Sunday, June 26, 2016

Herrstrom Gambit by Zilbermints

Lev Zilbermints sent me a 1.Nf3 g5 game against Stephen Hrop. All comments, opinions and analysis are those of Lev Zilbermints.

"CHESS NEWS: On Tuesday, 21 June 2016, I won with the Herrstrom Gambit against Stephen Hrop at West Orange Chess Club. FYI, Hrop is known to avoid gambits, playing 1 c4, and then 2 g3, Bg2. Thus, the Herrstrom is an excellent choice against a 2117 player who chickens out of gambits...."

"Hrop told WOCC President John Hagerty that he was forfeiting the second game, to be played on 28 June, to me. Well, his problem. I would have preferred to play it out, but since Hrop wants to forfeit instead of playing, I will take the forfeit win."

Hrop (2117) - Zilbermints, West Orange, NJ G/100, 21.06.2016 begins 1.Nf3 g5 2.Nxg5 e5 3.d3 h6 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.e4 Nf6 6.Nc3 d5 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.Bd2 Be6 9.g3 Qd7 10.Bg2 0-0-0 11.a3 Be7 [Better is 11...Rg8 followed by 12...f6, controlling the g5-square.] 12.Qe2 Bf6 13.Nxd5 Bxd5 14.0-0 [14.h4 Be6 15.Bg5 Bg4 16.Qd2 Nd4 17.Nxd4 Bf5 18.Be4 Bxe4 19.f4 Qa4 20.dxe4 c6 21.Qa5 Kb8] 14...h5 15.h4 [At the point my opponent has 48 minutes left on the clock.] 15...Be6 16.Bg5 [42 minutes left] 16...Qe7 [72 minutes left for Black] 17.Bxf6 [38 minutes] 17...Qxf6 18.Ng5 [This is why 12...f6 would have been good.] 18...Bg4 19.Qd2 [33 minutes] 19...Nd4 20.Rae1 Rhe8 [So what have we here? An unfamiliar position for a player who loves solid, positional garbage and avoids gambits. Moreover, it is an open position, something Hrop is not good at. He tends to use up a lot of time thinking, and there is still some play left for Black. Psychologically, White is at a disadvantage!] 21.Re3 Nf5 22.Re4 Nd4 23.Ree1 Qg6 [Despite being a pawn down, I maintain some pressure in the center and on the Kingside. Is it enough? You decide. Me, I think so, given the other advantages.] 24.c3?? [Hrop is trying to chase my well-placed Knight away. In so doing, he fatally weakens the d3-pawn, which now becomes a juicy target for my heavy and light pieces.] 24...Nb3!! [I had to check out some lines in order to ensure Hrop did not have the much-despised cheap shots.] 25.Qc2 Nc5 26.Re3 Bf5 27.Ne4 Bxe4 28.Bxe4? [Taking with the pawn 28.dxe4 was better, but psychologically undesirable. The Bg2 would have been shut in, hence the text move.] 28...f5! [Infantry now moves in against Hrop's defenses.] 29.Bg2 f4 30.Rf3?? [A blunder which allows me to trap the Exchange and win the game.] 30...Nxd3! 31.Qa4 e4!! [Now it is over.] 32.Rxd3 Rxd3 33.Qxa7 [Last attempt at cheap shots. No, you don't!!] 33...c6 34.Bh3+ Kc7 35.Qa5+ [10 minutes left for Hrop] 35...Kb8 36.Qg5 Qxg5 37.hxg5 fxg3 [Black infantry pierces White defenses.] 38.fxg3 [7 minutes 53 seconds left] 38...Rxg3+ 39.Kh2 Rxg5 [The g5-square is under my control. Hrop's surrender is inevitable.] 40.Re1 e3 Resigns 0-1 [Notes by Lev Zilbermints]

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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