Friday, April 21, 2017

Sicilian Defence vs Vestergaard

George Orwell wrote his novel “1984” a few years before I was born. It saw surveillance cameras in the future with the reminder, “Big Brother is Watching You.” I played postal chess in 1984 before the International Correspondence Chess Federation posted chess ratings. Steen Skovmose Vestergaard of Denmark had an ICCF rating of 2091 based on 582 correspondence games. His peak rating appears to have been 2349 in 2005. I have over 50 of his games in my database.

Our 1984 game was a Sicilian Defence. During the 1980s I played the Najdorf Variation in the first half of that decade. The latter half of the 1980s I played the Latvian Gambit. I played this game very well until I made a big blunder on move 23. White noticed my mistake and punished me with 24.Rxf6!

[My new French 3.Be3 Playbook is a step by step guide to the Alapin Diemer Gambit.]

Vestergaard - Sawyer, corr ICCF 1984 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f4 e6 [Another popular Najdorf approach is 6...e5 7.Nf3 Nbd7 8.a4 Be7 9.Bd3 0-0 10.0-0=] 7.Be3  [7.Be2 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Be3 would be a typical Scheveningen line.] 7...b5 8.a3 [The question after 8.Bd3 b4 9.Na4!? is to the position of this knight. Is the Na4 strong or weak?; 8.Qf3 Bb7 9.Bd3 Nbd7 10.g4 leads to a sharp position.] 8...Bb7 9.Bd3 Nbd7 10.Nf3 [White retreats the knight to f3. Another idea is for the queen to occupy that square. 10.Qf3 Rc8 11.0-0 Be7 12.Rad1=] 10...Qc7 11.Qe2 Be7 12.h3 0-0 13.0-0 Nc5 14.Nd2 Rac8 15.f5 d5! 16.exd5 exd5 17.Bd4 Rfe8 18.Qf3 Nce4 19.Bxe4 dxe4 20.Qe3 Nd5 [Black may wish to sacrifice the Exchange with 20...Red8 21.Bb6 Qe5 22.Nf3 (22.Bxd8? Bc5!-+ wins the White queen.) 22...Qd6 23.Bxd8 Bxd8 24.Rad1 Bb6 25.Nd4 Rc4 26.Nce2 Rxc2=/+] 21.Nxd5 Bxd5 22.b4 [White should grab f6 while he can with 22.f6! Bc5 23.Bxc5 Qxc5 24.Qxc5 Rxc5 25.Rf5=] 22...Qxc2 [Now it is Black's turn to occupy f6 with a pawn. 22...f6! 23.c3 Qd7 24.Rae1 Bd6-/+ Black has a slightly better position due to the two bishops and advanced e-pawn.] 23.f6 Bxf6? [Big blunder. Black throws away a fine position due to White's tactical response. Better was 23...Bf8 24.fxg7 Be7=/+] 24.Rxf6! gxf6 [24...Qd3 25.Rxa6+- leaves Black down a knight.] 25.Qg3+ Kf8 26.Qd6+ Re7 27.Bxf6 Qxd2 28.Bxe7+ Ke8 29.Bh4 1-0

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