KindredSpirit Sizes Up the Defense Among the Sicilian Population– Part III

Perhaps I should mention the ATTACK feature in the Sicilian population that from the IBM event saw a very deep struggle where White seemed to please the crowd best.  Also I chose the games that were relatively short and decisive rather than long protracted struggles which the Sicilian Defense generally forecasts.  This battle is no exception as White outplayed his opponent.  What can I say?!  But I hope you will learn from the sharp ideas posed by the contestants.

White:  Vlastimil Jansa took a winding road to reach the grandmaster title.  In crucial games, he often stumbled at deciding moments on the verge of victory such as his blunder against Robert Bryne in the Olympiad.  The Czechs were beginning to wonder if he would ever make it.  But his is a story of persistence and hard work that eventually paid off and was awarded the coveted title that is the aspirant of every serious pupil of the game.

White:   V. Jansa    vs.   Black:  A. Planinc        Opening:  Sicilian Defense          IMB Tournament

1.  e4  c5   2. Nf3  e6   3.  d4  cxd4   4.  Nxd4  Nf6  5.  Nc3   d6  6. Be2   a6   7.  O-O   Nbd7

Chess mastership finds a good variety of chess stars who favor certain planned operations.  Planinc adopts an immediate Knight maneuver whereas others appear to like holding back this deployment in favor of jump moves in  the  Scheveningen variation…a6 > Be7 > Qc7 >  O-O.  The problem with deploying the Knight has some misgivings because Black can find himself with forced moves in the defense.  It can be said that one might be best served by keeping options open as a general plan than being forced into a specific set up prematurely.  Tastes can vary among players which creates an interesting variety of handling an opening position.  White increases s/c as his opening plan unfolds.

8. f4  b5 !

This deserves an !  because if he had played 8….Qc7, then White gets strong Kingside attack by 9. g4.

9. Bf3  Bb7   10. e5   Bxf3   11.  Nxf3   dxe5   12.  fxe5  Ng4  13. Qe2   Rc8  14. Bf4  Be7

It seems like Planinc had in mind a plan such as 14….Rc4 with the idea of 15.  Bg3  Qb6+  16. Kh1    that makes sense with his choice of 12…Ng4.  If White plays the weak move 15. Ne4? Nc5! with Black getting a good position.  And finally, if 14. h3  Qb6+  15. Kh1  h5!

As you can see, modern chess tactics vary from the olden days when a move like 14. …Be7 might be considered toward completing development of forces.  But as you can begin to see, both sides must stay alert and vision plans that carry out development of pieces but also have venom hidden within the framework of such plans.

15.  Rad1   Qb6+  16. Kh1   Nf8

While White has increased s/c, Black has because of the Knight play to f8 has prevented Black to perform what very important move?

17. Ng5   Nh6  18. Nge4  Nf5

S/c is 17/16 and the White men have a greater tactical position.  Once again you should evaluate the board and squares.  Looking at the position, the f7 square is weakly defended and center operations and control are White potential inroads.  Black has been blocked from castling so his King is vulnerable in the center.  Black pieces do not operate as a team or even with a plan.  The black Knight looks pretty on f5 but is now subject to a pawn attack. That is a good starting point for an aggressive plan and attack.

19. g4  Nh4   20. Bg5  Nfg6  21. Bxe7   Kxe7  22. Nd6  Qc6+  23. Kg1  Qc5+  24. Kh1 Qc6+  25. Nce4  Nxe5  26. Qe3  f6

Black has to hope for a miracle.  And Jansa per usual complies. Now, White needs to play 27. g5  >28. Qa3 winning but leaves this move out.

27. Qa3?  Rcd8??

Planinc  misses 27. …Rc7!  and the position looks quite defendable.

28. Nf5+ Black resigns. (1-0).

There are many reasons for falling off the ledge and perhaps the time clock had something to do with it.  Time pressure can be deadly. But for my readers whom I have emphasized numerous times to always keep hope alive by looking for saving moves or at least make it most difficult for the attacker may just find an occasional miracle rising from human error.

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