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Garrett, Daniel (1902) - McConaghie, Peter (1834)
2018 Peoria City Chess Championship - B (Life Together Center), 2018

Round 1


1.e4 Not much to usually say about the very first move (especially a normal one like 1. e4), but this white player very rarely plays 1. e4. This move was entirely to sidestep any possible preparation by his opponent and enter his own.
1...e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 The Scotch Game. Employed by no less than Kasparov on occasion, but it is much more frequently found at the amateur levels and can lead to exciting and sharp games.
3...exd4 4.c3 White offers the Goring Gambit. To quote Murrel, "Back in my day, everyone knew the lines to the Goring." It has mostly fallen out of fashion at the amateur level and has rarely been seen at the highest level at any point in modern chess. White can offer (and black can accept) one or two pawns for a very sharp position.
4...dxc3 5.Bc4 The other main move here is Nxc3. White offers a 2nd pawn if black so desires with cxb2, but the developmental advantage of white can be difficult to humanly defend against over the board against a peer. Of course, an engine would happily gobble the material.
5...d6 d6 and Nf6 are the main moves here. Black prefers to prevent any potential e5 pushes before developing the knight to f6. This does hem in black's dark square bishop, of course.
6.O-O Nf6 7.Qb3 "The Morphy move" as Murrel calls it. If white has continued to delay recapture on c3, this is the most popular move in the position. The immediate pressure on f7 and b7 can be somewhat awkward to handle for black while trying to slowly develop and castle to safety. Qd7 is essentially forced.
7...Qe7 Black needed to realize that between e7 and d7 (blocking in one bishop or the other), the light squared bishop is already tied down to b7 and the dark squared bishop could more easily develop to e7 and allow the king better safety after castling. Qd7 was the only good choice. Despite the material deficit, engines already prefer white.
My engine, Crafty, rated about 2700, valued Qd7 at about a half pawn better than Qe7 (-.1 to +.4), so this was not a game losing move. - Murrel
8.Nxc3 White now has to recapture to continue development of either his b1 knight or c1 bishop. White has regained one pawn, and has therefore only gambited one. With the awkward queen on e7, white will have a much easier game.
8...Be6 This unfortunate blunder just makes things easy on white as it drops a piece.
9.Qxb7 Qxb7 or Bxe6 followed by Qxb7 both win a piece after forking the unprotected a8 rook and c6 knight.
9...Rb8 10.Qxc6+ Qd7 Black could have tried to be tricky with Bd7 in light of if Qxc7 Rc8, and black skewers the bishop on c4. White saw this and wouldn't have fallen victim, but even still it would have chased the queen to a6 and kept the queens on the board. Objectively engines say Qd7 is fine (or even better than Bd7), but black is losing either way and trading your strongest piece when down a knight can only help your opponent breathe easily.
After Bd7, Crafty doesn't grab the c-pawn but rather wins the a-pawn after Qa6. Rc8 is met by Bxf7+ & Qxa7 which Crafty says is better for Black than exchanging Queens by a full pawn. - Murrel
11.Qxd7+ Kxd7 12.Bxe6+ fxe6 13.e5 e5 threatens to shatter Black's strong pawn center or chase the black knight to a worse square
13...Ne8 The knight enters exile with no immediate future.
14.b3 Simply to continue development without giving back any material or counterplay.
14...h6 To support g5-g4 and try and chase the f3 knight in time and offer the black bishop a future on the a1-h8 diagonal.
15.Be3 When it rains it pours. Even simple developing moves come with tempo. Bf4 also looks strong if not even preferable, but much liberty comes with being up a full piece.
15...a6 16.Rfd1 g5 17.exd6 To give the f3 knight a new home on e5.
17...cxd6 18.Ne5+ Kc7 19.Ng6 Perhaps trickier is Murrel's postmortem suggestion of Rac1 where black cannot happily recapture his long lost knight in light of Rac1 dxe5?? Nb5+ Kb7 Nc7 Rxc7+ Ka8 Ra7#. However, the text is fine and winning is winning. White is on autopilot with intent to trade down and end the game in the easiest way he saw without calculating.
19...Rg8 20.Nxf8 Rxf8 21.Rac1 e5 Now d6 falls too as all of White's pieces are coordinated and Black can only helplessly watch.
22.Ne4+ Kd7 23.Bc5 Black resigns as he is down a knight and soon to be more with inferior piece activity and king safety as well.


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