NJ Knockouts Outlast Philadelphia Inventors

In the second round of 2009 US Chess League action, the New Jersey Knockouts racked up their second match victory in a row by beating the Philadelphia Inventors. All of the games were close and came down to some critical endgames, including two King and Pawn endings (see diagrams above). GM Joel Benjamin also played a nice minor piece ending to finish the night off and secure the win for Jersey. The big surprise of the night was Anna Matlin on bottom board who got the job done and won a critical game. Let's hope they can keep up the good work!

Board One

Joel Benjamin-NJ (2641) - Sergey Kudrin-PHI (2602) [B52]

ICC 90 30 u/Internet Chess Club (2) 2009


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Nxd7!?

In "The Chess Advantage in Black and White," Larry Kaufman agrees with Jan Ehlvest's assessment that "the knight belongs at c6. In the Open Sicilian it often goes to d7 to avoid blocking the bishop on b7 or a rook on c8, and to move on to c5 or c4 [via b6], but those reasons don't apply here." Therefore the preferred move is 4... Qxd7 . However, it appears that Kudrin has the idea of eventually developing his other knight to c6 via e7. This seems a bit slow, and Benjamin correctly opens up the position to take advantage of his lead in development.

 

5. O-O e6

Black more typically commits to 5...Ngf6 here, as Benjamin has faced previously and written about in Parts Two and Three of his Anti-Sicilians series at the Jeremy Silman website.

5... Ngf6 6. d3 e6 7. c4 Be7 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Ng5 d5 (9... h6 10. Nh3 Ne5 11. f4 Nc6 12. Kh1 Nd4 13. Be3 Nd7 14. Qd2 f5 15. Rae1 Bf6 16. exf5 Nxf5 17. Bg1 Bxc3 18. bxc3 e5?! 19. Qe2 Qc7 20. fxe5 Nxe5 21. d4! cxd4 22. cxd4 Nxc4 23. Qe6+ Kh7 24. Rxf5 1-0 Benjamin,J (2566)-Sarkar,J/New York USA 2004) 10. f4 dxc4 11. dxc4 Nb6 12. e5 Nfd7 13. Qe2 Qc7 14. Nce4 h6 15. Nh3 f5 16. exf6 Nxf6 17. Ng3 Qc6 18. b3 Rae8 19. Bb2 Bd8 20. Rae1 Nc8 21. Qc2 Nd6 22. Nf2 b5 23. cxb5 Qxb5 24. Qg6 Rf7 25. Rd1 Nf5 26. Rfe1 Nh4 27. Qc2 Qc6 28. Nd3 Bc7 29. Ne5 Bxe5 30. Rxe5 Nd5 31. f5 Nf4 32. Qe4 Nh3+ 33. Kf1 Qxe4 (33... Qa6+!) 34. Nxe4 Nxf5 35. Ke1 Nf4 36. g3 Ng6 37. Rxc5 Ne3 38. Rd3 Ng2+ 39. Ke2 Ref8 40. Rd1 Rf3 41. Bd4 e5 42. Bg1 R3f7 43. Ra5 Rc8 44. Rxa7 Rc2+ 45. Rd2 Rxd2+ 46. Nxd2 Rf8 47. b4 e4 48. b5 e3 49. Nc4 Rc8 50. Nxe3 Nxe3 51. Bxe3 Ne5 52. Bd4 Re8 53. Kf2 g5 54. Bxe5 Rxe5 55. b6 1-0 Benjamin,J (2566)-Miton,K (2597)/New York USA 2004.

 

6. c4 Be7 7. Nc3 a6 8. d3

It seems that Kudrin's flexible plan of development is designed to combat both Benjamin's typical closed approach to this line with 8.d3 (when Kudrin goes after the dark squares with Bf6 and Ne7-c6) as well as the more open approach with 8.d4 recommended by Kaufman, e.g.:

8. d4!? cxd4 9. Qxd4 (9. Nxd4 Rc8! 10. b3 b5 gives Black immediate counterplay, and White appears to come out the loser in the complicated line 11. cxb5 Rxc3 12. Bb2 Rc5 13. Nc6 Qb6 14. Bxg7 Bf6 15. Bxh8 Bxh8) 9... Ngf6 (9... Qc7!?) 10. Bg5 Rc8 11. Rac1 O-O looks good for Black.

