Monday, February 17, 2014

English Defense, Symmetrical Anti-Benoni Variation

Hastings, 1974

1. d4, Nf6
2. c4, c5

The position has reached the Symmetrical Variation where both sides advanced the c-pawns two squares, maintaining symmetry.

3. Nf3 ....

White avoided the Benoni Defense that would arise after 3. d5, hence this line is called Anti-Benoni.

3. .... cxd4
4. Nxd4, e6
5. Nc3, Bb4
6. Ndb5, 0-0

Not 6....a6, then 7. Nd6+ Bxd6, 8. Qxd6 which places White's Queen in a strategic square.

7. a3, Bxc3
8. Nxc3, d5!
9. Bg5, h6
10. Bxf6, Qxf6
11. cxd5, exd5
12. Qxd5 ....

It looks like White has grabbed a pawn, but Black now begins to control the center.

12. .... Rd8
13. Qf3, Qb6

If 13....Qxf3, 14. exf3 Re8+, 15. Be2 White's Bishop has become active.

14. Rd1, Rxd1
15. Nxd1, Nc6
16. Qe3, Nd4

Threatening 17....Nc2 double-check.

17. Qe8+, Kh7
18. e3, Nc2+
19. Kd2, Bf5!!

Sacrificing the rook to defend the Knight, but actually a mating scheme.

20. Qxa8, Qd6+
21. Kc1 ....

If 21. Ke2, then 22. Qd3 mate.

21. .... Na1
22.  Qxb7, Qc7

White resigns, as he cannot avoid mate without sacrificing the Queen, as in 23. Qxc7 Nb3 mate.

Amazing finale.

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