(2) Goeller,Michael (2043) - Moldovan,John (1814) [C00]
21st Kenilworth Championship Kenilworth, NJ (2), 20.01.2011
[Moldovan & Fire 1.31]

Last week, while the early winners waited for the opening round to finish, Michael revealed that his new tact was to "play f4 vs. everything" and I remarked "I don't see why it would be so great against the French." Well... as Caissa would have it, the results fell as expected and we were paired for round 2. G/85+5 (delay) C00 French Defense Labourdonnais Variation

1.e4 e6
[I considered 1...c5 2.f4 e6 / g6 but was worried about a double-cross.]

2.f4
As advertised! [For 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 see our game from the 16th Championship (2/2/2006).]

2...d5 3.e5
Diagram



3...Nh6
[This is normally seen at move 5 or 6, following 3...c5 , 4...Nc6 and sometimes 5...Qb6, but I wanted to retain options.]

4.Nf3 c5
[4...b6 5.c3 Qd7!= /\ ...Ba6-xf1 is good, too. (Not 5...Ba6?? 6.Bxa6 Nxa6 7.Qa4+ Qd7 8.Qxa6+- however) ]

5.c3 Nc6
[RR5...Qb6 6.d3 (>=6.Na3 ) 6...Nc6 7.Be2 Be7 8.0-0 Bd7=/+ Guest932771 - Moldovan : G/15+5, Playchess 12/30/2009; 5...b6 6.Na3 Qd7 7.Nc2 (7.Bb5N stops the swap but Black can be happy with 7...Nc6 followed by ...a6.) 7...Be7 8.d4 0-0 9.Ne3 Ba6 10.Bxa6 Nxa6 11.0-0 Glek - Rusanov : Dagomys 2010 11...Rac8 (or 11...f5= ) 12.Qe2 Nb8= ]

6.Na3
[6.Be2 Bd7 7.0-0 Be7 8.a3?!N (8.Na3 0-0 9.Nc2= ) 8...Qb6 9.Kh1 tajocar - Moldovan : G/15, Chess Cube 10/14/2010 9...0-0=/+ ]

6...a6!?
An attempt to take the game off known paths. Afterwards, my opponent said ...a6 is "always bad" in these positions but, since I am able to maintain the balance, how can that possibly be? Is it because the weak ...a6 countered an equally inferior move by White?! Perhaps. Whatever or whoever you want to believe, there is a drawback to ...a6: It doesn't fight for the advantage. [>=6...Qb6 7.Nc2 Bd7= /\8.a3 (?!) 8...c4 9.d4 Harders - Brockmann : Schleswig Holstein 1991 9...Na5=/+ ; RR6...Be7 7.Nc2 f5 8.d4 0-0 9.Be2 Bd7 10.0-0 Rc8 11.Kh1 cxd4 12.cxd4 Nf7 13.Rg1 Kh8= De Saint Amant - Staunton : 4th match game, Paris 1843 (unofficial World Ch.); 6...Nf5 7.Nc2 d4?! (>=7...Be7 8.Bd3 Nh4= ) 8.Bd3 Qb6 9.Qe2+/= Stripunsky - Nakamura : U.S. Championship. Saint Louis 2010]

7.Nc2 Bd7
Diagram



8.a3N
[Predecessor: 8.g3 Nf5 9.Bh3 Be7 10.0-0= Arztmann - Fruechel : Feffernitz 2008]

8...Be7 9.b4 b6
[>=9...0-0 /\10.bxc5 Bxc5 11.d4 Be7 with play against the backward c-pawn and/or on the light squares. For example: 12.Ne3 Na5 with ideas of putting the steed on c4 or trading clerics 13.Bd3 Qc7 (13...Bb5= ) 14.Qc2 hitting h7 and looking to gain a target by inducing ...g6 14...Ba4! 15.Qxa4!? (15.Bxh7+ Kh8 16.Qb1 Qxc3+=/+ ) 15...Qxc3+ 16.Ke2 b5! 17.Bd2 Qxd2+[] 18.Nxd2 bxa4 19.Bc2 Rfc8 20.Bxa4 Rc3 21.Rhc1 Rxa3 22.Rxa3 Bxa3 23.Rc7 ]

10.d4
[Not 10.Bxa6? Rxa6 11.b5 because of 11...Nxe5! 12.bxa6 Nd3+ 13.Kf1 Ng4-/+ ]

10...cxd4 11.cxd4 Qc7
[11...b5 + ...Qb6 was best.]

12.Be3
[>=12.Bd3 making the Nh6 stay put.]

12...Nf5
Diagram



13.Bf2
[I expected 13.Rc1 ]

13...h5?
This protects the outpost but is imprecise. [13...a5! 14.b5 Na7 15.a4 Qc3+ 16.Nd2 h5= was right.]

14.Bd3 a5
A move too late. Now White's K can now hide behind the Bd3. [>=14...Nh6 ]

15.b5 Na7 16.a4 Qc3+
Diagram



17.Ke2!
[17.Qd2? drops an Exchange to 17...Bb4 (or 17...Qxa1+ 18.Nxa1 Bb4 ) ]

17...Rc8
Black offers a draw.

18.Qd2
[18.Qb1 was also favorable.]

18...Qxd2+ 19.Kxd2 g6?
[19...Nh6 20.h3 0-0+/= was most circumspect.]

20.h3?!
[>=20.Bxf5 gxf5 21.Bh4+/- ]

20...h4 21.Bxf5 gxf5 22.Rhc1 Kf8
Diagram



23.Ne3?!
[>=23.Nce1! (Goeller), saving 2 tempi vs. the game 23...Kg7 24.Rxc8 Nxc8 25.Rc1 Bd8 26.Bxh4 Bxh4 27.Nxh4 Rxh4 28.Rc7 Rxf4 29.Nf3 Kf8 30.Rxd7 Ke8 31.Rc7 Ne7 32.Rb7 Ng6 33.Rxb6+/- ]

23...Rxc1?!
[>=23...Ke8 24.Rxc8+ Nxc8 25.Rc1 Bd8+/= ]

24.Rxc1 Bd8 25.Nc2?!
[>=25.Bxh4! Bxh4 26.Rc7 Nxb5[] 27.Rxd7 Na3 28.Kd3+/- ]

25...Kg7?
[25...Rh5 26.Nce1 Nc8 27.Ng5 Ne7 28.Nef3 Ng6+/= ]

26.Nce1 Nc8 27.Ng5?
[27.Nxh4! Bxh4 28.Bxh4 Rxh4 29.Rc7 Rxf4 30.Nf3 Ne7 31.Rxd7 Ng6 32.Kc3+/- ]

27...Ne7 28.Nef3+/=
Diagram

Down to 12 minutes vs. 33, White offers a draw. Black accepts. Game drawn by agreement. Time left - Goeller 12:37, Moldovan 33:53 Estimated time used - Goeller 74:43, Moldovan 53:27 Longest think by White - 18 minutes for 15.b5 Longest think by Black - 10 minutes for 11...Qc7. I played badly after the opening and would likely have lost if my opponent had found the tricks or used less time. [28.Nef3 Ng6 29.Ke3 Rh5 30.Be1 Rh8 31.Rc2 Rh5+/= ] 1/2-1/2