Albin Revisited

I saw the following game in an old issue of Chess Life. Playing it over revived my interest in the Albin, and I have been having a lot of fun with it again in online blitz.

J. Woolverton - D. B. Pritchard [D08]

London/England 1959

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. a3 Nge7

Funny how this move is back in fashion, thanks mainly to the games of Morozevich.


6. g3

Not the most logical follow-through, but Black is probably fine against other moves:

a) 6. e3 Nf5

b) 6. b4 Ng6 7. Bb2 a5 8. b5 Ncxe5 9. Nxe5 Nxe5 Topalov - Morozevich, Amber Rapid 2005.


6... Ng6 7. Bg2 Bg4!?

Of course, Black is fine after 7... Ngxe5 8. Nxe5 Nxe5= but Pritchard is going for more.


8. O-O

a) 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Bxf3 Ngxe5 10. Bd5 Qd7

b) 8. Qb3 Rb8!? is fine for Black.


8... Qd7

Black is well set up for what Andrew Martin once referred to as "the caveman attack": Bh3, h5-h4, followed by opening up the h-file with mate on the way.


9. Qc2 Be7!?

Also good was 9... O-O-O 10. Bg5 Re8.


10. b4 Rd8 11. b5 Ncxe5 12. Nxe5 Nxe5 13. Bf4

Allowing a spectacular combination for Black. Critical was 13. Bxb7! c6! (not 13... Bh3? 14. Qe4! but Black can force a draw with 13... d3!? 14. exd3 Bf3 15. Bxf3 Nxf3+ 16. Kg2 Nh4+ 17. gxh4 Qg4+= etc. -- but this is hardly his intention) 14. bxc6 (worse is 14. Qe4 Qxb7 15. Qxe5 O-O! 16. bxc6 Qxc6 17. Qxe7 Bh3 18. f3 Rde8! 19. Qh4 Bxf1 20. Kxf1 Qxc4) 14... Nxc6 15. Qe4 Qxb7 (15... Na5 16. Bd5 O-O) 16. Qxg4 O-O and the holes around White's King are very inviting.


13... d3! 14. exd3 Nxd3 15. Bxb7?!

15. Be3 c6


15... Nxf4!! 16. Bc6?


White must play 16. gxf4 O-O though Black clearly has great attacking chances against White's weakened king position.


16... Ne2+ 17. Kg2

17. Qxe2 Bxe2 18. Bxd7+ Rxd7


17... Qxc6+ 18. bxc6


18... Bf3+! 19. Kh3?

19. Kxf3 Nd4+ 20. Kg2 Nxc2


19... Rd6 20. Qd2 g5

and White cannot prevent mate, e.g.: 21. Qxd6 g4#



[Michael Goeller]

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Game in PGN

Copyright © 2011 by Michael Goeller