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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bellon Gambit

I forced the first 3 moves against Fritz 12 Sparring mode to play the Bellon Gambit in my daily practice game. I've been looking for a good gambit to play against the English when 1...Nf6 doesn't tempt 2.d4. This gambit looks interesting enough to add to my black repertoire, especially as a surprise weapon against Huffalumps.

Lesson learned: Keep looking for multiple good candidate moves even after a winning material advantage is obtained.

Although this game looks easy, when you make an early mistake in Sparring mode, Fritz often gets a good 'head of steam' and quickly wins. Sparring mode usually gives practice in winning a won game.


  1. I would suggest putting your partner on a higher level. Now you are just waiting until the moment you can take fritz 12 pieces off the board. Although it is fun I doubt you learn much from it.

  2. Good suggestion chesstiger. Thanks.

    Maybe alternate between Sparring mode and Friend mode. Don't like to make quick changes to my regimen without evaluating the results first.

    I have noticed that I play well until after the obligatory Sparring mistake. After that, my playing becomes somewhat sloppy as I hurry to finish the game, but usually play good enough to win the 'won game'.

  3. I wonder if you can set rating of this fritz 12 partner you play against. If so I would suggest putting it so that fritz 12 has a rating 50 to 100 points above your current rating.

    "After that, my playing becomes somewhat sloppy as I hurry to finish the game"

    Two chess mistakes in one sentence.
    1. Sloppy play: Like mentioned in my post of 16 december 2012 - * Practise makes perfect? Yes, if it is good practise! Stay focused and play seriously. Quick and sloppy games will not help you improve. Consistent accurate play is what to aim for.

    2. "...as I hurry to finish the game" : In chess one must only hurry when in timetrouble, if else try to come up with the best move possible. Like in your game, you miss the obvious 13. ... Bh4. Does that mean you missed it because your board vision is wrong or because of being in a hurry?

  4. chesstiger,

    several points: 1) Fritz Sparring is set at a level which is supposed to be 200-400 rating points higher than my USCF rating. That is close enough that I can normally win after its obligatory mistake.

    2)Fritz Friend mode is supposed to change its setting based on my previous successes/failures to keep the human wins below 50%. Yesterday's game against Friend resulted in a 43 move draw when my 1 pawn advantage was nullified by a board position that locked out both my King & Bishop of same color. The shorter game took longer and did not have blunders on either color. I think I will continue to alternate between Friend & Sparring mode for a while. Thanks for the suggestion.

    3) I'm working on the 'quick and sloppy' habit of mine. I have notes posted on my desktop to both slow down and to select multiple candidate moves during the entire game. I missed the obvious 13...Bh4 because of 'quick and sloppy'.

    4) Its like wishing your opponent would resign his obvious losing game so you can go home. Yogi Berra said 'Its not over til its over' and I want to fix this problem before it causes more losses in USCF rated games. Winning a 'won game' is not as exciting as playing when the game is still in doubt.

    5) My board vision is improving because of my 25 daily tactical problems. Example: watching some OTB games at the club the other night I could see tactical opportunities well before the players.

    Thanks for the input. Just formulating responses helps clarify my thinking on what areas need more work.

  5. Thanks for posting the game, I hadn't actually seen the Bellon Gambit before; I play the English. Was well worth looking at. For the English players out there, 5. d3 appears to be the best way to deal with it. Some good commentary here: