Mystery game #75: Potential of rare variation: Master duel in Nimzowitch's Def., B00

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  • Mystery game #75: Potential of rare variation: Master duel in Nimzowitch's Def., B00

    Here is the text of an interesting game. You can discuss the game, variations, era, setting, time controls, format, etc. I will provide all data in a few days. Enjoy!!

    1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.c3 e6 5.Ne2 f6 6.f4 Be7 7.Ng3 Bxb1 8.Rxb1 f5 9.Bd3 Nh6 10.Qh5+ Nf7 11.Nxf5 exf5 12.e6 g6 13.exf7+ Kxf7 14.Qf3 h5 15.O-O Bf6 16.Be3 Qd7 17.c4 Ne7 18.c5 c6 19.b4 a6 20.a4 Rhe8 21.Rb3 Ng8 22.Rfb1 Bd8 23.b5 axb5 24.axb5 Nf6 25.h3 Ne4 26.g3 Qe6 27.Be2 Bf6 28.Rd1 Ra2 29.bxc6 bxc6 30.Rb7+ Kg8 31.Rd3 Nd2 32.Qf2 Nc4, 0-1.

  • #2
    NM Kevin Pacey (2307) -- NM John Armstrong (2247), Kingston Open 1996 (3). Played 1996-02-10. Nimzowitsch Defense, B00. Time controls 30/90', SD/60'. TD / Organizer: Larry Bevand, assistant Frank Dixon.

    The game leaves published theory at an early stage. This defense is rare in any case, and an excellent choice for those seeking originality in the opening. IM Tom O'Donnell is the strongest Canadian player to have played the line fairly regularly. American openings maven Hugh Myers wrote perhaps the best one-volume study of it, with his second edition.
    By Black's move 7 here, we leave previous examples; all I have been able to trace to White's move 7 is the obscure game Da Silva -- Gonzalez, Ourense 2007, drawn in 37.
    The game exhibits some similarity to the Advance Variation of the French Defense, albeit with Black's light-squared bishop developed outside the pawn chain (f7-e6-d5), and then quickly exchanged off for White's N/b1. Although Black has taken time to do this, the position remains closed, so he doesn't pay a price for this. That piece is often a problem for Black in the French, in any case. Black then locks the pawns further no the light squares with 8...f6-f5.
    White's attacking idea with 10.Qh5+ is interesting, but Black meets it precisely and is not worse, despite losing castling rights. His King is safe enough on f7
    The middlegame mainly sees both sides slowly maneuvering for advantage in what is largely a closed position. Perhaps White underestimated Black's massing of majors on the e-file, combined with a strong knight on e4, enhanced by his excursion 28...Ra2! All of Black's pieces are combining wonderfully well! White's rooks are drawn to the queenside, seeking a breakthrough. But Black breaks open the position with devastating force!
    The final combination is surprising and very effective: NM John Armstrong offered this winning variation at the time: 33.Rbb3 Nxe3! 34.Rxe3 Bxd4! 35.Rxe6 Bxf2+!. An original game!!