Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Game of the Week

A hearty welcome to Roger Stanfield of Sterling, who first joined us at our Route 20 Rated Beginners' Open in July and swung by again for a visit this Tuesday night.

Route 20 Chess Club
Freeport, Ill., Oct. 19, 2010

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Qa5+
3...Nf6 is the standard response in the Slav Defense. Not getting his king's knight out in a timely manner is going to be a liability for Roger.

4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e3 e6
5...b5!? should be considered.


6...c5 7.0-0 Qb4
7...a6 prevents my next move.

8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.Bxd7
Over the next few moves, I decide I shouldn't have been quite so eager to trade bishops, especially a good, active bishop for a bad one, and especially since Roger can develop a knight while recapturing. An alternative path is 9.a3!? Qa5 10.Qb3 Bxb5 11.Qxb5+ Qxb5 12.Nxb5.

9...Nxd7 10.Bd2 cxd4 11.exd4 Qa5
Trying to switch to the kingside. But Roger is behind in development; an attack is premature. 11...Be7 is about right for this situation.

12.d5!? conceals an Uzi under its trenchcoat. If black replies 12...exd5, the following mayhem ensues: 13.Qb3 Nc5 14.Rae1+ Be7 15.Qxd5 (or 15.Nxd5 Nxb3 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Nc7+ Kd7 18.Nxa8) 15...Rd8 16.Qh5 g6 17.Rxe7+ Nxe7 18.Ne4 Nc6 (18...gxh5 19.Nf6+ Kf8 20.Bh6#) 19.Nf6+ Ke7 20.Nd5+ Kd6 21.Qg5 (diagram), down the exchange but all set to unleash a ferocious attack with the bishop and two knights.

Passing up a quiet moment to play 12...Ngf6.


I'm prouder of this double attack than it merits: Black is in no trouble after 13...Qd5, although I do get to trade off one of his developed pieces with 14.Nxd6 Qxd6. A better way to obstruct Roger's crosstown traffic is 13.a4, threatening 14.Nb5.

The double attack shouldn't work as intended, but it does.

14.Nxd6+ Ke7 15.Nxb7
A cheap pickup, and nothing to sneeze at, but there's no reason why I shouldn't bring the attack immediately with 15.Qc7 Ngf6 16.Ne5.


I see the threat of a mating attack on h2. But I've been ahead in development this whole time; can I generate an attack of my own before Roger can initiate his, or do I need to block before I punch, playing 16.h3 first? I read out my plan and conclude: The time is now.

16.Bb4+ Ke8 17.Rac1
The one tempo-costing move I'm allowed.

17...Nb6 18.Qc6+ Nfd7 19.Nd6+ Ke7 20.Ne4+
Victory through retreat!

20...Ke8 21.Qd6
I balk at 21.Qxa8+! because of the guarding knight, but in fact it still works: 21...Nb8 (21...Nxa8 22.Rc8#) Qxb8+ Nc8 Qxc8#.

Only 21...Nc5 can do anything more than postpone black's fate.

22.Qe7# 1-0


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