USCL Week 5 Opening of the Week (OOTW)

USCL Week 5 Opening of the Week (OOTW)

Sep 26, 2010, 6:12 PM |

By IM Mark Ginsburg

Opening of the Week – Week 5

Pascal Charbonneau (NY) – Larry Kaufman (BAL) USCL Round 5  Caro Kann Advance - b2 Pawn Grab Variation

Week 5′s pick sees a topical Caro gambit where black essentially handed over his head early.  Still, there wee interesting moments, especially since earlier in the season Bryan Smith had reached a promising game vs Joel Benjamin in a related line.

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5

In Round 1 USCL action Joel Benjamin shocked Bryan Smith with the disreputable 3…c5?!.   Joel later wrote that this was old Deep Blue prep stemming back a few decades.  Nevertheless, white should be better now.

That game continued 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.dxc5 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Bb5 Qa5+ 7.Nc3 e6 8.Be3? This was the key misstep.  Smith missed the very nasty 8. Bd2! with a white edge.

To give you an idea how strong the move is, after 8. Be3 in the game 8…Nge7 was played, and now on move 9, the computer’s #1 recommendation for white is…
9. Be3-d2! amazingly enough.   After 8. Bd2!, white obviously threatens Nc3xd5.  A plausible continuation is 8…Qc7 9. b4! guarding c5.  Now, black should regain the pawn with 9…Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Qxe5+ 11. Qe2 Qxe2+ 12. Nxe2 and the smoke has cleared with white nursing a small but nagging edge.

4. Nf3

You can’t accuse Charbonneau of not learning.  Last year in Week 9 he played the incredible lemon 4. g4?. Needless to say, his opponent “The Inkblot” Enkbhat was so flummoxed by this astounding self-weakening he replied with 4….Bd7?? (missing 4…Be4! with a big edge) and white won that game as well!

e6 5. Be2 c5 6. Be3 Qb6 7. c4 Qxb2! There is no turning back now.  Weak is 7…dxc4 8. Nbd2 Bd3 9. O-O!  with a simple white edge.)

8. Nbd2

A key position in the gambit.


The first of a couple of inaccuracies from the usually well-prepared Kaufman.  As GM Macieja has proven a couple of times, black needs to play 8…Ng8-e7! here.  He twice held the dangerous Andrey Volokitin to a draw.  It’s important to support the d5 point.

8… Ne7! 9. O-O Nbc6 10. Nb3 O-O-O 11. Nxc5 dxc4 12. Bxc4 Nd5 13. Nd3 Qa3 14. Rc1 Be7 (14… h6 15. Bxd5 exd5 16. Nc5 Bxc5 17. Rxc5 Kb8 18. Nd2 Qxa2 19. Qc1 Nb4 20. Qc3 Nd3 21. Ra1 Qb2 22. Qa5 Nxc5
23. Qxa7+ Kc7 24. Qxc5+ Kd7 25. Qxd5+ Ke8 26. Qa5 b6 27. Qa4+ b5 28. Qa7 Rd7 29. Qa5 Ke7 30. Ra2 Qc1+ 31. Nf1 Qc4 32. Nd2 Qc1+ 33. Nf1 Qc4 34. Nd2 Qc1+ 35. Nf1 Qc4 {1/2-1/2 Volokitin,A (2572)-Macieja,B (2634)/Istanbul 2003/CBM 096}) 15. Bxd5 Qxd3 16. Bxc6 Qxd1 17. Rfxd1 bxc6 18. d5 Rxd5 19. Rxd5 exd5 20. Nd4 Bd7 21. Nxc6 Bxc6 22. Rxc6+ Kb7 23. Rc2 Rd8 24. Bd4 Rd7 25. f4 g6 26. g4 Bd8 27. Kf2 Rc7 28. Rb2+ Kc8 29. Ke3 Rc4 30. Rb5 Ra4 31. Rc5+ Kd7 32. Rxd5+ Ke8 33. Rb5 Rxa2 34. Rb8 Kd7 35. Rb7+ Ke6 36. Ke4 Re2+ 37. Be3 f5+ 38. gxf5+ gxf5+ 39. Kd3 Rxh2 40. Rxa7 Be7 41. Ra6+ Kd5 42. Ra5+ Ke6 43. Kd4 Rb2 44. Ra6+ Kf7 45. Kc3 Re2 46. Kd3 Re1 47. e6+ Kg6 48. Bd4 h5 49. Be5 h4 50. Ra8 h3 51. Rh8 Bf6 52. Bxf6 {1/2-1/2 Volokitin,A (2493)-Macieja,B (2608)/Ohrid 2001/CBM 084})

9. cxd5

Now white is comfortable and black is left with one narrow path – see next note.


Another lemon and this one is simply losing.  Correct is 9… exd5 10. dxc5  and here black has a narrow path to live:  10…Nge7! (N)  11. O-O g6! 12. Nb3 Bg7 and, since his pieces are developed and his king is not in danger, he is all right.

10. Nc4! Did black simply forget about this elementary knight move (one of white’s only ideas in the variation?)  Now white is completely winning.  Black had a massive short-circuit.

10…Qc2 11. dxc6?

The best way to show the magnitude of black’s blunder on move 9 is the far simpler win for white here:  11. Qxc2 Bxc2 12. dxc6 dxe3 (12… Bb4+ 13. Bd2 wins) 13. cxb7 Rb8 14.
Rc1 Be4  (14…Ba4 is also met by Nd6+ and Rc8+ winning immediately) 15. Nd6+ Bxd6 16. Rc8+ Kd7 17. Bb5+ and black must resign.   The text move is far weaker and white converts a prosaic material advantage.

11… Qxd1+ 12. Rxd1 dxe3 13. Nd6+ Bxd6 14. exd6 bxc6 15. d7+ Kd8 16. Ne5 Nh6 17. Nxc6+ Kc7 18. d8=Q+ Rhxd8 19. Nxd8 Rxd8 20. Rxd8 exf2+ 21. Kxf2 Kxd8 22. Rc1 Ng8 23. Rc4 Ne7 24. Bf3 Nc8 25. Rb4 Nb6 26. a4 Kc7 27. a5 Nd5 28. Bxd5 exd5 29. Ke3 Bc8 30. Kd4 Kc6 31. Rb8 Kc7 32. Rb3 Be6 33. Kc5 g6 34. Rb4 h5 35. g3 d4 36. Rxd4 Bd7 37. Rf4 Be6 38. Rb4 Bc8 39. Kd5 Be6+ 40. Ke5 Kc6 41. a6 Kc5 42. Rb7 Bc4 43. Rxa7 Kb6 44. Re7 Kxa6 45. Kf6 Kb6 46. Rxf7 Bxf7 47. Kxf7 g5 48. Kg6 h4 49. g4 1-0