B30 Peters, Z.-Harvey, B., Sicilian Defense

Peters, Zachary (909) – Harvey, Bryan (1493)

B30 Sicilian Defense, Tampa (R2), May 15, 2010  [Notes by Hoffer]

It comes as no surprise that the most interesting game of the Tampa Bay Junior Championship occurred with Zach Peters at the helm of the White pieces in round two, due to his extraordinary creativity:

1.e4 c5 2.d3 d6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 Nf6

16-year-old Indian GM S.P. Sethuraman fianchettoed against me: 4…g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.0–0 e5  [6...e6 7.c3 Qb6 8.Nbd2 Nge7 9.Re1 Bd7 10.a4 Qc7 11.Nc4 a6 12.a5! Rd8 13.Bf4 e5 14.Be3 Be6 15.b4 Nc8 16.Qa4 cxb4 17.cxb4 0–0 (Amin,B (2561)-Benidze,D (2365), Yerevan 2007) 18.Rac1!?] 7.c3 Nge7 8.Nbd2 0–0 9.a4 h6 10.Nc4 Be6 11.Nfd2 f5  (11…d5 12.exd5 Bxd5 13.Bxd5 Nxd5 14.a5) 12.Qe2 Qd7!?N 13.exf5 Nxf5  [13...gxf5 14.Re1 (14.f4 exf4 15.Rxf4 d5!) 14...Rf6 15.Nb3] 14.Ne3 Rae8 15.Nxf5 gxf5 16.Re1 Kh8 17.Qd1 d5 (17…f4) 18.Nf3 Kh7 19.Nh4 Qf7?! (19…f4 20.Qh5) 20.Bf3 Rd8 (20…Qd7) 21.Bh5 Qf6 22.Be3 f4? (22…d4 23.cxd4 Nxd4 24.Ng6 Nb3 25.Ra3 c4 26.Rxb3 cxb3 27.Bc5 Rf7 28.Nxe5 Rc7 29.Bb4 is unclear) 23.Bxc5 Rg8 24.Bf3 Bf8 25.Bxf8 Rdxf8 26.Kh1 Rg7 27.b4 Nd8 28.Qe2 Nf7 29.d4!± e4? (29…fxg3 30.fxg3 Rg5 31.Rf1±) 30.Bxe4++- dxe4 31.Qxe4+ Kg8 32.Qxe6 Qd8 33.Ng6 fxg3 34.hxg3 Qg5 35.Nxf8 Qh5+ 36.Kg2 Kh8 37.Nd7 1–0 Hoffer,M (2663)-Sethuraman,S.P. (2457), Internet 2009.

5.Bg2 g6 6.c3!?

The 'normal' main line is: 6.0–0 Bg7 7.Nbd2 0–0 8.a4 Rb8 9.Nc4 b6 10.e5! dxe5 11.Nfxe5 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 Bb7 13.Nc6 Bxc6 14.Bxc6± Fischer,R-Green,M, East Orange, NJ 1957 1–0, 58.

6…Bg7 7.d4!?

Leave it to Zachary's imagination to have a trick up his sleeve! The usual move is 7.0–0 0–0 8.Nbd2 Ne8 9.Nb3 a5 10.a4 e5 11.Be3 f5 12.exf5! gxf5 13.Bg5! Nf6 14.Nh4 Be6 15.d4 cxd4 16.cxd4 Nxd4 17.Nxd4 exd4 18.Nf3 Qd7 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.Nxd4 Bc4 21.Re1± Dzindzichashvili,R (2500)-Shamkovich,L (2535), Baku 1972  USSR Ch 1–0, 34


Better is 7…cxd4 8.cxd4!? Nxe4 9.d5 Qa5+ 10.Nfd2  (10.Nbd2? Qxd5 11.Nh4 f5 favors Black) 10…Nc5 (10…Nxf2!? 11.Kxf2 Qb6+ 12.Kf1 Ne5 13.Qe2÷) 11.dxc6 Nd3+ 12.Kf1 Qc5 13.Ne4 Qxc1 14.Qxc1 Nxc1 15.Nbc3 Nd3 16.Rb1 Rb8!? 17.Ke2 Ne5 18.c7 Ra8 19.Rhc1 with plenty of compensation.

8.d5! Nb8 9.Qa4+ Bd7 10.Qxe4+- Bf5 11.Qe2 Nd7 12.0–0 Nb6 13.c4 Na4 14.a3?!

Zach played this to create a space for his Rook. Be careful on pawn moves! It's better to improve the position of your pieces: Better is 14.Nh4! Bd7 15.Nc3 Nxc3 16.bxc3 0–0 17.Rb1+-

14…Qb6 15.Ra2?

