21st Kenilworth Chess Club Championship, Round 3
Three Knights Defense
In the third round of the 2012 Kenilworth Chess Club Championship, I played an interesting game with Expert Kevin Chen. Though I typically meet the Petroff with 3.d4, I decided that my opponent may have read my article on that line and cooked up a surprise. So I tried to transpose to the Four Knights Game instead, which Chen met with 3...Bb4. My notes on the line (as much for myself as for anyone) show that White gets a slight edge here. And, as the game shows, Black has to tred carefully as the wide open position can lead to some dangerous tactical shots.
Michael Goeller (2043) - Kevin Emmanuel Chen (2003) [C42]
Kenilworth CC Championship/Kenilworth, NJ USA (3) 2012
Not mentioned in my books, though frequently played. The only downside is that Black might want to play ...d5 in one go, so now the pawn might get stuck on d6, granting White control over d5.
b) 4... Qe7 5. Nd3 Bxc3 6. dxc3 Qxe4+? is a mistake(White only has the standard slight edge after 6... Nxe4 7. Be2
Better late than never! White has a very slight pull due to the two Bishops and control of d5 with c4 and Nd5. If White gets his "golden bishop" to the long diagonal (with b3 and Bb2 for instance), he might even create attacking chances. But it really is not much.
Putting the Bishop loose on f5 just looked wrong, so I knew there should be some tactical shot for White. Unfortunately, I overlooked the strongest option.
Not bad, but this gains very little against best play. The correct way to exploit the Bishop move was 10. Bd3! d5 (10... Qd7? 11. g4! Bxg4 12. f3) 11. f3 Nd6 12. Nxd5 winning a pawn, though Black can fight on due to White's crippled queenside majority.
Surprisingly, this loses a piece. Black has a couple of saving alternatives:
b) 10... Ne5! was Black's best option, which I overlooked, when White wins nothing after 11. Qxb7 Nc5 12. Qd5 Bxc2 though White gains a slight structural advantage to go with his two Bishops and so still retains the edge.
This move seems based on a miscalculation. Black should at least get two pawns for the piece while he can.
White's play on the kingside looks a little risky, but you can't play passively even when up material. After all, White has an additional attacker, so he should win any battle.
and Black resigned as he will lose his Queen after 29... Kf6 30.Rd6.
Game in PGN
Copyright © 2012 by Michael Goeller