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Garrett, Daniel (1902) - McConaghie, Pete (1834)
2018 Peoria Championship - B (Life Together Center), 04/09/2018

Round 1 [Daniel Garrett]


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.


1-0


Karagianis, Pete (2311) - Li, Albert (1817)
2018 Peoria Championship - A (Life Together Center), 04/16/2018

Round 1 [Murrel]


1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Bf5 6.Nbd2 Qa5 7.O-O c3 8.Nc4 cxb2 9.Bxb2 Black has won a pawn but at the expense of development. Perhaps not the best course against a master.
9...Qb4 10.Nfd2 b5 Very Risky. There is only a paper thin pawn between the White Bishop on g2 & Black's unmovable Rook on a8. The c6 Pawn is now also very weak.
11.a3 Ba3 is also playable with the same result. Black is forced to trade Queens, with a resulting destruction of his Q-side pawn structure.
11...Qa4 12.Qxa4 bxa4 13.Ne5 e6 14.Rfc1 Nfd7 15.Nxc6 Nxc6 16.Bxc6 And White has retrieved his pawn and maintains a huge lead in development and position.
16...Rb8 17.Nc4 f6 18.Bxa4 Kd8 19.Bc3 g6 20.Na5 Rc8 21.Nc6+ Ke8 22.Bd2 Bd6 23.Nxa7 And now an extra passed pawn should he need it.
23...Ra8 24.Rc8+ Ke7 25.Rxh8 Rxh8 26.Bb4 Nb6 27.Nc6+ Kf7 28.Bb5 Bc7 29.a4 Nd5 30.Bd2 Ra8 31.f3 Ne7 32.e4 Nxc6 33.Bxc6 Rc8 34.Rc1 Bh3 35.Bb7


1-0


Taylor, Tom (1800) - Li, Michael (1320)
2018 Peoria Championship - B (Life Together Center), 04/16/2018

Round 1 [Murrel]


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 It starts out as a Scotch
4.Bb5 An unusual reply. Usual is Nxd4 going into the Scotch Game proper or Bc4 perhaps offering a Goring Gambit after c3.
4...Nf6 Bc5 before the Knight might be better here.
5.e5 Reminiscent of the Max Lange, but the Bishop is missing from c4 for the d5 reply.
5...Nd5 6.O-O Bc5
[6...Be7]
7.Bg5 The d4 pawn is pinned so c3 should be played.
7...Be7 The Black Bishop has wasted a move by going to c5 first.
8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Bxc6 bxc6 Here dxc6 would be better, keeping just 2 pawn islands and opening a line for the Q-Bishop.
10.Qxd4 O-O 11.Nc3 Nxc3 12.Qxc3 Ba6
[12...Bb7]
13.Rfe1 Rfe8 White can win a pawn with Qa5 attacking both the a6-Bishop and the pawn on c7.
14.Re3 Rab8 15.R1e1 Qb4 16.Qxb4 Rxb4 17.b3 Bb7 18.c4 c5 19.R1e2
[It is hard to find a good plan for either player here. If White wants to win he could try
19.Rd1 If Bxf3 he replies
20.gxf3 and tries to win the d7-pawn.]
19...Rb6 20.Ne1 Rg6 21.f4 Rge6 22.Nd3 g6 Either both players turn a blind eye to the board while watching the Rooks & Pawns battle, or there is a notation issue here. Clearly Nxc5 wins but both players ignore this possibility. I had assumed that Black actually played d6 and White followed with a missing move and the game restarted from there, but d6 is played later.
23.g3 Kg7 24.Kf2 R6e7 25.Ke1 a5 26.Nb2 The Blunder sirens are finally silent.
26...Kf8 27.Kf2 d6 28.exd6 Rxe3 29.Rxe3 cxd6 30.Na4 Rc8 31.Nc3 Bc6 32.Ne4 Bxe4 33.Rxe4 Rc7 34.g4 Re7 35.Kf3 f5 And a draw was agreed.


1/2-1/2


Mungee, Kushal (1624) - Beecher, Alex (1419)
2018 Peoria Championship - B (Life Together Center), 04/16/2018

Round 1 [Murrel]


1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 6.h4 is also playable. The text is solid but not very aggressive.
6...h6 7.Bd3 Bxd3 8.Qxd3 e6 9.O-O Nf6 10.h3 Be7 Both players are playing cautiously.
11.c4 O-O 12.Be3 Nbd7 13.Qd2 Nh7 14.Nh5 The computer preferred White until this move. Playing for a tactic, White is hoping for Nxg7 Kxg7, Bxh6+ Kg8, Bxf8.
14...Ng5 15.Kh1 Ne4 16.Qc1 g5 17.h4 White knows that Black wants to play f5, so White should play Ne5! first. If Nxe5 dxe5, Black cannot play f5 as White then has the en passant reply exf6.
17...f5 The thematic move in this position.
18.g3 leaves the Knight with no way home. Better would be 18.Ng3
18...Qe8 19.hxg5 White should play desperado with 19.Nf4 to get as much material as possible while keeping the road to his own King closed.
19...Qxh5+ 20.Kg2 hxg5 21.Rh1 Qg6 22.d5 cxd5 23.cxd5 e5 24.Qc7 Rad8 25.Nxe5 Nxe5 26.Qxe7 Rde8 27.Qxb7 f4 28.Bd4 Nd6 29.Qxa7 White has nothing better. Black doesn't need the pawns as he has a vicious K-side attack on the other side of the board.
29...Rf7 30.Qc5 Qe4+ 31.Kg1 Nf3+ 32.Kf1 Nxd4 33.Rh5 Qe2+ 34.Kg2 Qf3+ 35.Kg1 Ne2+ 36.Kh2 Qxh5+ 37.Kg2 f3+


