caveman caro-kann

The Complete Caveman

By Michael Goeller

I have been analyzing the Caveman Caro-Kann since I first saw it played back in 2007. A recent upsurge in its popularity, especially at the amateur level, has encouraged me to try to offer a complete overview of the line, which I have previously only published about piecemeal. The following analysis incorporates some of the games I have looked at before, combined with many new games and all published analysis that I could find. I think the conclusion is that the Caveman is a very complicated line, rather like the Botvinnik Variation of the Semi-Slav, but fully viable at even the highest levels. It is also a good way to cause Black grief.

Game One: 6.Bd3 Bxd3 7.Qxd3 Qxb2? 8.e6!

Angus French (2018) - Victor Hugo Boy Lazoni (1806) [B12]

London Chess Classic - FIDE Open/London (3) 2012


[Our first game comes from Angus French, who made a big splash with the Caveman at the London Chess Classic this past year, having his game reproduced in Malcolm Pein's column in the Telegraph. It was a great advertisement for the Caveman Caro-Kann, and it inspired me to reach out and contact Angus and invite him to annotate his game for my blog, which he generously did. Unless otherwise indicated, the notes on this first game are his. -- MG]

 

Angus writes:

 

This game was played in the third round of the London Chess Classic FIDE Open. I was playing as a filler to even up the numbers. This didn't mean I didn't take the game seriously, despite the possible distraction of the main event with Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Lev Aronian, Vishy Anand, Hikaru Nakamura, Judit Polgar and some English players. I did and had also played in the first round and enjoyed a competitive five-hour game with IM Lorin D'Costa.

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5

3... c5 is common in England. [It is increasingly common in the U.S. too, ever since it was recommended in Jovanka Houska's popular book on the Caro-Kann. Fortunately, that book has been supplanted by Lars Schandorff's Grandmaster Repertoire 7 as the Caro-Kann bible for most players, and he not only recommends 3...Bf5 but he failed to mention the Caveman approach -- though his editors did offer some analysis after the fact online, which I cite in my bibliography below. -- MG]

 

4. h4 h5 5. Bg5!?

Before discovering Michael's blog on the Caveman I played 5. c4

 

5... Qb6 6. Bd3!? Bxd3 7. Qxd3 Qxb2?

 










Game on! Previous over-the-board opponents - I think three in as many years - have opted for the pallid 7... e6.

 

8. e6!

The computers, unless they look deeply, don't like this move but it gums up Black's kingside and/or helps create threats.

 

8... Qxa1 9. Qb3 b5

Against 9... Qxd4 I vaguely remembered that 10. Be3 was good. But is 10. Qxb7 also alright? [Yes - see my analysis of our next game, Perunovic - Lalith. -- MG]

 

10. Nf3

Developing and cutting out ... Qxd4. [Not 10. Ne2? Na6! 11. O-O Nc5 12. dxc5 Qe5 Hazai & Lukacs -- MG.]

 

10... a5?!

Time consuming, though I wondered if I'd missed something.

 

[MG: 10... Nf6! is the most challenging move and requires accurate play by White to defeat:

 

11. O-O

Not 11. Bxf6? exf6 12. O-O b4.

 

11... Ne4 xc3 12. Bd2!

This is not mentioned by Hazai & Lukacs, who analyze 12. exf7+?! Kxf7 (12... Kd8? 13. c4! dxc4 14. Qc2 Hazai & Lukacs 14... Nxg5 (14... Nd6 15. Bd2 -c3) 15. Nxg5 b4 16. Ne6+ Kc8 (16... Kd7 17. Qf5) 17. Qf5 a5 (17... Kb7? 18. Qa5!) 18. Nxf8+ Kb7 19. Ng6 Rd8 20. f8=Q Rxf8 21. Nxf8 Qxd4 22. Re1) 13. c4! (13. Bc1 Nc5 14. dxc5 Qf6 15. Nc3 Qf5 16. a4 a6 17. Nd4 Qe5 18. Nf3 Qf5 19. Nd4=) 13... bxc4 (13... e6 14. cxd5 exd5 15. Rc1! Nd7 16. Nc3 Qxc3 17. Rxc3 Nxc3 18. Qxc3 Rc8 19. Ne5+) 14. Ne5+ Kg8 (14... Ke6? 15. Qh3+ Kd6 16. Qc8 Nxg5 17. hxg5 Qxd4 18. Nf7+ Kc5 19. Nxh8) 15. Qh3 Qxd4! (15... Nd6? 16. Nd2! Qxa2 17. Qe6+ Kh7 18. Ndf3) 16. Qe6+ Kh7 17. Qg6+ Kg8 18. Qe6+= -- MG

 

12... Nc5

Or 12... fxe6 13. Bc3 Nxc3 14. Nxc3 Qxf1+ 15. Kxf1 Nd7 16. a4!

 

13. exf7+

Also good is 13. dxc5!? Qf6 14. Re1 fxe6 15. Bg5 Qf7 16. Nd4 e5 17. Rxe5 Nd7 18. Re6.

 

13... Kxf7 14. Qa3 Ne4 15. Bc3 e6 16. Qb3 Nxc3 17. Nxc3 Qxf1+ 18. Kxf1 Nd7 19. Ng5+ Kg8 20. Ne2 Rh6 21. Qc3 Rc8 22. Qa5 Bd6 23. Qxa7 Rc7 24. Qa8+ Nf8 25. f4 Rf6 26. g3 e5 27. dxe5 Bxe5 28. Kg2 (28. Qe8 or 28. c3 also suffice) 28... Bb2 29. c3 -- MG.]

 

11. O-O

Developing and covering Nb1. The Black queen is trapped.

 

11... a4 12. Qa3

[MG: Objectively better might be 12. exf7+ Kxf7 (there is no salvation in 12... Kd7 13. Ne5+ Kc7 14. Qd3 Qxa2 15. fxg8=Q Rxg8 16. Nc3 Qb2 17. Bf4 or 12... Kd8 13. fxg8=Q Rxg8 14. Qa3 Kc8 15. Nbd2 e5 16. Be7 Bxe7 17. Qxe7 Qxa2 18. Qe6+ Kb7 19. Qxg8) 13. Ne5+ Ke8 14. Qh3 Kd8 15. Nc3 Qb2 16. Nf7+ Kc7 (16... Ke8 17. Nd6+!! exd6 (17... Kd8 18. Qc8#) 18. Re1+ Ne7 19. Qc8+ Kf7 20. Qe6+ Ke8 21. Bxe7 forces mate) 17. Rb1 (17. Bf4+! first also wins) 17... Qxb1+ (17... Qa3 18. Nxb5+) 18. Nxb1 -- MG]

 

12... fxe6

... or is the White queen trapped? 12... b4 provides an escape route, but at too great a cost: 13. Qxb4 Qxa2 14. Qb7 Kd8 15. Bf4 fxe6 16. Qc7+ Ke8 17. Ne5 and mate next move.

 

13. Nbd2

13. Bd2 with the idea of Bc3 to round up the Black queen for the cost of a piece doesn't work for a tactical reason: 13... e5 14. Bc3 e6 (attacking White's queen). Even if Black did not have this resource, I don't think the Bd2-c3 idea is strategically good. It's better to keep the minor pieces active and give up the rook which is unlikely to participate in the game any time soon.

 

13... Qxf1+ 14. Kxf1 Nd7

 










What now?

[If instead 14... Nf6 then 15. Qe3]

 

15. Qc3!

Played to stop Black castling queenside.

[Also good are 15. Qd3 and and 15. Qe3 O-O-O 16. Qxe6 Kb7 17. Ne1 Ngf6 18. Nd3 Ne8 19. Nf3 Nc7 20. Qf7 - MG]

 

15... Ra6

Not expected. If 15... Rc8 16. Qe3 xe6 16... Kf7 17. Bf4 and Ng5+

 

16. Bf4!

I wanted g5 for a knight -- and f3 for the other knight!

 

16... Nh6

[Alternatives are no better:

a) 16... Ngf6 17. Ng5 xe6

b) 16... e5 17. dxe5 e6 18. Nd4 Nc5 19. Qh3 Kd7 20. N2f3 Ra8 21. Ng5 Re8 22. Bc1 -a3xc5 22... Nh6 (22... b4 23. Bd2 Nh6 24. Bxb4 Ne4 25. Ngxe6 Ng4 26. Nxf8+) 23. Ba3 Nf5 24. Bxc5 Bxc5 25. Ndxe6 Rxe6 26. Qxf5 Rhe8 27. Nxe6 Rxe6 28. Qxh5 MG]

 

17. Ng5 Nf5 18. Ndf3

18. Nxe6 Kf7 19. Nd8+ Kg8 20. Nxc6 might have been better and I did consider it but I wasn't sure about allowing Black to play e6 and opening up Black's third rank (possibly making sense of Ra6). Instead I wanted to get my pieces close to Black's king.

 

18... g6

Better 18... Rh6! 19. Qe1 e5 20. Nxe5 Rf6 (20... e6 21. g4! hxg4 22. Nxg4) 21. Nh7! Re6 22. Qd1

 

19. Nxe6 Kf7 20. Nfg5+ Kf6?

Played quickly and rather obliging. After 20... Kg8 , 21. Qe1 aiming for e6 is good, as is 21. Nc7 Rb6 22. Qe1 e5 (22... c5 23. Qa5) 23. Bxe5, while White meets 20... Ke8 with 21. Nc7+.

 

21. Be5+

and mate next move.

 

1-0

[Angus French, Michael Goeller]


Game Two: 7...Qxb2? 8.e6 Qxa1 9.Qb3 Qxd4

Milos Perunovic (2580) - Babu MR Lalith (2480) [B12]

11th Dubai Open/Dubai UAE (7) 2009


In the following game, Black's Queen grabs the Rook at a1 and then makes a run for it before the trap springs shut. However, then it is White's turn to grab material with Qxb7.

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bg5 Qb6 6. Bd3 Bxd3 7. Qxd3 Qxb2? 8. e6 Qxa1 9. Qb3 Qxd4

 










10. Qxb7

It makes no difference whether White first grabs the pawn or prevents Qb6, but White must play either 10.Be3 or 11. Be3, e.g.: 10. Be3 Qe5 11. Qxb7 fxe6 (11... Qxe6? 12. Qxa8 Qe5 13. Nf3! (13. Ne2 is also strong, threatening Bf4) 13... Qb2 (13... Qc7 14. Bxa7) 14. O-O Nf6 15. Bd4 (15. Nbd2 with the idea of Rb1 also wins.) 15... Qb4 16. a3! (This move points up that squares are in short supply for the Queen, though also good is 16. Nc3 Nfd7 17. Rb1 Qa5 18. Be5) 16... Qd6 17. Be5 Qd8 18. Qxb8 and down a piece for two pawns, Black resigned in 1-0 Sengupta,D (2572)-Zelesco,K (2048)/Parramatta AUS 2012. Black could have played on, but it is likely that White will be able to pick up the a-pawn soon which would make his task much easier.[Goeller,Michael]) 12. Nf3 Qd6 13. Ng5 (13. Qxa8 Kf7 (13... Nf6 14. Bxa7) 14. Ng5+ Kg6 15. Rh3 Nf6 16. Rg3 Qb4+ 17. Nd2 e5 18. c3 Qb2 19. Bxa7 Nbd7 20. Qxc6) 13... Nh6 14. Bc5 Qd8 15. Qxa8 Nd7 16. Qxc6 Qa5+ 17. Nd2 Qxc5 18. Qa8+ Nb8 19. Qxb8+ Kd7 20. O-O Qc7 21. Qb5+ Qc6 22. Qa5 a6 23. Ndf3 Qb5 24. Ne5+ Kc8 25. Qc3+ Kb8 26. a4 Qb6 27. a5 1-0 Kaufeld,J-Gibbs,D/Hastings ENG 2010 -- another Caveman that made it into the Telegraph, by the way.

