Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sicilian Defense, Richter-Rauzer Classical Variation

Gijon, 1955
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer Classical Variation

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, Nf6
5. Nc3, d6
6. Bg5 ....

White's most common reply to the Classical Variation of the Sicilian Defense.  This is otherwise known as the Richter-Rauzer Attack, threatening to double Black's pawns after Bxf6 and forestalling the Dragon variation by rendering 6...g6 unplayable.

6. .... e6
7. Qd2, Be7
8. 0-0-0, 0-0
9. f4, e5
10. Nf3, Bg4
11. h3, Bxf3
12. gxf3, Nd4
13. fxe5, dxe5

If 13.....Nxf3, then 14. exf6 Nxd2, 15. fxe7 and White would have enough compensation for the Queen.

14. f4, Qa5
15. fxe5, Nf3
16. exf6, Nxd2
17. fxe7, Nxf1?

A bad choice for Black.  He should have moved the threatened Rook.

18. exf8=Q, Kxf8
19. Bf4, Ng3

Black hopes for 20. Bxg3 Qg5+, but White saw the plan.

20. Rhg1, Nxe4
21. Nxe4, Qxa2
22. Bd6+, Kg8

Of course not 22....Ke8, 23. Nf6 gxf6, 24. Rg8+ and White would be more ahead in material.

23. Rxg7+ !!!....

A surprise move!  Black has been caught unaware.  Black cannot capture the offered Rook because of a threatened mate:  23....Kxg7, 24. Rg1+ Kh8 25. Be5+....  If 24.....Kh6, 25. Bf4+ Kh5, 26. Rg5+ Kh4, 27. Rg4+ .... and here comes the beauty of the thing: 27......Kxh3 (if 27.....Kh5, 28. Nf6 mate.) 28. Nf2 mate.

23. ..... Kh8
24. Rg8+, Resigns

Black, with a Queen to his advantage, cannot take the Rook:  24....Rxg8 because of 25. Be5+ Rg7, 26. Rd8 mate.

A stunning victory!

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