Nimzovich Defense 

Joe Wojcio
Michael Goeller

2005 Kenilworth Chess Club Championship (2)
Kenilworth, NJ USA, 2005

1. e4 Nc6 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4 4. Bb5!? The tricky 4. Ne2! with the idea of c3, d4, and Ng3 gives White a comfortable position. 4... Nge7 4... a6?! 5. Bxc6! bxc6 6. O-O+/= 5. O-O O-O 5... d5 6. d4!? Bxc3 7. bxc3 dxe4 8. Ng5 f5?! 9. Qh5+ g6 10. Qh6~/= 5... a6!? 6. a3 Ba5!? Trying to keep things relatively closed and complicated. Simpler, of course,is 6... Bxc3 7. dxc3 d6= 7. b4 Bb6 8. Bxc6?! 8. Na4!? d5 (8... e5!?) 9. Nxb6 axb6 10. exd5 Qxd5= 8. d4 a6 9. Ba4 d6= 8... bxc6!? More consistent was 8... Nxc6 9. Na4 d5 (9... d6!?) 10. e5 f6= but I liked the idea of developing my Knight to g6. 9. d3 9. d4 a5= 9... Ng6 10. a4!? a6 I was not sure during the game whether a4-a5 was an advantageous space-grab for White or a weakening of his queenside pawns. I decided upon the latter and played accordingly. The alternative was 10... a5 11. bxa5!? (11. b5 Bb7=) 11... Rxa5 12. Ne2= but I decided that I didn't want to give him a passed a-pawn. 11. a5 Ba7 12. Bg5! f6 13. Bc1?! >= 13. Be3! Qe7!= 13... f5!? 13... d5!? 14. d4 and I didn't like my doubled pawns with White in control of c5, though there is always the possibility of playing to open the game with 14... e5!?<=> An alternative plan was 13... Rb8 14. d4 e5! (14... Rxb4? 15. Ba3+/-) 15. d5 (15. dxe5?! fxe5 16. Rb1 Qf6=/+ looks ominous for White's King) 15... cxd5 16. Qxd5+ Kh8 17. Qd3 but this looked ok for White. 14. e5?! This seems too weakening 14... Nh4?! I should have destroyed White's center pawn immediately with >= 14... Nxe5! 15. Nxe5 Bd4 16. Nxc6! dxc6 17. Bd2 Qf6 18. Ra3 when my two Bishops and greater central control give me an edge after either 18... c5 (or 18... e5 but I wanted to win the e-pawn free of charge and underestimated White's best moves.) 15. Ng5!? This was quite a surprising shot and it got me a bit nervous. I had also overlooked the superior >= 15. Be3!+/= , holding d4, when White is probably better!for example: 15... Bxe3 16. fxe3 Rb8 17. Rb1 d6 18. Qe1!? Nxf3+ 19. Rxf3 c5 20. bxc5 Rxb1 21. Qxb1 dxe5~~ 15. Bg5?? Nxf3+ 16. Qxf3 Qxg5-+ 15. Nxh4?! Qxh4|^ with kingside attacking ideas 15... Qe8!=/+ This may well be the only move, though it does regain the edge for Black. I must stop Qh5, which creates scary attacking ideas. And there are lots of ways for Black to go wrong: a) Mark Kernighan suggested the immediate 15... Bd4?! but I had feared something like 16. Qh5! h6 17. Ra3! Bxe5 (17... hxg5 18. Bxg5 Nf3+ 19. gxf3 Qe8 20. Qxe8 Rxe8 21. f4+/-) 18. Qxh4 Bf6 19. f4|^ and White suddenly is the one with the kingside initiative. b) 15... h6?! 16. Qh5! f4 (16... hxg5 17. Bxg5 Nf3+ 18. gxf3 Qe8 19. Qh4 Qg6 20. Kh1->) 17. Nce4! Nf5 18. Nf6+!! gives White a big plus: 18... Rxf6[] (18... gxf6?? 19. Qg6+ Kh8 20. Qh7#) (18... Kh8 19. Qg6! forces mate also) 19. exf6 Qxf6 20. Qe8+ Qf8 21. Qxf8+ Kxf8 22. Nf3+/= c) 15... g6? 16. g3! Bd4 (16... h6 17. gxh4 hxg5 18. Bxg5+/-) 17. Ra3 h6 18. Ne2!! Bxe5 19. d4! Bg7 20. Nh3+/- 16. Ra4?! This looks interesting, since it creates the possibility of b5 attacking the Knight at h5 and swinging White's Rook to the kingside. But it does not work out against best play. Now it is too late for 16. Be3?? when 16... Bxe3 17. fxe3 Qg6 wins the hapless Knight since 18. Nf3 Qxg2# >= 16. Ra3! though Black seems better after 16... Bb7! (16... Bd4!?) (16... Rb8!?) 17. Nf3 Qh5 18. Nxh4 Qxh4 and Black's attacking ideas are back on track. 16... h6 I probably prematurely rejected the more direct 16... Bd4! 17. b5!? Bxc3 (17... Bxe5?! 18. Rxh4 h6 19. d4 Bf6 20. Nf3 Bxh4 21. Nxh4~~ is unclear) 18. Rxh4 h6 19. Nf3 cxb5=/+ since Black really has nothing to fear from White's kingside demonstrations. 17. Nh3?! >= 17. Nf3 Nxf3+ 18. Qxf3 Bd4 19. Ne2 Bxe5=/+ gives Black an extra pawn and the two Bishops, which should be enough to win eventually. 17... Bd4 18. Ne2 Bxe5 19. b5!? Nxg2?! This piece sac is completely unnecessary and risky. But I simply couldn't resist it since it gives my pieces so much scope and I have so much control over the whole board. And, after all (I rationalized to myself), I always have three pawns and the Bishop pair and his multiple pawn islands to claim full compensation. Even if my kingside attack does not pan out, I should probably win an ending. But there were much easier ways to go, and in a different tournament situation I would have chosen those. Simplest is 19... Ng6! 20. bxc6 (20. b6 cxb6 21. axb6 c5-/+) 20... d6-/+ followed by Qxc6 with a pawn plus for Black and a winning game. And that was the sane way to play. 20. Kxg2 cxb5 21. Rb4 c5 22. Rb1 Bb7+ 23. f3 g5?! this is overly loosening of Black's own kingside and risks giving White good counterplay. An interesting idea is 23... Bc7!? 24. Qe1 Qg6+ 25. Kh1 e5 26. Ra1 f4 using my pawns to dominate the board before proceding with a piece attack. The direct piece attack with 23... Qg6+ 24. Kh1 Qg4 25. Neg1 Rf6 26. Bb2 Rg6 27. Rf2 Bc7 also looks scary for White but there is no obvious breakthrough 24. Kg1? Now Black wins easily because he gains time with an attack on the undefended Knight at h3. The game was still quite unclear after 24. Bb2 Bc7! 25. Qd2 Qg6 or 24. Nhg1 g4!? 25. Bf4 Bxf4 26. Nxf4 e5 27. Nfe2 Qg6 28. Kh1 f4 29. Nc3 Rf5 30. Ne4 g3 24... Qh5!-+ 25. f4? 25. Nhf4 gxf4 26. Nxf4 Qh4-+ 25. Kg2 Qg4+ 26. Ng3 f4-+ 25. Nf2?? Qxh2# 25... Qxh3 26. fxe5?? Qg2# 0-1 [Michael Goeller]


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