 

10... fxe6

10... Qb6? 11. Qc8+ Qd8 12. exf7+

 

11. Be3

Less clear is grabbing the Rook directly, though White has had practical success with that as well, e.g.: 11. Qxa8?! Qb6

Better 11... Qb2! 12. Nd2 Nf6 13. Ngf3 Kf7 14. O-O Nbd7 15. Qxc6 , while Black has also tried 11... Qb4+ 12. Nd2 Kf7 13. Ngf3 Qd6 14. O-O g6 15. Rd1 Bg7 16. Ne4 Qc7 17. Bf4 e5 18. Neg5+ Ke8 19. Ne6 Qc8 20. Nxe5 Nf6 21. Rb1 Nfd7 22. Nxg7+ Kf8 23. Ne6+ Kg8 24. Nxd7 1-0 Raum,S (2076)-Kartsev,A (2184)/ Oberhof ch-GER U18.

 

12. Nd2 Kf7

Better 12... Nf6! 13. Bf4 e5 14. Bxe5 Nfd7 15. Ngf3 e6 16. O-O Bb4 17. Rb1 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 O-O 19. Ndf3 Na6 20. Qxc6 Qxc6 21. Nxc6 Bc5.

 

13. Ngf3 Qc7 14. O-O c5? 15. Be3

White also has 15. Rb1 Nd7 16. Rb7 or 15. g3! Nf6 16. Bf4

 

15... Nd7? 16. Ng5+ Kf6 17. Qe8 Nh6 18. Qxh5 Qe5 19. Nh7+ Rxh7 20. Bg5+ Kf5 21. Bxe7+ Kf4 22. g3# 1-0 Denis Shagdurov (1890)-Elena Kholova (1736)/St Petersburg RUS 2012/[Goeller,Michael]

 

11... Qa4

As usual in this complicated line, Black has alternatives, but they are not much better:

a) 11... Qc4 12. Nf3! (12. Qxa8!? Qb4+ (12... Qb5 13. Nc3 Qb4 14. Nge2 Kf7 15. O-O Nd7 16. Qxc6) 13. Nd2 Kf7 14. Ngf3 Nf6 15. Ne5+ Kg8 16. O-O) 12... Nd7? (12... Qb5?? 13. Qc8+ Kf7 14. Ne5+ Kf6 15. Qxf8+ Kxe5 16. Qf4# but necessary is 12... Qa6 13. Qxa8 Qa5+ 14. Nbd2 Qd8 15. Bxa7 Nd7 16. Qxc6) 13. Qxa8+ Kf7 14. Ng5+ Kf6 15. Qe8 Qb4+ 16. Nd2 1-0 Ashwin,J (2439)-Kasparova,T (2157)/Bhubaneswar IND 2011.

 

b) 11... Qe5 12. Nf3 Qd6 13. Qxa8 Kf7 14. Ng5+ Kg6 15. Rh3

 

12. Qxa8 Qa5+ 13. Nd2 Qd8 14. Ngf3 Nf6 15. O-O g6 16. Rb1 Nbd7 17. Qxc6 Bg7 18. Ng5

1-0

[Michael Goeller]


Game Three: 7...Qxb2? 8.e6 fxe6

Nazar Firman (2494) - Vladimir Makarov (2172) [B12]

Tch-UKR/Alushta UKR (2) 2006


The following may very well be the stem game for the whole Caveman line, yet it is still very useful to theory.

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4!? h5 5. Bg5 Qb6 6. Bd3 Bxd3 7. Qxd3 Qxb2? 8. e6! fxe6

 










a) 8... Qxa1 9. Qb3! is considered above.

 

b) 8... f6!? is interesting: 9. Bd2!? (perhaps the wild 9. Nf3! fxg5 10. O-O gxh4 (10... Qxa1? 11. Qb3) 11. Nbd2 Qb6 12. Rfb1 Qa6 13. Qg6+ Kd8 14. Ne5 Nh6 15. Qxh5) 9... Qxa1 10. Qb3 Qxd4 (10... b5? 11. Bc3) 11. Qxb7 (11. Be3?! Qe5 12. Qxb7 Qxe6 13. Qxa8 d4 14. Qxb8+ Kf7) 11... Qb6 (11... Qe5+ 12. Ne2 Qxe6 13. Qxa8 Qd6 14. O-O e5 15. Nbc3) 12. Qxa8 Qxb1+ 13. Ke2 Qb5+ 14. Kf3 d4 (14... g5! 15. hxg5 fxg5 16. Bxg5 Bh6 17. Rxh5 d4) 15. Bf4 Qd5+ 16. Kg3 Qxe6 17. Qxb8+ Kf7 18. Nf3 Qg4+ 19. Kh2 Nh6 20. Re1 Nf5? (20... c5! 21. Qb3+ e6) 21. Qb3+! Kg6 22. g3 Kh7 23. Ng5+! fxg5 24. f3 gxf4 25. fxg4 fxg3+ 26. Kg2 hxg4 27. Qf7 Nh6 28. Qe6 g6 29. Qxc6 Bg7 30. h5 Rf8 31. Qxg6+ Kh8 32. Rf1 Rc8 33. Kxg3 Rc3+ 34. Kg2 Rc8 35. Kg1 Rb8 36. Re1 Rb6 37. Qe8+ Kh7 38. Qxe7 Nf5 39. Qe4 1-0 Nowicki, B (2067)-Borowicz,P (2001)/Warsaw POL 2010.

 

9. Nf3 Nd7

a) 9... Qxa1 10. Qb3 b5 11. O-O Nf6 (11... b4 12. Qxb4 Qxa2 13. Qb7) 12. Nc3!? (Slightly better is to leave open the third rank with 12. Nbd2 Qxf1+ 13. Kxf1 Nbd7 14. Qe3) 12... Qxf1+ 13. Kxf1 Nbd7 14. a4! a6 15. Qa3! (Threatening 16. axb5 followed by 17.Nxb5) 15... Rc8 16. axb5 axb5 17. Qa6 Rb8 (17... Kd8 18. Bd2! clears the way for Ng5 while threatening an eventual Ba5+) 18. Qxc6 (18. Bf4! may be a little bit more incisive) 18... Kf7 19. Bf4 Re8 20. Ng5+ Kg6 21. Qxe6 Rc8 22. Nxd5 Rxc2 23. Qf7+ Kf5 (Or 23... Kh6 24. Nxe7 Bxe7 25. Ne6+ Kh7 26. Qxg7#) 24. Ne3+ Kxf4 25. Nxc2?! (25. g3#) 25... e5 26. g3+ Kg4 27. Ne3# 1-0 kenilworthian (1909) -jerzyw (2039)/Blitz, Chess.com 2011/[Goeller, Michael]

 

b) 9... Qb6 10. Nbd2 Hazai and Lukacs

 

10. O-O Qxa1 11. Qb3 e5!?

11... a5 12. Nbd2 a4 (12... Qxf1+ 13. Nxf1 O-O-O 14. Bd2 Hazai and Lukacs) 13. Qxb7 Rb8 14. Qxb8+ Nxb8 15. Rxa1 Nd7 16. Rb1 g6 17. Ne5 Nxe5 Hazai and Lukacs 18. Rb8+! Kf7 19. dxe5 Bg7 20. Nf3 Bh6 21. Bxh6 Rxh6 22. Ng5+ Kg7 23. Nxe6+

 

12. Nc3 Qxf1+ 13. Kxf1 e4?

a) 13... Rb8 14. Nxe5 Nxe5 15. dxe5 e6 16. Ne2 is still a fight.

 

b) 13... O-O-O 14. dxe5 Nb6 (14... g6 15. Qa3) 15. Na4 Hazai and Lukacs

 

14. Ne5! Nxe5 15. Qxb7!

after 15. ..Rd8 16.dxe5 White wins the c-pawn and has a winning initiative as well.

 

1-0

[Michael Goeller]


Game Four: 6...Qxb2?!

Kapil Chandran (2290) - Praveen Balakrishnan (2209) [B12]

US Chess League/ICC (9) 2012


Besides going after the whole Rook with 6...Bxd3 7.Qxd3 Qxb2, Black has other ways of grabbing material. In the following game, a 10-year-old New Jersey master chose to grab the Exchange and a pawn instead, but his opponent demonstrated that White gets plenty of compensation against that approach as well.

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bg5 Qb6 6. Bd3 Qxb2?!

 










This is definitely the move that worried me most in my initial analysis. White has to sacrifice the Exchange, after which he clearly has good play for the material. But I wanted to see some sample games, which were not available back in 2007. However, several master games have recently appeared to show the dangers that Black faces. More dangerous for White is 6... Qxd4, which we will examine in subsequent games below.

 

It's good to know how to meet the approach tried by the World Champion against this line: 6... Bxd3 7. Qxd3 Qa6 (7... Qxb2 8. e6!! is analyzed above, while I suggest in later games that White meet 7... e6 with 8. Nc3! also) 8. Qh3! (8. Qf3?! e6 9. Ne2 c5 10. c3?! Nc6 11. Nd2 Nge7 Shirov - Anand, Leon match 2011) 8... e6 9. Nc3 as Christian Schramm demonstrated.

 

7. Bxf5 Qxa1

7... e6?! 8. Nd2 exf5 9. Ngf3! Qb5!? 10. c4! dxc4 11. Rb1! Qa6 12. Qc2 c3! (12... b5 13. Qxf5 Ne7 14. Bxe7 Bxe7 15. e6 fxe6 16. Qxe6 Nd7 17. O-O) 13. Qxc3 Nd7 14. Qc2 Nb6 15. Qxf5

 

8. e6!

 










8... g6

a) 8... f6 9. Bg6+ Kd8 10. Bd2 Na6 (10... Qxa2 11. Rh3!) 11. Rh3 Nc7 12. Ne2 Kc8 (12... Nxe6 13. Ra3 Qb2 14. Bc3 Qb6 15. Ba5 Lukacs and Hazai) 13. a4! Qxa4 14. Ra3 Qb5 15. Bd3 Qb6 16. Ba5 Qb2 17. Rb3 Qa2 18. Bxc7 Kxc7 19. Na3 followed by Nc3, winning the queen.

