Tuesday, September 28, 2004

An opening preparation anecdote

Since most of the players in the Championship are active readers of this weblog, discussing opening preparation prior to the rounds wouldn't be prudent (nor would posting adjournment analysis, for that matter). As a result, when I post something like this after the fact you'll just have to believe me (or not).

In preparing for my Round 3 encounter with Charles I found the following game of his:

[Event "Northeast Spring Getaway"]
[Site "Lowell"]
[Date "2003.??.??"]
[Round "2"]
[Black "Riordan,Charles"]
[Result "1/2"]
[Eco "B22"]

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bc4 Nb6 7.Bb3 g6 8.Ng5 d5 9.exd6 e6 10.Qf3 Ne5 11.Qe4 Qxd6 12.0-0 Bg7 13.Rd1 h6 14.Nf3 Bd7 15.Bf4 Qc6 16.Qxc6 Nxc6 17.cxd4 Ne7 18.Nc3 Bc6 19.Ne5 Bd5 20.Nxd5 Nexd5 21.Bd2 0-0 22.a4 Rfd8 23.Ba5 Rac8 24.g3 Ne7 25.Nf3 Nc6 26.Bxb6 axb6 27.d5 exd5 28.Bxd5 Bxb2 29.Rab1 Ba3 30.Rxb6 Ne7 31.Rb5 Nxd5 32.Rdxd5 Rxd5 33.Rxd5 Rc2 34.Nd4 Ra2 35.Rd8+ Bf8 36.Nb3 1/2

I wasn't planning on playing this exact move order, but instead the line 4.Nf3 delaying d2-d4. After 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 Black has several reasonable moves, including 6...g6. I thought there was a good chance that Charles might choose g6 since after 7.d4 cxd4 the position transposes to the game above. This is a perfectly acceptable line, but not one I have studied extensively. So I decided I would play the alternative 7.O-O and reviewed the following game:

[Event "Bucharest Strange Badger"]
[Site "Bucharest"]
[Date "2001.08.05"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Gheng,Josef"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "B22"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 g6 7.0-0 Bg7 8.Re1 0-0 9.Na3 d6 10.exd6 Qxd6 11.d4 cxd4 12.Nb5 Qd8 13.Nbxd4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 e6 15.Qf3 Nd7 16.Be3 Qe7 17.Rad1 a6 18.Qg3 Nf6 19.Qg5 h6 20.Qa5 Qd8 21.Nc6 Qxa5 22.Nxa5 b5 23.Rd3 e5 24.Rd6 Ng4 25.Bd5 Bf5 26.Bxa8 Rxa8 27.Red1 Bf6 28.Bc5 Rc8 29.Rc6 Rxc6 30.Nxc6 Bc2 31.Rd6 Bg5 32.h3 Nf6 33.Rd8+ Kh7 34.Nxe5 Ne4 35.Rc8 Nxc5 36.Rxc5 Bc1 37.c4 b4 38.b3 Bb1 39.Ra5 Ba3 40.Nc6 1-0

Glickman-Riordan Round 3 did, in fact, follow this course; Charles deviated at move 10.


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