In recognition of our new (and returning) club president, here's a look back at an article that I published in the Atlantic Chess News annotating one of his best games, from our 2010 summer tournament. Please do not adjust your television set.
Year End Clearance Sale: All Queens Must Go
Pawlowski, David (1777)
Carrelli, Don (1794)
A well executed queen sacrifice is often conceived in the context of a mating attack, where the queen is the mortar shell laying waste to a carefully constructed bunker, or perhaps a part of deep opening theory where dynamic compensation has been found and well studied. More impressive are over the board improvisations where the sacrifice is less obvious. This inspirational game comes from last year’s open summer tournament at the Kenilworth Chess Club. With a brisk G/60 time control and a format that places a premium on wins, the tournament produced some uncompromising fighting chess, but none with quite the verve displayed here.
d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. Ne5 Nbd7 7. Nxc4 Qc7 8. f3!?
A rarity, in which White threatens to get a stranglehold on the center. Black must respond with vigor and trust in his better development.
.... e5! 9. e4 exd4 10. exf5?
Certainly a mistake, but can we not applaud White’s effort? In the style of the Danish Gambit he may hope to develop his bishop to b2 at the cost of the odd pawn or two. Then Black may find the open files of the queenside inhospitable for his King while the kingside will also come under pressure. The sedate 10. Ne2 is better but feels like a concession.
... dxc3 11. Bd3 cxb2 12. Qe2+
Black has accepted the challenge, but in a short game amongst amateurs, White’s dicey compensation might be enough for a tactical shot later in the game after the obvious 12. .... Be7 13. Bxb2 O-O 14. O-O Rfe8 15. Qc2 leaves White room to dream. Black rejects this in favor of a more shocking concept...
.... Qe5!! [Note: allegedly with the words "Chew on this!"]
Black puts an emphatic stamp on an already well played game. He cuts through the Gordian knot of White’s threats in a single move, and what a move! Black self-pins his queen, puts it en prise to a knight, and not least after 13. Nxe5 will be exposed to discovered check. Who without access to a computer would choose this idea? And yet it has a sound basis - temporarily blocking the e-file, White puts a punctuation mark on his threat to queen on a1. White’s best is likely to back out and capture the dangerous pawn on b2, but who can criticize White for refusing to believe that 12. Qe5 is possible, let alone a candidate for move of the year at Kenilworth?
Nxe5?! bxa1(Q) 14. Nxc6+ Ne5! 15. O-O
Even with the pinned knight on e5, White can take no decisive action because of the hanging bishop on c1. He comes up with the creative idea to trap Black’s new queen, but it transpires that this also is insufficient.
.... bxc6 16. Bb2 Bc5+ 17. Kh1 Qxb2!?
Chess humor - Qxf1+ was winning as well, but Black rightly calculates that a second queen-for-piece sacrifice together with his passed pawn will get the win. The rest was:
18. Qxb2 Nxd3 19. Qe2+ Be7 20. Qxd3 O-O 21. Rc1 Rfd8 22. Qe3 Nd5 23. Qe4 Ba3 24. Re1 Bb4 25. Rf1 a5 26. g4 Re8 27.Qd4 Rad8 28. Rd1 c5 29. Qd3? c4 30. Qxc4 Ne3 31. Rxd8 Rxd8. White resigns 0-1.
Moves like Black’s twelfth are rare gems to be treasured in the collection of any amateur’s finest moments.
Now that you’ve seen the demonstration, try this at home!
Though sadly I don't have much time to think about chess lately, I had the chance to play a 5 minute blitz game online, ironically one of the better games I've played. Perhaps I was inspired by my reading project, Alexey Shirov's 'Fire on Board'....
Mangion vs NN 5 min blitz
1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 a6
6. Be2 g6 (I've looked at all the 6th moves for White against the Najdorf, I'm becoming attracted to 6. h3 as a delayed Keres attack, especially since in this game the ....g6 move pushes white toward a limp version of the Dragon. But then what is the purpose of ...a6? And if I had played 6.h3, is 6....g6 even better? Questions.)
7. O-O Bg7
8. Be3 O-O (A classical dragon, where Black has played ...a6. White has to play aggressively or Black's superior bishop will tell, at least in my experience)
9. f4 b5?!
Amazingly this is already a mistake. I was thinking of 10. Bf3, but after ...b4 11. Nd5 NxN Black is getting away with his indiscretions. Superior development, open the board, good things must happen. White's pieces are all on good squares, there must be an answer.
10. e5! dxe5
11. fxe5 Ne8?! (....Nfd7 gets treated with 11. e6!? trashing Black's position, but the real treat would have been ...Nd5 12. NxN QxN 13. Nf5! (the key, Bf3 is met by Qxe5) when Black is threatened with material and positional losses, including the forlorn rook on a8, despite an exchange of queens)
12. Bf3 (now simple and best) Nc7
13. Bxa8 Nxa8
14. Qf3 Bxe5
15. Rad1 Qc7 (the knight on a8 still lives, but hangs by a thread 16. QxN? Bb7 17. Qa7?? Bxh2+ etc)
16. Nd5 Qd7
17. Bh6 Bb7!? (The exchange hangs on f8, but so does the knight on d5, apparently...)
18. Nxb5 (oh, the sadism) Qxb5?
Now try to find the needlessly flashy win for White. Perhaps it's time for a video to break things up while you think....
19. Qxf7+ !!
With Black's pieces stuffed in la-la land I spent most of my precious time trying to find a quick kill. Fortunately it's there....
19. ...... Rxf7
20. Nxe7+ Rxe7 (....Kh8 drags it out a couple moves but the mating pattern is the same)
21. Rf8 #