Attack like Morphy! - An Evans Gambit Miniature

Attack like Morphy! - An Evans Gambit Miniature

FangBo
FangBo
Oct 6, 2018, 8:04 AM |
6

Hi guys!

In this week`s IBL Tournament, I thought I would spice things up and play 1. e4 in a romantic style. This caught my opponent unawares, because I am known to consistently play 1. d4 in the vast majority of my games. He wrote in the chat " You are a 1. d4 player right" to which I replied "yes" and got on with the attack, down about a minute on the clock...

The game began 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4!? This pawn sacrifice gains both time and central control, as they normal accept it (if they don`t, by retreating the bishop to e7 (for example) then you can just press on with the attack by playing d4 and castling quickly) 

4... Bxb4 5. c3 gaining a tempo ...Ba5 6. 0-0 (perhaps better - a preference of Morphy`s is d4 first, and then castles, but in a blitz game it can be good to mix things up). ...Ne7 trying to avoid a pin after Nf6 and Bg5. but the knight is misplaced on e7. My e4 pawn restricts its mobility, so I think that 6... Nf6 combined with h6, d6, Bd7 and 0-0-0 is a better plan for them. When they go into this, I will be putting my rook on b1, and attacking on that area of the board. 7. d4

Play continues: 7... ed 8. cd 0-0 9. Ng5 perhaps here their best option was to play h6, when I was not going to play Nxf7, which gets a rook and a pawn for the two pieces, because I would lose my developed pieces, and the initiative. For example, 9... h6 10. Nxf7 Rxf7 11. Qh5!? simply ...Qf8 maybe their Ba5 is loose, and will drop after d5, kicking away its defender, and d6. I would more likely (in blitz) play the simple retreat Nf3, because I can exploit the weakness of h6 by means of a bishop sacrifice at a later stage …Ng6? on the surface it seems okay, but it lets my queen fly into h5. I would have gone for 9...h6 and played into complications, involving possible piece sacrifices (see annotations for 9. Ng5). Certainly black should not fear wholesale exchanges on f7... 10. Qh5! h6 11. Nf3 unleashing my dark squared bishop and defending d4. I have also created a dangerous threat, that my opponent tries to avoid, but I can still play it anyway! ...Kh8?

Find the winning move

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12. Bxh6!! well done if you got it.

Let`s have a look at what my opponent could have played instead of 11... Kh8

  • 11... d5 (+0.55) 12. Bxd5 (I am not even material down) Nge7 13. Bb3 Bb6 14. Ba3 and okay I have a nice position, with long term pressure along the bishop`s diagonals.
  • 11... Qf6 (+0.75) 12. e5 Nf4 (these are not easy moves to see in 3/0 blitz) 13. exf6 Nxh5 In this line, the computer recommends that black gives up a piece for 2 pawns in the continuation shown below:

Now all we have to do is sweep up...

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