Two Knights Sicilian

Michael Goeller - Victor Rosas [B30]

KCC at WOCC Team Match/West Orange, NJ USA 2006

I recently lost to an interesting gambit line on ICC that went: 3... Nf6!? 4. e5 Nd5 5. Nxd5 (5. Ne4!?)
5... exd5 6. d4 Nc6!? 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. Qxd5 (8. Be2!?)
8... Qb6 9. Qd2 d6 10. exd6

4. Bb5

I often play instead 4. g3 , for example: 4... a6 (4... d5 5. exd5 exd5 6. d4)
5. Bg2 Nf6 6.

In this particular move order, Chris Baker (in A Startling Chess Opening Repertoire) recommends instead 6. Bd3 Nd4 7. Nxd4 cxd4 8. Ne2 d5 9. exd5 Qxd5 (9... Nxd5 10. c3 dxc3 11. dxc3)
10. c3 Nc6 11. Qc2 f5?! (11... Bd6!)
12. cxd4 b5 (12... Nb4! 13. Qc4 b5 14. Qxd5 Nxd5 15. a4 b4)
13. Re1 Nb4 14. Qc3 Nxd3?! 15. Qxd3 Bc5 16. b3

6... Nxc6 7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Qc7

One of Chris Baker's main lines goes: 8... d6 9. Re1 Be7 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Qg4 Bf6? (11... g6 12. e5 d5 13. Bh6) 12. e5! h5 (12... Bxe5? 13. Rxe5! dxe5 14. Qxg7 Rf8 15. Bh6 Qe7 16. Qxe5 Rg8 (16... f6 17. Bxf8 fxe5 18. Bxe7 Kxe7 19. Re1) 17. Ne4! and White wins.) 13. Qg3 h4 14. Qg4 dxe5 15. Ne4

9. Re1!

The idea is to make Black worry about Nd5 possibilities. Also, I'm not sure where to put the Queen Bishop yet and I want to kill a tempo while waiting for him to move his Bishop.

9... d6

A good delaying tactic. After all, if he moves his Bishop I have Qg4. Now I have to commit to something.

a) At the board, I mostly analyzed 9... Bd6 10. Nd5! (10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Qh5!?) 10... exd5 (10... Bxh2+!? 11. Kh1 exd5 12. exd5+ Be5 (12... Ne7? 13. Nf5 Bd6 14. Nxe7 Bxe7 15. d6) 13. Nxc6! (13. dxc6?

O-O 14. cxb7 Bxb7) 13... dxc6 14. d6 Qa5 15. Bf4 (I stopped at 15. f4?! missing 15... Bg4!) 15...O-O (15... f6? 16. Bxe5 fxe5 17. Qh5+) 16. Bxe5 and I fancy White's chances here.) (10... Qd8 11. Nf5!! ( I did not look at this line during the game but might have played 11. Qg4?! h5! 12. Qxg7? Be5! 13. Nxc6 Bxg7 14. Nxd8 exd5) 11... Be5 (11... exf5 12. exf5+) 12. Be3 (12. f4) 12... exf5 13. Bb6!) 11. exd5+ Ne5 (11... Ne7 12. Nf5 Kf8 13. Qe2 (Fritz prefers 13. Rxe7 Bxe7 14. d6 Bxd6 15. Nxd6) ) 12. f4 (12. Nf5?O-O 13. Bh6 gxh6 14. Qh5 Ng6 15. Qxh6 Be5 16. d6 Qc5 17. g4 Re8 18. Re4 Re6 19. Qg5 Bxd6 20. Nh6+ Kh8 21. Nxf7+ Kg7 22. Qh6+ Kxf7 0-1 Timman,J-Lautier,J/Horgen 1995) 12...O-O 13. fxe5 Bxe5 14. Nf3 Bd6 (14... d6 15. Nxe5 dxe5 16. d6 and I'd prefer White, though it is admittedly unclear. ) 15. Qd3 b5 16. a4 b4 17. Be3 Bb7 18. c4 (18. Qf5 Rac8 19. Rac1) 18... bxc3 19. bxc3 a5 20. c4 Ba6 21. Rac1 Rae8 22. Kh1 Bb4 23. Rf1 f5 24. Bd4 Qd6 25. Qb3 Bc5 26. Qc3 Re4 27. Bxg7 Rc8 28. Bh8 Qg6 29. Ne5 Bd4 30. Qxd4 Rxd4 31. Nxg6 Re4 32. Ne5 d6 33. Bf6 dxe5 34. d6 Rd4 35. Bxe5 Rdxc4 36. Rxc4 Bxc4 37. Rxf5 Bb3 38. h3 Bxa4 39. Rg5+ Kf8 40. Rg7 Re8 41. Bf6 Re6 42. d7 Bxd7 1-0, Barua,D-Murshed,N/Southport 1983

b) 9... Bb4 10. Qg4! should be be tter for White, and is one reason I delayed with committing my Bishop, which will now find a number of useful diagonals, including perhaps a3-f8 if he takes on c3.

