Garden State Chess League, Round One

By Michael Goeller

On Tuesday, March 3, the "Kenilworth Karpovs" took on the Staten Island team in the first round of action in the newly founded Garden State Chess League. Our players were Steve Stoyko, Michael Goeller, Max Sherer and Mike Wojcio. Kenilworth won 3-1. I've annotated the games of the top boards below.

Steve Stoyko (2248) - Jackson Hueckel (1800) [D94]

Garden State Chess League/West Orange Chess Club 2009

1. c4 Nf6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. e3 O-O 6. Bd2 c6 7. Rc1 Nbd7 8. Be2 b6?!

This weakens the c-file and the queenside. Necessary was 8... dxc4! when Black gets counterplay, e.g.: 9. Bxc4 Nb6 10. Bb3 (10. Be2 is better) 10... Bg4 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Qxf3 e5! 13. dxe5?! Nfd7 14. O-O (14. e6 fxe6 15. Qe2 Nc5) 14... Nxe5 15. Qe2 Nd3.


9. O-O Bb7 10. cxd5! cxd5 11. Qb3 Rc8 12. Rfd1

Discouraging e5 ideas.


12... Re8 13. Nb5! a6 14. Rxc8 Qxc8 15. Rc1 Qb8

Forced. Not 15... Qd8? 16. Nc7 Rf8 17. Nxa6 or 15... Qa8?? 16. Nc7.


16. Nc3

White's little knight sortee has weakened Black's queenside and gained greater control of the c-file.


16... Qd6

16... Rc8 17. Qa3


17. Na4 Rc8 18. Rxc8+ Bxc8 19. Bb4! Qe6

19... Qc6 20. Bxe7 Qc1+ 21. Bf1


20. Qc2!

Simple chess! Now White has sufficient positional advantage, with the c-file and piece pressure, to practically force some material gain.


20... Nb8 21. Qc7 Nc6 22. Nxb6! Nxb4 23. Qxc8+ Qxc8 24. Nxc8 Nxa2 25. Nxe7+ Kf8 26. Nc6

White is not only up a pawn, but he also wins the weak a6 pawn. Then he will target the isolated d-pawn. Steve shows fine technique with the remainder.


26... Ne8 27. Bxa6 Nd6 28. Kf1 f6 29. Ne1 Ke8 30. Nd3 Kd7 31. Ncb4 Nxb4 32. Nxb4 Ke6 33. Ke2 f5 34. Bd3!

The Bishop repositions to target the d-pawn!


34... Bf6 35. Bb1 Nc4 36. Ba2! Nb6

36... Nxb2 37. Nxd5! Bd8 38. Kd2! will win the Knight, which is trapped with Bb3, Nc3, and Kc2, and if now 38... Na4 39. Nb6+!


37. Nd3

Heading to f4.


37... Na4?! 38. Nf4+ Kd6 39. Nxd5 Bd8 40. Bb3!


40... Nb6

40... Nxb2? 41. Nc3! Ba5 42. Kd2 again traps the Knight.


41. Nxb6!?

And Black resigned, since three pawns make the win easy even with Bishops of opposite color. A great technical demonstration by FM Stoyko.


W. Sealey (1750) - Michael Goeller (2034) [A50]

Garden State Chess League/West Orange Chess Club, West O (1) 2009

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 4. e3 Bb4 5. Nf3 Qe7!?

I don't know what inspired this novelty. There are two book moves:

a) 5... exd4 6. exd4 O-O 7. Be2 d5 8. O-O= is the type of position that could arise from the French Exchange Variation.

b) 5... e4! is probably best and recommended by Palliser in his book on the Tango. Black then just has to avoid playing ...d5 or we have a reversed French that should favor White here. One interesting example of play was 6. Nd2 Bxc3 7. bxc3 d6 8. Be2 O-O 9. O-O Bf5 10. Rb1 Qc8 11. Qa4 Nd8 12. c5 dxc5 13. Ba3 Ne6 14. dxc5 Rd8 15. c6 b5 16. Qc2 Nf4 17. Bxb5 Nxg2 18. Kxg2 Bh3+ 19. Kh1 Qg4 20. Rg1 Rxd2 21. Rxg4 Rxc2 22. Rg3 Bg4 23. Ba6 Bf3+ 24. Kg1 Rxa2 25. Bb7 Re8 26. Bc5 h6 27. h4 Nh5 28. Rh3 Re6 29. Kf1 Rg6 30. Rxf3 exf3 31. Bc8 Rg2 32. e4 Ng3+ 33. fxg3 Rh2 34. Bg1 Rh1 35. Rb8 Kh7 0-1 Ivanov-Wolff/Bermuda 1991.