0-1


Suarez, Ron (1500) - Leali, Mike (1812)
2018 Peoria Championship - A (Life Together Center), 04/23/2018

Round 2 [Murrel]


1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 A flexible but unusual variation. Allows for lots of transpositions. NOTE: Ron takes issue with my calling 2.g3 unusual and points out that he has 3 books, one is actually a 3 volume set, on the English which recommend 2.g3. According to chess.com 2.g3 is the 4th most common move played here, being played in over 7,000 games in their database, making these first 3 half-moves only slightly less common than 1.b3. My point is that it does allow for many transpositions into the Kings Indian Attack, the Catalan and other openings, as well as an English. However, Ron is right, playing this opening with g3 is not a bad way to play. It is important to play with a plan knowing where your pieces are best placed.
2...d5 3.cxd5 3.Nf3 & Bg2 are more common. Taking the c4 pawn too early can give White a positional edge (See Pete Karagianis-Albert Li)
3...Nxd5 4.Nc3 g6 5.Bg2 c6 Assuming the rating difference is real, this is not in Black's best interest. It could create symmetrical pawn structures which will make it easier for White to draw in the ending. Nb6 or Nxc3 are usually played.
6.Nf3 Bg7 7.O-O O-O 8.Qb3 Nb6 9.Rb1 This move gets the White Rook off the long diagonal but there should be no urgency about that. Better is d3 preparing the activation of the Q-Bishop.
9...N8d7 10.d4 a5 11.a4 c5 This move only works if White captures with dxc5. Drawbacks: makes the the White K-Bishop more powerful and it doesn't unwind Black's cramped position. Believe it or not, Fritz prefers moving the d7-Knight back to b8 and reappearing on a6! I would prefer moving that Knight to f6-d5.
12.Bf4 Giving up a pawn for questionable development.
12...cxd4 13.Nb5 e5
[13...Nc5]
14.Bg5 only move 14...Bf6 15.Bh6 Re8 16.Nd6 White should look to the weak c7 square. Rbc1 (either Rook, really) and Nc7 should lead to a healthy advantage.
16...Re7 17.Ne4 Re6 18.Bh3 Driving the Rook to his best square and leaving the Bishop exposed and unprotected. Unprotected pieces are always potential targets.
18...Rc6 19.Nxf6+ This capture can wait - White should contest the c-file with either Rook to c1.
19...Qxf6 20.Bg5 Qd6 21.Bh6 Nc5 The combination that wins the game - a discovered double attack on the Queen and Bishop!
22.Qa2 Bxh3 23.Ng5 Be6 24.Nxe6 Qxe6 25.b3 Ncxa4


0-1


Li, Albert (1817) - Zimmerle, Wayne (1608)
2018 Peoria Championship - A (Life Together Center), 04/23/2018

Round 2 [Murrel]


1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 e6
[3...Nf6 is more common. e6 Blocks Black's Q-Bishop. Locally we see Bf5 more often (trying to put the Bishop out in front of the pawn chain before closing it behind him), but it seems to be a poor choice in master play.]
4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 f5 6.cxd5 exd5
[6...cxd5 is preferred. It is easier to bring the Q-Bishop into the game via d7 and out the Q-side. With the text the f5 pawn remains to restrict the Bishop's activity.]
7.e3 Nf6 8.Bd3 Ne4 9.Ne5 O-O 10.f3
[Trying to dislodge the e4-Knight via
10.Qb3 threatening to capture on e4, but Black has
10...Qb6]
10...Nxc3 11.bxc3 Nd7 12.O-O Nxe5 13.Bxe5 Bd6 14.f4 Bxe5 This exchange is big trouble for Black. It establishes a White protected passed pawn in the center and likely endgame superiority.
15.fxe5 Qg5 16.Qf3
[16.Rf3]
16...Be6 17.a4 An interesting idea. White is holding very nicely on the K-side, so he wants to push the a-pawn and play Rb1.
17...Rf7 18.a5 Raf8 19.Qh3
[19.Qf4]
19...Bc8 20.c4 g6 21.cxd5
[21.Rf4 is needed here. Black only initiative is pushing the f-pawn and so White should stop that before proceeding.
21...dxc4 is no threat as it loses material,]
21...f4 The attack on the Queen puts all of White's plans on hold.
22.e6 only move
22...Kg7 23.exf4
[23.Qf3 wins! After
23...Re7 24.e4 White will establish a healthy passed pawn pair in the center.]
23...Rxf4 24.d6 Rh4 Again, Black finds the only move.
25.Qg3 Qxg3 26.hxg3 Rxd4 27.Rxf8 Kxf8 28.Rf1 Ke8 29.d7 Bxd7 30.exd7 Rxd7 31.Be4 All the moves since the last comment were rated as best by Fritz when I did my blunder check.
31...Rd4 32.Bf3 Ra4
[32...Kd7 to be able to protect the b-pawn with the King]
33.Rb1 Rxa5 34.Rxb7 With Black's Q-side pawns broken, White is winning.
34...c5 35.Rxh7 c4 36.Rc7 Rg5 37.g4 a5 38.Rxc4 Ke7 39.Kf2 Re5 Black breaks a Cardinal Rule: Don't trade your last piece if your opponent still has one on the board (unless you can Queen a pawn, of course).
40.Re4 Rxe4 41.Bxe4 g5 42.Bc2 Kf6 43.Ke3 Ke5 44.Bb3 Kf6 45.Ke4 Kg6 46.Ke5 Kh6 47.Kf6 Kh7 48.Kxg5 Kh8 49.Kf6 Kh7 50.g5 Kh8 51.g6 a4 52.g7 Kh7 53.g8=Q Kh6 54.Qg6


