The Berserk g-Pawn Attack

It is a problem most Chess players have faced, the early attack of the g-pawn. Although frowned on by theory one can see this type of move played in the lower sections of tournaments. It is rare to see it played in the higher levels of Chess. This is not the kind of thing most players spend time studying so it was shocking to see a Grandmaster with an opportunity to ‘punish’ his impudent opponent, as was the case in the final round of the recently concluded Portuguese Team Championship.

GM Kevin Spraggett (2523)

vs GM David Larino Nieto (2438)


GM David Larino Nieto (ESP) receiving the first prize and the organizer Mr Tarik Ourouadi | Photo: cosmopolitana.blog

1 c4 e6 2 Nf3 g5?!?

3 d4 (Komodo and Stockfish at the CBDB prefer this move, but 3 h3 is given by SF at ChessBomb. GM Nieto faced 3 h3 earlier this year:

Romain Edouard (2613) vs David Larino Nieto (2464)

Gibraltar Masters 2018 01/24/2018

1. Nf3 e6 2. c4 g5 3. h3 d6 4. d4 h6 5. e4 Bg7 6. Nc3 Ne7 7. Bd3 Nd7 8. Be3 b6 9. Qe2 Bb7 10. O-O-O a6 11. h4 g4 12. Nd2 h5 13. f3 c5 14. Nb3 cxd4 15. Bxd4 Bxd4 16. Nxd4 Ng6 17. Qe3 Nxh4 18. Nf5 exf5 19. exf5+ Ne5 20. Be4 Nxg2 21. Qd2 Nxf3 22. Qxg2 Qg5+ 23. Kb1 Bxe4+ 24. Nxe4 Qxf5 25. Qc2 Kf8 26. Rd5 Qf4 27. Nxd6 Rd8 28. Rhd1 Rh6 29. Nf5 Re8 30. Qc3 Rh7 31. Ka1 Ne5 32. Qb4+ Kg8 33. Qe7 Qxf5 34. Qxe8+ Kg7 35. Rxe5 Qf4 36. Re4 Qf6 37. Ree1 g3 38. Qe3 h4 39. Rf1 1-0)

3…h6 (In for a penny, in for a pound. Black should “bring it on” with 3…g4 if he is going to move his g-pawn this early in the game. SF and Houdini concur)

4 Nc3 (Since black did not move his advanced g-pawn forward again, I wonder if the white general should play 4 g4!?) 4…Bg7 5 h3 (This is a TN. Komodo would play 5 g4, which would be a Theoretical Novelty. Stockfish would play 5 e4, which was played in a rapid game between Bu and Lu:

Xiangzhi Bu (2698) vs Shanglei Lu (2616)

1. Nf3 e6 2. c4 g5 3. h3 Bg7 4. d4 h6 5. e4 Ne7 6. Nc3 d6 7. Be2 Nd7 8. O-O Ng6 9. Re1 b6 10. Be3 Bb7 11. Qc2 Qe7 12. Nb5 Nf6 13. e5 dxe5 14. Nxe5 Nh4 15. d5 O-O 16. Nf3 Nf5 17. Bd2 c6 18. dxe6 fxe6 19. Bd3 cxb5 20. Bxf5 Bxf3 21. Bxe6+ Kh8 22. Bd5 Be4 23. Bxe4 Nxe4 24. Rxe4 Qf7 25. Bc3 bxc4 26. Rxc4 Rad8 27. Rc6 1-0)

5…d6 (Both the Fish and Dragon would play a TN here with 5…Ne7) 6 g4 (Komodo plays 6 e3) 6…Nc6 (The Dragon plays 6…f5!?, which has yet to be played in practice) 7 e3 (The CBDB shows Houdini playing 7 h4, followed by black playing 7…h5!?) 7…e5 (Komodo plays 7…Bd7)

Here is the full game, which was quite interesting. The game remained about even until the Senior player let go of the rope with one hand on move 39, then let go with the other when playing 48 Qd2. These things happen frequently to players with a touch of grey.