 

b) 8... fxe6 9. Bg6+ Kd8 10. Nf3 Nd7 11. Bf4!? (11. O-O Ngf6 (11... e5 12. c4!) 12. Qe2 Qxa2 13. Qxe6 Lukacs and Hazai in NIC Yearbook) 11... e5 12. dxe5 e6 (Andy Catlin calls this position "unclear," which seems more accurate than the computer's assessment in favor of Black.) 13. O-O Be7 14. Bf7 (also worth considering are 14. c4!? or 14. Nd4!?) 14... Nf8 (14... Nc5 15. Nd4 Qxa2 16. Bxe6 Kc7 17. Bf5) 15. Nd4 Kd7 16. Qd3 (16. c4 Qxa2 17. cxd5 cxd5 18. Nc3) 16... Qxa2 17. Qh3 (more precise was 17. Bxe6+! Nxe6 18. Qh3) 17... Qc4 18. Nxe6 Nxe6 19. Qxe6+ Kd8 20. g3! (20. Bg5 Qg4 21. Qg6 Bxg5 22. hxg5 Ne7 23. Qxg7 Kc7 24. Bxd5) 20... Nh6 21. Bxh5 Rc8?! (21... Qxc2 22. Bg6! Qe2 23. Bxh6 gxh6 24. Bf5) 22. Nd2! Qc5 23. Nb3 Qb6 24. Qg6 Rf8 25. Bd2 (25. Bg5!) 25... Qa6? (25... Qc7) 26. Bg5! Nf5 27. Bxe7+ Kxe7 28. Qg5+ 1-0 Charochkina,D (2316) -Arabidze,M (2246)/St Petersburg RUS

 

c) 8... Nf6!? 9. Bxf6?! (9. exf7+ Kxf7 10. Nf3 Nbd7 11. Bf4 g6! 12. Be6+! Kg7 (12... Kxe6 13. Ng5+ Kf5 14. Qf3!! Qxb1+ 15. Bc1#!) 13. O-O Qxa2 14. Ng5) 9... exf6! (9... gxf6 10. Ne2 with the idea of Nf4) 10. exf7+ Kxf7 11. Ne2 g6?! (11... Bd6! 12. O-O Qxa2) 12. Bd3?! (12. Bxg6+!! Kxg6 13. Qd3+ Kf7 14. Qb3 b5 15. O-O a5 16. c3! a4 17. Qc2 a3 18. Nf4 Rh6 (18... Qb2 19. Qg6+ Ke7 20. Re1+) 19. Nxa3 Qxf1+ 20. Kxf1 Rxa3 21. Qf5) 12... Bd6 13. O-O Nd7 14. c4! Qxa2 15. Nbc3 Qa5 16. Qb3 (16. Qb1!) 16... Nb6?! (16... dxc4 17. Bxc4+ Kg7 18. Qxb7 Qc7) 17. c5 Bxc5 18. dxc5 Qxc5 "Bishop and Knight for Rook and Four pawns. Watch how Czuhai gets his pieces very active, starting with creating a monster outpost for his knight on g5" writes Catlin. 19. Nf4 f5 20. Nh3 Rae8 21. Ng5+ Kg7 22. Ra1 Re7 23. Rxa7 Rhe8 24. Qb2 d4? (24... Kg8! Czuhai) 25. Ne2 Nc4 26. Bxc4 Qxc4 27. Nxd4 Kg8 28. Rxb7 Qd5 (28... Rxb7! 29. Qxb7 Qc1+ 30. Kh2 Qf4+ 31. g3 Qxf2+ 32. Kh3 Qf1+ 33. Kh2 Qf2+= Andy Catlin) 29. Nde6 Qd1+ 30. Kh2 Qd6+ 31. g3 Rxb7 32. Qxb7 Qe7 33. Qxc6 Rb8 34. Qd5 Rc8 35. Nf4+ Kg7 36. Qd4+ Kh6 37. Nd5 Qg7 38. Qf4 Qg8 39. Ne6+ Kh7 40. Nf6+ Black resigns. 1-0 Czuhai,K (2212)-Zylstra,I (1733)/ Grand Rapids 2012/[Catlin,Andy]

 

d) 8... Nh6 9. exf7+ (9. Bxh6 Rxh6 10. exf7+ Kxf7 11. Nf3 e6 12. Ng5+ Ke7 13. Bh3) 9... Nxf7 10. Nf3 Nd7 11. Bg6! e5 12. O-O MG

 

9. Bd3 Bg7

9... Nh6 10. Nf3!

 

10. Nf3!

10. exf7+ Kxf7 11. Nf3 Nd7

 

10... f5

This may be the best try, but it does leave White's pawn at e6 "like a bone in the throat." Taking the pawn may be best: 10... fxe6 11. Bxg6+ Kd8 12. O-O.

 

11. O-O  Na6

 










12. Qe1

With the idea of stopping Nb4 while supporting Ne5 -- and Qa5 also comes into consideration. Better may be 12. Bxa6! bxa6 13. Qd3 Qxa2 14. Na3 and already White's advantage is clear.

 

12... Nh6

12... Qxa2 13. Ne5 Rh7 14. Nxg6 Bxd4 15. Bxf5 O-O-O 16. Ne5 Rg7 17. Nd7 with a bind.

 

13. Ne5

13. Bxa6! bxa6 14. Bxe7!! Rb8 (14... Kxe7 15. Qb4+ Kf6 16. Qd6! (16. Nc3 wins the queen) ) 15. Qa5!

 

13... Qxd4 14. Nxg6 Rh7 15. Nxe7 Nc5?

15... Qe5 16. Qd1

 

16. Qd1 Ng4

16... Bf6 17. Be3 Qe5 18. Qxh5+ Kxe7 19. Bxc5+ Kd8 20. Qg6 Rh8 21. Nd2

 

17. Nxf5 Qe5 18. g3?!

White has no reason to defend unless he also attacks! There are two better ways:

a) 18. Ng3! Rh8 19. Bg6+ Kf8 20. Re1

b) 18. f4!! Qc7 19. Ne3! Nxe3 20. Bg6+ Kf8 21. e7+

 

18... Nxd3 19. Qxd3 Kf8?

 










Better was 19... Qxe6 20. Nd6+ Qxd6 21. Qxh7 though White should still win.

 

20. Qa3+! Kg8

20... Ke8?? 21. Qe7#

 

21. Ne7+ Kh8 22. Ng6+

White wins Black's queen and the game. But the young Balakrishnan never willingly resigns, so the game concluded:

 

22... Kg8 23. Nxe5 Bxe5 24. Nd2 Bd4 25. Nf3 Bb6 26. e7 Rf7 27. Kg2 Re8 28. Qd3 Kg7 29. Qc3+ Kg8 30. Qe1 Nf6 31. Bxf6 Rxf6 32. Qe5 Rf7 33. Re1 Bc5 34. Qg5+ Rg7 35. Qxh5 Rexe7 36. Rxe7 Rxe7 37. Qg6+ Kf8 38. Ng5

1-0

[Michael Goeller]


Game Five: 6...Qxd4!? 7.Nf3 Qxb2?!

Alexey Kislinsky (2495) - Piotr Krutul (1854) [B12]

6th Amplico AIG Life/Warsaw POL (1) 2006


Black can also grab a pawn at d4, which may well be the most complicated line of all! However, as the following game demonstrates, he should stop at one pawn and not go for two!

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bg5 Qb6 6. Bd3 Qxd4!?

 

 

 

 

7. Nf3

Not 7. Bxf5? Qxe5+ but interesting is 7. e6!? according to Huzai & Lukacs.

 

7... Qxb2?!

Grabbing the second pawn and the Exchange is probably too risky, as Huzai & Lukacs also conclude. Better is 7...Qg4, which we examine below.

 

8. Bxf5!

Also interesting, but less clear, is 8. Nbd2!? Bxd3 (8... Nh6!? 9. Rb1 Qxa2 10. Ra1 Qb2 11. Rb1 Qa3 12. Rxb7 Bxd3 13. cxd3 Nd7 14. O-O Quality Chess online) 9. cxd3 e6 (9... Nd7!? 10. O-O (10. Rb1 Qxa2 11. Rxb7 Nc5) 10... Nxe5!? 11. Rb1 Nxf3+ 12. Nxf3 Qxa2 13. Ra1 Qb2 14. Rb1 Qa3 15. Rxb7) 10. Rb1 Qxa2 11. Rxb7 Nd7 12. O-O Ne7 Huzai & Lukacs

 

8... Qxa1

8... g6?! 9. Bc8 Na6 10. Bxb7 Qxb7 11. O-O

 

9. e6! Nh6

9... fxe6 10. Bg6+ Kd8 (10... Kd7 11. O-O Nf6 12. Qe2 Na6 13. Ne5+ Kc7 (13... Kc8 14. Bf7) 14. Bf4 Qd4 15. Bg3) 11. O-O "with compensation" note Huzai & Lukacs(11. Nd4!?) 11... Nd7 12. Nd4 Ngf6 (12... Nc5 13. Qd2 Qb2 14. Nc3 Nf6 15. Rb1 Qa3 16. Qe1 Rc8 17. Rb3 Nxb3 18. Nxe6+ Kd7 19. Bf5) 13. Nxe6+ Kc8 14. Re1! (14. Qf3 Qe5 15. Qh3 Ng4 16. Bxh5 Qh2+ 17. Qxh2 Nxh2 18. Kxh2 Rxh5) 14... Qxa2 (14... Ne5 15. Bf5 g6 16. Bh3) 15. Qf3

 

10. exf7+ Kxf7

 










Not 10... Nxf7 11. O-O! (11. Bg6 Nd7 12. O-O e5 13. c4 Qxa2 14. Qd3! e4 15. Qd4 Rh6! 16. Bxh6 Qxc4 17. Qxc4 dxc4 18. Bf4 Huzai & Lukacs) 11... Nxg5 12. Nxg5 Qf6 13. Be6 Nd7 14. c4 d4 15. Nd2 Nc5 16. Qb1! Huzai & Lukacs, and the threat of Nde4 is hard to meet, e.g.: 16... Rb8!? 17. Nde4! Nxe4 18. Qxe4 g6 19. Rb1! Bh6 20. Rxb7 Rxb7 21. Qxc6+ Kf8 22. Nh7+!! Kg7 (22... Rxh7 23. Qc8+ Kg7 24. Qg8#) 23. Nxf6 Rb1+ 24. Kh2 Kxf6 25. c5! Re1 26. Bc4+ e6 27. Qd7MG

 

11. Bc8?

White goes wrong in the complications. Fortunately, it is too complicated for Black to notice!

