Monday, December 31, 2012

A trap in the Alapin Sicilian

Here's a nice endgame grind by GM Lubomir Ftacnik. He finally captures White's isolated d-pawn on move 32, and White resigns 22 moves later. However, White had a huge improvement on move 8. Do you see it? If not, please consult Vasiukov-Razuvaev, Polanica Zdroj 1972.


Bill Brock said...

It's obvious once you look for it!

Frederick Rhine said...

Sadly, 8.Nc3?? is the most popular move by a tiny margin (9 out of 17 games).

Frederick Rhine said...

Note that if White plays the correct move and Black responds with 8...Bg4!, the position is still tricky. Black has even gotten a plus score in four games! But White is clearly winning with correct play. See David2009's (doubtless computer-aided) analysis in the comments to Plachetka-Ftacnik.