(19) Thorhallson,T (2723) - Stoyko,S (2729) [C11]
NY Open New York (4), 04.1996
[Stoyko, Steve]



1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Ne4!?
[ 4...Ng8?! was played by Petrosian and is suggested in John Watson's recent "Dangerous Surprises in the French". We won't go into this in any depth but the idea is that White has a N blocking his natural c2-c3 move and Black can ...Ne7 or ...Nh6; as in the Advance Variation. (Ed. note - 3...Bb4 4.e5 Bf8 reaches the same position.)]

5.Nce2
[ >=5.Nxe4 although White has a tough time getting at the weak e4P without allowing a lot of counter-chances. A typical line goes : 5...dxe4 6.c3 Threatening Qg4 6...c5 7.Be3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nc6 with complicated play. I played this line (4...Ne4) for a while but gave it up since, sooner or later, Black has to get a lot of weaknesses with ...f5 to save his P, after which White can either play exf6 or f2-f3.]

5...f6[] 6.f3 Ng5 7.h4 Nf7 8.exf6 gxf6 9.Nf4 c6! 10.Nh5 e5 11.Be3 Be6 12.Qd2 Nd7
White is in trouble.

13.g4? exd4 14.Bxd4 c5 15.Bf2 Nfe5 16.0-0-0 Qb6 17.Nf4 d4 18.Nxe6 Qxe6 19.Kb1 0-0-0 20.c3?
A blunder.

20...Nxg4!! 21.Bh3[] f5 22.Re1 Qc6 23.fxg4 Qxh1
with a winning position but I later blundered and lost!! Won the opening battle, though! 1-0