Andy Lee - Steven Krasnov
Fall Tuesday Night Marathon (2) 2011
One problem with the Philidor is deciding what move order to use. Traditional methods via 1.e4 e5 have fallen short. For example: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nd7 (3...Nf6 4.dxe5! Nxe4 5.Qd5 Nc5 6.Bg5 is better for White.) 4.Bc4 c6
a) 4...Be7 5.dxe5 dxe5 6.Qd5 winning.
b) 4...Ngf6 5.dxe5 dxe5 (5...Nxe5 6.Nxe5 dxe5 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Qxd8 Bb4+ 9.Qd2 Bxd2+ 10.Nxd2) 6.Ng5 winning.
5.0-0 Be7 6.dxe5 dxe5 (6...Nxe5? 7.Nxe5 dxe5 8.Qh5) 7.Ng5 Bxg5 8.Qh5 and White recovers the piece with the bishop pair providing him a small but pleasant advantage.
Nowadays the Philidor is reached much more commonly via 1...d6.
1...d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nbd7
3...e5 is perhaps even a better way to play for those that don't mind allowing White the possibility of trading queens. After 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.Bc4 Black can choose between 6...Be6, 6...Ke8 and 6...Bb4 all of which have high level GM backing.
4.f4, 4.Be3 and 4.g4 are more aggressive attempts to try to exploit Black's opening move order.
4...e5 5.Bc4 Be7 6.Bxf7+?!
6.0-0 0-0 is the main tabiya or starting point for the Philidor. The text is best explained by knowing that Andy thought that Steven's move order was bad and that he should be able to exploit it - hence the text.
The bishop sacrifice leads to interesting play but objectively Black should be doing fine. Andy was quite surprised to learn after the game that it was he, and not Steven, that was taking the game into less-chartered territory.
6...Kxf7 7.Ng5+ Kg8 8.Ne6 Qe8 9.Nxc7 Qg6 10.0-0
The greedy capture 10.Nxa8 allows 10...Qxg2 11.Rf1 exd4 12.Qxd4 Ne5 when Black's pieces are extremely active. For example: 13.f4 Nfg4 14.fxe5 Bh4+ winning.
This is the most natural move. Andy wants to activate his queen bishop and open the f-line for his rook.
This move seemingly allows White to realize all his plans. One might think that 11...exd4 and if 12.Qxd4 then 12...d5 was better but Steven has correctly judged that his move 11...exf4 offers more possibilities.
12.Bxf4 Nb6 13.e5 Bg4 14.Qe1 Nh5?!
14...dxe5 15.dxe5 Nh5 was much stronger denying White the opportunity to capture on d6.
15.N3d5 Nxd5 16.Nxd5 Re8?
This allows Andy to show his fine tactical eye. Steven had to play 16...Bf8!.
17.exd6! Bf8 18.Be5 h6 19.Rxf8+! Kxf8 20.Qb4! a5 21.Qxb7??
What a pity. 21.Qb3! was killing and would have allowed Andy to finish the job he started with 17.exd6.
21...Bf3! 22.Nf4 Bxb7??
Steven misses the beautiful22...Qxg2+! when 23.Nxg2 Bxb7 leaves White a rook down for an insufficient number of pawns.
And now White is winning again.
23...Kg8 24.Rf1 Kh7 25.Nxh8 Rxh8 26.Rf7 Bd5 27.Ra7 Kg6 28.Rxa5
Five passed pawns on the queenside is way too much for Black to handle.
28...Be6 29.b3 Nf6 30.Bxf6 Kxf6 31.c4 Rd8 32.Ra6 Bc8 33.Ra8 Ke6 34.c5 Re8 35.Ra7 Rg8 36.Kf2 g5 37.Ke3 h5 38.Ke4 Re8 39.d5+ Kf6+ 40.Re7! Rxe7+ 41.dxe7 Kxe7 42.Ke5 Ba6 43.c6 Bf1 44.g3 Bd3 45.b4 Bb5 46.d6+ Kd8 47.Kd5 1-0
It's still possible to enter this nine-round event with byes for rounds 1 and 2.
2) San Francisco Mechanics' 2 - Dallas Destiny 2 in Week 9 of USCL Action
The Mechanics' had a very tough time this past Wednesday as neither they nor Dallas could afford a loss in the battle for the last two playoff spots in the Western Division of the US Chess League. The Mechanics' got outstanding efforts from its top two boards.