1-0


Li, Jason (1261) - Karagianis, Pete (2311)
2018 Peoria Championship - A (Life Together Center), 04/23/2018

Round 2 [Murrel]


1.e4 c5 2.Bc4 The Bowdler Attack. And yes, I had to look it up.
2...e6 3.d3 Out of book so soon!
3...a6 4.a4 d5 5.exd5 exd5 6.Bb3 Nf6 7.Bg5 Be7 8.Nc3 O-O 9.Nge2 Nbd7 10.O-O d4 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.Ne4 Nd5 13.Re1 Be6 14.Bxd5 Bxd5 15.Nf4 Bc6 16.c3 dxc3 17.bxc3 Bf6 18.Qc2 Be5 19.Nh3 Qd5 20.f4 Bc7 21.Rad1 h6 22.d4 Until this point the game was completely competitive although Black had a steady build up of micropawns. This move dissolves White's center and presents Black with tactical chances.
22...cxd4 23.Rxd4
[Other moves aren't much better. Fritz says
23.Qb1 is best, but after
23...Bb8 Black still has a strangle hold on the long a7-g1 diagonal, worth about 3 pawns.]
23...Bb6

0-1


Suarez, Ron (1500) - Zimmerle, Wayne (1608)
2018 Peoria Championship - A (Life Together Center), 04/09/2018

Round 1 [Murrel]


1.c4 c5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 e5 4.Nc3 d6 5.d3 f5 Wayne's new favorite move. Will it replace g4 or advancing the Rook pawn as his signature?
6.e3 Nf6 7.Nge2 Be7 8.a3 O-O 9.O-O Be6 10.Nd5 Rb8 11.Nec3 a6 12.Nxe7+ This Knight is well placed and should not be traded off so easily. White had built up about a half pawn lead.
12...Nxe7 13.e4 f4 14.gxf4 exf4 15.Nd5
[The f4 pawn is not free. On
15.Bxf4 Black wins it back immediately with
15...Nxe4]
15...Ng6 16.Nxf6 White sails into dark skies and fails to see the looming storm. After the recapture White's loose King position is too vulnerable against Black's 4 pieces and a pawn ready to strike.
16...Qxf6 17.Qh5 Ne5 18.Bh3 Bf7 19.Qd1 f3 20.Re1 Qh4 21.Bf1 Be6 22.Qd2 Rf6 23.Kh1 Ng4 24.h3 Nxf2 25.Kh2 Nxh3 26.Qe3 Nf2 27.Kg1 Qg3


0-1


Li, Michael (1320) - Garrett, Daniel (1902)
2018 Peoria Championship - B (Life Together Center), 04/30/2018

Round 2 [Murrel]