 

8... Rc8 9. b3 Bf6!? 10. Bb2 Ne7 11. d4!

This immediate break seems the right reaction. A slower approach like 11. Re1 Nc6! allows Black to achieve his ideal set up.

 

11... cxd4 12. Nxd4 O-O 13. Qd2 Nc5

Black should probably complete his development with 13... Qa5 14. Rad1 Rfd8=.

 

14. Rad1 d5!? 15. exd5 exd5 16. Qe2 Qd7 17. Nc2 Qe6 18. Rfe1 Qxe2 19. Rxe2 dxc4 20. bxc4 Rfd8 21. Rxd8+ Rxd8 22. g3 Nc6

22... Ne6!? allows Black to keep his Knight at e7 to discourage Nd5, after which he might consider Rc8. Instead, he seems to be playing for exchanges, which ends up playing into Benjamin's hands.

 

23. Ba3 Bxc3

23... Ne6 24. Nd5

 

24. Bxc5 f6 25. Ne3 Rd2 26. Rxd2 Bxd2 27. Nf5 b5?!

This advance leaves Black with a weak pawn. Surely there was some way to defend, perhaps by offering an exchange of Bishops:

27... Bb4! 28. Bxb4 (28. Ne7+!? Nxe7 29. Bxb4 Kf7=) 28... Nxb4 29. a3 (29. a4 Nd3 30. Nd6 Nc5) 29... Nd3 30. Nd6 Nc5=

 

28. cxb5 axb5 29. Nd6 b4 30. Kf1!

White's advantage seems to consist almost entirely of his much more active King and Black's over-extended b-pawn. But that is just enough to win.

 

30... Bc3 31. Nb5 Ba1 32. Ke2 Kf7 33. Kd3 Ke6 34. Kc4

White wins the race and the pawn falls.

 

34... Ne5+ 35. Kxb4 Kd5 36. Be3 Ng4 37. h3 Nxe3 38. fxe3 Be5 39. Nc3+ Kc6 40. g4 g6 41. e4 Bd4 42. Kc4 Be5 43. Nb5 Bg3 44. a3 Bf2 45. Nd4+ Kd6 46. Nf3 Kc6 47. a4 Bb6 48. Ne1 Bc7 49. Nd3 Bd8 50. Nc5 Bb6 51. Ne6 h5 52. gxh5 gxh5

Benjamin's game was the last to finish and would decide the match. He must have recognized that White wins and probably enjoyed the remainder, which he played quickly.

 

53. Ng7! Kd6

53... h4 54. Nf5 Bf2 55. Kd3 Kb6 56. Ke2

 

54. Kb5 Bf2 55. Nxh5 Ke5 56. a5 Bd4 57. a6 f5 58. exf5 Kxf5 59. Ng3+ Ke6 60. Kc6

Black resigns as White need only bring his Knight to b6 or c5 to queen his pawn unimpeded.

 

1-0

Board Two

Alex Lenderman-PHI (2638) - Dean Ippolito-NJ (2535) [A06]

ICC 90 30 u/Internet Chess Club (2) 2009


1. a3

Though Adolf Anderssen introduced this move in his 1858 match with Paul Morphy, it seems less an old idea than a "Futuristic Chess Opening." Anthony Santasiere wrote a book of that title on his "folly" with 1.Nf6 d5 2. b4 which often reached positions similar to the present game, for example: 1. Nf3 d5 2. b4 Nf6 3. e3 e6 4. a3 Nbd7 5. Bb2 g6 6. c4 Bg7 7. d4 c6 8. Nbd2 O-O 9. Bd3 Ne8 10. O-O f5 11. Ne5 Nd6 12. f3 Nf7 13. Nxf7 Rxf7 14. Qb3 Nf6 15. Rae1 Bd7 16. Re2 Rf8 17. Rfe1 a5 18. e4 fxe4 19. fxe4 Qc7 20. cxd5 exd5 21. exd5 Nxd5 22. Bc4 Kh8 23. Bxd5 cxd5 24. Qxd5 Bc6 25. Qg5 axb4 26. Re7 Qf4 27. Qxf4 Rxf4 28. Rxg7 bxa3 29. Ba1 Kxg7 30. d5+ Kf7 31. dxc6 bxc6 1/2-1/2 Santasiere,A-Paal,A/Pittsburgh 1946.

