Kindred’s Special: A Practical Study of Opening Theory (QGD) Part II

In Part I the game Botvinnik vs Keres illustrated the importance of opening theory and innovative ideas. Just the simple development of the Nge2 instead of Ngf3 deployment most likely was a result of home preparation by Botvinnik and his trusted assistant in chess analysis.  It was also likely that they had anticipated that Paul Keres would select his favorite defense against the latter where he had been so successful.  Botvinnik recognized that his threat of a Q-side minority attack, common in this opening system that follows Rab1 would encourage black’s …Bd6 and subsequent play shows that to be an actual error and loss of tempo voiding the effective counter action for Black of …c5.  Following this game, players knew Black could not stop central action by White and the immediate deployment of f3 led to sharp play favorable to White.

1. d4  d5  2. c4  e6  3. Nc3  Nf6  4. cxd5  exd5  5. Bg5  Be7  6. e3  O-O 7. Qc2  Nbd7  8. Bd3  Re8  9.Ne2  Nf8  10. O-O  c6  11. f3.

Black must now determine a method of countering White’s intended central e3-e4 but White also has  an alternative play of g4 followed by Ng3.  However, Black cannot prevent e3-e4 by 12…c5 because 12. Rad1 with the  jump-move threat of  13. Bxf6 or 13. dxc5 followed by 14. Nd5.  GM Timoshchenko against Shereshevsky, Minsk, the USSR Armed Forces Team Championship, tried to reduce White’s active pieces by 11…Nh5!?  12. Bxe7 Qxe7 13. e4 dxe4  14. fxe4  and after 14…Bg4 he had active play against the center.

15. Rf2!?

Again my Square Count Theory shows up with a good play. That is the deployment of Rooks on the half open f-file with pressure on f7. See my article on the f7 square weakness. This tactical plan causes Black to lose tempi in it’s defense.

15. …. Ne6  16. Raf1  Rf8 17. d5 Nc5  18. Nd4  Qe5  19. Nb3  Nxd3  20. Qxd3  Nf6.

The retreating Knight has served it’s purpose but also has enabled White to redeploy his forces advantageously to good squares.

21. h3  Bc8  22. Nd2  Bd7  23. Nc4  Qe7  24. d6!

Perhaps following the ideas from MY SYSTEM by Dr. Nimzowitsch, “The lust of a passed pawn to expand!” The strategic importance of the f-file and sq. f7 shows up as well. The actual play ended in a draw by agreement but the following analysis by students of Shereshevsky uncovered winning chances as follows:

24. …. Qe6  25. e5  Nd5  26. Ne4  b5  27.Ng5  Qh6  28. Nxf7  Qh5  29. Ne3  Be6  30. Nxd5  cxd5  31. d7  Rxf7  32.  Rxf7  Bxf7  33. Qc3  Qg5  34. Re1  Qf5  35. Qc6  Rf8  36.e6  Bxe6 37. Qxe6+  Qxe6  38. Rxe6  Kf7 39. Ra6!

Whether the 24. d6 advance was best is hard to say. Obviously there is probably room for improvement and certainly testing with a high class computer program might uncover improvements or point out flaws in human analysis. One question is if the central phalanx is strong or weak. It seems to me that White has a clear advantage in space, time and stategically superior. The pressure is on the defense and with time clock ticking, White has good chances.


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