Saturday, June 30, 2012

The trapper trapped

My opponent in the following game responded to my King's Gambit with the bizarre 2...f5? The Symmetrical Defense to the Queen's Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c5?!) is dubious enough, but the same thing on the kingside really should lose by force. I won a rook with the little tactical trick 3.exf5 exf4 4.Qh5+ g6 5.fxg6 Nf6 6.g7+! Nxh5 7.gxh8(Q), and was quite confident of victory. Sure, he can try to trap my queen on h8, but that never works in these positions, right? To my dismay, however, I couldn't figure out how to extricate my queen, and managed to lose the game!

I later learned that Chigorin-Hruby, Vienna 1882 had continued 7...Qh4+ 8. Kd1 Nf6 9. Bc4 d5 10. Nf3 Bg4 11. Be2 Bxf3 12. Bxf3 Nbd7 13. Re1+ Kf7 14. b3 Rb8 15. Bb2 Bh6 16. Bxf6 Qxe1+ 17. Kxe1 Rxh8 18. Bxh8 c6 19. Nc3 1-0. My opponent deviated with 7...Qe7+ 8.Be2 Nf6, intending to trap the queen with an eventual ...Bg7. One possible improvement is 11.Bxc7!?, when 11...Qxc7? would be met by 12.Qxf6. Another improvement is 12.0-0 (rather than my 12.0-0-0), when the rook on f1 X-rays Black's pieces on the f-file. Yet another improvement is 13.Nf3 0-0-0 14.Ne5! Then 14...Bg7 would be met by 15.Nxc6!, winning spectacularly (15...bxc6 16.Ba6#; 15...Rxh8 16.Ne7+ and 17.Nxf5; 15...Qxe2 16.Nxa7+), while 14...Nxe5 15.dxe5 Bg7 (or 15...Nd7 16.e6!) would allow me to get a lot of wood for my queen with 16.exf6 Qxf6 17.Qxd8+. Instead, my 13.Bc7? was an eccentric idea, intended to prevent him from castling. I continued my weak play by overlooking his 15...Bh6+ winning my queen, and resigned. Embarrassment city.

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