Saturday, July 9, 2016

Caro Panov to Semi-Tarrasch

Chess was not easy for me when I first played 40 years ago. Even the simple positions were not easy. In this postal game Tim Sawyer vs future master Ed Sawyer we reached a Queens Gambit from Caro-Kann Defence. In my early years I tried out many different variations. As White I chose the Panov Variation 1.e4 c6 2.d4 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4.

This line leads to wide open positions. They can become sharp and tactical. Black simplified our position after 7…Nxd5 in a way that would make Capablanca happy. It may be simple, but finding the right plan and the best squares for pieces is hard.

This same position after seven moves can be reached via the Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Tarrasch after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e3 cxd4 7.exd4 Be7. One thing that surprised me in this game was Black’s 13...Be8. It never occurred to me that Black might back up his bishop.

My experience was geared to moving pieces ahead aggressively and rapidly. I had planned to take his bishop. I figured that could wait one more move. It disappeared! I took his knight instead. I found myself caught by indecision. Should I attack his king? My pieces were not set up for attack. He had no weak points.

Black was able to coordinate his pieces against me queenside. My attempts on the kingside produced nothing. When my last queenside pawn fell, I resigned.

Sawyer, Tim - Sawyer, Ed, corr 1976 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Be7 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Bb5+ [8.Bd3 Nc6 9.0-0 0-0 10.Re1 Nf6 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bh4 b6 13.a3 Bb7=] 8...Nc6 [8...Bd7 9.Bc4 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Qc7 11.Qd3 0-0 12.Bb3 Bc6 13.0-0 Nd7=] 9.Ne5!? [The main continuation is 9.0-0 0-0 10.Re1=] 9...Bd7 10.Bxc6 bxc6 [10...Bxc6=] 11.Qf3 [11.Qg4!+/=] 11...0-0 12.0-0 Nxc3 [12...f6 13.Nxd7 Qxd7=] 13.Qxc3 [13.bxc3=] 13...Be8 14.Nxc6 Bxc6 15.Qxc6 Qxd4 16.Rb1 Rfc8 17.Qf3 Rab8 18.Be3?! [18.b3=] 18...Qa4 19.a3 Bf6 20.h3? [20.Qd1 Qxd1 21.Rfxd1 Rxb2 22.Bxa7 Ra2 23.Rb3=] 20...Bxb2 21.Bc1 Bf6 22.Bh6 Bb2 [22...Be5-/+] 23.Qg3? Qxa3 0-1

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