 

a) 11. Bxh6!? Rxh6 (bad are 11... gxh6? 12. Nd4 threatening Qxh5+ with attack or 11... e6? 12. Ng5+! Ke7 13. O-O exf5 14. Qe2+ Kd7 15. Qe6+ Kc7 16. Qf7+ Kb6 17. Nd2) 12. O-O Na6 (12... Kg8? 13. Ng5) (12... Qf6 13. Ng5+ (13. Bc8!?) 13... Ke8 14. Be6 with the idea of c4) 13. c4 Qxa2 14. Nc3 Qa3 (14... Qxc4?? 15. Ne5+) 15. Nxd5! (15. Ng5+!? Ke8 (15... Kg8 16. Qd3 g6 17. Be6+) 16. Nxd5 Qd6 (16... cxd5 17. Qxd5) 17. Ne4 Qe5 18. Bd7+! Kxd7 19. Ndf6+ Ke6 20. f4) 15... Kg8! (15... cxd5? 16. Qxd5+ e6 17. Bxe6+ Rxe6 18. Ng5+) (15... Qd6 16. Ng5+ Ke8 17. Ne4 Qe5 18. Bd7+ Kxd7 19. Ndf6+ Ke6 20. f4) 16. Ng5 e6 17. Bxe6+ Rxe6 18. Nxe6 cxd5 19. Ng5 Be7 20. Qxd5+ Kh8 21. Nf7+= Kh7 22. Qxh5+ Kg8 23. Qg6 (23. Re1 Rf8 24. Nh6+ gxh6 25. Qg6+ Kh8 26. Qxh6+ Kg8 27. Qg6+=) 23... Rf8 24. Nh6+ Kh8 25. Nf7+ Kg8 (25... Rxf7? 26. Qxf7) 26. Nh6+=

 

b) 11. Bh3! Ng4 12. O-O Nd7 13. Qd3! Qxa2 (13... Qb2 14. Qf5+ Ke8 15. Nbd2 Huzai & Lukacs, e.g.: 15... Qb4 16. Qg6+ Kd8 17. Rb1 Qa4 18. c4 with threats of Nd4 and Rxb7 etc.) (13... Nde5 14. Qb3! Nxf3+ 15. gxf3 Huzai & Lukacs) 14. Qf5+ Ke8 15. Qg6+ Kd8 16. Nd4 Huzai & Lukacs, e.g.: 16... Nc5 17. Qd6+ Kc8 18. Qxc5 e5 19. Be7 Bxe7 20. Qxe7 exd4 21. f3 a5 22. Qxg7 Re8 23. Qf7! Rd8 24. fxg4

 

11... Na6

a) 11... a5? 12. O-O Qb2 13. Bc1

b) 11... Qb2? 12. Bc1 Qxb1 13. Ng5+ Kf6 14. Qf3+

 

12. Bh3

a) 12. Bxb7?? Rb8 13. Bxa6 Rxb1

b) 12. Bd7 Nc5

 

12... e5

12... Nc5!?

 

13. O-O Bd6 14. Nfd2

14. Bd2!? Rae8 (14... Nc5 15. Bc3 Qxa2 16. Nxe5+ Kg8 17. Ng6) 15. Ng5+ Kg6 16. g4 hxg4 17. Bxg4

 

14... Ng4?!

a) 14... Rae8! Huzai & Lukacs 15. Qxh5+ Kf8 16. Qg6 Nf7 (16... Bc5? 17. Bd7) 17. Be6 Rxe6 18. Qxe6 Nc7 19. Qc8+ Ne8 20. Nf3 Qxa2 (20... e4 21. Re1) 21. Re1 Qa5 22. Qf5 Qc7

b) 14... Raf8?! 15. Ne4! Be7 (15... dxe4 16. Qxd6 Ng4 17. f3 Qd4+ 18. Qxd4 exd4 19. fxg4+ Ke6 20. gxh5+) 16. Qxh5+ g6 17. Qf3+ Kg7 18. Qg3 Qd4 19. Bxe7 Qxe4 (19... Rf7 20. Bd6) 20. h5 Rf7 21. Bd6

 

15. Bxg4 hxg4 16. Qxg4 Nc5

16... Rhe8 17. Qd7+ Be7 18. Qf5+ Kg8 19. Qe6+ Kf8 20. Qf5+=

 

17. Nb3 Qxa2 18. Qf5+ Kg8 19. Nc3 Qa6 20. Nxc5 Bxc5 21. Qe6+ Kh7

 










22. h5?

22. Qf5+ Kg8 23. Qe6+=

 

22... Qc4?!

22... Raf8!

 

23. h6? Rhg8?

23... Raf8! 24. hxg7 Kxg7 25. Qxe5+ Kg6 26. Ne2 Rh5 27. Nf4+ Rxf4

 

24. Qf5+ Kh8 25. Qh3 g6??

25... Rgf8=

 

26. Bf6+ Kh7 27. Qd7+ Resigns

White mates in at most 10 moves according to Fritz 12:

27... Be7 28. Qxe7+ Kxh6 29. Bg5+ Kh5 30. Be3 Qf4 31. Bxf4 exf4 32. g4+ fxg3 33. fxg3 g5 34. Qh7+ Kg4 35. Kg2 Rh8 36. Qf5+

1-0

[Michael Goeller]


Game Six: 6...Qxd4!? 7.Nf3 Qg4!

Alexander Ivanov (2609) - Mark C Paragua (2648) [B12]

19th King's Island Open/Mason OH (5) 2010


The following line is probably Black's best if he is willing to wade into complications in order to play for a win. However, White definitely has play for the pawn.

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bg5

In his notes to the game in Chess Horizons, Ivanov says that in this last round game he decided to play an "obscure gambit variation mainly because the prize money difference between a winner and a runner-up" demanded some risk on his part.

 

5... Qb6 6. Bd3 Qxd4

 










Ivanov says this is "probably the best" of Black's available pawn grabs, and I have to agree. We will examine some "safer" ways for Black to play in the final games below.

 

7. Nf3 Qg4!

 

 










The greedy 7... Qxb2?! is a bit too dangerous, as we saw in the game above.

 

8. O-O

a) 8. Nc3?! e6 (8... Bxd3 9. Qxd3 e6 10. O-O Nd7) 9. O-O Nd7 10. Bxf5 Qxf5 11. Re1 Be7 12. Nd4 Qg4 Hazai & Lukacs, Ivanov 13. Qd2 (13. f3? Qxd4+ 14. Qxd4 Bc5) 13... Bc5?! 14. Nb3 Be7 15. Nd4 Bxg5 16. hxg5 h4 17. f3 Qh5 18. Rad1 Ne7 19. Ne4 O-O 20. Nf2 a6 21. b4 Qh7 22. Ng4 Nf5 23. c4 Rfd8 24. c5 a5 25. bxa5 Nxd4 26. Qxd4 Rxa5 0-1 Malykh,Y (2125)-Airapetian, G (2433)/Lipetsk 2010/[Goeller,Michael] (40).

 

b) 8. Bxf5! Qxf5 (The queen was better placed on g4 than on f5 where it is exposed to attack and does not control the important 4th rank or attack g2.) 9. Qe2 (9. O-O!? Nd7 10. Re1 e6 11. c4! (White gained nothing from 11. Nd4 Qg6 12. Nd2 Be7 13. N2f3 a6 14. Qe2 c5 15. Nb3 Bxg5 16. Nxg5 Ne7 17. c4 O-O 18. Rad1 b5 19. cxb5 Nf5 20. Nf3 c4 21. Nbd4 axb5 22. Nxf5 Qxf5 23. Nd4 Qg4 24. Qxg4 hxg4 25. a3 Rfb8 in 0-1 Mehringer,J (1908)-Lou,Y (2468)/ Reykjavik, Iceland 2013 (45)) 11... Bb4 12. Nc3 Ne7 13. a3 Bxc3 14. bxc3 Nc5 15. cxd5 cxd5 16. Be3 Nd3 17. Nd4 Qg6 18. Qa4+ Kf8 19. Reb1 Nxe5 20. Rxb7 Nf5 21. Rxa7 Rxa7 22. Qxa7 Nxh4 23. g3 Nhf3+ 24. Nxf3 Nxf3+ 25. Kg2 Nh4+ 26. Kf1 Qd3+ 27. Kg1 Ng6 28. Qb8+ Ke7 29. Qc7+ Kf6 30. Bd4+ e5 31. Qd6+ Kf5 32. Qxd5) 9... Qd7 (9... Nd7 10. c4) 10. Nc3 (10. c4!?) 10... e6 11. O-O-O Qc7 (11... Bb4! 12. Ne4!? Qc7) 12. Nd4 Nd7 13. f4 g6 (13... Bc5!?) 14. g4! Bc5 (14... hxg4 15. Qxg4 Bc5 16. h5) 15. Rhe1? (The position required 15. f5! Bxd4 (15... Qxe5 16. fxe6! Bxd4 (16... Qxe2?! 17. exd7+ Kxd7 18. Ndxe2! hxg4 19. Ne4 Bb6 20. c4) (16... fxe6!? 17. Nxe6 Qxe2 18. Nxe2 Bd6 19. gxh5 gxh5 20. c4) 17. exd7+ Kxd7 18. Qf3 Bxc3 19. bxc3) (15... gxf5 16. gxf5 Bxd4 17. fxe6! fxe6 18. Rxd4 Qxe5 (18... Ne7 19. Re1) 19. Qd1! (19. Qd2 Ngf6 20. Re1 Qd6 21. Bxf6! Nxf6 22. Qg5 Rf8 23. Rf4 Ng8 24. Rxf8+ Qxf8 25. Rxe6+ Kd7 26. Rg6) 19... Ngf6 (19... Qd6? 20. Ne4) 20. Re1 Qd6 21. Ne4! Nxe4 22. Rdxe4 e5 23. Rf4) 16. fxe6! (16. Rxd4 Qxe5 17. Qd2) 16... Bxc3! (16... Qxe5 17. exd7+ Kxd7 18. Qf3 Bxc3 19. bxc3) 17. exf7+! Kxf7 (17... Kf8 18. fxg8=Q+ Kxg8 19. bxc3 Nxe5 (19... Qxe5 20. Qxe5 Nxe5 21. Bf6 Nxg4 22. Bxh8) 20. Bf6 Nxg4 21. Bxh8 Kxh8) 18. e6+! Kg7 19. exd7 Qe5 20. Qxe5+ Bxe5 21. Rde1! Bf6 22. Re8 Ne7 23. Bxf6+ Kxf6 24. Rf1+ Nf5 25. Rfe1 Ng7 26. Rf1+ Nf5 27. Rfe1= draw) 15... Bxd4 16. Rxd4 hxg4 17. Rh1 Rh5 18. Rdd1 Nb6 19. Qxg4 Ne7 20. Qe2 Nf5 21. Rh3 Nc8 22. Ne4? dxe4! 23. Rd8+ Qxd8 24. Bxd8 Kxd8 25. Qxe4 Kc7 26. Qb4 Nce7 27. c4 b6 28. a4 c5 29. Qe1 a5 30. Rd3 Nc6 31. Kb1 Rd8 32. Rxd8 Nxd8 33. Qe4 Nc6 34. Qd3 Rxh4 35. Qf3 Rh2 36. Qg4 Rh1+ 37. Kc2 Nb4+ 38. Kb3 Rc1 39. Qg2 Nd4+ 40. Ka3 Ra1# 0-1 Samdanova, S-Cheremnova,T/ Prokopevsk, Russia 2012/ [Goeller,Michael]

