Fun Opening Tasks

An opening task is simply a goal that must be met from the initial position of the pieces. All moves must be legal to reach the goal and complete the task.

 

2020_07_09_A

Tasks have been proposed such as the finding or creating a game in which have the most consecutive pawn moves by one player.

 

 

Years ago, in my early twenties, I challenged myself to find the quickest way to deliver a smothered mate. To my surprise the solution was quite easy to find. In fact, there were two solutions.

 

1.Nc3 g6 (alternately White can mate by 1… e6 2.d4 c6 3.Ne4 Ne7 4.Nd6#) 2.Ne4 e6 3.d4 Ne7 4.Nf6mate 1-0

 

 

Then I wanted to find the quickest way to win a game by a promotion. Better, if I can find an underpromotion. So, in these pre-Internet days, I had to find the answer in a chess book.

 

I searched longer than my previous quest, but I did find such a game. If remember correctly, it was from a Chernev book.

 

Wiede-Goetz
Strasbourg, 1880
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.b3 Qh4+ 4.g3? fxg3 5.h3? (Black now has a forced mate in three.) 5…g2+ 6.Ke2 Qxe4+ 7.Kf2

2020_07_09_B

7…gxh1=Nmate! 0-1

 

The time between these two tasks, and the third one presented below, was about 30 years. This third task was proposed by a member of chess.com who asked, “What’s the minimum number of moves to force a checkmate using 3 bishops, assuming the position is farthest from checkmate?”

 

This is what I came up with.

 

Analysis
[Escalante, 2020]
1.e4 e5 2.d4 Ba3 3.dxe5 Bxb2 4.Bxb2 d5 5.Bc4 d4 6.Ba3 Kd7 7.e6+ Ke8 8.exf7+ Kd7 9.fxg8=B Nc6 10.Bce6+ Ke8 11.Bgf7mate 1-0

2020_07_09_C

 

 

Of course, the King of such opening tasks is Sam Loyd (January 30, 1841 – April 10, 1911), who not only solved some very unusual opening tasks, but created literally thousands of chess problems, math puzzles, logic problems, and folding paper tricks.

 

SamLoyd400x400_6

 

 

One of his most famous tasks was to find the least number of moves in which a stalemate position can occur.

 

The solution may not be known to most players, but two enterprising young Swedish players decided to use it in one of their games. Apparently, they didn’t know or care what the organizers thought about their rather short game. Probably the latter.
Johan Upmark-Robin Johansson
Swedish Jr. Ch.
Borlange, 1995
[ECO: A10]
1.c4 h5 2.h4 a5 3.Qa4 Ra6 4.Qxa5 Rah6 5.Qxc7 f6 6.Qxd7+ Kf7 7.Qxb7 Qd3 8.Qxb8 Qh7 9.Qxc8 Kg6 10.Qe6 1/2-1/2
2020_07_09_D

Three Pawns for a Piece

This blog was going to feature the Dragon. But one of my correspondence games ended today (12-11-2019), and it inspired the following article.

Enjoy!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Most players know a piece is equal to three pawns. Materially, this is even. The advantage, however, is to the side that is attacking.

 

In a line of the Najdorf Sozin, White sacrifices a piece for those three pawns. Despite some technical problems to solve, he usually does well.

 

The sacrifice begins with the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7?! 10.Bxe6! fxe6 11.Nxe6.

 

This is White doing well.

 
Stark-Geisel
corres.
E. Germany, 1989
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qc8 12.Nxg7+ Kd8 13.Nf5 Rf8 14.Bh6 Rf7 15.Qg3 Qe6 16.Rad1 Nh5 17.Qe3 Nd7 18.Bg5 Nhf6 19.Qg3 Ne5 20.f4 Ned7 21.Nxe7 1-0

 

Wallner (2075)-Pfaffel (1970)
Graz Ch., 1994
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qd7? [This is an error. Better is the more common 11.Qc8. You’ll find this same error (11…Qd7?) in some of the following games.] 12.Nxg7+ Kf7 13.Nf5 Nc6 14.Nd5 Ne5 15.Qg3 Bxd5 16.Qg7+ Ke8 17.Qxh8+ Bg8 18.Qg7 Nxe4 19.Qxg8+ 1-0

 

Guerrero Rodriguez (2130)-Frias Careaga (1399)
Mexico Ch.
Hermosillo, Mar. 29 2002
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.Qf3 Bb7 9.O-O Be7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qc8 12.Nxg7+ Kf7 13.Nf5 Nbd7

[13…b4?! doesn’t offer Black too much.

13…b4 14.Bg5 Rg8 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Nxd6 Qxd6 17.Rad1 Bd4 18.Ne2 Nc6 19.Nxd4 Nxd4 20.Qe3 Kc8 21.Rxd4 Qg6 22.g3 a5 23.c3 Ra6 24.cxb4 axb4 25.Rc1+ Kb8 26.Rxb4 h5 27.a4 Re6 28.Qf4+ Ka8 29.Rc5 Rd8 30.Rxb7 Rd1+ 31.Kg2 Qxe4+ 32.Qxe4 Rxe4 33.Rh7 1-0 (N. Aliavdin (2377)-I. Lada (2130), Karkonosze Open A, Karpacz, Poland, Feb. 22 2011.]

14.Bg5 Qf8 15.Bh6 Qd8 16.Nd5 Bxd5 17.exd5 Nf8 18.Bg7 Ng6 19.Bxh8 Qxh8 20.Rae1 Ra7 21.Qe3 Rb7? (22.Qe5+ K~ 23.Qc8+ ~ 24.Qxb7) 1-0

 

Langerak-Smits
Hengelo U10 Open, Aug. 4 2003
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 b5 7.Bb3 e6 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qd7 12.Nxg7+ Kd8 13.Nf5 Rf8 14.Bg5 Qe8 15.Rad1 Kc7 16.Qd3 Qd7 17.e5 dxe5 18.Qxd7+ Nfxd7 19.Nxe7 Nc6 20.Ncd5+ Kb8 21.Nxc6+ Bxc6 22.Nb4 1-0

 

Atousa Pourkashiyan (2241)-Irine Kharisma Sukandar (2303)
Rapid Game
Women’s WMSG
Beijing, Oct. 6 2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Be7 8.O-O b5 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qd7 12.Nxg7+ Kf7 13.Nf5 Qe6 14.Qh3 Bf8 15.Bh6 Rg8 16.Bxf8 Kxf8 17.Qh6+ Kf7 18.Qf4 Rd8 19.Rad1 Bc6 20.Nxd6+ Kg6 21.Rd3 h6 22.Nf5!

2019_12_12_A

1-0 (White’s threat is aimed at h6. If 22…Rh8, then 23.Qg3+ does the trick.)

 

A. Danin (2570)-Gera Richter (2101)
Schloss Open
Werther, Germany, Mar. 24 2013
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11.Nxe6 Qc8 12.Nxg7+ Kf7 13.Nf5 Nbd7 14.Qg3 Bf8 15.Nxd6+ Bxd6 16.Qxd6 Nxe4 17.Nxe4 Bxe4 18.Bg5 Qc6 19.Qe7+ Kg6 20.Rad1 Bd5 21.Bc1 Nf6 22.Rd3 Ne4 23.f4 Rhf8 24.g4 Bf7 25.Rh3 Kg7 26.Be3 Rae8 27.Qh4 h5 28.f5 Rg8 29.g5 Kf8 30.g6 Re5 31.Qf4 Qd5 32.Rxh5 Ke8 33.Rh4 Kd7 34.Rh7 Re7 35.Qf3 Ke8 36.Kh1 Nf2+ 37.Rxf2 Qxf3+ 38.Rxf3 Bd5 39.Rxe7+ Kxe7 40.Kg2 Kf6 41.Bd4+ Kg5 42.Kf2 Bxf3 43.Kxf3 Kxf5 44.g7 Re8 45.c3 Kg6 46.Kf4 Kh7 47.Be5 Rd8 48.Ke3 Rd5 49.Ke4 Rd2 50.c4 bxc4 51.Bd4 a5 52.a4 Rd1 53.Kd5 c3 54.bxc3 Rd2 55.c4 Rxh2 56.c5 Rh5+ 57.Kc4 Rh1 58.c6 Rh6 59.Kb5 Kg8 60.c7 1-0

 
Now Black does not have to take the offered bishop. He can simply decline the material. But he is still a pawn down and White has a budding attack.

 

This is White doing very well.

 

Beukenhorst-Roellig
Germany U20 Ch.
Hamburg, 1993
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 Qb6? (Black is lost. White can just play 11.Be3 and gain a tempo in every line.) 11.Be3 fxe6 12.Nxe6 Qc6 13.Nd5 Nbd7 14.Nxg7+ Kf7 15.Nf5 Bf8 16.Bd4 Ne5 17.Nh6+ 1-0

 

Escalante-“kennethvenken”
Najdorf Thematic
http://www.chess.com, 2019
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Qf3 Bb7 10.Bxe6 Qb6? 11.Be3 fxe6 12.Nxe6 Qc6 13.Nxg7+ Kf8 14.Nf5 Nbd7 15.Nd5 Bd8 16.Bh6+ Kf7 17.Rfe1 Ne5 18.Qb3 [The chess.com computer suggests 18.Qa3! (hitting the d6 pawn) Nxd5 19.Nxd6+ Qxd6 20.Qxd6 Bc7 21.Qa3 Nf6 22.Qb3+ Kg6. But there is nothing wrong with the text move which is more direct.]

