I played an ICC game this morning that I thought was worth sharing. In this game, Black made several bad positional and tactical decisions that allowed me (White) to start a strong attack on the queenside.
leika v. WellWellWell (ICC, G/15)
1. c4 g6 2. g3 Bg7 3. Bg2 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. d3 e5 6. e4 d6 7. Nge2 Be6 8. O-O Qd7 9. f4
9…Bh3 Black offers to trade bishops. However, my Bishop on g2 is not very active, so I think this is a good trade for me.
10. Nd5 Bxg2 11. Kxg2
11…O-O-O? Black needed to consider 11…0-0. I don’t have a serious f4–f5 threat since Black can always trade on d5 breaking my center.
12. a3 I made this move to prepare b2–b4, but I think 12. Be3 Ng4 13. Bg1 could have been interesting as my bishop is on a strong diagonal, and it isn’t clear what Black’s knight is doing on g4.
12…Nxd5 13. cxd5
13…Nd4?? A bad choice, Black creates a wall in the center making it difficult for him to protect his king. Time to attack!
14. Nxd4 exd4 15. Bd2 Qb5
16. Qc2 My goal right now is to put my pieces on the c-file and start a minority attack.
16…Kb8 Allowing the Black rook to slide to c8.
17. Rac1 More accurate may have been 17…Rfc1, but I wanted to leave the option of f4-f5 to stretch Black.
17…Rc8 18. a4
18…Qa6? Tactically and positionally unsound, the queen does little on a6, and begs to be trapped.
19. b4 c6 20. dxc6 Rxc6
21. Qb3! Threatening b4–b5 with a fork, and the f7 pawn. This forces a very favorable trade on c1 for me.
21…Rxc1 22. Rxc1 f5 23. b5 Qb6 24. Qf7
24…Bh6 In this position, I have a definite advantage. But if I slow play this position, Black may have time to reorganize. In order to keep a definite advantage, I needed to find forcing moves and found a cool idea.
25. a5! If 25…Qxb5?? 26. Qc7+ Kh8 27. Qc8+ Rxc8 28. Rxc8#
25…Qd8 The only move.
26. a6 Threatening mate on b7. Black finds the only move, but it will not help that much.
26…Qb6 For a second, the coast looks clear, but can you find the winning move?
27. Ba5!! I don’t like to brag, but this is pretty sweet. If Black takes the bishop, Qxb7 is mate, and if he takes the b-pawn, he runs into the Qc7+ idea from before. With nothing to do and mate to come, Black resigned. 1-0
Always look for forcing moves! Checks, Captures, and Threats!