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

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. b4 Nh5 10. Re1 Nf4 11. Bf1 f5?!

Stoyko thought this must be a mistake, as his next three moves demonstrate.


12. Bxf4! exf4 13. e5! dxe5 14. Nxe5

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.


14... a5

Black must do what he can to break up White's bind. Not 14... Qd6? 15. c5 Qd8 16. Bc4


15. Qb3!?

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.


15... Bf6

Better may be 15... axb4 16. Qxb4 Re8 17. Rad1 Bxe5 18. Rxe5 Qd6 19. Qxd6 cxd6 20. Re2 but Black is left with a sad defensive task ahead.


16. c5 Kg7 17. Rad1 axb4 18. Qxb4 g5 19. d6?!

This advance is probably a little premature. Stoyko said he simply had failed to examine Black's response. But White still retains strong pressure with careful play. Better 19. Bc4 or 19. Qb3.


19... Nc6! 20. Nxc6 bxc6 21. Na4! cxd6 22. Nb6! Rxa2

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.


23. Rxd6 Qc7 24. Nxc8!

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


24... Qxc8

You can appreciate the power of White's position after the alternate recapture 24... Rxc8? when 25. Rxf6!! Kxf6 26. Qc3+ Kg6 27. Re6+ Kf7 28. Qf6+ Kg8 29. Bc4!! leads to mate.


25. Ree6! Ra7 26. h4!

Further softening up Black's position while creating useful luft for White's King.


26... Re7?

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.



27. Rxf6!! Rxf6 28. Qd4 Ree6 29. hxg5

Black loses a piece and the game. He should resign but plays it out until mate is inevitable.


29... Kg6 30. gxf6 Rxd6 31. Qxd6 Qb7 32. Bc4 Qb1+ 33. Kh2 Qe4 34. f7+ 1-0

Steve Ferrero (1900) - FM Steve Stoyko [A01]

Viking Quads/Mount Arlington, NJ USA (1) 2006

1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 d6 3. g3 g6!

A very interesting method of handling the Larsen system.


4. d4 Bg7 5. dxe5



5... Nd7!

No need to rush since the pawn is pinned, of course.


6. Nf3 Ne7
A move not considered in Jacobs & Tait's book on the Nimzo-Larsen Attack.


7. Bg2

7. exd6? Bxb2 8. dxe7 Qxe7 9. Nbd2 Bxa1 10. Qxa1 O-O


7... O-O 8. O-O Nc6 9. Nbd2 Ndxe5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5

"What has Black to complain about out of the opening?"


11. Qc1 Re8 12. Re1 c6

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.


13. c4?!

This allows Black's cute combination which follows. Even worse is 13. f4? Ng4 14. e4?? Qb6+ White has to take time out for 13. h3!=



13... Nd3! 14. exd3 Rxe1+ 15. Qxe1 Bxb2 16. Rb1 Bg7

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.


17. Nf1 Be6! 18. Qb4 Qd7 19. Ne3 a5 20. Qd2 a4 21. b4 d5 22. c5

22. cxd5 cxd5 and the two Bishops will have a target in White's isolated d-pawn.


22... f5! 23. d4

23. Nc2 Rf8 24. f4 d4 25. a3 Re8


23... f4! 24. Nf1 Rf8 25. f3

25. gxf4 Bh6 (25... Bh3)


25... h5!

Preventing from closing lines with g4 while also preparing an eventual Kh7 and Bh6.


26. Re1 Kh7 27. Qd1 Rf7!?

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.


28. Re2

White's Queen is tied to the defense of the backward d-pawn and cannot help the Rook oppose on the e-file.


28... Bf5 29. a3 Re7 30. Rd2

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


30... Qe8 31. Kf2 Bh6 32. Rb2



32... Re3! 33. Qxa4

33. Nxe3 Qxe3+ 34. Kf1 Bd3+


33... Bd3

33... Bg7! 34. Qd1 Rd3


34. Qd1 Bg7

and White resigned rather than submit to more torture.


Game in PGN

Copyright Michael Goeller © 2006.