[Event "Queen of Hearts"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2007.02.18"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Muhammad, S."]
[Black "Varagona"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A56"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2007.02.18"]
{After winning my first three games at the Queen of Hearts, I again faced
Stephen Muhammad. A last-minute blunder in a drawn rook ending had cost me the
full point against Muhammad at the '05 State Championship; finally, now was my
chance for revenge! This time, in my favorite Czech Benoni, I unleashed some
tricky opening preparation I had been saving for over a year. Of course, not
all went according to plan.... (notes by Varagona)}
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e5 4. Nc3 d6 5. e4 Be7
6. Nge2 {Same as last time. He wants to go Ne2-g3-f5 and win the two bishops.
Good, now I get to unveil my opening strategy} ({RR} 6. f4 Nfd7 7. f5 Na6 8.
Nf3 Nf6 9. Be2 Bd7 10. O-O O-O 11. Kh1 Kh8 12. a3 Qe8 13. Rb1 Bd8 14. Bd3 Ba5
15. Bd2 Rb8 16. Qe2 Bxc3 17. Bxc3 b5 18. cxb5 Bxb5 19. Nd2 Nc7 20. Nc4 Bxc4 {
Burn,A-Blackburne,J/Vienna 1898/Tournaments/1/2-1/2 (48)}) 6... h5 $5 {
A very sneaky move, I must say. Black is gunning for serious dark-square
control on the kingside. I had analyzed 7. Ng3? g6!, when White can't play 8.
h4? Ng4 because he'll lose the h-pawn. He can't even play 8. Be3? h4 9. Nge2
h3!, when either 10. gxh3 Bxh3 or 10. g3? Bg4! leaves his kingside structure
badly damaged. On the other hand, 8. h3 h4 9. Ne2 Nh5 and ...Bg5 gives Black
the dark-square domination he dreams of. These variations had me convinced
that 7. h4!, preventing ... h4, was required.} ({
In the 2005 Alabama Chess Championship, Varagona played} 6... O-O 7. Ng3 Ne8 8.
Nf5 Bg5 9. Bxg5 Qxg5) 7. f3 {What?! I hadn't given this move a second thought
in my preparation. White voluntarily weakens his kingside dark squares, which
can't be a good thing. On the other hand, by setting up a Samisch Kings Indian
scheme of development, Stephen hopes to slowly squeeze me to death.} (7. f4
Nbd7 8. f5 g6 9. fxg6 fxg6 10. Ng1 h4 11. Be2 Nh7 12. Nh3 O-O 13. Be3 a6 14.
Qd2 Ndf6 15. Nf2 Nh5 16. Bxh5 gxh5 17. Rb1 Kh8 18. b4 cxb4 19. Rxb4 Rg8 20. Rg1
b5 21. Nd3 bxc4 22. Rxc4 a5 23. Rc6 Ng5 24. Kd1 Bd7 25. Rc4 Rc8 26. Rxc8 Qxc8
27. h3 Qc4 28. Nb2 Qb4 29. Nd3 Nxe4 30. Nxb4 Nxd2 31. Kxd2 axb4 32. Ne2 Bf5 33.
g3 Be4 {0-1 Hedman,E (2280)-Maiorov,O (2335)/Stockholm 1995}) (7. h4 Na6 (7...
Nbd7 8. g3 Nf8 9. f3 g6 10. Be3 a6 11. Nc1 N6d7 12. Qd2 f5 13. exf5 gxf5 14.