2019_12_12_B

18…Nxd5

[Not 18…Qc5? due to 19.Nxf6+ Kxf6 20.Bg7+ Kg5 (20…Kg6? 21.Qe6+ Bf6 22.Qxf6+ Kh5 23.Qh6+ Kg4 24.h3#) 21.Qe6 and Black can’t fight off mate; 21…Qxf2+ 22.Kxf2 Ng4+ 23.Kg3 Bf6 24.Nxd6 Be5+ 25.Bxe5 Nxe5 26.h4+ Kh5 27.Qxe5+ Kg6 28.Qg5#, 21…Nf3+ 22.gxf3 Qxf2+ 23.Kxf2 Bb6+ 24.Ke2 h6 25.Bxh6+ Rxh6 26.Qxh6#, 21…Kf4 22.Bh6+ Bg5 23.Bxg5+ Kxg5 24.Qh6+ Kg4 25.h3#, 21…Bf6 22.Qxf6+ Kh5 23.Qh6+ Kg4 24.h3#, 21…Kg5 22.Qh6+ Kg4 23.h3#, 21…Kh5 22.Qh6+ Kg4 23.h3#.]

19.Rad1 Qd7 20.Rxd5 Bxd5 21.Qxd5+ 1-0 [Black resigned. He’s facing lines such as 21…Qe6 22.Nxd6+ (22…Kf6 23.Bg7+! +-) 22…Ke7 23.Nf5+ Kf6 24.Qxa8 Rg8 25.Bg7+ Rxg7 26.Nxg7 Kxg7 27.Qb7+ Kf6 28.Qxh7 Bb6 29.Qh6+ Ng6 30.e5+ Kf5 31.Qh5+.]

 

Gambit of the Day

Halloween_Gambit

 

Today, being Halloween, we present an appropriately named gambit for the day.

 

The Halloween Gambit, played since the 19th century, has never been popular. Among the reasons is that most players do not want to sacrifice a piece early in the opening, more so if the continuation of the game does not directly involve attacking the enemy king, or at least allowing him to say, “check!”

 

The opening move are 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5. With this move White willing gives up his knight with the idea to gain tempi on the opposing knight that  just captured his knight.

 

 

Let’s take a look at some lines.

 

First of all, Black does NOT to take White’s knight. By ignoring the knight on e5, he is effectively playing a gambit of his own. But his counterplay is less that White’s.

 

~~~~ 4.Nxe5 Bc5 ~~~~

 

 
Schlechter-Marshall
Monte Carlo, 1903
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Nf6 5.Be2 (Black would welcome 5.Nxc6? dxc6 6.Bc4 as he has winning game after 6…Bxf2+! 7.Kxf2 Qd4+.) 5…Nxe5 6.d4 Bd6 7.O-O Nc6 8.e5 Nxe5 9.dxe5 Bxe5 10.Bd3 d6 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bh4 g5 13.Bg3 Bg4 14.Qd2 Qe7 15.Rae1 O-O-O

2019_10_31_A

16.Qe3! (Inducing a weakness in Black’s castled position.) 16…b6 (16…Kb8? leads to a worse position after 17.Nb5 c5.) 17.a4 Kb8 18.a5 Bc8 19.axb6 axb6 20.Nb5 Bb7 21.Be2 Rhe8 22.Qa3 c6 23.Qa7+ Kc8 24.Na3 Kc7 25.Ba6 Rb8 26.Nc4 Nd7 27.Rxe5 dxe5 28.Bxe5+ Nxe5 29.Qxb6+ Kd7 30.Bxb7 Ke6 31.Nxe5 Qxb7 32.Qe3 f6 33.Nc4+ Kd5 34.Qd3+ Kc5 35.Nd6 Qxb2 36.c3 Kb6 37.Nc4+ (Winning the queen and the game.) 1-0

 

Wolf-Marshall
Monte Carlo, 1903
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Nf6 5.Be2 Nxe5 6.d4 Bd6 7.dxe5 Bxe5 8.Nb1 O-O 9.f4 Nxe4 10.Qd5 Qh4+ 11.g3 Nxg3 12.hxg3 Qxg3+ 13.Kd1 Bf6 14.Qd3 Qxd3+ 15.Bxd3 h6 16.Nc3 Bxc3 17.bxc3 d5 18.f5 Re8 19.Rg1 Kh7 20.Bf4 c5 21.f6+ g6 22.Bd6 Re6 23.Be7 c4 24.Be2 Re3 25.Kd2 Rh3 26.Rh1 Rxh1 27.Rxh1 Be6 28.Ke3 g5 29.Bh5 Rc8 30.Kd4 Rg8 31.Re1 Rc8 32.Rxe6 fxe6 33.Ke5 b5 34.Kxe6 d4 35.cxd4 a5 36.f7 Kg7 37.f8=Q+ Rxf8 38.Bxf8+ Kxf8 39.d5 b4 40.d6 b3 41.d7 1-0

 

Jacopo Motola (2217)-Giuseppe Bisignano (1864)
Open Carnevale
Milan, Feb. 18 2015
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5 Nc6 5.Nxc6 dxc6 6.Be2 Be6 7.d3 Qd7 8.h3 b5 9.a3 O-O 10.Bg5 Bd4 11.Qd2 Rab8 12.Be3 c5 13.Nd1 Qc6 14.Bf3 Qb6 15.c3 Bxe3 16.fxe3 Rfd8 17.Nf2 Nd7 18.Bg4 Ne5 19.Bxe6 Qxe6 20.Qe2 Rb6 21.O-O Qg6 22.d4 cxd4 23.exd4 Nc4 24.Nd3 Re8 25.Rae1 Qg5 26.e5 f6 27.b3 Nd2 28.Rf2 Nxb3 29.Qa2 1-0

 
Black, however, usually takes the knight. And White puts the question to Black’s knight after 5.d4. Neither 5…Nc4?! nor 5…Bb4 offer much.

 

~~~~ 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 ~~~~

 

Weenink-Apsheniek
Prague Ol., 1931
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qg4 Nxc3 8.Qxb4 Nd5 9.Qe4 Ne7 10.Bg5 d5 11.exd6 Qxd6 12.Bc4 Bf5 13.Qe2 Be6 14.Bxe6 Qxe6 15.Qxe6 fxe6 16.O-O-O h6 17.Bxe7 Kxe7 18.Rd3 Rhf8 19.f3 Rad8 20.Rhd1 Rxd3 21.Rxd3 Rf4 22.Kd2 Ra4 23.a3 Rh4 24.h3 Rh5 25.Ke3 Rg5 26.Kf2 Rb5 27.b3 Ra5 28.a4 Rc5 29.c4 a5 30.Ke3 b6 1/2-1/2

 

Chapman (2156)-Lindgren
Hallsberg Jr. Open
Sweden, Dec. 28 1972
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qd4 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Ng5 9.Ba3 Ne6 10.Qd5 Qg5 11.Bc4 f6 12.exf6 Qxf6 13.O-O Rb8 14.Rae1 Kf7 15.Re3 Kg8 16.Rf3 Qd8 17.Qf5 Qf6 18.Qc5 d6 19.Rxf6 1-0

 

Frank-Remsted
Pinneberg Open, 1996
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Bb4 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qd4 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 f5 9.Bd3 Qe7 10.O-O d6 11.exd6 Nxd6 12.Ba3 O-O 13.Bc4+ Kh8 14.Rfe1 Qf6 15.Qxf6 gxf6 16.Rad1 Rd8 17.Re7 Rd7 18.Rxd6 Rxd6 19.Re8+ Kg7 20.Rg8+ Kh6 21.Bc1+ Kh5 22.Be2+ Kh4 23.g3+ 1-0

 

Nicolaisen (2035)-Brondum
Politiken Cup
Copenhagen, July 28 2000
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qg4 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 d5 9.Qxg7 Rf8 10.Bh6 Qe7 11.Qxf8+ Qxf8 12.Bxf8 Kxf8 13.Bd3 1-0

 

Legvold-Peller
Dos Hermanas
Internet Section 07B, Mar. 7 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc4 6.Bxc4 Qe7 7.O-O Qb4 8.Bb3 d6 9.e5 Nd7 10.e6 fxe6 11.Bxe6 Be7 12.Nd5 Qa5 13.Bd2 Qa4 14.Nxc7+ Kd8 15.Nxa8 Qxd4 16.Ba5+ b6 17.Qxd4 bxa5 18.Qxa7 Rf8 1-0

 

Ankerst (2362)-Tokarchuk
Dos Hermanas
Internet Section 08B, Mar. 8 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Nxe4 8.Qg4 Nxc3 9.Qxg7 Rf8 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bxf6 Rxf6 12.exf6 Nd5 13.Qg8mate 1-0