c) 9... b5 10. Nd5 Qa7 11. Bf4 Qxd4 12. Nc7+

d) 9... Be7 10. Nxc6!? (10. Qg4) 10... bxc6 11. e5

O-O 12. Bf4 f5 13. exf6 Qxf4 14. fxe7 Re8 15. Ne4 d5 16. Nc5 Rxe7 17. Nd3 Qd6 18. Qe2 c5 19. Qe5 Qxe5 20. Rxe5 Rc7 21. Nf4 Rb8 22. b3 Rb6 23. Rae1 c4 24. Nxe6 Yudasin,L-Lautier,J/Moscow 1994

e) 9... Bc5 10. Nd5 Qb8 11. Nf5!! exf5 12. exf5+ Kd8 13. Bg5+ f6 14. Nxf6 gxf6 15. Bxf6+ Kc7 16. Bxh8 Qa7 17. Qd2 d6 18. f6 Bd7 19. Bg7 Ne5 20. b4 Bb6 21. Rxe5 dxe5 22. f7 1-0 Paal,A-Toth,M/Fuzesabony 1995

f) 9... Nxd4 10. Qxd4 f6 11. e5 f5 12. Bg5 b5 13. Rad1 Bb7 14. Rd3 b4 15. Ne2 Be4 16. Rdd1 Bc5 17. Qd2 Qb7 18. Nf4 Rc8 19. Nh5 Rg8 20. Rxe4 fxe4 21. Qf4 Ba7 22. Bh4 h6 23. Qg4 Kf7 24. Ng3 Rc4 25. Nf5 Bc5 26. Qh5+ Kf8 27. Rd6 exf5 28. Qxf5+ Ke8 29. e6 Bxf2+ 30. Bxf2 1-0 Plaskett,J-Bischoff,K/Hastings 2000

10. Nxc6!?

I had also considered the provocative 10. Bg5! which is likely best here: 10... h6! (10... Bd7 11. Nd5 exd5 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. exd5+ Be6 14. dxe6 1-0 Steinberg,M-Suetin,A/Novosibirsk 1971 (40))
(10... Ne5 11. f4 Nc4? 12. Nd5 exd5 13. exd5+ Ne5 14. fxe5 dxe5 15. Bf4 f6 16. Bxe5 fxe5 17. Qh5+ g6 18. Rxe5+ Kf7 19. Rf1+ Kg7 20. Qg5 h6 21. Qf6+ Kh7 22. Re8 Qg7 23. Rxf8 Rxf8 24. Qxf8 Qxd4+ 25. Kh1 Bf5 26. Qxa8 Qxd5 27. Qf8 Qe4 28. Qf7+ Kh8 29. Rd1 Qh4 30. Qe8+ Kg7 31. Re1 1-0 Ottens,S-Bokelbrink,U/Germany 1991)
11. Bh4 Qb6 12. Nb3 g5 13. Bg3 Ne5 14. Bxe5 dxe5 15. Qf3 Be7 16. Rad1 Bd7 17. Re3 h5 18. Red3?! (18. Rxd7! Kxd7 19. Na4 Qb4 20. Qxf7!!)
18...

10... bxc6

10... Qxc6?! 11. Nd5! b5 12. Bg5 looks rotten for Black.

