Wednesday, May 30, 2007

ICCF WS/O/109 game: Owens - Thomas

[Event "WS/O/109"]
[Site "ICCF"]
[Date "2007.3.3"]
[Round "-"]
[White "Owens, Steve"]
[Black "Thomas, Gerald K"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White ELO "1800P"]
[Black ELO "1800P"]
[Opening "Sicilian Kalashnikov, via Benoni Defense"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nf3 d6 4. Nc3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. e4 e5

I decided to go with a Maroczy Bind as it had been used on me in my attempts to learn the Sicilian in several variations. When I started the event I was experimenting with the Kalashnikov. I was pleased to see Black's e5 as that put us in a variation very favorable to White.

7. Nc2 Be7 8. Be2
Be6 9. O-O O-O 10. Be3 Qd7 11. f3 Rfc8 12. Nd5 Bxd5 13. cxd5 Na5

I know this Knight move is thematic for this position, but I can't help but note that my Bishops rule the Queen side. If he wants to play there, it is HIS funeral. I'm very happy to oblige. At this point I also noted that I thought his occupation of the c file was an illusion. I think my minor pieces and Queen blunt any action he may wish to undertake here. In fact, this is the first time, in one of my own games, I have seen a file controlled with no rook being present for the controlling side.

14. b3 b6

White's fourteenth is designed to deny the Knight any play on the c file. Black's response lets White's light Bishop play havoc.

15. Ba6 Nb7 16. Nb4 Rc7 17. Qe2 Nc5

While White has a definite plus here, Black can hold with perfect defense. Bet you never heard THAT before. In this case, it is true and demonstrable. After 18. Bb5 Qd8 19. Nc6 Qf8 Black has the possibilities of Ncd7-b8, and the exchange of pieces to help his cramped position and double his Rooks.

18. Bb5 Qc8

Black's eighteenth was not the defense desired. Black's Rooks must now fall.

19. Bc6 Rb8 20. Bxc5 1-0

Black Resigns. The c file will be exploited by White's Rooks after the Exchange and Black's weak light squares will suffer further invasion by the light Bishop and Queen. Black may have some hope with a Knight demonstration to h5 and f4 with the dark Bishop trying to influence things at g5. The weakness at c4 should trump that with the loss of the Exchange.

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