Monday, December 15, 2008

Najdorf-Czerniak 1929 Match, Game 3

Czerniak,Moshe - Najdorf,Miguel [E60]
Warsaw Match (Game 3), Oct. 1929
[Annotations: Czerniak]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0–0 5.e4 d6 6.Ne2 e5 7.d5 a5!  

(Rather not immediately 7...Nbd7 8.0–0 Nc5 (as in the game Capablanca-Bogoljubow, Karlsbad 1929) which can be answered by 9.b4! ( 9...Ncxe4 is impossible because of 10.f3 ) and White stands slightly better.) 

8.h3 Na6 9.0–0 Nc5 10.Nbc3 b6 11.Be3 Bd7 (In the game mentioned above, Black played 11...Qe7? upon which White freed himself with a3! and b4. At present, in the event of a3!? comes a4!.) 12.Qd2 a4! 

Very good. Directly threatens ...Qc8! 14.Kh2 Qa6! gaining a pawn. 13.f4 exf4 14.Nxf4 Re8 15.Bxc5 bxc5 16.Rae1 Rb8 17.Qc2 Rb4 18.b3 Qb8 19.Rb1 Qa7 20.Nd3 axb3 21.axb3 Rb6 22.e5!

An ingenious combination; it leads to interesting and complicated play. 22...dxe5 (Black must pick up the gauntlet; declining to take the pawn could have fatal consequences, e.g. 22...Nh5 23.g4 Ng3 24.Rf3!) 23.Ra1 Ra6 24.Rxa6 Qxa6 25.Nxc5 Qb6 26.Qf2

At first glance Black's position seems hopeless...

26...e4!? A bolt from the blue. A seemingly crazy move, actually unusually strong and subtle. The tangle of manifold combinations is so difficult to calculate that only after over half an hour of thought did I decide on a move, and then not the strongest one. 27.Kh2? (Play should probably go as Mr Lowtzky showed in his analysis, 27.N3xe4! Nxe4 28.Bxe4 Rxe4 29.Nxd7 with a good game.) 27...Bf5 28.g4 Bxg4 29.N5xe4 Qxf2 30.Rxf2 Nxe4 31.Nxe4 Bd1

From here Black is playing in great time trouble. 32.b4 f5 33.Nc5 Re3! 34.Ne6 Be5+ 35.Kh1 Be2! 36.c5 Bg3 37.Kg1 Bc4 38.Rf3 Re1+ 39.Rf1 Bxf1 40.Bxf1 c6! 41.dxc6 (If 41.d6 Rxe6 42.d7 Bc7 43.Bc4 Kf7 and Black wins.) 41...Rxe6 42.Bc4 Kf7 43.b5 Ke7 44.Bxe6 Kxe6 45.Kg2 Be5 46.b6 Bd4 47.c7 Kd7 48.c6+ Kc8 0-1

[The amusing final position deserves a diagram - A.P.]:

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