Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Hardison Plays Sicilian English Attack

Roger Hardison meets the Sicilian Defence with a bold English Attack. White's pieces focus on the d5 square. At a key moment Hardison has a powerful shot 13.Nd5!, which unfortunately he misses. I like this game because of the combinations in the notes.

Ray Haines, who had Black, tends to play his best in sharp positions. He refers to what happened later in this tactical game as it seesawed back and forth. The bottom line is that Ray Haines played better overall. He wrote:

"My game with Roger Hardison ... I made some mistakes in that game which he did not take advantage of. I was looking at different attacking lines and chose one which had a rook sac. This was the wrong line of play. It would have been better to trade his bishop for my knight. I would then have a pawn fixed on his b3 square and could have pushed the rook pawn to open the rook file."

In a couple phases, as Ray noted above, White "did not take advantage" of his chances. We all miss stuff. Most of this game favored Black, and he won in the end.

Hardison - Haines, Houlton Open (1), 05.03.2016 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Be3 e6 7.f3 Be7 8.Qd2 a6 9.Bc4 Qc7 10.0-0-0 0-0 11.Bb3 b5 12.g4 Nd7? [Both sides had played well so far, but this move gives White a strong attack. If Black wants to redeploy his knight from f6, first he should trade off his other knight on d4 with 12...Nxd4 13.Qxd4 Nd7=] 13.Qf2?! [Because of the position of the Black knights, the d5 square is weak. White has the powerful response in 13.Nd5! exd5 14.Nxc6 Ne5 (14...Qxc6? 15.Bxd5+-) 15.exd5+/=] 13...b4? 14.Nce2?! [14.Nd5!+/- still works.] 14...Nxd4 15.Nxd4 Nc5 16.Ne2? a5 [This is good. Even better is 16...Nxb3+! 17.axb3 a5-+] 17.Bxc5 dxc5 18.Bc4 a4 19.Kb1 b3 20.cxb3 axb3 21.a3 Ba6 22.Rc1 Bf6 23.f4? [23.Bxa6 Qd6=/+] 23...Bxc4 [23...Bxb2! 24.Kxb2 Bxc4 25.Rxc4 Qa5-+] 24.Rxc4 Rxa3? [This was the last chance for 24...Bxb2!-+] 25.bxa3 Qa5 26.Nc1 [Once again White is winning, as he was a dozen moves earlier. The best winning continuation may be 26.Nc3!+-] 26...Bd4 27.Qe2?! [27.Rxd4! cxd4 28.Rd1 Qxa3 29.Qb2+-] 27...Qxa3 28.Rxd4 cxd4 29.Qb2 Qa8 30.Re1 Rc8 31.Re2 [31.Qxd4+/=] 31...Qa6 32.Qxb3 Qc6 [32...Qa8=] 33.Qc2 [33.Nd3+/-] 33...Rb8+ 34.Nb3?! [34.Ka1=] 34...Qb5 35.Kb2? [35.Rd2 Qxb3+ 36.Qxb3 Rxb3+ 37.Kc2 Rc3+ 38.Kd1 h5-/+] 35...d3 0-1

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