NJ Knockouts vs. Carolina Cobras

By Michael Goeller

The New Jersey Knockouts won their second match in a row on the surprising strength of their bottom board. If I had predicted this match, I would have expected all the points to be won on the top boards with our young Expert on bottom board lucky to hold a draw. But the top players struggled through highly theoretical and difficult games to gain only an even result while young Jayson Lian defended beautifully against his opponent's unsound Exchange sacrifice to secure the win.

 

Board 1

Benjamin-NJ (2651) - Milman-CAR (2531) [D41]

ICC 90 30 u/Internet Chess Club 2007


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bc4!?

Benjamin has used this anti-Sicilian system before with occasional success.

3... Nf6

a) 3... Bg4?? 4. Bxf7+ Kxf7 5. Ng5+

b) 3... e6 White still gets a sort of Ruy Lopez or Giuoco Piano type position after 4. O-O Nf6 5. Re1 Be7 6. c3 O-O 7. Bb3 b5!? (7... d5! 8. e5 Nfd7 9. d4 Nc6 10. a3) 8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 Bb7 10. Nbd2 (10. d5!?) 10... Nbd7 11. Bc2 e5 12. Nf1 Re8 13. Ng3 Bf8 14. d5! a5 15. Bg5 h6 16. Be3 Nc5 17. h3 Qd7 18. Nh2 Be7 19. Nf5 Rec8 20. f4 Kh7 21. Qf3 Ne8 22. fxe5 dxe5 23. Ng4 Bd6 24. Nxd6 Nxd6 25. Nxe5 Qe7 26. Nc6 Bxc6 27. e5+ 1-0 Benjamin,J-Haessel,D/Edmonton 2000

4. d3 Nc6

a) 4... g6 5. c3 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nbd2 d5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Ne4! b6 10. Qb3! Nc7 11. Bf4 Nc6 12. Rad1 Bg4 13. Neg5 e6 14. h3 Bxf3 15. Nxf3 Na5 16. Qa4 Qe7 17. a3 Nxc4 18. dxc4! Rfd8?! 19. Rxd8+ Rxd8 20. Qxa7 1-0 Benjamin,J-Mikhailuk,S/Internet ICC 2000 (35)

b) 4... e6! 5. Bb3 Be7 6. c3 O-O 7. O-O Nc6 8. Re1 d5! Black's precise move order appears to be the best way to counter White's system to achieve equality, though the position is not without play for both sides. In a sense, White is playing a King's Indian Attack without the fianchetto, having the Bishop in a potentially more useful place for both attack and defense than on g2. White can also advance with e5 and d4, when the Bishop finds a useful home on the b1-h7 diagonal. 9. Nbd2 b5 10. e5 Nd7 11. d4 Ba6 (11... Qb6) 12. Nf1 b4! 13. Ng3 (13. Ne3!?) 13... bxc3 14. bxc3 cxd4 15. cxd4 Rc8 16. Nh5 Nb4 17. Re3 Qc7 18. Bd2 Nd3?! 19. Qb1 g6 20. Ng3 (20. Rxd3!?) 20... Nb4 21. h4 Nc6 22. Rc3 Qb6 23. Be3 Nb4 24. Rxc8 Rxc8 25. Qd1 Bc4 26. Ba4 Qb7 27. Qd2 Nb6 28. Bd1 Ba6 29. Rb1 Nc4 30. Qe1 Nxe3 31. Qxe3 Qc7 1/2-1/2 Benjamin,J-Habu,Y/Philadelphia 2003 (64)

