Friday, January 15, 2010

Tim McGrew and the Winckelmann Gambit

How about something different? Here a game from the March-April 1996 issue of BDG World, in which our hero Tim McGrew takes on IM Anna Gulko in an ICC game. The opening is the Winckelmann Gambit in the French--it's okay, the f-pawn gets offered. Elaborate notes by Tim:

8 8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
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2 2
1 1
McGrew, Tim 2400 - Anna Gulko 2255
1-0 (ICC) 1995
[#] 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 dxe4 6.f3!? No matter against whom ... 6...exf3 7.Nxf3 Nd7 8.Bd3 I have a mild preference for delaying the development of the Queen's Bishop until Black has announced his intentions with ...0-0 or ...h6. Of course, a strong player can find constructive things to do without telegraphing the King's location, and IM Gulko does just that. But there is a price for playing the waiting game: Black's King remains in the center for some time. 8...Ngf6 9.O-O b6 10.Bg5
[10.Ne5 Bb7 (10...O-O 11.Qf3 Rb8 12.Nc6 Bb7 13.Nxd8 Bxf3 14.Nxe6 fxe6 15.Rxf3 e5 16.Bg5² ) 11.Qe2 O-O 12.Bg5 Qc8 13.Nxd7 (13.Bxf6 Nxf6 14.Rxf6!? is good for a draw: 14...gxf6 15.Qg4+ Kh8 16.Qh4 f5 17.Qf6+= ; 13.Ng4?! is less good since 13...Nxg4 14.Qxg4 f5 15.Qe2 Nf6 16.Bxf6 Rxf6µ lets Black hold onto his material, though mobilizing the Kingside majority will present technical difficulties because of White's grip on e4 and e5.) 13...Nxd7 14.Be7!? picks up some material because of 14...Re8 15.Bxh7+ Kxh7 16.Qh5+ Kg8 17.Qxf7+ Kh8 18.Rf4 mating]
10...Bb7 11.Qe1
[11.Ne5 doesn't work any more because Black has a quick mate threat on g2: 11...Nxe5 12.dxe5 Qd5!µ ]
11...h6 12.Bh4
[12.Qh4!? was also possible, as Black cannot castle: 12...O-O 13.Bxh6 gxh6 14.Qxh6 Ne4 15.Rae1 Qf6 16.Qh5 Qg7 17.Bxe4 Nf6 18.Qe5 Nxe4 19.Rxe4 Bxe4 20.Qxe4 Rfe8 21.Ne5 f5 22.Qc6 Qe7 23.Rf3 Qxa3 24.Rg3+ Kf8 25.h3! Qd6 26.Qf3! ]
12...Qe7 Black has cleverly kept her options open for castling on either wing. At this point, it's important to make things hot on the Queenside to discourage castling there; fortunately, between the a-pawn, the open b-file, and the diagonals leading to a6 and c7, White has enough pressure to make life very uncomfortable for the Black King. In any event, Black decides (sensibly) to strike back in the center. The down side of this is that Black's King now has to go to the Kingside or be caught in the center. 13.a4 c5
