1995: Caught?

Game Nash,R - Webb,S, Barnstable vs.  Exeter, 1995


Club players do spend a lot of time worrying about being caught in the opening, although it seems to me more common are the same old opening mistakes in the same old openings. However, it certainly can happen. Here Steve Webb ably rolls with the punch and comes back to take over the centre with his active Knights. A good example of club chess! — DR

Caro-Kann, Two Knight's Variation

1. e4 c6 2. Nc3

[2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 is the main line approach; now 4...Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. h5 Bh7 8. Nf3 Nf6 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 with good chances for equality]

2...d5 3. Nf3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5?! [4...Bg4] 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Ne5 Qd6!

[7...Bh7? 8. Qh5 g6 9. Qf3 Nf6

[9...Qd5 10. Qxd5 cxd5 11. Bb5+ Kd8 12. Nxf7+]

10. Qb3 Qd5 11. Qxb7 Qxe5+ [11...c5 12. Bb5+ Nbd7 13. Qxd5] 12. Be2 1-0, Lasker-Muller, Zurich 1934]

8. d4 Nd7 9. Nxg6 [9. Bc4 Qb4+ Webb 10. Bd2] 9...Qxg6


White has been successful with his coup and now holds the two Bishops.  In order to take advantage of this, White must play actively, deny the Knights central posts, and try to open up lines for the Bishops.  In the game none of this happens. 

10. Bd3 Qd6

Hoping to gain a tempo by attacking the d-Pawn " — SW — but risking loss of a tempo because of another Queen move! — DR

11. c3

[11. Be3 idea c2-c4]

11...Ngf6 12. Qe2 e6 13. Nf5

pretty but pointless

13...Qc7 14. Bd2 Nd5 15. g3 O-O-O 16. Ne3 Bd6?! 17. Nc4! Rde8 18. Nxd6+ Qxd6 19. O-O-O


White has the two Bishops but they are poorly placed.  Black undogmatically opens lines to make use of his better pieces. 

19...e5! 20. dxe5 Nxe5 21. Bf5+ Kb8 22. Kb1 Qc5 23. Qe4 g6! 24. Bh3 Ka8 25. Qg2 Nd3 26. Rhf1 Qb5


27. Kc2 Nxb2 28. Rb1 Qd3+ 29. Kc1 [29. Kxb2 Qxd2+] 29...Nc4 30. Rd1 Nxd2 [30...Nxc3] 31. Rb2 Nxc3 0-1

[Notes by Steve Webb and Dave Regis]

Chess Quotes

"Only a good bishop can be sacrificed, a bad bishop can only be lost."
— Yuri RAZUVAYEV. Source: Gennady Nesis, Tactical Chess Exchanges, foreword. [via Ari Makela]