Sunday, December 6, 2009

Exciting Chess Game

I recently played one of the most exciting chess games I have every played. The game took place at letsplaychess.com. My opponent was Stagli of Croatia. He made a knight sacrifice that made me very nervous because my king was relatively exposed, but I was able to survive. In this game I played black. Now I will provide the moves along with my commentary.

1. e4 c5
2.Bc4 e6

I play e6 so that the white bishop cannot target f7.

3. Nc3 a6
4. a4 Bd6
5. Nf3 Nc6
6. 0-0 Nge7
7. d3 Qc7

My queen and bishop are a powerful force on the h2-b8 diagonal.

8. Be3 b6
9. Ng5 0-0

White's move seems premature to me because the knight has little support. Now that the h2 pawn is undefended, it is possible to play Bxh2+ and in fact, I wish I had played this move here!

10. f4 f6

White is playing aggressively.

11. Nh3 Kh8

I play Kh8 so that white's bishop will not be able to put my king in check at a later stage of the game.

12. Qh5 g6
13. Qh6 Ng8
14. Qh4 Bb7
15. f5 Bxh2+
16. Kh1 Bg3
17. Qg4 exf5
18. exf5 g5
19. Ne4 Bd6
20. Nhxg5 Ne5

Rather than play the immediate capture fxg5, I decide to fork white's queen and bishop with my knight.

21. Qh5 fxg5
22. Qxg5 Nxc4

White's move surprises me because I expect Nxg5 with the threat of mate on h7. I am prepared to play either h6 or Nf6 in defence but white's move demands a different move. I suspect his strategy is to push his f-pawn to f6 and mate with his queen on g7.

23. dxc4 Bxe4
24. f6 Rf7

My rook prevents mate.

25. Rae1 Raf8
26. Bd4 Bxg2+

White wants me to capture his bishop in order to exchange bishops and free space for his e-rook but I do not cooperate. I sacrifice my bishop to expose the white king and gain a pawn.

27. Qxg2 cxd4
28. b3 Nxf6

I finally move my knight but this move is not the best. Here it is better to play Rxf6 and offer an exchange of rooks.

29. Re2 Qb8
30. Ref2 Bc5
31. Qg5 Ne4
32. Rxf7 Nxg5
33. Rxf8 Bxf8

Down two pieces and one pawn, white decides to resign. Fortunately for me, his knight sacrifice does not succeed. This game is undoubtedly one of the most exciting I have ever played.

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