5. c3 g6

a) 5... e6 6. Nbd2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. Re1 b6 (8... d5 9. Bb3 b5 would transpose to Benjamin - Habu, above) 9. d4 cxd4 10. cxd4 Bb7 11. Bd3 Rc8 12. a3 e5?! The e5 advance is not as successful as d5 here, since White now achieves his ideal Spanish / Italian set-up. 13. d5! Nb8 14. Nf1 Ba6 15. Bxa6 Nxa6 16. b4 Nb8 17. Ng3 g6 18. Bh6 Re8 19. Qd3 1-0 Benjamin,J-Thorhallsson,T/New York 2000 (56)

b) 5... d5 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. O-O e6 8. d4! cxd4 9. cxd4 Be7 10. Nc3 O-O 11. Re1 Nf6 (11... b6 12. Nxd5 exd5 13. Bb5) 12. a3 b6 13. d5! exd5 14. Nxd5 Nxd5 15. Qxd5 Bb7 16. Qh5 Qd6 17. Ng5 Qg6 18. Qxg6 hxg6 19. Bf4 Bxg5 20. Bxg5 Benjamin now conducts a textbook demonstration of why the two Bishops are a potentially winning advantage in these types of positions. 20... Rfe8 21. Rad1 Rxe1+ 22. Rxe1 Rc8 23. h3 Kf8 24. Rd1 Ne5 25. Bb3 Ba6 26. Bd2 Nd3 27. Bc3 g5 28. Rd2 Nc5 29. Bc2 Bb5 30. Bf5 Re8 31. f3 Kg8 32. b4 Ne6 33. Kf2 Rd8 34. Rxd8+ Nxd8 35. Ke3 Nc6 36. Bd3 Ba4 37. Ke4 Bb3 38. b5 Ne7 39. Be5 f6 40. Bb8 Nc8 41. Kd4 Kf7 42. Bf5 Be6 43. Bxe6+ Kxe6 44. a4 Kd7 45. f4 gxf4 46. Bxf4 Ke6 47. Bb8 Ke7 48. Kd5 Kd7 49. h4 Ne7+ 50. Ke4 Nc8 51. h5 Ke6 52. g4 Ke7 53. Kf4 Ke6 54. Ke4 Ke7 55. Kf5 Kf7 56. g5 fxg5 57. Kxg5 Kf8 58. Kf5 Kf7 59. Ke5 Ke7 60. Kd5 1-0 Benjamin,J-Zaichik,G/Philadelphia 2001

6. O-O Bg7 7. Bb3

7. Nbd2 O-O 8. Re1 e5!? 9. Bb3 h6 10. Nc4 Be6 11. h3 Kh7 12. Ne3 d5! 13. Ng4!? Nxg4 14. hxg4 Qd7 (14... dxe4 15. Rxe4 Bxb3 16. axb3) 15. g5! h5 16. exd5 Bxd5 17. Be3 b6 18. Bxd5 Qxd5 19. Qa4 Rfd8 20. Rad1 Rac8 and now in Benjamin-DeFirmian, Denver 1998, White could have secured an edge with 21. Nd2! (21. Bc1?! Kg8 22. Rd2?! Qe6 23. Qc4? 0-1 Benjamin,J-De Firmian,N/Denver 1998 (37)) 21... Qe6 (21... Qxd3 22. Ne4 b5 23. Rxd3 bxa4 24. Rxd8 Rxd8 25. Bxc5) 22. Ne4 Rc7 23. Rd2 Rcd7 24. Red1

7... O-O 8. h3!?

Benjamin seems to have had trouble here after 8. Nbd2 b6! 9. Re1 Ba6 10. Nf1 Ne5! (10... Rc8 11. h3!? Ne5 12. Bc2 Nxf3+?! 13. Qxf3 Qc7 14. Bg5 Nd7 15. Qg3 Ne5 16. f4 1-0 Benjamin,J-Kwartler,L/Rochester 2001 (57)) 11. Bc2 Qc7 (11... Rc8 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bf4 Nh5 14. Be3 e6 15. Rc1 Qf6 16. h3 Nxf3+ 17. Qxf3 Qxf3 18. gxf3 d5 19. Ng3 Nxg3 20. fxg3 d4 21. cxd4 Bxd4 22. Bxd4 cxd4 Benjamin,J-Baklan,V/Moscow 2001 (36)) 12. h3 e6 13. N3h2 Nc6 14. f4 e5 15. Ng4 Nxg4 16. Qxg4 f5! 17. exf5 gxf5 18. Qf3 Ne7 19. Ng3 Bb7 20. Qf2 Kh8 21. Bd1 Ng6 22. Nh5 Rae8 23. Bd2 Re7 24. Bf3 e4 25. Nxg7 Kxg7 26. dxe4 fxe4 27. Bh5 d5 28. f5 Qe5 29. Qe3 Rxf5 0-1 Benjamin,J-Baklan,V/Moscow 2001 (45)

