Michael Goeller (2023) - Kenneth Chieu (2030) [B23]

Roselle CC at Kenilworth CC/Kenilworth, NJ USA 2005


1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. f4 a6 4. Nf3 Qc7 5. g3

During the game I debated with myself whether to play a Closed Sicilian or Open Kan lines. Most books suggest that the Closed makes sense when Black has played an early ...a6 because that move is usually unnecessary in the Closed lines and therefore a waste of time. I also figured that my opponent likely knew the open lines better than I did. But the open lines are better suited to my style and I should probably study them more. 5. d4 cxd4 6. Qxd4!? followed by Qf2 looks good.(6. Nxd4 is more standard but here the pawn at f4 looks out of place) The move order 5. d3 b5 6. g3 likely amounts to the same thing but I wanted to keep open the possibility of d4 if only to make him think about it.

 

5... b5 6. Bg2 Bb7 7. Qe2!?

To discourage an early ...d5, and with the idea of dropping the Knight back to d1 and maneuvering it to the kingside via Nd1-f2 or Nd1-e3. Probably better is 7. d3 b4 8. Ne2 d5

(8... Nc6 9. O-O d6 10. f5 e5 11. Be3 Nf6 12. h3 Be7 13. Qd2 d5 14. exd5 Nxd5 15. Bg5 h6 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. Rae1 O-O 18. Nh2 Qd6 19. Ng4 Kh7 20. f6 h5 21. Be4+ Kg8 22. Qg5 1-0 Branding,V-Becker,J/Kassel 1998 (22))

9. e5 h5 10. c3 a5 11. Be3 Nc6 12. Bf2 Ba6 13. h3 Rb8 14. Qc2 bxc3 15. bxc3 Be7 16. O-O Nh6 17. Rab1 Rxb1 18. Rxb1 O-O 19. Nd2 Rb8 20. Nc1 Rxb1 21. Qxb1 f6 22. exf6 Bxf6 23. c4 Ne7 24. Ncb3 h4 25. Qe1 Bc8 26. g4 a4 27. Nxc5 Qxf4 28. Nxe6 Qd6 29. cxd5 Nxd5 30. Nd4 Bxd4 31. Qe8+ Kh7 32. Bxd4 1-0 Gersinska-Gerstner, Baden OL 1998 (32)

 

7... d6!?

I expected him to play for a quick ...d5. Perfectly good was 7... Nc6 8. d3 Nd4 (8... b4 9. Nd1 Nd4 10. Qf2 Nxf3+ 11. Qxf3) 9. Qf2 (9. Nxd4?! cxd4 10. Nd1 Nf6=/+) 9... Nxf3+ 10. Bxf3=

 

8. O-O Nd7 9. d3

I regret not playing, after long thought, 9. f5! e5 (9... Ngf6? 10. fxe6 fxe6 11. Ng5 ) 10. Nd5 Bxd5 (10... Qd8 11. c3 and d4) 11. exd5 Ngf6 12. d3 puts a cramp on Black. Not 12... Nxd5? 13. Ng5-> (or 13. Nxe5)

 

9... Be7

In two games I found that reached this position, Black played 9...Ne7 to avoid getting kicked by 9...Nf6 10.e5. Thus: 9... Ne7 10. Bd2

(10. b3!? Nc6 11. Bb2 Be7 12. Rae1 Nd4 13. Nxd4!? (13. Qf2 Nxf3+ 14. Bxf3=) 13... cxd4 14. Nd1 e5 15. c3! dxc3 16. Bxc3 O-O 17. d4!? exd4 18. Bxd4 Bf6= 1/2-1/2 Qi Jingxuan-Torre,E/Buenos Aires 1978 (65))

10... Nc6 11. Nd1 Be7 12. c3 O-O 13. Ne3 Nb6 14. f5! exf5 15. Nxf5 Ne5 16. Nxe5 dxe5 17. Qg4?! (17. Bh6! Bf6 18. Bxg7 Bxg7 19. Qg4 f6 20. Nxg7 Qxg7 21. Qe6+ Kh8 22. Qxb6 ) 17... Bf6 18. Bh6 (18. Nh6+! Kh8 19. Rxf6 gxf6 20. Rf1 Qd8 21. Qh5->) 18... Bc8! 19. Bxg7 Bxf5[] 20. exf5 h5[] 21. Qxh5 Kxg7 Now White probably should settle for a perpetual check but refuses to do so against a lower-rated opponent. 22. Qg4+ Kh7 23. Bxa8 Rxa8 24. Qe4? Rd8 25. g4 Rg8 26. Rf3 Qd7?? (Black must evacuate the King by 26... Kg7 ) 27. Rh3+ Kg7 28. Qe3! Kf8 29. Qxc5+ Be7 30. Qxb6+- Rxg4+ 31. Rg3 Qxf5 32. Qh6+ Kg8 33. Qh3 Rxg3+ 34. Qxg3+ Kf8 35. Rf1 Qe6 36. b3 Bc5+ 37. Kg2 b4 38. cxb4 Bxb4 39. Qh4 Qg6+ 40. Kh1 a5 41. Qd8+ Kg7 42. Rg1 1-0 Starr,N-De Pool,T/Yerevan 1996 (42)

 

10. a4?

