Explanation of Symbols 

I have used the standard "Informant" style symbols, with a few slight alterations. Since most standard HTML programs do not recognize many of these [standard chess] symbols, I have had to be a little creative. The symbol, "White is just slightly better," - a plus over an equal sign - is rendered as - ("+/="). Just think of  the standard symbols turned on their side, kinda like the smiley face. " :) " If I could not render the symbol like this, then I have simply stated what the position is considered to be by the theoretical manuals. ( Like "Unclear." I use just a large bold, "U". ) 
I have also tried to use numbering, spacing and color-coding [with high-lighting] to delineate variations and sub-variations. While this seems rather awkward, I much prefer this method to ChessBase's endless 
[confusing and nauseating!] use of parenthesis.  {A.J.G.}


Stephen Muhammed (2435) - A.J. Goldsby I (2220) 
 [E73] 

  The Pensacola Quarterly;   Microtel Inn;  

Pensacola, FL,    06.05.2000  

  [Annotator = A.J. GoldsbyI ] 

***
MODEL GAME

One of my best ever King's Indian Games. I played this opening as a teenager, but did not really understand it - and gave it up. Now, nearly 30 years later, I have taken it up again. My opponent, who had beaten me the week before in Huntsville; chooses a different variation than he used the last time. After losing too many tempo in the opening, I offer White a draw. If he turns it down, he may feel obliged to play for the win. 

(This game was eventually printed in the FL State Chess Magazine.)  

   *********************************************************   

Note:  Steve seems to have spelled his name several different ways ... so there is some confusion over who this player is.  (I am probably the one at fault, although I can show several different magazines with various versions of his name!)  He was formerly Stephen Booth, but decided to change his name when he converted to Islam - which has become a common thing for Black American men to do. (Its no big deal to me, but it is just that some people don't believe me when I tell them this. OR ... some databases still do not seem to realize that this is one and the same player! Older DB's list them as separate players!!) Anyway, Steve is quite a pleasant fellow, always soft-spoken, I have never seen him even raise his voice. (March, 2006.) 

Stephen A. Muhammad's profile (on USCF).     Stephen A. Muhammad's games on "Chess-Games."    A nice profile of Steve.  


This is a TEXT-BASED page, you will probably want - or need - a chess board in order to be able to follow the game.  
  Click  HERE  to play over this game in js-replay format.     (Click here to see this game lightly annotated ... in js-replay format.)  


1. d4 Nf6;  2. c4 g6;  3. Nc3 Bg74. e4 d6;  5. Be2
(See the diagram just below.} 

   "A standard King's Indian position ...  "  (muh-gol_diag_02.jpg, 24 KB)
The position after 5. Be2

 

Surprise, surprise. He uses a different move than the week before. 
(He previously had chosen the Samisch Variation.).
Some of the strategical ideas of the Averbakh Variation is to play an early Bg5. This prevents Black from playing his normal ...e7-e5 pawn break. White then follows up with Qd2, restricting the dark squares around Black's King. This often will lead to a strong K-side attack for White. 

  5...0-0;  
The normal continuation, although some experts in this line prefer to delay castling. 

 I prefer castling, as it is the most logical and in keeping with the principles that I teach. 

White's next move brings about, "The Averbakh Variation." 
(White could transpose back to the more Classical Lines with 6. Nf3.)
(The Averbakh and the Samisch are the two sharpest variations, according to current theory.). 
This line [The Averbakh] is much feared, with several GM's never having lost with this line in an important game. 

6. Bg5 Na6!?;
(See the diagram just below.)

 

  White plays the Averbakh variation. (muh-gol_diag_03.jpg, 24 KB)
The position after 6...Na6.

 

The new main line according to most theoretical works. 
(I am not thrilled to put the Knight on the edge of the board, but all the alternatives are inadequate, according to theory.)

Strangely enough, this move is not even mentioned in MCO-14!! 

The best book out there on this variation is, 
"The King's Indian Defense, Averbakh Variation;"  by  GM M. Petursson

I played 6...Na6 almost instantly. For whatever reason, my opponent looked surprised by this. The purpose of  this move is to develop, guard the c7-square, restrict White from playing c4-c5, and after Black plays ...e7-e5; and White responds with d4-d5; the Knight hungrily eyes the outpost on c5. There also may be times when playing N/a6 to b4 may be a threat, as in this game. 

