Thursday 17 April 2008

The Joy of Prep

During the 2002 and 2004 Chess Olympiads, I roomed with Manuel Weeks. Manuel was the captain of the Australian Mens Team, while I was playing board 3/2 for the Papua New Guinea team. While Manuel was kept busy by his Australian duties he did find the time to help me with opening preparation.
In 2004 he showed me an interesting idea against the Scotch Game. I didn't get the chance to use it, as my opponent varied early on. (That game ended in a quick draw followed by a drug test) So the idea has been sitting on the shelf for the last 4 years, until my game last night. Unlike Frank Marshall saving up his gambit to use against Capablanca, I don't think I'd had an opportunity to use it in the last couple of years. This may have been because my opponents avoided main line Scotch, but the more likely cause is I simply forgot about it until now. But having remembered it, I decided to wheel it out.

Bayliss,D - Press,S [C45]
ANU Autumn Rapid, 16.04.2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 Ba6 9.b3 Qh4 This was the move suggested by Manuel Weeks. White has to be a little careful as the a1 rook is liable to attack from d4, while the plausible g3 then exposes the h1 rook to attack from e4. 10.a3 [ 10.g3?? Qd4] 10...Bc5 11.g3 (D) I had suggested this was the wrong move, but Peter Wells in his book in the Scotch says this move may be the refutation of 9. ... Qh4
11...Bxf2+ 12.Kxf2
[ 12.Qxf2! Qe4+ 13.Kd1 Qxh1 14.Nd2 Ne7 leaves the Black queen struggling to get out.( 14...Nc3+ 15.Kc2 Ne4 16.Nxe4 Qxe4+ 17.Bd3 Qxe5 18.Bb2 also leads to a good attack for White.) ] 12...Qd4+ 13.Ke1 Qxa1 14.Qb2 Qxb2 15.Bxb2 Ne7 16.Bh3?? missing Black's next move. 16...Bxc4! 17.Nd2 [ 17.bxc4 Rb8] 17...Bd5 [ I could have played 17...Bxb3 with the same idea of Rb8, but at the fast time limit I figured I'd gobbled enough wood and didn't want to leave too many pieces hanging. 18.Nxb3 Rb8 19.Nc5 isn't as bad as it looks as White has 19...Rxb2 20.Bxd7+ Kd8 21.Bg4! but Black is winning nonetheless] 18.Rf1 Rb8 19.b4 Be6 20.Bg2 c5 21.Bc3 cxb4 22.Bxb4 Nd5 23.Bxd5 Bxd5 24.Ke2 Rb5 25.Rc1 Bc6 26.Nc4 Kd8 27.Kd3 Re8 28.Kd4 Rd5+ 29.Kc3 Bb5 30.Ba5 Bxc4 31.Bxc7+ Kxc7 32.Kxc4 Rexe5 0-1

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