Dick Zdun was a practical player with decades of experience. He did not play openings with the intention of winning immediately. Although if you blundered, he would happily win. Sharp players choose openings based on exact knowledge. Other players are more philosophical. They play the opening following general principles.
There are players who play the same openings repeatedly. Dick was not that type of player. I never knew what he would play. Mr. Zdun made his selections based on a wide variety of reliable openings. He had a basic knowledge of many popular lines.
I won a game vs Dick Zdun in the Sicilian Defence Rauzer. Black plays 2…d6 or 5…Nc6 (or in reverse order as here). White in the Rauzer plays 6.Bg5 with a threat to leave Black with doubled pawns. The normal reply is 6…e6. In this game Zdun treated the position like a Najdorf with the moves 6…a6, 7…Qb6 and 8…Be6. He left a pawn on e7.
Then Black attacked kingside and queenside. When he tried to activate his dark squared with 16…Bh6 and 17…Bg5, the bishop became basically a super pawn hemmed in by pawn f4 and f6. White invaded through light squared holes in Black’s defense. White sacrificed a knight on d8 and rook on e7 to force checkmate with a queen and rook.
My Chess Training Repertoire this Thursday covers the Sicilian Defence. Sign up if you want to receive my weekly training repertoire by email.
Sawyer (2010) - Zdun (1634), Williamsport, PA 06.02.2001 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 a6 7.Qd2 Qb6 8.Nb3 Be6 9.Be2 Ng4 10.0-0 f6 11.Nd5 Bxd5 12.exd5 Nce5 13.Bf4 g5 14.h3 gxf4 15.Bxg4 Nxg4 16.hxg4 Bh6 17.Nd4 [17.Qd3+/=] 17...Bg5 [17...f3! 18.Qc3+/=] 18.Ne6 [18.Nf5+/- looks good] 18...h6 19.Qd3 Kf7 20.b3 Rac8 21.c4 Qa5 22.a4 Qb4 23.Rfe1 b5 24.axb5 axb5 25.Qf5 Rce8 [25...bxc4? 26.Nxg5+ hxg5 27.Rxe7+ Kxe7 28.Ra7+ mates] 26.cxb5 Qxb3 27.Nd8+! Rxd8 [On 27...Kf8 I intended 28.Qg6 (28.Ra8! Kg7 29.Ra7+-) 28...Qxd5 29.Ne6+ Qxe6 30.Rxe6+-] 28.Rxe7+ Kxe7 29.Ra7+ Kf8 30.Qg6 1-0
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