David Parsons attacked. He played aggressively. Dave brought his pieces out quickly. He opened up the position with the Panov Attack 4.c4 against my Caro-Kann Defence. All this sounds nice. Maybe he thought he was safe with queens gone off the board.
But a game takes two. As Black I was also opening up the position. There was no quiet 5...e6 line for me. I chose the sharp 5...Nc6. By move eight I had developed both knights and bishop. By move 13 there were no pawns for either side on the c, d or e-files.
What was the difference? Black had castled. White had not. I'm sure David Parsons intended to castle soon, but he was busy doing important things. Why castle early? Because if you don't, when middlegame tactics start flying, your king is a target for double attacks or checkmate. By then, there is no time to stop in the middle of a combination and castle.
Dave Parsons loved to talk chess and teach chess. He would be the first to tell you that you need to castle early. It costs him in this short game.
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Parsons (1682) - Sawyer (2011), Williamsport, PA 1994 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Qa4!? [The normal continuation is 6.Nc3 Bg4=] 6...Qa5+!? 7.Nc3 Qxa4 8.Nxa4 Bg4 9.cxd5 Bxf3 10.dxc6 Bxc6 11.Nc5 [11.Nc3=] 11...e5 12.Be3 [12.dxe5 Bxc5 13.exf6 0-0=/+] 12...exd4 13.Bxd4 0-0-0 14.Nb3 [14.Bxf6 gxf6-/+] 14...Bb4+ 15.Bc3 [15.Ke2 Rhe8+ 16.Be3 Nd5-+] 15...Rhe8+ 16.Be2 Nd5 [16...Bxc3+! 17.bxc3 Bb5-+] 17.Bxb4 Nxb4 18.Rc1 Nd3+ 0-1
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