New Jersey Beats Baltimore to Reach Final Four

The New Jersey Knockouts advanced to the final four of the US Chess League with their victory Monday night over Baltimore. Wins by the New York Knights (Monday over Boston), Miami Sharks (Wednesday over Seattle) and San Francisco Mechanics (Wednesday over Arizona) have made for an unpredictable final, since the Knockouts were the only team with the better record to advance. The New Jersey - Baltimore match was very hard fought, but Baltimore had little chance against the best team in the League playing with draw odds (which meant that Baltimore had to win the match to advance). Nevertheless, Baltimore gave it their all and the games were very hard fought and complex.

Board One

GM Joel Benjamin-NJ (2641) - GM Sergey Erenburg-BAL (2616) [C48]

US Chess League 2009/Internet Chess Club (11) 2009


1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Bd6

This move is one of many such anti-classical Bishop developments to d6 or d3 that have been accepted by theory in the past decade. This position is analyzed as about equal for Black by Jan Pinski in The Four Knights, Larry Kaufman in The Chess Advantage in Black and White, and Jeroen Bosch in "Sokolov's Surprise" (SOS #1).

 

5. d3

Preparing to play 6.Bg5, pointing up a possible problem with Bd6. There are other move orders, but this seems best.

a) 5. g4?!

Pinski actually marks this "!" but probably more for its forcefulness than its merit; it seems premature with Black uncastled.

5... a6!

5... Nxg4 6. Rg1 h5 7. h3 Nf6 8. Rxg7 or 5... Bc5 6. h3 Nd4 7. Bc4 d6 8. d3 c6 Pinski

6. Bc4

6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. g5 Nh5!? 8. Nxe5!? Nf4! (8... Qxg5 can transpose) 9. d4 Qxg5 10. Qf3 Qg2 11. Bxf4 Qxf3 12. Nxf3 Bxf4

6... Bc5 7. Ng5?! (7. h3 b5!) 7... d5 8. Nxd5 Nxd5 9. exd5 Qxg5 10. d4 Qg6! (threatening Qe4+) 11. Bd3 e4! 12. dxc5 exd3 13. dxc6 Qe4+ 14. Kd2 Bxg4 15. Re1 Be2 16. cxb7 Rd8 17. Rxe2 0-1 Sammalvuo,T (2461)-Gausel,E (2509)/Turin ITA 2006.

 

b) 5. a3 O-O 6. d3 h6 7. g4 Bc5

This is similar to the main game but for the absence of a6 and Ba4. The move 7... Na5?! trying to gain the Bishop pair led to interesting complications: 8. g5! (8. b4?! c6 9. Ba4 b5) 8... hxg5 9. Bxg5 c6 10. Nh4!? (10. d4! cxb5 11. dxe5 Be7 12. exf6 Bxf6 13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14. Nd5!) 10... Be7 11. Nf5 d5 12. Nxe7+ Qxe7 13. exd5 cxb5 14. Ne4!? (14. Qf3! Qd6 15. Bxf6 Qxf6 16. Qxf6 gxf6 17. b4) 14... Bf5 15. Bxf6 gxf6 16. Qd2 Bg6 (16... Qd8? 17. Qh6 Bg6 18. h4) 17. h4? (17. Qxa5) 17... f5! 18. d6!? (18. h5 fxe4 19. hxg6 (19. Qh6 f5 20. hxg6 Qg7) 19... fxg6 20. Qxa5 exd3) 18... Qe6 (18... Qd8! 19. h5 fxe4 20. Qh6 Qf6 21. hxg6 Qg7) 19. Ng5 Qd5 20. Rg1 Nc6 21. c3? (21. h5!) 21... Rad8 (21... Na5!) 22. h5 Rxd6 23. O-O-O Qa2 24. Nf3 b4 25. Qc2 b3 26. Qb1 Qxb1+ 27. Kxb1 Rfd8 28. Nh4 Rxd3 29. Rdf1 Rh3 30. Nxg6 fxg6 31. Rxg6+ Kf7 0-1 Willemze,T (2392)-Berkvens,J (2423)/Hilversum NED 2006 (40).

8. h3 Nh7 9. Bc4 Nd4 10. Nxd4 Bxd4 11. Ne2 Bb6 12. Ng3 Qf6 13. Qe2 c6 14. h4 d5 15. exd5 Bxg4? (15... cxd5! 16. Bxd5 Bxg4! 17. Qxg4 Qxf2+ 18. Kd1 Nf6 19. Qf3 Nxd5) 16. Qxg4 Qxf2+ 17. Kd1 Nf6 18. Qh3 cxd5 19. Bb3 1-0 Arngrimsson,D (2392)-Prasanna,R (2311)/Budapest HUN 2008.

