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Jennifer's Opening

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White: Jennifer Pratt
Black: John P. Pratt
Date: 31 Dec 2007
American Fork, Utah

This was my first game with my daughter-in-law Jen, in a New Year's Eve family tournament. She was only recently learning to improve her level of play with her husband Jared, and I was amazed how well she did. I had never seen her opening before and liked her first three moves enough to name that opening after her.

1. e2-e4, e7-e5. 
2. d2-d3, Nb8-c6. 
3. c2-c4, Bf8-c5.Moving up the bishop pawn frees the queen, but blocks the king's bishop, which could be fianchettoed. Seems like a perfectly good idea, at least at my level of play.
4. Bc1-e3, Bc5xe3.Black had seized the important diagonal into White's castle, which White found too aggressive to permit. On the other hand, Black sees White's move as too powerful and will nearly always trade bishops as a response, especially to destroy the potential castle.
5. f2xe3, Ng8-f6. 
6. Ng1-f3, d7-d6. 
7. d3-d4, 0-0. 
8. Bf1-d3, Bc8-g4. 
9. 0-0, e5xd4.Now White's castle looks planned, rather than broken by the enemy. In the King's Gambit opening, White purposely sacrifices the king bishop pawn just to open that file (column) for the king's rook to attack the opposing castle.
10. e3xd4, Nc6xd4.Black snatches one of those powerful center pawns, which only appeared to be guarded.
11. Bd3-e2, Nd4xf3+.White appears not wish to break up her castle any more, so defends with the bishop, which also allows her queen to attack the pesky knight.
12. g2xf3+, Bg4-h3.The black knight proceeds, but White opts to retaliate with the pawn rather than the bishop, which does not appear to be as good a choice for defense. Black immediately grabs the chance to attack right into the castle. White still has a superior development of pieces.
13. Rf1-e1, Nf6-h5. 
14. f3-f4, Nh5xf4.Black was planning to go there with his knight anyway, and now gets a free pawn. White's castle has evaporated.
15. Qd1-d4, Qd8-g5+.With White's castle gone, Black appears close to a checkmate.
16. Kg1-f2, Qg5-g2+. 
17. Kf2-e3, Qg2xh2.Black didn't really have a good plan, but just hoped something would materialize soon, by getting his queen next to the white king. He wins a useless pawn, but actually drives the white king into a safer position.
18. e4-e5, Rf8-e8.White tries to give her king some breathing room, but Black builds the attack, pinning the pawn.
19. Nb1-c3, Re8xe5+.White develops both knight and rook in one move.
20. Nc3-e4, Ra8-e8.White defends well, but Black keeps adding forces.
21. Ra1-d1, Nf4-g2+.Black forks the rook and is still hoping for a win to materialize soon, but sees nothing.
22. Ke3-d3, Ng2xe1+.White's move allows her queen back into the game, while Black decides to take the rook, seeing no quick checkmate.
23. Rd1xe1, Bh3-f5.Black is at least using all his pieces to surround the enemy king, hoping for the best.
24. Qd4-g1, Bf5xe4+.Finally White gets to attack the opposing queen and offer to trade to dismantle the attack.
25. Kd3-d4, Qh2-h3.Black has no desire to trade queens which could destroy his attack, but he still hasn't seen a checkmate.
26. Qg1-g4!, c7-c5 mate.White again attacks the black queen with a great move, for she has only two places to hide. Lucky for Black, he finally sees the checkmate he had been hoping would materialize. An ending every pawn hopes for!