1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 e6 6.d3 Also common here are 0-0 and the gambit line f5
6...a6 7.a4 a6 is usually answered with a4 to prevent Black's b5. If Black omits a6, White will omit a4.
7...Nge7 8.O-O O-O 9.Qe1 Nb4 And we finally at original play. Up to here play has followed one of the mainlines. d6 is usually played here and often in the preceding move or two. Black is trying to take advantage of the displacement of the White Queen on e1.
10.Bb3 Qb6 11.Kh1
[Black is threatening a discovered check by pushing his c-pawn and win a Bishop. The text is too passive just moving the King away and so misses a tactic. Correct is
11.a5 Qa7 12.Be3 freezing the pawn in place.]
11...Nxd3 12.Qe2
[Well, the Queen does have to move but selects, in my view, the wrong square.
12.Qh4 would be my choice as it continues with the main (proven?) plan of an attack on the Black King.]
[12.cxd3 Qxb3 is also playable. The decision is between which White Bishop should be retained for the attack. In either case the tactic has given Black an advantage.]
12...Nxc1 13.Raxc1 Nc6 14.e5 Na5 15.g4
[White misses
15.Ne4 Nxb3 16.cxb3 Qxb3 17.Nxc5 and White has some compensation for his pawn. Active play is better than passive play as it puts pressure on the opponent. I also don't like the text as it opens the long diagonal for c8-Bishop. This is a repeating theme in Grand Prix games won by Black.]
15...Nxb3 16.cxb3 d6
[Black can of course take the b3-pawn but he already has his pawn and expects to win. The text holds on to the advantage, but
16...d5 is even better, eliminating the backward Black d-pawn and bringing the g7-Bishop to life.]
17.Rg1
[17.Ne4 must be played, then occupying the d6 square with this Knight, with or without the pawn exchange. After the text Black has a commanding advantage.]
17...dxe5 18.fxe5 Qxb3 19.h4
[19.Ne4 is still the only move although it matters much less now.]
19...b6 20.Rg3 Bb7 21.Kh2 Qb4 22.Re1 Bxf3 23.Qxf3 Qxb2+ 24.Rg2 Qb4 25.Re4 c4 26.Ree2 Qc5 27.h5 Bxe5+ 28.Kh1 Rad8 29.Ne4 Finally played but only after breaking bad by surrendering a checkmate.
29...Rd1+ 30.Rg1 Qxg1#


0-1


Li, Michael (1320) - McConaghie, Pete (1834)
2018 Peoria Championship - B (Life Together Center), 04/09/2018

Round 1 [Murrel]


1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 French Defense, Advance Variation
cxd4 5.cxd4 Nc6 6.Nf3 Qb6 7.Nc3 Development of the K-Bishop is usual here, whether to e2 or d3. White is open to the Q-side and so should want to castle K-side as soon as possible.
7...Nge7 The usual plan for this Knight is to attack the base d4-pawn via f5.
8.Bd3 Bd7
[Black cannot win the d4 pawn
8...Nxd4 9.Nxd4 Qxd4 10.Bb5+ and White wins the Queen. After Black's text the check disappears and the threat is real.]
9.Bc2
[White's best move is actually
9.Be3 If Black takes the unattended b2-pawn
9...Qxb2 White has
10.Nb5 and the Black Queen is terribly misplaced while the White Knight goes Rook hunting.]
9...Rc8 10.O-O Ng6 11.a3 a5 12.Rb1 Be7 13.Na4 This move seems very anti-positional. Placing a Knight on the rim is usually bad. It only works if the Knight has important duty or is on the way to a better square. here this seems to be his new home.
13...Qa7 I thought Qc7 was better with a tactical threat on c2, but there is nothing wrong with this move as it keep an eye on the d4-pawn.
14.Nc3 Qb8 15.Bd3 f6
[Is this move good? the engines don't hate it, but the Black King is still in the center and this just opens the pawn structures.
15...b5 operating on the Q-side seems to make more sense. Castling K-side is probably not a good idea as White has both Bishops, a Knight and his Queen pointed that direction. So the Black King is safest in the center - as long as it is closed.]
16.exf6 gxf6 17.Kh1
[While going over this game with Michael, he said he wanted to play
17.Nh4 putting pressure on the g6-Knight. The move may seem silly at first, the h4-Knight would be unprotected and Black could play
17...Nxh4 but there follows
18.Qh5+ Ng6 19.Bxg6+ and the Bishop is immune from capture. Black's better choice would be to not take the "free" Knight.]
17...Kf7 18.Bd2 Rcg8 19.Rg1 Bd6 20.Ne2 White is playing defense but Fritz says that White was (after Kf7) wining by nearly 2 pawns. It's much closer now.
20...h5 21.Qc1 e5 22.dxe5 Ngxe5 23.Nxe5 Nxe5 24.Bc2 Ng4 25.Qe1
[25.g3]
25...Nxh2 Re8 & Bb5 probably win at least a piece.
26.Bb3 Best move. White must find some counter measures or the game won't last long.
26...Bc6 27.Nc3 Re8 28.Qc1 Ng4 29.Rf1 Qa7
[29...Bxa3 Steals a pawn via the Qh2 mate threat.]
30.Be1 Re5 31.Qc2 Ke7
[Black wants to free his center pawn to advance and create winning opportunities.
31...Kg7 holds onto the g6 square and is given a +2.5 by Fritz. The text allows White to enter on g6 and Black's advantage disappears.]
32.Rd1 d4 33.Ne2 Bc5 34.Nf4
[34.Qg6 may be even better. Black must answer with either Rxe2 or Rg5. Either case leads to great complications with tactical shots for both sides.]
34...Be4 35.Qc4
[35.Ng6+ Kd8 loses as the Knight doesn't have time to pick up the Rooks as his Queen is hanging.]
35...Rh7
[35...Qa6 holds for Black as the White Queen cannot leave the diagonal due to Black's Qxf1#. So White must settle for a perpetual check.
36.Rxd4 Bxd4 37.Qc2 etc.]
36.Qg8 Nh6
[This ends the game.
36...Qa6 still holds as White still has a perpetual. The text move removes the mate threat as the White King now has an escape square and White's Queen takes over the game.]
37.Ng6+ Bxg6 38.Qxg6 Ng4 39.Qxh7 Kd6 40.Ba4 Re7 41.Qf5 Re5
[41...Kc7]
42.Qd7#

