Thursday, May 3, 2007

Queen's Indian Defense

Dear Mr. West:

Enclosed is a copy of my second round game from the Somerset NJ Quads in August 1988. After 17 moves, the game had shifted from the opening into what I thought was an equal endgame. I am sure that some endgame mistakes were made by both sides. But, around move 30, I began to feel that I had winning chances. In addition, my opponent was in mild time pressure. I was very satisfied with my position after 35.Rd7, but I am not sure that it was necessarily won for White after this move. How could Black best defend against the maneuver 36.Nc6 and 37.Ne7 and 38.Nc8? Where did Black go wrong in this endgame? What are your views concerning this game?

Jed DeVaro
Haddon Heights NJ

Jed DeVaro (USCF 1663) - Judah Ash (USCF 1669), Somerset NJ 8/1988

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.Nc3 d5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 Bxd5 10.b3

Another plan is 10.Bf4 Bd6 11.Bxd6 cxd6 12.Ne1 =, Beni-Tartakower, Dubrovnik Olympiad 1950. [West]

10...Nd7 11.Bb2 c5 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.Rc1 Bf6 14.Bxf6 Qxf6 15.Qd4 Qxd4 16.Nxd4 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Rac8 18.b4 Ne4 19.Nc6 Rc7 20.Rfd1 g6

To me, 20...g6 seems weakening. Perhaps Black should play 20...Nf6. [DeVaro]

21.f3 Nf6 22.Kf2 Kg7 23.Ne5 Rfc8 24.Rxc7 Rxc7 25.Rd3

This prevents 25...Rc2 because the black rook is forced back to c7 by 26.Ra3, as in the game. [DeVaro]


The endgame is still equal after 25...Nd5 26.a3. Worse is 26.b5? Rc2 27.Ra3 Nc3. [West]

26.Ra3 Rc7 27.b5 Rc5

Even now, 27...Nd5 keeps Black level after 28.Nc6 a5 29.bxa6 Rxc6 30.a7 Nc7 31.a8=Q Nxa8 32.Rxa8. [West]


Perhaps 28.f4 is not the best because it allows Black's knight to check on e4, but I wanted to secure my knight. [DeVaro]

28...Ne4+ 29.Kg2

Both 29.Ke3 and 29.Kf3 allow 29...Rc3+!. [DeVaro]

29...Nd6 30.Rxa7 Rxb5 31.a4 Rd5

If 31...Rb2, then 33.Kf3 followed by 34.Rd7. And if 31...Rc5, then 32.Rd7 forcing 32...Rd5 when Black loses a tempo. [DeVaro]

Or 31...Ra5 32.Rd7. [West]


I played this move to keep the black knight out of e4. [DeVaro]

32...h5 33.h3 Kg8 34.e3 Kg7

No improvement is 34...Ra5 35.Rd7 Nf5 36.Nxf7 Rxa4 37.g4 hxg4+ 38.hxg4 Ng7 39.Ne5 Kh7 40.Rb7 Rb4 41.Nd7 b5 42.Nf6+ +-. [West]

35.Rd7 Kg8 36.Nc6 Kg7 37.Ne7 Rd2

Black must now lose a pawn, but 35...Rd2 is the only move to hold the black knight after 38.Nc8. [DeVaro]

38.Nc8 Nc4 39.Nxb6 Rxd7?

Maybe Black should play 39...Rc2. And if 40.Rc7?, then 40...Ne5+!. [DeVaro]

Black retains drawing chances after 39...Rc2 40.Nxc4 Rxc4 41.Ra7 Rc3 42.a5 Ra3. [West]

40.Nxd7 f6 41.Ke4 Kf7 42.Kd4 Nd6 43.a5 Ke7 44.Nb6 Kd8 45.Nc4 Nc8 46.Kc5 Kc7 47.a6 Na7

48.Na3 Nc8 49.Nb5+ Kb8 50.Kc6 Ne7+ 51.Kd7 Nf5 52.Kxe6 Nxe3 53.Kxf6 Nf5 54.Kxg6, Black resigns.

{This article originally appeared in Atlantic Chess News in 1989}