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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

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1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3
Bb7 9. a3 b4 10. Ne4 a5 11. Nxf6+ Nxf6 12. e4 Be7 13. Qe2 Qb6 14. O-O c5 15.
axb4 $1 {Nicely timed. Black is all but forced to capture away from the centre
which adds great force to White's central breakthrough.} cxb4 (15... axb4 $6
16. Bb5+ $1 $16) 16. d5 exd5 ({The opening of the centre is clearly not
without its dangers, but I have to say I find the full horror of what was to
befall Black rather well disguised at this stage. In any case, ignoring
White's aggression was not really an option in view of} 16... O-O 17. d6 $1
Bxd6 $140 18. e5 Bxf3 19. gxf3 $16) 17. Be3 $1 Bc5 18. Bxc5 Qxc5 19. Rac1 Qb6
20. Bb5+ {...and finally this check is arranged in such a way as to ensure
that Black's king remains in the firing line.} Kf8 21. e5 Ne8 $6 {This knight
is heading for c7 in a bid to discourage White's intended blasting open of the
e-file.} ({The game itself delivers a severe judgement upon this project, and
therefore the arguably more natural alternative} 21... Ne4 $5 {should probably
have been preferred, although White's positional compensation after} 22. Rfd1 {
is substantial, reinforced by the fact that the most natural attempt to
re-connect the black rooks with} g6 $6 23. Nd4 Kg7 $6 {fails unequivocally to}
24. Qe3 $1 Qd8 25. f3 Ng5 26. e6 $1 {with decisive threats. At least here
White's king's rook is coaxed to the less threatening d-file!}) 22. Rfe1 Nc7
23. e6 $1 {Some of the ideas behind this excellent breakthrough not least the use of the e-file in
conjunction with the elegant 'clearance' of e5 for the white knight. However,
in contrast with most of the positions there the only modification of the pawn
structure is simply the loss of the e5-pawn. White is quite unphased by the
arrival of a black piece blocking the file. His strategy henceforth revolves
around undermining this knight and his methods are as instructive as they are
brutal.} Nxe6 24. Ne5 (24. Ng5 $5 {is also very strong, but the text has
undeniable aesthetic value in the context of our theme.}) 24... Kg8 25. Nxf7 $1
Kxf7 (25... Nd4 26. Qe7) 26. Rc6 $1 Qd8 27. Qxe6+ Kf8 28. Rd6 1-0

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