Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Vienna Game

This game was played in June 1998 at the Somerset quads in New Jersey.

David Grasso (USCF 2206) - Jim West (USCF 2200)

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Bc5

Sometimes I try 2...d6 instead. One point is that 3.f4 can be answered by 3...exf4, leading to a favorable position in the Fischer defense to the King's Gambit. Another is that 3.Nf3 f5 transposes into the Philidor Counter Gambit. If White continues with 3.Bc4, then Black develops in a manner similar to the game except that his king bishop winds up on e7 rather than c5.


Now 3.Nf3 can be met with the solid 3...d6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 or with the more adventurous 3...Nc6 4.Nxe5! Nxe5 5.d4 Bxd4 6.Qxd4 d6 7.f4 Qh4ch!? 8.Qf2 (8.g3? Nf3ch; 8.Kd1?! Bg4ch 9.Be2 c5!) Qxf2ch 9.Kxf2 Ng4ch 10.Kg3 f5!?.

A different plan was seen in Tom Shih (USCF 2137) - Jim West (USCF 2232) from the Somerset quads in March 1998: 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nf3 d6 5.h3 Nc6 6.d3 Na5 7.Bg5 Nxc4 8.dxc4 Be6 9.Qd3 h6 10.Bh4 g5 11.Bg3 Nh5 12.O-O-O Nf4 13.Bxf4 gxf4 14.Qe2 Qe7 15.Na4 Bb6 16.Nxb6?! axb6 17.a3 Ra4 18.Nd2 Qd7 19.b3 Rxa3 20.Kb2 Ra5 21.Qh5 Qc6 22.Ra1 Kd7 23.f3 Qc5 24.Rxa5? Qxa5 25.Kc1 Qa3ch, and here White resigned.

If White tries to exploit 2...Bc5 with 3.Qg4, his plan backfires after 3...Nf6! 4.Qxg7 Rg8 5.Qh6 Bxf2ch! 6.Kd1 Rg6 7.Qh3 d5, as in Tsikhelashvili-Karpov, Riga 1968.

3...d6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.d3 Bg4 7.h3

Instead the game Matthew Traldi (USCF 2151) - Jim West (USCF 2204) from the April 1998 quads in Somerset proceeded with 7.Na4 Bb6 8.Nxb6 axb6 9.c3 O-O 10.O-O exf4 11.Bxf4 Ne5 12.Bb3 Nxf3ch 13.gxf3 Bh3 14.Rf2 Nh5 15.Be3 Qh4 16.f4 Nf6 17.Qf3 Ng4 18.Re2 Nxe3 19.Rxe3 Bg4 20.Qg2 Be6 21.Rf1 Bxb3 22.axb3 Kh8 23.f5 Qf6 24.Qh3 Ra2 25.Rf2 Qg5ch 26.Qg3 Qxg3ch 27.hxg3 f6 28.Kg2 Rfa8 29.Kf3 Kg8

30.Rh2?! R8a3 31.bxa3 Rxh2 32.Re2 Rh1 33.Ra2 Rc1 34.c4 Rc3 35.Ke3 Rxb3 36.Kd2 Rb1 37.Ke3 Kf7 38.a4 Re1ch 39.Kf2 Rh1 40.Ke3 Ke7 41.Rb2?! Ra1 42.Rb4 Kd7 43.d4 Ra3ch 44.Kf4 h5 45.d5 Ke7 46.g4?! h4 47.g5 h3 48.g6 h2 49.Rb1 Rxa4 50.Rh1 Ra2 51.Kg3 Kd7 52.Rxh2 Rxh2 53.Kxh2 c6 54.Kg3 cxd5 55.exd5 Kc7 56.Kf3 b5, and White resigned.

7...Bxf3 8.Qxf3 exf4

In February 1998 at the Marshall Chess Club, I played the less accurate 8...Nd4 against Asuka Nakamura (USCF 2093). That contest, which was played at the time control of game/30, continued with 9.Qg3 exf4 (9...Nxc2ch? 10.Kd1 Nxa1 11.Qxg7 Rf8 12.fxe5 dxe5 13.Rf1 Be7 14.Bg5 Nxe4 15.Nxe4 f5 16.Qxh7 Bxg5 17.Qg6ch, and Black resigned in Fischer-McDermott, New York simul. 1964) 10.Qxg7 Rf8 11.Kd1 Qe7 12.Bxf4 Rg8 13.Qh6 Rg6 14.Qh4 Rxg2 15.Bg5 Nf3 16.Bxf6 Nxh4 17.Bxe7 Kxe7 18.Rf1 Rf8 19.Nd5ch Kd8 20.Nf4 Rg1 21.Rxg1 Bxg1 22.Ke2 Bh2 23.Rf1 Bxf4 24.Rxf4 Ng6 25.Rxf7 Rxf7 26.Bxf7 Nf4ch 27.Kf3 Nxh3 28.Bg8 Ke7 29.Kg3 Ng5 30.Kf4 Kf6 31.d4 Ne6ch

32.Bxe6?! Kxe6 33.Kg5 Kf7 34.Kh6 Kf6 35.c3 b5 36.Kh5 c5 37.b4 cxb4 38.cxb4 Kg7 39.Kg5 h6ch 40.Kh5 Kh7 41.a3 Kg7 42.e5 dxe5 43.dxe5 a6 44.Kg4 Kf7 45.Kf5 Ke7 46.e6 h5 47.Kg5 Kxe6 48.Kxh5 Kd5 49.Kg5 Kc4 50.Kf5 Kb3 51.Ke4 Kxa3 52.Kd4 Kxb4 53.Kd3 Kb3 54.Kd2 a5 55.Kc1 b4 56.Kb1 a4 57.Ka1 a3 58.Kb1 Kc3 59.Ka2 Kc2 60.Ka1 a2, and White resigned.

9.Bxf4 Nd4 10.Qg3?

This move is a blunder. Correct is 10.Qd1 c6 11.Qd2 d5 12.exd5 cxd5 13.Bb5ch Nxb5 14.Nxb5 O-O with an equal position, according to Euwe.

10...Nh5 11.Qg4 Nxf4 12.Qxf4 O-O?!

Blundering in return! Black wins after 12...Nxc2ch! 13.Kd1 Ne3ch (Svenonius).


After the game, I suggested 13.Kd2. The problem with queenside castling is that Black gets a mating attack with a pawn storm.

13...c6 14.Rhf1 Qe7 15.Rde1 b5 16.Bb3 a5 17.e5 Rae8 18.Ne4 Nxb3ch 19.axb3 dxe5 20.Qg4 f6 21.Rf5 Kh8 22.Ref1 a4 23.Qf3 axb3 24.cxb3 Ra8 25.Nc3 Ra1ch 26.Kc2 Rxf1 27.Qxf1 g6 28.Rf3 f5 29.g4 b4! 30.Na4 e4 31.dxe4 Qxe4ch 32.Rd3 Be7 33.Qf3 Qxf3 34.Rxf3 fxg4 35.Rxf8ch Bxf8 36.hxg4 Kg7 37.Kd3 Kf6 38.Ke4 Kg5 39.Kf3 Bg7!

Not only is White a pawn down, his knight is much worse than Black's bishop. He decides to lose a second pawn in return for some activity.

40.Nc5 Bxb2 41.Ne4ch Kh4 42.Ng3 Be5 43.Ne4 h5 44.gxh5 Kxh5 45.Nc5 g5 46.Nd3 g4ch 47.Ke4 Bd6, White resigns.

{This article originally appeared in the September-October 1998 issue of Atlantic Chess News}