Bd3 e4 15. fxe4 Ne5 16. Rf1 fxe4 17. Nxe4 Bh3 18. Rf2 Bg4 19. Ng5 Qd7 20. Ne2
O-O-O 21. Nf7 Nxf7 22. Rxf7 Qe8 23. Rf2 Nd7 24. O-O-O Ne5 25. Rdf1 Qa4 26. Nc3
Qb4 27. b3 Rhg8 28. Ne4 b5 29. cxb5 axb5 30. Bb1 Qa3+ 31. Qb2 Qa8 32. Bf4 Qxd5
33. Rd2 Qc6 34. Bxe5 dxe5 35. Rxd8+ Bxd8 36. Qxe5 Bc7 37. Qf6 Qxf6 38. Rxf6 Rd8
39. Bc2 c4 40. bxc4 bxc4 {
1/2-1/2 Babev,A (2335)-Trikaliotis,G (2245)/Prievidza 1978}) (7... Ng4 8. g3 f5
9. Bh3 g6 10. Bxg4 fxg4 11. Be3 Na6 12. Qd2 O-O 13. Nc1 Bd7 14. Nd3 Qe8 15. a3
b5 16. cxb5 Bxb5 17. Nxb5 Qxb5 18. O-O Qc4 19. Rfe1 Qb3 20. Bg5 Bf6 21. Bh6 Bg7
22. Bxg7 Kxg7 23. Re3 Qb6 24. b4 cxb4 25. Nxb4 Nc5 26. Qc2 g5 27. hxg5 Qd8 28.
g6 h4 29. Kg2 Rh8 30. Rh1 Qg5 31. Ree1 hxg3 32. fxg3 Rxh1 33. Kxh1 Rh8+ {
0-1 Grosso,R-Maltz,A/Argentina 1985}) (7... g6 8. g3 Na6 9. a3 Bd7 10. f3 Nh7
11. f4 Bf6 12. Bg2 exf4 13. Bxf4 Qe7 14. Qb3 Bg4 15. Nc1 g5 16. hxg5 Nxg5 17.
Nb5 Rd8 18. O-O Nh3+ 19. Kh2 h4 20. Nd3 hxg3+ 21. Kxg3 Bd4 {
0-1 Relange,E (2455)-Bricard,E (2485)/Paris 1995}) 8. Bg5 (8. f3 Bd7 9. Be3 Qa5
10. Qd2 O-O-O 11. a3 Rdf8 12. g3 Ne8 13. Bg2 f6 14. O-O Qd8 15. b4 Kb8 16. f4
g5 17. f5 g4 18. Rfb1 Ka8 19. Nc1 b6 20. Nd3 Qc7 21. a4 cxb4 22. Nxb4 Nc5 23.
Nb5 Qd8 24. a5 bxa5 25. Nxa7 {
1-0 Mellado Trivino,J (2390)-Granados Gomez,M/Barcelona 1992}) (8. a3 Bd7 9. f3
Kf8 10. Be3 Ne8 11. g3 Qc8 12. Nc1 Bd8 13. Nd3 Ba5 14. Qd2 Bxc3 15. Qxc3 b5 16.
cxb5 Bxb5 17. b4 cxb4 18. Qxc8 Rxc8 19. Nxb4 Bxf1 20. Rxf1 Nc5 21. Nc6 Na4 22.
Bxa7 Nc7 23. Rb1 Ke8 24. Kd2 f5 25. Rfc1 fxe4 26. fxe4 g5 27. Rc4 Nc5 28. Bxc5
dxc5 29. Nxe5 gxh4 30. gxh4 {1-0 Fyllingen,R (2410)-Royset,J (2270)/Norway 1997
}) 8... Nc7 9. a4 Na6 10. Ng3 g6 11. Qd2 Nb4 12. a5 Ng4 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 14. Na2
Nxa2 15. Rxa2 Bd7 16. f3 Nf6 17. Bd3 Rc8 18. Kf2 Rc7 19. Qe3 Bc8 20. Ne2 Qd8
21. Nc3 Re7 22. Rb1 a6 23. Qd2 b6 24. axb6 Qxb6 25. Na4 Qd8 26. b4 cxb4 27.
Rxb4 Rc7 28. Qg5 Nd7 29. Qxd8+ Kxd8 30. Rab2 Ke7 31. R4b3 Rd8 32. Ke3 Nc5 33.
Nxc5 Rxc5 34. Ra2 Rd7 35. g4 hxg4 36. fxg4 Rd8 37. h5 Bxg4 38. hxg6 Bc8 39.
gxf7 Kxf7 40. Rh2 Rg8 41. Rb6 Rg6 42. Rh7+ Ke8 43. Kd2 Kd8 44. Rb8 Ra5 45. Rh8+
Kd7 46. Rh7+ Kd8 {1/2-1/2 Arutiunov,A (2200)-Averkin,O (2455)/Yerevan 1977}) (
7. Ng3 g6 8. Bd3 h4 9. Nge2 h3 10. g3 {
Fritz +/= (0.66) 15 plies Rybka 1.0 Beta = (-0.08) 14 plies}) 7... h4 (7... a6
8. Be3 Nbd7 9. Qd2 h4 10. Nd1 b5 11. Nec3 b4 12. Na4 Nf8 13. b3 Ng6 14. Nab2 a5
15. a4 Nh5 16. Nf2 Bd7 17. Rg1 Qb6 18. g3 O-O-O 19. O-O-O hxg3 20. hxg3 Nf6 21.
