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3 Nov 2017

B92 Sicilian Najdorf: 6.Be2 (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Be3 Be6 9.O-O Nbd7 10.f4 exf4)

B92 Sicilian Najdorf: 6.Be2 (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Be3 Be6 9.O-O Nbd7 10.f4 exf4)

This one was played on the first round of the 2015 October Grand Split Three Seven I 1800+ tournament. My opponent in the game below is the highest rated player of the group and also the highest rated player on the site. Not surprisingly cenerentola won group 1 and is currently fighting for the win of the tournament. Even though there might not seem much sense on playing games against players whose level of play differs from you by over 600 points, I still enjoy the challenge when I am the lower rated player. In worst case I might lose a rating point or two, but I may also learn some valuable lessons for the future which is obviously a very good thing.

One of those lessons might be that I should not play moves like 13.Bxe5 and if I ever reach this position again, I should play either 13.Rad1 or 13.Kh1. My mistake was not severe enough for me to lose the game, but I did end up being slightly worse because of it. I did manage to be a pawn up in the position after my 14th move, but my opponent got the initiative, which was more important than the material. It did not take much for cenerentola to take advantage of my mistakes like the one I mentioned and the one I played on move 18.

My 18th move might have actually been the losing move. I might have kept the game going on longer in a position where I am only slightly worse, had I played 18.Nc5, but that position would have been difficult for me to play in any case. I did continue my fruitless efforts to hold on up to the move 32...Re3.

[Event "Grand Split Three Seven"] [Site "http://www.redhotpawn.com"] [Date "2015.12.21"] [Round "1"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "cenerentola"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "1900"] [BlackElo "2553"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "64"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 {Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation, Opocensky Variation} e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3 (8. O-O Be6 { Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation, Opocensky Variation, Modern Line} (8... O-O {Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation, Opocensky Variation, Traditional Line })) 8... Be6 9. O-O Nbd7 10. f4 exf4 {B92 Sicilian Najdorf: 6.Be2} 11. Bxf4 { Attacks the isolani on d6} Ne5 12. Qd4 (12. h3 O-O 13. Qe1 Rc8 14. Rd1 Qc7 15. Qg3 Rfd8 16. Bh6 Ng6 17. Bg5 b5 18. Bf3 b4 19. Nd5 Bxd5 20. exd5 Qxc2 21. Rd2 Qc7 22. h4 Ne8 23. h5 Bxg5 24. Qxg5 Ne5 25. Be4 h6 26. Qg3 Qa7+ {Pazgan, J-Szuminski,M (2020) Poland 2012 0-1 (40)}) 12... O-O 13. Bxe5 $146 (13. Rad1 Qc7 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. exd5 Qxc2 16. Bd3 Nxd3 17. Rxd3 Qc8 18. Rg3 Nh5 19. Bh6 g6 20. Bxf8 Bxf8 21. Rgf3 Bg7 22. Qf2 f6 23. Re3 f5 24. Re7 Nf6 25. Rc1 Qd8 26. Rcc7 Ne8 27. Rcd7 Qc8 {Slepankova,R (1981)-Hrdlicka,V (1808) Brno 2016 1-0}) ( 13. Rad1 Rc8 $11) 13... dxe5 $15 14. Qxe5 Bd6 15. Qg5 h6 {Black threatens to win material: h6xg5} 16. Qe3 Qc7 17. Kh1 Be5 ({Weaker is} 17... Bxh2 18. Rxf6 gxf6 19. g3 Qxg3 20. Qxg3+ Bxg3 21. Rg1 $14) 18. Bf3 (18. Rad1 $142 $5 $15 { is a viable option}) 18... Bxh2 $17 19. Rad1 Rfe8 20. Nd4 Bd7 21. Qd3 (21. Rd3 $5 Be5 $17) 21... Be5 $19 22. Nd5 $4 {but even a better move would not have saved the game} (22. Qe3 $19) 22... Nxd5 23. exd5 Qd8 24. Nf5 Qg5 25. Be4 g6 26. Qh3 Bg7 ({Less advisable is} 26... Bxf5 27. Bxf5 gxf5 28. Rxf5 $19) 27. Bd3 (27. Qf3 {doesn't get the bull off the ice} gxf5 28. Bxf5 Bxf5 29. Qxf5 Qxf5 30. Rxf5 Re2 $19) 27... Re5 28. c4 (28. Nxh6+ {does not help much} Qxh6 29. Qxh6 Bxh6 $19) 28... Rae8 29. Kg1 (29. Nxh6+ Bxh6 30. Qxd7 $19) 29... Bxf5 30. Bxf5 Rxf5 31. Rxf5 gxf5 32. b3 Re3 (32... Re3 33. Kf2 Rxh3 34. gxh3 Bc3 35. d6 Qf4+ 36. Kg2 Qe4+ 37. Kg1 Qe3+ 38. Kf1 Qf3+ 39. Kg1 Qxd1+ 40. Kg2 Qe2+ 41. Kg1 Bd4+ 42. Kh1 Qf1+ 43. Kh2 Be5#) 0-1