Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Should I grab the queen?

A few issues of Australian Correspondence Chess Quarterly ago, I annotated a set of games that started with the Marshall Gambit (Ruy Lopez version). I remarked that annotating Marshall's was a difficult task as either one player came up with a theoretical novelty (TN) which just won on the spot, or the game petered out into a draw. The unstated point was that the Marshall is pretty much all tactics, and strategical battles are almost non existent.
As further evidence of this point, I've just completed a game in the Australia v India match which ended in a draw. My opponent played the Kevitz variation, which can be annoying, but is't the sternest test of the opening. The crucial point was at move 23 where he offered me the choice of winning back a sacrificed piece, or winning his queen for bishop and rook. Part of the difficulty for me was that my enthusiasm for CC is waning a little so I didn't subject the position to the level of scrutiny it required. Having thought my opponent had a defence to 23. ... Rxe3, I went for the queen, but without enough pieces to help my queen the game quickly ended in a draw.

De,Gautam (2096) - Press,Shaun [C89]
Australia - India ICCF

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.Bxd5 cxd5 13.d4 Bd6 14.Re1 Qh4 15.g3 Qh3 16.Qf3 Bf5 17.Qxd5 Rae8 18.Bd2 Bf4 19.Rxe8 Rxe8 20.Qg2 Qh5 21.f3 Bd3 22.gxf4 Re6 (D)
23.Be3N [RR 23.Qf2 Be2 24.f5 Qxf5 25.h4 Bxf3 26.Qg3 h6 27.Bf4 (RR 27.Be3 Rg6 28.Bg5 hxg5 29.h5 Bxh5 30.Nd2 Re6 31.Re1 Qg4 32.Qxg4 Rxe1+ 33.Kf2 Bxg4 34.Kxe1 Be6 35.a3 f5 36.b3 Kf8 37.Kf2 Ke7 38.c4 g4 39.a4 bxa4 40.bxa4 g5 41.a5 f4 Terada,S-Sakai,K/corr JPCA 1999/½-½ (53)) 27...Re4 28.Nd2 Rxf4 29.Rf1 Rg4 30.Rxf3 Rxg3+ 31.Rxg3 Qc2 32.Rg2 Qxb2 0-1 Femmel,D (2109)-Sakai,K (2091)/IECC Email 2001 (32)] 23...Rg6?! [23...Rxe3!] 24.Nd2 Rxg2+ 25.Kxg2 Qd5 26.b3 Qc6 27.Rc1 Qg6+ 28.Kf2 Qh5 29.Kg2 Qg6+ ½-½

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