$100 Game Contest

Contest Entry(s)

More entries are welcome. Please scroll to the bottom to see the rules. If there are no further entries, the prize will be awarded on 3/17/2016.

[Event "USATE 2016"][Date "2016.02.14"][Round "4"][White "Ostrovskiy, Aleksandr"] [Black "Pascetta, Daniel"][Result "1-0"][ECO "B19"][WhiteElo "2504"][BlackElo "2034"] [Annotator "Ostrovskiy, Aleksandr"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. Bd2 Ngf6 12. O-O-O Be7
Variations with opposite side castling in the Caro-Kann have completely overshadowed the old main line with 0-0-0, and have brought more dynamic play for Black. 13. Kb1 O-O 14. Ne4 c5 The second most popular variation (and the best scoring) but also extremely dangerous. (14... Nxe4 15. Qxe4 Nf6 16. Qe2 Qd5) The main line, centralizing the queen and preparing a potential Qe4 trade: 15. g4! Diagram {Third most popular move but the best scoring. This blunt approach is a typical strategy to highlight the drawbacks of the black king going short. 15.. Nxg4 Otherwise g5 blows open files. In many similar positions with a g4 push Black takes the pawn and tries to weather the storm by nullifying the g-file or striking in the center/queenside.} 16. Qe2 Not hurrying with Rg1 ideas, but first improving the queen by clearing the d-file for the Rd1, x-raying the Ng4, x-raying the e6 pawn (in case of f5 from Black), and also defending f2.} Ngf6 ( 16... Qb6 {This continuation has been the most popular. Now the majority of games have continued with:} 17. Ne5 Ndxe5 18. dxe5 f5 19. exf6 Nxf6 20. Rdg1 unclear. 17. Rhg1 Kh8 18. dxc5 {White has equalized the material and maintains great attacking chances due to the g-file} Qc7 (Novelty) ({In the only preceding game Black continued with:} 18... Nxe4 19. Qxe4 Bf6 20. Bb4! Qc7 21. c6 bxc6 22. Bxf8 Rxf8 (White has advantage) {1-0 Navarrete Espi,S (2057)-Aranaz Murillo,A (2190)/ Linares 2010 })
19. Bxh6!? Diagram {This move was very tempting, although the alternative below may have been better!}
19. Bc3 Was a simple alternative. Black may prove to be unable to withstand White's kingside pressure:}
A.19... Rad8? 20. Rxg7! Kxg7 21. Rg1+ Kh7 22. Qd3! Nxe4 (22... Kh8 23. Qe3 Kh7 24. Neg5+ hxg5 25. Nxg5+ Kh8 26. Nxe6 {Is similar to the game, but better as there is no Qe5!}) 23. Qxe4+ f5 24. Rg7+ Kh8 25. Qe3 (White is winning)
B.19..Nxc5 { Was my consideration during the game} 20. Nxc5! (20. Nxf6 Bxf6 21. Bxf6 gxf6 {Weakens Black's king, but with pieces being traded off it is not so easy to launch an attack}) 20... Qxc5 21. Ne5 {Black's extra pawn is immaterial here.})
19...gxh6 20. Qd2 {Preferred over Qe3 to keep the Nd7 in sight} Kh7? (20... Rg8! {Avoids any immediate accidents} 21. Qxh6+ Nh7 (unclear)) ({Although after} 20... Ng8? {The Nd7 will not be taken!} 21. Rxg8+! Kxg8 22. Qxh6 {Rg1 next})
21.Neg5+! hxg5 22. Nxg5+ Kh8 23. Nxe6 Qe5! {Black's only move.....which I admit embarrassingly escaped my attention when I played 19. Bxh6. I spent an hour on my next move, and the product of my calculation is displayed in the game and the supporting variations below.} 24. Qh6+!
({This was one of the first moves I checked, but it meets a nice refutation} 24. Rde1? Qxe1+! ( 24... Qf5 {is actually also possible, intending} 25. Nd4 Ne4!) 25. Rxe1 fxe6 26. Qh6+ Nh7 27. Qxe6 {This seemed like a good option at first as I will pick up a piece and have a material advantage due to the plethora of pawns. However after:} Ndf6! {The Be7 is immune! The resulting material imbalance is unusual, but not in my favor})
24... Nh7 25. Rg7 ({Attempting to regain material backfires after} 25. Rxd7?? Bf6 {Which defends the g7 square with tempo and prepares to capture the Ne6}) 25... Qf5 {Unfortunately my opponent did not let me display the most impressive variation in this position
(25...Ndf6 26. Ng5!
A. 26. Rg5? {I had thought this move won at first, because} Ng8 ({But} 26... Ng4! improves because the Qe5 is defended now!} 27. Rxe5 Nxh6 28. Nxf8 Bxf8 {Again a peculiar material imbalance but the three pieces are serious once they move out to better squares)
27. Qxh7+! Kxh7 28. Nxf8+ Bxf8 29. Rxe5 {Results in a big material advantage})
B. 26.Ng5 Qf5 27. Rd5! Diagram; An aesthetically pleasing move. Actually this move itself did not take me that long to discover, it was to realize the resulting position was winning for me!} (27. b3 {Is very cold-blooded and impressive. Despite the material advantage of two pieces, Black is helpless against the threat of Rd5! After} Rad8 28. Rxd8 Bxd8 29. Nxf7+ Rxf7 30. Rxf7 {There is an "improved" transposition to the main line}) 27... Rad8! {I had foreseen this move and assumed it saved the game. It does not!} 28. Rxd8 Bxd8 29. Nxf7+ Rxf7 30. Rxf7 (White is winning) Black now loses a piece by force due to the dual threats of Qg7 and Rf8! Qg4 31. Rf8+ Ng8 32. Rxd8 Qg1+ 33. Qc1 {is a nice final point, no back rank!})

26. Rdg1!! Diagram { Although I did not get to play the impressive variation displayed in the notes above, I was able to execute this quiet killer. The idea is to sever the Qf5-h7 defense with R1g6!} ({I had gone into this variation intending to regain material. The final point I had to work out was} 26. Rxd7 Rfe8 27. a3!! {Simply making a luft! I am proud that the engine supports my calculations here. With no issues with back rank mates I am able to attack in peace} (27. Nd4?? Bg5!) 27... fxe6 28. Rxb7!)
26... Rg8 {Blundering into mate} (26... Ndf6 {Was most tenacious, with the key point being} 27. R7g5 Qxg5 28. Nxg5! { Black is completely immobilized and getting mated. There is no stopping Nxh7!}) (26... fxe6 27. R1g6 Ndf6 28. Rxh7+ Nxh7 29. Qg7#) (26... -- 27. R1g6)
27.Rxg8+ Rxg8 28. Rxg8+ Kxg8 29. Qg7# 1-0

Contest Rules:

1. The contest has been extended, as there are no entries yet. Once there is an entry, a month will be allowed for further entries.
2. The person submitting it must be one of the players.
3. The game must be in pgn form. Annotations and diagrams are welcome but not required.
4. Only one entry is allowed per player per month.
5. Entries are being accepted now. 6. The score must include the names of the players, the name of the event, and the date.
7. It must be emailed to jgraham at nystar dot com.
8. All entries will be displayed on the jchess.nyc website.
9. You may not publish the game elsewhere unless you win the contest.
10. After entries close, two weeks will be allowed for voting.
11. All USCF players may vote. Your membership need not be current.
12. The names and email addresses of the voters will be collected to prevent multiple votes, but the identity of the voters will not be revealed.
13. In case of a tie, there will be a runoff.
14. The winner will receive $100.