 

Schoupal (1957)-Spalek (1572)
Brno II, Apr. 20 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Bb4 6.dxe5 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Nxe4 8.Qg4 Nxc3 9.Qxg7 Rf8 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bxf6 Rf7 12.Qxf7+ Kxf7 13.Bxd8 d6 14.Bxc7 dxe5 15.Bxe5 1-0

 

Kurilov (2312)-Kovar (2238)
White Nights Open
St. Petersburg, June 25 2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 Nxe4 7.Qg4 d5 8.Qxg7 Rf8 9.a3 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Qh4 11.g3 Qg4 12.Qxg4 Bxg4 13.Bg2 Nxc3 14.Bd2 Na4 15.Bh6 Rg8 16.Bxd5 Rg6 17.Be3 O-O-O 18.Bxf7 Rg7 19.e6 Bf3 20.O-O Rf8 21.Bd4 Rgxf7 22.exf7 Rxf7 23.Rfe1 c5 24.Be5 Nb6 25.a4 Nc4 26.Bf4 Kd7 27.Rab1 b6 28.Rb3 Bc6 29.Rc3 Na5 30.Rd3+ Kc8 31.Rde3 Bxa4 32.Re7 Rxe7 33.Rxe7 Bxc2 34.Rxa7 Nb7 35.Ra6 b5 36.Rc6+ Kd8 37.Rb6 Be4 38.Rxb5 Kd7 39.Rb6 c4 40.Be5 Nc5 41.Rd6+ Ke8 42.Bd4! (Either the knight or bishop is lost.) 1-0

 
Black has two reasonable options here.

 

One is static, and more or less stable, which slows down the play. The other is more dynamic, with chances for both sides.

 

We’ll take a look at the stable and static play first.

