Best Games #4

Michael Casella - Scott Massey [B00]

US Open/Parsippany, NJ 2002


1. e4 Nc6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3

Steve showed us the game that made him give up the Nimzo. It began 3. e5 Bf5 4. c3 Qd7 5. Bb5 a6 6. Qa4 Bc2?! 7. b3 e6 8. Bxc6! Qxc6 9. Qxc6+ bxc6 10. Ba3+/= and Black must suffer.

 

3... dxe4 4. d5 Ne5 5. Qd4 Ng6 6. Qxe4 a6 7. Qa4+ Bd7 8. Qb3

 


Position afer 8.Qb3 -- how to defend the b-pawn?

 

8...Qc8!

preserving the possibility of O-O-O, and therefore better than Meyers's recommendation 8... Rb8?! 9. Be3

 

9. Nf3 Nf6 10. a4 e5= 11. Bc4 Bd6

Once things are locked up in the center, Black needs only to defend his e-pawn in order to have a solid foothold from which to build an attack by pushing the f-pawn.

 

12. Bg5 Nh5 13. O-O h6 14. Bd2 f5 15. Ne2 O-O 16. Rfe1 Rb8

Over-protecting the b-pawn to free the Queen, and with the idea of playing on both sides of the board with ...b5!.

 

17. Ng3 Nf6 18. Bc3 b5! 19. axb5 axb5 20. Bf1 Re8 21. h4?!

This has to help Black by weakening the kingside and creating a weak square at g4.

 


Position after 21.h4?!

 

21... Ng4! thematic 22. Bb4 Qb7 23. c3 Qb6 24. Qc2 Bxb4 25. cxb4 e4 26. Nh2 Nxh2 27. Kxh2 Qf6 28. Kg1

28. h5 Qh4+ 29. Kg1 Ne5 30. Qxc7 Ng4->

 

28... Qxh4 29. Ra3?! Ne5 30. Qxc7 Rbc8 31. Qd6 Qf4! 32. Ra6 Rc2 33. Re2 Rc1 34. Re3 Qg5!

The tournament bulletin incorrectly prints 34... Qg4

 

35. Ne2 Nf3+! 36. Rxf3 exf3 37. Nxc1 Re1! 38. Qg3 Rxf1+ 39. Kh2

39. Kxf1? Qxc1#

 

39... Qh5+ 40. Qh3

 


Position after 40.Qh3 -- Black to move and win.

 

40...fxg2!!

and White resigned.

 

0-1

 

[Massey / Stoyko]