Irving Ellner Memorial, Round 5
By Michael Goeller
In the fifth round of the Irving Ellner Memorial tournament at the Kenilworth Chess Club, I faced young Max Sherer, against whom I had prepared the Advance Variation, knowing that he played the Wade Variation exclusively. All went according to plan, and I had a clear advantage. But I missed a critical move (17.h6!) that would have completed my dark square dominance and made it easier to win. As the game progressed, things got more complicated, with me having potentially weak pawns at d6 and h5. What's more, a commotion in the playing hall was a real distraction at the end of the game, so when my opponent offered a draw I took it. Likely it was the right move, but White definitely was for choice.
Michael Goeller - Max Sherer [C02]
Kenilworth CC, Irving Ellner Memorial/Kenilworth, NJ USA (5) 2012
I am told that Max prepared something special against 2. f4 with which I had won our last encounter.
All of this was my preparation before the game. I used to play the Advance Variation, following the repertoire offered by Sam Collins, and I returned to it here knowing that Max always plays the Wade Variation, which made him easy to prepare against.
a) 6... a5 was a move Max had played in a previous game at the club, which I used as my main preparation: 7. b3 cxd4?! (better to keep the tension with 7... Nc6! 8. Be3!? Nh6! 9. Bd3 Ng4 but I knew Max would not go that way)
8. cxd4 Bb5 9. Bxb5+ Qxb5 10. Nc3 Qa6 (10... Qd7 11.
Probably strongest is to attack immediately by 14. h5! Nh4 15. Nxh4! Bxh4 16. Rd1 (16. Be3!? h6 17. Na4 Qa6 18. Qxa6 bxa6 19. Rac1 planning to double on the c-file is also strong)
16... h6 (16...
A little premature. Here I missed the perfect culmination of White's dark square strategy: 17. h6! g6 18. Bg5! a6 19. Nd6+! Bxd6 20. exd6 Nd7 21. Qe3 with strong play on the dark squares -- though it will likely require some sacrificial action in pursuit of Black's king.
I had overlooked this possibility. If it were not for this move, Black is lost.
At this point a major commotion erupted around Mr. Bean's game, when his clock suddenly stopped (or so he claimed), requiring the TD and others to lend assistance while he loudly complained about the situation. This disruption continued through the next two moves.
With this move, Max offered a draw. Distracted by the continuing commotion at the nearby board and seeing that my h-pawn is likely to fall and my d-pawn is in long-term peril, I accepted. However, White actually might have the better chances with precise play.
21... Nf6 22. b5! (22. Be5!?)
22... axb5 (22... Na7?! 23. bxa6 Qxa6 24. Qxa6 bxa6 25. Rb7
Game in PGNCopyright © 2012 by Michael Goeller