 

8... Bxd3

8... e6 9. Bxf5! (9. Be2 Qb4 10. c4?! ( 10. Qc1 Ivanov) 10... Ne7? (10... Qxb2! 11. Nbd2 Bc2 12. Qe1 Bb4 Ivanov) 11. Nc3 dxc4 12. Nd2 b5 13. a4 Nd7 (13... Qxb2 14. Nde4 Bxe4 15. Nxe4 Nd5 16. Bxh5 Qxe5 17. Re1 Qc7 18. Qg4) 14. axb5 cxb5?! (14... Nxe5 15. Ra4 Qxb2 16. Nxc4 Nxc4 17. Rxc4) 15. Nxb5! Nd5? (15... Qxb5 Black should take three pieces for the queen with 16. Nxc4 Nc8 17. Nd6+ Nxd6 18. Bxb5 Nxb5 but White should win after 19. Qf3) 16. Nxc4 Be7 17. Nbd6+ 1-0 Robson,R (2389)-Rowley,R (2231)/Tulsa USA 2008/[Goeller,Michael]) 9... Qxf5 10. c4 Nd7 (10... dxc4?? 11. Qd8#) (10... Ne7 11. Qb3) 11. cxd5 cxd5 (11... exd5 12. Nc3) 12. Re1 (12. Nc3! a6 13. Qb3 Rb8 14. Rad1 Bc5 15. Nxd5 exd5 16. Rxd5!) 12... Bc5 13. Nc3 Ne7 14. a3?! Nc6 15. b4 Bb6 16. Nb5 O-O 17. Nd6 Qg4 18. Nxb7 Nd4 19. Rc1 Rfc8 20. Nd6 Rxc1 21. Bxc1 Nxf3+ 22. Qxf3 Qxf3 23. gxf3 Bd4 (23... a5 24. b5 Bc5) 24. f4 Nb6?! 25. Nb5! Ba1 26. Be3 d4 27. Nxd4 Bc3 28. Rc1 Nd5 29. Nb5 Nxe3 30. Rxc3 Nd5 31. Rc4 a5 32. Nc3? (32. Nd6!) 32... axb4 33. axb4 Ra1+ 34. Kg2 Rc1 35. b5 Nxc3 (35... Rxc3?? 36. Rxc3 Nxc3 37. b6) 36. b6 Rb1 37. Rxc3 Rxb6 0-1 Draghici Flutor,G-Avila Jimenez, J (2250)/Catalonia ESP 2013/[Goeller,Michael] (87)

 

9. Qxd3 e6 10. Nbd2 Nd7 11. c4 Ne7 12. Rfe1 f6?!

a) 12... Ng6 (Paragua's suggestion) Ivanov analyzed 13. cxd5 (13. Qb3 Nc5! 14. Qc2 Nf4 15. Bxf4 Qxf4) 13... Nc5 (13... cxd5!?) 14. Qc2 (14. Qc3!? exd5! (14... cxd5 15. Rac1 (15. b4? Na4 16. Qc7 Bxb4) 15... a5 (15... Na4? 16. Qc7 Bb4 (16... Qb4 17. Nc4 dxc4 18. Red1) 17. Rc4! dxc4 18. Re4 Qf5 19. Qxb7 Nb6 20. Nd4) 16. a3 (16. Nb3 Nxb3) 16... Qa4 (16... Nf4 17. Bxf4 Qxf4 18. Nb3 b6 19. Nbd4 Be7 20. b4) 17. b3 Qd7 18. Nd4) 15. e6 Nxe6 (15... fxe6? 16. b4 Na6 (16... Na4 17. Qc2) 17. b5 cxb5 18. Rxe6+ Qxe6 19. Re1 Qxe1+ 20. Nxe1) 16. Nd4 Nxh4! 17. Bxh4 Qxh4 18. Nxe6 fxe6 19. Rxe6+ Kd7 20. Rae1 Qb4) 14... cxd5! (14... exd5 15. e6! Bd6 16. Rad1 Nxe6 17. Rxe6+ Qxe6 18. Re1 Ne5 19. Nxe5 Bxe5 20. Nf3 f6 21. Qg6+ Kf8 22. Nxe5 Re8 23. Bxf6!? gxf6 24. Nd7+ Qxd7 25. Qxf6+ Kg8 26. Qg6+ Kf8 27. Qf6+= draw) 15. Rac1 Ivanov(15. a3!? Qf5) (15. Re3 Nf4) 15... b6!

 

b) 12... Nc5 13. Qc3 Ng6 14. b4 Na4 15. Qb3 Nb6 16. Rac1 Be7 17. Bxe7 Nxe7 18. cxd5 exd5 19. b5 Ivanov

 

13. exf6 gxf6 14. cxd5

"You don't go back in gambits" writes Ivanov.

 

14... cxd5?

a) 14... fxg5 15. dxe6 Nc5 16. Qd6 Nf5 17. Qe5 Rg8 (17... Nxh4 18. Nxh4 gxh4 19. Qxh8 h3 20. g3 O-O-O 21. Qf6) 18. Ne4! O-O-O 19. Nf6 Nd3 20. Nxg4 Nxe5 21. Ngxe5 Ivanov / Rybka

b) 14... Nc5! 15. Qc2 fxg5 16. Ne4!! (16. Qxc5 Nxd5 17. Qd4 O-O-O Ivanov) 16... Nxd5 (16... Nxe4? 17. Rxe4 Qf5 18. Nd4 Qxd5 19. Nxe6) 17. Nfxg5 O-O-O (17... Rh6?! 18. Nxc5 Nb4 19. Qc1 Bxc5 20. Qxc5 Nd3 21. Qd6 Nxe1 22. Rxe1 Rd8 23. Qe5) 18. Nxc5 Nf4 19. g3 Bxc5 20. Qxc5 Nd3 21. Qxa7 Nxe1 22. Rxe1

 

15. Bxf6! Nxf6 16. Qb5+ Kd8

16... Kf7? 17. Ne5+

16... Nc6? 17. Qxb7

 

17. Ne5 Qf4

17... Qg7 18. Qxb7 Rc8 19. Rac1 Ivanov

 

18. Ndf3 Rc8 19. Ng5 Qf5 20. Ngf7+ Kc7 21. Rac1+

1-0

[Michael Goeller]


Game Seven: 7...e6 8.Nbd2 Qa6

Oleg Korneev - Alexander Galkin [B12]

LIII TCh-ESP CECLUB Gp1/Lugo ESP (3) 2009


When Black declines the gambit, White typically returns to the theme of pushing the c-pawn forward, which he prepares by 8.Nbd2, which is the subject of the following four games. I prefer the simpler 8.Nc3!, which we will look at in the final two games of this article.

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bg5 Qb6 6. Bd3 Bxd3 7. Qxd3 e6 8. Nd2

 










8... Qa6

It is better to keep the Queen at b6 to pressure d4 and b7, as we examine in later games.

 

8... Ne7 will likely transpose, but it seems easier to bring out the Bishop first, for example: 9. Ngf3 (9. c4 Nf5 10. Ngf3 dxc4? (this is usually an error) 11. Nxc4 Qb5 12. O-O Na6 13. a4 Qd5 14. Ne3 Nxe3 15. fxe3 Nc5 16. Qc2 Ne4 17. Nd2 Nxg5 18. hxg5 Be7 19. Ne4 h4 20. g6 O-O 21. Nc3 Qc4 22. b3 Qb4 23. Na2 Qa3 24. Nc3 Qb4 25. gxf7+ Rxf7 26. Rxf7 Kxf7 27. Rf1+ Kg8 28. Na2 Qa3 29. Qg6 Bg5 30. Qxg5 Qxa2 31. Qg6 (31. Qf4!) 31... Qxa4?? (31... Qxb3 32. Qf7+ Kh7 33. Rf3 Qb1+ 34. Kh2) 32. bxa4 1-0 Andrei Istratescu-Maxence Godard/Belfort FRA 2012/[Goeller,Michael]) 9... Qa6 10. c4 Nf5 11. O-O Bb4 12. a3 Bxd2 13. Nxd2 Nd7 14. b3 c5 15. dxc5 Nxc5 (15... Nxe5! 16. Qh3 d4 17. Rfe1 Ng4) 16. Qf3 Qc6 (16... d4 17. b4 Nd7=) 17. b4 Nd7 18. Rfe1 Nb6 19. cxd5 Nxd5 20. Ne4 b6 21. Rac1 Qd7 22. Red1 O-O 23. Qxh5 Rfc8 24. Nc3 Rc4 25. Nxd5 Rxc1 26. Nf6+ gxf6 27. Bxc1 Qe7 28. g4 Ng7 29. Qh6 Ne8 30. Bb2 Rd8 31. Re1 fxe5 32. Bxe5 f6 33. Bb2 e5 34. g5 Qe6? 35. Qg6+ Kh8 36. gxf6 (36. Bxe5!) 36... Nxf6 37. Rxe5! Rd1+ 38. Kg2 Qc6+ 39. Re4! 1-0 Arzumanian,G-Vedmediuc,S/ Kharkiv UKR 2006/[Goeller,Michael]

 

9. c4

White should have a slight edge in the ending that follows 9. Qxa6!? Nxa6 10. Ne2 -- and that may be the best choice here, though not one likely to attract the Caveman! That's why I prefer 8.Nc3!

 

9... Bb4

9... Nd7 seems a subtle error, as this Knight is better off at c6 after a c5 push; meanwhile it is important to develop the kingside pieces, especially the Bishop, before White can prevent it getting to an active square, for example: 10. Ngf3 Ne7 (10... Bb4! 11. Ke2!?) 11. O-O Nf5 (11... Nb6?! 12. b3 Nf5 13. Qc3! Qa3 14. c5! 1-0 Pavel Smirnov (2636)-Alexei Kornev (2567)/Antalya TUR 2007/ (60)) 12. Rac1 (12. a3! Be7 13. Bxe7 Nxe7 14. b4) 12... Bb4 13. b3 O-O 14. Rfd1 Ba3 (14... c5!) 15. Rc2 Rfc8 (15... c5!) 16. Nf1 c5 17. Qe2 Nb6 18. Ne3 Nxd4 19. Nxd4 cxd4 20. Rxd4 g6 (20... Bc5!= and now not 21. Qxh5? Bxd4 22. Ng4 (22. Bf6 Bxe3 23. fxe3 gxf6 24. exf6 Nd7 25. Qh6 Nxf6) 22... Nd7 23. Bf6 Nxf6!) 21. Qf3 Nd7? (21... Bc5 22. Rd1 (22. Rf4? Nd7!) 22... d4 23. Nf1 Nd7 24. Bf4 Qc6 25. Qe2) 22. cxd5 Rxc2 23. Nxc2 Nxe5 (23... exd5? 24. Ra4!) 24. Qe4 Bd6 25. dxe6 Re8 26. exf7+ Kxf7 27. Qd5+ Re6 28. Rf4+ 1-0 Piscopo,P (2383)-Malakhatko,V (2532)/Calvi FRA 2012.

