(1) Panchanathan,Magesh (2551) - Stoyko,Steve (2258) [A30]
DOCA Championship Branchburg, NJ (5), 10.01.2012
[Stoyko, Steve]

A30 English Opening Symmetrical Defense Hedgehog Variation

1.Nf3
[My opponent almost always plays 1.e4 . With Nf3, he might have wanted to avoid the French.]

1...c5
/\ 2.e4 and a Scheveningen, which expert Matthew O'Brien almost beat Magesh with in an earlier round, but, figuring something was up, he goes into an English.

2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.Nc3 e6 6.0-0 a6
This stops Nb5 and prepares ...Qc7.

7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 d6
[I like this better than 8...Nc6 (which blocks the Bb7) because ...Nbd7 will cover b6, allow me to meet a possible Ba3 with ...Nc5.]

9.Rd1 Qc7 10.b3 Nbd7 11.Bb2 Be7 12.Rac1 0-0 13.h3
In the Hedgehog, Black usually plays his a-Rook to b8, c8 or d8 and the f-Rook shadows the White Q. If she retreats along the d-file, it goes to d8. If she shifts to the e-file, it follows her to e8. Here, White hasn't committed his Q but, clearly, the idea behind h3 is to play Qe3 or e4+Qe3 without allowing ...Ng4. So, I answered...

13...Rfe8 14.e4 Rad8 15.Qe3 Qb8 16.Nd4 Bf8 17.f4?!
This advance would've made more sense if White's Rs were at e1 & f1, in support of it.

17...g6N
This stops 18.f5. I simply take (18...exf5) and he can't recapture because of the pin. [Predecessor: 17...e5 18.Nf5 d5 19.fxe5 Qxe5 20.Qg5 h6 21.Nxh6+ Kh7 22.Nxf7 Qxg5 23.Nxg5+ Kg6 24.h4 Bc5+ 25.Kh1 dxe4 26.Ne2 Be3 27.Nf4+ Bxf4 28.gxf4 Nc5 29.f5+ Kxf5 30.Nf7 Rxd1+ 31.Rxd1 Kg4 32.Kg1 Ba8 33.Bd4 Kxh4 34.Nd6 Rg8 35.Rf1 Kh5 36.Be3 Kg6 37.Bh3 Kh7 38.Rf4 1-0 (38) Zhidkov,V (2325)-Rodin,D Vladivostok 1995]

18.Re1?
[18.Kh1 had to be played. Now he gets in trouble on the c5-g1 diagonal.]

18...e5! 19.Nf3?
[Not 19.fxe5 as 19...dxe5 wins a piece.; >=19.Nde2 ; or 19.Nc2=/+ ]

19...d5!-/+ 20.fxe5??
After this White is lost.

20...dxe4 21.Nd4
[21.exf6 exf3 with threats of 22...Rxe3, 22...fxg2 and 22.Bc5.]

21...Nxe5 22.Nce2 Nf3+!
[This is stronger than 22...Nd3 ]

23.Kh1
[23.Bxf3 exf3 ]

23...Nxe1 24.Rxe1 Bg7 25.Rf1 Qe5 26.Bc3 Qc5 27.Qf4
I have to be a little careful because my opponent is a vicious counter-attacker and there's some cheapo stuff.

27...Re7 28.Qh4?
[Idea: 28.Qh4 -- 29.Nf5 gxf5[] 30.Bxf6 Bxf6 31.Qxf6 Qc7?? 32.Rxf5 ] However, I was able to force a Q-trade with

28...g5!
... and after...

29.b4 Qe5 30.Nc6 gxh4 31.Bxe5 Bxc6 32.Bxf6 Bxf6 33.Rxf6 Rd1+ 34.Kh2 Rd2 35.Nf4 e3 36.Rxc6 e2 37.Rc8+ Kg7 38.Nh5+ Kh6
White resigned. The old man still has it! 0-1