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  • This game is a master vs. John Coffey
  • in the first round of the 1989 U.S.
  • Open in Chicago.

  • Moving the king pawn up two squares
  • is one of the more popular openings.

  • Developes a piece and forces black to
  • defend the e5 pawn.

  • The Petroff Defense is a simple
  • attempt at counter-attack, but it
  • leads to drawish positions because it
  • is too symetrical. I played
  • this opening for 15 years with poor
  • results, so I finally switched to the
  • Sicillian which is much more
  • dynamic.

  • Unlike the first game, White chooses
  • to take the pawn.

  • In theory Black should not take the
  • e4 immediately. White's extra move
  • gives him an advantage in a
  • symetrical position. Black could
  • easily fall for a trap that goes 2.
  • ... Nxe4 3. Qe2 Nf6?? 4. Nc6+
  • winning the Black Queen. Instead
  • Black could try to play "The Daring
  • Damino" with 2. ... Nxe4 3. Qe2
  • Qe7!? 4. Qxe4 d6 getting his knight
  • back with a loss of a pawn. Black
  • can only hope for weak play on
  • White's part that might go 5. d4
  • dxe5 6. Qxe5?! Qxe5 7. dxe5 Nc6
  • 8. Bf4 Bf5 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. cxd3
  • O-O-O with some counter chances
  • because of the backward pawn on d3.

  • The knight is forced back. Playable
  • is Nc5 but the knight is more likely
  • to be a target there.

  • Black gets his pawn back.

  • White forces Black to defend his
  • knight on e4. This leads to a very
  • symetrial position. A more popular
  • alternative is to play d4 instead.

  • This is the only good way to defend
  • the knight. If instead d5??, then d3
  • wins the knight.

  • White tells the knight to go away.

  • So he does.

  • This moves gives white a slight
  • advantage. The immediate threat is
  • to take the knight and force Black to
  • have doubled pawns on the f file.
  • Note that Bg4 would note be a very
  • good response for Black because of
  • Bxf6! doubling the pawns. If Black
  • follows with the symetrical Bxf3??
  • then Qxe7+!! wins a piece.

  • Black's choices are not very good
  • here. He can play Nbd7 but all his
  • pieces are cramped. The "book line"
  • is to play Qxe2+, Bxe2 Be7 leaving
  • Black a move behind in developement.

  • White devlopes a piece and prepares
  • to castle queenside.

  • Probably black should play Nbd7 and
  • prepare to castle himself. Instead
  • he becaomes obsessed with the g5
  • bishop and as a result he starts to
  • loosen the pawns on his kingside.

  • There is no reason for white to
  • capture. Not only would he be giving
  • up a bishop for a knight, but he
  • would be giving up the pin on the
  • knight (meaning the knight can't
  • move) and he would be helping black
  • to free his cramped position.

  • Black gets rid of the pin on f6 but
  • at the cost of loosening the pawns on
  • his kingside.   Now castling on
  • the kingside would be out of the
  • question as his position there is too
  • open.

  • There is no choice but to come here.

  • This move does Black no good at all.
  • Not only does he move a piece that is
  • already developed (when he should be
  • worrying about his other undeveloped
  • pieces) but his threat of Nxg3 is a
  • very empty one.

  • White does the right thing. He
  • chooses to finish his developement.

  • Playing Nxg3 would do very little
  • good as White could capture hxg3
  • giving his rook on h1 an open file
  • for free with an attack on a backward
  • pawn on h6. So Nxg3 would be a waste
  • of time that helps improve the White
  • position.

  • White needs some more room for his
  • pieces.

  • Here black starts to panic. He sees
  • that the pawn on d4 could move to d5,
  • and although it is not much of a
  • threat, Black decides to move his
  • bishop out of the way. This is a
  • mistake because for the second time
  • Black moves a piece twice in the
  • opening before he has finished his
  • other developement or castled.

  • White sees that d5 would be a good
  • square for his knight, so he moves
  • here attacking the Black Queen and
  • threatening to take on c7 with
  • check.

  • No choice here as the Queen was both
  • pinned and threatened.

  • Since it cost black a move to take
  • the Queen, this developing move
  • comes
  • "for free" for White.

  • No good was Na6 to protect c7 as
  • White would play Bxa6 removing it.
  •   But much better would have been
  • Kd8 where Black lacks in developement
  • but still has not lost yet. CAN YOU

  • The purpose of this apparent knight
  • sacrifice is to uncover the attack on
  • the bishop on g4 by the bishop on
  • e2.

  • Not much choice here. Black has a
  • bishop hanging on g4.

  • White not only gets his piece back,
  • but he gets check and a fork on the
  • knight on h5. (Notice that the
  • knight on h5 is looking very
  • misplaced.)

  • Black does not want to lose a piece,
  • so he tries desperately to counter
  • attack the knight with his king.

  • But the knight can move away with
  • check.

  • Again the desperate monarch attacks
  • the knight.

  • Now the knight moves away again with
  • check. Black could continue to try
  • to counter-attack with Ke6, but White
  • would play Nxg7 double check and
  • Black has lost a piece. So here
  • Black resigned the game. The lesson
  • to be learned here is to not move
  • pieces twice in the opening unless
  • there is a really good reason for
  • it.
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