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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 Games from the 81st Mass Open
 IM James Rizzitano
  July 2013
The 81st MA Open - the Commonwealth Championship - was held in late May of 2012. Here is a selection of award-winning games from that championship annotated by International Master James Rizzitano. 
Round 3, Under 1800 Section
White: V. Mayorskiy
Black: T. Provost
[C87] Ruy Lopez
Under 1800 Section
The U1800 section had 17 entries - the winning game stood out because of White's consistent utilization of the d5-square by his pieces. The endgame also demonstrates the importance of bringing the king into the game.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 O-O 7. c3 b5 8. Bc2 d6 9. d4 Bg4 10. d5 Nb8 11. Nbd2 c6 12. dxc6 Nxc6 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Nxf3 Re8 15. Bg5 h6 16. Bxf6 Bxf6 17. Bb3 Qc7 18. Qd5 Rf8 19. Red1 Rad8 20. a4 Ne7 21. Qd3 bxa4 22. Rxa4 a5 23. Bd5 Qb6 24. b4 axb4 25. cxb4 Nxd5 26. Qxd5 Be7 27. Rb1 Rc8 28. b5 Rc2 29. Nd2 Rc5 30. Qd3 Rb8 31. Nc4 Qd8 32. Ne3 Qd7 33. Rab4 Bd8 34. b6 Rb7 35. Nc4 Be7 36. Qa3 f6 37. Na5 Rxa5 38. Qxa5 d5 39. R4b2 d4 40. Qd5+ Qxd5 41. exd5 Kf7 42. Rc2 Bd8 43. Rc6 Ke7 44. Kf1 Kd7 45. Ke2 Ke7 46. Kd3 Kd7 47. Kc4 1-0
White: L. Cai
Black: R. Walton
[E30] Nimzo-Indian Defense
Under 1600 Section
The U1600 section had only 2 entries - the winning game demonstrated several key Nimzo-Indian themes involving the exploitation of White's doubled c-pawns and the advantage of a knight over a bishop in a blocked position. Black played very well for this section.
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Bg5 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3 O-O 6. Nf3 d6 7. e3 Nbd7 8. Bd3 h6 9. Bh4 b6 10. O-O Bb7 11. Re1 Qc8 12. Rc1 c5 13. Bg3 Ne8 14. a3 Ndf6 15. a4 Qd7 16. Bc2 Nc7 17. Bb3 Rfd8 18. Bh4 Nce8 19. Bc2 Rab8 20. e4 Rdc8 21. e5 Nh7 22. Qd3 g6 23. Red1 Ng7 24. dxc5 Rxc5 25. exd6 Nf5 26. Bg3 Nxg3 27. fxg3 Bxf3 28. gxf3 Rbc8 29. Bb3 a5 30. Qe3 h5 31. Rd2 Nf6 32. Qf4 Ne8 33. Rcd1 Rd8 34. Rd3 Rc6 35. R3d2 Rxd6 36. Rxd6 Nxd6 37. Qe5 Qc7 38. Kg2 Qc5 39. Qe2 Rc8 40. Rd4 Nf5 41. Rd3 Qa3 42. Qc2 Qc5 43. Qe2 Kg7 44. Rd7 Rc7 45. Qxe6 Rxd7 46. Qxd7 Ne3+ 47. Kh1 Nf5 48. Qd1 Qf2 49. Qg1 Qxf3+ 50. Qg2 Qxc3 51. Bc2 Ne3 52. Qe2 Nxc2 53. Kg2 Ne3+ 54. Kh1 Qc1+ 55. Qf1 Qxf1# 0-1
White: T. Keegan
Black: C. McCormick
[C14] French Defense
U2000 Section
The U2000 section had 30 entries - the winning game stood out because of White's courageous piece sacrifice on move 10. Despite some innaccuracies, this game illustrates some important sacrificial ideas in the French Defense. White's play in this game is very impressive. 
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7
This is the Classical Variation - Black breaks the pin on the f6-knight and prepares to castle kingside. 
5. e5 Nfd7 6. Bxe7 Qxe7 7. f4 O-O 8. Bd3 c5 9. Nf3 Nc6 
Black usually plays 9... f6 here.
10. Bxh7+ Kxh7 11. Ng5+ Kg6
Black must give up his queen to avoid mate after 11... Kg8 12. Qh5
12. Qd3+ f5 
Forced in view of 12... Kh5 13. Qh3+ Kg6 14. Qh7# 
13. exf6+
This capture should lead to a draw. Alternatives: 
a) 13. Qh3 Nf6 14. exf6 gxf6. Note how the black queen is defending the h7-square. 15. Nf3 Bd7 16. O-O-O Rh8 17. Qg3+ Kf7, with roughly level chances. 
b) 13. Qg3 cxd4 14. Nxe6+ Kh6 15. Ng5 Qe8 16. Nxd5 Qh5, and the battle rages on. 
13... Kxf6 14. Nh7+ Kf7 15. Ng5+ Ke8
Black should repeat the position with 15... Kf6 when White has nothing better than 16. Nh7+ Kf7 17. Ng5+ with a draw by perpetual check. 