Bercys (2576) - Bhat (2555)
Dallas - San Francisco 2011
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.Nf3 c5 6.dxc5 Na6 7.c6!?
White had a multitude of choices here including 7.Bd2; 7.a3; 7.g3; 7.e3; 7.Bg5 and; 7.Bf4 The text is an idea of Morozevich to unbalance the pawn structure. He introduced it in 2008 and scored 4 1/2 from 6 with it against 2700+ opposition.
This isn't forced. Ponomariov once captured with the d-pawn and Ivanchuk tried 7...d5!?
8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.Qxc3 Nc5 10.Be3
This looks like a novelty. 10.Qc2 a5 11.Be3 has been played a couple of times.
10...Nce4 11.Qc2 d5 12.Nd2
White would like to fianchetto his king bishop and castle but 12.g3 is strongly met by 12...Ng4.
12...Ba6 13.Nxe4 Nxe4 14.c5
White could consider the pawn sacrifice 14.g3 Bxc4 15.Bg2 f5 16.0-0 when he has finally finished his development. The only problem with this is that Black is a pawn up with no visible compensation for the first player beyond the bishop pair which at present are doing nothing special.
14...f5 15.g3 e5
15...Rb8 was a worthy alternative planning...Qa5+ just before White has time to castle kingside..
White has castled but whether his king is safe is another matter.
16...Rb8 17.f3 Nf6
17...Ng5 18.f4 (trying to grab the dark squares) 18...Ne4! 19.fxe5 Bc4 offers Black excellent compensation for the pawn as does the play in the game.
18.Qxf5 Qe7 19.Qc2 Bc4
Imagine having to defend this position which would certainly be no fun. Then add to it that you have only a few minutes left and you have to give IM Bercys great credit for hanging on long enough until Vinay was also low on time. The play soon becomes great entertainment for the spectators and torture for the players.
20.b4 a5 21.Bd2 axb4 22.axb4
22.Bxb4 , keeping the a-file closed, was another possibility, but 22...Qe6 (or maybe thestraightforward 22...Rb7 23.e3 Bxf1 24.Rhxf1 Rfb8) 23.e3 Bxf1 24.Rhxf1 e4 25.f4 Rb5 looks pretty good for Black - but so does the game continuation.
22...Ra8 23.Bc3 Ra2
Part of Vinay's problem here is there are so many attractive possibilities. He had around a minute at this stage to choose between the text and 23...Bb5, 23...e4 and 23...Ra3.
24.Bb2 Rb8 25.Qc3 Qf7 26.e3 Bxf1 27.Rhxf1 d4!
27...Qa7 was also strong but text is very thematic (bringing the knight into play) and should be decisive.
28.exd4 Nd5 29.Qb3 Qa7 30.Rf2 Rxb4 31.Qd3 Qa4
Not surprisingly, with White's king so exposed, Black has more than one way to win. Besides the text 31...exd4 32.Bxd4 (32.Re2 Ne3 33.Rxe3 Qxc5+ 34.Bc3 Ra1+ 35.Kc2 Rb2+ 36.Kxb2 Qa3+ 37.Kc2 Qa4+ 38.Kb2 Qa2#) 32...Rxf2 33.Bxf2 Qa2 would have done the job.
32.dxe5 Rc4+ 33.Kb1 Rb4?!
Vinay's position is winning but he was living on the increment already. Every move he would go down to 5 seconds and after Bercys, who was also low on time played his move quickly; there was no time for a good think. Here 33...Rxb2+! 34.Kxb2 (34.Rxb2 Nc3+ 35.Kc1 Nxd1+) 34...Qb5+ was a clear win.
34.Kc1 Rb3 35.Qe4 Qa5?
Missing another win with 35...Ra1+ 36.Bxa1 Qxa1+ 37.Kd2 Qa5+ 38.Kc1 Qa3+ 39.Kd2 Re3 40.Qd4 Qa2+ The text not only overlooks another win it should in fact lose.
36.Rxd5 wins. For example: 36...cxd5 (36...Ra1+ 37.Bxa1 Qxa1+ Had Bercys any time left he would have undoubtedly found the win. 38.Kd2 Rb2+ 39.Ke3 Qc1+ 40.Rdd2) 37.Qxd5+ Kf8 38.Qxb3.
