The Campbell Report
Hard Chess
with USCF Senior Master Mark Morss
Morss - Raines [D35]

The Black pieces in this game were under the direction of David Raines of Seward, Nebraska.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bf4 c6 7.e3 Be7 8.Bd3 0-0 9.Qc2 Re8 10.h3 Nf8 11.0-0-0

Diagram a
Position after 11. O-O-O

This position is more favorable to White than the main lines of the QGD Exchange Variation. Because of his substantial lead in piece activity, he can launch a kingside pawn-storm with little to fear from a response in kind on the opposite wing.


This intuitive move is nevertheless much too slow.

11...Bd6 see Morss-Marples.;

11...a5 more incisive than the move played by Raines, since the advance of the a-pawn alone may supply counterplay. 12.Kb1 Be6

Diagram b
Analysis position after 12...Be6

(Black's 11th and 12th moves can be played in reverse order).

White has treated the position in two ways, both of which are promising:

A) 13.Ng5 b5 14.Be5 h6 15.Nxe6 Nxe6 16.g4 a4 17.Bf5 was played in Kortchnoi-Eslon, Biel 1984. Colin Crouch's comment here, "White's pawn-storm is much better backed by pieces than Black's," could be a gloss on the entire variation. The game continued: 17...Nd7 18.Ne2 Rc8 (18...Nxe5 19.dxe5 Qc7 20.Nd4 Nxd4 21.exd4 leaves Black with weaknesses on both sides of the board and little chance for counterplay ) 19.Bxe6 fxe6 20.Ng3 Bf6 21.f4 c5 22.Nh5 cxd4 23.Qg6 Bxe5 24.fxe5 Qg5 25.Qxg5 hxg5 26.exd4 Nb6

Diagram c
Analysis diagram after 26...Nb6

Kortchnoi now demonstrates that White's kingside play is far from exhausted. 27.h4! gxh4 28.Rxh4 Rf8 29.Rdh1 Nc4 30.R4h2 Rf3 31.g5 Rcf8 32.g6 Rf1+ 33.Rxf1 Rxf1+ 34.Kc2 b4 35.a3 bxa3 36.bxa3 Rf3 37.Rh1 Nxa3+ 38.Kd2 Nc4+ 39.Ke2 Rb3 40.Nf6+! gxf6 41.exf6 Rb8 42.Rh7 Nd6 43.Rg7+ Kh8 44.Rd7 Ra8 45.Rxd6 Kg8 46.Rd7 1-0;

B) 13.g4 13...N6d7 14.Rhg1 White's queen rook waits around on d1, recognizing that Black will very likely need to play c6-c5. 14...a4 15.h4 Qa5 16.g5 a3 17.b3 c5 18.dxc5 Nxc5 19.Nd4 Rec8 20.Ncb5 Nxd3 21.Qxd3 Nd7

Diagram d
Analysis position after 21...Nd7

22.g6 hxg6 23.Nxe6 fxe6 24.Qxg6 and White had a significant advantage in Baburin-Ziatdinov, Western States Open 1997.;

Best appears to be 11...Be6! 12.Kb1 Rc8 (12...a5 see variation with 11...a5) 13.Ng5

Diagram e
Analysis position after 13. Ng5

A) 13...Bd7! 14.g4!? (14.Be5 h6 15.Nf3 with some advantage for White, was suggested by Timman) 14...Ng6! My idea; Black prepares ...c5 (14...c5? 15.Nxd5; 14...h6 15.Nf3 and White soon plays g4-g5 with good kingside prospects) 15.Be5

A1) 15...Nxg4?! 16.Nxf7 Kxf7 (16...Nxe3 17.fxe3 Kxf7 18.Rdf1+ Bf6 19.Bxf6 gxf6 20.e4 favors White) 17.hxg4 Nxe5 18.dxe5 and Black is subject to a powerful attack;

A2) 15...c5! 16.Nf3 with slight advantage to White;

B) 13...b5 14.Be5 h6 15.Nxe6 fxe6 16.g4 N6d7 17.h4! with strong kingside play for White in Timman-Karpov, Bugojno 1978;

11...Ng6 12.g4! Bd6 (12...a5 13.Kb1 Bd6 14.Bxd6 Qxd6 15.g5 Nd7 16.h4 Ngf8 17.Rdg1 was promising for White in Schamkovich-Lublinski, Moskow 1967) 13.Bg5 Be7 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Rdg1 Nf8 16.g5 Be7 17.h4 Be6 18.h5 Rc8 19.g6 h6 20.gxf7+ Bxf7 21.Ne5 Bf6 22.f4 favored White in Holm-Glienke, Plovdiv 1983.


