Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Games from NJ Open

At this year's New Jersey Open, played on Labor Day weekend, my only loss in the tournament happened in round two against eventual state champion Mackenzie Molner. The six-hour marathon ended at 1 o'clock in the morning. So I took two half-point byes on Sunday in order to recuperate.

The day off enabled me to study the Molner game, which was a Philidor Counter Gambit. It marked the 200th time that the 4.Nc3 variation had been played against me. Incredibly, Molner's 16.Rc1 was a new move! Over the board, I did not find the best continuation. Aided by Fritz8, I discovered that 16...Qh6 was the correct response, instead of my 16...Qxb4+ 17.Rc3 Bg4. Fritz8 confirmed what Molner stated during the post mortem analysis, namely that 18.Qxc7 Nbd7 19.O-O leaves White with a big advantage. After 16...Qh6, play might proceed 17.Qg3+ Qg5 18.Bf7+ Kh6 19.Qxg5+ Kxg5 20.Rxc7 Na6 21.Rc3 Nxb4 22.f3 b6 23.O-O Ba6 with only a small advantage for White.

Not surprisingly, my opponent in round five repeated Molner's first ten moves but then varied with 11.Nxh8, no doubt suspecting that I had found an improvement over my play from round two.

I managed to win both of my games as White in the endgame but not without some help from my opponents, as you will see.

Round One: Sicilian Defense, Paulsen Variation

Jim West (USCF 2207) - Eric Liao (USCF 1867), New Jersey Open 8/30/2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Bc5 6.Nb3 Be7 7.c4 d6 8.Nc3 Nf6 9.Be3 Qc7 10.Rc1 b6 11.O-O O-O 12.f3 Nbd7 13.Qd2 Bb7 14.Rfd1 Rac8 15.Bf1 Rfd8 16.Qf2 Bf8 17.Nd4 Nc5 18.b3 Qb8 19.g3 d5

20.cxd5 exd5 21.b4 Ncd7 22.Nxd5 Nxd5 23.exd5 Bxd5 24.Bxa6 Rxc1 25.Rxc1 Qa8 26.Bb5 Ne5 27.Bf4 Nxf3+ 28.Nxf3 Bxf3 29.a4 Qb7 30.Rf1 Bd5 31.Be3 Bxb4 32.Bxb6 Rc8 33.Bd4 Bc4

34.Rc1 Bxb5 35.Rxc8+ Qxc8 36.axb5 Qc1+ 37.Qf1 Qxf1+ 38.Kxf1 g6 39.b6 Bd6 40.b7 Bb8 41.Be3 Kg7 42.Bf4 Ba7 43.b8=Q Bxb8 44.Bxb8 Kf6 45.Kf2 Kf5 46.Kf3 g5 47.Bc7 h6 48.g4+ Kg6 49.Ke4 h5 50.h3 hxg4 51.hxg4 f6 52.Bd8 Kf7 53.Kf5 Ke8 54.Bxf6 Kf7 55.Bxg5 Kg7 56.Bf6+ Kg8 57.Kg6 Kf8 58.g5 Kg8 59.Be7 Kh8 60.Kf7 Kh7 61.g6+ Kh6 62.g7 Kh5 63.g8=Q Kh6 64.Qg6#.

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Round Two: Philidor Counter Gambit

Mackenzie Molner (USCF 2404) - Jim West (2207), New Jersey Open 8/30/2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nxe5 dxe4 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Nxg6 Nf6 9.Qe5+ Kf7 10.Bc4+ Kg7 11.Bh6+ Kxh6 12.Nxh8 Bb4+ 13.c3 Qxh8 14.cxb4 Qf8 15.Qf4+ Kg6

[photo by Steve Ferrero]

