SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Fischer wrote that chess is often just a matter of timing. You have to know when to strike (and with how much force),when to hold back, or even when to do nothing special but wait for that opportunity that may never come. What has always impressed me about decisive attacks is not the flashy sacrifices and really cool ideas behind them, nor even their depth. What impresses me most is the fact that they all work like clockwork: good timing can not be beat!
The following game won the best game prize at the Monarch International Chess Tournament on the Isle of Man. My opponent was the strong master M.Ferguson
Ferguson M. – Spraggett K.
Isle of Man 2007.
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O Be7 7. Re1 Nd7 8. Nbd2 Ngf6 9. c3 O-O 10. d4 Rc8 11. b3 b5 12. Bb2 cxd4 13. cxd4 Qb6 14. a4 a6 15. Bf1?! d5! 16. axb5 axb5 17. e5 Ne4! 18. Nxe4 [18. Bd3 Nc3] 18… dxe4 19. Nd2 Bb4! 20. Bg2
White plans to pick up the black pawn on e4, so black must act fast. The white pieces are for the moment not coordinated, and black siezes upon an idea based on the pin of the white knight on d2.
20…Nxe5! 21. dxe5 Rfd8 Black has serious threats 22. Re2 The move White was counting on
This cute move is a real cruncher. It opens up the long diagonal (a8 to h1) and allows Black to directly create threats against the white king.
White has not been given time to consolidate, and has to defend against direct threats. The smoke has cleared and white faces significant material losess…so White resigns.
23. Bxb7 (No better is 23. fxe3 Bxd2 24. Bd4 Bxe3) 23… exf2ch 24. Kf1 (There is no salvation in 24. Kg2 Qxb7 25. Kh3 f1=Q! nor in 24. Rxf2 Rxd2 25. Qxd2 Bxd2 26. Bxc8 Be3 27. Raf1 Bxf2 28. Rxf2 Qc6 29. Rd2 Qxc8) 24… Qxb7 25. Rxf2 (If instead 25. Kxf2 then black has … Bc5!) 25… Qh1 26. Ke2 Qd5 27. Kf1 Qh1 28. Ke2 Rxd2 29. Qxd2 Qe4 30. Qe3 Rc2 31. Kd1 Qxe3
If 32RxR Qe1 mate. Or if 32.Ra8ch Bf8 33.RxR Qf3 ch wins the rook on a8
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS