Friday, May 12, 2017

Sicilian Najdorf vs Gabasjelisjvili

I played in master level postal chess tournaments in the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) in the 1980s. I played postal chess against people from 30 different countries. This way I “met” a lot of good players.

Numerical notation was used to combat the language barrier. Every square is a two digit number. Every move was a four digit number. The algebraic “a1” square is “11” in numerical notation. The first move 1.Nf3 in algebraic is 1.7163 in numeric. Numbers are one thing. Names are another. The spellings of my opponent’s names would change depending the alphabet used.

Here I played G. Gabasjelisjvili in the Sicilian Defence. There are players with similar spelled names to this player, but I am not sure exactly who he was. ICCF was not online until years later. By the spelling I am guessing this player was from Russia.

At any rate we played the same sharp Najdorf Variation in which I defeated Curt Jones. The key moves were 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.Qd2 e6. Against Curt Jones I castled kingside. Here I castled queenside and turned up the heat. I had a great game until I got burned.

Sawyer - Gabasjelisjvili, corr ICCF 1984 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Bc4 Qa5 [7...Qb6 8.Bb3 e6=] 8.Qd2 e6 9.0-0-0 [Another idea is to play 9.f3 b5 (9...h6 10.Be3 Ne5 11.Bb3=) 10.Bb3 Bb7 11.0-0 Be7 12.a3=] 9...b5 10.Bb3 Bb7 11.Rhe1 0-0-0 [11...Be7 12.Kb1 Nc5 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Nf5 0-0 15.Nxd6 Be5 16.Nxb7 Nxb7=] 12.f3 Kb8 13.Be3 [13.Kb1+/=] 13...Rc8 14.Kb1 Ne5 15.Qf2 [15.Bg1+/=] 15...Nfd7 16.Rd2 [16.Nde2+/=] 16...Be7 17.h3 g5 18.Rc1 Ka8 [Now Black can sacrifice the Exchange with good compensation after 18...Rxc3 19.bxc3 Qxc3 20.Ne2 Qc7 21.Rcd1 Rc8=] 19.g3?! [19.Nde2 b4 20.Na4+/=] 19...Rxc3 [19...b4!?=] 20.bxc3 Nc4 21.Bxc4 bxc4=/+ [Apparently White could not find a good defense. Black is better, but there seems to be a possibilty of survival after 22.Ne2 Bxe4 =+] 0-1

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