Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sicilian Sozin Davies Plays 7.a3

St. Louis has become one of the leading locations in the United States for chess activity. The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a driving force for the game. Across the street from the club is the World Chess Hall of Fame. It was in Miami in a building that was shaped like a rook. I visited it when we were in Miami on business.

As I recall APCT player and columnist James Davies lived in the St. Louis area. I chose the Sicilian Defence in our 1980 game. In postal chess, you sent each of your moves to their address. Davies played the Sozin Variation 6.Bc4 against my classical Sicilian 5...Nc6. He took me out of the book with his move 7.a3. It was new to me, but maybe James Davies had played it before. Jim's plan was to retreat the bishop to a2 to assist long range like a sniper in his kingside attack aiming at e6 and f7 and g8. White sacrificed a rook for an attack. Black survived, but White still had a perpetual check to draw.

Davies (2170) - Sawyer (2050), corr APCT 1980 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.a3!? [This may look slow, but White has long term attack plans in mind. 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9.0-0-0 Qc7 10.Bb3 0-0=] 7...Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Ba2 Nxd4 10.Qxd4 b6 11.Qd3 Bb7 12.f4 [12.Bf4=] 12...d5 [12...Qc8!=/+] 13.e5 Ng4 14.Qg3 Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Ba6 16.Rf3 Nh6 [16...h5 17.f5 exf5 18.Rxf5 Qd7= when Black threatens the rook on f5 and a check on f2.] 17.f5 Nxf5  [17...Kh8 18.Bg5+-] 18.Rxf5 exf5 19.Bh6 g6 20.Nxd5 Be7 21.Rd1 [The winning move is 21.e6! fxe6 22.Nc7 Rf6 23.Nxa6+- and White is up a piece.] 21...Kh8 22.Ne3 [22.Qe1 Re8 23.e6+/-] 22...Qc7 [22...Qc8=] 23.Bd5 [Another good chance is the complicated line after 23.Re1! Rfe8 24.Nxf5 Bf6 25.Nd6 Bxe5 26.Nxf7+ Qxf7 27.Bxf7 Bxg3 28.Rxe8+ Rxe8 29.Bxe8 Be5 30.c3+/- and White is up a pawn in a four bishop endgame.] 23...Rad8 24.Qf4 Rfe8 25.b4 Bf8 26.Bg5 Rd7 27.Bf6+ Bg7 [Black could return material in an effort to win, but that might favor the higher rated player. 27...Kg8 28.h4 Re6 29.Bxe6 Rxd1+ 30.Nxd1 fxe6=/+] 28.Bxg7+ Kxg7 29.Nxf5+ gxf5 White has sacrificed a rook for an attack. Black survived, but White still has a perpetual check to draw. 1/2-1/2


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