Sunday, December 14, 2008

Najdorf - Czerniak 1929 Match, Game 2

Najdorf,Miguel - Czerniak,Moshe [B13]

Warsaw Match (Game 2), Oct. 1929

[Annotations: Czerniak]

1 .e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Bg4 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.Nd2 e6 9.Ngf3 a6

(Probably 9...Bd6! should be played here, and if 10.Bxd6 Qxd6 11.Qxb7 0–0 with a good game.)

10.Ne5 Nxe5 11.dxe5 Ng8! Best! (If 11...Nh5 12.Be3 with the threat of of h3 and g4.) 12.f3 Bh5 13.0–0–0! Rc8 White was intending c3-c4! 14.Kb1 b5 For the same reason. 15.Rhe1 Bc5 16.g4 Bg6 17.Bxg6 hxg6 18.Ne4! a5! (After 18...Ne7 19.Nd6+! Bxd6 20.exd6 and then Qxd5.) 19.Nd6+ Bxd6 20.exd6

Black counts on capturing the weak d6-pawn; whereas White defends until it he can produce a strong, direct attack on the black king, when he gives the d6-pawn away and quickly transferring forces to the kingside achieves the advantage.

20...Nf6! (On 20...Rc4? there would follow nice play 21.Rxd5! Rxf4 22.Rxb5! ...) 21.Be5! Excellently played. The superbly developed bishop conceals a subtle, deeply calculated trap. 21...0–0 (21...Kf8 22.Qa3 a4 23.Bxf6 gxf6 24.Rxd5 exd5 25.Re7 Qd8 26.d7 Rc7 27.Qd6 Kg7) 22.h4! Ne8 23.Qa3 b4! 24.Qxa5!

Best. (After 24.cxb4 Nxd6 25.bxa5 Nc4 26.Qd3 Nxe5 27.Rxe5 Qc7 regains the pawn with an equal game.) 24...bxc3 25.Bxc3 Nxd6 26.h5! gxh5 (Interesting play is given by 26...Nc4!? 27.Qa6? Rc6 (27...Ra8? 28.Qxc4) 28.Qb5 Qc7 threatening 29.-- Na3+) 27.gxh5 Ra8 28.Qb4 Rfb8 29.Qg4 Nf5 30.h6 Qa4? (30...Qa7 was clearly better.) 31.Qxa4 Rxa4 32.Be5! Black threatened ...d4! 32...Rba8

33.hxg7! Rxa2 34.Rh1 Nxg7 (If 34...Ra1+ 35.Kc2 Ne3+ 36.Kb3! Rb8+ 37.Bxb8 Rxd1 38.Rxd1 Nxd1 39.Be5!)

35.Rdg1! The last hope is dashed. (If 35.Rhg1 f6 36.Bxf6 R2a7 with chances for a draw.) 35...Ra1+ (No help now is 35...f6? 36.Bxf6 R2a7 37.b4 Rb7 38.Rh4 Rab8 39.Kc2! winning.) 36.Kc2 Rxg1 37.Rxg1 f6 38.Bxf6 Ra7 39.b4! 1-0

A lively, very interesting battle. White played the game excellently... One of Najdorf's best-played games.


  1. 34...f6!! is a major improvement and gives Black the advantage
    Richard Reich,MD

  2. Fritz Certainly agrees... but this is more an historical than a chess blog. I could, of course, just run every game I post through Fritz, but the point in most cases is the players' own psychology, or contemporary annotations.