The Minority Report

In this old league game I prosecute the Minority Attack to the point of monomania, but the photo finish is worth the indignity!

Niagara Frontier Chess League, 1976.

White: Col. Sicherman
Black: R. P. F. Kensek

Queen's Gambit Declined.

1. c4 e6; 2. Nf3 Nf6; 3. Nc3 d5.

Black shows his preference for a Queen's Gambit of some sort.

4. d4 Be7; 5. Bg5 Nbd7; 6. e3 O-O; 7. cd.

The Exchange Variation was once considered drawish. Now it is regarded as less drawish than most of the other lines.

7...ed; 8. Bd3 Re8; 9. O-O c6; 10. Qc2 Nf8; 11. Rfb1!?

An unusual way to prepare the usual thrust b2-b4 against Black's pawn chain.

11...Ne4! 12. B:e7 Q:e7; 13. b4 a6!?

This provokes an obvious response. Black hopes for counterplay on the queenside, but his pieces aren't posted for it.

14. a4 Bf5; 15. b5 ab; 16. ab Ra3?!

Inviting exchanges. White does exchange, but minimally.

17. B:e4 de!

Of course Black keeps the Bishop to use against White's denuded kingside.

18. Nd2 Rc8?

Threatens 19...cb, but now White gains much time.

19. R:a3 Q:a3; 20. Nc4 Qe7; 21. Nb6 Rd8; 22. bc bc.

White has achieved the goal of creating a pawn target, but Black has a goal of his own....

23. Nca4 Qg5; 24. Nc5 Bh3; 25. g3.


To play 26...f5 without an annoying check; but the check would be meaningless. Now Black's strategic goal is to mate at g2.

26. Ra1.

Threatening to win the e-pawn, and getting the Rook onto an open file. Not 26. Q:e4?? Bf5; 27. Qe5 Ng6.

26...f5; 27. Nc4 Qh5; 28. Ne5.

The Knight arrives just in time to guard f3. Black's next order of business is to dislodge the Knight.


The tempting 28...Re8 would let White simplify with 29. Qd1.

29. Ncd7.

Sticking to the script. If instead 29. Nf7+ Kg8; 30. N:d8, there follows not 30...Qf3? 31. Qb3+ Kh8; 32. Nf7+ Kg8; 33. Nh6+ and mate next move, but 30...h6! with the threat of ...Nh4. Now if 29...N:e5; 30. N:e5; while on 29...R:d7 White has 30. Ra8+ with mate soon.


Nothing comes of 29...Nh4; 30. gh Q:h4; 31. Kh1! But now White's Queen begins a subtle and lethal infiltration.

30. Qc5!

Stronger than 30. Qc4 at once. Now if 30...Re8, 31. Qc4 threatens 32. Qf7 with a winning simplification.

30...Ng8; 31. Q:c6 f4; 32. Qd5!

Of course not 32. Q:e4? B:d7. This double self-pin threatens 33. Nf7+, and can answer 32...R:d7? with 33. Q:g8+!, but its point lies in the following move.

32...Nh6; 33. Nf6!

Winning the exchange, for if 32...R:d5, White has 33. Ra8+. But is this safe?; 34. Q:d8+ Ng8.

Black finally looks like achieving his goal of dislodging the Knight. White doesn't have time for 35. Ra8?? Qd1#.

35. g4!

This thematic pawn interference delays Black's mate by one move—just long enough to win.

35...B:g4; 36. Ra8 Be6?

A time-pressure error, but after the desperate 36...Bc8; 37. R:c8 Qd1+; 38. Kg2 f3+; 39. Kg3 Black soon runs out of checks.

37. Q:f6#.

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Col. George Sicherman [ HOME | MAIL ]