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Subject: game analysis

This is a game I played versus BillyS87 in GK tournament #22 (round 1) and I would like to share it with you. On the one hand you might enjoy it as much as we did, on the other hand I am interested in other continuations than White�s move #10.

BillyS87 (1603) vs. Misato (1691)
Two-knights-defence, Keidanz variation
01/03/2005 � 02/27/2005

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Nf6
Hoping for 4. Ng5, one of my favourite openings (no matter which colour). After the game BillyS87 wrote he should better have answered with 4. d3 or 4. Nc3. But I think that 4. d3 is too tame and 4. Nc3 Nxe4 5. Nxe4 d5 gives Black a good play. The following move looks okay for White, but he is not forced to accept the double-edged 8. Nxc6-line afterwards.

4. d4 exd4
5. e5 d5
(6. exf6 dxc4 or 6. exd6 e.p. Qxd6 will leave Black with a pawn up � and well developed)

6. Bb5 Ne4
7. Nxd4 Bc5
8. Nxc6
See the comment after move #3, 8. 0-0 or 8. Be3 take less risk. Now Black can use her good development and launch a dangerous attack on the white King � but must not be afraid of sacrifying pieces.

8. - Bxf2+
9. Kf1 Qh4
10. Qxd5
In my eyes the key position in this game. Other continuations in GK database are 10. Nxa7+ and 10. Nd4 with wins for White and for Black. Afterwards both of us couldn�t tell about the best white answer, any comments are appreciated very much! In this game�s line White�s trouble was permanent, but Black had to play very carefully, otherwise the attack�s momentum would have disintegrated more and more. I had to change my plans every second move although White�s answers did not contain big surprises � that made me worry a lot! Very time-consuming for both opponents �

10. - O-O
11. Ne7+
Of course, White goes for reduced material, a surviving black Bc8 would be a strong weapon.

11. - Kh8
12. Nxc8 Bb6
Black can�t afford the time for Raxc8 for many moves in order to keep the attack ongoing: 12.- Raxc8 13. Nc3 Nxc3 14. bxc3 Rcd8 15. Qf3 and Black has nothing but a piece down. We both agreed in the post-game-analysis that it was decisive whether White is allowed to put out his Nb1 in time.

13. g3 Qh3+
14. Ke1 Bf2+
I was unsure about all of White�s choices after 14. - Qg2: 15. Nxb6, 15. Bf1 or maybe the best 15. Rf1 Qxc2 � very unclear �

15. Kd1 Qg2
16. Rf1 c6
I didn�t like 16. - Raxc8 17. Nd2 Rcd8 18. Bd7 Rxd7 19. Qxd7 Nxd2 20. Rxf2.

17. Qd3 Raxc8 (finally!)
18. Nd2
In order to develop both pieces 18. Bd2 looks a bit better. But at this point Black already didn�t feel the need to calculate everything too detailed � equalized material after two pieces down and the white King still in great trouble. Is there any improvement for the white defence or is this line forced after 10. Qxd5?

18. - Rfd8
19. Qe2 cxb5
The next move accelerated the end, but White is completely paralyzed. 20. Re1 is worth a try, but the answer would have been 20. � Rd5. There is no good plan against doubled black rooks on the d-file and/or the manoeuvre Rc8-c3-e3.

20. c3 Rxc3
21. b3 Re3
22. Qh5 Qxf1+
23. Kc2 Rxd2+
24. Bxd2 Qd3+
25. Kb2 Qxd2+
26. Ka3 Re2
The black Ne4 has only done two moves, but it was the game�s MVP (most valuable piece). My initial intention to give it the deserved honor was 27.Qxe2 Bc5+ 28. b4 Bxb4+ 29. Kb3 Nc5 #, but �

27. Qxf7 Qa5# 0-1

A game which both of us enjoyed, but there are still open questions, especially about White�s move #10. Can anybody help?



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White's 10th

What about 10. Nc3 O-O 11. Nxe4 dxe4 12. g3! Bxg3 13. Ne7+ retaining the extra piece?



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it took a long time, ...

... but now I had the opportunity to have a closer look with my fellow-club-mates:

Your line, azaris, is nearly forced for both opponents. The (forced) continuation is
13. - Kh8 14. Nxc8 and then 14. - c6!

