Saturday, July 2, 2016

Alekhine Defence vs Cherner

Dr. Ted Bullockus had a tremendous impact on my chess life. Shortly after our game I began also playing the Alekhine Defence as Black, including the Flohr Variation 5…c6. While I remained a universal openings player, the Alekhine was one of my most common choices. One of the best and worst qualities of this opening is that White usually leaves the known book fairly quickly. Black has to make a lot of decisions.

In the Alekhine Defence, creativity and tactics matter! Lyle Cherner and I met 15 times in several different openings. Here he chose a very good line. I got into trouble as Black in this game because my king was not safe. White was unable to put me away. We moved on to a long middlegame with frequent tactical threats on the queenside.

At the end of this game I could have kept the queens on the board with 43...Qc3-+, but I was confident that I could win with two extra pawns in a bishops of opposite color endgame against this opponent. Apparently he thought so too. White resigned.

Cherner (1750) - Sawyer (1960), corr APCT EMQ-2, 30.07.1996 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 c6 6.0-0 Bxf3 7.Bxf3 dxe5 8.dxe5 e6 9.Qe2 Nd7 10.Re1 Qc7 11.Nd2 Bc5 [11...Be7=] 12.Nb3 Bb6 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bd2 a5 15.c4 Nb4 [15...Ne7=] 16.Bc3 Na6 17.Rad1 a4 18.Nd2 Nac5 19.Ne4 Nxe4 20.Qxe4 Bc5 21.Qg4 Bf8?! [White has won the opening. Now on to the middlegame. Maybe Black could survive after 21...0-0 22.Be4+/-] 22.Rd2 Nb6 23.b3 [23.Red1!+-] 23...Qe7 [23...g6 24.Red1+/-] 24.Bd4 [A good move is 24.Red1!+- ] 24...Qb4 [24...h5 25.Qe4+/-] 25.Rdd1 [Still powerful is 25.Red1!+- ] 25...axb3 26.axb3 g6 27.Bxb6? [This allows Black to equalize. White could continue the attack with 27.Re3+/- ] 27...Qxb6 28.Qd4?! Bc5 29.Qd7+ [This drives my king to safety. 29.Qb2 0-0=/+] 29...Kf8 30.Qd2 Kg7 31.Qc2 Ra3 32.Rb1 Qb4 33.Red1 Rha8 34.Rd2 Ra1 35.Rf1 R8a3 36.Be2 Rxf1+!? [Or 36...R1a2 37.Qxa2 Rxa2 38.Rxa2 Qxb3-+] 37.Bxf1 Rxb3 38.h3 [38.g3 Rc3 39.Qb2 Qxb2 40.Rxb2 Bd4-/+] 38...Rb1 39.Re2 Bd4 40.Qd3 Bc5 [40...c5-+] 41.Qc2 Re1 42.Rxe1 Qxe1 43.Qe2 Qxe2!? [I could have kept the queens on the board with 43...Qc3-+ but I was confident that I could win with two extra pawns in a bishops of opposite color endgame against this opponent. Apparently he thought so too.] 44.Bxe2 Bd4 0-1


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