Canal-Sokolsky Attack 
(Nimzovich-Rossolimo, Moscow) 

Mike Wojcio
Mark Kernighan

Kenilworth Chess Club Championship
Kenilworth, NJ USA, 2005

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 The Rossolimo Variation, whih resembles the Moscow Variation (2....d6 3.Bb5+). 3... d6?! Mark made the same move against Massey later in the tournament. It seems a mistake to allow a pin on the Knight and allow White, if he chooses, to immediatelyh double the c-pawns with Bxc6+. As Wojcio notes, "I was very happy when he played ...d6." 4. c4 This Maroczy bind idea seems overly ambitious. 4. Bxc6+!? bxc6 5. d3 hoping to exploit the c-pawns is always an idea. Best is probably speedy development beginning with 4. O-O! 4... Bd7 5. d4 Perhaps White should wait on pushing the center pawn and hope for a trade of light-squared Bishops, which would give him a comfortable closed game. 5. Nc3 or 5. O-O 5... cxd4 5... g6 6. d5+/- seems to favor White due to his greater control of space and the fact that he has exchanged off the bad Bishop. But that long diagonal of Black's may come in handy later. 6. Nxd4 Nf6 7. Nc3 e6 Mike thought a much more natural development follows the fianchetto with 7... g6 8. O-O Bg7 9. Re1 a6= but Mark told him that he has never done well with fianchetto lines. It may well be the faster way to take advantage of White's potential weaknesses on dark squares in the center. What's more, by playing e6 Black allows White to develop his dark-squared Bishop to its natural square at e3 without fear of harrassment by Ng4. But Mark eventually is able to organize fine counterplay with his move as well. 8. O-O Be7 9. f4?! White takes away the e5 square from Black but risks loosening his position. Black has to play more carefully to get counterplay after 9. Be3! a6 10. Ba4 (10. Bxc6 bxc6 11. f4 c5=) 10... Ne5 11. Bxd7+ Nfxd7! 12. b3 Qa5 13. Qd2 Ng4!<=> (13... Bf6!?) 9... Qc7 Or 9... Nxd4 10. Qxd4 O-O (10... Qb6? 11. Qxb6 axb6 12. Re1 and Black's pawn weaknesses should tell in the ending, Mark points out.) 11. Bxd7 Qxd7= 9... Qb6?! 10. Be3!+/= 10. Be3 a6 11. Ba4 Mark recalled that in a five-minute game over a month before, Mike had played instead 11. Bxc6?! bxc6 giving him the stronger center control and the open b-file. Mike replied "what I do in five-minute and in a tournament game are two different things." 11... Nxd4 12. Bxd7+ >= 12. Bxd4 Bxa4 13. Qxa4+ Nd7!? 14. Rac1 (14. Bxg7 Qc5+ 15. Kh1 Rg8 16. Bh6 Qh5<=>) 14... O-O 12... Nxd7! 13. Bxd4 Bf6! 14. Bxf6 Nxf6 15. Qe2?! White has to be aware of his weakness at c4, and then his weakness at c3 if he plays b3. Therefore, probably best is 15. Rc1!? O-O (15... Qxc4? 16. Nd5!+/-) 16. b3= 15... Rc8 16. Rfd1? White might be able to bail out into a drawable ending after the superior 16. Rad1! Qxc4 (16... Qc5+?! 17. Rf2! Qxc4 18. Rxd6=) 17. Qxc4 Rxc4 18. Rxd6 Nxe4 (18... Ke7 19. e5) 19. Nxe4 Rxe4 20. Rb6 Ke7!? 21. Rxb7+ Kf6 22. Rb6 White might also try sacrificing a pawn with 16. e5!? dxe5 17. fxe5 Nd7 18. Ne4 Nxe5 19. c5! (19. Rad1 O-O (19... Nxc4?? 20. Qxc4! Qxc4 21. Nd6++-) 20. Nd6 Qb6+ 21. Kh1 Rc5!=/+) 19... O-O 20. Rac1 Rcd8 21. Nd6 f6 22. b4~/= and the powerfully placed Knight at d6 gives White some compensation. 16... Qc5+ 17. Kh1 Qxc4 18. Qf3 White must keep the Queens on and try for some kingside initiative. With the f-pawn unprotected, the line suggested above does not work: 18. Qxc4? Rxc4 19. Rxd6 Nxe4 20. Nxe4 Rxe4 21. Rb6 Rxf4-/+ 18... Qc7 19. g4!? Qb6 20. Rd2 h5!? Safer is 20... O-O 21. g5 Ng8?! Both players overlooked the superior 21... Ng4! 22. h3 Qe3! ( White regains his pawn after 22... Ne3?! 23. Na4! Qa7 24. Rxd6~~) 23. Qxe3 Nxe3 24. Rxd6 Nc4!-/+ and Black will remain up a pawn. 22. f5!-> "If the King is in the center, you must attack and open up lines" Mike notes. By retreating his Knight and playing the impetuous h5 push, Black has given White a powerful initiative. 22... Ne7 23. fxe6 fxe6 24. Rf1 Fritz prefers 24. Rad1 Rd8 25. Qh3 24... Kd7 25. Rfd1 Rc6 26. Qf7?! White gets sidetracked by the idea of winning the g-pawn. But Mike soon sees that if he takes the g-pawn he will only open up lines for a Black counter-attack since his own king is potentially exposed. >= 26. Qf4! 26... Qa5?! 26... Qc5!~~ 27. Qf4! White is back on track with his attack. 27. Qxg7? Rg8 28. Qd4 Qxg5<=> 27... Kc8 Black surrenders the pawn and goes into full retreat. White should now have a winning game. Black can best put obstacles in White's way with 27... Qb4! 28. a3 (28. Ne2!?) 28... Qc5 29. Na4 Qb5 30. Rxd6+ Kc8!~~ 28. Rxd6 Rxd6 28... Qb4 29. Qxd6! Mike notes that we teach kids about not bringing the Queen out early but we often neglect to mention the importance of Queen position. 29... Qxg5?? A terrible blunder that should lose outright. >= 29... Nc6 30. Qd7+ (30. Qxe6+!?) 30... Kb8 31. Qxg7+/- and White wins an important pawn without surrendering the initiative, but it is still a fight. 30. Qxe6+? A terrible disappointment for Mike! He had Kernighan on the ropes but failed to land the deathblow! 30. Na4!! and Black can only avoid mate by sacrificing his Queen. 30... b5 31. Nc5! and mate is unavoidable. 30... Kb8 31. Nd5?! Things go downhill rapidly as the energy of the position and the emotional advantage shifts completely to Black. 31. Rd7 Qc1+! 31. Qd6+ Ka8 32. Rg1 Qe3 33. Qg3+/= 31... Nxd5 32. exd5 Qf4!=/+ Black has the edge due to his safter King. White's passed d-pawn is easily stopped while Black's threats against the White King are not easy to counter. 33. Qe2 h4! 34. d6 34. h3 g5! 34... h3!=/+ 35. d7 Rd8-/+ 36. Qd3?? Rxd7!-+ 37. Rf1 Rxd3 38. Rxf4 Rd1+ 39. Rf1 Rxf1# 0-1 [Michael Goeller]


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