Two KnightsC55

FM Philip Corbin (2255)
FM Hussein Asabri (2326)

Bled ol (Men) (11)
Bled, 2002

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 Nc6 Dangerous for Black is 4... Nxe4 5. Qxd4 Nf6 6. Bg5 Be7 7. Nc3 O-O 8. O-O-O with a strong attack for white. 5. O-O Here more solid is 5. e5 d5 6. Bb5 Ne4 etc. 5... Bc5 An alternative for Black is 5... Nxe4 6. Re1 d5 7. Bxd5 Qxd5 8. Nc3 Qa5 9. Nxe4 Be6 etc. 6. e5 d5 7. exf6 dxc4 8. Re1+ Be6 9. Ng5

Threat: 10.Ne6 fe 11.Qh5+ and 12.Qxc5, winning a piece. 9... Qd5 10. Nc3 Qf5 11. g4 11. Nce4 O-O-O (11... Bb6 12. fxg7 Rg8 13. g4 Qg6 14. Nxe6 fxe6 15. Bg5 Rxg7 16. Qf3 Kd7 17. Nf6+ Kc8 18. Rxe6 Qxg5 19. Rxc6!! K. Denny - P. Corbin, 1996 Barbados National Championship (4).) 12. g4 Qe5 13. fxg7 Rhg8 14. Nxe6 fxe6 15. Bh6 Note that 11... Qg6! Note that 11... Qxf6 12. Nd5 Qd8 13. Rxe6+!! fxe6 14. Nxe6! 12. Nce4 Bb6 13. f4 O-O-O 14. f5 Bxf5 15. gxf5 Qxf5 I had anticipated this position before the game because I knew that my opponent normally replies to e4 with e5. Here MCO quotes this position as better for Black, based on Blackburne - Teichmann, Nuremberg 1896, which continued: 15... Qxf5 16. Kh1 gxf6 17. Qf3 Qxf3+ 18. Nxf3 Nb4 19. Nxf6 Nxc2 20. Bf4 Nxa1 21. Rxa1 c3 22. bxc3 dxc3 23. Rc1 Rd3 24. Ne1 Rd2 25. Nc2 Re2 26. Nd5 Ba5 27. Nd4 Rxa2 28. Nxc3 Bxc3 29. Rxc3 c6 30. Nf5 Kd7 31. Rd3+ Ke6 32. Ng7+ Ke7 33. Re3+ Kd7 34. Rd3+ Ke7 35. Re3+ Kd8 36. Rd3+ Ke7 1/2-1/2 16. Nxf7!

Admittedly this game has biased my thinking but I believe this move (possibly a TN) is White's best here. If 16. Nxf7 Qg6+ 17. Neg5 and the g file, which Black would like to open, stays blocked. 16. Nxf7 d3+ then 17. Kg2! (17. Kh1? Rhe8! 18. Nxd8 Rxe4 Here my opponent (understandably!) started to get into time trouble with a long think, but succeeded in playing the move I was fearing the most.) 16... Ne5 Now if Whit e now takes either of Black's rooks I think Black is better. So I opted (I believe correctly) to get rid of Black's fearsome steed. 17. Nxe5! Qxe5 18. Qg4+ Kb8 19. Bf4 d3+ 20. Kh1 Qxb2? Chalk up another in the long list of games lost through White's b pawn distracting Black's queen into a premature meal! 20... Qd5 was better. 21. fxg7 Rhg8 22. c3! Qb5! Rushing the Queen back but she has lost time. 23. Nd2! The knight blockades Black's passed d pawn and makes room for my rooks. 23... Qc6+! Better than 23... Qd5+ since the queen stops the White bishop from getting to its coveted h6 square. 24. Re4 Rde8! 25. Rae1! My opponent was probably expecting Qg2 which is okay, but the move played sets a diabolical trap... 25... a6! Here Black can apparently win with 25... Bf2 but then White has 26. Bxc7+ Ka8! (26... Qxc7 27. Rxe8+ and mates or) (26... Kxc7 27. Qf4+ the Black bishop.) 27. Rf1! Be3! 28. Rf6!! Qd5! 29. Qf5!!

I must be honest though and confess that at the board I did not see all that! I played 25. Rae1! way too quickly and my initial reaction was "Oh no! I missed 25...Bf2! I am lost!" Then I saw Bc7+ and breathed a sigh of relief! Then I said "OH NO! He has 26...Ka8! after that!" After the game my opponent (who had seen Bc7+ and assumed he was losing) and I analysed 27. Rf1! and we said White is winning! Then our board 1 Dr. Ricardo Szmetan later on in the night (when I was showing him the game) said 27...Be3! wins for Black! Only the next morning did I find 28.Rf6!! and 29.Qf5!! Chess is not an easy game. Anyway, the wise move played by my opponent stops all my cute back-rank mate threats and renews the threat of Bf2. So... 26. Qg2! Rxe4 27. Rxe4 Qa4 My opponent, now is serious time trouble, finds a way to jangle my fraying nerves further by threatening a raid on my weak queenside pawns, but after much thought I hit on the right move... 28. Bh6! The big threat is to get my rook to the f8 square. eg 28...Qa2 loses to Rf4. 28... Qd1+ 29. Qf1 Qh5 30. Qf8+ Ka7 31. Qxg8 Qxh6 31... Qd1+ 32. Kg2 Qg1+ 33. Kh3 my King is safe. My opponent and I were now in mutual dire time trouble, but I managed to see a path to victory... 32. Re8 Qc6+! 33. Ne4! Not 33. Re4? when, as my wily opponent pointed out after the game, 33... Qg6 wins for Black!! Now Black would like to play d2 but this is met by Ra8 mate! 33... Be3

Best here was Bd4 but even then White wins with 34.Ra8+ Kb6 and Qe8 as in the game. 34. Ra8+ Kb6 35. Qe8 d2 36. Qxc6+ bxc6 37. Nxd2 Bxd2 38. g8=Q I chose this as my best game of the 35th Chess Olympiad owing to its entertainment value plus I think the game has some theoretical importance regarding the moves 11.g4 and 16.Nf7! 1-0 [FM Philip Corbin]

Game(s) in PGN