Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Harabor Beats London System

Mihai Harabor beat my London System using Queen's Indian set-up. Black put bishops on b7 and e7. He completed his development in a very compact manner. Then he fired back at the White center. I had a chance for a slight edge, but frankly, I was outplayed.

After my early wins in the Sicilian and French vs Harabor, he went on to become a strong correspondence player. His current ICCF rating is 2285 based on 429 games. My ICCF rating is 2157 based on 65 games. I had moments of brilliance. I won 26 USCF postal games in a row and was rated well over 2200.

In the 1990s after my first book was published, my play fell apart. I spent more time on writing than on keeping my skills sharp. I love writing. It was annoying to see my rating fall hundreds of points. After 20 years and 1000 games, I gave up correspondence play. I turned to blitz chess and returned to writing.

In 1993 Chess Digest published the London System by Andrew Soltis. It lists me as a Research Assistant for that book but not based on this game!

Sawyer (2003) - Harabor (2217), corr APCT Q-171 (12), 08.1993 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 c5 4.c3 b6 5.e3 Bb7 6.Nbd2 Be7 7.h3 0-0 8.Bd3 d6 [The alternative is 8...Nc6 9.0-0 when Black will need to make a decision about where to place his d-pawn.] 9.0-0 Nbd7 [9...Nc6 10.Qe2 is often played.] 10.Bh2 [10.Re1= Rybka, Stockfish & Komodo] 10...Re8 11.Nc4 Nf8 [11...Qc7=] 12.Qe2 [12.dxc5! dxc5 13.Nce5 Ng6 14.Bb5+/=] 12...b5 13.Ncd2 c4 14.Bc2 a6 [14...d5= closes in Black's light squared bishop, but it also fights for e4.] 15.e4! Ng6 16.Rad1 Qc7 17.Rfe1 [17.e5!?] 17...e5 18.dxe5?! [Not a good plan. Better is 18.Nf1 with play similar to a Ruy Lopez.] 18...dxe5 19.a3? Bc5 20.Nf1 Nf4 21.Qd2? [21.Bxf4 exf4=/+] 21...Rad8 22.Qc1 Rxd1 23.Qxd1 Rd8 [23...Qb6!-+] 24.Qc1 N6h5 25.Ng3 [25.Ne3 f6-/+] 25...Qb6 26.Nxh5 Bxf2+ 27.Kh1 Nxh5 28.Rd1 Rxd1+ 29.Qxd1 Ng3+ 30.Bxg3 Bxg3 31.Qd7 g6 32.Nxe5 Qf2! 0-1

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