Weekly chess column

Patrick Wolff provides his last annotated game for Chess Notes today.  It is a somewhat complicated but amusing struggle played in the 2012 MetLife Amplico European Rapid Championship won by Alexey Dreev of Russia on tie-break.  This contest was waged between Polish players Wojciech Moranda and Grzegorz Gajew-ski. It was a Ragozin variation of the Queen’s Gambit Declined in which White deferred a king side pin, and Black initiated a pin of his own.

 Black’s initial problem in this variation was his queen’s side bishop that was blockaded from the beginning. However, because White’s queen went to the queen’s side and reconnoitered, Black had time to free the bishop with 13 e5.  Nevertheless, in fending off an attack, White forced Black’s queen offside and Black’s bishop went to b7.  It is not surprising that White offered a sacrifice with Black’s pieces crowded away from their king. Black declined the gift offer but the game was soon over.


 a) In general these positions are slightly better for White due to Black’s awkwardly placed knight, but they are perfectly playable and the dark-squared bishop yields latent possibilities.

b) The last two moves begin a repositioning that logically leads to the next several moves: Black strives to open the game for his dark-squared bishop, while White strives to make the most of his lead in development. Black could also quite logically have played more patiently and continued developing.

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c) Perhaps Black should have played 17…Bxe5 18.f4 Bd4+ (or 18…Bd6, which transposes to 17…Qxe5 18.f4 Qh5) instead. The game continuation allows White to push the queen far offside, leaving the Black king vulnerable.

d) Boom! Suddenly Black is busted — not that surprising, really, when you compare Black’s queen and light-squared bishop to White’s queen and light-squared bishop.

e) Or 24…gxf6 25.Qh5 Bc8 26.Qxh6 (or 26.Rd3) etc.


f) Or 26…gxf6 27.Bb1 with checkmate on h7 to follow.

Moranda – Gajewski

12th MetLife Amplico European

Rapid Championship, 2012

 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation


Moranda Gajewski

Moranda Gajewski

White Black

White Black

1. d4 Nf6

15. e4 Qh5

2. c4 e6

16. dxe5! Nxe5

3. Nf3 d5

17. Nxe5 Qxe5? (c)

4. Nc3 Bb4

18. f4 Qd4+?

5. Qa4+ Nc6

19. Kh1 b5

6. Bg5 h6

20. Ba2 Bb7

7. Bxf6 Qxf6

21. Rad1 Qc5

8. e3 (a) O-O

22. Qe2 c6

9. Be2 Rd8

23. b4 Qa7

10. O-O a6

24. Nf6+!! (d) Kh8 (e)

11. Qc2 dxc4 (b)

25. e5 Bf8

12. Bxc4 Bd6

26. Qe4 g6 (f)

13. a3 e5

27. Bxf7 1-0

14. Nd5! Qf5


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