Monday, September 17, 2012

Tigran Petrosian v. Victor Korchnoi (Dutch Defense, Leningrad 1946)

[Site "Leningrad"]
[Date "1946]
[White "Petrosian"]
[Black "Viktor Korchnoi"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 f5 {In the "Dutch Defense", black battles for the control of
the e4 square while weakening his kingside. I consider this as risky and
more often than not black continues to struggle to gain compensation with the f5 push.} 3. g3 {this is the most logical move as the h1 - h8 diagonal is
initially free from obstruction.} 3... Nf6 4. Bg2 d5 5. O-O Bd6 6. c4 {With
this move, white tries to open up the h1 - h8 diagonal.} 6... c6 {It is
logical for black to refuse the opening up of this diagonal as it would be
Petrosian v. Korchnoi (after 23. Nf4)
beneficial for white.} 7. b3 O-O 8. Ba3 {White entices the exchange of the bishop. The intention is subtle but it can be said that its purpose is to get rid of black's active piece with tempo.} 8... Bxa3 9. Nxa3 Qe8 10. Nc2 {The knight has no business at a3. It is best that it is retreated to fortify the center.} 10... Qh5 {This seems to be premature at this time. It may be better for black to proceed with the development of his pieces.} 11. Qc1 Ne4 12. Nce1 {It can be seen here that Tigran values solidity than any form of premature attack.} 12... g5 {This pawn roll seems to be life threatening. But, it further weakens the kingside and is also dangerous given black's undeveloped pieces on the queenside.} 13. Nd3 Nd7 14. Nfe5 {White with solidity battles for the center. } 14... Kh8 15. f3 Nd6 16. e4 Nf7 17. cxd5 Ndxe5 18. dxe5 cxd5 19. exd5 exd5 {After the series of exchanges, it appears that white has gained the advantage, Black has an isolated pawn and with a soon to be exposed king.} 20. f4 Rd8 {Black tries to protect the isolated pawn.} 21. Qc7 {This seems to be the decisive move. The queen's invasion on the 7th rank is not only irritating.} 21... b6 22. fxg5 Ba6 {This is the losing move. This pin has no value given the next move that forced black to lose a piece and then the game.} 23. Nf4 {Black's queen is definitely not trapped. The queen can take the pawn at g5 but it would mean two pieces for a rook. With white having the initiative, he has a clear winning game} 1-0

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