 

1... d5

Perhaps a King's Indian approach by 1... Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 is the best way to make a3 seem pointless.

 

2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 g6 4. c4 c6 5. b4 Bg7 6. Bb2 O-O 7. d4

The only other game I could find to reach this position continued in Black's favor after 7. Nc3 a5 8. Be2?! axb4 9. axb4 Rxa1 10. Qxa1 dxc4 11. Bxc4 b5 12. Be2 Na6 xb4 13. Qa5 Qd6 14. Ba3 Nc7 15. e4 Nh5 16. O-O Nf4 17. d4 Bg4 18. Bc1 Nxe2+ 19. Nxe2 Bxf3 20. gxf3 Ne6 21. d5 cxd5 22. Qxb5 dxe4 23. fxe4 Rb8 24. Qd5 Qxb4 0-1 Raymaekers,K-Simmelink,J/corr Netherlands 1993 (47). Interestingly, Ippolito hits upon a similar plan of attacking the b4 pawn.

 

7... Ne4!? 8. Bd3 a5! 9. O-O axb4 10. axb4 Rxa1 11. Bxa1 Na6 12. Qb3 Qb6 13. Nbd2 Nxd2 14. Nxd2 Qxb4

If Black can get his pieces coordinated, it will be difficult to see what compensation White has for the pawn.

 

15. Qc2 Qd6

After this, White gets a bind on the position. Perhaps it is necessary to exchange with 15... dxc4!? 16. Bxc4 Nc7 17. Bc3 Qd6 18. Ne4 Qd8 19. Ba5 Bf5

 

16. c5! Qc7 17. Rb1 e5 18. dxe5 Bxe5 19. Bxe5 Qxe5 20. Nf3 Qf6 21. Bxa6 bxa6 22. Nd4 Re8 23. Qd2 Qe7 24. Qa5 Qg5 25. Qc7 Kg7 26. Kf1 Bf5!= 27. Rb7 Bd3+ 28. Kg1 Qf6 29. h3 Bb5 30. Qd7 Kf8 31. Qg4 h5 32. Qg3 Kg7 33. Qc7 Kf8 34. Rb6 Qe7 35. Qxe7+ Rxe7

Game drawn by mutual agreement.

 

1/2-1/2

Board Three

Aviv Friedman-NJ (2407) - Tommy Bartell-PHI (2411) [B60]

ICC 90 30 u/Internet Chess Club 2009


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 Qb6 7. Nb3 e6 8. Be2 a6 9. O-O Qc7 10. a4 Be7 11. a5 O-O 12. Be3 e5 13. Nd5 Nxd5 14. exd5 Nb8 15. Bb6 Qd7










16. c4

It looks like White should have an advantage here, but the plan he embarks upon with this move turns out to be faulty.

I like 16. Nd2 f5 17. f4! with ideas like Nc4 and Ra3 swinging the Rook into action.

 

16... Qe8 17. c5 Nd7 18. c6?

This superficially attractive concept turns out to be a mistake. White can make a passed d-pawn and keep material parity after 18. Bc7 dxc5 19. Qc2

 

18... bxc6 19. dxc6 Nxb6! 20. axb6 Qxc6

If White could have kept those pawns abreast on the 6th Black would be dead, but the c-pawn falls without adequate compensation.

 

21. Bf3 e4 22. Na5 Qxb6 23. Bxe4 Ra7 24. Nc6 Rc7 25. Nxe7+ Rxe7 26. Qd3 g6

Black is simply a pawn up and Bartell is patient to collect the point.

