Friday, February 3, 2017

Modern Defence Mestrovic Wins

International Master Zvonimir Mestrovic specialized in Queens Knight Defence 1…Nc6 for 40 years of tournament play. I found 300 Mestrovic 1…Nc6 games. A couple of times Anthony Miles beat him as White. Maybe those games made an impression. Later Tony Miles played 1…Nc6 too. Borislav Ivkov was a grandmaster from Serbia. Ivkov played a wide variety of openings against top players. He played 1.e4 Nc6 against Tal, but there followed 2.Nf3 e5 3.Bb5 which became a Ruy Lopez.

In “Secrets of Russian Chess Masters: vol. 2 Beyond the Basics”, authors Lev Alburt and Larry Parr wrote, “Mental flexibility is absolutely necessary to play good and consistent chess.” Mestrovic exhibited flexibility regarding piece placement. Players often commit to playing the same pieces to the same squares in the same openings. Mestrovic could take 1…Nc6 in any direction. He was not afraid to avoid popular openings or to play them. Mestrovic heads to the Modern Defence (g6) without the Pirc Defence (Nf6).

Ivkov - Mestrovic, JUG-ch Novi Sad, 1975 begins 1.d4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d6 3.e4 g6 4.d5 Ne5 [4...Nb8 5.h3 Bg7 6.Bd3 +/=] 5.Nxe5 dxe5 6.c4 Bh6 [6...Bg7 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.Be2 c6 9.Be3 +/=] 7.Nc3 [7.Bxh6 Nxh6 8.Qd2 Ng8 9.Qc3 +/-] 7...c6 [7...Bxc1 8.Rxc1 Nf6 9.Be2 +/=] 8.Bxh6 Nxh6 9.Qd2 Ng4 10.Be2 Nf6 11.Qh6 Qb6 12.Rb1 Bg4 13.f3 Bd7 14.b4 [14.dxc6 Bxc6 15.g3 +/=] 14...Qd4 15.Qd2 0-0 16.Rd1 a5 17.b5 Qa7 [17...Qxd2+ 18.Kxd2 cxb5 19.cxb5 a4=] 18.a4 [18.Qg5 Qc5 19.bxc6 bxc6 20.Qxe5 cxd5 21.Nxd5 Nxd5 22.Rxd5 +/-] 18...Rac8 19.Qg5 cxd5 20.exd5 Bf5 21.Qh4 [21.g4 +/=] 21...Qe3 22.Nb1 Bc2 23.Qf2 Qxf2+ 24.Kxf2 Bxd1 25.Rxd1 Nd7 26.Nc3 Nb6 27.d6 exd6 28.Rxd6 Nxc4 29.Rd7 Rfd8 30.Rxd8+ Rxd8 31.Bxc4 Rc8 32.Bd5 Rxc3 33.Bxb7 Ra3 34.Bc6 Rxa4 35.b6 Rb4 36.b7 a4 37.Bxa4 Rxb7 38.Bc6 0-1

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