Monday, February 16, 2009

Some people have asked about my game with IM Alex Lenderman, and so here it is on Lenderman's move 16...f6 17. ef6. This wasn't a French, but a Sicilian Alapin with black fianchettoing his king's bishop. Frankly, I dislike maintaining pawn centers like such because ultimately they crumble and you have to come out of it not a pawn less. I felt that I had better chances at defending the d4 pawn than a pawn on e5. And Fritz9 suggested the same move. The game went 17... Bf6 18. h3 Bf3 19. Bf3 Nc6 and we have the position below.

There are three pieces attacking my D pawn which is only twice defended at the moment. I don't mean to make excuses, but keep in mind that this was a G/60. Not much time to check out all the lines of analysis. I played the very passive 20. Ne2, defending the D pawn which at the same time opened up the C file for tactical possibilities. Clearly, black has the initiative. There was another option other than 20. Ne2. More active was 20. Bg4 Nce7 21. Nb5 a6 22. Rc8 Rc8 23. Nd6 Nd6 24. Be6+ Kg7 25. Bc8 Ndc8 26. g4 and black is still somewhat ahead. Lenderman played 20...Ncd4 (below)

Here, I made a game-losing move, 21. Rc8. This was simply awful. The check on f3 had to be addressed, and capturing on c8 ignored it completely. The knight on d4 must go one way or another. There was 21. Nd4 Rc1 22. Bc1 Nd4 23. Bg4 h5 24. Be3. The other way was to capture via 21. Bd4 Rc1 22. Rc1 Bd4 23. Nd4 Nd4 24. Bg4. These two lines are much better than 21. Rc8. When Lenderman played 21...Nf3+ , white's position lost all hope. Game over on the 27th move.


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