I played Fred for the second time, again as White. He finished in second place last month with 2 1/2 points.
In this game, we got into the Fantasy Variation of the Caro-Kahn.
I knew that the game was strategically lost for Black after only 8 moves. I suggested to him that he try …c5 there instead, and also build up more pressure on my center before playing the freeing move …dxe4.
It may seem that the game ended prematurely, but I confirmed his suspicion after the game by pointing out that I was winning his rook with 15..Qh6, 16.Nf7 Qh3, 17.NxR Kf8 (..h6 and ..g5 don’t change anything for Black), 18.Rf2 Kg8, 19.Bf1 Qg4, 20.QxQ fxQ, 21.Nf7 saving the knight (where it can go to d6), which I saw OTB. I had considered instead to go for the line with 15.Nxe6…Nxe, 16.Nxg+, but it was messier to evaluate.
I didn’t keep times, but it was definitely under 30 minutes total, as I was able to think it all through on his time, and he had to use time given his desperate position. Here is some analysis of how this game may have gone differently
I feel that his 4.Nf6?! is a mistake, and not because of my 5.Nc3? where Black apparently get the big edge =+ after 5..e5, trades on d4, then Bb4 and if 0-0, then ..Bc5 as a follow-up, which is strangely very, very strong because Black can win control of ..e5 with a knight and then play NxBd3. So, the correct reply to 4…Nf6?! is 5.e5! where White has an improved version of Alekhine’s Def. 4 pawns attack, with a Black pawn on c6. White can play 6.h3, then …Be6?! where White sacs the c4 pawn for about a .9 advantage. Who woulda thunk it? So Black should have played as your opponent did last night with 4…e5 immediately, before I play it.
I looked at that …e5 line with Crafty, I really didn’t/don’t know this opening, it is so tactical, and more often that not I don’t play against that line because it’s higher-rated players which usually chose it. But at least I got to see your game with it.
There is the game Blake – Bigelow(v) 1935 and Tartakower – N.N. 1932 which shows a critical line in the Fantasy var. involving sacs, but this Chess Assistant program on XP won’t let me list the 1 million games from the ‘guru’ DB, so I can’t print any of it out (or copy and paste). I like it’s DB, but I would recommend SCID or perhaps Chessbase instead of this.
…e5 is dangerous for Black, if White knows how to handle it, allowing Black to play ..cxd with pawn and keep it there. …e6 does seem safter, perhaps in the right variation.