Reversed Trompowsky 1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 Bg4 3.Ne5!? and gambit play

The analysis and afterthoughts of the following game are by Aaro Jalas, a chess friend of mine.

Jean-Louis Ricard (FRA) – Jalas (FIN), corr. 2005–2006

1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 Bg4 3.Ne5!?

Reversed Trompowsky Opening (1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 Ne4) with an extra-move 1.f4!?. This is more active than 3.e3 Nd7, e.g., 4.h3 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 c6 6.d4 e6 7.Nd2 f5! 8.Be2?! Bd6 9.Qg3 Qe7 10.0-0 Ngf6 11.c4 0-0 12.c5 Bc7 13.Rb1 Ne4 with good game for Black (0-1 in 42, Albano – Edwards, US10 CCC corr. 1993).


Quite similar is 3...Bf5 4.c4! e.g., 4...f6 5.Nf3 dxc4 6.b3!? cxb3 7.Qxb3 Qc8 8.e3 c5 9.Bc4 e6 10.e4!? Bxe4 11.Bxe6 or 4...dxc4 5.e3 b5? 6.a4 c6 7.axb5 cxb5 8.Qf3 Nd7 9.Nc3 with compensation (Oleinikov).


I think that this is the only move to play, if White is after full point.


4...dxc4 is alternative: e.g., 5.Qa4+ Nd7 6.e4 f6 7.Nxd7 Qxd7.

5. Nf3 Bxf3?!

Doubling the f-pawns in Trompowsky style. Ricard: Surprisingly dubious move, I was expecting 5...dxc4 or 5...Nc6.

6.gxf3!? d4?

Ricard thinks that better alternatives are 6...dxc4 (again!) or 6...Nc6.

7.Qb3 Nbd7!?

The obscure "Jalas Gambit". The alternative 7...Qc8 8.Bh3 e6 looked very complicated. I came to conclusion that in this reversed Trompowsky position (compare with 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 c5 3.Bxf6 gxf6 4.d5 Qb6 5.Qc1 Bh6 6.e3 f5) the extra-move 1.f4 was more helpful than the extra-move 4...f6. Black can of course answer 9.f5? with 9...e5!. However, White has better move 9.c5!? when Black is forced to play 9...f5 and has permanent weakness at e6.

8.Qxb7 Rb8

I saw here a chance to trap Black´s Queen after 9.Qxa7 e5, e.g., 10.fxe5 fxe5 11.Bh3 Nc5 12.a3 Ra8.

9.Qe4 e5 10.fxe5 fxe5 11.Bh3 Ngf6?!

According to Ricard, better alternatives are 11...Be7 or 11...Qg5.

12.Qh4 Be7

Black seems to have some compensation for the pawn: better development.

13.Rg1 Kf7

King seemed to be better here than in 13...0-0, when there is already open g-file pointing to it. Ricard: Fritz likes 13...Kf7?!, but 13...0-0 was much better.

14.d3 g6

Precaution against the line-up of queen and rook at g-file, but maybe there is a better move? Ricard: 14...c6 was alternative, but equal to 14...g6.

15.b3 Nd5!

Ricard: An excellent move.

16.Qg4 N5f6

Calling draw with the repetition of moves, White of course doesn't want that.

17.Qg2 Bb4+ 18.Kf1 Qe7?

18...a5 is better, but I wanted to stop Ba3. Ricard: 18...Nh5 or 18...Nc5.

19.a3 Bc3!?

18...Bd6 19.b4 c5 20.b5 looked very dull and very bad for Black.

20.Nxc3 dxc3

I thought that maybe I can work out some complications with this pawn, although White seemed to be clearly better: bishop pair and extra pawn vs. nothing clear for the Black.

21.b4 a5 22.b5 Nc5 23.Ra2 Nb3 24.Bg5 Nd2+

With an idea of 25.Bxd2? cxd2 26.Rxd2 Qxa3 threatening 27...Qc1+ and moving the Queen to the b-file and then advance with the free a-pawn.

25.Ke1 c6!?

Trying to open the file for the rook.

26.a4 Qb4

Threatening 27...Qb1+.


Counterattack; 27...Qb1+? 28.Kf2 Qxa2 29.Qxe5 with strong threats.

27...Rhe8 28.Kf2 cxb5?!

Ricard: Last try was 28...Nh5 29.Qg4 Rb7 30.Bxd2 cxd2 and Black can still fight.

29.axb5 a4?

Just pushing the pawn ahead and hoping to get some counterplay with passed a- and c-pawns... just did'nt find anything sensible here.


Now I could happily resign:

  • a) 30...Nh5 31.Bg4 Ng7 32.Qxh7 Rh8 33.Be6+ Kxe6 34.Qxg6+ and Black seems to be busted; but the alternatives were even worse:
  • b) 30...Qb3? 31.Bxf6! Qxa2 33.Qxh7+ Kxf6 34.Qxg6+ Ke7 35.Qe6+ and the game is over;
  • c) 30...Qc5+ 31.e3 and the desperate sacrifice 31...Nxf3? 32.Kxf3 e4+ 33.dxe4 Nxe4 34.Qxh7+ does not work out.

Game over!

1 comment:

Mikko said...

You might also be interested in Gary Lane's comments,