Chess Notes

Weekly chess column

The recent Oslo International Chess Tournament was won by Simen Agdestein, a former soccer player and former tutor/coach to the great Magnus Carlsen. Here is a game from that tournament: Benjamin Bok, Netherlands, v. Eric Hansen, Canadian-American. The middle game is so unusual that the reader may think there is a misprint in the column, but that is not true.

Oslo Chess International, 2013

Benjamin Bok (2520) – Eric Hansen (2584)


1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 a6 7.0–0 Nf6 8.Be3 Be7 9.f4 d6 By a roundabout way we have reached a classical Scheveningen Sicilian position. There are a couple of ways for White to play this. One way is the more positional approach with a4, Nb3, Qe2, etc.; all with the point of containing Black from freeing himself with b5 or, more importantly, d5. The second approach is demonstrated in this game, the direct attack. Nothing fancy, nothing too subtle but just “Mate in 8!’’ 10.Qe1 Heading for Black’s king with not too subtle ideas after that. 10… 0–011.Qg3 Nxd4 One less piece to mate Black with and this piece is always the troubled child of Black's family — no good squares and generally just in the way. So, Black exchanges it off. I found a nice attacking game where Black keeps his knight: 11.Qg3 Re8 12.Kh1 Bd7 13.e5 Nd5 14.Nf5 g6 15.Nh6+ Kg7 16.Nxd5 exd5 17.f5 Nxe5 18.Nxf7 Nxf7 19.fxg6 hxg6 20.Bd3 Ne5 21.Bxg6 Nxg6 22.Bd4+ Kh6 23.Rf7 Bg5 24.Bg7+ Kh5 25.Bf6 Bh6 26.Rg7 Qxc2 27.Rxg6 Qf5 28.Rxh6+ Kxh6 29.Qg7+ Kh5 30.g4+; 1-0 Tischbierek – Csajka, 2003 12.Bxd4 b5 Queen side expansion, with a threat to the White e-pawn, standard fare for Black here. 13.a3 Can’t be losing the e-pawn but it is somewhat slow. Another more direct approach is 13.Bd3. 13...Bb7 14.Kh1 Getting out of the way of any future checks on the g1–a7 diagonal, a very usual approach for White in these kinds of positions. 14...Rad8 15.Rae1 Rd7 16.Bd3 Qd8 Not sure about this maneuver but it has been played before. However, it does come across as somewhat artificial. 17.Qh3 Not too subtle. Now e5 is a threat so Black must take measures against it. 17...g6 18.f5 e5 19.Be3 Nh5 20.Rf3! The first new move and a very good one. The rook eyes g3 or h3, helping out in the attack. Before this, White tried 20.Be2 but got pushed back and even lost after 20...Nf6 21.Bf3? (back to d3 is required) 21...Kh8 22.g4 d5! (0-1, 33, Swath-Xue, 2003.) 20...Bc6 Perhaps not appreciating the gathering storm clouds around his king. Maybe the pawn sac with 20…Nf4 is better — trying to confuse White. 21.Bh6 Re8 22.Qxh5! (Diagram) Now it is up to Black if he wants to keep playing as gXQ just draws after Rg3+, but Hansen believes that he can refute this with his next but he didn't look far enough ahead. 22...Bh4? 23.Qg4 Bxe1 24.f6! It is going to be mate in almost every line after this. 24...Bxc3 25.bxc3 d5 26.Bg7 With this, White's ideas are either Rh3, Rxh7 and Qh4+ or even a Qxh7+ KxQ and Rh3+ both leading to mate. And this not overlooking the very standard queen mate on g7. There is, amazingly, no good way to stop all of these ideas. 26...dxe4 27.Rh3 Rd6 Hoping to take on f6 after Rxh7 but White stops this. 28.Qg5 Rxd3 True desperation. 29.cxd3 1–0 A very nice attacking game by Bok.



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