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A pretty knight journey February 21, 2009

Posted by dorigo in chess, games, personal.
Tags: , ,

I give below the moves of a blitz game I played tonight on the Internet Chess Club. The moves are not accurate, as we had just five minutes each to complete the game, and we are both dilettantes. But the attack I played was so simple it played itself, so maybe this is a good training example… I am white against a first-category player (HerrTrigger his ICC handle).

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 d5 9.exd5 cxd5 10.Bg5 c6 11.Qf3,
Up to now, nothing of our own making – you can find the above sequence on any chess opening book. It is called “Scotch game”; this particular variation is not known for causing black any particular opening problem, but white’s setup is solid and lends itself to a quick kingside surge, if black does not play the most accurate moves.

Sub-optimal. Black has to be careful of his dark squares, and the pin of the Nf6 required more attention. Now white gets a clear initiative.
The start of a straightforward idea – Ne2-d4-f5 will further weaken the dark squares around the black king.
12…. Rb8 13.Nd4
Now Nxc6 is threatened, and the queen cannot defend the pawn since it is tied to the defence of the Nf6.
But this is surely a mistake. Black places the lightsquared bishop on a passive square, blocking the open b-file for some counterplay by the Rb8, and totally leaves the f5 square undefended.
14.Nf5 Be5

This is the position bfore the  start of the final attack. First of all, the black bishop is targeted, gaining a tempo with the rook.
15.Rfe1 Qc7
Now black threatens Bxh2+, but this is not really a problem for white. Instead, the logical conclusion of the knight manouver is in the air…
If now black takes the N, white wins both by 17.Qf5 and by means of the pretty 17.Rxe5! Qxe5 (17…. hxg5 18.Rxg5+ Kh8 19.Qxf6 mate) 18.Bxf6, and black is soon mated (18…Qe6 19.Qg3+).
16….Kh8 17.Bxf6!

The simplest way to win. Black resigned, since on both 17….Bxf6 and 17….gxf6 there follows 18.Qf5 and there is no way to avert Qxh7 mate, while on 17….Bxh2+ 18.Kh1 Qf4 19.Qh5 Qxf6 (19….Qxh6?20.Qxh6) 20.Nxf7+! Kg8 21.Bxh7+ is mate. The Nc3-e2-d4-f5-h6 manouver is pretty in this game, since all the moves are active, and by threatening in turn the c6 pawn, the d6 bishop, and the king the knight takes the lion’s share of merit for the attack.

One word of warning: the above variations are the result of some thoughts on the game diagram, without even moving pieces on a real chessboard, let alone running a check with Fritz. So I am most likely going to be refuted by deeper silicon analysis… To me, the game and the variations still look quite logical in their development and conclusion!


1. carlbrannen - February 21, 2009

Fritz liked it, but with 10. Bg5

2. dorigo - February 21, 2009

Oops Carl, you are right, it was a typo. Changed.

3. Fred - February 21, 2009

Hi Carl & Tommaso,

Have either of you been currently following the Kamsky-Topolov challenge in Sofia. Game 4 is currently online. I’ll check out this post once the other match is over.

dorigo - February 22, 2009

Hi Fred,

thanks for the notice… No, I have not followed that match. Too many things, too little time…


4. Fred - February 23, 2009

Fortunately for me, the games usually start at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time, usually enough time before I have to be at work. Even at work, I’m able to leave the computer on and check periodically as the matches have been lasting 3+ hours. The games have been on chessdom.com with commentary. Game five starts in 15 minutes.


There is also the Torneo de Ajedrez Linares 2009 running through March 8 with this cast of characters which can also be followed live online at the same sight:

Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov
Wang Yue
Alexander Grischuk
Lenier Dominguez

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