8... b5 9. a3 Rb8 10. Re1 Qc7 11. Bc2 Rd8 12. d4 d5!? 13. e5 Ne4!?

Diagram # Black keeps his pawns fluid and the position remains unsettled.

14. Nbd2

14. Bxe4? dxe4 15. Rxe4 Bf5 16. Re1 cxd4 17. cxd4 Bxe5! (17... Nxe5 18. Bf4) 18. Nxe5 Rxd4 19. Qe2 Nxe5 20. Qxe5? Qxe5 21. Rxe5 Rd1+ 22. Kh2 Rxc1

14... Qb6!?

Safer might be 14... Nxd2 15. Bxd2 cxd4 16. cxd4 h6!?

15. Nxe4 dxe4 16. Bxe4 cxd4 17. cxd4 Bb7

17... Nxd4 18. Be3 Nxf3+ 19. Qxf3 Qa5 (19... Qc7 20. Rac1) 20. Bg5

18. Bg5! Kf8 19. Qb3! Nxd4 20. Nxd4 Rxd4 21. Bxb7 Qxb7 22. Rad1!

I'm sure Benjamin considered the thematic 22. e6!? right away, but it looks like Black can equalize with 22... h6! (22... f6?! 23. Be3 Rdd8 24. Qb4) 23. Be3 Qd5! 24. Qa2! ( perhaps Benjamin only considered 24. Qxd5?! Rxd5 25. exf7 Bxb2 26. Bxh6+ Kxf7 27. Ra2 Bd4) 24... Qxa2 25. Rxa2 Re4 26. exf7 a5! 27. b3! Kxf7 and Black's slightly worse pawn structure should not cost him the point.

22... Rbd8

22... Rxd1 23. Qxd1!

23. Rxd4 Rxd4 24. Be3 Rd8 25. Bc5 a6

25... Qc7 26. Qxb5 (26. Qb4? Rd5! (26... Bxe5? 27. Bxe7+!) ) 26... Rb8 27. Qc4 Rxb2 (27... Bxe5 28. b4) 28. Qd5 (28. e6 fxe6) 28... Rb8 29. e6 fxe6 30. Qf3+ Kg8 31. Qe3 e5 32. Bxa7

26. Bb4!? Ke8

26... Qd5!=

27. e6 f6 28. Ba5 Rd6!










One can appreciate Benjamin's reluctance up until now to commit to the e6 advance, since there remains a question as to whether the pawn is a bone in Black's throat or a sweet morsel that he will eventually be able to swallow. After all, how can White use the pawn at e6 to support an attack? He can only penetrate if he can wrest full control over the open d- or c-file with his Rook and Queen. But Black can prevent that, so the only other possible way in is by h4-h5 and opening the h-file. But that's a tricky solution which might eventually weaken White's own King position. Hence, Benjamin takes the draw.

28... Rc8?! 29. Rd1 Qc6 30. Qe3

29. Rc1 Rc6 30. Rd1 Rd6 31. Rc1 Rc6 32. Rd1 Rd6 33. Rc1

Game drawn by repetition

1/2-1/2

Board 2

Schroer-CAR (2449) - Ippolito-NJ (2433) [D30]

ICC 90 30 u/Internet Chess Club 2007


1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Bg5 Bb4+ 5. Nbd2 dxc4 6. e4?!










