US Open (8), 21.08.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.0–0 Nc6 6.c3 Nf6 7.d4 Nxe4 8.d5 Ne5 9.Re1 Nxf3+ 10.Qxf3 Nf6
The alternative is 11.c4, when the line typically goes e5 12.dxe6 fxe6 13.Bg5 Be7 14.Nc3 0–0 15.Qh3 h6 16.Qxe6+ Qxe6 17.Rxe6 Kf7 18.Rae1 Rfe8 (18...Rae8? 19.Nb5) 19.Bh4 g5! but this position looked dull to me, so I had decided to play the text move, 11. Na3.
Now my much-loved book on this opening, Palliser's The Bb5 Sicilian, gives 12. Bg5 an exclam here, although it does not consider my opponent's response at all. The alternative is 12. b4, which is played two moves later in Palliser's root game Pfretzschner - Forsberg corr. 1992, but is not mention by Palliser as a possibility on move 12, even though it's the more common move. Next time I will play it, assuming, of course, that I remember.
12.b4 Qg4 (12...cxb4 13.Nc2 bxc3 14.Nd4 I saw one game, in fact I showed it as a lesson to some kids, where white did this funny maneuver, but it was after Bg5, h6, Bxf6 gxf6 was thrown in. ) 13.Qd3 e6 14.dxe6 fxe6 15.Qb5 Bosboom - Brenninkmeijer 1991 0 –1
He offered a draw somewhere around here.
Now I couldn't decide if I wanted my knight on c2, from where it can go to e3 /f5?!, or on c3
20.Nc2 [20.Nb5 a6 21.Nc3 Re7 22.Kf1]
I offered the draw here. I was worried that he could play a6 and b5, then bring the king to the queenside and attack my two weak pawns on c4 and a2. We looked at it after the game and found a lot of good lines for him, but I don't remember them anymore and the computer thinks I'm fine. Of course I can always meet a6 with a4 anyway... ½–½
PS Sorry I know that was boring.