Consultation Game 2008
By Michael Goeller
The Kenilworth Chess Club held its Third Annual Consultation Game beginning May 15, 2008. About 20 players participated, with 10 per team. The White pieces were directed by FM Steve Stoyko and a number of other players, including myself, Max Sherer, and Greg Tomkovich. The Black pieces were directed by NM Mark Kernighan and NM Scott Massey along with Mark Bilenky, John Moldovan, Joe Demetrick, Mike Wojcio and a number of other players. As I only witnessed the White side, my notes mostly reflect that side of the board. Interestingly, the opening was similar to that played in a number of John Moldovan's games, as discussed on his "Chess Coroner" blog -- including a recent one against Max Sherer (who is studying with Stoyko). Some of the notes below are drawn from Moldovan's remarks on his own games with the line.
While FM Stoyko moved the pieces on the demo board and led the discussion for the White side (see image above), he was remarkably hands-off in dictating the course of play, even allowing us to pursue a rather wild line (with an early g4 advance) which he disapproved -- saying "I would never play this, but it's reasonable."
The game will be finished next week.
Stoyko, Goeller, Sherer, Tomkovich et. al. -- Massey, Kernighan, Bilenky, Moldovan, et. al. [E33]
Consultation Game/Kenilworth, NJ USA 2008
Black has other moves which may be better:
a) 6... Qe7!? 7. a3 Bxc3+ 8. Qxc3 a5?! 9. b3?! (9. e4 h6 10. Bxf6 Qxf6 11. e5) 9... e5 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. e3 Ne4 12. Bxe7 Nxc3 13. Bh4 Bf5 14. Bg3 f6 15. Nh4 Be6 16. Bd3? e4? (16...
O-O-O17. Bf5 Bxf5 18. Nxf5 g6 was right. - F) 17. Bf1 g5!? 18. Rc1 (Better was 18. Bxc7 gxh4 M 19. Kd2! Nd5 20. cxd5 Bxd5 21. Rb1 F) 18... Na2 19. Rc2 Nab4! 20. axb4 Nxb4 21. Rd2 gxh4? 22. Bxh4? Kf7 23. Bg3 a4! 24. bxa4 (24. Bxc7?? a3) 24... Rxa4 1/2-1/2 Sherer,M-Moldovan,J/Kenilworth, NJ 2008 (39).
8. d5 Bxc3 (8... exd5! 9. Nxd5 Nxd5 10. cxd5 Bxd2+ 11. Qxd2 Ne5 12. Nd4
O-O= Herraiz - Del Rio : Merida, ESP 2005) 9. Qxc3! (9. Bxc3 exd5 10. cxd5 Nxd5! 11. Bxg7 Ncb4 Kernighan = K 12. Qb1 M 12... Rg8 13. Bxh6 Qf6) 9... Ne5? (This leads to a bad ending. 9... Nb8= was right.) 10. Nxe5 dxe5 11. Qxe5 exd5 12. Qxe7+ Kxe7 13. cxd5 Nxd5 14. e4 Nb6 15. Bb4+ 1-0 Kernighan,M-Moldovan,J/Springfield, NJ 2007/[Moldovan & Fritz 8] (50)
Also good, though, is 8.a3.
Stoyko did not want to dictate the course of play but just keep us within reasonable bounds with his advice. He thought the plan of O-O-O followed by a speedy kingside advance was fully justified by Black's early h6. But, in his view, there was no need to rush things. Better to first secure the two Bishops (with a3), lock things up, and then slowly advance on the kingside, when Black's counterplay would be limited, especially since all endgames favor White's Bishops. A good example of Stoyko's preferred strategy might be the following game:
8. a3! Bxc3 9. Bxc3 (this was Stoyko's preference here or on the next move, when the two Bishops give White a lasting edge) 9... Qe7 10. h3 (10.
Steve thought this move was a bit reckless and premature, but it was the fan favorite and I led the cheers for it. Obviously, White is spurred on by ...h6 and the opposite side castled position to start an attack.
We rejected 9... Nxg4!? simply on general principles. But it can get complicated: 10. Rg1 Bxc3! ( we had calculated only 10... Nxf2? 11. Bxh6 Nxd1?? 12. Rxg7+ Kh8 13. Qh7# by way of example of what risks Black runs with 9...Nxg4) 11. bxc3 (11. Bxc3 Nxf2 12. d5 Ne5 13. Nxe5 dxe5) 11... f5! 12. Rg2! (12. h3 Nxf2 13. Bxh6 Rf7) 12... Kf7 (12... Kh8? 13. h3 Nf6 14. Nh4) 13. e4! gives White plenty of initiative for the pawn.
10... hxg5 11. dxe5 (11. Nxg5 Bxc3 12. Bxc3 exd4 13. Bxd4 Nxd4 14. Rxd4 Qe5) 11... dxe5 12. Bxg5 (12. Nxg5 Nd4 13. Nd5 Nxc2 14. Nxe7+ Bxe7 15. Kxc2) 12... Bxc3 13. Qxc3 Ne4 14. Bxe7 Nxc3 15. Bxf8 Nxd1 16. Bxg7! Nxf2 17. Rg1
We thought that this move, giving up the center and exposing the Knight at f6 to exchange, was wrong.
Now all of White's forces are active.
We had a very tough time deciding between this and 18. Qc2
a) Stoyko though best was 20. Bxf6! Qxf3 21. Nxf3 gxf6 22. Nd4 with the much better ending for White due to his outside passed pawn, good Rook placement, and excellent squares for his Knight. But we refused to believe that exchanging into an ending with equal material was White's best. We still wanted to attack.
Playing quickly due to the 60 minutes per side limit, we overlooked this shot. During the game, we felt that Black completely steals the initiative after this, but a closer look suggests that White is still much better.
and in this position Black sealed a move. White is up the Exchange and has an outside passed pawn, but it is a very tough ending to win. I look forward to seeing how White tries to make progress.
Steve makes the last move for White and we await Black's sealed move. What's the best plan?*
Game in PGNCopyright © 2008 by Michael Goeller