Tim Kokesh (2041) - Dale Hammer (2015)
Memorial Day LERA, Expert Section, Round 4, Board 15
May 25, 1997

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. g3 Be6 6. Qb3?!

I had played a game in this line of the Albin only three weeks earlier. I had innovated with 6. Qb3 then, and the game had continued 6. ... Bb4+? 7. Bd2 Qe7 8. Bg2 0-0-0 9. 0-0 Bxd2 10. Nbxd2, with a huge advantage for White. Of course, my opponent in that game was rated 1637 and had been worried about the b-pawn. My opponent in this game looked deeper and realized that the b-pawn grab was only dangerous for White.

6. ... Nge7!

Now after 7. Qxb7?? Bxc4, the White queen will be trapped next move after ... Rb8.

7. Bg2 Qd7 8. Nbd2

8. Qxb7 Rb8 9. Qa6 didn't feel very safe, but it may be the right way to play the position. White's set-up isn't very pleasing as the game goes, either.

8. ... 0-0-0 9. 0-0 Ng6 10. Ne4 Bh3 11. e6?

Beginning an interesting idea, but the whole thing is way too aggressive. White should have considered 10. Rd1 in order to prevent the light-squared bishop trade.

11. ... Bxe6 12. Nfg5?

Now after 12. ... Bf5!, White is in danger of dropping a knight to ... h6. Since 13. c5 h6 14. Nxf7 Be6 doesn't work, White may have to play 13. Nd2, but such a position can't be good for White. Black can simply play 13. ... h6 (or 13. ... Be7) and continue with 14. ... Bh3, when White's demonstration has done nothing positive.

12. ... Na5?

The move that 12. Nfg5 was designed against. Black goes pawn-hunting, but the idea backfires.

13. Qc2 Bxc4?

After 13. ... Nxc4?, White plays 14. Nxe6 Qxe6 15. Ng5, when Black can't protect both c4 and f7.

14. Bd2

Of course. White aims to undermine the Bc4. Now 14. ... Bxe2 15. Bxa5 Bxf1 16. Rxf1 leads to a deadly White attack; White threatens 17. Bh3 f5 18. Bxf5 and Qxc7 mate, and 16. ... b6? 17. Qc4 bxa5 18. Qa6+ Kb8 19. Nc5 Qc8 20. Qb5+ mates.

14. ... d3 15. Qc1 dxe2 16. Re1 Qb5

Now I saw Black's idea: he plans to make White capture twice on d1, diverting White's queen from c4. There's a tactical hole at the end of the forced sequence, however.

17. Bxa5 Rd1 18. Rxd1 exd1=Q+ 19. Qxd1 Qxa5

20. Nxf7!

Here's the twist: White threatens Qd8 mate, and 20. ... Be7 21. Nxh8 Nxh8 doesn't help after 22. Qd7, winning another piece or mating. And after the knight is taken, another mate exists thanks to the elimination of the f-pawn:

20. ... Bxf7 21. Bh3+ 1-0

Page last modified March 1, 1998.
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