Friday, September 16, 2016

French Tarrasch Closed 8.Nf3 Be7

John Hathaway was one of those guys who beat the players who beat me. Yet in our club, I won more of our games against him. In this French Defence Tarrasch Variation John Hathaway improves upon his mistake in our previous game. There, Hathaway had played 7…Qg5 8.Nf3 Qxg2. Black lost his queen when it got trapped.

The strategy for Black in the 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 line is to play along either the b6-d4-f2 diagonal or the c7-e5-h2 diagonal. Those ideas are illustrated in the lines 7…Qb6 8.Nf3 cxd4 and 7…cxd4 8.cxd4 f6. John avoided both options.

In this game Black kept the position closed. That was reasonable, but Black had to make sure he stayed active. Passive play tends to prove fatal in chess long term. Hathaway played 7…Qb6 8.Nf3 Be7. This was one of those games were my creativity and boldness led to an advantage. I offered a knight sacrifice with 14.Ng5!?

Black should have accepted the sacrifice and tried to outplay me in complications. White went on to win the Exchange. Technical difficulties remained, but White was able to exchange material. This led to an endgame where my material finally won.

Sawyer - Hathaway, Lansdale, PA 04.03.1981 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 Qb6 8.Nf3 Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Nf4 [10.a3+/=] 10...cxd4 [10...Re8=] 11.cxd4 Nb4 12.Bb1 f6 13.a3 Na6 14.Ng5 f5? [14...fxg5 15.Qh5 h6 16.Qg6 Rxf4 17.Qh7+ Kf8 18.Bxf4 gxf4 19.Bg6+/-] 15.Nfxe6 Bxg5 16.Nxf8 Bxc1 17.Nxd7 Qxb2 [17...Bxd7 18.Qxc1] 18.Qd3 [18.Bxf5! Bxd7 19.Rb1+-] 18...Bxd7 19.Ra2 Qb6 20.Rxc1 Rf8 21.f4 Bb5 22.Qc3 Bc4 23.Rb2 Qc6 24.Ba2 b5 25.Bxc4 [25.a4 b4 26.Qxc4 dxc4 27.Rxc4+-] 25...bxc4 26.Qa5 Nc7 27.Qxa7 Ra8 28.Rb8+ Rxb8 29.Qxb8+ Ne8 30.Rb1 c3 31.Qb3 Nc7 32.Rc1 Nb5 33.Qb4 Qb6 34.Rxc3 Qxd4+ 35.Qxd4 Nxd4 36.Rc8+ Kf7 37.Kf2 1-0

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