1-0


Karagianis, Pete (2311) - Suarez, Ron (1500)
2018 Peoria Championship - A (Life Together Center), 05/07/2018

Round 3 [Murrel]


1.d4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.h3 Nf6 6.e5 Ne4 7.Nxe4 dxe4 8.Ng5 c5 9.Bb5+ Most common here is Bc4. According to chess.com, until this move both sides had been playing the most popular move at each turn since move 3. This is a variation that Ron has been wanting to play since being taught by Dick Verber many years ago.
9...Bd7
[and we are out of book.
9...Nc6 trying to keep the Bishop pair at the cost of doubled isolated pawns follows the book.]
10.Bc4 O-O 11.e6 Be8 12.exf7+ Bxf7 13.Nxf7 Rxf7 14.dxc5 Qxd1+ 15.Kxd1 After the smoke clears White has a pawn and an exchange and the Bishop pair.
15...Nc6 16.Bxf7+ Kxf7 17.c3 Ne5 18.Be3 Rd8+ 19.Kc2 Nd3 20.Rad1 e5 21.f3 Rc8 22.fxe4 Nxc5 23.Bxc5 Rxc5 24.Rd7+ Kg8 25.Rxb7 Ra5 26.Rd1


1-0


Li, Jason (1261) - Li, Albert (1817)
2018 Peoria Championship - A (Life Together Center), 05/07/2018

Round 3 [Murrel]


The Difference between the London variation of the Kings Indian Defense & the Kings Indian variation of the London System is the location of White's c-pawn. Both have the White Q-Bishop on f4 in front of the pawn chain. If the c-pawn is located on c3, it is a Kings Indian variation of the London System. If the Pawn is on c4 & the White Q-Bishop is on f4, it is a true Kings Indian.
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bf4 d6 4.e3 Bg7 5.c4 O-O 6.Nc3 Bf5 7.Bd3 Bxd3 8.Qxd3 Nh5 9.Bg3 Nd7 10.Bh4 c5 11.g4 Nhf6 12.h3 Qc7 13.d5 a6 14.Bxf6 Nxf6 15.g5 Nh5 16.Kd2 f6 17.Raf1 Rae8
[17...b5 is not a pawn sacrifice.
18.cxb5 axb5 19.Nxb5 Qa5+ 20.Nc3 fxg5 and Black has a serious attack.]
18.Kc2 f5 19.h4 Qd7 Heading the wrong direction? With a pawn lever on the b-file, 2 Rooks able to slide to the Q-side & a dragon Bishop, Black should play Qa5!
20.Ne2 e5 21.dxe6 Qxe6 22.Qd5 If the Knight were still on c3 this would be a good move. Here the new d5-pawn quickly becomes artificially isolated.
22...Qxd5 23.cxd5 f4 One of White's center pawns must fall.
24.Kd3 White decides to hold on to the center pawn at the expense of the b-pawn.
24...Bxb2 25.Nd2
[25.e4 Rb1 fails to fxe6 which exposes the White Knights to the Rooks.]
25...b5 Suddenly Black's Q-side looks very ominous.
26.e4 f3 27.Ng3 Nf4+ 28.Kc2 Be5 29.Nxf3 This pawn is not free.
29...Nxd5 30.Nxe5 Nb4+ 31.Kb3 Rxe5 32.f3 White is only a pawn down. If his pieces were better placed he would still have drawing chances.
32...a5 33.a3 Nc6 34.Ne2 d5 35.Nc3 dxe4 36.fxe4 Nd4+ 37.Kb2 b4 38.Rxf8+ Kxf8 39.axb4 cxb4 40.Rf1+ Kg7 41.Re1 Drops the Knight and the game is realistically over.
41...bxc3+ 42.Kxc3 Nf3 43.Rd1 Rxe4


0-1


Beecher, Alex (1640) - Taylor, Tom (1800)
2018 Peoria Championship - B (Life Together Center), 04/09/2018

Round 3 [Murrel]


1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 This is the Portuguese variation. The older standard main line was 2...Qxd5, 3.Nc3 etc.
3.d4 Bg4 4.Be2 Nf3 is normally played here, hoping that Black will surrender his Bishop pair early in the game.
[4.Bb5+ can also be played.
4...c6 5.dxc6 Bxd1 6.c7+ Nc6 7.cxd8 Kxd8 8.Bxc6 Bxc2 9.Bxb7 Rb8 10.Ba6 of course, White is hoping for Bxd1, hope chess.]
4...Bxe2 5.Nxe2 Qxd5 6.O-O Nc6 7.Nbc3 Qh5 8.Ng3 Qxd1 If Black is playing for a win he could try Qg6, castle long & push the h-pawn.
9.Rxd1 O-O-O A direct on the King would be much harder without the Queen on the board.
10.Be3 e6 11.h3 Be7 12.a3 Rhe8 13.Nge4 Nd5 14.Nxd5 exd5 15.Ng5 Bxg5 16.Bxg5 f6 17.Be3 Re4 18.b4 f5 19.g3 h6 20.h4 The game has seemed to have drifted with neither side finding a successful plan. Now we have drifted into an endgame which should be vary favorable to Black. The White Bishop is very bad and Black should do everything n hs power to keep it bottled up. The Black Knight on the other hand has two very fine outposts (c4 & e4) and possibly a third on g4.
20...Rg8 21.Rd3 g5 22.hxg5 hxg5 23.c3 g4 23...g4 was no where on my candidate list. It releases the Kracken. The Bishop is now free to go.
24.Kf1 Nd8 25.Ke2 Rh8 26.Rdd1 Re7 27.Kd3 Rh2 28.Rh1 Reh7 29.Rxh2 Rxh2 30.c4 dxc4+ With this exchange the only hope either side has for a win is for the opponent to blunder.
31.Kxc4 Kd7 32.Ra2 Nf7 33.Bf4 c6 34.a4


