Kindred’s Special: Olympiad star studded game

The Leningrad Dutch Defense proved to be a hard nut to crack a few decades ago which had many adherents adopting its fresh approach with new ideas.  The following game features opponents with similar aggressive styles so that sparks could erupt at any time.

White:  V. Topolov    vs.   Black:  Paco Vallejo   Opening:  Leningrad Dutch Indian

1. d4  f5  2. c4  Nf6  3. Nc3  e6  4. a3  g6 5. Bf4  Bg7  6. e3  O-O  7. Nf3 d6  8. Be2 h6  9. h3

This dual purpose move defends the g4 square and opens h2 for the bishop if attacked where it will continue to pressure the diagonal free of harassment.

9. … g5?!

This pawn sortie on the king-wing is a common plan in the Leningrad but here it is somewhat risky because Black gets behind in developing his forces.  White’s bishop loses none of its influence on the h2-e6 attack-line.

10. Bh2 Nbd7

This move too timid. 10…Qe7 > Nc6 > Bd7 is an alternative.  The text is a Capablanca no-no where I think his idea to avoid confining developmental aims can lead to a sterile and unproductive setup.

11. Qc2  b6  12. Rd1!  Kh8  13. b4 Bb7  14. d5!

This well-planned advance weakens the f-pawn, clears the d4 square for the knight so that it forces the advance of Black’s e-pawn.  Had White played to castle (remember O-O is a neutral move with no effect on square count) his subsequent advances made in the central complex would be curtailed.

14. … e5  15. Nd2  c6  16. d:c6  B:c6  17. O-O  Rc8

More logical was 17. .. Qe7 and if 18. Q:f5 Ne4 alters the game play because the d-pawn is defended for the moment.  Maybe other ideas like  18…Ng8 or 18…Ne8 since the Queen sac seems to be correct.

18. Q:f5!  Ne4 19. Q:f8+ B:f8  20. N/d:e4 Qc7  21. Rd2  Kg7  22. Rfd1 Nf6  23. N:d6 B:d6  24. R:d6 Qe7 25. Bg3

The h2 square is now open for the King.

At this point I am stopping the game which lasted with Black’s resignation on move 43.  This position is ripe for study to improve your game and how to use effectively minor pieces and rook versus the queen and bishop. The pawn majority on the Queen-side is the key to success.


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