Friday, August 12, 2016

Ruy Lopez Hasty Castle 6...0-0

Chess has many types of traps. Some are opening traps. This game features the trap of a minor piece right out of the opening. The King Pawn Ruy Lopez has many moves we take for granted. But there is a tactical or strategical reason for each one of them.

My chess game against Chester Nygren in American Postal Chess Tournaments was a Closed Ruy Lopez. All was normal for the first five moves. By move six, Black had developed both knights, one bishop, and castled. Wait. Black castled on move 6 instead of moves 7 or 8? Yes indeed. How does 6…0-0 affect the position?

Let’s think about it. Fairly normal move is 6…b5 7.Bb3 0-0. Why does Black chase away the White bishop? Because White has a threat. Since White has castled and protected his e4 pawn, he can capture Black’s e5 pawn. White wins a pawn.

Play continued 7.Bxc6 dxc6 8.Nxe5 Bc5 9.Nf3 Re8 10.d4 Ba7!? The placement of this bishop is active but risky. White challenges the knight with 11.e5 Nd5 12.c4 Ne7 and now 13.c5. Suddenly Black’s dark squared bishop is buried alive.

He tried to claw his way out of the casket with 13…b6 14.b4 a5 15.a3 bxc5 16.bxc5. In desperation the bishop sacrifices himself for a brief final gasp of fresh air with 16…Bxc5. White picked up the piece with 17.dxc5. Checkmate followed ten moves later.

Sawyer (2000) - Nygren (1500), corr APCT 1979 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 0-0?! [Black sacrifices his e5 pawn. 6...b5 prevents White's reply.] 7.Bxc6 dxc6 [7...bxc6 8.Nxe5 Bb7 9.d4+/=] 8.Nxe5 Bc5 [8...Re8 9.d3+/=] 9.Nf3 Re8 [9...Bg4 10.h3+/=] 10.d4 Ba7 11.e5 [11.Qd3!?+/=] 11...Nd5 12.c4 Ne7 13.c5 b6 14.b4 a5 15.a3 bxc5 16.bxc5 Bxc5 [Black was desparate to get something for his trapped bishop. White was also winning after 16...Bg4 17.Nbd2 Rb8 18.h3 Be6 19.Rb1+-] 17.dxc5 Qd5 18.Be3 Ng6 19.Nc3 Qxd1 20.Rexd1 Bg4 21.Bd4 Bxf3 22.gxf3 Nxe5 23.Bxe5 Rxe5 24.Rd7 Rxc5 25.Rad1 Rxc3 26.Rd8+ Rxd8 27.Rxd8# 1-0

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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