Kieran O’Riordan vs. Jack Killane
Game annotated by Jack.
This game was in round 3 of the Kilkenny Major 2009 (which Jack won – ed). My opponent is a young player from Cork.
Ruy Lopez, Open Variation
1. e4 e5, 2. Nf3 Nc6, 3. Bb5 a6, 4. Ba4 Nf6, 5. 0-0 Nxe4
The open variation of the Ruy Lopez. I have played this at irregular intervals for some years as I dislike the protracted manoeuvring of the mainline Ruy Lopez, while White often doesn’t allow the Marshall Attack.
6. d4 b5, 7. Bb3 d5, 8. dxe5 Be6, 9. Nbd2
White has a number of alternatives here – c3, Qe2, etc. Against c3 I have played the Dilworth variation (Bc5). In several attacks, Black sacrifices the knight on e4 and the bishop on c5 for a rook and pawn, with an attack.
9…Nc5, 10. c3 d4, 11. Ng5!?
This move was first played by Karpov in his 1978 World Championship match with Korchnoi in Baguio. The point is that after 11…Qxg5 White plays Qf3 with a strong attack. Korchnoi didn’t accept the piece and drew the game.
11….dxc3, 12. Nxe6 fxe6
12… Nxe6 looks best, but six months earlier in the Rathmines Senior Club Championships against Tony Scannell, I played 12…Nxe6. The game finished:
13. bxc3 Be7, 14. f4 0-0, 15. Qg4 Qe7, 16. Ne4 Nc5, 17. Qxd7 Nxd7, 18. e6 Nc5, 19. exf7+ Kh8, 20. Bd5 and black resigned.
Comment from Tony: In a further interesting aside, young Kilkenny player Arvind Menon played 11…Qd7?! against Tony Scannell in this same variation (rather than dxc3 first) last Saturday, in the Armstrong. With my experience in the game against Jack, I knew I could drum up an attack if the knight takes on e6. The game ended rather quickly: 12. Nxe6 Nxe6, 13. f4 Bc5, 14. Kh1 0-0, 15. Ne4 Be7, 16. f5 Nd8 (black is already lost…), 17. f6 gf, 18. ef Bd6, 19. Qh5 Ne6, 20. Ng5 and black resigned. He has no way to prevent mate. Another 20 move game!
To return to the more recent game:
13. bxc3 Qd3!
Black must keep the White queen from f3. The following black moves are all based on this idea.
14. Bc2 Qxc3, 15. Nb3 Nxb3, 16. Bxb3 Be7, 17. Bxe6 Rd8, 18. Qg4 Nxe5
With the rook off a8 and the knight off c6, black’s game is OK.
19. Qf5 Rf8, 20. Qxh7 Rd6, 21. Bd2 Rxd2, 22. Rac1 Qd4, 23. Rxc7 Qxf2+ 0-1
After the game, my opponent referred to the Karpov-Korchnoi game and to a more recent Kasparov-Anand game which white won (I wasn’t aware of this game). GM Mark Hebden (a really nice, pleasant chap who often plays in Irish tournaments and is very popular, as he stays up well into the night without seeming affected) commented that this line is now discredited for black. He gave 15. Bb2 as winning for white. After Qxb2, and Qf3! (the key move in this whole Zaitsev line), black is in serious trouble.
(Note: I’ve just checked the 15. Bb2 suggestion from Hebden and Fritz sees it as instantly losing for white, after 15….Qxb2, 16. Qf3 0-0-0, 17. Qxc6 Rxd2! and black is safe, despite the naked looking King. I can only assume that Jack has deliberately laid a devious plot to win his next game in this variation by making his opponents think that Bb2 works! – Tony)