Two Knights DefenseC55

Carlos Torre
Rudolph Smirka

Dimock Theme 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4
Marshall Chess Club, New York, 1924


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. e5 d5

This is Black's standard approach to the Modern Variation. An interesting sideline is 5....Qe7?! after which White does best to play 6.O-O Nxe5?! (otherwise the Knight will have to retreat to g8) 7.Nxe5 Qxe5 8.Re1 Ne4 when Tim Harding recommends 9.f3! d5 10.Nd2! f5 (10....Bd6 11.Nxe4 Qxh2+ 12.Kf2 dxe4 13.Rxe4+) 11.Bxd5! Bd6 12.Nxe4 Qxh2+ 13.Kf1 and Black's King is in greater danger than White's. Black might also try 5....Ng4 6.O-O d6 7.exd6 Bxd6 (7....Qxd6 8.h3! Nf6 9.Ng5 Nd8 10.Re1+ Be7 11.Qe2 Bf5 12.Bf4 Qd7 13.Nc3! Estrin) 8.Re1+ Kf8 (8....Be7 9.Bg5 O-O 10.Bxe7 Nxe7 11.Qxd4 +=) 9.Na3 and White has the better of it despite his temporary pawn deficit. And on 5....Ne5 White can play the interesting gambit 6.Bd5!? Nc5 (or 6....Bb4+ 7.c3!? dxc3 8.O-O!) 7.c3! dxc3 8.Nxc3 Be7 9.Be3 O-O 10.Qe2 followed by O-O-O with a game that any Urusov fan should love.


6. Bb5 Ne4 7. Nxd4 Bd7 8. Bxc6 bxc6 9. O-O Be7 10. f3 Nc5 11. f4 Ne4 12. Nd2 Nxd2 13. Bxd2 c5 14. Ne2 Rb8

Torre writes that this move is "intentionally trying to provoke White into an attack on Black's King, because in this case neither player's interest was served by a draw." Perhaps Black could more safely play 14....f5 to prevent White's pawns from advancing together, but White might then try 15.g4!?


15. f5 d4 16. b3 O-O 17. Rf3 Re8 18. Ng3 Bc6 19. Nh5!?

Torre refuses to delay his attack or allow Black to play ....Bg5 to reduce forces. The exchange sacrifice must be accepted or the Rook will move powerfully to g3.


19....Bxf3 20. Qxf3 Bf8

Torre notes that 20....d3!? would have been an interesting idea here and would certainly have distracted White from his attack. An attack on the wing is always best countered in the center....


21. Qg3 Kh8 22. Bg5 Qc8

Torre notes that 22....Qd5 is refuted by 23.Bf6!


23. Rf1 Rb6 24. e6 fxe6 25. f6 e5 26. fxg7+ Bxg7 27. Nxg7 Kxg7 28. Bf6+ Kf7 29. Bxe5+ Ke6 30. Bxc7 Ra6 31. c4?!

Torre writes "This doubtful move nullifies all of White's previous effort. Correct was 31.Qg4+! Kd5 32.Qf3+ Re4 33.c4+ dxc3 34.Rd1+ Kc6 35.Be5 Qg4 36.Rd6+ winning."


31....Kd7 32. Rf5 Rae6 33. Rd5+ Kc6 34. h3 Rg8?

Torre writes, "An error. Indicated was 34....Qxc7 35.Rxc5+ Kxc5 36.Qxc7+ Kb4 and Black obtains at least a draw." Now the game comes to a sudden conclusion.


35. Qf3 Re3 36. Rxc5+! Kxc5 37. Qd5+ 1-0

On 37....Kb4 38.Qa5 mate.