NM Mark Kernighan vs. FM Steve
Round 12, April 7, 2005
Queen's Gambit Declined, Lasker Variation
Kenilworth Chess Club Championship, Kenilworth NJ USA
Annotated by Michael Goeller, based on comments by
I told Mark he would
likely face the King's Indian again. Oh well. You can
never know for sure what to expect from Steve.
e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bg5 h6
The Lasker Variation
of the Queen's Gambit Declined, which Steve has studied
and played for decades.
More usual is 6.Bh4
0–0 7.e3 Ne4 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 followed by the exchange
of Knights, which is the main line of the Lasker Variation,
where the exchange of two minor pieces makes Black's
defensive task easier. The Bishop retreat to f4 has
been played -- including by Tarrasch and Larsen --
but it is much less usual and probably less challenging.
The point of Bg5 is to put pressure on the e4 and d5
squares by attacking the Knight at f6, so most people
retreat to h4 to keep up the pressure. Moving the Bishop
to f4 also makes it more vulnerable to attacks by Nh5
or (after dxc4) Nd5, though it does have the advantage
of securing control over the e5 square, which White
should exploit by playing Ne5.
Position after 6.Bf4!?
common move. Black can also consider two more immediately
a) 6...dxc4!? 7.e3 (7.Qa4+ c6
8.Qxc4 0–0 9.e3 Qb6 10.Qb3 Qxb3 11.axb3 Nbd7=
Krajewski-Burmakin) 7...Nd5 8.Be5 f6 9.Bg3 Bb4!? 10.Qc2
b5 11.a4 c6 12.axb5 cxb5 13.e4 Nxc3 14.bxc3 Be7 15.Bxb8
Rxb8 16.Rxa7 Qb6 17.Ra1 0–0 18.Be2 Bb7= as
in the earliest recorded game with this line, Tarrasch-Halprin,
b) 6...c5!? 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.e3 Nc6
9.cxd5 exd5 10.Bd3 0–0 as in Bent Larsen-Daniel
King, New York 1990, where Black gained activity
in exchange for an isolated d-pawn.
idea, designed to rule out Black's typical counterplay
by ...c5 or ...b6 and ...c5. But the c-pawn can also
now become a target.
Black can chase White's
Bishop with 7...Nh5 8.Bd2 but there is no good follow-up
on the kingside.
8.b4 a5 9.a3 axb4 10.axb4 Rxa1 11.Qxa1
Position after 12.bxc5
Black risks sacrificing a pawn in
order to make it impossible for White to castle or
finish his kingside development easily. Steve now thought
that Black was practically winning, though any computer
program you ask thinks that White is much better.
Steve thought best was to grab the e5 square with
13.Ne5 Nfd7 (13...Ne4!?) 14.Qa5 which looks better
than the game continuation, if still better for Black:
14...Nxe5 15.Bxe5 Qc8 16.Qxc7 (16.Bxc7?! Nc6 17.Qb6
Nxd4 or 16.e3? Bxf1 17.Rxf1 Nc6 18.Qxc7 Qa8 give Black
a strong attack) 16...Nc6! and Black is better. The
critical issue always is that White is behind in development
and his king is in the center. Those are now things
that White just cannot repair.
Steve thought that giving up the c-pawn for activity
was the best way to emphasize White's lack of development.
Black can also preserve the c-pawn by 13...c6 14.Bc7
Qc8 15.Bxb8 (15.Ne5!? Nfd7) 15...Qxb8 16.Qxa6?
(16.Ne5 Bd8 17.Qa3 Qb7 18.g3!? Bc7 19.Bg2 Ra8 =+)
16...Qb4 17.Qd3 Ra8! 18.e3 Ne4 19.Nd2 Nxc3 20.f3 Ra2
No better is
14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Bxc7 Qd5!
16.Ne5 Qxd4 17.e3 Qb2 with a winning position for Black.
Position after 15.Nxe4
An essential zwichenzug (or in-between move).
Giving back the pawn and making
Black's task somewhat easier. Black gets excellent
compensation if White tries to hold onto the pawn by
16.Qa4 dxe4! (or 16...Qxc7 17.Nc3 Qb7 18.e3 Bxf1 19.Kxf1
Ra8 with the initiative)
17.Qxc6 exf3 18.Qb6! (otherwise Bd8 wins the pinned
Bishop at c7) 18...fxe2 19.Bxe2 Bxe2 20.Kxe2 Qa8!?
(20...e5!? 21.dxe5? Qg4+–+ or 20...Qd7!? are
also possible) and Black has a strong initiative for
17.Qb6 Nxd4 18.Nxd4 Bxd4 19.e3
Mark considered 19.Kd2!?
Qa8! which just emphasizes the desperate situation
of his uncastled King.
19...Bc3+ 20.Kd1 Bxf1 21.Rxf1
Position after 21.Rxf1
Q: "What do you do when the King is in the
22.Kc2 d4 23.Kb3
Or 23.Kd3 Qf5+ 24.e4 Qf4
White to block the Queen with his c-pawn. Black infiltrates
more quickly by keeping his Queen in the center by
either 23...Qd7! 24.c6?! Qd5+! or 23...Qf5! 24.Kc4
(24.exd4? Qd3!!) 24...Qc2 (not 24...dxe3? 25.Kxc3
e2 26.Re1 Qxf2 27.Kd2 Ra8 28.Bxe5± but perhaps
equally good are 24...Qg4!? or
24...Rc8!?) with a strong attack on White's wandering
24.c6 Qe8 25.Qb5 Qe6+ 26.Qc4 Qe7 27.Bb6
Position after 28.c7
onlookers were not sure this was possible since they
overlooked the critical following move. The defensive
28...Rc8 should also win according to Steve - as confirmed
later by Fritz.
29.Kc2 d3+!! 30.Kc1?
pressure. But there is no hope for White: 30.Kxd3
Qd7+ 31.Ke2 (31.Kxc3 Rc6) 31...Rc6–+ wins the
passed c-pawn, leaving Black a piece up with a continuing
30...Qa3+ and mate next move.
Updated 04.08.2005 |