A common trap is: 6...e5??; 7. dxe5 dxe5; 8. Qxd8 Rxd8; 9. Nd5, ("+/" or "+/-".)  White is winning. 
This is one of the main ideas of the Averbakh for White. 
(That the standard pawn break for Black, ...e7-e5;  is much more difficult for Black, and requires much more preparation than in a normal KID.);

[ Another line is: 6...a6 7. Qd2,  Or 7. Nf3 Bg4; 8. 0-0 Nfd7; 9.d5, ("+/=") 
7...c5; 8. dxc5 dxc5; 9. Qxd8 Rxd8; 10. e5 Nfd7; 11. e6 Nf6; 12.exf7+ Kxf7; 13.Be3, 
White is at least a little better. ("+/="), - GM Petursson. (& Nunn.) [See NCO; pg. # 511, note # 2.];

A line that was briefly popular in the early eighties was: 6...c6!?;  But White can play: 7. Qd2 a6!?; 
(Black can play other moves here!) 8. Rd1,  (8.a4!?, - A.J.G.)  8...b5; 9. a3 Nbd7; 10. e5 Ne8; 
11. exd6 Nxd6; 12. c5,  ("+/=")  ... "with advantage." - GM M. Petursson. (Maybe - "+/" ?)
[See NCO; pg. # 511, note # 2.]; 

Another line considered by some GMs to be best, is: 6...c5!? ; This is the dangerous, complicated 
and controversial, "Anti-Averbakh Line." Theory currently considers this as OK for Black. 7. d5 h6; 
(7...b5!?; is a kind of Benko Gambit.)  8. Bf4 e6!?;
(This strikes me as dangerous and perhaps dubious. ["?!"] - A.J.G.)
 
Other alternatives here are:
8...a6!?;  or 8...Nh7!?;  or 8...Nfd7!?;  or 8...Nbd7.   
9. dxe6 Bxe6; 10. Qd2 Qb6!; 
Difficult for Black is: 10...Kh7!?; 11. Bxd6 Re8
; 12.  e5 Nfd7; 13. f4 f6 ; 14. h4! 
(White is clearly better," or "+/".) 

(See the diagram just below.)

 

   Black is bound up.  (muh-gol_diag_04.jpg, 23 KB)
The position after 14. h4! 
(Analysis Diagram.) 

 

- GM Bareev. (& Nunn.) [See NCO; pg. # 511, note # 20.]; 
Black can also play: 10...Qa5!?; 11. Bxh6! Bxh6
; 12. Qxh6 Nxe4; 13. Rc1, ("+/")  - Nunn. 
[See NCO; pg. # 511, note # 20.]

(Returning to the analysis of 10...Qb6!) 
11. Bxh6!? Bxh6; 12. Qxh6 Qxb2; 13. Rc1 Nc6; 14. h4 Ne5; ("+/=")  White is clearly [a little] better. 
The end of the line/row. [See NCO; pg. # 511, line/row # 4.] 
15. Nh3 Bxh3!?; 16. Rxh3 Nfg4; 17. Qf4 f5!?; 18. Rb1 Qc2; 19. exf5 Rxf5; 20.Qe4, ("+/")
White is [now] clearly better. - GM J. Nunn. [See NCO; pg. # 511, line/row # 4, & note # 21.]; 

MCO gives: 6...Nbd7; 7. Qd2 c6; 8. Nf3,  (8.f3!?)   8...d5;  9. exd5 cxd5; 10. 0-0 a6; 
11. Ne5 dxc4; 12. Bxc4 Qc7; 13. Bb3 Nxe5; 14. dxe5 Qxe5; 15. Rae1 Qd6; 16. Qe2 Qc5;
17. Bxf6 exf6; 18.Nd5, "~"  {The symbol for, "With compensation for the material invested."}

  White has really great play here, according to the 'book.'  (muh-gol_diag_06.jpg, 21 KB)
Analysis Diagram - MCO line.
(The position after 18. Nd5.)

