Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The subtilities of a pawn-storm

When I was still playing e4, I was striving for a complete repertoire. I tried to have prepared an answer for each black move in the opening. After the switch to 1.d4 I didn't manage anymore. It was and is too much. Because of that I chose a more experimental approach. I knew more or less the mainlines but the more subtle and not so subtle details would be investigated in the games. Of course this was risky. More than once I had with white! after 10, 12 moves a worse position and had to work hard for weeks even months to get a half point out of the game. Admittedly , those were very instructive experiences. But such was not the purpose. For a good result it is necessary to create with white winning chances.

So I bought the necessary books, of which a few repertoire-books. The pros and cons are known. I don't want to discuss this here. This time I want to tell about a recommendation which I don't really know how to judge properly. The recommendation is from GM Schandorff. His two books got good reviews and I must confess that he understands more about chess than I. It concerns the Old-Indian opening.
[Event "ws NLD Pro Q NBC"] [Date "2013"] [White "Nieuwboer, M."] [Black "Hoynck van Papendrecht, F."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A53"] [PlyCount "107"] 1. d4 d6 2. c4 {(In fact I intended e4. But I had a faint suspicion that black would like to play the Lion - very popular in the Netherlands - and I was not in the mood for it.)} Nf6 3. Nc3 e5 4. d5 {(The best move is probably Nf3. But just like Schandorff’s books I have neither the classic Kings-Indian opening neither the Counter-fianchetto on my repertoire. Therefore I was curious if a setup a la Sämisch was worth consideration. As a repertoire-book should be, Schandorff is very optimistic. A serious dose of skepticism seems to me wise.)} Nbd7 5. e4 Nc5 6. f3 a5 7. Be3 Be7 8. Qd2 O-O 9. O-O-O h6 (9... a4 10. Kb1 a3 11. b3 {(The comment of Schandorff is characteristic for a repertoire-book: "the queenside is closed and you must ask - who has the better prospects on the kingside? White, of course!" Just like chess is so easy..... )}) 10. Kb1 {(If this move is necessary then any optimism should calm down.)} (10. g4 Nh7 11. Kb1 {(White yet has nothing better.)}) 10... a4 (10... Nh7 11. g4 Bh4 {(To be honest I have to mention that Schandorff only claims a minimal advantage of space for white. But I believe that the chosen route by my opponent is also worth investigating. My next move indicated there is more ongoing than simple throwing the g-pawn and h-pawn forward.)}) 11. g3 (11. g4 Nh7 12. h4 Bxh4 13. Bxh6 Bg5 14. Bxg5 Nxg5 15. Qh2 f6 {(and the white attack is not much, because the Ng1 and the bad Bf1 are not active. I have a lot of experience with the Argentinian attack against the Pirc (same setup for white, but with a pawn on c2). An excellent example is Ree-Donner, NEDch 1967. White could not break through exactly for these reasons.)}) (11. h4 Nh5 12. Nge2 f5 { (is also not what white wants.)}) 11... Nfd7 (11... Nh7 12. h4 f5 13. Bxc5 dxc5 14. exf5 Bxf5 15. Bd3 {(and white maybe is a bit better.)}) 12. h4 c6 13. g4 Re8 (13... Bxh4 14. Bxh6 {(Now this is good for white.)}) 14. Nh3 (14. h5 f6 15. Nge2 Qa5 16. Ng3 {(Rybka is impressed but I am not. How can white breakthrough? On chesspub there was a discussion about this type of positions. It was rightly stated that white is much better if he plays Nf5 and proceeds with pushing c4-c5. But in my exact case this is impossible. This strengthens my skepticism.)}) 14... Qa5 15. g5 h5 16. Be2 {(Preferably I wanted to play f3-f4, moreover the only way to still achieve something. Then I can again use my kings-bishop. And that is surely a headache which Schandorff does not pay attention to. Again the Argentinian attack learned me that it is important to first activate all the pieces if an immediate storm does not give any dividends.)