(1) Sherer,Max (1688) - Moldovan,John (1812) [E23]
Kenilworth Summer Tournament Kenilworth, NJ (1), 12.06.2009
[Moldovan & Rybka 2.3]

G/55+5 E23 Nimzo-Indian Defense Spielmann Variation (4.Qb3)

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qb3
[This was supplanted by the less-exposing, center-focusing 4.Qc2 (my opponent's choice in our last Nimzo debate) decades ago but has the B-attack & surprise value in its favor.]

4...c5
[The Milner-Barry-like Zuerich Variation, 4...Nc6 , was a good alternative.; 4...a5 ; & 4...Qe7 should also be fine.]

5.dxc5
[This is the main line. Here are some others from my practice : - 5.Bd2 0-0 (via transposition) 6.dxc5 Nc6 7.a3N (>=7.Nf3 ) 7...Bxc5 8.Nf3 b6 9.e3 Bb7 10.Be2 Hoffman - Moldovan : Springfield 06/13/1999 10...a6= ; - 5.a3 Ba5 6.dxc5N (>=6.e3 ) 6...Ne4 7.Nf3 proel - Moldovan : G/15, Buho21.com 10/13/2006 7...Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Na6= ; & finally - 5.Nf3 0-0 6.e3 Nc6 7.Bd3 d6 8.0-0 Bxc3 9.Qxc3 e5 10.dxe5 dxe5= guestkqkw - Moldovan : G/15+5, jeu.echecs.com 04/14/2008 /\11.Nxe5? Nxe5-/+ overload theme]

5...Nc6
[5...Na6 (! Horowitz) was an option.]

6.Nf3
[A necessary reinforcement. 6.a3 can be met by 6...Nd4= /\7.Qxb4?? Nc2+ 8.Kd1 Nxb4-+ ]

6...Ne4
! Emms

7.Bd2
Diagram

I'm already on my own & at a crossroad. Had this been a correspondence game, I would have taken a few days here to check my references & compare lines. Alas, in OTB play, there's no luxury & the decision musy be made in minutes.

7...Nxc5
[In Play The Nimzo-Indian (Permagon, 1985), Gligoric says this "pushes White's Q back to a better square" (it does & also loses time) and recommends 7...Nxd2 8.Nxd2 Bxc5 with "a satisfactory and flexible position.) However, Alekhine & Tartakower preferred the text. They said NxB would give White "strong pressure on the open file" & "chances on the d-file."]

8.Qc2 0-0
[RR8...f5 ! Horowitz 9.a3 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 0-0 11.b4 Ne4 12.Bb2 b6 13.g4 Nxf2! 14.Kxf2 fxg4 15.Rg1 Qh4+ 16.Ke3[] Qh6+ 17.Kf2 Qh4+= Botvinnik - Myasoyedov : Leningrad 1930]

9.e3
[9.a3 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 f5 11.b4 Ne4 12.Bb2 is most common & has scored very well (72% from 25 games). But, Rybka says 12...a5 13.b5 Ne7 is equal.]

9...f5
[Black has to secure the e4 square for his Nc5 at some point & he probably needs ...f5 to do so. But delaying it until White has played a3 is more precise & 9...b6 10.Be2 Bb7 11.0-0 makes keeping the fP at home & controlling e4 with 11...Ne7!? /\12.a3 Bxc3 13.Bxc3 Ne4= possible.; 9...d5 10.a3 Bxc3 11.Bxc3+/= ]

10.Be2 Bxc3N
[There have been 2 games with 10...b6 ; & 1 with 10...Qe7 ]

11.Bxc3 Ne4 12.0-0
Diagram



12...Nxc3?!
[This breaks-up White's B pair but without the Ne4, the d6 square will be, as noted on move 7, weak & vulnerable. 12...b6 13.Rfd1 Bb7 14.Be1 Qe7 15.a3 d6= was correct.]

13.Qxc3 b6
>= ...Qe7, here or next.

14.Rad1 Bb7?!
[In addition to the aforementioned Qe7, also >=14...Qf6 15.Qxf6 Rxf6 16.Rd6 Nd8 17.Ne5 Nf7 ]

15.Rd2?!
[15.Rd6 Qe7 16.Rfd1 would've saved a tempo.]

15...Qe7 16.Rfd1 Rfd8 17.Rd6 e5?
[This sets a trap, which Max falls into, but 17...Rac8+/= was best; despite he fact that White can really put the squeeze on.]

18.Qd2?
[This loses an Exchange. He should' ve played 18.R1d5 e4 Moldovan 19.Nh4! Qxh4 20.Rxd7 Rxd7 21.Rxd7 Qf6 22.Qxf6 gxf6 23.Rxb7+/- Rybka; or 18.c5+/- Steve Stoyko]

18...Nd4! 19.exd4
[>=19.Rxd4 exd4 20.Nxd4 ]

19...Qxd6 20.dxe5 Qxd2 21.Rxd2 Rac8 22.b3 Bxf3!
I didn't want to give up the minor exchange but allowing Nd4 /\ Nb5-d6 would've been too troublesome.

23.Bxf3 Re8?!
[I looked at 23...Rc5=/+ but missed that 24.e6? can be met by 24...Kf8-/+ ]

24.Bd5+
[>=24.Rxd7 Rxe5 25.g3 (25.Rxa7?? Re1# ) 25...Ra5 26.a4 ]

24...Kf8 25.f4
After this move, I spaced-out & didn't realize it was my turn until 3 minutes had elapsed!

25...Rcd8 26.Bf3?
[26.Kf2 ]

26...Re6?!
[26...d6-/+ ]

27.g3
[>=27.Bd5 ]

27...g5?
[27...d6-/+ ]

28.Bd1?!
Diagram

[28.fxg5 Rxe5 29.Kf2=/+ ]

28...gxf4 29.gxf4 Rg6+ 30.Kh1?
[>=30.Kf1 ]

30...Ke7-+ 31.Bc2 Rdg8 32.h3
[Not 32.Bxf5?? Rg1# ]

32...Rf8 33.b4 d6 34.Rd5?
[34.exd6+ Rxd6 35.Re2+ Re6 36.Rd2 was a better try.]

34...dxe5 35.Rxe5+
[This lets me force a trade of Rs. >=35.fxe5 Rfg8 36.Rd1 Rg5 ]

35...Re6 36.Rxe6+ Kxe6 37.Kg2 Rd8 38.Bb3 Kf6 39.Kf3
White offers a draw.

39...a5?!
[>=39...Rd3+ 40.Kg2 Ke7 ]

40.c5 bxc5 41.bxa5 Ra8 42.Ke3 Rxa5 43.Kd3 Ra7?
[43...Ke7 44.Kc4 Kd6 ]

44.Kc4 Rg7 45.a4?
Diagram

[>=45.Kxc5 Rg3 46.h4 ]

45...Rg3??
[45...Rb7 would have won.]

46.a5 Rxh3??
[46...Rg8 47.Kxc5 Ra8=/+ ]

47.a6 Rh1 48.Kxc5??
[48.Ba2?? Ra1 49.Kb3 c4+! 50.Kb2 Rd1 51.Bxc4 Rd7-+ ; 48.Ba4+- was right.]

48...Ra1=
Black offers a draw... White accepts. Time left - Sherer 15:48, Moldovan 4:09 Estimated time used - Sherer 43:17, Moldovan 54:51 Longest think by White - 4 minutes for 26.Bf3. Longest think by Black - 9 minutes for 22...Bxf3! Not a good way to start the event but I'm just a half-point back & there are 12 weeks (possibly 24 games!) left. 1/2-1/2