This turns out to be a horrible hiding place for Zach's Rook. It should only be done as a last resort. White has immediate threats which absolve him from having to make such a passive and defensive move.  Better is 15.Nh4! Bd7  (15…Nxb2? 16.Nxf5! gxf5 17.Nc3! Bxc3 18.Rb1 Qc7 19.Bxb2 Bxb2 20.Qxb2+-; 15…Bxb2?! 16.Nxf5! gxf5 17.Ra2+-) 16.Nc3 Nxc3 17.bxc3 Bxc3 18.Bg5!!+- This line is even stronger now as the Qb6 will be a terrific tempo target for Rab1.


Better is 15…Bxb1 16.Bg5! 0–0 17.Rxb1 Nc3 18.bxc3 Qxb1+ 19.Bf1 Bxc3 20.Rc2 edge to White

16.Re1!± 0–0 17.Nc3

A normal reflex move that is good enough. However, very complicated and worth the analysis is the dynamic: Better is 17.Ra1! Nxb2 18.Nbd2 Qa4 19.Nh4! Bd3 a) 19…Bc2 20.Bxb2 Bxb2 21.Ra2 Bg7 22.Qf3±; b) 19…Nd1? 20.Nxf5 gxf5 (20…Bxa1? 21.Nxe7+ Kh8 22.Ne4 Bg7 23.Qxd1+-) 21.Bh3 Bxa1 22.Bxf5 e6 23.dxe6 fxe6 24.Bxe6+ Kh8 25.Qxd1+-; c) 19…Nd3? 20.Nxf5 Nxe1 21.Nxg7 Nxg2 22.Kxg2 Qc2 23.Qxe7 Qc3 24.Rb1 Qxg7 25.Rxb7 Rae8 26.Qxd6+-; 20.Qf3 Bxc4 21.Bxb2 Bxb2 22.Rab1 Bf6 23.Nxc4 Qxc4 24.Rxb7±


Giving up the dark-squared fianchetto Bishop is not advisable. Bryan has enough problems without voluntarily creating a glaring weakness to his King safety. Better is 17…Nxc3 18.bxc3 Bxc3 19.Rd1 Bb1 20.Rad2 Bxd2 21.Rxd2 Rfe8 22.Bh3! Rab8 23.Bb2!±

18.bxc3 Nxc3 19.Qxe7!?

This is risky as it gives up the Ra2 without immediately getting back a piece, which is important as two pieces beat a Rook. Black might also reply with 19…Rae8 getting White's Queen for two Rooks. While it turns out that White wins all the variations, it is a lot to analyze, increasing the chances to make a mistake or inaccurately calculate ahead by missing a potential Zwischenzug as many of these variations run more than 12 moves deep.

A safer way to handle this position is 19.Qb2 Qxa2 20.Qxc3 Qc2 21.Qxc2 Bxc2 22.Rxe7 Rfe8 23.Bg5 Bd3 24.Bf1 Bxf1 25.Kxf1 Rxe7 26.Bxe7 f6 27.Bxd6 b6 28.Ke2 Kf7 29.Bf4+- This variation practically plays itself!


Considering this loses rapidly to 20.Qf6!, Bryan should have thought about playing a more complex and unclear variation.

19…Nxa2 20.Bh6 Qc3 21.Re3 Qa1+  (21…Qc1+? 22.Bf1 Qa1 23.Ng5 Qh8 24.g4! Bxg4 25.Ne4 f5 26.Ng5 f4 27.Re6 Nc3 28.Rxd6 Bf5 29.Bxf8 Rxf8 30.Rd8 Qg7 31.Rxf8+ Qxf8 32.Qxh7#; 21…Qh8 22.Bxf8 Rxf8 23.Qxd6 Qa1+ 24.Bf1 b5 25.cxb5 c4 26.Re1 Qc3 27.Kg2 Nc1 28.Qc5 Nd3 29.Bxd3 Rc8 30.Qxa7 cxd3 31.Re3 Qb2 32.Ne5 Rf8 33.Nxd3 Qxb5 34.Qd4+-) 22.Bf1 with four interesting possibilities:

a) 22…Bh3? 23.Re1 Qc3 24.Bxh3! Qxf3 25.Bd7! Qc3 26.Be8! Raxe8 27.Qxe8 Qg7 (27…Rxe8? 28.Rxe8#) 28.Qe3! Qe5 29.Qxe5 dxe5 30.Bxf8 Kxf8 31.Rxe5+-;

