(1) Crittenden,Kit - Woods,Henry [A35]
NC Championship 1948, 1948
[Rybka 3 (90s)]

A35: Symmetrical English: 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 Nf3 EDITOR'S NOTE: This was "The deciding game" from the 1948 NC Open. Kit Crittenden, who had finished DEAD LAST in the previous year, squares off with four time NC Champion HENRY WOODS. Crittenden, a boy of 14, does not play perfectly, but manages to topple his opponent to earn the title of NC Chess Champion for 1948. This made him the youngest state champion ever, a record which stands sixty years later. While this game is annotated by Deep Rybka 3.0, KIT Crittenden's OWN annotations are noted with (KITC):***. I have changed descriptive notation to modern algebraic.

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 c5
(KITC): ***This formation is a favorite of Woods, with Black or with White.***

3.e3 Nc6 4.g3
(KITC): ***White plans to control d5 (the fianchetto), and prevent his opponent's occupation of d4 with the move e3*** [4.Be2 d6= ]

4...d6 5.Bg2 Bd7
(KITC): ***There was no threat. It would have been better to postpone the development of the bishop until the correct square could be found. [5...Nf6 6.d3= ]

6.Nge2 Nf6 7.0-0 Be7
(KITC): ***White plays to open up the game before his opponent can fully develop.***

[8.Nd5 0-0= ]

[8...0-0 9.dxc5 dxc5 10.Nd5+/= ]

[9.dxc5!? is noteworthy 9...dxc5 10.b3+/= ]

(KITC): ***If 0-0 at once, then f5 would emphasize the second player's cramp. In general, it is wise to exchange in a cramped position.***

10.exd4 0-0
Black castles and improves king safety

White threatens to win material: d5xc6

(KITC): ***Well played! His idea is Ng4 and Bf6, seizing the long diagonal. The knight will return to play with Nh6-Nb5. A totally different plan was ...Rab8 and b5, in line with his previous move.

Controls a4+c4

12...Rfe8 13.Bb2
[13.Qd3 a6= ]

13...Ng4 14.Ne4
(KITC): ***The only logical move. Black cannot be allowed to place his pieces well, and the sacrifice should be sound: 1. White has made no unnatural moves in obtaining a superior position, which would justify his playing such as Bcl or Qd3, in which case he would have to give up bishop for knight. 2. Black's queenside pieces are ill-placed in case of a Kingside attack, especially then his knight would seem to be out of play. 3. The position, especially the center, is favorable for long range bishop action. So white simply prevents Bf6. *** Rybka: White has an active position [14.Qd2 Bf6=/+ ]

Black threatens to win material: Ne3xd1

15.Qd3 Nxf1 16.Rxf1
Black wins the exchange

(KITC): ***The exchange of a rather useless piece.*** [16...b5!? 17.f5 f6=/+ ]

[17.g4 Bxg4 18.N2g3 Bd8+/- ]

(KITC): ***If ...Bf8, then 18.Nf6+ ...Kh1 (PxN, QxP forced mate) 19.NxR and the attack continues without material disadvantage.*** Rybka: Secures g5

18.g4 Bxe4
(KITC): ***Black exchanges in the hope of reducing attacking forces. If Bxg4, then 19.Neg3 with the threat of f5, winning the bishop wiht h3. So 19...Bd7 seems to be the proper line. 20.Nh5 ...Rf8 21.Qg3 ...Rf7 22.Nexf6+ ...Kh8 23.Ne8 ...RxN 24.Bxg7+ ...Kh8 25.Bh6+ ...Kh8 26.Qc3+ and wins. Doubtless other variations also give a winning position, in material or attack. I, as white, did not visualize the analytical wins. The move was made by positional judgement.***Editor: see this variation below in red. [18...Bxg4 19.N2g3 b5 20.cxb5= ; 18...Bxg4 19.N2g3 Bd7 20.Nh5 Rf8 21.Qg3 Rf7 22.Nexf6+ Kh8 23.Ne8 Rxe8 24.Bxg7+ Kg8 25.Bh6+ Kh8 26.Qc3+ Fritz could not find an absolute win here, but a lot of ways for black to go wrong. Fritz 9: 26...Kg8 27.Qg3+ 0.00/0 (27.Rf3 ) ]

19.Bxe4+/= Bf8
[19...Bd8 20.Ng3+/= ]

