What's the point of the Nimzo-Indian Defence after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4? To prevent 4.e4. What if Black delays 3…Bb4? I played Edward Sytnik of New Jersey. Most of his career Sytnik has been rated in the 1700s and 1800s. Let’s way back to 1981.
Both of us were learning openings that began with 1.d4 and 2.c4. Sytnik and I met in the first round of a tournament in Levittown, Pennsylvania. This Philadelphia suburb is near New Jersey. As a higher rater player, I was paired down in a big Swiss tournament.
Black delayed the Nimzo-Indian move 3…Bb4 until 4…Bb4. This allowed White to obtain a small edge and play 4.e4! It had the impact that both of us were out of the book and on our own. I did okay for a few moves. Unfortunately for me, I missed a clear win on move seven. The lesson here is to really pay attention on the first few moves after you leave your opening book.
Black did not sit still. He made several threats against my pieces. Good play like that would not keep his rating at 1558 for long. Sure I still won 20 moves later. That was nice, but more accurate play in the opening would have made it a better game for me.
Sawyer - Sytnik (1558), Levittown, PA (1), 16.05.1981 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 b6 4.e4! Bb4 [4...Bb7 5.Qc2+/=] 5.Bd3 Bb7 6.Qc2 d6? 7.Nge2? [I missed 7.Qa4+! not realizing that 7...Nc6 8.d5 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3+- wins a piece.] 7...Nbd7 8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.Nxc3 0-0 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 e5 12.d5 g5 13.Bg3 c6 14.dxc6 Bxc6 15.0-0-0 Nc5 16.h4 [16.f3+/-] 16...Nh5 17.Bxe5 dxe5 18.Be2 Qf6 19.Bxh5 Qf4+ 20.Kb1 Nxe4 21.f3 Ng3 22.Ne2 Nxe2 23.Qxe2 Rac8 24.hxg5 hxg5 25.Rde1 f6 26.Qd3 Be8? [26...e4 27.fxe4+/-] 27.Bxe8 1-0
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