USATE 2009 Brilliancy
By Michael Goeller
If they gave a "Brilliancy Prize" at the US Amateur Teams East and World Amateur Teams (held in Parsipanny in February), this game would surely deserve it. And it is no surprise that it was played by 17-year-old Robert Hess, who is well known for his incredibly deep calculations. Just this month, Hess scored the remaining two norms he needed to gain the Grandmaster title. To judge from this game, he was already playing like a GM.
IM Robert L Hess (2544) - FM Paul Mac Intyre (2320) [C77]
US Amateur Team-ch East/Parsipanny,NJ (2) 2009
Table 7, Board 1: #46 Be Kind - Resign vs. #9 Palin - I Can See Check
The Worrall Attack, which is recommended by Andrew Greet in the recent "Play the Ruy Lopez." It is much less deeply analyzed than most of the rest of the Ruy Lopez, and therefore well suited to Robert Hess, whose strength is less in the openings than in his middlegame play. White has two standard attacking plans here: the first is to play O-O, h3, c3, Rd1 and d4 with strong control of the center, the second is to keep things closed by d3 and delay castling while bringing pieces over to the kingside with ideas like Bg5, h3, g4, Nbd2-f1-g3 etc.
In one of his early games with this line, Hess encountered 5... Be7 6.
Hess played a fascinating game at Cappelle la Grande that continued 6... Be7 7. c3!
Usually Black castles here, but then White can begin marshalling his forces for an attack on the kingside. The Bishop retreat seems a delaying tactic, waiting for White to castle before castling himself, but Hess's next labels it a minor inaccuracy.
This seems to be the beginnings of Black's attack plan in the game -- the idea being to swing the Rook over to the kingside. Though Black seems to have no positional warrant for such an attack, it could have been more dangerous than in the game.
"The best way to meet an attack on the wing is in the center," but here 15. b4 followed by 16.a4 (as happens later in the game) may actually be best.
15... fxe4! is a very tough move, when White's best is 16. Bxe4! (16. Qxe4?! Bf5 17. Qd5+ Kh8 18. Bxf5 Nf6! 19. Qe6 Re8 20. Qc8 Qe7 21. dxe5 Rxc8) (while 16. Nxe4!? Nc4) 16... d5 17. Bc2 e4 18. Ne5 Nf4 but this is pretty unclear and Black seems to be getting the kingsideinitiative he was after.
Black strongly discourages 17.dxe5 opening the center, but now White goes for the queenside attack.
Black launches a desperation attack which contains some tricks.
Suddenly White has a pawn on the way to the queening square.
This leads to a stunning double Queen sacrifice that allows White to take over the initiative and force victory.
Hess correctly judged that, while material was theoretically about equal, Black would be hopeless with his King exposed in the center and White's pieces so beautifully coordinated for the attack. The rest is a slaughter. If 34... d3 35. Rc6+ Kf7 36. Bd1! and the threat of Bb3+ is deadly.
and it is mate in three. A brilliant game from the future GM, and if they gave a brilliancy prize at the US Amateur Team East this would surely deserve it. FM MacIntyre suffered very little from the loss, as his team went on to win the tournament and play for the World Amateur Team title.
Game in PGNCopyright © 2009 by Michael Goeller