Mikhail Kobalia Plays The Dutch

Tran, Tuan Minh GM 2522 (VIE)

– Kobalia, Mikhail GM 2599 (RUS)

Aeroflot Open 2018 round 02

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 d6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 (After white plays Bg5 this move is appropriate. That said, Houdini prefers e6)

5. e3 (Qc2 has been the most played move, but Stockfish plays the move in the game)

e6 (Why did Kobalia play this move? The usual idea when playing the Leningrad Dutch is to play e5 ASAP. Stockfish at ChessBomb, and CBDB, has it as the best move, followed by g6; h6, and only then e6. The latter move is not found at 365Chess, and the Chessbase Database shows it having been played only four times. Da Bomb shows this line: (5… e5 6. Bd3 e4 7. Be2 Be7 8. Nh3 O-O 9. Nf4 Nb6 10. O-O Bd7 11. Qb3 c5 12. dxc5 dxc5 13. Rad1 Qe8 14. Nb5 Bd8; See Williams v Wall below for 6 Qc2)

6. Bd3 g6 (This is a Theoretical Novelty. The other three games at the CBDB feature the move Houdini prefers, Be7. The Fish would play 6…h6, which has yet to appear in the CBDB.)

7. Nge2 (Why not bust in the center with 7. e4? There follows a plausible line culminating in an advantage for white: fxe4 8. Bxe4 Be7 9. Bc2 Nh5 10. Be3 Ng7 11. Nf3 Nf5 12. Bd2 Bf6 13. Bxf5 exf5 14. Qe2+ Qe7 15. Nd5 Qxe2+ 16. Kxe2)

e5 8. f3 (b4) Bg7 9. O-O (Qb3 & e4 are possible alternatives) O-O (h6!?) 10. Qc2 c6 (h6!) 11. Rad1 (b4!) Qe7 (In The Leningrad Dutch: An Active Repertoire Against 1 d4, 1 c4, 1 Nf3,

the Grandmaster of the LD, GM Vladimir Malaniuk, focuses on the move of the Queen to e8 exclusively in the main line. With the bishop on g5 this would seem to be an appropriate move in the current position.)

12. b4 (This move could have been played earlier, but now is a mistake. If one is going to move the b-pawn, it should only move one square forward. That said, Stockfish considers 12 Qd2 best. What? Move the Queen again? Computer programs have no preconceived notions about not moving the same piece twice in the opening if it is the best move in the position!)

Re8 (Qe7) 13. Qb3 (e4) Kh8 (A common move for a human to make under the circumstances. Not so for a program! Stockfish shows 13…exd4; h6; a5; & Qf7, in that order. Consider this line produced by the clanking digital monster: 13… exd4 14. c5+ d5 15. exd4 Nf8 16. Rfe1 Qf7 17. Bh4 Ne6 18. b5 Nh5 19. Bf2 Bd7 20. Bc2 Nf6 21. Qb2 Rab8 22. a4, which limits white to a small advantage)

14. Bc2 (Rfe1) Nb6 (a5 or exd4) 15. d5 (e4) a5 (cxd5; h6; & Bd7 are better) 16. bxa5 Nbd7 17. dxc6 ( Na4!)

bxc6 18. Na4 (Qb4) Ba6 19. Rfe1 Qe6 20. Qb4 (Qd3!?)

c5 21. Qd2

Bf8? (This is a RED MOVE! These are the kinds of moves from which one MUST refrain . What makes it so difficult to understand is that black had an obviously better move with taking the pawn by 21…Bxc4. Now black is in serious difficulties after…)

22. Bb3 Rab8 23. Bxf6+ Nxf6 24. Nb6 Red8 25. Nc3 e4 26. f4 h6 27. Rf1 Rb7 28. Qf2 Ra7 29. Qd2 g5 30. Ncd5 Rf7 (g4 needs to be played) 31. h3 (31. fxg5! Nxd5 32. cxd5 Qg6 33. Bc4 Bxc4 34. Nxc4 hxg5 35. Rb1 Kg8 36. a6 Ra8 37. Rb6 Rfa7 38. g4 Rxa6 39. Rxa6 Rxa6 40. gxf5 Qf6 41. Qc2 Qf7 42. Qxe4 Rxa2 43. f6)

