Sicilian Wing Gambit, Caro-Kann – Grandmaster Live Blitz

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GAME1: Sicilian Wing Gambit – Milanzr 2009 — GM Ron W Henley 2879

Against my Sicilian, White whipped out the dangerous Wing Gambit. I could have played to undermine the white center with 9…f6!? His plan of 12.Nh4 and 13.Qxd3 was to hurl his h-pawn forward. Thus 13…g5! Stopped that and 14…Na5 and 15…Rc8 clamped down on the c3-c4 pawn break. White should have continued “Ala Benko Gambit” with 16.Rfb1 with excellent queenside development for his pawn deficit. The flawed maneuver 16.Ne1 and 17.Nc2 should have been refuted soundly by 17…Nf4! 18.Qf3 Rxc3!! Winning a second pawn and collapsing the white position. Instead, after the endgame 20.Qxd5 exd5, White had tremendous queenside activity for his pieces. Instead of rushing to surround my d5 pawn with 24.Rd6, 24.Rab1 would have kept up the pressure. In the double R ending, with 24…Rb8 and 26…b5 I offered my a6 pawn. After White accepted with 27…Rxa6? I created a dangerous passed c-pawn with 27…b4 28.cxb4 Rxb4. After the exchange of Rs 30…Rxc5 and 31…c2! White resigned as he had no defense against the passed c-pawn.

GAME 2: GM Ron W Henley 2879 — Vargold 1951 – Caro Kann, Exchange Variation

Black set up the super solid Caro Kann and I went my favorite Exchange Variation as played by Bobby Fischer. While I was focused on building up for a potential kingside attack, Black set his queenside minority attack underway with 9…a6 and 11…Na4. I switched gears and met his queenside plan with 12.b4 and 13.Nb3 which gives my N access to the c5 square. His 14…Ne4?! Was a bit too reckless as 15.Bxe4! and 16.Nxc4 left him with loose pawns on e4 and c4. I played the “safer” retreat 18.Nd2, but in retrospect the forward ho 18.Nc5! would have really put the question to his play. Black’s dynamic pawn sacrifice 18…e5!? Left White with the edge after 20.0-0 and 22.Rfd1. While Black was preparing to blast me open on the kingside (24…h6, 27…f5, 29…g5), I prepared to invade down the c-file (26.Rd2 and 27.Rdc2). With 32.Rc7! I exchanged off one pair of rooks and took the sting out of his dangerous looking 32…f4. My kingside counter-attack with 33.gxf4 gxf4 and 34.Qh3! set up nasty threats of 35.Qh7+ and 35.Rxb7. After my K ducked with 35.Kf1, Black lost on time, but faces mate in five.

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