Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Meet my friends ...Smith and Morra.

I believe it was both Reassembler and to some extent Globular who commented:

“But now that you have mastered the 7 Circles and conquered de la Maza’s terrain and memorized all of CT-ART, I believe that you should start using your hard-won tactical acumen for good and not for evil, i.e. start wheeling out some crazy openings and throwing down some monster sac attacks.”

Well, last night I was white and played my-now-year-old opening system 1.e4. and faced the Sicilian at the club by a relatively strong 1700 player. The game was OPEN, full of tactics, a positional advantage and allowed me an opportunity to sac a Bishop first then sac a rook before my opponent resigned.

The PGN of my game is here ( cut and past into the PGN viewer down the list on my side bar) :

1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Nxc3 Nc6 5. Nf3 e5 6. Bc4 h6 7. O-O Bb4 8. Nd5 Bc5 9.
b4 Bd4 10. Nxd4 Nxd4 11. Bb2 Nc6 12. Qg4 Kf8 13. f4 d6 14. Qg3 Nf6 15. Nxf6
gxf6 16. fxe5 Nxe5 17. Rad1 Nxc4 18. Bxf6 Qb6+ 19. Bd4 Rg8 20. Rxf7+ Kxf7 21.
Rf1+ Ke7 22. Qh4+ Kd7 23. Bxb6 axb6 24. b5 Rxa2 25. Rf7+
08/27/2007 August Swiss at MCC Round 4 1-0} 1-0

Mind you, I spent Monday night intently watching the Lenderman lectures on the Smith-Morra gambit on ICC. I think my opponent was one of the few I’ve faced recently at the club that didn’t have any idea how to handle it. I was glad for the lucky break.

Black’s move 5… e5 was OK and implies a Bb4 to follow. The idea is to go after my Nc3 which can be a pest on b5-c7 or d6. Instead he played the weak 6…h6 to prevent any f7 attack via Ng5. All this did was put him further behind in development.

I spent a lot of time before “settling” on castling which seemed really lame. But after 7. Qd5 Qe7 ( forced) 8. Nb5 Nf6 ( the best response) I really couldn’t see much more other than a retreat back to d3 with the queen. Its still a good position and all. Then there was the line with 7.Qb3 which puts a lot of pressure on the f7 square. I wanted to mobilize the knight and getting my king out of the way was a good idea ( although it does give up some initiative).

The following series of moves had me opening the center even more and swallowing anything that my opponent threw at me like Nibbler on Futurama. The sweet move was on my move 17:

I liked the bishops beaming on the diagonals. I really wanted the a1-H8 diagonal opened up and f-file was now ripening like a tomato in my garden.
So I dropped the Bishop intentionally and played out a couple scenarios in my head. Bxf6 is obvious but Black does have some “in between” moves with a Queen check on b6 and a rook attack on my queen on the semi-open g file. To top it off, once his knight grabs the c4 bishop e3 is vulnerable once the queen stops defending it. So I had to find some sharp play in this position.

17. Rad1 Nxc4 18 Bxf6 Qb6 19 Bd4 Rg8 and now the shocking Rook sac 20. Rxf7+! Kxf7 21. Rf1+ Ke7 22. Qh4+ and I looked at this line way back before I moved on 17… if Black plays Rg5 to block, I get the queen with 23. Bxb6 ( takes back with either the knight or pawn and I grab h6 with a good attack. True it’s a tough endgame but with the two extra apwns on the king side and his undeveloped queen rook I felt it was well worth the chance plus he had to watch for double attacks. All my pieces are primed on the king side ready to attack the open king and his lonely rook.

Instead he moved the king 22.. Kd7 23. Bxb6 axb6 24b5! Seal in the king in his tomb and now he played the greedy yet fatal capture with Rxa3 and I had mate in 2.

I hope that had enough fire for those wishing I played less positional chess ;)


PS. I picked up 47 USCF rating points this month at the club! I sure needed them as my rating was bleeding since the World open.


Glenn Wilson said...

Ken Smith would be proud! Good game and good post.

wang said...

Very nice game. Your analysis of the sac was very instructional for me. You mentioned the in between moves first. This is where many of my attacks have fallen apart. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

George - excellent!

I was of course just yanking your chain. At the same time I'm egging you on about tactical play, I'm trying to wean myself from overdependence on it. :)

But it's fun to attack and you conducted this well.

Loomis said...

One of my favorite things about this game is how in the final position the mate on the next move is secured by the pawn on e4 that was moved there on move 1. As if somehow this position was calculated from the beginning. :-)

Pale Morning Dun - Errant Knight de la Maza said...

Black's early e5 is a common mistake I've seen with those unfamiliar with the Smith-Morra. When unsure what to do they think they are staking a claim in the center when in fact they are severely weakening f7. Great game.

Polly said...

*Note to self* If I ever play black against this guy, play something besides 1...c5. Read this and you'll understand.