Our focus in week 3 was on creating targets and coordinated initiative. We began from a position from the fascinating encounter Kasparov-Andersson 1981, in which the usually very calm Andersson played a novelty sacrifice on move 13 (!) against the greatest sacrificer of our times, the attacking legend Garry Kasparov! Our game certainly lived up to its billing as team Kasparov did not wait long before sacrificing the material back, creating targets for both armies on opposite sides of the board. What followed was a no-holds-barred battle of initiatives - whose would prove the better coordinated?
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 c5 5.Nge2 cxd4 6.exd4 0-0 7.a3 Be7 8.d5 exd5 9.cxd5 Re8 10.Be3 d6 11.h3 Nbd7 12.Ng3 Bf8 13.Be2 Rxe3 !!??
14.fxe3 our starting position.
14...Qb6!? Immediately deviating from the parent game, team Andersson decides to target the e3 and b2 weaknesses forthwith.
15.Qd2 Ne5 16.0-0 Bd7 Black rushes to complete its development and intends ...Rc8 and a possible ...Nc4.
17.Kh1!? A fascinating prophylactic move! Team Kasparov hints at ridding itself of its e3 weakness with a potential e3-e4, solidifying the center.
17...Rc8 18.Rf4! The beginning of a dramatic sequence!
18...a5 Team Andersson defends against the anticipated Rb4. All clear?
19.Raf1 Ng6 Now that the rook has been deprived of the anticipated Rb4, what is it planning to do anyway?
20.Rxf6! The point. White creates fresh targets on black's kingside which he will pursue with vigor.
20...gxf6 21.Nh5! Resisting the temptation to recapture immediately, White begins to coordinate an attack.
21...Be7 22.Ne4! The sharks are swirling. A model of coordination.
22...Ba4!? Not content with passive defense, Black rushes to the counterattack, looking to exploit his trumps. If the rook could come to c2 White could be in for some serious trouble.
23.Bd3! White intricately combines attack and defense! The bishop defends the crucial c2 square and simultaneously points its missiles at the enemy king. [If white is careless and loses a tempo with a move such as: 23.Kh2?? Then he will face a mighty attack: 23...Rc2 24.Qe1 Qxb2 Witness the perfect interaction of attack and defense. Black invades on the queenside, but his queen protects f6, and from its intended destination g2 black's rook will simultaneously endanger the white monarch and protect a crucial path to its own.]
23...Ne5 24.Qe2 f5! An incredible desperado! Undeterred by the protection of the c2 square Black plans an invasion on White's very first rank!!
25.Rxf5 Rc1+ 26.Kh2 Bd1!? Black's army rushes to the defense of its king...from the opposite side of the board!!
27.Nhf6+ Kh8 28.Qf2!! A powerful stroke, throwing his bishop to the winds, but threatening a devastating coordination.
28...Bxf6 29.Nxf6 Ng6 Black concedes. Should he grab the bishop: [29...Nxd3 30.Qh4 h5 31.Nxh5 was planned, with unstoppable checkmate to follow. Black's king is completely devoid of defenders. Can you find the forced mate in 4 sequence?]
30.Nxh7!! Kasparov would have been proud! White throws all caution to the winds, tearing apart Black's meager defenses. Keep an eye on the lowly pawn on g2 as it will deliver the checkmate blow!!!
30...Kxh7 31.Rxf7+ Kh6 32.Qf6 Bh5 33.Qg7+ Kg5 34.Rf5+ Kh4 35.g3# A beautifully executed attack and a stupendous battle. 1-0