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A.J.'s TS; Game # 6

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This is game # 6 of my Tactical School. 

It is a training game played against one of my (Internet) students. (A Catalan Opening, of all things.) 


This is the sixth game of my tactical school. The more you study and go over this game, the more you will begin to be able to understand and use the ideas. I advise repeated study.  This game could be studied 2-3 hours, (at one time); in a tactical vein. It could also be studied  for 30-90 minutes at a time during your penings study.  (See the parent page for details.) 

Here the KEY POSITION is VERY complex. A chess set and board are required. I advise  that you set up the key position and study it 30-45 minutes, (without moving any pieces); and possibly even write down what you analyzed. Then take at least 2-3 hours and play through a few of the continuations. Don't study just the moves, try to understand the REASON for the move. The more you study like this, the more you will improve. 

There is a brief opening survey included. It is  NOT  meant to be comprehensive!! But it should give the average player a good idea of the state of the theory of this line.  (I looked at dozens of games and MANY different books to assemble this.) {Different books give different move orders for the Catalan.} 

STRONGLY   advise that you study the plain, un-annotated version(s) of this game, (Click  HERE.);  before you even look at the annotated version of this game.  (See the parent  page  for details.) 

A. J. Goldsby (2250) - John Anderson (1600) 
Training Game/Online game,  28.12.2002

[A.J. Goldsby I]

   The CB medal for this game, you can tell at a glance what the predominant features of this game are.  (tac-sch_g6-med.gif, 02 KB)

Tactics School,  GAME SIX (# 6) 

Click  HERE  to see an explanation of the symbols that I use. 

A training game played on the Internet. (Against John_Anderson) 
(On Chess-dot-net)

The time control was like 10 minutes for the game, with like a 5 second delay. 

A beginner might be confused by this opening. We start off with d4, then 
appear to be heading for a Nimzo-Indian. Then White opts for a fianchetto. 


1.d4 Nf62.Nf3 e63.g3,   
I wanted to reach the Catalan Opening. 

I experimented with this opening as a teen-ager, but my initial tries were ... 
er ... well, let us say - much less than successful!   

I have been really enamored of this opening ever since I saw a game where 
a GM used it, (The Catalan); to crush a top-rated IM. He did it in 30-something 
moves, and he hardly seemed to break a sweat. 
 (Around the mid-1980's.) 

     [ If  3.c4 d5;  and we have reached a normal Q.G.D. ]   


3...d54.Bg2 c5!?;   
Black attacks the center. 

This is a little dangerous, White would have the opportunity to blow 
the game wide open. 

I would prefer the simple ...Be7;  followed by castling, before undertaking 
any such operations. 


     [  The main line would be a continuation something like: 
          4...Be75.c4 0-06.0-0 dxc4;  {Diagram?}  
          A delayed form of the Open Variation


            ( Black can also play the  "Closed Variation"  with: 6...Nbd7!?
               7.Qc2 c68.Nbd2 b6!?9.b3!?,  {Diagram?} 
               This slow method used to be much in vogue, but the pawn 
                break on e4 was worth a look. 

                 (Possibly another option for White was: 9.e4!?, "/\"  {Diag?}     
                   with at least a very small edge. "+/=")     

               9...Bb710.Bb2 Rc811.e4!? c5!12.exd5 exd513.dxc5 dxc4!; 
               14.Nxc4 b5!15.Nce5 Rxc5;  "~"  {Diagram?}   
               Several books - which include ECO and two of my books on the 
               Catalan - consider this position to be equal.  
               (I think Black might have the better chances, or it is at least unclear.)   

               GM V. Smyslov - GM P. Benko;  Monte Carlo, 1968. 

               See the book:  "(The) Catalan Opening,"   
               by  Oleg Moiseyev  and also  Grigory Ravinsky
               [ (c) 1984. ACP / Batsford. ]  
                Chapter # 16, (Line # B2.); beginning on page # 133. )   


          7.Qc2 a68.Qxc4, "+/="  {Diagram?}  
          This position is slightly better for White, he has more space and an 
           extra center pawn. 

