NJ Knockouts vs. Miami Sharks

US Chess League 2008, Week #9

It was a rough week for the NJ Knockouts who missed a chance to beat their rival for second place in the Eastern Division. It was especially disappointing that all of their losses were due to blunders. Better luck next week guys.

Board 1

Benjamin-NJ (2644) - Becerra-MIA (2640) [C78]

ICC 75 30 u/Internet Chess Club 2008


1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Bc5

The Moller Variation, which receives excellent treatment by Glenn Flear in "Dangerous Weapons 1.e4 e5," in a chapter titled "Twenty Years of Obscurity." Some lines are quite forcing, but Black appears to emerge unscathed.

 

6. c3

The chief alternative is 6. Nxe5!? Nxe5 7. d4 Nxe4 (7... b5!? 8. dxe5 Nxe4 9. Bb3 Bb7) 8. Qe2 Be7 9. Qxe4 Ng6 10. f4 O-O 11. f5 d5 12. Qd3 Nh4 13. g3 c5! Flear.

 

6... b5

The more circumspect 6... Bb6!? 7. d4 Nxe4 is Flear's recommendation.

 

7. d4!?

Benjamin heads for complications, as he did in a game ten years before (which Becerra surely knew). White can also play safely for an edge by 7. Bc2

or 7. Bb3.

 

7... bxa4 8. dxc5 Nxe4 9. Nxe5! Nxe5










10. Qd5 Nxc5!?

In a game ten years ago, Benjamin encountered the more common 10... Bb7 which appears to equalize with best play: 11. Qxe5+ Qe7 12. Qxe7+ (12. Qxc7 looks strong, but Black somehow holds everything together after 12... Nxc5 13. Be3 Rc8 14. Bxc5 Rxc7 15. Bxe7 Kxe7 16. Re1+ Kf6 17. Rd1 Re8 18. Na3 Re2 19. Rd6+ Ke7 20. Rb6 Be4 21. Rxa6 Rb7 22. Rxa4 Rbxb2 23. Nc4 Bb1 24. g4 Rxa2 25. R4xa2 Bxa2 26. Ne3= Short,N-Ivanchuk,V/Novgorod 1996) 12... Kxe7 13. Re1 Kd8!? (13... Kf6 14. Be3 d6 15. cxd6 Nxd6 16. Nd2 Rhe8 17. f3 Rad8 18. Kf2 Bd5 19. b3 Bc6 20. Bc5 Nb7 21. Bd4+ Kg6 22. Nc4 f6 23. Nb2 Rxe1 24. Kxe1 axb3 25. axb3 Bd5 26. b4 Rd6 27. Kf2 Kf7 28. Ke3 Rc6 29. Kd3 Be6 30. c4 Nd6 31. Bc5 Nb7= Short,N-Ehlvest,J/Reykjavik 2000) 14. Be3 Re8 15. Na3 Bd5 (15... Rb8 may be more accurate: 16. f3 Nf6 17. Bd4 Rxe1+ 18. Rxe1 Bd5 19. c4 Be6 20. Kf2 Ng8 21. c6 f6 22. cxd7 Kxd7 23. Rd1 Ke8 24. Ke3 Ne7 25. Kd2 Rd8 26. Kc1 Nf5 27. Bf2 Rxd1+ 28. Kxd1 Nd6 29. b3 axb3 30. axb3 Kd7 31. Kd2 h5 32. Nb1 g5 33. Nc3 g4 34. Na4 Nb7 35. fxg4 hxg4 36. Bd4 Ke7 and the Bishops of opposite color made it hard for White to use whatever structural edge he had in 1/2-1/2 Ivanchuk,V-Shirov,A/Monte Carlo 1997 (58)) 16. c4 Bc6?! (16... Be6 17. Bd4 Nf6 18. Rad1 Kc8 19. h3 Ng8 20. Bc3 g6 21. f3 Ne7 22. Kf2 h5 23. g4 1/2-1/2 Ehlvest,J-Onischuk,A/Beijing 1998) 17. f3! Nf6 18. Nc2 Rb8 19. Bd4 Rxe1+ 20. Rxe1 d6 21. cxd6 cxd6 White has emerged with a much superior ending due to Black's shattered pawns, and Benjamin goes on to show excellent technique to bring home the full point. The remainder of the game went 22. Ne3! Bd7 23. Rd1 Ne8 24. Bc3 f6 25. Rd4 Ke7 26. Kf2 Be6 27. Ke2 Nc7 28. Kd3 Rb7 29. Ba5 Ne8 30. Kc3 Rb8 31. Nd5+ Kd7 32. Nb6+ Kc6 33. Nxa4 Bf7 34. b3 Nc7 35. Bxc7 Kxc7 36. Re4 Re8 37. Rxe8 Bxe8 38. Kb4 Bg6 39. Ka5 Kb7 40. Nc3 Bd3 41. Nd5 Bf1 42. g3 Bg2 43. f4 Be4 44. Nb4 Bb1 45. a4 g5 46. Nxa6 Ba2 47. b4 Bxc4 48. b5 h5 49. h4 gxf4 50. gxf4 Be2 51. Nb4 Bf3 52. Nc2 Be4 53. Nd4 Bd3 54. Kb4 Be4 55. a5 Bd3 56. Nc6 Bb1 57. Ne7 Ba2 58. Nf5 Kc7 59. b6+ Kc6 60. Nd4+ Kb7 61. Kb5 1-0 Benjamin,J-Kaufman,L/New York 1998.

