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Bruce F Barnard vs Michael Steadman
64th NZCCA Ch (1997), New Zealand
Bishop's Opening: Urusov Gambit. Keidansky Gambit (C24)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-23-12  Abdel Irada: <<•>Barnard's Star<•>>

This position is powerfully reminiscent of the one occurring just before the decisive combination of so many "Immortal" and "Evergreen" games that at a glance one knows White has something crushing.

The something:

<<•>21. Nxd5!...>

This knight cannot be ignored. It's threatening to take a queen with check, and if the queen moves, the pressure on the pinned knight on e7 will be fatal. That means that, come what may, Black must capture.

<<•>21. ...cxd5

22. Bb5†...>

Tempting here is to restore material parity with 22. Rxe7†, Qxe7; 23. Re1, Qxe1†; 24. Qxe1†. But there's no obvious continuation to convert the positional advantage into a win, so better prospects lie in the continuing build-up against the king.

Black has two options.

<(1) 22. ...Kd8?

23. Rxe7! >

Black can't take the rook because after 23. ...Qxe7?; 24. Rxd5† the queen falls, soon followed by the king.

But he also can't not take because once the second rook captures on d5, White has a lethal preponderance of attackers.

<<•>(2) 22. ...Kf8

23. Rxd5! ...>

Steady as she goes! With this move, White brushes aside Black's diaphanous screen of pawns and adds another rook to the attack, while Black can do little to defend.

<<•>23. ...g6>

Black can also consider 23. ...a5, but after the quiet 24. Qa3 nothing has materially changed. Meanwhile, as will be seen, White's threats are such that luft will be vital.

<<•>24. Rd7...>

This temporarily closes the bishop's access to e8, but there is no point in 24. ...Re8 because after 25. Rxa7 (or any of several moves along the rank) the rook will be attacked and moving it will leave Black still losing the knight with a tempo down on the main line.

<<•>24. ...Kg7

25. R1xe7, Rhf8

26. Bc4 >

click for larger view

[The final position of the candidate solution]

So far, White's material advantage is minimal: one pawn. But the positional advantage is devastating. Black's f-pawn is thrice attacked, with an implied threat to win queen and pawn for rook and bishop, and thanks to White's pawn on g4, the knight is in no position to help.

I think this is pretty convincing, pending a look at the actual game line to see if I missed anything.

Nov-23-12  fokers13: As others have pointed out Nxd5 was my first thought but i gave up too quickly thinking it was too slow.

Went with Bb5 which keeps a sizeable advantage UNLESS black castles and fun's over(white keeps a 0.7 which is barely enough to win).

Nov-23-12  ounos: Morphy would be jealous of this game!
Nov-23-12  ounos: And presumably, if 22. ...Kd8, then 23. Re6
Nov-23-12  Abdel Irada: Interesting choice, 23. ...a6. I'm not sure if it offers more or less resistance than the 23. ...g6 I'd anticipated.

<Once>, does Fritz have anything to say about this?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Abdel Irada> There is not a huge difference between 23...a6 and 23...g6 according to the silicon monster. Here are Fritz's top six moves for black after 23. Rxd5 (and his favourite replies):

23...a5 24. Qa3 (+4.90)
23...a6 24. Rd7 (+5.90)
23...Kg8 24. Rxe7 (+5.68)
23...Ng5 24. hxg5 (+5.84)
23...g5 24. fxg6 (+6.17)
23...g6 24. fxg6 (+6.17)

All pretty much as hopeless as each other!

Nov-23-12  TheBish: B Barnard vs M Steadman, 1997

White to play (21.?) "Difficult"

21. Nxd5! cxd5 22. Bb5+ Kf8

Or 22...Kd8 23. Rxe7! regaining the piece with a big advantage, since 23...Qxe7 24. Rxd5+ wins the queen.

23. Rxd5 a5 24. Qa3! Rc8 25. Rd7 Re8 26. Rc7 with a crushing position for White.

Nov-23-12  stacase: 21. Nd5 capitalizes on the fact that Black's Queen has no where to go. It sort of plays itself after that.
Nov-23-12  morfishine: White to move, is down a pawn. However, Black is burdened with a fatal weakness: <Ne7>. Its defended twice and attacked twice. If White can add one more piece against <e7>, he will win material (since Black will be unable to match this force)

2 primary candidates suggests itself: <21.Bb5> & <21.Nxd5>

(1) <21.Bb5> The main point of this move is to prevent 21...c5 (which would block one of the attackers).

<21...Kd7> Black steps out of the pin while defending c6. If 21...cxb5 22.Nxd5 and Black can't even castle out of trouble due to 23.Nxf6+

<22.Rxd7+> Winning at least a piece

<22...Qxe7> Evidently forced

<23.Bxc6+> This deflection wins due to 23...Kd8 24.Rxd5+ and if 23...Kxc6 then 24.Qxe7:

click for larger view

Can Black defend better with 21...a5 instead of 21...Kd7?

