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Queen Power

Pratt's Home Page
White: John P. Pratt
Black: Elden Watson
Date: 17 Mar 1986
Location: Hill Air Force Base, Utah

1. d2-d4, d7-d5. 
2. c2-c4, Ng8-f6. 
3. Nb1-c3, Nb8-c6.So far White is playing the Queen's Gambit.
4. c4xd5, Nf6xd5. 
5. e2-e4, Nd5xc3. 
6. b2xc3, e7-e5. 
7. d4-d5, Nc6-e7.White dominates the center and has his queen and both bishops unblocked.
8. Ng1-f3, Bc8-g4. 
9. h2-h3, Bg4-h5.White is happy to trade for Black's bishop to post his queen at f3.
10. Bf1-e2, Qd8-d6.Black's queen guards the king pawn, suffocating the king's knight and bishop.
11. 0-0, Bh5-g6.White is glad to see the bishop retreat with his having had to chase it away with his king night pawn.
12. Rf1-e1, 0-0-0.If 12 ... Bg6xe4; 13. Qd1-a4+, ... ; 14. Qa4xe4.
13. Qd1-a4, f7-f5.White proceeds, but Black is really concerned with that pawn!
14. Qa4xa7, f5xe4.Each takes the pawn the wanted.
15. Be2-b5, c7-c6.White threatens checkmate with Qa7-a8, so Black finally defends.
16. d5xc6, Ne7xc6.White ithreatens mate with 17. Qa7xb7, which Black prevents. If 16 ... b7xc6; 17 Bb5-a6 mate.
17. Bb5xc6, Qd6xc6.White doesn't like trading off his attacking pieces, but that knight threatened his queen! Now White's still threatening mate with 18. Qa7xb7 mostly hoping Black falls asleep. Taking with the pawn looks bad for Black: 17. ... b7xc6; 18. Ra1-b1, Rd8-d7; 19. Qa7-a8+, Kc8-c7; 20. Qa8-b8 mate.
18. Nf3xe5, Qc6xc3.Finally it's time to save that knight and get him helping the cause. Black seems unconcerned with the attack and gets cute with his queen, attacking three unguarded pieces. White is glad he gave his king an escape at h2 early in the game.
19. Bc1-f4, Bf8-d6.White saves all three pieces, while Black finally develops his king bishop, ignoring White's threat to pin his queen. The Black bishop can help, but it is not enough. It might be best to dispose of Black's queen now: 20. Re1-c1, Qc3xc1+; 21. Ra1xc1+, Bd6-c7; 22. Qa7-a8 mate. But White prefers focusing on a checkmate threat with every move. He can pin the queen later.
20. Ra1-b1, Qc3-c7.White agains threatens mate with 21. Qa7xb7, so Black's queen scurries home to defend.
21. Re1-c1, resigns. With White's queen pinned, Black cannot see any way to prevent checkmate. If 21. ... Qc7xc1+; 22. Rb1xc1+, Bd6-c7; 23. Qa7-a8 mate. If 21. ... Bd6xe5 (to free up d7 for king's escape); 22. Bf4xe5 (threatening Rc1xc7 mate), Rd8-d7; 23. Qc7-c8 mate. Just too many ways for White to checkmate! White was lucky that Black taking his knight also led to mate. He hadn't foreseen that. It probably would have been safer and quicker to pin the black queen on move 20 as described above.