 

~~~~ 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 ~~~~

 
White can play 6.e5 or 6.d5. The first move obviously attacks the knight, but 6.d5 is more popular as White’s initiative is more positional and cramps Black. And White still has a later e5.
The 6.e5 continuation:

Riemann-Von Kraewel
Breslau, Mar. 26 1875
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Be2 Ng8 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.O-O Bb4 10.c3 Ba5 11.Bc4 Nge7 12.Bg5 O-O 13.Nf6+ Kh8 (13…gxf6 14.Bxf6 d5 15.Qh5 Qe8 16.Qg5+ Ng6 17.Qh6) 14.Qh5 h6 15.Bxh6 Ng6 16.Bxg7+ Kxg7 17.Qh7mate 1-0

 

“fcpanginen” (1999)-“odirtyredo” (1725)
Halloween Gambit Thematic Tournament
http://www.chess.com, 2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Be3 Bb4 8.Bc4 Nge7 9.O-O Ng6 10.Nd5 Ba5 11.c3 O-O 12.f4 Nce7 13.Nxe7+ Nxe7 14.f5 d5 15.Bd3 f6 16.e6 Bb6 17.g4 c6 18.g5 fxg5 19.Bxg5 Qc7 20.Qh5 c5

2019_10_31_B
21.f6! Ng6 22.f7+ Rxf7 23.exf7+ Kf8 24.Bxg6 cxd4 25.Qxh7 dxc3+ 26.Kh1 Bf5 27.Qh8mate 1-0

 
The 6.d5 continuation:

 

Grigor Minchev-Zoran Golubovic, 1990
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Qe7 9.Qe2 Ng8 10.d6 Qe6 11.Nb5 Bxd6 12.exd6 Qxe2+ 13.Bxe2 Kf8 14.f5 Ne5 15.dxc7 f6 16.Bf4 Ne7 17.O-O-O d5 18.Nd6 N5c6 19.Bf3 Bxf5 20.Nxf5 Nxf5 21.Bxd5 g5 22.Bxg5 fxg5 23.Rhf1 Ke7 24.Rxf5 Kd6 25.Rf7 h6 26.Bc4+ Kc5 27.Be6 a5 28.c8=Q Rhxc8 29.Bxc8 Rxc8 30.Rxb7 Re8 31.a4 Nd4 32.c3 Kc6 33.Rf7 Nb3+ 34.Kc2 Nc5 35.Rf6+ Re6 36.Rxe6+ Nxe6 37.b4 axb4 38.cxb4 Nf4 39.g3 Nd5 40.Rxd5 Kxd5 41.Kd3 Ke5 42.a5 Kd5 43.g4 Kc6 44.a6 Kb6 45.b5 1-0

 

R. Schlenker-D. Klostermann
Casual Game
Villingen-Schwenningen, Oct. 6 1993
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ng8 9.d6 cxd6 10.exd6 Qf6 11.Nb5 Kd8 12.Be3 Qe6 13.Qd4 Nf6 14.Bc4 Qe4 15.O-O-O Qxd4 16.Rxd4 Ne8 [16…a6 17.Re4 Nxe4 (17…axb5 18.Bb6# ; 17…Bxd6 18.Bb6+ Bc7 19.Bxc7#) 18.Bb6+ Ke8 19.Nc7+ Kd8 20.Bxf7!] 17.Bxf7 a6 18.Re4 Bxd6 19.Bb6+ Bc7

2019_10_31_C
20.Rhe1! d5 21.Rxe8+ Rxe8 22.Bxc7+ Kd7 23.Bxe8mate 1-0

 

Grigor Minchev-V. Velev
Bulgaria Students Tournament
Svishtov, Sept. 1994
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ng8 9.d6 cxd6 10.exd6 Qa5 11.h4 Qb4 12.Qe2+ Kd8 13.f5 Nxh4 14.a3 Nxg2+ 15.Qxg2 Qxd6 16.Bd2 Qe5+ 17.Be2 Qxf5 18.O-O-O Qg6 19.Qxg6 fxg6 20.Nb5 Nf6 21.Bf4 Ne8 22.Be3 a6 23.Bb6+ Ke7 24.Rhe1 axb5 25.Bc4+ Kf6 26.Bd8+ Kf5 27.Rd5+ Kf4 28.Rd4+ Kg3 29.Bh4+ Kh2 30.Bd5 Bc5 31.Rh1mate 1-0

 

“Brause” (2575)-“GeorgeJohn” (2330)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Bb4 7.dxc6 Nxe4 8.Qd4 Bxc3+?! 9.bxc3 Qe7 10.Qxg7 Nxc3+? (>10…Nf6+ 11.Be3 Rg8 12.Qh6 dxc6) 11.Be3 1-0

 

Zedtler Uwe-Winkler Andreas, 2002
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Bb4 9.Qd4 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Nh5 11.f5 Qh4+ 12.g3 (12…Qxd4 13.cxd4 Ne7 14.g4) 0-1

 

Pascutto-Simoni
E-Mail game
IECG, 2002
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne7 7.e5 Nfxd5 8.Nxd5 c6 9.Ne3 Qa5+ 10.Bd2 Qxe5 11.Bc3 Qe6 12.Be2 d5 13.O-O Qh6 14.Re1 Be6 15.Qd4 Nc8 16.Bd3 Bd6 17.Ng4 Bxh2+ 18.Kf1 Be5 19.Qxe5 Qh1+ 20.Ke2 Qxg2 21.Ne3 Qh3 22.Qxg7 Qh5+ 23.Kd2 Rf8 24.Ng4

2019_10_31_D

(Black certainly has his problems. White threatens 25.Nf6+ winning the queen. If Black tries to escape via d7, then the knight checks wins again. And if …Kd8, then White again wins the queen with 25.Bf6+. Black’s best 24…Qh4 25.Nf6+ Ke7 26.Nxh7, which has the sole benefit of not losing immediately.) 24…Qxg4 25.Qxg4 Ne7 26.Rxe6 1-0

 

Bruno Gaillard (2035)-Alexandre Platel (2088)
French Team Ch., North, Feb. 1 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Bb4 7.dxc6 Nxe4 8.Qd4 Qe7 9.Be3 O-O 10.Bd3 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Ba5 12.O-O Bb6 13.Qf4 Bxe3 14.fxe3 dxc6 15.Rab1 Rb8 16.Rb4 Be6 17.Qg3 g6 18.Rbf4 Rbe8 19.h4 Qc5 20.h5 Qxh5 21.Rh4 Qc5 22.Rh6 Kg7 23.Qh4 Qxe3+ 24.Rf2 Qxh6 25.Qf6+ Kg8 26.Rf4 Bf5 27.Rf3 Bxd3 28.cxd3 Qg7 29.Qf4 Qxc3 30.Rh3 Qe1+ 0-1

 

Roosink-Bergkamp
Haarlem Nova Open, July 2 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ne4 9.Nxe4 Bb4+ 10.c3 Ba5 11.d6 cxd6 12.Nxd6+ Kf8 13.Qd5 Qe7 14.Qxa5 b6 15.Qd5 Rb8 16.Nxf7 Rg8 17.Ng5 Bb7 18.Nxh7+ Ke8 19.Qxg8+ Nf8 20.Be2 Bxg2 21.Bh5+ Kd8 22.Nxf8 Kc7 23.Qc4+ Kd8 24.Ng6 Qe8 25.Rg1 Rc8 26.Qd4 Bh3 27.Rg5 a5 28.Qxb6+ Rc7 29.Be3 Be6 30.Qb8+ Rc8 31.Bb6mate 1-0

 

“Catalyst_Kh” (2655)-“odyson” (2405)
Halloween Gambit Thematic Tournament
http://www.chess.com, 2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Ne5 7.f4 Ng6 8.e5 Ng8 9.d6 cxd6 10.exd6 Qf6 11.Nb5 Nxf4 12.Nc7+ Kd8 13.Qf3 Bxd6 14.Nxa8 Qe5+ 15.Qe3 b6 16.Qxe5 Bxe5 17.g3 Bb7 18.gxf4 Bd4 19.c3 Bxa8 20.cxd4 Bxh1 21.Bc4 Nh6 22.Bd2 Re8+ 23.Kf2 Be4 24.Rg1 g6 25.a4 Bf5 26.Re1 Ng4+ 27.Kf3 Nxh2+ 28.Kg3 Rxe1 29.Bxe1 Ng4 30.Bxf7 Nf6 31.Bc4 Ne4+ 32.Kf3 Nd6 33.Be2 Be4+ 34.Ke3 Bc6 35.a5 Nf5+ 36.Kf2 Nxd4 37.Bd3 Bd5 38.Bc3 Nc6 39.axb6 axb6 40.f5 Bf7 41.f6 Kc7 42.Bb5 Kd6 43.Bxc6 dxc6 44.Kf3 Kd5 45.Kg4 c5 0-1

 

T. Klepaczka (2240)-Mi. Olszewski (2533)
Rapid Game
European Ch.
Warsaw, Dec. 15 2012
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Nc6 6.d5 Bb4 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 d5 9.exd5 cxd5 10.O-O O-O 11.Bg5 c6 12.Qf3 Be7 13.Rfe1 Rb8 14.Rab1 Be6 15.Ne2 h6 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Nf4 Bd7 18.b3 Bg5 19.Nh3 Be7 20.c4 Bd6 21.cxd5 cxd5 22.Nf4 Bc6 23.Rbc1 Ba8 24.Ne2 Qg5 25.Qf5 g6 26.Qxg5 hxg5 27.Nd4 Rbc8 28.h3 Bf4 29.Rxc8 Rxc8 30.Ba6 Rd8 31.Re7 Bd6 32.Re1 Kg7 33.Kf1 Bc5 34.Rd1 Bb6 35.Ke2 Re8+ 36.Kd3 Re4 37.Kc3 g4 38.hxg4 Rxg4 39.g3 Re4 40.a4 Kf6 41.b4 Ke5 42.f4+ Kf6 43.a5 Bc7 44.Bd3 Re3 45.Ne2 g5 46.Kd4 Re8 47.Rc1 Bd6 48.b5 gxf4 49.gxf4 Bb4 50.Ra1 Bd2 51.b6 axb6 52.axb6 Be3+ 53.Kc3 Bxb6 54.Ra6 Rb8 55.Nd4 Ke7 56.Nf5+ Kd7 57.Bb5+ Kc7 58.Kd3 Rh8 59.Ra1 Rh3+ 60.Kc2 Bb7 61.Re1 Bc5 62.Be8 f6 63.Bb5 Rf3 64.Re6 Rxf4 65.Rxf6 Rf2+ 66.Kc3 d4+ 67.Kd3 Rf4 68.Rf7+ Kb6 69.Bd7 Ba6+ 70.Kd2 Bb4+ 71.Kc1 d3 72.Rf6+ Ka5 73.Re6 d2+ 0-1

 

With 5…Ng6, Black attempts to create a little chaos in the position. He can advance both his knights and pawns on the kingside and is even be willing to give up his extra knight if it will accomplish a win. White doesn’t have the ability to give up another knight and must deal with the upcoming threat.

 

Black’s plan, however, has a wrinkle in it. In order advance his knight and pawn, he must castle queenside. And that takes time.

 

As this is the most popular variation of the Halloween Gambit, let’s look at the moves which lead to the current position:

