Saturday, November 23, 2013

Chess Camp Curiosities: Part 2

Well if you thought Game 1 from my previous article was hilarious, then you haven't seen Game 2. As quoted by Khaarthik (or was it someone else? I can't remember correctly), "Fritz is gonna have a very fun time analyzing this game!"

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. d4 exd4
4. Bc4 Bc5
5. c3 dxc3?!

Had Black known what was to befall him in the next move, he would probably have declined the gambit and  continued with a developing move like 5... Nf6

6. Bxf7+!? (D)


6... Kf8

Surprisingly, Black has nothing to lose by accepting the sacrifice now-- after the variation 6... Kxf7 7. Qd5+ Ke8 8. Qxc5 d6!? 9. Qxc3 Nf6 Black has managed to catch up in development, even though White retains a slight advantage over here (possibly because Black is no longer able to castle naturally)

7. Bxg8 Rxg8
8. Nxc3 d6
9. O-O

And now White has a clear lead in development, similar to Game 1

9... Bg4
10. h3 Bh5 (D)

11. Qd5

A much better move proposed by Fritz was 11. g4! where after 11... Bf7 12. Ng5 White has a strong attack. This, coupled with Black's awkward kingside position, will be enough to throw Black into disarray

11... Bxf3
12. Qf5+ Qf6
13. Qxf3 Qxf3
14. gxf3 Nd4
15. Kg2 Ke7
16. Nd5+ Kd7
17. Be3 c6
18. Bxd4 Bxd4
19. Nc3 g5 (D)

The tides are changing...

After a series of exchanges in the middlegame, Black has actually solved most of his problems, and has even managed to launch a counterattack of his own. White's messed-up pawn structure on the kingside is no longer to his advantage.

20. Rad1 Be5
21. Kh1 Raf8
22. Rd3 h5
23. Rg1

23. Rfd1? leads to 23... g4 24. hxg4 hxg4 and Black is on the verge of breaking through the kingside

23... Rf4
24. Ne2 Rh4
25. Kg2 g4!
26. hxg4 hxg4
27. Kf1 (D)

Black still has a slight advantage over here, but if White can evacuate his king in time from the danger zone he can play into an equal endgame.

27... Rh3
28. Rb3 Kc7
29. fxg4 Rxb3
30. axb3 Bxb2
31. f4 d5
32. exd5 cxd5

And indeed the game is now equal-- both sides have passed pawns of their own, but have sufficient strength to blockade each other. It is now a matter of who can march his passed pawns to the promised land first.

33. f5 d4
34. Nf4 Kd7? (D)

Under the pressure Black probably missed 34... Bc1 35. Nd3 Bg5, where the blockade of both White's passed pawns ensures an eventual draw. Now,

35. g5 Ke7

And Black misses the chance again; 35... Bc1 could still have stopped the pawns!

36. f6+ Kf7
37. Ke2 Bc3
38. Kd3 Re8

38... b6 was the move suggested by Fritz, but even so White now has a lasting advantage.

39. Rg3 b5?
 40. Nd5 Bb2
41. g6+ Kf8
42. Nc7

The other variations suggested during post-game analysis were 42. Ne7 Rb8 and 42. Rh3!? Re3+

42... Re3+
43. Rxe3 dxe3

Black tries his best to advance his own pawn but it is evident that White is winning the race

44. f7 Bg7
45. Ne6+! Ke7
46. Nxg7 (D)

White will simply pick off the e3 pawn with his king, before moving over to escort his own pawns to the 8th rank.

Part 1:

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