(1) Chessnut Chris - Guest656544 [C11]
3m + 3s Main Playing Hall, 18.03.2004
[Junior 8 and Chris]

C11: French: Classical System: 4 e5 and 4 Bg5 dxe4 C11: French: Classical System: 4 e5 and 4 Bg5 dxe4 Hi All, This blitz game played recently by yours-truly involves the sacrifice of both my rooks. I'm white. The first sac (on move 13) turned out OK, but is it sound? What do you think? Was black already lost after 14...Qa5? Any comments are welcome as I don't have all the answers myself. The position gets a bit too complicated for me to accurately analyse to be honest. Perhaps you stronger players will see through the variations and tell me what was really going on! Thanks for any comments. P.S. Please forgive my handling of the opening!

A bit of an odd-ball opening, but it soon transposes into relatively more familiar territory. Although I must admit that I do not know the subtleties of the French defence, so my opening play is mostly guesswork.

1...d5 2.e4 e6 3.f4 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7
[4...Ne4 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Qe2 f5 7.exf6 Nxf6 8.d4 ]

5.d4 c5 6.Be3 Qb6
[6...Nc6 ]

7.Nf3N Qxb2? 8.Bd2?!
[After the game, I could see that better is ... >=8.Nb5 Na6 9.a3+- With a big white advantage. Game continuation would be something like ... 9...Nb6 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.Bxc5 Nxc5 12.Rb1 Qa2 13.Nc7+ Ke7 14.Nxa8 Nxa8 15.Qc1 ]

8...Qb6 9.Rb1 Qc7 10.Be3
Looks a bit strange to keep moving this Bishop, but I thought it was beter placed on e3, and would have to moved theer sooner or later anyway.

[10...a6 11.Ne2=/+ ]

[11.f5 0-0= ]

[11...c4 could be better (?) 12.Be2 a6 13.0-0 b5 14.f5 b4 15.fxe6 fxe6 16.Ng5 but this looks good for white]

12.0-0 Nb4?
[12...a6 Is the better choice. White perhaps needs to attend to the threats to d4 and the queenside before he can start his f5 push.]

The first rook sacrifce. Is it sound? Don't know! But it sure felt good! The idea is to keep my precious bishops active, and to strike at black with f5 before he can consolidate with his material advantage.

13...cxb4 14.Nb5 Qa5?!
My fairly extensive analysis shows this is not the best move. Although it is only my anylsis - so, if I'm honest, I canot be to confident of my results, especially as it is complicated stuff. Here is a sample of the analysis: [14...Qc6 15.f5 exf5 (15...0-0 16.fxe6 (16.f6 gxf6 17.Qe1=/+ f5 18.Bh6 Kh8 ) 16...fxe6 17.Bg5 Bxg5 18.Nxg5 g6 19.Nd6+- ) 16.Bg5 f6 (16...a6 17.Bxe7 axb5 18.Bxb4 Nb8 19.Qe1 Qh6 20.e6 Bxe6 21.Nh4+- ) 17.exf6 Nxf6 18.Qe2 Be6 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.Re1 (20.Bxf5 Kd8=/+ ) 20...0-0 21.Qxe6+ Qxe6 22.Rxe6 f4 23.Nd6 Rab8 24.Ne5+/- ; 14...Qb6! Seems to be the best move. I'm really not sure if this move refutes the whole idea of the rook sac. The analysis I've done is a bit more than I can handle to be honest. Can white play for a win, or at least a draw after this? A sample of my computer aided analysis is below: 15.f5 exf5 16.c4 (16.Bg5 Bxg5 17.Nxg5 0-0 18.Rxf5 g6 19.Rxf7 Rxf7 20.Nxf7 Kxf7 21.Qf3+ Kg7 22.Qf4 Nf8 23.Nd6 Be6 24.Qf6+ Kg8 ; 16.Qe1 0-0 17.Bf4 Nb8 18.e6 Bxe6 19.Bc7 Qa6 ) 16...dxc4 17.Bxc4 0-0 18.Qc2 Kh8 19.Bd3 Rb8 20.Rc1 Rd8 (20...a6 21.Nc7 ) 21.Qf2 a6 22.d5 Qa5 23.d6 Bf8 24.Bxf5 (24.Ng5 Nxe5 25.Rxc8 b3 26.Rxb8 Rxb8 ) 24...axb5 25.Bxh7!! Bxd6 (25...Kxh7?? 26.Ng5+ Kg6 27.Qxf7+ Kh6 28.Qf5 Kh5 29.g4+ Kh4 30.Bf2# ) 26.exd6 Nf6 27.Bb6 (27.Qh4 Nxh7 28.Rxc8 f6 29.Rxb8 Rxb8 ) 27...Qa3 28.Rd1 Re8 29.Bb1 Kg8 (29...b3 30.axb3 Qxb3 31.Bc2 ) 30.Bd4+/- ]

