Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Game of the Week

Route 20 Chess Club
Freeport, Illinois, June 8, 2010

1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nf6? 3.Nf3 e6 4.Bg5 Bb4? 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 0-0 7.Nf3 h6 8.Bh4 g5

Oddly aggressive, trading a piece for two pawns; there's some positional compensation, but probably not enough. 9.Bg3 is safe and sound.

9...hxg5 10.Bxg5 Kg7
Why can't black play 10...dxc4? here (diagram)? (Highlight to reveal answer.)

11.e4 opens up a Pandora's box: 11...e5 12.Qf3 (not 12.Bxc4 Qd6) Nbd7 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Qxf6 Qxf6 15.Bxf6 Re8 and black is in disarray.

11.cxd5 Qxd5 12.Bxf6+ Kxf6 13.e3 Ke7 14.c4 Qa5+ 15.Qd2 Qxd2+ 16.Kxd2 Nc6 17.f4 b6 18.g3 Bb7 19.Rg1 Na5 20.Kc3 f5 21.h3 Be4

A significant error. 22.g4!? is better.

22...Bxg2 23.Rxg2 Rh8 24.Rh1 Rac8 25.Rgg1?
25.g4 is still called for.

25...c5 26.Rc1 Rcg8
Steve should bust things open -- and pick up the pawns he's lost in the process -- with 26...cxd4+ 27.exd4 Rxc4+ 28.Kb2 Rxd4 29.Rh2.

27.Rcg1 Rd8 28.g4 fxg4 29.hxg4 cxd4+ 30.exd4 Rhf8 31.Rh7+ Rf7 32.Rxf7+ Kxf7 33.Re1

33...Rc8 34.c5 bxc5 35.dxc5 Rxc5+ 36.Kb4 Nb7 claims a pawn and leaves white's king in a bad position.

Steve is threatening Gary's d-pawn; 34.Re4 or 34.Rd1 is a necessary protective move.

34...exf5 35.gxf5?
With Steve's e-pawn out of the way, Gary should consider 35.d5 Na5 36.Rf1.

35...Nxd4 36.Rd1

Time to end it. Black to play and win. (Highlight to reveal answer.)

36...Nb5+! 0-1
Gary resigns in light of 37.Kb4 Rxd1 38.cxb5 Kf6.


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