 

b) 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. d4 was endgame superstar Capablanca's response in one of the first examples of this line, claiming the healthier pawn majority for White. Play continued 6... Bb4!? (6... exd4 7. Qxd4 Qe7 8. Bg5 Bc5 9. Bxf6 Bxd4 10. Bxe7 Bxc3+ 11. bxc3 Kxe7 12. O-O-O= Pinski) 7. dxe5?! (7. O-O!) 7... Qxd1+ (7... Bxc3+! was more precise) 8. Kxd1 Bxc3 9. exf6! Bxf6 10. e5 Be7 11. Bg5 Bg4 12. Bxe7 Bxf3+ 13. gxf3 Kxe7 14. Rg1 Rad8+ 15. Ke2 g6 16. f4 f5?! (16... Rd4) 17. Rad1 Rd5 18. c4 Rxd1 19. Rxd1 and Capa won in the end, 1-0 Capablanca,J-Cohen,A/New York 1911 (71).

 

5... a6

5... h6 6. h3

6. g4?! Nd4! (6... Bc5!?) 7. Nxd4 exd4 8. Ne2 c6 (8... c5!?) 9. Bc4 Bc5 10. h3 d5! 11. exd5 O-O!? (11... Nxd5) 12. dxc6 b5 13. Bb3 Qd6 14. Bf4 Qxc6 15. Kd2 Re8 0-1 McHugh,E-Schneider,D (2487)/Parsipanny USA 2009 (35)

6... O-O?! (6... a6! 7. Ba4 b5 8. Bb3 Na5= Pinski) 7. g4 is well documented by Pinski as giving White a strong attack, e.g.: 7... Re8

(7... a6 8. Bxc6! dxc6 9. g5 hxg5 10. Bxg5 Qe7 11. Qd2 Qe6 12. O-O-O Bb4 13. Rdg1! Podlesnik - Sebih, Bled 2002)

8. g5! hxg5 9. Bxg5 Nd4 10. Nd5! Be7 (10... Nxb5? 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. Rg1+ Kf8 13. Qc1! forces mate) 11. Nxe7+ Qxe7 12. Nxd4 exd4 13. Rg1 c6 14. Qf3 Qb4+ (14... Kf8 15. Qg3 d5 16. Ba4 Qb4+ 17. Bd2 Qxb2 (17... Qxa4 18. Qxg7+ Ke7 19. Rg6!) 18. Qxg7+ Ke7 19. Ke2!) 15. Kd1 Qxb2 (15... Nh7 16. Bh6 g6 17. Bc4 d5 18. Bb3!) 16. Bc1?! (16. Qxf6!! Re6 (16... Qxa1+? 17. Bc1 g6 18. Rg4) (16... gxf6?! 17. Bc1+ Kh7 18. Bxb2 cxb5 19. Bxd4) 17. Qxg7+! Kxg7 18. Bc1+ Rg6 19. Rxg6+ Kxg6 20. Bxb2 cxb5 21. Kd2) 16... Qxb5 17. Qxf6 Qh5+! 18. f3 g6 19. Rg5 Qh7 20. Qxd4 Qg7 21. Bb2 Qxd4 22. Bxd4 d6 23. h4 Kf8 24. Kd2 Ke7 25. f4 c5 26. Bb2 Kd7 27. f5! gxf5 28. h5! fxe4 29. h6 Kc6 30. h7 e3+ 31. Ke2 f6 32. Bxf6 Be6 33. Rh1 Rh8 34. Bxh8 Rxh8 35. Kxe3 b5 36. a3 a5 37. Rh6 a4 38. Rxe6 Rxh7 39. Rgg6 1-0 Yemelin,V-Kharlov,A/Moscow RUS 2002.

 

6. Ba4 h6 7. a3

This move is useful to preserve the Bishop from b5 and Na5. As both Bosch and Kaufman note, what follows is something of a waiting game as White hopes Black will castle to justify the g4 push with attacking chances. But Black can outwait White for equality -- OR, as more recent games suggest, can go ahead and castle anyway with interesting complications!

7. h3 O-O!? (7... b5 8. Bb3 Bb7 9. a3 Bc5 10. O-O O-O is Bosch's focus in his analysis of 0-1 Jonkman,H (2520)-Sokolov,I (2647)/Leeuwarden NED 2002 (55), which you can read online at the SOS site as a sample article) 8. g4!? Nh7 9. Be3 Bb4 10. Bxc6 bxc6 11. Nxe5 Re8 12. f4 d5 13. O-O (13. a3! Bxc3+ 14. bxc3 Qh4+ 15. Kf1! dxe4 16. dxe4) 13... Bb7 (13... d4! 14. Nxc6 Qh4! 15. Bxd4 (15. Bf2?! Qxh3 16. Ne2? Bxg4) 15... Qg3+ 16. Kh1 Qxh3+ 17. Kg1 Qg3+ 18. Kh1 Qh3+=) 14. a3 Bd6 15. Nf3 (15. d4!? dxe4 16. Nxe4 c5 17. Nxc5 Bxc5 18. dxc5 Qh4) 15... c5! 16. e5?! d4! 17. exd6 Rxe3 18. Ne4 cxd6 19. Re1 Nf6 20. Rxe3 dxe3 21. Qe2 Nxe4 22. dxe4 Qf6 23. Qxe3 Qxb2 24. Rd1 Qxc2 25. Rxd6 Bxe4 26. Ne1 Qb1 0-1 Shyam,S (2402)-Sriram,J (2457)/Mangalore IND 2008 (36).

