King Hunt + Life Update

Hey all - I haven't played OTB since Philly, but I think an update is definitely in order.

The following was an exciting game I played with algerianbishop here on  The rate of play was 3 days for 1 move.  The game itself was rather short, but the underlying variations are interesting.  You can test your calculation by finding the best moves for both sides beginning with 14.Nc3:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 Here 4...Nf6 is a major alternative. 5.c3 Nf6 Accepting the pawn with 5...dxc3 is playable but risky. 6.cxd4 Now we have transposed to the Italian Game. 6...Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Nxe4!? (diagram)

The theoretical equalizer is 7...Bxd2+ 8.Nbxd2 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Qb3 Na5, but the resulting positions are very drawish.  The text is more dynamic and (I think) objectively better. 8.Bxb4 Nxb4 9.Bxf7+ Kxf7 10.Qb3+ d5 11.Qxb4 Rf8 Preparing to castle by hand.  Though White's knight has access to the nice e5 square, he is permanently saddled with the isolated d-pawn.  Black will also has good play on the kingside. 12.0-0 Qd6 A novelty, but it's no better than the standard 12...Kg8. 13.Qb3! Kg8 14.Nc3? Be6? Here I underestimated 14...Rxf3!, when Black obtains a pawn-up endgame: 15.Nxe4 (I missed that White was getting mated on f2 after 15.gxf3 Qg6+ 16.Kh1 Bh3 17.Qxd5+ Kh8 18.Rg1 Nxf2#) 15...Rxb3 16.Nxd6 Rxb2.  Black should win with accurate play. 15.Rfd1 (diagram)

15...Nxf2!? Actually this move should lead to a draw, but I refuse to attach a "?!" or "?" to it :).  I wasn't satisfied with the slightly better rook endgame after 15...Nxc3 16.Qxc3 Bg4 17.Rd3 Bxf3 18.Rxf3 Rxf3 19.Qxf3 Re8. 16.Kxf2 Apparently forced.  However, White had the nice in-between move 16.Nb5!, when the best Black seems to achieve is a perpetual after 16...Qf4 17.Kxf2 c6! 18.Na3 Bh3! 19.Kg1! (any other move gives Black the advantage) Bxg2 20.Kxg2 Qg4+ 21.Kf2 Qh4+ (21...Rxf3+ also leads to a draw) 22.Kg2 Qg4+. 16...Rxf3+! (diagram)

The point of Black's combination. White's defenses are shredded and his king is forced towards open water.  16...Qxh2!? is also interesting, but White can probably defend after 17.Rd3. 17.gxf3 Quickly losing was 17.Kxf3? Rf8+ 18.Ke2 Bg4+ 19.Kd3 Qg6+ 20.Kd2 Qg5+ 21.Kc2 Rf2+. 17...Qxh2+ 18.Ke3 Again, White has little choice. 18.Ke1 Re8 is even stronger than in the game, while 18.Kf1 Re8 threatens the deadly 19...Bh3+. 18...Re8 Black is down a rook, but this quiet move gives White tremendous headaches.  He now has to calculate several bishop discoveries. 19.Rh1? I also spent most of my time calculating this, but it loses.  19.Rd2! was the only way to stay in the game.  Black has various tempting possibilities here, i.e. 19...Bf7+!? 20.Kd3 Bg6+ 21.Ne4 Qh5! when I will win the knight with a continuing attack. 19...Bf7+ 20.Kd3 20.Ne4 would force me to find 20...Qg3+! when 21.Rag1 is met with 22...Rxe4+. 20...Qf2 (diagram)

White resigned.  The threat of 21...Re3+ forces 21.Rae1 Rxe1 22.Rxe1 Qxe1 when Black is easily winning because of the coming 23...Bg6+.

On Tuesday I move to NYC!  As a chess professional this makes a lot of sense: there is a huge market for teaching, an excellent tournament scene, and an abundance of strong players.  I'm moving in with a couple of good friends (also chess players) and I hope to stay for a year or two.  In addition to my online coaching, I'll have some interesting opportunities to work with New York scholastic players.  This is an exciting time in my life and I'm going to try and make the most of it.  By the way, if anyone is looking for a good chess teacher in Manhattan, feel free to shoot me an e-mail!


  • 5 years ago


    Glad you answered a question about 11. Ne5+.  I was surprised you didn't include a brief look at the desparado in the 16.Nb5 variation 16....Nh3+, as it seems a plausible downside to the 16.Nb5 intermediate move.

  • 5 years ago

    NM Petrosianic

    good games.  the line against algerianbishop leads to some weird form of equality.   i played at the philly open too, open section, very long games but not too well for me, however. 

  • 5 years ago


    How you can take advantage of opponent's king-hunt?

    Now watch chess video Breaking Stereotypes -3 (How to handle h-file attacks with g7 bishop and counter-attack) free at

  • 5 years ago

    NM dcremisi

    nice game

  • 5 years ago



  • 5 years ago

    IM Fins0905


    11.Ne5+ is also a main line.  After 11.Ne5+ Ke6 12.Qxb4 c5 the queen has to retreat and Black will take on d4 to de-stabilize the knight on e5.  Personally, I think this position is more promising for Black, though I agree it is complicated.

    Black also has a solid alternative in 12...Qf8.  This forces a queen trade because of the threat on f2.  I actually played the White side of this against GM Mikhalevski in 2002...tough variation to crack.

  • 5 years ago



  • 5 years ago


    Cool way to combat that opening. Im finding myself in an unpleasant position after 4...Nf3 5.e5 d5.

  • 5 years ago

    NM dcremisi

    a very interesting game despite its length. I also think that black did an excellant job of transitioning success in the opening into a winning attack.

  • 5 years ago



    I think 11.Qxb4 is an innacuracy. Better was 11.Ne5+.

    After 11.Ne5+, Black must play 11..Ke6 to put pressure on the Ne5 - otherwise White is just better.

    And after 11.Ne5 Ke6 12.Qxb4 c5 (the point of Ke6), the position is unclear but the central Black king wouldn't give confidence to many human black players.


  • 5 years ago


    good game, & good luck in NYC. Teaching is the best way I know to improve yourself. 

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