16.Rc1 Qxb4+ 17.Rc3 Bg4 18.h4 h6 19.h5+ Kg7 20.Rh4 Nc6 21.Qxc7+ Bd7 22.Qg3+ Kh8 23.Qg6 Nh7 24.Bb3 Rf8 25.Rf4 Nxd4 26.Rxf8+ Qxf8 27.Qxe4 Nxb3 28.Rxb3 Bc6 29.Qe5+ Nf6 30.Kf1 Kh7 31.Qf5+ Kh8 32.Re3 Nh7 33.Qxf8+ Nxf8

34.f3 Kg7 35.g4 Kf6 36.Kf2 Nd7 37.Kg3 Ne5 38.f4 Nc4 39.Re2 Nd6 40.Kh4 Kf7 41.g5 Nf5+ 42.Kg4 Bd7 43.Rd2 Nd6+ 44.Kh4 Nf5+ 45.Kh3 Nd4+ 46.Kg3 Nf5+ 47.Kf2 Ke7 48.Rd5 Be6 49.Ra5 a6 50.Kf3 Kd6

51.gxh6 Nxh6 52.Ke4 Ng8 53.a3 Bb3 54.Kf5 Bc2+ 55.Kg5 Ke6 56.h6 Nf6 57.f5+ Kf7 58.Kf4 Bb3 59.Rc5 Ne8 60.Rc8 Ba4 61.Ke5 Bd7 62.Rb8 Bc6 63.h7 Kg7 64.f6+ Kxh7 65.f7, Black resigns.

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Round Five: Philidor Counter Gambit

David Hua (USCF 1979) - Jim West (USCF 2207), New Jersey Open 9/1/2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nxe5 dxe4 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Nxg6 Nf6 9.Qe5+ Kf7 10.Bc4+ Kg7 11.Nxh8 Nc6 12.Qg5+ Kxh8 13.c3 Bg7 14.Be3 b6 15.h4 Na5 16.Be2 Be6 17.h5 h6 18.Qg6 Qf8 19.g4 Bf7 20.Qf5 Bc4

21.g5 Ng8 22.Qxf8 Rxf8 23.b3 Bxe2 24.Kxe2 hxg5 25.Bxg5 Bh6 26.Bxh6 Nxh6 27.Rh4 Re8 28.Rf4 Nb7 29.Rg1 Nd6 30.Rg5, draw.

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Round Six: Sicilian Defense, Four Knights Variation

Jim West (USCF 2207) - Louis Leiggi (USCF 1954), New Jersey Open 9/1/2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Ndb5 Bb4 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.Nxc3 d5 9.Bd3 Ne5 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bxd7+ Qxd7 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.Nxd5 exd5 14.O-O O-O 15.Be3 b6 16.Bd4 f6

17.a4 Rac8 18.Re1 Ng6 19.a5 b5 20.Ra3 a6 21.Rae3 Rc6 22.c3 Qf7 23.g3 Qd7 24.h4 Qf7 25.f4 Qd7 26.Qf3 Ne5 27.Bxe5 fxe5 28.Rxe5 Rd6 29.Rd1 d4 30.Qd3 Rd8 31.cxd4 Rxd4 32.Qxd4 Qxd4+ 33.Rxd4 Rxd4 34.Re6 Rb4 35.Rxa6 Rxb2 36.Rb6 b4 37.a6 Ra2 38.Rxb4 Rxa6 39.Kg2 Kf7

40.Rb5 Ra3 41.h5 Rc3 42.Kh3 Ra3 43.Rb7+ Kf6 44.h6 gxh6 45.Rxh7 Kg6 46.Rb7 Rc3 47.Rb6+ Kg7 48.Kh4 Rf3 49.Kg4 Rf1 50.Kf5 Rh1 51.Rb7+ Kg8 52.g4 Rh2 53.Kg6 Kf8 54.Rb8+ Ke7 55.f5 Rh4 56.f6+ Ke6 57.Rb6+ Kd7 58.Rb7+ Ke6 59.Re7+ Kd6 60.Kf5 Rh1

61.Re2 Rf1+ 62.Kg6 Kd7 63.Re4 Kd6 64.f7 Kd5 65.Re8 Rf4 66.f8=Q Rxg4+ 67.Kxh6, Black resigns.