ICA Denker Qualifier (4)
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 White avoids the Open Sicilian and chooses the less theoretical King's Indian Attack.
3... Nc6 4. g3 Nge7 5. Bg2 d5 6. Nbd2 a6?!
Even though this move does not serve any purpose, it is a novelty that suits the opening. It is important for Black not to castle kingside too quickly, as will be explained in the notes to 6...g6.
Black's most popular and best set up is 6... g6 7. O-O Bg7 8. Re1 b6 9. c3 a5 postponing castling(After 9... O-O 10. e5 Qc7 11. Qe2 The center is locked up and White has a fairly straightforward way of launching a kingside attack with moves such as h4-h5, Nf1-h2-g4 and Bg5 or Bh6.)
10. a4 Ba6 and the position is about even
A distant second is the set up with 6... Ng6 7. O-O Be7 8. Re1 O-O?! 9. h4 d4 10. e5 and we've reached a position very similar to the game; however, here Black has castled which gives White an easy target to attack.
7. O-O Ng6 8. Re1 Be7 9. h4 d4 10. e5 Qc7 11. Qe2 h6!? Putting an early halt to a dangerous plan for White: a4, Nc4, Bg5xe7 and Nd6.
12. c3 While opening the position with black's king the middle is a sound plan, White could still have persuit a plan similar to the one discussed in the previous note with 12. a4 b6 (12... Rb8 doesn't help: 13. h5 Nf8 14. Nc4 threatening to lock up the queenside with a4-a5 14... b5 15. axb5 axb5 16. Nd6+! Bxd6 17. exd6 Qxd6 18. Bf4 and White wins)
13. Nc4 Bb7 14. h5 Nf8 15. Bf4 and Nd6 with an advantage for White.
12... dxc3 13. bxc3 b6 14. a4 Bb7 15. Rb1 Very strong is 15. h5! Nf8 16. Nc4 threatening Rb1, Bf4 with total control over the position 16... b5 17. axb5 axb5 18. Rxa8+ Bxa8 19. Nd6+ Bxd6 20. exd6 Qxd6 21. Bf4 when White gets a lot of compensation for the sacrificed pawn, for example 21...Qd7 22.Nd2!? with the idea Ne4, or 21...Qd8 22.Ra1 Bb7 23.d4! and 21...Qd5 22.Nh4! followed by Nf5.
15... Na5 The only move, as Black cannot allow White to play Nc4.
16. d4? A positional mistake, creating a strong square for Black on d5; White should have stuck to his guns with
16. h5 Nf8 17. Ne4 Nd7 18. Bf4 O-O (what else?) when White has the pleasant choice of focusing on square d6, or taking aim at the black kingside with Qe3.
16... Nf8! With e5 securily defended, Black redirects his knight before comitting his king to the kingside.
17. Nc4? Playing right into Black's cards. White should still have tried Ne4 and Bf4.
17... Nxc4 18. Qxc4 Bd5 19. Qe2 cxd4 Before White gets a chance to play c3-c4 and d4-d5.
20. cxd4 Nd7 21. Bf4 Qb7!
Black is in complete control. With the center out of his hands, White will find it hard to launch a successful attack on the black kingside. Moreover, Black might even be thinking about g7-g5-g4, trying to pry open the h1-a8 diagonal.
22. g4! Stopping Black's threat and getting ready to advance once the black king castles.
22... Rc8 23. Rec1 O-O Finally Black castles, with all his pieces in perfect place.
24. Qe3 Be4! Chasing the rook from in front of the (potentially passed) b-pawn and keeping an eye on the b1-h7 diagonal, just in case the bishop is needed in the defence.
25. Ra1 b5 26. axb5 axb5 27. h5 27. g5 h5 closes up the kingside
27... b4 28. Ne1 28. g5 White's best practical chance, although by now he's too late. 28... b3! 29. Rxc8 Rxc8 30. Ne1 Bxg2 31. Nxg2 b2 32. Rb1 hxg5 33. Bxg5 Qa7! 34. Bxe7 (34. Bf4 Ba3)
34... Qa1 and Black will soon be up the exchange.
28... Bxg2 29. Nxg2 Nb6 30. Qb3 The desperado 30. Bxh6 is refuted by 30... gxh6 31. Qxh6 Rxc1+ 32. Rxc1 Rb8! with the idea 33. g5 Bf8 34. Qf6 Bg7
30... Qd5 31. Qxd5 Nxd5 It is as if Black is playing an endgame up a pawn with all his pieces placed perfectly.
32. Bd2 b3 33. Rxc8 Rxc8 34. Rb1 Rc2 35. Be3 b2 36. Ne1 Nc3
White resigns in view of 37.Nxc2 Nxb1 followed by 38...Na3 and the b-pawn will soon queen. After a dubious opening novelty (6...a6) and choosing a suboptimal set up for his pieces, Kayin played a brilliant game resulting in a convincing victory after the #1 seed.
[Jan van de Mortel]
Game(s) in PGN