(1) Moldovan,John (1806) - Kernighan,Mark (2224) [A06]
2nd Irving Ellner Memorial Kenilworth, NJ (3.1), 30.04.2009
[Moldovan,John]

G/40+5 A06 Reti Opening Nimzowitsch Attack

1.Nf3 c5 2.e3
[A change from the 2.c4 & loss-resulting Symmetrical English we discussed in February (Checkmate Championship).]

2...d5 3.b3
[Options include : 3.d4 which we've debated 3x (most recently in the 2006 KCC Championship); 3.Nc3!? Reversed 2Ns Tango; & 3.Bb5+ I do want my lsB on b5 but would rather have it pin a N on c6 than be challenged by the counterpart cleric at d7.]

3...Nf6 4.Bb2 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.0-0 e6 7.Bxc6 Bxc6 8.Ne5
We are following my 2008 KCC Championship game vs. Ari Minkov where you'll find more extensive opening notes.

8...Qc7
[This is my suggested improvement over the aforementioned's 8...Bb5 ]

9.f4
[Transposing into a Bird's Opening is okay but 9.d3 /\0-0-0 10.Nxc6N Qxc6 11.Nd2 was more flexible.]

9...0-0-0
Diagram

[Clearing e8 & looking to preserve the B pair is best. 9...Bd6 (34 gp; 38%); & 9...Be7 (33 gp; 23%) are far more common but less successful.]

10.d3
[>=10.Nxc6N Qxc6 11.Qe2 ]

10...Be8! 11.Qe2N
[There have been 4 games with 11.Nd2 ; & 1 with 11.a3 ]

11...Nd7 12.Nd2 f6 13.Nxd7 Rxd7
Clock check : White has 32 minutes left, Black 20.

14.c4
[This weakens d3. 14.e4 , with a much simpler, more harmonious position, was a good alternative.; 14.a4 was another.]

14...Bg6
Missed this. Now, having to find an answer for the 15...cxd4 menace & decide where my Rs should go, I start using big chunks of time.

15.d4 Kb8 16.Rac1
[>=16.Rfc1 when a2 is defended & Black cannot take advantage of the f4P with 16...cxd4 because White would have 17.cxd5= ]

16...Qa5
Diagram



17.a3!?
[Rybka 2.3 likes 17.cxd5 Rxd5 18.e4 Rd8 19.Nc4= /\Qxa2? 20.Qe3+/= ]

17...dxc4 18.Rxc4
[>=18.Nxc4= /\Qb5?! planned by both players 19.b4!+/= Rybka 2.3 19...cxb4?? 20.Nd6!!+- winning Black's Q or mating. - Kernighan]

18...cxd4 19.Rfc1?
[This threatens mate but turns out badly. 19.Bxd4= /\b5 (Not 19...Qxa3?? 20.Ra1+- Qd6? 21.Bxa7+ Ka8 22.Rc8+ Qb8 23.Rxb8# ); nor 19...Bxa3?? 20.Ra4+- ) 20.Rc6 Bxa3 21.Ra1 was correct.]

19...Bxa3!
Now this works.

20.Bxa3
[>=20.Ra1 dxe3 21.Nf1 Kernighan 21...Qb6 22.Rxa3 Bd3 23.Qxe3 Qxe3+ 24.Nxe3 Bxc4 25.bxc4 Rybka; 20.Ra4 Qxa4 21.bxa4 Bxb2 Kernighan 22.Rc4 dxe3 23.Qxe3 Bd3 24.Qxe6 Rhd8 Rybka]

20...Qxa3 21.exd4 Rxd4 22.Qxe6 Rxc4 23.Qxc4 Qe7
Stopping 24.Qc7+ Ka8 25.Qc8+ Rxc8 26.Rxc8# & consolidating the P advantage.

24.Kf2
[>=24.Nf3 /\Qe3+?! The Dame should stay in touch with c7. 25.Kh1 a6 26.Qc7+ Ka7 27.Re1=/+ ]

24...Re8
Diagram

[>=24...Bf7 Rybka]

25.Qc5?
[Trading Qs makes Black's conversion task rather easy. 25.Nf3 /\Qe3+?! 26.Kg3-/+ would've offered more resistance.]

25...Qxc5+ 26.Rxc5 Bf7?!
[>=26...Bd3+- threatening to fork my N & K with 27...Re2+.]

27.b4 Rc8 28.Rxc8+ Kxc8 29.Ke3 Kc7 30.Kd4 Kb6 31.Ne4 Bg6 32.Nd6 Kc6 33.Nc4 Bf7 34.Na3?
[Rybka's 34.b5+-/+ /\Kxb5? 35.Nd6+= would have been a much better try.]

34...Be6 35.g3 a6 36.h4 b6 37.Nc2 Bb3 38.Ne3 Be6 39.Nc2 a5 40.bxa5 bxa5 41.Kc3? Kd5 42.Nd4 Bd7 43.Nb3 a4 44.Nd2 a3 45.Kb3 Kd4 46.Kxa3
Resigns was best.

46...Ke3 47.Nc4+ Kf3 48.Nd6 Kxg3 49.Kb4 Kxf4
White resigns An excellent performance by my opponent who made just 1 mistake (26...Bf7?!) throughout. Time left - Moldovan 0:19, Kernighan 0:10 Estimated time used - Moldovan 43:46, Kernighan 43:55 Longest think by White - 7 minutes for 16.Rac1 Longest think by Black - 6 minutes for 9...0-0-0 0-1