Fishing Pole Adventures

Archivado en (Investigación) por PHILOCHESS el 19-04-2011

The first time I heard of the Fishing Pole I thought it was one of those erroneous and weak procedures, doomed to extinction. Because, what sense can it have to move the Kingside f6-knight again in the next move, to g4? And, what can we think when the opponent, who has castled short, threatens the knight with h3, practically forcing the withdrawal, whereas it would have moved for the third time? It certainly does not sound very encouraging. But the idea of the Fishing Pole is not to withdraw the knight but rather to support it with h5 and allow its capture for compensation because of the immediate opening of lines of attack against the king. Thus, Life Master Brian Wall has the staggering quantity of around 6000 games won in the Blitz mode and about 50 “slow” games won in tournaments against strong opponents. In the beginning, I noticed that Brian played it as a line of the Berlin Defense. Later, I saw that he had spread it to other defenses and even had begun to implement it with the white pieces. The Fishing Pole is more than an opening line. It is a fighting system.

Next, I present a game played by Brian Wall, in the Kansas Open in 2007, in the first round of that tournament. The pace of play was 120 minutes for 40 moves. In that game Brian used the Fishing Pole, making his moves quickly and walking in the game room most of the time while his opponent sank in a long reflection. Finally, his opponent gave up just before exhausting his time while Brian had only used 20 minutes, 10 of them on his 11…Qe7! a notable improvement over his usual blitz response 11…Qh4. As additional information, Brian won the tournament clear first with three wins and two draws.

[Event “2007 Kansas Open”]
[Site ” Kansas, USA”]
[Date “2007.07.14”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Marvin Lee”]
[Black “Brian Wall”]
[Result “0-1”]

1.e4 e5 Brian Wall uses this move as a response to e4 approximately 30% of time 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 Berlin Defense 4.0–0 Ng4!?

This is the move that characterizes the Fishing Pole 5.c3 Opens the diagonal d1-a4 for an eventual White’s b5-bishop withdrawal and a possible White’s queen development to c2, b3 or a4. At the same time, reinforces the White d-pawn advance to d4. On the other hand, if White wants to evict the knight with 5.h3 then Black responds 5…h5 and after the capture 6.hxg4 6.hxg4 Black would recover the piece because if White moves 7.Ne1?? the game abruptly ends with 7…Qh4 8.f4 g3 with mate in 2. Therefore, 5.d4 exd4 6.Nxd4 seems advisable though the issue is not so simple after 6…h5 7.h3 Bc5 with the initiative and an aggressive position 5…a6 Attacks the bishop and at the same time prepares the “hiding place” for Black’s dark-squared bishop 6.Ba4 Bc5 Develops the aforementioned bishop and pins the f2-pawn, a topic that is very important in the Fishing Pole’s attack scheme 7.d4 White realizes the planned advance to d4 and also blocks the g1-a7 diagonal 7…Ba7 The bishop retires to its winter quarters while maintaining latent threats along the aforementioned g1-a7 diagonal, particularly on f2 8.h3 h5!?

The hook has been throwed and it’s matter of waiting for the fish to take the bait 9.Bxc6 If white takes the bait with 9.hxg4 then 9…hxg4 10.Ng5 d6! The diagonal for the c8-bishop is opened and at the same time the pawn on g4 is protected and after 11.Be3 Qf6! 12.Re1 Qh6 Black develops a difficult to counteract attack 9…dxc6 10.Nxe5 Allows the opening of the important g1-a7 diagonal whereas the a7-bishop becomes more active. 10.Re1 was more prudent because it protects e4-pawn against possible threats and creates an escape route for White king in the face of a posible Black attack along the “h” file 10…Nxe5 11.dxe5

11…Qe7! Subtle maneuver that threatens not only capturing e5-pawn but also prepares the Black’s queen displacement to the Kingside with g5, g4, f5 with terrifying attack 12.Bf4? At this point in the game, the huge internal energy of Black’s position begins to be discovered. The move made by White is apparently correct because it not only protects the e5-pawn but also adds a piece to defend its Kingside. The problem is that this allows Black to gain important time in his attack, beginning with g5. In view of this, 12.Na3! seems better and if Black plays 12…g5 then White continue with 13.Nc2 seeking to reinforce the White dark-squared bishop placement on e3 and if 13…g4! then White has the interesting 14.h4! with the following possibilities:

14…Qxe5 15.Qd3 Ensuring e4-pawn. After 15…Bd7 16.g3 0-0-0 17.Bf4 White would have a secure position.

14…Qxh4 15.Be3! Opposing to the deadly g-pawn advance. In the case Black realizes 15…g3 anyway, White has the saver 16.fxg3 and after 16…Bxe3 17.Nxe3 Qxe4 + 18.Qf3! White has a good position.

12…g5! Black masterfully exploits White’s hesitation to launch a decisive attack 13.Bh2 If 13.Bg3 h4 14.Bh2 g4! opening the “g” or “h” file against enemy king 13…g4! 14.hxg4 White can’t repel the Black’s attack anymore because if 14.g3 Qxe5! 15.h4 White believe he is safe, having prevented the opening of the aforementioned “g” and “h” files but then Black plays 15…Be6! (a terrible mistake would be 15…Qxe4?? because of 16.Re1 winning the queen) 16.Qd3 Protecting e4-pawn 16…Rd8! 17.Qe2 0-0! and White is completely defenseless against f5! that opens the position and highlights all the defects of White’s situation: insufficient protection on its back rank, the weakness on the light squares around its castle, the f2-pawn pinned and its complete lack of presence on the diagonal g1-a7 and on the “d” file 14…hxg4 15.Qd3 Allows a spectacular finale. White’s idea was of course to place its queen on g3 and thus it would be completely safe. But even after 15.Bg3 Black with 15…f5! brings the full point home because if White tries to escape with 16.Re1 Qh7 17.Kf1 Be6! threatening Bc4+ and after 18.b3 Qh1+ 19.Ke2 Qxg2 20.Nd2 Bxf2! 21.Bxf2 g3 White may give up

15…Rxh2! A great end for a great game. After 16.Kxh2 Qh4+ 17.Kg1 g3! White can’t avoid defeat anymore and hence resigned just before his flag fell 0–1

Robert M. Cuadros
April 2011

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