Two Upsets from USATE 2007

Tom Bartell (2380) - Leonid Yudasin (2569)

USATE 2007/Parsippany, NJ USA 2007


The following position arises after 35... Qe5??










Yudasin thinks he is setting up a killer "cross-pin," in which the Bishop at e3 is at the cross-fire of two pins along the g1-d4 diagonal and the e-file. But White pulls off a stunning reversal, after which he can say "who's cross-pinning whom?"

The correct way to set up the killer cross pin was 35... Qe7! 36. Bh7+!? Kxh7! and Black would indeed win as planned(but not 36... Qxh7 37. Bxd4)

 

36. Bh7+!! Kxh7

36... Kh8 37. Bxd4

 

37. Qf7+ Kh8

37... Qg7 38. Qxe8

 

38. Qxe8+!

and Black resigned in view of the hopeless Exchange-down ending that follows.

 

38... Kg7 39. Bxd4 Qxd4+ 40. Qe3 1-0


Arthur Shen (1605) - D. Gertler (2250) [B00]

US Amateur Team East/Parsippany USA (6) 2007


1. e4 Nc6!?

An interesting choice against a lower-rated player.

 

2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. c3!

Black gets too much play against a stereotyped move such as 5. Nbd2?! Nb4! 6. Bb5+ c6 7. Ba4 Qa5 8. Bb3 c5

 

5... f6 6. Bf4 Nge7 7. Bd3!

Though it s eems wrong to exchange White's "Good Bishop" for Black's "Bad Bishop," the truth is that White's light-squared Bishop has little role in this position and the exchange helps him to deploy his forces more favorably.

7. exf6 gxf6 8. Nh4 Ng6 9. Qh5 Nce7

 

7... Qd7

7... Bxd3 8. Qxd3 Ng6 9. Bg3

 

8. Bxf5?!

This way of exchanging seems to help Black more than it helps White. Better to wait for Black to exchange.

8. O-O O-O-O 9. b4 leads to a typical Nimzovich position with opposite-side castling and mutual attacks.

 

8... Nxf5 9. Nbd2 g5 10. Bg3 g4! 11. Nh4 Nxh4?!

As Pete Tamburro points out in his Star Ledger column (March 18, 2007), much better was 11... fxe5! 12. Nxf5 exf5 13. dxe5 O-O-O when perhaps 14. Qe2 Qe6 and Black's chances are definitely better.

 

12. Bxh4 fxe5 13. Qxg4 exd4?

 

 

As Tamburro notes, necessary was either 13... Qf7! or 13... Bd6!? when Black may even be better.

 

14. Bf6!

Tamburro writes: "Shen is tactically alert on moves 14 and 15 and wins a piece. It just goes to show that no matter who you are playing, they make mistakes, too, and you have to pay attention to tactical threats on every single move."

 

14... dxc3 15. bxc3 Bg7 16. Qxg7! Qxg7 17. Bxg7 Rg8 18. Bh6 Rxg2

Black has two pawns for the piece and the superior pawn structure, but that should prove insufficient against best play.

 

19. Bf4!

Threatening the pawn at c7 and to trap the Rook by Bg3, hence Black's next.

 

19... Rg7 20. O-O-O Rf7 21. Bg3 Kd7

21... O-O-O!?

22. Nb3 b6 23. c4!

Exploiting the pin on the d-pawn.

 

23... Ne7 24. Rhe1 c5 25. cxd5 exd5 26. Bh4 Nf5?

On 26... d4! White may have been planning 27. Nxd4!? (27. Bxe7 Rxe7 28. Rxe7+ Kxe7 29. Nd2 Rf8 30. f3) 27... cxd4 28. Rxd4+ Ke8 29. Rde4 Rc8+ 30. Kb2 Rc7 31. Re6! Kf8 32. Bf6! Rd7 33. Kb3! when White gains just the advantage he needs to win the King and Pawn ending after 33... h5 (what else?) 34. Rxe7 Rfxe7 35. Bxe7+ Rxe7 36. Rxe7 Kxe7 37. Kc4 a6 38. Kd5

 

27. Bg5?!

As Tamburro points out, White wins easily after 27. Rxd5+! Kc6 28. Rd8!! (the move that Shen likely missed in his calculations) when White wins a pawn and forces exchanges.

 

27... Rg8! 28. Bf4 d4 29. Nd2 Nd6 30. Bg3 Re7?! 31. Rxe7+ Kxe7 32. Re1+ Kd7 33. Ne4 Ne8 34. f4 Rf8 35. Ng5 h6 36. Nf3 Ng7 37. Nh4 Rf7 38. Re5 Kc6 39. Ng6 Kd6 40. f5 Kd7 41. f6 Ne6 42. Rd5+ Ke8 43. Bh4 Ng5 44. Bxg5 hxg5 45. Rf5?










and Black resigned (or perhaps lost on time.) Best was 45. Rd6!

 

1 - 0

 

However, as Pete Tamburro rightly points out, the position is far from clear and certainly not an easy win after:

 

45... Kd7! 46. Ne5+ Ke6 47. Nxf7 Kxf5 48. Nxg5 Kxf6

 

Probably the best winning try now is:

 

49. Nf3!

Tamburro gives 49. h4?! Kf5 50. Nf3 Kg4 51. Kd2 Kxf3!=

 

49... Kf5 50. Kd2 Ke4 51. Ne1

though it leads to a problem-like win at best after even the most direct line :

 

51... Kf4!?

going after the h-pawn.

 

52. Kd3 Kg4 53. Kc4 Kh3 54. Nf3 Kg2 55. Ne5

a) 55. h4?? Kxf3 56. h5 Ke2

b) 55. Nxd4?! cxd4 56. h4 Kf3 57. Kxd4 Kg4 58. Kc4 a6 59. Kd5 Kxh4 60. Kc6 b5 61. Kb6 Kg4 62. Kxa6 b4 63. Ka5 Kf5 64. Kxb4 Ke6 65. Kb5 Kd7 66. Kb6 Kc8=

 

55... Kxh2 56. Nc6 a6 57. Nb8 Kg3

57... b5+ 58. Kd3!

 

58. Kd3!

58. Nxa6 Kf4 59. Nc7 Ke4 (59... Ke3 60. Nd5+) 60. a3 d3 61. Kc3 d2 (61... Ke3 62. Nd5+ Ke2 63. Nf4+) 62. Kxd2 Kd4 63. Kc2 Kc4 64. Ne8 Kb5

 

58... Kf4 59. Nd7

and White appears to have good winning chances, but it is definitely worth playing out!

1-0

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