Home Page Chess Life Online Archives The September Check is in the Mail
|The September Check is in the Mail|
|By Alex Dunne|
|September 21, 2015|
Thomas Babcock First
Thomas Babcock won the 2013 John Collins 13C04 with a score of 4 ½-1 ½ adding a third John Collins victory to his wins in the '08 and '09 tournaments.
GAME OF THE MONTH
In the Game of the Month for September there are two games. The first game is the opening stage which belongs to White who plays well to establish an edge.
The second happens after Black equalizes around Move 20 and then gradually outplays White to win the endgame.
1.c4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3
By far the most popular line against the English-Dutch, White elects to take indirect control of the critical e4 square (Bg2).
Black rejects the most common line here -- Kramnik-Vyzmanavin, Intel Rapid 1994: 3. ...g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5.. 00 00 6. d4 d6 7. Nc3 Qe8 8. d5 with a pull for White.
4.Bg2 Be7 5.0-0 0-0 6.b3
The position is still very flexible. White can choose between Kasparov-Short, Paris Rapid 1990 6. Nc3 d5 7. cxd5 exd5 8. e3 Kh8 9. b3 Nc6 += or Topalov-Lobron, Chess Classic 1991 6. d5 d6 7. Nc3 a5 8. Re1 +=
Kramnik-Gerber, Zurich 1999 saw 6...b6 7. Ne5 d5 8. d4 Bb7 9. Bb2 =
White chooses a more defensive setup negating Black's pressure on e4, but limiting his aggression in the center. Mikhailevski-Vogel, 18th Univ Open 2014 also saw equality but with a more lively position after 7. Bg2 Nc6 8. e3 Bd7 9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. d4 =
Black chooses a Stonewall formation, but that is somewhat questionable here as White has played d3 and the Stonewall typically needs the e4 square. A more aggressive setup would be Ernst-Semcesen, 18th HZ Open 2014: 7...Nc6 8. Bb2 a5 9. Nc3 when 9...d4 would be equal.
Black continues with the standard Stonewall maneuvers -- the Queen seeks h5 (or g6) for kingside pressure.
9.Nbd2 Nbd7 10.Re1
White could play 10. e4! immediately here as in Stuhlik-Bachofner, Vienna 2010: 10...dxe4 11. dxe4 Nc5 12. Ne5! Ncxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 dxe4 15. Qg4 Bc5 17. Qxe4 with an edge.
This is premature as White now demonstrates.
White can also improve by playing for e4 as in Strizhnev-Ruszczycki, IBCA 2000: 16. Qc2 Bc5 12. cxd5 exd5 when 13. Nd4 gives White the advantage.
11...fxe4 12.dxe4 Nc5 13.Ne5 Qxd1 14.Raxd1
White has established the superior position -- both his Bishops have healthy diagonals, his Rooks are better placed, and his Knights have fairly good squares.
An error that could have been fatal -- Black needed to safeguard the e7 Bishop against the combination based on 15. exd5 exd5 16. Nxc6! but this is not the way to do it.
After 15. exd5 exd5 16. cxd5 Nxd5 17. Ndc4 Nf6 18. Nd6 Black is in danger of being overrun by the White pieces.
15...Bb6 16.exd5 exd5 17.Nf1
White has a winning advantage after 17. cxd5 Nxd5 18. Ndc4 Nb4 19. Nxb6 axb6 20. Nc4 Rxa2 21. Nxb6 Nxb3 22. Bc3 Rfxf2 23. Bf1 !
17...dxc4 18.Nxc4 Bg4 19.f3 Bh5 20.Ne5
White keeps his hold on the game with 20. b4, but now Black equalizes in piece placement and a drawish result could be expected.
After 21. Bf2 the game is even.
21...Rfe8 22.g4 Bf7 23.Ba1 Nd5 24.Nxf7 Kxf7 25.Rxe8 Rxe8
The scene of battle has changed. White's pieces are in disarray and Black's are ready to follow Black's command.
26.Bd4 g6 27.Ng3 Re7
This is OK, but 27...Ne3 28. Bxe3 Rxe3 presents a problem of how to get the King into the fight.
Presenting a new weakness in the White position cannot be the right way here. 28. Bf1 repositioning the g2 Bishop looks better. White is playing for a Bishops of opposite color ending, but the presence of Rooks largely negates te drawing power of BOOC.
28...Nxe4 29.fxe4 Nf6 30.Bxf6 Kxf6 31.h4 Ke5 32.Kh2 Rf7 33.Rd2 Bd4 34.Kg3 c5 35.Rc2 b5
Black's remaining pieces dominate the board and the queenside majority will catch at least a piece.
36.Bf3 Rc7 37.g5 c4 38.bxc4 bxc4 39.Be2 c3 40.Bd3 Be3!
The Black King will soon enter the fray and White can concede.
41.a3 Kd4 42.Ba6 Kxe4 43.Kg4 Bd2 44.Bb5 Ke3 45.h5 gxh5+ 46.Kxh5 Rc5 47.Ba6 Kd4
A well-played endgame by Black. 0-1
Quote: Mr. Stass -"The Beast" on Hawaii Five-O said, "I never relished chess by mail. The pleasure of the game...of any game...is to look your opponent in the eye." Ah, people just don't understand, do they ? --J. Franklin Campbell
Carlos Molina 13C01 5-1
Thomas Babcock 13C04 4 ½-1 ½
Rchard Wienckowski 13C20 5 ½-½
Scott Parker 14SQ11 6-0
Jimmie Blevins 14SQ08 5-1
Jill Jaris 13Q09 6-0
Mark Reeves 14W37 5-1
Brian Higgins 14W37 5-1
Mohammed Khan 14W41 5 ½-½
Dwayne Hoffman 15W13 6-0
Edward Schweikert 15W08 4 ½-1 ½
Martin Laine of Lunenburg, Massachusetts was born on May 5, 1950, died on November 18, 2014.
SICILIAN DEFENSE (B28)
A tale of two fights. First - a fight to the bitter end.
FRENCH DEFENSE (C14)
Second: a comeback victory, but a fight all the way.
SICILIAN DEFENSE (B27)
White's 28 f3 sets an impossible defensive task.
RETI OPENING (A05)
Proving once again the Queen is the most powerful piece on the board.
CENTER COUNTER (B01)
A nifty Knight sacrifice on Move 32 leaves the majority of Black's army estranged from his King.
PIRC'S DEFENSE (B07)
A most difficult struggle.
Adjudicated a draw after 59. Rh7.
White's attack on the kingside is right to the point.
FRENCH DEFENSE (C18)
This game features some sharp sword play around the d5 square
QUEEN'S GAMBIT DECLINED (D55)