Sunday, December 14, 2008

Najdorf-Czerniak 1929 Match, Game 1

Czerniak,Moshe - Najdorf,Miguel [A15]
Warsaw Match (Game 1), Oct. 1929
[Annotations: Czerniak]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.g3 Bf5 4.Bg2 Qc8 Typical of young players... 5.0–0 Bh3 6.d3 e5 7.Nc3 Bxg2 8.Kxg2 Nc6 9.Nd5 Nxd5 10.cxd5 Ne7 11.e4 c6 (Not 11...f5? 12.Ng5) 12.dxc6 Nxc6 13.Be3 Be7 14.Rc1 Qe6 15.a3 0–0 16.Ng1!

The excellently placed knight defends three vulnerable squares - e2, f3 and h3 - and allows the White queen to start a counterattack on the queenside. (Not to be played is 16.d4? exd4 17.Bxd4 Qxe4 18.Re1 Qd5! 19.Rxc6? bxc6 20.Rxe7 c5! and Black wins.) 

16...f5 The opening of the f-file is inevitably favourable for Black. 17.exf5 Rxf5 (Of course not 17...Qxf5 because of 18.Qb3+ and Qxb7; however, probably better is 17...Qd5+ ...) 18.Qa4 White takes advantage of a momentary "lull before the storm" to start a strong counterattack on the queenside. 18...Raf8 (18...a6 gave a more solid game, but Black heads for a clarification of the situation.) 19.Qb5! R5f7 20.f4 exf4 21.Bxf4 g5! 

Black energetically heads for victory. The last move secures the f-file for Black's rooks. However, the excellent g1–knight saves an almost hopeless position.

22.Bd2 (If 22.Bxg5? Nd4 23.Qa5 b6! gains a piece.) 22...a6 23.Qc4! It's still not possible to take on b7, because of Qd5+ ... With the text move White forces his opponent to play ...d6-d5, which takes away that square from the black queen. 23...d5 24.Qb3

24... Nd4? This saves a hopeless situation. (Black overlooked the winning move 24...Bc5!! with the further 25.Rxf7 Qxf7 winning... The text move allows White to completely equalize the game.)

25.Qxb7! Ne2 26.Rce1 (If 26.Rfe1 there follows an effective mate 26...Rf2+ ...) 26...Rxf1 27.Rxf1 (Not 27.Rxe2 Rxg1+) 27...Nxg1! (Much better than 27...Rxf1 after which White would still have chances, e.g. 28.Kxf1 Nxg1 29.Kxg1 ...) 28.Rxf8+ Kxf8! 29.Kxg1 Bc5+ 30.Kh1? (Better is 30.Kf1) 30...Qe2 31.Qc8+ Kg7 32.Qxc5 Qf1+ 33.Qg1 Qf3+ 34.Qg2 Qd1+ 35.Be1! Qxe1+ 36.Qg1 Qe2! ½–½

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