Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ferrero Plays PCG

At this year's U.S. Amateur Team East tournament, Atlantic Chess News editor Steve Ferrero won in round two with the Philidor Counter Gambit. Ferrero was my teammate and captain on Insufficient Losing Chances. Actually, the game started out as a Latvian Gambit before transposing into the PCG.

Eric Mattelson (USCF 1771) - Steve Ferrero (USCF 1886), USATE 2/17/2007

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nc3 d6 4.d4 fxe4 5.Nxe4 exd4

Ferrero avoids the complications following 5...d5 6.Nxe5 or 6.Neg5.

6.Qxd4 Nf6 7.Bg5 Be7 8.O-O-O O-O 9.Nxf6+

Another line, giving White a slight plus, is 9.Bc4+ Kh8 10.Nxf6 Nc6 11.Qe4 Bxf6 12.h4.

9...Bxf6 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.Bc4+ Be6 12.Rhe1 Bxc4 13.Qxc4+ Qf7 14.Qxf7+ Rxf7 15.Re8+ Rf8 16.Rde1 Nc6 17.Rxa8 Rxa8

Perhaps White has a tiny advantage in this position.

18.c3 h6 19.b4 a6 20.Kc2 Kf7 21.Kd3 b5 22.Nd4 Ne5+ 23.Kc2 g5 24.Rf1 Nc4 25.Re1 Ne5 26.Rf1 Re8 27.f4 gxf4 28.Rxf4+ Kg6 29.Kb3 h5 30.a4 c6

Now the position is equal. But, after White's next move, it is Black who stands slightly better.

31.Re4?! Rf8 32.Ne6 Rf2 33.Rd4?

White needed to play 33.Re2, relying on 33...Rxe2 34.Nf4+ followed by 35.Nxe2.

33...Nc4 34.Rxc4 bxc4+ 35.Kxc4 Rf7 36.Nd8 Rc7 37.Ne6 Rc8

Black has a clear advantage.

38.g3 Kf5 39.Ng7+ Kg4 40.h3+ Kxg3 41.Nxh5+ Kxh3 42.Ng7 Kg4 43.Ne6 Kf5 44.Nd4+ Ke4 45.Nc2 d5+ 46.Kc5 Kd3 47.Nd4 Kxc3 48.Nxc6 d4, White resigns.