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zdrak 338 ( +1 | -1 )
Yet another OTB game ... I think I'm getting the hang of it ... after a 2-year break, I had two, count'em, TWO games in a month!

White: A. Greenfeld
Black: Yours Truly
Regional team championship, round 3
Time control: Game in 2 hrs

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3

Whew, I'm glad he's playing the open Sicilian! At least I'll get to use my theoretical knowledge I worked so hard to obtain - plus, I hate being black vs. the closed Sicilian. Dragon or Najdorf, what shall it be ? Eenie meenie minie moe ...

5...a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6

Nope, I have no intention of chickening out by 7...Be7 or something like that.


White doesn't have to sac the b-pawn, but after 8.Nb3 Qc7 black is doing fine.

8...Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.Bxf6!?

Probably a bit premature. Theory recommends 10.f5 (main line) or 10.e5 (somewhat risky ... for both sides)

10...gxf6 11.Be2 Nc6 12.Rb3 Qa5

12...Qc5 looks more natural, but I didn't like 13.Nxc6 bxc6 (13...Qxc6? 14.Nb5! threatening Rc3 and the knight cannot be taken) 14.Na4 Qa7. My point was that on a5 the queen prevents Nc3 from becoming active.

13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.0-0 d5!?

An interesting attempt to make black's cental pawn majority felt. Of course with the king stuck in the center it takes guts to make a move like this!

15.exd5 cxd5 16.Qd3!

A simple, but very strong move, preventing black's attempt to exchange queens with d5-d4. At this time I took a big think of almost half an hour.

16...Bd7 17.Rfb1?

White doubles his rooks on an open file - the standard thing to do. But 17.f5 was the best here - Rf1 is placed ideally to support the attack, and there was no need to move it! After 17...Bc5+ 18.Kh1 Ke7 19.fxe6 fxe6 the position is very double-edged.


Defending b8 at attacking f4 at the same time.

18.Qf3 Ke7!

The black king is feeling very safe in his little fortress of 4 pawns and 2 bishops. Here I felt white couldn't find any good ideas and began to "swim"

19.Bd3 Rac8

Much better than 19...Rab8 20.Rxb8 Rxb8 21.Rxb8 Bxb8 22.Bxh7 and white should be able to draw this (eg. 21...Bxf4 22.Nxd5+ Qxd5 23.Qxf4 Qxa2 24.Qb4+)

20.Ne2 Rcb8

Now the time is right to offer a rook exchange - after 21.Rxb8 Rxb8 22.Rxb8 Bxb8 white cannot play 23.Bxh7? Qe1+ 24.Qf1 Ba7+. As for taking the a-pawn, I deemed that black can win in a simpler way, so why take any chances ?


A very strange move. White is playing without a plan. Now black can force an exchange into a clearly better endgame.

21...Rxb3 22.axb3 Qe1+ 23.Qf1 Qxf1+ 24.Kxf1 Bxf4 25.Bxa6?

White could have remained only one pawn down after 25.Ne2! Be5 (25...Bxh2? 26.g3) 26.Bxa6. Now a second pawn goes.

25...Ra8 26.Bd3 Bxh2 27.Ne2 Be5

Note that taking h7 isn't too attractive for white because after f6-f5 the bishop is trapped.

28.Kf1 Ra1

A move that required careful calculation. The bishop will be temporarily out of play on a1, but black's cental pawns will carry the day.

29.Rxa1 Bxa1 30.c3! f5 31.b4!

White is doing all he can, bravely battling the two-pawn deficit, but it's not enough.

31...e5 32.Ke2 f4

White tries to bring his king over to capture Ba1, but black simply ignores it and advances his pawns.

33.Kd3 h5 34.Kc2 h4 35.Kb1 e4 36.Bxe4

Desparation. Of course if the bishop moves then comes 36...f3 etc.

36...fxe4 37.Kxa1 f3 38.gxf3 exf3 0-1

White resigned

After the game I received a compliment from an IM who was observing the match. He said my play was "of a very high class" !

Oh, and in case you care, our team won 3-1 (only the 4th board lost, in time trouble after being better for most of the game)
zdrak 12 ( +1 | -1 )
Sorry, minor typos copying the move list.

White's 28th is Kf2 (not Kf1)
White's 32nd is Ke1 (not Ke2)
White's 33rd is Kd2 (not Kd3)
desertfox 10 ( +1 | -1 )
Who was that player? Hi,

Did you play against GM Alon Greenfeld, who was once a neigbour of mine, here in Beer-Sheva?
zdrak 7 ( +1 | -1 )
Nope, it was Anatoli Greenfeld from Kiryat-Bialik ... definitely not a GM ;-)
parrvert 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks zdrak Thanks for sharing your insight. I find your comments about white "swimming" and playing without a plan interesting as this is sometimes my problem.

Good luck with future games.