Rg2 Rh7 22. Be2 Rdh8 23. f4 Ne8 24. f5 Nf8 25. Nbd3 Qd8 26. Ne1 g6 27. g4 g5
28. Nf3 f6 29. Nd3 Kb8 30. Bf1 Bc8 31. Ng1 Nd7 32. Ne2 Bb7 33. Ng3 Ng7 34. Be2
Qe8 35. Bf3 {1/2-1/2 Kuemin,S (2385)-Atlas,V (2453)/Switzerland 2007}) 8. Be3
Nbd7 {This natural move isn't a mistake, but it will make it harder for me to
trade off my bad bishop. (For Black in the Czech Benoni, "trade off the bad
bishop" is code for "equalize.") I should have taken the direct approach: 8. ..
. Nh7! 9. Qd2 Bg5. If White spurns the trade (for example, 9. Qc2 Bg5 10. Bf2),
then Black gets dark square control and a comfortable position.} 9. Qd2 a6 {
1/2-1/2 Kuemin,S (2385)-Atlas,V (2453)/Switzerland 2007.} 10. Nc1 {
[Funaro: with the idea of Nd3 followed by b4 or f4]} Nf8 {A step in the wrong
direction. I was charmed by the idea of invading the dark squares (with ...Ng6,
...Nh5 and ...Nhf4), but I'll never get the chance to carry out this plan.
Soon my pieces will have nothing to do but languish in their cramped quarters.
Too bad; I could have fought back with 10. ..Nh7! followed by ...Bg5, as in
Enevolsen - Lokenvenc. still hoping to swap off my bad bishop. Perhaps what
discouraged me was the line 10. ...Nh7 11. g3 Bg5 12. f4, when White has
gained space and I can't trade bishops. Still, after 12. ...Bf6!?, it's
unclear which player benefits most from the kingside tension} (10... Nh7 11.
Bd3 Bg5 12. N1e2 Bxe3 13. Qxe3 Nhf8 14. O-O-O Ng6 15. g3 Nf6 16. f4 Bd7 17. Kb1
Qa5 18. f5 Ne7 19. Nc1 b5 20. Nb3 Qb6 21. g4 bxc4 22. Bxc4 a5 23. Rhg1 a4 24.
Nd2 Rb8 25. b3 Qb4 26. Qd3 Nc8 27. Ka1 axb3 28. Bxb3 Nb6 29. Bc4 Ke7 30. Rb1
Qa5 31. h3 Na4 32. Nxa4 Bxa4 33. Rgc1 Nd7 34. Qc3 Rb4 35. a3 Rxb1+ 36. Nxb1 Qa7
37. Nd2 Nb6 38. Rb1 Ra8 39. Ka2 Bd7 40. Qd3 Qa5 41. Rb3 Ba4 42. Rb2 Kd8 43. Nb1
Nxc4 44. Qxc4 Kc7 45. Qc1 f6 46. g5 Qa6 47. gxf6 gxf6 48. Qh6 Qc4+ 49. Ka1 Qd4
50. Ka2 Qc4+ 51. Ka1 Qd4 52. Ka2 {
1/2-1/2 Enevoldsen,J (2350)-Lokvenc,J/Moscow 1956}) 11. Nd3 Ng6 12. b4 {
The first signal that something is amiss. I have to pause and defend my
queenside.} b6 13. a4 a5 14. bxc5 bxc5 15. Nb5 {Just when I was relieved to
have the queenside mostly closed, I realized something terrible: 15. ...Nh5?