 

11. Qxa8

11. Qxe5+ Ne6 12. f4 O-O 13. f5 f6 14. Qe4 (14. Qd5 c6=) 14... d5 15. Qxa4 Ng5=

 

11... O-O

11... Bb7 12. Qxd8+ Kxd8 is not attractive.

 

12. Be3 Ncd3 13. Qe4!?

The only other game I found in this line continued 13. Qd5 d6 14. Nd2 Be6 15. Qd4 (15. Qb7!?) 15... Nxb2 16. Bf4 Nec4 17. Nxc4 Nxc4 18. Rfe1 c5 19. Qd3 d5 20. Qg3 Qf6 21. Bd6 Rc8? (21... Nxd6! 22. Qxd6 Qxc3 23. Rac1 Qd2 24. Qxc5 Qxa2=) 22. Bxc5! h6 23. Bd4 Qg5 24. Rab1 Qxg3 25. hxg3 Rc6 26. f3 h5 27. Kf2 Kh7 28. Rb8 Rc8 29. Rxc8 Bxc8 30. Re7 Kg6 31. Rc7 Be6 32. Rc6 a5 33. Ra6 Kh7 34. a3 Bc8 35. Ra8 Bf5 36. Bc5 Kg6 37. Ke2 Kh7 38. Rd8 Be6 39. Kd3 Ne5+ 40. Ke3 Kg6 41. Bd6 Nc4+ 42. Kd4 Kf5 43. Bc5 Kf6 44. Rxd5 1-0 Matanovic, A-Segi,L/Novi Sad 1955, though Becerra surely had an improvement prepared.

 

13... d5 14. Qxa4 c5

It's hard to believe at first glance, but Black has excellent compensation for the Exchange in his superior pieces and control of the board, which is only enhanced by the opposite color Bishops. However, that said, I have to believe that White missed opportunities to neutralize Black's initiative and make his material advantage pay.

14... Nxb2 15. Qf4 Re8 16. Nd2

 

15. Nd2 Qf6 16. Kh1

16. b4 Qg6 17. Kh1 Bd7 18. Qa5!? looks like a reasonable plan, trying to make something of his queenside majority.

 

16... Bd7 17. Qd1 Re8

17... Nxb2!? 18. Qc2 Nbd3 19. f4 Qg6! 20. Nb3 (20. fxe5?? Nf2+) 20... Nc4 21. Bxc5 Re8 22. Bg1

 

18. Nb3 Bb5 19. Qc2

Fritz suggests giving back the Exchange for activity with 19. Nxc5! Nxb2 (19... Nxc5 20. Bxc5 Bxf1 21. Qxf1) 20. Qxd5 Qg6 (20... Bxf1 21. Rxf1) 21. Qd4 Bxf1 22. Rxf1 Qc2 23. Qd2

 

19... Qh4 20. f3 Qa4!?

Indirectly protecting the c-pawn and biding time to reorganize his attack.

20... Ng4 21. Bg1 Ne3 22. Bxe3 Rxe3 23. a4

 

21. Bg1 Ng6 22. Qd2 h6 23. Rfd1!?

23. Bxc5 Ngf4 24. Be3 might also be sufficient.

 

23... Nh4 24. Bxc5 Nf4 25. Bb4 Nd3 26. Ba3?!

