FM Jan Sprenger (2326)
IM Amon Simutowe (2462)

Bad Wörishofen (9)
Germany, 2001

IM Amon Simutowe played the last of his nine games at Bad Wörishofen against hometown favorite, FM Jan Sprenger. The young Sprenger was having the tournament of his life and was seeking his first IM norm if he scored a victory. However, the 19-year old IM from Zambia was also playing spectacular chess, and with a win, he'd earn a spot among the top finishers.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e6 5. Nb5 d6 6. c4 White adopts the Maroczy Bind setup against Black's Taimanov Sicilian. Black's choice of opening is very flexible and will often transpose into the closely related Scheveningen, or Kan/Paulsen. While move order is crucial and one tempo can mean life or death, Black has several ideas for attacking the center such as ...b5, ...d5, and sometimes ...f5!? 6... a6 7. N5a3 Nf6 8. Nc3 Be7 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O b6 11. Be3 Qc7 Now the game favors a Scheveningen. 12. Rc1 Ne5 Avoiding moves like the killer 13.Nd5! 13. f4!? 13. f3 Bb7 14. Qd2 Rac8 15. Rfd1 Ned7 is a common setup. In this case, Black can employ the "Fischer Attack" with moves like ...Kh8, ...Rg8, ...Bd8, ...Qb8, ...Bc7 with the idea of ...g5! and ...g4 (See Ilya Gurevich-Zsusza Polgar, New York 1992). 13... Ned7 The knight is very flexible from this square. 14. Bf3 Bb7 15. g4!?

These types of moves are often seen here, but I believe if it is to be effective, the a3-knight should be on c2 or d4. White must be careful not to overplay his hand by exposing the kingside. Nevertheless, black must take this pawn avalanche very seriously. This is a critical moment. 15... h6 16. h4 The pawns are moving in "double-time" while all of black's pieces are crouched in their bunkers behind the fourth rank... waiting for the signal. 16... Nh7 A common manuever in this position. The hedgehog hunkers down, but now discloses the slicing power of the bishop! 17. Qe1 Qd8 18. g5 e5! Charge! A flank attack is often countered by a central attack. In this case, white's pawn mass is being hit from head to tail. 19. f5 hxg5 20. h5 Ndf6 Notice the flexibility of Black's knights. 21. Qg3 g4! Wham! 22. h6 22. Bxg4 Nxe4 23. Nxe4 Bxe4 24. h6 Bh4 25. Qh3 Ng5 22... gxh6 23. Bxh6 Kh8!

Nice! The idea is to trade an exchange for control of the dark squares. With black's knights trampling white's kingside, the bishop will also become a tower of power! 24. Bxf8 Qxf8 Fritz has the position as roughly equal after the exchange sacrifice, but of course the silicon-based chess monster does not understand that white's lack of a dark-squared bishop will soon make Sprenger's position appear like Swiss chess. Black is definitely better here as both white's knight on a3 is and the rook on c1 are virtually unemployed. 25. Kf2? Loses quickly, but on 25. Bg2 Qh6 26. Nd5 (26. Kf2 Nxe4+) 26... Bxd5 27. cxd5 Ng5 28. Rc4 Rg8 29. Qh2 Nh3+! 30. Kh1 Rg5 and black's attack on the h-file is deadly. 25... gxf3 26. Rh1 Bxe4

27. Rxh7+ Desperation... the young German was going for an IM norm. 27... Nxh7 28. Nxe4 Qh6 29. Rg1 On 29. Qg1 Bh4+ 30. Kxf3 Qf4+ wins. 29... Bh4 Touche'! Good solid chess by the young Zambian! 0-1 [Shabazz D.]

Game(s) in PGN