6. d5 Bxc3+!

I can never resist doubling these pawns. Fritz likes 6... e4!? 7. dxc6 (7. Nd4!?=) 7... exf3 8. cxb7 (8. cxd7+?! Bxd7 9. Qxf3 O-O-O) 8... Bxb7 9. gxf3 O-O.


7. bxc3 Nd8 8. Be2

8. d6?! Qxd6 9. Qxd6 cxd6 10. Ba3 Ne4.


8... O-O 9. O-O d6 10. h3?! Ne4! 11. Qc2 f5

Interestingly, I had a very similar position as White out of the Two Knights French vs. Moldovan and missed this Knight maneuver to gain the initiative. But at least I learn frommymistakes!


12. Nd2 Nxd2!

12... Nc5 13. Nb3 Nd7!? is an amusing little dance.


13. Qxd2!?

13... f4?!

This works very well in the game but is probably incorrect. I wanted to make sure that my opponent did not get in the annoying f4 advance, which had stopped my attack cold in the Moldovan game. But there is a better way: 13... e4! with the idea of Nf7-e5, b6, and Ba6 was probably the way to go, and if 14. f4!? exf3 15. Bxf3 Nf7 followed by Ne5 and b6 has got to be better for Black.


14. exf4 exf4 15. Re1 Qh4 16. Bf3 g5?!

Logical but loosening.


17. Qe2

17. Qd4! Nf7 18. c5 Ne5 19. Rxe5! dxe5 20. Qxe5 was the idea I overlooked. Fortunately he did also. But I should play better! If only I could just play "simple chess" like Steve!


17... Nf7



18. Be4?!

a) 18. Qe7! Ne5? (18... Bf5) 19. Rxe5! dxe5 20. d6 cxd6 21. Bd5+ is similar to 17.Qd4 above.

b) 18. Bg4?! Ne5 19. Bxc8 Raxc8 is what I had expected.


18... Ne5!

Now everything goes Black's way, with ideas like f3, Bxh3, and Rf6-h6 in the air.


19. f3 Qg3!

I wanted to play 19... Nxc4?! but White's ok after 20. Bxf4! gxf4 21. Qxc4 and Black has nothing since 21... Bxh3? 22. gxh3 Qg3+ 23. Kf1 (23. Kh1 Qxh3+ 24. Kg1 Rf7!!) 23... Qxh3+ 24. Ke2 is just bad. But 19...Qg3 first might make Nxc4 possible in some lines.


20. Kf1

20. Kh1? Nxc4! 21. Bxf4 Rxf4 22. Qxc4 Bxh3!! and now this works like a charm, e.g.: 23. Re2 (23. gxh3? Rh4) 23... Re8! 24. Qxc7 Rexe4!! 25. fxe4 (25. Qb8+ Kg7 26. Qxb7+ Kg6) 25... Bxg2+ 26. Rxg2 Qh3+ 27. Kg1 Qe3+ 28. Kh1 Rh4+ 29. Rh2 Qf3+ 30. Kg1 Rg4+


20... b6!

Now those doubled pawns are trouble. White should probably try 21.Qf2 just giving one up now to survive.


21. Bd2 Ba6

Fritz prefers 21... Qh2! but I thought my move was more direct.


22. Bd3 Rae8 23. Qe4 Re7

I debated "which rook," but 23... Rf7 amounts to the same thing.


24. Kg1 Rfe8!

With all of Black's forces into the attack, White is just lost.


25. Red1 Nxd3 26. Qxd3 Re2 27. Qxe2 Rxe2

and White resigned because mate is unavoidable.


[Michael Goeller]

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Copyright © 2009 by Michael Goeller