 

" ... with an initiative that is worth more than the pawn." - GM Nick DeFirmian. 
[ See MCO-14; pg.'s 606-607, column # 58, and note # (p.). ] ]   

7. Nf3!?, {Diagram just below.} 

 White plays a simple developing move.  Is this the best move?  (muh-gol_diag_07.jpg,
The position after 7.Nf3.

 

Not bad, but this struck me as odd. (A simple developing move that conforms to all the basic principles, but yet is not in keeping with the thematic ideas of the Averbakh Variation of the King's Indian Defense.) Either my opponent did not care for the Main Line, he did not know it, or he wanted to steer me away from these lines - as I obviously was prepared for the Averbakh. 

[ 7. Qd2, is the main line, as given by Petursson and Nunn. 
  This move has the advantage of restricting the dark squares on the K-side.
  
  [The fight for Space.] 

  Now Nunn continues: 7...e5 8.d5 Qe8!?;  

   (8...c6!?;  or 8...Bd7!?)  

   9. Bd1!? Nh5!?;  An incredible move, not one for the faint of heart or who believes 
   [dogmatically]  in a sound pawn structure! 
  10. Bxh5 gxh5; 11. Nge2 f6!; 12. Bh6 Bxh6; 13. Qxh6 Qg6; 14. Qd2 f5; 
  15. f3 b6; ("=")  {See the diagram just below.} 

    Black has an interesting game with play down the g-file.  (muh-gol_diag_08.jpg, 22 KB)
The analysis position after 15...b6; 
from the Petursson-Grivas game.
[Line from Nunn's Chess Openings.] 

 

{Analysis Diagram.} GM Nunn considers this position equal. 
(Note: The computers give White a solid plus, but this may be a little over-ambitious. ["+/="].) 
Petursson-Grivas; Katerina, 1993. 
See, "Nunn's Chess Openings." 
 [NCO; pg. # 512-513, line/row # 8, and note # 40.]

Paul Woody (one of my many local students) wanted to analyze: 7. c5?, 
{See the diagram just below.} 

    A logical idea, but it does not work out well.  (muh-gol_diag_09.jpg,  24 KB)
The position after 7. c5?
(Analysis Diagram.)

This move is bad because it does not do any of the basic principles.
 (The idea is to attack the Knight and threaten to double the RP's.)  7...dxc5; 8.d5,   
  8.Bxa6? cxd4!
;  An, "in-between move," or zwischenzug. 9. Bd3 dxc3; 
 10. bxc3 Qd6-/+
;  This is probably winning for Black. ("-/+")
  
8...Nb8!;  9. Qb3 a6; 10. Nf3 b5; 11. 0-0 c4; 12. Qb4 c6;  (At least "=/+".) 
when Black is [maybe] much better, or even clearly winning. ("/+" or "-/+".)  

 

7...h6!;  
An extremely logical move, chessically speaking. Since White normally plays Qd2, preventing this advance in the Main Line of this variation; Black now "punishes" White for his omission. 

8. Be3!?, ( Maybe - '?!/?' )   
Interesting, but this will ultimately cost White too many tempo.

Maybe [definitely?] better was:  8.Bh4!? e5;  (8...Qe8; 9. Bxf6 Bxf6; 10. c5 Bg7! 11. Bxa6 bxa6; "U"
or
8...c5!?)  9. 0-0 Qe8!?  (9...g5!?).  10. Bxf6!? Bxf6; 11. c5!? Bg7!; 12. Bxa6 bxa6; 13.dxe5 dxe5; 
14. Nd5 Qd8; "~"  ("Unclear," or "U".)  {See the diagram just below.}  

   An unclear position, according to the books. (muh-gol_diag_10.jpg, 22 KB)
The analysis position after 14...Qd8.

"Unclear," according to Nunn. [See NCO; page # 512, note # 22.] ;

Or:  8.Bc1!?, but I am sure this did not appeal to Mohammed, as White has lost two tempi with this Bishop ...  
 and it will probably have to move again.

