Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spanish Game, Morphy - Modern Steinitz Defense

Bled, 1961

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, a6

In the Modern Steinitz Defence (also called the Steinitz Defense Deferred or the Neo-Steinitz Defence), Black interpolates 3...a6 4.Ba4 before playing 4...d6, which was frequently played by Alexander Alekhine, José Raúl Capablanca and Paul Keres. The possibility of breaking the pin with a timely ...b5 gives Black more latitude than in the Old Steinitz Defence; in particular, in the Old Steinitz, White can practically force Black to give up his strongpoint at e5, but in the Steinitz Deferred, Black is able to maintain his centre. Most plausible White moves are playable here, including 5.c3, 5.c4, 5.Bxc6, 5.d4, and 5.0-0. (Source: Wikipedia)

4. Ba4, d6
5. 0-0, Bg4
6. h3, Bh5
7. c3, Bf6
8. g4, Bg6
9. d4, Bxe4
10. Nbd2, Bg6
11. Bxc6 ....

Creating a double-pawn ....

11. .... bxc6
12. dxe5, dxe5
13. Nxe5, Bd6

Black's Queen cannot capture the Knight because of the threat 14. Re1.

14. Bxg6, Qxg6
15. Re1+, Rf1
16. Nc4, h5
17. Nxd6, cxd6

If 17....hxg4, then 18. Bf4 gxh3+, 19. Bg3... Here White wins the exchange because the Knight at d6 cannot be captured.

18. Bf4, d5
19. Qb3, hxg4
20. Qb7 ....

It is hard to believe that Fischer was not able to see the winning line 20. Qb4+ but there must a reason for the delay: he wants the Rook as well.

20. .... gxh3+
21. Bg3, Rd8
22. Qb4+, Resigns

Black's Knight and Rook will be lost in later moves, or face immediate mate.

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