Saturday, January 10, 2009

Najdorf-Czerniak 1929 Match, Game 6

Najdorf, Miguel - Czerniak, Moshe [A00]

Warsaw Match (Game 6), Oct. 1929

[Annotations: Czerniak]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. d4 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 d6 5. e4 Nbd7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O e5 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. Qc2 Qe7 (Better is 9... c6 and ...Qc7.) 10. Rd1 c6 11. Rb1

An interesting idea to create a pawn chain on the queenside (a3, b4,c5). 11... a5 12. a3 Nh5 13. b4 h6 14. c5 Rd8 15. Nd2!

The white knight scrambles to c4 controlling the important positional points d6 and b6. Now White's 11th move can be understood. 15... Nf4 16. Nc4 Nf8 17. Bxf4 exf4 18. Rxd8 Qxd8 19. Na4! Qg5! 

The last chance. Unable to defend himself against the invasion of white knights on d6 and b6, Black tries to create a counterattack on the kingside... 20. Nab6 Bh3 21. Bf3 Bxg2!

A hard to calculate piece sacrifice for two pawns. 22. h4! (Naturally 22. Bxg2 would be bad because of 22... f3 and so on.) 22... Qxh4 23. Bxg2 Re8 (Not allowing Nd6 which would be followed by ...Re5 with a sharp mating attack.) 24. Rd1 Ne6 25. f3 (...Nd4 was threatened and then ...f3. Because of that, White decides to return material in order to liquidate the dangerous black bishop.} 25... Bd4+ !?

This gains material but loses the game. The move should have been left as a threat... 26. Kf1 (Not immediately 26. Rxd4 because of Qe1+.) 26... Qh2 27. Rxd4 Nxd4 28. Qd3 Ne6 29. Nd6

Apart from the material imbalance, White stands positionally better and has an assured victory. 29... Rd8 30. Qc3! With the threat of Qf6. The move liquidates the real threat of the advance of the h-pawn since the black queen has to defend the f6-square. 30... Qh4 31. Nbc4? 

The first mistake so far of an excellently playing opponent. (The simple move 31. Qe5 eliminates all threats...) 31... axb4 32. axb4 h5 33. Na5? 

Again a mistake, and this time very serious. (Playing 33. Qe5 here too, White should win...) 33... b6!! A very subtle move, which after Nxc6, ...Ra8 prevents the return of the a5-knight to close the a-file in the face of the Ra2 threat... 34. Nxc6 (Relatively better was 34. Nb3, but White heads for a clarification of the situation.) 34... Ra8 35. Qe1 (No help was 35. cxb6 Ra2 36. Qe1 Qh2 winning.) 35... Qh2 36. Qb1 h4!

White resigned since there is no rescue against the threat of ...h3.

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