Bg7 32. Qf2 g4 (32… Nxd5 33. cxd5 Qf6 hangs tougher)

33. Nxf6 Bxf6 (Qxf6 is somewhat better) 34. hxg4 Rg7 35. gxf5

Qf7 ( (35… Qxf5 36. Rd5 Qg6 is better) 36. Bc2 Qh5? (It is all over now, baby blue. Why he did not capture the pawn on c4 boggles the mind, but then, it is difficult to resist when one bad move follows another, as I can say from experience. Some some of the best players can make things as difficult as possible for their opponent when in a worse position. GM Karjakin comes to mind as one who has this ability)

37. Bxe4 Bh4 38. Qf3 Rg4 39. Qh3 Rg3 40. Bf3 (RED MOVE! It is easy to become complacent when in a much better position. A much better move is…Qh1! One does not see a move like this played every day! White rights his ship after this inaccuracy.)

Rxh3 41. Bxh5 Rxe3 42. Rf3 Re4 43. Bf7 Bf6 44. Kh2 Re2 45. a4 Bd4 46. Rh3 Kh7 47. Bh5 Re4 48. Bf3 Rxf4 49. Nd5 Rxf3

50. Rxf3 (Not the best, but still good enough to win; gxf3 is best. I, too, would have taken with the rook, almost without thinking.Maybe it’s a human thing…) Bxc4 51. Rxd4? (Simply Nf4) cxd4 52. Nb6 Ba6 53. Rf4 d3 54. Rd4 Rf8? (Black has chances to hold with Kg7) 55. Rd5 Rf7 56. g4 Re7 57. Kg3 Re2 58. Rxd6 d2 59. Rd7+ Kh8 60. Rd8+ (Kf3) Kg7 61. Rd7+ Kf6 62. Nd5+ Ke5 63. Nb4 Re3+ (Bb7!) 64. Kf2 Re2+ 65. Kf3 Bc4 66. a6 Kf6 67. a7 Re7 68. Rd6+ Ke5 69. Rxd2 (( a8=Q, not that it matters) 1-0

Simon Williams 2493 v Gavin Wall 2325

London Classic Open 2010

1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 d6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 e5 6. Qc2
g6 7. O-O-O c6 8. h3 Be7 9. g4 exd4 10. exd4 h6 11. Bd2 Nf8 12. f3 Ne6 13. Nge2
Ng7 14. Nf4 Kf7 15. Bd3 g5 16. Nfe2 a6 17. h4 gxh4 18. gxf5 Nfh5 19. f6 Nxf6
20. Bg6+ Ke6 21. d5+ Kd7 22. dxc6+ bxc6 23. Bf4 Qa5 24. Nd4 Kc7 25. Rhe1 Bf8
26. Qd2 Kb7 27. Nb3 Qb4 28. Bxd6 Bxd6 29. Qxd6 Qxd6 30. Rxd6 Nge8 31. Re7+ Kb6
32. c5# 1-0

Andrew Ledger (2363) – Roderick M McKay, (2312)
4NCL 2017-18 England ENG 01/13/2018

ECO: A41 Old Indian defence

1. d4 d6 2. c4 f5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 c6 6. Bd3 g6 7. e4 fxe4 8. Nxe4 Bg7 9. Nf3 Nxe4 10. Bxe4 Nf6 11. Bd3 Bg4 12. O-O O-O 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 Qa5 15. Qe3 Rae8 16. b4 Qc7 17. Qe6+ Rf7 18. Rad1 Nd7 19. h4 Nf8 20. Qg4 a5 21. b5 c5 22. dxc5 Qxc5 23. Be3 Qc7 24. b6 Qc6 25. h5 gxh5 26. Qxh5 a4 27. Qd5 Qc8 28. Be4 e6 29. Qb5 Qd7 30. Rxd6 Qxd6 31. Qxe8 Rd7 32. Qa8 Qe7 33. Qxa4 Bd4 34. Re1 Qc5 35. Qb3 Rd6 36. Bxd4 Qxd4 37. Qg3+ Kh8 38. Qf3 1-0

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