My Gruenfeld Defence against Paul Ross resulted in a rare pawn chain. Such pawn structures are more common in King’s Indian Defence and the French Defence. Pawn chains do not appear much in the Gruenfeld Defence due to the wide open center. Our game began with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 Bg7. Now White gained queenside space and locked the pawns with the dubious move 5.c5?! Immediately my focus went to e5. After all, we know from Aron Nimzowitsch and others that a proven strategy for success is to attack a backward point of the pawn chain.
White wins against the Gruenfeld by attacking vulnerable points in the center, on the kingside, or on the queenside. Here White played for a space advantage and tactics on the queenside. Solid play can easily drift into passive play. Black attacked all over the board. White’s strategy failed in this game because he did not castle. In fact the White king never moved.
After I had advanced my pawn from e7 to e4, White decided to attack my pawn chain from the front with f3. Pawn exchanges gave my Black pieces key squares in the center of the board. When Black finally checked the king with a pawn, White resigned rather than move his king. Another interesting tactical motif was my attack of Bg7 on Ra1. This led to the loss of White's c5 pawn.
Ross (1700) - Sawyer (2000), corr APCT 1979 begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 Bg7 5.c5?! [Better would be 5.Nf3 0-0 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Bc4=] 5...0-0 6.Nf3 c6 7.Qb3 Qc7 8.Bd3 Nfd7 9.Bd2 e5 10.Be2 e4 11.Ng1 Nf6 12.f3 exf3 13.Nxf3 Bf5 14.Qa4 Nbd7 15.b4 Rfe8 16.b5?! [16.Nh4 Bg4-/+] 16...Ng4 17.Nd1 [17.0-0 Nxe3-+] 17...Nxc5 18.Qa3 Ne4 19.Ba5 [19.bxc6 Nxh2 20.Rxh2 Qg3+ 21.Kf1 Nxd2+ 22.Nxd2 Qxh2 23.cxb7 Rab8-+] 19...b6 20.Bc3 c5 21.Rc1 Bh6 22.Bb2 Rac8 23.dxc5 bxc5 24.Bd4 Qd6 25.Bb2 Re7 26.Bd3 [Or 26.Rc2 d4-+] 26...Nxe3 27.Nxe3 Bxe3 28.Rc2 c4 29.Qa4 cxd3 30.Rxc8+ Bxc8 31.Rf1 Bc1 32.Be5 Rxe5 33.Qd4 d2+ 0-1
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