Sunday, June 19, 2016

McCullough in Queens Gambit

Rich McCullough and I played a number of interesting opening lines, especially in my early years. This game began with McCullough playing the English Opening as White.

I owned some English Opening Batsford books by John Watson. Watson showed how 1.c4 e6 might lead to the Queens Gambit Declined. When we got there I wanted to play something sharp.

This is one of those rare times when I ventured forth with a Tarrasch Variation. I like classical play, so it would be a natural for me. However I am not a big fan of isolated center pawns. In the main line of the Tarrasch, I would rather be White than Black.

Boris Spassky used the Tarrasch to win the World Championship against Tigran Petrosian in 1969. They reached the position after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 (Tarrasch) 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.g3 Nf6 7.Bg2 Be7 8.0-0 0-0. Every time Petrosian played 9.Bg5.

Richard did not take on d5 on move four. I gave him one more chances. So I took his pawn instead after 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bg5 cxd4. The position was wide open and tactical. White kept his king in the center, while Black castled queenside. I won in the end.

McCullough (1719) - Sawyer (2000), corr APCT P-388, 1978 begins 1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 c5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bg5!? [The usual continuation is 5.cxd5=] 5...cxd4 6.Nxd4 [6.Qxd4 Be7 7.cxd5 exd5 8.e3 0-0 9.Be2 Nc6=] 6...e5 7.Nf3 [7.Bxf6 gxf6 8.Nb3 d4 9.Nd5 Bf5=] 7...d4 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.Nd5 Bf5!? [9...Nc6 10.e4=] 10.Qb3 [10.g3!?=] 10...Qa5+ 11.Nd2 Nd7 12.a3 Bh6 [12...0-0-0!?=] 13.Qb4 Qxb4 [13...Qd8=] 14.Nxb4 [14.axb4!=] 14...Be6!? [14...Rc8-/+] 15.b3 Nc5 16.Rb1 0-0-0 17.Nd3 Nxd3+ 18.exd3 f5 19.g3 e4 20.f4 exf3 21.Nxf3 Rhe8 22.Kd1 f4 23.gxf4 Bg4 24.Be2 Bxf4 25.h3 Bh5 26.Ng1 Bg6 27.Kc2 Re3 28.Rf1 Bd6 29.b4 Rde8 30.Rf2 f5 31.Kd2 a5 32.Nf3? [32.bxa5 Bxa3 33.Nf3 Bb4+ 34.Kd1 Bc3-/+] 32...Bf4 33.Kd1 Bh5 34.Rhf1 Bg3 [Even better is 34...axb4 35.axb4 Bh6!-+] 35.Rg2 f4 36.Kd2 Rg8 37.Kc2 Rge8 38.Kd2 axb4 39.axb4 Bxf3 40.Rxf3 Kc7 41.c5 Kc6 42.Rxe3 Rxe3 43.Rg1? [43.Bh5 Kb5-/+] 43...f3! 44.Bf1 f2 45.Rg2 [45.Bg2+ Kb5 46.Rb1 Re1-+] 45...Re1 46.Rxg3 Rxf1 47.Ke2 Rg1 [The rooks will be exchanged. Black will be up a pawn on the queenside in the endgame.] 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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