          This has occurred in hundreds of master-level games. One of the 
           more recent games, featuring two really strong players, is: 
           GM U. Andersson - GM A. Beliavsky;  Reggio Emilia, ITA; 1990. 


            ( "Modern Chess Openings"  gives the continuation {instead} of:  
              8.a4!? Bd79.Qxc4 Bc610.Bg5,  {Diagram?} 
              Probably the most thematic move. 

                ( Bad for White is: 10.Nc3?! b5!; 11.axb5?? axb5;  {Diagram?}    
                   and the first player must lose material. ("-/+") )    

              10...a5!?;  {Diagram?}  
               All the books give this move here.  (And I am not sure why.)  
               It permanently weakens the b5-square for Black. 
               (Black wishes to put a Knight on the b4-square, but I am not sure 
                 this solves all of his opening problems.) 

                   (Maybe 10...b5!?; "~")   

              11.Nc3 Na6; 12.Rac1 Nb413.Rfd1 Rc814.Bxf6 Bxf6;  
              15.e4, "+/="  15...b6;  {Diagram?}  The end of the column. 
              16.d5!?,  {Diagram?}   A rather predictable pawn push. 
               (And probably fairly strong!)   

                   (16.Ne5!?;  Or 16.Ne1!?)   

              16...exd517.exd5 Bb718.Nd4 Ba619.Ncb5!? Bxd4;  {Diag?}   
              Black does not wish to allow the move, Knight-to-c6.  
              20.Rxd4, "~"   (Maybe - "+/=")  {Diagram?}  
              "This is slightly more favorable for White in a complex position." 
                  - GM Nick de Firmian.  

              V. Mikhalevsky - E. Rozentalis;  Beersheba, 1997. 

              [ See  MCO - 14,  page # 512, column # 1,  
                and notes # (a.) through note # (d.). ]  )   ]   



After castling White decides to really open the game up.  
5.0-0 Nc6
6.c4!? dxc47.Qa4 Bd7;   
This is probably a fairly wise precaution, as Black is behind in development. 

     [  Possibly dangerous is: 7...cxd4!?8.Nxd4!?,  "/\"   
        White has an initiative.   (8.Ne5!?)   ]   


Both sides will now finish their development, Black is especially clever in 
almost neutralizing White's advantage. (I had a growing sense of deja-vu 
during this game, I was sure I had seen something like it before.)   
8.Qxc4 cxd49.Nxd4 Rc810.Nc3 Nxd411.Qxd4 Bc512.Qh4 Bc6;  
13.Bxc6+ Rxc614.Rd1 Rd6;   
Apparently this is probably an inaccuracy, although I went through this game 
close to ten times before I picked up on it. 

     [ Apparently Black had to play:  14...Qb615.Bh6 Bf8;  
        16.Rd2 e5!?
17.Be3,  "+/="  {Diagram?}  
        Apparently this had all been played before ... in a very famous game. 
        (This answers why I felt I had seen this game before, I am sure I had 
          played through this game in some book, somewhere.) 

       GM Z. Ribli - GM L. Ljubojevic;  The Olympiad,  (A FIDE tt).  
       Buenos Aries, ARG; 1978.  
       (White won a nice game in around 50 moves.)  ]    


15.Bf4 Rxd1+16.Rxd1 Qb6{See the diagram just below.}  KEY   
The key position and the main reason I annotated this game.  

   The main ... or KEY!!! ... position. Just after 16...Qb6.  (tac-sch_g6-kpos1.gif, 15 KB)


17.Bg5!(Maybe - '!!')  {Diagram?}   
This is very, very sharp, but is it all really sound?  
 (Apparently it is.) 

 --->  Note: June, 2005. I ran this game by both Shredder and ChessMaster 10th edition  
        a few weeks ago. Apparently both machines find 17.Bh6!!, which is probably a little 
        superior to the move actually played in the game. 


     [  Another alternative is: </= 17.e3!? 0-0;   Probably the safest move.   

           (Probably too risky is: 17...Qxb2?!; 18.Be5, "--->"  {Diagram?}    
             White has an attack/initiative, that is very dangerous for the    
             second player here.)     