 

10. b3 Ne7 11. Ngf3

We will examine 11.Ne2 in the next game.

 

11... Nf5 12. O-O  O-O

Black should also be able to equalize with 12... Nd7 13. Rfd1! (13. Rfc1 O-O (better 13... Ba3! 14. Rc2 c5) 14. a3! Bxd2 15. Qxd2 Rac8 (15... Qb6 16. Rc3 f6 17. c5 Qd8 18. exf6 gxf6 19. Bf4 Qe8 20. Re1 Qf7 1/2-1/2 Marco Thinius (2367)-Alexander Naumann (2544)/Solingen GER 2011/[Goeller, Michael]) 16. a4 (16. c5!? b6 17. b4) 16... Rfe8 17. Qc3?! c5! 18. cxd5 exd5 19. Qd2 Qe6 20. Bf4 Nxd4 (20... b6!) 21. Nxd4 cxd4 22. Qxd4 b6 23. Rxc8 Rxc8 24. Rd1 Rc5 25. b4 Rc4 26. Qxd5 Qxd5 1/2-1/2 Anton Shomoev (2562) -Vladimir Akopian (2700)/Moscow RUS 2008/ [Goeller,Michael]) 13... c5?! (13... O-O! 14. a3 Bxd2 15. Bxd2 (15. Rxd2 Nb6 or 15. Qxd2 dxc4) 15... c5) 14. a3! Bxd2 15. Qxd2! O-O (15... dxc4 16. dxc5 Qc6 17. b4) 16. cxd5 cxd4 (16... exd5 17. dxc5) 17. Nxd4 Nxe5 18. Nxf5 exf5 19. d6 f6 20. Qd5+ Rf7 21. Rac1 Nc6 22. Bf4 g6 23. b4 Qb6 24. b5 Ne5 25. Bxe5 fxe5 26. Rc7 Raf8 27. Qe6 1-0 Aveskulov, V-Morchiashvili,B/Istanbul TUR 2006/ [Goeller, Michael]

 

13. Rfc1 Ba3! 14. Rc2 c5! 15. Nb1 Nc6!

We see the advantage of delaying the development of this Knight, which finds its way to its most active square, giving Black a slight initiative.

 

16. Nxa3 Qxa3 17. Qd1 dxc4

Black has a clear edge after 17... Nfxd4! 18. Nxd4 Nxd4 19. Rd2 dxc4

 

18. dxc5! cxb3 19. Rc3!

Too dangerous for White is 19. axb3 Qxb3 20. Rb1 Qa4 21. Rxb7 Rfb8

 

19... Qa5 20. Rxb3 Qxc5

20... Rab8!?

 

21. Rc1 Qa5 22. Rxb7 Rac8

22... Nxe5 23. Nxe5 Qxe5 24. Qxh5=

 

23. Qd2 Qxd2=

1/2-1/2

[Michael Goeller]


Game Eight: 7...e6 8.Nbd2 Qa6

Kateryna Lahno (2530) - Bela Khotenashvili (2470) [B12]

European Women's Individual Championship/Tbilisi, Georgia (9) 2011


1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bg5

The Caveman -- or, in this case, Cavewoman perhaps?

 

5... Qb6 6. Bd3 Bxd3 7. Qxd3 e6 8. Nd2 Qa6

As usual, the Queen seems misplaced on this square, no matter what Anand thinks.

 

9. c4 Bb4

 










a) 9... c5 10. Ngf3 and White benefits from the opening of the position due to her lead in development.

 

b) 9... Nd7 10. Ne2 Be7 11. Nf4 dxc4 12. Nxc4 Nb6 13. Rc1 Nxc4 14. Rxc4 g6 15. O-O Bxg5 16. hxg5 Ne7 17. Qb3 Rb8 18. Nd3 Qb6 19. Qa3 a6 20. Nc5 Qc7 21. Ne4 Kf8 22. Nf6 Kg7 23. Re1 Nf5 24. Re4 Rbd8 25. Qc3 Qb6 26. Rf4 h4 27. a4 a5 28. Kh2 Qa7 29. Kh3 Qb6 30. Kh2 Qa7 31. b3 Qb6 32. Rc5 Ra8 33. Rc4 Rad8 34. Rc5 Ra8 35. Kg1 Qa7 36. Re4 Qb6 37. Rf4 Qa7 38. Kh2 1/2-1/2 Alexey Shirov (2709)-Michael Roiz (2660)/Lublin POL

 

c) 9... Ne7 10. Ne2 Nd7 11. O-O dxc4 12. Nxc4 Nd5 13. Ng3 f5? (13... f6 14. Qg6+) 14. Nxf5!! exf5 15. Qxf5 Be7 16. Nd6+! Kd8 17. Nf7+ Kc7 18. Nxh8 Rxh8 19. Bxe7 Nxe7 20. Qf7 Kd8 21. e6 Qc4 22. Rae1 Qd5 23. Qf4 Rf8 24. Qg3 Nb6 25. Qb8+ Nbc8 26. Qxb7 (26. Re5! Qxd4 27. Qxb7!) 26... g6 27. Re5! Qd6 28. g3 Rf3 29. Rd1 Ke8 30. Qa6 Rf6 31. Qe2 Nb6 32. Rd3 Nf5 33. Re4 Qd5 34. Kh2 Nc4 35. f4?! Nh6 36. e7 Ng4+ 37. Kg1 Nd6 38. Re5 Qxa2 39. Ra3? (39. Qc2) 39... Qb1+! 40. Kg2 Nxe5 41. dxe5 Re6 42. Qd2 Qe4+ 43. Kh2 Nb7 44. Rxa7 Rxe7 45. Ra8+ Kf7 46. b4 Qd5 0-1 Perunovic,M (2574)-Drazic,S (2545)/ Kragujevac SRB 2010 (72).

 

10. b3 Ne7 11. Ne2!

The Knight has more options at e2 than at f3.

 

11... Nd7 12. O-O Bxd2

12... f6!? 13. a3! Bxd2 14. Bxd2 fxe5 15. dxe5 Nxe5? (15... dxc4 16. bxc4 Nxe5? 17. Qe4 Nxc4 18. Bg5) 16. Qe3 N5g6 17. Nd4!

 

13. Qxd2 Nf5 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Ng3!

A fantastic resource, which makes it impossible for Black to castle safely.

 

15... Nxg3

Opening up the f-file for White's attack, but there was hardly anything better:

a) 15... g6? 16. Nxf5 gxf5 17. Qb4

b) 15... O-O 16. Nxh5

c) 15... Ne7 16. Bxe7 Kxe7 17. Qg5+ Kf8 18. Nxh5

d) 15... Qb6 16. Nxf5 exf5 17. Qd3 Qe6 18. Rac1

 

16. fxg3 O-O

 










17. Bf6!! gxf6

17... Qb6 18. Bxg7! Kxg7 19. Qg5+ Kh7 20. Qxh5+ Kg7 21. Qg5+ Kh8 22. Rf6 is given by Malcolm Pein, who has published a number of Caveman games over the years.

 

18. exf6 Rfc8 19. Qh6 Nxf6 20. Qg5+! Kf8 21. Qxf6

1-0

[Michael Goeller]


Game 9: 8.Nbd2 c5!

Graham Smith (2129) - Peter T Roberson (2209) [B12]

British Championship/Great Yarmouth ENG (5) 2007


Black's best method of meeting the Caveman is to play simply Qb6, e6, and c5, which we examine in the next two games.

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bd3 Bxd3 6. Qxd3 e6 7. Bg5 Qb6

A simple transposition of moves.

 

8. Nd2 c5!

 










 

It's a little late to be thinking about grabbing pawns, and 8... Qxb2?! definitely looks too risky here: 9. Rb1 Qa3 (9... Qxa2 10. Rxb7 seems more dangerous for Black, with queens on the board.) 10. Qxa3 Bxa3 11. Rh3! Bf8 12. Rxb7 Nd7 13. Ne2 Ne7 14. Nb3 c5 15. Nxc5 Nxc5 16. dxc5 Nc6 17. Rc7 Nxe5 18. Rb3 Nd7 (18... f6 19. Be3 Ng4 20. Nf4) 19. Be3 e5 20. c3 (20. Rbb7) 20... d4?! (20... Rd8 21. Rbb7 Nf6 22. Bg5!) 21. cxd4 exd4 22. Bxd4 Rh6 23. Nf4 a5 24. a4 Be7 25. Bxg7 Rh7 26. Bd4 Bxh4 27. c6 Nf8 28. Re3+! 1-0 Kislinsky, A (2454)-Grinev,V (2249)/Kiev 2006/ [Goeller,Michael]

 

9. Ne2 Nc6 10. c3

10. O-O-O cxd4 11. Nf3 Nh6 12. Bxh6 Rxh6 13. Nexd4 Bc5=

 

10... Nge7 11. dxc5

11. O-O! cxd4 12. cxd4 Nf5 13. Nf3=

 

11... Qxc5

11... Nxe5!?

 

12. Qg3?

12. Bxe7 Bxe7 13. Nf3=

 

12... Nf5 13. Qf4 Qb6! 14. O-O










14... Nxe5! 15. Nd4

15. Qxe5? Bd6

 

15... Ng6 16. Qf3 Nxd4 17. cxd4 Be7 18. Bxe7 Nxe7 19. Nb3 Qd6

19... Nf5! xd4, xh4

 

20. Rac1 Nf5 21. Rfe1 g6 22. g3 O-O 23. Rc3 Rfc8 24. Rec1 Qd8 25. Kg2 b6 26. Qd3 Nd6 27. Nd2 Rxc3 28. Rxc3 Rc8 29. Nf3 Ne4 30. Rc2 Kg7 31. Ne5 Nd6 32. b4 Rxc2 33. Qxc2 Qc8 34. Qd2 Nc4 35. Qg5 Nxe5 36. dxe5?! Qd7 37. Kf3 Kg8 38. Ke3 Qc7 39. g4? Qc1+ 40. Kf3 Qxg5 41. hxg5

0-1

[Michael Goeller]


Game Ten: 8.Nbd2 c5! 9.c4!?

Robert Eames (2241) - Bjorn Thorfinnsson (2402) [B12]

London Classic FIDE Open/London ENG (6) 2011


1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bg5 Qb6 6. Bd3 Bxd3 7. Qxd3 e6 8. Nd2 c5! 9. c4!

 










This must be White's best option for trying to wrest some initiative from the position after Black's equalizing advance. In the tense positions that follow the blasting open of the position, White's lead in development and open lines create many opportunities for Black to go wrong. Unfortunately, there are not yet many illustrative games to help reach firm conclusions.