12.Ne5 Bb7 13.Kb1

A) According to ChessBase, 13...Qd6? was played in Menchik-Pirc, Moscow 1935, in response to which White missed the obvious 14.Nxf7 and went on to lose.;

B) Clausen-Petersen, Copenhagen 1993 continued 13...a5 14.g4 N6d7 15.h4 Nxe5 16.dxe5 a4 17.g5 Qa5 18.h5 b4 19.Bxh7+ Nxh7 20.g6 bxc3 21.h6!!

Diagram f
Analysis position after 21. h6

A fine example of the culmination of a pawn-storm. White offers to play two pieces down, but his compensation is more than adequate. The position deserves detailed consideration:

B1) The defense cannot be sustained by 21...Ng5 22.gxf7+ Kxf7 23.Qf5+ Kg8 24.Bxg5 c2+ (24...Bxg5 25.hxg7 and White is better) 25.Kxc2 Qc5+ 26.Kb1 and Black has nothing good, for example 26...Bxg5 27.hxg7;

B2) No better is 21...Nf8 22.gxf7+ Kxf7 23.hxg7 with a winning attack for White;

B3) The most challenging defense is 21...Nf6! 22.exf6 Bxf6 23.hxg7

Diagram g
Analysis position after 23. hxg7

And now:

B3a) 23...Re7 24.Rdg1 Re4 (24...Qb6 25.gxf7+ Kxf7 26.Qg6+ Ke6 27.Qg4+ Kf7 28.g8Q+ Rxg8 29.Qxg8#) 25.f3 Rxf4 26.gxf7+ Kxf7 27.exf4 and with Qg6+ coming next, White is much better;

B3b) 23...Re4 24.f3 Rxf4 25.exf4 Bxg7 26.gxf7+ Kf8 27.Rdg1 Qb6 (similar is 27...Qb4 28.Rxg7 Kxg7 29.Qh7+ Kf8 30.Qg8+ Ke7 31.Re1+ Kd7 32.Qe8+) 28.Rxg7 Kxg7 29.Qh7+ Kf8 (29...Kf6 30.f8Q+ Rxf8 31.Rh6#) 30.Qg8+ Ke7 31.Re1+ Kd7 32.Qe8+ Rxe8 33.fxe8Q+ Kc7 34.Re7+ Kd6 35.Qd7+ Kc5 36.Qxb7 and wins;

B3c) 23...Bxg7 24.gxf7+ Kxf7 25.Qf5+ Kg8 26.Rdg1

Diagram h
Analysis position after 26. Rdg1

Only a computer could imagine that Black is better here.

B3c1) 26...c2+ 27.Kxc2 Qc5+ 28.Kb1 Re7 (28...Qe7 29.Qh7+ Kf8 30.Bd6) 29.Be5 and White is winning;

B3c2) 26...Re7 27.Qh7+ Kf8 28.Bh6 with significant advantage to White;

B4) 21...fxg6 22.Qxg6 c2+ 23.Kxc2 Qc5+ 24.Kb1 Bf8 25.Rdg1 and wins;

B5) Petersen chose 21...Bf8 22.hxg7 Bxg7 23.gxf7+ Kxf7 24.Rxh7

B5a) 24...Rg8 25.Qf5+ Ke8 26.Qe6+ Kf8 27.Qd6+ Ke8 (27...Kf7 28.Bg5) 28.Bg5;

B5b) 24...Re7 25.Rg1 Rg8 26.Bh6 was the game continuation, and White was winning;

C) 13...N6d7 14.Nxd7 Qxd7 15.Rc1 Bd6 16.Ne2 Bxf4 17.Nxf4 Qd6 18.h4 a5 19.Bf5 with a slight advantage for White in Alekhine-Reshevsky, Pasadena 1932.

12...a5 13.Ne5 Bb7

Diagram i
Position after 13...Bb7


White remains better after this routine move, but it is slow.

A much better example of play from the diagrammed position is offered by Averbach-Savarov, Moscow 1959 (of which I was unaware when I was playing Raines): 14.Rdg1! a4 15.g5! Nh5 16.Bxh7+! Nxh7 17.g6 fxg6 18.Qxg6 and White has a winning attack. Play continued 18...N7f6 19.Qf7+ Kh8 (19...Kh7 20.Rg6 and White soon mates) 20.Rxg7 Nxg7 21.Rg1 Nfh5 (21...Rg8 22.Ng6+ Kh7 23.Nxe7 and Black must play 23...Qxe7 to prevent mate) 22.Rg6 Qd6 23.Rxd6 Bxd6 24.Ng6+ Kh7 25.Bxd6 Re6 26.Nf8+ Rxf8 27.Bxf8 Rf6 28.Qe7 1-0.


14...Bd6 15.g5 Nh5 (15...N6d7? 16.Nxf7) 16.Bh2 f6 17.gxf6 Nxf6 (17...Qxf6? 18.Be2 Qh6 19.Qf5) 18.Rdg1 and White's progress on the kingside is greater than his opponent's on the other.

