**Round 1, Raptis(2366)-chessart(1835), Benko Gambit, Zaitsev System**
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 b5 4 cb a6 5 Nc3 ab 6 e4

This initiates the Zaitsev System, a trappy line for white against the Benko, but good for black if black know what he's doing. Unfortunately, I did not remember the line well enough to go into it

6...d6?

Correct is 6...b4. I was sure that my high-rated opponent would know the main line better than I did, as it had been many years since I studied it. I was unsure of 6...b4 7 e5, but after bc 8 ef Qa5! 9 bc Qxc3+ 10 Bd2 Qxf6 Black is clearly winning. The main line actually runs 7 Nb5 d6 8 Bf4 g5 9 Bxg5 Nxe4 10 Bf4 Qa5 11 Bc4 Bg7 12 Qe2 b3+ 13 Kf1 f5 14 f3 0-0 15 fe fe 16 g3 Qxa2 17 Rxa2 ba 18 Bxa2 Rxa2 19 Qxe4 Ba6 20 Nh3 Rxb2 21 Ke1 Bxb5 (Black has R + B for Q) 22 Kd1 Nd7 23 Ng5 Nf6 23 Ng5 Nf6 24 Qe6+ Kh8 25 Re1 Ba4+ 26 Kc1 Rc2+ 27 Kd1 Rxh2+ drawn.

Nick said after the game that he plays 8 Bc4 (instead of 8 Bf4), and the main line after that runs 8...Nbd7 9 Nf3 Nb6 10 Bd3 g6 11 b3 Bg7 12 Bb2 0-0 13 0-0 Ba6 14 Qe2 Qd7 15 a2 bxa3 16 Rxa3 and black won both games from here.

The question arises as to why black can't take the white P/e5 at move 8. It turns out it is playable, contrary to Nick's belief. One game ran Nxe4 9. Qe2 Nf6 10. Bf4 Ra6 11. Nxd6+ Rxd6 12. Bb5+ Bd7 13. Bxd6 Qb6 14. Bxd7+ Nbxd7 15. Bg3 Nxd5 16. Nf3 e6 17. O-O Be7 18. Rfd1 N7f6 19. Ne5 O-O 20. Qc4 Rc8 21. a4 Qa5 22. Qc2 Nb6 23. b3 Nfd5 24. Nc4 Nxc4 25. bxc4 Nc3 26. Re1 Bf6 27. Be5 Bxe5 28. Rxe5 Rd8 29. f4 g6 30. h4 Rd4 31. Qf2 Rxc4 32. h5 b3 33. h6 Qb6 34. a5 b2 35. Rb1 Qd8 36. Rxb2 Nd1 37. Rd2 Rd4 38. Rxd4 cxd4 39. Qf3 Nc3 40. Qd3 Nd5 41. a6 Nxf4 42. a7 Qa8 43. Qf3 Qxa7 44. Qxf4 1-0

The other game ran 17. Ne5 Nxe5 18. Bxe5 f6 19. Bg3 Kf7 20. O-O h5 21. h4 g6 22. a4 Be7 23. a5 Qc6 24. Qc4 Ra8 25. Rfe1 Ra6 26. Re2 Qa8 27. Qb5 Qc8 28. Rc1 Qc6 29. Qc4 Qa8 30. Rce1 Rc6 31. Bf4 Qa6 32. Qe4 f5 33. Qf3 Nxf4 34. Qxf4 Qxa5 35. Qc4 Qa6 36. Qf4 Rd6 37. Qe5 Qc6 38. Qf4 Bf6 39. Qc4 Qd5 40. Rc1 Qxc4 41. Rxc4 Rd1+ 42. Kh2 Bd4 43. g3 e5 44. Kg2 Ke6 45. Rec2 Kd5 46. Kf3 b3 47. Rxd4+ Kxd4 48. Rc3 Rd3+ 0-1

7 Bxb5+ Bd7 8 Bc4 g6 9 Nf3 Bg7 10 e5 de? 11 Nxe5 0-0 12 0-0 Na6 13 Qe2 Nc7 14 Rd1 Qe8 15 Be3 Rc8 16 f4 e6 17 Bxc5 Nxd5 18 Bxf8 Nxc3 19 bc Qxf8 20 Nxd7 NxN 21 RxR Qc5+ 22 Kh1 QxB 23 Rd8+ 1-0

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**Round 2, chessart(1835)-Taylor(1975), Albin Counter-Gambit**
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e5

This initiates the Albin Counter-Gambit.

3 de d4 4 Nf3 Nc6 5 g3 Nge7

5...Bg4 6.

Bg2 Qd7 7.

O-O O-O-O 8.

Nbd2 h5 9.

h4 Nge7 10.

b4 Ng6 11.

b5 Ncxe5 12.

