Wheeler - Goldsby 


NM Jerry Wheeler (2275) -  NM A.J. Goldsby I (2254) 
Paul Morphy Open, Airport Hilton
New Orleans, LA (Round # 3), 06.01.2001



A very interesting game and quite an adventure. I have to defend the entire game.

1.d4 Nf62.Nf3 g63.c4 Bg74.Nc3 d5!?
The Grunfeld Defense. 

(A favorite from my youth. For a period of nearly 18 years, this was my only defense to 
 the QP that I played in tournaments.). 

5.Bg5!? Ne4!;  
Just about all the books - including MCO here - consider this the best move. 
(MCO gives it an exclam.).  

To do otherwise - such as play ...c6; - gives Black an inferior version of the Queen's 
Gambit Declined, from this position. 

6.cxd5,  Possibly - '!'  

The best move here, according to many books, especially MCO. 

     [ White could also play: 6.Bh4 c5!; 7.e3 cxd4; 8.exd4 Nc6; 9.cxd5 Nxc3; 10.bxc3 Qxd5
Qa5; 12.0-0 e6; "="  The position is pretty close to equal.  

(See the diagram just below.) 

  {Analysis Diagram.}  The position after Black's 12th move. The game is approximately equal. (vg_whel-gold_rp1-1.jpg,  21KB)

       Sahovic - Vaganian;  Yugoslavia, 1984. 
       [ See MCO-14;  pg.'s 633-634; column # 34, and note # (j.). ] ].  


Clearly the best move. 

     [  6...Nxc3!?; ('?!')  I think MCO gives this move a dubious appellation, 
        in this position. 7.bxc3 Qxd5; 8.e3 c5; 9.Be2 Nc6; 10.0-0 0-0; 11.Qa4 e5
; 13.Qa3!, "+/=" White is just slightly better here. 

 (See the diagram just below.) 

  {Analysis Diagram.}  White has a small, but secure edge in this position.  (vg_whel-gold_rp1-2.jpg, 21 KB)

        Clement Gomez - B. Rodriguez;  Spain, 1995.  
        [See MCO-14; pg.'s 633-634; column # 34, and note # (k.).]  ].  


7.Nxg5 e6;  
According to theory, this is a very bland position. 
(One that does not offer many chances of an advantage for White.)

I did not think this was the main line, and according to the  'Book,'  I was right. 

( But after further review, this line is not even listed in many of the newer books. But it is 
  apparently now the main line, according to MCO-14, and many other newer books. 
  See MCO ... or any good book on the Grunfeld. {A.J.G.} ) 

     [  The main line here is: 8.Nf3 exd5; 9.e3 0-0; 10.b4 c6; 11.Be2 Be6; 12.0-0 Nd7
a6;   ( Maybe 13...b5!?; {A.J.G.} ).   14.Na4 f5; 15.g3 g5; "~"  (or "=") 

 (See the diagram just below.) 

  {Analysis Diagram.}  A very murky position, here.  (vg_whel-gold_rp1-3.jpg, 22 KB)

        A. Raetsky - V. Tumakov;  Biel Open, 1995. ].  


8...exd5!?;  Possibly - '?!'   
This move looks like a mistake, and many books, especially the older ones(!); give this a question 
mark or a dubious mark here. (I even found one old Chess Digest pamphlet that gave this move 
two question marks!! But it is definitely NOT that bad!)

I saw that the Queen would check on e3 and I would also saw I would lose my castling privileges 
here. But it also seemed that White would have to move his Queen 3-4 times in the first 15 moves. 
This seemed like a loss of tempo to me. 

After weeks of study, I must admit that 8...h6!; is easily the best move here and solves most, 
in not all, of Black's problems. 


     [  According to the "PowerBook," the main line here is: 8...h6!; 9.Nh3, {Diagram?} 
        According to MCO-14   (which stops here),   this move is "worthy of consideration." 
        - GM N. DeFirmian.   [See MCO-14; pg.'s 633-634; column # 34, and note # (l.).] 


          ( The  MAIN LINE,   according to MCO in this position, is the following continuation:  
exd5; 10.e3 0-0; 11.Be2 c6; "="  (The end of column # 34.) 

 (See the diagram just below.) 

  {Analysis Diagram.}  MCO-14, page # 633, column # 34. The position is level.  (vg_whel-gold_rp1-4.jpg, 21 KB)

            The position is equal, according to DeFirmian. 
            [ See MCO-14; pg.'s 633-634; column # 34, and all notes. {Mainly notes # (j.) thru (l.).}].  

