A funny game of mine…
Black bases his plan entirely on isolating and targetting my b-pawn. Combined with the horrible looking bishop that I had on a1, it seemed as though I deserved to get crushed. But chess is never simple, and as the Romanian Grandmaster Mikhail Suba has told me time and again: at heart , chess is a dynamic game. I succeeded in finding some tactics that prevented my youthful opponent from ever winning my b-pawn, and in the end-fate had it-my horrible looking bishop became a lion!
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. b3 Bg7 4. Bb2 d6 5. c4 e5 6. d3 Bg4 7. Bg2 Qc8 8. h3 Bd7 9. Nc3 O-O 10. e3 Re8 11. Qd2 a5 12. Nd5 Nxd5 13. cd a4 14. b4 a3 15. Bc3 c6 16. Rc1 Na6 17. h4 Nc7 18. dc bc 19. e4 Nb5 20. Ba1 Qb7 21. O-O Ra4
The position is roughly balanced. But here I think Black begins to go astray: he wants to win my b-pawn , apparently at all costs. It is true the white b-pawn is a bit of a weakness, but it is not what the position is all about. Better for black to await further developments. As it is, white gains a lot of time to create little tactical problems for black.
22. h5! this pawn will be worth gold later 22…Nd4?! 23. Nxd4 ed 24. h6 Bh8
Clearly black has aimed for this position. The white b-pawn can not be defended directly. But still, is one little pawn really the soul of my position?
Not 25… Be6 because white gets a big edge after the simple 26. Bxd4! 26… Bxc4 27. Bxh8 Kxh8 28. Qc3 f6 29. Qxf6 Kg8 30. dc and black’s position is really horrible! The open king and weak pawns say it all. The exchange is irrelevant
27. e5! de 28. Bxc6 Bxc6 29. Rxc6
White is making progress! But the position is still messy, and take a look at White’s bishop!! I was not worried though, since one badly posted piece is not relevant when all the remaining pieces are so active
29… Qd8 [ Definitely not 29… Qxb4 30. Rc8] 30. b5 There is no good way to defend the pawn, so it moves forward. 30… Bf6 A good idea. In some lines black can play Bg5 and pick off the bothersome h-pawn. In other lines the bishop can be pulled back to d8 to avoid disasters on the 8th rank. [Note that if 30… Rxb5 31. Rc8! wins immediately] 31. R1c5! White plans to triple on the c-line 31… Raa8 32. Qc2
What a difference has taken place over the past half-dozen moves! White is absolute master of the position. He owns the c-file. His b-pawn is a serious problem for black. The only ‘imperfection’ in white’s position is his damn bishop on a1: so ugly!! But white has big dreams for that bishop!
I am very proud of this heroic pawn! It has become a giant. A proverbial thorn in Black’s side!
White has black tied up and paralyzed. He can win as he pleases. One idea he is toying with now is to gobble the a -pawn and then advance the white a-pawn all the way down black’s throat!
36… Be7 There is nothing better. Black goes down in flames in any case. 37. Rxe5! Bd6 38. Re4 Bxc7 39. Qxc7
”No Bishop is ever bad if it has faith.”
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS