Sunday, December 26, 2010

Budapest Fajarowicz (A51) Webliography

It seemed about time to do a Budapest Fajarowicz (A51) Webliography and Bibliography, if only because there has been such a proliferation of good material on this opening in recent years.  And the Fajarowicz deserves the attention it is getting, since it is a fascinating line, especially at the amateur level.  In the regular Budapest Defense, Black generally recovers his pawn following 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 since the only way for White to hang onto it is by making major positional concessions with moves like 4.f4?!  But in the Fajarowicz with 3.dxe5 Ne4!? Black generally foresakes his pawn and focuses instead on rapid development and tactical threats.  Often, after exchanges, Black will eventually be able to recover the e-pawn in normal Budapest fashion to achieve an equal game, but this is rarely the second player's prime motivation for playing 3...Ne4.  

The line was first developed by Sammi Fajarowicz (1908-1940), a Jewish chessplayer who lived in Leipzig through the beginning of WWII and died of tuberculosis under the terrible conditions of Hitler's Germany.  He played a number of games (not all successful) with the line in the late 1920s and early 1930s (see, for instance, Glig - Fajarowicz, Bautzen 1929).  

I became interested in the Fajarowicz rather indirectly from researching the "Reversed Faj" positions that can arise from 1.e4 c5 2.f4 d5 3.Nf3 dxe4 4.Ne5!? and I became intrigued enough to make this an occasional weapon and a third way (besides 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 and 2...Nc6) of sidestepping lines of the King's Indian when White does not commit to Nf3.  I'm not sure the Faj is really sound, but it can definitely be fun and its tactical themes are worth knowing.

As always, I invite additions to this list from readers in the comments section below.

Budapest Gambit (A51) at
A useful collection of games and a good place to start for players looking for ideas.

Jim West, New Jersey Open, Day 2 (2010)
Features his game against Ippolito using the Fajarowicz.

Jeremy Silman, The Blunder Gland and the Fajarowicz at (2010)
A strong argument for White's chances, especially after 4.a3, but featuring other tries as well.

Lev Gutman, "The Real Fajarowicz-Richter Gambit, Part IV" in New in Chess Yearbook #97 (2010)

Lev Gutman, "The Real Fajarowicz-Richter Gambit, Part III" in New in Chess Yearbook #94 (2010)

Tim Taylor, The Budapest Gambit (Everyman 2009)
After several chapters giving a thorough and positive treatment of 3...Ng4, IM Taylor has a brief chapter on the Faj in which he claims that 4.Nd2 is pretty much the refutation.  Reviewed by Harding and Hansen.

Lev Gutman, "The Real Fajarowicz-Richter Gambit, Part II" in New in Chess Yearbook #92 (2009)

Lev Gutman, "The Real Fajarowicz-Richter Gambit, Part I" in New in Chess Yearbook #91 (2009)

Arthur Kogan, "The Budapest Gambit Can Still Surprise!" in SOS #8 (2008)
GM Kogan presents an ambitious (if sometimes optimistic) Fajarowicz Gambit repertoire based on his own games.

Viktor Moskalenko, The Fabulous Budapest Gambit (New in Chess 2007)
A fabulous book for Budapest fans, though it only has a relatively short section on the Fajarowicz.  Reviewed by Hansen.

AMM, Fajarowicz, 4...d6!? posted in the ChessPub forum (2007)
An interesting analysis and discussion of 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.Nf3 d6!?

Jim West, Budapest Defense, Fajarowicz Variation (2007)
NM West offers up three of his games with the line without annotations.

Jim West, Fajarowicz Analysis (2007)
Discusses how he was inspired to play the Faj by Harding's book and then analyzes several games with the line.  Also in Atlantic Chess News (September 2007): 15ff.

Gary Lane, Opening Lanes #99 (2007)
Focuses on the line 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.a3 Qh4!? which tends to backfire on Black despite the tricks it contains.

ECO Chess (2007)
A collection of 100 Faj games through 2007.

Knaak, Budapest-Fajarowicz Gambit A51 in ChessBase Magazine #119 
Focused on the critical 4.a3 line, recommending 4...b6.

Jyrki Heikkinen, Fajarowicz win over a GM (2006)
A short blog post with java replay game in the critical 4.a3 Nc6 line.

Dany Senechaud, Le Gambit Fajarowicz (Mjae 2005)
Simply a collection of classic Black wins, but covering all of the main lines from Black's perspective.

Steve Goldberg, Scholastic Chess #11 at ChessCafe (2005)
Features a lovely Faj attacking game vs. 4.a3.

The Budapest Fajarowicz (A51) by Susan Polgar and Paul Truong Chess Life (April 2005): 44-45.
A useful two-age introduction to the gambit, covering the most critical lines.

Dmitrij Oleinikov, Budapest Gambit CD 2nd edition (ChessBase 2005)

Lev Gutman, "A Study in Analysis - Fajarowicz Gambit" in New in Chess Yearbook #70 (2004)

Lev Gutman, Budapest Fajarowicz: The Past and the Future of the Fajarowicz - Richter Gambit (Batsford 2004)
Available from USCF Sales, reviewed by Seagaard, Elburg, and Hansen.  By far the most thorough analysis of the Faj, offering useful lines for both players.  Though this is an indispensable reference work, especially for correspondence players, it is not what I would recommend to anyone trying to learn the line for the first time.  The Faj is actually pretty simple, with just a few themes to learn and a few critical lines, and Gutman's book can be quite intimidating.

Lev Gutman, 83 Games with the Fajarowicz gambit in ChessBase Magazine #90 
Try buying through ChessCafe.

Tim Harding, Playing the Budapest in Budapest (2001)
Features a nice game in the Faj played by the author in a theme tournament in the city that gives the defense its name.

Kjell Krantz, "Fajarowic Gambit, Bonsdorff Variation with 4...b6," Kaissiber #16 (2001)

Stefan Buecker, "Fajarowicz Gambit,"  Kaissiber #16 (2001)

Gary Lane, Opening Lanes #21 at ChessCafe (2000)

Gary Lane, Opening Lanes #20 at ChessCafe (2000)
Offers to refute 4.a3 Qh4 but thinks 4...d6 an improvement.

Bogdan Lalic, The Budapest Gambit (Batsford 1998)

Tim Harding, How Stands the Faj? at ChessCafe (1997)
An encouraging account of the Fajarowicz by the author of an early book on the line.

Tim Harding, The Fighting Fajarowicz (Chess Digest 1996)
This book precipitated the renewed interest in the Faj and encouraged quite a few masters to try it.  Available from the reliable ChessCafe and from Edward Labate (who has posted images).

Niels Joergen Jensen, Fajarowicz-gambit 1.d4 Sf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Se4! (Eleprint 1995)

John Donaldson articles Inside Chess (1990)

Otto Borik, The Budapest Gambit (Batsford 1986)

Tim Harding, Counter Gambits (1975), pp 123-124 -- available through Google Books.
An early analysis of the Faj in an interesting collection by Harding, where he gives both 2...e5?! and 3...Ne4?! dubious marks.

A more complete bibliography can be found on page 287 of Lev Gutman's thorough Budapest Fajarowicz, listed above.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Psychological Autopsy of Bobby Fischer

It's worth reading "A Psychological Autopsy of Bobby Fischer" by Joseph Ponterotto in the latest issue of Miller-McCune (whose main site seems to have gone temporarily off line).  Though most of the material it contains will be familiar to my readers, I thought it did a pretty good job of putting together the known information regarding Fischer's mental health and avoiding any simplifying view of this complex man.  I was also impressed to see a magazine article that linked to online material and embedded videos in many of the ways blogs normally do.  Worth a look.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

King's Indian, Fianchetto and Gallagher Variation

I have annotated the game Carrelli - Goeller, Casual Correspondence 2010, just completed this past week, which featured the Gallagher Variation against White's Fianchetto in the King's Indian Defense.  In my notes to the game, I explore some of Black's other possibilities against the Fianchetto Variation, so it may be of value even to those not interested in the Gallagher specifically.  I learned a lot about the opening from the game, and while I now have some reservations about the Gallagher as Black, I found it is definitely full of dynamic piece play and tactics, which can make it an exciting line against the otherwise dull fianchetto.  White has to watch out, and it is easy to miss a shot even in correspondence.  In the diagram below, for instance, it is Black to play and win at least a pawn utilizing a classic KID motif.

Carrelli - Goeller, after 23.bxc5?
Black to play

I have just started playing "turn based" online correspondence at (as both "urusov" and "kenilworthian") and find I really enjoy it.  The standard time control gives you 3 days per move, so you can fit chess into even a busy schedule. sends you an email whenever it is your move, so it is easy to keep track.  Seems a nice way to keep in touch with chess buddies you only see occasionally.  I also like that they now sync up with your Facebook account, which makes for a smooth and easy login.  Highly recommended.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

KCC Consultation Game

Adjourned Position, White to Move

The Chess Coroner and Kenilworth Kibitzer both offer up the first half of the Consultation Game played at the Kenilworth Chess Club on Thursday night.  John posted some notes.  It looks like quite a balanced and sharp struggle between teams led by FM Steve Stoyko and SM Yaacov Norowitz.  You can participate in the conclusion of the game at next Thursday's club meeting.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

2nd London Chess Classic

I really enjoyed the first day of the 2nd London Chess Classic , which made for excellent chess spectating, with all of the games sharply contested. Just as with last year's tournament, the organizers have done a spectacular job of getting great players with a big Western fan following (Anand, Carlsen, Kramnik, Nakamura, Short, Adams, McShane, and Howell) and making live coverage freely and widely available (including at ICC and Chessgames).  Though the tournament website is running a little slow (likely due to higher than expected traffic), it has a great set of links to all of the live games and live video commentary from the amusingly British IM Lawrence Trent and GM Danny King (backed up by a supercomputer running Hiarchs) -- complete with interviews of all the players immediately following their matches.  What more could you ask for?  Check it out.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Grand Prix with Na3!?

I could not resist annotating the game Pullin - Villarreal, 1st North American Amateur Closed, Skokie IL 2010, which features the seemingly inevitable new idea of Na3!? in the Grand Prix Attack against the Sicilian.  I say "inevitable," because ever since Vadim Zvjaginsev's amazing run with 1.e4 c5 2.Na3!? (against Khalifman, Ponomariov, and Wang Yue among others) it was probably just a matter of time before someone put the knight on the rim in the Grand Prix.

I have been trying the traditional Grand Prix Attack move order with 1.e4 c5 2.f4 myself from time to time and have been surprised that most opponents do not throw Tal's 2...d5 at me like I had expected, though I'm not sure what is the best way to meet that (I'm curious what Pullin has in mind).   One of the chief attractions of 1.e4 c5 2.f4 is that you can meet 2....e6 (annoying vs. 2.Nc3 in my opinion) with 3.Nf3 d5 4.e5 transposing to the Labourdonnais - McDonnell Attack, which Zvjaginsev - Zhang Pengxiang and Stripunsky - Nakamura have shown to be quite viable even at the highest levels.  I see from his games that Pullin has been trying out this line himself and it makes an excellent repertoire fit with his idea of Na3 in the Grand Prix, often leading to thematically similar positions. 

Readers may remember that Matt Pullin produced some nice videos devoted to analyzing my favorite Left Hook Grand Prix with a3.  I'm glad that he has given me a good substitute for pawn to a3 after his critique of that line!  There is a good article at the USCF site describing how he won the A-section of the 1st North American Amateur Closed, from which this game comes.  I wish him continued success and look forward to seeing a video about this line some time in the future.