Mike Wojcio vs. Steve Stoyko
Round 2 [B07]
Kenilworth Chess Club Championship
January 21, 2005
annotated by Michael Goeller
This game was the biggest
upset of the tournament. Many wondered how a 1600
player could beat a FIDE Master. The answer seems
to be solid play and a little speed on the clock. It
also helps if the master is not feeling well....
d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nd2 Nc6 4.Ngf3 e5!?
A more common treatment of the position
is with 4...Bg4 5.c3 e6 followed by d5.
Position after 5....Bg4
This leads to a roughly equal game. White does best
to treat the position as an open game (such as the
Ruy Lopez) with 6.Bb5! which should yield some edge.
I once played a tragically flawed
brilliancy as Black with this line against Todd Lunna,
maybe 20 years ago in a team match. Lunna had White
and the game went: 6.d5 Ne7 7.Be2 g6 8.0-0 Bg7 9.Ne1
Bxe2!? 10.Qxe2 0-0 11.c4 Nh5 12.Nd3 f5 13.f3 c6 14.b3?
cxd5 (14...Nf4!?) 15.cxd5 Nxd5!! 16.exd5 e4 17.Nb2
Bd4+ 18.Kh1 Ng3+ 19.hxg3 Qg5 20.Rf2 e3 21.Ne4! Qh5+?!
(better 21...fxe4! 22.Rf1 Rac8 with attack)
22.Kg1 exf2+ 23.Nxf2 Rfe8?! (better 23...Rae8!
24.Qd1 f4!! 25.Kf1 Bxf2! 26.Kxf2 fxg3+ 27.Kxg3 g5 28.Kf2
Qh4+ 29.Kf1 g4 with a winning attack)
24.Qd1! (not 24.Qd2? Rac8!-+) 24...Rac8? (best still
was 24...f4!? with some initiative) 25.Rb1! Rc5?!
26.Nc4 Bxf2+ 27.Kxf2 Rd8? 28.Qd4! Rc7 29.Bb2 1-0
-- one of my more memorable losses, which I give
So I identify with Steve's loss in
this game. After his wonderful play in the opening
and middlegame, a single mistake costs him a win
and he eventually loses the game. Chess requires focus
on every move.
6...dxe5 7.Be2 Bc5!? 8.0-0 0-0 9.h3
Bxf3! 10.Bxf3 a5!
White is completely deprived of counterplay.
Position after 10....a5!
11.Nc4 Qe7 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bxf6 Qxf6
14.Qe2 b5 15.Ne3 Bxe3! 16.Qxe3 b4
is better than White's Bishop, he has a slight initiative
on the Queenside, and he is working on dark-square
domination. But if White keeps his cool these small
advantages may not amount to much at all.
If White instead plays 17.cxb4? axb4 -+ Black will
practically be winning since the Knight soon lands
on d4 with total control of everything.
Re-activating the Bishop. It is difficult to see how
Black can try to gain an edge out of the position.
The risky idea 18...a4!? --with the threat of undermining
the c-pawn with a3 -- does not seem to work for Black:
19.Rxd8+! (19.a3 bxc3 20.bxc3 Na5 attacking b3; or
19.cxb4 Nxb4 20.Qc5 Nc6 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.Bb5 Nd4 23.Bxa4
Ne2+ 24.Kh1 Rd2! with more than sufficient compensation
for the pawn) 19...Rxd8 20.a3 bxc3 21.bxc3 Na5 22.Rb1!
Nb3 23.Bb5 Nd2 24.Rb4+= and Black's weak a-pawn falls.
White cannot take back with the Queen or the Knight
comes into d4. The position is rapidly becoming rather
sterile and drawish.
19...Rxd1+ 20.Rxd1 Rd8
Position after 20....Rd8
wants to activate the Queen and put pressure on the
a-pawn and Knight. An alternative idea would be to
grab the key square on the file with 21.Rd5! In any
event, White may even have a slight edge now since
he has a number of ways to create chances while Black
is becoming more on the defensive.
21...Rxd1+ 22.Bxd1 Qd6!?
Forcing the exchange of Queens and giving up the
potential advantage of the Queen and Knight combination.
