Ari Minkov (1988) - Steve Stoyko (2325) [C05]

Kenilworth Chess Club Ch. Open/Kenilworth, NJ USA (3) 2006

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Ndf3

6. c3 Nc6 7. Ndf3 is more commonly seen, though White's development lags in any case.

This approach appears at first quite novel but has been played.

This move invites White to exchange in order to gain the use of d4 for his pieces. But Black might get to the light squares e4 and c4 more easily in that case. 9... c4 was played by Amos Burn vs. Weiss in 1888, which is the first game I found with this line. So it has quite a history.

Obviously fearing to allow Steve's Knight to e4. In theory, White's Bishop is inferior to Black's Knight, but the exchange weakens White's control of the dark squares long term. Better 11. Ned4 Ne4 12. Bd3

11... Bxc5 12. Ned4 Qb6! 13. Qd2 Bd7 14. Be2 Rac8!

With the simple idea of winning control of the c-file after exchanging at d4.

15.

As Steve said after the game: "You don't need a lot of flash to win these games -- all you need is one tempo." Black has that tempo here and it is impossible to stop him from posting a Rook on c2 with it. For example:

a) 17. Rab1 Rfc8 18. Kh1 Ba4! 19. Rf3 Bxd4 20. Qxd4 Qxd4 21. cxd4 Rc2 22. Bd3 Rd2

Better may be 20... >= b6

21. Qxa7 Qc5 22. Qxc5 Rxc5 23. g4 fxg4 24. Bxg4 g6 25. Rb1 b5 26. Rb2 Rc2 27. Rf2 Rxf2 28. Rxf2 Kf7 29. Kg2 Rc3 30. Rf3 d4 31. Rf2 Bc6+ 32. Bf3 Bxf3+

Black also has a win by 32... Rxf3 33. Rxf3 g5 (Perhaps Ari was hoping for 33... Bxf3+?? 34. Kxf3 ) 34. fxg5+ (34. Kg3 Bxf3 35. Kxf3 Kg6 36. Ke4 g4 (36... d3 37. Kxd3 gxf4 38. Ke4 Kg5-+) 37. Kxd4 Kf5 38. Ke3 h5 39. a3 h4-+ also wins. Those tempi again...) 34... Kg6 35. Kf2 Bxf3 36. Kxf3 Kf5!! 37. h4 Kxe5 38. h5 Kf5 39. g6 hxg6 40. h6 Kf6!! 41. Ke4 e5! etc.

33. Rxf3 d3! 34. Rf2 Rc2 35. Kf3 d2!

White resigns. If 36.Ke2 d8=Q+ wins the Rook. If 36.Rf1 Rc1 etc. Afterward, Steve modified his "All you need is one tempo" to "All you need is a few tempi, since just two or three are basically a pawn, and that's all you need to win."

0-1

Scott Massey (2213) - John Moldovan (1774) [C19]

Kenilworth Chess Club Ch. Open/Kenilworth, NJ USA (3) 2006

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3

An interesting alternative is 5. Bd2!? when if cxd4?! 6. Nb5

The more positional line, favored by Fischer. More "aggressive" is 7. Qg4

8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. a4 (or 9. Bd3 is sometimes played to discourage ...Ba6.)

8... Ne7

Standard ideas are 8... Ba6 9. Bxa6 Nxa6 10. Qd3 Nb8 11.

9. Bd3

9. a5!? Ba6 10. axb6 axb6 11. Bb5+!?
9. Bb5+! Bd7 10.

It's hard to judge whether this is a waste of time due to White's follow-up, but Black's game is certainly freer after this unmotivated exchange.

11... cxd4!? 12. Qb5+! Qc6 (12... Kf8!? 13. Ra3) 13. Nxd4! Qxb5 14. axb5!

12.

14... Nxc5

17. Bxe7 Kxe7 18. Qb4+ Kd8 19. a5! Rc4 20. axb6??

Massey purposely sacrifices his Queen, with the idea of either gaining an advanced a-pawn or an attack along the a-file. But it is basically unsound, as computer analysis quickly reveals. White is better after 20. Qb2!

