Semi-Slav, Meran System (D47) Chuck Cullum (2465) David Miller (2206) 2004 Golden Knights final
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3 Bd6 9. Ng5
For a long time 9. 0-0 was
almost the only move here, but lately 9. Ng5 has come into fashion.
9. ... Bb7 10. 0-0 Qc7 This is new and reasonable—
Beliavsky-Sargissian, Marx Memorial 2008 saw 10. ... h6 11. Nge4 Be7 12. a3 a5 13. b3 with a small edge to White.
11. f4 Part of White’s idea of 9. Ng5
is this pawn thrust to control e5; the other half is to fight for e4.
11. ... b4 12. Nce4 Nxe4 13. Nxe4 Be7 14. b3
In the long term the bishop is
much better on the a1–h8 diag- onal. 14. Bd2 is also playable.
14. ... 0-0 15. Bb2 c5 16. Rc1 Rac8 17. Ng5!
White has no need for sub-
tlety here: g8 is the target. 17. ... g6 18. Qg4 White could be fancy with
18. dxc5 Nxc5 19. Qh5! Bxg5 20. Qxg5 Nxd3 21. Qf6 Nxb2 22. Rxc7 Rxc7 23. Qxb2 which is winning, but Cullum’s choice is stronger.
18. ... f5 19. Qh4 Rf7 -+r+-+k+
pz lwqnvlr+p -+-+p+p+ +-zp-+psN- -zp-zP-zP-wQ +P+LzP-+- PvL-+-+PzP +-tR-+RmK-
After 19. ... Rf7 Black relies on the pin
rather than play the bleak endgame after 19. ... Bxg5 20. Qxg5 Qd8 21. Bc4 Bd5 22. Qxd8 Rfxd8 23. Bb5 Bb7 24. Bxd7 Rxd7 25. dxc5, but hid- den in the game continuation is the fact the e7-bishop is
20. Bc4 Bd5 21. Bxd5 exd5 22. dxc5 Nxc5 23. Rc2 Qa5 24. Rfc1 Rc7 25. Be5 Rd7 26. Qh3! Bf8
Now 26. ... Bxg5 27. Rxc5 is a winner.
27. Bd4 Ne4 28. Nxf7 Rxf7 29. Rc6 Nc3 30. Rxg6+ Bg7 31. Rxg7+ Rxg7 32. Qxf5, Black resigned.
A Field Guide To Correspondence
Chess Bleys Rose finished second in
the 2004 Golden Knights. Rose has the distinction of being the only Golden Knights finalist to be on a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for reportage. He currently is a reporter for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and readers interested in govern- ment and political issues can check his Twitter account http://twitter.com/bleysrose
. Bleys kindly consented to give the reader insight into how a top correspondence player thinks during the game.
Nimzo-Indian Defense, Classical Variation (E32) Bleys Rose (2393) Wesley Gales (2350) 2004 Golden Knights final Notes by Bleys Rose (BR) and Alex Dunne (AD)
BR—I am a packrat on col-
lecting games that feature openings that I use. So, I collect games from New In Chess year- books
magazines like Inside Chess and Chess Life, databases like www.chessgames.com
, and books on openings and DVDs like those produced by GM Nigel Davies. In this case, squir- reling away a 15-year old article analyzing the Classical line of the Nimzo-Indian proved invaluable. This was the second of what were to be five games with Gales, all of which I man- aged to get paired as white.
1. d4 AD—To be well-prepared in
the opening phase is impor- tant in CC play, but not quite so as in OTB play. In OTB play the top players need many memory cells. In CC a healthy
Chess Life — August 2011
library will do. Databases also may reveal what openings your opponent favors and what lines are at the top of modern theory.
1. ... Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 BR—And this was our second
game that followed a book line of the Nimzo-Indian. After los- ing both the first two games in this line, Gales gave it up dur- ing our last three games (2006 finals, 2007 semifinals, and 2008 semifinals) instead trans- posing into a line in the Queens Gambit Declined, Exchange Variation, that netted me only one win and two draws.
4. Qc2 BR—I had given up on the
Rubinstein Variation after being convinced by GM Nick de Firmian that the Classical line offered clearer advantages with two active bishops. The “big boys,” he said, play the Classical Line and he con- fessed that it’s the line he least likes to meet as Black.
4. ... 0-0 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 b6 7. Bg5 Bb7 8. f3
AD—The most challenging
move—who does e4 belong to? One cannot deny the pater- nity of this line—played by Kasparov, Kramnik, Karpov, and Topalov, to name a few.
8. ... h6 AD—And Black’s reply—
played by Kasparov, Kramnik, Kamsky, Karpov, and Ivanchuk.
9. Bh4 d5 10. e3 Nbd7 11. Nh3 BR—I’ve found that maneu-
vering the knight to h3 and then f2 is a common and comfortable way to secure central control when f3 is oth- erwise occupied in lines of the King’s Indian and Dutch that I also employ. AD—Rose’s choice may not
be the choices of the K’s men- tioned earlier, but it scores the equal in practice of the more popular 11. cxd5.
11. ... Rc8 BR—Most book lines call for
11. ... c5 as the best way for Black to get the central coun- terattack rolling. In our first game in [2006 Golden Knights] Gales chose a sideline with 11. ... Rc8 which the chessgames. com database has a dozen
games with 29 percent wins for White and only seven per- cent for Black. Nunn’s Chess Openings book assesses the 11. ... Re8 line as +/=, but is silent on the choice of 11. ... Rc8. But GM Svetozar Gligoric isn’t. In lengthy analysis pub- lished in Inside Chess magazine’s March 19, 1990 issue, he states: “The prepara- tory move 11. ... Rc8?! fails to 12. c5 bxc5 13. dxc5 c6 14. Bg3 with a positional advantage for White (in) Hort-Winants, Thessaloniki 1988.”
12. c5 bxc5 13. dxc5 Bc6? -+rwq-trk+
pz -zpn+pzp- -+l+psn-zp +-zPp+-+- -+-+-+-vL
Pz -wQ-zPP+N -zP-+-+PzP Rt -+-mKL+R
After 13. ... Bc6 BR—If ... c7-c6 was the
move called for, then White has to do something to make Black’s positional disadvan- tage worse than it already is. So let’s force Black to move his rook twice and onto a square with no future. AD—Rose is completely
right about 11. ... Bc6 being an error. In the six games from the eighties and nineties when this line was still popular, Black actually outscored White +2 =3 –1 with 11. ... c6. The idea was to re-position the bishop to a6 and play ... e7-e5 with counterplay. Studying those six games to determine how the position is different after 13. ... Bc6 enables the CC player to come up with the right plan—Rose’s plan of expansion on the queenside and displacing the c8-rook.
14. Ba6 Rb8 15. b4 e5 BR—Black decides on a coun-
terthrust in the center, although I think exchanging the bishop on b5 and following with ... c7- c6 might have been better. Time to reposition my knight.
16. Nf2 Qe7 17. 0-0 g5 BR—Argh ... and this is the
problem with White’s slow development; it causes me to
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