Qa4 Kb8 13.

Nb3 Nxf3 14.

exf3 Bh3 15.

Nxd4 Bxg2 16.

Nc6 bxc6 17.

bxc6 Qc8 18.

Be3 a6 is the main line here, while

Be6 6.

Nbd2 Qd7 7.

Bg2 O-O-O 8.

O-O h5 9.

h4 Nh6 10.

b4 Ng4 11.

Qa4 Kb8 is the secondary line, with white's move a close third. White has a huge advantage in all three of these lines.

6 Bg2 Ng6 7 0-0 Ngxe5 8 NxN NxN 9 Nd2

9 b3 is most common, with the idea of 9...Be7 10. Bb2 c5 11. e3 Nc6 12. Bxc6 bxc6 13. exd4 cxd4 14. Qxd4 Qxd4 15. Bxd4 O-O 16. Re1 Be6 17. Nc3 Rfd8 18.

Be5 and both these games were drawn, which calls into question the wisdom of white's giving up his B/g2 to win black's d-pawn. If black plays 10...Bf6 (instead of 10...c5), white must be careful not to take the P/d4 as it is poisoned.

9...Be7 10 Nf3 NxN+ 11 BxN 0-0 12 Qc2 Bf6 13 Rd1 Qe7 14 a3 a5 15 Bd2 a4 16 Bb4 c5

My strategy was to induce this move, as it gives me a great square on d5 for my bishop, and it leaves black's P/b7 permanently weak.

17 Bd2 Re8 18 Rac1 g6 19 b3 (Meeting the threat of ...Bf5, trapping the queen on c2) Bf5 20 Qa2 Be4 21 ba Rxa4 22 Bh6 Rea8 23 BxB QxB 24 Qc2 QxQ 25 RxQ Rxa3 26 Rb1 Ra1 27 R2c1

Seeing that my original plan of 27 R2b2 doesn't work, I reverted to plan B.

R1a2 28 Kf1 Re8 29 Re1 Rc2 30 Rxb2 Rxc4 31 R1b1 Ra4 32 Rc7!

Threatening to double rooks on the 7th.

32...Rb4

32...Ra2 might be objectively better, but black was already getting low on time and thus was unable to work through the complications that would ensue.

33 RxR cb 34 Rb7 Be7 35 Bd2! (recovering the pawn, with the better endgame) Bf8 36 Bxb4 Rd8 37 BxB KxB 38 Ke1 d3?

This gives me an easy win. All I have to do is push 39 e3, and then win the P/d3 in straightforward fashion. If white leaves the pawn on d4, his king can get to e5 to guard it, and I will have to work for the win.

39 de?? Rxd3 1/2-1/2

Unfortunately, I failed to find 39 e3, and now it is a dead draw. We played on a few more moves before agreeing to the draw.

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**Round 3, Witt(1884)-chessart(1835), Sicilian Dragon**
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 d4 cd 5 Nxd4 g6 6 Be3 Bg7 7 f3 0-0 8 Qd2 Nc6 9 Bc4 Bd7 10 0-0-0 Qa5 11 g4 Rfc8 12 Bb3 Ne5 13 Bh6

** **
13 h4 is by far the most common, followed in a distant second by 13 Kb1. 13 Bh6 is in third, scoring a healthy 65% for black.

13...Nc4?

Usual here is 13...Bxh6. The main game proceeded Bxh6 14. Qxh6 Rxc3 15. bxc3 Qxc3 16. Kb1 Nc4 17. Bxc4 Qxc4 18. Qe3 Rc8 19. Rd2 a5 20. Ka1 e5 21. Ne2 Be6 22. c3 Qa4 23. Rb1 Nd7 24. Qd3 Nc5 25. Qc2 Qa3 26. Rb6 Na4 27. Rbxd6 Nc5 28. Rd8+ Kg7 29. Kb1 Rc6 30. R8d6 Rc7 31. Qb2 Qa4 32. g5 Qc4 33. Ka1 b5 34. R2d4 exd4 35. Rxd4 Nb3+ 36. axb3 Qxb3 1/2-1/2

The general principle here is that black must sac early on c3 whenever white plays an early g4. Note that white must stop for defense on move 18, because otherwise black's attack proceeds unimpeded, while white has no attack as his queen is useless on h6. Note also that black can proceed equally effectively with 16...a5 or 16...Rc8 (instead of 16...Nc4).

14 BxN RxB 15 BxB KxB 16 Nb3 Qd8 17 e5 Nxg4 18 fg Bxg4 19 Re1 de 20 QxQ RxQ 21 Rxe5 e6 22 Rg1 h5 23 Nd1 Bf5 24 Ne3 Rh4??

24...Rf4 holds, but white still has a healthy advantage of +1.30.

25 RxB! 1-0