The Campbell Report
Hard Chess
with USCF Senior Master Mark Morss
Soricelli - Morss, USCF-92CM96 [C55]

My opponent in this game was Gerard Soricelli, then residing in Staten Island, New York.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.0-0 Bc5 6.e5 d5 7.exf6 dxc4 8.Re1+ Be6 9.Ng5 Qd5 10.Nc3 Qf5 11.Nce4 Bf8 12.g4?!

Diagram z
Analysis position after 12. g4

Already a very critical position. It is clear from White's move that he does not have a good library, since the antidote is well-known. For 12. Nxf7!, see Baffo-Morss.


Black sacrifices the exchange.

12...Qd5 13.Nxf7 Kxf7 14.Ng5+ Ke8 15.Nxe6 Kd7 16.Bf4! Bd6 17.Bxd6 cxd6 18.fxg7 Rhg8 19.f4 was played with great advantage to White by Zemsch, Lebedinev and Borovoi in consultation versus Janowski in 1901.

13.Qxg4 Bxg4 14.fxg7

14.Nd6+ Kd7 is good for Black;

Also favoring Black is 14.Nc5+ Be6 15.Ngxe6 fxe6 16.Nxe6 Kf7 17.Nxc7 Rc8.

14...Bxg7 15.Nf6+ Kf8 16.Ngxh7+

16.Nxg4 h5 favors Black.

16...Rxh7 17.Nxh7+ Kg8 18.Ng5 Nb4 19.Re7 Nxc2 20.Rb1

Diagram y
Position after 20. Rb1

With his two bishops and his superbly mobile pawn mass, Black has more than sufficient compensation for the exchange. Still, to win presents some problems.


With this I was trying to eliminate White's rook from the seventh rank. I'm not really sure how best to handle this difficult position.


Black freely gives up the seventh rank. Better is 21.Ne4 and during the game I imagined I would play 21...Rc8 (but stronger would have been 21...Bf3 22.Nd2 Bd5 23.Rd7 Bc6 with advantage to Black) 22.Bf4 (22.Bh6? Bxh6 23.Nxf6+ Kf8 24.Nxg4 Kxe7 25.Nxh6 Kf6) 22...Kf8 23.Rxc7 Rxc7 24.Bxc7 and the loss of the pawn seemed like a small price to pay for the eviction of the rook. The chances are unclear, however.

21...Bxe6 22.Rxe6 Kf7 23.Re2

23.Re4 f5 24.Rf4 Kf6 25.Rf3 Re8 with excellent winning chances for Black.

23...d3 24.Re4 b5 25.Bd2

25.Be3 f5 26.Rf4 Nxe3 27.fxe3 Ke6 28.e4 fxe4 29.Rxe4+ Kd5 and Black's mobile pawns will be very difficult to stop.

25...f5 26.Rh4 Nd4 27.Rh3 Rh8 28.Kg2

But not 28.Rxh8 Nf3+ 29.Kg2 Nxd2 30.Rd1 Bxh8 31.Rxd2 Bxb2.

28...Rxh3 29.Kxh3 Nc2 30.a3 c5 31.Kg2 b4 32.axb4 cxb4 33.Kf3

Diagram x
Position after 33. Kf3

33...Bxb2 34.Rxb2 c3 35.Bxc3

I also considered 35.Rxb4 cxd2 36.Rb1 a5 37.Rd1 a4 38.Rxd2 a3 39.Rxd3 a2 40.Rd1 a1Q 41.Rxa1 Nxa1

Diagram w
Analysis position after 41...Nxa1

Though the knight is far-flung, the ending is won for Black. White's pawns are unable to exchange Black's last pawn.

35...bxc3 36.Rb7+ Ke6 37.Rb1 Nd4+ 38.Ke3 c2 39.Re1 Ne2 40.Kd2 a5 41.h4 c1Q+ 42.Rxc1 Nxc1 0-1

Copyright © 1999 by Mark F. Morss

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