b) 22…Nc3 23.Re1 (It's too early for 23.Re5 dxe5 24.Qf6 Ne2+ 25.Kg2 e4 26.Qxa1 exf3+ 27.Kh1 Nd4 28.Bxf8 Kxf8) 23…Qb2 24.Ng5 (Actually a blunder now is 24.Re5?? dxe5 25.Qf6 Qxf2+!! 26.Kxf2 Ne4+ 27.Kg1 Nxf6–+) 24…Qd2  (24…Nb1 25.g4 Bc2 26.Bxf8 Rxf8 27.Nxh7 Rc8 28.Re3 Nd2 29.Nf6+ Kg7 30.Rh3 g5 31.Ne8+ Rxe8 32.Qxe8 Bh7 33.Rxh7+ Kxh7 34.Qxf7+ Qg7 35.Bd3+ Kh8 36.Qe8+ Qg8 37.Qh5+ Kg7 38.Qg6+ Kf8 39.Qxd6+ Kg7 40.Qe7+ Qf7 41.Qxg5+ Kf8 42.Qxd2+-) 25.Nxf7  (25.Re5!! also finally works 25…Nd1 26.Re2 Qd4 27.Bxf8 Rxf8 28.Nxh7 Rc8 29.Ng5 Rf8 30.Qxd6±) 25…Rxf7 26.Bxd2 Rxe7 27.Rxe7 Ne4 28.Bh6! g5 29.Rxb7 Nd2 30.Be2 Re8 31.Rg7+ Kh8 32.Rxa7+-;

c) 22…Qh8 23.Bxf8 Rxf8 24.Qxd6+-;

d) 22…b5 23.Re5!! Bh3 24.Re1 Qc3 25.Bxh3 Qxf3 26.Bd7 Qh5 27.Bxf8 Rxf8 28.Bxb5 Nc3 29.Qxd6 Qf3 30.Re3 Qd1+ 31.Kg2 Nxb5 32.cxb5 c4 33.Qc5 Rd8 34.Qxc4 Rxd5 35.a4 Kf8 36.a5+-;

Or 19…Rae8 20.Qxe8  [20.Qf6?? Rxe1+ 21.Nxe1 Re8 22.Bh6 Rxe1+ 23.Bf1 Rxf1+ 24.Kg2 (24.Kxf1?? Bh3+ 25.Ke1 Qd1#) 24...Rg1+ 25.Kxg1 Qd1+ 26.Kg2 Be4+ 27.f3 Qxf3+ 28.Qxf3 Bxf3+ 29.Kxf3 Nxa2–+] 20…Rxe8 21.Rxe8+ Kg7 22.Rb2 Qxc4 23.Rxb7 Ne2+ 24.Rxe2 Qxe2 25.Bb2+ Kh6 26.h4 Be4 27.Rxf7 g5 28.Bh8! Kh5 29.hxg5 Bxd5 30.Rxh7+ Kg6 31.Rh6+ Kf7 32.Rxd6 Qd1+ 33.Kh2 Ke7 34.Be5 Bxf3 35.Rxd1 Bxd1 36.Bd5+-


Zach immediately plays a second best move, not realizing the Queen needs to lead this parade into Black's vacated fianchetto before Bryan has the time to cover the dark squares. That is a shame because 20.Qf6! wins rather easily with 20.Qf6!+- Qa1 21.Kh1!   (to avoid …Ne2+, thus unleashing the unstoppable Bh6) 21…Rae8 22.Rf1! g5 23.Bxg5 Qb2 24.Bh6 Nd1 25.Qxf5 Qa1 26.Kg1!  (avoiding …Nf2+ & unleashing Ng5) 26…Re2 27.Ng5 Qh8 28.Bxf8 f6 29.Bh6 Re8 30.Qd7 Rf8 31.Qe6+ Rf7 32.Qxf7#


Rather than giving away a piece, Bryan could have gotten the material balance much closer with: 20…Qb2 21.Ng5 b5 22.Bxf8 Rxf8 23.Nxh7 Rb8 24.Ng5 Rf8 25.h4 bxc4 26.Nh7 Ra8 27.Nf6+ Kg7 28.Ne8+ Rxe8 29.Qxe8±


Zach exuberantly throws another piece into the attack while neglecting to notice he is being mated at f2. It's surprising that he did not pick off the Ne4, after which the win is fairly easy to achieve: 21.Rxe4+- eliminates the mating threat and wins: 21…Qa1+  (21…Bxe4 22.Qf6 Qa1+ 23.Qxa1 f6 24.Ng5 Bxg2 25.Kxg2+-) 22.Re1 Qh8 23.Bxf8 Rxf8 24.Qxd6+-

21…Qxf2+ 22.Kh1 Qxe1+ 23.Bf1 Nf2+

Better is 23…Qxf1#.

24.Kg1 Qxe7 25.Bxf8 Rxf8 26.Kxf2 Qxg5 27.h4 Qd2+ 0–1

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