             Although MCO does NOT quote a game here, this position has occurred quite a few times 
             at the master level. The best example is probably the game: 
             A. Veingold - S. Dvoirys;  Tallinn, 1980. (Drawn in around 43 moves.) 


        (Returning to the main analysis/{Powerbook} line.) 
        9...exd5; 10.Nf4 0-0!; 11.e3, {Diagram?} White prepares to develop his K-side. 
          (11.Nfxd5?! c6; 12.Ne3 Qxd4; "=/+"  "Black is slightly better."  Analysis. {A.J.G.})   
; {Diagram?} A very active and aggressive continuation.   (OK is: 11...c6; "=" 
, {Diagram?} This gives Black an isolated Pawn, but great play.  
12.Nfxd5?! cxd4; 13.exd4 Nc6; "=/+" Analysis. {A.J.G.})    12...d4; 13.exd4 Qxd4
Bxd4; 15.Bc4 Kg7;  Black should not allow ...Nxg6.  16.0-0,   
        Castling is usually never a bad idea in the opening. 

         (Also good is: 16.Na4!? Bd7!; 17.Ne2 Re8; 18.Rd1 Bf6!; 19.Nac3 Bxc3+!
           20.bxc3 Ba4; 21.Rd2!? Nd7; 22.0-0  Nxc5; "=" or "=/+"    

 (See the Diagram just below.)  

  {sub-Analysis Diagram.}  The position is close to equal, according to the computers. (But White does have worries with his isolated QBP.)  (vg_whel-gold_rp1-5.jpg,  19 KB)

           Analysis line. {A.J.G.}  Maybe also playable is: 16.Rc1!? )

 (Returning to the main analysis {Powerbook} line.) 
16...Nc6; 17.Rac1 Bxc5; 18.Nb5 Bd7; 19.Rfd1 Rad8; "="   
(The position is about equal. --->  See the diagram just below.) 

  {Analysis Diagram.}  There is no doubt that Black is OK here - the position is approximately equal.  (vg_whel-gold_rp1-6.jpg, 20 KB)

        Krudde - Bofill;  Gronigen Open, 1988. ].  



9.Qe3+ Kf810.Qf4 Bf611.h4 Kg7!?; (Maybe - '!') 
I like this move best, given the current circumstances. 

     [  According to the "Powerbook," the Main Line is: 11...h6; 12.Nf3 Be6; 13.e3 c6
Nd7; 15.0-0-0 Kg7; 16.g4 Qb8; "=" This position is very finely balanced.  

 (See the diagram just below.) 

  {Analysis Diagram.}  This position is definitely equal.  (vg_whel-gold_rp1-7.jpg, 21 KB)

       (This position is equal, according to several strong computer programs.).  

       This position has been reached numerous times, seemingly with a different result every time!! 
       The best game is probably:  B. Spassky - L. Stein;  USSR Champ, Leningrad; 1963. 
       (Eventually the game was drawn in 33 exciting moves.). 

       Also: Saidy - Zuckerman, 1965. (0-1);  Sahovic - Torre;  1979. (1/2-1/2.); 
       Lein - Denker; 1984. (1-0);  Lein - Jansa; 1985. (0-1.);  Fang - Yermolinsky; 1990. (0-1.); 
       Fang - Shahade; 1997. (1-0.)   Literally, I found something like 35 examples in the database, 
       with a (seemingly) different result each time!!  

       The latest game in the database was: Zontakh - Sulipa;  Donetzsk, 1998. (1/2-1/2.) 
       This is probably the correct result. ].  


12.e3 c6!13.Bd3 Nd7!?;  
An aggressive move. I was playing for the win, and an exchange of Queens did NOT appeal to me. 

My main idea here is to play: ...Nf8 to e6; ridding myself of the annoying White N on g4. 

      [  Many would say I should have played the continuation: 
; 14.Nf3 Be6; 15.0-0-0 Nd7; 16.g4 Qb8"="  (The position is equal.) 
            (See the diagram in the note after Black's 11th move.) 
          would force an exchange of Queens. The position is nearly equal, according to the 
          computers. (It also is a transposition to the line analyzed above.)  ].  


14.0-0-0 Nf8;  
Continuing with my idea. 

15.Kb1 h5!?; "="  (The position is close to equal.)    
This last move by Black was played to prevent White from expanding on the King-side. (g2-g4) 
(But) The move is slightly risky. 