        18.b3, "="    The position is very balanced. 


        Interesting was:  17.Na4!? Bxf2+18.Kg2 Qb519.Kxf2 Qxa4;  
         20.Rd8+! Kxd821.Bc7+ Kxc722.Qxa4,  "+/="   
         White is clearly a bit better in this position. ]   



Black chooses a "safety first" option here. 


     [  Black runs into serious trouble after taking on f2: 
        17...Bxf2+?!(Maybe - '?')   {Diagram?}  
        Much too risky. 

        Probably the best move. 

          (Also good for White is: 18.Kg2 Bc5; 19.Bxf6 gxf6;    
            20.Ne4, "+/="  {Diagram?}   with a fairly sizable advantage   
            for the first player here.)     

         This was the threat that really concerned me the most. 

          (Black also loses after: 18...Bc5; 19.Bxf6 gxf6; 20.Qxf6 0-0;     
            21.Na4 Qc6; 22.Qg5+ Kh8; 23.Qxc5 Qh1+;  24.Qg1, "+/-")      

        19.Qa4+ Kf820.e3! h6;   
        This is just about forced.  


          ( But not 20...Qxb2?; 21.Rd8+ Ke7; 22.Qd7#!       

           Also bad for Black is:  </= 20...Bx33?;  21.Bxe3 Qxe3;  
           22.Qb4+ Ke8;  23.QxP/b7, ("+/-")  with an easily won game. )  


        21.Qa3+ Kg822.Rd6 Qc723.Bxf6 gxf6;  
        24.Kxg1,  "+/-"   with a won game.  (For White.)  


        Even worse is the capture on the b2-square.  
        For example: 17...Qxb2?18.Bxf6 gxf619.Qxf6,   
        White threatens a mate on d8. His Queen guards c3, and he threatens 
        the Rook on h8.  If Black castles, simply  Qg5+;  picking off the Bishop 
        on c5


        19...Bxf2+;  This is pretty much forced. 

         20.Kxf2 0-021.Rd4,  "+/-"   and Black can resign.  ]  





18.Qa4+ Kf819.b3!?, "+/="  {Diagram?}  
A simple move that gives White a small advantage.   

     [  Much better was: >=  19.Qc4! Qc620.Qf4, "+/="   
         with a considerable edge. ]    


Now Black feels he is forced into giving up an exchange. 
(The rest really needs no comment.) 
20.Be3 Bc521.Bxc5+ Qxc522.Rd8+ Ke7
23.Rxh8 Qxc324.Qxa7!?,   
This is OK ... but maybe even better was the move, Qa3+. 

     [  An improvement was: >/=  24.Qa3+! Kd725.Rf8, "+/-"   
         and Black falls apart. ]  


24...Qe1+25.Kg2 Qxe226.Qxb7+,    
I saw Qc5+, but I was growing a little short of time. 

I was also already feeling fatigued, from the calculating effort 
of the earlier mountain of complications. 

     [  White wins simply after: >/=  26.Qc5+! Kd727.Qc8+ Kd6;   
         28.Rd8+ Ke529.Qc5+! Nd5;  This is forced.  

          (29...Ke4??; 30.Rd4#)     

         30.Rxd5+!,  ("+/-")  
         and now if Black captures the Rook, White wins Black's 
         Queen with the skewer attack of Qe7+. 
         (This is the tactic I actually missed during the game!) 

          (I.e., 30.Rxd5+! exd5;  31.Qe7+ Kd4;  32.Qxe2, "+/-")    ]   


This is nice, but it might have been much easier to simply push 
the QRP up the board. 

     [ >/=  27.a4, "+/-" ]   


27...Kf628.Qf3+,  ("+/-")   Black Resigns.   

(With the Queens off, his game is hopeless. Plus he was nearly out of time.)  

Copyright (c)  A.J. Goldsby I. 


     [  But definitely not:  28.Qxd7?? Qe4+29.f3 Qxa8;  "<=>"  {Diagram?} 
         with some drawing chances for Black in the Q+P ending. ]   


  (Analysis initially)  Generated with  ChessBase 8.0   


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