21... Ra4? 22. a8=Q+ Rxa8 23. Rxa8+ Kc7 24. Rxh8 e.g.: 24... Qa4 25. Rf8

or 22... Ra8

23... Ra8! is safest. Now Black must deal with lots of complications.

Better 24... Nc3!

One of many "box moves," as Scott called them, that John had to find to defend and try to win.

26. Rb5 Nc4 27. f4 Qc7 28. Ra6 Nxe5 29. fxe5 Qxe5??

But the strain of finding the right move at every turn against a persistent master proves too much. Black is still winning after 29... Qc4!! 30. c3! (30. Rb8+ Rxb8 31. axb8=Q+ Kxb8 32. Nc6+ Kc7) 30... Qxc3! 31. Rb8+ Rxb8 32. axb8=Q+ Kxb8 etc.

30... Rxb8 31. axb8=Q+ Kxb8 32. Nc6+ Kb7 33. Nxe5+-

Mark Kernighan (2210) - Mike Wojcio (1603) [A56]

Kenilworth Chess Club Ch. Open/Kenilworth, NJ USA (3) 2006

1. d4 c5 2. d5 e5!? 3. c4 d6 4. e4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Be7 6. Bd3

Black has two standard ideas in this type of position--either to play on the kingside for exchanges or on the queenside of a pawn break.

a) 11... h6!? 12. Nd3 Nh7 13. Bh5 Bg5 (13... Ngf8 14. f4!) 14. Bxg6 fxg6 15. Bxg5

A good idea but poorly executed. Until this blunder, Black is certainly not objectively worse and actually has the easier time developing a plan. Best was to prepare the ...b5 break with 12... a6 13. a4! b6 14. Qc2 Qc7 (14... Rb8 15. b4!?) 15. b3 Rab8

13. cxb5 c4? 14. Nb4 Qc7 15. Na6

15... Qc8 16. Qa4 Nf4 17. Qxc4+-

Black has no compensation for the lost pawns, though he does manage to generate some tactical tricks that White has to sidestep.

17... Qb7 18. a4 Rec8 19. Qb4!

19... Rxc3!? 20. Bxf4! Rc2 21. Bd3 Rcc8 22. Bxe5! dxe5 23. Qxe7 Re8 24. Qd6 Rad8 25. Qc7 Qa8 26. Rac1 Rc8 27. Qd6 Rcd8 28. Nc7 Qb8 29. Nxe8 Bxb5 30. Qxb8

1-0

[Geoff McAuliffe and Michael Goeller]

Greg Tomkovich - Michael Goeller [A40]

Kenilworth Chess Club Ch Open/Kenilworth, NJ USA (3) 2006

You think you have played a nice game, but then you look it over with Fritz or some other silicon monster and you recognize that you missed half of what was going on and the only reason you won was because your opponent missed three-quarters... This game is a perfect illustration of that, though I still think it was rather nice.

The Two Knights Tango

This has all become standard theory. I am quite comfortable on the Black side in this position, which I do not consider White's most challenging line.

6. Nf3

a) 6. Bd3 Bc5 7. Nge2? (7. h3!?) 7... Ng4 8.

O-O Qh4 is a classic trap in this line, which I recently got to play on ICC: 9. h3[] Nxf2 10. Rxf2 Bxf2+!? (better 10... Qxf2+) 11. Kh1 d6 12. Qf1O-O 13. Nb5 f5 14. exf5 Bxf5 15. Bxf5 Rxf5 16. Qd1 Raf8 17. Nxc7? Bb6 18. Qd3 Rf1+ 19. Kh2 R8f3!? (19... Qe1! forces mate notes Fritz) 20. Qe4?? and resigns, 0-1 guest1955-goeller, ICC g5 2006.01.25 (39)

b) 6. Be3! is likely White's best, reserving the Saemisch option of Pf3.

6... Bb4

The "positional" option, reminiscent of lines in the Nimzo-Indian or my favorite Grand Prix Attack as White.
6... Bc5 7. Bd3

Stoyko said, "not bad, but not necessary in an unprovoked manner." Why not hope that White will waste a tempo with a3 first? Personally, though, having put the Bishop on b4 rather than c5 I want to seize the positonal opportunity to double his pawns. In Steve's view, the position now becomes a Zurich Nimzo-Indian where his pawn is at a2 (useful in some lines for supporting the Knight maneuver Nd2-b3, encouraging an exchange by Nc5xb3 when axb3 makes a nice structure). White is considered slightly better in those lines.

