Podolchenko E. (2475) - Maiorov N. (2524)
BLR-ch/Minsk (9) 2009
In this game we feature an interesting gambit which has been pioneered by GM Oleg Romanishin. 4 Qc2 is very popular at all levels these days, so Black needs a serious reply. I'm not sure whether this gambit is a permanent answer, but it is certainly very dangerous. The idea of 4 Qc2 is pretty simple. White wants to play a2-a3 and recapture on c3 with the Queen, gaining the two Bishops without any hassle.
Rapid development is the key feature of Black's opening idea. If White is able to play Be2 or Bd3 and then castle he will surely have the better game,so it is up to Black to deny him.
11. Be2 Bg4 12.
A new improvement. Previously played was
13... e4 14. Nd2 a5 15. h3 axb4 16. axb4 Rxa1+ 17. Bxa1 h5 18. g3 Bf5 19. Bg2 Qd7 20. g4 Bxg4 21. hxg4 Qxg4 22.
Podolchenko can find nothing other than to push his queenside pawns. He is completely boxed in by the pawn on d3.
Attractive moves like this are possible when you have the better position and an advantage in development. Refrain from this type of move alone at home if you do not.
What a crushing pin!
Maybe you or I wouldn't resign this position, but White has had enough of the pounding. I got the feeling that White was less than impressed with his game for quite some time. If you don't like your position, how can you hope to play it well?0-1
Bergstrom J. (1953) - Zubrickas R. (2224)
Elo-Challenge (4) 2009
Here is a game sent to me by one of my Swedish friends, which I thought was interesting enough to publish. White chooses a very unusual opening idea to great effect!
The Polar Bear Opening,used with great success by GM Danielsen from Denmark. I like the idea, a Leningrad in reverse.
7. Na3 is the way the GM often handles it. He puts his Knight on c2, Queen on e1 and then decides on a plan. Plans available include Kingside activity with h3 ad Qg3/h4, play in the centre with e2-e4 or play on the queenside with Rb1/b4.
9. Na3! awaiting events,may well have been the best move.
I must say this does look rather equal. Perhaps White would rather have his pawn still on a2!?
Bergstrom has lulled his opponent into a false sense of security with his quiet play!
As in all endgames of this type, the next task is to create a passed pawn.
I think I would have played 32. h4 just planning gradual improvement. Black can do nothing;it's torture for him.
34. Nc7! b4 35. cxb4 Bxb4 36. gxh6 c3 37. bxc3 Bxc3 38. Nd5 Bb2 39. Ke4 Bc1 40. Nf4 Bb2 41. h4 Bc3 42. g5 Ba1 43. Kf3 Bc3 44. Kg4 Bd2 45. Nh3 Be3 46. h5 Bd2 47. hxg6+ Kxg6 48. Nf4+ Kh7 49. Kf5 Bc3 50. Nh5 Bd2 51. Kf6 Kh8 52. Kg6 Bc3 53. Ng3 Bb4 54. Nf5 Bc5 55. Kf7
Very,very good endgame play, making a mockery of Bergstrom's lowly rating..1-0