 

27. b3 a5 28. Bd5 Ba6 29. Bc4 Bb7 30. Rfd1 Rd8 31. Qd2 Re5 32. h3 Rde8 33. Ra2 Qc6 34. Bf1 Rd5 35. Qxd5 Qxd5 36. Rxd5 Bxd5 37. Rxa5 Bxb3 38. Ra3 Rb8 39. f4 d5 40. Kf2 Bc4 41. Bxc4 dxc4 42. Rc3 Rc8!?

Perhaps better 42... Rb2+ 43. Kf1 (43. Kf3 Rb3) (43. Ke3 Rxg2) 43... Rb4 but it seems Bartell calculated his method precisely.

 

43. Ke3 Kg7 44. Kd4 Kf6 45. g4 h5! 46. Rxc4 Rxc4+ 47. Kxc4 hxg4 48. hxg4










48... g5! 49. f5 Ke5 50. Kc5 Kf4 51. Kd6 Kxg4 52. Ke5 Kh5 53. Kf6 g4 54. Kxf7 g3 55. f6 g2 56. Ke8 g1=Q 57. f7 Qe3+ 58. Kd7 Qd4+ 59. Ke7 Qe5+ 60. Kd7 Qf6

White resigns

0-1

Board Four

Rahul Swaminathan-PHI (2135) - Anna Matlin-NJ (2003) [B42]

ICC 90 30 u/Internet Chess Club 2009


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3

In this game, Matlin seems to follow the repertoire of Fabiano Caruana. Against 5. Nc3 Caruana has played 5... Qc7 6. Bd3 Nf6 7. O-O Bc5!? 8. Nb3 Ba7 9. Kh1 Nc6 10. Bg5 h5 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. f4 d6 13. Be2 Bd7 14. Qd2 O-O-O 15. Rad1 Be8 16. Rf3 h4 17. h3?! (17. Rd3!? Nb4 (17... d5? 18. Nxd5! exd5 19. exd5 Nb8 20. Rc3) 18. Rh3 Nc6 19. Rd3=) 17... Rg8 18. Qe1 Ne7! 19. f5 Bc6 (A great attacking position for Black, with the two sweeping Bishops and open lines on the Kingside) 20. Nd4 Bxd4 21. Rxd4 d5!? 22. exd5 ( 22. fxe6) 22... Nxd5 23. Rc4? Rxg2! 0-1 Tibor Fogarasi (2425)-Fabiano Caruana (2549)/Budapest HUN 2007.

 

5... Bc5 6. Nb3 Be7

A paradoxical retreat, since Ba7 or Bb6 seem to keep the Bishop on a more active diagonal; but then the Bishop can be exchanged by Qe2 and Be3, yielding White a slight edge. Retreating by Be7 resembles lines where Black plays Be7 directly, except that the Knight has been driven from d4.

 

7. Qg4

White sometimes castles before playing this move:

