3...d6 (Miles) 

Joe Demetrick
Michael Goeller

Kenilworth Chess Club Championship (5)
Kenilworth, NJ, 2005

1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 d6 I was not happy with the way the opening went in my game with Pelican, where I tried instead 2... d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. Nc3 Qa5 and he did quite well even with the seemingly time-wasting move 5. h3!?+/= 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 4. d5 Nb8!? (4... Ne5 5. Nxe5 dxe5 6. Nc3 a6 7. f4! Qd6 8. Qf3+/=) 5. Nc3 g6 becomes a Pirc where the advance to d5 is likely premature. 4... Bg4 4... g6!? 5. Be2 Bg7 6. d5 Nb8 7. O-O O-O= 5. Be2 All fairly standard and frequently seen in the games of Anthony Miles. I noticed that Joe's game with Scott Massey began the same way. I also noticed that Joe did not try the standard tactics of either h3 or d5, kicking Black's pieces around. I half-expected, though, that he'd play a little differently this time but he did not. 5. d5! Nb8!? (5... Ne5 6. Nxe5 Bxd1 7. Bb5+ c6 8. dxc6 dxe5 9. c7+ Qd7 10. Bxd7+ Kxd7 11. Kxd1 e6 12. Ke2 Bb4 13. Bd2 Kxc7 is much easier for White to play given his healthier pawn majority) (5... Bxf3 6. Qxf3 Ne5 7. Qh3 c6 8. f4 Ned7 9. Be2 Nc5+/=) 6. h3 Bh5 7. g4 Bg6 8. Bd3+/= 5... e6 6. Be3 6. h3 6. d5 6... Be7!? 6... e5 7. d5 Much better is the immediate 6... d5! to claim a foothold in the center, when White's best might be 7. e5! (7. exd5 Nxd5! (7... exd5?! 8. Ne5!+/=) 8. Nxd5 Qxd5!=) 7... Nd7 (7... Ne4!? 8. Nxe4 dxe4 9. Nd2!+/= (9. Ng5?! Bxe2 10. Qxe2 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 (11. Qc4 Bb4+!! 12. Kf1 Nf5|^ Espig-Lisanti, Germany 2001) 11... Qxd4 12. Qb5+ c6 13. Qxb7 Bb4+! 14. c3 Bxc3+ 15. bxc3 Qxc3+ 16. Ke2 O-O!->) 9... Bxe2 10. Qxe2 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Qxd4 12. Qb5+ Qd7 13. Qxb7 Qd5 14. Qxc7 Bc5 15. O-O-O!+/=) 8. O-O Ne7 and c5 = 7. Qd2?! This move appears to be a logical way to develop the Queen, but it is not really appropriate to the position. All of the important play is on the light squares not the dark, and if Black is allowed to play ....d5 safely he will have equalized. Therefore best is to play two quick pawn thrusts to challenge control of the light squares with: 7. h3! Bh5 (7... Bxf3 8. gxf3! d5 9. Rg1 g6 10. Qd2! and only now that Black is weak on the dark squares is this the right place for the Queen) 8. d5! exd5 9. exd5 Bxf3! 10. Bxf3 Ne5 11. Be2 (11. Bd4!? O-O 12. O-O Re8 13. Re1+/=) 11... O-O 12. Qd2 c6 13. f4+/= 7... O-O!? Better 7... d5! with about equal chances, though White will still be able to dictate play: 8. h3 Bh5 9. exd5 Nxd5! 10. Nxd5 Qxd5 11. c4! Qf5!? 12. O-O (12. g4? Qe4 13. gxh5?? Bb4) 12... Bg6= (12... Bb4!? 13. Qd1 O-O-O!?~~) 8. O-O-O?! White's last chance to get some light-square play with either 8. d5 exd5 9. exd5 Ne5 10. O-O-O! Nxf3?! 11. gxf3!-> or 8. h3 Bh5 9. d5+/= 8... d5!= Finally! But I will remember next time that this thrust really should come sooner! 9. Ne5?! This move sets some traps but loses a pawn. I had not even considered the move, but the moment I saw it I sensed that it was not good for White -- though it would need some precise calculation to figure out why. So I got up and stretched and then sat down to work out the details. a) 9. h3 Bh5 10. g4 Bg6 11. e5?! Ne4=/+ b) 9. exd5 Nxd5!? (9... exd5=) 10. Nxd5 Qxd5 11. c4 Qd7 (11... Qf5!? 