(1) Thomson,Simon (2015) - Stoyko,Steve (2253) [C05]
Garden State Chess League 2009-10 Kenilworth, NJ (4), 07.01.2010
[Goeller, Michael]

C05 French Defense Tarrasch Variation

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ndf3
A thematic Knight reshuffling. The Ng1 will go to e2 and both Knights will defend the critical dark squares, especially d4.

"In order to determine White's pawn structure" notes Viktor Moskalenko in The Flexible French.' [7...Qb6 is also good, of course.]

[8.Nxd4 Nc5 "Black frees his passive Knight on d7" (Moskalenko), heading for e4 perhaps.]

An older move in this position, which clears the way for queenside development and and an attack on that wing.

9.Bd3 Bd7
[9...a5 10.g4?! h5! 11.gxh5 (11.g5 g6 locks down the kingside completely) 11...Rxh5=/+ 0-1 Jansa,V-Nikolic,Z/Vrnjacka Banja 1983 (43)]

10.Ne2 a5

The battle-lines are clearly drawn: Black will play on thequeenside and White needs to take action on the kingside, even if his King must castle there. One interesting game with the line went: [10...h5 Goeller,Michael 11.0-0 a5 12.Nc3 g6 13.Be3 a4 14.Bf2 Be7 15.Rc1 Na5 16.b3 axb3 17.axb3 Nc6 18.h3 Nb4 19.Bb1 Nc8 20.g4! hxg4 21.hxg4 Na7 22.Kg2 Bc6 23.Rh1 Kd7!? 24.Qe2 Qa5 25.Ng5 Rxh1 26.Rxh1 Rf8 27.Qb2 Bb5 28.Qd2 Nbc6 29.Qe3 Qb4 30.Nxd5 exd5 31.Nxf7 Na5 32.Bxg6 Qxb3 33.Rh7 Qxe3 34.Bxe3 N7c6 35.Nd6 Nc4 36.Bf5+ Kd8 37.Bf2 Ba6 38.Nf7+ Ke8 39.g5 Nd8 40.g6 Nb2 41.Nd6+ 1-0 Bauer,C-Claesen,P/Mondariz ESP 2000 -- it's mate next move!]

11.0-0 a4 12.Kh1!?N
[White typically takes time out for 12.a3 Na5! but Black has play on the light squares.]

12...a3! 13.b3 Nb4 14.Bb1 Bb5 15.f5! Be7 16.Qd2 Nc6
[16...0-0? 17.f6! ]

17.Bd3 Bxd3 18.Qxd3 Nb4 19.Qb5+ Qd7!
The exchange of queens reduces the danger of White's kingside attack, but White seems to retain a slight initiative in the battle that follows.

[20.Qxb6? Ra6-/+ ]

20...Qxb5 21.Nxb5 Ra5 22.Nd6+!
[a) 22.Nxa3?! 0-0! with the idea of Rfa8 is strong for Black.; b) 22.Nc3?! exf5 23.Ne1 0-0 planning f6 or Rc8 also favors Black.]

22...Bxd6 23.exd6 0-0!
[23...Nc8?! 24.Bf4|^ ; 23...exf5 24.Re1+ Kd7? 25.Ne5++- ]

[24.Ne5 exf5= ]

24...fxe6 25.Bd2 Rb5[] 26.Ne5 Rxf1+!
Stoyko is prepared to sac a piece for White's d-pawn, so long as he gains a strong passer on the queenside.

27.Rxf1 Nxa2 28.d7 Nxd7[] 29.Nxd7 h6 30.Nc5!?
The Knight cannot really hold the b-pawn, but White cannot passively defend it in any case: [a) 30.Rf3 Nb4 31.Rf8+ Kh7 32.Ra8 Na6 33.Nf8+ Kg8 34.Nxe6+ Kf7 35.Nd8+ Ke7 36.Nxb7 Rxb3 37.Kg1 (37.Rxa6?? Rb1+ 38.Be1 Rxe1# ) 37...Nc7 38.Rxa3 Rxb7 (38...Rxa3 39.Bb4++- ) 39.Bf4= ; b) 30.Rb1?! Nb4=/+ 31.Bxb4 (31.Ra1? Nc2 32.Ra2 Rxb3!-+ ) 31...Rxb4 32.Kg1 b5 33.Nc5 Rxd4 34.Ra1 b4-/+ ]

30...b6 31.Nxe6 Rxb3
Black's potentially connected passed pawns offer at least sufficient compensation for the piece. White must now continue his attack on the kingside, which should gain him a draw.

