The following miniature, taken from the 4 Nations Chess league, Division Two match between 3Cs I and Wessex I featured Ringwood’s Michael Yeo making short work of his opponent’s attempt to undermine one of the oldest defences in the game.
White D Ashton
Black MJ Yeo
Two Knight’s Defence C56
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 d4 exd4 5 0–0
The main line of the Modern Attack continues 5…Nxe4 6 Re1 d5 7 Bxd5 Qxd5 with White retaining the pawn after 8 Nc3, but here Black prefers a protection of the advanced pawn and a much sharper variation.
5…Bc5 6 e5 d5 7 exf6 dxc4 8 fxg7
Black could be given the opportunity to go wrong here, as in K Novacek-J Hrouda, Klatovy, 1996, when 8 Re1+ Be6 9 Ng5 was answered by 9…Qd7?? (instead of 9…Qd5) and 10 Nxe6 fxe6 and 11 Qh5+ picked-up the hanging bishop to end the game.
8…Rg8 9 Bg5 Be7 10 Re1 Be6 11 Bxe7 Kxe7!?
Black judges that his king is safe in the centre and he can therefore retain the d-pawn. In GR Neumann-S Winawer, Paris, 1867, a decision to let-go proved unwise after 11…Qxe7 12 Nxd4 Rd8 13 c3 Nxd4 14 cxd4 Rxg7 15 Nc3 Qg5 16 Qf3! He Black king was the more vulnerable and White went on to victory in 41 moves.
12 Nbd2 Qd5 13 b4?
Preparing for the shot in the dark that ignores the storm about to break over the opposite wing.
(13 b4 does not deserve a question mark-MJY)
13…Rxg7 14 b5 Rag8! 15 bxc6 Rxg2+ 16 Kf1!
A necessity, as 16 Kh1? Rxh2+! 17 Kxh2 Qh5+ ends in mate.
16…d3 17 cxd3 cxd3 18 Ne4?
White plans to trap his opponent’s rook with 19 Ng3.
19 Ng3 Rxg3!
Realising that 19 Nxh2? Bh3# is fatal, he fails to spot this stunning exchange sacrifice.
20 fxg3 Re2 21 Rxe2 Qxf3+ 22 Kg1
After 22 Ke1 dxe2 23 Qd4 Qxg3+ 24 Kxe2 Qg2+ 25 Ke3 Qxc6, Black’s massive pawn superiority would ensure the win, but White’s second option fares no better.
22…dxe2 23 Qe1 Bd5 24 Qb4+ Ke8
And it was here that White resigned rather than face an inevitable 25…Qg2#.
© The Bournemouth Daily Echo with thanks.