29 March 2014

Living Dangerously

The Alekhine-Chatard Attack against the French Defense can lead to wild play. In an online blitz game this morning, I had the Black side of a terribly uncomfortable position due to a gross error on move nine. I survived as my opponent and I managed to answer error with error. He made the last significant error and I won.

Nomen Nescio -- Stripes,J [C14]
blitz Some Random Chess Site, 29.03.2014

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.h4 a6

I opted for the Maroczy variation.

White to move

7.Qg4 Bxg5 8.hxg5 c5 9.g6 h6??

9...f5 was the correct move.

10.gxf7+ Kxf7 11.Bd3 Nf8 12.dxc5

Black to move

Black has a very unpleasant position.

12...Nc6 13.Nf3 Bd7 14.0–0–0

14.Nh4 is easily refuted by 14...Nxe5.

14...Qa5 15.Ng5+ Kg8

The only move, although White's advantage is still very nearly decisive. In a master's hands, it would be so.

White to move


16.Nxd5! exd5 17.Qf3 hxg5 (17...Nd8 18.Qxd5+ Nde6 19.Qxb7) 18.Rxh8+ Kxh8 19.Qf7 and White has a clear advantage.

16...Nxe5 17.f4 Nxd3+?

17...Qxc5 18.Kb1 Be8 19.Qh3 Nxd3 with a slight advantage for White.

18.Rxd3 Be8 19.Qh3 Bg6

White to move


An error that nevertheless contains a threat which both players managed to overlook.

20.Nxe6 Bxd3 21.cxd3±.

20...Bf5?? 21.Qh5

21.Nxe6 Bxe6 (21...Bxh3 22.Rxg7#) 22.f5+-.

21...Bg6 22.Qh4

22.Nxe6 was still possible, and the queen still immune.

22...Bf5 23.Nf3

Black to move


23...Qxc5 was better with a slight advantage to Black.

24.Qh5 Qf6 25.Ne5 Rc8 

Black appears close to solving his problems.

26.Ne2 Rxc5

White to move

Both sides seem to have even chances. The Black king is finally as secure as White's.


27.c3 or 27.Nd3 was necessary to mitigate the vulnerability of the White king. Having been attacking most of the game, however, White may have found the shift to defensive moves difficult.

27...Bxc2 28.Nxc2 Qxf4+–+ 29.Kb1 Qxg3 30.Qf7+ Kh7 31.Nf3 Qg6 

White to move


32.Qxg6+ Nxg6–+

32...Qxc2+ White resigns 0–1

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