15.h5 Qa5

Better seems 15...a3 16.g5 axb2+ 17.Kb1 N6d7 18.g6 hxg6 19.hxg6 Nxe5 20.Bxe5

A) 20...f6 21.Qe2 followed by Qh5 mates quickly;

B) 20...b4! 21.Rh8+! Kxh8 22.gxf7 Bh4 (22...bxc3 23.Qe2!) 23.fxe8Q Qxe8 24.Rh1 Qe7 25.Na4 with a significant, but possibly not decisive, advantage to White in his better pawns and more secure king;

C) 20...Bd6 21.Rh8+! Kxh8 22.gxf7 Qh4 23.fxe8Q Rxe8 24.Bxd6 with a huge material advantage for White;

15...h6? is a textbook example of bad defense, and is punished by 16.g5 hxg5 17.Bxg5 a3 18.h6! axb2+ 19.Kb1 g6 20.Rdg1 b4 (or 20...Qd6 21.Bf4 Qd8 22.Bxg6 Nxg6 23.h7+ Nxh7 24.Rxg6+) 21.Bxg6 fxg6 22.Bxf6 with mate soon.

16.g5 b4?!

Black offers a piece.

More resistant is 16...N6d7 but Black's game can't be salvaged even then: 17.g6

Diagram j
Analysis position after 17. g6

A) 17...fxg6 18.hxg6 h6 19.Bxh6 (19.Nf7 is also very promising for White) 19...gxh6 20.g7

A1) 20...Kxg7 21.Rdg1+ Bg5 22.f4

A1a) 22...a3 23.fxg5 axb2+ (23...h5 24.Nxd7 Nxd7 25.Rxh5 axb2+ 26.Kd1 Nf8 27.Qf2 with a crushing attack) 24.Kb1 Nxe5 25.gxh6+ Kh8 26.dxe5 b4 27.Qf2 and White wins;

A1b) 22...Nxe5 23.dxe5 b4 24.fxg5 bxc3 25.gxh6+ Kh8 26.Qg2 and wins 'is identical';

A2) 20...Nxe5 21.gxf8Q+ Kxf8 22.dxe5 and White has a extremely strong attack;

B) 17...hxg6 18.hxg6 Nxe5 19.Bxe5 a3 (19...f6 20.f4!) 20.Rh8+!! Kxh8 21.gxf7]

17.gxf6 Bxf6

Diagram k
Position after 17...Bxf6


I decided not to accept the piece but instead pursue my kingside attack directly.

However, 18.Ne2 leaves Black with very little compensation, and White's kingside attack still rolls.


18...Be7 19.Rdg1 Kh8 20.h6 and White's attack is unstoppable.

19.Rdg1 Kh8

19...Nd7 20.Bxh7+ Kh8 21.h6 cxb2+ 22.Kb1 g6 23.Nxf6 Nxf6 24.Bxg6 fxg6 25.Qxg6 with mate coming soon;

19...Be7 20.Nh6+ Kh8 21.Nxf7+ Kg8 22.Nh6+ Kh8 23.Be5 cxb2+ 24.Kb1 and White's attack is crushing.

20.h6 Qb4

20...cxb2+ 21.Kb1 Ng6 (21...Qb4 22.hxg7+ Bxg7 23.Bxh7 with an overpowering attack) 22.Bxg6 fxg6 (22...hxg6 23.hxg7+ Kxg7 24.Bh6+ Kh8 25.Nxf6 and mates soon) 23.hxg7+ Kxg7 (23...Bxg7? 24.Qxg6) 24.Rxh7+ Kxh7 25.Nxf6+ Kh8 26.Qxg6 and mate can't be prevented.

21.hxg7+ Bxg7 22.bxc3 Qa3+ 23.Kd1 Re4

23...Bc8 24.Ne5

A) 24...Rxe5 25.dxe5 Rb8 26.Bxh7 Rb2 27.Bh6! Ne6 (27...Ng6 28.Rxg6) 28.Bxg7+ Nxg7 29.Bg6+ Kg8 30.Bxf7+ Kxf7 (30...Kf8 31.Rh8+ Ke7 32.Bxd5 with an irresistable onslaught) 31.Qg6+ Ke7 32.Qxg7+ and mate is soon;

B) 24...f5 25.Nf7+ Kg8 26.Nh6+ Kh8 27.Bd6 and Black loses his queen;

23...Ng6? 24.Bxg6 and so forth.

24.Bxe4 dxe4

Diagram l
Position after 24...dxe4

25.Nh6 Bxh6

25...c5 26.Nxf7+ Kg8 27.Nh6+ Kh8 28.Rxg7 Kxg7 29.Be5+ Kg6 30.Rg1+ and mates very soon.

26.Be5+ Bg7 27.Rxg7

Not a very good game by either player, but one nevertheless illustrative of White's chances in this variation.


Copyright © 2000 by Mark F. Morss

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