This move has not worked well in practice and White does not demonstrate why it should be revived in the present game. Black gains at least a solid pawn plus out of the opening.

a) 6. Qa4+ Nc6 7. Ne5 Bd7 8. Nxc6 Bxd2+ 9. Bxd2 Bxc6 10. Qxc4 Ne4 11. Bf4 Qf6 1/2-1/2 Petrovs,V-Keres,P/Munich 1936 (56)

b) 6. e3! appears best, when White seemed for choice in an early game with the line after 6... b5 7. Be2 Bb7 8. O-O Nbd7 9. b3 Bxd2 10. Qxd2 cxb3 11. Bxb5 (11. axb3!?) 11... Bxf3 12. gxf3 Ne4 13. Bxd7+ Kxd7 14. fxe4 Qxg5+ 15. Kh1 bxa2 16. f4! Qb5 17. Qxa2 Rhb8 18. f5 Qb3 19. fxe6+ Kxe6 20. Qa5 Kd7 21. Rac1 Rb7 22. Qh5 Rf8 23. d5 g6 24. Qxh7 Ke8 25. Qh3 Kd8 26. Qh4+ Kd7 27. Qg4+ Kd8 28. Qg5+ Kd7 29. Qg4+ (29. Rf6! Qa3 30. Rcf1) 29... Kd8 30. Qf4 Qb4 31. Rc6 Re8! 32. d6 Qxe4+ 1/2-1/2 Zagoriansky,E-Ragozin,V/Sverdlovsk 1943 33. Qxe4 Rxe4 34. Rxf7 Rb1+ 35. Kg2 cxd6 36. Rxd6+ Ke8 37. Rxa7 Rxe3 38. Rxg6 Rb2+ 39. Kf1 is probably a draw

c) 6. Qc2!? b5 7. a4 c6 8. Bxf6 gxf6 (8... Qxf6?! 9. axb5 cxb5? 10. Qe4) 9. g3 Bb7 10. Bg2 Nd7 11. O-O a6 12. b3 1-0 Dzindzichashvili,R-Kaidanov,G/Modesto 1995 (40)

6... Bxd2+!?

Black solidifies his material advantage. Other moves have also favored Black:

a) 6... b5 7. a4 c6 8. Qc2 h6 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. axb5 cxb5 Notice that with the pawn on e4, White does not have Qe4 here. 11. b3 Nc6 12. bxc4 Nxd4 13. Nxd4 Qxd4 14. Rd1 Bb7 15. cxb5 Bxe4 16. Qc4 Qxc4 17. Bxc4 Rd8 18. Ke2 Bc2 19. Nf3 Bxd1+ 20. Rxd1 Rxd1 21. Kxd1 Ke7 0-1 Saljova,S-Botsari,A/Hradec Kralove 1992 (25)

b) 6... c3 7. bxc3 Bxc3 8. Rc1 Bxd2+ 9. Nxd2 Qxd4 10. Rxc7?! Nc6! 11. Qc2 Qd6 12. Rxc6 bxc6 13. Nc4 Qd4 0-1 Jaeschke,J-Kiesekamp,M/Kreuzberg 2005 (34)

7. Nxd2

7. Qxd2 Nxe4

7... Qxd4 8. Bxc4 Nxe4 9. Be3 Qe5










White's advantage in development and the two Bishops seems inadequate compensation for two pawns, but the further course of the game does show that Black's task is not easy. Still, it is hard to believe in White's gambit.

10. O-O Nd6

After this move, Black cannot solidify his position along the c-file with ...c6.

10... Nf6 11. Nf3 Qh5

11. Nf3 Qh5 12. Be2 O-O 13. Rc1 Qd5

Black offers to return one pawn for a freer game.

