Kenilworth Kibitzer

A blog for members of the Kenilworth Chess Club.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Personal Favorite

From time to time (and with some help from your opponent) you have a game that confirms your Kasparovian genius, and proves that if you just had a little more time to study then you could be a grandmaster too.  In this recent game, I was inspired by the famous Morphy opera box consultation game to do the first exchange sacrifice I've ever (intentionally) done, and to do it without bothering to calculate the outcome.  

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 d5?!  (I think this is unsound, but this was a G/45 and any surprise no matter how unsound can prove unpleasant)

4. exd5 Qxd5 (I was trying hard to figure out what traps might be hidden in this opening) 5. Nc3 Qe6+ 6. Be3 PxP 7. NxP NxN 8. QxN Nf6?! +/- (It could be 8...Bd7 already needed to be played.  There have been no tricks in this opening, just Black wasting some time in development.  He is not close to castling.)

9. O-O-O (Simple and probably best) Qd6? (Looking to exchange queens but really just inviting disaster on the d-file) 10. Qa4+ Bd7 11. Bb5 Qc7 (At first I thought 11...BxB 12. QxB+ Qc6 keeps things together, but better is 12. NxB! Qc6 13. Nc7#) 
12. RxB!  NxR +- (This sort of combination isn't my style, but I didn't hesitate to sacrifice the rook with every one of my pieces bearing down on the Black king) 13. Rd1 Rd8 14. Nd5 (another piece enters battle) Qc8 15. Bxa7!

Black is up the exchange but everything else is grim beyond imagining.  The rook is trapped, the knight pinned and the queen useless.  And with the king hemmed in by his pieces, there's even the possibility of a 1-move knight checkmate.

15...e6 16. Nb6 Qc7 17. NxN Bd6 (Anything wins for White by this point) 18. Bb6 Bf4+ 

(Or does it??  Does 19. Kb1 Qxc3 20. Nxc3 Rxd1# win for Black?  Sadly, no - Nxc3 comes with discovered check)  19. Kb1 RxN 20. BxR+ 1-0

Good game -- very Morphy-like. I think you meant to write 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 d5?! A better idea for Black is 3...cxd4 4.Nxd4 d5!? which is playable and harder to beat.
Good catch - 2...Nc6 indeed. I'll look up that other sequence and see what I find.

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