Chess Game Menu

Sicilian Wing Gambit Declined

Pratt's Home Page
White: John P. Pratt
Black: Elden Watson
Date: 24 Sep 1976
Location: Hill Air Force Base, Utah

This game shows why one must be very careful when offering to exchange queens. Your opponent may not have an even exchange in mind at all, knowing that you must protect your king at all costs. It also shows how to dismantle a near fatal surprise attack.

1. e2-e4, c7-c5. This is the Sicilian response to the standard king pawn opening.
2. b2-b4, d7-d6. This is the Wing Gambit, offering a pawn for position.
3. b4xc5, d6xc5. Black was willing to trade his queen pawn for a knight pawn!
4. Ng1-f3, Nb8-c6.  
5. Bf1-c4, Ng8-f6.Black's knight attacks the king pawn, but will not take it.
6. Bc1-b2, Bc8-g4. This is the position White wanted, with both bishops aiming kingside.
7. h2-h3, Bg4xf3. White's queen knight plans to replace the king knight (N-d2, N-f3).
8. Qd1xf3, e7-e5. Thus endeth the opening. Now on to the battle.
9. Bc4-b5, Qd8-b6. White is thinking of grabbing the king pawn.
10. Qf3-b3, Nf6xe4. Black finally takes the king pawn. He felt no rush.
11. Bb2xe5, c5-c4. Do you see why Black sacrifices a pawn?
12. Qb3xc4, Qb6xf2+. Now the reason is clear. White's knight prevents Qf2-d2 mate.
13. Ke1-d1, Ra8-d8. Black's attack looks pretty vicious but not fatal.
14. Qc4xe4, Bf8-e7. Black's attack was premature; he might not have seen the knight.
15. Be5xg7, Rh8-g8. White calls Black's bluff, and breaks up his castle.
16. Rh1-f1, f7-f5. White tries to drive off the enemy queen. Black tries a risky counter attack.
17. Bb5xc6+!, b7xc6. White sees a way to trade two bishops for a queen. If the Black king moves, the pawn attacking the queen would be pinned!
18. Qe4xc6+, Ke8-f7. Before risking your queen, remember that kings are more important!
19. Rf1xf2, Rg8xg7. White is now a queen and two pawns ahead, but will try to win with even material.
20. Rf2xf5+, Kf7-g8. Can White win with a queen against a rook and bishop and pawn? Those are both counted as worth nine points.
21. Qc6-e6+, Rg7-f7? There is no reason for Black to sacrifice his rook. Kg8-h8 looks a lot better and might have saved him.
22. Qe6xf7+, Kg8-h8. Without that rook, all is lost.
23. Rf5-h5, resigns. Black cannot prevent White's queen or rook from taking the pawn to checkmate.