8. bxc3 d6 9.

It is standar d to prevent Bg4, but White must follow up correctly to secure his kingside structure with Re1, Bf1, and Kh2 so that he can drive out a marauding Knight at f5 with an eventual g3 push.

10... Nh5

"A two piece attack," Stoyko puffed. But one known to be effective. White's position is certainly less easy to play, while Black's pieces find natural attacking squares. And, as Fritz shows, Black gets a lot of strong attacking ideas.

11. Rb1?!

"Why do you want to provoke ...b6? He wants to do that anyway to stop c5," notes Stoyko. I thought this move was practically a blunder and it comes back to haunt White in many ways in the game. 11. Be3 Nhf4 12. Re1 (12. c5!?) 12... b6 13. Bf1

11... b6

I'm in no hurry.

This seemed stronger than f6, since now I threaten an immedate attack by f6, Ngf4, and Qg6 hitting the vulnerable g2 square. But we all overlooked a possibility for White. Better 12... f6 13. Be3 Nhf4

13. Qd2?!

A very bad square for the Queen, which cuts off the Bishop's retreat in some lines and does not help guard light squares around the King. White also overlooks an interesting try. Not 13. Nxe5? Nxe5 14. Qxh5 Nxd3-+ But we all missed the annoying possibility here of 13. c5! dxc5 (13... bxc5?! 14. Bb5 Bd7 15. Bxd7 Qxd7 16. Nxe5!) 14. Bb5! Bd7 15. Bxd7 Qxd7 16. Nxe5 Nxe5 17. Qxh5 though 17... c4! probably keeps a slight edge for Black. It was also still possible to set up a standard defensive structure with 13. Re1 Nhf4 14. Bf1

13... f6?!

Better 13... Nhf4!

14... Nhf4 keeps his Knight out of h4.

15. Kh2

15. Nh4!?

16. Bc2 fxe4 (16... Ba6!?) 17. Bxe4 Nf6 18. Bc2 Qh5

16... Nxd3

The right move but not the right follow-up. After the game Stoyko suggested 16... Nxh3!? but I had not liked 17. Nxf5! (17. gxh3 f4 18. Bd4! unclear ) 17... N3f4 18. Bc2 unclear.

Second or third best according to Fritz, who points out the wonderful line 17... Nf4! 18. Bxf4 fxe4!! the zwichenzug I missed! 19. Qe2 (19. Qxe4?? Rxf4-+) 19... exf4-+ winning a pawn and continuing Black's initiative.

An interesting try for complications. 19. Nf3 Qg6 20. Rh1 Nf6 followed eventually by g4, perhaps prepared with h5, gives Black great attacking prospects.

Black switches to a long-term plan of prying open the h-file, since now White must play g4 to hold the pawn at f5, allowing an eventual h7-h5xg4 after suitable preparation. Better was 20... e4 21. Qe2 Nf6! (I rejected this line based on 21... Rxf5? 22. g4! fxg3+ 23. fxg3 Rxf1 24. Rxf1 Qg6 25. Qg4 and White is better) 22. g4 Qe5 23. f3 Rae8 -- as we see below, I had overlooked some counterplay ideas for White involving an h4 push.

Black should prepare a little more before breaking, with first 22... Qa4 and maybe even K7 and Rh8 and only then h5.

23. Kg2?!

Playing along with Black's plan. 23. Rg1! may be a better idea, trying to use the g-file when it opens.

23... Rh6?! 24. Rh1 Qa4? 25. Ra1?

Fritz points out the wonderful idea 25. h4!! hxg4 26. hxg5 which, at the very least, turns the tables on Black, who is now the one attacked along the h-file. Obviously Black's plan would have benefitted from more preparation!

Still 26. h4! was the move.

26... Rah8!

Now things are back on track and Black's plan is unstoppable.

dreaming of Bxf4 with possible attacks on the e-file.

28... Nf6 29. Qe2 hxg4! 30. fxg4!?

Black wins easily after 30. hxg4 Rxh1 31. Rxh1 Rxh1 32. Kxh1 Qxa3 with the passed a-pawn.

