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Friedel cuts through the clutter with 22. Rd7+! Rf7?! (my computer throws up 22…Kg6 as the critical line, with head-spinning variations like 23. Qe2 Qf5 24. Re7 Rae8 25. Rxe8 Rxe8 26. cxb7 Rb8 27. Bd3! Kg7 28. Nexg5 Qf6 29. Nxe6+ Kh8 30. Qe4 Qf7 31. Ne5 Qxf2+ 32. Kh2 Qg1+ 33. Kh3 Qh1+ 34. Kg4 h5+ 35. Kg5 Be3+ 36. Kf6, and Black faces unstoppable mate) 23. Nxf6 Bxc4 24. Nh5+ Kf8 25. cxb7 Rb8 26. Ne5!, and Black’s entire position is under siege.

Now 26…Rxd7 27. Nxd7+ Ke7 28. Nxb8 Bxb5 29. Na6! produces a new queen for White, but Black fares no better on the game’s 26…Bxf2+ 27. Kh2 Re7 28. Bxc4 and Gulko gave up. White threatens 29. Ng6+ and 28…Ke8 29. Rxe7+ Kxe7 30. Nc6+ forks the other rook.

The only blemish on the game may have been the finale, as a cleaner win was available on 28. Ng6+! Kf7 29. Rxe7+ Kxg6 30. g4! (threat: 31. Rg7 mate) Bd4 31. Bxc4 Be5+ 32. Kh3 Rd8 33. b8=Q! Rxb8 34. Bd3 mate.

Frank Berry U.S. Championship, Tulsa, May 2008

Frank Berry U.S. Championship, Tulsa, May 2008


David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by e-mail at