 

7... O-O!?

Some observers on ICC thought Erenburg had made an error to invite White's attack, but I think he played this quite consciously, inviting the complications that follow in hopes of gaining a full point. The simpler 7... b5 8. Bb3 Bb7 9. h3 Bc5 seems to win the waiting game, according to Kaufman, who quotes Sokolov's 10. O-O (since "White has run out of other useful moves") 10... O-O 11. Nd5 Nd4 12. Nxd4 Bxd4 13. c3 Ba7=.

 

8. g4!?

Benjamin takes up the gauntlet!

 

8... Bc5!

8... Nxg4? 9. Rg1 h5 10. h3 Nf6 11. Bh6 Ne8 12. Nd2!

 

9. Rg1

9. g5 Ng4 10. Rf1

 

9... d6 10. h3

10. g5!? Ng4 11. Rg2 h5!? (11... hxg5 12. Bxg5 f6 13. Bb3+ Kh8 14. Bd2 f5 15. Qe2) 12. h3 Nxf2 13. Rxf2 Bxf2+ 14. Kxf2 Bxh3

 

10... Nh7

The standard retreat in the games cited above.

 

11. g5!

 










11... g6?

This move gets Black in trouble. There were two playable alternatives that would have made this game more theoretically important:

a) 11... hxg5 12. Nxg5 Nf6 13. Bxc6 bxc6 14. Be3 Bd4

b) 11... h5!? 12. Bxc6 (12. g6? fxg6 13. Rxg6 Bxf2+!! 14. Kxf2 Nd4) 12... bxc6 13. d4 exd4 14. Nxd4

 

12. gxh6 Bxh3 13. Bg5 f6

13... Nxg5 14. Nxg5 Bd7 15. Rg3 (15. Qd2 b5 16. Bb3 Nd4) 15... Qf6 16. Qd2 Qf4 (16... b5 17. Bb3 Nd4 18. Nd5 Qd8 19. Ba2) 17. Nd5 Qxd2+ 18. Kxd2 Kh8 19. Rf3

 

14. Be3! Bxe3 15. Rxg6+!

15. fxe3 Ng5 16. Nxg5 fxg5 17. Qd2 g4

 

15... Kh8

15... Kf7? 16. Rg7+ Ke8 17. Bxc6+ bxc6 18. Nxe5!

 

16. fxe3 Rg8 17. Nh4! Ne7 18. Rg7!

18. Rxg8+?! Qxg8 19. Kd2 Qg3 20. Qg1 Rg8 21. Qxg3 Rxg3 22. Bb3

 

18... Qf8

18... Rxg7 19. hxg7+ Kxg7 20. Qe2 followed by O-O-O with attack.

 

19. Qf3! Be6 20. O-O-O Rxg7 21. hxg7+ Qxg7 22. Rh1 Qg4 23. Qxg4?!

23. Qf2! keeping the Queens on the board to exploit Black's King position is preferred by computers and definitely more correct, but in the team situation taking the Queens off the board seems the safer course, especially since Benjamin needed only a draw.

 

23... Bxg4 24. Bb3! c6 25. Kd2 Rd8 26. Rg1 Bh5 27. Rh1?!

After this move, White begins to lose any real advantage. Better seems 27. Nf5! Nxf5 28. exf5 d5 (otherwise the Knight gets active via e4) 29. e4 (29. Na4!? Bf3 30. Nc5 may be stronger) 29... Bf3 (29... Bf7 30. exd5 cxd5 31. d4!) 30. exd5 Bxd5 31. Nxd5 cxd5 32. d4! Ng5 33. Ke3!? exd4+ 34. Kd3.

 

27... Kg7! 28. Nf5+ Nxf5 29. Rxh5!

29. exf5 Bf3! (with gain of tempo) 30. Rg1+ Ng5! and Black's pieces are getting active.

 

29... Ne7= 30. Ne2 Ng5 31. Ng3 Kg6 32. Rh1 d5 33. exd5 cxd5 34. d4! e4 35. Ke2 b5 36. Nh5 Ne6 37. Kf2 Nf5 38. c3 Kf7 39. Bd1 Nd6 40. Ng3 Ng5 41. Bh5+ Ke7 42. Bg4 Nc4 43. Nf5+ Kf7 44. Rh6!?