36...Rba3! (tripling on the file!) wins immediately.
37.Qd4 Ra4 38.Rc4 Ra2 39.e6!
Vinay's teammates were in the initial stages of cardiac arrest at this point but he, at least to outward appearances, was his usual unflappable self.
40.Rb4! with the nasty idea of Rb8+ and meeting 40...h6 with the pretty overload 41.Rb8+ Kh7 42.Ra8 was winning. Vinay not switches from chess to checkers and wins with a triple jump.
40...Ra1+ 41.Bxa1 Qxa1+ 42.Kd2 Qxd1+ 0-1
This brings Vinay's 2011 individual USCL record to 2.5 from 4 against GMs Shulman, Khachiyan and Becerra plus IM Bercys and he had black in all four games.
His current USCF rating of 2555 makes him only the 31st ranked player in the league but the USCL has its own special arena and here he really shines.
Before this season Vinay had scored 21 points from 32 games in the USCL for a performance rating of2644. It appears that only Hikaru Nakamura (2704), Julio Becerra (2677), Larry Christiansen (2650) and Joel Benjamin (2648) have better performance going into this season for those who have played at least twenty games in the USCL.
The following effort by Jesse was selected The Game of the Week by the USCL judges.
Kraai (2567) - Sadorra (2561)
B48 Sicilian Taimanov
San Francisco-Dallas 2011
One thing that makes GM Jesse Kraai hard to prepare for is that while he normally plays 1.Nf3 and 2.c4 every so often he slips in 1.e4 to keep his opponents off balance.
1...c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Bd3 Nf6 8.0-0 h5 9.h3 b5 10.Nxc6 Qxc6 11.Re1
This move is not commonly seen. Instead 11.a3; 11.Be2 and 11.e5 all have been extensively tested.
11...b4 12.Ne2 Bb7
Black can capture the pawn but after 12...Nxe4 13.Nd4 Qd5 14.a3 (to open lines) White has full compensation in his better development. Jesse is good at setting problems for his opponents where the comparatively fast time control (G/75 with a 30 second increment) favors the player with the initiative. Sadorra did a lot of thinking at this stage of the game and soon found himself battling the clock as well as the position on the board.
13.Nd4 Qc7 14.Bg5 Qe5?!
Here 14...Bc5 looks more solid. The following pawn grab might just be playable but Black will have to defend very carefully.
Having attacked the pawn Black is more or less obliged to follow through. After 15...Qc7 16.Rc1 intending c3 or 16.Qd2 Bc5 17.a3 bxa3 18.b4 Bb6 19.Rxa3 both favor White. Once the first player succeeds in opening up the position it becomes clear there is no happy home for Black's king.
16...bxa3?? 17.Rb1 catching the bishop on b7 is but one point of Jesse's play.
17.Bd2 Bc5 18.Rb1
18.Bf4 d6 19.Bb5+ Ke7 20.e5 was a very interesting alternative.
19.Ra1 Qb2 20.Rb1 is just a draw.
White was threatening Ra1 and Nc4 trapping the queen. The text meets that threat but overlooks a clever "backward" move by White. Critical was 19...Rc8 when Houdini offers the following crazy line. 20.Nc4 Qa4 21.Ra1 Qc6 22.Nxa5 Qb6 23.Qf3 Ng4 24.hxg4 hxg4 25.Qe2 Bxf2+ 26.Qxf2 Rh1+ 27.Kxh1 Qxf2 28.Nxb7 Qxd2 29.Nd6+ Kd8 30.Nxc8 Kxc8 The Silicon Oracle says equal chances in this highly unbalanced position.
20.Bxa6 Rxa6 21.Nd3!
Retreating moves are often missed. The knight not only attacks the bishop it also covers b2 so Ra1 threatens to trap the queen.
This seemingly answers both threats. Now the coup de grace comes.
22...Bxc3 23.Bxc3 Qxc3 (23...bxc3 24.Rb8+) 24.Rc1 picks up a rook. Jesse finishes in convincing fashion.
23.Rb8+ Ke7 24.Bc1 Qa2 25.Rxh8 Rd6 26.e5 Bxe5 27.Rxe5 Qb1 28.Re3 Nd5 29.Re1 1-0