Marshall Thursday over 1600 tournament rd 1 17.05.2009
4... bxc6 is pretty rare. I'm supposed to castle, then play Re1: 5.0–0 Bg7 6.Re1. Playing 6.c3? doesn't make so much sense, because it reduces white's options after 6... Nf6: 7.e5 Nd5 8.c4 is stupid if you've already played c3.
After 6. Re1. black has three main choices: 6... e5, 6... Nh6 (with the idea of ...f6 and ...Nf7), or 6... Nf6 (daring white to play e5 and c4) . 6... d6 isn't good because of 7. e5.
Against 6...e5, there is a fun-looking pawn sac, and I love fun-looking pawn sacs, especially, for some reason, when they start with b4: 7.b4 cxb4 8.a3 bxa3 9.Bxa3 Ne7 (9...d6 10.d4 exd4 11.e5) 10.Bd6 f6 11.c3 0–0 12.Qb3+ Rf7 13.Na3 compensation for the pawn (Timman)
6...Nh6 is ok but passive and white can just develop and attack the weakness on c5: 7.c3 0–0 8.h3 d5?! 9.d3 f6 10.Be3 c4 11.exd5 cxd5 (11...cxd3 12.Qxd3 cxd5 13.Bc5 +/= S.Rublevsky-Z.Hracek, Polanica Zdroj 1996.) 12.dxc4 dxc4 13.Na3 +/=
6...Nf6 is much more confrontational: 7.e5 Nd5 8.c4 Nc7 9.d4 cxd4 10.Qxd4 Ne6 11.Qh4 and now two lines:
b1) 11...d6 12.Bh6 Bxe5 13.Nxe5 dxe5 14.Nc3 f6 15.Rad1 Qc7 16.f4 exf4
Palliser calls this quite reasonable for black, although I like playing pawn-down-with-initiative positions, so I'm into it. He now gives the weird-looking 17.Re4? from the game E.Miroshnichenko-Bu Xiangzhi, Bled 2000 without comment, but doesn't this lose to 17...Qb6+ 18.Kh1 Qxb2? (white can't block/defend with 18. Qf2 because black trades queens and plays ... g5 to trap the Bh6) In the game, Bu Xiangzhi played 17... Rb8 and then white secured the pawn with 18. b3. Rybka (and I) prefer 17.Ne2 Qb6+ 18.Kh1 Qxb2 19.Nxf4 Nxf4? (19...Kf7! 20.Re2) 20.Qxf4 big threat: Qc7 +-
b2) Black can also prevent Bh6 with 11... h6, but doesn't this look like white is having all the fun: 12.Nc3 d6 13.Rd1 Bb7 14.Be3 c5 15.exd6 exd6 16.Qg3 Bxf3 17.Rxd6 Qb8 18.Rxe6+?
back to reality....
6.0–0 I was wondering if I should play 6. c4 to stop a later ...Ba6 and ...c4. It seemed too far away to deal with now.
I couldn't think of a good way to deal with black's threat to take a pawn: 9.Qe1 felt lame, and 9.Qe2? just sucks: 9...Bxc3 10.bxc3 Qxc3 11.Bd2 (11.Bg5 Rb2) 11...Qxc2. So I decided to solve my problem with some "positional imagination," which turned out surprisingly well:
19.Bb2 The bishop doesn't have much to do here. I thought I was restraining ...f5 by putting pressure on e5.
big dilemna: take with the bishop or knight?
I saw this in the game: 25.Bxc5 f5 26.Bxe7 fxe4 27.fxe4 Qd4 28.Bxd8 Rxd8 29.Qxd4 exd4
I figured this was good for me, but I thought Nxc5 was too. I sat there, frozen, thinking blank, terrified thoughts for a while, but then I wasn't any closer to making a decision, so I went for the simpler move.
25. Nxc5 Qd6
26 .b4 Bd5
27.c3 Ba828.Rd1 f5
29.Qe3 This is me, trying not to ruin my position before time control (move 30).
29....e4 At the time I was cursing myself for allowing this, but it turns out to be bad. (hurray me for allowing it?!) The rest of the game is mostly played by my opponent, I just made the obvious responses.
30.dxe4 Qxd131.Rxd1 Rxd1+
36. Bb4 Rd7