Recent Chess Games

Auburn Chess Club Quick Chess

February 21st, 2016

[Comment by Original Life Master Arthur Braden]

** Game #1 **

Time Control: Game 23 with Delay 2 seconds

White: David Berry [Quick Chess Rating: 1072]

Black: Nathan Musil [Quick Chess Rating: 1312]

1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 c5 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. O-O e5 5. d3

The KIA or King’s Indian Attack has been a very popular choice in tournaments, certainly popularized when it was adopted by the late and former World Champion GM Bobby Fischer (although Fischer often played an early e4, often on move 1).  Black has many plans here including 5. … f6 (Reverse Samisch) or 5. … g6 (Reverse Catalan) or 5. … Be7 (anticipating Bg5) or the ultra-aggressive 5. … f5.  Black chooses the old traditional approach.

5. … Nf6 6. Re1?

This move is misguided since it is not yet clear if the e-file can be opened.  For example, if white plays for e4 then black can keep the file closed with … d4.  Additionally, if these pawn moves occur then white will often play for f2-f4 at some point, which means the rook would be better placed on the f-file.  I would have preferred 6. Bg5 to possibly eliminate the f6 knight in keeping with white’s opening plan for controlling the white squares, i.e. e4 and d5, 6. Nbd2 (preparing e4), 6. e4 or 6. c4, all of which are playable.

6. … Be7 7. c3 O-O 8. e4 d4!

Now white can regret his 6th move because the rook has no purpose on e1.  The next move on the score sheet shows 9. Nd3 which is illegal, so I digress. 🙂

** Game #2 **

White: Michael Shaw [Quick Chess Rating: 1331]

Black: Doug Gray [Quick Chess Rating: 1266]

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 d6

This ultra-solid approach does not offer black as much as moves like 2. … Nf6 or 2. … f5.

3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Nc6

It is not easy to see what black’s approach to the center will be to counteract white’s control of the white squares e4 and d5.  Maybe a better try for black is 4. … Be7, 5. … c6 (to temporarily blunt white’s light square control), and 6. … Nbd7, although this setup is a bit passive.

5. d3 Bf5?

The bishop would do better supporting the d5 square with 5. … Be6.

6. a3!?

After 6. Nf3 Be7 7. d4! it would be clear that black’s misplaced bishop on f5 has not helped black fight for the center as it is a target; for example if 7. … e4 8. Ng5! demonstrates that white has much better control of the central white squares than black does.  If white wants to play for b4 then 6. Rb1! would be a better supported approach.

6. … Be7 7. b4 a6 8. Nf3 h6?

Because of the congestion on the kingside (black can not organize pawn play there) black would “welcome” exchanges in the event that white plays Bg5.  After 8. … O-O 9. Bg5? h6! and black puts the “question to the bishop” with tempo.


9. O-O Qc8?!

Why not 9. … Qd7? Since either move supports … Bh3 there seems no reason why black should not keep his queen clear of the rooks on the back rank (and expose the black queen on the c-file after Nd5 Nxd5 cxd5), since now after a future … Bh3 white need not take, leaving the black queen on the more congestive c8 square.

10. Re1?!

10. Bb2 is a more straightforward approach as white need not worry about … Bh3 because black has not other operations on the queenside to counter white’s simultaneous development, i.e. 10. Bb2 Bh3 11. Nd5! (pressuring e7 and c7 and inviting black to open the c-file if he exchanges knights as the Q has chosen c8) 11. … Bxg2 12. Kxg2 O-O 13. Rc1! and white is making progress on the queenside while black is not getting anywhere in the center or kingside.

10. … Bh3 11. Bh1 Qg4 !?

True to Doug’s aggressive nature he tries to stir up the pot on the kingside.

12. e3?

This move is unnecessary and slow.  12. Nd5! takes advantage of the missing black queen on c8 and prepares for aggressive play on the queenside after the follow-up moves Bb2 and Rc1.

12. … Nh5?

This knight can not be sacrificed on g3 and it can not go to f4, so this move only slows down Doug’s desired attack.  12. … h5! gives black a chance for better play on the kingside, i.e. 13. Bb2!? h4!

13. b5?!

13. d4! would counter black’s folly on the kingside with strong central play, accentuating the misplaced N on h5 which can not assist in the center.

13. … axb5 14. Nxb5?

This move allows black to get back on track by retreating the queen to d7.  After 14. cxb5 white continues to pry open the white squares to accentuate the fact that he has chosen to keep his h1 bishop.

14. … Bd8

Black misses his chance to reorganize in the center and on the queenside with 14. … Qd7.  Now it is clear the bishop will block out his own rook on a8 which can not assist on the kingside (his piece play suggest this is the area where he wishes to continue attacking).

15. Rb1

Because black has abandoned the center with … Ng5 and … Bd8 he should play for the center with 15. d4!

15. … O-O! 16. Rb2?

Black has no attack on the queenside and white continues to play a bit tooo conservatively.  16. Nd2 threatens to exchange queens on the kingside and nullify black’s pressure there “while” opening the bishop on h1 to apply more pressure to the d5, c6, b7 white square complex.

16. … Qg6!?

It is not clear what Doug will achieve with this move.

17. Qb3

White misses his chance.  Notice that the bishop on d8 is trying to prevent white from playing Ng4 and prevent white from taking on c7.  Thus 17. Nxc7!! Bxc7 18. Nh4 Qe6 19. Rxb7 undermines the knight on c6 and attack the bishop simultaneously, which recovers the piece and breaks down black’s chance to hold off white on the queenside.

17. … Bf6?

Drops the c7 pawn allowing white to finally crash through there.

18. e4

White is afraid of the move … e4 that attacks his rook on b2 and the knight on f3.  However 18. Nxc7! e4? 19. Nxa8!  exf3 20. Nc7 extricating the knight with extra material in hand.

18. … Be6 19. Be3 (19. Nxc7?)

… and black’s next move on the scoresheet is … f5 so once again I digress. 🙂