(1a) 21.Bb5 <21...a5> Black tries to deflect the White Queen off the a3-f8 diagonal

<22.Bxc6+> The Bishop is immune

<22...Kf8> If 22...Kd8 23.Qxb6+ Kc8 24.Qb7+ Kd8 25.Qd7 mate

<23.Qxe7+> White cannot hold the pin with 23.Qa3 due to 23...Qxc6 and if 24.Qxe7+ Kg8; so white must liquidate

<23...Qxe7 24.Rxe7 Kxe7 25.Nxd5+> The hardest move to see covering f6

<25...Kd6> If 25...Kd8 or 25...Kf8, then 26.Bxa8 winning a piece

<26.Bxa8 Rxa8 27.Nxb6+> White is winning after 28.Nxa8

click for larger view

Can Black defend better with 21...Rc8, instead of 21...Kd7? If White can defeat this defense, then I think we have the solution. Lets check:

(1b) 21.Bb5 <21...Rc8> Black shifts the defense of c6 to the rook, but at the cost of remaining in the pin

<22.Nxd5> conclusive since the only way to shore up e7 is with 22...Rc7; but this is met with 23.Nxc7+; and obviously if 22...cxb5 23.Nxf6+

click for larger view

I'm certain <21.Bb5> wins, but lets look at <21.Nxd5>

(2) <21.Nxd5> Forces Black's response due to the triple-attack on his Knight

<21...cxd5 22.Bb5+ Kf8> If 22...Kd8 23.Rxd7 Qxd7 24.Rxd5+ winning the Black Queen; Black plans 23...Re8 protecting e7

<24.Rxd5> Threatening 25.Rd7 or 25.R5e5 overwhelming e7

<24...a5> trying to deflect the White Queen off the diagonal allowing 25...Nxd5

<25.Qa3> Holding the pin with the double-threat 26.Rd7 & 26.R5e5

click for larger view

*also, Black can't play 26...Ra7 due to 27.Rd8+

So, I'd say both 21.Bb5 & 21.Nxd5 win though 21.Nxd5 seems more forcing with less opportunity for Black to defend.
Wow, what a great finish! <Rd6> never even crossed my mind or "visualization horizon"

Nov-23-12  Bartimaeus: <Dr. J: Agreed. After 23...g6 Black can hold his immediate losses to one Pawn, though White's positional advantage is clearly decisive.> I concur. It just perhaps prolongs the game a bit more but it is tortuous for black all the same and as <Once>'s Fritzie shows its not really better than the game line eventually. I'm not surprised Steadman opted to throw in the towel.
Nov-23-12  Bengambit: 21.Nb5 should start a chain of events. The dark square knight is pinned to the e7 square and is guarded by the queen and king,and for black to castle will create tempo for white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: 21. Bb5 0-0
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: If you want to move the Bishop, 21. Ba6 is winning.
Nov-23-12  gars: Too easy for a Fryday. I guessed all the moves but the last.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop for a knight and a pawn.

I assume that the black king can still castle so that 21.Bb5 wouldn't work due to 21... 0-0 22.Qxe7 cxb5.

The pinned knight invites to play 21.Nxd5 cxd5 (the black queen can't move; 21... c5 22.Nxf6+) 22.Bb5+:

A) 22... Kd8 23.Rxe7

A.1) 23... Qxe7 24.Rxd5+ wins the queen.

A.2) 23... a5 24.Rxd5+ Kc8 25.Qc4+ and mate in two.

A.3) 23... Nf8 24.Rxd5+ as in A.2.

B) 22... Kf8 23.Rxd5

B.1) 23... g7 24.Rd7

B.1.a) 24... Re8 25.Rxa7 looks disasterous for Black.

B.1.b) 24... Kg7 25.Rexe7 followed by a concentration of firepower on f7.

B.2) 23... a6 24.Rd7

B.2.a) 24... axb5 25.Rdxe7 g6 (25... Kg8 26.Re8+ Rxe8 27.Rxe8+ Nf8 28.Qxf8+ Kh7 29.Qxh8#) 26.fxg6 Qxg6 27.R7e6+ looks winning.

B.2.b) 24... Kg8 25.Rdxe7 is similar to B.2.a.

B.3) 23... a5 24.Qa3 followed by Rd7 as in the previous lines.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: After 23 Rxd5, I figured 23…a5, forcing 24 Qa3, below. (This allows for ...Ra7 and more protection for e7.)

click for larger view

Unfortunately, black cannot play 24…Ra7?? right away because of 25 Rd8# (This makes the earlier 23 Rxd5 look even better).

