Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sicilian Defence Najdorf Swazey

When I give a simultaneous exhibition, I play different openings on alternate boards. If I play 1.e4 on one board, then I will play 1.d4 on the next board. I don’t want my opponents to simply be able to copy what the person next to them played.

Tactics decide almost every game. Weak players suck at tactics so I play for them. In simuls I aim for fast direct piece contact. Typically I have a big advantage in tactical skills. I train daily. For a simul, I like open games but I avoid most gambits. I want tactical positions, but I avoid most wild and crazy gambits lines. My exception is the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit because I know it.

My goal is to find good moves in five seconds and keep moving. Most of my opponents will blunder of their own accord. The level of competition varies widely in a simul. Some opponents are near beginners. Others are seasoned tournaments competitors.

I gave a simul at Penn College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania back in 1996. There were about six boards with rotating players. Roy Swazey had a USCF rating of 1657. We had played at the local club, so I knew him. We played several games in this simul. Swazey chose the Sicilian Defence Najdorf Variation. That is not a beginner’s opening. Roy wanted to win, but he forgot the ninth move. When I blundered he thought he was losing and gave up.

Sawyer - Swazey, simul Williamsport, PA 1996 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 b5? [9...Nbd7 10.g4=] 10.e5 Bb7 11.Qg3 Nh5 [11...dxe5 12.fxe5 Nbd7 13.exf6 Qxg3 14.hxg3 Nxf6 15.Nb3+-] 12.Qg4 g6 [Or 12...0-0 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Qxh5 Nd7 15.exd6 Qxd6 16.Qg5+-] 13.Rg1?! [Here I threw away my advantage. Correct was 13.Nxe6! Qd7 14.exd6 Bxg5 15.Nc7+ Kf8 16.Qxg5+-] 13...dxe5 14.fxe5 Bxg5+ 15.Qxg5 0-0 16.Bxb5 [16.g4 Ng7 17.Bg2 Bxg2 18.Rxg2+/=] 16...Nd7? [Black returns the favor. 16...axb5 17.Ndxb5=] 17.Bxd7 Qxd7 18.Nf5 Qe8 19.Ne4?? [This changes the evaluation from a win to a loss. 19.Nh6+! Kh8 20.g4+-] 19...exf5 [Also strong is 19...Bxe4!-+] 20.Nf6+ [Black saw that he was forked and resigned. Black actually had a win after 20...Nxf6 21.exf6 Qe6 22.Rd4 Be4-+] 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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