Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Sicilian Defence Najdorf Haines

Ray Haines wrote, "This was a game with a clear plan, I first won a pawn on the queenside and then keep attacking the queenside. Trading rooks was the fastest way to win the end game." [Ray's rook swap in this Najdorf Sicilian Defence came on move 38.]

I've played hundreds of Sicilian Defence games this year. It gives me the flexibility to outplay intermediate opponents. My latest Chess Strategy book has several examples.

Polran (1513) – Haines, Live Chess.com, 20.11.2021 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 e6 7.Bg5 Qb6 [I'd probably play 7...Be7] 8.Nb3 [I'd be tempted to play 8.a3 since 8...Qxb2 9.Na4 and White wins the queen.] 8...Be7 9.0–0 Nc6 10.Be3 [Since Black's queen no longer protects d6, White might try 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Qd2 leads to equal chances.] 10...Qc7 11.Na4 Nd7 [Black can take on e4, but 11...Nxe4 12.Bb6 Qd7 13.Bd4 e5 14.Nb6 might prove to be annoying.] 12.Nc3 0–0 13.Rc1 Nce5 14.f4 Nc4 15.Bf2 [Better is 15.Bxc4 Qxc4 which saves the b2 pawn.] 15...Nxb2 16.Qe1 Nc4 17.Bd3 b5 18.Qe2 Bb7 19.a4 b4 20.Nd1 Rac8 21.Ne3 [White should try 21.c3 since 21...bxc3 22.Rxc3 favors White.] 21...Nxe3 22.Bxe3 a5 23.Nd4 Bc6 24.Nxc6 Qxc6 25.Bb5 Qb7 26.Rfd1 Nc5 27.e5 d5 28.h3 Ne4 29.Ba6 Qc7 30.Bxc8 Nc3 31.Qf2 Nxd1 32.Rxd1 Rxc8 33.Rd2 Bc5 [Or 33...Qd7 34.f5 Qxa4 and Black wins the a4 pawn.] 34.Bxc5 Qxc5 35.Qxc5 Rxc5 36.Kf2 Rc3 37.g3 Ra3 38.Rd3
38...Rxd3 39.cxd3 b3 0–1

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