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Cox-Torregrossa, Champaign, IL 1992

1. e4, e5

2. Nf3, Nc6

3. Bb5

The Ruy Lopez is one of my favorite opening and one which I have scored many wins with the white pieces.

3...a6

4. Ba4, Nf6

5. 0-0, Be7

6. Re1, b5

7. Bb3, d6

8. c3, 0-0

9. h3, Nb8

The Breyer Variation which made a brief reasurgence after the Fischer-Spassky rematch.

10. d4, Nbd7

11. Nbd2

Also Playable is 11. c4

11...Bb7

12. d5!?

Closing the center. Usual is 12. Bc2, Re8 13. Nf1, Bf8 or 13. a4, Bf8 with a slight pull for white.

12...Nc5

13. Bc2, c6

14. b4!?

Ambitious. However this leaves the c3 pawn weak and it may become a target.

14...Ncd7

15. dxc6, Bxc6

Black has some pressure against the vulnerable white e-pawn, meanwhile his own d-pawn is weak.

16. Nf1, Qc7

17. Ng3

Reinforcing e4

17...Nb6

Black now begins a plan that he hopes will force equality, that is to force the central thrust ...d5.

18. Nh4!

With the positional threat of bringing the knight to f5, a strong square for white in the Ruy Lopez. If now 18...Nxe4 19. Nxe4, Bxh4 20. Qh5! is crushing due to the double-threat of whites Qxh4 and Nf6+ mating.

18...Na4

Attacking the weak c3 pawn.

19. Re3

Threatening Ngf5 and Rg3 with a strong attack for white.

19...d5!

This thrust gives black counterplay in the center.

20. exd5, Nxd5?!

This is an incorrect capture. Black could achieve a better position after the correct 20...Bxd5 as the white pawn on c3 is a target. My intention was to play 21. Nh5!? with agressive intentions.

Now however the black kindside is bereft of defenders. It is time for white to strike!

21. Bxh7+!

The classic bishop sacrifice taking advantage of blacks lack of kingside defenders.

21...Kxh7?!

Accepting the "Greek Gift" is always dangerous for black. It would have been better to submit the pawn to capture and defend with 21...Kh8. However, black saw he could win mroe material and the final blow that proved the combination sound was not easy to forsee.

22. Qh5+, Kg8

23. Nhf5!

I have drawn first blood but black shall win more material.

23...Nxe3

24. Bxe3, Nxc3

Black has already garnished a piece off my initial sacrifice and now gains the exchange and eliminates a potential attacker in the process. But he's overlooked something!

25. Nxg7!!

Busting open completely the enemy castled position.

25...Bd7

On 25...Kxg7 26. Qh6+!, Kg8 27. Nf5 and black cannot prevent mate.

26. N7f5, Bf5

27. Nxf5, Rfd8

28. Qg4+, Kf8

29. Bh6+!, Ke8

30. Ng7+, Kf8

31. Ne6+, Resigns.

(31...Ke8 32. Nxc7#)

It was no coincedence that I had studied the bishop sacrifice on h7 in the week prior to this game. A nice attack!