Coffee Break Chess
GM Alexander Baburin's online newsletter
No. 7, 7th April 1999:
In this issue of my newsletter I would like to show one of my recent games and to share with you some links, which might be of interest to you.
Starting with this issue, CBC will also come out in so-called PDF format. The advantage is that everyone can now see diagrams in CBC perfectly. To do this you need to open the attached file CBC-7.pdf with Acrobat Reader, which is freely available on many CDs and can be downloaded, for example, from the following site: www.adobe.com. It's free and it might be useful. However, the downloaded file is quite big - 4.7 Mb. Of course, an extra attachment makes my e-mails bigger, but this is the price we pay for full compatibility. From Acrobat Reader you can also print-out the newsletter.
In the previous issue of CBC I mentioned that I had played two games in '4 Nations Chess League' (UK). Here I'd like to say a few words about 4 NCL and about various chess leagues in general.
Team leagues exist in many countries and I believe that this is only good
for chess - amateur players can meet with professionals, while professionals
get an additional source of income. The strongest and most well-known league
is German Bundes League (or BL), where lots of teams compete; some
of them are extremely powerful. There are also strong leagues in the former
Yugoslavia and in France. Of course, Russian team championship is very strong
too. Though I have was not heavily engaged in team competitions, during my
chess career I've played in leagues in Hungary, Germany, Switzerland (only
one game though) and now I play in UK for Wood Green. 4 NCL is getting
stronger and stronger, with many GMs playing there. To learn more about this
league and about chess in UK in general, please visit John Saunders' site:
This week I came across Lev Khariton's interesting article about
Kasparov and his role in modern chess - 'Is Fair Always Square?'. You can
find it at:
Russian web site 'GM School' covered the match Spassky-Korchnoi, which recently took place in St. Petersburg. There I saw some games of the match with Java-viewer and really enjoyed annotations to them, made by GM Alexander Khalifman. He is also going to cover the highlights of the super tournament in Dos Hermanas and you can see it at: www.gmchess.spb.ru. That site has yet another interesting feature - they offer to answer chess-related questions for free. I guess this kind of promotion will not last forever, so hurry up to avail of it!
If you are thinking of playing for norms or FIDE rating, you might be interested in visiting the site of Laszlo Nagy: www.elender.hu/~firstsat/.
Nowadays, when the general knowledge of chess is certainly better than, let's say 10 years ago, it's not easy to beat an opponent even if he is rated 200 points lower than you are. The only recipe I can think of is to play better moves and to create problems for your opponent. Getting him into unfamiliar territory may also help - this is something I managed to achieve in the following game.
play the games online
1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 g3 g6
During my brief preparation I saw that my opponent had played the Catalan and lines of the English Opening with g3, Nge2. So, I decided that he would not be too familiar with the Gruenfeld.
4 Bg2 Bg7 5 c4 00 6 00 dxc4 7 Na3 Nc6 8 Nxc4 Be6 9 b3
Apparently White had little knowledge about this line, as he spent 45 minutes on moves 911, while they were known ... On the other hand, as White I have been playing systems with g2-g3 that often, that nowadays I don't mind playing them even on the other side!
9...Bd5 10 Bb2 a5
position after 10...a5
Black wants to play ...a4 and if later White takes that pawn, then Black continues with ...Ra6 and ...Qa8. This plan is easy to follow and this is what I had in mind, when choosing the Gruenfeld Defence.
A good example of Black's strategy in this system is the following game: 11 Rc1 a4 12 bxa4 Ra6 13 Nfe5 Bxg2 14 Kxg2 Qa8 15 Nxc6 bxc6 16 a5 c5+ 17 Kg1 Rd8 18 e3 cxd4 19 exd4 Ne4 20 Qf3 Bxd4 21 Bxd4 Rxd4 22 h4 Rf6 23 Qa3 c5 24 Rc2 g5 25 h5 g4 26 Ne5 Qc8 27 Qe3 Rfd6 28 Qf4 f5 29 Nc4 Rf6 30 Ne3 Nd2 31 Qg5+ Kh8 32 Rxd2 h6 0-1 Ivkov-Gheorghiu, Manila 1973.
11...Bxg2 12 Kxg2 Nxe5
I was not afraid that White would recapture on e5 with a pawn. Of course,
tastes differ - for example, GM Dvoirys does not take on e5 here. 13 dxe5
position after 13...Nd5
This position merits a discussion. The move 13 dxe5 was quite ambitious - the e5-pawn gives White certain spatial advantage. This advantage can be very important if there are many pieces still left on the board. However, as pieces come off the board, Black's pawn majority on the queenside becomes more and more important. I was quite familiar with the classical game Reshevsky-Fine, AVRO 1938, where a similar pawn structure arose. This helped me to judge that 12...Nxe5 should be fine for Black - many pieces have been exchanged. Black needs to remember about his g7-bishop though - eventually either the e5-pawn should be removed or the bishop should be relocated to another diagonal.