1. c4 e6 2. Nf3 g5 3. d4 h6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. h3 d6 6. g4 Nc6 7. e3 f5 8. Rg1 fxg4 9. hxg4 Nge7 10. Be2 O-O 11. Bd2 Bd7 12. a3 Be8 13. Qb3 Bg6 14. Rg3 Qd7 15. Kf1 Rf7 16. Kg1 Raf8 17. Rf1 b6 18. Qd1 Nb8 19. b4 c5 20. bxc5 bxc5 21. dxc5 dxc5 22. Na4 Qc7 23. Bc3 e5 24. Nd2 Nd7 25. Rh3 Nf6 26. Rg3 Ne4 27. Nxe4 Bxe4 28. Ba1 Ba8 29. Nc3 e4 30. Rh3 Rd8 31. Qc2 Qc6 32. Nd5 Bxa1 33. Rxa1 Qe6 34. Rf1 Rc8 35. Nxe7+ Rxe7 36. Qc3 Rf8 37. Rh2 Rd7 38. Rb1 Kh7 39. a4 Bc6 40. a5 Rfd8 41. Kg2 Rf7 42. Kg1 Kg8 43. a6 Rfd7 44. Kg2 Rf8 45. Kg1 Rd6 46. Rb2 Bd7 47. Rb7 Rxa6 48. Qd2 Ra1+ 49. Kg2 Qf6 50. Bd1 Bc6 51. Rc7 Rb1 0-1

The game can be found at ChessBomb. (https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2018-portuguese-team-championship/09-Kevin_Barry_Spraggett-Larino_Nieto_David)

Stamatis Kourkoulos Arditis (2343) vs Himal Gusain (2461)

10th Paleochora Open 2017
Paleochora GRE 07/26/2017

1. Nf3 e6 2. c4 g5 3. d4 g4 4. Ne5 h5 5. h3 d6 6. Nd3 Bg7 7. e3 e5 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. Be2 gxh3 10. gxh3 Nc6 11. Nc3 Bf5 12. e4 Bg6 13. Be3 Nd4 14. Qa4+ c6 15. O-O-O Ne7 16. Nxe5 Bxe5 17. Bxd4 Bxd4 18. c5 Nf5 19. exf5 Qg5+ 20. f4 Qxf4+ 21. Rd2 O-O-O 22. fxg6 Be3 23. Qxf4 Bxf4 24. Ne4 Bxd2+ 25. Nxd2 fxg6 26. Rg1 Rhe8 27. Bd1 Re5 28. b4 Re3 29. Bc2 Rd4 30. Bxg6 Rxb4 31. Bf5+ Kd8 32. Nb3 a5 33. Rg8+ Ke7 34. Nxa5 Kf6 35. Rf8+ Kg5 36. Bc8 Rc3+ 37. Kd2 Rxc5 38. Nxb7 Rd5+ 39. Ke3 Ra4 40. Nd8 Ra3+ 41. Ke4 Ra4+ 42. Ke3 Ra3+ 43. Ke4 Ra4+ 1/2-1/2

S.P. Sethuraman (2640) vs David Anton Guijarro(2634)
World Rapid 2015
Berlin 10/11/2015

1. Nf3 e6 2. c4 g5 3. d4 g4 4. Ne5 h5 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. e3 c5 7. Nd3 cxd4 8. exd4 Bxd4 9. Nb5 Nc6 10. Be2 d6 11. Qa4 Kf8 12. Qa3 Kg7 13. Nxd6 Nf6 14. Be3 Ne8 15. Nb5 Bxe3 16. fxe3 Qg5 17. Nf4 a6 18. O-O Qe5 19. Rad1 Rb8 20. Nd4 Nf6 21. Kh1 Bd7 22. Qc3 Rbd8 23. Nd3 Qg5 24. Nc5 e5 25. Ndb3 Bf5 26. Nxb7 Rxd1 27. Bxd1 Ne4 28. Qe1 h4 29. N3c5 Ng3+ 30. Kg1 Nxf1 31. Kxf1 Bg6 32. Qd2 Nd4 33. Ke1 g3 34. h3 Nf5 35. e4 Ne3 36. Bf3 Qf4 37. Nd6 Rd8 38. Ncb7 Rb8 39. c5 Rxb7 40. Nxb7 Bxe4 41. Bxe4 Qf1# 0-1

Francisco Jose Jimenez Villena (2239) vs Francisco Javier Garcia Jimenez (2159)
Alicante op 5th 2001

1. Nf3 e6 2. c4 g5 3. e4 Bg7 4. d4 h6 5. Nc3 Ne7 6. Be3 d5 7. Qb3 dxe4 8. Nxe4 f5 9. Ng3 f4 10. Nh5 O-O 11. Bd2 Bh8 12. Be2 Nf5 13. Bc3 g4 14. Ne5 Nxd4 15. Bxd4 Qxd4 16. Nxg4 Qxb2 17. Nxh6+ Kh7 18. Qd3+ Kxh6 19. O-O Qc3 20. Qe4 Qd4 21. Qc2 f3 22. Bxf3 Rxf3 23. gxf3 Qh4 0-1

Since this is the earliest game found, maybe the opening after 2…g5 should be called the “Jimenez” opening?

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