16. Nxc5! dxc5 17. d6 gives White a huge, probably winning advantage.
Obviously, c5 needs protection, so I'll have to swallow my pride and retreat.}
Nd7 16. Rg1 $2 Kf8 {Now that Nb5-c7+ is no longer an issue, the c5-sack is
less worrisome. Still, I'm behind on space and I have no clear way to improve
my position. Muhammad, on the other hand, can (and will) slowly expand on the
kingside.} ({Interesting is} 16... O-O 17. g3 Nb6 18. Nb2 f5 $1) 17. Be2 Nb6
18. Nb2 Bf6 19. g3 {Perfect timing. I was planning to sacrifice a pawn with ...
Nf4, but now that's impossible. Over the course of the next several moves, I
kept looking for ways to make a ...Nf4 piece sacrifice work, but that was
lunacy: there's simply no decent sacrifice to be found.} hxg3 20. hxg3 Rh2 21.
O-O-O Ba6 {There's nothing better to do.} (21... Nf4 $4 22. gxf4 exf4 23. Bxf4
Bxb2+ 24. Qxb2 Nxc4 25. Qxg7+ {mate in 6. This would have put a serious
damper on my tournament. I hate that I spent so much time stewing over such a
terrible line.}) 22. Rh1 Rg2 23. Rdg1 Rxg1+ 24. Rxg1 Bb7 25. Rh1 Kg8 {
Now I'm just playing with a "come and get me" attitude. White is certainly
better, but how can he breakthrough?} 26. Bf1 Kf8 {
Had I realized the significance of 27. Bh3, I'd have played 26. ...Bc8 first.}
27. Bh3 Bc8 $2 28. Bf5 {Yikes! Didn't think of that ... Now 28. ...Ne7? 29.
Rh8+ Ng8 30. Bh7 wins, but I can't allow Bf5xg6. That means my reply is forced:
} Bxf5 29. exf5 Ne7 30. g4 {I'm in big trouble. 30. ...Ng8? 31. g5 Be7 is way
too passive, so I'll have to try something a little more drastic and hope for
the best...} e4 $2 {My bishop sees the light of day for the first time in the
game! My idea: trade on b2, take on c4, and occupy e5 with a knight.
Unfortunately, it/^s too late for me to defend this way: White can land a
knock-out blow right now.} 31. Bg5 $6 $18 {He missed his chance! The simple 31.
fxe4 would gain an advantage. Muhammad must have missed the cute tactic
coming up; otherwise, he never would have played into this position.} ({
The slickest way to win was} 31. Bf4 $18 {(Fritz), hitting the d-pawn. Now
Bxd6, winning a pawn and pinning the knight, is a death sentence for Black.} {
So, the only options are} Bxb2+ $2 ({or} 31... e3 32. Rh8+ (32. Qh2 Be5 33.
Bxe5 dxe5 34. Qxe5 $18) 32... Ng8 33. Qh2 e2 34. Bxd6+ Be7 35. Bg3 Nd7 36. Qxe2
$18) 32. Qxb2 Nxc4 33. Rh8+ Ng8 34. Qc3 $18 {
Either way, Black is well on his way to the gallows.}) 31... Ng8 32. Bxf6 $2
Qxf6 33. fxe4 $2 (33. g5 $5 Qxf5 34. fxe4 Qe5 (34... Qxe4 35. Re1 Qg4 36. Nxd6
$16)) 33... Nxc4 $1 $132 {Pow! After a check on a1, the h1-rook hangs.
Suddenly White's pawns look overextended, and there's an awful lot of air
around White's king!} 34. Qc3 $2 $17 Qg5+ 35. Kc2 Nxb2 (35... Qxg4 $132 {
The knight is held tactically.}) 36. Kxb2 Qxg4 {For the first time in the game,
I'm ahead on material! I even threaten ...Qg2+ and ...Qxh1. White has no
choice but to counterattack.} 37. Rh7 Rb8 (37... Ra6 $5 {
A defensive move, which holds a4 and d6.}) 38. Ka3 f6 {This looked like the
only way to make progress, but now that both kings are exposed, perpetual
check is inevitable. Or so it seems...} (38... Rd8 $5 39. Qxa5 Ke7 40. Na7 $11)
39. Qxa5 $2 {Stephen offered a draw with this move. In desperate time pressure,
I accepted (1/2-1/2), since I saw nothing better than a perpetual check. After
39. ...Qxe4 40. Qa7 Qb4+ 41. Ka2 Qc4+ 42. Ka3 Qd3+ 43. Kb2!, it appears Black
can't ever take on d5 with check. 40. /\Qf3+! 41. Kb2 Qg2+!! 42. Kb3 (since
Ka3? or Kc3? meets /\Re8! and a winning attack) /\Qxd5+ 43. Ka3 Qf3+ 44. Kb2
Qg2+ 45. Ka3 Ra8, with what might be a win. That means White should have
protected his e-pawn by 39. Qc2! or 39. Qd3! instead, with equality (Fritz).