This move is the beginning of a mistaken concept. Basically, I wanted to discourage him from castling queenside before playing for a kingside attack, thinking that I could thus get a grip on both sides of the board. But this move potentially helps Black develop queenside play, leavespotentialweaknesses , wastes time, and could always be played once Black castles on that side. Better is to begin organizing for kingside play by

a) 10. Bd2 b4 11. Nd1 Ngf6 12. Ne3 or

b) 10. g4!? b4 (10... Ngf6?! 11. g5) 11. Nd1 d5 12. exd5! (12. Nf2!?) 12... Bxd5 13. Ne3

c) It was also still possible to try 10. f5! e5 11. Nd5 with initiative.

10... b4 11. Nd1

Maybe better was 11. Nb1!? to remaneuver via d2.

 

11... Ngf6 12. c3?!

The "logical" follow-up.

 

12... a5! 13. e5!?

Not necessarily bad, but White can still sit tight by 13. Ne3 O-O 14. Bd2=

 

13... Ng4! 14. h3 Nh6 15. exd6?!

But this is unnecessary and bad. I was eyeing the c4 square for my Knight. Better was 15. Ne3 d5 (15... dxe5?! 16. fxe5 Nxe5? 17. Nxe5+-) (15... Rd8?! 16. d4!) 16. g4

 

15... Bxd6 16. Ne3 O-O 17. Nc4 Nf5 18. Qf2 Be7!? 19. g4 Nd6 20. Nce5 f6!?

An interesting temporary pawn sac. Black can also keep the edge simply by 20... Nb6!

 

21. Nxd7 Qxd7 22. Qxc5

I felt this was necessary with my position falling apart and the simplifcations that follow could help me get to equality. 22. Be3 c4!

 

22... Rfc8 23. Qe3?

I was afraid of putting my queen on d4 due to the risk of an eventual Bc5. But perhaps the pin on the Knight makes it playable. 23. Qd4 Bd5!? 24. cxb4 axb4 25. Qxb4 Ne4 26. Qe1[] Nc5! looks like a mess for White but it might end up in an equal ending.

 

23... bxc3 24. bxc3 Rxc3 25. Re1? Nc4?

We both missed 25... Ne4!!-+ threatening Rxd3 and Bc5 with a powerful Black initiative.

 

26. Qxe6+ Qxe6 27. Rxe6 Rxd3

27... Kf7 28. f5 Rxd3 29. Ng5+ fxg5 30. Bxb7 Rb8 31. Ba6

 

28. Rxe7 Bxf3 29. Bf1!?

Trying to mix things up a bit. 29. Bxf3 Rxf3 30. Rc7=

 

29... Rd1 30. Kf2 Bd5! 31. Bxc4=

Going into a likely drawn Bishops of opposite color ending. I had very little time left on the clock and would have been happy at this point simply to secure a draw. Trickier was 31. Rd7! Nb6 32. Rd6! Rc8 (32... Rb8? 33. Be2 Rh1[] (33... Rd4? 34. Be3+-) 34. Rxd5!! Nxd5 35. Bf3 ) 33. Rxb6 Rcxc1 34. Rxc1 Rxc1 35. Rb5 and White actually has an edge!

 

31... Bxc4 32. Re1 Rd3 33. Re3

I think I offered a draw here, which he refused.

 

33... Rd4 34. Rc3 Ba6 35. Be3 Rb4 36. Rc7! Rb2+ 37. Kg3 Bb7

0-1

 


White to play and at least force a draw.

 

Here I lost on time. In desperate time trouble, I thought I saw the glimmer of a forced draw by doublng Rooks on the 7th but failed to implement the plan in time. Best here was 38. Rd1!! Re8 39. Rdd7! and White will have at least perpetual check and probably would have an edge if it were not for the the clock. Oh well... I probably should have gotten slaughtered in the middlegame anyway, so losing in the ending is not so bad! 0-1 [Michael Goeller]

Game in PGN