12. Bd3 Qh5=) 12. d5!?~~ c) Realtively best is likely 9. e5! when I had been seriously considering 9... Ne4! (my back-up move was 9... Nd7!? 10. h3! Bxf3! (10... Bf5 11. g4 Bg6 12. h4!->) 11. gxf3! Bb4!? 12. Rhg1+/= but I was not crazy about defending here.Maybe Black can try 12... Ne7 13. Bh6 Ng6 14. Bg5 Qe8) 10. Nxe4 dxe4 11. Ng1[] Bxe2! (the logical looking 11... Bf5? fails to 12. g4! Bg6 13. h4!-> Bxh4? 14. g5) 12. Nxe2 (12. Qxe2 Qd5 13. c4 Qa5 14. Kb1 Nb4 15. a3 Nd3 16. f3 c5!? (16... Bxa3 17. bxa3 Qxa3 18. fxe4 Qb3+ 19. Ka1=) 17. fxe4 cxd4 18. Bxd4 Nxe5 19. Bxe5 Qxe5=/+) 12... Qd5 and I thought I could get some play on the Queenside to compensate for my likely pawn deficit, since that pawn at e4 will be hard to protect. My general plan, though, was to give up the pawn for some play or enter an ending where f5 might be playable. 13. Nc3 Qa5 14. Kb1! (14. a3 b5! 15. Nxe4 b4 16. Bg5! Bxg5 17. Nxg5 h6 18. Nf3 Rab8~/=) 14... Bb4 15. a3 Bxc3 16. Qxc3 Qxc3 (16... Qd5!?~~) 17. bxc3 Na5!= 18. Rhe1 Nc4 19. Ka2 (19. Bc1?! f5!=/+) 19... f5!= 9... Bxe2 9... Nxe4 10. Nxe4 Bxe2 merely transposes moves 10. Qxe2 Nxe4! Black can go wrong in at least two ways: 1) 10... Nxe5?? 11. dxe5 Nxe4?? 12. Nxe4+- 2) 10... dxe4?! 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. g4!-> and White has more than sufficient compensation for the pawn and is even likely to regain it at e4. 11. Nxe4 I spent a long time evaluating the position after 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Nxe4 dxe4 13. Bf4! (13. Qc4 Qd5-/+) 13... Qd5 14. c4 ( Mark Kernighan suggested 14. Qa6!? with the idea of defending and counterattacking on the pawns, but I think Black is ready to sacrifice them all to open up lines) 14... Qa5!-/+ 15. Kb1 Rab8 and though Black has several weak pawns he also has open lines and good attacking chances along the open b-file. 11... dxe4 12. Qb5?! Relatively best may be 12. Kb1! Nb4! (12... Qd5 13. c4 Qa5 14. Bd2 Qa6 15. Qxe4=) when Fritz suggests 13. Bd2 f6!? 14. Bxb4 Bxb4 15. Nc4 b5 16. Nd2 f5 17. f3= and the pawns do look very weak here. The alternative 12. Nxc6?! bxc6 13. Bf4 Qd5-/+ transposes to lines considered above, though this was still better than the game move. 12... Nb4!-/+ I am very proud of this move. Without it, Black might not have a clear edge. I considered two alternatives at length: a) 12... Qd5?! 13. Qxb7 Nxe5 14. Qxd5 exd5 15. dxe5 c6 16. c4= b) 12... Qd6!? allows some messy tactics after 13. Bf4! which I did not like the feel of, though I only looked at a few lines. Even after looking at it with Fritz, who likes Black here, I'd still say it's too unclear.(Not 13. Qxb7?! Nxe5 14. dxe5 Qxe5 15. Rd4 f5-/+) For example, best seems 13... Qb4! (13... Nxd4!? 14. Qc4 c5 15. c3 looked scary though Fritz likes Black's chances) (13... Nxe5 14. Bxe5 Bg5+ 15. Kb1 Qd5 16. Qxd5 exd5 17. Bxc7 Rac8=/+ and White has the pawn back) 14. a4! (14. Qe2!? Nxd4 15. Qxe4?? Nb3+!) 14... Qxb5 15. axb5 Nxe5 16. Bxe5 and White may have compensation 13. d5?! This loses a second pawn. There is a certain logic to it, though, since it tries to battle for the key d5-square (in most lines, Black intends to play 13. ...Qd5! exchanging Queens and keeping an extra pawn). At least White does not make the mistake of taking the b-pawn and allowing Black a winning attack. a) 13. c3 is relatively best, when Black plays 13... Qd5!