Chess Tactics: Filipovíc — Jurkovíc, 2003

Taming Lions

When deciding which openings to employ, there are a lot of possible shortcuts one can take…but this entails some risk.

In the 2000s, a setup now known as The Black Lion (due to a book of the same name published by New in Chess in 2009) became popular for the second player. It is a Hanham setup reached via a Pirc Defense move order (to limit White’s targeted replies against this brand of Philidor Defense).

This kind of setup has something in common with the recommendations in An Explosive Chess Opening Repertoire for Black (Gambit, 2003) — a popular and well-regarded book in its time that I suspect still holds up due to the nearly theory-less nature of the setups examined.

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Zadar, Croatia
Zadar, Croatia. Photo: International Living

Quite frankly, I think the Black Lion is a risky line, and White has a few ways to attack it. For proof, check out Filipovíc vs. Jurkovíc from the 2003 Zadar Open in Croatia.

White chooses a provocative refutation attempt essayed by Alexei Shirov several times over the years, and creates an anthology piece.

 

If you haven’t seen this one before, you’re in for a treat! White to play.

12.?

 

Four of a Kind

 

What was it Mikhail Tal said about taking your opponent into a forest where 2+2=5?

Chess Tactics: Csom — Ostojíc, 1969

Istvan Csom
Istvan Csom. Photo: Nigel Eddis. Source: ChessBase Playerbase.

FIDE broke news that Istvan Csom (1940-2021) passed away on July 28. As the report mentions, this Hungarian Grandmaster (1973) and International Arbiter (1991) was a two-time champion of his country (1972, 1973) and part of the 1978 Buenos Aires Olympiad team that won the gold medal over the USSR in a historic upset.

It was the only Olympiad the Soviets ever competed in (1952 through 1990) that they did not win. Note: USA won gold at Haifa 1976 when URS didn’t play.

Csom won several international tournaments during his career and, as I discovered, played some lively games!

 

 

In tribute to Istvan Csom, I’ve chosen his 1969 victory against Predrag Ostojíc (1938-1996), Grandmaster (1975) and two-time Yugoslav Champion (1968, 1971).

The Black queen is running short of squares. White to play.

17.?

 

Caught in the Cookie Jar