Owen’s Defense: Wild Variation

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The following move order in a chess game produces an incredibly complicated and wild variation of  the Owen’s defense:

1. d4 e6 2. c4 b6 3. e4 Bb7 4. Bd3 f5 5. exf5 Bxg2
6. Qh5+ g6 7. fxg6 Bg7 8. gxh7+ Kf8 9. Nf3

Yes, it is Black’s move in the diagrammed position and Black can capture the proverbial WHOLE ROOK at h1!  So from a stand point of material, Black is “winning”, however after Ne5 the Houdini (And StockFish which is the built in ICC chess playing program) chess playing computer program evaluates White’s position as close to winning!

So what is going on here? Black has an extra Rook on the Board and yet he is in danger of losing. White’s material deficit is more than offset by  Black’s exposed King. Black’s very unsafe King  can be construed as a positional feature of the chess position which more than negates his “material advantage“.

Computers, of course,  do not shy away from complex positions like this. Most Non-(Tal , Shirov , Nakamura ) chess players would instinctively not enter into difficult variations like this one, that can come up in the Owen’s defense, without home preparation assisted by programs like Houdini or Fritz. Dimitry Gurevich, a GM player in his 50s , welcomes the opportunity to enter into complicated variations like this along with his compadre Alexander Shabalov. Both players trust their ability handle the challenging complications over the board.

 

Complicated Line in The Owen’s Defense
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2 comments on “Owen’s Defense: Wild VariationAdd yours →

  1. The state of Connecticut could use a break from all the Grizzly national attention they have been getting recently. I have read that chess provides many with an opportunity to vent hostile impulses in a non-hostile way. Adam Lanza killed a bunch of young school kids and was characterized as a nerd. Boom…..why didn’t somebody teach this nerd to play chess so he could metaphorically kill things? Maybe joining the USCF would have aided in depleting Adam Lanza’s murderous reserves.
    Now just because Adam was goth and remote, don’t go running scared every time you see that type……just invite them to the local chess club.

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    1. All of this after-the-fact logic about how Adam Lanza was a troubled child is ridiculous. There are plenty of troubled children who turn out just fine. After somebody has killed 26 school children it’s easy to declare that they were a troubled child

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