Different Augmented Knights, NFvND, game 1

White's Knights are replaced by NF, that move either as a normal Knight or one square diagonally; Black's Knights are replaced by ND, that move either as a normal Knight or jump two squares Rookwise, so that 1...NDg8-g6 is a legal move.

Betza - Roytman, 1995, by email

1.  e4           e5
2.  NFg1-f3      NDg8-g6
3.  Bc4          Bc5
4.  O-O          c6
5.  c3           d5
6.  Bb3          f5
7.  ed5          e4
8.  Re1          Kf8
9.  NFf3-e2!     c:d5
10. d3           NDf6-g4
11. NFe2-g3      NDb8-b6
12. d:e4         Qc7
13. e5           Be6
14. NFb1-c2      h6
15. NFc2-d3      g5
16. Qf3          Kg8
17. NFg3:f5      Rf8
18. NFf5:e6      R:f3
19. g:f3         Qc8
20. NFd3:c5      NDg4-g6
21. NFc5:b6      a:b6
22. NFe6:d5      Kf8
23. e6           Kg7
24. Be3          Re8
25. Bd4+         Kf8
26. NFd5:b6      1-0


Note to 6...f5

- } I'm surprised you chose such as a passive continuation.
- } I expected ed cd Bb5+ etc.
- Bd7 Bd7 Nd7 simply helps you develop.
- True, I didn't think of ...f5;
- i hope I won't regret it.

Note to 9. NFf3-e2!
After a few "random" opening moves, it seemed as though White was getting into trouble. Suddenly, this surprising defensive move from the surprisingly flexible NF changes everything!

The idea is that after 9...NDg6-g4 10 NFe2-g3 Bd6 11 NFg3-f1 Qh4 12 g3 Qh3 , White is perfectly well defended, a Pawn ahead, and threatening to break things open with f2-f3. The flexibility of the NF is its strong point.

Note to 9...c:d5
Black played the clever 9...f4 10. d4 Bd6 11. d:c6!! f3 12. N:f3, and then took his move back in view of g:f3 13. Q:f3+ Qf6 14. Q:f6+ g:f6 15. Bh6 mate!

(Because we are playing by email a game which is not quite chess, and because the moves are made blindfold -- except for moves made overnight -- the rules of touch-move are relaxed a bit!)

Note to 10. d3
I must admit that when I played Ne2, I didn't realize how much stronger it would be to play d3 rather than d4.

Note to 12. d:e4
11...NDb8-b6 was simply a blunder: while on b8, the ND defended the Queen on d8; when it moved, the Pawn on d5 became pinned. Thanks to this blunder, it's difficult to tell just how good or bad White's position is at this point.

Although the touch-move rules are relaxed, chessmasters don't like to take moves back!

Note to 13. e5

- - Interesting 13 Bf4 Bf2+ Kf1?! Nh2+ (or simply Qc5) Kf2 illegal; but
- - instead 13 Bf4 Bf2+ 14 Nf2 Qf4 (Nf2?! B:c7 N:d1 No, I don't think so)
- - 15 Ng3 looks very good for me.
- I was thinking of playing 13. Bf4 Q:f4 !?  14. N:f4 N:f2 and then
- N:f4+. Almost even materially - Knight and Bishop for Queen (and
- pawns?).
- [...]
- - Yes, your position looks much better than I originally thought.
- - It seems that my aggressive pawn structure failed to produce a
- - winning attack, and left my position quite vulnerable.  8..Be7
- - would have been better.  Also, 10..Ng4 looks questionable now,
- - as it forced your Knight into a better position. I still don't
- - think your opening was that good, though.  Either 8..Be7 or
- - maybe 6..d4 or 6..0-0 might have gotten me a very good position.
Note to 16. Qf3
15...g5 was played in order to try to defend the square f4 (not as an attempt to attack!);

Note to 26...Resigns
I thought it's fitting that the game end with your Knight grabbing a pawn in triumph. Obviously, my Queen falls next ...

You must be thrilled at how this game went. It looked precarious for you in the opening, but turned into a showcase for your Knights!

It makes a wonderful companion-piece to the other game, where your ND looked so strong and my NF so weak!

The Players:

Ralph Betza holds the title of FIDE master.

Vladimir Roytman is a USCF National Master.

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