 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6. White normally continues with 6.e5, as he needs to gain as many tempi as possible.

 

Black’s most popular response is 6..Ng8 as he intends to redeploy his knight to e7 or h6 (the latter after the rook pawns advance). But let’s first take a look at other responses.

 

Grigor Minchev-Nejad, 1996
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Bg5 Qe6 8.Qf3 c6 9.O-O-O Ng8 10.h4 Bb4 11.d5 Qxe5 12.Bc4 Bxc3 13.bxc3 f6 14.Rde1 Kf8 15.Rxe5 Nxe5 16.Qe4 Nxc4 17.Qxc4 fxg5 18.hxg5 Ne7 19.Qf4+ Ke8 20.d6 Ng6 21.Qe4+ Kf7 22.Rh3 Rf8 23.Rxh7 Nf4 24.g3 1-0

 

Goldsmith (2247)-Tao Trevor (2390)
Adelaide Open
Australia, 2002
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Bb4 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.Qe2+ Qe7 9.Be3 d5 10.h4 Nxh4 11.g4 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 g5 13.Rb1 h6 14.c4 Qe4 15.Rxh4 gxh4 16.f3 Qe7 17.cxd5 h5 18.g5 b6 19.Kd2 Bb7 20.c4 O-O-O 21.Rb3 Qd7 22.Qh2 Qa4 23.Kc1 Kb8 24.Bf4 Rd7 25.Be5 Rg8 26.c5 Rxd5 27.cxb6 axb6 28.Bxc7+ Ka8 29.Qc2 Rdxg5 30.Qb2 Rg1 31.Qf2 Qc6+ 32.Kb2 Qxc7 33.Ra3+ Kb8 0-1

 

Sigfusson (2351)-Schubert (2005)
Reykjavik Open, Mar. 13 2002
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Bb4 7.exf6 Qxf6 8. Be3 d5 9.Qd3 c6 10.O-O-O O-O 11.Kb1 Bg4 12.f3 Bf5 13.Qd2 Rfe8 14.Bg5 Qd6 15.g4 Bd7 16.h4 Bxc3 17.Qxc3 a5 18.h5 Nf8 19.h6 Ne6 20.Be3 g5 21.Qd2 f6 22.Bd3 Re7 23.Bf5 Nf8 24.f4 Rae8 25.Rh3 Bxf5 26.gxf5 Qd7 27.fxg5 Qxf5 28. Rg3 Kh8 29.gxf6 Qxf6 30.Bg5 Qd6 31.Qg2 [On 31…Re6 (or 31…Rf7) White wins with 32.Bf6+ Rxf6 33.Qg8#] 1-0

 

Sigfusson (2344)-Nohr (2146)
Politiken Cup
Copenhagen, July 23 2005
[White didn’t win in the opening but his second attack is just beginning when Black resigns.]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Bb4 7.exf6 Qxf6 8. Qd3 O-O 9.Be3 d5 10.O-O-O c6 11.Kb1 a5 12.Qd2 Re8 13.h4 a4 14.Nxd5 cxd5 15.Qxb4 a3 16.h5 Nf8 17.b3 1-0

 
Now for the more common 6…Ng8.

 

Heemskerk-Loman
The Hague, 1890
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.f4 d5 8.Qf3 Bb4 9.g3 Bf5 10.Kd1 Bxc3 11.bxc3 Be4 12.Qg4 h5 13.Qh3 Bxh1 14.f5 Bf3+ 15.Be2 Bxe2+ 16.Kxe2 Qd7 17.Bg5 f6 18.e6 Qb5+ 19.Kd2 N6e7 20.Bf4 O-O-O 21.g4 Nh6 22.Bxh6 Rxh6 23.gxh5 Rdh8 24.Qg4 Rxh5 25.Qxg7 Rxh2+ 26.Kc1 Rh1+ 27.Kd2 R8h2+ 28.Ke3 Qe2+ 29.Kf4 Qe4+ 30.Kg3 Rg2mate 0-1

 

Mes-Spoel
corres.
Netherlands, 1992
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5 8.Bxd5 c6 9.Bb3 Be6 10.O-O Bxb3 11.axb3 Qd7 12.Ne4 a6 13.f4 Nh6 14.c3 O-O-O 15.Kh1 Be7 16.Be3 Nf5 17.Qe2 Qd5 18.Nd2 h5 19.c4 Qd7 20.d5 Nxe3 21.Qxe3 cxd5 22.Qa7 Qc7 0-1

 

Frank-Meyberg
Pinneberg Open, 1992
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5 8.Bxd5 c6 9.Bb3 Bb4 10.Qf3 Be6 11.Bd2 Bxc3 12.bxc3 N8e7 13.O-O O-O 14.Qd3 c5 15.f4 Rc8 16.Bc4 Bxc4 17.Qxc4 cxd4 18.Qxd4 Qxd4+ 19.cxd4 Rxc2 20.Bc1 Rfc8 21.Ba3 Nf5 22.d5 Ne3 23.Rf3 Nxd5 24.g3 R2c3 25.Rxc3 Rxc3 26.Bb2 Rc2 27.Ba3 h5 28.Bd6 Ne3 29.Bb8 a6 30.Ba7 Ng4 31.h3 Nh2 32.a3 Nf3+ 33.Kf1 h4 34.Bf2 hxg3 35.Bxg3 Ne7 36.Rb1 Nf5 37.Bf2 Nd2+ 0-1

 

Grigor Minchev-Plamen Lambev
Bulgaria Team Ch.
Svishtov, Oct. 27 1994
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d6 8.Qf3 Qd7 9.O-O dxe5 10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.Re1 Bd6 12.Bf4 f6 13.Bb5 c6 14.Rad1 Qe6 15.Qg3 Kf8 16.Bxe5 Bxe5 17.f4 cxb5 18.fxe5 Qb6+ 19.Re3 Bf5 20.Rd6 Qc5 21.Rd5 Qc8 22.Qf4 Be6 23.Qb4+ Ne7 24.exf6 gxf6 25.Rxb5 Rg8 26.Qe4 Qc6 27.Rxb7 Qxe4 28.Nxe4 Nf5 29.Rf3 Bd5 30.Rb4 Bxe4 31.Rxe4 Ne7 32.Rxf6+ Kg7 33.Rd6 Ng6 34.Rd7+ Kh8 35.c4 Rgd8 36.Rdd4 Kg7 37.c5 Rxd4 38.Rxd4 Ne5 39.b4 Rf8 40.b5 Rc8 41.c6 a5 42.Rd6 h6 43.Kf2 a4 44.Kg3 Nc4 45.Rd4 Nb6 46.Kf3 Rf8+ 47.Ke4 Rf2 48.Rd6 Rxa2 49.c7 Re2+ 50.Kd3 Re7 51.Rxb6 Rxc7 52.Ra6 Rc5 53.b6 Rb5 54.Kc4 Rb2 55.Kc5 Rc2+ 56.Kb5 Rb2+ 57.Kc6 Rxg2 58.b7 Rc2+ 59.Kb6 Rb2+ 60.Ka7 1-0

 

“Brause” (2560)-“humanoid” (2340)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 f5 8.Qh5 d6 9.e6 Nf6 10.Qxf5 Be7 11.O-O O-O 12.Qh3 c6 13.Bd3 d5 14.Re1 Qd6 15.Bxg6 hxg6 16.Bd2 Nh5 17.Na4 b6 18.b4 Nf4 19.Qc3 Nxe6 20.Rad1 Bg5 21.Rxe6 Bxe6 22.Bxg5 Bf5 23.Re1 Rae8 24.Re5 Rxe5 25.dxe5 Qe6 26.a3 Re8 27.f4 Be4 28.h3 Rc8 29.Qd2 c5 30.b5 d4 31.Nb2 Qa2 32.c3 Qb1+ 33.Kh2 Qc2 34.Qxc2 Bxc2 35.cxd4 cxd4 36.Bh4 Be4 37.Nd1 Kf7 38.Bg3 Rc2 39.Nf2 Bf5 40.Bh4 d3 41.Kg3 d2 42.Kf3 Be6 43.Ke3 Bb3 44.Nd1 Ra2 45.Nc3 Rc2 46.Nd1 Rc1 47.Kxd2 Rxd1+ 48.Kc3 Bd5 49.g3 Rh1 50.Kd4 Ke6 51.g4 Rd1+ 52.Ke3 Ra1 53.Kd4 Rd1+ 54.Ke3 Bg2 55.Ke2 Ra1 56.Be1 Rxa3 57.Bb4 Ra2+ 58.Ke3 Bxh3 59.g5 Bg4 60.Bf8 Kd5 61.Kd3 Ra3+ 62.Bxa3 Be6 63.Kc3 Ke4 64.Bd6 Kxf4 65.Bb8 Kxg5 66.Bxa7 Kf5 67.Bxb6 Bd7 68.Kd4 Bxb5 69.Bd8 Bd7 70.Bh4 Be6 71.Be7 Ba2 72.Bf8 g5 73.Bxg7

2019_10_31_E

(Ok, is there anyone who believes this is NOT a drawn position? Yet the players continue to move the pieces for another 82 moves. At this point you can be forgiven for skipping to the next games.) 73…g4 74.Ke3 Be6 75.Bf6 Bd5 76.Kd4 Be6 77.Bh4 Ba2 78.Bg3 Bf7 79.Kc5 Ba2 80.e6 Bxe6 81.Kd4 Ba2 82.Ke3 Bd5 83.Kd3 Ba2 84.Ke2 Be6 85.Kf2 Ba2 86.Ke1 Bf7 87.Kd1 Ke4 88.Ke2 Bd5 89.Kf2 Bc4 90.Kg2 Be2 91.Be1 Kf5 92.Kg3 Bd1 93.Bd2 Ke4 94.Bg5 Kd3 95.Bf4 Be2 96.Be5 Kc2 97.Bd6 Kd1 98.Kf4 Ke1 99.Be5 Kf2 100.Bd4+ Kg2 101.Ke3 Bd1 102.Be5 Bc2 103.Kf4 Kh3 104.Bd6 g3 105.Bc5 g2 106.Bg1 Bb3 107.Ke5 Bg8 108.Kd6 Kg3 109.Kc5 Kf3 110.Kd4 Ke2 111.Be3 Kf1 112.Ke5 Ba2 113.Bd4 Bb3 114.Ke4 Ke2 115.Ke5 Bc2 116.Kd5 Bb1 117.Ke5 Bc2 118.Ke6 Bb1 119.Kd5 Bc2 120.Kc4 Bg6 121.Kd5 Bh7 122.Ke5 Bg8 123.Kf6 Ba2 124.Ke5 Bg8 125.Ke4 Ba2 126.Kf4 Bg8 127.Bc5 Ba2 128.Ke5 Bb1 129.Kd5 Bh7 130.Bd4 Bc2 131.Ke5 Bh7 132.Kd6 Bc2 133.Kc6 Bd3 134.Kd5 Bg6 135.Ke5 Bh5 136.Kf4 Bf3 137.Bg1 Bd5 138.Ke5 Bc6 139.Kd6 Bb7 140.Kc7 Ba8 141.Kb8 Bf3 142.Bd4 Be4 143.Kc7 Bb7 144.Kb6 Kf3 145.Bg1 Ke4 146.Kc5 Kf3 147.Bd4 Kg4 148.Kb4 Bd5 149.Bg1 Kf3 150.Kc3 Bc4 151.Kd4 Ke2 152.Kc5 Bd3 153.Kb4 Kf3 154.Kb3 Bb5 155.Ka3 Kg4 156.Bd4 1/2-1/2

 

“Brause” (2470)-“humanoid” (2400)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 f5 8.Qh5 d6 9.g4 fxg4 10.Bd3 N8e7 11.Bg5 Rg8 12.Qxh7 1-0

 

“Brause” (2485)-“humanoid” (2385)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 f5 8.Qh5 d6 9.g4 Qh4 10.Nd5! 1-0

 

“Brause” (2490)-“humanoid” (2380)
Rated Blitz Match
ICS, 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 f5 8.Qh5 d6 9.Bf4 Qh4 10.Qxh4 Nxh4 11.Bg5 Ng6 12.Nb5 Kd7 13.e6+ Kc6 14.d5+ 1-0

 

“Brause”-N.N. (1800)
Internet Game
Germany, Sept. 8 1997
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 c6 8.Qf3 f6 9.O-O d5 10.exd6 Bxd6 11.Ne4 N8e7 12.Qxf6!?