Threatening to hem in Black's King with h5. White's kingside attack appears to force a draw. Thomson's mistake seems to have been in trying for more. [32.Kg1 b5 (32...Rb2 33.Rd1 b5 ) 33.Rf8+ Kh7 34.Ra8 Rd3=/+ ]


Though forces are much reduced, the complications of the position are incredible and very difficult to calculate in time pressure. Stoyko moved quickly here and turned a forced draw into a win. [32...b5!? 33.h5! Nc3[] (33...b4?? 34.Kh2!! Nc3 35.Rf8+ Kh7 36.Nf4!! g5[] 37.hxg6+ Kg7 38.Rf7+ Kg8 39.Ne6 a2 40.Rf8# ) 34.Bxh6! (34.Rf8+ Kh7 35.Ra8 Na4 36.Nf8+ Kg8 37.Ng6+ Kf7-/+ ) 34...gxh6 (34...Rb1 35.Rxb1 Nxb1 36.Bc1 b4 37.Nc5+/= ) 35.Rf8+ Kh7 36.Rf7+ Kg8 37.Rf8+= with a draw by perpetual check.]

[33.Bxh6! gxh6 (33...Nc3!? 34.Rf8+ Kh7 35.Bxg7~~ appears to favor White) 34.h5= and White draws with the Rf8+ and Rf7+ perpetual we saw above.]

33...Kh7 34.Bf4?(+)
[34.Ra8 Goeller,Michael 34...Rxd2 35.Rxa3 Re2-/+ ]

34...Nc3 35.Ra8 a2 36.Kh2 Rb1?!
An error. [a) 36...Kg6! is most precise, when 37.Be5 Kf5! (37...Rb5 38.Nxg7 Ra5? 39.Rf8!-> ) 38.Nxg7+ Ke4-+ and Black escapes any mating nets or perpetual threats and wins with his passed pawns.; b) 36...b5?! 37.Be5 Rb1? (37...Rf2[] 38.Ra7 Kg6 39.Nxg7 h5 (39...Na4?? 40.h5+ Kh7 41.Ne6+ Kg8 42.Rg7+ Kh8 43.Rf7+ Kg8 44.Rxf2 and forces mate) 40.Ra6+ Kh7 41.Ra7 and White appears to force a draw, e.g.: 41...Na4 42.Nf5+ Kg6 43.Ne7+ Kf7 44.Nf5+ Ke8 45.Ng7+ Kd8 46.Ne6+ Ke8[] 47.Ng7+ etc.) 38.Ra7 Re1 39.Nf8+ Kg8 40.Ng6 Rxe5[] 41.dxe5 Na4 42.e6 a1Q 43.Ra8+ Kh7 44.h5+- Diagram


In time pressure, both players missed the possibility of attacking the Knight at c6 with Bd2, gaining two pieces for Rook and pawn, when White should be able to draw. [37.Nf8+!? (This might be more precise than the immediate Bd2) 37...Kg8 38.Ng6+ Kf7 39.Ne5+ Ke6 40.Bd2 a1Q 41.Rxa1 Rxa1 42.Bxc3 Ra3 43.Bb4 Ra4 44.Bc3 (44.Bf8? Rxd4-/+ ) 44...Ra3= ]

37...a1Q 38.Rxg7+? Kh8 39.Be5 Rh1+ 40.Kg3 Qe1+-+
A fascinating game, which allowed Kenilworth to draw the match with Summit despite poor performances on other boards. 0-1