Chess Notes

Weekly chess column

 Chris Chase’s first annotation for Chess Notes is an enchanting game between two local youngsters, Yuan (Ben) Zongyuan (White) v. Jesse Nicholas (Black) played last year in the Boylston summer Open. It is especially notable because the victor, Zongyuan, a rated expert, was in the eighth grade. Jessie is currently a sophomore at Boston College.  Though he loses this game, Nicholas has been steadily improving, is climbing up into the Expert class, and will be an influential player in the future.

 Nicholas likes to play unusual openings to start the game and move to the attack. Here his contribution is 4…Qf6, unfortunately, leaving his king’s file open. Ben’s sixth move e5 is critical as Black can’t take the pawn and it severely occludes Black’s position. White’s pawn center becomes powerful and he puts pressure on Black’s king side. Black’s queen cannot find a satisfactory sanctuary, and White provides a scenic attack and king-hunt to close out the game.

Yuan (Ben) Zongyuan - Jesse Nicholas

BCC Summer Open, July, 22, 2012


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 The Cordel Defense to the Ruy Lopez. So named after Oskar Cordel, a German born in 1843, who in the late 19th century helped popularize this approach. One fun game by Cordel is Alexander – Cordel (1870) 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bc5 4. O-O Nge7 5. c3 f5 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. Nxe5 fxe4 8. Qh5+ g6 9. Nxg6 Nxg6 10. Qxc5 Qd3 11. f3 Bh3 12. Qe3 Rg8 13. Qxd3 exd3 14. gxh3 Nf4+ 15. Kf2 O-O-O16. Ke3 Ng2+ 17. Ke4 Rge8+ 18. Kf5 Rd5+ 19. Kf6 Nf4 20. Rg1Re6+ 21. Kg7 Rd7+ 22. Kh8 Re8+ 23. Rg8 Ng6#  Steintz once said that the king is a fighting piece but this took that idea too far! 4.c3 Qf6 Unusual. More common is either 4... Nge7 or even 4... f5. Nicholas has long specialized in offbeat defenses to the Ruy Lopez. 5.d4 exd4 6.e5 Qg6 If 6... If 8… Nxe5? then 7. Qe2 Bd6 8. cxd wins material. 7.cxd4  Bb4+ 8.Nc3 Nge7 9.0-0 Bxc3 10.bxc3 d5 11.Bd3!? Strangely, I can't find this obvious move in my database. Now if 11… Nf5 then 12. Nh4 wins material and if 11... Bf5 then 12. Nh4 wins the 2-bishops for White with a nice position after 12. ...Qe6 13. NxB NxN 14. f4 with the idea of 15 g4. 11... Qh5 12.Be2 0-0 It is amazing that after this move, Black seems to be lost. Better, therefore, was 12... Bg4 13. h3 BxN 14. BxB Qg6 with a plus for White (2-bishops, more space and a mobile king-side pawn majority) but at least Black is still playing. 13.Ng5 Qg6 Forced as 13... Qh4 runs into g3 and 13. ...Qh6 runs into the discovery Nxf7! but now Black's queen starts running out of squares. 14.Bh5 Qf5 15.g4! Qd7 16.Bxf7+! (see diagram)  A surprise move, winning material as 16...RxB runs into the fork 17. e6. Besides that, this also badly weakens Black's kingside. 16...Kh8 17.e6 Qd6 18.Qd3 Now, there is really no defense. If 18... Ng6 Black gets mated after 19. BxN hxB 20. Qh3+. 18...g6 19.Qh3 Kg7 What else? 19...h5 just loses to gxh. Now White executes a nice mate on the fleeing Black king. 20.Qxh7+ Kf6 21.Ne4+! dxe4 22.g5+ Kf5 23.Qh3#;  1-0. This may be new theory on a 100-plus-year-old opening.

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