1/2-1/2


Zimmerle, Wayne (1608) - Leali, Mike (1812)
2018 Peoria Championship - A (Life Together Center), 05/07/2018

Round 3 [Murrel]


1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.c3 d6 5.Nd2 O-O 6.Ngf3 Re8 7.Be2 Nc6 8.h4 Wayne's patented remedy for attack.
8...e5 9.Bg5 e4 10.Nh2 h6 11.Bf4 Nd5 12.g3 During the post game discussion Wayne admitted that he knew he could drop his Bishop but he figured he would get 2 pawns and an attack. Wayne gets the initiative he craves, however, the move is still unsound
12...g5 13.hxg5 hxg5 14.Bc4 Nb6
[14...Be6 is also quite playable and makes Black position stronger but Nb6 is still better as it actually does more than just hold.]
15.Bxf7+ Whee!! Here we go!
[15.Qh5 appears to be the stronger move as Black must then take the c4-Bishop
15...Nxc4 and White can play the zwischenzug
16.Bxg5 and then take back on c4]
15...Kxf7 16.Qh5 Kf8 17.Bxg5 Qd7 At this point White's attack looks menacing but he has no way of utilizing the white squares and the g7-Bishop holds the dark squares if only by a thread.
18.O-O-O Qf7 19.Qh4 Bf5
[19...Qxa2]
20.f3 Na4 21.Nb3 Nb4
[21...Na5 22.Nxa5 Qxa2 23.Nc4 exf3 24.Nxf3 Nxc3 and Black has blown up the White position!]
22.fxe4
[22.cxb4 The Nxa2 threat is so strong that it must not be allowed at any cost!
22...exf3 23.Rd2 and the game has been reset and is again even.]
22...Nxa2 23.Kd2 Qxb3
[or just 23...Rxe4 and then taking the b3-Knight.]
24.Rhf1 Qxb2 25.Ke1 Qxc3 26.Rd2 Qc1 27.Rd1 Qc3 28.Rd2 Qc1 It is much easier to find the moves relaxing at home while annotating. The fantastic pressure on the board between the players should not be underestimated as a factor in the game. There are many difficult exchanges to be calculated and kept straight.
[Black does not see the continuation and so agrees to a draw. Best is
28...Nb2 29.Rxf5+ the Bishop is lost in any event
29...Kg8 sidestepping the attack, Black still has a winning advantage.
30.Nf3 Qc1+ 31.Kf2 Ke2 allows the a2-Knight back into the attack with tempo via Nc3+
31...Nc3 with threats on the e4-pawn while whittling down White's attack.]
29.Rd1 Qc3 White announced that he was intending to play Rd2 and the game was drawn by 3 fold repetition.


1/2-1/2


Beecher, Alex (1640) - Li, Michael (1320)
2018 Peoria Championship - B (Life Together Center), 05/21/2018

Round 4 [Murrel]