14. Qc2 Nc6 15. Rfd1 Qf5 16. Bd3 Qh5 17. Be2 Qg6 18. Bd3 f5 19. Bf4 Bd7 20. b4 a6 21. a4 Rac8 22. b5 axb5 23. Bxb5 Qe8 24. Qb2 Qe7 25. Bg5 Qe8

White has kept up the pressure admirably, and Black finally yields back his material. But the resulting ending is pretty much equal, so long as Black plays accurately and actively.

26. Bf4 Nf7

26... Ne4!?

27. Qd2 e5 28. Qxd7 exf4 29. Bxc6 bxc6 30. Rxc6 Rd8 31. Qxe8 Rxd1+! 32. Qe1 Rxe1+ 33. Nxe1 Re8 34. Kf1 Nd6 35. Rxc7 Ra8










36. Rc6 Ne4 37. f3 Nd2+ 38. Ke2 Nb1 39. Rc1 Na3 40. Ra1 Nc4 41. Nd3 g5 42. g3 Re8+ 43. Kf2 Rd8 44. Ke2 Re8+ 45. Kf2 Rd8 46. Ke2 Re8+ 47. Kf2

Game drawn by repetition. This was the last game to conclude and secured New Jersey the match.

1/2-1/2

Board 3

Friedman-NJ (2407) - Zaikov-CAR (2369) [B82]

ICC 90 30 u/Internet Chess Club 2007


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f4 e6 7. Qf3 Nbd7 8. g4 h6 9. h4 h5!?

White has had general success against other moves:

a) 9... Nb6 10. g5 hxg5 11. hxg5 Rxh1 12. Qxh1 e5 13. Nb3 Nfd7 14. f5 Nc5 15. Be3 Nxb3 16. axb3 Bd7 17. Qg1 Nc8 18. O-O-O Qa5 19. Kb1 Qc7 20. g6 Ne7 21. gxf7+ Kxf7 22. Bc4+ Ke8 23. Qh1 b5 24. Nd5 Nxd5 25. Bxd5 Bc6 26. Qh5+ Kd8 27. Qh8 Ke8 28. Qh5+ Kd8 29. Be6 Qb7 30. Bg5+ Kc7 31. Qf7+ Kb6 32. Be3+ Ka5 33. b4+ Ka4 34. c3 Bxe4+ 35. Ka2 Bb1+ 36. Rxb1 Qd5+ 37. b3+ Qxb3+ 38. Bxb3# 1-0 Anand Viswanathan (IND)-Fritz2/Hamburg (5) 1992

b) 9... Qc7 10. g5 hxg5 11. hxg5 Rxh1 12. Qxh1 Qb6 13. Nxe6! fxe6 14. gxf6 gxf6 15. Qh5+ Ke7 16. Qh7+ Ke8 17. Qg8 Qd8 18. f5 Ne5 19. fxe6 Qe7 20. Nd5 Bxe6 21. Nxe7 Bxg8 22. Nxg8 Kf7 23. Nh6+ Kg6 24. Nf5 Nf3+ 25. Kf2 Ng5 26. Bd3 Re8 1-0 Wade,R-Blaine/Ilford 1964

c) 9... e5 10. Nde2! (10. Nf5!? g6) 10... exf4 11. Bxf4 h5 12. gxh5 Ne5 13. Qf2 Qa5 14. O-O-O 1-0 Ivanov,A-Artishevsky/Minsk 1985 (26)

d) 9... Nc5 10. g5! hxg5 11. hxg5 Rxh1 12. Qxh1 0-1 Meriguet,D-Guillet,M/Romans 1999 (45)

e) 9... Qb6 10. Nb3 Be7 11. g5!? Ng8 (11... hxg5 12. hxg5 Rxh1 13. Qxh1 Ng4 14. Nd1) 12. g6 f6 13. Bh3 Nc5 14. Be3 Qc7 15. f5! b6 16. Nd4 e5 17. Nd5 Qb7 18. Ne2 h5 19. Ng3 Bd7 20. O-O-O Bf8 21. Nxh5 1-0 Vallejo Nuno,J-Peral Aparicio,J/Madrid 2005 (42)

10. g5 Ng4!? 11. Bh3 b5! 12. Bxg4 hxg4 13. Qxg4 b4

Black appears to get adequate compensation for his interesting pawn sacrifice.

