Sunday, March 16, 2008

An oddball from Zurich 1953

The match between Najdorf and Kotov in round 11 of the Zurich International Chess Tournament of 1953, was a little odd since most of these games are Queen pawn ( mostly consisting of QGD) games and those that had 1.e4 were Sicilians. But this game in particular was the only Caro-Kann. Bronstein narrates that Najdorf was anticipating Kotov to play into a Sicilian ( Najdorf variation) but was surprised to see the c6 response.


As I traveled back in time, trying to imagine what the eleventh round would have been like at this event, I imagined I was looking over the shoulder of these two players. Early on, I looked at moves like 7.Bd3 and how Kotov DIDN'T exchange the bishops. Something I would have done. Since, its a pain in the ass in C-K and an opportunity to exchange for White's King side Maurader, I always tend to welcome ( to a fault).Rather, A couple moves later, AFTER he castled short, White decides to exchange.

Bronstein commented later that the pawn majority on Kotov's King side versus the Q-side pawn majority of Najdorf's meant a better end game for white and how the queen exchange was not a good plan for black. I have to agree. However, had Black exchanged bishops on move 7 instead of weakening the kingside pawns ( or even by move 10 prior to castling) might the situation had been better. Then the queen exchange might have worked.

I'm open for some ideas on this one.

2 comments:

Globular said...

Black was lost after 1... c6.

djh said...

undoubtedly a mouse slip (c6!?)