I get a lot of news visiting the Rochester Chess Center and my latest trek was no less a gem as Ron Lohrman proudly produced a copy of one of his youthful chess stars by the name of Matt Parry who it seems plays a colorful and sharp game of chess. I shall provide you, my reader, with the aesthetic beauty once again of amateur skills that never seem to find a home in the pages of our national magazine CHESS LIFE. But first, let me provide an introduction of the opening and perhaps give you some insight into various ideas that might tempt a tactical player to explore and add to their repertoire of openings.
The opening is one of numerous systems of defense in meeting the white terror called The Ruy Lopez. The defense I examine is called the Moller variation 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 where Black plans to deploy his KB to c5 in answer to 5.O-O where the Bishop strikes the diagonal a7-g1 and points at the inherent weakness on the chessboard of f2. This idea can also occur in the Open Defense 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5!? the Dilworth variation, a dangerous attempt to throw White completely out of his game plan. It leads to a sharp attack on f2 and kingside where any White miscue can lead to disaster very quickly. It can also emerge out of the Berlin Defense 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Bc5, a favorite of one of the Chess Center’s top masters, I. Nikolayev.
White: James Critelli (2348) Black: Matt Parry (2290)
Ruy Lopez Moller Defense
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Qe2
This move stops the Open Defense and I used it a few times mainly to get away from the normal opening lines. It gives Black less problems than does 5.O-O and either 6.Re1 or 6.Qe2, the latter called the Worrall Attack of unknown origin.
5… Bc5 6.c3 b5 7.Bb3
This, and 7.Bc2 are both played here but I prefer 7.Bc2 because it adds protection to the square e4 and on b3 it looks good and adds count in my square count theory but the theory also entails the guarding of key squares which is accomplished by Bc2 with jump moves like d3 and Nbd2 in the plan mix.
7… d6 8.O-O O-O 9.Rd1
This Rook maneuver also occurs in the Worrall Attack line but I favor placing the Rook on e1 especially when planning on the limited pawn advance d3 instead of d4. Now, 9… Bg4 10.h3 Bh5 11.d3 is a possible try to defuse the value of the Bishop sortie.
9… Bb6 10.h3 Bb7 11.d3 Ne7
Too slow for the Ruy Lopez. More appropo is the natural looking 11…h6 12.Be3 Bxe3 13.Qxe3 Re8 14.Nbd2 d5 15.exd5 Nxd5 16.Bxd5 Qxd5 17.b4 f5=+. With the N now leaving the Queenside, I think it is time for 12.a4!
True, this brings to the Kingside another piece for the attack, it seems to never really amount to much from this post.
Not bad but here Black misses a chance to use his Knights and get one of White’s Bishops traded, thus: 13…Nh5 14.Bg5 Ngf4 15.Qc2 Qe8 16.a4 h6 17.Bxf4 Nxf4. As the game goes, White having the Bishop pair makes things more difficult for Black.
Personally this move looks dangerously weakening the King’s pawn wall defense. 14.Ng3 Re8 15.Be3 Bxe3 16.Qxe3 c5 might be a critical line for both players. After 14.g3 Qd7 15.Kg2 a5 16.Be3 a4 17.Bc2 c5 looks plausible.
14… c5 15.Bc2 d5
Black has an 11/5 square count advantage which adds up to a spatial edge but the looseness of the position guarantees nothing more.
16.Ne3 Qc7 17.Nf5 c4
Oddly enough White might come out okay with 18.exd5 cxd3 19.Bxd3 e4 20.Bxe4 Rae8 21.d6 Qb8 22.Ne7+ Nxe7 23.dxe7 Rxe7 with unclear conditions.
A good tactical move bringing to bear more pieces on the central complex. After 18…cxd3 19.Bxd3 Qd7 20.g4 Qc7 21.Nb3 shows how complex the position is.
19.dxc4 dxe4 20.Re1 Qd7 21.c5! Qxf5 22.cxb6 Qxh3 23.Nf1 e3! 24.f3 e4 25.f4 Nh5
There is no future here; besides Knights do not belong on the rim unless it is used as a springboard to a greater good. But it is hard to come up with a good plan here. Maybe 25…Ne7 26.Bxe3 Ned5 27.Bd4 Rfe8 28.a4 bxa4 29.Bxa4 Re6 30.Qh2 Qxh2 31.Kxh2 Nxb6
26.Qg2 Qe6 27.Bxe3 Nf6 28.Bc5
White again could play to clear up the Qwing with 28.a4
28…Rfe8 29.Ne3 Qc6 30.Bd4 Nd7 31.Nf5 Nf6 32.a4 b4 33.a5 Qc8 34.Ne3 Ng4 35.Ba4 Re7
Progress for either side is difficult to assess so I give the remaining moves to provide enjoyment of the actual moves played. Perhaps the time clock had a part as most games appear to experience toward the end. But some amazing positions occur and both players can be congratulated on producing such fighting spirited chess!
36.Rac1 Nxe3 37.Bxe3 Qc4 38.b3 Qe6 39.cxb4 Rd3 40.b5 axb5 41.Bxb5 Qxb3 42.Bc4 Qa3 43.Bxd3 exd3 44.Qd2 Qd6 45.Rc5 Nxf4 46.gxf4 Qg6+ 47.Kh2 f5! 48.Rxf5 Qxf5 49.a6 Qh5+ 50.Kg3 Qf3+ 51.Kh2 Re6! 52.axb7 Rg6! 53.b(Q)+ Kh7 54.Qc8! Qg3+ 55.Kh1 Qh4+ 56.Qh2 Qxe1+ 57.Qg1 Rxg1+ 58.Bxg1 Qe4+ 59.Kh2 d2 60.b7 d(Q) 61.b(Q) Qe2+ 62.Kg3 Qg2+ 63.Kh4 Qe1+ 64.Kh5 g6#mate!!!
Interesting and bizzare feature in this game was the double b-file Queening of two pawns; four Queens on the board at the same time;a number of critical positions reached during play; both players showed cool although toward the end the bloodpressures must have risen for both the players and any onlookers.
Thanks guys for giving us such a stimulating and exciting match!