A very interesting choice from Benjamin -- sacrificing a pawn for attacking chances. The Rook might be able to get behind Black's potentially weak pawns or pick up the pawn at f6 or use those threats to force a draw by repetition. More passive, if safer defense follows 44. b3 Nd2! (44... Nxa3? 45. Ra1 b4 46. cxb4) 45. Bd1 Ke6 (45... Rc8?? 46. Nd6+) (45... Nb1? 46. Bh5+ Ke6 47. Ng7+ Kd6 48. Rxb1) 46. Ng7+ (46. Ng3!?) 46... Kd7 47. Rh6 Rf8 48. Bc2=.

 

44... Rf8

44... Nxb2 45. Bh5+ Ke6 46. Ng7+ Ke7 47. Nf5+ Kd7 (47... Ke6=) 48. Rxf6

 

45. Bh5+ Ke6 46. Ng7+ Ke7

White gains sufficient counterplay as well on the more challenging 46... Kd7!? 47. Bg4+ Kc7 48. Nh5! Nxb2 49. Nxf6 Na4 50. Ke1 (50. Ke2!? Nb6?! 51. Rg6 Nf3 52. Bxf3 exf3+ 53. Kf2!) 50... Nxc3 (50... Nb6?! 51. Rg6 Nf3+ 52. Bxf3 exf3 53. Kf2) 51. Kd2 Nb1+ 52. Kc1 Nxa3 53. Nxd5+ Kb7 54. Rg6 Rf1+ 55. Kd2! (55. Kb2!? Nc4+ 56. Kb3 Nf7 (56... Nd2+ 57. Kc3 Ngf3 58. Rg7+ Kc6 59. Nb4+ Kb6 60. Rg6+ Kb7 61. Nxa6) 57. Rg7 Kc6 58. Be6 Nd8 59. Ne7+ Kd6 60. Bxc4 bxc4+ 61. Kxc4=) 55... Nf3+ 56. Ke2=

 

47. Nf5+ Kd7 48. Rg6 Nxb2 49. Rg7+ Kc6 50. Ne7+ Kd6 51. Nf5+ Kc6 52. Ne7+ Kb6 53. Nxd5+ Ka5?!

At this point, only a win by Black could have any effect on the match outcome, so Erenburg naturally risked losing to avoid the draw.

53... Kc6 54. Nb4+ Kb6 55. Nd5+=

 

54. Kg3! Nc4 55. Ra7!?

55. Rg6! Ka4 (55... Nxa3 56. Nxf6) 56. Kf4 (56. Be2! is probably even stronger, to eliminate the Knight and play Nxf6) 56... Kxa3 57. Rxf6 Rxf6+ 58. Nxf6 Nh3+ 59. Kxe4

 

55... f5! 56. Nb4 Rf6 57. d5?!

57. Be8! brings up another piece by a circuitous route to attack a6 and appears to be the best method of winnng: 57... Nxa3 (57... Nf3? 58. Bc6 Rxc6 59. Nxc6+ Kb6 60. d5 Nxe3 61. d6!) 58. Bc6 Rxc6! (58... Ka4? 59. Rxa6+ Kb3 60. Bd5+) 59. Nxc6+ Kb6 60. Rg7! (60. d5?! Nb1 61. Kf4 Nxc3 62. Kxg5 Nxd5 63. Ne7 Nxe3!!) 60... Kxc6 (60... Nf3 61. Rg6) 61. Rxg5 Nc4 62. Rxf5 Nxe3 63. Rc5+

 

57... Rh6?

Black still draws -- though the Knockouts would win the match -- by 57... Nxa3! 58. Kf4 Nf3!! (preventing both Ke5 and Bd1) 59. Re7! (59. Bf7? Nb1 60. Be6 Nxc3) 59... Rd6 (59... Nb1? 60. Re6!) 60. Re6 (or 60. Kxf5 Nd2 61. Re6 Nac4) 60... Nc4 61. Kxf5 Nfd2

 

58. Be2!

This now win s due to two fascinating White resources: Ke5 to support the d-pawn and Bd1 in a critical line to take away the Black King's escape square.

58. Be8!? threatening Bc6 seems to give us an improved version of the line discussed above.

 

58... Nxa3 59. Kf4!

59. Rb7 Nb1 60. Nc6+ Ka4 61. Ra7 Kb3 62. Rxa6 Kb2! 63. Bxb5 Nxc3 is one of many ways of reaching the same line considered below.

