An Instructive Miniature

Here is an instructive miniature played at the DCC this week. From a Scandinavian Defence white dominates black before delivering a quick mate.

James W Peirce (1600) - Ben Campbell (1000) [B01]

DCC Championship 2015 Eastern Shore Community Centre (1), 27.04.2015

Position after 9.Nb5

Position after 9.Nb5

 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 cxd5 5.d4 e6 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.0–0 Qc7 8.Re1 Bd6 9.Nb5

(Diagram right)

White takes the opportunity to grab the bishop pair.  While starting as a Scandinavian, the pawn structure now resembles a French with no pawn on e5,  This boxes in blacks remaining light squared bishop which won't move for the rest of the game.

9. ... Qd7 10.Nxd6+ Qxd6 11.g3

Preparing Bf4 and a possible invasion on e5.

Position after 14. ... O-O

Position after 14. ... O-O

11. ... Qb4 12.c3 Qb6 13.b3 Ng4 14.Bf4 0–0

(Diagram Left)

An unfortunate case of castling into danger and allowing the Bxh7+ tactic winning a pawn.  While it is generally a good idea to castle and get your king to safety, perhaps in this case continuing development with Bd7, or retreating the knight back to f6 would have been a better try.

15.Bxh7+ Kxh7

Black is not forced to capture the bishop, but if they don't then the bishop will retreat and white will press forward with Ng5 anyway.

Final Position after 19. Qh7#

Final Position after 19. Qh7#

16.Ng5+ Kg8 17.Qxg4 e5 18.Qh5 f6

This is blacks decisive mistake, allowing checkmate in 1.  Bf5 keeps the game alive, but white's extra pawn, piece activity, and nagging attacking pressure should be enough to secure a win.

19.Qh7#

(Diagram Right)

1–0