bd3 Rab7 31.cxb6 Rxb6 32.Ree1 Rxb1 33.Rxb1 Rxb1+ 34.Bxb1 Bg6 35.Ba2 Bf7 36.Bb3 Nb6 37.Bc2 Bg6 38.Bb3+ Bf7 39.Bc2 Bg6 40.Bd1 Be8 41.Be3 Nd5 42.Bd4 c5 43.Bxc5 Nxc3 44.Bb3+ Bf7 45.Bc2 Bg6 46.Bb3+ ½–½




 Benjamin,Joel (2595) – Soltis,Andrew E (2410)

 San Francisco1998 

  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.0–0 c6 6.Ba4 Nf6 7.c3 d3 8.Qf3 d59.e5 Ne4 [9...Ng4 10.Qxd3 Nxh2!! (Nxe5 11.Re1 Qe7 12.Qf1+-)] 10.Qxd3 Nc5 11.Qc2 d4! Black has a strong compensation 12.d3 Bf5 13.Rd1 Be7 14.Bb3 0–0 15.Qe2 Qd7 16.cxd4?! [it was better to play 16.Bc2  keeping the balance] 16…Nxb3 17.axb3 Qxd4 18.Ra4 Qd5 19.Rf4 Bg6?! [19...Be6 was much better] 20.Nc3 Qxb3 21.h4! without complication Black would have an easy game.  21…h5 [much better was 21...h6 in order to preserve the bishop on h7 after 22.h5] 22.d4 Rad8 23.Be3 Rfe8 24.Ne4 Bf8?! 24…Rd5! would kept Black’s advantage 25.Rc1 Rd5 26.Ng3 Rb5 27.Nxh5 Qxb2 28.Qg4‚ c5? [28...Ra5 29.Nxg7 Bxg7 30.h5 Ra1 31.Rxa1 Qxa1+ 32.Kh2 Bh7 33.h6 Bg6 34.hxg7 Kxg7 35.Qd7±; 28...Kh8 29 Nxg7!! Bxg7 30 h5 Bh7 31 Rxf7 Rg8 32 Qf4 Qb4 33 h6 Bxe5 34 dxe5 Qxf4 35 Rxf4 +/-] 29.Nxg7! Bxg7 30.h5 Rb6 31.hxg6 Rxg6 32.Qf5 Qb3 33.Rxc5 Qd1+ 34.Kh2 Re7 35.Rc8+ 1–0



 Ivanov,Alexander (2608) – Curdo,John (2388)

MetroWest .1999

 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.0–0 c6 6.Ba4 Nf6 7.c3 d3 8.Qf3 d5 9.e5 Ng4 10.Qxd3 Nxh2 !!11.Kxh2 Qh4+ 12.Kg1 Qxa4 13.Qe3 Qg4 14.d4 Be7 15.Nd2 0–0 16.Re1 Bd7 17.Nf1 Rae8 18.Qg3 Qxg3 19.Nxg3 Bh4 20.Bf4 Bxg3 21.Bxg3 f6 ½–½

Did you notice the Elo difference between the 2 players?

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