A Perception of Changing Times

The recent game between GM Wesley So and GM V. Akobian from the US Championship held in St. Louis, Missouri featuring the Rubinstein Variation out of the French Defense is a good example to explore.  1. e4  e6  2. d4  d5.  From this position, White over many decades has set up various attack plans > 3. e:d5; 3. Nc3; 3. e5; 3. Nd2; 3. f3 — all having some sting of legitimacy.

With the above mentioned game, a classic 3. Nc3 led to 3 …d:e4  4. N:e4  Nd7 5. Nf3  Ngf6  6. N:f6+ N:f6 7. c3  setting up a Colle type position invented and championed by the famous attacking player Colle normally coming out of a Queen Pawn opening. So believes that this move allows easy deployment of forces in a natural manner.

Black is faced with the fact that the slow 7.c3 is non-committal, solid, and a waiting move to see just how Black sets up operations.  For example, 7. …Bd6 8. Bd3 O-O  9. O-O   b6  10.Qe2 a5 > Bb7 or; 10…Bb7 adopting a type of hypermodern setup.

In the era of Capablanca, trying to strike at the center so as to get suitable open lines that again point to my square count idea for active combating the center pawn structure, the idea for the active 7. … c5  was looked favorably upon.  8. Be3 or 8. Ne5, the latter being Kasparov’s play at Linares, 2002 versus Ponomariov.

8. Be3  c:d4  9. B:d4  Be7 10. Bd3  O-O  Maybe 10… Qc7 to protect f7 and prepare to connect Rooks would be superior. It might get White to castle K-side.  Now,  White has the choice of going Q-side with the King.

11. Qc2  h6  12. O-O-O  Qa5?! I do not understand this choice. 13. Kb1  Rd8  14. Ne5  Bd7 15. Qe2  Bc6 16. Rhe1  Bd5  17. c4  B:g2? Like  the Q-sortie to a5, I think this must have been a time pressure decision but it looks horrible–so why play it which opens the half g-file.

18. Bc3  Qb6  19. Rg1 Bc6 20. N:f7  The inherent weakness of f7 pointed out in my chessboard analysis arises again.  20. …K:f7  21. R:g7+!! smashing the hope by Black of erring by 21. B:g6+?? Kf8 22. Q:e6 Be4+! This shot busts open the square coverage needed for the King’s defense.

21. … K:g7  22. Q:e6  Q:f2  The only defense is what the computer came up with to delay the axe falling was 22. …Re8 23. 23. c5!! Qd8 24. Bc2  Q:d1+ 25. B:d1 Bd8 26. Qg4+ Kf8 27. Qf4 Kg7  28. Bc2. winning for White.  I really like the human element of winning here.  Stop the bleeding! please?

23. Q:e7+ Kg8  24. Bh7+  Black resigns.

The square count postings enable one to create a picture graph of events.  And it shows the human versus computer tinkering with the joys of what the mind can achieve now and in the future, leaving the past eras before those monsters toyed with our psychic.

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