Saturday, May 26, 2012

A “Grand” Master Game

This is how you play the game at the high level. Little positional errors you make in the beginning haunt your middle game and destroy you in the end. Grandmaster Joel Benjamin takes advantage of Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan in grand style.

White: GM Yasser Seirawan
Black:  GM Joel Benjamin
Estes Park, Colorado, 1987, Round 11
Catalan Opening [E11]

1. d4   Nf6, 2. c4   e6, 3. g3   Bb4+, 4. Bd2   Qe7, 5. Nc3   Bxc3, 6. Bxc3   Ne4, 7. Qc2   Nxc3,
8. Qxc3   O-O, 9. Bg2   d6, 10. Nf3   Re8, 11. Rd1   Nd7, 12. O-O   e5, 13. Rfe1   e4, 14. Nd2   Nf6,
15. Nf1   d5, 16. Ne3   Be6, 17. f4   Rad8, 18. f5   ……

Believe it or not….the losing move. Black retreats, regroups, starts a diversion counter attack on the queen side, only to return to this lonely pawn later after possible defenders have left the area.
18. …..    Bc8
19.  c5   h5
20. Rf1   b6
21. Rc1   Ba6
Attacking a different lonely pawn.
22. Qd2   Rb8
23. b3   c6
24. Rc2   bxc5
25. Rxc5   Qd6
26. Rfc1   Rb6

One defender leaves the area.

27. Qe1   Nd7
28. R5c2   Qh6

Looking for all the world like Black is attacking an unguarded knight, when the goal is really to have White un-guard the f-pawn once the Lady of the House is dealt with.
29. Qf2   Bb7
30. Rc3   a5
31. Nd1   a4
32. e3    Ra8

Sadly White thinks he is solid now; backward pawn advanced, enemy e-pawn blocked, Queen and knight properly placed to defend either side of the board. Looks great, but in actuality…..not so much!
33. Nd2   Qd6
34. Bf1    Nf6

Black is still acting like he wants to attack that e-pawn and the queen-side simultaneously and that is what White defends. But White weakens the squares around his king in the process.
35.  h3   Bc8!

Whites says to himself….”Self. My queen can cover three pawns at once." A real 90’s woman….in 1987.
36. bxa4   Rxa4
37. Nb3   Ra3
38. Nc5    Rxc3
39. Rxc3   ……

Clearing the back ranks for an invasion!
39.  …..    Bxf5!
40. Qxf5??   ……

I’m no grandmaster, but not accepting the sacrifice and returning the rook to c1 seems to hold for a while.
40. …..    Qxg3+
41. Kh1   Rb2

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