C89 Gruenfeld-Hoffer, Ruy Lopez Marshall Attack

Gruenfeld, Yehuda (2513) – Hoffer, Michael (2741)

C89 Ruy Lopez Marshall Herman Steiner – Internet, 21.06.2009 [Notes by Hoffer]

This is the second time I have been able to play Grandmaster Yehuda Gruenfeld of Israel. In both games, I fell into lines I did not quite plan beforehand!

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 e4 10.dxc6 exf3 11.d4 fxg2

Yehuda plays White's best known line to try to bust the Herman Steiner with:

12.Qf3 a5!

I've given up my former line of: 12…Be6 13.Bf4 Nd5 14.Bg3 a5 15.Re5!! (This powerful move is the reason I abandoned this variation.) 15…Nf6 16.Rxb5 Bc8 17.Nd2 a4 18.Bc2 (18.Bc4 Ne8 19.Rb7!? Nd6 (19…Bxb7? 20.cxb7 Rb8 21.Bd5 Nd6 22.b3+-) 20.Re1 Ra5!?) 18…a3 (18…Re8 19.Ne4±) 19.b4 Bg4±


A) 13.Qxg2 Re8 14.Bg5 a4 (14…Bf5!?) 15.Bd1 Be6 16.Nd2 b4 17.a3 bxc3 18.bxc3 Nd5 19.Bh6 Bf6 (19…Bf8!?=) 20.Ne4 Bf5 21.Bd2 Bh4 (21…Qb8!? 22.Nxf6+ Nxf6 23.Rxe8+ Nxe8÷) 22.Bg4 Bg6 (22…Bxg4 23.Qxg4 Re6 24.Ng3 Rxc6) 23.Bd7 Bxe4 24.Rxe4 Rxe4 25.Qxe4 Bg5 26.Be1 Nf6 27.Qe5 Bh6 28.Bf5 g6 29.Bd3 Nh5= 30.Rb1 Bf4 31.Qe4 Qd6 32.Rb5? Bxh2+ 33.Kh1 Nf6 34.Qf3 Bf4 35.c4 Qxd4 36.Bf1 Be5 37.Kg2 Nh5 38.Kg1 Re8 39.Rd5 0–1 Barbulescu,D (2405)-Sofronie,I (2305), Romania 1993 39…Qh4 40.Qh3 Qg5+ 41.Qg2 Qc1 42.Bb4 Nf4 43.Bd2 Ne2+ 44.Kh1 Qxc4;

B) 13.a4 bxa4! 14.Rxa4 with three continuations:

B1) 14…Re8 15.Be3 (15.Bg5 h6 16.Be3 Bd6 (16…Bg4!? 17.Qxg2 Qc8 18.Nd2 Qf5 19.Bxh6 Bd6) 17.Nd2 Be6) 15…Bg4 16.Qxg2 Qc8! 17.Nd2 Bd6 18.Bd1?! Markidis,K (2295)-Skembris,S (2480), Athens 1998, 0-1, 40 (18.Nc4 Qf5 19.Raa1 Bf3 20.Nxd6 cxd6 21.Qg5 Qc8!?);  

B2) 14…Be6?! 15.Bxe6 fxe6 16.Rxe6 Nd5!? 17.Qxg2 Bh4 18.f3 (18.Be3?? Bxf2+ 19.Bxf2 Nf4–+; 18.Re2 Qd6=) ;

B3) 14…Bd6!? 15.Bg5 Re8÷;

C) 13.Bg5 a4 (13…Bg4?! 14.Qg3 a4 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Qxg4 axb3 17.a3 b4!? (17…Ra6 18.Qd7 gives White has better endgame prospects.) ) 14.Bc2 Be6 15.Nd2 b4!?÷ (15…Bd5 16.Qd3 g6 17.Rxe7!? Qxe7 18.Qxb5÷) 16.a3 bxc3 17.bxc3 Bd5÷

13…a4 14.Bc2 Be6 15.Nd2 b4 16.Ne4 a3

Worth consideration is 16…Nd5 17.Be5÷


17.bxa3 Rxa3 18.Qg3 Ne8÷

17…bxc3 18.Rad1 Nd5 19.Be5 Ra6?!