 

8...e5; ('!'); ("=")  {See the diagram just below.}  

     Black breaks in the center.  (muh-gol_diag_11.jpg, 24 KB)
The actual game position after 8...e5.

   Already "Equal," according to Nunn. [See NCO; pg. # 512, note # 22.] 

 

9. d5!?, 
Very dangerous. Perhaps - '?!' 

I felt that the only good move for White was: 9.h3!?, "U".  Or 9. 0-0 Ng4. 

Also possible was: 9. dxe5 dxe5; 10. Qxd8 Rxd8; 11. Nxe5, ('?!') 11...Nxe4; but Black will clearly be OK here, maybe even a bit better. ("=/+")

 9...Ng4; (Almost an "exclam.") 
As natural as a baby's smile. Since Black must strive for ...f7-f5 as his main break in the King's Indian, Black now achieves this move with a gain of time. Nothing could be easier. (White probably should not give up his Bishop, as Black would then dominate the dark squares.)

10. Bc1 f5; ('!') 

  Black gets in a great pawn break.  (muh-gol_diag_12.jpg,  24 KB)
The actual game position after ...f5.

This is Black's basic and most important break and the source of all his counterplay.

 

11. exf5!? gxf5;  
Now Black has a mobile pawn duo in the center. This constitutes a very dangerous weapon for Black. 

12. h3 Nf6; 13. Qc2 c5!; {See the diagram just below.}  

     Black just played 13...c5.  What does this move accomplish? (muh-gol_diag_13.jpg,  24 KB)
The game position after 13...c5.

The most important thing you do in the Opening Phase is to control the center.  

This move also gains space and denies White the use of the d4-square. White's single most important, thematic pawn-break is c4 to c5. This has been permanently and mechanically blocked. I now offered a draw to Steve, which he declined by playing on. 

 

14. g3!?
My opponent wants to attack the f5 square. But this procedure seems incredibly risky.

Terrible is: 14. Nh4? Nxd5; 15.cxd5 Qxh4; ("/+") when Black has a large advantage. Or another very cautious line is: 14. 0-0 Kh8; ("U") and Black can use the half-open g-file to attack. This may be White's best approach. But now White has little, if any, counterplay. And this is an extremely passive approach, so I understand why it did not appeal to my opponent. 

A gross blunder for a Senior Master would be: 14. dxc6?, - '??' (and now)  14...bxc6;  ("/+") when Black has FOUR pawns in or near the center.

14...Bd7;  15. Nh4 Nh7!; 

   Black re-arranges his pieces and gets his little horsey to a better square. (muh-gol_diag_14.jpg, 23 KB)
The game position after 15...Nh7.

 

(Diagram.)  I was very tempted to push either pawn here, but that is the wrong approach. Many authors, {A. Nimzovich and GM Lev Alburt},  have pointed out in such positions that the pawns [the pawn duo on f5 and e5], are  not  moved until Black is sure he can achieve a permanent advantage. To advance them prematurely is to risk having them blockaded. The Knight on f6 is headed for g5. 

 This may be an even better square for the Knight than f6.    It also clears the diagonal of the g7-Bishop.

[ The very passive 15...Qc8?!; did not appeal to me at all. Black has severely misplaced his strongest piece. ] 

Now White moves his dark-squared Bishop for the fourth time!

16. Bd2 Ng5; 17. 0-0-0 Rb8! 

 

   Black begins preparations on the Queenside ......    (muh-gol_diag_15.jpg, 24 KB)
The game position after 17...Rb8.

 

Black is preparing his second thematic break of ...b7-b5. This is a dream position for Black, who is not facing any real attack at all by White. Meanwhile Black just tries to slowly improve his position.  
 Pawn breaks will almost always generate counterplay.
   
Having gotten in the ...f7-f5 break, Black now begins to play for ....b7-b5.  

(White's next two moves could be considered dubious. - "?!") 

18. f4!? exf4; 19. Bxf4!?
Could it be that taking with the pawn was better? It does open a file to Black's King. 

[ Interesting is: 19.gxf4!? Nb4 20.Qb3 Ne4;  and Black has excellent counterplay. ] 

 

19...Qf6; {See the diagram just below.} 

     The Queen sits on a nice square, and hungrily eyes the b2-square.  (muh-gol_diag_16.jpg, 23 KB)
The position after 19...Qf6.