 

9... Nc6!

a) 9... Qxb2!? (It is always dangerous to take this pawn, but here Black might actually survive. Of course, it is a difficult defense with your king in the center, little development, and lines opening up all over.) 10. Rb1 Qxd4! 11. Qe2! (This looks like the best try for an attacking game. Meanwhile, 11. Qxd4 cxd4 12. Ngf3 does not look like more than equality.) 11... dxc4 (11... Qg4 12. Ngf3 Qxg2 13. Rg1 Qh3 14. Rxb7 but better is 11... b6!? 12. Ngf3 Qg4 13. cxd5 exd5 14. O-O) 12. Ngf3 Qd5 (12... Qd3 13. Rxb7 Qxe2+ 14. Kxe2 Ne7 15. Nxc4 Nd5 16. Rc1) 13. Nxc4 Nc6 14. Ne3 (14. O-O! Nd4 15. Nxd4 cxd4 16. Rfd1 Bc5 17. Rb5) 14... Qd7 15. Qb5 (15. Qb2 Nd4! or 15. O-O Nd4 16. Nxd4 cxd4 17. Rfd1) 15... f6! 16. Rd1 Qc7 17. exf6 gxf6 18. Qc4!? Qa5+ (18... fxg5 19. O-O (19. Qxe6+ Qe7) 19... Qe7 20. Nxg5) 19. Rd2 Nd4 20. Nxd4 cxd4 21. Qxe6+ Be7 22. Nc4? (22. Nf5! Qa6 23. Qxa6 bxa6 24. Nxe7 Kxe7 25. Bf4) 22... Qa6! 23. Qe2 fxg5 24. Rxd4 Rd8 25. Re4 Qf6 (25... b5) 26. O-O Kf8 27. hxg5 Qxg5 28. Re1 Rh7! 29. Re5 Qg4 30. Qc2 Rg7 31. Ne3 Qg6 32. Qb3 Qc6?! (32... Nf6!) 33. Rxh5 Rd6?! 34. g3 Rh6 35. Rxh6 Nxh6 36. Nd5 Qg6? (36... Bd6) 37. Qxb7? (37. Nf4!) 37... Nf5?? (37... Qxg3+!! 38. fxg3 Bc5+ 39. Kg2 Rxb7) 38. Nf4?! 1-0 Kaufeld,J (2308)-Kuempers,U (2108)/Oberhausen 2007/[Goeller,Michael] Presumably, Black lost on time here. He seems to have good drawing chances still with 38... Qxg3+! Instead, White could have won immediately with 38. Qc8+! Kf7 39. Re5! e.g. : 39... Nxg3?? 40. Rxe7#.

 

b) 9... Ne7 favors White due to his excellent development: 10. Ne2 (10. Ngf3 Nbc6 11. O-O cxd4 12. cxd5 Nxd5 13. Nc4 Qa6 14. Nxd4) 10... Nbc6 11. O-O cxd4 12. cxd5 Nxd5 13. Nc4 Qa6 14. Nxd4 Ndb4!? 15. Nxe6! Nxd3 16. Nc7+ Kd7 17. Nxa6 b5 18. e6+ fxe6 19. Na3

 

10. Ngf3

10. cxd5?! exd5 11. Ndf3 (also interesting are 11. dxc5? Bxc5 or 11. Ngf3?! Nb4 12. Qb1 Qa6) 11... Nb4 12. Qb1 Qa6

 

10... Nge7

10... Qxb2?! 11. O-O

 

11. O-O cxd4 12. cxd5 Nb4 13. Qb3

a) 13. Qe4! exd5 (13... Nexd5 14. Nxd4) 14. Qxd4 Qxd4 15. Nxd4 and the isolated d-pawn gives White something.

b) 13. Qxd4 Qxd4 14. Nxd4 Nexd5= leaves Black with no weaknesses.

 

13... Nbxd5 14. Nc4?!

a) 14. Qxb6?! axb6! 15. Nxd4 Nc6

b) 14. Nxd4 Qxb3! (14... Qxd4? 15. Qb5+! (15. Nc4!? O-O-O 16. Rac1 Kb8 17. Rfd1) 15... Kd8 (15... Nc6? 16. Qxb7) 16. Qxb7 Rc8 17. Rfc1 f6 (17... Rc7 18. Rxc7 Nxc7 19. Rc1 Qb6 20. Qf3) 18. Rxc8+ Nxc8 19. Rc1) 15. N2xb3 Ng6 (15... f6 16. Bd2 fxe5 17. Nxe6) 16. Rae1 (16. f4!? Rc8 (16... f6 17. exf6 gxf6 18. f5) (16... Be7 17. Bxe7 Kxe7 18. g3) 17. f5!? Nxe5 (17... exf5 18. Rxf5) 18. fxe6 f6 19. Bd2) 16... Be7 17. Bxe7 Kxe7 18. g3 with the idea of f4-f5.

 

14... Qxb3 15. Nd6+ Kd7 16. axb3 f6 17. Bd2 Nc6?!

17... Ng6!

 

18. Nxb7 fxe5?! 19. Rfe1 Bd6 20. Ng5?

20. Nxd6! Kxd6 21. Ra6! Nc7 22. Ra4

 

20... Rhb8! 21. Nxd6 Kxd6 22. Nf7+ Ke7 23. Nxe5 Nxe5 24. Rxe5 Rxb3 25. Rae1 Kf7 26. Rxe6 Rd8

26... Rxb2!

 

27. Ra6 Rd7 28. Rea1

28. Ra2 Nb4 29. Bxb4 Rxb4

 

28... Rxb2 29. Rxa7 Rxa7 30. Rxa7+ Ke6 31. Bg5 g6 32. Ra6+ Kf5

32... Rb6

 

33. Ra5 Ke4 34. f3+ Ke5 35. Bh6?!

35. Bf6+! Kxf6 36. Rxd5=

 

35... Rb7 36. Kf2 d3 37. Ra4 Rb2+ 38. Kg3 Re2 39. Bg7+ Ke6 40. Ra6+ Kd7 41. Ra3 Nb4 42. Ra1 Nd5 43. Rd1 Rxg2+ 44. Kxg2 Ne3+ 45. Kf2 Nxd1+ 46. Ke1 Ne3 47. Kd2 Nf5 48. Bf6 Ke6 49. Bd8 Nd4 50. Kxd3 Nxf3 51. Ke4 Ne5 52. Kf4 Nc6 53. Kg5 Kf7 54. Bf6 Nb4 55. Bd8 Nd3 56. Bf6 Nc5 57. Ba1 Ne6+ 58. Kh6 Nf4 59. Kg5 Nh3+ 60. Kh6 Ng1 61. Bd4 Nf3 62. Bf2 Kf6 63. Bg3 Kf5 64. Bf2 Ne5 65. Bg3 Nd3 66. Bd6 Nf4 67. Be7 Ne6 68. Bd6 Kf6 69. Bb4 Nc7 70. Ba5 Nd5 71. Bd8+ Kf5 72. Bg5 Nf6 73. Bd2 Ng4+ 74. Kg7 Ne5 75. Ba5 Nf3 76. Bd8 g5!?

76... Kg4 77. Kxg6 Nxh4+ 78. Kh6 Nf5+ 79. Kg6=

 

 

77. hxg5??

White still draws with 77. Bxg5!! Nxg5 78. Kh6=

 

77... h4 78. g6 h3 79. Bc7 Nh4 80. Kh6 Nxg6 81. Bh2

81. Kh5 Nf4+ 82. Kh4 h2

 

81... Nf4 82. Bg3 Kg4 83. Bh2 Ne2 84. Kg6 Kf3

0-1

[Michael Goeller]


Game Eleven: 8.Nc3! Qa6?!

Christian Schramm (2391) - Luca Kessler (2242) [B12]

2nd Bundesliga West 2012/13 rounds 4-6/Rum AUT (4.5) 2012


Most players who choose the Caro-Kann wish to avoid wild tactical complications in the opening, so you are most likely to see Black declining all gambits, following Anand's lead. That is one reason I prefer 8.Nc3! over 8.Nbd2: it sets something of a trap against Anand's Qa6 idea.

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bg5 Qb6 6. Bd3 Bxd3 7. Qxd3 e6

7... Qa6 was Anand's move order, but this can also be met by 8. Qh3! (8. Qxa6!? Nxa6 9. e6! fxe6 10. Nf3 has also been suggested and seems like an interesting way to play for a long-term edge) (not as good is 8. Qf3 e6 9. Ne2 c5 10. c3 Nc6= Shirov - Anand, Leon m 2011 (5), 0-1 in 41 moves) 8... e6 9. Nc3 transposing to the game continuation.

 

8. Nc3!










I like this approach to the position, which makes it possible for White to castle queenside and develop his pieces to natural squares. White's plan is to avoid pawn weaknesses, to develop his pieces quickly, and to keep an eye out for a sacrifical breakthrough.

 

8... Qa6?!

Anand's move, from his game against Shirov. However, here it may well be an error.

a) 8... Qxb2?! is bad here: 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. Rxb7 Bb4 11. Nge2 Nd7 12. O-O

b) 8... c5! is examined in the next game and is definitely Black's best.

 

9. Qh3!

The Queen's placement on the h3-c8 diagonal tactically inhibits the c5 break for Black. Also playable, however, is 9.Qd2, leading to a position that has been reached several times by transposition:

 

9. Qd2 c5! (This is usually Black's best; too slow seems 9... Ne7 10. Nf3 Nf5 11. Ne2 c5 12. O-O Nc6 13. c3 cxd4 14. Nexd4 Ncxd4 15. cxd4 Qb6 16. a3 Be7 17. Bxe7 Kxe7 18. Rac1 f6 19. Rc3 Rhc8 20. Rfc1 Rc6 21. Rxc6 bxc6 22. Rc5 a5 23. Qc3 Kd7 24. b3 Rb8 25. Rxa5 Rb7 (25... Qxb3? 26. Ra7+ Kd8 27. Qxc6) 26. exf6 gxf6 27. b4 1/2-1/2 Roeberg,F-Schelter,T/HL 9394 1994 (52)) 10. Nf3 cxd4 11. Ne2 Nd7 12. O-O Ne7 13. Nexd4 Nc6 14. a4 Nxd4 15. Nxd4!? (White tries and eventually succeeds in stirring up attacking chances by gambitting material. Safer was 15. Qxd4=) 15... Qb6 (15... Nxe5!? 16. Rfe1 Ng4 (16... Bd6 17. Nxe6 fxe6 18. Bf4 O-O 19. Bxe5) 17. Nxe6!? fxe6 18. Qxd5 Kf7 19. Qd7+ Kg8 20. Rxe6 Qc4) 16. a5 Qa6 17. c4!? Qxc4 (17... dxc4 18. Rfd1) 18. Rfc1 Qb4 19. Qc2?! (19. a6! Qxd2? 20. axb7!) 19... Nc5 20. a6!? Nxa6 (20... Qxd4!? 21. axb7 Rb8 22. Rxa7 Qb4 23. Bd2 Qb6! (23... Qb5 24. b4 Nxb7 25. Qc7 Nd8 26. Bg5 Bxb4 27. Be7 Rc8! 28. Qxc8 Bxe7 29. Rcc7 Bxh4 30. Rxf7 Rf8 31. Rfb7) 24. Ba5!! Qxa7 25. Qa4+! Nxa4 26. Rc8+ Kd7 27. Rc7+ Kd8 28. Rc8+=) 21. Rxa6! Qxd4 22. Qc7?! (White has mate in five: 22. Rxe6+! Kd7 23. Rd6+ Bxd6 24. Qf5+ Ke8 25. Rc8+ Rxc8 26. Qxc8#) 22... Bb4 23. Rxe6+! fxe6 24. Qxg7 Rf8 25. Be3 Qg4 (25... Qxh4 26. Rc7) 26. Qxb7 Rd8 27. Rc7 Qd1+ 28. Kh2 Qa4 29. Bg5 (29. b3!) 29... Rxf2? (29... Rd7 30. Qc8+ Kf7 31. Rxd7+ Kg6 32. Qc7) 30. Re7+ Kf8 31. Bh6+ Kg8 32. Re8+ Rxe8 33. Qg7# 1-0 Zelcic,R-Bartels,H/Caorle 1993/[Goeller,Michael]

