Call My Bluff

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Leuven 1999
S Berry 2275
R De Coninck 2104

Ruy Lopez - Cozio Defence

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nge7

The Cozio Defence. It is one of the unusual defences to the Ruy Lopez, but still gets an occasional outing at the Grandmaster level. Normally White aims for c3 and d4, but I was trying to recollect and try out an idea of the Israeli master Murey.
4. Nc3 g6 5. d4 exd4 6. Nd5 Bg7

Way back at Carlsbad in 1911 a game between Johner and Tartakower went 6 … Nxd5 7 ed Qe7+ 8 Kf1 Ne5 9 Qxd4 f6 10 Bf4 Bg7 11 Re1

and White is winning a pawn with the better game.
7. Bg5 h6 8. Bf6 Bxf6 9. Nxf6+ Kf8 10. Nxd4 Kg7

  After the routine 11 Nd5 Nxd5 12 ed Re8+ 13 Be2 Nxd4 14 Qxd4+ Qf6 Black has no problems. By now however, I had recollected Murey's brilliant idea.
11 . Qd2!! Kxf6?

  It turns out that Black cannot take the knight. After the game Gary Lane told me that 11 … Ng8 was best for Black, but this is hardly the sort of move which inspires faith in the Black position. White might simply play 12 Nxg8 Rxg8 13 O-O-O and be better. More sophisticated is 12 Nd5 Nf6 13 Nc3 Re8 14 O-O-O played by Murey against Dreev. It is hard for Black to prevent the usual King side attack of f3, g4 and h4. The immediate 14 … Nxe4 15 Nxe4 Rxe4 fails after 16 Nxc6 bc 17 Bxc6.
12. Qc3
  White threatens 13 Nxc6+ whilst 12 … Ne5 is met by 13 f4. De Connick decides to send his king walkabout.
Nxd4 13. Qxd4+ Ke6
  I calculated the next few moves carefully. You look a bit of a fool if Black escapes from this sort of position
14. Bc4+ d5 15. exd5+ Kd7
  15 … Kd6 16 Qf4+ Kc5 17 b4+ Kxb4 18 Rb1+ leads to mate.
16. O-O-O Qf8
  It's hard to find a decent move for Black here. 16 … Ke8 leaves the rook en prise. I mainly checked that 16 … a6 (to stop the bishop check) loses to 17 d6 Nf5 18 dc+! Nxd4 19 cd (Q)+ followed by 20 Rxd4.
17. Bb5+ Kd8 18. d6 Nf5
  A blunder, but 18 … Nc6 19 Bxc6 bc 20 d7 (threatening 21 Qf6+) also wins.
19. Qf6+