Monday, September 10, 2012

Confusion in the Symmetrical English

The Symmetrical English (1.c4 c5) is an opening rich in possibilities for both players. After 2.Nf3 Nf6, two ways (among many) for White to play are 3.g3, aiming to get a reversed Maroczy Bind after 3...d5 (again, many other moves are possible: 3...b6, 3...g6, 3...Nc6, etc.) 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Nc6 6.Nc3 Nc7 (6...e5? 7.Nxe5!) 7.O-O e5 8.d3, and 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb4 6.Bc4, not fearing 6...Nd3+. However, combining g3 and e4 in the manner that White does in the game below is much weaker. After 3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4? Nb4! White already had a bad game. Kabat-Misicko, Czechia 2007 continued 6.d3 Bg4 7.Na3 N8c6 8.Be2 Bxf3 9.Bxf3 Qxd3, winning a pawn (0-1, 28). My opponent's 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4?? was no improvement, dropping a piece to the well-known trick 7...Qxd4!, winning a piece (8.Qxd4 Nc2+ and 8...Nxd4). After 11...Bh3+ he resigned in light of 12.Kg1 Nf3# or 12.Ke1 Nc2+, winning the rook.

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