Thursday, September 20, 2012

The NY Knights crush the Boston Blitz

Justus Williams and Alex Katz both won

The Knights: Matt Herman, Giorgi Kacheshvili, Justus Williams, Alex Katz

GM Giorgi Kacheshvili

FM Matt Herman

NM Justus Williams

NM Alex Katz

We crushed the Boston Blitz last night 3.5-0.5. Justus was, as usual, the first to finish, playing bravely yet seemingly effortlessly, exploiting his opponents slight weakness on c5. Matt Herman improved his position relentlessly before sacking the exchange to exploit the over-aggressive g2-g4.

Kazim Gulamali  -- Matt Herman
annotations by Herman
1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 {the blogs called for a Smith-Morra-Esserman Gambit}
2. ..d6
3. d4 cd
4. Nd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 a6
6. h3 e5
7. Nde2
(67) h5 (85) {in conjunction with e7-e5, a 'positionally sharp' idea; the standard plan of g2-g4 and Ne2-g3, with an extra tempo on the g3 Najdorf is prevented, but this concedes the g5 square to white's Bc1 and h5 may become a target later}
8. g3 (66) Be7 (76)
9. Bg2 (61) b5 (55)
10. Bg5 (59) Nbd7 (52)
11. 0-0 {white could have "fallen" for 11. Nd5 Nd5 with the idea 12. Qd5!, but black is OK after 12. ..Nb6 13. Be7 Ke7! as in Vallejo-Ubilava 1998}
11. ..Bb7
12. a3 Rc8

13. Qe1 (47) {this move is new; Alec Getz fell under heavy pressure against Shabalov at last year's World Open after 13. Qd2 0-0 14. Rad1 Rc4!? 15. b3 Rc5 16. Be3 Rc7 17. Nd5 Nd5 18. ed Qa8}
13. ..Rc7
14. Rd1 (41) Qa8 (43) {it's not so clear how to protect e4}
15. Bf6 Nf6
16. Nc1 0-0 (22) {after another twenty minute think; also possible was more direct play with 16. ..Rc3 17. Qc3 Ne4}
17. N1a2 (29) Rfc8 (23)
18. Qe3 (11) {if 18. Nb4, black has a pleasant choice between 18. ..a5 or 18. ..Rxc3}
18. ..Rc4 (13) {unpleasant; white has to allow additional pressure on e4 or make a concession to drive the R from c4}
19. Rfe1 (10) Qb8 (9) {overprotecting d6 and allowing the Be7 to re-route to a7-g1; also useful in variations where black goes a6-a5 / Nc3xb5 / Rc4xc2 and white is not allowed to capture on d6}
20. Bf1 R4c5
21. Qf3 Bd8
22. Bd3 {protecting e4 and c2, but losing touch with d5; compare to the position after move 19}
22. ..Bb6
23. g4? {a try to complicate a difficult position in mutual time pressure, but the counterstrike in the center is dangerous}
23. ..d5!
24. Nb4?! {24. ed Rd5! 25. Nd5 Bd5 26. Qg3 Ba2 27. b3 Bd4! and black will eventually win, but this allows a clarifying combo}

24. ..Rc3!
25. bc de
26. Be4 hg
27. hg Ne4
28. Re4 Be4! {not 28. ..Rc4 29. Rd7!}
29. Qe4 Rc4
30. Qe2 Qc8!
31. Rd6 Bc5
{Rc4xg4-h4, works, as does 31. ..Bf2! 32. Qf2 (or 32. Kf2 Qc5 picking up the rook) Qg4 33. Qg2 Qh4! and wins}
32. Rc6 Qd7
33. Ra6 Rg4
34. Kf1

34....e4! {the last precise move; white cannot bring his N back with Nb4-d3 and the Queen is denied any activity}
35. Ra8 Kh7
36. Na6 Rh4! {with forced mate, white let his flag fall}


Giorgi took a draw against Eugene Perelshteyn to clinch the match, while Alex Katz took down Boston Blitz Assistant to the Manager Ilya Krasik in a creative and exciting game.

An ENORMOUS thank you to our sponsors, ChessNYC, whose unstinting generosity enables us to field such strong and exciting lineups. On a personal note, I want to add that in addition to supporting the NY Knights, they've stepped in to help my school, IS 318, after we were unceremoniously dumped by Chess in the Schools. Their entirely selfless and generous funding of a grandmaster coach for the economically underpriviledged children I work with will make an enormous difference in my students' education and development. THANK YOU SO MUCH! You're the truly the best!

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