Black has a cramped position. Black's piece can't move: a5

(KITC): ***Black reasons that he should try to exchange rooks, since his rooks can find little scope for action, while his opponent's will aid in the pawn advances.*** [20...b5!? is an interesting alternative 21.Qd3 Rxe4 22.Nxe4 bxc4 23.bxc4 Re8+/- ]

[21.Bf5 a6+- ]

(KITC): ***He exchanges, even at the cost of a pawn.*** [>=21...Rf7!? 22.Bf5 Re8+/- ]

22.Qd3+- g6 23.Bxf6??
with this move White loses his initiative [>=23.f5 White has the better game 23...Re3 24.Qc2+- ]

23...Re1+/- 24.f5
White gets more space

[24...Bg7 25.Rxe1 Rxe1+ 26.Kf2 Rxb1 27.Bxg7 Rxb3 28.Qe4 Qxg7 29.Qe6+ Qf7 30.axb3 Qxe6 31.dxe6 gxf5 32.gxf5 Nxb3 33.f6+/= ]

forfeits the advantage [25.Qxf1 Qf7 26.Bc3 b6+- ]

(KITC): ***25...Bg7 would lead to a loss followed by winning the pawn at g6, and the passed pawns must lead to an endgame win, especially since the bishop or knight could occupy e6.*** EDITOR'S NOTE: Kit may be right, see variation below in red! [>=25...Bg7 and Black can hope to live 26.Bg5 Qf7+/= ; 25...Bg7 26.Bxg7 Qxg7 27.fxg6 hxg6 28.Qxg6 Qxg6 29.Bxg6 ]

[>=26.Bc3 b6 27.Ne4 Rxe4 28.Qxe4+- ]

(KITC): ***Bg7 would also lead to a loss. Black hopes for fxg6, when Qh3+ with a little more play would follow.*** Rybka: leading to a quick end [>=26...Be7 27.fxg6 hxg6 28.Qxg6+ Qxg6 29.Bxg6 Rf8+- ]

(KITC): ***Threatening the knight, and protecting e1 from an obnoxious check by the enemy rook.*** [>=27.fxg6 seems even better 27...Bg7 28.Nh5 hxg6 29.Nxg7 Re5 30.Bxe5 dxe5+- ]

[27...Qf7 28.Qxa5 Bg7+- ]

28.fxg6 Qh3+
(KITC): ***All is nearly lost. There are a few dying kicks, though.*** [28...hxg6 doesn't get the bull off the ice 29.Bxg6 Nxc4 30.bxc4+- ]

29.Kg1 h5
[29...hxg6 30.Bxg6 Nxc4 31.Bxe8 Ne5 32.Bxe5 Qc8 33.Nh5 Qg4+ 34.Kf2 Bg7 35.Bxg7 Qxg5 36.Qf3 Qd2+ 37.Kg3 Qe1+ 38.Kh3 Qe7 39.Qg3 a6 40.Bf6+ Kf8 41.Bxe7+ Kxe8 42.Bxd6 Kd8 43.Qg8+ Kd7 44.Qf8 a5 45.Nf6# ]

30.Bf5 Qh4 31.g7
[31.Bd7 Qxg5 32.Bxe8 Bg7 33.Bxg7 Qf4 34.Bf7+ Qxf7 35.gxf7+ Kxf7 36.Qf6+ Kg8 37.Bh6 Nc6 38.Qg7# ]

31...Bxg7+- 32.Bxg7
[32.Be6+!? and White can already relax 32...Rxe6 33.dxe6 Qg4 34.Bxg7 Qxg5+- ]

32...Qxg5 33.Bf6 Qf4
[33...Qe3+ no good, but what else? 34.Qxe3 Rxe3 35.Be6+ Kh7+- ; 33...Qe3+ 34.Qxe3 Rxe3 35.Be6+ Kf8 36.Kf2 Rd3 37.Ke2 ]

34.Be6+ Rxe6 35.dxe6 h4
[35...Nc6 there is nothing else anyway 36.Nxh5 Qg4+ 37.Qg3 Qxg3+ 38.Nxg3 Kf8+- ]

36.e7 Kf7 37.e8Q+!
Double attack: e5/e5.

37...Kxe8 38.Qe1+ Kd7 39.Qe7+ Kc8 40.Qe8+ Kb7 41.Qe4+ Qxe4 42.Nxe4
[42.Nxe4 Kc6 43.Bc3+- ] 1-0