     [  According to the computers, Black should play: 15...h6!; 16.Nf3 Be7; 17.Qe5+ Kg8
Bd6; 19.Qg1 h5; "="    
        A detailed analysis of this position, ...  and  several computer vs. computer contests; 
        confirms that this is an equal position. 

        I did not like playing 15...Ne6, and apparently my OTB judgment was correct, 
        i.e. 15...Ne6!?; 16.Nxe6+ Bxe6; 17.h5, "+/="  (White is better. Possibly - "+/")

 (See the diagram just below.) 

  {Analysis Diagram?}  This position is better for White, the coming open h-file will be very bad for the Black King.  (vg_whel-gold_rp1-9.jpg, 21 KB)

        and White is clearly (much) better, according to all the computers. ].  


16.Qg3 Ne6!?;  
Literally daring White to sacrifice!! 

     [ Much safer was: >=  16...Qe7!?; (Maybe - '!') preparing ...Ne6. ].  


Now White thinks for well over an hour and plays: 
17.Nxf7?!, ('?')  
I thought this move was unsound, and the computers agree with me. 

They consider this position to be: "Much better for Black," or "/+". 

     [ Better was something like 17.f4!? ].  


A very critical position. White will give up a piece for two pawns. Technically the sacrifice does 
not offer much, but it does give White some practical chances. Blacks development lags and his 
position is uncoordinated.  

The correct follow-up. 

     [  Much worse was:  18.Qxg6+? Ke7; 19.Rde1!?,   (Or 19.Qg3 Rg8; 20.Qf3 Bd7
Qe8; 22.Bf5 Qf7; "/+"   19...Qg8; 20.Ne2 Qxg6; 21.Bxg6 Bd7; "-/+"  
         with practically a won game for Black. ]


I wanted f8 clear for my Knight. I also thought it important to have my Bishop on f6 
protected in some lines. 

     [  Later, I thought it might have been better to put my King on f8, but that is not 100% clear. 
; 19.Qf3,   Seemingly the best move. 

         ( Or 19.e4!? dxe4!; "/+"  This seems to be the best move here, in this 
            position. Black is clearly at least a little better here. 


           The alternatives {to 19...dxe4!}are interesting:   
a.)  19...Nxd4?20.e5, "+/"  White is clearly better here.  

             Or  b.)  19...Bxd4!?; ('?!')  20.exd5 cxd5; 21.Rhe1 Rg8!;  Clearly the best move here. 
               (21...Bxc3?!; 22.Qxc3 Kg823.Qf3 Rh6; "~"   22.Rd3; "~"  The position is unclear. 

             Or  c.)  19...Rg8!?20.e5,  According to several computer programs, this is the best 
             move here - in this position.  ( 20.exd5!? Nxd4!; "/+"  Or "-/+."  21.Rhe1?,  Not really 
               a great move, but White doesn't have any good moves here!   (Or  21.dxc6?! Bf5+!  
                 22.Bxf5 Rxg3 ; 23.fxg3 bxc6; "-/+" with a won game for Black.)   21...Rxg6!
Bf5+; "-/+"  Black has won White's Q here.)    20...Bd7!; {Diagram?}  
             Easily the best move.   (Not 20...Bh8??21.Qf3+ Bf6;   (21...Ke7??; 22.Qf7#   
                 Or  21...Kg7??; 22.Qf7+ Kh623.Qh7# )   22.Bxh5, "+/-"   ... and WHITE -  
               NOT Black! - is winning here!!)    21.Ne2 Be8; "=/+"  
             ... and Black is at least a little better here.  [The end of line c.)]  


19...Ng7; "/+"  Black is much better here. (See the Diagram just below) 

  {Analysis Diagram.}  The position that is reached at the end of the analysis line that began with ...Kh8!?  (vg_whel-gold_rp1-10.jpg,  21 KB)

{Analysis Diagram - just above.} (End of analysis line of 18...Kf8!?.) {A.J.G.} ].  


19.e4!? Rg8!;  "/+" (Black is clearly better in this position.)   
Black chooses an active defense. I was relieved to see that this move was also chosen by 
most computer programs here. 

White wanted to open lines for the attack. 

     [  20.e5 Bh8; 21.f4 Qf8; "=/+"  Black is just a little better here. ].  


A very risky move. (The computer awards this move a question mark!)
{After the game, Jerry and I argued which move was best here.}  

But White was playing for the win.  

     [ During the game, I thought White had to take the draw with:  21.Qe3+ Kf8; 22.Qh6+ Bg7
Bf6; "=" and the computer agrees with me! ].  


