White: Bruce Leverett Black: Don Meigs Pittsburgh Chess League (Alternate Pairing) Round 3 (Nov. 14, 1999) Benoni Defense 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 g6 4 Nc3 d6 5 e4 Bg7 6 Bd3 O-O 7 h3 Na6 8 Nf3 Re8 Against White's development of Bd3, h3, and Nf3, Black can play two ways: "slow" and "sharp". An example of "slow" would be 8 ... Nc7 9 O-O Re8 10 Re1 Bd7, and now White doesn't have an aggressive, noncommittal place to put his queen bishop. An example of "sharp" would have been 7 ... e6 8 Nf3 exd5 9 cxd5 (9 exd5 is also possible) b5!? 9 O-O e6 10 Re1 exd5 11 cxd5 Nc7 12 a4 Bd7 13 Bf4 White has the best of both worlds. There are no complex tactics to worry about, and his queen bishop is on an excellent diagonal and can stay there. 13 ... Qe7? I expected 13 ... Bf8. White's pawn should not be allowed to get to d6 without paying a price. 14 e5 dxe5 15 Bxe5 Qd8 16 d6 Ne6 17 Qd2 a6 18 Bh2 It took me a while to find this move. White avoids exchanging the bishop, which is a strong piece, and prepares to invade with the king knight. 18 ... Rc8 19 Bc4 Qb6 20 Ne5 Rcd8 21 a5 Qa7 If 21 ... Qb4 the queen is nearly trapped. After 22 b3, White's threat of 23 Nd3 will eventually win material; for instance, 22 ... Nd4 23 Bxf7+, or 22 ... Nh5 23 Qc1 (threatening 24 Nd5) Bxe5 24 Bxe5 Nd4 25 Nd5 Nxb3 26 Bxb3 Qxb3 27 Ne7+. 22 Nxd7 Nxd7 23 Nd5 Nf6 24 Nc7 Nxc7 25 dxc7 Qa8 Of course, 25 ... Rxd2 allows 26 Rxe8+ Nxe8 27 c8(Q) Kf8 28 Re1. 26 cxd8Q Rxd8 27 Qc2 Qc8 28 Re7 Nd5 29 Bxd5 Rxd5 30 Rae1 Qc6 31 Bf4 g5 32 Bd2 g4 33 Re8+ Bf8 34 Rxf8+ Kxf8 35 Qxh7 Resigns White: Antonio Ambrad, Pittsbugh Chess Club Black: Bruce Leverett, Double Trouble Pittsburgh Chess League Round 4 (Dec. 5, 199) Queen's Gambit, Semi-Slav defense, Anti-Meran variation 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 e6 5 Bg5 h6 5 ... Be7 would transpose to the Orthodox Queen's Gambit Declined, in a variation where Black has played ... c6 slightly prematurely. 5 ... Nbd7 would transpose to the Cambridge Springs defense. 5 ... dxc4 is the start of a well-known, very sharp gambit, sometimes called the Botvinnik Variation, which might continue 6 e4 b5 7 e5 h6 8 Bh4 g5 9 Nxg5 hxg5 10 Bxg5. 6 Bh4 6 Bxf6 is good. Instead White offers a gambit. 6 ... dxc4 7 e3 White can't transpose to the Botvinnik Variation by 7 e4, because after 7 ... g5, he can't get away with 8 Nxg5. However 7 e4 is still playable. 7 ... b5 8 a4 Qb6 I thought this was better than 8 ... Bb4, because I was afraid to trade my black-squared bishop with so many loose black squares in the center. But 8 ... Bb4 is the right strategy. Black should knock out White's knight on c3 before it turns into a monster. 8 ... a6? doesnt work because of 9 axb5 cxb5 10 Nxb5! 9 Ne5 Bb7 10 Be2 a6? My sense of danger deserted me. I should have challenged the knight immediately by 10 ... Nbd7. 11 Bh5! Nxh5 12 Qxh5 Qc7 13 O-O! Now, I can't complete my development, because both 13 ... Nbd7 and 13 ... Be7 are impossible. I spent a long time thinking about this move. 13 g6 I don't remember why I didn't play 13 ... Bb4. After 14 Qg4, Black must play 14 ... Kf8, with a pretty ugly position. 14 Ne4 might be even better; after 14 ... O-O 15 Nf6+ Kh8 16 Neg4 may be a forced win, unless I have missed something. 14 Qg4 Be7 15 Ne4 Bxh4 16 Qxh4 Nd7 17 Rfd1 I was most worried about 17 Nxd7 Kxd7 (not 17 ... Qxd7 18 Nf6+), but the move chosen is even stronger. 17 ... Kf8 18 Qf4 Nxe5 19 dxe5 Kg7 Now White can win material by 20 Nc5, and either: (a) 20 ... Rad8 21 Qf6+ Kh7 22 Rxd8 Rxd8 23 Nxb7, or (b) 20 ... Bc8 21 Qf6+ Kh7 22 Rd7! Instead he relaxes his grip, and I get a playable position. But I was in severe time pressure. 20 Nf6? Rad8 21 Ng4 Qe7 22 Nf6 Now 22 ... c5 would be logical. 22 ... Rxd1+ 23 Rxd1 Rd8 24 Rd4 Now Black must play 24 ... Rxd4, and after 25 exd4 Qd8 looks playable, or perhaps even 25 ... c5, as long as Black doesn't try to regain the pawn: 26 dxc5 Qxc5?? 27 Ng4 winning. Instead I fell for a trap. 24 ... c5? 25 Ng4! Rxd4 Not 25 ... cxd4 26 Qxh6+ Kg8 27 Nf6+ and even 27 ... Qxf6 28 exf6 doesn't stave off mate. Also 25 ... g5 or 25 ... Qg5 both lose to 26 Qf6+ winning the rook. 26 Qxh6+ Kg8 27 exd4 f5 I was in too much time trouble to resign. 28 Nf6+ Kf7 29 Qh7+ Kf8 30 Qg8 mate