You are correct: White retains an extra piece (for 2-3 pawns), but his King is still under strong attack. So we think, Black�s position has more chances:
15. Nd6 Bxe5 or
15. Be2 Taxc8 or
15. Kg2 Bxe5
The open d-file and the rook on f8 (facing the white King) seem to be worth the invested material.
f7-f5 is a dangerous threat because e5xf6 e.p. looks suicidal, but otherwise the black pawns on the King�s side will roll on like an avalanche.
Not easy for both players, but a bit less easy for White.

Thanks for your idea, very interesting!



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Nxe7+ seems best to me blacks only move then appears c6 then 11 Nxc8 Rxc8 looks to give white the edge. None of the other possible moves appear to help black's position.



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Some analysis

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d4
4. d3 and 4. Nc3 are both fine here (and the best answer to 4. Nc3 is 4... Nxe4), as is the text move. I have had good results with 4. d3. Also 4. Ng5 leads to complicated play. My favorite is the Traxler with 4... Bc5.

4... exd4 5. e5
The main line is 5. 0-0, which leads to the Max Lange attack.

5... d5 6. Bb5 Ne4 7. Nxd4 Bc5
This usually transposes to 7... Bd7 after 8. Be3 Bd7 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10. 0-0

8. Nxc6?!
This leads to a very unclear position, in which, however, White's results have been terrible. Of course, part of correspondence chess is digging up little used openings, and some players like to play things like this, but I want my openings to have better results than this one.

8... Qh4!?
I would prefer 8... bxc6 9. Bxc6+ Kf8, which allows the c8-bishop and a8-rook to come into the game, but to some extent it is a matter of taste.

10. Qxd5?!
Also 10. Nc3, 10. Qd3, 10. Qf3, 10. Nd4+, 10. Nxa7+ have been tried here, although White has had awful results with all of them. I can examine a few of them:

10. Nxa7+ c6 11. Nxc8 (11. Nxc6 is just awful) Rxc8 12. Bd3 Ng3+ 13. hxg3 Qxh1+ 14. Ke2 Qh5+ 15. Kd2 Qg5+ 16. Kc3 Qxe5+ 17. Kb3 c5 or 17... 0-0 appears very strong for Black to me. Material is roughly equal but Black has a strong attack against White's King.

12. Be2 in this line could be considered, then Black can either take an immediate draw with 12... Ba7 13. Qa1 Bf2 etc., or consider playing for more--say with 12... f5.

10. Nd4+ c6 11. Nf3 Ng3+ 12. Kxf2 Ne4+ 13. Ke2 Qf2+ 14. Kd3 Bf5 15. Nd4 cxb5 16. Rf1 Bg4 17. Nf3 Qxg2 also seems to offer Black good winning chances, although I'm sure you could find someone with a different opinion. Also 15... Bg6 seems to practically guarantee a draw: 16. Rf1 Nd2+ 17. Kc3 Qe3+ 18. Bd3 Ne4+ 19. Kb3 Nc5+ 20. Kc3

10. Nc3 0-0 (10... Nxc3 11. bxc3 bxc6 has also been tried) 11. Nxe4 dxe4 12. g3 Bxg3 13. Ne7+ Kh8 14. Nxc8 c6 my assessment is that the chances are roughly equal. Black's Kingside pawns are not so dangerous to the White King, because they can be temporarily stopped (e.g., Kg2, Qe1, Rf1, Bf4), but since they are passed they will also guarantee Black some chances in the endgame. At any rate it seems better than the alternatives.

10... 0-0!?
Also playable is 10... Bb6 11. g3 Qh3+ 12. Ke1 Bf2+ 13. Ke2 Qg4+ 14. Kd3 (14. Kf1 0-0) Nc5+ 15. Kc3 (Moller-Maroczy), or 10... Bb6 11. Be3 Ng3+ 12. hxg3 Qxh1+ 13. Kf2 Bxe3+ 14. Kxe3 0-0. Black retains good chances in any case. I actually think I like this move better than 10... Bb6.

