Welcome to my English Opening game with Nirio Basallo page!

On this page I have posted one my chess games in which I played the White side of the English Opening.

The game includes analysis and diagrams. I hung a Rook on move 24 and lost the exchange when my opponent, an expert, sacrificed a Bishop to win that Rook. I was unable to hold the endgame down a Rook for a Bishop.

Sunshine State Open
Round 3, Board 7
Game Played 11 June 1993
White: Mike Serovey (1671) Black: Nirio Basallo  (2191)

1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 Nf6 4. d3 g6 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. e4 d6 7. Nge2 O-O 8. O-O Nh5

English Opening after 8... Nh5.

English Opening after 8… Nh5.

Up until this point I had a fairly typical Botvinnik System going. Black’s last move was a surprise and I believe that this is the only time that I have seen it in tournament play. At this point I skipped my usual h3 to keep the Knight off g4 and played the immediate f4 in order to get my kingside attack going.

9. f4 exf4 10. Nxf4 Nxf4

English Opening after 10... Nxf4.

English Opening after 10… Nxf4.

According to Houdini 3, I played the correct move here and the game is even.

11. Bxf4 Nd4 12. Qd2 c6 13. Rf2 Bg4 14. Raf1 Qe7

English Opening after 14... Qe7.

English Opening after 14… Qe7.

White is following his usual plan of attacking on the f file and also has Bh6 exchanging dark-squared bishops as a possibility. I’m not sure what Black’s last move was supposed to do but I picked this time to attack the Queen with my Bishop and then to offer the exchange of queens. Another plan would have been to play 15. Bh6 now to offer the exchange of bishops.

15. Bg5 Qe5 16. Qf4 Qxf4 17. Bxf4 Rad8 18. h3 Bc8

English Opening after 18... Bc8.

English Opening after 18… Bc8.

Houdini 3 says that 18… Be6 is slightly better. White now decided to force the exchange of dark-squared bishops by playing Bg5 and Bf6. Although White has his rooks doubled on the f file he really doesn’t have an attack there.

19. Bg5 Rd7 20. Bf6 Bxf6 21. Rxf6 Kg7 22. g4 h6 23. b4 Rdd8!

English Opening after 23... Rdd8!

English Opening after 23… Rdd8!

White missed 24… Bf5!! trapping his Rook and winning the exchange. Better here was 24. R6f2 Moving the Rook out of danger. After 24. a4? Bf5!! White should have played 25. Rxf5 instead of 25. exf5 because after 25. Rxf5 gxf5 26. gxf5 Black’s kingside pawn structure is shattered and White has a Knight and pawn for his Rook.

24. a4? Bf5!! 25. exf5 Kxf6 26. Ne4+ Kg7 27. f6+ Kh7

English Opening after 27... Kh7.

English Opening after 27… Kh7.

White is now hoping to trade off all of the pawns so that Black cannot use his material advantage to win. A better strategy might be to keep the position as closed as possible in order to keep the Black rooks from penetrating White’s position.

28. b5 Rfe8 29. h4 d5 30. cxd5 cxd5

English Opening after 30... cxd5.

English Opening after 30… cxd5.

Now White has to move his Knight off e4 which allows Black to control the e file with his Rook. Playing the Knight to c3 attacks Black’s pawn at d5 but removes a defender from the White pawn at f6.

31. Nc3 Re5 32. Rf4 Ne6 33. Rf1 g5 34. hxg5 hxg5 35. Rd1 Nf4 36. Bh1 Kg6 37. Kf2 Kxf6

English Opening after 37... Kxf6.

English Opening after 37… Kxf6.

White’s last 7 moves really haven’t done anything while Black’s last move has netted him a pawn. Although White is putting some pressure on d5 he really doesn’t have much counter play for his material.

38. d4 Ree8 39. Rd2 Rh8 40. Kg1 Rh4 41. Bf3 Rh3 42. Rf2 Rg3+ 43. Kf1 Ke6 44. Ne2 Nxe2 45. Rxe2+ Kf6 46. Kf2 Rh3 47. Re5 Rh2+

English Opening after 47... Rh2+

English Opening after 47… Rh2+

Instead of 48. Kg1 or K-any better was 48. Bg2 blocking the Black Rook from getting access to the other White pawns. After 48. Bg2 White should play Kg3 chasing the Black Rook out of his camp and unpinning his Bishop so that capturing on d5 is possible.

48. Kg1? Rd2 49. Rf5+ Kg6 50. Bxd5 Rxd4 51. Bxf7+ Kg7 52. Bh5 Rxa4 53. Rxg5+ Kh7

English Opening after 53... Kh7.

English Opening after 53… Kh7.

This is close to what White wanted. Each side has only two pawns left and the Black King is cornered for now. However, the Black rooks now have free reign of the board and White has to be careful to avoid a checkmate on his first rank!

54. Rf5 Rd2 55. g5 Ra1+ 56. Rf1 Rxf1+

English Opening after 56... Rxf1+

English Opening after 56… Rxf1+

Black has now forced the exchange of rooks and can easily win White’s pawn on g5.

57. Kxf1 Rd5 58. b6 a5!

English Opening after 58... a5!

English Opening after 58… a5!

Black now has a passed pawn that White cannot catch!

59. Bf3 Rf5 60. Ke2 Rxf3!! 61. Kxf3 a4 0-1

English Opening after 61... a4 (Final position).

English Opening after 61… a4 (Final position).

White cannot catch the passed a pawn and thus resigned.



Back to the English Opening Page