Michael Goeller - Dale Brandreth [B10]
US Amateur Team East/Parsippany, NJ USA (1) 2009
The Two Knights Variation seems a natural fit for my repertoire, given that I also play the Tango as Black (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 etc.)
This is a move that I have not given much thought, mostly because it so much resembles the Tango.
Black prepares ...Bg4. After my experience in this game, I have to consider this one of the most critical tests of the whole variation.
b) 6... e5?! is all you'll find mentioned in the books, when White gets a good reversed Tango with 7. d3 Be7 (7... Be6!?)
b) 7. h3!? may actually be the best move, when you basically have a position from the Tango with colors reversed and the extra move h3 for White.
8. c3 Qd7 9. cxd4 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Nxd4 11. Qd1 e6 12. a4 Be7 13. f4
a) 9... a6!?
b) 9... e5?! is, of course, all wrong: 10. d3 g6 11. Qe2 Bd6 12. f4 Nd7? 13. Bxf7+! Kxf7 14. fxe5+ Kg7 15. exd6 Qh4 16. Qf2 Qf6 17. Qd2 Qh4 18. Qe1 Kg8 19. Rf4 Qh6 20. e5 Ncxe5 21. Qe4 Qg7 22. Qd5+ Nf7 23. Bd2 Rd8 24. Ne4 h6 25. Raf1 Rf8 26. Qe6 g5 27. R4f2 1-0 Rogmann,G-Dyckmanns/Krefeld 1938.
At this point, I went into a long think trying to find something for White -- without much luck. I decided to at least retain the two Bishops, even if that meant going into a temporary retreat.
a) 11. Qh5 is the move I most considered and perhaps should have played, but Black seems ok after 11... a6 (11... Qb6!? 12. a4 a6 13. Bxd7+ Nxd7 14. d3)
12. f4!? (12. Bxd7+! Nxd7 13. d3 g6 14. Qe2 Bg7 15. f4 is at least better than the game continuation.)
12... axb5 13. fxe5 g6 14. e6! (14. Qg5 e6! xe5)
14... fxe6 (14... gxh5?? 15. exf7#)
15. Qg4 Ne5! (15... Qb6!? 16. Qf4
b) 11. Qb3!? a6 12. Be2 b5 13. d3 e6 14. c4! (14. a4!?) 14... Rb8 15. cxb5 axb5 16. Qd1 and the Bishop and Queen arrive, by a circuitous route, to the same position as in the game but with some slight positional gains on the queenside.
I wanted to get that Knight out of there, but this does give Black one more chance for the d3 idea.
I really admired this move when my opponent played it. Now ...g5 has added weight.
It seems accurate to give this a full question mark, since this slight wavering really determined the outcome of the game. If Black had chosen this moment to strike, then the remaining conversation would have been held on the Kingside, with my monarch in jeopardy for the remainder. Instead, I get the breathing room I need to turn the focus to the queenside and the Black King.
b) 19... g5! seems required of the position.
Now White turns the corner and gets the attack going first. From this point onward, Black is on the defensive. Too slow is 20. Rb1?! g5! 21. fxg5 (21. f5 Qxe5 22. Bg4 h5!) 21... Ncxe5 22. b4 h6! 23. gxh6 cxb4 24. axb4 f5 25. Nc5!
Black may have better tries, but white attacks in any case:
If you ask Fritz, White is spoiled for choice here. But you have to be able to calculate like a machine to see it all. If you let Fritz think for a while, though, he thinks my move is best.
26. Ba5!? was my original intention, but just as I was about to play it I saw 26... Qxc5 27. Bxd8!! Bxd6! and then I spent way too much time trying in my head to make this work before choosing the simpler option in the game. Of course, Fritz quickly sees(all I had seen going into this was the lovely 27... Qxc2?? 28. Rxb7+ Ka8 29. Rxa6#) 28. Qa4! Rxd8 (28... Kc8 29. Rxb7!!) (28... Qa7 29. Qc6!!) 29. Qxa6 Qc1+!? 30. Bf1! Qe3+ 31. Kh1 Nc5 32. Qa7+ Kc7 33. Qb6+ Kd7 34. Qxd6+ Ke8 35. Qxc5
Black resigned. I had just under five minutes left on my clock, so I was relieved not to have to prove the rest. Funny how my two Bishops, which I had seen as my positional trump throughout, stood idly by the entire game....
Michael Goeller (2050) - Bill Potts (1850) [B09]
US Amateur Team East/Parsippany, NJ USA (3) 2009
I was inspired to start playing this move after seeing games with the even more straightforward idea 5. e5 dxe5 6. dxe5 Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 Ng4 8. Ke1 and White typically goes on to put Black under tremendous restraint.
This is probably playable, but better, in my opinion, is 6... b6! with the idea of enforcing the ...c5 break.
After the exchange of Queens and the advance of the e-pawn, White gains a comfortable advantage and never even has to move his King. The inferior 8. Be3 Qb6 is analyzed by Lalic and Okhotnik, but Black seems fine to me.
"The Austrian Wedge"
9... Nd5 10. Nxd5 Rxd5 11. Be3 (11. Bc4!? Rd8 12. Be3)
11... b6 12. Bd3 Bb7 13.
Fritz likes this move, too, but probably better is Bd3, e.g.:
During the game, I assumed he intended 12... Be6 13. Nxe6 fxe6 (13... Nxe6? 14. Bd5) 14. Kf2 but with the two Bishops and a space and structual advantage, this looks winning. Notice that the Bishop at g7 will never get into the game now.
Now White's c-pawn can advance to cover the d4 or d5 squares as necessary to keep Black under restraint.
On 20... f6 I had intended 21. g5!? (21. exf6+ is also good, of course) 21... hxg5 (21... f5 22. gxh6+ Kxh6 23. Neg5 Kg7 24. b4) (21... fxg5 22. fxg5 h5 23. b4) 22. exf6+ Nxf6 23. Nexg5 with ideas like b4.
This move seemed to create more opportunities for attack.
White finally cashes in, winning at least a pawn.
32. e6! is most deadly says Fritz
and Black resigned, as White has mate in two.
Games in PGNCopyright © 2009 by Michael Goeller