The strongest and most natural move. I guard d6 and aim for the White King. It is very hard for White to disturb the Black Q+B combination on the long diagonal.  Any time you have two long-range pieces working together on the same line, (file, diagonal, or even a rank); this partnership is known as a, "battery." (I now have one battery pointed at the White King and I have plans to make it two!)  Most of the many strong computer programs totally mistakenly evaluate this position. Most strong engines seem to think White is much better! I think this is dead wrong!!! 

20. a3 Nc7; (Almost an exclam.) 
Now that the b4 square has been denied to this Knight, it retreats and helps Black prepare ...b7-b5.

21. Bd3 b5!;  {See the diagram just below.} 

 

    Black breaks on the Queen-side ... and prepares to try to open lines to the White King. (muh-gol_diag_17.jpg, 23 KB)
The game position after 21...b5.

(Diagram.)   The focal point is b2.    Black will soon make a battery of Rooks on the newly half-opened b-file, to go with his Q+B battery on the long diagonal. 

 

22. Rd2
White sees the need to guard the b2-square. 

22...bxc4!; (Maybe - '!') 
To open the b-file and break up White's Q+B battery, (on the b1-h7 diagonal). 
The butter on the corn is, Black actually gains a tempo doing it this way. 

23. Bxc4 Rb6!;  
I believe here my opponent offered me a draw. I felt my position was better and decided to continue.

24. Qd3
This move is practically forced.  

24...Rfb8;  {See the diagram just below.}  

      Black has 2 nice line-up's of pieces of pointed at the White King. (muh-gol_diag_18.jpg, 22 KB)
The game position after 24...Rfb8.

Now I have two different batteries cocked and pointed at the b2-square. My opponent was now running very low on time. At one point he had to make 15-20 moves with only 3-4 minutes left on his clock. 

 

25. Bxg5?!,  Maybe- '?'  
Very bad. This repairs my pawn structure and supports a later ...f5-f4 advance. 

But my opponent was worried about the possibility of ...Ne4 and felt he had to stop this. 25. Rhh2, seems like the sturdiest defense, but after 25...Ne4!;  ("=/+")  and now Black has a very strong attack.

25...hxg5; 26. Nf3,  {See the diagram just below.} 

    White is trying desperately to re-arrange his pieces and get some counterplay. (muh-gol_diag_19.jpg, 22 KB)
The position after 26. Nf3.

Now the computer evaluations have swung dramatically in Black's favor. 

I came up with the following little truism: (which I have taught to dozens of my students) 
"Sometimes chess is a simple game. Put your hand on the piece that is doing the least, then improve that piece's lot in life." 
(A.J. Goldsby I, circa 1985.) Following the above dictum, the Knight on c7 now seeks greener pastures. 

26...Nb5!;  The best.
The Knight no longer serves any useful purpose on the c7-square, so Black moves it to a better square. White must exchange on b5, he cannot allow Black to capture on c3 or gain the d4-outpost.

27. Bxb5 Bxb5; 28. Qe3,  
Now White threatens both Qe6+, to swap the Queens; and a capture on g5. 
(Or so it seems.) 

28...Bd7!!; {Diagram - just below.} 
A truly brilliant and inspired move. It is also a deeply logical one. (I calculated for over 30 minutes prior to playing this move.)

    The position after 28...Bd7. Black plays by inspiration and intuition. (muh-gol_diag_20.jpg, 21 KB)

The position after 28...Bd7!!

 

(Diagram.)  All the computers like 28...Bc4;  but I much prefer my move. The idea is that once this Bishop gains the h7-b1 diagonal, the game will win itself.   [28...Bc4!?] 

29. Rhh2, The best defense. {Diagram?}  

White could lose with: 29. Qxg5?, - '??'  29...Qxg5; 30. Nxg5 Bxc3; 31. bxc3?! Rb1+; 32. Kc2 Rxh1. ("-/+") {Diagram?}  
A Rook ahead, Black should have no problems. 

