Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Game of the Week

Route 20 Chess Club
Freeport, Illinois, Jan. 12, 2010

1.d4 d5 2.c4 Be6?
An out-of-book move that makes the whole game an uphill battle for Tim.

3.cxd5 Bxd5 4.Nc3 e6 5.e4
Exchanging on d5 with 5.Nxd5?! Qxd5 6.Nf3 Nf6 would have resulted in an even position. With 5.e4, white has an advantage.

Causing more problems for Tim. Not only is this not sufficient threat to deter exd5, it's not a threat at all. The offer to trade on c3 is a thank-you move, giving white the chance to support d4 with another pawn and costing black a bishop. Tim should have retreated with 5...Bb6.

6.exd5 exd5 7.Bd3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Qe7+ 9.Ne2 Nf6 10.Qa4+ Nc6 11.f3
Starting with this move, Fritz repeatedly chides me for not playing Rb1.

11...a6 12.Ba3 Qd7 13.0-0 b5

White to move. (Highlight to reveal answer.)

14.Bxb5! exploits the pin on a6. Sadly for black, his best option is to eat the loss with 14...axb5 15.Qxa8+. Instead, Tim dodges the threatened fork on c6 but gets mated in short order:

14...0-0-0 15.Bxc6 (15.Bxa6 Kb8 16.Qb5+ Ka7 17.Qb7# is a surer path to checkmate -- black can struggle on for a while with 15...Qxc6 16.Qxc6) Qe6 16.Qxa6+ Kb8 17.Qb7# 1-0


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