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O d6 5.c3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 White should not exchange Queens if he is trying to win.
7...Qf6 8.Qxf6 Nxf6 9.d3 h6 10.a4 a6
[10...a5 stops 11.b4]
11.b4 Bb6 12.Be3 White should keep the Bishop pair. A better continuation would be Re1 followed by Nd2-f1-g3-f5, a common plan in non-d4 Italian games or the Ruy Lopez.
12...g5 Black should trade off the b6-Bishop as it has no good squares left.
13.Nd2 Ke7 14.a5 Ba7
[14...Bd4 offers a trade of Bishops without misplacing the Rook!
15.cxd4 exd4 and White must give back the Bishop]
15.g3 Rhg8 16.Bxa7 Rxa7 17.Kh2
[17.Rfe1 and after Nf1-e3-f5, the Knight reaches a valuable outpost.]
17...Nh5
[17...Raa8 The Q-Rook needs to be ready for action.]
18.Nf3 Re8 19.d4 Kf8 20.d5
[Locks the center and devalues the Bishop.
20.b5 grabs the initiative and keeps the Bishop active.]
20...Ne7 21.Be2 Nf6 Returning home. The h5 vacation is over at a cost of 2 tempi.
22.Nd2 Ng6 23.c4 Rc8 24.c5 Ne8 25.Rfc1 R7a8 26.c6 Rcb8 Only Move.
27.b5 axb5
[27...bxc6 holds 28.bxa6 Rb2 and Black breaks out.]
28.Bxb5 b6 29.a6 and Black is cramped while White has a protected passed pawn on a6.
29...Ra7 30.Nb1 with the idea of Be2 & Nc3-b5.
30...Ne7 31.Nc3 Nc8
[31...f5 frees the Knights.]
32.Rf1 f6 33.f4 gxf4 34.gxf4 exf4
[this destroys Black's pawn structure. Better is
34...Kf7 35.fxe5 dxe5 with the idea of placing a Knight on d6.]
35.Rxf4 Kg7
[35...Ne7 36.Rh4 Ng8]
36.Bd3 R7a8 37.Rh4 Ne7 38.Rg1+ Kf7
[38...Kh7 Dropping the h-pawn is fatal as it gives White a passer on both sides of the board.]
39.Rxh6 Ng7 40.Rh7 Rg8 41.Nb5 The quickest way in.
41...Rac8
[41...Rxa6 42.Nxd6+ cxd6 43.Bxa6]
42.a7 Fritz suggests e5 opening the white squares for the Bishop.
42...Ng6 43.h4 Nf8 44.R7xg7 Rxg7 45.Rxg7 Kxg7 46.Nxc7 And the Rook must be sacrificed or a White Queen joins the action.


1-0


Garrett, Daniel (1902) - Beecher, Alex (1640)
2018 Peoria Championship - B (Life Together Center), 05/28/2018

Round 4 [Murrel]


1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 After a move order dance we have settled into a Kings Indian Defense.
5...O-O 6.Be2 Nbd7 7.Be3 Castles is normal here for White.
7...e5 8.d5 Ng4 This is the problem with Black's 7th. Which piece is misplaced? Black's twice moved Knight or White's e3-Bishop?
9.O-O White should not allow the capture of the e3-Bishop. The resulting e3-pawn would be a weakness that servers as a target for Black. It is immobile and on the wrong color. Black has many ways to attack it - Bh6, Nf6-g4, Qf6. In the mean time White's light colored Bishop has no good squares.
9...f5 10.Bg5 White gets another chance and moves the Bishop to the correct square.
10...Bf6 11.Bxf6 Ndxf6 Perhaps the d-Knight was safer. This leaves the g-Knight open to attack by h3 and having to retreat to the ugly h6 square.
12.Nd2 Nh5 After the game Alex admitted that this was a mistake, giving White a winning advantage.
13.h3 Ngf6 14.exf5 Nf4 The pawn is gone, no sense throwing good after bad. Black finds the most active placement for his pieces.
15.fxg6 Nxe2+ There is no need to make this exchange. The Black Knight is well posted and the e2-Bishop has no better squares.
16.Qxe2 hxg6 17.Nce4 Rather than looking for the best move, White wants to trade down and win with a pawn advantage. While a sound plan, the path that White walks on is very narrow and dropping a single pawn could move his game back into drawish territory.
[17.f4 breaks up Blacks pawns while White's pieces are more active.]
17...Nxe4 18.Nxe4 Bf5 19.Ng3 Qg5
[19...Qh4 is slightly more accurate as it gives thought to possible Bishop sacs on h3.]
20.Nxf5 gxf5 21.f4 exf4 22.Qf2 Qg7
[Better is 22...Rae8 taking control of the only open file. If
23.Rae1 Re4 evens the game.]
23.Rab1 Rooks must have activity in the endgame. Both Qxf4 & Rae1 were better.
23...Rae8 24.Qxa7 The Queen is offsides. The game is on the King side and there is also a free pawn there. Qxf4 is correct.
24...b6 25.Qa3 White is not lost, no need to panic. He just can't allow a Queen check from d4. Kh1 or even Rf2 works.
25...Re3 26.b3 Re2 The killer move. Threatens mate, the advance of the f-pawn and even Qd4+ - all at once. Any other move is somewhat drawish.
27.Rf2 Rxf2 28.Kxf2 Qd4+ White has no safe haven from the next Queen check that picks off the unprotected Rook.


0-1


McConaghie, Pete (1834) - Beecher, Alex (1640)
2018 Peoria Championship - B (Life Together Center), 05/28/2018

Round 4 [Murrel]


1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 This is the Classical Variation of the Caro Kann.
6...h6 7.Nf3 e6
[7...Nd7 is the standard continuation to avoid White's Ne5.]
8.Ne5 Bh7 If the Bishop is captured on g6 it makes a big hole as the pawn is vulnerable to attack by White's Queen and K-Bishop.
9.Qf3 Nf6 10.c3 Nbd7 11.Bf4 Nd5 12.Nxf7 This piece sacrifice is unwarranted. Many variations were tried in the post mortem and nothing seemed to give White hope.
12...Kxf7 13.Bg5+
[13.Bxh6 is actually better as it gives White 2 pawns for the piece.]
13...N7f6 14.Bd2
[Unfortunately for White there is nothing better. The g3-Knight is awkwardly placed as it inhibits the advance of the g-pawn.
14.Nh5 fails to
14...hxg5 15.hxg5 Be4 and it is Black who is attacking.]
14...Bd6 15.Be2 Bxg3 Not really best but Black's plan is to simply exchange off pieces until he has a won game.
16.fxg3 Rf8 17.g4 Kg8 18.g5 Ne4 19.Qh3 Qd6 20.Bf3 Nxd2 21.Kxd2 Qf4+ 22.Kd1 Ne3+ 23.Ke2 Rae8 24.Kf2 Bf5 25.g3 Ng4+ And White resigned. He must lose at least a Queen and that only prolongs the game a few moves: 26.Qxg4 Qd2+ 27.Kg1 Bxg4


