Friendly and casual e-mail chess games are fun -- until your opponent mysteriously disappears. Here are the most interesting e-mail DDG games of mine that were abandoned. Some of the games (Lund, Bennett) were played in the Thematic Gambit Tournament, organized by Thomas Stock, but when neither money nor rating points are involved, it seems to be too easy to leave a game without finishing it.
There are quite a few fresh ideas in these games. When playing a thematic opening, one can assume that the opponent knows the theory; therefore, non-standard moves are tried early in the game. When two games are played against each other, one as White and one as Black, one has to create a good understanding of the opening, and be willing to find good ideas for both sides.
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.c4 dxe4
We usually start thematic games here, because the DDG Declined easily transposes to well-known openings -- in other words, it becomes uninteresting.
4.Be3, 4.Ne2 and 4.a3 have been played only occasionally, but here is another interesting try:
4.Bf4 g5!? 5.Be5 f6, Blanco - Heikkinen, DDGA 1997. An exciting and most unique position in only 5 moves! Too bad I never saw whether my opponent was brave enough to play 6.Qh5+.
A) 4...Bb4 5.Ne2 Nc6 6.Be3 f5 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.Nxc3 Nf6 9.Be2 O-O 10.O-O Ne7 11.b4 b6, Michael Stewart (2264) - Heikkinen, 1999. Black has a solid position.
B) 4...f5 5.f3 Bb4 6.Qb3 (6.Bf4 Nf6 7.Qb3, Heikkinen - Michael Bennett, 1999) c5 7.dxc5 Nc6 8.Be3 e5 9.Rd1 Qe7 10.fxe4 f4
Fred Lund - Heikkinen, 1999. Bishops do not have much space, but there are splendid squares for knights.
C) 4...e5 5.f3? exd4 6.Nxe4 Nc6 7.Bd3 Bb4+ 8.Bd2 Qe7 9.Ne2 f5 10.N4g3 Qe3
11.Bxf5 Nge7 12.Bxc8 Rxc8, Warren Smith - Heikkinen, 1996.
A) 5.Bg5 Be7 6.Nge2 Nc6 7.Qd2 O-O 8.O-O-O a6 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.Nxe4 Be7 11.f4 (11.d5!?) b5 12.c5, Heikkinen - Michael Stewart (2264), 1999. White has a good attacking plan with h4 and g4.
B) 5.f3 Bb4 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 Nc6 8.a3 Be7 9.Bf2 exf3 10.Nxf3, Heikkinen - Fred Lund, 1999. If Black castles on the kingside, White can create good pressure on the h6-pawn.
The first of the passive moves to come. Alternatives are better:
6.f3 exf3 7.Nxf3 O-O 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.O-O Re8?! 10.Ng5
I was already hoping for a nice miniature:
11.Bc2 b6 12.Qf3 Rb8 13.Be4, Heikkinen - Warren Smith, 1996. Black comes back to game with 13...c5, which, of course, could have been played much earlier.