Humdinger of a Move

 

Jean-René Koch – Neil Carr

French U21 Ch, Montpellier, 1987

 (Notes by Neil Carr)

 

   1 e4 g6 2 d4 Bg7 3 Nf3 d6

Readers of the last Kingpin will remember (to their cost!) that I was feeling like a right Pirc during the tournament in Guernsey. This time I shall try not to punish the loyal (if not slightly foohhardy!) Kingpin readers with such plays on words but instead try my hardest to adopt a more Modern writing style.

   4 Nc3 Bg4!?

I like to throw in 4…Bg4 here as it avoids the rather annoying 5 h3 variations.

   5 Be2 Nf6 6 h3 Bxf3 7 Bxf3 Nc6 8 Be3 O-O 9 Qd2?!

Sacré bleu! The Frenchman was probably toying with the idea of a kingside attack, but without the knight on f3 he gets into a few problems.

koch v carr 1-9

   9…e5 10 d5!? Nd4!

koch v carr 1-10

   11 O-O-O

11 Bxd4? exd4 12 Qxd4 Nxe4! would have been killing.

   11…Nxf3 12 gxf3 Nh5!

And now I’m better.

   13 Ne2 f5 14 Qb4! Qh4!

I have to continue to play aggressively in this position as White only needs one tempo to equalise. 14…b6 would have been met by 15 Ng3.

koch v carr 3-14

   15 Qxb7 fxe4 16 Qxc7 exf3 17 Nc3 Rfd8 18 Rhg1

koch v carr 4-18

White’s main plan in this position is to establish his knight on e4.   

   18…Nf4!?

I probably could have got away with 18…Qxh3 but the knight move just seemed to feel right.

   19 Bxf4! Qxf4+ 20 Kb1 Rac8 21 Qa5

In retrospect he probably could have played 21 Qxa7 but he was a little afraid of 21…Rxc3.

   21…Qh4

koch v carr 5-22

   22 Qxa7!

22 Rg3 would have lost to 22…e4, so this time he was forced to take the pawn.

   22…Rc5!?

I analysed 22…Rxc3 for ages but just could not make up my mind whether it worked or not. A possible variation after the exchange sacrifice would have been 23 bxc3 Qc4 24 Qe3 Rb8+ 25 Kc1 e4 26 Rd4!, which is very unclear.

   23 Rg4 Qxf2

A bit of a dicey move to play. I wasn’t at all certain whether it worked or not, but it was just screaming to be played.

koch v carr 6-24

   24 b4! Qe3 25 bxc5

If 25 Ne4 then 25…Qe2 would have been very strong for Black.

   25…Qxc3 26 Qc7 Ra8

I’d seen this position when I played 21…Qh4 and had presumed that the combined threats of …e4, …f2 and …Qa3 would lead to a comfortable win. However, I had completely underestimated the move he played.

koch v carr 7-27

   27 Ra4!!

A real humdinger of a move. Now a draw is the only result.

   27…Rxa4 28 Qc8+ Bf8

koch v carr 7a-finalpos

After 29 Qe6+ Kh8 30 Qf6+ Kg8 White would have been forced to take the perpetual.

   ½-½

 First published in Kingpin 12 (Autumn 1987)

 

Postscript

In the final position Neil could have continued the game by returning the rook: 29 Qe6+ Kg7 30 Qd7+ Be7!

koch v carr 8-30analysis

analysis position after 30…Be7

31 Qxa4 (31 Qxe7+ Kh6 -+) 31…Qxc5 and Black is better.

koch v carr analysis-finalpos

analysis after 31…Qxc5

 

 

 

 

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