0-1


Wayne Zimmerle (1608) - Jason Li (1261)
2018 Peoria Championship - A (Life Together Center), 05/28/2018

Round 4


1.d4 g6 2.Bf4 Bg7 3.c3 d6 4.e3 Nc6 Leaving book. The line was moving toward the Kings Indian variation of the London system (ie, White plays a London setup while Black plays a KID setup. As neither crosses the center line they are free to pursue their own personal preferences.)
Nd7 or Nf6 is normally played here. Nc6 is probably a positional mistake as it limits the participation of Black's c-pawn which probably needs to be played to c5 at some point.
5.Nd2 e5 6.Bg3 Be6 7.Bb5 Ne7 8.Ndf3 e4 9.Ng5 d5 Black's last 2 moves have only helped White who's g3-Bishop now has scope while Black's counter part on e3 has been shut in. It also cements the opposition b2-d4 pawn chain against his g7-Bishop.
10.Ne2 Bd7 11.Nf4 h6 12.Ngh3
[12.Bxc6 is an option here. Black must retake with the b-pawn (taking the Knight loses a piece to Bxd7+) or Nge6+ picks up a pawn after fxe6 Nxe6 Qc8 Nxg7+. Of course the Knight never gets out alive. The point here is not whether this move is good but whether you calculated it.]
12...O-O 13.Qe2
[13.Qd2 is better as e2 is the Bishops best square.]
13...a6 14.Bxc6 Bxc6 15.f3 Offering to open the center while his KIng is present. If White is to play f3, maybe 0-0-0 first is in order.
15...g5 16.Nh5 Bb5 17.Qf2 f5 Handing over the e5 square to White.
18.Nxg7 Kxg7 19.Be5+ Kh7 20.Qg3 Ng6 21.Bxc7 Pawn hunting.
21...Qd7 22.Qd6 Taking the pawn and going home with Be5 is an even game, this is probably the losing move as after the exchanges, White's center pawns are very weak and only the King is available to defend. Had he castled, the Rooks could have confronted the Black's Rooks and held position.
22...Rac8 23.Qxd7+ Bxd7 24.Bd6 Rf6 25.Ba3 The Bishop is completely out of play on a3.
25...exf3 26.gxf3 f4 The discovery on the h3-Knight costs White material.
27.Nf2 fxe3 28.Ng4 Bxg4 29.fxg4 Re8 30.Rf1 Nf4 31.b3 This doesn't help but it does let Black finish with a beautiful winning combination
31...Nd3+ 32.Ke2 Rf2+ 33.Rxf2 exf2+ And Black will play Re8 followed by queening the pawn.


0-1


Kushal Mungee (1410) - Tom Taylor (1800)
2018 Peoria Championship - B (Life Together Center), 05/28/2018

Round 4


1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Bg4 4.Bb5 c6 5.dxc6 Qa5 6.Nc3 Nxc6 7.Be2 White has won a pawn and wants to keep it.
[7.Qd3 Keeps all the important squares covered.]
[7.Bxc6 Trades the Bishop for the Knight, but as the Bishop is vulnerable and the trade leaves Black's Q-side pawns a mess, Castling long may not be as appealing for Black.]
7...Bxe2 8.Nxe2 O-O-O 9.O-O e5 10.Be3
[Fritz gives this line through the haze for White:
10.Qd3 Nxd4 11.Nxd4 Rxd4 12.Qf5+ Kb8 13.Re1 Bd6 14.Bg5 Re8 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.Qxf6 and White emerges with his pawn.]
10...Bc5 11.Bg5 Nxd4 12.Nxd4 Bxd4 13.Qf3 Bxc3 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.bxc3 Rd6 16.Qg4 Kb8 17.Qc4 Rhd8 18.Qxf7 Qxc3 19.Qxh7 Essentially the position is a draw even though Black has a slight initiative due to his more active Rooks. Both players have been jostling to win a pawn here or there, but this time there is a hidden threat which White misses.
[19.Rab1 b6 20.Qb3]
[Of curse the mundane
19.h3 also holds.]
19...Qxa1 A Queen sacrifice!
20.g3 Rd1 21.Rxd1 Qxd1 22.Kg2 Qd5 23.Kh3 Qd7 24.Qxd7 Rxd7 With the Queens off White is defenseless and the game is over.
25.Kg4 Rd2 26.h4 Rxf2 27.Kh3 e4


0-1