Or 29. Nxg5?!, - '?' And now, the move I intended to play during the game was: 29...Qxc3+!!;  (Maybe -  '!?') 
The move I considered best at the time, although I had looked at 29...Re8. 

Also interesting are:  
a)
. 29...Rb3!?; threatening ...RxN/c3. 30. Rc2 Qg6; 31. Ne6 Bxc3; 32.Rxc3 Rxb2; 
33. Nf4 Qg7; ("/+")  
b)
. Or 29...Qh6!? ; with the idea of ...Rb3 and/or ...BxN/c3. 30. Nd1 Be5; 
31. h4 Rb3; (Black has good compensation!)  31...Ba4!?; ("With good counterplay.")  
c)
. The computers consider best as: 29...Re8!?; - '!'  and claim Black is winning. It seems the 
computers are correct, i.e. 30. Ne6,  Forced according to the computers. 

Or White could try:  
 c1)
  30. Qf4?! Rxb2!; 31. Nge4,  31. Kxb2? Qxc3+; 32. Ka2 Ba4!; 33. Rb1 Bb3+; 34. Rxb3 Qa1# 
31...fxe4!; 32. Qxf6 Bxf6; 33. Kxb2 Rb8+; 34. Kc2 e3; 35. Rd3 Bf5; 36. Rf1 e2!; 37. Nxe2 Rb2+; 
38. Kc1 Bxd3; 39. Rxf6 Rxe2; 40. Rxd6 Kf8; 41. Rc6 c4; 42. d6 Ke8; 43. Rc7 a5; 44. a4 Re3; ("-/+") 
 c2).   Not 30. Qf3?? Qxg5; ("-/+") 

(Back to the analysis of  (c.) 29... Re8!?; 30. Ne6.)  Now:  30...Bh6; 31. Qf2 Bxe6; 32. dxe6 Rxe6; 
33. Kc2 Be3; 34. Qg2 Bxd2; 35. Qxd2 Kg7; 36. Rf1 Re5; ("-/+") Black is obviously winning the game. 
So it seems that Black wins after 29...Re8!; 

***

(Returning to the analysis of the main line of 29...Qxc3+.)  We continue: 30. bxc3,   If 30. Qxc3?? Bxc3;  
 31. bxc3 Rb1+
; 32. Kc2 Rxh1. ("-/+")    30...Rb1+; 31. Kc2 R8b2+; 32. Kd3 Bb5+; 33. c4 Rb3+; 
34. Ke2 Rxe3+; 35. Kxe3 Bd4+; 36. Kf4 Rxh1; 37. cxb5 Rf1+; 38. Nf3 Be5+; 39. Ke3 Bxg3; 
40. Rb2 Rc1; ("/+" or maybe "-/+")  These line are extremely complicated and difficult to calculate, 
so it is no wonder that my opponent - now in severe time pressure; (1-3 minutes to make 16 moves.) 
- did not capture the g-pawn.

*****

29...f4!; ("Black is clearly better," or "/+".) 

    Black plays a nice move, booting the White Queen.  (muh-gol_diag_21.jpg, 21 KB)
The game position after 29...f4.

 

Expanding with gain of time. 

30. gxf4 gxf4;  31. Qg1!? {Diagram?} 
At the time Steve played this, I thought it was forced. (But it might allow a combine.) 

     [ Maybe slightly better was 31.Qd3, Bf5;  32.Ne4, Qg6;  "/+" {Diagram?} 
        when Black is clearly better. ] 

31...Bf5;  (Maybe - '!')  {Diagram just below.} 

 

    Nice. Look at all my pieces. Look what, "The object of my affection," is.  (muh-gol_diag_22.jpg, 21 KB)
The game position after 31...Bf5.

Now the point of my ...B/b5-d7 maneuver becomes clear. Black now has  ALL  of his pieces pointed directly at the White King.  
(The advantage of the two Bishops vs. two Knights is also very significant in this variation.)

     [ Short of time, I miss a brilliant possibility:  31...Qxc3+!!32.Rc2, {Diagram?} I think that 
       this is forced.  (32.bxc3? Rb1+; 33.Kc2 Bf5+; 34.Rd3, {This is forced.} 34...R/8-b2#.)   
       32...Qxf3; ("-/+") {Diagram?} with a completely won game for Black.  ]   

 

32.Kd1 [], This move is forced. ("Box.") 

