Wednesday, September 3, 2014

David Kistler Czech Benoni Defence

In 1981 I travelled to Allentown, Pennsylvania with a group of chess club friends to play in a tournament. In round one I faced Dave Kistler who played a Benoni Defence. In the years that followed, Dr. David Kistler became a prominent Expert chess player in upstate New York, winning many events.

Dave met my standard 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 with 3...e5, known as the Czech Benoni or the Hromadka Benoni. This is a lesser known line where an Expert like Kistler could force a young A player (like I was 33 years ago) to think on my own. I came up with the idea of exchanging my light squared bishop for a knight in a closed position and placing my key pawns on the light squares to attempt to benefit from having the better dark squared bishop. But alas, chess is more than bishop and pawn play.

My strategy gave Black two bishops to work up a promising attack. I attempted to set up a defensive position rather than to look for offensive opportunities. Kistler used his time and experience to completely outplay me. He got in both thematic tactical pawn breaks with 16...b5 and 26...f5. Black gave me a brief break with his inaccuracy on move 27, but I fell into a losing position after I missed both 29.Nd1! and 33.Qd2. Though I lost this game, I learned more about the dangers of passive play.

Sawyer - Kistler (2120), Allentown,PA (1), 13.06.1981 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e5 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 Be7 6.Be2 [Alternatives are 6.Bd3+/=; or 6.h3+/= with some space advantage.] 6...Nbd7 7.Bg4?! [7.Nf3+/=] 7...a6 [7...Nxg4 8.Qxg4 0-0=] 8.a4 0-0 9.Bxd7 Bxd7 10.Nge2 Qc7 11.0-0 b6 12.f3 Rab8 13.g4 Ne8 14.Ng3 g6 15.Bh6 Ng7 16.Kh1 b5 17.axb5 axb5 18.b3 bxc4 19.bxc4 Rb4 20.Qd3 Bh4 21.Rfb1 Rfb8 22.Bd2 Bd8 23.Kg2 Qc8 24.Rg1 Rb2 25.Rgb1 Bg5 26.Nf1 f5 27.gxf5 gxf5? [27...Nh5=] 28.Rxb2 Rxb2 29.Rb1? [Correct is 29.Nd1! fxe4 30.fxe4 Rxd2+ 31.Nxd2+/-] 29...Rxb1 30.Qxb1 Qd8 31.Qc1 f4 32.Be1 Bh4 33.Bxh4? [33.Qd2=] 33...Qxh4 34.Nd2 Bh3+ 35.Kh1 Qf2 36.Qg1 Qxd2 37.Nb5 Qe2 0-1

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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