2019_10_31_F

12…gxf6? (Black might just survive 12…Rf8 13.Nxd6+ Kd7 14.Qe6+ Kc7. But then we would be denied an entertaining miniature.) 13.Nxf6+ Kf8 14.Bh6mate! 1-0

 

Vermaat- Tondivar
Leeuwarden Ch., July 1 2004
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5 8.Bxd5 c6 9.Bb3 Be6 10.O-O Qd7 11.Ne4 O-O-O 12.Be3 Kb8 13.c4 f5 14.exf6 Nxf6 15.Ng5 Bf5 16.d5 h6 17.Nf3 c5 18.Ba4 Qc7 19.b4 Ne4 20.Rc1 Bd6 21.bxc5 Nxc5 22.Nd4 Rhf8 23.Rc3 Ne5 24.Bc2 Bxc2 25.Rxc2 a6 26.f4 Ned3 27.g3 Rde8 28.Ne6 Nxe6 29.Qxd3 Nc5 30.Qd2 Ne4 31.Qc1 Nxg3 32.hxg3 Rxe3 33.c5 Rxg3+ 34.Kh2 Rg4 35.cxd6 Qxd6 36.Qe3 Qxd5 37.Rf3 Qh5+ 38.Rh3 Qf5 39.Rb2 Qxf4+ 40.Qxf4+ Rgxf4 41.Kg2 Ra4 42.Re3 Rf7 43.Rc2 Rg4+ 44.Kh3 h5 45.Rc5 g6 46.Re6 Rf3+ 47.Kh2 Rf2+ 48.Kh3 Rf3+ 49.Kh2 Ra3 50.Re2 Rga4 51.Re6 Rxa2+ 52.Kh1 Rb4 53.Rxg6 Rh4+

2019_10_31_G

(54.Kg1 Rg4+ 55.Rxg4 hxg4 56.Rg5 Rc2 and Black wins easily.) 0-1

 

Bagatsch (2125)-J. Hess
Oberliga Ost B
Germany, Nov. 27 2005
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d6 8.Qf3 Be6 9.Qxb7 Rb8 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bxd7+ Kxd7 12.Qxa7 dxe5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Bf4 Bd6 15.Bxe5 Bxe5

2019_10_31_H

16.O-O-O+! Bd6 17.Rxd6+! Kxd6 18.Rd1+ Kc6 19.Qa6+ Kc5 20.Ne4+ 1-0

 

Alexander Smirnov (2234)-Petr Kosolapov
Russia Central Region Ch.
Tula, Mar. 19 2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 Bb4 8.Qf3 f6 9.O-O Bxc3 10.bxc3 d6 11.Re1 Kf8 12.Qd5 Qe8 13.Ba3 N6e7 14.exd6 Nxd5 15.d7+ Nde7 16.dxe8=Q+ Kxe8 17.Bxg8 Rxg8 18.Rxe7+ Kd8 19.Rae1 Bf5 20.Rf7 Bg6 21.Rf8+ Rxf8 22.Bxf8 Bxc2 23.Bxg7 f5 24.Bf6+ Kd7 25.Re7+ Kd6 26.Rxh7 Rc8 27.h4 Kc6 28.Be5 Bb1 29.a3 b5 30.h5 a5 31.h6 f4 32.Rf7 1-0

 

“odyson” (2399)-“Catalyst_Kh” (2677)
Halloween Gambit Thematic Tournament
http://www.chess.com, 2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5 Nxe5 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bc4 d5 8.Bxd5 N8e7 9.Bg5 Qd7 10.Be4 Nf5 11.Qd3 Bb4 12.O-O-O Bxc3 13.bxc3 h6 14.Bd2 O-O 15.h4 Qe6 16.Kb1 Rd8 17.f4 h5 18.Ka1 Nge7 19.Be1 c6 20.g3 b5 21.Rb1 Qc4 22.Rxb5 Qxb5 23.Qxb5 cxb5 24.Bxa8 Be6 25.Bf3 Bd5 26.Bxd5 Nxd5 27.Kb2 Rc8 28.Rg1 Nfe3 0-1

 

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

 

pumpkin-988231_1920

Lesser GM?

Like most chess players I am a fan of some of the greats; namely Fischer, Alekhine, and Tal.

 

But I also enjoy the lesser known greats, those IMs and GMs who occasionally can take an original route in the opening, explore what is there to find, and promote original theory.

 

One of those is the Finnish GM, Jouni Yrjola. He won his country’s championship in 1985 and 1988. And his flair for unexplored openings didn’t prevent him from earning the IM title (1984) or the GM title (1990).

 

More importantly, at least to this blogger, is that today is his birthday.

 

Happy Birthday Jouni!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Here is Yrjola, playing against a former World Champion.

 

IM Jouni Yrjola-GM Mikhail Tal
TV exhibition game, 1986
[D44]
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7 11.g3!? (Unusual. More common is 11.exf6. Perhaps Yrjola didn’t want to get into a tactical tussle with a Tal.) 11…Rg8 12.h4 Rxg5 13.hxg5 Nd5 14.Qh5 Nxc3 15.bxc3 Qa5 16.Rc1 Ba3 17.Rc2 Qa4 18.Kd1! (Effectively closing off the White’s queenside. Now Black must worry about his kingside.)
2019_10_24_A
18…Nf8 19.Qf3 Bb7 20.Rh8 Be7 (Black wants to castle queenside but first he needs to shore up his defenses on the kingside.) 21.Bh3 Bxg5? 22.Bxe6! 1-0

 

 

IM Julian Hodgson (2480)-IM Jouni Yrjola (2425)
Tallinn, Estonia, Apr. 8 1987
[B21]
1.e4 c5 2.f4!? (The Grand Prix Attack, a very popular way of meeting the Sicilian around this time.) 3…d5 (A strong defence, and one that almost put the Grand Prix out of business.) 3.exd5 Nf6 4.Bb5+ Nbd7 5.c4 a6 6.Ba4 b5 7.cxb5 Nxd5 8.Nf3 g6!? (The fianchetto on Black’s kingside usually leads to unbalanced games, perfect for both Hodgson and Yrjola.) 9.Nc3 N5b6

 

[This game, heading rapidly into more craziness, now forms theory.

 

Vladislav Zernyshkin (2319)-Yuri Yakovich (2539), Lev Polugaevsky Memorial, Samara, Russia, July 9 2011, continued with 10.d4 Bg7 11.Bc2 cxd4 12.Nxd4 O-O 13.O-O axb5 14.Ndxb5 Ba6 15.Bd3 Nc5 16.Be2 Nba4 17.Qc2 Nxc3 18.Nxc3 Qd4+ 19.Kh1 Nd3 20.h3 Rfd8 21.a4 Bc4 22.Ra3 Nb4 23.Qb1 Bd3 24.Bxd3 Nxd3 25.Qc2 e6 26.Nb5 Qe4 27.Nc3 Qc4 28.Qe2 Qb4 29.Na2 Nxc1 30.Nxc1 Bxb2 31.Rb3 Qd2 32.Rxb2 Qxe2 33.Nxe2 Rxa4 34.Rc1 Rd7 35.Kg1 e5 36.fxe5 Re4 37.Rc5 Re7 38.Kf2 R4xe5 39.Rxe5 Rxe5 40.Ng1 h5 41.Nf3 Re7 42.Ng1 Kg7 43.Kf3 Ra7 44.Rb3 Ra5 45.h4 Ra4 46.g3 Ra7 47.Nh3 Re7 48.Ng5 Kg8 49.Re3 Ra7 50.Ke4 Kg7 51.Kd5 Kf6 52.Kc6 Kf5 53.Kd6 f6 54.Ne4 g5 1/2-1/2]

 

10.d4 Nxa4 11.Qxa4 Bg7 12.Be3 Nb6 13.Qa5 O-O 14.O-O-O axb5 15.Qxb5 Ba6 16.Qxc5 Nc4! (Black has penetrated White’s position and his knight will prove to be impossible to dislodge.) 17.Rhe1 Qb8! (Forcing the next move.) 18.b3 Rc8! (White’s queen is trapped. Hodgson grabs the best deal he can make for his queen …) 19.Qxc8+ Bxc8 (…and then promptly resigns.) 0-1

 

 

GM Jonny Hector (2535)-GM Jouni Yrjola (2460)
Nordic Ch.
Ostersund, Sweden, Aug. 1992
[B76]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Bc4 O-O 9.Qe2 Bd7 10.O-O-O Na5 11.Bd3 (11.Bb3!?) 11…Rc8 12.h4 Rxc3 13.bxc3 Qc7 14.Qe1 d5 15.e5 Qxe5 16.Nb3 Nc6 17.g4 h5 18.g5 Ne8 19.Bd4 Nxd4 20.cxd4 Qd6 (Black could, of course, play 20…Qxd1 21.Rhd1, but that kills his play and he has to respond with 22…e6, which further limits his play. On 20…Qd6, his queen can at least travel to a3 and say “Boo!” Forgive this jest- it’s close to Halloween.) 21.Qc3 b6 22.Rhe1 Nc7 23.Rxe7 Ne6 24.Rxe6 Bxe6 25.Qd2 Rc8 26.c3 a5 27.Kb1 a4 28.Nc1 b5 29.Ne2 Rb8 30.Qf4 Bf8 31.Qxd6 Bxd6 32.Kc2 b4 33.cxb4 Rxb4 34.Rb1 Rxb1 35.Kxb1 Kg7 36.Kc2 f6 37.gxf6+ Kxf6 38.Kd2 g5 39.hxg5+ Kxg5 40.Ke3 h4 41.Nc3 h3 42.Bf1 Kh4 43.Kf2 a3 44.Nb5 Be7 45.Bd3 Bf6 46.Be2 Bd7 47.f4 Bg7 48.Bd3 Kg4 49.f5 Kf4 50.Kg1 Kg3 51.Kh1 Be8 52.Be2 Bd7 53.Bd3 Bf6 54.Nc3 Bc6 55.Ne2+ Kf3 56.Kh2 Ke3 57.Ba6 Bd7 58.Kxh3 Bxf5+ 59.Kg2 Be4+ 60.Kf1 Bxd4 61.Nxd4 Kxd4
2019_10_24_B
(Here, Black’s king is more centralized than White’s and he has an extra pawn. But it’s a draw as White can block the queening of the center pawn and Black’s other pawn is on a rook’s file, Right? Wrong!) 62.Ke1 Bb1 63.Kd2 Bxa2 64.Kc2 Kc5 65.Bb7 d4 66.Be4 Kb4 67.Bf5 Bb3+ 68.Kb1 Kc3 69.Ka1 Bc2 70.Bg4 d3 71.Ka2 Kb4
