Pawn Steamroller

Stephen Cheyney (2010) - Peter Radomskyj (2215) [B56]

US Amateur Team East/Parsippany,NJ (5) 2006


1. e4

The game was played at Table 32, Board 2: #75 Tal Enders vs. #27 Westfield Chess Club

 

1... c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. f4 Bd7 7. Be3 a6 8. a4 e6 9. Be2 Be7 10. O-O O-O 11. Kh1 Qc7 12. Qe1 Na5 13. Qg3 Nc4 14. Bxc4 Qxc4 15. e5 Nd5 16. f5!

Initiating a powerful attack that requires precise play by Radomskyj to survive.

 

16... dxe5

There were a lot of ways for Black to go wrong here:

a) 16... Bh4? 17. Qxh4 Nxe3 18. f6!

b) 16... Kh8 17. f6 gxf6

c) 16... Nxe3 17. f6!!

17. Nxd5 Qxd5 18. f6?!

White could secure a slight edge with the more precise 18. Bh6! g6 19. Bxf8 Rxf8 20. fxe6! which saves a pawn over the game continuation.

 

18... Bxf6 19. Rxf6 exd4 20. Bh6 g6 21. Bxf8 Rxf8

Black has excellent compensation for the exchange and quickly turns his connected passed pawns and strong Bishop into an advantage.

 

22. b3 Bc6! 23. Raf1 d3!? 24. c4

a) Obviously not 24. Qxd3?? Qxg2#

 

b) 24. cxd3 Qxb3 would soon give Black two outside passed pawns, which would be even stronger than his central passers.

 

c) Relatively best was 24. R6f2! dxc2 (24... d2? 25. Rd1) 25. Rxc2 f5! , though in that case Black is freed from the attack along the f-file and can activate all his pieces and pawns.

24... Qd4! 25. R6f4 Qc3

Also possible was 25... Be4!? 26. Qf2 Qxf2 (26... Rd8!? 27. Rxf7? Bf5!) 27. R4xf2 f5

 

26. h4 f5 27. h5 g5!?

This is an ingenious way of squelching White's counterplay.

 

Also possible was 27... e5 28. Rh4!? when the critical move 28... Be8! also squelches White's kingside initiative and allows the pawns to roll.

 

28. R4f2!?

28. Qxg5+ Qg7! (not 28... Kh8? 29. Rg4!! and due to the pin on the f-pawn it is White who owns the g-file) 29. Qxg7+ Kxg7 30. Rd4 Be4 31. Rd7+ (31. h6+?! Kxh6! 32. Rxe4 fxe4!) 31... Rf7! and Black's pawns will triumph.

 

28... h6! 29. Qd6 Qf6!?

Black makes the brave decision to sacrifice his pioneer passed pawn at d3 for an ingenious kingside attack. The alternative might be to very carefully defend with 29... Re8 30. a5 (30. Rxf5?? exf5 and the Queen covers at g7) 30... Be4 31. Qd7 Kf8 32. Qh7 Qg7 when Black appears eventually to untangle, but it is difficult to foresee.

 

30. Qxd3 g4

Artificially isolating White's h-pawn.

 

31. Re1?

A blunder that allows Black's kingside attack to gain deadly force.

Necessary was 31. Qg3 Qg5 32. Kg1 and things are still far from settled.

 

31... Qh4+ 32. Kg1 g3! 33. Rd2 Qh2+ 34. Kf1 Qh1+ 35. Ke2 Qxg2+

Black would have had an even easier time if he had first inserted 35... Qxh5+! 36. Kf1 Qh1+ etc. with an additional pawn over the game continuation.

 

36. Kd1 Qf3+ 37. Kc1 Qxd3 38. Rxd3 g2!?

38... f4 39. Rxe6 f3 40. Rg6+ Kh7 41. Rxg3 f2 42. Rd1 f1=Q might win more quickly, but it is hard to part with such beautiful pawns for a mere Rook.

 

39. Rg3+ Kf7 40. Rg1 Rg8 41. Rxg8 Kxg8

Black has achieved his dream endgame scenario, as now White has no pieces to aid the Rook in stopping the pawns.

 

42. Kd2 a5 43. Ke3 e5










44. Kf2 Kf7 45. Rd1 Ke7 46. Re1 Kf6 47. Rd1 f4 48. Rd8 f3 49. Rh8 e4!?

Simply 49... Kg5 50. Rg8+ Kxh5 51. Rg7 Kh4 52. Rg8 h5 53. Rg7 e4 , with the idea of advancing the king and the h-pawn to force through the g-pawn, also wins.

 

50. Rxh6+ Kf5 51. Rg6 Be8 52. Rg8 Bxh5 53. Rg7 Kf6

Cutting off the Rook by 53... Bg6! is faster, but the end is inevitable.

 

54. Rg3 Bg6 55. Ke3 Kf5 56. c5 Bf7 57. Rg7 Bxb3 58. Kf2 Bxa4 59. Rxb7 e3+! 60. Kg1 f2+! 61. Kxg2 Bc6+ 62. Kf1 Bxb7 63. Ke2 Ba6+ 64. Kxe3 f1=Q 65. Kd4 Qd3# 0-1

 

The following famous example of the "Pawn Steamroller" makes a nice comparison to the game above.


Eduard Gufeld - Lubomir Kavalek [C64]

WchT U26 09th/Marianske Lazne 1962


1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bc5 4. c3 f5!? 5. d4 fxe4 6. Ng5

6. dxc5 exf3 7. Qxf3

 

6... Bb6 7. d5 e3 8. Ne4

8. dxc6 bxc6 9. Bxe3 Bxe3

 

8... Qh4

8... Nf6!?

 

9. Qf3 Nf6 10. Nxf6+ gxf6 11. dxc6

11. Bxe3 Bxe3 12. Qxe3 Ne7=

 

11... exf2+ 12. Kd1

12. Kf1 dxc6 13. Be2 Rg8 14. Qh5+ Qxh5 15. Bxh5+ Ke7 16. Nd2 Bh3!

 

12... dxc6 13. Be2 Be6 14. Qh5+ Qxh5 15. Bxh5+ Ke7

Black's pas sed pawns provide ample compensation for the piece, especially because they help to impede White's development.

 

16. b3 Bd5 17. Ba3+ Ke6 18. Bg4+ f5 19. Bh3 Rhg8 20. Nd2 Bxg2 21. Bxg2 Rxg2

Black has four pawns (though one is doubled) and an unstoppable central steamroller in progress. The threat is already to win by ...Rg1+ and ...Rag8 etc.

 

22. Rf1 Rd8 23. Ke2 Rxd2+!!

Black eliminates all pieces that can stand in the way of the pawns!

 

24. Kxd2 e4 25. Bf8 f4 26. b4 Rg5!? 27. Bc5 Rxc5!!

The double-Exchange sacrifice, which leaves Black down two Rooks for a piece and pawns, is what makes this game so stunning. Now nothing can stop the Black steamroller.

 

28. bxc5 Bxc5 29. Rab1 f3 30. Rb4 Kf5 31. Rd4 Bxd4 32. cxd4 Kf4 0-1

Games in PGN