 

9... Ne7

This move creates problems for Black's smooth development.

a) 9... c5? 10. Nxd5! exd5?? 11. Qc8#

b) 9... Bb4 10. Nge2 Ne7 11. O-O-O Nd7 12. Kb1 O-O-O (12... Nb6 13. Nf4 Nc4 14. Nce2) 13. a3! Bxc3 14. Bxe7 Qxe2 15. Qxc3 Rde8 16. Bd6 Qb5 (16... Qxf2?? 17. Qa5) 17. Qf3 f6 18. Rh3

c) 9... Nh6!? 10. Nge2 Bb4 11. O-O-O Nd7 12. Kb1 Nb6 13. Nf4 Nf5 14. Nce2 Nc4 15. c3 Ba3 16. b3 Na5 17. Qf3

 

10. Nge2

White can also castle immediately with 10. O-O-O b5!? (10... c5 11. dxc5 Nd7 12. Nge2 Nxc5 13. Nd4 would return us to the game continuation) 11. Kb1 b4 12. Nce2 Nd7 (12... c5 13. dxc5 Ng6 14. f4! Bxc5 15. f5 Nxe5 16. Nf4!) 13. Nf4 Nf5 14. Nge2 Rc8 15. Rhe1 and perhaps follow with f3 and g4.

 

10... c5?!

This move does not fit well with Nge7 as the course of the game demonstrates. Better is 10... b5!? which at least puts an end to White's ambitions of castling long, so he has to switch plans: 11. Nf4 b4 (11... Nf5 12. Nce2) 12. Nce2 Qc4 13. c3 bxc3 14. b3! Qb4 15. O-O Nf5 16. Rac1 Be7 (16... Nxd4? 17. Nxd4 Qxd4 18. Nxe6!) 17. Rfd1

 

11. dxc5! Nd7

Tactics prevent Black from trying to recapture the pawn at c5 with his Bishop: 11... Nf5? 12. Nxd5! or 11... Nec6? 12. Nxd5!

 

12. O-O-O Nxc5 13. Nd4 Nc6

13... Ng6 14. Ndb5 Qc6 15. f4 a6 16. Nd4 Qd7 17. f5 Nxe5 18. Rhe1

 

14. Ndb5! Qa5 15. a3 Ne4

 










It's not clear if Black can avoid the breakthrough sacrifice at this point: 15... Na4 allows the same idea: 16. Nxd5! (also strong here is 16. Rxd5 exd5 17. Nxd5 Be7 18. Nbc7+ Kd8 (18... Kf8 19. b4) 19. Bxe7+! (19. b4 Qxc7 20. Nxc7 Bxg5+ 21. hxg5 Kxc7 22. e6) 19... Nxe7 20. Rd1!) 16... exd5 17. Rxd5 Nc5 18. Nd6+ (18. e6!?) 18... Bxd6 19. exd6 O-O 20. Qe3 b6 21. Bf6!!

 

16. Nxd5! exd5 17. Rxd5 Nc5

 










Of course, not 17... Qb6?? 18. Qd7#

 

18. Nc3?

White misses the most incisive follow-up to his attack:

a) 18. Nd6+! Bxd6 19. exd6 O-O 20. Qe3! b6 21. Bf6!!

b) 18. e6!? fxe6 19. Rxc5 Bxc5 20. Qxe6+ Kf8 21. Rh3 Ne5 22. Qxe5 Qxb5 23. Be7+ Kg8 24. Qd5+ Kh7 25. Qxh5+ Kg8 26. Qd5+ Kh7 27. Qf5+ Kg8 28. Bxc5

 

18... Qc7?

18... Ne7! 19. Rd2 Ne6 20. Rhd1 Nc6 (20... Qxe5?! 21. f4 Qf5 22. Qe3 f6 23. Ne4 Nc6 24. Rd5 Qg4 25. Nf2) 21. Rd7 Bxa3! 22. Rxf7 Kxf7 (22... Bxb2+!? 23. Kxb2 Qb4+ 24. Kc1 Qa3+ 25. Kd2 Kxf7 26. Qf5+ Kg8 27. Qxe6+ Kh7 28. Qf5+ Kg8 29. f4!) 23. Rd7+ Be7 24. Qf5+ Ke8 25. Qxe6 Qb4 26. Rd3! Rf8 27. Nd5 Qe1+ 28. Rd1 Qxe5 29. Qxe5 Nxe5 30. Bxe7 Rf7 31. Bd6 Ng6 32. Nc7+ Rxc7 33. Bxc7 Nxh4 34. Rh1 Nxg2 35. Rxh5

 

19. Rhd1! a6

Preventing Nb5 ideas. But White's mobile forces offer him multiple ways of continuing the attack from this point forward. However, 19... Ne6 20. Be3 with ideas of f4-f5 or Nb5-d6+ is also no long-term solution for Black.

 

20. f4

with the idea of Qe3 and f5, though 20. R5d2 clearing the way for Nd5! was another option.

 

20... Ne6

20... Be7 21. Bxe7 Qxe7 (21... Nxe7 22. Rxc5!) 22. Rd6! O-O 23. Nd5! Qe8 24. Qe3! Ne6 25. f5

 

21. f5! Nxg5 22. hxg5 Rd8

22... Nxe5 23. f6!

 

23. Kb1

White can afford to take his time and prevent Qf4+ ideas in response to an e6 advance.

Also possible was 23. f6! g6 24. e6 Bd6 25. Kb1!

 

23... Rxd5 24. Nxd5 Qc8 25. f6 Qd8 26. Nc3

White could also immediately break through with 26. g6 or 26. e6.

 

26... Qc7

26... Nd4 27. Qh4 Bc5 28. fxg7 Rg8 29. Ne4

 

27. Nd5

27. e6! immediately was also strong.

 

27... Qd8 28. e6

1-0

[Michael Goeller]


Game Twelve: 8.Nc3! c5!

Nhat Minh To (2426) - Jozsef Horvath (1985) [B12]

TCh-HUN 2010-11/Budapest HUN (5) 2011


Our final game is hardly the last word on this fascinating line, though it is definitely a good model for Black if he wants a simple life. As I indicate in my notes, White should investigate castling short against the quick 8...c5 advance.

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bg5 Qb6 6. Bd3 Bxd3 7. Qxd3 e6 8. Nc3 c5!

 










This is Black's best -- putting immediate pressure on the center and keeping the Queen on the critical b6 square, where it attacks d4 and b2.

 

9. dxc5

White should prefer to castle kingside rather than queenside when Black plays this quick c5 advance. So I think the improvement for White on the current game is likely to be found in 9. Nf3!? Nc6 (9... Qxb2? 10. Rb1 Qa3 (10... c4 11. Qd2 Qa3 12. O-O! Bb4 13. Rxb4 Qxb4 14. Rb1 Qa5 15. Rxb7) 11. Rxb7 c4 12. Qd2 Bb4 13. Nb5!! Bxd2+ 14. Nxd2 Qb4 15. Nd6+ Qxd6 16. exd6 Nd7 17. O-O) (9... c4? 10. Qd2 Qxb2? (10... Nc6 11. a3) 11. Rb1 Qa3 12. Nb5) 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. O-O Be7 (11... Nge7 12. Na4 Qa5 13. Nxc5 Qxc5 14. a3) 12. Nb5!? (12. Be3 Qa5 13. a3 Nh6=) 12... a6 13. Nd6+ (13. Bxe7 Qxb5) 13... Bxd6 14. exd6 Qb4 15. d7+ Kxd7 16. Rfd1 Ke8 17. Rac1 Qc4 18. Qe3 with the plan of b3 and c4, opening lines.

 

9... Bxc5 10. O-O-O Nc6

a) 10... Bxf2? 11. Nh3 Bc5 12. Rhf1

b) 10... Nd7!? 11. Na4 (11. Nf3!?) 11... Qa5 12. Nxc5 Nxc5 13. Qe3 Rc8 14. a3 (14. Kb1=) 14... Qc7 15. Nf3 Nh6 16. Bxh6 Rxh6=

 

11. Na4 Qa5 12. Nxc5 Qxc5 13. Be3 Qa5 14. a3?!

The game tends toward equality after the simpler 14. Qb3 Qb4 (14... O-O-O 15. f4 Nh6 16. Nf3 Nf5 17. Bf2=) (14... Nxe5? 15. Qxb7 Rd8 16. Qxa7) 15. Qxb4 Nxb4 16. a3 Nc6 17. Nf3 Nge7 18. Rhe1 Ng6 19. Bg5= (or 19. Bc5=)

 

14... Nge7

Black should grab the pawn with 14... Nxe5!

 

15. Nf3 Nf5 16. Kb1 Rc8 17. Bc1 b5! 18. b3 Qb6 19. Rd2 a5 20. Bb2 a4 21. b4 Qb8 22. Qe2 Nce7 23. g3 Rc4 24. Bd4 Nc6 25. Bc5 Kd7 26. Qd1?

 










But the more natural 26. Re1! should still hold the balance. However, White is still hoping to break through in the center by saccing at d5.

 

26... Rxc5! 27. bxc5 b4 28. Ka2 Qb5

Under fire, White gets desperate.

 

29. Rxd5+?! exd5 30. Qxd5+ Kc7

30... Kc8 31. e6 Nfe7

 

31. c4?

31. Qxf7+ Nfe7 32. Ng5 Qe2 33. Kb1 b3 34. Rc1 bxc2+ 35. Ka2 Rb8 36. Ne6+ Kb7

 

31... bxc3 32. Qxf7+ Nce7 33. Rb1 Qe2+ 34. Ka1 Rb8 35. Rxb8 Kxb8 36. Qe8+ Kc7

0-1

[Michael Goeller]

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