A) Black gets plenty of counterplay with 19…Bb4 20.Nc5 Qh4  (20…g6!?);.

B) Interesting is 19…Nb4 20.Qg3 g6 (20…f6!?) 21.d5 Bxd5 22.Bxc7 Qc8 23.Nxc3 Be6 (23…Bxc6? 24.Rxe7 Nxc2 25.Qd6 Re8 26.Qxc6 Rxe7 27.Nd5 Re2 28.Nb6 Nb4 29.Qf3+-) 24.Be4 Ra6 25.Bxg2 Nxc6 26.Nd5 Bxd5 27.Rxd5 Bf6 28.Bd6 Re8 29.Rxe8+ Qxe8.

C) Very complicated is 19…f6 20.Bg3 g6 21.Nxc3 Bb4 (21…Nxc3!? 22.Qxc3 Bf7÷ (22…Bg4!?) ) 22.Nxd5 (22.Rxe6 Nxc3 23.Ra1 Qxd4 24.Bxc7 (24.Kxg2÷) 24…Ne2+ (24…Rae8?! 25.Rxe8 Rxe8 26.Kxg2 Qc5 27.Bg3±) 25.Kxg2 Qxa1 26.Rxe2 Qxa2 27.Bxg6 Qxe2 28.Bxh7+ Kxh7 29.Qxe2 a2 30.Qh5+ Kg7 31.Qg4+ Kf7 32.Qc4+=) 22…Bxd5 (22…Bxe1? 23.Nxc7+-) 23.Be4 Bf7!? (Or 23…Be6!?) (23…Bxe4 24.Rxe4 f5!?÷; 23…Ra5 24.Bxd5+ Qxd5 25.Re3 Qxf3 26.Rxf3 Rd5) 24.Re2 Re8!? (24…f5!? 25.Bd3 Bd5!?÷) 25.Qd3 Bd6!?÷;


Now that I realized I'd blundered the exchange in time-trouble, I desperately sought an active counterattack by prying open the f-file.

20…f5! 21.Qxa6 fxe4 22.Bxe4 Bh4 23.Bg3 Qf6 24.Qe2 Nf4 25.Qc2?

25.Bxf4 Qxf4 26.f3 Bxe1 27.Rxe1 Rd8 28.Qd3 Qf6 (28…g6!? 29.Qxc3 Qf6) 29.d5 (29.Bxh7+ Kh8 30.Bg6 Rxd4 31.Rxe6 Qxe6 32.Qxd4 Qxg6 33.Qd8+ Kh7 34.Qh4+=) 29…g6 30.Re3 c2 31.Qxc2 Bxd5 32.Bxd5+ Rxd5 33.Qc4 Qd6 34.Re7 Qxe7 35.Qxd5+ Kf8= A drawish queen & pawn ending with the exposed Kings.

25…Nh3+ 26.Kxg2 Nxf2–+ 27.Qxf2

White gets nothing out of 27.Bxh7+ Kh8 28.Qxf2 Qxf2+ 29.Bxf2 Rxf2+ 30.Kg1 Rxa2 31.Rxe6 Kxh7–+

27…Qxf2+ 28.Bxf2 Rxf2+ 29.Kg1 Rxa2 30.d5

30.Ra1 Bf2+ 31.Kf1 Bh3+ 32.Bg2 Bxg2+ 33.Kxg2 Rd2 34.Rec1 Bxd4+ 35.Kh3 a2 36.b4 Kf7 wins.

30…Bf2+ 31.Kh1 Bxe1 32.dxe6

32.Rxe1 Bh3 33.d6 cxd6 34.c7 Rd2 35.Rc1 a2 36.Kg1 c2 37.Bf3 Kf8 38.Bh5 Ke7 39.b4 Kd7 wins.

32…Bh4  0–1

Yehuda gracefully resigned rather than play out 33.Rd7 c2 34.Bxc2 Rxc2 35.Rxc7 h6 36.Rc8+ Kh7 37.c7 Be7 38.h3 Bd6 –+.

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