2019_10_24_C
0-1 [Incredibly Black wins after 72.Bh5 Bb3+ 73.Ka1 d2 74.Kb1 Kc3 75.Ka1 Kd3 76.Bf3 Ke3 77.Bg4 Kf2 78.Kb1 Ke1 79.Bh5 Bc4 80.Kc2 (with the idea of Be2) -+ , or 72.Ka1 d2 73.Ka2 Bb3+ 74.Kb1 Kc3 75.Be2 Kd4 76.Bf3 Ke3 77.Bh5 Kf2 78.Bg4 Ke1 79.Bh5 Bc4 80.Kc2 -+, or 72.Bf3 Bb3+ 73.Kb1 d2 74.Bh5 Kc3 75.Ka1 Kd3 76.Bf3 Ke3 77.Bg4 Kf2 78.Kb1 Ke1 79.Bh5 Bc4 80.Kc2 -+. Now, I had to run the position through a chess engine just to make sure my main ideas had some validity. It’s astonishing what a GM can figure out over the chessboard!]

Fischer, the Invincible

Recently, I was going over some games from the 1963/64 US Championship. That tournament stands out for at least three reasons.

 
(1) The winner was the first, and so far, the only one, to achieve a perfect score in the Championship.

 

(2) Fischer won his sixth Championship in a row. He would eventually win eight of them, which was another perfect score as he played in a total of eight Championships.

 

(3) Fischer played a King’s Gambit, a rarity in a national championship. It was also one of his best games.
Here is the game, annotated by Fischer, with a few additional notes (mostly to highlight some background information) by me (RME).

 

 

GM Fischer-GM Evans
US Ch.
New York, Nov. 16 1963
[Fischer, “Exclusive Commentary on Round Two”, Chess Life and Review, Jan. 1964]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 [I knew that my opponent had some prepared line (since he usually plays the Sicilian) but felt that he would be unfamiliar with the King’s Gambit. Besides, I’d made up my mind to play it in this tournament anyway.] 2…exf4 3.Bc4 [Better than 3.Nf3 which is practically refuted by 3…d6 (see my analysis in the American Chess Quarterly.)] 3…Qh4+ [Turning it into an old-fashioned slugfest. The moderns frown on this move and prefer to fight in the center with 3…Nf6 4.Nc3 c6, etc. (But 4…Qh4+ is, by far, still the most common response in the Bishop’s Gambit as it displaces White’s king and prevent him from transposing into other variants of the King’s Gambit. RME.)] 4.Kf1 d6?

[Evans said this game would set chess back a hundred years. He didn’t know how right he was! The defense he chooses was also played by LaBourdonnais against MacDonnell (20th Match Game, 1834) which continued 5.d4 Bg4 6.Qd3 Nc6 7.Bxf7+? Kxf7 8.Qb3+ Kg6 9.Qxb7 Nxd4 10.Qxa8 f3 with a winning attack. More usual is 4…g5 (or d5) 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.d4 Ne7 7.Nf3 Qh5 8.h4 h6 and it’s a hard game.

(Here is the game in its entirety.

Macdonnell-de la Bourdonnais
Match, London, 1834
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d6 5.d4 Bg4 6.Qd3 Nc6 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Qb3+ Kg6 9.Qxb7 Nxd4 10.Qxa8 Nf6 11.Na3 f3 12.g3 Bh3+ 13.Ke1 Qg4 14.Be3 d5 15.Qxa7 Nc6 16.Qxc7 d4 17.Bd2 Qxe4+ 18.Kd1 f2 19.Nxh3 Qf3+ 20.Kc1 Qxh1+ 0-1. RME)]

5.Nc3? [Returning the compliment. It’s natural that White should want to save the juicy tempo (5.Nf3!) and I make the same mistake as MacDonnell by delaying this move.] 5…Be6! [I overlooked this move. Now Black has a choice of where to put his Queen once she’s attacked. (This move also eliminates any quick victories by White as his bishop is thwarted. RME)] 6.Qe2

[Moving the bishop back is really not an option.

Harrwitz-Mayet
Match
Berlin, 1847
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Qh4+ 4.Kf1 d6 5.Nc3 Be6 6.Be2?! Qf6 7.d4 g5 8.d5 Bc8 9.Nf3 h6 10.h4 Be7 11.Nb5 Na6 12.Bd2 Qg7 13.Bc3 f6 14.Kg1 g4 15.Nfd4 f3 16.Bf1 Bd8 17.gxf3 gxf3+ 18.Kf2 Nc5 19.Qxf3 a6 20.Na3 Bg4 21.Qf4 h5 22.Re1 Nh6 23.Rg1 Be7 24.b4 Na4 25.Ne6 Qh7 26.Nxc7+ Kd7 27.Nxa8 Nxc3 28.Nb6+ Kc7 29.Nbc4 f5 30.Kg2 fxe4 31.Kh1 Nxd5 32.Qxe4 Qxe4+ 33.Rxe4 Bf3+ 34.Bg2 Bxe4 35.Bxe4 Nxb4 36.Rg7 Kd8 37.Bxb7 Nf5 38.Rf7 Nxh4 39.Na5 d5 40.c3 Ke8 41.Rxe7+ Kxe7 42.cxb4 Kd6 43.Bxa6 Nf5 44.Bd3 Ne7 45.Nc2 Rg8 46.Nb7+ Ke6 47.Nc5+ Kd6 48.a4 Nc6 49.Nb7+ Ke7 50.Nc5 Kd6 1/2-1/2. Fischer didn’t mention this game, but in all fairness, he didn’t have access to the Internet. RME]

6…c6 7.Nf3 (Inaccurate. Having made the mistake of delaying this move once, White should hold off a while longer and play 7.d4, which does not permit Black’s Queen to retreat to e7 without relinquishing his “f” pawn.) 7…Qe7 (If 7…Qh5 8.Nd5! Now, however, Black has time to consolidate his king’s position.) 8.d4 Bxc4 9.Qxc4 g5 (Despite White’s strong center and great lead in development, Black’s position is not easy to crack. If 10.h4 g4 11.Ne1 Bh6, etc.) 10.e5 d5 [During the game I thought Black’s best defense was 10…dxe5 11.Nxe5 (11.dxe5 Nd7 12.Ne4 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Qxe5 14.Bd2 is unclear) 11…Nd7 12.h4 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Qxe5 14.hxg5 O-O-O 15.Bxf4 Qf5 with equality.] 11.Qd3 [11.Nxd5 cxd5 12.Qc8+ Qd8 13.Qxb7 Nd7 is unsound. (14.Nxg5? Rb8). Now the threat is simply 11.Qf5.] 11…Na6 12.Ne2 (Not 12.Qf5 Nh6 13.Qxg5 Qxg5 14.Nxg5 Nb4 15.Bxf4 Nxc2 16.Rd1 Nf5 and Black wins.) 12…Nb4 (12…f6 loses 13.Qf5 Bg7 14.exf6 Bxf6 15.Bxf4! gxf4 16.Nxf4 with a winning attack. It is important to repel White’s queen from its present diagonal.) 13.Qd1 O-O-O (Very complicated, and possibly better, is 13.c3 which leads to a more active defense.) 14.c3 Na6 15.h4 g4 16.Nh2! h5 (Better was 16…f3 17.gxf3 gxf3 18.Nxf3 f6 although White’s king is quite safe and Black lags in development. Also to be considered was 16…Qxh4 17.Nxf4! g3 18.Qg4+ Qxg4 19.Nxg4 with a powerful ending.) 17.Nxf4

2019_10_10_A
17…Qxh4? [The losing move. Relatively best is 17…Kb8 (preventing Nxh5!) (Fischer is referring to White’s threat of 18.Nxh5! Rxh5 19.Qxg4+, winning the rook and the game. RME) but his game is already bad. (The advanced pawn on e5 which is crippling Black’s play on the kingside. RME).] 18.Kg1 (Black apparently underestimated the strength of this move. He has no adequate defense now to the twin threats of 19.Nxg4 and Nf1.) 18…Nh6 (The only way to avoid outright material loss. Black originally intended 18…Bh6 but 19.Nf1 followed by Rxh5 stands him up.) 19.Nf1 Qe7 20.Nxh5 Rg8 (Black already knew he was lost and was shaking his head in amazement at how quickly White’s dead pieces had sprung to life.) 21.Nfg3 Rg6 22.Nf4 Rg5 (If 22…Rg8 23.Nxd5, etc.) 23.Be3 Nc7 (The last hope. 23…f6 is answered by 24.Qd2 fxe5 25.Nxd5, winning a full rook.) 24.Qd2 Rg8 25.Nfe2 (This piquant retreat wins a piece, putting a clear end to black’s agony.) 25…f6 (Black is still hoping for a miracle.) 26.exf6 Qxf6 27.Bxh6 Bd6 28.Rf1 Qe6 29.Bf4 Rde8 30.Rh6 Bxf4 31.Qxf4 Qe7 32.Rf6
