SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The US Open finishes this evening, and at the time of this writing the final results are still not in. However, one of the best games and certainly the biggest upset of the event was the win by im Marc Esserman over the highly rated Dutch gm Van Wely.
Marc had already established a reputation for producing some Tal-like masterpieces and is widely sought after as a teacher.
In the game against the Dutch superstar, Marc sought to get the initiative right from the opening with the Smith Mora Gambit
. In my opinion the Dutch player did not play the right way at move 9:
GM VAN WELY
IM MARC ESSERMAN
Here the most prudent course is to play 9…b5 ! and after 10.Bb3 Na5! , trying to exchange the dangerous light-square Bishop as quickly as possible. (I had successfully played like this several years ago in Cappelle La Grande)
HOWEVER, the GM continued with the routine 9…Ng6 10.Bb3!? b5 ?! and then was hit with the sensational 11.Nd5!
Curiously, this has already been seen in atleast half a dozen master games (!), but was probably unknown to the Dutch superstar. The threat of Bb6 is difficult to ignore with 11…Rb8 as after 12.Rc1 Black has little better to do than to take the gift on d5. So Van Wely did not waste time and grabbed the Knight:
11…ed5 12. ed5 Nce5 13.d6! Bb7 14.NxN PxN 15.f4!
All seen before! White rushes to open the centre to expose the Black King to the White pieces. While it is not clear to me that Black is lost, Van Wely’s natural moves seem to meet with a convincing refuation:
15…Qf6!? (new) 16.PxP Qxe5 17.Bg5!!
A move of rare beauty! The Bishop gives its life to open up the e-file for a mere check! You have to see the finish to believe it. What a crush! ( Link to some brief notes)