Tuesday, 17 August 2010

When opening systems colide

There are a couple of openings I have never really played. Top of the list was the Sicilian Defence. This was due to reading a quote by off-beat opening theorist Hugh E. Meyers at an early age. "Black only wins in the Sicilian if White misplays his kingside attack". Of course this isn't true but was as good a reason as any to avoid learning the reams of theory that go with 1. ... c5
This has recently changed, in part due to some work I've done with my son. He seemed quite enamoured of the Kan variation and as a result I had done a little reading on the system. I also had a look at the Taimanov system as they seemed to be related.
So when I sat down to play a game at Belconnen Chess Club last week I decided to play the Taimanov. Sadly for me I'd only done a superficial reading of the theory and assumed that the Kan and the Taimanov were a lot closer than they really were. As a consequence the following horror show occurred.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd 4.Nxd4 a6 5. c4 Qc7 Now so far I've played a Kan. 6.Nc3 Ne7 But know I shift into Taimanov territory, with the idea of playing Nb8-c6xd4 and following up with Ne7-c6 7.Be2 Nbc6? (D)
8.Ndb5! Of course it is now clear something has gone wrong. It turns out that I either play the Kan (with Qc7) or the Taimanov (with Ne7,Nbc6) but not both. 8. ... axb5 9.Nxb5 Qa5+ 10.Bd2 Qb6 11.Nd6+ Kd8 12.Nxf7+ Ke8 Now White can force a draw with 13. Nd6+ Kd8 14. Nf7+ but why not take the rook. 13.Nxh8 Qxb2 14.O-O?! g6 Surprisingly I now have some play in this position as I'm picking up the knight, and White's pawns are under pressure. However I still don't like my position, especially with the c8 bishop struggling to get active.
At this point the story has a happier ending, although not for my opponent. After a few more moves he decided that my king looked exposed enough to launch an attack but in doing so miscalculated and dropped the a1 rook. With an unexpected material advantage I quickly organised a defence and won without further difficulty!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So the sicilan actually works!
Of course you need to look
at the hedgehog after c4 ...