Saturday King-Side Attack

Having neglected my Sunday Chess Problem duties recently, I’ll give you a bonus chess post this week. I won’t be making a habit of this, however, since I don’t usually play games like this.

Here’s a blitz game I recently played on the Internet Chess Club. I was white. My opponent was black and was rated in the high 1900s. We pick up the action with white about to make his fifteenth move. This came out of a Vienna Game.

I have this terrible fear that in a slow game, with too much time to think, I would have played the wimpy 15. Ne4. But in a blitz game, you might as well go for it. What’s the worst that could happen? So I played 15. Nxf7! This gets the computer’s seal of approval. Play continued 15. … Kxf7 16. Qh5+ Kf8

Actually, the computer says that 16. Qf3 Nce7 17. f6 was even stronger. But the way I played it is totally winning too. Now comes 17. Bxh6! gxh6

The computer still approves. Now for my favorite move. I played 18. f6! which takes away a crucial escape square and moves the f-pawn one step closer to queening. The h-pawn isn’t going anywhere. According to the computer, the immediate 18. Qxh6+, while still winning, is much weaker.

Now came 18. … Re6 19. Qxh6+ Ke8

Now the computer recommends 20. f7+ or 20. Bxd5 as the cleanest kills. Instead I went for 20. Qg6+ Kd7 21. Bxd5

which gets a piece back while retaining an overwhelming position. At this point it was clear that black was going to run out of time, and I was under twenty seconds as well. For the record, the remaining moves were 21. … Kd6 22. Bxe6 Bxe6 23. f7 Qe7 24. d4 Rf8 25. dxe5+ and black ran out of time. Those last few moves were not the best, but that’s blitz chess for you!

As I said, don’t expect this to be a regular feature since I don’t play games like that very often. On the other hand, I do occasionally have attacks like that played against me…


  1. #1 Bill McNeal
    January 10, 2016

    What a nice Pawn move for a blitz game!

    These days I play on FICS & it seems to me that 1.e4 e5 is Much more common than it was 20 yrs ago. So I wind up in lots of blitz gambit games that by move 15 are usually back in the swashbuckling 1850’s. Lots of fun.

    I wonder what evaluation the computer gave after 18. f6? Plus 2 pawns, something like that?

  2. #2 Bill McNeal
    January 10, 2016

    BTW, Jason, any comments on Komodo winning the match against Nakamura, despite giving odds of a pawn in one game, pawn-and-move in another, the exchange in a third, and 3 specified moves (White gets to open with 1. e4, 2, d4, 3. Nf3, and then a FOURTH move of his choice before the computer, playing Black, can make its first move.

    Seems really stunning to me. The Komodo program is rated something like 3300!!??

    And the day after the match was Roy Batty’s Incept Date in Blade Runner! Seems to me we are in for it. Take care.

  3. #3 Jason Rosenhouse
    January 10, 2016

    Houdini’s evaluation after 18. f6 was around ten, as I recall. Like, really, really, really winning. After 18. Qxh6 the evaluation was only around three.

    And I actually didn’t know anything about the Nakamura vs. Komodo match. I looked up the games, and they were all really exciting and complex. Nakamura drew the first three games and only lost the fourth. The computer’s strategy in the fourth game was really interesting. It adopted a super-solid double fianchetto strategy, and that was enough to neutralize Nakamura’s three extra moves. Maybe we’ll have to drag Carlsen out, but I think the days when people wonder is a computer can play chess as well as a human are well behind us.

    Incidentally, Ned, Doug, Curt, Brian, and I are officially taking one more stab at the USATE. Can we count on you stopping by?

  4. #4 Bill McNeal
    January 11, 2016

    I’ll show up, probably the Sunday, barring inclement weather conditions.

  5. #5 Another Matt
    January 12, 2016

    I’m still a total newb, so naturally I have a question about the f6 move. What happens if he goes …Nxf6 at that point?

  6. #6 Jason Rosenhouse
    January 12, 2016

    Another Matt–

    After Nxf6, the white bishop is given a clear path to f7. So white could reply with Qf7 mate.

  7. #7 Another Matt
    United States
    January 12, 2016

    Oh, duh. I was looking at the next board (after 19.) and mistaking it for the board after the pawn move, where black’s rook is blocking white’s bishop.

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