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Francisco, R – Baghwat, N USATS (Round 2)

By Richard Francisco

The following game was played in round 2 at the USATS. It was my favorite game, as I was able to execute a standard attacking strategy in a novel form.

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4 h6 5.g4 Bg6?

This retreat is inaccurate.  Black is forced to play 5…Bd7 to prevent the maneuver that happens in the game.

6.h5 Bh7

 

White to play and gain a big advantage.

 7.e6! fxe6

 Black’s position is in shambles. His f8 bishop and h8 rook likely never make it into the game, and my next move highlights weaknesses along the b1-h7 diagonal.

8.Bd3 Qd6 9.Bxh7 Rxh7 10.Qd3 Nf6 11.Nf3 Nbd7

 

White to play and gain a winning advantage.

 12.Qg6+ Kd8 13.g5!

 It is unusual to attack with just pawns before developing all of your pieces, but in this case the pawn push simply wins. Black is unable to take the pawn, as after 13…hxg5 14.Nxg5 wins more material.

 13…Rh8 14.gxf6 exf6 15.Nc3 c5

 

Black seems counterplay in the center, which is his best chance. Unfortunately I am able to develop much faster and it is Black’s king who will come under fire.

 16.dxc5 Nxc5 17.Be3 Rc8 18.0–0–0 a6 19.Nd4 Rc7 20.Rhe1 Re7

 

White to play and force resignation.

 21.Nf5 1–0

21.Nxe6+ was also winning. It sounds quite dogmatic, but Black’s position was probably close to losing after his seemingly normal fifth move! Knowing key strategic ideas of opening structures is an important component of chess mastery.

Playing on the winning USATS team was a great experience! I look forward to reporting on our national playoff.

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