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LCB, Issue #045 --, Three Times for a Lady
February 01, 2019

Three Times for a Lady

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #045 -- GOTM #14

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The Pirc Defense is more usually found in the armory of intermediate or advanced players. The beginner generally familiarizes himself with other, better known opening systems.

Our two adversaries, playing a correspondence game in 1974, give it a good workout. They travel down one of it's more interesting lines. In it a Queen is exchanged for three minor pieces.

The game features an interesting struggle as the imbalanced foes see who can make the most out of the deal. Eventually more sacrifices are deployed as the King is prized out into the open with several enemy pieces circling...

Three Times for a Lady

McAlpine, Kenneth B - Lumsden, Jamos PL [B07]

GotM #14 - Correspondence, 1974
[Connaughton, Ken]

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Bc4 Nf6

Now it's a Pirc Defense.

5.Qe2 Nc6 6.e5!?

Game position after 6.e5!?

White will sacrifice his two center pawns. We will also see an interesting material imbalance after the following sequence of exchanges.


White will swap three pieces for the lady. He will also stop Black from castling on the Kingside.

(This position has been reached many times. The text move is the most popular but interestingly not Black's most successful reply. The second player's best chances seem to lay in the lines following 6...Ng4 e.g. 7.Bb5 0-0 8.Bxc6 bxc6 9.h3 Nh6 10.Nf3 c5 11.dxc5 Bb7 12.Bf4 Rb8 13.0-0-0 Ba8 14.Nd4 Qd7 15.e6 Qc8 16.c6 Nf5 17.Nxf5 gxf5 18.exf7+ Rxf7 19.Qc4 Qe8 20.Rd3 Qxc6 21.Qxc6 Bxc6 22.f3 Bf6 23.Be3 Rg7 24.Bxa7 Rb7 25.Bd4 e5 26.Bf2 Rxg2 27.Rg1 Rxg1+ 28.Bxg1 Kf7 29.Be3 Ke6 30.f4 Rb8 31.Rd1 Rg8 32.fxe5 dxe5 33.a4 Rg3 34.Bc5 Rxh3 35.a5 Rg3 36.a6 Rg8 37.a7 h5 38.b4 h4 39.b5 Bf3 40.Rf1 e4 41.Na4 Bg2 42.Rd1 f4 43.b6 cxb6 44.Rd6+ Kf5 45.Nxb6 e3 46.Nd7 Be7 47.Rb6 Bxc5 48.Rb8 Rg7 49.Nxc5 Rxa7 50.Nd3 f3 51.Rf8+ Kg4 52.Ne5+ Kg3 53.Rg8+ Kh3 54.Nd3 f2 0-1 (54) Topakian,R-Van Wely,L (2325) Arnhem 1988)

7.exf6 Nxe2 8.fxg7 Rg8 9.Ngxe2 Rxg7

Game position after 9...Rxg7

So the dust settles. On material Black has an advantage of two pawns as the three minor pieces are equal to the Queen. He can't castle on the Kingside but with no enemy Queen that doesn't seem like a big deal. Let's see how things continue.


Getting a piece out to the Kingside and making sure the King won't slide back there behind the Rook. Black will need to move three time before he can castle Queenside.

10...Rg8 11.0-0-0

White castles long and he is quickly centralizing his pieces.

11...e5 12.f4

He wan't to tear open the center while the Black King is still stuck there.

12...exf4 13.Ne4

Not even interested in the f4-pawn. The White pieces only have eyes for that central King.

(13.Nxf4? is a blunder: 13...Qh4!-+; 13.Bxf4 allows 13...Be6 14.Bb5+ c6= and Black is pretty comfortable.)

13...g5 14.h4

Great undermining move and the Kingside will be ripped open soon.

14...gxh4 15.Nxf4

Game position after 15.Nxf4

The King is still three moves from safety and the six White pieces are almost poised to strike.


And here they come.

16.Bb5+ Ke7

(16...c6 17.Bxc6+ bxc6 18.Nxd6+ Qxd6 (18...Kd7 19.Nxf5+ (19.Nxf7+ Kc7 20.Nxd8 Raxd8 21.Rxd8 Kxd8+-) 19...Kc7 20.Rxd8 Raxd8+-) 19.Rxd6 Ke7 20.Rxc6+-)

17.Nd5+ Ke6

Only move.

18.Nc5+ dxc5

(18...Ke5 19.Bf4#)


Game position after 19.Rhe1+


(19...Kd6 20.Bf4#)

20.Rxe4+ Kf5

(20...Kd6 21.Bf4# (21.Nf6#))

21.Ne7+ Kxe4

(21...Qxe7 22.Rxe7 Kf6 23.Rdd7 Rad8 24.Rxf7+ Kg6 25.Be3 Rxd7 26.Rxd7 Kf6+-)


Doesn't even bother with the Queen, there's a much bigger prize coming right up.


Only move yet again.


Game position after 23.c3#


McAlpine - Lumsden (Correspondence, 1974)

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