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

My opponent was Dave Marples of Durham, North Carolina.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Qc2 Nbd7 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Bf4 c6 8.e3 0-0 9.Bd3 Re8 10.0-0-0 Nf8 11.h3 Bd6

Black seeks simplification at the expense of a tempo. Other moves, see Morss-Raines.


This is the move usually played, gaining time. However, Crouch recommends 12.Bg5 "possibly with e4 to follow."

12…Qxd6 13.g4

Diagram a
Position after 13. g4

13.Kb1 is another good move.


Miles-Booth, Melbourne 1991 saw 13…b6 14.Kb1 Bb7 15.g5 N6d7 16.h4 c5 17.h5 with better prospects for White;

13…b5 14.g5 N6d7 15.h4 Nb6 16.Rdg1 Bd7 17.g6 hxg6 18.h5 Re6 19.hxg6 Nxg6 20.Ng5 Rf6

Diagram b
Analysis position after 20...Rf6

21.Bxg6 (21.Nh7! Re6 22.Bf5 ensures a big advantage for White) 21…Rxg6 was played in Doda-Gabrys, Poland 1960. Now:

A) Tempting but unsound is 22.Rh8+?! Kxh8 23.Nxf7+ Kg8 24.Rxg6 Qf8! 25.Nd6 (25.Nh6+? Kh8 and White is over-extended) 25…Nc4 26.Nxc4 Bf5 and Black is better;

B) The game continuation was 22.f4 Nc4 23.Rh8+?! This is no better than it was on the previous move. (Comparatively best is 23.Qh2 Rh6 24.Ne6! Qxe6 25.Qxh6 Qxe3+ 26.Kb1 Na3+ draws) 23...Kxh8 24.Nxf7+ Kg8 25.Rxg6 and now:

B1) Black missed 25…Qf8! 26.Nh6+ Kh8 27.Ng4 (27.Qh2 Kh7) 27…Bf5 28.Qh2+ Kg8 29.Nh6+ Kh7 with advantage;

B2) 25…Kxf7? was played, and the rest was easy for White: 26.Rxd6 Nxd6 27.Qh2 Bf5 28.Qh5+ g6 29.Qh7+ Ke6 30.Qg7 a5 31.Nb1 a4 32.Nd2 Re8 33.Nf3 Re7 34.Qg8+ 1-0.

14.Rdg1 g6

This move is not obviously necessary.

14…a5 15.g5

A) 15…Ne4 16.Bxe4 dxe4 17.Nd2 Bf5 18.f3 with a slight advantage for White;

B) 15…Nh5 16.Ne5 g6 (16…Bd7 17.Be2 g6 18.Bxh5 gxh5 19.Qd1) 17.Kb1 with a difficult game where White seems to have the better prospects;

C) 15…N6d7 16.h4 b5 17.h5 and White's attack is more imposing.


Diagram c
Position after 15. Kb1

Notwithstanding the exchange of dark-square bishops, Black is under great pressure. White has an obvious plan in Ne5 and the continued advance of his kingside pawns.


15…Ne4 16.Bxe4 dxe4 17.Nd2 f5 18.gxf5 Bxf5 19.f3 is much better for White.

16.Ne5 Rad8

16…a5 17.f4

17.h4 Bc8 18.f4 Ne4 19.Bxe4 dxe4 20.f5

Also good was 20.g5 Bf5 21.h5 Kg7 22.hxg6 fxg6 23.Nxe4

20…f6 21.Nc4 gxf5

21…c5 22.d5

22.gxf5+ Kh8 23.Qg2 Nd7

23…Qf7 24.Qg3 is much better for White.

24.Nd6 Rg8 25.Nxc8 Rxc8

25...Rxg2? 26.Nxe7 Rxg1+ 27.Rxg1 Re8 28.Nxc6 bxc6 29.Rg4.

26.Qxe4 Rce8

26…Rge8 27.Qxe7 Rxe7 28.e4 with a material plus and a mobile mass of center pawns for White.

27.Rxg8+ Kxg8 28.Rg1+ Kh8 29.Qg2 Nb6

29…Qf7 30.e4 Rg8 31.Qxg8+ Qxg8 32.Rxg8+ Kxg8 33.Kc2 and Black has no real hope.

30.e4 Nc8

Diagram d
Position after 30...Nc8

Somewhat more resistant is 30…Qf7 31.e5 (31.Qg4 may be even better) 31…fxe5 32.Ne4 Nc4 33.f6! (33.dxe5 Rxe5 34.Nf6 Na3+! 35.Ka1 Nc2+ 36.Qxc2 Qxf6 37.Qg2 Re8 is only a little better for White) 33…Qg6 34.Qxg6 hxg6 35.f7 Rf8 36.b3 Rxf7 37.bxc4 and White's extra piece should be enough to win.

31.e5 fxe5 32.Ne4 Qf7

32…exd4 33.f6 Qxe4+ 34.Qxe4 Rxe4 35.f7 and White wins.

33.f6 Rg8?

Better, but still without much hope, was 33…Qg6 34.Qxg6 hxg6 35.dxe5 Rxe5 36.Rxg6 Rf5 37.Kc2.

34.Qxg8+ Qxg8 35.Rxg8+ Kxg8 36.dxe5 Nb6

36…Kf8 37.e6 h6 38.f7.


Black can't prevent White from promoting a pawn


Copyright © 2000 by Mark F. Morss

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