a) 7. O-O d6 8. Qg4 g6 9. Qe2 (perhaps better 9. Qg3!? Qc7 10. a4 b6 11. Na3 Bb7 12. Nc4 Nd7 13. Be3 Ngf6 14. f3 Rb8 15. Bh6 (15. Qf2) 15... Nh5 16. Qh3 d5 17. exd5 Bxd5 18. Ncd2 b5 19. axb5 axb5 20. f4 Bd6 21. f5 Ne5 22. Rae1 Rg8? 23. Be4 Ng4 24. Qxg4 Bxh2+ 25. Kh1 Ng3+ 26. Kxh2 Nxf1+ 27. Kg1 Nxd2 28. Nxd2 Qb6+ 29. Be3 Qc6 30. Bxd5 Qxd5 31. Ne4 1-0 Michael Adams (2726)-Fabiano Caruana (2598)/Merida ESP 2008) 9... Nd7 10. Na3!? (the Knight heads to c4 to pressure d6, but as usual Caruana keeps it out of that square)(10. Nc3 Qc7 11. f4 (11. Bd2 b6 12. Rae1 Bb7 13. Kh1 Ngf6 14. Bh6 Bf8 15. Qd2 Bxh6 16. Qxh6 Rg8 17. f4 O-O-O 18. Qh4 Kb8 19. a4 Rde8 20. Qf2 e5 21. fxe5 Rxe5 22. Nd2 Rge8 1-0 Sjugirov,S (2412)-Caruana,F (2421)/Kirishi RUS 2006 (36)) 11... Ngf6 12. Bd2 b6 13. Rae1 Bb7 14. e5 Nd5 15. Ne4 dxe5 16. fxe5 O-O 17. Nf2 Nb4 18. Bh6 Rfc8 19. Ng4 Nxd3 20. cxd3 Bh4 21. g3 Be7 22. Qf2 Rf8 23. Qf4 Qc6 24. Re4 Qc2 25. Bxf8 Rxf8 26. Nf6+ Bxf6 27. exf6 Bxe4 28. Qxe4 Qxb2 29. Nd4 Qxa2 30. Nc6 Kh8 31. Qf4 Qd5 32. Qh6 Rg8 33. Ne7 Qd4+ 34. Rf2 Nxf6 35. Nxg8 Ng4 0-1 Hermansson,E (2472)-Caruana,F (2598)/Reykjavik ISL 2008) 10... Ne5! 11. f4 Nxd3 12. cxd3 b5! 13. Bd2 Nf6 14. Ba5 Qd7 15. Rac1 O-O 16. Rc7 Qe8 17. Nc2 Bd8 18. Rc3 Bb7 19. Nb4 d5 20. e5 d4 21. Rc2 Nd5 22. Nxd5 Bxd5 23. Bxd8 Bxb3 24. axb3 Qxd8 25. Qe4 Rc8 26. Rcf2 Qd7 27. g4 Qc6 28. Qxc6 Rxc6= 1/2-1/2 Florian Jenni (2550)-Fabiano Caruana (2620)/Plovdiv BUL 2008 (45).

 

b) 7. c4 d6 8. Nc3 Nf6 9. O-O Nbd7 (9... b6 10. f4 Nc6 11. Qf3 Bb7 12. Bd2 Nd7 13. Rae1 Bf6 14. Bb1 Nc5 1/2-1/2 Yifan Hou (2571)-Fabiano Caruana (2646)/Wijk aan Zee NED 2009 (56)) (9... O-O 10. Be3 Nbd7 11. f4 b6 12. Qf3 e5 13. f5 Bb7 14. Rad1 Rb8 15. Nd2 Bc6 16. Nd5 Nc5 17. Bc2 a5 18. Nb1 Bxd5 19. cxd5 b5 20. Nc3 Nfd7 21. Ne2 Bg5 22. Bf2 Rc8 23. g3 Nb6 24. h4 Bh6 25. b3 b4 26. Bb1 Nbd7 27. Kh1 a4 28. Rg1 axb3 29. axb3 Ra8 30. g4 f6 31. g5 fxg5 32. Be3 g4 33. Qxg4 1/2-1/2 Jacek B Bednarski-Aleksandar Matanovic/Kecskemet 1964) 10. f4 Qc7 11. Bd2 b6 12. Qe2 Bb7 13. Rae1 O-O 14. Nd4 g6 15. Kh1 Rfe8 16. Nf3 Bf8 17. e5 Nh5 18. Be4 Ng7 19. Bxb7 Qxb7 20. Ne4 d5 21. cxd5 exd5 22. Nf2 f5 23. Bc3 Ne6 24. Nd3 Ndc5 25. Nd4 Nxd4 26. Bxd4 Ne6 27. Qf2 b5 28. h3 Rac8= 0-1 Yifan Hou (2527)-Fabiano Caruana (2598)/Merida ESP 2008 (107).

 

7... g6

7... Bf6 is the "old" move but seems so "last year" already, as demonstrated in a high level blitz encounter: 8. Qg3 Nc6 9. Nc3 d6 10. Bf4 Ne5 11. O-O-O Ne7 12. Be2 N7g6 13. Bd2 Qc7 14. h4 b5 15. h5 Ne7 16. a3 h6 17. Be3 Rb8 18. f4 Nc4 19. Bd4 e5 20. fxe5 dxe5 21. Bc5 Rb7 1-0 Svidler,P (2726)-Karpov,A (2644)/Odessa UKR 2009.