15.f5 a6
It seems reasonable to want to get rid of the knight. The other options seem decidedly in whites favour [15...exf5?! 16.Bg5 a6 (16...h6?! 17.Bxe7 Kxe7-/+ 18.Qe1 g5 19.Nd6 f4 20.Nh4! (20.Nxf7?! Kxf7 21.e6+ Kg8 22.exd7 Bxd7 ) 20...Nb8 21.Nxf7 Kxf7 22.e6+ Bxe6 23.Bg6+ Ke7 24.Nf5+ Kd7 25.Qe5 ) 17.Bxe7 axb5 18.Bd6 Nb6 19.Ng5 g6 20.Qe1 Nc4 21.Qh4 ; 15...0-0?! 16.fxe6 fxe6 17.Bg5 Qd8 18.Bxe7 Qxe7 19.Nd6 a5 20.Qc1 h6 21.c3 bxc3 22.Qxc3 Nb6 23.Rb1 Qd8 24.Bc2 Nc4 25.Qd3 Rf5 26.g4+- ]

[16.fxe6?! could be examined more closely 16...axb5 17.Ng5 Nf8 18.Rxf7 (18.Nxf7 Rg8 ) 18...Nxe6 19.Qh5 but after the calm Kd8, black is perhaps out of danger 19...Kd8-/+ ]

16...Bxd6 17.exd6
[>=17.fxe6 Be7 18.Ng5=/+ Nf8 19.Rxf7 Nxe6 20.Qh5 Kd8-+ ]

Evidently black felt his position was safe enough to have time to munch another pawn. But this looses quickly. Other options also fail to help. It is already too late. This shows that teh critical position was on move wher blac kshould have played 14...Qb6 [>=17...exf5 18.Bg5 (18.Nh4 Nf6 19.Nxf5 Bxf5 20.Rxf5 0-0-0-/+ ) 18...0-0 19.Be7 Re8 20.Ng5 Nf6 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Qh5!! fxg5 23.Qxg5+ Kf8 24.Qf6 Kg8 25.Rf3 Re4 26.Rg3+ Rg4 27.Rxg4+ fxg4 28.Qg5+ Kh8 29.Qh6 Bf5 30.Bxf5 Kg8 31.Qxh7+ Kf8 32.Qh8# ; 17...exf5 is then probably not the answer; neither is 17...0-0 18.fxe6 fxe6 19.Ng5 Rxf1+ 20.Qxf1 Nf6 21.Bxh7+ Nxh7 22.Qf7+ Kh8 23.Qe8+ Nf8 24.Qxf8# ]

18.fxe6+- fxe6
black is totally lost [>=18...Nf6 19.exf7+ Kxf7 20.Ne5+ Ke6+- ]

19.Ng5 Nf6 20.Rxf6!!
The second rook sac! This time, the rook sac is clearly the best move, with imediate tactical results. The queen invades blacks position, aided by bishop and knight. this move sure felt good too!

This leads to a forced mate [20...Kd7 otherwise it's curtains at once 21.Rf7+ Kc6+- ]

21.Qh5+ Kd7
[21...Kd8 doesn't improve blacks chances. Mate still follows 22.Qf7 Qb1+ (22...Bd7 23.Qxf6+ Kc8 24.Qxh8+ Be8 25.Qxe8# ) 23.Kf2 Qg1+ 24.Kxg1 Bd7 25.Qxf6+ Kc8 26.Qxh8+ Be8 27.Qxe8# ]

22.Qf7+ Kxd6 23.Bf4+ Kc6
shortens the game by a few moves [23...e5 24.Qxf6+ Kd7 25.Qe6+ Kd8 26.Nf7+ Kc7 27.Qd6# ]

I like this final position. Black's rooks and Bishop are on their starting positions, and all black's peices are on the edge of the board. (Lag: Av=0.37s, max=1.1s) 1-0