Wednesday, June 27, 2007

One of my Best Games

For anyone reading back and seeing the work I invested in my effort to diffuse the Reti last year, I thought I would just share one of my best games. It's old now, but it really tickled me at the time, and it's definitely my favorite game to show off.
White: AP (1788)
Black: Joshua Haunstrup (1699)
Event: BCC Spring Open (4)
Date: 2006-04-02

1.Nf3 Nf6
2.c4 Nc6
3.d4 e6
I had just recently lost a miserable game to Paphitis out of his pet Reti lines, an experience that I discussed some time ago in one of my posts. This revised approach was the result of an extended meditation. Basically, After 2...Nc6 white can either allow an e5 English, which is a totally different creature from a symmetrical English, or else play 3.d4, which allows black to force the game from the Reti into the Catalan. This move order allows black to escape from the Reti all together.
4.g3 d5
I guess I won't go so far as to call this move dubious, but it's definitely not the best. 5.Bg2 would be standard with a Catalan position. My Opponent was still trying to steer things back into his territory, but I wasn't obliging.
5... Bb4+

I think that white has bitten off a bit much here. Conceptually, the position is kind of like a QID except that black has much better development and more central bite. White will struggle to hold the center together and is riddled with awkwardness as a result of his slow play.
6.Bd2 Be7
7.c5 a5?!
Almost certainly, 7...e5 is best, punching back immediately.
8.Bc3 Ne4
9.Bb2 e5
10.e3 exd4

I guess I won't make any big claims here, as white can certainly take back with the d pawn at which point he will stand solidly enough, but his position would be rather illogical then, with the Bb2 hemmed in and a weak pawn on d4. Black would also have a relatively free hand on the kingside with those bishops - I'd say that I would have won the opening duel then at the least. Instead, White tried to keep the long diagonal open, but this more or less lost by force.
11.Nxd4 Bxc5
12.Nxc6 bxc6
13.Bxg7 Bb4+
This is the point of my play. All of white's ambition has resulted in a terrible plight for his king.
14.Ke2 Rg8

At this point, 14...Qg5 was actually probably best -- I'll let you work it out -- with the same ideas from the game but in a clearer delivery. Unfortunately, I don't have balls of silicon, and I wasn't that diligent in my calculations... In any case, it's a losing struggle for white, and an ugly one, but what fun it was to sit behind the black pieces!
15.Be5 Qg5
16.Bf4 Ba6+
17.Kf3 Qg4+
18.Kg2 Qxd1
19.Bxa6 Qc2 0-1


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