14. Nce2










14... e5! 15. Nb3

15. Nf5 Bb7 16. Neg3 Qc7 17. g6 Nf6

15... Qc7 16. f5 Qxc2 17. Bd2 Bb7 18. Ng3 Nc5 19. Nxc5 dxc5 20. Be3 Qxb2

Black has g otten his material back and then some. But now the initiative returns to White.

21. O-O Rd8 22. Rad1 Qxa2 23. f6 Rxd1 24. Rxd1 Qe6 25. Nf5 g6

 

 

26. Ng7+?!

Going for a drawn ending. But there was probably better.

I think White could have tried for a win here with 26. Rd6! Bxd6 (26...Qc8 27.Qd1!! Bc6 28.Qa1!!) 27. Ng7+ Kd7 28. Nxe6 fxe6 29. Qd1 Rc8 30. h5 Bxe4 31. Qa4+

26... Bxg7 27. Qxe6+ fxe6 28. fxg7 Rg8 29. Bxc5 Rxg7 30. Bxb4 Bxe4 31. Bc3 Rc7 32. Bxe5

The Bishops of opposite color make it difficult for Black to convert his extra pawn.

32... Rc5 33. Bf6 Bd5 34. Ra1 a5 35. Kf2 Bb3 36. h5 gxh5 37. Rh1 a4 38. Rxh5 a3 39. Rh7 Rf5+ 40. Ke3 a2 41. Ra7 Bd5 42. Kd4 Rf1

Game drawn by mutual agreement

1/2-1/2

Board 4

CraigJones-CAR (2323) - Lian-NJ (2109) [A04]

ICC 90 30 u/Internet Chess Club 2007


1. Nf3 c5 2. e3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. a3 O-O 6. Be2 d5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Qb3 Nb6 9. d3 Bf5 10. e4 Be6 11. Qb5 Qd6 12. Be3 Bd4!?










Safer seems 12... N8d7

13. e5!?

White cuts off the dark-squared Bishop's retreat, creating great long-term attacking chances on the kingside due to Black's weakened dark squares.

13... Qd8 14. Ne4 a6 15. Qa5 Nc6

a) 15... Bxb2 16. Rb1 Nc6 17. Qxc5 Nd7 18. Qc2 Bxa3 19. O-O

b) 15... Bxe3 16. fxe3 c4

16. Qd2 Nd7 17. Nxd4 Nxd4 18. Bxd4 cxd4 19. f4! Nb6 20. O-O Nd5 21. g4!? Ne3!

Black has fought well and now forces White into a sacrifice to maintain his initiative.

22. f5!? gxf5 23. gxf5 Bxf5 24. Rxf5 Nxf5 25. Qg5+ Ng7 26. Rf1

White's initiative seems adequate compensation for the Exchange, but Black has judged his defensive resources very well.

26... Kh8! 27. Qh6 Ne6! 28. Kh1 Qd5 29. Rf5 Ng7

Black must prevent Rh5.

30. Rf3 Qe6! 31. Nf6 exf6 32. exf6 Nf5

Also good was to return the piece by 32... Rg8 33. Rh3 Qd5+ 34. Bf3 Qf5 35. Be4?? Qf1#

33. Rxf5 Rg8 34. Qh5

34. Rf2 Rg6!

34... Rac8 35. Rf1 Rg6 36. Qf3 Qc6

After the exchange of Queens, the game is over.

37. h4 Rxf6! 38. Qxc6 Rcxc6 39. Rg1 Rc2 40. Bg4 Rff2

White resigns -- a brilliant defense by Black to gain a full point for the team and assure victory.

0-1

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