Thursday, December 29, 2011

Zilbermintz on 5.Bxg8 in Newark Gambit

Round Three: Philidor Counter Gambit

Roger Pedersen (USCF 1900) - Lev Zilbermintz (USCF 2096), West Orange Grand Prix, Game/100, 11/22/2011

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Bc4 b5 5.Bxg8

Alejandro Melchor gives this move a ?! while saying 5.Bb3 merits a !. I disagree, as both moves can be handled over the board against human players.

5...Rxg8 6.dxe5 dxe5 7.Qxd8+ Kxd8 8.Bg5+ Be7 9.Bxe7+? Kxe7 10.exf5 Bxf5 11.Nxe5 Kf6 12.Nd3 Nc6 13.O-O Nd4 14.Nc3 c6! 15.Rfd1 Rad8

16.Nc5 Bxc2 17.N3e4+ Kg6 18.Rd2 Bxe4 19.Nxe4 Rge8 20.f3 Rxe4 21.fxe4 Nf3+ 22.gxf3 Rxd2 23.Rc1 Rxb2 24.Rxc6+ Kg5, draw.

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Round Five: Philidor Counter Gambit

Ian Mangion (USCF 2016) - Lev Zilbermintz (USCF 2096), West Orange Grand Prix, Game/90, 12/13/2011

To begin with, the tournament started late because the room was being used for another function. This was reflected in the subtraction of some time off the clock for both players.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Bc4 b5 5.Bxg8 Rxg8 6.dxe5 dxe5 7 Qe2!?

My opponent surprised me by playing this move instead of the more widely played 7.Qxd8+ (see Pedersen-Zilbermintz, above). Thankfully, I did some analysis of 7.Qe2 with my computer at home! Thus, I was not caught completely off guard when my opponent played his move. After some thinking, I played...


Now my opponent decided to get his king to safety and bring the heavy artillery into play.

8.O-O Ba6!

Really, my only chance for tactics here. The threat is 9...b4, skewering the queen to the rook on f1. Of course, the move is also deeply psychological. Mangion went into a long think here. After about ten minutes, he played...

9.Rd1 b4 10.Qe3 Qe7 11.Qb3 Qf7 12.Qa4+ Qd7 13.Qb3 Qf7, draw.