} g6 17. Nf2 {(If I play f3-f4 then I do not want like in the Dragon sometimes happens, to permit a black piece on g4.)} Nb6 18. Rhf1 Bf8 19. f4 a3 20. b3 {(Unfortunately I pushed a few wrong buttons and lost once again my analysis. I am still not convinced white is better. A few articles of Brabo ago I recommended the Old-Indian opening for black and it seems that I do not have to retract that.)} cxd5 (20... exf4 21. Bd4 {(Bxc5 is now bad.)} Bg7 {(Looks logical.)}) 21. Bxc5 dxc5 22. exd5 exf4 { (Black suffers due to a small backlog in development. Therefore maybe better 22...Bg7.)} 23. Nfe4 Bf5 (23... Bg7 24. Rxf4 Be5 25. Rdf1 {(I had no objection against this exchange-sacrifice. My more active pieces, the protected passed pawn and the holes in blacks kings-side provide sufficient compensation. If this is winning, is another question. My goal was mainly a sharp battle with chances. )}) 24. Rxf4 Re5 25. Bd3 Bg7 {(As long there are prospects of an attack, there is no need to avoid opposite bishops.)} (25... Bxe4 26. Bxe4 Bg7 27. Qc2 {(and I like my position. The Nb6 is not well positioned)}) 26. Nd6 Nc8 27. Nxf5 gxf5 28. Kc2 {(Protects Nc3 and guarantees that whites attack will generate an endgame with a pawn extra.)} Nd6 29. Rg1 Kf8 30. g6 Qd8 (30... Bh6 31. Qf2 {(and white enters.)}) 31. gxf7 Qf6 32. Rf3 Re7 33. Rfg3 Rxf7 34. Rg6 Qd4 (34... Qxh4 35. Rxg7 Rxg7 36. Qh6 $18) 35. Be2 Re8 36. Qxd4 Bxd4 37. Bxh5 Bxg1 38. Rxg1 Re3 39. Bxf7 Kxf7 40. Rh1 Kg6 41. Kd2 Rg3 42. Re1 {(The e-file is now in whites hands and the black king is cut out of play.)} Kf7 43. h5 Rh3 44. Re6 {(The h-pawn was beyond salvation. It is nice to exchange the blocking piece.)} Ne4 45. Nxe4 fxe4 46. Rxe4 Rxh5 47. Kd3 Rh1 {(I already know it for years, it still surprises me how bad engines handle these positions. Something like this position here I had never before on the board. I was on my own. Somebody having experience with similar positions -so with a strange far advanced pawn on the rim- is warmly invited to react. As mentioned earlier I lost my analyses. However I do remember that I discovered 2 ways to infiltrate with the king: via the right so like in the game, or via the left by means of b3-b4 and king to b3. After my last 2 moves I did not see how black can prevent both threats.)} (47... Rh2 48. Re2 Rh1 49. b4 cxb4 50. c5 Rb1 51. Kc4 Rb2 52. Re3 Rxa2 53. Kxb4 {(Do not shoot if there is a hole as I was busy many hours during the game analyzing this position and I do not want to do that over again.)}) 48. Re6 Rd1 (48... Rh3 {(A devilish trap.)} 49. Ke4 Rxb3 50. Ke5 $1 Rb2 51. Kd6 Rxa2 52. Re3 $18) 49. Ke4 Rd2 50. Ke5 Rxa2 51. Kd6 Rb2 52. Re7 Kf6 53. Rxb7 a2 54. Ra7 1-0
But what I have to think exactly of the Sämisch against the Old-Indian opening is still not clear to me. Next time I will just try it again.

For the ambitious beginner I can recommend 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f3 (I don't care if this is imprecise) Lg7 5.Le3 O-O 6.Dd2 c6 7.O-O-O to play as I did for years. Without the experience I likely didn't win that game. Therefore I want to end with a light rapid-game, once again against a stronger opponent:
[Event "Lincoln Rapidtoernooi Paramaribo (3)"] [Date "2003"] [White "Nieuweboer, M."] [Black "Lo Kim Lin, F."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B07"] [PlyCount "31"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. e4 d6 4. Be3 Bg7 5. f3 O-O 6. Qd2 c6 7. O-O-O Nbd7 8. h4 h5 9. Bh6 e5 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. g4 hxg4 12. h5 Nxh5 13. fxg4 Nf4 14. Qh2 f5 15. Bc4 Rf7 16. Bxg7 1-0
Black didn't understand the difference between the Pirc and the Kings-Indian.

Mark Nieuweboer

No comments:

Post a Comment