 

59... Nh3+

59... Nf3!? (preventing Ke5!) 60. Rb7! (60. Kxf5 Nb1 61. Rxa6+ Rxa6 62. Nxa6 Kxa6 63. d6 Kb6 64. Kxe4 Nxc3+ 65. Kxf3=) 60... Nb1! 61. Bd1!! (61. Nc6+?! Ka4 62. Rb6!? (62. Ra7 Kb3 63. Rxa6 Kb2! 64. Bxb5 Nxc3 transposes) 62... Ka3 63. Rxa6+ Kb2! 64. Bxb5 Nxc3 65. Ne7 Rh4+ 66. Kxf5 (66. Kg3?? Rg4+) 66... Nd1 67. d6 Nxe3+ 68. Kf6 (68. Kg6 Rh2 69. Kf6 (69. d7 Ne5+) 69... Rd2 70. d7 Ng4+ 71. Kf5 Nd4+ 72. Kxg4 Nxb5 73. Rb6 Rxd7 74. Rxb5+ Kc3=) 68... Ng4+ 69. Kg7 Nge5 is a very tough ending still.) 61... Nxc3 62. Nc6+ Rxc6 63. dxc6

 

60. Ke5!

60. Kxf5?! Nb1 61. Rb7 (61. Rxa6+? Rxa6 62. Nxa6 Kxa6) 61... Nxc3 62. Nc6+ Ka4 63. Ra7 Kb3 64. Rxa6 Kb2 65. Bxb5 Rh5+ 66. Kg4 Rxd5=

 

60... Ng1

60... Nb1!? 61. d6! Nxc3 62. d7!

 

61. d6! Ka4 62. Bd1+ Nc2 63. Bxc2+ Ka3 64. Rxa6+ Kb2 65. Rc6

Black resigns. A fascinating game in all of its stages.

1-0

Board Two

IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat-BAL (2430) - IM Dean Ippolito-NJ (2535) [D23]

US Chess League 2009/Internet Chess Club (11) 2009


1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Qb3 dxc4 5. Qxc4 Bf5 6. g3 e6 7. Bg2 Nbd7 8. Nc3 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Ne4 11. Qb3 Qb6 12. Nh4 Qxb3

12... Bxh4 13. gxh4 (13. Qxb6 axb6 14. gxh4 Ndf6 15. f3 Nxc3 16. bxc3 Bc2= 1-0 Mamedjarova,Z (2285)-Sebag,M (2519)/Novi Sad SRB 2009 (43)) 13... Nef6 14. Qxb6 axb6 15. Bf4 Rfe8 16. e4! Bg6 17. a4 e5 18. dxe5 Nxe5 19. Rad1 h6 20. f3 Nfd7 21. Bxe5 Nxe5 22. f4 Nc4 23. b3 Na5 24. b4 Nc4 25. Rd7 Nb2 26. Rxb7 Nxa4 27. Nxa4 Rxa4 28. Rxb6 Rd8 29. f5 Bh5 30. e5 Rd4 31. e6 fxe6 32. Rb8+ Kh7 33. fxe6 Raxb4 34. Rf8 Rxh4 35. e7 g5 36. Bf3 g4 37. Bxc6 Kg7 38. Ref1 Rb2 39. R1f7+ 1-0 Landa,K (2615)-Cuijpers,F (2497)/Netherlands NED 2009.

 

13. axb3 Bb4 14. Nxf5

14. Ra4! Bxc3 15. bxc3 Nxc3 16. Nxf5 exf5 17. Ra5 g6 18. Bb2 Ne4 19. g4!

 

14... exf5 15. Bxe4! fxe4 16. Bd2 Rfe8 17. Nxe4 Rxe4 18. Bxb4 Rxd4 19. Bc3










19... Re4!

Very precisely played! The position is deceptively simple, but Black can definitely get into trouble as two previous games show:

19... Rd6?! 20. Red1! Rxd1+ 21. Rxd1 Nc5 22. b4 Na4 (22... Ne6 23. Rd7) 23. Bd4 Rd8 (23... a5?? 24. b3! axb4 25. bxa4 Rd8 26. Rd3 1-0 Agrest,E (2588)-Vernay,C (2440)/Metz FRA 2009) 24. Rd3! f6 25. Kg2?! (25. b3! Nb6 26. b5 cxb5 27. Bxb6 Rxd3 28. exd3 axb6 29. Kg2) 25... Kf7 26. Kf3 1/2-1/2 Khenkin,I (2613)-Dreev,A (2662)/Sibenik CRO 2009 -- somehow White overlooked 26. b3!.

 

20. Red1 Nf6! 21. e3

21. Bxf6 gxf6 22. e3 Rb4=

 

21... a6 22. Ra4! Rxa4!?

22... Rae8 23. Bxf6 gxf6 24. Rd7 R4e7=

 

23. bxa4 Nd5 24. e4?!

