Lynch vs. Burke, Rnd 2

Rathmines Chess Club Senior Championships

Round 2 – REPLAY GAME HERE

Peter Lynch vs. James Burke
Sicilian Dragon

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be2 Bg7 7. Be3 Nc6 8. h3?
White makes a non-standard move. Typically, he is aiming for a quick h4, even at the loss of the g4 square. Better is the standard f3, protecting against Ng4 and Nxe4.

8… O-O 9. Qd2 Bd7 10. O-O-O Rc8 11. Kb1 Ne5 12. f3 Nc4 13. Bxc4 Rxc4 14. g4 Qa5 15. Nb3 Qc7 16. h4 White needs to consider 16. e5! followed by g5 if necessary, to win a piece or pawn. 16…Rc8

Both sides have set out their stalls – white for a kingside attack and black for a queenside storm. The knight on c3 is particularly vulnerable to an exchange sacrifice, which is something I think black needs to seriously consider, asap. His c-file advantage looks formidable and white’s kingside pawns were a little slow in getting started.

17. h5 b5 18. hxg6 hxg6 19. Bh6 Bh8?

Very optimistic. Black tries to save the black squared bishop, but this doesn’t work. Better is to throw in Nxe4 and then follow with a quick Bxc3, shattering white’s queenside. With Bh8, he has no counterplay and his bishop becomes a target for the white rook on the open h-file. This looks to me like the losing move.

20. Qh2 Actually, Fritz points out a win with Bf8! straight away. If Rxf8, (Kxf8 is even worse) then it points out a nine-move mate starting with: 20. Bf8 Rxf8 21. Rxf8+ Kxf8 22. Rh1+ Kg8 23. Qh6 and mate can only be delayed with moves like Nh5 etc.

20…b4 21. Bf8? Now 21. Nd5! is the winning move. Black needs to retain the N on f6 to prevent mating threats against his king.
21…Nh5 22. gxh5 Kxf8 23. hxg6 Bg7 24. Nd5 Qd8 25. Rdg1 Rxc2 26. Qh8+!

A spectacular move, but easily the right one too.
26…Bxh8 27. Rxh8+ Kg7 28. Rxd8 And now the rook cannot be retaken because of the other rook hanging on c2, so black loses even more material.
28…Rf2 29. Rxd7 Rcc2 30. Nxb4 Rxb2+ 31. Kc1 a5 32. Nd3 Rfc2+ 33. Kd1 Rxa2 34. Rxe7 Kg8 35. Ra7 a4 36. Nbc1 Rg2 37. Rxg2 Rxg2 38. Rxa4 Rxg6
And white went on to win
1-0

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