 

8. Qe2 d6 9. Nc3

a) 9. Na3 Nc6 10. Be3 Ne5! 11. Rd1 Nf6 12. Bh6 Nfg4! 13. Bf4 Nxd3+ 14. Rxd3 e5 15. Bd2 b5! (Black keeps White from playing Nc4) 16. O-O O-O 17. f3 Qb6+ 18. Kh1 Nf6 19. Ba5 Qc6 20. Rc3 Qe8 21. Bb4 d5 22. Bxe7 Qxe7 23. Rd3 Nh5! 24. Rd2 d4 25. Qe1 Be6 26. Nc1 Rac8 27. Nb1 Nf4 28. a3 f5 29. exf5 Bxf5 30. Ne2 Nd5 31. c3 Ne3 32. Rg1 Nc4 33. Nxd4 Bxb1 0-1 Alvir,A (2386)-Caruana,F (2646)/Ansfelden AUT 2009.

 

b) 9. Be3 Nf6 10. Bh6 Nc6 11. h3 Bf8 12. Qe3 Bxh6 13. Qxh6 e5 14. N1d2 Be6 15. O-O Qe7 16. Rfe1 Rg8 17. Qe3 g5 18. Bc4 O-O-O 19. Bxe6+ Qxe6 20. Nf1 Nh5 21. Ng3 Nxg3 22. fxg3 g4 23. h4 f5 24. exf5 Qxf5 25. Rf1 Qg6 0-1 Petr,M (2460)-Caruana,F (2649)/Rogaska Slatina SLO 2009 (56).

 

9... Nd7 10. Be3 Ngf6 11. Bh6 b6 12. O-O Bb7 13. a4 Qc7










This type of Hedgehog formation is very solid, as Caruana's games demonstrate.

 

14. Rad1 Bf8 15. Bxf8 Kxf8 16. f4 Kg7 17. Kh1 h5 18. Rde1 h4!?

Black often makes this adventurous advance in these lines, trying to batter open the h-file and the light-squared diagonal for the Bishop.

 

19. e5!?

19. h3?! Nh5

 

19... Nd5 20. Nxd5 Bxd5 21. c4 Bb7 22. Be4 Bxe4 23. Qxe4 Nc5 24. Nxc5 dxc5 25. Rd1 Rad8

And Caruana has demonstrated that these endings hold nothing to fear for Black.

 

26. b3?!

This small inaccuracy allows Black to gain control of the d-file. Better 26. Qf3! =.

 

26... Rd7! 27. Rxd7

27. Qf3 Rhd8 28. Rxd7 Qxd7

 

27... Qxd7 28. h3 Rd8 29. Kh2 Qd3! 30. Qxd3 Rxd3 31. Rf3? Rxf3! 32. gxf3 Kh6

32... g5! 33. fxg5 Kg6 34. f4 Kf5

 

33. Kg2 g5! 34. Kf2

34. fxg5+ Kxg5 and Kf4 wins easily.

 

34... gxf4 35. Ke2 Kg5

35... a5! would stop White's next and avoid complications.

 

36. b4!? Kf5

36... a5! 37. bxc5 bxc5

 

37. a5!?

White has gotten in some tricky play, but Black can still win with a few accurate moves.

 

37... bxa5 38. bxc5 Kxe5 39. Kd3 a4

The immediate 39... Kf6! is best, but Anna figures it out.

 

40. Kc3 a5 41. Kb2










41... Kf6! 42. Ka3 Ke7 43. Kxa4 Kd7 44. Kxa5 Kc6 45. Kb4 e5 46. Kc3 Kxc5 47. Kd3 f5 48. Kc3 e4 49. fxe4 fxe4 50. Kd2 Kxc4

White resigns. An excellent game from the next Irina Krush.

 

0-1

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