Friday, August 18, 2017

Haines Wins a Sicilian Defence

The Sicilian Defence English Attack 6.Be3 is a race. Players castle opposite sides. They rush to push pawns and to attack targets. It makes for exciting chess. Compare this line to running a mile. It is easy to start well. Most can run hard for the first 10 yards, the first 100 feet, or the first 100 yards. Then we feel tired. We want to take a break and rest.

Ray Haines sent me a Sicilian Defence game from the Houlton Open. Ray writes, “I was black against Roger Hardison. I won the game, He traded Queens early, but I still had a lot of play. He made two big mistakes losing a piece each time.”

Thanks, Ray. That sums it up. After 10 moves most attackers prefer 11.g5 or 11.h4 as Roger Hardison played last time. Here White chose the slower 11.Rg1. It's not a blunder, but it seems like a waste of time. The rook might be better on h1 than g1. When White played 13.Qb6, his intention to swap queens made it clear that he no longer intended to attack kingside. There are easier paths to an even endgame than the Open Sicilian. The game result was still up for grabs until White’s position fell apart tactically.

Hardison - Haines, Houlton ME (2), 05.08.2017 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be3 e6 7.f3 Be7 8.Qd2 a6 9.g4 Qc7 10.0-0-0 0-0
11.Rg1 Nxd4 12.Qxd4 b5 13.Qb6 [13.g5 Nd7 14.f4 Bb7 15.Kb1=] 13...Qxb6 14.Bxb6 Bb7 15.Be3 Rac8 16.a3 Rfd8 17.Bb6 Re8 18.Bd3 [18.g5 Nd7 19.Bf2=] 18...Nd7 19.Be3 Bf6 20.Ne2 Ne5 21.Rgf1 Nxd3+ 22.Rxd3 d5 23.g5 [Better is 23.exd5 Bxd5 24.Rd2 Red8=/+] 23...Be7 [Black could insert the move 23...dxe4!-/+ attacking the rook.] 24.e5 b4 25.axb4 Bxb4 26.Kb1 a5 27.c3 Ba6 28.Rd2 Be7 29.Nd4 [29.Kc2 a4=/+] 29...Bxf1 30.f4 Bc5 31.Rd1 Bh3 32.Rd2 Bxd4 33.Bxd4 Bf5+ 34.Ka1 Rb8 35.Ka2 a4 36.Bc5 Rec8 37.Bb4 Rc4 38.Rd4 Rxd4 0-1

Sets: Chess Games 1.e4 Series and Chess Games 1.d4 Series
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