16. Qg6+ Rf7
Forced as 16... Kd8 17. Nxe6+ Qxe6+ 18. Qxe6 Re8 19. Qxe8+ Kxe8 20. Nxd5 gives White a decisive material advantage.
17. Nb5 Nd8 18. Nc7+ Kf8 19. Qh7 Qd6
No relief is offered by 19... Qf6 20. Qh8+ Ke7 21. Nxf7 Nxf7 (21... Kxf7 22. Qe8#) 22. Qe8+ Kd6 23. Nxa8 and White wins.
20. Qh8+ Ke7 21. Qe8+ Kf6 22. Qxd8+ Kg6 23. Nxf7 Kxf7 24. Nxa8 Qc6 25. Qc7 Qa4 26. Qxc8 Qxc2 27. Qxd7+ Kf8 28. O-O 1-0
White: J. Curdo
Black: GM A. Ivanov
[A02] Bird’s Opening
Open Section
The 81st Massachusetts Open Most Interesting Game contest attracted 64 entries. I tried to select games that demonstrated strong play with consideration given to the strength of the players within the section. The Open section had 10 entries - the winning game stood out because of Black’s high-octane play. The middlegame play is very instructive - White makes a slight inaccuracy in the opening and Black is able to develop and maintain a strong initiative despite the exchange of queens. 
1. e3 g6 2. f4 Bg7
We have a Bird’s Opening by transposition - Black’s move-order is designed to inhibit White from employing a queenside fianchetto.
3. Nf3 d6 4. Be2 e5 5. fxe5 dxe5 6. Nc3 Ne7 7. O-O O-O 8. e4 
White could consider unraveling his queenside by playing 8. b3 Nf5 9. Ba3 Re8 10. e4 Nd6 11. Qe1 with equal chances.
8... Nbc6 9. Bc4 Na5 10. Bb3
White can maintain equality by playing 10. Be2 to retain his lightsquared bishop.
10... Nxb3 11. axb3 f5
Black has the bishop pair and a comfortable position.
12. Qe2 Nc6 13. exf5 Nd4
A nice intermezzo to disrupt White’s development.
14. Nxd4 exd4 15. Qc4+ Kh8 16. f6
Relatively best is 16. Ne4 gxf5 17. Nc5 Qd6, with a slight edge for Black thanks to his potent pair of bishops.
16... Rxf6 17. Ne4 Be6 18. Qe2 d3
Black’s play is very energetic - he opens lines for his pieces and prevents White from developing his dark-squared bishop.
19. Qxd3 Qxd3 20. cxd3 Rff8
The most precise move - Black prepares ...Bd4+ to keep the white king bottled up in the corner. Note that the black initiative has not been diminished by the exchange of queens.
21. Re1 Bd4+ 22. Kh1 Bxb3
Black recovers his sacrificed pawn - note that White’s dark-squared bishop has no prospects for entering the game.
23. Ra3 Bd5 24. b4 Rae8
White’s resignation may appear slightly premature, but he is unable to save his weak pawns after 24... Rae8 
25. h3 Rf4 26. Kh2 Bxe4 27. dxe4
27. Rxe4 Rexe4 28. dxe4 Rf1 wins a piece.
27... Rfxe4 28. Rf1 Re1 29. Raf3 Rxf1 30. Rxf1 Re4 
And Black has an extra pawn and a decisive positional advantage. Black’s play in this game makes a very powerful impression.
White: J. Nicholas
Black: J. Elmore
[C10] French Defense
Under 2200 Section
The U2200 section had only 5 entries - the winning game stood out because White was able to obtain a decisive advantage by playing natural developing moves. Black carelessly allowed his queen to become trapped.
1. e4 e6 2. Nf3 d5
Black could switch gears and opt for a Sicilian Defense with 2... c5 
3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bd7 5. d4 Bc6 6. Bd3 Bxe4
Black’s opening is solid, however, he loses time by exchanging a bishop which has moved three times for a knight which has only moved twice. The popular alternative is 6... Nd7 
7. Bxe4 c6 8. O-O Nf6 9. Bd3 Nbd7 10. Bf4 Be7 11. c4
White utilizes his slight space advantage to establish control over the central d5-square.
11… O-O 12. Re1 Qb6 13. Qc2
A good square for the queen - White applies pressure along the b1-h7 diagonal.
13. … Rac8 14. Rac1 Rfd8
The decisive error - Black must leave the d8-square free for his queen.
15. c5 Qa5 16. b4 Qxb4
The b-pawn was poisoned - the only chance was 16... Qa3 17. Rb1 b5 18. Rb3 Qa4 19. Bd2 Qa6 20. Ra1 Qb7 21. a4 a6 22. Rba3 with a clear edge for White because his space advantage and pressure along the a-file outweigh Black’s control over the d5-square.
17. Bd2 Qa3 18. Re3 Nf8 19. Bc4
White wins the queen for a rook - the alternative 19. Bxh7+ N8xh7 20. Rxa3 was even stronger.