It was a thrill to draw an IM, but since my opening preparation completely
backfired, my revenge was only semi-sweet. Still, I was lucky to escape
alive. Looking back at this game and the Goldsby game from last issue, I
feel as though a guardian angel was watching over me!} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Queen of Hearts"]
[Site "Montgomery, AL"]
[Date "2007.02.18"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Dietsch, Niel"]
[Black "Melvin, Miles"]
[Result "0-1"]
{I took up chess again after 3 decades of inactivity about three months before the Queen of Hearts
tournament. For this reason, I was entered unrated in the first tournament of my chess-playing
renaissance. In spite of it being the one game I lost, I regard it as my most interesting. The
opening is a Two Knights Defense/Max Lange Attack with an early Bxf7 attack in response to a book opening.
(notes by Dietsch)}
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d4 exd4
5. O-O Bc5 6. e5 Ng4
{With my shallow book knowledge of openings, I thought at the time Black played this that it was an error. After the game, I discovered that Ng4 is a standard line in MCO 14. }
7. Bxf7+
{If Black takes the Bishop, Ng5+ gets black Knight in return with Qxg4. }
7. ... Kf8
{Black decides to avoid the exchange. }
8. Re1 Ngxe5?
{Black launches a series of trades but miscalculates the end result. }
9. Nxe5 Nxe5 10. Rxe5 Kxf7
11. Rxc5 Qe7
{Black is now a piece behind. }
12. Qf3+ Ke8 13. Qh5+ g6
14. Qe5 Qxe5 15. Rxe5 Kf7
16. Bh6 d6 17. Rd5 Re8
18. Nd2 Bf5 19. Rxd4 Re6
20. g4 g5 21. Bxg5 Rg8
22. h4 Bg6 23. Nf3 c6
24. Rf4+ Kg7 25. Re1
{White seeks to trade pieces and then make use of his piece advantage to win. h5 would have been a stronger move. }
25. ... Rxe1+ 26. Nxe1 Re8
27. Kf1 Bf7 28. a3 b5
29. b4 Ra8 30. Nf3 a5
31. Bf6+ Kg8 32. Ng5 Bc4+
33. Kg2 axb4 34. axb4 Ra2
35. Bd4 {A better move for White would have been Be7.}
35. ... Rxc2
{At this point White has a winning game. I thought next to threaten the black pawns, stop h6 and set the stage for further kingside pawn advances with a Rf6 move. Yet I was concerned over Black’s options for counterplay, specifically the possibility of perpetual check by the bishop and rook. I spent ten intense minutes assessing this and concluded that it should not be a problem. Breathing a sigh of relief, I relaxed and promptly set my rook down on the wrong square! }
36. Rf7?? Bxf7
{Oops. The tournament rookie gets a lesson in focus as Black finally gets some return on his solid defensive play. }
37. Kg3 Rc4
{Black now has only to get rid of the defenders against his pawn advance. }
38. Nf3 Bd5
{Black will trade minor pieces and take White’s last queenside pawn. There is no way to stop Black’s queenside pawns. White resigns.}
0-1
[Event "Queen of Hearts"]
[Site "Montgomery, AL"]
[Date "2007.02.17"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Muhammad, Stephen A."]
[Black "Downs, Ray"]
[Result "1-0"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 c6 4. e3 Nf6
5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4
7. Bxc4 b5 8. Be2 Bb7
9. Bd2 a6 10. O-O c5
11. a4 b4 12. Na2 a5
13. Bb5 Bd6 14. Nc1 O-O
15. Nb3 Ne4 16. Rc1 Ng5
17. Nxg5 Qxg5 18. e4 Bxh2+
19. Kxh2 Qh4+ 20. Kg1 Nf6
21. Nxc5 Ng4 22. Bf4 1-0
[Event "Queen of Hearts"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2007.02.18"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Melvin, Bill"]
[Black "Olson, Keenan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C44"]
[Annotator "Gregory Funaro"]
[PlyCount "77"]
{This game demonstrates the strategic advantage of an absolute pin. Play is
dominated by a long-term advantage rather than by short-term attacks and
threats. It also shows that Bill's intuitive ability is not just an extensive
calculation of variations. At times my kibitzers, Fritz 6 and Toga II 1.2.1,
have a hard time understanding the value of the pin. (Notes by Greg Funaro))}
1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3.
