Ten years passed from my victory over and long friendship with Issay Golyak . Speed forward from my posting a few days ago of this gigantic struggle to 1999 where another USSR immigrant, Grandmaster Boris Gulko conquered the interplay United States Championship invitees and won the title, “US Championship of 1999.”
Both had left to make their home in America. Both have made valuable contributions to the developing youth chess programs and new era of youthful stars.
The following game I chose because it sets a perfect example of my square count theory and difference between the pawn van with the advanced d-pawn on d5 versus the pawn inverted van. Perhaps the fact that the d-pawn digs into the c6 and e6 is not appreciated until the very end as a deciding factor.
White: GM Boris Gulko vs. Black: GM Yasser Seirawan Opening: Nimzo-Indian Defense
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. g3
Why would White choose this over the more popular and aggressive lines 4. a3 /e3/Qc2/Bg5 lines? I refer you to the article game between Timman-Karpov where 4. Nf3 was played. A matter of taste? Perhaps. That is what puts chess on par with the walk down the trail of Life.
4. … O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. Nf3 Bc3:+ 7. bc3: Nbd7
Perhaps this less aggressive post for the Knight instead of going Nc6 creates just the teeny pattern variance to give White the plus he looks for.
8. Qd3 e5 9. Nd2 Re8 10. O-O Qe7 11. e4 b6 12. Re1
This is in conjunction with the maneuver Nd2 as the Knight is headed for f1. Also, Re1 is useful because it follows Nimsovitchian theory of overprotection (e4).
12. … Ba6 13. a4
Gains a square count point but the real feature is the expansion on the Q=side. Black stopped the immediate idea of 13. Nf1 because of the central break–13. … ed4: 14. cd4: d5!! with nasty pins dissolving White’s plus.
13. … c5 14. d5
Setting up a central pawn van hitting the sixth rank squares c6/e6 thus establishing a spatial plus where White has better maneuvering play. As Petrosian’s games often show, the simple threat to threaten is often more tactful than to execute immediately.
14…. Nf8 15. Nf1
Any Q-side pawn advance only lets Black have some play. White’s postponement of this logical attack until he gets his pieces in ideal positions creates mental stress on Black.
15. … Ng6 16. Bh3 Bc8 17. Bc8:! Rac8: 18. Bg5 h6 19. Bf6:! Qf6:
You might ask, “Why get rid of the Bishops?” The answer is that Knights have more maneuvering chances in closed positions. Now, White can proceed with his Q-side planned attack.
20. a5! Nf8 21. ab6: ab6: 22. Ra6
Not bad but why not pursue 22. Ra7, following Nimsovitchian tactics learned in MY SYSTEM? What did he say about a Rook on the 7th?
22. … Ra8 23. Rea1 Ra6: 24. Ra6: Rb8 25. Kg2
Using the King to defend against a strong Qf3.
25. … Qe7 26. Qb1 Qb7 27. Qb5 Nd7 28. Qa4 Nf6 29. Ra7
Had White played the Ra7, the black Queen would not have the counterplay to guard the Q-wing.
29. … Qc8 30. f3 g6 31. Ne3 h5 32. Qc6 Qd8 33. h4 Rc8 34. Qb7 Qf8 35. Nd1
Boris says this prophylactic move was not necessary, pointing out a winning line with 35. Qb6: Rb8 36. Qc7 Rb2+ 37. Kf1. Still, the winning method in the game is most instructive.
35. … Rb8 36. Qc6 Rc8 37. Qb7 Rb8 38. Qc6 Rc8 39. Qb6: Rb8 40. Qc7 Rc8 41. Qb7 Rb8 42. Qc7 Rc8 43. Qa5 Qd8?!
More resistance comes from 43. … Rb8 44. Nf2 with a big advantage.
44. Qd8:+ Rd8: 45. Kf2 Kf8 46. Ke2 Rd7 47. Ra6 Ke7 48. Kd2 Rb7 49. Kc2 Ne8 50. Ne3 Nf6 51. Nf1 Nd7 52. Nd2 Nb8 53. Ra1! Kd8 54. g4!!
The winning idea is to open another front. The continuing attack on the Q-side leads only to a draw. The defender’s King cannot cover both sides’ weaknesses adequately.
54. ..hg4: 55. fg4: Ke7 56. Nb3 Kf6 57. Ra8!
Returning to the Q-side and center now that the King has been lured to the K-side.
57. … Nd7 58. Na5 Rb8 59. g5+! Kg7 60. Rb8: Nb8: 61. Nb7 f5 62. ef5: gf5: 63. h5! f4 64. Nd6: Nd7 65. Kd3 Black resigns.
A beautiful example of play on both sides of the board.
Lesson to learn is that square count is effective in late stages of a game even where few pieces remain. Just one idea is the art of triangulation, forcing a King to be chased from an exposed pawn or entry against a defensive wall that crumbles.