Alexander Qin (1750) – John Morphett (1703)
Tennessee Scholastic Individual State Championship,  Tennessee Tech University, 14.02.2015

I hope the game score of this game is messed up, because if it is not, there were a lot of oversights. 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0 5.e4 d6 6.h3 The more popular move for White in this Kings Indian setup is 6. Be2, allowing Black to play …Bg4 with the idea of exchanging the Bishop for the f3 Knight. The exchange would have the advantage of giving Black more elbow room to maneuver with his Knights against the White center pawns, but would have the long range disadvantage of losing the two Bishops. Alexander, selects the line 6.h3. White signals his desire to play a ‘squeeze’ type strategy, hoping to keep Black tied up. 6…e5 7.dxe5 This move is matter of taste, but I think it goes well with the h3 move. If instead, White chooses to advance his d-pawn then the board will be divided… Black will attack in the Kingside, White on the Queenside. That makes the move h3 look a bit suspect, since it has loosened the Kingside a bit. The other choice of maintaining the central structure is also playable. 7…dxe5 8.Qxd8 This is the logical continuation. But, it must be noted, that this type of position is very difficult to win. The same number of pawns on each side of the board. White has a slight initiative and an advantage in space. Black’s position is very compact and hard to invade. The position is equal. 8…Rxd8 9.Nd5 Alexander is showing himself to be a very straight forward player, simplifying quickly. This is a good strategy if you are a really good endgame player and believe you can outplay your opponent later. Otherwise, you will find yourself drawing too many games to stay on top of tournament charts. The more popular move is Bg5, leading to a bit more tension. 9…Nxd5 10.cxd5 This is the correct recapture. It is interesting to observe the ‘pent-up’ power of the Black position if White get careless… [10.exd5 e4 11.Nd2 Na6 12.Be2 Nb4 13.0-0 Re8 14.a3 Nc2 15.Rb1?! e3 16.fxe3? Nxe3 17.Rf2 Bf5 And White is a tangled up mess. Just a sample line to show how careful White must be, even in this Queenless middlegame. Alexander chose the correct recapture.] 10…c6 Black cannot wait too long to strike at the White center or he will be smothered.11.Bc4 b5 12.Bb3 Bb7 13.Bg5 Rd7 14.Rc1 h6 All of these moves have been played in master practice. The position is equal. White having space, Black having counter play against the center. Everyone should be happy. 15.Bd2 The Bishop probably belongs on e3. The idea of transferring to c3 is probably not good because the Bishop would block the c-file and tempt Black to play …a7-a6 with an eventual …b5-b4 causing White to draw back. Technically, I would say the position is equal, but the White center is under a great deal of pressure. 15…a5 16.a4 This move allows the collapse of the White center. Unfortunately, White needs to admit that his opening play did not place enough pressure against Black and get rid of his central mass with exchanges. He will still maintain some pressure on Black. So, dxc6 looks better. [16.dxc6 Nxc6 17.Rc5 b4 18.Ba4 Rd6 19.0-0] 16…b4 This move is a big mistake. Hypermodern players must always be on the alert of ways to smash the enemy center. If he misses the chance, he may not get another. Black could have taken control of the game with …cxd5 and the proud White center would fall under great pressure. [16…cxd5 17.exd5 (17.Bxd5 Bxd5 18.Rc8+ Kh7 19.exd5 e4) 17…e4] 17.Bc4 This could be a serious error as we will see in the next set of analysis. It looks better to transfer the Bishop to the better e3 square, admitting d2 did not work out. 17…Rd8This is not bad, but the immediate liquidation of the central pawns leaves Black with the victory of the Hypermodern approach – the White center dies!! Black still stands a little better after …Rd8. [17…cxd5 18.Bxd5 Bxd5 19.Rc8+ Kh7 20.exd5 e4 21.Nh2 Rda7 22.b3 Nd7 23.Rxa8 Rxa8 24.Ke2 Nb6 25.d6 Rd8 and the pawn is begging for help.] 18.Be3 Nd7?? Blunder. Black is now lost. Sometimes, the pressure of ‘general principles’ cause us to think in a fog. The chess coach yells, ‘Get your pieces out!’ and you drop your concentration and just get the pieces out. Here is an important lesson… Let general principles guide your thinking process to formulate plans, do not let them determine particular moves… 19.0-0?? It is in the air. There is no way two players this strong can not see the correct response. Perhaps a famous chess coach paused at the board and frowned, so both players decided to finish development! [19.dxc6 Bxc6 20.Bxf7+ Kxf7 21.Rxc6 Rdc8 22.Rxc8 Rxc8 23.Kd2 And Black is dead lost.] 19…Rdc8?? TAKE THE PAWN! Black could have a very strong advantage, but again refuses. [19…cxd5 20.Bxd5 Bxd5 21.exd5 f5 22.Rc7 e4 23.Nd2 Ne5] 20.dxc6 Rxc6 21.b3? This gives Black a chance to finish what he started. More accurate first is Rfd1, which forces the Knight backward. White would then have a nice advantage. [21.Rfd1 Nf8 (21…Nb6 22.Bb3 Rxc1 23.Rxc1 Rc8 24.Rxc8+ Nxc8 25.Nd2 White is winning the ending.) 22.b3 Rac8 (22…Rc7 23.Bd5 Bxd5 24.Rxd5 White is much better.) 23.Rd5] 21…Ba6? [21…Rac8 22.Bd5 (22.Bb5 Rxc1 23.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 24.Bxc1 Nc5 25.Bc4 Nxe4) 22…Rxc1 23.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 24.Bxc1 Bxd5 25.exd5 Nc5 White loses.] 22.Bd5? Tactical training is essential. Far too many oversights in this game. Stop studying the opening phase and go back to the tactical training. Tactics are the heart of chess. [22.Bxf7+ Kxf7 23.Rxc6 Bxf1 24.Kxf1 g5 25.Nd2 White is a pawn up in a winning position.] 22…Rxc1 23.Rxc1 Nf6?? Now I just hope the score is messed up. Otherwise… 24.Bc5??[24.Bxa8] 24…Rd8 25.Be7? [25.Bb6] 25…Re8?? 26.Bxf6 Bxf6 27.Rc6 Bb7 28.Rxf6 Bxd5 29.exd5 Kg7 30.Ra6 e4 31.Nd2 e3 32.fxe3 Rxe3 33.Kf2 Rd3 34.Nc4 Rxd5 35.Rxa5 Rd3 36.Rb5 Rxb3 37.a5 Rb1 38.a6 Ra1 39.Ra5 Rc1 40.a7 Rxc4 41.a8Q Rc2+ 42.Kg3 b3 43.Qb8 b2 44.Ra7 Rc3+ 45.Kh2 Rc2 46.Qe5+ Kf8 47.Qe7+ Kg8 48.Qxf7+ Kh8 49.Qh7# 1-0

Analyzed by Henry Robinson

Comments are closed.