Winning by Playing for a Draw
A few weeks ago I commented on the game Mangion - Kernighan where White played for a draw but because Black refused to cooperate White won. Something similar happened in a game I played against FM Steve Stoyko in the Kenilworth Summer Tournament. By playing for a draw in the Chekhover Sicilian, I think I made him overreach. This is the first game I've ever won against Steve.
Michael Goeller - Steve Stoyko [B50]
2011 KCC Summer Tournament/Kenilworth, NJ USA (2) 2011
Playing for a draw against the FM. All of the books tell you this is a bad idea, but my own experience is that it often makes the master push too hard to make something out of nothing.
c) 11. Kb1 is Vasiukov's move, which I have played successfully before and written about here. White then tries to develop a kingside attack by pushing forward his pawns. But I suspected Steve would outplay me there.
a) 12... Bxc3 was what I had most expected, when I intended 13. Qxd8 (Steve thought White can get a good position by 13. bxc3!? Qa5 14. Qb4 Qxa2 and now play on the dark squares with Nd4, or maybe Ne5 and Rd4) 13... Bxb2+ (13... Raxd8!?) 14. Kxb2 Rfxd8 15. Nd4=
Steve had the right idea, but slightly better was the immediate 13... Qg5+! when White has to play very precisely to maintain equality: 14. f4 Qxg2 15. Nxc6 bxc6 16. e5! (16. Qd2?! Qxd2+ 17. Kxd2 Rab8!) 16... Rfd8 17. Qc5 Bh4 18. Qg1! Qxg1 19. Rxg1 Bf2 20. Rgf1 Be3+ 21. Kb1=
Steve's concentration was broken here by some of the spectators and he played a bit impulsively. Of course, Black has easy equality, though nothing more, after one of two moves:
Black has insufficient compensation for two pawns.
and the double threat of Nxb6 or Ne7+ means Black must lose the Exchange, so he resigned.
Game in PGN
Copyright 2011 by Michael Goeller
Michael Goeller, Notes on the Checkhover Sicilian