30... e4! 31. Qf1?! Qc2 32. Qf2 e3 33. Bxe3 Qe4+ 34. Kg1

34. Qf3 Qxf3+ 35. Kxf3 Rxh3+ 36. Rxh3 Rxh3+ 37. Kg2 Rxe3-+ is easy enough to win, even in time pressure.

White is lost in any event...

35... Rxh1+

Chomp. White resigns. The win was satisfying at the time due to the nice finish, but it is very discouraging to review it with a computer!

0-1

[Michael Goeller]

Bob Pelican (1649) - Mikhail Kruglyak (1264) [B23]

Kenilworth Chess Club Ch U-1800/Kenilworth, NJ USA (3) 2006

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. d3 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Be3 Bxc3+?

It's a bad idea to surrender the two Bishops, especially the fianchetto Bishop at g7 (responsible for guarding the dark squares on the kingside) without gaining an obvious advantage from it. White's doubled pawns actually help him to gain the center.

8. Ne2! Nge7 9. f4 f5 10.

10.

10... g5!

Black suddenly is developing a kingside initiative and has gained control of the dark squares weakened by his early Bishop exchange. Meanwhile, White has no play on the Queenside and is not well situated on the kingside. So he tries for play in the center, which, after all, is the best way to meet an attack on the wings.

Overlooking a simple fork that wins a piece. Black is still fighting after 12... Nf6! 13. Qd3 (13. d5? Nxe4) 13... Nb4 unclear.

13. d5+- Qxd2+ 14. Bxd2 g4 15. hxg4 Nb4 16. Bxb4 cxb4 17. dxe6 fxe6 18. e5 d5 19. Nd4 Kd7 20. a3 bxa3 21. Rxa3 Ne7 22. Kd2 Ng6 23. f4 a6 24. Re1 Rhf8 25. f5 Ke7 26. Nxe6 1-0 [Goeller]

Ed Selling (1664) - Joe Demetrick (1560) [B12]

Kenilworth Chess Club Ch. U-1800/Kenilworth, NJ USA (3) 2006

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bd3 Bxd3 6. Qxd3 Nd7

7. Be3 Qb6 8. Nc3 c5 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. Bxc5 Nxc5 11. Qd4

11. Qb5+!?

11... Ne7 12.

13... Qxb2?? 14. Rfb1 Qa3 15. Nb5+-

14. Rab1 Rac8 15. Nd4?! Nxd4?!

Black can win a pawn by 15... Ne4! 16. Nxe4 Qxd4 17. Qxd4 Nxd4 18. Rfd1 Ne2+ 19. Kf1 Rxc2

16... Nd7 17. Qxb6 Nxb6 18. f4 Nc4

18... Qxd4!? 19. cxd4 Rc2 20. Nc3!

19. Qxb6 Nxb6 20. Nd4 a6 21. f4 Nd7 22. Rbe1 b5 23. a3 Re8 24. Re3 Rcc8 25. Rfe1 Nb6 26. R3e2 Nc4 27. g4 Na5 28. Kf2 Nc6 29. Nxc6 Rxc6 30. Rd1 Rc4 31. Kf3 Rec8 32. Red2 a5 33. Rd4 Kf8 34. Ke3 Ke7 35. Rxc4?!

White has been making slow but steady progress in the position and could have a slight edge in the ending after 35. f5 Rxd4 36. Rxd4 f6!? 37. fxe6 Kxe6 38. exf6 gxf6 39. a4

35... bxc4 36. Kd4 Kd7 37. Rb1 Rc6 38. b4?!

Now Black gains the edge. White really had no good way to make progress.

38... cxb3 39. Rxb3 Rc4+! 40. Ke3 a4?

Trying to force things. But this leads to complications that appear equal with best play and create lots of losing chances for both sides. Better is the simple win to be had by 40... Kc7! and White is basically in zugzwang and must surrender a pawn at c3 or f4 or by Pa4 sacrificing it there. Black would then be winning. And zugzwang is very forcing. 41. h4 a4! 42. Rb4 Rxc3+ etc.