White must preserve the Bishop to have any chance of winning, but he must be careful:

24. Bd4 Rd8!? 25. Bc5 (25. e4? Nc7 26. Rd2 Ne6 27. Be3 Rxd2 28. Bxd2 Nc5) 25... f5 and White has some advantage due to the superior minor piece, but likely not enough.

 

24... Nxc3 25. bxc3 Kf8 26. Rd7 Re8! 27. f3 Re7 28. Rd8+ Re8 29. Rd7 Re7 30. Rd8+ Re8 31. Rd7 Re7

Game drawn by repetition

1/2-1/2

Board Three

SM Mackenzie Molner-NJ (2446) - FM Shinsaku Uesugi-BAL (2354) [B33]

US Chess League 2009/Internet Chess Club (11) 2009


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nd5 f5 11. Bd3

This line of the Sveshnikov Sicilian is notoriously complex and double-edged. One line that was analyzed for many years was 11. Bxb5 axb5 12. Nxb5 Ra4!

 

11... Be6 12. c3! Bxd5 13. exd5 Ne7










14. Nxb5 Bg7 15. Na3 O-O

15... Rb8 16. Qa4+ Kf8 17. O-O e4 18. Bc2 Nxd5!? 19. Nc4 Nf4 20. Qxa6 d5 21. Ne3 h5!? 22. Nxf5 Qg5 23. Qd6+ Kg8 24. Qxb8+ Kh7 25. Qxf4 (25. Qxh8+!?) 25... Qxf4 26. Nxg7 Kxg7 27. Rad1 h4 28. h3 Rh5 29. Bb3 1/2-1/2 Polgar,S-Basagic,V (57).

 

16. O-O e4

16... Kh8 17. Kh1 f4 18. g3 fxg3 19. fxg3 f5 20. Nc4 Rb8 21. Qe2 e4 22. Bc2 Rb5 23. Rad1 Qb8 24. Bb3 a5 25. Rd2 Rc5 26. Ne3 Qe8 27. Qa6 Qg6 28. Rdf2 Bh6 29. Qe2 a4 30. Bxa4 Rxd5 31. Nxd5 Nxd5 32. Bc6 Ne3 33. Bxe4! Re8 34. Bxf5 Nxf5 35. Qd3 Ne3 36. Qxg6 hxg6 37. Re1 Ra8 38. Rfe2 Nc4 39. Re8+ Rxe8 40. Rxe8+ 1-0 Bojkovic,N (2393)-Maksimovic,S (2258)/Budva SCG 2004 (49).

 

17. Bc2 Rc8

17... Ng6 18. Qh5 Qc8 19. f3 Rb8 20. Rab1 Re8 21. Kh1 Re5 22. f4 Re7 23. g4 e3 24. gxf5 e2! 25. Rfe1 Nxf4 26. Qf3 Qc5 27. Qxf4 Qxd5+ 28. Kg1 Kh8 29. Qc4? (29. Kf2) 29... Qf3 30. Rf1 exf1=Q+ 31. Rxf1 Rg8!! 0-1 Rigo,J-Van der Wiel,J/Rotterdam 1979.

 

18. Qh5 Rc5 19. Rad1

19. Rfd1 Qc8 20. Bb3 Ng6 21. Nc2 Re8 22. Nd4 f4 23. Qf5 Bxd4 24. Qxc8 Bxf2+ 25. Kxf2 Rcxc8 26. Rd4 a5 27. Ba4 Re7 1-0 Cheparinov,I (2567)-Martorell Aguado,J (2072)/ Andorra la Vella AND 2004 (61).

 

19... Qb8

19... Qa8 20. Bb3 a5 21. Qg5 Nxd5 22. Bxd5 Rxd5 23. Nc4 xd6.

 

20. Bb3 a5

 










21. Nc2?!

21. Rd2 a4 (21... Qb7 22. Rfd1) 22. Bxa4 Nxd5 23. Nb1.

 

21... a4! 22. Bxa4 Qxb2 23. Bb3?!

A more active route to equality was 23. Ne3! f4 (23... Qxa2 24. Bd7) 24. Nf5 Nxf5 25. Qxf5 Qxa2 26. Qxe4 Rc4 27. Ra1=.

 

23... Qxc3 24. Qg5 Qf6 25. Qxf6 Bxf6 26. Ne3 Rfc8!

26... f4 27. Nc4 Nxd5 (27... Nf5? 28. g4!) 28. Rfe1 Nc3 29. Rxd6 Kg7.

 

27. g3 Rc3 28. h4 f4?!

(Black should instead take the time to improve his position with White tied down rather than allow these equalizing exchanges.)

 

29. gxf4 Bxh4 30. Ng2 Nf5 31. Rfe1 Re8 32. Ba4! Re7 33. Rc1?!