11. Ne7+ Kh8 12. Nxc8

12. Nd2 was worth considering here, but after the response 12... f5, White may be worse off than he is in the game.

12... Bb6 13. g3 Qh3+ 14. Ke1 Bf2+

On 14... Qg2 15. Rf1 then 15... Bf2+ 16. Kd1 c6 17. Qd3 Raxc8 decides due to the double threat of cxb5 and Rd8. 15. Bf1 just loses to 15... Qf2+ 16. Kd1 Qf3+ 17. Ke1 Bf2#. So it seems that White must play 15. Nxb6. Then Black has a draw in hand with Qf2-f3, but perhaps he can take the rook: 15... Qxh1+ 16. Bf1 Qf3! 17. Nd2 (17. Bd3 Qf2+ 18. Kd1 Qg1+ 19. Ke2 Qxh2+) Qf2+ 18. Kd1 Nxd2 and now if 19. Nxa8 Nf3 then Black should win, while 19. Qg2 Qxf1+ leaves Black with the better ending. White could try 19. Be2, but after 19... cxb6 his defense will be difficult.

14... Bf2+ 15. Kd1 Qg2 16. Rf1 c6
Objectively speaking, 16... Raxc8 is best because 17. Nd2 runs into 17... Nc3+. White is probably dead lost--Black is threatening ...Rd8, ...c6, etc. However, this move is pretty interesting, and it doesn't throw away anything.

17. Qd3 Raxc8 18. Nd2?
I think it's safe to say that after 18. Bd2 Rfd8 19. Qe2 cxb5 White is a goner. Best seems to be 18. Qe2 cxb5 19. c3, trying to get the King to safety. Black's chances are better, but it's not clear that the position is won yet.

18... Rfd8 19. Qe2 cxb5 20. c3 Rxc3
It's all over at this point.

21. b3 Re3 22. Qh5 Qxf1+ 23. Kc2 Rxd2+ 24. Bxd2 Qd3+ 25. Kb2 Qxd2+ 26. Ka3 Re2
If you wanted to mate with the Ne4, you could have played 26... Rxb3+ 27. axb3 Bc5+ 28. b4 Bxb4+ 29. Kb3 Nc5#, or 27. Kxb3 Qd3+ 28. Kb2 (28. Kxb4 Qc3+ 29. Kb5 a6+ 30. Ka4 Nc5#) 28... Qc3+ 29. Kb1 Nd2#.

27. Qxf7 Qa5# 0-1
It wasn't too late for 27... Bc5+ 28. b4 Bxb4+ 29. Kb3 Nc5#.

There is a lot that could be said about this opening, but the main thing is this: Black has the much better chances in practice. I am not particularly interested in the theoretical evaluations, as much as I am in the realization that when White plays 8. Nxc6, Black will probably get a draw at the absolute worst. Of course, there may be opening specialists who prepare solely for this line and find some new innovations, but the ones who would take the White side seem to be few and far between.



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thank you both

for your analysis, especially to atrifix�s deep and detailed thoughts!

I agree that 10. Nc3 gives White far better chances than other moves. Nevertheless I think that this move is not a clear refutation to Black�s plans, I would always play this line again because I like tactical games.

Atrifix, I saw the mate-in-three in the end - but I thought it was not okay (for the opponent) to miss a mate-in-one deliberately. Both of us were responsible for an exciting game, and I was afraid to appear presumptuous.

At the moment I am just playing a game with similar opening and similar threats. In contrast to this analysed game my opponent just traded my MVP (again the Ne4!) instead of accepting my "generous" rook-sacrifice. Now the game changed to a complete different one, maybe he read this thread in time - who knows?

I will have closer looks at all of your lines soon, atrifix. So far I have the feeling that the analysis is roughly complete (for the level I am playing). Hopefully I can use that knowledge in an OTB game some time!



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atrifix marked: 8. Nxc6?!
But what could be suggested there, as well?



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avoid unnecessary complications by 8. 0-0

8. - 0-0
9. Bxc6 bxc6
10. Be3 Bd7 (or consider Ba6)
leads to a position which is similar to the main-line, both should now try to gain control over the c5-space


8. - Bxd4
9. Qxd4 0-0
10. Bxc6 bxc6
11. f3 Ng5
12. Bxg5 Qxg5
13. Nc3
looks at least equal for White, maybe he can use the fact that the black bishop is blocked by his own pawns c6 and d5 and/or bring his knight to c5.

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