So black has to spend a tempo either moving his king to g8 or moving his g pawn. I chose 24…Kg8, seeing 25 Rxe7 Rf8.

click for larger view

Here Rybka freeware finds the amazing 26 Be8!!

click for larger view

Nov-23-12  BOSTER: Certainly the kangaroo's jump (Qg4-Qb4) is impressive, but who ask black to play 20...b6, destroying the base of the chain b7-c6-d5.
Nov-23-12  Patriot: First off, 21.Nxd5 cxd5 22.Rxe7+ Qxe7 23.Re1 Qxe1+ 24.Qxe1+ Kd8 looks a bit costly. We're getting the queen and a pawn for 2 rooks. That's a slight material advantage for white, but I think I see something better.

21.Bb5 -- This prevents ...c5 and threatens Bxc6+ or Nxd5.

21...cxb5 22.Nxd5 now has real power.

21...O-O 22.Qxe7 Qxe7 23.Rxe7 cxb5 24.Nxd5 and white looks good. Maybe 22...cxb5 is better: 23.Qxf6 Nxf6 24.Nxd5 looks really good for white.

21...Rc8 22.Nxd5

21...Rd8 22.Bxc6+ Kf8 23.Nxd5

21...O-O-O 22.Qxe7 cxb5 23.Nxd5 Qxe7 24.Rxe7

21...Kd7 22.Nxd5 Nxd5 23.Rxd5+ Kc8 24.Rd6

I've spent too much time on this...

Nov-23-12  James D Flynn: Black is a pawn up but his development is retarded: his K is still in the centre where Whites 2 rooks stare down at it. The Black K is ready to castle K-side on his next move but White can prevent that by the obvious 21.Nxd5 cxd5 22.Bb5+ forces a K move but the N move also prepares 23.Rxe7+ Qxe7 24.Re1 if then Qxe1+ 25.Qxe1+ also forcing a K move, White has achieved approximate material equality with Q for 2 Rs but material is much reduced and the K can seek shelter on the K-side. Evaluating the resulting position is difficult because the K blocks the R on h8 and the R on a8 can be chased by Q and B and the only shelter for it appears to be f8 where it further block the Black forces, in the meantime White can pick off the Black pawns on the Q-side and advance its Q-side pawns e.g 25….Kf8 26.Qb4+ Kg8 27.Qe7 Nf6 28.Bb5 a6 29.Qb7 Rd8 30.Qxb6 clearly eventually the R can be chased indefinitely while White picks off Black pawns in the process, therefore Black best chance is 29….. Re8 30..Bxe8 Nxe8 31.Qxa7 and the endgame is clearly won for White. The other candidate 22.Bb5+ Kf8(not Kd8 23.Rxe7 Qxe7 24.Rxd5+ Kc8 25.Qxe7 wins) 23.Rxd5 a5 24.Qa3 Re8 25.Bxe8 Kxe8 26.Qb5+ Kf8 27.Rd8#
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Abdel Irada> When I see the adjective 'diaphanous', negligees come to mind, not storming the barriers of the enemy king. Shows what I know.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Cat I delve in d5 first and bb5 next to pin lowly it hope a nut in

clink bad e7n incedence for freed in knight neck and neck until d6 a

grain gambit queenf6 gets exposed to tactics in d5 d6 etc in aid baby,

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I mucking around see loop in a 21.Nxd5 cxd5 22.bb5+ kingf8,

have in fatefuls side step guess in low call edict read in castle

find dang in d6 too f6 er

"i took a wrong turn and i just kept going "

minding, grateful in empty it nxe7 also prefer d8 in e7 although in

real dig mistake in hastle the finger up to re shin dig I jostleing

19.h4 nh7 spring book barb queen over b4 at im lacking a good

respose for black b6 l0 in d5 cxd5 bb5+ can in effect face off it

last in bastion it dog in dig ra ra in fail it queen before bus in

kingf8 wide load coming through stub knight wash first rook be gun

23.Rxd5 got to kick the bishop or trouble it brews in e7 wave bad

call a6 farm 24.rd6 in-credible jip rule go to the wall queen is now

trapped as well as e7 i ment rook danced in let it be xray 24...Qxf5

25.rd8+ creed dense in felld rookxd8 26.Qxe7+ steeple in kg8

27.Qxd8+ blinking away it nf8 in ghosting stab queen in everything

falls into place.

Nov-23-12  James D Flynn: Patriot,
21.Bb5 clearly wins if Black takes immediately but it allows O-O as pointed out by agb2002 it allows O-O which loses back the piece but then cxb5 leaves Black still a piece up.
Nov-24-12  Patriot: <James D Flynn> Yes, it's even after 21...O-O.
Nov-28-12  Moonwalker: Thanks <Bartimaeus>
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