Club Games - Steve Webb at work

Webb, S - Annetts, I [D04] Exeter vs. Tiverton, 1996

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 Bf5

  A familiar anti-Colle line, making Bd3/e3-e4 difficult. White correctly changes plan.

4. c4 e6 5. Qb3 Qc8

  Passive but tenable; White has a harmonious development and an easier game.

6. Nc3 c6 7. Be2



It is common in Queen's Gambit lines for Black to wait for a move of this Bishop before taking the c-Pawn, so gaining a tempo. However, this exchange must be followed by a concrete plan to put White's centre under pressure, as Black has lost the strongpoint d5.

7... dxc4 8. Bxc4 Nbd7 9. O-O Nb6

[9... Be7 idea ...O-O, ...c5]

10. Be2 Bd6 11. Nd2 Bg6 12. e4 Be7

  e4-e5 was threatened, but this is an admission that Black is worse.

[12... e5 13. d5 cxd5 14. exd5 Qc5]

13. a4

  Rather than try to cash in immediately, White aims to control the whole board and deprive Black's pieces of squares. This is accumulation theory: don't try and fiorce the issue, and keep collecting pluses thoughout the game.

13... O-O 14. a5 Nbd7 15. f4 h6 16. Bf3



16... Bh5? drops a piece 17. e5 Bxf3 18. exf6 Bxf6 19. Nxf3 c5 20. Be3 cxd4 21. Nxd4

[21. Bxd4 to get the pieces off]

21... Nc5 22. Qc2 Rd8 23. Rad1 b6 24. axb6 axb6 25. Qe2 Qb7 26. Ndb5 Be7 27. Qg4 Ne4 28. f5 Nf6 29. Qg3 Kh7 30. fxe6 fxe6 31. Bd4 Bc5 32. Bxc5 bxc5 33. Rd6 Qe7 34. Rfd1 Ne8 35. Qd3+ 1-0


Webb, S - Pattinson, J [D02] Devon II vs. Leicestershire, 1996

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nc6

  The classical argument is that ...Nc6 precludes ...c5 (although ...e5 may be aimed at). In the Colle ...c5 is a good strategy, but usually fits better with ...Nbd7 than ...Nc6. This is because if White plays e3-e4, Black can isolate the d-Pawn with ...cxd4/...dxe4. So White may precede e3-e4 with dxc5, and if so, Black will prefer to recapture ...Nd7xc5 than ...Be7xc5, hitting e4 - DR.

3. e3

[3. c4 is the Tchigorin Defence, which I did not want to go into.]

3... Nf6 4. c3 g6

[4... e6 5. Bd3 Bd6 6. Nbd2 e5]

5. Bb5

[5. Bd3 Bg4]

5... Bd7 6. Nbd2 Bg7 7. Bd3 O-O

[7... Bg4]

8. O-O Re8 9. e4 dxe4 10. Nxe4 e5




  White has followed Colle principles but this looks pretty level. How can White play for a win?

11. d5!? Nxd5 12. Qb3 Bc8?!

[12... Nb6 13. Neg5 Qe7]

[12... Nf4 13. Bc4 Be6 14. Neg5 Bxc4 15. Qxc4 Ne6]

13. Bg5 Nde7?!

[13... Nf6 14. Rad1 Qe7]

14. Rad1 Be6 15. Bc4 Bxc4

[15... Na5?? 16. Rxd8 Nxb3 17. Rxe8+ Rxe8 18. Bxb3+- ]

16. Qxc4 Qc8 17. Nf6+ Bxf6 18. Bxf6

  White has been making natural-looking moves and Black has been cowed into making a series of inferior and passive choices, and White now has good compensation for the Pawn.

18... Qf5 19. Qh4 idea g4 19... h5 20. Rfe1 Nc8? 21. Nxe5! Nxe5?? 22. Rxe5 Qxe5 23. Bxe5 Rxe5 24. Rd8+ Kh7 25. f4 Rf5 26. Qf2 Nb6 27. Rxa8 Nxa8 28. Qxa7 Nb6 29. Qxb7 Nd5 30. g3 c5 31. a4 g5 32. fxg5 Ne3 great idea, but... 33. Qe4 1-0


Nash, R - Webb, S [B10] Barnstaple vs. Exeter, 1995

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

Chess Quotes

"I don't know what I am going to play, so how can she know what I am going to play!"
— GM Arthur Bisguier, commenting on the virtues of opening preparation. (via Rachel Landry)