Chess Notes

Weekly chess column

Young Jesse Nicholas of Boston College likes to play positions on the wild side. Here he triumphs against Lawyer Times in a recent game at the Boylston CC. The game came to quite a crisis after Black’s 18th move. Jesse has no predilection for draws, it turns out.

2013 Boylston Chess Club $5 Open

Lawyer Times (2270)
vs. Jesse Nicholas (2176)


1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Bd3 Ah, the venerable and time tested Colle System, named after the Belgian player Edgard Colle (1897-1932). It has long been a popular choice for beginners. I played it for several years when I first started but stopped after a few years. In fact, most players do eventually give it up as it really offers White very little. Times has continued to play this system well into his mature chess years with pretty good results. So it comes as no surprise to those who face him as Black what he is going to play. 4…c5 5.b3 A bit of a twist — The Colle-Zukertort line. The other choice is the Colle-Koltanowski variation with 5. c3.  A great example of this line in action is the game Colle vs. Delaux, Ghent, 1929: 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.e3 d5 4.Bd3 c5 5.c3 Nc6 6.Nbd2 Be77.O-O c4 8.Bc2 b5 9.e4 dxe4 10.Nxe4 O-O 11.Qe2 Bb712. Nfg5 h6 13. Nxf6+ Bxf6 14.Qe4 g6 15.Nxe6 fxe6 16.Qxg6+Bg7 17.Qh7+ Kf7 18.Bg6+ Kf6 19.Bh5 Ne7 20.Bxh6 Rg8 21.h4Bxh6 22. Qf7#. This is the kind of attack Colle players dream about at night. 5…Nc6 6.O-O Bd6 7.Bb2 O-O 8.Ne5 Seems a bit premature, more popular and standard is 8.Nbd7 8…Qb6!? 8…Qc7 is the usual line. This leads to a tactical melee, which I am not sure is very good for Black. 9.Nd2 cxd4 10.exd4 Nxd4 Well, here we go. Seems like Jesse is winning a pawn but things are not so simple. 11.Nec4! (Diagram) dxc4 12.Nxc4 Qc7 13.Nxd6 Qxd6 14.Bxd4 e5 Not 14…QxB due to 15.Bxh7+. White has won his pawn back and along with his two bishops should stand better.  15.Bb2 Rd8 16.Bxe5?1 Beginning another tactical melee in which White seems to lose his way and his mind. Better would have been simply 16.Qf3 where White would be better with his two bishops and queen side pawn majority 16…Qxe5 17.Bxh7+ Kxh7 18.Qxd8 Bh3!? 19.QxR?? Amazingly, this loses by force. Much better is 19.Qd2, which leads to a position where White has a rook and two pawns for a bishop and knight, which seems to be dynamically equal. One line is 19.Qd2 Bf5 20.Rad1 20…Qf6 (Clearing e5 for the knight if necessary and heading to h6 if possible) 21.Qd4 (If the queens come off, White will be better as his rook and two extra pawns will coordinate better than Black’s two minor pieces.) 21…Qh6 22.h4 with Black having some attacking chances on the kingside 19…Ng4! The mate threat is hard to deal with: 20.g3? Qe4 21.f3 Qe2.So, 20.f4 is forced. But now there are checks on the g1-a7 diagonal, which have a long history of being very bad for those being checked. 20…Qd4+ 21.Kh1 Nf2+ 22.Kg1 Not 22.RxN as 22…QxR(a1)+ leads to mate. 22…Nd1+ 23.Kh1 Qe4 Threatening mate on g2 and if the rook blocks with 24.Rf3, then 24…Qe1 leads to mate. 24.Qxb7 forced to last a little bit longer. 24…Qxb7 25.Rf3 Bg4 26.Rg3 Nf2+ 27.Kg1 Qb6 28.Kf1 Ne4 As it is mate in 4: 29.Rh2+ Kg8 30. Rh8+ KxR 31.Ke1 Qf2+ 30.Kd1 Qd2#, White gave up; 0-1 A nice attacking game by Jesse.