Themed Blitz 22nd July – Larsen’s Opening: 1.b3

Last Thursday, 8th July, the Noteboom themed blitz was won by Brian Towers with 6/7. Ray Wynarczyk was second with 5.5/7 and Jay Steel and Paul Bielby were equal third with 5/7. Full details here. For the statisticians, this was a bit better for white with W15, =1, B12.

This coming Thursday, 15th July, there is a match in the summer knock-out tournament so there won’t be a themed blitz. The next one will be a week later on 22nd July. After the long variations of the last couple of weeks we are going for the shortest possible theme, Larsen’s Opening, black to move after 1. b3.

Two YouTube videos to help with your preparation. First, a long introductory video from St Louis Chess Club’s “Chess Openings Explained” series.

Second, the excellent Simon Williams commentating on a 15+10 game he played against one of his students. One way of looking at this video is of two players making it up as they go along, something I’m sure we’re all familiar with.

Another way of looking at it is to see it as an example of the rich transpositional opportunities in this opening. Black, Simon’s student isn’t sure how to respond and so plays a reversed London System. Simon replies with a reversed Leningrad Dutch. As usual the Ginger GM gives excellent explanations of his thoughts as he plays.