Kenilworth Kibitzer

A blog for members of the Kenilworth Chess Club.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


How not to play, a lesson in 25 moves

I enjoy playing the White side of the Maroczy bind, very quickly one gets an advantage in space that feels very comforting.  However, there is a risk in getting too comfortable, and in this game this is what I did.  My opponent played a relatively flawless game, taking advantage at all times of my inability to generate a useful attack, so I find this instructive:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Bg7 5. Be3 (c4!?) Nc6 6. c4 Nf6 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Be2 d6 9. O-O Bd7 10. Rc1 NxN 11. BxN Bc6

Typical play in this Maroczy against the Accelerated Dragon, nothing new here.

12. f3 Nd7

the f3 push is by no means unusual and in fact is the most popular move at this point.  However, the stage is already set for a strong knight versus weak bishop scenario as occurs in the game.  A reasonable alternative is 12. Qd3.

13. BxB (b4!? is stronger, also possible is Be3 to maintain pieces) KxB 14. Kh1 ?!  

Here I was searching for a plan, and I couldn't see a reason for the 'patzer check' Qd4+.  But this keeps the black queen off b6 and centralizes my queen, this was the first bad decision.

14...Qb6! (of course!) 15. b3? (another mistake - why weaken the pawn chain and create a target?  15. Qd2 or 15. Rc2, preparing action on Black's weakened e-file or kingside are preferable.  Events now start to swing in Black's favor).  15...a5!? 16. Nd5 BxN 17. exN!?

The right decision, there are still chances on the kingside, but White has to move quickly.

17...Kg8 18. f4 Nc5 (good knight, bad bishop) 19. Qd4 a4 20. Rb1?  (a poor decision - the b-pawn could have been defended via Rc3, and it is then also available to attack on the kingside.  Now the position is still in balance, but Black has the initiative) 20...PxP 21. PxP Qb4 22. Rf3 

Finally on move 22 there is a sign of aggression.  But is it too late?

22...Ra2 23. Bf1? (Re3!  Counterplay!)  Rfa8 24. Re3 (now this may be too late.  23. f5 might have caused more problems for Black) 23...Rd2  25. Bd3?? (Somehow I missed Qc3 was perfectly acceptable) Qxb3!  (ouch)  ---+


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