Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sicilian Defense Paulsen (Kan) Variation

Dubai, 1986

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, e6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, Nc6
5. Nc3, a6

The Paulsen (Kan) Variation, named after Ilya Kan. By playing 5...a6, Black prevents Nb5 and prepares an eventual ...b5 advance.

6. Be2, d6
7. Be3, Qc7
8. f4, Na5
9. 0-0, Nc4

Black is harassing the strategically located e3 Bishop. 

10. Bxc4, Qxc4
11. f5, Be7
12. Qg4, h5
13. Qf3 ....

Not 13. Qxg7 because Black replies with Bf6 attacking both the Queen and the Knight at d4.

13. .... Bf6
14. gxe6!!, fxe6

Not 14....Bxd4 because White's attack 15. Qxf7+ Kd8, 16. e7+ would be fatal for Black.

15. e5!, dxe5

Not 15....Bxe5 because of 16. Qf8+ Kd7, 17. Rd7+ with a mating threat.

16. Ne4!! ....

Threatens Nd6 double-check....

16. .... Qc7
17. Qg3!! ....

Prevents the capture of the Knight at d4.  It is delightful to see how Nunn managed to pin pieces one after another.

17. .... Ne7

Preventing 18. Qg6+, but still insufficient to hinder White's attack.

18. Rad1, h4
19. Nxf6+, gxf6
20. Qg7, Rf8
21. Rxf6, Rxf6
22. Qxf6, Qd6

After 22....exd4, 23. Rxd4, White controls much of the central squares and threatens mate at f8 after 24. Bh6.

23. Bg5, exd4
24. Rxd4!! ....

The Rook cannot be taken because of the mating threat at e7.

24. .... Nd5
25. Rxd5, Resigns

White's Rook is invincible. If 25...exd5, then Black loses his Queen.

Magnificent play by John Nunn!

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