White tries to increase the pressure. 

     [  An unplayable alternative is: 22.dxc6? Bf5+!;   The best move. 
          ( My student, Abraham Nielsen and I, analyzed the following variation to a draw: 
; 23.Qxg6 Bf5+; 24.Qxf5 Nxf5; 25.Rxd8+ Rxd8; 26.cxb7 Rb8
            27.Nd5, "~"
{Unclear.} - Jan. 19th, 2001. ).  23.Bxf5 Rxg3; 24.fxg3 bxc6; "-/+" 
         Black is clearly better/winning in this position. ].  


22...Rxg6; "/+"    
Black is very clearly better here. 

The computer considers this position to be {practically} won for Black. 

23.Rxd4 Qd7!?;  
A seemingly risky move. But I did not want to exchange pieces or lose my h-pawn. 

(My move may actually blow the win, but the position is so complicated, it is hard to be sure.
 Over-the-board, I could not be sure, and chose a line I felt was safer.) 

     [  The computer (greatly) prefers: 23...Rg4!; 24.Qh6+ Bg7; 25.Rf4+ Kg8; 26.Qxh5 Rxf4
Qxe8; 28.Qxe8+ Rf8; 29.Qe3 Bf5+; 30.Ka1 Rae8; 31.Qd2 Rd8; "-/+"   
         Over the board, this seemed very risky to me.  (It was also extremely complex and very hard 
         to calculate!! {Lots of possible side-lines.} I was also overly intimidated by White's three 
         connected-passed -pawns on the king-side!)  ].  


24.Ka1 Kg725.Rde4 cxd526.Re8 Rg427.Qf3 Rd428.Qxh5 Rxh4;  "/+"     
If my memory is correct, White only had about 7 minutes to make it to move 40 here! 

White thought for a few more minutes and played:
A terrible mistake. Already down material, White exchanges further! 

Plus he "wins" my Queen, but gives up two Rooks to do so. 


     [ White very obviously had to play: 29.Qf3! Qxe8!; {Diagram?} 
        This is easily the best move here, in this position. 


           The alternatives for Black are not as attractive. 
         ( a.)  Much too risky is: 29...d4!?; 30.Nd5 Qc6; {Diagram?} This seems 
                  like the best move for Black here, in this position. 
                  ( A terrible mistake is: 30...Qxe8?; 31.Qxf6+ (Not 31.Rxe8?? Rh1+; 32.Re1
                       32...Rxe1+; 33.Qd1 Rxd1#  31...Kh7 32.Qxh4+ Kg6; 33.Qf6+ Kh7; 34.Rh1+,  
                    34...Bh3; 35.Rxh3+ Qh5; 36.Rxh5+ Kg8; 37.Ne7#    31.R8e7+,   
                  This is probably the best move here, in this position.   (31.R1e7+!?   
32.Rc7 Qe6; 33.Qxf6+ Qxf6; 34.Nxf6,  "+/"   
                  White is better, if not clearly winning here. 

(See the diagram just below.) 

  {Analysis Diagram.}  White is clearly better here, he is a pawn ahead and Black's King is in a difficult position.  (vg_whel-gold_rp1-11.jpg,  17 KB)

           White is better, if not clearly winning here.

           b.)  Not so good is: 29...Rd4?!;  This is probably inferior. 
                 30.Rf8! Qc6; 31.Ree8 a5; 32.Qh5, "+/-"   
with a win for White! 

 (See the diagram just below.) 

  {Analysis Diagram?}  White is winning in this position.  (vg_whel-gold_rp1-12.jpg, 19 KB)

                 A big turnaround, White is now winning.