Persisting ith the forcing line, which does present Black with winning chances and creates a very interesting situation. A likely draw was to be had by 41... Ke8 42. Rb8+ Kd7 43. Rb7+ Ke8=

Better 43. Kd4! which leads to interesting complications. Here are some ideas, though I have not done a very careful analysis of the position: 43... Rxa3 44. f5! (44. Re7!? Ra1 45. Rxe6+ Kb5! 46. Re7 a3 47. Ra7 a2 48. Kc3 d4+ 49. Kb2 Rf1 50. Kxa2 Rxf4 51. Rxg7 unclear ) 44... exf5 45. gxf5 Rf3 (45... Ra1 46. Rxg7 a3 47. Rg2 a2?? (47... Rd1+ 48. Kc3) 48. Rd2+-) 46. e6 a3 47. Rxg7 Rxf5 48. Ra7=

44. Rxg7!?

44... Ra2+ 45. Kc3 Rxh2 46. Rxe6+ Kc5 47. Ra6 d4+ 48. Kd3 Rh3+ 49. Kd2 a3 50. e6 Re3?

Black likely has a win here by 50... a2! 51. e7 Re3 52. Rxa2 (52. Ra7 Rxe7) 52... Rxe7

51. f5! Kb5 52. Ra8 Kc4 53. Rc8+ Kb3 54. Rb8+ Ka2?

54... Kc4 55. Rc8+ Kb3 56. Rb8+=

This makes it easy, though the conclusion is not easy to foresee in time pressure. White would have only a study-like win after 55... Re5! 56. Kd3 Rxf5 57. e7! (57. Kxd4 Rf1 58. e7 Re1 59. e8=Q Rxe8 60. Rxe8 Kb2! 61. Rb8+ Kc2 actually looks like a draw.) 57... Re5 58. e8=Q Rxe8 59. Rxe8 Kb2 60. Re2+!! Kb1!! (60... Kb3 61. Re7!+- and White picks up one pawn on the kingside and then sacs the rook for the a-pawn and lets the king do the rest. 61... a2 62. Rxg7 a1=Q 63. Rb7+ Ka2 64. Ra7+ Kb2 65. Rxa1 Kxa1 66. Kxd4 etc.) 61. Kc4 a2 62. Kb3!! a1=N+!! 63. Kc4 Nc2 and it will not be easy, though Fritz thinks White still wins....

56. Rxb3 Kxb3 57. e7 a2 58. e8=Q a1=Q 59. Qb5+ Ka2 60. Qa4+ Kb1 61. Qxa1+ Kxa1 62. f6

Black resigns. A nice finish by White.

1-0

[Mike Goeller ]

Pat Mazzillo (1400) - Ted Mann (1476) [C21]

Kenilworth Chess Club Ch. U-1800/Kenilworth, NJ USA (3) 2006

1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Nxc3 Bc5 5. Bc4 Ne7?

Tactically flawed. Better 5... d6

6. Bxf7+! Kxf7 7. Qh5+ Ng6 8. Qd5+! Kf8 9. Qxc5+ d6 10. Qd5

White has regained the pawn with a clear advantage due to Black's King in the center. But he does have to be careful of his exposed Queen.

11. Nf3

11... Qe8! 12. Nf3 Be6 13. Qb5

13. Qd2

14.

14... Kf7 15. Rfe1 a6 16. Qe2 Rf8 17. Rad1 Kg8

Having "castled by hand," as they say, Black has equalized.

18. Nd5 Rf7 19. Be3? h6?! 19... Bg4! would destroy White's kingside castle position.

20... Bg4!

21. Nxe5 Nxe5 22. Qc2 c6 23. Nf4 Ng4 24. Nxe6

24... Qxe6 25. b3 Rbf8 26. Qd2 Qe5

26... Nxf2!? 27. Bxf2 Rxf2 28. Qxf2 Rxf2 29. Kxf2 Qe5 gives some winning chances.

27. Qxd6 Qxd6 28. Rxd6 Nxf2 29. Bxf2 Rxf2 30. Rd7 Rxa2 31. Red1??

White must prevent Black from doubling his Rooks on the seventh by 31. Rf1! after which it will be hard for Black to win the Rook ending.

White resigns

0-1

[Geoff McAuliffe and Mike Goeller]