Nf3 Nc6 4. c3 d5 5. exd5 Qxd5 6. cxd4 Bg4 7. Be2 Nf6 8. Nc3 Bb4 9. O-O Bxc3 10.
bxc3 O-O 11. h3 Bf5 12. c4 Qe4 13. d5 Nb4 14. Nd4 Rfe8 15. Bf3 Qe5 16. Bb2 Bd3
17. Qb3 Bxf1 18. Qxb4 Bd3 19. Ne6 $5 Qd6 20. c5 Qd7 21. Nxg7 $1 Kxg7 {
# What is White's best move in this position. Bill told me that he was feeling
pretty good about white's position right about here.} 22. Qc3 $2 ({
Toga & Fritz:} 22. g4 $1 {preventing Qf5 and threatening g4 or Qd4.} Bg6 23.
Qf4 Qe7 24. d6 cxd6 25. cxd6 Qd8 26. g5 $18) 22... Qf5 $1 $19 {After this move,
Bill tells me he realized things were not looking as good as he thought. He
simply overlooked that the queen was capable of protecting the bishop and
knight.} 23. Bg4 Qg6 24. Rd1 ({Interesting is} 24. Bh5 $5 Qg5 25. f4 Qh4 26.
Qxd3 Qxh5 27. Qg3+ Qg6 28. Qg5 Qxg5 29. fxg5 Kg6 30. Bxf6 {
which is probably equal, though white will have to fight for it.}) 24... Be4
25. f3 Bf5 26. Rd4 {
There is no doubt that it is now Black that has the better position.} Re2 $2 {
Before setting out to seize the initiative, Black should remove White's one
advantage, the pin on the knight. White is down a rook and white'scompensation
will quickly come to an end after the pin is removed.} ({After} 26... Kf8 $3
$19 {the pin on the knight is removed and after} 27. Rf4 Nxd5 28. Qh8+ Ke7 29.
Qe5+ Be6 {Black is winning.}) 27. Rf4 Rc2 28. Qd4 {# 29 ...} h5 $2 {
This move throws black's advantage away.} ({Black should remove one of white's
attacking pieces, the bishop on b2. Although Black is up a piece, making
progress will still prove difficult.} 28... Rxb2 $5 29. Qxb2 {Then the Black
bishop to d3 or c2 or b1. Notice that white still has the pin on the knight, a
strategical advantage. The engine kibitzers, Toga and Fritz, give Black a
slight edge. However, it is hard to see how Black is going to make progress.})
29. Rxf5 {White seizes the opportunity. 29 ...} hxg4 $2 {
Black misses the chance to keep the semi equal.} ({Unclear is} 29... Rxb2 30.
Qxb2 hxg4 {
and the position is probably equal, though the kibitzers favor White.}) 30.
Rxf6 $3 {The point! Black now has no adequate way to counter the discovered
check. 30 ...} Rc1+ 31. Kf2 $1 g3+ 32. Ke3 $1 Re8+ 33. Kf4 {
And black is out of good moves. 33 ...} Qh7 {Diagram #} 34. Re6+ ({
Aesthetically appealing is} 34. Kg4 $1 {This move was suggested by the
kibitzers Toga and Fritz. It's too bad the kibitzers can't appreciate it! One
cannot but notice how white has complete domination of the board, and even the
white king keeps the black queen out of the game. I leave it to the reader to
find White's best move after 34 ...} Rce1) 34... Kf8 35. Rxe8+ Kxe8 36. Qe3+
Kd7 37. Qxc1 Qh4+ 38. Ke3 Qh6+ 39. f4 1-0
[Event "Huntsville Chess Club Championship"]
[Site "Huntsville, AL"]
[Date "2007.05.03"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Larson, Gerald"]
[Black "Funaro, Gregory"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B42"]
[WhiteElo "2103"]
[BlackElo "1760"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2007.05.14"]
{Notes by Funaro}
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Bc5 6. Nb3 Ba7 7. Qe2 Nc6 8.
Be3 d6 9. O-O Bxe3 {As John Emms says in his Sicililian Kan book, Black can
resists exchanging on e3 for the time being, but normally he will have to
acquiesce in the long run.} 10. Qxe3 Nf6 {Diagram #} 11. Nc3 {To borrow again
from John Emm regarding this position ... 11 Nc3 promises nothing: 11 ..0-0 12
Rad1 Qc7 13 Kh1 b5 14 f4 Bb7 15 Qh3 b4 16 Ne2 Rfd8 17 Rde1 h6! and if anything
Black was a bit better Padevsky-Smyslov, Monte Carlo 1968. Critical is the 11
c4.} (11. c4 O-O 12. Nc3 {
I was prepared to go into the Kalashnikov pawn structure.} e5 (12... Ne5 {
A viable alternative.} 13. Be2 Qc7 14. Rfd1 {In Karpov-Hubner, Graz 1972,
White is only a little better and N:c4 is unclear in Klovans-Tunik, Pardubice
1994.}) 13. Rfd1 Be6 14. Be2 Qb8 {Not only defending the d6 pawn and making
room for Rfd8, but also preparing for b5! I had prepared an improvement in
this line and was hoping to try it out on Gerald. I guess I'll have to wait
and see if I get a chance in some other game.}) 11... e5 12. Nd5 (12. Rad1 Be6
13. Be2 Qc7 14. Rd2 O-O 15. f4 exf4 16. Qxf4 Bxb3 17. axb3 Ne5 18. Rfd1 Rad8
19. Kh1 Rfe8 20. Rd4 b5 {1/2-1/2(50) Polgar, Sofia - Spangenberg, Hugo H /
World ch junior (7), Matinhos 1994}) 12... b5 (12... Be6 {In hindsight and
post analysis 12 ... Be6 is better. I imagined that 12 ... b5 prevented c4,
which is doesn't. Black needs to keep an eye open f4.} 13. c4 Bxd5 (13... O-O
14. f4 exf4 15. Rxf4 Bxd5 16. exd5 Ne5 17. Raf1 Re8 {=+}) 14. exd5 Nb4 15. Bf5
b5 16. a3 bxc4 17. axb4 cxb3 {=}) 13. c4 (13. a4 bxa4 14. Rxa4 O-O 15. Rfa1
Nxd5 16. exd5 Ne7 17. Be2 Bb7 18. c4 Rb8 {+= And white has an edge.}) (13. f4
O-O 14. a4 b4 15. Be2 Be6 16. fxe5 Nxd5 17. exd5 Bxd5 18. Rad1 Bxb3 19. Rxd6
Qc7 20. Qxb3 Nxe5 21. Qxb4 Rab8 22. Qe4 f6 {= This is probably equal.}) (13.
Nxf6+ gxf6 (13... Qxf6 14. a4 bxa4 15. Rxa4 O-O 16. f4 (16. Qb6 Bd7 17. Rxa6
Rab8 18. Qe3 Nb4 19. Rb6 Be6 20. Rxb8 Rxb8 21. Ra1 g6 22. Nc1 d5 23. c3 d4 24.
cxd4 exd4 25. Qd2 {+=}) 16... exf4 17. Rxf4 Qxb2 {=+}) 14. c4 O-O 15. cxb5 Nb4
16. Rfd1 axb5 17. Bxb5 Be6 {
+/- I think most chess players would prefer White's position here.}) 13...
Nxd5 14. cxd5 Ne7 15. Rfc1 (15. f4 Ng6 16. fxe5 Nxe5 17. Rac1 O-O 18. Nd4 Qb6 {
=}) 15... O-O 16. Qe1 $2 {This is a bad plan on White's part. Black is better.
Black's pieces are well placed, as oppposed to White's knight and bishop, who
do not look very happy. I thought White was looking to post the knight on c6
via Na5.} (16. Rc3 f5 17. Rac1 fxe4 18. Bxe4 Bf5 19. f3 Rf7 {=}) (16. a4 bxa4
17. Rxa4 f5 18. Na5 Bd7 19. Nc6 Qe8 20. Nxe7+ Qxe7 21. Rc7 Rac8 22. Rac4 fxe4
23. Qxe4 g6 24. Qe3 Qf7 25. b4 {+=}) 16... f5 $1 {Black siezes the initiative.}
17. Qa5 {Diagram # Interesting, I was expecting the knight. White attacks c7.
But does a rook on c7 really cause Black any trouble. Up to this point I was
moving pretty fast, because I was on familiar territory. I take nearly ten
minutes to decide if I wanted to go after a kingside intitiative, now that the
queen and rook were planning an invansion on c7. Or should I take the e pawn.