Kicking the knight away White weakens the d3-square.
14...Nb4 15 Qg4 [15 Qe2 Qd3] 15...Qc8
Here I also considered 15...h5, but 16 Qf3 Qd3 17 Rfd1 leads Black nowhere. The move 15...b5 would have led to the same position as in the game, after 16 Rfd1 Qc8 17 Qxc8 Rfxc8. The text move is probably the most flexible. 16 Qxc8
Also possible was 16 Qe2, where Black can choose between 16...Rd8 and play with 16...b5, followed by ...Qb7. 16...Rfxc8 17 Rfd1 b5
position after 17...b5
I spent 11 minutes on this move and came to a conclusion that the c4-knight had to be pushed away. However, this move weakens Black's pawns and therefore is double-edged. Perhaps 17...a4!? should have been preferred. 18 Ne3 Rd8 19 Rxd8+?
Giving up the d-file does not look right to me. After 19 Nd5 c6 Black can still fight for an edge in the lines 20 Nxe7+ 20...Kf8 21 a3 Rxd1 22 Rxd1 Kxe7 23 axb4 axb4 24 Rc1!? Rc8 25 Bd4 Ke8 or 21 Rxd8+ Rxd8 22 a3 Kxe7 23 axb4 axb4 24 Ra7+ Ke8. But after 20 Nb6! Rab8 (20...Rxd1 21 Rxd1 Re8 22 a4) 21 Nd7 Rbc8 22 Nb6 Black may be better off to repeat the position. The latter line was missed by both players.
19...Rxd8 20 a3 Nc6 There was no point in allowing a pin after 20...Nd3 21 Rd1. 21 Rc1 Black is also better after 21 Nd5 Nxe5 22 Nxc7 (after 22 Bxe5 Bxe5 23 Rc1 Bd6 White is in trouble.) 22...Rd2 23 Bc3 Rc2 24 Nxb5 Ng4.
In the post-mortem my opponent said that he had missed this move.
The line 22 Ba1 Nxe5 23 Rxc7 Nd3 24 Rc8+ Bf8 was also in Black's favour, for example: 25 Ng4 h5 26 Nh6+ Kh7 27 Rxf8 Rxf2+ 28 Kg1 Kxh6 29 Bc3 Rc2 30 Bxa5 Ne5.
22...Ra2 23 Be1
Or 23 Ra1 Rxa1 24 Bxa1 Bxe5 25 Bxe5 Nxe5 26 Nd5 c5 and Black is better, as
his pawn majority on the queenside counts for more than White's extra pawn
on the other flank here. 23...Nxe5 24 Bxa5?
position after 24.Bxa5
Black is better after 24 Rxc7 Nd3 25 Bxa5 Rxf2+, but now he has a winning blow:
24...Rxf2+! 25 Kxf2 Nd3+ 26 Kg2 Nxc1 27 Bxc7 Nxb3 28 Nd5 e6+ 29 Ne7+ Kf8 30 Nc8 Nd2 31 Na7 Nxe4 32 Nxb5 Ke7 33 a4 Kd7 34 a5 Nc3 35 Nxc3 01 Time: 1.591.30
Now I'd like to show that classical game, which I mentioned in my notes to move 13. In this game Black consistently exchanged pieces (somehow White did not object this) and eventually his pawn majority on the queenside decided the game.
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 g3 dxc4 5 Qa4+ Nbd7 6 Bg2 a6 7 Nc3 Be7 8 Ne5 Rb8 9 Qxc4 b5 10 Qb3 Nxe5 11 dxe5 Nd7 12 Bf4 c5
position after 12...c5
13 00 Qc7 14 a4 00 15 axb5 axb5 16 Ne4 Bb7 17 Ra7 Qb6 18 Rfa1 Ra8 19 Rxa8 Rxa8 20 Rxa8+ Bxa8 21 Qd3 Bc6 22 Ng5 Bxg5 23 Bxg5 Qb7 24 f3 h6 25 Be7 c4 26 Qc3 Nxe5 27 Bc5 Nd7 28 Bd4 e5 29 Bxe5 b4 30 Qd4 Nxe5 31 Qxe5 c3 32 b3 Qb6+ 33 Kf1 c2 34 Qb2 Qc5 35 Qc1 Bd5 36 f4 Bxg2+ 37 Kxg2 Qd5+ 01
I hope that you enjoy Coffee Break Chess and I would appreciate some feedback from you. In fact, I already have some suggestions and questions, which I plan to answer in the next issues of CBC - stay tuned! Please recommend CBC to your friends - it's very easy to subscribe to it - just tell them to send an empty e-mail to: AlexBaburin_on_Chessfirstname.lastname@example.org. Shortly after that they should receive a confirmation.
I am very grateful to Igor Yagolnitser for his help with this project. For assistance regarding CBC, please contact Igor at: MOHCTP@ix.netcom.com.
Alexander Baburin, Dublin.
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