Mike Splane (2263) – Alex Prazma (1735) 6/29/2006
1. e4 c5 2. c3 d5 3. ed Qd5 4. d4 e5 5. de Qe5+
(Despite the balanced pawn structure, White is already better. He will gain tempos by attacking Black’s queen, increasing his lead in development. Black has too many weakened squares on the c and d files to defend them all, not to mention worries about king safety due to all of the open lines.)
6. Be3 Nc6
(I was hoping for this move. Black’s queen will be chased away from guarding c7. Now the knight can’t guard c7 either.)
7. Nf3 Qd6 8. Na3!
(Heading for b5 and c7 or c4 and b6, depending on Black’s reply.)
8. … a6?
(Fatally weakening the b6 square. I thought Black had to try 8. … Qd1+ 9. Rd1 Bd7 10. Nb5 0-0-0 to defend both c7 and c5.)
9. Qd6 Bd6 10. Nc4 Bc7
(If the bishop leaves the d6-b8 diagonal, 11.Nb6 Rb8 12. Bf4)
11. Bc5 Nge7 12. Nd6+ Bd6 13. Bd6 0-0 14. Bc4 b5 15. Bb3 Rd8 16. 0-0-0
(I played this despite walking into a pin. I wanted to have the option of meeting 16. … Nf5 with 17. Rhe1)
16. … Bg4 17. Be7
(Simplifying into a won endgame. If 17. … Ne7 18. Bf7+ wins a second pawn, so 17. … Rd1+ is forced. White can play calmly with 18. Bd1, maintaining his pawn structure , or play actively with 18. Rd1 Bf3 19. gf Ne7 20. Rd7 Kf8 21. Rb7 when Black is completely tied down. [If 21. … f6 22. Be6.] All White has to do to win this ending is reach b6 with his king and then win a pawn or two. Finding a route may be tricky, but one idea is to play a3, Ba2, Kc2-b3-b4.)
Bf3? 18. Rd8+ (winning at least a piece) 1-0