Saturday, April 4, 2009

Practical Considerations

My forth game was against a Thai FM and quite complicated as long as it lasted:
Sv.Johnsen - Pitirotjirathon
BCC Thailand Open (4)
1.d4 g6!
This is one of the relatively few opening moves against which I don't play the London System.
2.e4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Bg5!?
I was looking at this attacking system against the Pirc a few days ago. It probably is a little less motivated against the Modern.
Probably lines with an early ...c5 are more critical.
5.Qd2 Qa5 6.Nf3

A more popular move is 6.f4, e.g. 6...b5 7.Nf3 b4 8.Nd1 Nf6 9.Nf2 0–0 10.Bd3 c5 11.e5 Nd5 12.Be4 cxd4 13.Nxd4 e6 14.0–0 dxe5 15.fxe5 Ba6 16.Rfd1 Bb7 17.Ng4 with a clear advantage to White in Stojanovic-Nurkic, Sarajevo 2007.
6...Bg4 7.Bc4!?
This is a bit provokative. Safer is 7.Be2, when the miniature Yermolinsky-Adu, Las Vegas 2000 went: 7...Nd7 8.0–0 h6 9.Be3 g5 10.Rfe1 a6 11.Rad1 Rc8 12.a3 e6 13.Nb5! Qxd2 14.Nxd6+ +-.
White's point is that 7...b5 can be met by 8.Nxb5!? (here 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Qf4+ Nf6 10.Bxf6 also is possible) with the idea 8...Qxd2+ 9.Kxd2 cxb5? 10.Bd5 +-. A better try is 9...d5 when 10.Bb3 as well as 10.Nc7+ are possible (and quite unclear).
8.gxf3 Qb4!? (D)
This appears to be a new move.
a) 8...b5 can still be met by 9.Nxb5!?
b) 8...e6 9.Bb3 Nd7 10.h4 h6 11.Bf4 d5 12.0–0–0 0–0–0 13.exd5 cxd5 14.h5 g5 15.Bh2 Ne7 16.Qd3 a6 17.Rhe1 was unclear in Goossens-Safranska, Rhone 2008.
This is an extremely ugly move (in case you didn't notice!) but White is ahead in development and probably can afford to play so as he will follow up with a3 and b4 in most cases.

Still 9...b5 10.Nxb5!? is playable.
10.a3 Qa5 11.b4 Qc7 12.Rd1 Ngf6 13.Bb3 0–0 14.0–0 e6 15.Kh1 Nh5?!
I agree with my opponent's criticism of this move as it helps me bring an attacker to the kingside. But I don't like his suggestion 15...h5 any better. After 16.Rg1 Nh7 17.Bh6 White must be clearly better.
16.Ne2 Rfe8 17.Ng3 Nhf6
Probably 17...Nxg3+ 18.hxg3 f6 19.Bh6 Nf8 20.c4 is safer but White's bishop-pair and extra space ensures him of clearly better chances.
18.c4 h5?! 19.Rg1 Kh8 (D)
Here my somewhat higher rated offered a draw and I was a little ashamed to accept. From a purely chessic point of view this of course is a mistake as White must be clearly better. But more practical considerations applied. I was very tired and had difficulties calculating clearly.

After 6 rounds I have 3.5 points. I have not calculated my Elo performance but I believe it must be roughly as expected. I don't know how much Internet access I will have for the next three days and after that I may have to do with a very slow connection.


Anonymous said...

I am enjoying seeing your games and comments. I look forward to purchasing your newest book when it's available (I've got your other two, already).

Chuck Kinzie said...

1 e4 g6 2 d4 Bg7 3 Nc3 d6 4 Bg5!? is called the Byrne Variation, and is advocated by Raymond Keene and David Levy in their two "Opening Repertoire for the Attacking Player" books. It can lead to a kind of "improved" Austrian Attack in which White doesn't "trap" his QB with 4 f4.

Sverre Johnsen said...

I am glad you enjoy the games. The rest will follow in the next few days. I promise the blog will not be drowning in my games but after a so long hiatus playing a tournament again is quite a big event for me.

Sverre Johnsen said...


Thanks for reminding me. I had the first edition of that book and quite enjoyed it. I didn't know there was a second edition. Not all the recommendations were 100% sound but most had good surprise effect. And now, 20 years later or so, the surprise effect may be back!