        (Returning to our main analysis line here.) 
       30.Rxe8 Bg431.Qxg4+,   This looks pretty much forced here. 
         ( Slightly worse for White is: 31.Rxa8?! Bxf3; 32.gxf3 d4; 33.Nb1 d3; 34.a3 Rh5;  
a6!; {Diagram?} A nice interpolation, Black saves his QRP.   (Probably not   
             quite as good is the line: 35...Rd5!?; 36.Rxa7 Rd7; 37.f4 d2; 38.Nxd2 Rxd2;    
Kg6; 40.a4 Kf5; "=" with an equal game.)    36.Rb8 Rb5; "=/+"  
           when Black is just slightly better here. )  
        (Back again to our main analysis line.) 
32.Rxa8 d433.Nd5 Rxg234.Kb1 d3!; 35.Kc1 Rxf236.Nxf6 Rc2+;  
       37.Kb1 Kxf638.Rd8,  This looks forced to me.  ( Definitely not 38.Rxa7? Rc8!;  
          Positively the best move here.    (Not as dangerous for White is: 38...Rc7!?; 39.Ra8 d2;    
            40.Rf8+ Ke5; 41.Rf1 Kd4; "/+"  with an advantage to the 2nd player here.)     39.Ra3 d2;  
          40.Rf3+ Ke5; 41.Rf1 Kd4; 42.Rh1 Rh8!; 43.Rg1 Kd3; 44.Rg3+ Ke2; 45.Rg2+ Ke1;   
Kf2; "-/+"  with a won game for Black, in this position. )  38...Rd239.Kc1 Rc2+;  
Rd241.Kc1 Rc2+; "="  {Draw, 1/2 - 1/2} 

 (See the diagram just below.) 

  {Analysis Diagram?}  Black is a Pawn ahead, but takes the draw ... as he has nothing better.  (vg_whel-gold_rp1-13.jpg, 16 KB)

       With a draw by repetition.

       (A truly beautiful line, perhaps demonstrating that White's sacrifice was not totally incorrect. 
       {Especially the way I played the defense!} It is a a shame, that my opponent missed this chance, 
         but I believe this was the rather just result of the rather poor time management that White 
         showed during this game.) 

       Upon further reflection,  - - -  since this line took several weeks, and many computer hours 
       to discover!!  - - -  I don't think anyone, short of a Super-GM;  could have found this line in 
       real, over-the-board play.  ].  



29...Kxg830.Qg6+ Bg731.Re8+ Qxe832.Qxe8+ Kh7;  
This position is winning for Black. ("-/+.")

Some-what dangerous. 

     [  Best now, according to the computer, was: 33.Qe1!?,  although I must admit that 
         White is still lost!  (At least that is how most programs evaluate this position.) 

         Or maybe 33.a4!?  ].  


33...Rh1+!34.Ka2 Rh6!35.a4,  
This looks forced. 

     [  35.f4 d4; 36.Nd5 Be6!; 37.Qxa8 Bxd5+; 38.Kb1,  The only good move? 
           (Or 38.b3 d3; 39.Qc8 Rh1; 40.Qf5+ Kh8; 41.Qc8+ Bg8; "-/+")     38...d3
; 40.Kd2 Be441.Ke3 Bf5; 42.Qd8 Rh3+; 43.Kd2 Rh2+
d2; "-/+"  Again - Black has a won game.  ].  


35...d436.Nd5 Be6!;   
Black gives back an exchange to co-ordinate his remaining forces. 
(The Queen and the Knight are a dangerous combination for White!)  

Besides, Two Bishops and a Rook should beat a lone Queen without too much trouble.

Now it is just a matter of technique for Black - and for once I am up to the challenge. 

This is 100% forced. 

     [ 37.Qb5?? Rd8; "-/+" ].  


(In the next few moves, White does not have a lot of choices.) 
37...Bxd5+38.Ka3 a639.Qc8 Bxg240.f3 Rf641.Qc2+ Rg642.Qe4 b6
43.Qh4+ Kg844.Qd8+ Bf8+45.Ka2 Bxf3;  
All the simplification greatly favors Black. 

46.Qxd4 Bg4!47.Qe4 Be6+48.Kb1 Bf749.b4?!,  (Maybe - '?/??') 
This move loses instantly. It exposes the King completely to the action of the Black pieces. 
(So it is at least a dubious move.) 

But White was still dead lost. 

I must point out however, that the computers still evaluate the position ... 
BEFORE   49. b4?!,    ... as "-/+." (Black is probably winning.) 

     [ Definitely much better was: >=  49.Kc2 a5!; 50.Qb7 Bc5; "-/+" (Black is winning.) 
       In my my database version of this game, I analyze this game for nearly another 30+ moves.
       But I will spare you that here. ].  


49...Rg1+50.Kb2 Bg7+;   White Resigns.  
(He will either be mated, or lose his Queen ... i.e., Kc2, Bg6; pinning.  Or Ka3, Ra1#.). 

0 - 1 

A fantastic game, an interesting fight ... and quite an exercise in analysis!! 


 (Code initially)  Generated with ChessBase 8.0 

 Posted: July 23, 2002 
This game is pretty much the full-fledged version, the way I developed it in ChessBase.
 (I really did not shorten it for publication.) Page last edited on: 08/15/2007 .  

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