Stoyko Still Kicking
Despite some recent health problems, FM Steve Stoyko continues to play some impressive chess in local events. Here are two games he showed us the other day.
FM Steve Stoyko - NM James West [E97]
Westfield Quads/Westfield, NJ USA (1) 2006
Stoyko thought this must be a mistake, as his next three moves demonstrate.
Black's kingside majority is disabled while White can create a powerful passed pawn at will. Meanwhile, White's advantage in space gives him a clear advantage in scope for his forces.
During the game, Stoyko thought the thematic move was 15. b5! which would bind up Black's position completely. But the text leads to a rapid mobilization and open lines.
In showing the game, Stoyko exclaimed, "Can you believe he took that pawn?" But there is not much else. The risk is, though, that the loose Rook will aid White in setting up tactics.
Clearing the way for the invasion! White could also immediately exploit the Rook's position to get his Queen into the attack with tempo by 24. Qb3 Ra7 (24... Ra1 25. Rxa1 Bxa1 26. Qa4) (24... Ra5 25. Red1) 25. Qf3
Further softening up Black's position while creating useful luft for White's King.
There is no hope in 26... h6?! 27. Qb1! Raf7 28. Qxf5 gxh4 29. Bd3. Necessary was 26... Qb7! 27. Qd2 Qb2! 28. Qxb2 (28. hxg5 Qxd2! 29. Rxd2 Bxg5 30. Rxc6 f3) 28... Bxb2 29. hxg5 and at least Black has the vague hope of a Bishops of opposite color ending.
Black loses a piece and the game. He should resign but plays it out until mate is inevitable.
Steve Ferrero (1900) - FM Steve Stoyko [A01]
Viking Quads/Mount Arlington, NJ USA (1) 2006
A very interesting method of handling the Larsen system.
No need to rush since the pawn is pinned, of course.
"What has Black to complain about out of the opening?"
Stoyko notes that "c6 will have to be played eventually." Meanwhile, he wants to keep his formation fluid and avoid overcommiting in the center, which would give White targets. Note that 12... d5 13. f4! Ng4 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. Qb2+ f6 16. e4 leaves White better placed.
Black has gained the two Bishops and much better control over the dark squares, which White's Bishop at b2 had been guarding. Meanwhile Black's pieces easily find good squares while White's have no real prospects.
Preventing from closing lines with g4 while also preparing an eventual Kh7 and Bh6.
The Rook will transfer to the e-file backed up by the Queen. Meanwhile, the exchange of Rooks will leave Black's Queen on e7, which is superior to e8. Also possible was 27... fxg3 28. hxg3 h4 preparing an entry for the Rook via the f4 square.
White's Queen is tied to the defense of the backward d-pawn and cannot help the Rook oppose on the e-file.
Allowing Black complete control of the e-file, but the exchange of Rooks was no better. Black's two Bishops would allow him to completely dominate the game after 30. Rxe7 Qxe7 31. Kh1 Qf6 32. Qxa4 Qxd4
and White resigned rather than submit to more torture.0-1
Game in PGNCopyright Michael Goeller © 2006.