Bryan Smith (2478) – Anatoly Bykhovsky (2497) [B31]

SPICE Cup-B Lubbock (Round 6), 11/2/2010 

1.e4 c5 The Sicilian Defense, the most popular of all openings. 

2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 The Rossolimo variation, which intends to avoid the main Open Sicilian lines after 3.d4. 

3…g6 One of the main setups. Other possibilities include 3… d6, or 3… e6. 

4.Bxc6 White is giving up a pair of Bishops but is also wrecking Black’s pawn structure. 

4…dxc6 5.d3 Bg7 6.h3 White gave up the light squared Bishop and with his last is trying to limit the mobility of Black’s light square Bishop. 

6…Nf6 7.Nc3 0–0 8.Be3 Both sides are developing the pieces and are getting prepared for potential clashes. 

8…b6 9.Qd2 White is planning to exchange the dark square Bishop with Be3-h6.  

9…e5 Black is preparing for the exchange of Bishops by trying to gain as much control as possible over the dark squares. 

10.Bh6 10.Nxe5?! would allow Black to equalize by playing 10…Nxe4! 

10…Qd6 Defending the pawn (on e5) and strengthening the control over the dark squares. 

11.0–0 The safer choice. White could choose a sharper game by castling to the long side, leading to mutual attacks on the Kings. 

11…Re8 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.b3 Potentially defending against the c5-c4 push and solidifying the control over the light squares. 

13…Nh5 Preparing for a potential f7-f5 as well as Nh5-f4. 

14.Ne2 f6 Solidifying the control over the dark squares and potentially preparing g6-g5. 

15.g4 An unnecessary weakening of the King side. Generally it is not a good idea to move pawns around the King without a good reason. 

15…Nf4 16.Nxf4 exf4 17.Rfe1 h5 Black responds immediately to the weakened structure around the king and seeks to open files to checkmate the King. 

18.gxh5?! Inaccurate, better was 18.Nh2 or 18.e5. 

18…Bxh3 Now White’s King cannot escape to the queen side, which puts it at risk. 

19.hxg6 Kxg6 It is unusual to start an attack with the King going ahead of the rest of the camp, but in this case it is the winning idea! 

20.e5 A desperate attempt to complicate the position, but it is not enough. A more stubborn defense would be 20. Nh2, but the attack should still decide the game to Black’s favor. 

20…fxe5 21.Qc3 Kf5! Surprisingly the King is taking a major role in the attack by defending the e5 pawn and vacating the lines for the heavy pieces to checkmate. 

22.Nh4+ Kg4 And the journey of the King continues… 

23.Ng2 Qh6 24.Rxe5 Bxg2 25.Kxg2 Qh3+ 26.Kg1 Rg8 The checkmate is inevitable as Black will move his King from the g file. 0–1 

This is the rare occasion when in the middlegame a move by the King threatens checkmate! 

Anatoly Bykhovsky

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
Tags: , , , , ,