11. b3

Now I have to figure out a way to develop the Bishop, and this looked like a good idea -- cutting out play on the b-file for Black and offering both Bb2 and Ba3 (hitting d6) for the Bishop. The move also supports a future c4 advance. But I was not thrilled with the position, which now seemed basically equal.

a) I spent most of my time trying to convince myself that the weird looking 11. Re3!? might be a good idea, still delaying with the Bishop. I was finally turned off by 11... Bb7!? (11... e5 12. b3 Be6 13. Rd3 Be7 14. Ba3 Rd8 15. Qd2 followed by Rd1 was another idea, piling up on d6.) (The main idea is 11... Be7?! 12. Rg3

O-O 13. Qh5 with some attacking prospects.) 12. b3 d5! and Black looks solid. Since I am going to play b3 anyway, might as well do it directly.

b) 11. Na4!? c5 12. c4 Bb7 13. Qg4 g6 14. Bf4 Bg7 15. Qh4

O-O 16. Bh6 Bxh6 17. Qxh6 f5 18. Nc3 Qf7 19. exf5 exf5 20. Qf4 d5 21. cxd5 Bxd5 22. Qd6 Rad8 23. Qxc5 f4 24. Re7 Qf5 25. Rae1 f3 26. Nxd5 Qg5 27. g3 Qxd5 28. Qc7 Qh5 29. Rg7+ Kh8 30. Qc3 Rc8 31. Rc7+ 1-0 Glek,I-Fuellgrabe,T/Eupen 1994

11... Be7

I thought this was an error during the game, but it turned out to be fine.

I had expected the safe move, 11... e5! when White seems to have nothing.

I did not think he could do that! Now Black is well off and has completely caught up in development.

I was hoping to provoke 12... Bf6?! when I had planned 13. e5!? (13. Qg3)
13... Bxe5 (13... dxe5 14. Ne4!)
14. Rxe5 but I overlooked that Black has a save here in 14... f5! (14... dxe5? 15. Qxg7 Rf8 16. Ba3)
-- an idea I saw later in a similar context -- and White has to settle for 15. Qxf5 dxe5 16. Qf3 (16. Qh5+ g6 17. Qh4)
16... Bb7 17. Ba3 c5 18. Qh5+ g6 19. Qg4

13. Bb2

I thought I was winning with 13. Bh6 Bf6 14. e5 Bxe5 (14... dxe5 15. Ne4 Qd8 16. Rad1) 15. Rxe5 and only now did I see the saving idea 15... f5 when White has to bail out into an equal ending with 16. Qxg7+ Qxg7 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Re2= and I'd actually prefer to be Black, though this may well be White's best option at this point. As Tal once said, "Once Black has equalized, he has gained the advantage."

13... e5!

Cutting out all tricks on the long diagonal and gaining a tempo on my Queen. Black is doing well in the center and has the two Bishops. White has to play carefully now to keep the balance.

a) 13... d5?? 14. Nxd5! e5 15. Nxc7 Bxg4 16. Nxa8

b) 13... Bf6? 14. Nb5! Qe7 15. Bxf6 Qxf6 16. Nxd6 snags a pawn.

Now Black has a real initiative with play on the f-file and in the center with his pawns. His two Bishops can also become dangerous.

15. exf5

I did not like giving him the possibility of ...f4, but this exchange helps Black's development.

a) 15. Rad1 Rf6! (15... fxe4 16. Nxe4=) (15... f4!? 16. Qf3) 16. exf5 (16. f4) 16... Bxf5 17. Ne4 Rg6

b) 15. f4?! fxe4! (15... exf4 16. Qxf4 fxe4 17. Qxe4 Bf6 18. Qc4+ Kh8) 16. fxe5 (16. Nxe4 Rxf4!) 16... d5

I think this lets me off the hook, though I have to be careful about ideas at f2.

16... Bg6! 17. c4 Rf4! 18. Ng5 Bxg5 (18... Qd7!?) 19. Qxg5 Raf8 and Black is definitely in charge.

I rather worried a bit about 18... d5!? 19. Bxe5 Bc5 but 20. Rf4! stops him cold.(This is better than 20. Re2?! Rae8 (20... Rxf2? 21. Rxf2 Rf8 22. Rdf1) 21. Rf1 Rf5) 20... Rxf4 21. Bxf4 and I've snatched a pawn.

19. Qe3!

OK -- time to run for a relatively balanced ending before Black develops his play along the f-file!

19... Qxe3 20. Rxe3 Raf8 21. f3 Re6

Black may still have the better of it after 21... g5!?

and my opponent offered a draw, which I accepted. White may have a tiny edge after Red3, but I was happy with a draw at this point and did not see any active prospects for White.

I was expecting 22... Bd8! when I had considered 23. c5!? (23. Red3 Bb6+ 24. Kf1 Bc5) which looked rather double-edged, though I don't think I can gain anything after 23... Bc7!

1/2-1/2

[Michael Goeller]