Jessie Gilbert (White) vs. Cleary (Black)


Jessie Gilbert (White) vs. Cleary (Black)

World Amateur Championship 1998

This game is one of Jessie’s games from the World Amateur Championship which was held in Hastings at the end of 1998. It was at this tournament that Jessie won the Women’s World Amateur Championship and received her Women’s Fide Master title.

1. d4 d5

2. c4 e5

Black chooses an aggressive move to which the normal response is 3 dxe5 d4 4 Nf3 Nc6 when Black has some compensation for the pawn. White prefers a quiet approach.

3. cxd5 Qxd5

4. Nc3 Qxd4

5. Qxd4 exd4

6. Nb5 Bd6

This allows Black’s pawns to be shattered. Much stronger is 6 … Na6.

7. Nxd6+

White correctly decides to damage Black’s structure rather than regaining the pawn.

7 … cxd6

8. Bf4 d5

9. Bxb8

A good alternative is 9 Be5 but 9 Nf3 Nc6 10 0-0-0 might lead to complications after 10 … Bf5, when White’s king is not secure.

9 … Rxb8

10. Rd1 Nf6

11. Rxd4 0-0

12. e3 Bf5

13. Ne2 Rfe8

Black’s plays in altogether too relaxed a style. With his weakness on d5 it is vital to challenge White’s initiative hence 13 … Rfc8 14 Nc3 and now 14 … b5 is in order, offering material to exploit White’s lack of development.

14. Nc3 Rbd8

15. Bb5 Bd7

16. Bxd7

Once again, relieving Black of a problem piece, but White’s clear focus is to aim as much firepower as possible against Black’s exposed pawn on d5.

16 … Rxd7

17. 0-0 Rc8

18. Rfd1

White aims at the black pawn.

18 … Rcd8

19. h3 Kf8

20. Ra4 a6

21. Rb4 Rc8

22. Rdd4 Ke8

23. Kf1 Kd8

24. Ke2 Rcc7

25. f3 h6

26. g4

White threatens to dislodge Black’s knight. 26 … g5.

27. Rd2 Rc4

28. Rb6 Rc6

29. Rb3 Rc4

30. Kf2 Kc7

31. Ne2 Ra4

32. Rc3+ Rc4

33. Rcd3 b5

34. Nd4 Kb6

35. Nf5

Black’s seemingly aggressive rook on c4 can be challenged by b3.

35 … Rdc7

36. Nxh6 Rc2

37. Ke2 Rc1

38. Rd1 R1c2+

39. R3d2 d4

Black sacrifices another pawn.

40. exd4 Nd5

41. Rxc2 Rxc2+

42. Rd2 Nf4+

43. Ke3 Rxd2

44. Kxd2 f6

45. Ng8 Nd5

46. Kd3 Nb4+

47. Ke4 Nxa2

48. Nxf6 Nc3+

A last-ditch try, hoping Black’s passed a-pawn may run through.

49 bxc3 a5

50. Nd5+ Kc6

51. Ne3 b4

52. cxb4 axb4

53. Nd5 Black resigns

White wins

Annotations from The Times Article (06/02/1999) by Raymond Keene

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