-/+ 14. Qxd5 Nxd5 15. Rhe1 Nxe3! 16. fxe3 (16. Rxe3? Bg5-+) 16... Bd6!? 17. g3 f5 18. Nc4 and it is still a game, though Black is up a full pawn. b) 13. Kb1 Qd5!-/+ (13... f6!? 14. Ng4 c6!? 15. Qxb7? Rf7!! wins the Queen) c) 13. Qc4?! b5!-> d) I was most hoping for 13. Qxb7? when Black at least keeps his pawn and gets a strong attack too after 13... Nxa2+! 14. Kd2 (14. Kb1? Nc3+!) 14... Rb8 15. Qxe4 (15. Qxa7 Rxb2 16. Ra1 Qd5!-> 17. Rhc1 (17. Ke1 Rxc2->) 17... Bb4+ 18. Kd1 Nc3+-+) 15... Rxb2-> 16. Nc6 Bb4+ 17. Nxb4 Nxb4 18. Rc1 Qd7 19. Rhd1 f5! 20. Qe5 Nc6! 21. Qf4 e5-+ 13... a6! giving White a second chance to take the poisoned b-pawn 14. Qc4?! Better 14. Qe2 exd5-+ though Black is still much better, though he does not get to chase the queen everywhere. Not 14. Qxb7? Rb8! 15. Qa7 Nxa2+ 16. Kb1 (16. Kd2 Qxd5+-+) 16... Nc3+-+ 14... exd5 15. Qb3 White's Queen is quite exposed on this side of the board and Black's magic Knight at b5 creates lots of tactical tricks. 15... a5!-> 16. Qa4 16. a3?? a4! wins the Queen 16... c6 Stronger according to Fritz is 16... b5!!-> 17. Qxb5 Nxa2+ 18. Kd2 Rb8 19. Qd7 Rxb2-> 17. Nxc6?! I was thinking during the game, "if you have to resort to handing me a piece, you might as well give up now, don't you think?" 17... Nxc6! The best way to take it. 18. Qb5 Qc7!? Stronger was the immediate 18... d4! 19. a3?! Best to annoy Black with 19. Bb6 Qc8 19... d4! 20. Bxd4 Nxd4 21. Rxd4 Qf4+ 22. Kb1 22. Rd2? Bg5 23. Rhd1 Rad8 24. g3 Qf6-+ 22... Bf6! 23. Rd7?! Better to keep an eye on the e-pawn with 23. Ra4 . Now Black gets a deadly passed pawn and the game comes to a quick end. 23... Qxf2 24. g3?! There is hardly a point in preserving the g-pawn. The real issue of the position is whether or not White can stop the e-pawn from queening. The answer is no, but he might give it a try and forget other issues entirely. 24... e3! Passed pawns must be pushed. Around here I started to get angry that he was still playing on. After all, didn't we have better things to do, like going over the interesting opening of the game before we have to go home to our wives? 25. Qc5?! This allows Black to seize the c-file. 25. Qf1 is the only way to hold up the e-pawn now. 25... Rac8! 26. Rc7 Rxc7 27. Qxc7 e2! 28. Qxa5 Qd4! Black can force the Queen in any number of ways, but I wanted to win as much material as possible. Also, threatening mate in one is rarely a bad idea. 28... Qf1+?! 29. Qe1! Qxh1 30. Qxh1 Rd8 31. Ka2 Rd1-+ 28... Rd8 29. Ka2 Rd1 30. Qa8+ Bd8-+ 29. Qb4 Qxb4 30. axb4 Rd8 31. Kc1 Bg5+ and he finally resigned. I was a little miffed at his failure to throw in the towel earlier and tempted to use Mike Valvo's line, "It's too late, now we have to play until mate." Fritz announces mate in 11 by force. It occurs to me that back in the days before they played with clocks, players used to announce mate all the time. Likely they were compelled to do that just to get home before midnight! Later, though, I was quite embarrassed at my silly anger and I had to apologize for seeming unfriendly. Chess brings out my aggression.... 0-1 [Michael Goeller]


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