Three Short Games

Escalante-“MikhailZorro” (1555)
King’s Bishop Gambit Thematic, Round 2, Sept. 2021
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Qe7!?
(A rarity. The earliest example of a Master game with this move is Zalys-Zapata, Quebec Open, Canada, 1978 which continued 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.d3 g5 7.Nf3 c6 8.Nxg5 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Bxd5 Qxg5 11.Bf3 Qf6 12.Ne4 Qh4 13.Bd2 Be6 14.Bc3 f5 15.Bh5+ Bf7 16.Nf6+ Kd8 17.Bxf7 Bd6 18.Nh5 Be7 19.Bxh8 Nd7 20.Qf3 Kc7 21.Bg7 Bd6 22.Re1 Rd8 23.Re8 Rxe8 24.Bxe8 Nb6 25.Bf6! 1-0. I decided to copy White’s moves only because I had a problem finding a better ones.) 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.d3 g5 7.Nf3 h6 8.e5! Nh5 9.Nd5 (The immediate b4 is probably faster.) 9…Qc5 10.b4 Qc6 11.Nd4 Qa4? (Qg6) 12.Bb3 Qa6

13.Nxc7+ 1-0

Escalante (1949)-“klaxcek2” (1771)
King’s Bishop Gambit Thematic, Round 2, Sept. 2021
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 Nf6 5.Nf3 Qh5 6.Nc3 d6 7.d4 g5 8.h4 h6 9.e5 Ng4 10.Qe1
(10.Qe2!?) 10…Be7?! (Black has to chance 10…Kd8) 11.Nd5! (White is practically winning after his move.) 11…Kd8

12.Nxe7! Kxe7 13.exd6+
(As White will have trouble attacking the king from open lines of the center, 13.Kg1, with the idea of hxg5, is probably better.) 13…Kxd6?? (13…Kf8 is Black’s only chance. Then White should continue with 14.Kg1.) 14.Ne5 Be6 15.Qb4+ (Mate is coming.) 1-0

“henrysitohang060707” (1682)-Escalante
Blitz Game, Oct. 23 2021
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bg5
(The Leningrad variation) 4…h6 5.Bh4 b5 (A gambit I wanted to try. Actually, it’s more of a bluff than a gambit. Alternate moves include …c5 and …Nc6) 6.e3 (Of course, White should take the pawn.) O-O 7.Bd3 (Again White’s best move was to take the pawn.) bxc4 (Black will make use of the extra tempo.) 8.Bxc4 d5 9.Bb3 Ba6 (Black has equalized here. And it’s quite possible that he now has a small advantage. So much for declining the gambit!) 10.Qf3 Nbd7 11.Ne2 c5 12.O-O Rc8 13.a3

13…cxd4 ( computer says that Black missed a forced win here with 13…Bxc3! 14.bxc3 g5 15.Bg3 g4 16.Qf4 Bxe2 17.Qxh6 cxd4 18.Bh4 d3 19.Rfb1 Rxc3 20.Ba4 g3 21.f3 d2 22.Bxd7 d1=Q+ 23.Rxd1 Bxd1 The only thing I can say is “wow”.) 14.exd4 Bxc3 15.Nxc3 Bxf1 16.Rxf1 Qc7 17.Bg3 Qb7 (OK, 17…Qb6, striking the d4-pawn as well as the bishop, was better.) 18.Na4 Ne4 19.Re1 Nd2 [White resigns. Again, provides some stunning (and correct!) tactics : 19…Nd2 20.Qd1 Qxb3 21.Bf4 Qxd1 22.Rxd1 Nc4 23.h4 Rfe8 24.g4 Kh7 25.g5 hxg5 26.Bxg5 f6 27.Bf4 a5 28.Kg2 Kg6 29.Rd3 Kf7] 0-1

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