Queen's PawnD00
Three Knights 

Steve Stoyko
Michael Goeller

2005 Kenilworth Chess Club Championship (11)
Kenilworth, NJ USA, 2005


1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bf4 c6 4... Bg7 5. e3 Bg4! 6. Be2 Bxf3! 7. Bxf3 c6 8. Qd2 O-O 9. O-O-O Nbd7 10. g4 Nb6 11. h4 Nc4 12. Qd3 e5! 13. Bxe5 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Nd7 15. Be2 Nxe5 16. Qd2 b5 17. f4 Nd7= Blatny-Ragozin, Vienna 1991 5. e3 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. Ne5 Nfd7 8. h4 f6 8... Nxe5 9. dxe5!? 9. Nxd7 Nxd7 10. h5 e5 11. Bg3 Qb6 12. hxg6 hxg6 13. dxe5!? In a game at the US Amateur Teams, where I played fourth board to Steve's first board, he contested a game that continued instead 13. Na4 Qa5+ 14. c3 b5 15. Nc5+/= Unfortunately, distracted by my own game and three boards away, I did not see it and missed out on some useful knowledge going into the game. Steve assumed I had, and so he was looking to vary at some point -- which is probably what inspired the brilliant sac he came up with. 13... Nxe5 13... fxe5? 14. Nxd5!! cxd5 15. Qxd5+ Rf7 16. Bc4 Qf6 17. O-O-O-> and Fritz thinks White is winning. I knew that I probably had to take the b-pawn. After all, having said A, Black must say B. But I thought the Knight sac with Nxd5! was scary. After the game, Steve could not demonstrate a win for White to either of our satisfaction, and Fritz seems to only come up with a draw as well. But a little looking through the following variations suggests that it isn't something I'd want to venture into over the board, so I probably made the right decision. Here are some lines: 13... Qxb2! 14. Nxd5! cxd5 (Black cannot so easily decline the sacrifice, or White gets a killer attack on the opened a2-g8 diagonal practically for free, e.g.: 14... Nxe5? 15. Nc7! Qb4+ (15... Qc3+ 16. Kf1 Rb8 17. Qd4!!->) 16. c3! Qxc3+ 17. Kf1 Rb8 18. Rc1 Qa5 19. Bxe5 Qxe5 20. Bc4+ Rf7 21. Qd8+ Bf8 22. Bxf7+ Kxf7 23. Rh7+ Kg8 24. Rh8+! Kxh8 25. Qxf8+ Kh7 26. Ne8+-) 15. Qxd5+ Rf7[] 16. Bc4! (16. e6? Qxa1+ (or 16... Qc3+ 17. Kf1 Qxa1+ 18. Bd1 Ne5 19. exf7+ Nxf7-+) 17. Kd2 Qxh1 18. e7 Nf8 19. e8=Q Be6!-+) 16... Qxa1+ 17. Kd2 Qxh1 18. Qxf7+ Kh7 19. Bf4!? (The main line we looked at during and after the game was 19. Qg8+ Kh6[] 20. Bf4+ g5[] (20... Kh5?? 21. Qh7+ Kg4 22. Qxg6+ Kh4 23. Bg3#) 21. Bd3 f5[] 22. Bxf5 Nf8[] 23. Bxg5+ Kxg5 (23... Kh5? 24. g4+ Kxg5 25. Qxg7+ mates) 24. Qxg7+ Kxf5 and Fritz can find only a draw here with 25. Qf6+ Kg4 26. Qg7+ (26. Qf4+ Kh5 27. Qf7+ Kg5=) 26... Kf5 27. Qf6+= -- Steve thought there might be a line where the King could be forced to the h-file and then a check would win the Black Queen at h1, but it may have been an illusion.) 19... g5[] 20. Qg8+ (20. Bd3+? Kh8 21. Qe8+ Nf8! (21... Bf8?! 22. Bg3!? Qh6 23. e6 Nb6 24. e7 Bg4 25. Qxa8 Nxa8 26. e8=Q Nb6 27. Bd6 Kg8 28. Bxf8 Qxf8 29. Qg6+ Qg7 30. Qe8+=) 22. exf6 Qd1+! 23. Kxd1 Bg4+ 24. f3 Rxe8 25. Bxg5 Be6 26. fxg7+ Kxg7-+) 20... Kh6! (20... Kg6!? may also draw but seems much less clear after 21. Bf7+ Kf5[] (21... Kh6? 