Mark Huba vs. Andy Routledge

Analysis below with full version of the game at the bottom of the page.

Mark Huba (120) vs. Andy Routledge (e100), 10/12/13

White opened with the English, an unfamiliar one for me but I was lucky in that my initial responses were largely book moves.

White’s 3rd move, advancing the g-pawn to prepare for a fianchetto of his King side Bishop, was first initiated by Carl Carls of Bremen and is now known as the “Bremen” System:

[pgn]
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3

{[pgndiagram][%csl Gg2][%cal Gf1g2]

The textbook Black response is to advance the King side pawn to prepare for castling. 3… Bb4 is preferable. I perhaps showed my naivety at this point with the ponderous move 3… Bc5.

Development continued with both players Castling early on the Kingside and advancing pawns into a cautious overall position: }

3… Bc5 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. Nf3 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. d3 h6 8. a3 Be6 9. e3

{[pgndiagram]

Looking to get some more tactical play and break up the stodgy central position I advanced my Queen. This lead to some sharp central play as both players looked to reinforce their position and avoid cheap exchanges:}

9… Qd7 10. b4 Bb6 11. Na4 Bh3 12. Qc2

{[pgndiagram][%cal Rd8d7,Re6h3][%csl Rd7,Rh3]

Noticing that White was focusing his pieces on the Queenside, I decided to exchange Bishops and see what play I could get on the Kingside. At some point I saw I would be able to advance my Knight relatively unchallenged:}

12… Bxg2

{[pgndiagram][%csl Rg4][%cal Rf6g4]

As expected, White took back with his King and play continued with exchanges on the Queenside flank. My thoughts were now on moving pieces over to the Kingside for my future attack:}

13. Kxg2 a6 14. Nxb6 cxb6

{[pgndiagram][%csl Gg2,Ga4,Rb6][%cal Gg1g2,Ra7a6,Ga4b6,Ra7b6]

With both Knights now ready to attack I could pin the g-pawn by moving my Queen to g4, thereby allowing the Knight on g6 to advance to h4 or f4 and check my opponent:}

15. Bb2 Rfe8 16. Nd2 Ne7 17. e4 Ng6

{[pgndiagram][%csl Rg4][%cal Rd7g4,Rg6h4,Rg6f4]

White seemed to sense the threat, moving his Knight over to defend but was it too little too late? Following 19. Nf4 I had assumed White would take with the g pawn, however this would have left him very exposed to an attack by my Queen and resulted in the loss of his Knight and likely checkmate in a few moves}

18. Nf3 h5 19. h4 Nf4

{[pgndiagram][%csl Rg4][%cal Rd7g4]

As it was, the chosen defence was insufficient and the resulting Queen and Knight combination was enough to achieve checkmate in short order (0-1):}

20. Kh1 Qh3 21. Nh2 Qg2

{[pgndiagram][%csl Gh1,Rh3,Rg2][%cal Gg1h1,Rg4h3,Rh3g2]}

*[/pgn]

Full version:

[pgn navigation_board=below animation_speed=0]1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Bc5 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.O-O O-O 7.d3 h6 8.a3 Be6 9.e3 Qd7 10.b4 Bb6 11.Na4 Bh3 12.Qc2 Bxg2 13.Kxg2 a6 14.Nxb6 cxb6 15.Bb2 Rfe8 16.Nd2 Ne7 17.e4 Ng6 18.Nf3 h5 19.h4 Nf4 20.Kh1 Qh3 21.Nh2 Qg2*[/pgn]