Friedel's Fritz-Ulvestad Wins Again
By Michael Goeller
GM Josh Friedel continued his winning ways with the Two Knights Defense, Fritz-Ulvestad Variation (5....b5), to which he has returned since his loss to Nakamura with the more traditional 5...Na5 line. The line gave him an important point on his way to a tie for first in the Edmonton International Tournament earlier this month. His opponent was 16-year-old Canadian expert Keith MacKinnon of Saskatchewan, who commented on the game at his blog: "I didn't want to get slowly outplayed by a stronger opponent in my game against GM Josh Friedel, and so I tried to follow the game that Nakamura won against him at the US Championship this year. He played a slightly different line which I had looked at (but not nearly enough to play it against a GM in such a sharp position.) I lost quickly since my intuitive thirteenth move was actually a pretty big mistake." Actually, theory suggests that it was his 12th move that was the problem, and there followed a series of small errors that made Black's win look easy.
Keith MacKinnon (2125) - GM Josh Friedel (2551) [C57]
2009 Edmonton International/Canada (7.1) 2009
10... exd4!? is an interesting alternative for Black should 10...Bb7 run into trouble.
In a recent high level encounter, Black erred with 11... e4? 12. Qh3! Bc8 (12... f5 13. d3!) 13. d3! Qf6? (13... Qxc1 14. Qxc8+ Rxc8 15. Rxc1) (13... Nf4 14. Bxf4 Qxf4 15. Qe3 Qxe3 16. fxe3 Rb8 17. Nc3 and Dennis Monokroussos says "White is a clean pawn up without any downside.") 14. Qh5 Qxd4 15. dxe4 and Black's King got slaughtered in Charbonneau - Schneider, USCL 2009.
A known error since at least Leonhardt - Englund, Stockholm 1908. The critical line appears to be: 12. dxe5! Ne3! (White is better after either 12... Nf4?! 13. Qg3 (13. Bc6!?) 13... Qxe5 14. d4 Nh3+ 15. Qxh3 Qxb5 16. Nc3 Qd7 17. Qh5 or 12... Nb4?! 13. d4 Qg6 14. d5! Bxd5 15. Rd1 Rxb5 16. Nc3 Qc6 17. Nxb5!? Qxb5 18. Qf5) 13. Qh3 Qxg2+ 14. Qxg2 Nxg2 15. d4 Nh4 16. Bg5+ Be7 17. Bxh4 Bxh4 18. Nc3 Bf3! 19. b3 Rb6 20. Bd3 Rg6+ 21. Bxg6 hxg6 and Pinski thinks that Black has compensation for the Exchange.
Relatively best, but Black finishes his development with a strong attack that continues into the ending.
b) 14. Na3? Bxa3 15. bxa3 Nc3 16. Qxg6 hxg6 17. Bc4 Ne2+ 18. Kh1 Ke7 Leonhardt - Englund, Stockholm 1908 -- there is nothing to be done about the attack along the h-file, which is a common theme in this line (as in the game).
Game in PGN