But Black might be forced to take this route now
since White's Queen is so dominating. Steve likely
expected Mike to make some mistakes later, but
he might have had better practical winning chances
with the Queens still on.
23.Qxd6 cxd6 24.Kf1 Nd8!
the Knight. A different idea might have been
to try locking the position by advancing the f-pawnwith
24...g6?! 25.Bb3 Kg7 26.Bd5 Ne7 27.Ke2 f5 but then
the White King penetrates to the Queenside rather
quickly with 28.Kd3 Kf6 29.Kc4 winning.
26.Bb3 Nf4+ 27.Kf3 g5 and though
Black's Knight has a great position, it is tough
to imagine a way to break through with his King.
Position after 26.g3? Black to play and win!
This is a good square for the Knight on dark
and in front of White's isolated pawn, but it appears
that in focusing on his strategic objective Steve
may have overlooked a simple win: 26...Ng5! forks two
pawns and likely wins the game! White has no
time to run after the a-pawn since 27.Kd3 Nxh3
28.Kc4? Nxf2 29.Bf3 g5 30.Kb5 g4 and Black's
pawns are too fast on the kingside. This seems
to have been the last chance that Black had
to win. Now his attempts to break through on
the Queenside get stymied and he can make no
27.f3 Kf8 28.Kd2 Ke7 29.Bb3! f6
Mike offered a draw at this point,
but Steve persists in trying for a win. The position
looks more drawish now with the White Bishop
in a dominating position, counter-balancing
the dominating position of the Black Knight
at c5. It is probably a draw with best
play, especially since White is content to
sit back and simply respond to Black's threats.
30...Kd7 31.h4 Kc7 32.Bf7 Kb6 33.Be8
Making a path for the King, but it
does not appear he can get very far on dark squares
34.Kd3 Kc5 35.Bf7 Nc7 36.Bg8 g5
Creating some chances
for a passer on the Kingside -- or forcing
White to lock it up there.
Locking it up -- now if only Black
could get his Knight to the f4 square he might be able
to force back the White King. But
the Bishop is able to cut him off.
Ne8 41.Bf7 Nf6 42.Kc2 Kb6 43.Kb2 Kb5 44.Kb3
a4+?! 45.Kc2 Ka5 46.Kb2 Nd7 47.Kc2 Nc5
48.Bg8 Nd7 49.Bf7 Nb6 50.Kd3 Kb5 51.Bg8 Kc6 52.Bf7
Kc7 53.Bg8 Kd7?!
a significant advantage on time at this point --
an advantage that only grew as Black tried
to find some winning idea while White is simply
moving his Bishop back and forth. Black should accept
the draw at this point. Instead, he has a time-trouble
hallucination that he can create a passed pawn on
the kingside and gain some winning chances that way.
It is admirable, though, that Steve is completely
unwilling to surrender the half point, even if it
means risking a loss.
54.Bf7 Ke7?! 55.Bg8 Kf6?
Position after 55....Kf6
White is now winning.
There is no way to stop White's successful Queenside
penetration with the Black King on the opposite side
of the board. Meanwhile, all of Black's sacrifices
to penetrate on the other side will fail.
Making way for the King to get to
the dark squares.
58...Ke7 59.Kc3 Kd8 60.Kb4
was doomed as soon as the Bishop got behind it.
Now it is lost, as is the game.
60...Kc7 61.Bxa4 Nc8
62.Be8 Ne7 63.a4 Ng8 64.a5 Nf6 65.Bf7 Nd7 66.Kb5!
Black cannot go after the f-pawn with
66...Nc5?! 67.Bd5 Nd3 68.a6 and the pawn cannot be
Position after 66....Kb7
67.a6+ Ka7 68.Kc6! Nc5 69.Kxd6! Nxa6
70.c5 Kb8 71.c6 Kc8 72.Bd5 Kd8 73.Kxe5 Ke7 74.Kf5 Kd6
75.Kg6 Ke5 76.Kxh6 Kf4 77.Kg6 Nc7 78.Kf6 Ne8+ 79.Ke7
and Black resigned. Other than the mistake at move
26, which his opponent failed to capitalize on, Mike's
play was excellent throughout. I'm sure this is a victory
he will remember for the rest of his life.
Updated 03-25-2005 |