Chess Notes

Weekly chess column

 Jonathan Yedidia swept the Metrowest New Year’s Swiss in January with a perfect score of 4-0, defeating top players Arthur Bisguier, Mika Brattain, and Vadim Martirosov. International Master Igor Foygel was not in attendance. Yedidia v. Martirosov is a splendid example of Yedidia’s aggressive style. Martirosov gives up a pawn for an attack and he encounters brilliant counterplay.


MetroWest Chess Club’s New Year Swiss

IM Jonathan Yedidia vs. Vadim Martirosov



1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 The Charousek (Petrosian) variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined. Rudolf Charousek (1873-1900) was a brilliant Hungarian player who once beat Emanuel Lasker and who Ruben Fine once called “The Keats of Chess” due to his brilliance and early death from tuberculosis. The Charousek is a subtle move order with the idea to make White put his black-squared bishop or his king's knight on a less desirable square. More normal would be 3. ... Nf6 when White can play 4. Bg5 and he would still have the option of putting his king’s knight on g3 via e2. Now, if White waits with 4. Nf3, he loses that option. Or if he plays Bf4 he loses the better option of developing it to g5. 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bf4 Nf6 6. e3 Bf5 7. Nge2 O-O 8. Rc1 a6?! I can't find another master game with this move. The normal move is 8. … c6. 9. Ng3 Be6 If the bishop retreats to g6 it can become a target to a white pawn storm beginning with h4. 10. Bd3 But now White gets this great diagonal 10. … c5 Beginning, what I think is a dubious idea. 11. dxc5 Bxc5 12. O-O Nc6 13.Na4 Ba7 14. Nc5 If Bxa6 then Bxe3 and RxB regains the pawn and White has given up is his prized white-squared bishop for nothing. 14. … Bxc5 15. Rxc5 Qb6 16. Qc1 After this, the computer thinks that White is only slightly better and really wants Black to play a rook to either c8 or d8. Strange, a few moves ago, the “Silicon Terror” thought that White was more than a little better but after no obvious mistakes, White has lost most of his edge. 16. … d4?! 17. exd4 Nb4? The losing move but not for an obvious reason. Better is 17. … Rfd8 but Black is not doing well in any case. Bad is 17. … Nd4 as 18. Be5 will badly damage Black's kingside. 18. Bh6!! (diagram) “A Bolt from the Blue!” Black can be forgiven for missing this. Now if 18. … NxB; then 19. Qg5 forces 19. …Ne8 20. Bxg and if NxB then 21. Nh5 mates. So, 20. … f6 is forced and then Bxf6+ Kg7 holds out for a while but White will end up with three pawns for a piece and Black’s king is very exposed.  Also, if 18. … g7xB, then 19. Qxh6 threatens both Rg5+ and then Qg7 mate and just 19. Qxh7 mate, for which there is no good defense. And if  18. … Ne8, 19. Bxg7 Ng7 20. Qh6 wins in all lines for White. 18. … Ng4 19. Qg5  Mate on g7 is threaten.  If 19. … NxB then 20. Nh5 g6 21. QxN leads to mate. 19. … g6 20. Bf5! Nxh6 If BXB then NxB cost Black a piece or his king. 21. Qxh6 Bxf5 22. Nh5 ! Not 22. NxB as 22. … Qf6 defends for a while. 1-0; Faced with mate, Black gave up. A very fine game by Yedidia.