Being that this position is even I decided to drum up a kingside initiative.} (
17. Na5 Ng6 (17... Bd7 18. a4 fxe4 19. Bxe4 bxa4 20. Qb4 Nf5 21. Nc6 Qg5 {=})
18. g3 fxe4 19. Bxe4 Bf5 20. Nc6 Qg5 21. Bg2 {=}) 17... Qe8 {
Black goes after the kingside.} (17... fxe4 18. Qxd8 (18. Bxe4 Bb7 19. Rd1 Rc8
{This position looks about equal.}) 18... Rxd8 19. Bxe4 Bb7 20. Rd1 Rac8 21. f3
g6 {=+}) 18. Rc7 fxe4 (18... f4 19. Bxb5 axb5 20. Qxa8 Qg6 21. Rxc8 Rxc8 22.
Qb7 Kf7) 19. Bxe4 Bf5 20. f3 Rf6 ({14:+0.00} 20... Bxe4 21. fxe4 Qh5 22. Qb6
Rac8 23. Rxe7 Rc2 24. Rc7 Rxg2+ 25. Kxg2 Qe2+ 26. Kg1 Qg4+ 27. Kh1 Qxe4+ 28.
Kg1 Qg4+ 29. Kh1 Qe4+) 21. Qd2 ({14:+0.00} 21. Qb6 Bxe4 22. fxe4 Qf7 23. Nd2
Rf8 24. Nf3 Rxf3 25. gxf3 Qxf3 26. Rxe7 Qg4+ 27. Kh1 Qxe4+ 28. Kg1 Qg6+ 29. Kh1
Qe4+) 21... Rc8 (21... Ng6 22. Bxf5 Rxf5 23. Rac1 Nf4 24. Na5 Qg6 25. g3 {
Black has a slight edge, but it is difficult to make progress.} Raf8) 22. Rac1
Qd8 (22... Rxc7 23. Rxc7 Bxe4 24. fxe4 Ng6 25. g3 Qf8 26. Qe1 Nh4 27. Nd2 Qb8
28. Rc3 Qa7+ 29. Qe3 {=}) 23. Rxc8 (23. Qa5 Rxc7 24. Qxc7 Qxc7 25. Rxc7 Rf7 26.
Rxe7 Rxe7 27. Bxf5 Rc7 {~}) 23... Bxc8 24. Qc2 Qb6+ 25. Kh1 Bf5 26. Nd2 Bxe4 {
Now I am scrambling to make time control!} 27. Nxe4 Rf8 (27... Rg6 {=}) 28. Qd3
h6 29. h3 Nf5 $6 (29... Rd8 {=}) (29... Qa5 {=}) 30. Rc6 Qa5 {I had thirty
seconds left on the clock after reaching time control! I felt the position was
still equal and later computer analysis confirms this. I also started to
realize that taking the a pawn was a reasonable candidate.} 31. a3 (31. Qb1 b4
32. Nxd6 Nd4 33. Qc1 Nxc6 34. dxc6 Qc7 {=}) 31... Qe1+ 32. Kh2 Ne3 33. Ng3 $2 {
Diagram #} Rxf3 $1 34. Qg6 Qxg3+ (34... Qf2 $3 {
The winning chances, if any, belong to black.} 35. Rc8+ Rf8 36. Rxf8+ Qxf8 37.
Kg1 Qf6 38. Qxf6 gxf6 39. Ne4 Nxd5 40. Nxd6) 35. Qxg3 Nf1+ 36. Kg1 Rxg3 37.
Kxf1 Rb3 38. Rxa6 Rxb2 39. Rxd6 e4 (39... Rd2 $3 {The position is drawn.}) 40.
Rb6 Ra2 41. Rxb5 Rxa3 42. Ke2 Rd3 43. Rb4 Rxd5 44. Rxe4 1/2-1/2