GM Gallagher, Joseph (2436) – IM Markus Klauser (2400)

GM Gallagher, Joseph (2436) - IM Markus Klauser (2400)

Swiss Championship 2021, Round 8 Flims, Switzerland

Joe Gallagher has an overwhelming score against Markus Klauser, and he does not fail to win this crucial 8th round.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Almost everyone knows that Joe Gallagher was a great specialist of the King’s Gambit in the 80ies, which resulted in a book that became a classic in this opening. He has since switched to less romantic ways to fight against 1…e5, which makes it more difficult for his opponents to prepare.

3…a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. d4 This is the main alternative to the main move 9. h3, and definitely an interesting option. After the game, Joe Gallagher revealed that he had prepared it on the morning of this game, as he had spotted a promising continuation in a previous game of his opponent.

9… Bg4 10. Be3 Bh5 10… exd4 11. cxd4 d5 12. e5 Ne4 is the alternative.

11. h3 exd4 12. cxd4 Na5 13. Bc2 Nc4 14. Bc1

White has a nice center and intends to push back the Nc4 with b3 in order to complete his development. Black clearly has to react fast.

14…c5 14… d5 might be more critical.

15. b3 Nb6 16. Nbd2 cxd4 17. Bb2 d3 18. Bxd3 Nfd7 19. g4 Bg6 20. Nd4 In a previous game, Klauser had faced the inferior 20. Nf1. Gallagher had based his preparation on this line and plays the more logical main move.

20… Ne5 21. Bf1 Bg5 22. N2f3 

22…Nxf3+?! This rather helps White develop his initiative. More solid is 22… Bf4, although White keeps an edge with 23. Nf5.

23. Qxf3 Rc8 24. Rad1 This is the problem. White centralizes his Rook and exerts strong pressure.

24…Re8 25. Nf5 Bxf5 26. exf5 Rxe1 27. Rxe1 d5 Black cannot neutralize the pair of Bishops with 27… Bf6 28. Bxf6 Qxf6, as White wins with 29. Qb7 Qd8 30. Qxa6.

28. a4!

28…bxa4 29. Bxa6 Rb8 30. Bb5! 

This is the point of 28.a4! This Bishop move threatens both the a-pawn and Re8+.

30…Qf8? Definitely not a good square for the Queen. 30… Qd6 or 30… a3 31. Bxa3 Qc7 are more resilient, but White’s advantage is beyond any doubt.

31. bxa4 h5? 32. Ba3 White wins the Queen.

32…hxg4 33. hxg4 Qd8 34. Re8+ Qxe8 35. Bxe8 Rxe8 36. a5 Nc4 37. Qxd5 Nxa3 38. a6 Nc2 39. a7 1-0

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