1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Nf6
The Two Knights Defense.
White will win a pawn by force but black obtains a lead in development in return.
5. exd5, Na5
6...Nd4!? is also playable which leads to wild complications.
A pet move of my opponent a strong club player of about 1900 strength at the time of this game. The point is that 6...Nxd5?! is still dangerous. 7. Nxf7! gives white a Fried Liver type attack e.g 7...Kxf7 8. Qf3+ with an attack, in this variation white has a bonus of a fianchetto bishop at b2. Also notice here that 7...Nxc4? 8. bc leaves white two pawns ahead.
7. bxc4, h6
Black now gains tempi forcing white to retreat.
8. Nf3, Bd6!?
Usual in such positions is the immediate thrust ...e4. My idea, which I discovered at the board was to deprive the white knight of the e5 square first.
Played too quickly. Castling was an obvious move that suits my tactically minded opponents style. However better was 9. d4! taking back e5.
Slightly better was 10. Nd4 straightaway.
Breaking the pin
The knight is centralized but not nearliy as happy as it would be on e5, in fact it is not supported at all on this square. Also notice the a1-h8 diagnol is open to his rook from f6. This got my mind whirling.
At first this looks like a blunder until its true purpose is revealed!
White has little else.
The Point. The inspiration for this attack was actually my love for the Marshall Attack of the Ruy Lopez.
On 13. Kxf2 Black has two good choices: a) 13...Qf6+ 14. Ke3, Qg5+! 15. Kf2, Bg3+ 16. Ke2, Qf6! 17. Rf1, Qxd4 18. Nc3, Qxc4+ black is a pawn ahead with all the play or b) the more aggressive 13...Qh4+!? which was my original intention.
Pressing the attack
The main alternative is 14. Qxf2 leading to 14...Bg3 15. Qe3, Bxe1 16. Ba3, Re8 when black is ahead the exchange for a pawn and whites kingside is in dis-array and his queenside undeveloped. Black has a clear advantage.
With a strong attack.
15. gxh3, Bxh3
16. Rf2, Rae8
Bringing all my pieces into play.
On 17. Nf5, then 17...Qg5+ 18. Kh1, Bg4 19. Qe3, Bf3+ 20. Rxf3, exf3 21. Qxg5, Re1+! 22. Qg1, f2! 23. Qf1, Rxf1+! winning.
18. d3, exd3
Giving up the Queen by 19. Qxe5 is without hope. But now I have a forced Mate.
20. Kh1, Bg2+
21. Rxg2, Qh4+
22. Rh2, Re1+!
23. White Resigns (23. Kg2, Qg3# or 23. Qxe1, Qxh2#)