Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Alekhine Surprise in Haines vs Morin

When Ray Haines played 1.e4, Morin surprised with 1...Nf6, the Alekhine Defence, instead of Roger's usual Sicilian Defence. Ray likes to avoid critical opening theory. Here he opted for the Paul Keres favorite 3.Nc3. White is willing to take on doubled pawns in exchange for open lines. Black could have reached a more unbalanced but slightly simplified position with 4...Nxc3, doubling White's c-pawns one way or the other.

Why do experts such as Roger Morin tend to avoid multiple piece exchanges in the opening? Because if pieces remain on the board, the higher rated player is likely to outplay his opponents tactically. An expert will leave a complex middlegame for a simple endgame win. What he won't do is leave a complex opening for a simple middlegame, unless he specializes in such positions.

Ironically thouigh Black did not double White's c-pawns, he double the b-pawns to get the advantage of two bishops. Roger Morin traded one edge for another. It was a valid choice, though it eliminated White's bad bishop. The game remained level throughout until drawn. These players finished in a tie for first place.

Haines - Morin (2035), Houlton Open (2), 05.03.2016 begins 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.Nc3 e6 4.Bc4 Nb6 [4...Nxc3=] 5.Bb3 d5 6.exd6 cxd6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.d4 Nc6 10.Ne2 [10.d5!?] 10...Bd7 [10...e5!?] 11.c3 Rc8 12.Qd3 Bf6 13.Bf4 e5 14.d5 [14.Be3=] 14...Na5 15.Be3 Nxb3 [Now that White has blocked the diagonal of his light square bishop, Black could try 15...Be7 16.Nd2 f5=/+] 16.axb3 a6 17.c4 Be7 18.Rac1 f5 19.Qd1 f4 20.Bxb6 Qxb6 21.Nd2 [21.Nc3 Bf5 22.Re1=] 21...f3 [Black chooses to open lines, but he might drum up an attack probing bishop moves like 21...Bg4 22.Kh1 Bh4=/+] 22.Nxf3 Bg4 23.Ne1 Rf6 [Or 23...Bh4! 24.g3 Bg5 25.Rc3 Bh3 26.Ng2 Rf7=/+] 24.h3 Bh5 25.Qc2 Rcf8 26.Nd3 [26.Ng3 Bg6=] 26...e4 27.Ndf4 Bxe2 [After 27...Rxf4 28.Nxf4 Rxf4-+ the two Black bishops seem stronger than the White rook.] 28.Nxe2 Rxf2 29.c5 [29.Rxf2 Qxf2+ 30.Kh1 e3-/+] 29...Rxf1+ 30.Rxf1 Qxc5+ 31.Qxc5 Rxf1+?! [Now the game is equal and the ending drawn. Black has more dynamic winning chances with 31...dxc5! 32.Rxf8+ Kxf8 33.Nc3 Bf6 34.Nxe4 Bxb2-/+] 32.Kxf1 dxc5 33.Nc3 b6 34.Nxe4 Kf7 35.Ke2 Bf6 36.Nc3 Ke7 37.Na4 Kd6 38.Nxb6 Bd8 39.Nc4+ Kxd5 40.Kd3 Bf6 41.Ne3+ Kc6 42.Nc4 Kb5 43.Kc2 a5 44.Nd6+ Kb4 45.Ne4 Bd4 46.Nd6 a4 47.bxa4 Kxa4 48.b3+ Kb4 49.Nc4 Bf6 50.Ne3 Kb5 51.Nc4 Kc6 52.Ne3 Kd6 53.Kd3 h5 54.g4 hxg4 55.hxg4 Ke5 56.Ng2 Bg5 57.Kc4 Ke4 58.Kxc5 Kf3 59.Ne1+ Kxg4 60.Kd5 Bd2 61.Nd3 g5 62.Nf2+ Kf3 63.Ne4 1/2-1/2

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