Bishop's OpeningC24

Heinkinheimo, J.
Crepeaux, R.

ol (03)
Dubrovnik, 1950

 

 


1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4

Inviting Black to accept the Urusov Gambit, which he does. Tartakower calls this a "vigorous move." White certainly has many alternatives, including 3.Nc6 (the Vienna Game), 3.d3 (the standard Bishop's opening), or even 3.Nf3!? Nxe4 4.Nc3 Nxc3 5.dxc3, which is an interesting gambit also.

 

3....exd4

Probably the safest course here is Lasker's recommendation, 3....Nc6, when White does best to transpose to the Two Knights Defense with 4.Nf3.

 

4. Nf3 Nxe4

Black can still transpose to the Two Knights Defense with 4....Nc6. But some people just cannot resist a free pawn.

 

5. Qxd4 Nf6 6. Nc3 c6 7. Bg5 d5 8. O-O-O Be7 9. Qh4 Qa5

An unusual move. Black's Queen gets out of the way for possible queenside castling, while there is always a chance that it could participate in a counteroffensive against White's King position. But the Queen leaves Black's centralized King a bit too unguarded here. More standard is 9....Be6 to blunt the force of White's attack along the e-file.

 

10. Rhe1 Be6

Black cannot take the Bishop since 10....dxc4? 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Qxf6 is clearly winning for White. The Bishop blocks the e-file, though, and makes the threat to capture the Bishop more real. It is interesting to note that Black also cannot play 10....Nbd7? to defend the Knight at f6 since White has the strong response 11.Bxd5! cxd5?! 12.Nxd5 O-O (the King must escape the center since 12....Nxd5 13.Bxe7 gives White a winning attack) 13.Nxe7+ Kh8 14.Rd6! Qxa2 15.Bxf6 Nxf6 16.Rxf6! Qa1+ 17.Kd2 Qa5+ 18.b4 Rd8+ 19.Ke2 Qb5+ 20.c4! and White is winning.

 

11. Nd4!?

A quieter course of action was demonstrated in Miraglia-Perrotta, IECG 1997, where White gained a slight edge due to his two Bishops after 11.Bd3 Nbd7 12.Nd4 O-O-O 13.Nxe6 fxe6 14.Rxe6 Bb4 15.Ne2 Rde8 16.Rxe8+ Rxe8 17.Kb1 h6 18.Be3 +=. But Heinkenheimo wants to immediately attack before the Black King can escape the center.

 

11....Nbd7

Black is willing to return a pawn if he can just finish his development. Tartakower writes that 11....dxc4? meets with 12.Nxe6 fxe6 13.Rxe6 Kf7 14.Rde1 Re8 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Rxf6+ gxf6 17.Qxh7+ Kf8 18.Qh8+ "with swift destruction." But Reinfeld points out that Black has much better defensive prospects in either 13....Kf7 14.Rde1 Bd8 or 13....Rf8 14.Rde1 Rf7, both of which he calls "unclear." Is he right?

 

No. White is still winning! On 13....Rf8? there follows the tough to spot combination 14.Qh5+!! g6 (14....Nxh5? 15.Rxe7#) 15.Rxe7+ Kxe7 16.Bxf6+ Kxf6 17.Qxa5 and White is up a Queen. And on 13....Kf7 14.Rde1 Bd8 White should play 15.Qxc4! (15.R1e5 is not quite as strong) 15....Qxg5+ (on 15....Kg6 16.R1e5 is strong) 16.f4 Qg4 17.h3! Qf5 (if the Queen surrenders control of e6, there follows 18.Rxf6++! Kxf6 19.Qe6#) 18.Re7+ Kg6 19.Qf7+ Kh6 20.Qxg7+ Kh5 21.g4+ etc.

 

So Black did best to decline the passive sacrifice.

 

12. Nxe6 fxe6 13. Rxe6 Kf7 14. Rde1?!

Fritz spots an even quicker road to victory by 14.Nxd5!! cxd5 15.Rxd5 Qxd5 16.Rxe7+ Kxe7 17.Bxd5 and though Black has two Rooks for the Queen, White's Queen and two Bishops are going to cut Black's hapless King to shreds.

 

14....Rae8?

Much better is 14....Bb4! 15.Bb3 Rhe8 and White only has a slight edge. You must strike when the time is right in these sharp lines - 14.Nxd5!! was the only completely accurate road to victory. Fortunately, though, Black is a bit shellshocked from the attack so White can afford an occasional lapse. In these wild lines, it is the player who makes the last mistake who loses.

 

15. Be2!

Tartakower notes: "With this super-ingenious maneuver, White renders his attack irresistable."

 

15....Bd8

Black tries to exchange material and reduce White's forces for the attack. He cannot play 15....Kxe6? 16.Bh5+ Kd6 17.Qg3+ or 16....Ne5 17.Bxe8 Rxe8 18.f4 when White has a tremendous material edge.

 

16. Bg4! Nxg4?

This loses instantly. A better defense was the annoying 16....d4! when 17.Rxe8 Rxe8 18.Rxe8 Kxe8 19.Bxd7+ Nxd7 20.Bxd8 Qxd8 21.Qxd4 Qg5+ 22.Qe3+ Qxe3+ 23.fxe3 yields White only a winning pawn up ending, but he will still have to win it!

 

17. Qxg4?!

Fritz notes that 17.Rxe8! Bxg5+ 18.Qxg5 Rxe8 19.Qh5+!, which will win the Rook at e8, is much stronger.

 

17....Bxg5+

Not 17....Nf6 18.Bxf6 Bxf6 19.Rxf6+ Kxf6 20.Qf4+ Kg6 21.Qd6+ Kh5 22.g4+ +- according to Reinfeld.

 

18. Qxg5 Nf6?!

Reinfeld also notes 18....Rxe6 19.Qf5+ Rf6 20.Qd7+ Kg6 21.Re3 +-. But 17....Qd8! might just save Black from complete destruction.

 

19. Rxf6+! 1-0

On 19....gxf6 20.Qh5+ and the Rook at e8 is lost.