Sunday, November 20, 2016

Michael Buss Wins 1.e4 Nc6

Christoph Scheerer (Wisnewski) wrote in his book "Play 1...Nc6!" this about the Scandinavian line 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nf3: "Black has the luxury between two almost equivalent alternatives." He considered 4...e5 rather drawish in the critical line. The main line is 4...Bg4 5.Be2 0-0-0. In this game White mixes things up with 5.Nc3!? After 5...Qh5 6.Be2 Black transposed back into the main line with 6...0-0-0.

I found this unannotated Queens Knight Defence game when I was scanning “The Check is in the Mail” postal chess columns by Alex Dunne. It was a good game that illustrated possible play in this line. The contestants were Timothy Caskey as White and Michael Buss as Black. I believe it was part of the Golden Knights tournament which is an open event. The rating differences imply that Black should win, but that does not mean it will be an easy game. White played the first dozen moves reasonably well. Then things began to slip away.

Caskey (1843) - Buss (2416), corr USCF 2012 begins 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nf3 Bg4 [4...e5 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Bd2 Bxc3 7.Bxc3 e4 8.Ne5 Nxe5 9.dxe5 Ne7=] 5.Nc3 [5.Be2 0-0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.c4 Qa5+ 8.Bd2 Qa6 9.d5 Bxf3 10.Bxf3 Nd4=] 5...Qh5[5...Qf5 6.d5 Ne5 7.Be2 Bxf3 8.gxf3 Nf6 9.f4+/=] 6.Be2 [Another critical line is 6.d5 0-0-0 7.Be2 Bxf3 8.Bxf3 Qe5+ 9.Be3 e6=] 6...0-0-0 [6...Nf6 7.h3 0-0-0 8.Be3 (8.0-0 transposes to the game) 8...e5 9.d5 Bxf3 10.Bxf3 Qg6=] 7.0-0 [7.d5 see 6.d5 0-0-0 7.Be2] 7...Nf6 8.h3 [8.Be3 e5 9.h3 exd4 10.Nxd4 Bxe2 11.Ncxe2 Bc5 12.c3 Nd5=; 8.Qe1!? e6 9.h3 Bxh3 10.gxh3 Qxh3 11.Ng5 Qf5 12.f3 Nb4=] 8...Nxd4 [8...e5?! 9.Bd2 Bxf3 10.Bxf3+/=] 9.Nxd4 Bxe2 10.Ncxe2 [10.Qxe2 Rxd4 11.Qe3 e5 12.Nb5 Rd1=] 10...e5 11.c3 exd4 12.cxd4 Bd6 13.Qc2 [13.Nc3 Qxd1 14.Rxd1 Rhe8=] 13...Rhe8 14.Be3 Nd5 15.Nc3 [15.Qd2 g5=/+] 15...Nxe3 16.fxe3 Rxe3 17.Rf5 Qg6 18.Nd5? [18.Ne4 Bb4!-+] 18...Rxh3 19.Rc1 [If 19.Qf2 Bh2+ 20.Kh1 Bg3+ 21.gxh3 Rxd5 22.Qe3 Qxf5 23.Qxg3 Rxd4-+ Black is up a rook.] 19...Qg3 20.Re5 g6 21.Nxc7 [No better is 21.Ne7+ Kb8 22.Nc6+ bxc6 23.Qb3+ Qxb3 24.axb3 Bxe5 25.gxh3 Bxd4+ 26.Kf1 Bxb2 when White is busted.] 21...Qh2+ 22.Kf1 Qf4+ 23.Ke2 Qg4+ 24.Kf1 Qf4+ 0-1

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