Two Quick Kills on Board Four

To protect the identities of my victims, I thought I would leave them "not named." Both games were played on Board 4 of the recent US Amateur Teams East.

Michael Goeller - NN [B23]

USATE 2007/Parsippany, NJ USA (1) 2007

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 d6 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bb5 Nge7 6. O-O g6?!

This move is often played against Closed Sicilian formations. Here, however, my opponent forgot that I can still open up the center! Better 6... a6.

7. d4! a6

Black is prevented from castling after 7... cxd4 8. Qxd4 Rg8 -- but this still may be his best option.

8. Bxc6+ Nxc6 9. d5

Gaining space has to be best.

Also possible was 9. dxc5 dxc5 10. Qxd8+ Nxd8 11. e5

9... Nb8?

By retreating to his Knight to its original square, my opponent only emphasizes my edge in development.

Necessary was 9... Ne7.

10. e5! Bd7?

White's position is already overwhelming in terms of time and space. Now Black also loses material due to the weakness at d6.

11. Ne4 Be7

11... dxe5 12. fxe5 simply aids White's attack, opening up lines for the Bishop and Rook.

12. exd6 Bf6

Needless to say, the opening has been a complete disaster for Black. Now all I have to do is find a way to get my Bishop into the game to kill him on the dark squares. I spent a lot of time looking at f5-ideas until I hit upon the notion of putting my Bishop on the long diagonal. After all, if I don't prevent him from castling, I can at least make his castle feel drafty!

13. Nxf6+

I was sorely tempted by 13. f5 gxf5 14. Nxf6+ (14. Nxc5) 14... Qxf6 but did not see anything clear.

13... Qxf6 14. Be3!?

With the idea of inducing Black's next, after which it will be difficult for him to capture on d5 due to Qxd5 hitting his Rook at a8. I spent some time looking at 14. f5!? and 14. Ne5! which are probably more incisive.

14... b6 15. Bd2!?

Stronger might be 15. b4! with a similar idea of busting open the dark squares.

or 15. Ne5! immediately, with the idea of Qf3.

15... O-O

a) 15... Qxb2? 16. Qe1! Qxc2 17. Bc3 starts to look matish, with ideas like Ng5 and dxe6.

b) 15... exd5? 16. Bc3! d4 17. Nxd4! Qxd6 18. Re1+ Be6 19. Nxe6 Qxd1 20. Nc7+ Kd8 21. Raxd1+ Kxc7 22. Re7+ Kc6 23. Bxh8 cleans the table.

16. Bc3! Qxf4

16... Qf5!? 17. Ne5 exd5 18. Qxd5 Ra7 at least holds off the mating attack.

17. Ne5! Qa4?!

17... Qe3+ 18. Kh1 h5 (18... Qe4 19. Ng4 f6 20. Bxf6!) 19. Nxg6!! fxg6 20. Rxf8+ Kxf8 21. Qf1+ Kg8 22. Qf6

18. Ng4

This was practically my dream position when I first hit upon the idea of attacking on the long diagonal. Now White has a cute mate threat, which I had also foreseen but my opponent completely overlooked.

Fritz prefers 18. Qf3! eyeing the Rook at a8.

18. Nxf7! Rxf7 19. Rxf7 is also immediately decisive since 19... Kxf7?? 20. Qf3+ forces mate.

18... f5??

Well, it's nice to go home early.... Black is lost in any event: 18... e5 19. Nf6+ Kg7 20. Bxe5 and that's going to be a mean discovered check when it comes.



19. Nh6#

A brutal game. But that's why you want a mismatch on board 4 in a team event.


Michael Goeller - NN [C55]

USATE 2007/Parsippany, NJ USA (3) 2007

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4

I always worry about my opening preparation. But as soon as the Urusov Gambit position was on the board, I felt completely at home.

3... Nc6!?

Em. Lasker's recommendation, which usually leads to the Two Knights Defense.

4. Nf3

OK, the Two Knights then.... An interesting alternative is 4. d5 Ne7 5. f4!? which is the suggestion of Colin Leach. But 5. Bd3?! Ng6 leaves White practically a tempo down on a typical Nimzovich Defense position that I like as Black.

4... Nxe4?!

Standard is 4... exd4 5. e5 d5 6. Bb5 Ne4 7. Nxd4 with a Modern Variation.

5. dxe5 Nc5

Practically forced to avoid tactics against his loose Knight.

a) 5... Bc5? 6. Qd5 Bxf2+ 7. Kf1 Qe7 8. Qxe4

b) 5... d6? 6. Bxf7+ Kxf7 7. Qd5+ Be6 8. Qxe4

6. Qe2

6. Nc3 Ne6 7. Ne4 Be7 8. Bd2!? f6 9. exf6 Bxf6 10. Nxf6+ Qxf6 11. Bc3 Qg6 12. Qe2 O-O 13. O-O-O Regan - Lein, Lone Pine 1977.

6... Ne6

a) 6... d5? 7. exd6+

b) 6... Qe7? 7. Bg5 f6 8. exf6

7. O-O Be7

7... d5 8. Rd1

8. Nc3 d6

8... f6? 9. Rd1!

9. Rd1 Bd7?!

9... O-O 10. exd6 Bxd6 11. Ne4 and the exchange on d6 will weaken Black's pawns and gain the two Bishops.



10. Nb5

This wins at least a pawn by force.

10... a6

a) 10... Nxe5? 11. Nxe5 dxe5 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Qh5+! g6 14. Qxe5

b) 10... dxe5 11. Bxe6! fxe6 12. Nxe5 Nxe5 13. Qxe5 looks very bad.

c) 10... O-O 11. exd6 cxd6 12. Nxd6

11. exd6 axb5 12. dxe7 Qxe7 13. Bxb5

with an extra pawn and the Bishop pair, White has a decisive advantage.

13... O-O 14. Be3

I briefly examined 14. Bg5!? f6 (14... Nxg5 15. Qxe7 Nxf3+ 16. gxf3 Nxe7 17. Rxd7) 15. Bc4 Rfe8 16. Be3 which Fritz prefers. But I didn't see any reason for fancy tricks and was promptly rewarded.

14... Qf6?? 15. Rxd7 1-0