[13...O-O is risky since White has typical BDG themes in the coming Kingside attack: 14.Qf2 (14.Ne5 is natural, but the standard exchange sac on f6 once again yields only a perpetual: 14...Qd6 15.Bxf6!? (15.Bg3!? might be worth a look, forsaking the assault on f6 for centralization of the major pieces, e.g. 15...Qd5 16.Qd2 c6 17.Rf3 Nxe5 18.Bxe5 Ng4 19.Re1 Nxe5 20.Rxe5 Qa2 21.Rg3 Kh8 22.Rh5 ) 15...Nxf6 16.Rxf6 gxf6 17.Qg3+ Kh8 18.Qh4 Kg7 19.Qg3+ Kh8 20.Qe3 Kg7= ) 14...c5 15.Rae1 Rac8 16.Ne5 Qe8 17.Bb5! This twist is the only way to prove that White is winning. It's worth remembering when Black has Knights on f6 and d7 and has just slipped out of the pin -- sometimes, you have to pin the other Knight! 17...a6 (17...g5 18.Qg3 Qd8 (18...Nh5 is a defens ive resource that must always be taken into account. Here it fails since after 19.Qh3 gxh4 20.Bxd7 Qe7 21.Bxc8 Bxc8 22.Re4 Ba6 23.Rfe1 Ng7 24.Qxh4 White's material advantage is too great) 19.Bxg5 Nh5 (19...hxg5 20.Qxg5+ Kh8 21.Bxd7 Nh7 (21...Nxd7 22.Qh5+ Kg8 23.Rxf7 ) 22.Nxf7+ Rxf7 23.Qxd8+ Rxd8 24.Rxf7 ) 20.Bxd8+ Nxg3 21.Bxd7 Nxf1 22.Bxc8 Bxc8 23.Rxf1 Rxd8 24.Nxf7 Rd7 25.Nxh6+ Kg7 26.Ng4 cxd4 27.Ne5 ) 18.Bxf6 axb5 19.Nxd7 Qxd7 20.Qg3 g6 (20...g5? 21.Bxg5 ) 21.Re5! Qd6 22.Qh4 Kh7 23.Rf4 ]
14.a5 a6 15.axb6 Nxb6 16.Ne5 Nbd5 17.Rb1 Rc8
[17...O-O is suicical at this point: 18.c4 (18.Qg3 Kh8 19.c4 Nb4 20.Rxb4! cxb4 21.Rxf6 also does the trick; 18.Ng4 Qc7 19.Nxf6+ Nxf6 20.Rxf6 gxf6 21.Bxf6 is a third way!) 18...Nb4 19.Rxb4! cxb4 20.Rxf6! Qd6! (20...g5 21.Rxh6 gxh4 22.Rxh4 f5 23.Rh8+ Kxh8 24.Ng6+ ) 21.Qf2! Qc7 22.Rxh6 Rac8 23.Bf6 ]
18.Bg6! A very enjoyable move to find with one's clock ticking! Black, who has been unable to castle because of the foregoing tactics, will now have to forfeit the privilege permanently. 18...Rf8
[18...O-O is still unplayable: 19.c4 (19.Be4 Ba8 20.Bxd5 Bxd5 21.Ng4 Qd6 (21...Qc7 22.Bxf6 gxf6 23.Qh4 f5 24.Nxh6+ Kg7 25.Nxf5+ exf5 26.Qg5+ Kh7 27.Qxf5+ Kg7 28.Qg4+ Kh8 29.Rf5 ) 22.Bxf6 gxf6 and now White has a choice of pleasant finishes: 23.Qh4! (23.Rxf6! Qc7 (23...Qe7 24.Nxh6+ Kh7 25.Ng8! ; 23...Kg7 24.Qh4 Rh8 25.Rbf1 Qe7 26.Ne5 ) 24.Qh4 Be4 25.Rxh6 f5 26.Nf6+ Rxf6 27.Rh8+ Kg7 28.Qh7# ) 23...f5 24.Nxh6+ Kg7 25.Qg5+ Kh7 26.Ng4 f6 (26...fxg4 27.Rf6 ) 27.Qh6+ Kg8 28.Qg6+ Kh8 29.Nxf6 Rxf6 30.Qxf6+ Kg8 31.Rxf5 ) 19...Nb4 20.c3 Nc6 21.Be4 Na5 22.Bxb7 Nxb7 23.Ng4 Qc7 24.Bxf6 Na5 25.Nxh6+ is another way to win.;
18...fxg6 would leave Black down in material with his King under fire, e.g. 19.Nxg6 Qd7 20.Rxb7 Qxb7 21.Qxe6+ Ne7 22.Re1 Rc7 23.Bxf6 gxf6 24.Nxh8 Qc6 25.Qg8+ Kd7 26.Qf8 Qd6 27.Ng6 Nxg6 28.Qe8# ]
19.Bd3 Mission accomplished! I decided to resist the tempting
[19.Nxf7 Rxf7 20.Rxb7 Qxb7 21.Qxe6+ Kf8 22.Bxf7 Rc6 23.Qxd5 Nxd5 24.Bxd5+ Ke8 25.Re1+ Kf8 26.Be7+ Ke8 27.Bxc5+ Kd8 when the position is unclear]
19...g5 20.Bg3 Rg8
[20...Nf4 21.Bxf4 gxf4 22.Rxf4 Rc7 23.Qf2 Nd5 24.Rxf7 Rxf7 25.Bg6 ;
20...Rd8 21.Ng6 fxg6 22.Rxb7 Qxb7 23.Qxe6+ Qe7 24.Bxg6+ Rf7 25.Bxf7+± ]
21.Nc4 Suddenly there's a family fork on the horizon, but there is no defense against it. 21...Nf4
[21...Rd8 is relatively best, but White is winning after 22.Nd6+ Rxd6 23.Bxd6 Qxd6 24.Rxb7 ]
22.Rxb7 [1-0]