Sunday, July 12, 2009

Getting ready

Slowly the Chess Connoisseur is getting ready for his chess postings. Here is an old game played in the 1977 Cabanatuan Bicentennial tournament for replay.

Has anyone played the line chosen by Black before ?

Marcos,Joselito - Lao,Enrique
Bicentennial Cabanatuan (4), 03.07.1977
B33: Sicilian: Najdorf and Dragon Variations
(Annotations by the winner)

With just one and one-half points from the three previous rounds I found myself in a must-win situation going into the last two rounds to make it to the finals. This game was the first into that tough task.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 g6 7.a4

This move would be marked a novelty when one uses Mega Database 2009 as reference database because there was no game with this move available there. The continuations found there were:

(a) 7.Be3 Bg7 8.f4 d6 9.0–0 Bd7 10.Kh1 h5 11.f5 Qc7 12.fxg6 fxg6 13.Nf3 0–0–0 14.Nd5 Nxd5 15.exd5 Ne5 16.Nxe5 Bxe5 17.c4 Rdf8 18.Qb3 Kb8 19.Rfc1 Qa5 20.a4 Rc8 21.Bb6 Qd2 Simunek,J (2056)-Plicka,P/Prague 2006/0–1 (38);

(b) 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Ng8 9.Bf4 Qb6 10.Qd2 Bg7 11.0–0 Qa5 12.Qe3 h5 13.h3 e6 14.b4 Qc7 15.Ne4 Ne7 16.Nd6+ Kf8 17.c4 Qa7 18.Qe4 Rb8 19.Be3 Qa8 20.Bc5 Kg8 21.Rad1 Bf8 Armengol Comas,J (2290)-Pla Ferreres,I (2045)/Spain 1998/1–0 (35); and

(c) 7.0–0 d6 8.Nxc6 bxc6 9.Kh1 Bb7 10.Bg5 Bg7 11.f3 0–0 12.Qd2 Qc7 13.Bh6 Rad8 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.a4 d5 16.exd5 cxd5 17.a5 e5 18.Na4 Rfe8 19.Qc3 Qe7 20.Nb6 d4 21.Qa3 Qc7 Hilmer,K (1355)-Gmeinwieser,H (1669)/Germany 2003/½–½ (35).

7...d6 8.Be3 Bg7 9.0–0 e6?!

A move that could readily be condemned for it created an organic weakness—a hole— on f6.
Normal was 9...0–0 10.Nb3. Here Black had continued with:

(a) 10... Be6 11.f4 Na5 12.f5 Nxb3 13.cxb3 Bd7 14.fxg6 hxg6 15.Bc4 Bc6 16.Qf3 b5!?; the position was even but was won by Black in Bastrikov,G-Alatortsev,V/Leningrad 1938/0–1 (55); and

(b) 10... Bd7, as essayed by V. Ignacio against me in our local match in 1977. The game continued with 11.f4 Qc7 12.Kh1 Rac8 13.a5, White has a clear plus; Marcos,J-Ignacio,V/Cabiao, (m/3) 1977/1–0 (40)]

10.f4 0–0 11.Nb3 Qc7 12.a5!

This move gives White a clear advantage. On the other hand, needing a win in the crucial last round game of Araw ng Kabanatuan 1978 against R. Guillermo I played the double-edged 12.g4!? Rd8 13.a5 Qe7 14.g5 Nd7 15.Qd2 Nc5 16.Bf3 Rb8 17.Qf2 Nxb3 18.cxb3 Nb4 19.Ba7 Nc6 20.Bb6 Re8 21.Rad1, and after lots of complications. White went on to win the game and topped the tournament, 1–0 (47).


This was a prelude to a novel idea of kingside counter-play. The normal 12...Nd7 keeps White ahead.

13.Qd2 f5!?

The idea behind 12... Ne8. Each protagonist wanted to win and ventured into unchartered and dangerous waters.

14.exf5 Rxf5 15.Bb6 Qe7 16.Rae1 Bxc3 17.bxc3!? Bd7 18.Qe3

White still leads after 18 Bf3 Rf7.

18...Ng7 19.Bd3 Rf7 20.g4 Raf8

Black's best try for equality was 20...e5.

21.Qg3 Kh8

Black should try 21...e5.

22.Nd2! d5?

Black feared the knight leap to e4 so he prevented it. Instead, 22... e5!?² is the best option Black has.

23. Nb3!!

An exquisite switchback. Both 2009 Deep versions of Fritz and Rybka evaluated this position as winning for White.

22... Qf6 24.Nd4 Re8

Better but not enough was 24... Nxd4!? 25.Bxd4.

25.Nxc6 Bxc6 26.Re5

Also 26.Bd4 Qd8 27.h4 e5 28.Bxe5 is winning.

26...Rc8 27.Bd4! Qe7

If 27...Kg8 then 28.Ree1 Qe7 29.f5 with White winning.


A decisive breakthrough. Black ran out of time having failed to make 40 moves in two hours.


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