22. exf6 mates) 22. Qxg7 (22. Be6+!?) 22... gxf4 23. Bg6+ Kxe5~~) 21. Bd3 f5 22. Bxf5 Nf8 23. Bxg5+ Kxg5 24. Qxg7+ Kxf5= and we have transposed to the drawn main line considered above. 14. Qd2 Be6?! Not the best place for the Bishop. Black should probably still take the b-pawn: 14... Qxb2! 15. Rb1 Qa3 16. e4! (16. Nxd5? cxd5 17. Bxe5 fxe5 18. Qxd5+ Rf7 19. Bc4 Qe7-/+) 16... f5!<=> is unclear. Also possible is to seek exchanges by 14... Nc4!? 15. Bxc4 dxc4 16. O-O-O Bg4 17. f3 Rad8 18. Bd6 Be6 19. e4 Rf7+/= 15. O-O-O Also strong is the immediate 15. Na4! Qc7 16. Nc5 Qf7 (16... Bf5 17. e4!) 17. Qd4 Rfe8 18. Qh4 Bf5 19. O-O-O|^ 15... f5?! Steve also thought this was a bad idea. I wanted to open up the long diagonal, with hopes of creating counter-chances. He thought I should sit tight and centralize. Perhaps 15... Nc4!? 16. Bxc4 dxc4 17. Qd6!? Rfe8 18. Qf4 Rad8 19. Rxd8 Qxd8 20. Qh4 Kf7 21. Rd1+/= Steve suggested 15... Rad8 16. Na4 Qc7 17. Nc5 Bc8 which is at least much better than the game line. 16. Na4! Qc7 17. Nc5 Another idea is 17. Qd4! b6 18. Qh4 Bf6 19. Bxe5!! Bxe5 20. f4 Bf6 21. Qh3 Rae8 22. g4-> 17... Qf7?! Fritz prefers 17... Qb6! 18. Nxe6!? (18. Bxe5! Bxe5 19. Nd3 Bg7 20. c3 Qa5 21. a3 Rae8 22. Nf4->) 18... Nc4 19. c3 Nxd2 20. Bc7~~ 18. Qb4! Bc8 Sadly, the best way to hold the pawn. Fritz thinks Black must give it up and seek counterplay with g5 and f4: 18... Rae8 19. Qxb7 Qxb7 20. Nxb7 g5 21. Bxe5 Bxe5 22. Nc5+/- 19. Qh4 Qf6 19... Bf6? 20. Bxe5!! Bxe5 (20... Bxh4? 21. Rxh4->) 21. g4-> 20. Qxf6!? I had expected something like 20. Qh7+ Kf7 21. Bxe5 Qxe5 22. Nd3 Qf6 23. Qh2!? but Steve didn't think he was making sufficient progress here. 20... Bxf6 21. Bxe5! Bxe5 22. c4! dxc4? This leads to a speedy defeat, but I had underestimated White's attack and thought that if I did not exchange I would soon lose the d-pawn. 22... Bd6?! 23. Nb3 Be6 24. Bf3 Rac8 25. Kb1+/- Best, as several people pointed out afterward, is probably 22... b6! 23. Nd3! (23. Nb3 f4!<=>) 23... Bd6 24. Bf3+/= but this is far from clear. 23. Bxc4+ Kg7 24. Nd7! Re8 24... Bxd7? 25. Rxd7+ Kf6 26. f4! Bb8 27. Rhh7 leads to mate! 25. f4! The killer move I overlooked. 25... Bc7? 25... b5!? 26. Bb3! changes nothing. 25... Bb8! is best, though Steve rightly assumed I would reject it just on the looks of it. But it does pose White some real problems: 26. Rh7+! (26. Rh3!? Rd8! (26... Re4!?) 27. Rdh1 (27. Rh7+!? Kxh7 28. Nf6+ Kg7 29. Rxd8 Kxf6 30. Rxc8+/-) 27... Rxd7[] 28. Rh8 Bxf4 29. exf4 Kf6 30. Rf8+ Kg7 31. Rhh8+/- Rc7 is a little less convincing, though it looks terrible) 26... Kxh7[] 27. Nf6+ Kg7[] 28. Nxe8+ Kf8[] 29. Rd8 Bxf4!! (29... Ke7? 30. Rxc8 Kd7 31. Nc7 Kxc8 32. Nxa8 Bd6 33. Bf7+-) 30. Nc7+ Ke7 31. Re8+ Kd7 32. Nxa8 Kxe8 33. exf4 b5 34. Bg8 Kd8 35. Bh7 Bb7 36. Bxg6 c5 37. g3 Bxa8 38. Bxf5+/- 25... Bf6? 26. Rh7+ Kxh7 27. Nxf6+ Kg7 28. Nxe8++- 26. Rh7+ Kxh7 27. Nf6+ and I resigned, since White either wins the Bishop at c7 or forces mate along the h-file. 1-0 [Michael Goeller]

 

Game(s) in PGN