33. Ne3! Nxe3 34. Rxe3=

 

33... Bf6 34. Rxc3 Bxc3 35. Rc1 Bd4 36. Rc8+ Kg7 37. Bc6 e3?!

37... h5! 38. a4 h4

 

38. fxe3 Nxe3 39. Nxe3 Rxe3 40. Kg2 Re2+ 41. Kf3 Rxa2 42. Rc7 Ra7?

In slight time pressure, Uesugi essentially accepted a drawn result by allowing the exchange of Rooks. That meant that New Jersey had won the match.

 

43. Rxa7 Bxa7 44. Bd7 Kg6 45. Bh3 Bc5 46. Bg4 Kf6

Likely Black can still try with 46... f5 47. Bh3 h5 but it is still hard to imagine how he makes progress -- unless White falls for 48. Kg3 h4+ 49. Kxh4?? Bf2#

 

47. Ke4 h6 48. Bh5 Ba3 49. Kf3 Bc1 50. Ke4 Ba3

Game drawn by mutual agreement

0-1

Board Four

WIM Tsagaan Battsetseg-BAL (2265) - Sean Finn-NJ (2114) [E80]

US Chess League 2009/Internet Chess Club (11) 2009


1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 Nbd7 6. Be3 a6 7. Qd2 O-O 8. Nh3 c5 9. d5 b5 10. Nf2

Trying to "play it safe," but declining the gambit gives Black easy equality. White more typically accepts the gambit: 10. cxb5 Qa5! The black Queen plays an active role in the counterplay, with a number of games featuring fascinating queen sacs for Black.( Black also gets good Benko Gambit type counterplay after 10... axb5 11. Bxb5 Ne5 12. Nf2 Ba6 13. Bxa6 Rxa6 14. Qe2 Qa8 15. O-O (15. f4 Ned7 16. O-O Rb8 17. e5 Ne8 18. Nfe4 Rab6 19. Qg4 Qb7 20. Qh3 Nf8 21. Ng5 Qc8 22. f5 dxe5 23. fxg6 hxg6 24. Nxf7?! Qxh3 25. gxh3 Rxb2 0-1 Rufener,M-Lyrberg,P/Bern Volksbank op 1996 (37)) 15... Rb8 16. Rab1 h5! 17. Rfc1 Rb4 18. Rc2 Qb7 19. Rf1 Nfd7 20. Bc1 Nb6 21. Kh1 c4 22. Bg5 Na4 23. Nxa4 1/2-1/2 Belunek,V (2288)-Zawadzka,J (2236)/Frydek Mistek CZE 2004) 11. Nf2 (11. a4 Nb6 12. Nf2 axb5 13. Bxb5 Ba6 14. O-O Bxb5 15. axb5 Qxa1! 16. Rxa1 Rxa1+ 17. Ncd1 Nc4 18. Qe2 Nxe3 19. Qxe3 Nxd5 20. exd5 Rxd1+! 21. Nxd1 Bd4 22. Kf2 Rb8 23. Nc3 e6 24. dxe6 fxe6 25. Ke2 Bxe3 26. Kxe3 d5 0-1 Krstic,R (2208)-Mozetic,D (2471)/Leskovac YUG 2002) 11... Ne8 (11... axb5 12. Nxb5 Nb6 13. Qxa5 Rxa5 14. Bd2 Ra8 15. a3 Bd7 16. Rb1 Rfb8 17. Nc3 Na4 18. Nxa4 Rxa4 19. Bd3 Ne8 20. Nd1 Nc7 21. Bc3 Ra7 22. Bxg7 Kxg7 23. O-O Bb5 24. Bxb5 Nxb5 1/2-1/2 Scheiblmaier,R (2159)-Schiestl,J (2157)/Austria AUT 2005) (11... Nb6 12. Be2 Ne8 13. f4 axb5 14. O-O Nc7 15. f5 Na4 16. Rac1 Nxc3 17. bxc3 Qxa2 18. Rc2 Qb3 19. Ng4 gxf5 20. Nh6+ Kh8 21. Bh5 fxe4 22. Nxf7+ Kg8 23. Qf2 Qxd5 24. Qg3 Be6 25. Rcf2 Qxh5 0-1 Gavriel,T (2195)-Videki,S (2470)/Hampstead IV IM 1998) 12. a4 axb5 13. Bxb5 Nc7 14. Be2 Ba6 15. O-O Rfb8 16. Ra3 Nb6 17. Nb5 Qxd2 18. Bxd2 Bxb5 19. axb5 Bxb2 20. Ra5 Bd4 21. Rc1 Rb7 22. Rxa8+ Ncxa8 23. Bc3 Bxc3 24. Rxc3 Ra7 25. Ng4 Ra2 26. Bf1 Nc7 27. Rb3 Ra1 28. Ne3 c4 29. Rb2 Rc1 30. Kf2 c3 31. Rc2 Rb1 1/2-1/2 Danelia,M (2185)-Girya,O (2350)/Herceg Novi MNE 2008.