26. Nd4! appears to hold with a big edge for White long term.

 

26... Nf5 27. Nc5

Perhaps 27. g4!? Ne3 28. Rg1 Qf4 29. Nd4 holds?

 

27... Qh4! 28. Kg1??

A terrible blunder that decides the game. Black has no better than a forced draw after 28. Nxd3 Ng3+ (28... Bxd3 29. Bd6!!) 29. Kg1 Ne2+ 30. Kh1 Ng3+ 31. Kg1=

 

 

28... Nf4! 29. Re1 Re2

29... Ne2+ 30. Rxe2 Rxe2

 

30. Rxe2 Nxe2+ 31. Kf1 Qxh2 32. Qe1 Nf4+

White resigns since mate follows, though Black missed the faster

32... Qg1#!

0-1


Board 2

Bruci Lopez-MIA (2486) - Dean Ippolito-NJ (2500) [B33]

ICC 90 30 u/Internet Chess Club 2008


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bf4 e5 8. Bg5 a6 9. Na3 b5

A rather common transposition to the Sveshnikov, which always makes it difficult to construct a coherent database of Sveshnikov games.

 

10. Nd5

In his book "Revolution in the 70s," Kasparov calls this the "quiet strategy," as opposed to the sharper treatment of the position with

10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Nd5 f5 which, among other things, allows White to create wild complications with a piece sacrifice by 12. Bxb5 (or 12. Nxb5)

 

10... Be7 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. c3

Kasparov writes that in this line, "White does not aim for a direct refutation of the variation, but plans to slowly build up pressure, after weakening the opponent's queenside by Nc2 and a2-a4."

 

12... Bg5 13. Nc2 O-O 14. a4 bxa4 15. Rxa4 a5 16. Bc4 Rb8 17. b3 Kh8

Sveshnikov attributes the plan of ...Kh8 followed by ...f7-f5 to Timoshchenko.

 

18. h4! Bh6 19. Qe2!?

This move does not seem to interfere at all with Black's plan. More natural is 19. Nce3 with the idea of Ng4 or g4 seems to cause Black more problems in completing his plan of ...f7-f5.

 

19... f5! 20. exf5 Bxf5 21. g4 Bxc2 22. Qxc2 e4?

 










This piece sacrifice makes little sense and is completely unnecessary. Yet 22... Bf4 looks reasonable for Black, who can follow with e4 if allowed. It seems possible that Ippolito had a slip here and played his moves in the wrong order.

 

23. g5 Bxg5 24. hxg5 Qxg5

I do not see what Black has gotten for the piece.

 

25. Qxe4! g6

25... Rbe8?? 26. Rxh7+ Kg8 27. Ne7#

 

26. Ne3 Ne5 27. Bd5 Rf4 28. Qc2 Rxa4 29. bxa4 Qf6

White now simply has to coordinate his pieces for the attack and he will be able to exploit his piece advantage.

 

30. Qe4 Rf8 31. Qh4 Qg7 32. Ke2 Qa7 33. Rb1 Qa6+ 34. c4 g5 35. Qh6










35... Rxf2+!?

A cute attempt, rather reminiscent of the stalemate attempt in his last game against Lenderman. Not 35... Ng6 36. Rb7

 

36. Kxf2 Ng4+ 37. Nxg4

37. Kg2 Nxh6 38. Rb7! probably wins too, believe it or not, due to a sort of zugzwang.

 

37... Qb6+!? 38. Ne3!

Black resigns as mate follows. Of course, 38. Rxb6?? is stalemate!

1-0


Board 3

Molner-NJ (2397) - Perea-MIA (2453) [C55]

ICC 90 30 u/Internet Chess Club 2008


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3

I generally play 3. d4!? but analyzing the Giuoco lines that are often used by the NJKO team, I have gained an appreciation for the quieter 3.d3.

 

3... Nc6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. Re1 d6 7. a4 Na5 8. Ba2 c5 9. Nc3 Nc6 10. Bg5 Ne8 11. Be3 Kh8 12. Nd5 f5 13. exf5 Bxf5 14. h3 Nf6 15. c3 Nxd5 16. Bxd5 Qd7 17. a5 a6 18. Bg5 Bf6 19. Bxf6 Rxf6 20. d4 exd4 21. cxd4 Nb4 22. Be4

 










22... c4?!