Not 32. Qg5? Qxc3+!; 33.Kd1[],  33.bxc3?? Rb1#;  33.Rc2? Qe3+;  34. Rcd2 Rxb2; ("-/+") Black will win a lot of material or give checkmate shortly.  33...Qxf3+;  and Black is up two pieces. ("-/+.")  

With his next move, Black continues improving all his pieces. 
32...Rb3!;  {Diagram?} 
The Rook gains lateral, as well as vertical mobility. Now the threat is RxN/c3; (followed by ...Rb1+); winning. 

33. Qg5!?
Not a pretty move to have to make. Here my opponent had only like [much] less than one minute to play 12 moves. Not an enviable position to be in. 

Some other possibilities were: 33. Rhg2? Rxc3!; 34.bxc3!?;  34.Rxg7+ Kh8!; ("-/+")  34...Rb1+; 35. Ke2 Qe7+; 36. Ne5 Qxe5+; 37. Kf3 Qe4+; 38. Kf2 Qe3#. Or 33. Rhe2?? Rxc3; 34. bxc3?? Rb1#. The computers now consider the move:  33. Rdg2, as the best move for White, but Black is still probably winning.  ("-/+")

33...Qxg5; 34. Nxg5 Bxc3; 35. bxc3 Rxc3;  ("/+ " or "-/+."

The attack continues, despite the fact that the material has been greatly reduced.

36. Rhg2!?, Interesting, but achieves little. 

[ White can play: 36. h4!? Rxa3;  ("/+" or "-/+".) Or the computers consider best as: 36. Rb2, 
but after: 36...Rxb2; 37. Rxb2 Rxa3; ("-/+") and Black is clearly winning. ]

36...Kf8!; [I thought for at least a few minutes on this move.] 
The simplest answer, getting off the g-file. I was not afraid of the check at e6.

37. Rgf2??,  (Ouch.) 
A terrible move, and the product of extreme time-pressure. 
(Obviously, White wanted to play/threaten RxP/f4, followed by RxB check.) 

The only move was: 37. Rb2, (Forced, or "box.") 37...Rxb2; 38. Rxb2 Rxa3; 39.Rb7 Kg8; ("-/+") 
(39...Ke8!?)  and although this is clearly lost, it is much better than being checkmated!!  
Not 37. h4? f3;  ("-/+") with the threat of ...Rb1#. 
Or:  37. a4 f3!; 38. Rg3??,  38.Nxf3 Rxf3; ("-/+")   38...Rb1#. Also bad is:  37. Ne6+? Bxe6; 38. dxe6, 
and White appears to have gained the safety of a double-Rook ending, with some chances to draw. But 
38...f3!; ("-/+");  (Now if White just saves his Rook on g2, Black plays ...Rb1#.)   39. e7+ Kxe7;
40. Rg7+ Kf6; ("-/+") and White must lose a Rook or get mated. 

37...Rb1+;  38. Ke2 Re3#.  {See the diagram just below.}  

    A nice little mate, especially vs. a USCF and FIDE Master!  (muh-gol_diag_23.jpg, 19 KB)
The final position after 38...Re3 mate.

The "Epaullette Mate," is always pleasing. It is also very important to see this pattern and recognize its possibility of occurring as soon as the chance arises on the chessboard. 

One of my student's said I played the last 3-4 moves instantly. In fact, Stephen had a look of stunned disbelief on his face when I mated him. When I shook his hand, he was still looking around the board, presumably to verify it was indeed checkmate!  A great deal of the success in this game can be credited to preparation. I spent 2-3 hours every day, the last week before the tournament, studying my openings; especially the King's Indian Defense. Since this opponent has defeated GM's many times, I consider this one of my best all-time games. 

 

 0 - 1

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***

 I drew on many very old files to annotate this game. 
(Especially as concerns the opening.)

***

(Page last updated: January 06, 2003.  Last edit/save on: 09/13/2006 .)


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