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23 Jun 2016

C57 Two Knights: Wilkes-Barre/Traxler and 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5, unusual Black 5th moves (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 b5 6.Bxb5 Qxd5 7.Bxc6+ Qxc6)

C57 Two Knights: Wilkes-Barre/Traxler and 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5, unusual Black 5th moves (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 b5 6.Bxb5 Qxd5 7.Bxc6+ Qxc6)

Posts about chess games have been rather rare recently, but today and tomorrow this blog will have a game that features an opening variation that has not been covered here before. It is of course increasingly hard to find new variations as there are already over 500 different opening variations that you can find in this blog. Admittedly it is not much compared to all of the variations that have been named, but it is still a lot.

The game below was played in a team match called REMATCH. The match consists of 103 boards and it is played between France/Deutschland Group and LullabyVisca. I am playing on board 34 for LullabyVisca. The current score in the match is 52.5 - 133.5 in favor of LullabyVisca. Therefore we have secured the win in the match quite clearly.

More often than not, when I have played the Italian Game, my opponents have played 3...Bc5, but this time I had the chance to play 4.Ng5 because boubalex played 3...Nf6. I have some experience of playing this with the black pieces, but I think this was the first time when I got to play this with the white pieces. However, I would not have played 5...b5, but 5...Na5 instead. I think I learned that line many years ago and I still remember it to a point, even though I have not played it all that many times. I can't even really remember anymore where I learned it. I do not think I had seen anyone play 5...b5 before, so I had no previous memory to base my move to. I decided to go for the greedy 6.Bxb5, but I did notice that I may face some difficulties because of that move. I was a bit worried about my knight on g5 and the pawn on g2. I think I planned things from the move 6.Bxb5 up to the move 8.Nf3. I thought that if boubalex would reply with 8...e4, then I would just play 9.Nd4 and I would be okay. I also thought that 8...Bg4 would be really annoying to face. I was surprised to see that my opponent played the more passive 8...Bd6. I played 9.h3 in response because I thought that I should stop Bg4 and after that I would be fine. I was behind in development, but for some reason I did not think of it being that bad of a thing. I was, of course, in some trouble still and had my opponent played 10...e4, I would have been in huge trouble. I would have likely replied with a huge blunder like Nd4 and I would have been in a losing position. After 11...Nd5, the game comes into balance again. The game continued evenly until boubalex blundered with 16...f4. After that I should be clearly better and maybe even close to winning. Actually the move 16...f4 was the losing move because my opponent was not able to bounce back inot the game anymore.

[Event "REMATCH - Board 34"] [Site ""] [Date "2016.04.20"] [Round "?"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "boubalex"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C57"] [WhiteElo "1822"] [BlackElo "1656"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 b5 {Italian Game: Two Knights Defense, Ulvestad Variation} 6. Bxb5 (6. Bf1 h6 7. Nxf7 {Italian Game: Two Knights Defense, Ulvestad Variation, Kurkin Gambit}) 6... Qxd5 7. Bxc6+ Qxc6 { C57 Two Knights: Wilkes-Barre/Traxler and 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5, unusual Black 5th moves} 8. Nf3 Bd6 9. h3 (9. Nc3 O-O 10. d3 e4 11. dxe4 Nxe4 12. Nxe4 Qxe4+ 13. Be3 Bc5 14. Qd3 Bb4+ 15. Ke2 Qg4 16. h3 Qe6 17. Ng5 Ba6 18. Nxe6 Bxd3+ 19. Kxd3 fxe6 20. c3 Be7 21. Rhe1 Bh4 22. g3 Bf6 23. Bf4 e5 {Duong,T-Pham,M Vung Tau 2004 1-0 (31)}) 9... O-O {N} (9... Bb7 10. d3 O-O-O 11. Be3 Kb8 12. a3 e4 13. Ng5 Rhf8 14. Rg1 h6 15. Nxe4 Nxe4 16. dxe4 Bb4+ 17. Nd2 Bxd2+ 18. Bxd2 Qxe4+ 19. Qe2 Qxc2 20. Bc1 Rfe8 21. Be3 Qb3 22. Rc1 f5 23. Qc4 Qxc4 24. Rxc4 { Song,E-Yau, K (1454) Hong Kong 2015 1/2-1/2 (42)}) 10. O-O {White is behind in development.} (10. Nc3 Ba6 11. d3 e4 {=/+}) 10... Bb7 (10... e4 11. Nh2 {∓}) 11. d3 {Prevents intrusion on e4} (11. Nc3 e4 12. Nd4 Qc5 {=}) 11... Nd5 (11... e4 {!?} 12. Nh4 Rad8 {∓}) 12. Bd2 f5 {White has a cramped position} 13. Nc3 { Black has a very active position} Nf6 {Black plans e4. Black has an active position} 14. Re1 Rae8 {Black intends e4} 15. Qe2 e4 (15... a6 16. a3 {=}) 16. dxe4 (16. Nd4 exd3 17. Nxc6 dxe2 18. Nd4 {+/=}) 16... f4 {?} (16... Ba6 { would keep Black in the game} 17. Qd1 fxe4 {=}) 17. Qb5 Nxe4 18. Qb3+ Kh8 19. Nxe4 Rxe4 20. Rxe4 Qxe4 21. Re1 Qc6 22. Bc3 Rb8 {?} (22... Qd5 {!? ±}) 23. Qe6 (23. Qf7 {might be the shorter path} Bf8 24. Re7 {+-}) 23... Qb5 {?? the position was bad, and this mistake simply hastens the end} (23... Bf8 24. Qf7 Qg6 25. Qxf4 Bd6 {+-}) 24. Qg4 Rg8 25. Ng5 Bd5 (25... Qxg5 {is no salvation} 26. Qxg5 Bc6 27. Re6 f3 28. Rg6 Bf8 29. Qf5 Bd7 30. Qxd7 a6 31. Qf5 Bd6 32. Rh6 Bh2+ 33. Kxh2 a5 34. Rxh7#) 26. Qh5 h6 (26... Qf1+ {doesn't do any good} 27. Rxf1 f3 28. Qxh7#) 27. Qxh6# 1-0