 

10... Ne5 11. Be2

Certainly not the most principled move. Another fascinating example of the gambit accepted continued 11. cxb5 Qb6 (11... Qa5!?) 12. a4 (12. b4!) 12... axb5 13. Nxb5 Bd7 14. Be2 Bxb5 15. Bxb5 Qxb5! 16. axb5 Rxa1+ 17. Ke2 (17. Nd1 Nc4 18. Qe2 Nxe3 19. Qxe3 Rb8) 17... Ra2 18. Rc1 Rb8 19. Nd1 Ra4!? 20. Kf1 Nc4 21. Qe2 Nxe3+ 22. Qxe3 Nd7 23. Qe2 h5 24. h3 Be5 25. g4 hxg4 26. fxg4 Rb4 27. Nc3 Nf6 28. Ra1 Rb7 29. Ra4 Bxc3! 30. Ra8+ Kg7 31. bxc3 R4xb5 32. Qd3? Rb1+ 33. Kg2 R7b2+ 34. Kg3 Rg1+ 35. Kf3 Nd7 36. Qa6 Ne5+ 37. Kf4 Kf6!? (37... Rf2+ forces mate) 38. g5+ Rxg5 39. Qc8 Rf2+ 40. Ke3 Rf3+ 0-1 Freeman,M-Gunawan/Asia 1993.

 

11... bxc4

11... Nxc4!? 12. Bxc4 bxc4

 

12. g4!?

a) 12. f4 Neg4 13. Bxc4 Rb8

b) 12. O-O Qb6 13. f4 Nd3 14. Nxd3 cxd3 15. Bxd3 Ng4

 

12... Rb8 13. O-O

White seems to get what she wants with 13. g5 Ne8 14. f4 Nd3+ (14... Nd7 15. Bxc4) 15. Nxd3 cxd3 16. Bxd3 though Black has a number of routes to good play.

 

13... a5

A standard Benko move, but I wonder if Black has better.

13... Ne8! 14. Rab1 (14. f4 Nd3 15. Nxd3 cxd3 16. Bxd3 Bxg4) 14... f5!

 

14. g5 Nfd7 15. f4 Nd3 16. Nxd3 cxd3 17. Bxd3 Qb6 18. b3 Ba6=

White has the pawn back, but Black has excellent play on the long diagonal and the b-file. There is also the danger that White's kingside pawns will prove over-extended.

 

19. Rac1 Qa7 20. Na4 Bxd3 21. Qxd3 Rb4 22. Rc4 Rfb8 23. Rfc1 Qa6!?

The position is balanced, with White firmly holding the critical light squares that Black needs to contiue his counterattack.

 

24. Bd2










24... Rxa4!

A fascinating GM Exchange sac (he must be channeling Gulko) that exploits the pin on the Rook to create a potentially dangerous passed c-pawn and a useful open b-file. Without this move it is hard to see how Black creates sufficient imbalance to have real winning chances.

 

25. bxa4 Nb6 26. Qb3

26. R4c3 c4 27. Qe3 Bxc3 28. Bxc3

 

26... Rb7 27. R4c2 Bd4+ 28. Be3?










28. Kh1 Nxa4! 29. Qf3 (29. Qxa4? Qd3 30. Bc3 Qf3+ 31. Rg2 Qxc3!) (29. Qh3 Rb2) 29... Rb2 and Black seems to have at least enough for the Exchange, e.g.: 30. Rxb2 Nxb2 31. Rf1 Nd3 32. f5 Ne5 33. Qh3 Qe2 34. Qg2 Qd3 and the passed c-pawn gives Black counterplay.

 

28... Nxd5! 29. Qxd5 Bxe3+ 30. Kh1 Bxc1 31. Rxc1 Rb2 32. Re1

32. e5?? Qe2

 

32... e6! 33. Qd1 Qc6 34. Qd3 d5!

Black's connected passed pawns will march to victory.

 

35. Qc3 Rb4 36. Qf6 Qd7

36... dxe4? 37. Qd8+ Kg7 38. Qf6+=

 

37. Qe5 c4 38. a3 Rb3! 39. Rd1 c3! 40. Rc1 d4! 41. f5 gxf5 42. Rg1

42. exf5? Qb7+ 43. Kg1 Rb2 44. Qg3 Rb1

 

42... c2 43. Kg2 Rb1 44. Rf1 c1=Q 45. Rxc1 Rxc1 46. Qb8+ Rc8

White resigns. An excellent game by Sean Finn who has proven himself a vital addition to the Knockouts.

0-1

download pgn

Games in PGN

Copyright © 2009 by Michael Goeller