Thursday, 14 April 2011

It's a trap!

As I hinted at in this post, there were a couple of very short games in the first round of the Dubbo Open. The honour of the first to finish went to this game

Bemrose, Trevor - Farrell, Keith [C50]
2011 Dubbo Open

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Be7 4.d4 exd4 5.c3 dxc3? 6.Qd5 1-0

As the arbiters desk was located outside the playing hall, I didn't see the game played, but relied upon the winner to describe it to me. He finished his description with "and after Qd5 he realised that Nh6 lost a piece to Bxh6, as he couldn't take back as he was getting mated on f7".
"Hang on" I said, "after you take on h6, he can castle and you still have to deal with cxb2." "Bc1" came the reply. "Not so fast, I'm pretty sure Black has something against that"
And indeed Black does. After 6. ... Nh6 7.Bxh6 O-O 8.Bc1? Nb4! Black is fact better, as 9.Qd1 c2! wins back the piece, while Q anywhere else allows Nc2+.
But Black shouldn't feel so bad about resigning. He is in quite good company, including the game Mitjford v Scharf from the 1974 Olympiad. In fact of the 95 games I found in Hugebase, 12 of them ended with Black resigning after Qd5! But of the remaining games the results still favour White, even if he doesn't try and hang on to the piece with Bc1. Probably best is the direct 8.Bxg7 as after 8. ... Kxg7 9.Nxc3 White has a safer king and a lead in development.


Anonymous said...

8.Bc1 Nb4 9.Qh5 Nc2+ 10.Ke2 Nxa1 11.Nxc3 looks like a winning attack for White to me, with h4 and Ng5 coming.

Anonymous said...

what if after 8.Bxg7, 8...Nb4

Anonymous said...

I once had this position as White from a different move order, and after 5...Nh6 6.Bxh6 my opponent very quickly did the automatic recapture 6...gxh6. That's the only thing more embarrassing than resigning :)

Check out the Eric Schiller book on the Scotch Gambit for a laugh - he actually writes that Black has to resign after 5.Qd5. Playing it in a game is one thing, but putting it in a book is 100 times worse!