Sunday, December 19, 2004

GM Wolff annotates the BCC Championship

The Boylston Chess Club Championship was the topic of the Boston Globe's Chess Notes column on 12/14/04. Below I have reprinted the article including annotations by GM Patrick Wolff of the round 6 game between Chris Chase and Alex Cherniack. I've incorporated GM Wolff's notes into the game format I used in the 2004 BCC Championship Weblog (Note: The diagrams were not included in the Globe article).
Chess Notes By Harold Dondis and Patrick Wolff - Globe Correspondents

Christopher Chase of Somerville and Paul MacIntyre, president of the Boylston Club, were running neck to neck in the last round of the Boylston Club Championship. MacIntyre emerged the victor by a nose as he defeated David Glickman in a Bishop's opening in the last round while Charles Riordan held Chase to a draw arising from a Sicilian defense.

Had Chase not lost the game published today, he could have appropriated the championship. Here Alex Cherniack gets a clear advantage playing Black, as Chase elects on his 10th move to resist pressure on Black's Queen side, instead of reconnoitering his Queen's Knight to the opposite wing. Cherniack appears to win the battle for the center, and Chase banks on a pawn storm and minor piece attack on the Queen side. But Cherniack uses a Rook to defend against White's Bishop and Knight. With a little time advantage, Black finds the right squares to assault White's King with a surprising sacrifice and King hunt that ends the game.

[Event "BCC Championship"]
[Site "Somerville, MA USA"]
[Date "2004.10.13"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Chase, Chris"]
[Black "Cherniack, Alex"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteUSCF "2289"]
[BlackUSCF "2228"]
[ECO "C66"]
[Opening "Ruy Lopez"]
[Variation "Steinitz Defense"]
[Annotator "GM Patrick Wolff"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Be7 4.0-0 Nf6 5.Re1

[The easiest way to advantage is 5.d4!]

5...d6 6.c3

[Here again, experience suggests 6.d4! is the easiest way to advantage]

6...0-0 7.Bxc6

[Having taken the trouble to set up d2-d4 with c2-c3, why make this exchange now before it is necessary? Simply 7.d4 still promises an edge]

7...bxc6 8.d4 Nd7 9.Nbd2 a5 10.a4?!

[White starts getting distracted by the queenside. Now that he has chosen this setup, he should continue consistently: 10.Nf1 Ba6 11.Ng3, followed by Be3, Qd2, etc.]

10...Ba6 11.Nb3 Bc4! 12.Nfd2? Be6

[White's pieces are discombobulated, and so he has fallen behind in development]

13.c4? f6

[Good enough, but even better is 13.f5! To blow open the center, e.g. 14.d5 cxd5! 15.cxd5 (15.exd5 Bf7 is just better for Black) 15.Bf7 16.Nc4 c6!?]

14.d5 Bf7 15.Nb1

[Or 15.dxc6 Nb8 and 16.Nxc6, with advantage]

15...Nb6 16.Qc2 f5! 17.dxc6 Nxc4 18.N1d2 Nxd2 19.Bxd2 fxe4 20.Nxa5 d5

[Black's center and two bishops are far better than White's queenside play]

21.Nb7 Qe8 22.Ba5 Rc8 23.b4 Bg6 24.Qc1

Chase-Cherniack Rd. 6 Diagram 1

24...Qf7 25.Rf1 Bh5

[The attack masses on the kingside, and White is in big trouble!]

26.Qc2 Qg6! 27.Kh1 Rf6! 28.b5 Qxg2+!!

Chase-Cherniack Rd. 6 Diagram 2

29.Kxg2 Rg6+ 30.Kh3

[Or 30.Kh1 Bf3#]

30...Bg4+ 0-1

[It is checkmate after 31.Kg2 (or 31.Kg3) 31...Bf3+ 32.Kh3 Rh6#]
For the record, here are my original notes to this game.

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