The Campbell Report
Hard Chess
with USCF Senior Master Mark Morss
(3) Morss - Jacowitz [A83]

My opponent in this game was Martin Jacowitz of Flushing, New York, an engaging fellow and an interesting correspondent.

1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5

By the time this game was played, I had convinced myself that there was no advantage in 4. f3, and this move was my great hope for the Staunton Gambit.

4...Nc6 5.d5 Ne5 6.f4

Diagram f
Game position after 6. f4

Not a novely, but I was hopeful for good results with this unusual move. I could find nothing for White in the standard 6. Qd4 Nf7.


I was hoping for 6...Nf7 7.Qd4 g6 8.Nxe4 Bg7 9.0-0-0 as played in Reicher-Alexandrescu, Romania 1962, with a difficult and double-edged game, but with good winning chances for White.

7.Nxf3 Nf7 8.Bd3 e5 9.dxe6

9.0-0 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.Ne4 0-0 12.c4 d6 left White with insufficient compensation in Holmes-Mieses, Liverpool 1929.

9...dxe6 10.Qe2

In my preparations, I mistakenly assumed this position was good for White.


Jacowitz missed 10...Bd6! 11.0-0 (11.0-0-0? Nxg5 12.Nxg5 Bf4+) 11...0-0 12.Rae1 c6 13.Kh1

Diagram g
Analysis position after 13. Kh1

White has some, but not sufficient, compensation for his pawn.

11.Nxg5 Bb4

Here again, it is better to play 11...Bd6 12.Nxe6 Bxe6 13.Qxe6+ Qe7 14.Qxe7+ Bxe7 (14...Kxe7 15.0-0-0 and Black's king won't be very comfortable) .

A) 15.0-0-0 0-0-0 16.Bf5+ (16.Rhe1 Bb4) 16...Kb8 with equality;

B) 15.Nb5 0-0-0 16.Nxa7+ Kb8 17.Nb5 Bb4+ 18.Ke2 Rhe8+ 19.Kf3 c6 with excellent counterplay for Black.

12.0-0-0 Qe7 13.Bxh7 Bxc3

13...Rxh7 14.Nxh7 Bxc3 15.bxc3 Nxh7 16.Qh5+ g6 17.Qxg6+ Qf7 18.Qd3 with excellent play for White in view of Black's exposed king and retarded development.


An extravagant move about which I was quite happy at the time.

But now I think it was better to play 14.Bg6+ Kf8 15.bxc3 Rh6 16.Qd3 and I believe Black's king is in greater danger than White's.


14...Be5 15.Qg6+ Kf8 16.Rd8+ Ne8 17.Rf1+ Bf6 18.Rxf6+ gxf6 19.Rxe8+ Qxe8 20.Qxf6+ Qf7 21.Qxf7#;

14...Nd5! 15.Qg6+ (15.Bg6+ Kf8 16.Nh7+ Rxh7 17.Rhf1+ Bf6 18.Bxh7 Qc5 looks good for Black)

A) 15...Kd7? 16.bxc3 Qa3+ (16...Kc6 17.Rxd5 Qa3+ 18.Kd2; 16...Rf8 17.Qxe6+ Qxe6 18.Nxe6 Kxe6 19.Rhe1+ Kd6 20.c4 c6 21.cxd5 cxd5 22.c4 Be6 23.Be4) 17.Kb1;

B) 15...Kf8 16.Rhf1+ Bf6 17.c4 c6 18.cxd5 cxd5 19.Kb1 with unclear chances.

15.Bg6+ Kf8 16.Qxc3 Rh6

16...Be8 17.Qd3 Bxg6 18.Qxg6 Rh6 19.Qd3 with substantial advantage for White based on his better pawns and more secure king.

17.Bd3 c6

A dreadfully passive move, but Black's pawn structure and insecure king render the defense very difficult, in any case.


Simpler and better is 18.Qe5.


18...Rxh2 19.Nf3 Rh6 (19...Rh8 20.Ne5 Be8 21.g4; 19...Rxg2? 20.Nh4) 20.Ne5 Kg8 21.g4 is very good for White.

19.h3 Rf8

19...Nd5 20.Qe5

20.Qd2 Nd5 21.Rxf8+ Qxf8 22.c4 Nb4 23.Bh7+ Kh8?

More resistance is offered by 23...Rxh7 24.Nxh7 Kxh7 25.a3 Nd5 26.cxd5 cxd5 27.Qd4 , though White is still winning.

24.Qxd7 Qf4+ 25.Kb1 Qxg5 26.Be4

Although I won this game, it took more than one mistake for Black to lose, and Black was better early. I resolved never again to play the Staunton Gambit in a game of postal chess.


Copyright © 1999 by Mark F. Morss

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