2019_10_10_B
[Tripling on the Bishop file. (And being material up, the victory is not too far off. RME)] 32…Ne6 33.Qe5 Ng5 34.Qxe7 Rxe7 35.Rf8+ (Trading down to skin and bones.) 35…Rxf8 36.Rxf8+ 1-0

 

The Siberian Trap

In a correspondence game I was preparing an opening line as it was appearing to become a Smith-Morra variation in the Sicilian. But alas! – the game soon changed into an Advance French/Alapin hybrid.

 

So, my dear chess friends, here is what I was studying.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The Siberian Trap is a good counter-attack in the Smith-Morra. You won’t find it in too many opening books, but it’s there!

 

The opening line begins as 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7!, and Black has his counterplay. But is it sound? Any good? Well, apparently, it is!

 

Here are some games and analysis for your consideration.

 

First of all, to reach the gambit proper, White continues with 7.O-O Nf6 8.Qe2 (a reasonable move). And now Black strikes back with 8…Ng4!

 

White can respond with 9.h3?, but this is bad, because of 9…Nd4! 10.hxg4 Nxe2+ 11.Bxe2 a6 12.Rd1 b5 and Black won soon in the game, Alekseev-Schipkov, Burevestnik Russian Ch., Krasnodar 1983. [Analysis by Boris Schipkov.]

 

Another bad move for White is 9.Bb3?. which led to a quick loss after 9…Nd4! (Kolenbet-Schipkov, Siberian & Far East Ch., Khabarovsk, 1987). At least now know where the name of this trap comes from!

 

Let’s look at some other games.

 

Ligoure (2240)–Milesi (2030)
Cannes, 1990
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Bc4 e6 6.Nf3 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.Re1?! (The critical theoretical line is 8.Nb5 Qb8 9.e5!) 8…d6 9.Bf4 Ne5?! (9…a6 was preferable.) 10.Bb5+ Nfd7?! (> 10…Bd7) 11.Rc1 Qb8 12.Nd5!
2019_09_11_A
12…exd5 13.Nxe5 (Even more powerful was 13.Bxe5! dxe5 14.Rxc8+! Qxc8 15.Nxe5 +-) 13…dxe5 14.Bxe5! Qxe5 15.exd5 Kd8 16.Rxe5 Nxe5 17.f4 Bg4 18.Qe1 Nd7 19.h3 a6 20.Bxd7 Bxd7 21.Qa5+ +- Ke7 22.Re1+ Kf6 23.Qb6+ Kf5 24.Re5+ 1-0

 

Joe Blitzsein-M. Manik
SCCF H.S. Ch.
Los Angeles, 1993
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.Qe2 Nf6 8.e5 Ng4 9.Bf4 f6 10.Nd5 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qd8 12.exf6 Nxf6 13.Nxf6+ Qxf6 14.Bc3 Bb4 15.Bxb4 Nxb4 16.O-O O-O 17.Rfd1 d5 18.a3 Nc6 19.Bb5 Bd7 20.Bxc6 Bxc6 21.Ne5 Rad8 22.Rac1 Ba4 23.Rd4 Bb5 24.Qe3 Rc8 25.Rxc8 Rxc8 26.h3 Qe7 27.Rf4 Qc5 28.Qg3 Rf8 29.Rxf8+ Qxf8 30.Qb3 Qc5 31.Qf3 Qc1+ 32.Kh2 Qc7 33.Qf4 Be8 34.Ng6 Qxf4+ 35.Nxf4 Kf7 36.Kg3 Kf6 37.Kf3 d4 38.Ke4 Bc6+ 39.Kd3 e5 40.Nh5+ Kg6 41.g4 Bg2 42.f4 Bxh3 43.fxe5 Bxg4 44.Nf4+ Kf5 45.Ng2 Kxe5 46.b4 g5 47.a4 h5 0-1

 

Lotti-Cilento
corres.
Italian Ch., 1993
[This game actually made it into CCY #10/79. Analysis by Lotti]
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.Bg5! Ne5 9.Bb3 Be7 10.Rc1 Qa5?! (10…Nxf3+! 11.Qxf3 +/=) 11.Nxe5 Qxe5 12.f4 Qc5+ 13.Kh1 Qb6 14.e5 Ng8 15.Ne4 h6 16.Bxe7 1-0 [16…Nxe7 (16…Kxe7 17.Qd6+ Qxd6 18.Nxd6 +-) 17.Nd6+ Kf8 18.Nxc8 Rxc8 19.Rxc8+ Nxc8 20.Qxd7 Ne7 21.Rc1 g6 22.Rc7 Qb4 23.h3 +-]

 

Howard-Kechner
British Ch., 1996
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 e6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.O-O a6 8.Be3 h6 9.Re1 Ne5 10.Nxe5 Qxe5 11.Nd5 exd5 12.exd5 Be7 13.Bc5 Qf4 14.Bxe7 Nxe7 15.d6 Qxc4 16.Rxe7+ Kf8 17.Qf3 g6 18.Qf6 Rg8 19.Re8+ 1-0

 

Klewin-Lau
Hamburg, 2002
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.Qe2 a6 8.O-O b5?! (In combination with …Qc7 this often proves too risky.) 9.Bb3 Bb7 10.Rd1 d6 11.Bf4 Ne5?! 12.Rac1 Bc6?! (12…Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3) 13.Nd4 Ne7 14.Bxe5 dxe5 15.Ndxb5! axb5 16.Nxb5 +- Bxb5 17.Qxb5+ Nc6 18.Rxc6 Rb8!?
2019_09_11_B
19.Rxe6mate 1-0

 

Milman (2356)-GM Ehlvest (2587)
New York Masters, 2003
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.Nb5 Qb8 9.e5! Ng4 10.Nd6+?! (> 10.Bf4) 10…Bxd6 11.exd6 b5 12.Bb3 O-O 13.h3 Nf6 14.Re1 a5 15.Bg5 a4 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Bc2 Nb4 18.Bb1 Nd5 19.Nh4 Qxd6 20.Qg4+ Kh8
2019_09_11_C

21.Nf5! 1-0

 

Sami Al Atarji-GM Todorovic (2540)
Belgrade Trophy, Nov. 24 2004
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.Qe2 Ng4 9.g3 (Now this is White’s most common reply. A fianchetto makes it harder to attack the kingside. In most positions.) 9…a6 10.Nd5 Qd8 (Maybe Black can survive after 10…exd5 11.exd5+ Ne7 12.d6 Qxd6 13.Bf4, but why risk it?) 11.h3 Nge5 12.Bf4 d6 13.Ne3 Nxf3+ 14.Qxf3 g5! 0-1

 

Kobernat (2030)-GM Wojtkiewicz (2610)
Governor’s Cup
South Dakota, 2005
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.h3 a6 9.Qe2 d6 10.Be3 Be7 11.Rac1 O-O 12.Nd4 Bd7 13.f4 b5 14.Nxc6 Qxc6 15.Bd3 Qb7 16.e5 dxe5 17.fxe5 Nd5 18.Nxd5 exd5 19.Qh5 g6 20.Qh6 Rac8 21.Rce1 Bc5?? (Black should have played 21…Qc7 22.Bd4 Bc5, and would have eventually won.) 22.Bxc5 Rxc5 23.e6! Bc6 24.e7 Re8 25.Rxf7 1-0

 

Leigh Hunt (1964)-Nisha Deolalkikar (1719)
LPCC Ch.
La Palma, CA, 2008
1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 e6 5.Bc4 Qc7 6.Qe2 a6 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.Bb3 (Safeguarding the Bishop) 8…g6? (The move …e6 is usually played so Black’s bishop can move to either e7 or b4. Playing …g6 in this position, in conjunction to …e6, creates catastrophic weaknesses along the dark squares.) 9.Bg5! (White immediately takes advantage of the situation.) 9…Bg7 10.Rc1 f6?! (Further weakening Black’s kingside.) 11.Be3 (White is practically winning.) 11…b5 12.Nd5 exd5 13.exd5 Nge7 14.dxc6 dxc6 15.Bc5 Bg4 16.O-O Kf8 (Black might have tried 16.O-O-O, hoping for 17.Bxe7? Rde8!, and while he is not winning, he is not being mated.) 17.Rfe1 Re8 18.Rcd1 h5 19.h3 Bxf3 20.Qe6 Bd5
2019_09_11_D
21.Rxd5! (Threatening 22.Rd7. Meanwhile, White’s rook and two bishops are all en prise, but none of them can be taken because of mate on the next move.) 1-0

 

Jozsef Visloczki-Tibor Barabas (2097)
Hungarian Team Ch. 2, Mar. 27 2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.Qe2 Ng4 9.g3 a6 10.Rd1? Bc5 (Already, Black has a definite advantage.) 11.Rf1 O-O 12.Bf4 d6 13.Rad1 b5 14.Bb3 h6 15.h4 Nge5 16.Nxe5 dxe5 17.Be3 Nd4 18.Bxd4 exd4 19.Nb1 a5 20.Rc1 Qb6 21.Qh5 Bd6 22.Nd2 Bb7 23.Bc2 Bxg3! 24.Bd3 Bf4 25.Rc2 e5 26.Kh1 f5 27.Rg1 Bxd2 28.Rg6 Rf6 0-1