Black should be at least equal after 22... Re8! 23. Bxf5 (23. Ng5!? d5 24. Bxf5 Rxe1+ 25. Qxe1 Qxf5 26. g4!? Qc8 27. Qc3) 23... Rxe1+ 24. Qxe1 Qxf5 25. Rd1=

 

23. Qa4! Qxa4

23... Nc6 24. d5 Bxe4 25. Rxe4 Qf5 26. Qxc4

 

24. Rxa4 Bxe4 25. Rxe4 Nd3 26. Re7 d5 27. Rxb7 Rc8 28. Ra1! h6 29. Rd1 Rff8 30. Ne5! Rb8 31. Rxb8 Rxb8 32. Nxd3 cxd3 33. Rxd3 Rxb2 34. Rc3! Rd2 35. Kf1!

35. Rc6 Rd1+! 36. Kh2 Rxd4 37. Rxa6 Ra4 probably makes little difference, but it does leave White's King further from the action.

 

35... Rxd4 36. Rc6 Ra4 37. Rxa6 Ra2 38. Ra8+ Kh7 39. a6 d4 40. a7 d3 41. Ke1 h5 42. f4 h4 43. f5! Re2+ 44. Kd1 Ra2 45. Kc1 Ra5 46. Kd2 Ra3 47. Ke3 d2+ 48. Kxd2 Ra4 49. Ke3 Ra3+ 50. Kf4 Ra2 51. Kf3 Ra4 52. Ke3 Ra3+ 53. Kf4 Ra2 54. Kg4 Rxg2+ 55. Kxh4 Ra2 56. Kg3 Ra3+ 57. Kf2 Ra2+ 58. Ke1 Ra1+ 59. Kd2 Ra2+ 60. Kc1 Ra5 61. h4 Rc5+ 62. Kd2 Rd5+ 63. Kc3 Ra5 64. h5 Ra6 65. Kb4 Ra1










66. h6!

A brilliantly conducted game by NJ Champ Molner.

1-0

Black resigns because White wins after:

66... Rb1+

66... gxh6 67. f6 Kg6 68. Rg8+

66... Kxh6? 67. Rh8+

 

67. Kc5 Rc1+ 68. Kd4 Rd1+ 69. Ke3 Ra1 70. hxg7 Kxg7 71. f6+ Kh7

71... Kxf6 72. Rf8+

71... Kf7 72. Rh8 Rxa7 73. Rh7+

 

72. f7

 


Board 4

MatanP-MIA (2116) - Lian-NJ (2142) [B22]

ICC 90 30 u/Internet Chess Club 2008


1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bc4 Nb6 7. Bb3 d6

7... d5!?

 

8. exd6 e6 9. cxd4 Bxd6 10. Nc3 O-O 11. O-O Nb4 12. Ne4 Be7 13. a3 N4d5 14. Qd3 Bd7 15. Bc2 g6 16. Bh6 Re8 17. Rfe1 Rc8 18. Bb3 Bc6 19. Ne5 Nd7 20. Rac1 f5 21. Nxc6 bxc6 22. Nd2 Bf6 23. Nc4?!

White retains much better winning chances after 23. Nf3! c5? 24. Rxe6!!

 

23... Qc7 24. Bd2 c5! 25. Ba5 Qb8 26. Ba4 Re7 27. Bxd7 Rxd7 28. dxc5 Rxc5 29. Rxe6 Qb5! 30. b3 Qxa5! 31. b4










White has no better way of gaining material:

a) 31. Nxa5?? Rxc1+ 32. Qf1 Rxf1+ 33. Kxf1 Nf4

b) 31. Re8+ Kf7 32. b4 Rxc4! 33. Qxc4 Qc7

 

31... Qd8?

At this critical moment, young Lian falters and misses his chance for equality after 31... Rxc4 32. Qxc4 Qd8 and it is an interesting and unbalanced struggle with chances for both sides.

 

32. bxc5 Nf4 33. Qe3 Nxe6 34. Qxe6+ Kg7 35. Nd6

Though Black is "only a pawn down," it is a fairly decisive passed pawn.

 

35... Re7 36. Qd5 Qa5 37. g3 Qxa3 38. Rb1 Qc3 39. Rb7 Rxb7 40. Qxb7+ Kh6 41. Nf7+ Kh5 42. Kg2 Bd4 43. Qe7 Qd2 44. Qh4#

Black checkmated

1-0

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