Sunday, February 26, 2006

February Round 2

K - C
February (2) 02-26-2006
B41 - Sicilian : Kan Variation

Okay this was the second (and final) game of February 2006. Kirk had moved to Walkerton earlier in the month and his internet didn't get hooked up until Friday. I wanted to play two games this weekend but unfortunately I went into work at 2:30am on Friday night/Saturday morning so I was in no shape to play. 1.e4 This was to be expected 1...c5 I'm still not sure what my "main" 1.e4 weapon is. I got smucked horribly in blitz last night v. my own weapon (the Grand Prix) where I tried to castle queenside and he rebuffed that idea. Kirk had mentioned in the past that he does not have a good line v. the Kan, so in a "must-win" game (match tied, last game) I decided to play the Kan v. him 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Be3!? Of course I have not played the Kan for months and months so could not remember what to play v. this (if anything). I think the problem is that it leaves the e-pawn unprotected, so probably ...Nf6 was the best, but I just wanted to get into a comfortable situation where he couldn't really attack me with his usual Be2, f4, O-O line. e.g. get comfortable, get him out of his comfort zone 5...Nc6 [5...Nf6] 6.Bd3 Nge7 [Again 6...Nf6 probably was better here. Again, like so many times before, I had decided in my mind what I was going to play regardless (or irregardless) of what my opponent did (see any of my Caro-Kann Advances historically)] 7.0-0 Nxd4 8.Bxd4 Nc6 this is the idea. It wastes a tempo for White. A similar idea is possible when the bishop is *not* on e3, except I tempo the queen. 9.c3?! [9.Be3 is better;
9.Bc3 has also been played, trying to stay on the long diagonal, but i imagine his pieces would be falling over top of each other trying to get his knight developed] 9...Nxd4 10.cxd4 d5? [10...Qb6 wins a pawn, but I thought with symmetrical pawn structures (both open c-file) i had equality] 11.e5 [I think he wanted to avoid the isolated pawn after 11.exd5 Qxd5 but that may have been best. The advantage to his move is that he wants to limit the scope of my bishops. The disadvantage is that with the blocked center he can't take advantage of his advantage in development. ] 11...Be7 [Again Qb6 wins a pawn here again 11...Qb6] 12.Nd2 0-0 [I could've finally tried 12...Qb6 13.Nb3 but I figured I should probably castle eventually. Although I could've took my time with the blocked center. I think he should've took a little longer here and tried to get an attacking plan.] 13.Rc1 f5! I don't know if this was an exclam, but at this point, I'm thinking two things. One, get my pieces into play. Two, about the only threat he has is Bxh7+ so why not try and solve both. He chooses to give up Bxh7+ 14.f4 [I wonder if uniting his rooks with 14.Qe2 was any better. Rashid Ziatdinov must be rolling in his grave about our patzer development ;);
or even 14.Nf3 guarding his d-pawn] 14...Qa5! I was happy with this move, trying to get him to play a3, because his d-pawn and b-pawn are still hanging and without the a-pawn guarding b3, Nb3 is not so strong 15.a3? [Falling into my plan 15.Qc2 may have been better, doubling up on h7 after an eventual g4 and stopping 15...Qxa2?? because of 16.Ra1;
Another idea was 15.Bb1 which looks funny but may be good as it guards a2 and takes one piece off the d-file.] 15...Bd7 [Maybe I screwed up the move order 15...Qb6 16.Nb3 Bd7 was forced, whereas he didn' thave to play 16.Nb3 in this line] 16.Nb3 [16.Qe2 Qb6 17.Nf3;
or even 16.Nf3 may have been better. ] 16...Qb6 17.Kh1? [Maybe the immediate overprotection by 17.Rc3 was better, but my position is better here and i'm getting some material] 17...Ba4 18.Bc2 Rac8

White to move

[This loses material but what was better. I liked 19.Nc5 Bxc2 (Fritz found 19. ..Bb5 winning a pawn) 20.Qxc2 Bxc5 (20...Qb5!) 21.dxc5 Qc6] 19...Bxb3 20.Bxb3 Rxc1 [Perhaps 20...Qxb3! would have been more in the style of Morphy] 21.Qxc1 Qxb3 Not a great start by Kirk, but I was happy enough to win. I built up the pressure and finished it. 0-1

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